Gov. Jim Justice
Governor of West Virginia
Many people have come to know Jim Justice as the owner of The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. However, long before his tenure at The Greenbrier, Jim has been deeply involved in his family’s business and his community. Jim has been creating jobs, promoting our state, and caring deeply for the people of West Virginia all of his life. Seeing West Virginia, and her people, succeed is Jim’s passion. Below is Jim’s story.
As a result of his strong interest in agriculture, Jim started Bluestone Farms (currently operating as Justice Family Farms, LLC) in 1977. The (corn, wheat, and soybean) operation grew to over 50,000 acres in four different states and is now the largest grain producer on the east coast. He is a six-time national corn growing champion. During this same period, Jim, a passionate sportsman himself, developed Stoney Brook Plantation, a 15,000-acre hunting and fishing preserve in Monroe County, West Virginia, which has been a preeminent amenity of The Greenbrier Sporting Club.
Upon the death of his father in 1993, Jim became the President and CEO of Bluestone Industries, Inc. and Bluestone Coal Corporation. Over the next 15 years, Jim launched a massive expansion of multiple businesses which included significant coal reserve expansion, Christmas tree farms, cotton gins, turf grass operations, golf courses, timber enhancement and land projects just to mention a few. Jim is the President and CEO of 102 different companies and knows how to create jobs.
In 2009, The Greenbrier resort was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Deep cuts in jobs and benefits loomed over the resort’s dedicated workforce. Jim saw an opportunity and purchased The Greenbrier. He soon reversed many of the benefit cuts and invested in renovations and expansions. Jim helped create hundreds of new jobs by bringing in major events like the PGA Tour, the New Orleans Saints spring training camp, and countless high-profile acts and conferences. All of these special events helped to bring a positive spotlight on West Virginia…a major goal for Jim.
Justice has carried on his family’s tradition of being major supporters of youth programs. Every Christmas, Jim dons his custom made Santa Claus suit as he goes to churches to greet many needy smiling faces. Since 1992 he has been President of Beckley Little League. His participation has helped the program expand to over 1,000 kids playing on 80 teams. He has coached basketball teams of all ages for the past 30 years amassing a coaching record of 1,000 wins – 213 losses. He is currently the head girls’ basketball coach at Greenbrier East High School in Lewisburg, West Virginia. He has been director of the Mountain State Coal Classic since 1995. The basketball classic has enjoyed tremendous success awarding hundreds of thousands in scholarships and direct support to participating schools.
He attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and was captain of the golf team for two years before earning an undergraduate degree and a masters in business administration. He and his wife Cathy, have two adult children, James C., III (Jay) and Jill.
Jim’s foundation is simple. He first has a sincere commitment to the good Lord, second his family, next are his employees and then his strong involvement with young people. He believes that we as people know the difference between right and wrong and we have gotten too far away from those simple principles.