The search is on for a new president and chief executive officer at the West Virginia High Tech Consortium Foundation in Fairmont.
Larry Milov, the current president and CEO at the foundation, is vacating his post to become the CEO of a startup Internet firm in Charleston.
Milov is leaving after eight years leading the high tech consortium to head Applications Gateway, a firm designed to structure business-to-business services on the Internet.
"I've been encouraging people to start their own businesses and help grow the economic base in the state, and I'm very pleased to go walk the talk," Milov said. "I'm looking forward to getting in there and doing my part."
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan originally persuaded Milov, a 15-year veteran of NASA, to take control of the high tech consortium in the early '90s.
While under Milov's direction, the foundation has developed research and education programs that have received national recognition.
Milov was named the Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 by the accounting firm of Ernst and Young.
The foundation has grown from six original members to around 200 members. In that time, the foundation also has worked to build the 110,000-square-foot Alan B. Mollohan Innovation Center off Interstate 79.
The Innovation Center provides technology and office space for several aerospace and information systems companies. The facility is also used to develop new homegrown, high-tech companies.
The foundation has met most of the objectives it set out to achieve, Milov said.
"I'm very proud of the beautiful, world-class facilities that have been built, the research programs that are helping solve national problems and the education programs that are training and have trained literally thousands of West Virginians in the use of computer-related skills," he said.
Milov will continue to serve as chairman of the West Virginia Science and Technology Council and will remain on the consortium's board of directors.
The foundation's board of directors already has appointed James L. Estep as the acting president and CEO effective Feb. 28.
Estep is currently the consortium's vice president for research. He will serve as president and CEO on an interim basis, pending the selection of a permanent leader.