Board of Directors
Mark Whitley, Executive Director of the Jackson County Development Authority has a degree in accounting and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and the Community Development Institute. He is a certified Economic Development Financial Professional and has over 20 years in federal, State and local economic and community development.
Rick Anderson is a lifetime resident of Jackson County and a graduate of Ripley High School. A 42 year member of the IBEW 968, has served 15+ years on the JCDA Board of Directors and is on the loan committee review board of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council. Rick is also a active member of the Jackson County Junior Fair Foundation. He is a member of the Ripley Baptist Temple and owner of Anderson Electrical Service, Inc. Rick is married to Tara Anderson and has two daughters, 6 grandchildren and one on the way.
Kokopelli Chemists, Inc - President
Dr. Kuryla attended Kent State University in 1952 and graduated from that institution in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. He entered the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1956 and received a Master of Science degree in 1958. On June 22, 1957, Dr. Kuryla married Arlene E. Batten of Ripley, West Virginia. In the fall of 1960, he received his Doctor of philosophy degree (in organic chemistry). While at the University of Minnesota, he held various teaching and research assistantships and a National Institutes of Health Fellowship. He and his wife presently reside in Ripley, West Virginia.In 1960, Dr. Kuryla joined the Research and Development Department of Union Carbide Corporation, Chemicals and Plastics Division, at South Charleston, West Virginia. He later became the Manager of Recruiting and University Relations for the R&D Department at the South Charleston Technical Center, then Technology Manager – Occupational Health, and Senior Group Leader of both the Industrial Hygiene Skill Center and Environmental Analytical Group. He has held various management positions in Corporate Toxicology and Information Services. He was Director of Product Safety and Risk Assessment for the CIPS Group, and was Associate Director of Product Safety for Union Carbide Corporation (Danbury, Connecticut), where he directed the TSCA compliance program. Dr. Kuryla is the author of over 30 scientific papers, is an inventor or co-inventor of 30 domestic and foreign patents and is a member of several scientific societies. He is senior editor of a book series (five volumes) entitled, “Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials,” published by Marcel Dekker, Inc. He has served his profession as Chairman of the Kanawha Valley Section of the American Chemical Society, has been a reviewer for several journals, and has served in a variety of academic roles including Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at West Virginia State College and Adjunct Professor of Toxicology at the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. He is a past President of the West Virginia Academy of Science. He is the Chairman of SOCMA’s TSCA Committee, and Chairman of the ASC TSCA Task Group. Dr. Kuryla is very active in the Boy Scout Movement, and holds several honors including the Silver Beaver and Silver Antelope Awards, the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, and is a Wood Badge Course Director in both the Boy Scout and Club Scout Program areas. He is the recipient of the Jaycees “Distinguished Service Award” (St. Albans Chapter) and the Outstanding Service Award” (West Virginia State Chapter). The Kanawha Valley Section of the American Chemical Society honored him with their “Outstanding Service Award” and also the “Award for Scientific Achievement – “1974”. In December of 1974 West Virginia Governor A.A. Moore Jr. conferred on him the “Honorary West Virginian” award for his meritorious service to the state. The American Association for the Advancement of Science elected him a “Fellow” for his distinguished contributions to science (1991).
Mark Fowler has been a board member since 1997. He is the principal of Fowler Consulting Software Development, owner of RT21.NET an internet service provider in Jackson County, a partner at Turris, LLC and has over 30 years experience in computer technology-related fields. Mark returned to WV in 1992 with his wife Lisa, searched the state for a place to call home and chose Jackson County.
Jackson County Schools - Superintendent
Blaine C. Hess, a native of Clendenin, West Virginia, has served as Superintendent of Jackson County Schools since July 1, 2006. Mr. Hess, a 1979 graduate of Herbert Hoover High School, earned a B.A. in Music Education from Alderson-Broaddus College. While attending Alderson-Broaddus, Mr. Hess received the Williams Music Award and was recognized as the Outstanding Student of the Education Division. Mr. Hess completed his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Marshall University Graduate College.
Prior to entering the field of educational administration, Mr. Hess was a band director for 14 years, primarily in Kanawha and Jackson Counties. Mr. Hess was the band director at Ripley High School from 1987-1990 before serving as the band director at George Washington High School. While at George Washington High School, Mr. Hess was recognized as West Virginia Bandmaster of the Year and served as the chairman of the West Virginia All State Band. Mr. Hess has conducted a number of honor band programs and actively serves as a band adjudicator for the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission (WVSSAC).
Mr. Hess served as the Assistant Principal at Ravenswood High School before being named Principal at Ripley High School in 1998. During his tenure as principal, Ripley High School was named as a Pacesetter School by the Southern Region Education Board. In 2000, Mr. Hess was named Director of High Schools and Vocational Education for Jackson County Schools where he served for six years before becoming Superintendent of Schools.
Mr. Hess serves in a number of professional capacities, such as Chairman of the Roane Jackson Technical Center Administrative Council, a member of the Jackson County Development Authority (JCDA), current Vice President of the West Virginia Association of School Administrators (WVASA) and represents West Virginia as a member of the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). He has previously served as Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and President of WVASA and was selected as the 2013 West Virginia Superintendent of the Year.
Josh was born in Gallipolis, OH, attended Cottageville and Ravenswood schools, and attended West Virginia State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Josh also obtained his Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. Josh resides with his wife and two daughters in Ravenswood, WV. Josh is the Mayor of the City of Ravenswood and also serves on the boards of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, Jackson County Development Authority, and the Jackson General Hospital Foundation. Josh is also involved in several community boards such as Savannah’s Closet and he is Co-Founder and President of the Dave Hood Foundation. Josh is also the owner of Made in the USA Films, LLC which produces feature documentary films. He currently assists coaching t-ball for Riverbend Farm & Home Supply. Josh’s hobbies include collecting coins, antiques, and various other collectibles. His wife basically says he’s a hoarder, but Josh considers it an investment in the future, but Josh learned a long time ago to pretend his wife is always right.
Born in Youngstown, Ohio and grew up in Struthers, Ohio, a suburb of Youngstown. Graduate of Struthers High School who then attended Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in banking. He took numerous banking courses at Parkersburg Community College in the 1970’s, was a graduate of the Mellon Bank School of Banking as well as the West Virginia School of Banking.
Upon graduation was employed with Household Finance Corporation as a management trainee for 2 years. Started employment with Commercial Banking & Trust Co. in 1976 as a loan collection representative, then loan officer and later a vice president of operations until Commercial BancShares purchased Jackson County Bank in Ravenswood. 1985. Moved to Ravenswood to become Executive Vice President that year and later bank President in 1990. Commercial BancShares was purchased by WesBanco in 1998 when he became Regional President until 2000. Founded Citizens First Bank in Ravenswood in 2001 and was Bank President and CEO until selling the bank to Premier Bank Shares, a holding company in Huntington, WV. They purchased Traders Bank as well and consolidated both banks into Traders Bank which he was President of until 2011 when Premier consolidated 5 banks into Premier Bank, which he was Regional President of until retiring in 2014.
Remains on the board of directors of Jackson County Development Authority, Roane County Development Authority and Polymer Alliance Zone.
Wife Susan and children Adam, Michael and Jillian, daughter-in-law Laura and grandson Wyatt. Member of the First Baptist Church of Ravenswood.
Stephanie McCoy is the President and CEO of Jackson General Hospital. As a Registered Nurse for more than 20 years, she has diverse experience having worked as a Med-Surg Nurse, Critical Care Nurse, Case Management Nurse and Director, Medical and Vocational Rehab Counselor, Nursing Home Director, Home Health Director, and hospital executive leadership. Coming from the state of Ohio, Stephanie describes herself as a “transplant that has become an implant” to Jackson County. She is married to local businessman (they are owners of IDK Investments & 21 Country Market, Inc.), Jeff McCoy, and they have two grown children, Jeffrey and Caleb. Jeffrey is married to Cassi (Hayhurst) McCoy and they have two sons, Cade and Jacob. Caleb is married to Cara (Smith) McCoy and they have two sons, Maddox and Miller, and one daughter, Caroline. Stephanie is a member of the Ripley Rotary Club, the WV Hospital Association also serving as a board member for West Virginia Health Services, Inc. which is a subsidiary of the WV Hospital Association; a member of the Partners in Health Network also serving as the Pulmonary Partner Committee chair, and a board member of the Jackson County Development Authority and the Jackson County Community Foundation. She regularly attends the United in Christ Church in Cottageville and works with the teen group there. Her favorite pastime is “grandchildren” and her hobbies include cooking, “farming” (hobby farm), and spending time with family. She and her husband reside in Cottageville.
Vice President & Banking Center Manager Business Development at WesBanco
Employed by WesBanco Bank in Ravenswood for 22 years. Rayna has been a member of the JCDA Board since 2009 and currently serves as Secretary to the Board. She is also Secretary/Co-Treasurer to the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the Jackson General Hospital Foundation board, Secretary to the Jackson County Community Foundation board, Secretary to the Jackson County Home Builders Association and a member of the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation board. She resides in Millwood, WV with her husband, Jodie.
Mayor, The City of Ripley
Carolyn was born in Ripley, WV, attended Ripley Schools, attended Marshall University with a major in Elementary Education and received an Administrator’s degree from WVCOGS. She is a very blessed Mom of two wonderful children, Kristin Stover who is a nurse at Ripley High School and her son Kenny Lee Skeen is a lawyer in Ripley. She has three super grandchildren, Haley, Skye and Ayda. Mayor Rader is engaged to Ed Smolder. She is a member of Epworth United Methodist Church. Mayor Rader taught first grade at Ripley Elementary and transferred to Principal at Fairplain Elementary. In 2007, she retired from the educational system. She was successful in being elected Mayor of the City she loves and has been Mayor for four terms. She was chosen as one of West Virginia’s outstanding women in 2013, she serves on the West Virginia Municipal League Board of Directors and is also a member of the Jackson General Hospital Board of Directors. There are many things she enjoys doing – reading, helping with all of the projects she can in our City, and playing trivia with her family. Life is good. Matter of fact, life in Ripley is wonderful. It is so easy to promote our City to people because she truly believes we have the best people living here in Jackson County.
Commissioner Randolph was born in Jackson County, he grew up on a small farm and was active in the local 4-H club. Commissioner Randolph enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1968 and is a decorated Vietnam Veteran. He obtained a degree from Parkersburg Community College through the G.I. bill before beginning a long and accomplished career in management, industrial safety and public service. Commissioner Randolph has been married for over 45 years and has two sons Michael and Austin. Commissioner Randolph has experience with F.M.C in South Charleston, the WV Department of Health, the Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, and Hartley Manufacturing. Member Randolph has served as President of the Ripley Park Commission, President of the WV Safety Council, was a process server here in Jackson County and presently volunteers with the American Legion. Commissioner Randolph is involved with the Jackson County Solid Waste Authority and is a volunteer with the Greene Center.
Director of Operations, Parchment Valley Conference Center
Frank is the Director of Operations for the Parchment Valley Conference Center. He has been involved with the West Virginia Baptist Convention for more than 40 years and is an ordained West Virginia Baptist Convention minister. Frank also retired from Pepsi with 26 years of excellent service. He is married to Teresa and they have two children and two grandchildren. He attended Beckley College, Valencia Community College and is a graduate of the West Virginia Baptist Convention School of Christian Studies. He also served honorably in the United States Air Force. Throughout his ministry, God has enabled him to do work that is and continues to be both rewarding, exciting and often times challenging. He is blessed to lead such a great ministry with the West Virginia Baptist Convention. Frank is also involved with the Ripley Rotary, Jackson County Ministerial, Jackson County Hunting heroes, Chamber of Commerce, Brother’s Keeper and American Baptist Men.
Rev. Pastor Christopher Skeens, MAPC is a Sr. Pastor at the Ravenswood Free Will Baptist Church and formerly employed with Ravenswood Polymer Contracted Opr. – as a quality Manager/Laboratory Supervisor. He is involved with Jackson County Ministerial Association as their President, Jackson County Development Authority as a member, Ravenswood Development Authority as a member, Ravenswood Historic Landmark Commission as Chair and the Ravenswood High School Chaplain as a volunteer. He has been blessed with a beautiful family, Susan, my wife of 40 years, 2 daughters and their husbands, and 6 grand-children.
Chip, born in East Hampton New York, moved to West Virginia in 1978. He graduated from Ravenswood High School in 1983 and attended West Virginia University for two years, and Marshall University for two years with the primary focus in business management and marketing.
After college Chip started his career in the furniture manufacturing industry. In 1989 Chip founded OVIS, an industrial distribution firm focusing on the woodworking industry. In 2004 Chip changed the focus of the company from a traditional distributor into an online distributor, taking OVIS nationwide. In 2010 Chip found a new niche supplying heavy duty and super heavy duty drawer slides to manufacturers in the industrial, aerospace, automotive, material handling and commercial refrigeration markets. OVIS is now one of the leading suppliers of these products in the country.
Chip has been on the Jackson County Development Authority board several years.
Director - Cedar Lakes Conference Center
WV Department of Agriculture
May 1, 2017 Karen Facemyer was named Director of the Cedar Lakes Conference center after its recent acquisition from the WV Dept. of Education to the WV Department of Agriculture. Cedar Lakes is the largest recreational feature in our county. It can host over 600 guests for retreats and conference, band and 4-H camps, banquets, and specialty classes and camps. In 2018 Cedar Lakes hosted over 66,000 visitors and offered 130 Road Scholar Classes. It is home to the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair, the granddaddy of all art and craft fairs starting in 1963.
Karen Facemyer was named President of the Polymer Alliance Zone of West Virginia (PAZ) on October 15, 2006. The Polymer Alliance Zone – focusing on Wood, Mason and Jackson Counties in West Virginia – has one of the largest concentrations of high technology, specialty and engineering polymers production and manufacturing companies in the world.
In her role as president of PAZ, Ms. Facemyer has worked to retain and expand the region’s industrial base and market West Virginia as an ideal location to grow the polymer industry. During her tenure she has significantly increased the organization’s membership, successfully recruited new companies and manages the growth of a 165-acre Polymer Technology Park.
Ms. Facemyer obtained a master’s degree in education from Marshall University and her undergraduate degree from Glenville State College. She has also served four terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates and was elected in 2000 as a member of the West Virginia State Senate where she served three four-year terms. During her West Virginia legislative service, Ms. Facemyer served on the Finance, Transportation, Agriculture, Banking & Insurance, Economic Development, Energy, Industry & Mining committees.
She was chosen in 2002 as one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the nation to participate in the Henry Toll Fellowship Leadership Program sponsored by the Council of State Governments.
In 2008, the National Association of Professional and Executive Women (NAPEW) selected Ms. Facemyer into the registry for “Women in Excellence” and in 2009 the NAPEW honored her as “Woman of the Year” in Economic Development. Ms. Facemyer is married and lives with her husband in Ripley, West Virginia.
Meghan Parsons, Administrative Assistant of the Jackson County Development Authority has a degree in Healthcare Administration and Business Management and is a graduate of Salem University. Meghan is currently attending the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and recently completed her basic economic development courses with the Ohio Economic Development Institute. She currently has over 5 years experience in economic development.