H. Wood “Woody” Thrasher

Cabinet Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce

H. Wood “Woody” Thrasher grew up in Clarksburg, West Virginia and attended the schools of Harrison County. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from West Virginia University in 1977.  Following in his father, Henry A. Thrasher’s footsteps, the young entrepreneur was destined for a successful career in engineering.  Convincing his father to open their own business, Thrasher Engineering was born in Clarksburg in 1983.

Woody quickly learned that working in the community you live means giving back and, for the past 35 years, he has stayed true to that understanding.  Thrasher can be seen helping the communities that he works in not only in West Virginia but throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. He actively participates in the Harrison County Chamber as well as other chambers in the area.  Some of the community organizations that fill his time include, the Robinson Grand Project Campaign, Medbrook’s Children Charity, American Red Cross, United Way and the Harrison County Heart Walk.  He serves as a board member of the West Virginia State Building Commission, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, and Tech Connect West Virginia.  In addition, he also serves as chairman of the West Virginia Economic Development Authority and the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust Fund.  

He has served as the past president of the West Virginia American Council of Engineering Companies and the West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. In 2000, Thrasher was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the national professional services firm of Ernst and Young. Thrasher is also a member of the American Society of Highway Engineering NCWV Chapter, previously serving as Man of the Year for the organization, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, as well as many other industry related organizations. 

In 2013, The Exponent Telegram of Clarksburg, WV named Thrasher Entrepreneur of the Year.

Thrasher remains very active with his alma mater. In 2012, he was elected to the West Virginia University Alumni Association Board of Directors, and currently serves as its chairman. He is a distinguished alumnus of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and has been active on various committees within the College. He has also served as an officer on the executive and financial committee for West Virginia University Hospital.

The Thrasher Group, Inc., (previously Thrasher Engineering) has grown to employ nearly 400 professionals, with offices in Bridgeport, WV; Charleston, WV; Beckley, WV; Fredericksburg, VA; Canton, OH; Lexington, KY and Oakland, MD. In addition to his engineering pursuits, Thrasher also has interest in commercial and residential developments in North Central West Virginia through High Tech Development, LLC, the developing company of the White Oaks Business Park.  He was the managing partner of the White Oaks business park in Bridgeport, West Virginia, which brought over 2,000 jobs to North Central West Virginia.

In December 2016 Mr. Thrasher was appointed by Governor Jim Justice to serve as Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Commerce. In doing so, Thrasher has stepped away from his businesses to serve the state of West Virginia.  The West Virginia Department of Commerce is made up of ten agencies including the Development Office, Divisions of Energy, Forestry, Labor, Natural Resources and Tourism, the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training, WorkForce West Virginia, the Office of Economic Opportunity and Geological and Economic Survey.

Mr. Thrasher has three sons, and currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia.