By Jennifer Erb
2017-07-072017-07-07https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]gWVU IE200px200px
Jim Magro’s father stated: “I’m going to be the last coal miner in this family.” He was wrong. His son, Jim, started working in a rebuild shop when he was 16. When he was 18 years old, he was a member of the United Mine Workers (UMWA) and a coal miner. During his engineering studies, Jim worked every summer and Christmas break at the mines in the Morgantown area. This experience was invaluable to Jim’s future career success as a mining industry leader.
When Jim decided on an engineering major, he chose Industrial Engineering because he liked the operations and business focus. “I’ve always wanted to be an operations person and felt that an engineering background would help me,” Jim says. “I felt that IE gave me the broad engineering background that I needed, but IE also had emphasis in other engineering disciplines through required courses that helped broaden my knowledge base.”
When Jim joined Consolidation Coal Company, he used his experience as a coal miner to build trust with the people he was supervising. He learned a valuable lesson from a mentor: “People will help you if you let them.” Because I had been a coal miner and respected the people working for me, they helped me succeed. My experience working during college helped me transition into an operations supervisory job in the coal industry. My engineering degree helped me think through problems and develop creative solutions to solve them.
Jim progressed through a series of progressively higher leadership positions and finished his career at Patriot Coal Company as the Senior Vice President of Operations. “I retired the first time at age 56 from CONSOL Energy. I was Operating Vice President of the Ohio Valley Operations for CONSOL at the time. CONSOL was changing to a natural gas company and, “I was offered a very attractive retirement package so I took it.” After a 2 year non-compete agreement with CONSOL, I went to work for Patriot Coal as Senior Vice President where I stayed for 6 years before retiring the second time.
When asked whether he ever felt any bias because he wasn’t a mining engineer, Jim says: “I did, but the results I was able to achieve were considered more important. Industrial Engineering is the perfect discipline for mining. Whether it is designing cutting cycles, designing material handling systems, selecting appropriate equipment for various conditions, determining effective safety programs, designing management training classes and understanding the best process to help workers be more efficient and productive, Industrial Engineering gives an operations person a competitive advantage. Knowing how to add value by improving operations productivity was the key to my success. Industrial Engineering principals can be applied to any industry. I liked the versatility of the degree.
Jim is very involved in his church as an elder and President of the East Richland Christin School Board in St. Clairsville, Ohio. “I’ve been very blessed in my career, and I’ve always felt that I wanted to share the blessings I have had with others. My faith in Jesus Christ made all the difference in my approach to business.”
James N. Magro
Results-driven Management Executive with over 35 years of multi-faceted coal mining experience, including operations management, engineering, business development and strategic planning.
Areas of Expertise and Experience
My coal career began with CONSOL Energy Inc. My job assignments included operations in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Utah, and Canada. My final position with CONSOL was Vice President of Operations for the Ohio Valley Operations. In that position I was responsible for the McElroy Mine and Preparation Plant, the Shoemaker Mine and Preparation Plant, the Mahoning Valley Surface Mine, and a joint venture surface mine with Oxford Coal Company. I retired from CONSOL Energy with a two-year non-compete agreement. After the completion of that two year period, I joined Patriot Coal Co. During my time at Patriot Coal I had responsibility for the Federal #2 longwall mine and preparation plant, the Panther Complex consisting of a longwall mine and preparation plant, the Wells Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant, the Rock Lick Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant, the Kanawha Eagle Complex consisting of 2 mines, including a new mine start-up of the Peerless Rachel Mine, a preparation plant and river dock and load out, the Big Mountain Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant and the Midland Trails Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant. In March of 2015 I retired from Patriot Coal Company.
My job titles and years of experience in each job function are listed below:
Bachelor of Science Industrial Engineering, West Virginia University, 1974
Executive Development Course, University of Houston, 1986
Masters in Business Administration, West Virginia University, 1991
Activities and Interest
Past President of the Executive Bd. for the Ohio River Valley Council of the BSA
Past Member of the Board of Trustees for Reynolds Memorial Hospital
Past President of the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute
Member of King Coal Club
Member of Academy of Industrial Engineers at WVU
Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Sports World Ministries
Past Trustee for the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
Elder of the East Richland Evangelical Friends Church
President of the East Richland Christian School Board
I am married with 2 children and enjoy family activities, hunting, fishing and golf.