Booth Energy Group
Surfing the wave of the late-1970s coal boom, James Booth co-founded his first contract mining company and was earning more than $1 million a year by his 28th birthday. As the coal boom fizzled in the 1980s, Booth diversified his business holdings, first with building supplies, then convenience stores, then homes, and more. Booth is currently the chief executive of Booth Energy Group (a conglomerate of coal companies) and also owns 19 Fast Lane convenience stores, 10 fast food restaurants serving 8 million customers in 2013, Car City, Elite Insurance, R&J Building Supply, and more. In recent years, Booth’s business holdings reported combined annual revenues of $750 million. Booth was also elected and served as the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Chairman in 2013.