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Generation West Virginia Announces 2024 Honorees

Generation West Virginia (GWV), the state-wide organization dedicated to equipping young West Virginians with the key skills and career opportunities they need to thrive in the Mountain State, proudly announces its 2024 honorees, to be recognized at its Summer Night Soiree on August 24.

Each year, the organization highlights notable West Virginians who embody GWV’s mission during its annual gala. This year’s distinguished honorees are:

Sean Cottrill of Williamstown, WVEmerging Leader Award.

Sean Cottrill, a Principal Structural Engineer at Pickering Associates in Parkersburg, will receive the Emerging Leader Award. This accolade celebrates a standout Generation West Virginia Fellowship program graduate who demonstrates perseverance, creativity, and the promise of future growth. Cottrill not only graduated from the Fellowship program but also received a promotion to become an owner of Pickering Associates. Sean’s supervisors, and the owners of Pickering Associates, spoke highly of the leadership skills and confidence he gained throughout the Fellowship program. As an owner at Pickering Associates, Cottrill not only designs structures but also oversees and reviews young engineers’ design work before it is constructed. 

“Being recommended and selected for this award was a surprising honor. I was not expecting to be recommended for this award, but it shows that the hard work and dedication I have put into my career so far is paying off,” Cottrill said. “This award also inspires me to further contribute to my field and future growth.”

Lindsey Crittendon of Huntington, WVEmpowerment Award

Lindsey Crittendon will receive the Empowerment Award, which recognizes an exceptional NewForce graduate who has successfully forged a new career pathway upon completing the program and serves as a role model to their fellow alumni. NewForce is Generation West Virginia’s fully remote, tuition-free tech training program. Once accepted into the program, Crittendon fell in love with coding and soon secured a position in software development with a company in Washington D.C., focusing on government agency projects. Her eagerness to learn opened the door to contracting opportunities with Booz Allen Hamilton, where she quickly landed a full-time role as Lead Engineer, and was then promoted to Architect on multiple projects on the CDC contract.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Empowerment Award from Generation WV. This program has been instrumental in my career transition to software engineering, enabling me to pursue my passion while staying in the state I will always consider home,” Crittendon said. ”I am grateful to the staff and the community for their unwavering support. This recognition not only highlights my journey but also underscores the incredible talent within West Virginia that is often overlooked.”

West Virginia Chamber FoundationDistinguished Leadership Award

The West Virginia Chamber Foundation will receive the Distinguished Leadership Award for making West Virginia a great place for young people to work. The WV Chamber Foundation’s Jobs for West Virginia’s Graduates program supports high school students with barriers to their success. Students work with a mentor to learn essential life, leadership, and employability skills, get on the path to high school graduation, and receive personalized support after high school to achieve success in their post-secondary life. They have served nearly 1,000 students in the program, which operates in McDowell, Logan, Boone, and Lewis counties with expansion efforts into Jackson and Clay counties.

“The incredible dedication and hard work of our team members, partners, mentors, teachers and students to better West Virginia lives and communities is an inspiration and is making a significant impact,” said WV Chamber Foundation Director Elizabeth House. “It is thanks to them that we are receiving this award and I am so grateful to play a small role in the development of West Virginia’s future.”

The Summer Night Soiree, Generation West Virginia’s signature summer fundraiser, is August 24 at J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works outside Charleston, West Virginia. The presenting sponsor is Southwestern Energy. The evening includes recognizing the honorees, a seated buffet dinner and cocktails, and live music by Minor Swing. For more information, visit or Contact Sam Cusimano, Director of Development, at 304-804-6760, [email protected]