Board of Directors
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care
Dr. Renate Pore is the Director of Health Care Policy for West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and former Director of the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families. She has more than 30 years experience in health administration and policy. She helped to create and establish the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and served as a policy analyst on health care and early childhood issues. She has a PhD in history from West Virginia University and a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Renate was a Fulbright scholar in Germany where she did research on the social democratic women’s movement. She has published two scholarly books and written extensively on a variety of topics in health care and early childhood.
National Consumer Law Center
Margot Saunders is currently “of counsel” to the National Consumer Law Center, after serving as Managing Attorney of the Center’s Washington office from 1991 to 2005. Margot has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions regarding a wide range of consumer law matters, including predatory lending, payments law, electronic commerce, and other financial credit issues. She is a co-author of NCLC’s Consumer Banking and Payments Law and a contributor to numerous other manuals. Margot currently regularly serves as an expert witness in consumer credit cases, providing opinions on predatory lending, electronic benefits, servicing and credit math issues. Prior to joining NCLC she was the consumer law specialist for North Carolina Legal Services. In 1991, Margot was the second recipient of the Vern Countryman Award. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and the University of North Carolina School of Law.
West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families
Jennifer Thacker is the Executive Director for the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families (WVASF). Ms. Thacker graduated from Concord College with a BA in Psychology. She is a licensed social worker and has over seventeen years of experience working in the non-profit industry. Ms. Thacker received her Executive MBA from Marshall University May 2011.
West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council
David Efaw is the Secretary-Treasurer for the West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council. He served six years as a Business Manager, six years Chairman of the Executive Board and 15 years on the Contract Negotiating Committee for IBEW Local 466 in Charleston, WV. Currently he serves as trustee on the IBEW 466 Pension Fund and as a board member of the West Virginia Public Port Authority.
Director of Public Administration and Associate Professor of Political Science, Marshall University
Marybeth Beller serves as the Director of Public Administration and Associate Professor of Political Science at Marshall University. She also directs the graduate internship program for the West Virginia Legislature. A native West Virginian, Marybeth earned a BA from WV State University, an MA from Marshall University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, where she specialized in Public Policy and American Political Institutions. Her courses include Public Opinion and Propaganda; Data Analysis; Urban Administration and First Year Seminar. Marybeth also serves on the board of the ACLU and Odyssey Fellowship Committee of the University Honors Program at Virginia Tech University. Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall University, Marybeth served as a program administrator for senior nutrition services in Boone, Fayette, Clay, Kanawha and Putnam Counties.
Government Relations, Business Development for Mountain View Solar
John Christensen serves as Government Relations Representative for Mountain View Solar in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. He is also Vice President of the Eastern Panhandle Labor Council and hosts the “Labor Beat” Radio Show from Shepherdstown, WV. He serves on both the Berkeley County Economic Development Authority and the Solid Waste Authority.
West Virginia University Extension Service
Daniel Eades is rural economics specialist for West Virginia University Extension’s Community, Economic, and Workforce Development (CEWD) unit. His technical expertise in community data analysis and economic impact analysis provides communities and local leaders with information necessary to make informed economic development decisions. Prior to joining the WVU Extension Service in 2010, Eades worked as a research associate in Clemson University’s EDA University Center and Regional Economic Development Research Laboratory conducting and supporting input-output analyses and industry cluster initiatives throughout South Carolina. His teaching, research, and outreach activities cover a breadth of regional and community economic development issues important to rural West Virginians.
Service Employees International Union District 1199
Joyce Gibson is the Director of West Virginia/Kentucky Health Care Division of Service Employees International Union District 1199, which represents more than 35,000 health care, social service, and public sector workers across Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. District 1199 is a part of the Service Employees International Union, whose 2 million members make it the largest union of health care workers and the fastest growing union in the world.
Partnership of African American Churches
Rev. James L. Patterson is an ordained elder and senior pastor of Institute Church of the Nazarene Institute, West Virginia. He also is a founder and current president of the Partnership for African American Churches Institute (PAAC), a West Virginia nonprofit, whose mission is to work with its 21 congregational communities to empower communities of color. Rev. Patterson holds an M.A. degree in sociology from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia; and a master’s of community change and conservation degree from Future Generations School of Graduate Studies in Franklin, West Virginia.
West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition
Jennifer Wells is the schools organizer with West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. She holds a Masters of Social Work from West Virginia University with a concentration in community organizing and social administration. With over ten years of experience, Jennifer has worked in child welfare, juvenile justice and Medicaid Disabled Waiver programming. She currently serves as the Western Regional Representative on the WV Chapter of National Association of Social Workers Board, is on the WV Free Action Fund Board and is active with Huntington Women’s Caucus and League of Women Voters. Originally from New Orleans, she is proud to call the Mountain State her home with her lovely husband, David.
American Friends Service Committee
Rick Wilson is the Director of the West Virginia Economic Justice Project for the American Friends Service Committee. He is a regular contributor to the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s editorial page as well as to WVCBP reports and issue briefs. Rick serves on multiple progressive coalitions across West Virginia. He resides in Milton, West Virginia.