At the WV Hive, we have everything you need to help your business succeed. Whether you’re an existing or aspiring business owner, we have everything you need to build your business from the ground up or help your current business reach new heights.
Meet the Staff
WV Hive Director
Judy has been the director of the WV Hive since November 2017. As the Hive director, Judy focuses on establishing partnerships and alliances that provide increased access to resources for businesses and entrepreneurs. She works with her team of business advisors, support network, and funders to bring about more effective and efficient means through which regional entrepreneurs can operate successful establishments. Prior to her present position, Judy served as a WV Hive Regional Business Advisor. Before joining the WV Hive she was employed as an Assistant Director at West Virginia University’s National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. There, Judy’s main roles and responsibilities included providing leadership in areas of creative direction, media relations, and management of the communications, marketing, and education and outreach efforts of the organization. Judy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from American Intercontinental University and a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University.
Judy also served as the Principal Investigator/Project Coordinator of numerous projects and grants and assisted in the development of numerous workshop materials, authored and co-authored many articles for industry newsletters and publications, and spoke at numerous conferences and workshops.
Regional Business Advisor
Ruthana brings decades of experience in business and public administration to her role as Regional Business Advisor for the WV Hive. She has worked in small businesses, large corporations, nonprofits, and local governments and has first-hand knowledge of the entrepreneurial experience. Ruthana served as Marketing Director for Sunrise Museum in Charleston, WV as it transitioned into its new facilities as the Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center, creating and executing successful strategies for branding, public relations, and advertising. As Federal Projects Administrator for the City of Parkersburg, Ruthana worked with local residents, businesses, and agencies to manage more than $1.5M annually on community and economic development initiatives. She is experienced in project management, development of organizational policy and procedure, marketing and public relations, and financial management. She is excited to help startups in southern West Virginia prepare to face today’s challenging marketplace with a competitive edge. Ruthana holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Charleston as well as a Masters of Public Administration from West Virginia University.
Regional Business Advisor
Prior to working for the WV Hive, Ken spent fourteen years at United Bank working as a teller, branch manager, and his last four years as a commercial lender. Ken was recognized by Small Business Administration for personally generating the second most SBA loans in the state while he was responsible for commercial loans. Ken also spent nineteen years as Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Professor at Appalachian Bible College. Ken focuses on helping new and seasoned businesses to determine where they are currently, where they want to go, and specific steps to help them accomplish their desired business goals. He works to help match them with lenders or investors that share their dream to create and retain jobs in southern WV. Ken has a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian Bible College, a graduate degree from Liberty University, and an Executive MBA from West Virginia University.
As the Outreach Assistant, Sarah focuses on helping the director and business advisors reach more entrepreneurs and small businesses, raise awareness of the important role businesses and entrepreneurs play in a healthy and diverse economy, and increase the efficiency of operations at the Hive. As an AmeriCorps VISTA, she is also helping with the development of the WV Hive to increase the capacity the initiative has to support small businesses and entrepreneurs and make the WV Hive a sustainable, long-term endeavor. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from West Virginia University.