After 44 years of service, Contractors Association of West Virginia (CAWV) Executive Director Mike Clowser will retire at the end of 2022. Jason Pizatella will assume the role of chief executive officer on Oct. 3, 2022.
"Mike has been the consummate leader for the CAWV since 1979 and the impact he's had on the construction industry will be long lasting," said CAWV President James Ridgeway, March-Westin Company Inc. "As an organization we're sad to see him go but wish him the best in retirement."
Clowser joined the CAWV as director of member services in 1979 and became executive director in 1983. He has served as editor of West Virginia Construction News, the association's 85-year-old publication, since 1983.
Under his leadership, the CAWV has successfully worked with state and local governments and the West Virginia Legislature to create economic development and job opportunities statewide.
"The CAWV has been a part of my life for over four decades," said Clowser. "It has been my great honor and privilege to work with contractors who are building a better West Virginia. Our members are the ones who build the roads and bridges, water and sewer facilities, schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructure that creates thousands of high paying jobs and improves the quality of life for all West Virginians."
Outside of CAWV, Clowser is chairman of the West Virginia Business and Industry Council. He served on Charleston City Council and the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center board of directors from 2003 to 2018. He is past president of the West Virginia Society of Association Executives and is one of the founding members of West Virginians for Better Transportation. He is the recipient of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America's Executive Leadership Council (ELC) Meritorious Service Award given to contractor association executives who have embodied the "highest standard of conduct, innovation and leadership, providing value to contractor members, ELC colleagues and the industry."
Incoming CEO Jason Pizatella will be only the sixth person to lead the association since it was founded in 1923.
"The CAWV has flourished under Mike's decades of leadership and the state of West Virginia is immensely better from his distinguished service," Pizatella said. "I am honored to follow in his footsteps and look forward to building on the successes of this association."
Pizatella spent the past five years as an attorney with the West Virginia-based firm Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC as a corporate lawyer representing clients in the areas of administrative law, public utilities, oil and natural gas, healthcare and government relations. Before re-joining Spilman in 2017, he served as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Jim Justice after serving as the president and chief executive officer of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Pizatella started at Spilman before joining state government in 2010 where, in a tenure spanning almost seven years, he served as deputy state tax commissioner, acting secretary of the department of revenue, acting secretary of the department of administration and deputy chief of staff to former Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Tomblin asked him to lead the Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways, a group tasked with studying the condition and long-term needs of the state's transportation system.
Pizatella also represented the governor on the West Virginia Parkways Authority and the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.
"The board is thrilled to have found a candidate of Jason's caliber to succeed Mike," said Ridgeway. "We're confident that the association will continue to flourish under Jason's leadership for years to come."
The Contractors Association of West Virginia, which will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2023, represents more than 450 businesses in the highway, utility and building contracting industry throughout West Virginia.
For more information, visit www.cawv.org.
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