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Generation West Virginia Announces the GWV Fellowship Class of 2024

Generation West Virginia (GWV), the organization dedicated to equipping young West Virginians with the key skills and career opportunities they need to thrive in the Mountain State, proudly announces the GWV Fellowship Class of 2024. The GWV Fellowship is a leadership development training program for promising young professionals in West Virginia. 

The Class of 2024 features a diverse group of young professionals from across the state, ranging from Mingo County in the south to Wetzel County in the north. Their backgrounds span a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, nonprofit, technology, and law. Selected through a rigorous process, these emerging leaders stand ready to develop their skills, forge meaningful connections, and contribute to the ongoing growth of the workforce in West Virginia.

Over the course of nine months, Fellows will attend nine sessions, including five in-person and four virtual, where they will learn from industry leaders while honing a valuable skill set that will accelerate their professional track and empower them to grow within their industries.

“The GWV Fellowship is one of our core programs that supports growth for young people in West Virginia,” said Alex Weld, executive director of Generation West Virginia. “The Fellowship aims to cultivate an environment where ambitious young professionals dedicated to advancing their careers in West Virginia can truly flourish.”

This program of GWV was created to prioritize retaining and developing young talent within West Virginia. Data shows that most young adults are looking for professional development opportunities. As West Virginia has lost more than 68,000 college graduates within the last decade, Generation West Virginia recognized the need to provide pathways to success for young professionals. By offering a structured leadership development program like the GWV Fellowship, Generation West Virginia aims to address this challenge. The outcomes speak volumes: 100% of participants in the previous Fellowship class reported significant growth in their professional network, relevant skills, and meaningful connections within West Virginia.

“I am thrilled to guide this group of individuals on their professional journey,” said Melanie Taylor, director of the GWV Fellowship. “Their passion and drive are the cornerstones of our program’s success, and I am excited to witness the transformative impact of the program as they take this next step in their development.”

The GWV Fellowship Class of 2024:

  • ​Ashley Fletcher, EQT Corporation, Harrison County
  • Ashley Swanson, Millennium Industrial Services, Monongalia County
  • Benjamin Morse, Downstream Strategies LLC., Monongalia County
  • Caroline Hunter, Coalfield Development Corporation, Wayne County
  • Christopher Mancuso, Pickering Associates, Wood County
  • Courtney Luckasevic, Mon Health System, Monongalia County
  • David Kirk, City of Fairmont, Marion County
  • Dustin Crutchfield, Glenville State University, Gilmer County
  • Jamie Maynard, The Housing Authority of the City of Williamson, Mingo County
  • Jason Markle, inspectionGo, Marion County
  • Jonathan Smearman, Pickering Associates, Wood County
  • Jordan Fanelli, WVU Law Graduate, Wood County
  • Kaitlyn Helsel, Williamson Health and Wellness Center, Mingo County
  • Kennedy Snider, Peoples Federal Credit Union, Putnam County
  • Kyle Johnson, WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital, Marshall County
  • Lara Tackett, Logan Regional Medical Center, Logan County
  • Lauren Vega, BDY Studios, Cabell County
  • Mackenzie New Walker, West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, Mingo County
  • Maria Miller-Blatt, EQT Corporation, Wetzel County
  • Marion Emerson, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Mary Claire Ickes, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Greenbrier County
  • Michael Backus, NASA IV&V, Marion County
  • Michelle Goodman, United Way of the River Cities, Cabell County
  • Nelson McKnown, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Kanawha County
  • Noah Porter, Core10/Monarch, Cabell County
  • Rachel Fortune, WV Chamber Foundation, Kanawha County
  • Rebekah Call, WVU Medicine, Monongalia County
  • Scotty Stone, Goodwill Industries of the Kanawha Valley, Kanawha County
  • Shannon Stephens, City of Huntington, Cabell County
  • Tiara Brown, WVRC Media, Monongalia County

The GWV Fellowship Class of 2024 will begin their program in May. For more information on the program or Class of 2024, visit

About Generation West Virginia
Generation West Virginia equips young West Virginians with key skills and career opportunities, ensuring their ability to thrive in the Mountain State. By connecting young adults with resources, opportunities, and each other through their workforce development initiatives, GWV is committed to building a stronger, more prosperous West Virginia for generations to come. To learn more, visit