ABOUT US

STRIVING TO MAKE SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA A MODEL OF HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND ACTIVE LIVING

Our founders recognized that West Virginia was struggling with heart disease, diabetes, short life expectancy, drug abuse, and obesity. Public and private partners came together to support this non-profit organization, focused on improving those statistics and assisting local communities to improve health, increase activity, and become the model for active living.

The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority helped launch Active Southern West Virginia as a non-profit, region-wide initiative to motivate area residents, businesses, schools and local governments to make physical activity a personal and regional priority. A healthy and active community will attract new businesses, tourism, and jobs while developing a proud culture of wellness and physical activity in southern West Virginia.

What We Strive For

Wellness creates jobs

Strategy

Community Captains is an innovative program developed by Active SWV. Community Captains and other Active SWV volunteers are themselves residents seeking healthier lifestyles. These volunteers are provided training with certifications and comprehensive program manuals to facilitate quality programming within communities, workplaces, local governments, and schools. This unique and evidenced based peer-to-peer model provides interventions to help individuals be in charge of their own health to prevent and manage chronic diseases in coal-impacted communities. Volunteers invite their friends, family, neighbors, and co-works to join a routine of being active. This social support system is delivered in person and virtually.

MISSION​

Active Southern West Virginia is a non-profit providing an ecosystem of physical activity for the residents of southern West Virginia by offering programs led by trained volunteers from within the communities they serve. 

vision

Active SWV seeks for everyone to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. Populations are targeted who face the greatest economic and social barriers. Improving health outcomes through behavioral change will strengthen community and economic development. 

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Reports, programs, newsletters, and more.

Active SWV newsletters have all the latest information and updates you need to stay current. Read what’s new in our Community Captain, Workplace Wellness, Active SWV Bike/Walk, and Kids Run Club programs. We will also fill you in on events, partner news, and provide you with health and nutrition tips. Click here to sign up to receive next month’s newsletter.

MEET THE

ACTIVE SWV Team

Melanie Seiler

Executive Director

Board Member: Visit Southern West Virginia and New River Conservancy

Melanie Seiler is the founding Executive Director of Active SWV with 20 years experience in business ownership and management, an Associates Degree in Adventure Sports from Garrett College, certified instructor in the following; stand-up paddle boarding, telemark skiing, and river guiding. Currently enrolled in continuing education and in partnership with West Virginia University Institute of Technology: Adventure Recreation Management. Named one of West Virginia Executive’s 2017 Generation Next 40 Under 40 professionals. Named one of West Virginia Living 2019 Wonder Women. Favorite outdoor activity: taking others to remote locations for the first time.
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Veronica Crosier

Workplace Wellness Director

Board Member: Fayette County Park Advisory Board, Adventure: Fayette County Committee

Veronica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography with a minor in Journalism, Media, and Communications from Mount Holyoke College. Experiential education has been a major part of her career since she got her start organizing environmental education clubs for local youth and adults in rural Kenya. She’s since facilitated at multiple outdoor education programs throughout New England before returning home to southern West Virginia. Most recently she developed and directed Camp Drift-A-Bit, an outdoor adventure summer program for children in southern WV. Favorite outdoor activity: “I love any adventure I can take with my dog, Gnarly. He’s my hiking, SUP boarding, and cycling buddy.”
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Erin Ellis-Reid

Volunteer Director

Board Member: New River Health Associates, Oak Hill White Oak Trail Committee

Erin Reid is the Volunteer Director at Active Southern West Virginia. She is a native West Virginian from Wyoming County but has been a resident of Fayette County for the past 20 years. She graduated from Concord University with a Masters in Health Promotions. She understands the enormous heath crisis facing West Virginia and the dynamics of the culture of rural communities. This understanding helps drive her passion for increasing the health of the people in WV. Through her work with Active SWV she is fighting to educate communities in the importance of physical activity and the role it plays in overall health, well-being, and quality of life.
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Gabriel Cabrera

Program Support Specialist
Gabriel Cabrera holds an MBA in Health Services Management from Oklahoma Christian University as well as a BA in English/Corporate Communications from Ohio Valley University. Gabriel comes to southern West Virginia from Oklahoma City where he has worked as a project coordinator and tutor. Gabriel shares this about his role the past 5 years, “This has allowed me to work with students from over 15 different countries in the fields of health care, civil rights, and post-secondary education. I think that the latter is a big difference maker in many peoples’ lives and strive to make it accessible to as many as possible.” Gabriel now serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Active SWV supporting the Community Captain program and youth activities. Gabriel will help more people in southern West Virginia have access, training, and support to create more opportunities for physical activity.
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India Tarleton Krawczyk

Youth Programs Director
India Tarleton Krawczyk, Americorps VISTA serving as Active SWV’s Kids Run Club Director with a bachelors in Anthropology and Philosophy from the University of Vermont. Running, physical activity, and being outside have always been an important part of India’s life. She’s interested in creating easy opportunities for kids and adults to take advantage of the enormous mental and physical benefits of being physically active. Favorite outdoor activity is: “Really anything that I can do in the morning or in the evening when it’s quieter. I love to be outside when the shadows are long and the sun is low, especially in West Virginia where there are so many beautiful things to look at.”
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The 2020 Active Southern West Virginia Board

William E. Massey, Jr. – Massey Foundation. Active SWV Board Chair

Joe Brouse – New River Gorge Regional Development Authority

Gary Morefield – Raleigh County Bicycle Club

Eloise Elliott – WVU College of Physical Activity and Sports Science

Adam Stephens – Arrowhead Bike Farm

Kate Miller – Ansted Middle School-Physical Education

Cindy Whitlock – Fayette County Board of Education

Rene Moore – Wellington Advisors

Michelle Rotellini – Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce

Austin Caperton – WV Department of Environmental Protection

Kay Bess – retired: Visit Southern West Virginia Tourism

Bill Hannabass – Oak Hill City Manager

David Bernier – WVU Tech Assistant Teaching Professor: Adventure Recreation Management

In cooperation with staff, board members, partners, volunteers, and participants, Active Southern West Virginia has increased access to physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle in West Virginia. Read our Success Stories here.