Networking for a Better West Virginia

Date Written by Jason Keeling on June 16, 2010

West Virginia Day (June 20) provides an ideal time to celebrate the Mountain State’s many unique qualities, but it also offers us the opportunity to do something for the state’s betterment.

The online community is invited to join this year’s “a Better West Virginia Network” effort, intended to help connect organizations, businesses, and individuals according to their need(s).

For the most part, everyone has some need or challenge that can be solved through networking, and the Internet is an excellent medium for publicizing such needs and generating worthwhile connections.

Maybe your nonprofit needs more volunteers. Maybe your business needs new clients and/or employees. Perhaps you need a new job. Maybe you’re looking for someone with specialized knowledge to complete a project. Perhaps your community has a specific need.

In some cases, making local connection(s) could suffice, while other instances may require help from outside of the state. Think locally, nationally, or globally, whichever applies best to your circumstances.

Here’s how to participate within the “a Better West Virginia Network.”

a Better West Virginia Network

First, identify and describe the need(s) of your organization, business, community, or individual circumstance.

Second, publish this information on your blog or website, and forward the link to me via email: jason(at)keelingstrategic(dot)com. If necessary, my mobile is 304.989.3262.

Third, return to this blog on West Virginia Day, where a list of the various submissions will be posted.

Lastly, visitors will be encouraged to peruse the compiled list and help make any connections.

If you don’t have a blog or website, feel free to submit a comment here regarding such a need(s). If you use, publish your need there and include the #aBetterWVNetwork hash tag. Facebookers, connect with our fan page and submit your need there.

This process is intended to make us think about the various needs in West Virginia, and ideally, it will help make useful connections and establish positive outcomes.

Public involvement, to whatever degree, will determine the effectiveness of this effort. Thanks in advance for your interest.

15 Responses to “Networking for a Better West Virginia”

  1. Crystal Good said:

    In general, West Virginia has a need for greater diversity, youth culture, and leadership.

    I’m working to connect West Virginia with Kevin Powell, an individual committed to building a movement of progressive, multicultural people that take leadership into their own hands so they may achieve some version of the American Dream.

    Powell spoke in West Virginia earlier this year, contending that Appalachian poverty is perhaps worse than that of inner cities, which necessitates the need for stronger social connections and better leadership in rural areas.

    In July, a networking event and fundraiser for Kevin Powell will be held in West Virginia. Details are soon to be released, but in the meantime, feel free to contact me for more information: cgoodwoman(at)rocketmail(dot)com.

  2. Elizabeth Gaucher said:

    Great effort as always! I’ll put my post up tomorrow and start….networking. :)

  3. Brian Alcorn said:

    I am an executive director with BNI, Business Network International. We are a professional referral organization.

    I would like a favorable introduction to those in leadership positions in the greater West Virginia area with chambers of commerce, small business development centers, professional organizations, etc. who highly value networking.

    I would like to discuss/lead a plan for inner-connecting the dots with these various organizations who promote networking.

    This online effort is an excellent way to connect the community. I anticipate some great results!

  4. Jim McKay said:

    Thanks for spearheading this great effort again this year.

    I’ve posted my submission, “A Better West Virginia… Where every baby is safe and sound.” on my blog, Wabi-Sabi.

  5. Todd Beane said:

    I have been a Communications/PR professional working in the industry for ten years. Throughout my career I have had many opportunities to travel and see other parts of the world. Somewhere in my travels I caught the “International Bug”. Is this some kind of disease or maybe microscopic critters that came back with me in my luggage? Not even close. The “International Bug” I’m talking about is the overwhelming desire to make a difference in the world.

    With the business world getting smaller and regular communication taking place each day from across the globe, international business is the future of our world. I have been lucky enough to travel widely to various European countries and feel that this is where I want to focus my future work. I would like to begin an international working relationship with European public relations or outreach professionals. Now would be the optimal time to start building collaborative relationships while I am finishing my MBA degree. It will allow plenty of time for me and the international representative to build a strong foundation of trust on our abilities and talents to help each other. Then after graduation, hopefully an international working opportunity will arise. My long term goal is to have a cooperative relationship with an international institution or work in the international relations field.

    If anyone has any international public relations or communications professional connections or international relations experience with European companies feel free to offer suggestions to me on how to build my international network.

    Todd Beane

  6. Todd Beane said:

    WVSU Extension Service organization need:

    My employer West Virginia State University has an immediate need. We want all children that are interested in science and/or engineering to come to WV State’s campus on June 30th. This is our Sixth Annual NASA Day at State. The day’s activities are totally FREE and youth will explore the amazing worlds of science through NASA programs. The day’s activities allow the youth to learn about engineering and science, then put that knowledge to practical use through interactive activities, including creating their own bottle rockets. For more information, contact Dee Dee Taylor at (304) 380-2551 or email at

  7. Bill Gardner said:

    My blog post is: West Virginia Needs a Better Hacker Community:

  8. Kira Miskimmin said:

    This is an excellent idea! Thank you so much for leading the way and working to make these all-important connections.

    Planned Parenthood in West Virginia launched a strategic grassroots movement in March, which is now in full swing. We need help identifying a network of pro-choice, pro-prevention voters, mobilizing volunteers and activists, and building a collective voice, so that we can make real, pro-active change in reproductive health policies in our state.

    If you are interested in getting involved with this important and exciting movement, please check out upcoming events (including a happy hour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill this Wednesday) and opportunities (including phone banking, canvassing and much more) at Please feel free to email me with questions or to learn more!

  9. Skip Lineberg said:

    What a fun, exciting idea! Can’t wait to see how many breakthrough connections will results from this initiative!

    My request is a simple but big one: help connect me with Ivanka Trump. (Yes, seriously. And no–I am not a stalker.) You can read more about my request via my blog post

    Love all the posts, ideas and submissions thus far! Oncee’s WV Hacker Network is a great idea.

  10. Mark Burdette said:

    My blog post is Support Youth Entrepreneurship in West Virginia Glad to be apart of aBetterWV. Enjoy!

  11. Celebrate West Virginia’s Statehood by Helping Others Grow Network | a Better West Virginia Blog - Culture | Arts | Economy said:

    [...] from the Mountain State’s online community have offered submissions for this year’s “a Better West Virginia Network” initiative, outlining needs that exist within their organizational, business, and personal [...]

  12. Edward Bodnar said:

    I am working on a photo essay about life in WV and what West Virginians are really like. My request is for People from all walks of life all across WV to sit for a portrait for me. The goal is to capture West Virginians in their environment so I would travel to you and photograph you at your home, on your farm, at your work, while you hunt or fish, what ever you feel best defines who you are. I will do a family photo or just an individual, and I will send you a copy of the photograph to say thank you for giving me your time to do this.

    The catch is that while I was born and raised in WV, I no longer physically reside there (of course I believe the saying is once a Mountaineer always a Mountaineer), so my time frame for this is somewhat limited. I will be in WV In June from June 24th-27th and if I can find enough people to photograph I would like to return mid-July approx 15th. I may also make a trip back in the fall if my schedule allows.

    If you are interested in being a part of this (and I promise I will not make you look bad) send me an email Portfolio 5 is my personal work on WV
    Personal Blog

  13. Robin Holstein said:

    I should have my post up today. I am interested in meeting with virtual assistants or other WV professionals working offsite or from home for collaboration on education, partnerships, marketing, and more.

  14. Mark Burdette said:

    First, I wanted to let Robin Holstein know that Kim Alvis would be a good contact for you to network with. She is a virtual assistant. Her email address is Also, I took Ed Bodnar’s offer and we are looking forward to meeting Ed at our offices this Friday to take some photos for his photo essay about life in WV. Going to have him take some pictures of Rob and I podcasting. Should be great.

  15. Elizabeth Damewood Gaucher said:

    For anyone still wishing to joining our essay project, here is our timeline (flexible):

    September 1, 2010 or sooner — share with me your proposed essay title and basic subject matter, as well as your estimated number of pages.

    September 30, 2010 — share a draft of your essay (or final if you do not request any feedback).

    October 15 — I’ll have feedback to anyone who requests it.

    November 1 — We will make our work public.

    Some ideas to consider are:

    • How was your childhood different from what you see in WV today?
    • Who were some incredible characters from your growing up?
    • How did you spend your free time as a child?
    • What role did your family members play in your life?
    • What kinds of friends did you have? Any special animals or pets?
    • What was your school experience?
    • Was there an especially difficult event or dynamic in your childhood you want to explore in writing?
    • Do you have what you might consider a uniquely WV element to your childhood, such as growing up in a coal community?
    • What about social divides — were you a have in a world of have nots, or vice versa? How did that shape who you are today?
    • How did you feel about WV growing up, and why do you think you felt that way?
    • Were there any special areas of the state you visited as a child that made a lasting impression on you?
    • What were your dreams or assumptions about the future when you were very young? Did those turn out to be on target, or different from life now?
    • What observations do you have about the children in your life now, and what they are experiencing?

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>