WV Hive Network Recognizes Top Clients and Partners at Annual Open House Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold Declares Day as ‘WV Hive Network Day’

The West Virginia Hive Network presented 10 awards to entrepreneurs and partners at its annual Open House and Awards Ceremony today at the Historic Black Knight Country Club.

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Award winners – left to right – Jina Belcher, Stephanie Tyree, Angela Bryant, Veronica Haskins, Josh Bennett, Ellie Groves, Zachary Edgell, Deneena Lugar, Trey Swartz, Samantha Phillips, and Judy Moore.

Beckley, W.Va. (Dec. 15, 2023) – The West Virginia Hive Network presented 10 awards to entrepreneurs and partners at its annual Open House and Awards Ceremony today at the Historic Black Knight Country Club.

Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold, who attended and offered remarks, declared December 15 “WV Hive Network Day” in recognition of “the commendable efforts and achievements of the WV Hive Network and NRGRDA in promoting entrepreneurship, fostering innovation, and contributing to the economic prosperity of our beloved city.” He called upon all citizens to join him in celebrating this occasion and continuing support of the endeavors of the WV Hive Network and NRGRDA as they strive to create a vibrant and flourishing community.

Rappold shared the proclamation with Jina Belcher, executive director of NRGRDA, and Judy Moore, executive director of the WV Hive and deputy director of the NRGRDA.

Moore said competition was tight for the awards, which were judged by a panel of business, education and communications professionals.

Proclamation presentation from Mayor Rob Rappold to Jina Belcher, NRGRDA executive director, and Judy Moore, executive director of the WV Hive and deputy director of the NRGRDA.

Winners and awards categories included:

2023 Small Business of the Year

Southern Pillar Jeweler / Trey Swartz / Fayetteville


2023 Start Up of the Year

Z&Z Beauty, LLC / Angela Bryant / Beckley


2023 Entrepreneur of the Year

Josh Bennett / Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co. and Hawk Knob Appalachian Hard Cider / Lewisburg


2023 Social Enterprise of the Year

Sage & Lila Company, LLC / Samantha Phillips / Beaver


2023 Survivor Bee of the Year

Deneena Lugar – Grandview Diner / Beaver


2023 Minority Business of the Year

The Hair Maxx Salon LLC / Veronica Haskins / Beckley


2023 Innovative Business of the Year

Edgell Development / Zachary Edgell / Little Birch


2023 Student Entrepreneur of the Year

Ellie Groves and Jacob Odell – Sanctum Tor Farm / Nettie


2023 Community Advocate of the Year

Chris Vaught / Beckley


2023 Partner of the Year

WV Community Development Hub / Charleston

Moore said, “The interest in and value of starting and growing one’s own business is alive and well in our region. All of us at the WV Hive are privileged to support those with business ideas, already launched companies or those seeking to grow their markets. These entrepreneurs – and all of our partners – exemplify our mission to build a robust entrepreneurial culture in southern West Virginia.”

The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, serving entrepreneurs and small business owners in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming, McDowell, Logan, and Mingo Counties. More information about the WV Hive can be found at wvhive.com.

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