2021 WV POWER Summit: Planning a Successful 2022 POWER Application

2021 WV POWER Summit Panel: Planning a Successful 2022 POWER Application

This discussion is targeted at potential applicants for ARC POWER funding in 2022 (and future years). Learn strategies and guidance from successful previous POWER grantees, funders, West Virginia state-level Appalachian Region Commission leads, and the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Program Coordinator. Panelists will share strategies and best practices on putting together highly-ranked, competitive applications for technical assistance and implementation projects and tips on the timeline for putting together POWER project collaborations. Learn who you need to be working with, when you need to be engaging state and federal agencies, and how administrative agency partners may be able to help you put together a POWER project that scales your current work across multiple regions or states.

meet the presenters

Krista Cox is the Appalachian Regional Commission Specialist with West Virginia Community Advancement and Development, a Division of the West Virginia Department of Economic Development.

West Virginia Community Advancement and Development Website

Mary Hunt is the Program Director for Community and Economic Development for the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation based in Pittsburgh serving all of West Virginia and four counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. In her program areas Mary works with nonprofits, local, state and federal governments as well as educational institutions. Prior to joining the Benedum Foundation, she held community development and administrative management positions at the local and state government levels and a private corporation in West Virginia. She holds a BS in Sociology and MS in Public Administration. Mary’s work at the Foundation focuses on Rural and Technology-Based Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, Community Capacity Building and Civic Engagement. She serves on several advisory councils and boards which advance the efforts supported by the Foundation.

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Website

Braedon Koerwitz is the POWER Program Coordinator at the Appalachian Regional Commission, serving since 2018. In this role, he oversees the entire POWER application cycle from outreach to the review process. Before ARC, he worked in commercial real estate research as well as at a downtown BID in North Carolina. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015 with a degree in Geography.

ARC POWER Initiative Web Page

Katie Loudin is the Director of Strategic Development with the West Virginia Community Development Hub. Katie has been with The Hub since May, coordinating financial management, grant writing, and staff leadership development as part of the executive leadership team. Katie loves her role at The Hub because she lives in Buckhannon, one of The Hub’s first Communities of Achievement (HubCAP), where she sees The Hub’s influence throughout the community on Main Street and downtown at Jawbone Park. Katie is active in Create Buckhannon and is the vice-president of the Upshur County Board of Education. When she’s not working, she’s singing, cooking, playing with her boys, and enjoying time with her family.

ARC POWER Project:

Downtown Appalachia Redevelopment Initiative

Project Resources: 

Sarah Riley is the Executive Director of High Rocks Education Corporation. Sarah grew up in Pocahontas County and then went off to conquer Harvard University. She graduated with honors with a BA in history with a focus on economic underdevelopment and a slew of theater experiences. She was a founding partner with Susan Burt in High Rocks and has been planning, teaching, counseling, fundraising, networking and building this place in one way or another since 1996. Sarah was named one of 40 under 40 emerging leaders in West Virginia in 2009. In 2014, WV Focus Magazine featured Sarah as one of West Virginia’s “Wonder Women” in their premiere issue.  In 2015, the Appalachian Studies Association awarded Sarah the prestigious Helen Lewis Community Service Award for outstanding community service to Appalachia and its people.  Sarah was honored as a 2015 Zenith Award winner for exemplary service the Greenbrier Valley of WV.  In 2017, Sarah and the High Rocks were awarded the state WV Red Wagon Award for helping WV children, and in 2019 Sarah was honored with the Power of Performance Award for changing lives across southern WV.  Sarah has four children and lives happily on the family farm her husband grew up on, raising local meats, eggs and produce. She is grateful to still be working with her mother, Susan Burt.

ARC POWER Project: The Market Fail; Power Skills and the Social Enterprise Mindest: WV Jobs Network

High Rocks Education Corporation Website

Victoria Stansberry is the Project Coordinator for the Lewis County Blueprint Community. Before life serendipitously led her to community development in early 2021, her experiences included alumni relations, selling seafood and teaching world languages. As the product of a rural community, she is proud to continue the type of work she has no doubt benefitted from throughout the years. Victoria holds a bachelor’s degree of business administration from Evangel University where she graduated with honors. When she is not sweating a deadline, Victoria works to improve her French and Spanish or takes long drives dotted with frequent ice cream stops.

ARC POWER Project: Lewis County Greenways: A Feasibility Study

Lewis County Commission Website

As the Broadband Coordinator at Generation WV, Natalie Roper leads the organization’s Locally Driven Broadband Solutions project, an initiative in partnership with the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Having served as the first Executive Director of GWV, she is now supporting the organization’s mission in a new way. With an understanding of how critical broadband access is to attracting, retaining, and advancing young people in the Mountain State, she works to leverage GWV’s statewide network of people and partner organizations to support communities in building broadband solutions that work for them. When not working on this initiative at GWV, she can be found developing new initiatives to support coal-impacted communities as the Director of Special Projects at the Just Transition Fund.

John Tuggle is currently the Executive Director of West Virginia’s Region 4 Planning and Development Council serving five counties in south eastern West Virginia. Since 2013 Director Tuggle has led his staff to become one of the most active PDC’s in the state with grants ranging from ARC, CDBG, POWER, to Covid Recovery and Hazard Mitigation which has brought in millions of dollars to support economic development and fund infrastructure improvements. He has also been instrumental in leading the charge for various ARC initiatives of all types with POWER funded projects currently being at the top of the list. Director Tuggle is a licensed engineer in three States and has served many communities throughout the West Virginia and beyond with his expertise and 40 years of experience. Director Tuggle is affiliated with several state and national associations such as the Development District Association of Appalachia, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the West Virginia Economic Development Corporation among others. His sincere desire to see West Virginians prosper and his proven leadership abilities inspire his staff to meet the challenges West Virginia faces head on with drive and determination.

ARC POWER Projects: 

  • Communities of Healing – Cultivating Business and Entrepreneurs to Address the Opioid Crisis Across Central Appalachia Project 
  • Pocahontas County Broadband Project

Project Resources:

Systemic Change

2021 became a time period of catalytic potential as we saw years of investment into our core strategies to enact systemic change yield new results. Our strategic focus areas include policy, communications, and supporting the community economic development system in leveraging unique financing opportunities such as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative and Opportunity Zones.

In addition, through our strategic policy support role within the Abandoned Properties Coalition, The Hub successfully advanced two key objectives: the creation of a statewide land bank at the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation and extension of the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. 

Through the Opportunity Appalachia program, 6 catalytic community projects located in WV-based Opportunity Zones received $250,000 for pre-development technical assistance. Three projects received additional private funding as a result of program participation.

Cowen

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. Read their community case study.

Montgomery

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Smithers

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Kingwood

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Lewis County

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Meadow River Valley Region

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Monticello Neighborhood of Clarksburg

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Watch their community documentary.

New Martinsville

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Parsons

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Elkins

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. 

A core team led by Woodlands Development Group also participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Community Coaching

In 2021, we accompanied 16 communities through our in-depth, professional coaching programs. In addition to leaning into coaching and financing opportunities offered through these programs, participating communities leveraged an additional $2.8 million in funding on their own for community economic development projects. While participating in our entry-level coaching program, Cultivate WV, Montgomery and Smithers realized momentum-building success through access to $40,000 in seed funding for projects like farmers markets, public art, wayfinding, community events, and development of a trail system.

Six communities, Lewis County, Kingwood, Meadow River Valley, Monticello neighborhood in Clarksburg, New Martinsville and Parsons, graduated the intermediate planning program Blueprint Communities* with strategic plans in place. We also launched a new round of HubCAP, our flagship community economic development program, in six towns located in the Monongahela National Forest region: Cowen, Franklin, White Sulphur Springs, Elkins, Marlinton, and Petersburg.

Franklin

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Marlinton

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Petersburg

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

White Sulphur Springs

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Charleston

A core team led by Crawford Holdings, LLC participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Huntington

Core teams led by Thundercloud, Inc. and the City of Huntington participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support community development projects located in Opportunity Zones.

Grafton

A core team led by Unleash Tygart, Inc participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Leadership Development

As hundreds of people began to engage in our virtual training activities in 2020, we saw a critical opportunity to scale and deepen our impact. This year, The Hub team developed an accessible, virtual platform with options for self-guided and group learning activities as well as professional coaching.

Kickstart Communities is now the crux of our efforts to bring new people into the work and grow their leadership. These activities now form the foundational stages of a Community Leadership Development Pipeline to move motivated residents from seeing the challenges in their communities to proactively collaborating to resolve them.

Message from our Executive Leadership Team

Fifteen years ago, stakeholders building up local communities and economies in West Virginia convened to map a coordinated strategy to systemically grow community economic development activity in the state. From the shared vision and collaborative leadership of dozens of strategic partners across the state, the WV Community Development Hub was born.

Since that time, The Hub has grown into the anchor community development organization serving West Virginia. We have built upon the original vision to create a method for rural, community-led development strategies that is uniquely tailored to the needs and opportunities of our state.

As we have grown and developed a proven model for success, our partnerships with community and economic development practitioners, funders, and committed West Virginia residents have been foundational to every element of our work.

Over the past two years, the team at The Hub has adapted to the unprecedented challenges our communities have faced during the pandemic by leaning into our core strengths to deepen our impact. The Hub remains committed to tackling persistent challenges, and we have focused our attention on the most impactful elements of our work.

We are supporting community leaders to advance their visions for local development, creating new pathways for engagement and leadership growth through our virtual training platform, and leading strategies that lift up voices of community leaders to move forward solutions to long-held challenges to growth.

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that nothing about the future is set in stone. While the coming year may present enormous opportunities for advancement in our state, they will also inevitably require significant capacity building, shared strategies that are grounded in trust-based partnerships, and extended efforts to support the leadership development of individuals and organizations who have been asked to do more during a time of extreme stress and strain.

The services that anchor organizations like The Hub provide are even more critical in this time, and we expect our work to scale significantly in the coming years ahead.

We look forward to continuing to do the work of putting into action the vision and the shared strategies envisioned by that core group of community economic development practitioners and funders fifteen years ago.

In Continued Accompaniment,

– WV Community Development Hub
Executive Leadership Team

Stephanie Tyree

Executive Director

Amanda Workman Scott

Director of Community Engagement

Emma Pepper

Director of Strategic Network Communications

Katie Loudin

Director of Strategic Development