West Virginia Department of Commerce Shaping Tomorrow's Visionaries

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Shaping Tomorrow's Visionaries



Shaping Tomorrow's Visionaries

By Kim Harbour

What does the CEO of Yahoo! have in common with the chemist who invented Hewlett Packard’s thermal ink jet printer and with the chairman of Northrop Grumman?

Each of these innovators spent a month in West Virginia during their youth. And each said the experience shaped who she or he is today.

In 1993, Marissa Mayer was one of two delegates from Wisconsin to attend the National Youth Science Foundation (NYSF) camp in Bartow, W.Va. She credits meeting scientist Zoon Nguyen for showing her a new way of thinking that greatly influenced her groundbreaking user interface design for Google’s Web search and image search. Now, Mayer is the new CEO and President of Yahoo!

Dr. David Hackleman

Dr. David Hackleman and students extract the essential oil from a bee balm plant, related to the mint family. It attracts bees and hummingbirds.


Dr. David Hackleman was a NYSF delegate from Oregon in 1969. His career led him to be the chief technologist of Hewlett-Packard’s Technology Development Operation. Hackleman still teaches at Oregon State University’s College of Engineering and he returns to the camp as a frequent lecturer because he finds inspiration in West Virginia’s natural setting. “We look for human sourced and various naturally occurring organic compounds, tracers of the flowers from the temporary visit by a brief flash of a hummingbird. Nature is our world. We can learn best by listening to what it tells us,” he said.

1979 delegate Wes Bush (now Northrop Grumman Corp.’s chairman, CEO and president) grew up in Morgantown, W.Va., and he said the camp experience gave him a greater appreciation for the power of innovative ideas. “The other campers had wide-ranging interests and were eager to talk about their ideas and perspectives,” Bush recalled. “The camp staff fostered an environment of learning and sharing. That lesson has stayed with me throughout my career, and remains one of the key leadership values I use to this day.”


Science Al FrescoScience Al Fresco
The NYSF camp, celebrating 50 years of hands-on science.

A Game With PurposeA Game With Purpose
More than 40,000 Boy Scouts and leaders will inaugurate the Summit Bechtel Reserve with the BSA’s quadrennial National Jamboree.

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