West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 34

A VOICE FOR WEST VIRGINIA innovative broadcasts. At one point, the stations broadcasted various sporting events at all local high schools, FSU and WVU. While Fantasia loved the work, he realized his dedication to the business and the town of Fairmont left little time for his family and friends. After 30 years of success, Fantasia sold the business to Spectrum Radio Group in 2 013. EMBRACING PUBLIC SERVICE For some, being a successful businessman would be enough, but Fantasia has worked his entire life to establish himself as a community leader and public servant. Husband. Father. Businessman. Politician. Car enthusiast. Radio guru. All can be used to describe Nick L. Fantasia. A lifelong resident of Fairmont, WV, Fantasia is best-known for Fantasia Broadcasting, a four-station radio group with exclusive rights to NASCAR and Pittsburgh Steelers broadcasts and the flagship group for West Virginia University (WVU) sports broadcasting. DIALING IN TO A PASSION Fantasia has a rich history of working in radio, which started when he worked for his father’s business after graduating from Fairmont State University (FSU) in 1985 with degrees in business administration and secondary education. Following their successful application for the company’s first FM station, WRLF, in 1989, the father- son duo added four more stations between 1990 and 2008. Fantasia maintained this booming business while simultaneously serving as the mayor of Fairmont from 1996-2006. During its reign, Fantasia Broadcasting worked to engage surrounding communities with 32 WEST VIRGINIA EXECUTIVE He has worked on economic development in Marion County for more than 20 years, serving on the Marion County Development Authority and as president of the Marion Regional Development Corporation since 1996. Fantasia was part of the team that created the I-79 Technology Park and four additional sold-out business parks. He has also served both the Marion County Multimodal Transportation Study and the Fairmont Coke Works Community Liaison Panel, and beyond the borders of Marion County, Fantasia has served as a member of the governor’s council for government reorganization and a board member for the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences and Leadership West Virginia. Politically active as well, Fantasia has been elected five times to serve on Fairmont’s city council and served as deputy mayor from 1994-1996 in addition to his role as mayor. The same drive he showed for his radio business was also reflected in his tenure as mayor, during which time he and his team expanded the city limits by 1,000 acres; oversaw the construction of the new public safety building, four major bridges, multiple water and sewer plants and two new parking structures; and revitalized the downtown area. Along with Congressman Alan Mollohan, Fantasia also championed the Gateway Connector project, which brought a new access highway from I-79 to downtown Fairmont. Fantasia not only places emphasis on public service but community service as well. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of South Fairmont and the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, and he has served on the boards of directors of the FSU Alumni Association, FSU Athletic Association and former Fairmont General Hospital Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the East Fairmont High School Foundation, Your Community Foundation and Regional Healthcare Foundation. His commitment to Fairmont and the state of West Virginia has not gone unnoticed. Fantasia has received various service awards, including the 1997 Marion County Chamber of Commerce President’s Award, a 1997 Sam Walton Entrepreneur Award, 2001 Marion County Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award and 2014 FSU Outstanding Alumni Award. He was also named a 2001 Young Gun by West Virginia Executive magazine, 2001 Outstanding Public Servant by West Virginia Main Street, 2003 member of Who’s Who in West Virginia Business by The State Journal and 2009 Developer of the Year by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce. RETURNING TO RADIO Over the past four years, Fantasia’s love for broadcasting has never wavered, and with the support of his wife, Beth, and two sons, Nicholas and Dominic, he returned to the family business in 2016 as the general manager for Laurel Highland Total Communications Media of West Virginia, the company that purchased Spectrum LLC. The company currently runs WZST, WRLF, WMMN and WTCS in West Virginia. (304) 366-3700 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION SAMANTHA CART