West Virginia Executive Summer 2014 - Page 126

West Virginia Women’s Commission Recognized for Youth Program The West Virginia Women’s Commission was one of five commissions nationwide to be recognized for its educational youth program at the National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW) annual conference in July 2014. The youth program took place at the Women’s Day at the Legislature in February 2014. The NACW Achievement Award Program seeks to identify and publicly recognize exemplary, innovative women’s commission programs that promote the welfare and status of women and girls. “Civic engagement is crucial to the development of young female leaders,” says Tara Martinez, executive director of the commission. “The commitment and support from our commission members and partner organizations not only made this year’s youth program possible but highly successful.” Women’s Day at the Legislature provides an opportunity for women and girls statewide to network, engage in policy discussion and speak with legislators about issues of concern. For 2014, the program focused on the youth program, teaching civic engagement and encouraging activism among junior and senior high school students. The students were able to meet with legislators, tour the state capitol and learn about the public policy process. The next Women’s Day at the Legislature will be February 3-4, 2015 at the West Virginia State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The youth program will feature educational workshops and an all-youth panel discussion to address legislators and state leaders on issues of concern for future generations of women. Governor Tomblin, Department of Commerce Celebrate West Virginia’s Top Exporters Governor Earl Ray Tomblin recently joined Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette, the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Export Council to present the Governor’s Commendation for International Market Entry to representatives of 37 West Virginia business exporters, celebrating top small and medium businesses in the Mountain State. “West Virginia has shown the world that we have the quality products, services and work force to compete in the global marketplace,” says Tomblin. “Nearly 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. West Virginia businesses that export enlarge their own markets while they also expand our state’s economy and support jobs here at home. I appreciate the opportunity to honor them for their success.” Although West Virginia companies continue to export to traditional trade partners such as China and Canada, many of this year’s honorees exported to emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East. These regions include destinations such as Ghana, Mozambique and Sierra Leone in Africa and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. West Virginia’s exports represent a diverse range of products, including consumer goods, technology, biomedical, automotive and manufacturing. This year, more than 100 awards were given to 37 small and medium West Virginia companies recognizing export sales to 72 different countries. 126 west virginia executive The governor also presented certificates to the Polymer Alliance Zone, Chemical Alliance Zone and the West Virginia Coal Association to recognize the success of West Virginia exporters in those sectors. Governor Gaston Caperton III 2014 YMCA Spirit of the Valley Award Recipient Announced YMCA of Kanawha Valley honored Governor Gaston Caperton III as the 2014 Spirit of the Valley recipient in August. The Spirit of the Valley campaign recognizes an individual from the community who has exemplified what Saint Francis described as a life of “charity and wisdom, patience and humility.” The campaign also raises funds for the YMCA Community Assistance Fund and YMCA programs. This marks the 30th year for the YMCA Annual Support Campaign. Last year, the YMCA provided more than $200,000 in community assistance for access to childcare, programs and facilities. Through the campaign, the recipient chooses a charity to assist, and the YMCA is humbled that Caperton has chosen their organization to receive those funds. Interim President Tara Bailey shares, “We are excited to honor the contributions of Governor Gaston Caperton. Our state has benefited greatly from his tireless efforts in business, government and education. YMCA of Kanawha Valley is proud to recognize him.” Caperton is the former president of the College Board and a former two-term governor o