Generation West Virginia

West Virginia is the only state in the nation with a declining population. In confronting this reality, one thing is very clear: the state’s future depends on its ability to become an ideal destination for young talent.

Generation West Virginia (GWV) is the statewide organization dedicated to attracting, retaining, and advancing young talent in the Mountain State. We achieve this by:

  • Developing and sustaining an activated network of young people
  • Providing accessible programs and educational tools that empower and inspire young leaders
  • Identifying and communicating the priorities, motivations, and needs of the next generation of West Virginians
  • Serving as a voice and a source of action for young people to impact policy at the local, state, and federal levels

We are working toward a vision of West Virginia where challenges are seen as opportunities, young people are drivers in our state’s future, and the Mountain State is a destination for young talent to live, work, and thrive.


Natalie Roper
Executive Director

Natalie Roper has been the Executive Director of Generation West Virginia (GWV) since October 2014, leading the organization’s efforts to attract, retain, and advance young talent in the Mountain State.

Under her leadership, Generation West Virginia’s work has been highlighted in Fast Company, US News and World Reports, and Southern Living. Natalie received her undergraduate degree and Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Natalie is a 2017 Southern Living “Southerner of the Year,” 2016 WV Living “Wonder Woman,” and a proud alumna of the 2015 Leadership WV Class.

A West Virginian by choice, Natalie is motivated each day to help make the state a place where more of the next generation can choose to stay.

Bill Kuhn
Chapter Engagement Director

Bill Kuhn has been with Generation West Virginia since May 2017. Before serving as Chapter Engagement Director, Bill served as GWV’s first Program Director, launching the Impact Fellowship. As the Chapter Engagement Director, Bill oversees the statewide network of local Generation Chapters ensuring young people across the state are engaged in, heard, and invested in their communities.

Bill is originally from Ona, West Virginia and received an undergraduate degree in communications from Marshall University and earned a commission in the U.S. Army. As an infantry officer with the 101st Airborne Division, Bill deployed to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2010. After his military career, Bill received a graduate degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University in Philadelphia in 2014. His focus on non-profit management and stability operations led him to become a Presidential Management Fellow with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to prepare communities for natural and man-made disasters. He recently completed a masters at George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management where he focused on issue-based advocacy in West Virginia.

Bill is passionate each day to identify solutions to the challenges facing young people in West Virginia.

Kinsey Walker
Fellowship Director

Kinsey Walker has been the Fellowship Director since July 2018. Kinsey leads the Impact Fellowship, which builds strong talent pipelines for in-state employers and creates quality jobs for the next generation of West Virginians.

A South Charleston native, Kinsey is a graduate of the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH and a Masters of Public Policy graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

Fellowships have played a key role in Kinsey’s career, ranging in focus area from education to public policy. She is excited to bring her experience as a fellow, teacher, and facilitator to the Impact Fellowship. She has a passion for working on complex problems and holistically supporting her students and colleagues through their personal and professional journeys. She brings that approach and experience to her work each day running the Impact Fellowship.

She loves facilitating opportunities for young people to build community in West Virginia, supporting them in achieving their goals, and connecting all stakeholders to make collective impact in the Mountain State.

Kinsey also serves as an adjunct professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Charleston.

Board Members

Megan Tarbett
Board Chair

Director at
Putnam County Library

Rod Snyder
Vice Chair

President of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture

Emily Chittenden-Laird

Executive Director at West Virginia Child Advocacy Network

Jake Dougherty

Executive Director at
Wheeling Heritage

Anna Adkins
Board Member

Sales Manager at the Cabell Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau

Ashley Alford
Board Member

President at Putnam County Chamber of Commerce

Mike Chirico
Board Member

Deputy Chief of Staff for
Congressman Evan Jenkins

Bryan Daugherty
Board Member

Teacher at
Ritchie County High School

Monika Eckard
Board Member

AVP/Director of Human Resources at Pendleton Community Bank

Lillian Graning
Board Member

Chief Communications Officer, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority

Jennifer Hicks
Board Member

Associate at Babst Calland
Attorneys at Law

Kate Reed
Past Chair

Alumni Coordinator at
Leadership West Virginia

Aneesh Sompalli
Board Member

Operations Manager at Ranson Urgent Care Valley Health

Zach Treister
Board Member

Director of Business Development
at Manpower

Kyle Turnbull
Board Member

Associate at
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

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