By Mannix Porterfield
Mark Matkovich arrived in Beckley after law school to land a job as an assistant public defender.
As of Wednesday, the Ames, Iowa, native began serving as acting West Virginia tax commissioner, a job given him by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and one that came after years of service at the city and state level.
“It’s nice to know that my experience as a city attorney has given me a foundation to be acting tax commissioner,” he said.
“I’m not sure there is a direct correlation, but there is probably a little bit of one.”
Matkovich began serving as Beckley’s city attorney in 1996 and held the post for seven years, then worked as a staff attorney for the West Virginia Senate. Following that, he was general counsel to Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley.
“With his vast knowledge and experience, Mark will be a tremendous asset to the state Tax Department,” he said.
“I’m pleased Mark has accepted this opportunity and I look forward to working with him.”
Matkovich earned a degree in chemistry at Albright College, then a law degree at the University of New Hampshire. He and wife Karen live in Hurricane.
“Frankly, I’m excited but also humbled,” he said. “It’s a new role for me.
“Up until now, I’ve been a lawyer and an advocate. Now, I’m in a slightly different position where I’m going to try to be a responsible tax commissioner. It’s a little different perspective. But I think, having been involved in government and counseling elected officials, I think I have the right perspective.”
Matkovich has no recollection of his early life in Iowa. At the time of his birth, his parents were in graduate school at Iowa State University.
His first position after completing law school was working under Joe Noggy, still the public defender in Beckley.
“I was pretty much out of law school and wanted to do some trial work,” he recalled.
“It was a fun beginning.”
Matkovich’s first day on the job was a busy one, given the transition of moving into a new post.
“It’s a steep learning curve,” he said.
“But I’m fortunate that the Tax Department is filled with a lot of good, responsible people that helped guide me through this transition. It will be a good time.”
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