Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312, news@concord.edu

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405

October 26, 2021


Sponsors include United Bank, AARP-West Virginia, Appalachian Power, Marshall Health, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia Executive Magazine and Marshall University Research Corporation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –  The Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern West Virginia, the West Virginia Community Development Hub and Coalfield Development have teamed up once again to shine a spotlight on West Virginia, by hosting the Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference. This annual event showcases successful projects and highlights West Virginia change makers. It will be held virtually from Monday, Nov. 15, to Thursday, Nov. 18. Tickets are priced at $25 per attendee and can be purchased at www.wvsolutions.net.

The alliance’s operations council chair is Sara Payne Scarbro.

“With a sold-out crowd each year and overwhelmingly positive feedback from our attendees, we are building an unbelievable agenda with 60+ national and state speakers, with different themes for each day: our economy, our health, our education and our communities,” Scarbro said.  “It is truly a great venue to learn about West Virginia and to see our opportunities moving forward.”

The main goal for the event is to work towards a better, brighter West Virginia, ensuring the state reaches its top potential. To do so, a mix of community leaders, educators, businesses and public officials come together to network, share ideas and celebrate what is working well in the Mountain State.

Brandon Dennison is founder and CEO of Coalfield Development, one of the hosts of the conference.

“The metrics speak for themselves,” Dennison said. “In just three years, 50 sessions have been hosted with nearly 100 speakers and more than 1,100 West Virginians have participated and been celebrated. We are linking together those passionate about our state, and we are developing important new connections, projects and recommendations.”

“The can-do spirit is alive and well in West Virginia,” said Dan Fitzpatrick, a member of the Alliance Operations Council and a VP at Concord University. “We come together annually to learn from each other and to celebrate our successes at the Big Solutions Conference. Year after year, we see living proof that our state is getting better at addressing real challenges and eliminating barriers to change.”

Fitzpatrick added, “It is a refreshing reminder of what’s possible.”

The team behind the Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference is also looking forward to announcing this year’s recipients of the Power of Performance award recipients, created to highlight those who are driving forward success in southern West Virginia.

Katie Loudin is the director of strategic development with the West Virginia Community Development Hub.

“Since its start in 2018, many individuals, employers, nonprofits, organizations, and institutions have been recognized for their remarkable work in southern West Virginia,” Loudin said. “The Power of Performance awards embody the West Virginia spirit of grit, compassion and service. We sincerely thank our loyal sponsors for supporting this wonderful collaborative effort to celebrate the successful individuals, organizations and projects in West Virginia.”

Previous award winners can also be viewed on the conference website. Sponsors include United Bank, AARP-West Virginia, Appalachian Power, Marshall Health, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia Executive Magazine and the Marshall University Research Corporation.

The first 100 individuals who register will get a free #WVSolutions T-Shirt. More information on the Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference and tickets are available at www.wvsolutions.net.

Please note that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and Concord’s adherence to CDC guidelines
 could impact how and if events are held. For the most up-to-date information, always check

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086, if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

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