Benjamin M. Statler was born and raised in Monongalia County, W.Va. A third generation coal miner, he received his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from WVU in 1973. While attending the university, Ben began his career at CONSOL Energy, working as a laborer on the night shift. For 30 years, he held various positions at CONSOL Energy before starting his own mining company, PinnOak Resources LLC where he served as president and CEO until he sold the company in 2007. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Ben began his career with Consolidation Coal in 1969, retiring as senior vice president of mining for CONSOL Energy in 1999. He then formed his own mining consulting company. At Consolidation Coal Company he held many positions, beginning as a laborer and advancing from section foreman to assistant superintendent, superintendent, and technical assistant to vice president of Morgantown operations before becoming vice president of Moundsville and Ohio operations. In 1994 Ben was named senior vice president of mining, eastern region, and in 1996 became senior vice president of mining for CONSOL.
He has maintained strong ties to his community and to WVU. He has served on boards of various organizations including the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Valley Medical Center, Upper Ohio Valley United Way, Easter Seals, Christ United Methodist Church and Boy Scouts of America. He served on the advisory committee for WVU department of Mining Engineering and was named to the WVU Foundation Board of Directors in August 2008.
Ben has been recognized for his professional accomplishments, as well as his community involvement. He was named a Most Loyal West Virginian, received the WVU Foundation’s Outstanding Philanthropists Award, Milan Puskar Award, WVU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumni Award and was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from WVU in 2009.
In 2007, Ben and his wife, Jo, announced a $25 million gift to WVU, the single largest gift to the University. The gift has provided cancer research, academic enhancements and athletic improvements for the university and its students. Through their generous contribution to the WVU Alumni Association’s New Home for Mountaineers Building Campaign, a new alumni center for the university community became a reality. In recognition of their support of this project, Statler Wilson Commons now serves as the official home of The Erickson Alumni Center and Raymond J. Lane Park.
Ben resides in Naples, Fla. He and Jo are the parents of two children, Julie and Ben II, and the grandparents of three grandsons.