ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION
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 improving health, increasing activity, and becoming 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.
Meet The ACTIVE SWV Team
Melanie Seiler, Executive Director
Board Member: Visit Southern West Virginia and New River Conservancy
Melanie Seiler, founding Active SWV Executive Director with Associates Degree in Adventure Sports from Garrett College, 20 years in outdoor recreation management, certified instructor in stand-up paddle boarding, telemark skiing, and river guiding. Named one of West Virginia Executive’s 2017 Generation Next 40 Under 40 professionals. Favorite outdoor activity: taking others to a remote location for the first time.
Erin Ellis-Reid, Community Outreach Director
Erin Ellis-Reid, Active SWV Volunteer Director with a Master of Arts in Health Promotion degree from Concord University and 15 years of experience leading others in outdoor recreation. Favorite outdoor activity: “I enjoy any outdoor activity that is water related. I like paddle sports from easy flat-water paddling to high adventure rafting, but I also enjoy just swimming and playing in the water with my family.”
Laura Baker MS, RDN, LD, Workplace Wellness Director
Laura Baker, Active SWV Workplace Wellness Director with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from St. Mary’s University and Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Texas State University. Laura is an RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, and LD, licensed nutritionist. Favorite outdoor activity: “Getting out on a trail, whether I’m trail running, hiking or backpacking, I love being out in the woods. These days my pace has slowed a bit as I’m learning to follow my kiddos lead and take time on the trail and observe the things around me more closely in awe and wonder. ”
India Krawczyk, Active SWV Kids Run Club Director
India Krawczyk, Active SWV Kids Run Club Director serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with a bachelors in Anthropology and Philosophy from the University of Vermont. Favorite outdoor activity is: “Walking or hiking near a body of water, so I have the option of getting my feet wet in the summer and/or (safely) playing on the ice in the winter.”
Veronica Crosier, Program Support Specialist
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.”
Molly Wolff, Community Engagement Assistant
Board Member: New River Gorge CVB
Molly Wolff, Active SWV Community Engagement Assistant with a bachelor’s in Physical Education and Recreation Administration from Southern Virginia University. Additionally, an alumni of National Outdoors Leadership School & WEMT, a professional photographer and over 15 years of outdoor leadership experience. “My favorite outdoor activity is running a river with good friends. I love the thrill and challenge of whitewater, with the confidence, security and experience of my partners, and the belly laughs that always ensue from riding out whatever adventure the river has in store for us that day.”
Andy Davis, Active SWV Pedestrian, Bike & Trail Coordinator
Board Member: New River Trail Alliance
Andy Davis, Active SWV Bike, Pedestrian, and Trail Coordinator with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Georgia College and a graduate degree in Municipal Sustainability at Indiana University. Andy’s favorite outdoor activity is hiking without a map.
The 2019 Active Southern West Virginia Board & Staff
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
Jane Sutphin – Raleigh County Schools
Adam Stephens – Marathon Bicycle Company
Kate Miller – Ansted Middle School-Physical Education
Cindy Whitlock – New River Health Association
Levi Moore – Active SWV Community Captain
David Sibray – Sibray Public Relations
Rene Moore – Wellington Advisors
Michelle Rotellini – United Way of SWV
Mick Bates – BodyWorks Physical Therapy – Delegate
Austin Caperton – WV Department of Environmental Protection
Kay Bess – retired: Visit Southern West Virginia Tourism
Active Southern West Virginia in cooperation with staff, board members, partners, Community Captain volunteers, and participants have improved the opportunities for physical activity and healthy lifestyles in southern West Virginia. Read our Success Stories here.