Grundy, Va. and Charleston, W.Va.: Harry D. Childress, President of the Metallurgical Coal Producers Association (MCPA) announced his retirement effective March 31, 2021. Childress has dedicated more than fifty years to the coal industry serving previously as the president of the Virginia Coal & Energy Alliance; director of Government Affairs & External Affairs for Kentucky, Alpha Natural Resources; Government Affairs agent, Cumberland Resources; and chief of the Virginia Division of Mines. “I have been afforded opportunities that I would never have imagined when I began working. I have held amazing positions in operations, regulatory management, industry association management and other positions which have richly rewarded me throughout my working career,” said Childress.
Childress graduated from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1974 and received various specialized training certificates in mine safety through the Mine Safety & Health Administration and extensive on-the-job training through the Virginia Division of Mines. He currently serves on the Virginia Coal Mine Safety Board, Coalfield Water Development Fund and various National Mining Association Committees.
As Childress reflected on his life in the coal industry, he acknowledged those that were instrumental in his mining career, “Many people have provided guidance and assistance. My regulatory stint would not have been successful without the advice and counsel of folks like Gene Dishner, Benny Wampler, Eva Teig Hardy, and many others. Thank you to all those associated with the coal industry for making me a better person. Hopefully, I have assisted in some small way of making a difference in the improvements of mine safety.”
J.P. Richardson, Treasurer of MCPA and vice president of United Coal Company, LLC said, “I have known Harry for many years. His knowledge of the industry is second to none and he will be missed.”
David Stetson, Chairman of the board of MCPA and CEO of Alpha Metallurgical Resources said, “On behalf of the board of directors we would like to congratulate Harry on his retirement and thank him for his more than fifty years of service to the coal industry. His work has been invaluable.”
Those who would like to congratulate Childress on his service and retirement are encouraged to do so on the association’s Facebook page @metcoal.
Ben Beakes has been appointed as the new president of the MCPA beginning on April 1st and his company, Three Point Strategies, LLC, will manage the day-to-day operations of the association and will continue lobbying efforts in West Virginia on behalf of MCPA. “I would like to thank Harry for his leadership and appreciate the years he spent making a positive impact on the coal industry. I look forward to advancing the opportunities we have in the metallurgical coal industry in Virginia and West Virginia as the president of the association,” Beakes said.
Barbara Altizer will remain as the executive director of education and outreach and will be based in Grundy, Virginia. Clark Lewis, and the firm of Troutman Pepper, remains the association’s lobbyist in Richmond.
The Metallurgical Coal Producers Association is a non-profit trade organization made up of metallurgical coal producers in Central Appalachia and those who support our producing members’ operations. The four coal producers are: Alpha Metallurgical Resources (formerly Contura Energy)., Coronado Coal LLC, United Coal Company LLC (a subsidiary of Metinvest Group), and RAMACO Resources, Inc. Its mission is to advance the opportunities of the metallurgical coal industry through advocacy, education, and outreach primarily in Virginia and West Virginia.