BY STACY RAFFO, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS ASSOCIATE, THE HUB
Growing up in Richwood, I couldn’t wait to leave. I had no plans to look back. After college, I married my college sweetheart (a Maryland native), and we left West Virginia for other opportunities. We lived in Georgia, the Washington, DC area, and other parts of West Virginia, but I never found the sense of community I had grown to love in Richwood.
I returned to the Richwood area ten years ago and became involved in several different community development projects and initiatives. Recently, I joined forces with members of The Hub team and my fellow Richwood residents as we worked through the Blueprint and HubCAP community development programs.
I truly fell in love with the work involved in making communities better places to live, work, and visit.
Through our team’s work in Richwood, we saw several new businesses open, greater community involvement and community improvement projects taking place. Two years ago, my husband and I got involved first-hand in Richwood’s redevelopment when we purchased a 97-year-old building on Richwood’s Main Street. After one year of DIY renovations, in June of 2018, we opened the local restaurant Whistle Punk Grill and Taphouse.
Growing up in 4-H, I have always tried to embody the motto: To Make the Best Better.
There is so much we all already love about our communities. I hope to utilize the skills and knowledge that I have acquired through my work in Richwood, as well as throughout my career, to help communities make the best better.