WVPA Sharing

Final Advisory: Ascend West Virginia media roundtable ZOOM is today at 1 p.m.

Any media wanting to participate and not registered should email now to [email protected]

WV Press News Report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Representatives of the Ascend West Virginia program and West Virginia Press Association are hosting a media roundtable discussion on the effort’s progress today at 1 p.m.

Brad and Aly Smith, who donated the initial funding for the Ascend program, along with others, will discuss work and progress on their “long-term vision for a greater, better West Virginia.” Smith is the former CEO of Intuit and, along with his wife, Aly, the co-founders of The Wing 2 Wing Foundation.

Smith was also recently named president of Marshall University and there will be an opportunity for media to ask questions about the Marshall position.

Ascend West Virginia works to promote the state and attract remote workers and new and former residents to areas in the state. The program offers $12,000 to those who participate in the program and move to West Virginia.

Included in the panel are Quintina Mengyan, director of Customer Experience for Vivid Seats, and Shane Powers, Vice President of Operations, IDEMIA National Security Solutions, LLC, who are both members for Acsend West Virginia’s Morgantown cohort. Mengyan will discuss moving to West Virginia from out-of-state, and Shane will give his perspective as a native moving home with his family.

  • Russel Rogerson – President, Morgantown Area Partnership
  • Beverly White – Mayor of Lewisburg
  • Chelsea Ruby – Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Tourism
  • Danny Twilley – Assistant Dean of the Brad & Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Collaborative at WVU

The panel will discuss investment in local communities poised for long-term growth; infrastructure enhancements, like trail development and co-working space; changing the way people think about West Virginia through marketing of program; West Virginia efforts to become an industry leader in remote work recruitment trends; and how Ascend fits into long-term statewide growth and development.

Today’s 1 p.m. ZOOM call, is a one-hour roundtable discussion to allow members of the media to talk with the Smiths and panel members about the Ascend program and the efforts to attract new and former residents, and promote West Virginia as a remote work location.

To register, or for more information, media members should email WVPA Executive Director Don Smith at [email protected] with the subject line – ASCEND. The registration will be acknowledged and the ZOOM link shared. Media will be admitted to the ZOOM. 

The ZOOM is open all media in West Virginia.

Don Smith said WV Press is presenting the roundtable to allow media from across the state to hear the information, talk with the program representatives, and ask questions. 

“We hope this ZOOM roundtable gives each county newspaper and media outlets in the state an opportunity to hear the information and ask questions. The growth of the Ascend program, while targeted now, will impact all of West Virginia, Smith said.

WV Press notes there will be a media kit, photos and a video recording link shared with participating media and available by request for media members who can’t participate.

For media wanting to participate, or obtain the media kit and links for the ZOOM, Smith requests an email to [email protected].

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