Harvey, Nicewonder given milestone recognition

CONSOL Energy president J Brett Harvey and longtime mine operator Don Nicewonder were inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame last week.
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Consol chief Brett Harvey.

Donna Schmidt

“Don and Brett are trailblazers in the coal industry – both regionally and nationally – and they are very deserving of this honour,” West Virginia Coal Association president Bill Raney said.

“The Coal Hall of Fame was created to honour and celebrate the careers and accomplishments of [such] individuals who have had a significant impact on the West Virginia mining industry.”

The WVCA is one of the Hall of Fame’s organisers, along with the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute and the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association.

Harvey, a fourth-generation coal miner, began his career as a longwall mining supervisor at Kaiser Steel Corporation in 1979 and within five years had risen to vice-president and general manager of Kaiser Coal of New Mexico.

After working through the ranks of Utah Power and Light, PacifiCorp and PacifiCorp Fuels, the Utah native was appointed CEO of PacifiCorp Energy in 1995. Three years later, he was named CEO of Consol Energy and now also oversees the company’s CNX Gas division in the same capacity.

“Brett is an energy industry visionary who successfully leads one of the world’s most professional energy companies,” Raney said.

“His integrity, credibility and strong values are recognised by all who know him. He has truly left his steadfast mark on West Virginia’s coal industry to all of our benefits.”

Nicewonder worked in coal mining for more than five decades before selling his interests in 2005. During his career he owned and operated mines in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, including White Flame Energy, Premium Energy and Twin Star Mining.

He made a priority of “creating post-mine opportunities”, Raney said, including the construction of the Twisted Gun Golf Course over his former Premium Energy mine in southern West Virginia.

“As a businessman, coal operator and philanthropist, Don is a role model for all of us – both in and out of the coal industry,” he added.

The Coal Hall of Fame was established in 1998 and is located in the Mineral Resources Building of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in Morgantown.