The West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame, a joint initiative between the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute and the West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA) and housed at the WVU Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in Morgantown, inducted its newest class of honorees at a ceremony Tuesday evening, June 22 at the Marriott at Waterfront Place in Morgantown.

This year’s honorees include West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice; Steve Leer, former CEO and chairman of Arch Coal; Michael Quillen, former CEO and chairman of Alpha Natural Resources; and Chris Cline, founder of Foresight Energy (posthumously); Ralph Ballard, founder of the Investment Management Group LLC; and, Chris Hamilton, president of the WVCA.

“These [six] individuals have tirelessly served the state of West Virginia and their contributions to the modern coal mining industry have been recognized, not only on a national, but also an international level,” said Vlad Kecojevic, president of the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute. “Their hard work and dedication for the continuous improvement of the coal mining industry has been exemplary and their induction to the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame is more than deserving.”

This is the 24th class of inductees for the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame, which began in 1998. Gov. Justice was the third father-son combination to be honored. His father, James C. Justice Sr., was inducted in the inaugural class of 1998.