TechConnect West Virginia
Anne Barth is the Executive Director of TechConnect West Virginia, a nonprofit organization focused on driving innovation, cultivating entrepreneurship and creating greater economic diversity. With a coalition representing higher education, private industry and the public sector, TechConnect leads innovation-based economic development in the state. Under her leadership, Barth has helped to advance programs and initiatives that foster startups, commercialization and entrepreneurship, while also co-founding the West Virginia Women & Technology Conference.… Read More
She is a member of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, the West Virginia Science & Research Council, the WV Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Committee, the West Virginia Bioscience Association, the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Advantage Valley. Barth holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communications from West Virginia University. ^ Read Less
New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA)
Born and raised in Welch, WV, Jina was instilled with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age. After starting her own business at 16 years old, Jina was the first student to receive the McKelvey Foundation Entrepreneurial Scholarship during their junior year of high school.
After graduating from Concord University in 2009 with a B.S. in Recreation and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Event Planning & Promotions, Jina returned home to assist her family … Read More in expanding the only non-profit food pantry in McDowell County. While there, Jina served as Trust Systems Administrator for 7 years at MCNB Bank and Trust Company.
In 2016, Jina followed the urge to leave the finance industry to fulfill her gut and help her community develop to its fullest potential. Working as Chief Business Officer with Coalfield Development, Jina worked closely with WV leaders and entrepreneurs to strengthen the substantiality of social enterprises across Appalachia. While there, Jina’s work in capital access and small business development organically crossed paths with NRGRDA and their great work being done in Southern WV.
In February 2019, Jina officially joined the NRGRDA as Director of Business Development. Combining her previous community development skills with her background in finance and social enterprise will allow her to provide the New River Gorge region with resources and expertise needed to grow the thriving economy of Southern WV. In December 2020, Jina assumed the role of Executive Director and continues to focus on implementing the organization’s strategic vision to grow the organization’s capacity and work across the New River Gorge region.^ Read Less
Kevin Combs is an entrepreneur with a very successful track record of building and operating companies that produce outsized value, while maintaining core values of integrity, passionate pursuit of purpose and consistent sustainability.
Kevin has created over $2 billion dollars in returns to investors and himself as a founder, with the 4 largest being in the pharma/biotech sector (commercial lead for Lanoxin Canada post 2001 acquisition from GlaxoWellcome and acquisition of… Read More world-wide commercial rights to Cycloset in 2005/6 sold to Valeant; sell of PBM Pharma in 2014; sourcing and closing of substantial equity position in Avexis 2014 leading to their ability to perform ph I trials with a gene therapy for SMA and leading to their Nasdaq listing in 2016 and sell to Novartis for $8.7bn in April 2018; and buildout of Flourish Health Solutions to initially serve as commercial outsourcing partner to PaxVax prior to its acquisition by Emergent Biosciences and currently managing all aspects of Molecular Biologicals Keratin based portfolio). In addition to these scenarios, he has been instrumental in the build out of several successful commercial teams at GSK, AZ/MedImmune and Novartis Vaccines, leading to both value creation for the company/investors and career growth for the employees associated.
More recently Kevin has helped co-found an affordable housing startup in North Carolina, and a game tech company and a digital/social media company, both in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is also a founding member of the Charlottesville Angel Network and the Country Roads Angel Network and is an advisor to the CIT Gap Life Science Fund, as well as a member of several boards including ArcheMedx, Ubicabus, Palvella, and the WV Hive Network, and is the initial Entrepreneur in Residence for the UVA Seed Fund. ^ Read Less
Chris Fussell is a former Navy SEAL Officer and President of McChrystal Group, a premier leadership and management consulting firm founded by General Stan McChrystal. Since leaving the military in 2012, Fussell has focused on bringing his Special Operations experience and expertise in cross-functional collaboration, knowledge sharing, and decision making with large corporations facing similar challenges. … Read More
Fussell was commissioned as a Naval Officer in 1997, and spent the next 15 years on US Navy SEAL Teams, leading SEAL elements in combat zones around the globe. From war torn Kosovo, to counterterrorism operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to highly specialized efforts in the troubled areas of the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, Fussell experienced the modern evolution of the US military’s Special Operations community from a siloed bureaucracy struggling to keep up in a turbulent environment into an agile and effective network for counter-terrorism.
In his career as a Navy SEAL, Fussell served first on SEAL Teams Two and Eight, then in the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. During his time on the SEAL teams, he conducted and planned hundreds of operations against high value targets all around the world. He was then selected to serve as Aide-de-Camp to then-Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal during General McChrystal’s final year commanding the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), where they served a year together in Iraq. As McChrystal’s right-hand man, Fussell was an integral part of team that made the Special Operations community’s transformation into a successful, agile network possible. He was at the center of the communication and leadership systems that involved thousands of participants sharing information and experiences in real-time, across the world.
After returning from Iraq, Fussell wanted to explore the academic angle underpinning this shift he had witnessed in warfare in order to understand the theory behind what he and his colleagues had done in practice in Iraq. He went on to study Irregular Warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School, earning a Master’s Degree and receiving the Pat Tillman Award for highest peer-rated Special Operations Officer in the program. His thesis work expanded upon his JSOC experience with fusion cells, focusing on the interagency collaboration and intelligence sharing processes that drove effective, cross-silo collaboration during the peak of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, Fussell left the Naval Special Warfare Development Group in order to join the McChrystal Group. Fussell is also co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement in a Complex World, with General McChrystal, and the lead author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams.
Fussell serves as a Senior Fellow for National Security at New America, a board member of the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation, a Fellow and teacher at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Chris lives in Fayette County, West Virginia, with his wife and two children. ^ Read Less
Dr. Jo Harris
BridgeValley Community and Technical College
Dr. Jo Harris is President Emeritus of BridgeValley Community and Technical College, having retired in July 2016 after 41 years of service. Beginning her career in higher education in 1975, Jo served as a faculty member and subsequently chair of the Office Administration/Business Education Department at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech). She was appointed Provost … Read More of the Community and Technical College at WVU Tech in 1999 and was selected as its first President in 2004 after leading the community college component in achieving independent accreditation. In 2009, the college name was changed to Bridgemont Community and Technical College. A legislative code change in 2013 required Bridgemont and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical Colleges to consolidate; Dr. Harris led the successful accreditation process to form the multi-campus college now known as BridgeValley Community and Technical College and served as its first president until her retirement.
Educational attainments include a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Concord College, a master’s degree from Marshall University, and a doctoral degree in Educational Administration from West Virginia University. She has conducted research, written state and federal grants, made presentations at national and state conferences, and published articles in the areas of post-tenure review, Americans with Disabilities Act, management skills, business education, and workforce development. Dr. Harris has served on numerous civic, economic, and education boards and received many awards throughout her career. She is active in the Montgomery United Methodist Church, having served as pianist for several years.
Jo currently resides in Glen Ferris with her husband, Carl, retired Prosecuting Attorney for Fayette County. They are the parents of two children, Vanessa Harris of Glen Ferris and Valerie Harris Raupp of Charleston and the proud grandparents of Jenna and Brendan Raupp. ^ Read Less
The White Oak Group, LLC
Mike Jarrell is the CEO of White Oak Group, LLC, a Beckley, WV based holding company with investments across a broad range of businesses including real estate, hardwood lumber manufacturing, and technology.
Prior to pursuing his own business opportunities,Mike was employed in various capacities at Quintana Petroleum Corporation and Utah International, Inc., a subsidiary … Read More of The General Electric Company. His tenure at GE included various positions of increasing responsibility as part of GE’s fast tract management development program including engineering, project development, operations management, marketing and business development.
Mike is a graduate of WVU’s College of Engineering, studied economics at Colorado School of Mines and is a Registered Professional Engineer. He is a commercial and type rated pilot in fixed wing and helicopter aircraft. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing and spending quality time with friends and family. ^ Read Less
President & CEO
Christopher Vaught is an entrepreneur and the founder of six innovative West Virginia companies.
Vaught has been streamlining business operations in the clinical and administrative healthcare spaces for over two decades. As a trusted partner in a highly-regulated and fast-paced industry, Vaught has built a reputation for his ability to …Read More improve processes and ensure regulatory compliance by responsibly deploying technology in new and innovative ways.
A proud product of Raleigh County, Vaught returned to his hometown after graduating from West Virginia University in 1995. He is a member of the WVU School of Pharmacy Centennial Hall of Fame.
In 2008, Vaught left his position as a hospital CEO and leveraged his clinical and administrative healthcare experiences to form Vaught, Inc., a consulting and business incubation firm. Since its inception, Vaught, Inc. has launched four successful subsidiary companies (NightWatch, MedMatrix Solutions, V23, and Indigo Health) and has been recognized on Inc. magazine’s 500|5000 roster of fastest-growing private companies. He is also the co-founder of Pistachio, a technology company that develops solutions for the highly-regulated healthcare and banking industries.
Vaught continues to work with clients across the healthcare industry to develop sustainable business models and dramatically improve services to their constituents. He is a recognized thought leader in building innovative solutions for hospitals, hospices, community health coalitions, medical practices, and school systems.
In addition to his business responsibilities, Vaught serves and has served on the board of directors for numerous community organizations supporting entrepreneurship, education, and wellness efforts. Some of these groups include Beckley Area Foundation, Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, The Bullpen Club, Beckley First Baptist, Academy of Careers and Technology Advisory Board, YMCA of Southern West Virginia, Region 1 Workforce Development Board, Active SWV, and Beckley Health Right.
Alongside his wife, Debra, Vaught founded The Vaught Fund for Social Entrepreneurship, which seeks to support and encourage social impact businesses and promote innovation in non-profit organizations. ^ Read Less
Region 1 Workforce Development Board
Robin has worked with the Region 1 Workforce Development Board since 2000. Robin has held multiple positions and currently serves as Executive Director. Robin brings years of experience and passion to serving the citizens and businesses in the 11 counties of Region 1. The goal of the Region 1 …Read More Workforce Development Board is to help businesses grow and expand, and assist individuals meet their training and employment goals. Most recently, an area of focus has been providing services to those in re-entry and recovery to prepare them for the workforce. Robin values the strong partnerships with small businesses, education, and economic authorities which are imperative to meet these goals.^ Read Less
WV Program Coordinator One Foundation
Kent Spellman joined the One Foundation team in 2018 after a diverse career as a private sector entrepreneur and as a social entrepreneur. He has been a building contractor, a designer, a newspaper publisher and editor, and an economic and community development professional. He also helped create the 72-mile North … Read More Bend Rail-Trail as a volunteer in the late 80s and early 90s.
In 2008, Kent became the founding executive director of the WV Community Development Hub, which he led until his retirement in 2016. When Kent applied for the position at the Hub at the age of 56, it was the first job application he had ever submitted.
Throughout his career, Kent has thought of himself as a builder, whether building rail-trails, designing and building homes and commercial spaces, or building communities and community-based economies. He is delighted to join the One Foundation team and to be working with the Foundation’s remarkable partner organizations.
Kent lives with his wife, Betsy, in Clarksburg WV. ^ Read Less
William “Bill” Massey, Jr.