Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the appointment of Keith Burdette as the new cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Commerce. Burdette, a former legislator and president of the Area Roundtable and the Wood County Development Authority, succeeds Kelley Goes as head of the state’s Commerce Department. Kelley Goes will be taking on the role as state director for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, beginning in January.
In a statement, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said "“Keith has a very strong combination of legislative knowledge and a thorough business acumen that will allow West Virginia’s strong and growing presence in the global business community to continue."
Burdette has played an important role bringing economic development projects into reality for Wood County. As president of the Area Round-table, Burdette assisted with the recruitment of Hino Motors, the expansion of Coldwater Creek, the construction of the new Mountain State Blue Cross & Blue Shield headquarters, along with a host of other development projects in the Wood County area.
Burdette commented that he is honored to have the opportunity to serve the state in this new capacity. “I know that Governor Tomblin is fully committed to creating jobs and is continuously looking for ways to attract new opportunities in West Virginia and it is my true desire to be a part of that mission,” said Burdette.
As Burdette moves on to his new job, another area business mind will move into the president's position.
The Executive Committee of the Area Round-table will recommend to its full Board of Directors that Cam Huffman be appointed to fill the position.
Huffman has served as vice president for the past six years under Burdette.
He was involved in the recruitment of Hino Manufacturing -- the expansion of Coldwater Creek and the construction of the new Blue Cross Blue Shield Headquarters.