H. Wood “Woody” Thrasher is a Harrison County native and a proud third-generation engineer, having earned his degree from West Virginia University in 1977. Woody and his dad started the civil engineering firm Thrasher Engineering in 1983.
They focused on public utility infrastructure and grew by doing a good job and getting hired back. Woody knows how hard it can be for our state’s small business owners to worry about making payroll. He became so focused on surviving that he grew their little firm one water and sewer project at a time. Woody spent a lot of time driving to our beautiful state’s communities, counties and public service districts to oversee those projects.
The Thrasher Group now has 11 offices in seven states with about 500 people, and they’re proud to hire many graduates of West Virginia colleges and universities.
Woody counts his three sons as his greatest accomplishment, and he’s tried to instill in them the same work ethic that took him from baling hay at 14 and bagging groceries in high school all the way to being one of West Virginia’s largest employers of professionals.
Woody was honored to be asked to serve as secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce in December 2016. He was proud of the moves the office was able to make to support key infrastructure projects for our state and had hoped to see them through to completion. They recruited hundreds of new jobs, made advancements in broadband service, secured more funding for tourism for repairs to our state parks’ facilities and drafted improvements to our timber industry.
Woody has been proud to serve in leadership positions for numerous local, state and regional organizations, including chairman of the WVU Alumni Association and president of Genesis Youth Center, which takes care of kids who can’t return to their families and need temporary housing. He’s also spent time as president of the local Chamber of Commerce, local United Way, the T. Moore Jackson Chapter of the Society of Professional Engineers, the state chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies and the West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. Woody also has been active in several Christian church organizations.
Woody has been honored to receive several awards and distinctions over the years, but among his most cherished have been Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and The Exponent-Telegram’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013. He’s also been endorsed in this election by the West Virginia University College Republicans, West Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Associated Builders and Contractors of West Virginia.
White Oaks Development, the 450-acre professional business park in Harrison County is one of Woody’s proudest accomplishments. About 3,000 people work there now as a result of $400 million in investments in the past 10 years.
Woody will use his background to always put West Virginia first and usehis skills every day to bring about economic development opportunities for our people.