CSX CEO Featured at Concord Fundraiser
Athens, W.Va. – More than 100 loyal Concord University supporters attended the Thursday, October 23 Fund for Concord University Dinner at Embassy Suites in Charleston. The “Fund for Concord” dinner is an annual event that affords the Concord community the opportunity to showcase alumni and feature prominent keynote speakers, while at the same time raising money which helps enhance the educational experience for Concord students.
David Kirby, investment banker with Scott & Stringfellow and chair of the planning committee, welcomed guests, and Martha Endres provided the invocation.
Next, Concord University President, Dr. Gregory F. Aloia, said: “We’re faced with an economic challenge for our country and state; yet, we have generous people to come out tonight and support our institution. Concord has a commitment to students, and this is what makes us different. With your support, we can continue to provide a quality education to our students.”
Aloia then introduced Rudi Raynes, class of 2007: “Two months after graduating from Concord she landed a full-time job at WCHS News Channel 8 and WVAH Fox 11. Her enthusiasm is contagious!”
Raynes said, “If someone had told me before I attended college that I was going to graduate a year early and then two months later walk out and have a fulltime job right after I got my diploma I would have laughed, and I would have thought it was extremely wishful thinking at best. But, because I had God, great parents, wonderful friends and wonderful professors at Concord, my dream of becoming a ‘news lady’ is now a reality.”
David A. Barnette, chair of the Concord University Foundation, introduced U.S. Congressman Nick Rahall, who represents West Virginia’s third district.
Rahall stated: “The students, faculty and staff of Concord University–we salute you for all that you have done. Your dedication to improving Concord University and the surrounding community is indeed taking southern West Virginia--a part of the state that I am very honored and humbled to serve in Congress--to new heights at record speed. This room is filled with many who have committed large amounts of money to Concord University. We honor your commitment and thank you for that investment.”
Rahall secured federal funds for Concord’s new technology center. The center, he says, will help move Concord and its students into the future. He then introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Mr. Michael Ward, chairman, CEO and president of CSX Corporation.
Ward talked about the investments CSX has made in West Virginia, noting that CSX is number two as an employer in the state behind Wal-mart. “We are very proud to have brought these jobs to West Virginia,” he said.
“There is a tendency to look overseas for answers to business problems and we really need to look at ourselves, and I think that is what Concord is all about,” Ward continued.
“I went to the University of Maryland, and I am the oldest of eight children. My dad told me while I was growing up that, ‘You need to get a college education, and you need to figure out how to pay for it because I can’t with eight kids and a pool hall.’ Back then, I worked in an asphalt factory and I could earn enough money during the summer to pay for tuition at a state university. After graduating, my dad said, ‘Here’s $25, apply to Harvard and see what they say.’ I did and they accepted me on what they called ‘deferred admission,’ telling me to, ‘Take two years, and get some business experience before you come to learn and study with us.’ So I gave my dad a break and ran the pool hall for him. I learned that customers really do matter a lot, I learned how to manage a budget, I learned how to read a balance sheet, and, this won’t surprise many of you, I also learned how to manage conflict. Occasionally, there is a conflict in a pool hall,” he said with a chuckle. “I may be the only Harvard Business School graduate with that background!”
He then outlined proposals and plans whereby CSX would partner with the trucking and shipping industries resulting in more efficient and environmentally-friendly transportation solutions. “Since 1990,” he said, “we have reduced our emissions 80 percent by buying new locomotives with better technology. We can move a ton of freight 423 miles with one gallon of fuel. One train can handle the equivalent of 280 truck loads.”
This was the eighth Fund for Concord dinner held in Charleston.
Sponsors for the dinner included: AEP, Arnett and Foster PLLC, CSX Corporation, Champion Output Solutions, Dinsmore & Shohl PLLC, Joseph and Faye Guilfoile, International Industries/International Resources, Jackson Kelly PLLC, Dr. Joseph F. Marsh, Dan and Betty Jo Moore, Andrew and Mary Jo Paterno, Scott & Stringfellow and Wells Fargo and Company.
Chip Newton from Burlington, N.C., provided entertainment for the reception and dinner.
Those who served on the dinner committee included: Chair David Kirby, and David Barnette, Martha Endres, Faye Guilfoile, Lou Ann Johnson, Christie L. (Elliott) McGinnis, William J. “Bill” McKee Jr., Betty Jo Moore, Emily Myers, Forrest Roles, Andrew Paterno, Anthony Williams and Loretta Young.
PHOTO: David Kirby
PHOTO: Nick Rahall
PHOTO: Rudi Raynes
PHOTO: Michael J. Ward
PHOTO: David Barnette
PHOTO: Dr. Gregory F. Aloia. Mrs. Gregory (Mary) Aloia, Mr. Michael J. Ward