Welcome to MMDC 2018

Now in its seventh year, the Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference plays host to companies interested in locating new facilities or expanding existing operations in the state, and provides companies and industry leaders the opportunity to gain an expanded understanding of the potential for ethane and ethylene related product development in West Virginia.

Conference attendees learn about West Virginia’s advantages, including tax incentives, environmental permitting, workforce development, availability of employees and site options, and have the opportunity to network with West Virginia leaders, manufacturers and suppliers.


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From the President

Appalachia is well situated for a regional extraction-consumption strategy for the Utica, Marcellus, and associated shale gas plays; a strategy that focuses on long-term opportunity.   

The 2018 MMDC explores the infrastructure needed to take advantage of the abundance of shale resources in the region, challenges and opportunities for growing ethane related exports, and takes an in depth look at why our region is an ideal place to invest in the diversify our energy and manufacturing economies. We’ll share comparative analysis, discuss infrastructure needs including pipeline construction, as well as the development of an Appalachian Storage Hub for ethane reserves, and hear updates on the status of these projects.  

Infrastructure investment can create a readily available single source supply of ethane for consumers, predictability in pricing, and distribution channels that promote a broader geographic use and investment that could benefit the businesses and citizens of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Rebecca R. McPhail, President
West Virginia Manufacturers Association

Our Keynote Speakers

MMDC Sponsors


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Event Venue

Waterfront Place Hotel
2 Waterfront Place
Morgantown, WV 26501

(304) 296-1700


  • Deadline for reservations: March 16, 2018
  • Parking available in the Morgantown Event Center Parking Garage.
  • All reservations are subject to a 24-hour cancellation policy.

Additional Accomodations

Hampton Inn & Suites Morgantown/University Town Centre

$104 Per Night - 304-598-0600  

Deadline to Reserve:  April 1, 2018

Standard Suite Style Rooms

Complimentary “On The House”™ Hot Breakfast Buffet Daily 6am-10am (To-Go bags available earlier)

Complimentary on-site Fitness Center

Complimentary Dual Business Center

Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and internet access - 3x Hilton standard - 6x Hilton standard for Diamond guests

Indoor Salt-Water Swimming Pool 

Outdoor patio space including Grill + 2 Fire Pits

Access to on-site Guest Laundry Facility

Conveniently located directly off I-79  

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.

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