Full Name
James Estep
Job Title
President & CEO
West Virginia High Technology Foundation
Speaker Bio
James L. “Jim” Estep is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the High Technology Foundation. He has served in this role since 2000. During his tenure, Mr. Estep has led the organization’s strategic efforts to build a knowledge sector in north central West Virginia. This has included development of the I-79 Technology Park located in Fairmont, West Virginia. The nationally competitive I-79 Technology Park is considered by most as the premier economic diversification initiative in West Virginia and as an iconic representation of West Virginia’s future economic aspirations. The High Technology Foundation has leveraged the I-79 Technology Park as a tool for the recruitment of federal operations who provide significant contracting opportunities to regional companies and are technology orientated. The federal operations recruited to the park by Mr. Estep and his team serve to attract technology companies to the region thus helping to build a knowledge sector. The efforts Mr. Estep has led to recruit federal operations have been highly successful, especially operations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Over the last 15 years the I-79 Technology Park has become home to NOAA’s primary supercomputing center, three of NOAA’s highest priority satellite ground stations, NOAA’s cybersecurity headquarters operations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce cybersecurity headquarters. The federal operations in the park have provided close to $1 billion in contracting opportunities since 2016 alone. The NOAA operations in the park have also positioned north central West Virginia to participate in the multibillion-dollar expansion of the commercial climate and weather industry.

Mr. Estep has participated in several business and technology efforts around the state over the years. Mr. Estep earned a master's degree in computer science from West Virginia University (WVU) and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from WVU Institute of Technology. Mr. Estep proudly served as commissioned officer in the United States Army. He lives in Morgantown with his wife Melissa. He has three children and three grandchildren.
James Estep