[ contributors | spring 2017 ] Katie Allie Katie Allie, who holds de- grees in English and ele- mentary education, spent years in a classroom be- fore branching out as a travel consultant and writ- er. With five continents under her belt and an af- finity for noodle soup, it should come as no sur- prise that she loves to write about food and talk adventure. Read more about her adventures at www. wvexecutive.com/category/executive-exclusives. Samantha Cart Samantha Cart is an edi- tor for Executive Ink, LLC and its publications. A na- tive of Buffalo, WV, she holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in jour- nalism from West Virginia University. She previously worked as an assistant editor for Omnistream, and in her spare time, she works as a freelance writer. Cart currently lives in Birmingham, AL, with her husband, Caleb, and their dog, Wednesday. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Joelle Connors Joelle Connors is an exter- nal affairs manager for Ap- palachian Power, as well as a traveler, fitness advocate and lover of Wheeling. Connors holds a master’s degree in integrated mar- keting communications from West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media, and she is a member of the Leadership West Virginia Class of 2011. Blair Dowler Blair Dowler is the com- munications specialist for the West Virginia Universi- ty (WVU) College of Busi- ness and Economics. She is a lead writer, manages all social media for the col- lege and helps coordinate all marketing projects. Dowler is a native of West Virginia and a two-time graduate of WVU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications. 14 WEST VIRGINIA EXECUTIVE Alicia Elkin Alicia Elkin is a senior manager for the strategic communications team at Signal Group in Washing- ton, D.C. Before joining Signal, she held multiple roles at IQ Solutions, Go- lin-Harris and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. A graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, Elkin is a lifelong video gamer and science fiction nerd and enjoys reading and writing fantasy fiction. Heather Foster Heather Foster is the ex- ecutive director of Vol- unteer West Virginia and has more than 15 years in public and nonprofit ser- vice. A Shepherdstown na- tive, Foster serves on the board of directors for the West Virginia Center for Civic Life and the West Virginia Nonprofit Association, where she advo- cates for the power of human connections and the interdependency of government, nonprofit, busi- ness and service in creating desirable communities. Brittany Furbee Brittany Furbee is a pub- lic relations specialist for West Virginia Universi- ty’s (WVU) Statler Col- lege of Engineering and Mineral Resources. A na- tive of Harpers Ferry, WV, Furbee is a writer for the college’s Engineering West Virginia magazine and assists with special events. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism from WVU’s Reed College of Media and resides in Morgan- town. Furbee enjoys cooking, traveling and fish- ing in her spare time. Kensie Hamilton Fauber Kensie Hamilton Fauber is the editor in chief and one of three partners at Execu- tive Ink, LLC, the publish- ing company for West Vir- ginia Executive magazine and its sister publications. A native of Charleston, WV, she holds bachelor’s degrees in corporate communications and journal- ism from Elon University. She is a 2015 graduate of Leadership West Virginia and the FBI Citizen Academy and a member of the 2016-2017 class of Leadership Mon. She may be reached at kmh@ wvexecutive.com. Jean Hardiman Jean Hardiman moved from northern Ohio to West Virginia in 1998 for her first newspaper job. When the time came to leave, she chose to stay close to the people and beauty she’d grown to love. Hardiman worked for The Herald Dispatch for 17 years and now writes for publications, businesses and organizations throughout the region. She lives in Huntington with her husband and daughters. Del. Joshua Higginbotham Delegate Joshua Hig- ginbotham won his first election at age 19 and has since fought to ensure his generation stays in West Virginia by bringing new industries, lowering taxes, eliminating outdated regulations and expanding infrastructure. He serves on committees for edu- cation; energy; veterans affairs and homeland se- curity; interstate cooperation; and small business and economic development. Active in his com- munity and church, he proudly represents the people of Putnam, Mason and Jackson counties. Alyson Hurley Alyson Hurley is the mar- keting and communica- tions manager for McKin- ley Carter Wealth Services. Hurley has more than 25 years of professional expe- rience in marketing, com- munications and public relations, including 10 years as the communica- tions and public affairs manager for a regional property-casualty insurer and the marketing and communications consultant and manager of public relations for sponsored programs at the National Technology Transfer Center. Jennifer Jett Prezkop Jennifer Jett Prezkop, the managing editor at Execu- tive Ink, LLC, has been with West Virginia Exec- utive magazine for more than 10 years. She holds a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia State University and is a graduate of Leadership Kanawha Valley. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, reading young adult fiction, ex- ploring West Virginia and boating on Lake Erie with her husband. She may be reached at jlj@ wvexecutive.com.