Brandon Dennison was named to his position in July 2023.
A native of Cabell County, he is a driving force in the resurgence of economic activity in southern West Virginia. Through his work as founder and CEO of Coalfield Development, and through the ACT Now coalition, Dennison guided the partnership that brought almost $63 million through federal revitalization grants last year to the Mountain State. A nationally renowned social enterprise expert, he brings unparalleled passion, intense energy and a knowledge of Appalachia to his position at Marshall.
He is tasked with developing the collective vision for Marshall’s economic and workforce development efforts and applied research projects. His team includes Marshall’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, the Southern West Virginia Brownfields Center, the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical, and Applied Sciences, Marshall’s Sustainability Department, and the Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern West Virginia.
He is a winner of the J.M.K. Social Innovation Prize, a DRK Entrepreneur, and an Ashoka Fellow, all awards for social entrepreneurs. In 2019, he was awarded the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy, and Employment.
Dennison still serves as Coalfield Development’s executive president, helping to develop and implement overall long-term strategy for the nonprofit.