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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner worked with the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce to host a special reception for the Monongalia County businesses who qualify to become members of the West Virginia Centurion Chamber of Commerce.
The West Virginia Centurion Chamber of Commerce is a special recognition program established by the Secretary of State’s Office for business entities that have been in business for 100 years or more. All in all, eight businesses were inducted:
- The Dominion Post – 1864
- West Virginia University – 1867
- Grand Lodge Of The Independent Order Of Odd Fellows Of West Virginia – 1879
- The Daily Athenaeum – 1887
- Telluric Company – 1891
- Rock Camp Oil Co. – 1900
- Phi Sigma Kappa Chapter House Association – 1906
- Preston County Development Company – 1911
As the chief business official for the state, Secretary of State Mac Warner said, he likes to welcome new businesses. But, he added, it’s “also important to emphasize what those people have stood the test of time means in the state”.
They’re the people that have provided jobs and opportunities and provided goods and services to the people of state for over 100 years. And what that means is through the tumultuous times of this country with world wars, the war on terrorism, the social people of the 60s, a Great Depression, they’ve lasted through all of that. And, we’ve seen now with COVID-19 how many businesses have been challenged due to that. They’ve done that and so much more, so it’s important to acknowledge and give recognition to those people who have stood the test of time and continue to provide these services for the people of West Virginia.Mac Warner – West Virginia Secretary of State
Warner said his office came up with the idea for the Centurion Chamber of Commerce about a year ago while it saw more than 16,000 new businesses being created during the pandemic.
The pandemic stopped his office from being able to attend ribbon-cutting ceremonies for these new businesses, so it started looking back in time. That’s when it realized that there are businesses that have been around for “decade after decade” that needed to be celebrated.
“We mentioned today about the Revolutionary War and its significance and ideas such as freedom of the press and today we celebrated two media organizations,” Warner said. “The Daily Anthaneum and the Dominion Post have been here for over a hundred years. Those are just great news stories of what the press means to our liberties and reporting on today’s tumultuous divisions within the United States.”
“It’s so important to have that free press. I made reference to Thomas Jefferson and some of his quotes recognizing the importance of the press. And so, this is an opportunity for us to all to, kind of, re-calibrate, look at where we’ve been and then where we need to go. We need to pull this United States back together again and ceremonies like this recognizing those people that are holding the state together provide those goods and services, the jobs for people and then things like what you’re doing. The media getting this story out to people. It lets people know that there are good things happening in the state and we celebrate those with events like this.”
So far, Warner has held a handful of induction ceremonies and he said he plans to have more to recognize even more West Virginia businesses that have been around for a century or longer.
Below are businesses inducted in the West Virginia Centurion Chamber of Commerce Class of 2020:
- Greer Industries, Inc.
- Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc.