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Generation West Virginia Appoints Two New Board Members

Generation West Virginia, the statewide organization dedicated to attracting, retaining, and advancing young people in the Mountain State, proudly announces the addition of Ben Ashley and Durand Warren to its board of directors.

“Ben and Durand bring incredible skills and expertise, as well as a strong commitment to our mission. I thank them both for their willingness to serve this organization as we continue to empower and support young West Virginians,” said Alex Weld, executive director of Generation West Virginia.

Ben Ashley – CFO / VP / Licensed Agent, ASHLEY INSURANCE AGENCY LLC

Ben Ashley proudly holds dual full-time roles as the Vice President and CFO at Ashley Insurance Agency, a local small business he owns with his wife, and the Director of External Affairs at ZMM Architects & Engineers, a large multi-state architectural enterprise. At Ashley Insurance, his role involves overseeing financial operations and ensuring the agency’s success in the dynamic insurance market. At ZMM Architects & Engineers, Ashley plays a pivotal role in managing the firm’s relationships with key stakeholders. 

His commitment to community service has been recognized through various accolades, including the James R. McCartney Community Service Award from the WVU Alumni Association in 2022. He was also honored as a Generation Next: 40 Under 40 by the State Journal, and is a 2012 graduate of the Leadership West Virginia program. Ashley was appointed by WV Gov. Jim Justice to the State Workforce Development Board in 2023.

“It’s no secret that our state has significant unemployment and even under-employment issues,” Ashley said “But Generation West Virginia tackles those issues with an efficient, multi-faceted approach. I’m excited to lend my knowledge and experience to the cause.”

Durand Warren, M.Ed., MBA, NCC, LPC, ALPS

Durand Warren currently holds a dual role as the Director of Behavioral Medicine and Strategic Development Director for Williamson Health and Wellness. In this role, he makes significant contributions to both the clinical and strategic aspects of healthcare. 

Warren previously served as the Clinical Director for Logan Mingo Area Mental Health from 2015 to 2018. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in expanding Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment services, showcasing his commitment to the well-being of the community. Recognizing his contributions, Gov. Justice appointed him to the West Virginia Board of Examiners in Counseling in 2021.

“The prospect of contributing to an organization dedicated to fostering professional growth and leadership skills in young adults in West Virginia resonates deeply with me,” Warren said. “As someone passionate about empowering the next generation, I am excited about the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals, shaping programs and initiatives that will positively impact the lives of young adults across our state.”

The new board members join an impressive group of leaders from across the state who are committed to the success of Generation West Virginia. The new appointees to the board will join the following members: Candace Nelson (Chair), Jay Williams (Vice Chair and Treasurer), Kel Cecil (Secretary), Anna Adkins, Christina Dalton, Brian Dayton, Jade Irving, Valerie Piko, Jessica Rine, Zach Treister and Danielle Waltz. 

“The Generation West Virginia Board of Directors values the unique perspective and expertise that each member brings to the organization,” said GWV Board Chair Candace Nelson. “Welcoming Ben and Durand to the board marks an exciting beginning to the year, and we look forward to working with them to amplify our collective efforts in shaping a brighter future for the young people we serve.”

About Generation West Virginia

Generation West Virginia is the statewide organization dedicated to attracting, retaining, and advancing young people in the Mountain State. The organization accomplishes this by connecting young people to jobs and opportunities in the Mountain State; providing accessible programs and educational tools that empower and inspire young leaders; developing and sustaining an activated, diverse network of young people; and identifying and communicating the priorities, motivations, and needs of the next generation of West Virginians. For more information, visit