Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today appointed Kris Hopkins as the head of the Business and Industrial Development section of the West Virginia Development Office. The appointment is effective immediately.
"I've had the opportunity to work with Kris on several major natural gas projects, including the recruitment of the Wood County ethane cracker," Gov. Tomblin said. "He is an extremely talented young man, and I'm confident he will be a tremendous asset as we continue our efforts to recruit world-class companies to the Mountain State."
"We are thrilled that Kris has accepted this position," said Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette. "Kris has a great vision for expanding our marketing efforts. He is a smart, forward-thinking leader and has been an indispensable part of our recruitment efforts. We are fortunate to have him lead our team, and I very much look forward to working with him in this new role."
Hopkins grew up in Chesapeake, W. Va., and holds an economics degree from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Charleston. Before returning to West Virginia, he held a leadership position for a Fortune 1000 company. He began working in business development for the West Virginia Development Office in 2005 as a Manager of National Accounts. In 2008, he was promoted to Senior Manager of National Accounts. For the last three years, Kris has led the state's efforts to attract manufacturing projects stemming from West Virginia's shale gas boom, including the state's bid for ethane cracker plants.
Hopkins resides in Cabell County with his wife Dr. Jill Hopkins and their daughter Harper.
Hopkins' predecessor, longtime director Mark Julian, recently accepted a position as the Director of Workforce and Economic Development for the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia.
"Throughout his time at the Department of Commerce, Mark has been a vital part of our successful efforts to attract investment to the state," Gov. Tomblin said. "He will be missed in the Development Office, but I look forward to working with him on workforce development at our community and technical colleges - another area that's critical to our state's economic future."
Office of the Governor