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Leadership West Virginia announces Class of 2019

West Virginia Press Association’s DeBord included in 2019 leaders

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Fifty-seven leaders from across the state have accepted invitations to participate in the 2019 Class of Leadership West Virginia. Candidates were selected from a list of applicants submitted in late 2018.

  • Stephanie Abraham, Abraham Law, PLLC (Logan)
  • James Adkins, Steptoe & Johnson (Charleston)
  • Kevin Brackens, Brackens Painting LLC (Charles Town)
  • Tiffany Buffington, Dominion Energy (Bridgeport)
  • Thomas Butcher, FirstEnergy (Martinsburg)
  • Phillip Cantrell, West Virginia National Guard (Charleston)
  • Cynthia Chamberlin, Powell Therapy Services (Fayetteville)
  • Eileen Clark, Charleston Area Medical Center (Charleston)
  • Trey Clohan, City National Bank (Charleston)
  • Avon Cobourne, YMCA Of Kanawha Valley (Charleston)
  • Jacob Darrah, The Thrasher Group (Maidsville)
  • Andrew Dawson, United Bank (Huntington)
  • Betsy DeBord, West Virginia Press Association (Charleston)
  • Luke DeMarino, Waco Oil & Gas (Glenville)
  • Sean Farrell, Service Pump & Supply (Huntington)
  • Roberta Ferrell, Jackson County Board of Education (Ripley)
  • Ian Flores, BB&T Wealth (Charleston)
  • Drema Foster, Suttle & Stalnaker, PLLC (Charleston)
  • Julia Hamilton, Monongalia County Schools (Morgantown)
  • Brett Harper, Edward Jones (South Charleston)
  • Kyra Harris, Charles Ryan Associates (Charleston)
  • Whitney Rae Hatcher, WVU Medicine (Morgantown)
  • Jennifer Hicks, Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C. (Charleston)
  • Heather Hudson, Tygart Electric, LLC (Grafton)
  • Jason Jackson, Kokosing Construction Company (Union)
  • Erin Jones, Altice USA (Scott Depot)
  • Michael Knaggs, U.S. Department of Energy – NETL (Morgantown)
  • Jonathan Kyle, Mountaineer Insurance Services, Inc. (Beverly)
  • Matt Lockhart, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP (Huntington)
  • Conrad Lotze, American Public University System (Charles Town)
  • Rachel Ludwig, Jackson Kelly PLLC (Charleston)
  • Cam Matheny, Matheny & Company AC (Ripley)
  • Lance McKeever, MVB Bank, Inc. (Morgantown)
  • Kaitlyn McKitrick, Bowles Rice, LLP (Parkersburg)
  • James Meadows, Mountaineer Gas Company (Charleston)
  • Michael Mistovich, Wesbanco Bank (Wheeling)
  • Matthew Mousadis, The Health Plan (Morgantown)
  • Candace Nelson, West Virginia Tourism Office (Charleston)
  • James Nemitz, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (Lewisburg)
  • Chelsea Norton, Thomas Health (South Charleston)
  • Lyn O’Connell, Marshall Health (Huntington)
  • Robert Passmore, West Virginia-American Water Company (Charleston)
  • Jess Rine, United Way Upper Ohio Valley (Wheeling)
  • Dana Sandene, Cabi, LLC (Charleston)
  • Scott Schenerlein, Oglebay (Wheeling)
  • Patrick Smith, Arnett Carbis Toothman LLP (Charleston)
  • Sam Smith, Dow Chemical (Charleston)
  • Amy Sowards, WV Health Care Association (Charleston)
  • Doug Squire, West Virginia University (Morgantown)
  • Chad Stutler, Alcon (Huntington)
  • Jennifer Susman, 84 Agency (Charleston)
  • Brent Tomblin, Boone Memorial Hospital (Madison)
  • Jeffrey Van Volkenburg, Varner & Van Volkenburg, P.L.L.C. (Clarksburg)
  • Kinsey Walker, Generation West Virginia (South Charleston)
  • Amanda Walls, CASCI (Charleston)
  • Jason Ware, Antero Resources (Bridgeport)
  • Jon Webster, Appalachian Power Company, (Charleston)

Leadership West Virginia ( is now in its 28th year as the statewide education and leadership development program in West Virginia. The eight-month program identifies emerging leaders from a variety of employers throughout West Virginia and enhances their knowledge not only of the challenges facing the state, but also the state’s unique attributes and diversity. Recognizing that the cultivation of new leadership is of utmost importance to West Virginia’s future prosperity and progress, Leadership West Virginiaworks to develop and motivate a cross-section of leaders who will use their talents and abilities to inspire others and to foster a new spirit of energy, enthusiasm and vitality throughout the state. LWV is affiliated with the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.


“Each year, the class participants are selected from a list of top-quality applicants from around the state. Individuals are selected into the program because they demonstrate leadership skills and experiences in civic activities and in their professional careers,” said Pam Farris, Executive Director of Leadership West Virginia.  “We continue to see an increase in the number of applicants each year and we are very pleased with the diversity of candidates in the 2019 class.” Farris noted that interest in being a class member continues to be a very competitive process as the program now has over 1,400 alumni from across the state and graduates from 53 out of 55 counties.


Throughout this year members of the class will travel to different communities in West Virginia to receive broad-based education on critical topics and, at the same time, have opportunities to hone their leadership skills.


Leadership West Virginia provides graduates with the skills and the knowledge in making sound, informed decisions,” added Farris. Many of the participants serve as private citizen volunteers, and many seek and serve in public office. Among the many benefits that come with being a graduate of the program is the network of alumni throughout the state. “Leadership West Virginia congratulates the individuals who were selected to this year’s class.”



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