The past few years have been an exciting time for the Hub.
Our mission – to nurture and grow a powerful network of community organizations to help build a healthy, economically sustainable and socially vibrant West Virginia – continues to attract new supporters and partners. As a result, the opportunities before us continue to grow.
Our challenge now is to rise to the occasion.
And so we are excited to announce an addition to the Hub team, one that we hope will begin a new era for the Hub, boost the capacity of our partners, and spread the message of our work to a new audience of West Virginians.
West Virginia’s trail and recreation community may know Jake (right) from his previous role with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), where from 2010 until this month he led the national trail development organization’s media and marketing efforts.
He joins the Hub as its first Director of Network Communications.
It is a unique role. We were not looking for your traditional public relations professional, as highlighting the Hub’s work is in fact a small part of what we plan to achieve. More, we wanted someone who could increase the communications functioning of our partners, and build a network of resources, assistance and strategy direction to power their work.
It was Jake’s experience at RTC that showed us he was the right person for the job. As a national umbrella organization fighting for the interests of a myriad of trail organizations across the country, this model of providing central communications support was one he helped build at RTC, seeing the outsized impact that could be had by providing real and online places for collaboration and group strategizing.
“That’s where we unlock the power of all these relationships,” Jake says. “Working together, combining our strengths, multiplying our impact. This sounds esoteric, but there are real and concrete ways to build this. That’s what I’ll be up to over the next few months – putting those building blocks in place to help our network organize together and share our communications needs and resources.”
Though he has called Washington, D.C. home for the past few years, Jake is a country boy at heart, having grown up and worked in rural communities and fishing villages of New South Wales.
“My wife is from Charleston and has a big family there, so it will be great to move closer to the people we know and love,” Jake says. “To be able to contribute to such important work – supporting West Virginia’s communities in this new and pivotal time for the state – is really exciting to me. I look forward to meeting all the Hub’s friends and partners over the coming months, and learning from them how communications can help them in their work.”
Jake will be splitting his time between our Fairmont and Charleston offices in the immediate future. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.