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Judy Moore of NRGRDA named ‘Sharp Shooter’ in annual competition by West Virginia Executive Magazine

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Judy Moore, Deputy Director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) and Executive Director of the WV Hive, was named a 2024 “Sharp Shooter” in the annual recognition by the West Virginia Executive (WVE) magazine. Moore and other members of the 10-member Sharp Shooters class were honored at a reception at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, W.Va.

Jina Belcher, NRGRDA Executive Director, said about her colleague, “Your unwavering commitment to connecting our local businesses and communities of the New River Gorge region with the resources they need to thrive makes this a well-deserved honor. As an invaluable asset to both the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and the WV Hive, thank you for your dedication. You exemplify the importance of collaboration and support in regional development.”

For Moore, destiny has always led her life’s path and career, bringing her back home to where she was born and raised — Craigsville in Nicholas County — to empower entrepreneurs throughout the Mountain State.

“I am 100% certain there is not another career path that would make me happier than the work I am currently doing,” she said. Before co-leading operations for NRGRDA—including human resources, finance and marketing—and running all functions for the WV Hive entrepreneurship program, including fundraising and development of new projects and programs, Moore acquired valuable skills she still utilizes today.

After high school, Moore worked at the Sears and Roebuck catalog center where she learned the importance of taking care of customers, taking that mentality with her to her next role at Bright of America in Summersville. After five years, she was promoted to executive assistant to the CEO of Bright Enterprises. In this role, she helped the CEO lead not only Bright of America but Land Use Company, Winter Place Ski Resort, Glade Springs and multiple other companies.

“This position helped prepare me for my current role at the WV Hive, providing experience working within multiple types of businesses and carrying a load of responsibility, including my first supervisory role,” she says.

After moving to Florida and working for a global concrete producer, Moore and her family moved back to West Virginia where she earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communication from American Intercontinental University and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University (WVU). She led marketing, communications and event planning for a WVU research corporation program.

By 2017, she and her family moved once more, settling in her hometown where she started at NRGRDA as a business advisor for its entrepreneurial arm — the WV Hive. Before the end of the year, she was promoted to executive director of the small business develoipment program and was tasked with providing local visionaries and small business owners the tools they needed to flourish.

Moore’s  immersion into the environment of Southern West Virginia’s entrepreneurs provided her the alignment she sought between her career and helping the community she loves.

“I took the position of business advisor with WV Hive not only as a career move but also as an opportunity to return to my roots in Southern West Virginia where my heart remained,” she says. “The Hive has always been a very important program to me because it is something that I built and will last long after I’m gone.”

Throughout her childhood, Moore’s parents taught her the importance of community service, which is where her desire to give back began. Her mother and father,  despite working long hours in dangerous coal mines and home gardens to provide for their family, made time to be pillars of their church. 

Not only has Moore given back to her community through her nearly 20 years of not-for-profit and nonprofit work, but she sought opportunities to mentor students throughout their careers, build leaders among her staff and volunteer for church functions that help people who need it most.

Her service includes preparing food for the Fairmont Soup Opera and organizing church events such as The Power Team and various classes and activities like vacation Bible school.

Currently, Moore leads the women’s group at her church, which includes overseeing monthly Bible studies, coordinating monthly nursing home ministries and coordinating Christmas outreach activities like purchasing and assembling shoebox sized gift boxes for nursing home residents as well as gifts for children at the local Kathleen & John Faltis Child Shelter. She also serves on three boards, including Tamarack for the Arts, West Virginia Women’s Business Center and the West Virginia Community Development Hub.

“I was raised in a Christian home and believe in the spiritual discipline of service. It is important to me to serve in this way and fulfill this spiritual obligation,” she said. “I believe we all have a responsibility to make our home a better place for future generations, and that belief charts my path. West Virginia is home and I love it.”

West Virginia Executive’s Sharp Shooters are West Virginians over the age of 43 who have built their reputations on a commitment to career and community success and represent what is great about the past and exciting about the future of the Mountain State. According to the magazine, they have strict criteria for choosing Sharp Shooters ensuring “they are the best of the best.” Nominees must have lived in the state and been in their West Virginia-based position for at least five years and must actively participate in community service and philanthropic endeavors, as well as efforts to move the Mountain State forward to prosperity. Past and present service to West Virginia is the critical component to choosing each Sharp Shooter from the long list of nominees WVE receives each year because it shows that the contender is invested not just in their own success but in the success of others and the future of the state.

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Feature image caption: Jina Belcher, executive director of NRGRDA (left), and Judy Moore, deputy director of NRGRDA and executive director of the WV Hive, at a reception in Charleston celebrating the 2024 “Sharp Shooters” selected by the West Virginia Executive magazine. photo courtesy of NRGRDA

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