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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — The West Virginia Manufacturers Association has named the winners for its annual Champions of Industry award, as well as the Encova and WVMA Safety Award.

Last month, the association chose two leaders from member organizations to honor as champions of the state’s manufacturing industry, as well as one state legislator.

The Legislative champion was Del. Moore Capito, R-Kanawha, and the two member champions were Fred Clark of IVS Hydro and Jeff Fritz of Chemours.

While the award winners were named last month, they were presented Monday at the association’s annual Legislative All-State Dinner and Meeting held at the Charleston Coliseum and Conference Center.

“Each year, we honor those who recognize the importance of manufacturing to West Virginia’s economy,” WVMA President Rebecca McPhail said. “This year is especially challenging for business and industry, but manufacturers innovate, adapt and respond to the needs of our communities during challenging times.

“Fostering a policy environment that keeps us on a level playing field is more important than ever in the Mountain State, and we are grateful for the leadership and commitment of those we honored tonight.”

In addition to the award presentation, lawmakers and manufacturing industry leaders attending the dinner discussed the upcoming 2021 legislative session and took a deeper dive into the WVMA’s research efforts on regulatory issues.

On Tuesday, the 2020 Encova and WVMA Safety Award was presented to Viatris Inc., located in Morgantown.

The company is a new kind of global health-care company formed through the combination of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn business, whose mission it is to empower patients worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life.

“It is a great honor for us to present this award in partnership with WVMA,” said Lisa Hamrick, senior business development manager at Encova. “At Encova, we know the best accidents are the ones that never happen, and this focus on safety and prevention is what sets us apart from other workers’ compensation insurance companies. We are aware that a culture of workplace safety requires education, commitment and dedication from the employer. This award is our way of recognizing those employers who choose to make safety paramount.”

The award was presented during the Encova Safety Award Luncheon, with representatives from Viatris accepting the award remotely via Zoom.

“We are pleased to accept this award which demonstrates our firm commitment to employee health and safety,” said Dale Stemple, head of Environmental, Health and Safety for North America and Europe at Viatris. “This recognition is well-deserved for our Morgantown team members who are dedicated to making safety a priority – each and every day.”

Viatris employs approximately 3,000 people at its Morgantown location across its operations, commercial segments and business support functions.

“Viatris sets an amazing example for other manufacturers in our region,” McPhail said. “Their impressive safety record shows that safety and success go together. We are happy to partner with Encova to present these safety awards, so employers like Viatris are given the recognition they deserve.”