Chief financial officer, Minnie Hamilton Health System, Grantsville, 37
On his first paying job:
Whited mowed lawns and did yard work.
"It gave me a sense of pride as far as people talking good about you in your community. Everybody likes that when people know you're a hard worker."
Working hard is something Steve Whited is accustomed to.
The Calhoun County native and chief financial officer of Minnie Hamiliton Health System in Grantsville said he grew up mowing lawns and clearing brush for his neighbors. Knowing they thought he did a good job encouraged him.
After Calhoun General Hospital closed in 1995, state agencies and the West Virginia Hospital Association approached Minnie Hamilton Health Systems to reopen the hospital under new management. Whited said that was a major challenge because at the time Minnie Hamilton had about 10 employees and an annual payroll of less than $300,000. Now, the system includes more than 240 employees and an annual payroll of more than $9 million.
Whited also worked with Pocahontas Memorial to keep that facility from closing its doors. The CEO was planning to retire and the hospital had been losing money for several years. Whited and Minnie Hamilton's CEO managed the hospital from September 2010 through September 2011 and changed the way the facility handled its finances. According to Whited, the hospital went from a loss of more than $1.5 million to almost breaking even in that one-year span.
Whited lists helping that hospital as his biggest professional accomplishment. But his biggest accomplishment overall, he said, is his family.
"The biggest thing in my life is my wife and my kids," he said. "My kids are my most treasured accomplishment."
But Whited's love for kids goes far beyond his own. He has served on the Calhoun Board of Education for several years, including his current position as president. He has also coached his fair share of Little League baseball, as well as renovating buildings with the local historical society. Whited also has been involved with the local volunteer fire department.
Whited is connected to his community, and it's that connection that keeps him going.