Gov. Justice appoints Gaunch as new Secretary of Commerce


CHARLESTON, WV– Gov. Jim Justice announced today that he has appointed C. Edward Gaunch of Kanawha County as Secretary of Commerce for West Virginia.

Gaunch will assume his new role in January, after finishing his current term in the West Virginia Senate.

“Ed Gaunch has a wealth of business acumen and knowledge and along with his legislative experience he will help us continue to move West Virginia forward and grow our economy as Secretary of Commerce,” Gov. Justice said. “I am extremely pleased that he is joining our team and that he has accepted the challenge of continuing to serve West Virginia and our citizens.”

Gaunch, who has been a member of the State Senate representing District 8 since 2014, is a native of Boone County. After graduating from West Virginia State University in 1970 with a double major in Economics and Political Science, he spent more than three decades in the insurance industry including 28 years at the Carson Agency in Charleston where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer for a number of years.

He has served on numerous professional, business and community boards and foundations including the BB&T/Charleston Board of Directors, the West Virginia State University Foundation, the Believe in West Virginia Leadership Foundation, CAMC Foundation, Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce, University of Charleston, Alderson Broaddus College, King College, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center. Gaunch is also active in his church, Emmanuel Baptist, where he has been a deacon and Sunday School teacher.

During his time in the State Senate, Gaunch chaired the Government Organization committee and was vice chair for a number of other committees including Finance, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Pensions. He also chaired the interims Committee on Flooding, Government Organization, and Government Operations.
Gaunch, and Marilyn, his wife of 51 years, are the parents of two children, Louis Gaunch and Angela Beaver, and they have five grandchildren.

Contact Information

Butch Antolini


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:

Flag Status

American Flag Full Staff
State Flag Full Staff

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map