Board of Governors gets new members

MORGANTOWN – An insurance executive from Charleston and an attorney and former secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources were confirmed Tuesday as the newest members of the West Virginia University Board of Governors. Also, the West Virginia Senate confirmed the reappointment of two current members.

Last week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin named insurance executive W. Marston “Marty” Becker and attorney Taunja Willis Miller to fill expired terms of Ellen Cappellanti and Ray Lane. At the same time, he reappointed J. Thomas Jones and James R. “J.R.” Rogers.

“I am grateful to these board members for welcoming this opportunity,” Tomblin said. “I am certain their commitment to West Virginia University’s students will help guide the university toward an even brighter future.”

WVU President Gordon Gee said, “These appointments to the West Virginia University Board of Governors continue to give the University excellent leaders who have a vision and heart for West Virginia. The reappointments of Tom Jones and J.R. Rogers help the board maintain needed continuity during this important time in the life of the institution.

“At the same time, the new appointments of Taunja Willis Miller and Marty Becker continue the tradition of having Board members who have a passion for West Virginia and this University,” Gee continued. “Throughout their lives and careers, both Taunja and Marty have demonstrated the skills and expertise our Board seeks as it leads West Virginia University to new heights.”

Board chairman Tom Flaherty said Becker, Miller, Jones and Rogers understand that WVU is a key to the future of the state.

“(They) will bring strength of purpose and a broad base of knowledge to the board’s continuing work,” Flaherty said.

Becker, appointed to a term ending June 30, 2019, is chairman of West Virginia Media Holding as well as chairman of QBE Insurance headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

He also serves on the boards of Brickstreet Mutual Insurance Co. and numerous other international financial and other company boards. He has served on the board of the WVU Foundation as well as multiple other state boards including the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute the West Virginia Roundable and the West Virginia/United Hospital System. He has been named to the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni and the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. He also has received multiple other business awards.

A certified public accountant, Becker earned juris doctor and bachelor of science degrees at WVU.

He is married to Katharine Becker, has two children, James and Todd, and resides in Jupiter, Florida, and Charleston.

Miller, appointed to a term ending June 30, 2020, is a member of Jackson Kelly PLLC’s Health Care and Public Finance Practice Group and currently manages the firm’s Morgantown office.

She has represented government entities and non-profit corporations in the healthcare field, and has also worked in the areas of economic development in higher education.

Miller served as West Virginia’s first Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, from 1988-1990, overseeing one of the state’s largest agencies and was a member of the Governor’s Cabinet.

She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from WVU, where she earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif. She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the West Virginia Economic Development Council and is regularly selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.

She is active in the Morgantown community, serving on the loan committee of the Center for Rural Health and was the recipient of the 2011 Rural Health Leadership Award. She serves on the advisory board for the Morgantown branch of BB&T bank and as an officer and board member of Arts Monongahela and the Monongalia County Child Advocacy Center. She is a member of the Cheat Lake Rotary Club and also serves as treasurer of the Morgantown Area Chamber Political Action Committee and of Tomblin for Governor 2012. Jones, first appointed in 2014, is the retired CEO of West Virginia United Health System. Rogers, an attorney from Hurricane, was first appointed in 2010. Both their terms will end on June 30, 2020.