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Our sixth annual unveiling of the most wondrous women in West Virginia sheds light on the movers and shakers, the makers, the can-doers and glass ceiling—breakers. These Appalachian women bring the mountain spirit to everything they do—from founding businesses and advancing the arts to upholding the law and lending a helping hand—and they do so without a golden lasso of truth or bulletproof bracelets.
No matter where they are from or what they do, together they are building a better state. She read about endangered frogs and started her own frog rescue group. The Appalachian backyard is incredibly diverse, she notes, which is why she is working to develop natural history programming and a nature center at Heritage Farms that focuses on native wildlife and its habitats. Franks wants everyone to recognize that the planet is not only ours—we share it with many other species. She says she gets to be a mentor and a cheerleader to others who go through the leadership program she once did.
She also serves on the steering committee for Women for Economic Leadership Development and most recently ed the advisory council for Communities in Schools. Each year, FestivALL partners with more than 90 arts and community organizations to create vibrant events and experiences for residents and visitors alike.
Through the arts, we are strengthening the connection to our community and each other. Edwards School of Medicine proved pivotal in charting her career path. Hammers encourages others to push past their comfort zones, practicing what she preaches. Cathy Burns has devoted her life to Huntington. She was an intern for then—city manager Steve Williams before becoming an ombudsman, helping the public get their questions answered by city government. Then Huntington became a federal Empowerment Zone, and Burns left to become director of that initiative.
She spent some time as president and CEO of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce—growing its membership and stabilizing its finances—but the city came calling again. Williams, now mayor, needed a city manager.
Confirmed in as assistant secretary of the U. Department of Justice, she helped strengthen the U. Cyber Challenge. Sometimes telling a story is the best way to stimulate a discussion. Peggy McKowen uses costume de to tell stories and has been able to share her work all across the U.
Although she has worked in many facets of theater, she gravitated toward costume de—she liked the hands-on role and the contact it gave her with the whole production. Based in Shepherdstown, the CATF produces six new plays in rotating repertory every summer and uses those plays to generate thoughtful discussions among theatergoers. McKowen has taught in college settings including West Virginia University and Shepherd University, but these days she mostly mentors interns.
Through new eyes. Anne Perella can fly four types of helicopters, but her perseverance is also sky-high. At 17 years old, she enlisted in the Army. Now Perella is taking the same passion she has for her military family to her quilting family. She now proudly plays those roles and many more. She guides and mentors young women and start-up companies with tips on how to succeed.
Ultimately, success has no place for perfection. There is no way to check all the boxes and move forward. People get frozen on making sure they do everything right. Focus on what you can do right now to keep things moving forward and most importantly—believe in yourself! Hines actively encourages young girls and women to pursue STEM careers. Women of all ages and backgrounds are represented in this all-female choir based out of Charleston.
WomanSong Chorale of West Virginia was created in by Joann Cordell to diversify the choral scene in West Virginia with strictly all-woman participation. WomanSong hires female guest artists and performs music by female composers as often as possible to educate its audiences to the artistic abilities of women past and present. Although it can be challenging to perform without male voices, the choir is known for its range of musical genres, from classical to jazz, as well as its history of travel out of state and overseas.
Another important theme for this all-female choir is community. For people who are newer to the area or those who want to connect with the community through music, says President Karen Klein, womanSong is just that. I feel so supported. I feel like this is home.
Growing up, Nesha Sanghavi, a Charleston native, always knew she wanted to become a business owner. Her business UG Apparel was born when Sanghavi saw an opening in the market for fashionable and size-inclusive collegiate wear for Beautiful couples searching love Wheeling West Virginia women. More recently she has gained chicka-d, a collegiate apparel company for the fashionable college student. Service is important to Sanghavi, who established the Nesha A. Sanghavi Endowed Scholarship and the Nesha A. Sanghavi Endowed Student Enrichment Fund in Sanghavi is proud to be from West Virginia.
The job provides a perfect marriage between the meaningfulness she found working as director of communications and marketing for the WVU School of Nursing and the outreach she enjoyed during her year position with the WVU Alumni Association. The WVU alumna bleeds blue and gold, too. She catches Mountaineer games and mentors students at the Reed College of Media. She encourages them to try new adventures, even if it means failure. Elkins native Liz Stout finds ways to showcase West Virginia in all aspects of her life. Fish and Wildlife biologist, photographer, business owner, ski patroller, and horseback rider, Stout loves to spotlight all the best the state has to offer.
Stout grew up outdoors and found a love and desire to want to conserve nature from a young age. In the work she does with the Fish and Wildlife Service, she gets to work with endangered species such as bats and freshwater mussels. She has been able to work closely with several federal and state administrations to Beautiful couples searching love Wheeling West Virginia negative impacts on endangered species and their habitats.
She also uses her background in biology to advance her photography skills. Her photographs often highlight both the beauty of nature and the beauty of the people she is photographing. Turner has done her part to improve her community. Although she now works in construction ing in Morgantown, the commute has only deepened her appreciation of Preston.
Taking an intersectional approach to fight for LGBTQ, environmental, and social justice, WV Free works to enable the people to make decisions about their health and well-being—not the Legislature. She served as the director of Equal Employment Opportunity for the State of West Virginia and as director of Affirmative Action for Allegheny Energy in Fairmont, where she worked to eliminate discrimination and harassment.
She serves on various boards, including First Family Foundation which assists local youth in their personal growth and development. A graduation convocation challenged Presha Neidermeyer to consider how an ing professor could help transform communities impacted by the global HIV pandemic. This past spring, she gave seminars in Malawi to micro-entrepreneurs, many of whom had received prior training and were running successful small businesses that positively impact their communities.
Neidermeyer is celebrating 12 years as an ing professor at WVU, where her father also had taught for 42 years. Litman was born in Charleston and has migrated around the state a few times, but has mostly lived in Wheeling. She brought back the cattle that once roamed the hills and raised them to produce grass-finished beef. Inshe opened Swift Level Fine Meats to retail local meats and prepared foods. In the years since, the shop has expanded its team, added fresh seafood, and increased its offerings of cured and smoked meats.
Every day Jones looks forward to conversations with customers, some of whom travel from two hours away. But nothing beats the mornings when she wakes up on the farm, close to the homes where her children and grandchildren live.
Her recipe for success? Cheri Satterfield was born to be in business. Yet she still makes it a priority to nurture her plus employees, knowing that her success depends on her hard-working staff. Through volunteer work, Pendleton saw a need for more leadership in town and decided to jump into politics—something she had never intended. Becoming mayor of a quaint town came with serious challenges. Rainelle was hit hard by the derecho in and severe flooding in Years later, Williams shows her love and dedication for the land and farming through the work she does as an associate dean for programs and partnerships of the West Virginia University Extension Service.
Williams is passionate about engaging women in farming. She is also passionate about connecting with younger generations to instill a love of agriculture through the WVU Extension Service and 4H. I am honored to work with people around the state who share that same vision. The raging waters took everything from her property but two lone cabins. The family business was rebuilt by determination and hard work, and it also helped rebuild the community she loves. Born in Penny was that great West Virginia spirit of fighting adversity.
God and family are what Harman has relied on in difficult times. The Richwood of the past few decades is not the Richwood of today, says Stacy Raffo. Following years of decline in the timber industry and the disastrous flood ofthis small Nicholas County town is on the verge of a major turnaround. Raffo has seen new businesses popping up so, when she and her husband found a historic storefront available, they felt the time was right to start a restaurant. The name is a tribute to the lumberjack pioneers of their town—a whistle punk is a lumberjack who operates a whistle to al mealtime.
Raffo has always been involved with 4-H and has run for office in Nicholas County. When apartheid ended in South Africa inLewisburg-based pediatric counselor Adrienne Biesemeyer began visiting there. She determined to learn more about Africa and help others gain awareness too, so she and her daughter Rachel founded the Anir Foundation in The group organizes trips to give travelers greater cultural understanding of African nations while participating in Habitat for Humanity builds and other volunteer work programs that give direct, personal experience to the communities they visit.
She created a program giving third- and fourth-year students one-month rotations in Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Tanzania, as well as another program allowing rising second-year students to work with doctors in the country. Biesemeyer retired from the osteopathic school in May and is now focused on Anir full time, providing similar programs to other colleges, medical schools, private organizations, and individuals. Losing someone you love changes you. When Tricia Kingery lost her father to cancer, she was reminded how precious life is and put a promise she made to him into action.Beautiful couples searching love Wheeling West Virginia
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