Michael P. Zervos President and CEO
Mike Zervos is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of management experience. He is well versed in driving revenue and profit growth through continuous process improvement in both domestic and international operations. Mike’s expertise includes underground and surface mine management, mining engineering, mining economics, business development and logistics. He has proven ability to achieve world-class results in safety leadership, asset development and operational efficiency.
Before joining United Coal as president and CEO in 2005, Mike served as senior executive officer of Global Energy Management, LLC, a company he formed to pursue coal acquisition opportunities in the Central Appalachian basin. His previous executive management experience also includes having served as president of mining operations for Drummond Company, Inc., a large international coal firm based in Alabama, with more than 3,000 employees and an annual coal production exceeding 30 million tons. Mike also served as president of Arch of Kentucky, Inc., a subsidiary of Arch Coal, Inc.
Mike earned a master of business administration and bachelor of science in mining engineering at West Virginia University in Morgantown.
Jeff Bitzer Vice President of Operations
As vice president of operations, Jeff Bitzer is responsible for increasing operational efficiencies, profitability and business growth across the operating divisions of UCC.
A veteran of the coal mining industry for more than 30 years, Jeff has experience in safety management, environmental compliance, cost control, reserve evaluation, and the construction, development and operation of both underground and surface mines. Jeff’s most recent experience includes serving as chief operating officer for Cliffs Logan County Coal, LLC; vice president of operations and chief operating officer for INR-WV Operating, LLC; vice president and general manager of Midland Trail Energy LLC; and vice president and general manager of Catenary Coal Company LLC.
Jeff received his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. He is a licensed engineer.
William B. Wells, Jr. Vice President of Engineering and Strategic Planning
As vice president of engineering and strategic planning, Bill Wells is responsible for evaluating acquisition opportunities, as well as analyzing development and extension of existing company reserves. He oversees the company’s engineering and geology staff, in addition to the engineers and technical staff at all operating subsidiaries.
Bill has an M.A. in mining engineering and a B.S. in environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa. He is a registered professional engineer in West Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama.
Before joining United Coal, Bill was employed by Global Energy Management and the Drummond Company, where he served as vice president of engineering, vice president of acquisitions and development, and manager of mine engineering. He has more than 25 years of experience in the coal industry, having held engineering positions with Mingo Logan Coal Company, BP Coal and Cedar Coal Company.
Charles E. “Ed” Toppings Vice President of Maintenance Systems
In his role as vice president of maintenance systems, Charles “Ed” Toppings is responsible for the development and implementation of all preventive maintenance initiatives at the company. He is also involved in the specification, procurement and installation of surface and underground plants and equipment.
Ed’s education includes an M.B.A. from California Coastal University in Santa Ana, Calif., and an associate’s degree in electrical engineering from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Prior to his employment with United Coal, Ed served as the fixed plant maintenance superintendent for Drummond LTD in Colombia, South America. He has also served as maintenance superintendent for Mining Technologies, Inc.; Lone Mountain Processing, Inc.; and Arch of Kentucky’s No. 37 Mine.
Gary B. Chilcot Vice President of Sales
Gary Chilcot is in charge of all sales, marketing and distribution activities for United Coal. He has more than 35 years of coal sales experience, marketing Central Appalachian steam and metallurgical coal both domestically and abroad to major industrial, utility and steel companies.
Gary began his career in 1970 as a management trainee with Norfolk & Western Railway, where he advanced to the position of district manager of coal marketing. He joined the “original” United Coal in 1975 as director of sales and was eventually promoted to vice president of sales and later executive vice president of sales. When United Coal was sold in 1997, Gary joined A.T. Massey Coal Company, Inc., and he also worked for Rapoca Energy for six years before returning to United Coal in 2004.
Bruce Johnson Vice President of Materials Management
As vice president of materials management, Bruce Johnson interacts with all United Coal Company suppliers, establishing vendor contracts and streamlining the supplier base. He also works closely with purchasing members across UCC’s five divisions, initiating and implementing various processes and procedures to reduce costs and control loss.
Prior to joining United Coal, Bruce spent 17 years with Massey Energy serving in a variety of roles, including controller, management trainee and president of Rawl Sales and Processing. Most recently, he served as vice president of purchasing for Massey Coal Services, where he was in charge of supplies and services.
Bruce earned an M.B.A. from Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky., and a B.S. in accounting from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He is a certified public accountant.
Paul Gregory Chief Financial Officer
As chief financial officer, Paul Gregory is in charge of all financial and accounting activities at United Coal Company. He is responsible for not only developing and reporting the budget, but he also oversees all external financing and controlling functions.
Prior to joining United Coal Company, Paul spent three years as head of mergers and acquisitions for Metinvest Holding, Donetsk, Ukraine – UCC’s parent company. He speaks three languages and is a chartered financial analyst.
Paul earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; a master’s from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; and a B.A. in economics from Rice University, Houston, Texas.
Mark McCormick Chief Legal Counsel | Vice President of Human Resources
As the company’s chief legal counsel and vice president of human resources, Mark McCormick oversees all human resources and legal activities. He generates and approves all legal contracts, and he played a key role in developing the company’s enhanced employee benefits package.
Mark’s prior experience includes working for SunCoke Energy in Knoxville, Tenn., where he served as senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer. While at SunCoke, he oversaw the structuring and negotiation of domestic and international projects valued at more than $2 billion; and he managed diverse domestic and international employee benefits programs. He was also a member of the environmental risk management committee for Sunoco, SunCoke Energy’s parent company.
Mark received his J.D. from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, La. He is admitted to practice in California and Tennessee.
Rob Robertson Vice President of Coal Preparation
Rob Robertson coordinates, manages and directs United Coal’s team of preparation plant managers by providing leadership in all aspects of coal preparation, including production, efficiency, quality and cost control.
He previously served as general manager at Taggart Global, where he directed the design, engineering, construction and automation of coal preparation facilities, as well as material handling systems for coal and other minerals, both domestically and abroad. Prior to his employment at Taggart, Rob enjoyed a successful career as founder and president of Robertson Process and electrical, Inc. He also spent 16 years with Massey Coal Services as manager of process control and manager of coal preparation.
Rob earned a B.S. from Montreat College in Black Mountain, N.C.
B.J. Evans Chief Information Officer
As chief information officer, B.J. Evans is responsible for all facets of information technology (IT) and telecommunications within the company. He oversees a number of areas related to IT, including strategic direction to ensure IT alignment with operational and revenue goals. B.J. also serves as the primary interface for the executive management team’s decisions requiring knowledge of emerging technologies.
B.J.’s professional experience includes team leadership with nTelos Communications, senior systems engineer and project manager with Lockheed Martin Corporation, and information security officer with the West Virginia Medical Institute.
B.J. holds an M.B.A. in technology management from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Ariz., and a B.S. in electronic engineering technology from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, W.Va.
Rick Waddell Vice President of Safety
Rick Waddell is responsible for safety at all UCC subsidiaries, as well as implementing safety programs to enhance the company’s well-established safety culture.
Rick spent more than 30 years with Jewell Resources Company and its subsidiaries in Virginia. While at Jewell, he served as vice president and general manager of coal and coke operations, manager of mines and environment, manager of health safety and environment, safety inspector and instructor, section foreman, and mine rescue and first aid team member.
A strong advocate of coal and community involvement, Rick is a member of several political and community organizations, including the Eastern Coal Council, National Mine Rescue Association and Virginia Coal Mine Safety Board. He earned a B.S. in Mining Engineering and Technology at Bluefield State College in West Virginia.