Don Nicewonder, a life-long coal operator, and J. Brett Harvey, President and Chief Executive Officer of CONSOL Energy,  will be inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Friday evening, May 8, at Stonewall Resort in Lewis County.  The event starts at 6:30 pm.

Bill Raney, President of the West Virginia Coal Association, said, “The Coal Hall of Fame was created to honor and celebrate the careers and accomplishments of individuals who have had a significant impact on the West Virginia mining industry.  Don and Brett are trail blazers in the coal industry – both regionally and nationally – and they are very deserving of this honor.”

Nicewonder spent more than fifty years in the coal industry before selling his mining interests in 2005.  He owned and operated multiple coal operations in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, including White Flame Energy, Premium Energy and Twin Star Mining.   His operations received numerous safety and reclamation awards, including winning West Virginia’s highest reclamation award four times.
Creating post-mine opportunities for the communities in which he operated was a priority for Nicewonder.   He developed the world-class Twisted Gun Golf Course on the former Premium Energy mine in Wharncliffe, West Virginia; saved the State of West Virginia hundreds of millions of dollars by constructing approximately 15 miles of the King Coal Highway between Gilbert and Williamson, West Virginia; and, provided land for the future construction of an airport and a new consolidated high school near Ragland, West Virginia.

“Don Nicewonder is the original Class Act,” Raney said.  “As a businessman, coal operator and philanthropist, Don is a role model for all of us – both in and out of the coal industry.”

J. Brett Harvey, a fourth generation coal miner, leveraged hard work and knowledge of the industry to rise through the ranks.  A native of Utah, Harvey began his mining career in that state in 1979 as a longwall mining supervisor at Kaiser Steel Corporation.  By 1984, he had risen to Vice President and General Manager of Kaiser Coal of New Mexico. He was elevated to positions of increasing responsibility with Utah Power & Light, PacifiCorp, PacifiCorp Fuels and PacifiCorp Energy, where he became CEO in 1995.  In 1998, he was named CEO of CONSOL.  And, with the creation of CNX Gas Corporation in 2005 – which has grown to become one of the largest gas exploration and production companies in the country – Harvey was named its CEO and Chairman of the Board.

Raney said, “Brett is an energy industry visionary who successfully leads one of the world’s most professional energy companies.  His integrity, credibility and strong values are recognized by all who know him.  He has truly left his steadfast mark on West Virginia’s coal industry to all of our benefits.”

The West Virginia Coal Association, the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute and the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association established the Coal Hall of Fame in 1998.  

The Mineral Resources Building of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in Morgantown is home to the Coal Hall of Fame. Individual plaques bearing the names of each of the inductees are on permanent display in the building's atrium. In addition, a photograph of each member hangs in the first-floor hallway of the facility.

For additional information, contact Bill Raney at (304) 342-4153.

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw