John W. Crites
John W. Crites graduated from West Virginia University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and then obtained his Master’s degree in Forestry from the University of Montana.
Crites founded Allegheny Wood Products in 1973 with one sawmill and 13 employees. More than 40 years later, AWP is one of the largest hardwood manufacturers in the nation, with nine sawmills, five dry kiln facilities and more than 900 employees. The company is also among the largest hardwood exporters in the country, sending wood around the world and garnering a global reputation. Allegheny Wood Products is also an industry leader in sustainable forest management and harvesting practices, including forest regeneration, long term maintenance of forest and soil productivity, protection of water resources, protection of special sites and promotion of biological diversity.
This year, Crites was honored by the WVU Davis College Forestry and Natural Resources Alumni Association with the 2018 WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources Impact Award. For more than 22 years, he has served as a member and committee chairman of the WVU Forestry Endowment Trust Committee. Under his leadership and counsel, the endowment fund has grown to more than $1.1 million. The fund has been able to award $429,750 in scholarships to 89 students within the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources. In 2018, the committee awarded seven full-time scholarships as well as a transfer student scholarship and a freshman scholarship. Crites’ efforts to provide these scholarships has had an immeasurable impact on students’ academic and professional careers.