West Virginia University Institute of Technology is pleased to announce that 1973 Tech alumnus Phillip Weser will be the 2011 Commencement Speaker at the May 7 ceremony. Weser is the president and CEO of March-Westin a full-service construction management, general contracting and design build firm, and West Virginia’s largest general building contractor with average annual sales of $85 million.
After receiving his mechanical engineering degree from West Virginia Institute of Technology, Weser began working for Bechtel Corporation as a cost schedule engineer. In March 1976, he returned to West Virginia and started working for commercial contractor Mellon-Stuart Company as an assistant project manager. By 1983, he had been promoted to team leader where he supervised project managers, superintendents, estimators and clerical staff. He also earned his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984.
With two degrees, 11 years of experience, and very little money, Weser embarked on his first business venture, opening March-Westin Company in the basement of his home on the outskirts of Morgantown. Restricted by limited capital, the business initially provided budgeting, project management, and CPM scheduling services to architects, contractors, and developers in Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, and Daytona Beach, Florida.
Throughout the years, March-Westin has been the recipient of countless awards. In 1989, the company was honored as the first West Virginia firm named to Inc. Magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies and repeated in 1990. Since 1996, the company has received 34 Associated Builders and Contractors “Excellence in Construction” awards and Platinum or Gold Level Safety awards each year since 1997. In addition, March-Westin is the only West Virginia-based contractor to receive the STAR award from OSHA twice. The firm is the only AISC certified steel erector in the state and one of the 50 largest masonry contractors in the country.
In addition to March-Westin, Weser has founded a steel fabrication company, a commercial HVAC business, a residential building company, a mechanical engineering company, an equipment rental firm, an import business, five real estate investment entities, and a fine-dining restaurant. Many of the managers within the various entities are WV/WVU Tech graduates.
Weser has won numerous awards, including “West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year”, West Virginia Tech “Engineering Alumnus of the Year”, and Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”. He is past chairman of the Board of Associated Builders and Contractors, past chairman of the Board for the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the West Virginia Business Roundtable, and an officer and board member of the Contractor’s Association of West Virginia.
He is an active member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Construction Financial Managers Association, and the American Association of Cost Engineers. He resides in Morgantown with his wife Dana and has three children and three grandchildren.
“We are honored that Phil accepted our invitation to come home for the 2011 Commencement festivities. Our graduates are excited to have such a successful alumnus joining them in celebrating this educational milestone,” explained Dr. Scott Hurst, WVU Tech Campus Provost.