Wayne Richards was raised in the Kanawha Valley and attended South Charleston High School. He graduated from West Virginia University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in mining engineering and went on to a 25-year career with Schlumberger before he decided to pursue entrepreneurship. He then left Schlumberger and joined a private equity-backed portfolio company that sold to General Electric in 2007.
Richards has successfully co-founded two companies in the oilfield services sector, one of which sold to Halliburton in 2011. Richards currently serves as the president and CEO of GR Energy Services, a company focused on the upstream oil and gas business providing products and services to aid in completion and production.
Along with his wife Kathy, Richards has been a strong supporter of WVU Intercollegiate Athletics and student athletes, helping to build the new football team room at the Milan Puskar Center and assisting in planning updates to the locker rooms in the Coliseum. The Richards are also annual contributors to the student-athletic scholarship fund.
Under the auspices of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Richards is the creator of the Richards Faculty Fellowship in Engineering, which supports professors in the growth and development of their research programming. In 2014, he helped make possible the construction of the Advanced Engineering Research Building, which now houses offices, classrooms, computer labs and other student resources.
Richards and his wife also established the Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Scholars Fund, a unique endowment at WVU that provides flexible funds to the college to facilitate the hiring, retention, rewarding and recognition of faculty members who have not yet achieved tenure. He is a member of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors, the Statler College Advisory Board and the Mountaineer Athletic Club.
Wayne and Kathy Richards live in Richmond, Texas, and return to West Virginia as often as possible to follow the Mountaineers and visit their farm.