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Leader hired for entrepreneurship initiative in region

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MOUNT GAY, W.Va. — Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has hired business development professional Kristina J. Oliver to take the reins of program administrator, according to a news release.

This new role establishes an Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center in a nine-county region hosted through the college. It is a joint effort funded through the Appalachian Region Commission POWER initiative between Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Mount Gay in Logan County and the Hatfield-McCoy ATV trail system in Southern West Virginia.

Kristina J. Oliver, director of the Small Business Development Center

Oliver comes to the initiative with over 30 years of business expertise, ranging from founding and running her own businesses in advertising and consulting, freelancing as a designer and lecturer, and as a professor at West Virginia University. She was recently the state director of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.

“This initiative is just the sort of thing that I do,” Oliver said. “I’ve started my own successful businesses, and I’ve coached many entrepreneurs when they started their own, so I’ve been on both sides of the effort. Southern West Virginia is just ripe for entrepreneurial opportunities, and people here are eager to put their ideas to work for themselves.”

Oliver said she feels their is plenty of creative and business-minded talent in the region.

“It’s all a matter of connecting that talent to the right opportunities, and helping others to learn how to steer their own ideas as they take the wheel for their own futures.” she said.

Jeffrey Lusk, executive director of the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority, said the partnership will help meet the growing demand for more lodging, restaurants, and activities for tourists riding the trails.

“With its new Center, Southern will be a valuable resource to all businesses, both new and existing,” Lusk added. “All of them will be able to profit from the growing ATV tourism in Southern West Virginia.”

The Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center will focus on aiding the people of the Southern Coalfields in starting their own businesses through training while encouraging a tourism-based economy. For more information, call 304-541-0246 or email at [email protected].

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