Long before Charlotte Weber became the first female director and CEO of the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) and first female vice president for federal programs at Marshall University, she dreamed of being a teacher, lawyer, detective or singer. Even though her career aspirations evolved, one thing that has remained constant in her life is the support she receives from her family, particularly her parents, husband and children.
Weber accepted her first professional position working the front desk for Senator Robert C. Byrd in Washington, D.C. in 1987. She then transitioned to Byrd’s projects office before working alongside him in the office for the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Weber considers this experience her greatest professional achievement because it taught her that having a passion for what she does and a fire in her belly were critical to making a difference in the communities she serves.
Weber rises to the challenges presented by her current position at RCBI, where she manages a statewide advanced manufacturing technology center with locations in Huntington, Charleston and Bridgeport. Under her leadership, the organization has provided advanced manufacturing assistance to and increased supply chain participation by more than 8,000 manufacturers and extended its services to clients across the country.
RCBI has also given Weber the opportunity to serve West Virginia’s future leaders through a variety of youth programs, including the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree, where the team educated campers on 3D printing; First Lego League Robotics; Putnam Area Robotics Team; and National Youth Science Camp. Her team at RCBI has also created scholarships at Mountwest Community and Technical College for students interested in becoming machinists and welders.
Weber also serves on the board of directors for TechConnect West Virginia, the Regional Contracting Assistance Center, Inc. and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. She is a member of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the national and West Virginia chapters of the Society of Colonial Dames of America and a graduate of Leadership West Virginia.
“Helping people succeed has always been important to me,” says Weber. “I know I cannot be effective in fulfilling my responsibilities unless I truly help those around me succeed. As someone who values and understands the team approach, giving back allows me to help create a positive impact on my community, engage with my community and learn from new experiences.”
Weber truly believes in the work RCBI and Marshall are doing to better West Virginia and plans to continue serving RCBI and Marshall University into the future by helping advance their missions as innovators and economic development engines in the region.
“West Virginia is important to me, and I want to be part of the change we seek,” she says. “The people who live and work here keep me motivated, and I share their desire to make our state the best place.”