Martha SparksSociety Editor
May 5, 2013
Gary White of Logan was inducted into the 2013 West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame during the organization’s 16th annual induction ceremony Friday, May 3, at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels. Also inducted were Ben Statler and Armistead Long
White is president of the James River Coal Company, a division of International Resource Partners LP. He began his career in the mining industry as an electrician in a mining equipment rebuild shop. After stints as an instructor, he was hired by Amherst Coal Company as its director of training. He later served as the company’s human resource manager and its manager of underground mining. White went on to become president and CEO of the West Virginia Coal Association, a position he held until 1992, when he became president and chief operating office and later, CEO, of International Industries, Inc. The company was sold to Lightfoot Capital Partners, a private equity firm forming IRP.
A third-generation coal miner and Morgantown native, Statler began his career as a laborer with Consolidation Coal in 1969 and worked the night shift while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering at West Virginia University. He rose through the ranks at CONSOL to become senior vice president of mining in 1996. He later started his own mining company, PinnOak Resources LLC, acquiring assets from U.S. Steel Corporation. He currently serves as co-founder and chief executive officer of Gulf Coast Capital Partners, a private investment firm founded in 2008, which is focused on acquiring and providing capital to middle market companies in special situations.
Long, a native of Kentucky, was known throughout the industry for his inventions, which included the piggyback or bridge conveyor, the Rosco feeder breaker and a patented belt sander. He started his career working for his father in Fayetteville, W.Va., in what would later become known as The Long Company. He went on to serve as president of Long-Airdox and Marmon Research, where he developed a line of permissible mantrips and rockdusters, a diesel auger miner and a series of low-height roof bolters. Long died in 2005 at the age of 86.
The hall was established by the West Virginia Coal Association, the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute and the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association in 1998. It resides in the Mineral Resources Building of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU.