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 2019 West Virginia Executive Magazine “Young Gun,” 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.

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 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.

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

Kayla Wright
Network Engagement Director

Kayla Wright has been the Network Engagement Director since March 2019, where she leads our statewide Generations network, connecting young people to their communities and to one another.

A West Virginia native, Kayla graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2016 with her bachelor’s in International Business and her MBA with a Non-Profit Management concentration.

Relationship and Network Development have played a key role in Kayla’s career, ranging in focus from retail to nonprofit management. She brings her leadership development mindset to the work, encouraging each local Generation to bring their own ideas to improve quality of place in their community.

Kayla is a 2018 West Virginia Wesleyan College “Young Alumni Achievement Awardee,” a 2016 West Virginia Wesleyan College, “Outstanding Senior,” and a 2014 American Lung Association, Breath of Life – “Young Woman of Distinction.”

Board Members

Rod Snyder
Board Chair

President of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture

Monika Eckard
Vice Chair

VP Human Resources at Pendleton Community Bank

Jake Dougherty

Executive Director at
Wheeling Heritage

Anna Adkins

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

Christina Dalton
Board Member

Chief Financial Office at WVU Tech

Bryan Daugherty
Board Member

Teacher at
Ritchie County High School

Jennifer Hicks
Board Member

Associate at Babst Calland
Attorneys at Law

Aneesh Sompalli
Board Member

Operations Manager at Ranson Urgent Care Valley Health

Megan Tarbett
Past Board Chair

Director at
Putnam County Library

Zach Treister
Board Member

Director of Business Development
at Manpower

Kyle Turnbull
Board Member

Associate at
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

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