News and Events

The State … and OPPORTUNITY … of the Oil & Natural Gas Industry

The State … and OPPORTUNITY … of the Oil & Natural Gas Industry

In partnership with Energy Speaks and the Charleston Area Alliance, I spoke on “The State … and OPPORTUNITY … of the Oil & Natural Gas Industry” at the Kanawha County Lunch & Learn on March 9th at the Charleston Marriott. I covered some of the challenges the natural gas industry is facing today, how that relates to chemical manufacturing opportunities in WV, and the opportunities that still exist despite the challenges.

Hopes Still High for Regional Crackers

Things have been a bit quiet lately, but work continues for not one, not two, but three crackers in the Tri-State region of WV, OH, and PA.  As you may have heard, there is a growing commitment for regional cooperation as well, as officials and leaders in the three states work together to bring investments and jobs to the region.  CAZ Member Steve Hedrick, President and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC), was recently interviewed for an article in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register .  Not surprisingly, Steve laid it out quite nicely by saying, “There is more than enough ethane for us to do this.” He went on to say that he believes the region could accommodate up to six petrochemical complexes.  We at CAZ agree, and we continue to remind everyone that while time is certainly of the essence, we are in the midst of a “steeplechase marathon” more than a 100-yard sprint or even 10K.

Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference March 23-24

Please join the WV Manufacturers Association, host and sponsor, for the upcoming Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference to be held March 23-24, 2016, at the Charleston Civic Center.  CAZ will attend and participate along with some of our members and partners, including IVS Hydro, Jackson Kelly, Eagle Manufacturing, AEP, Babst Calland, Brickstreet Insurance, AC&S, and more.  This year’s event focuses on the infrastructure needed to create a regional Appalachian Storage Hub and will include a panel I will moderate entitled, “Erasing Lines — Creating Generational Opportunities through Regional Collaboration.”

The conference is free of charge, but registration is required. Visit to register for the conference and events and to view the program agenda.



2016 Member and Friends Reception

It is time to RSVP for the Spring Members and Friends Reception.

The theme for this meeting is:

Entrepreneurism and Innovation in the Chemical Industry … Building WV’s Economy from the Bottom Up.

There is no charge. We simply ask for your RSVP to better plan refreshments.

Tentative Program
  • Brief Overview of CAZ and ChemCeption Incubator … Kevin DiGregorio, Executive Director, CAZ and Director, ChemCeption
  •  Innovation in the Chemical Industry — Trends and the Future … Greg Clutter, Chief Operating Officer, MATRIC
  •  Scaling Up Entrepreneurship in WV … Anne Barth, Executive Director, TechConnectWV
  •  Showcase of ChemCeption Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs … TBD
We will meet at:
Advanced Technology Center
1201 Science Park Drive
South Charleston, WV 25303

Eventbrite - 2016 Spring Members and Friends Reception

2016 Off To Great Starts

2016 Is off to great starts for CAZ, our partners, and start-ups! Here is a taste of what has happened in just five short weeks:

Optima Chemical Setting Up Shop in Belle

Optima Chemical, a chemical toll manufacturer based in Georgia, will soon be manufacturing several products using former DuPont facilities in Belle.  For an introduction to Doug Cochran (Vice President of Business Development), John Sawyer (Plant Manager), and Optima’s operation, please see the recent article that appeared in the Charleston Gazette-Mail

CAZ and ChemCeption Participate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day

2016 Innovation Day
2016 Innovation Day

CAZ and its incubator, ChemCeption, participated in Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day at the Capitol, meeting and networking with entrepreneurs and innovators from around the state.  We hosted a booth showcasing CAZ and ChemCeption outside the House Chamber, convened with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and others as TechConnectWV accepted a Proclamation honoring the Day, and assembled on the House Floor with colleagues as House Speaker Tim Armstead honored the Day with a special Citation.

House Speaker Tim Armstead honored the Day
House Speaker Tim Armstead honored the Day

ChemCeption Start-Up PolyPlexx Garners Statewide Award

PolyPlexx LLC, a start-up company based in CAZ’s ChemCeption incubator at the WV Regional Technology Park, was presented the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Green Advanced Manufacturing by WV Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette during Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day.  PolyPlexx has developed new impact-resistant, clear polymers with several commercial applications, including optical lenses, ballistic protection, and safety and security products.

Executive Director DiGregorio on Dow/DuPont merger


Possible Merger of Dow and DuPont

On Wednesday, national news broke a story that merger negotiations between Dow and DuPont may be in the works. While CAZ has no role in the rumored talks, we look forward to working with both companies in any form they take. I am quoted in the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s article on this story.

If you have not read it, you will find it through this link: WV reacts to possible merger of chem giants Dow and DuPont.

I hope you will take time to read the article, and please let me know your thoughts

2015 Annual Member and Friends Reception

The Chemical Alliance Zone’s 2015 Annual Meeting Reception

Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM*

The Chemical Alliance Zone Annual Members and Friends Reception is scheduled for Thursday November 12, 2015, beginning at 5:00 PM. Members are encouraged to invite potential new members to come learn more about the Chemical Alliance Zone, our mission, and how we serve the chemical and supportive industries.


Light refreshments are provided at no cost. We ask only that each attendee RSVP use this ticketing process. This is to provide an accurate accounting for refreshments. No physical ticket is required to attend.

Registration will close on Thursday, November 5.

* Executive Committee meets at 3:00. Board of Directors meet at 4:00.