By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER, W.Va. – As the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) looks to reinvent itself for 2018 and beyond, interim president John Lecky says the members need to emphasize the positive things that Mineral County has to offer. This is Part II of the series.
KEYSER – As the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) looks to reinvent itself for 2018 and beyond, interim president John Lecky says the members need to emphasize the positive things that Mineral County has to offer.
Lecky says he was especially distressed at Gov. Jim Justice’s comment during a recent town hall meeting in Keyser that West Virginia is currently “last in everything.“
Or, as Lecky sees the statistics, West Virginia is first on the list for the things that are holding the Mountain State back.
According to statistics offered by several state and federal entities, including West Virginia University, the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Mental Health America, West Virginia is ranked No. 1 in obesity, tobacco use, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, heart attacks, drug overdose deaths, depression, infant mortality, poor physical activity, etc.
Through the West Virginia Wellness program, Lecky says, West Virginia and specifically Mineral County can “build on our strengths to overcome our weaknesses, working toward a generational turnaround from a cycle of illness and death to a cycle of wellness.“
He hopes the chamber and CVB will become “an essential and valuable partner in advancing West Virginia Wellness, especially in its capacity to help secure and represent the economic wellbeing of the business community … help build a culture of prosperity in Mineral County, and draw in outside resources to visit, work and invest in Mineral County.“
Among the positive features which he feels Mineral County needs to emphasize as a means of moving in a more positive direction are the many tourism opportunities for people to get outdoors and experience healthy physical activities; major prospects for current energy sources such as coal and natural gas; cutting edge leadership in newer energy technologies, including wind and solar; natural resources such as hardwoods which can be used for construction; a strong, hearty workforce; a history of micro-enterprise, such as small startup businesses; an abundance of authentic Appalachian arts which can serve as a major draw for tourism; and a long history of vocal representation at the federal government level.
In order to begin moving toward West Virginia Wellness, the chamber will be seeking interested persons to serve on the new board in 2018.
At least 12 members will be chosen, and all geographic areas of the county will be represented.
Anyone interested in serving on the board may email him at [email protected].