WV Rivers Staff
Angie joined WVRC as the Executive Director in 2012, bringing a background of working in West Virginia on social justice issues in the non-profit sector. Her experience involves policy advocacy, community organizing, coalition building and program administration. Angie has been swimming in rivers and lakes as long as she can remember. She grew up near the Ohio River, where it was and still is unthinkable to swim safely. She now lives along the banks of the Elk River, and enjoys swimming and boating in it and many of West Virginia’s waters. Her motivation for clean water advocacy is personal; she wants to be able to swim in her backyard river. Her motivation is also political; she believes everyone has a right to enjoy clean water and that conservation of our water resources is central to a shared prosperity. Angie holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in Organizational Communication from West Virginia University.
Autumn grew up swimming and fishing in the waters of the Greenbrier River where she gained her love of nature and desire to protect the environment. She obtained a BS in Environmental Protection and a MS in Soil Science from West Virginia University. Her experience as an environmental scientist includes wetland delineations, environmental site assessments, and permitting. Autumn also served as the Environmental Coordinator for an Alaska Native Tribe and later worked for a nonprofit providing technical assistance and training to Tribal environmental programs state-wide. After 5 years in Alaska, she served as the Environmental Director for a Nevada Tribe. Autumn returned home to West Virginia in 2015 and combines the skills she gained while working out-of-state with her love and knowledge of West Virginia to protect the State’s valuable rivers and headwater streams. When not working, Autumn enjoys activities that allow her to spend time outdoors whether its hunting, fishing, hiking or biking.
Jenna fell in love with rivers during her university studies. She spent countless sunrises rowing and studying birds along the James River in Richmond, Virginia. Graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, she holds a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Studies, with a minor in music. She believes that clean water is a human right, and that value guides her work. From an eager Peace Corps Volunteer writing grants for community gardens to conducting water quality monitoring trainings as the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream state coordinator, she has found that community engagement is key. As the Staff Scientist, she will capitalize on these skills to help ensure all West Virginians can drink water from safe sources and recreate in clean rivers and streams. When not working, she can usually be found rock climbing, trail running, biking, playing piano or teaching acroyoga.
Mike joins WV Rivers with multiple experiences in environmental and public lands advocacy. Mike is a West Virginian “by choice” having fallen in love with the beauty of the state and its rivers and public lands. He will be working on public lands advocacy, legislative initiatives to protect public lands, and coordinating the West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance. Mike formerly practiced law; has a Master’s degree from West Virginia University; and is a Ph.D. candidate at WVU writing his dissertation on environmental policy in Appalachia while teaching undergrad classes including environmental policy. Mike is based in Morgantown, where he lives with his wife and their cat. He enjoys hiking along the Mon River (only blocks from his house) and in West Virginia’s public parks and recreation areas.
Prior to joining West Virginia Rivers in 2021, Kate has worked for Philanthropy West Virginia as a Program and Engagement Coordinator, Friends of Blackwater Canyon as an Executive Assistant and Outreach Staffer, and the West Virginia Environmental Council as a lobbyist.
Kate has a Masters Degree from the University of Montana and a Bachelors Degree from Allegheny College, both in Environmental Studies. She will be working on day to day operations and grants to support West Virginia Rivers mission of conserving and restoring West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams.
Heather is a sixth-generation West Virginian and small farm owner from Putnam County. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Sociology from Marshall University where she focused on community and leadership development. During her time at Marshall, Heather led student organizing efforts to “green” the University. Before joining WV Rivers, Heather managed an agricultural business developing high tunnel, apiary and orchard projects. At WV Rivers, Heather is connecting with communities and building collaborations to advocate for clean water and well-being throughout the Ohio River Valley. Outside of work, Heather enjoys hiking, swimming and spending time in her gardens.
Maria was raised on a small farm in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia, where she developed her love for the natural environment and her passion for protecting all things beautiful. Maria attended Brown University, earning Bachelor’s Degrees in both Public Policy and Latin American Studies. Maria is passionate about responsible policymaking and centering directly impacted people in decision-making processes. Early in her career, Maria worked on restorative drug policy and criminal justice campaigns, supporting grassroots organizing efforts in various forms. Across sectors, Maria has led strategic initiatives, managed large-scale projects, facilitated iterative design processes, and effectively engaged stakeholders across various identities. More recently, Maria worked as a Lobbyist with the West Virginia Environmental Council, helping to pass the PFAS Protection Act and other legislation that supports environmental protection in the state of WV. As the Clean Water Campaign Coordinator, Maria hopes to combine policy progress with community engagement to ensure effective participation in shaping the future we hope to see. In her downtime, you can find Maria walking barefoot through the woods at Sistermoon Farm, listening to live music, or floating down the river with friends.
Maggie grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where she was most at home catching frogs and fishing with her grandfathers throughout the region. Now, Maggie calls the New River Gorge home. Maggie brings a decade of communications and fundraising experience to the WV Rivers team. She will manage and develop communications, marketing, and advocacy materials; support fundraising efforts; and work alongside program staff to promote the impact of WVRC’s projects and campaigns. Since 2018, Maggie has raised more than $12 million online alone for progressive movements and causes across the county. In her free time, Maggie enjoys swimming and kayaking in all the exceptional streams, creeks, rivers, and lakes West Virginia offers with her rescue Corgi, Ozzy.
Mariah, a proud West Virginian from Mingo County, is an advocate driven by their passion for making a difference in their beloved home state. They are a 2021 graduate of Marshall University, holding a bachelor’s degree in public relations where they held a role as secretary for The Sustainability Club, which was successful in obtaining a signature from President Gilbert on The Break Free From Plastic Pledge. Prior to their role at WV Rivers, Mariah worked with POWHR (Protect Our Water Heritage Rights) as a Communications Intern and with Coalfield Development as an Americorps service member for Conservation. Having spent their formative years in the heart of West Virginia, Mariah’s commitment to their community and state is unwavering. Their deep connection to the effort to hold the Mountain Valley Pipeline accountable is rooted in personal experiences. Having witnessed the similar tactics employed by both the gas and coal industries, they understand the urgency to protect communities from environmental harms. Mariah currently serves as the MVP Organizer with WV Rivers Coalition.
After growing up in Maryland, Crys soon found herself in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia and never looked back. The moment she dipped her toes in the Shenandoah River, her love for not only the water, but the mountains and the communities that filled them grew exponentially. Within months, she considered herself an “adopted West Virginian” and dove headfirst into the whitewater scene, learning how to be a good paddler, an effective steward of the environment, and a contributing member of the local community. Since then, Crys has “eddyed out” in the small town of Kingwood and continues to work to protect the amazing rivers and streams of West Virginia, as well as every hill and holler in between. Crys’s education, experience, and passion for protecting West Virginia’s natural resources provide a unique asset to the West Virginia Rivers team, helping to foster connections with members and supporters and advance the organizational mission. Crys also serves as the Membership and Fulfillment Secretary of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy since 2022. When Crys isn’t hard at work, you can find her somewhere in the mountains, hard at play, enjoying an adventure with her family, friends, and three dogs (Snoop Dogg, Master P, and Nelly).