The West Virginia Department of Commerce’s mission is to promote and preserve the well-being of the citizens of West Virginia by providing a cooperative, interagency system that stimulates diverse economic growth, encourages the appropriate use of our state’s abundant natural resources, improves the safety and productivity of our workforce and promotes the beauty and desirability of our state as a world-class tourism destination.
The Department of Commerce currently includes the following agencies:
Ed Gaunch is a native of Boone County, West Virginia. He was appointed in December 2018 by Governor Jim Justice to serve as the Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
Gaunch is a graduate of West Virginia State University where he double-majored in Economics and Political Science. Following graduation, he began a career in the insurance industry that spanned more than three decades and included 28 years at the Carson Agency in Charleston, where he served a number of years as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Secretary Gaunch has served on numerous boards and foundations, including the BBT/Charleston Board of Directors, the West Virginia State University Foundation, the Believe West Virginia Leadership Foundation, CAMC Foundation, Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce, University of Charleston, Alderson Broaddus College, King College, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center.
He is active in his church, Emmanuel Baptist, where he has served as a deacon and a Sunday School Teacher.
Secretary Gaunch currently resides in Charleston with Marilyn, his wife of more than 50 years. They have two children and five grandchildren.
Director, Marketing and Communications
Director, Division of Forestry
Director, Geological and Economic Survey
Commissioner, Division of Labor
Mitchell Woodrum was born in Madison, West Virginia.
Commissioner Woodrum earned his Certificate of Achievement in Carpentry at the Boone Technical and Career Center. He worked several years in the construction industry from building homes in Teays Valley and other parts of West Virginia to building commercial buildings in the Washington D.C. area.
Commissioner Woodrum strives to work with Labor and Industry to make the climate in West Virginia better for all employees and businesses. With almost thirty years of experience in the industry, he was appointed Commissioner by Governor Justice in November 2017.
Woodrum is the Chair of the West Virginia Board of Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety as well as an Ex Officio Member of the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board.
Woodrum and his wife Deborah live in Ashford, West Virginia. They have two children, Jacob and Miah.
Director, Miner’s Health, Safety and Training
Eugene White grew up in the coal fields of Southern West Virginia.
With nearly 45 years of hands-on coal mining experience, Director White is dedicated to improving mine safety and training. He joined MHST in 2007 as Inspector at Large for Region 3. He has been a member of the West Virginia State Mine Emergency team for 15 years.
Director White worked for steel and coal companies in numerous roles. He has worked as a coal drill operator, roof bolter and safety committee chairman. His professional certifications include underground coal miner, mine foreman, gas instructor and mine rescue.
White and his wife, Kathy, live in Dorothy, West Virginia. They have two sons and four grandchildren.
Director, Division of Natural Resources
Steve McDaniel grew up in Bridgeport, West Virginia. He attended both West Virginia University and Fairmont State College where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He did this while helping his family establish and grow Total Health Services of West Virginia, a medical supply company.
An avid hunter and fisherman Director Cook also likes hiking and kayaking. His passion for the outdoors and the Mountain State runs through his veins.
Director McDaniel established the Mozark Mountain Tree Farm in Tucker County. He is also a member of Trout Unlimited and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
Acting Director, Division of Rehabilitation Services
Pisnu Bua-Iam serves as Acting Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). Prior to this appointment, Bua-Iam served as the DRS Deputy Director with oversight of Administrative and Support Services, Governmental and Public Relations, and State Plan and Program Evaluation for the agency.
Bua-Iam has more than 34 years of experience in the field of vocational rehabilitation. He came to DRS 20 years ago as the Manager of the Program Evaluation Unit.
Director Bua-Iam is a nationally recognized expert on program evaluation and return-on-investment of public vocational rehabilitation programs and has authored numerous journal publications. Bua-Iam has worked closely with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) core partner agencies, WorkForce West Virginia and West Virginia Adult Education, in the development of the Unified State Plan for West Virginia since the passage of WIOA in 2014.
Bua-Iam has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Arts in economics from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and he was a research instructor at West Virginia University for eight years.
Scott A. Adkins
Acting Commissioner, WorkForce West Virginia