James B. Swiger – WV Executive Magazine’s 2015 Young Gun!

Congratulations to our President and Principal-in-Charge James B. Swiger of WYK Associates, Inc., for making the 2015 class of the West Virginia Executive’s Young Guns. His dedication to giving back to the community and the less fortunate, improve the quality of life in Harrison County and help where he can, makes it a well deserved honor. And he does it all with a smile!

Congratulations to our President and Principal-in-Charge James B. Swiger of WYK Associates, Inc., for making the 2015 class of the West Virginia Executive’s Young Guns. His dedication to giving back to the community and the less fortunate, improve the quality of life in Harrison County and help where he can, makes it a well deserved honor. And he does it all with a smile!

When asked what they want to be when they grow up, every young boy has big aspirations. Many dream at an early age of becoming a fireman, a professional wrestler or a police officer, and as they get older, those dreams tend to shift gears, leading to entirely different paths. James Swiger, the president of WYK Associates, Inc., is one of the few who have made a childhood dream into a life-long career.

When he was 7 years old, Swiger decided he wanted to become an architect. “When I was very young, my grandfather, the business manager of Salem College, took me to construction sites at the college,” Swiger remembers. “He worked with architects on construction projects at Salem College and was always curious about construction. One day, he unrolled a set of blueprints for one of the buildings at the college. He pointed out to me that these drawings were the work of an architect. That’s when I knew what I wanted to be.”

Swiger had several jobs as a teenager that taught him about hard work, responsibility and repercussions. Like many other teenage boys, Swiger’s first job was mowing grass in the summer for neighbors, shoveling snow in the winter and splitting firewood. In high school, he also worked part-time at the local dollar store, unloading the trucks when they came in, and he helped his neighbor, the caretaker of the local cemetery, by mowing grass and digging graves by hand.

“The most important thing I learned from those first jobs was responsibility,” he says. “The longer we put off mowing the grass, the harder it was to mow the next time, and you could not delay the digging of a grave. I also learned that time marches on. You must get the work done in a timely fashion, or it will have an impact on others.”

In 1996, all of those early lessons in hard work and responsibility paid off when he was given an internship with WYK Associates, Inc. In 2005, he returned to the firm as a project architect then worked his way up to the top of the company, serving in the positions of project manager, vice president and now president and owner. “I guess you can call it serendipity,” he says, “but to me, it was a calling.”

Swiger credits most of his success to the guidance he received from his grandparents. When Swiger was 10 years old, his grandfather passed away, and Swiger’s grandmother took over the responsibility of encouraging the young boy to pursue his dream of being an architect. “I would like to show my grandfather where I am now,” Swiger says. “I found my calling in life for my career because of him, as he showed me my first set of blueprints and took the time to explain them to me.”

Swiger also credits his grandparents for instilling in him the importance of community service. His grandfather was involved with the Shriners, Kiwanis, Lions Club, the YMCA board and the local chamber of commerce, and his grandmother, who owned a flower shop, made efforts through her small business to support her neighbors. Today, Swiger continues their legacy of service through multiple roles in the Clarksburg community. He is a member of the board of directors for the Kiwanis Club of Clarksburg, a board member and campaign chair for the United Way of Harrison County, a board member and education committee chair for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, a board member of Clarksburg Uptown and an advisory committee member for Salem International University’s School of Business. He also holds memberships with the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the Clarksburg Elks Club.

“I believe in giving back to the community,” he says of his many commitments to his hometown, “because the community is just that: a community. As we are all in this together, doesn’t it make sense to make the place you call home the best it can be?”

Written by Maggie Matsko
Photography by Tracy Toler on location at I-79 Technology Park

As featured at http://www.wvexecutive.com/james-swiger/ · Read the printed  article at http://goo.gl/q3gegw