State Commerce And Tourism Official Amy Shuler Goodwin Named Grand Groundhog Watcher For Concord University Breakfast

For Immediate Release: 
Jan 15 2016

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,         




ATHENS, W.Va. – West Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin has been named Grand Groundhog Watcher for the 38th Annual Concord University Groundhog Day Breakfast. The gathering, which includes a prediction by famed groundhog weather prophet Concord Charlie, will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 at 8 a.m. in the Pais Fellowship Hall in University Point on the Athens campus.

The Grand Groundhog Watcher honor is bestowed on an individual who has positively impacted life and culture in West Virginia.

Goodwin was appointed to her current post in June 2014. Highlights of her work in the position include launching #GoToWV, which now spans across multiple social media platforms and has generated hundreds of thousands of new followers each month. She also unveiled Wild, Wonderful West Virginia’s “Real.” campaign, which is aimed at promoting the real stories and real life experiences of people living in or just passing through the Mountain State.

Prior to serving in her current position, Goodwin served as the Communications Director and chief spokesperson for Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. She previously served as the spokeswoman for Governor Bob Wise, and has served as the chief spokesperson for presidential candidates, congressmen and mayors during her career.

Goodwin has owned and managed a public relations firm whose clients included Fortune 500 companies among other major businesses, organizations and institutions. She is a former anchor and reporter for television stations in Charleston, W.Va. and Wheeling, W.Va. and has taught public relations courses on the university level.

Goodwin graduated from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor in political science. During her time at West Virginia University, she served as Vice President of the student body.

A native of Wheeling, W.Va., she currently lives in Charleston.

Goodwin will address the Groundhog Day Breakfast audience sharing the spotlight with Concord Charlie. Charlie has a standing appointment with the University’s President each year to offer his predictions and insights on the duration of winter. The President relays the forecast to the breakfast guests.

According to Groundhog Day tradition, if the groundhog sees his shadow the morning of Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter can be expected. An early spring will be on the way if he doesn’t see his shadow.

The Concord Charlie tradition was originated in 1978 by the late Professor R.T. “Tom” Hill. As chairman of both the geography department and the Appalachian Studies program at Concord, Hill started the Groundhog Day Breakfast as a means to celebrate a bit of Appalachian heritage and highlight the program.

Cost per person for this year’s breakfast is $12 in advance for current members of the Concord University Alumni Association and $12 in advance for Concord faculty, staff and students. Cost to attend the breakfast is $13 in advance for all others. All tickets at the door are $15.

Advance reservations must be made by Tuesday, Jan. 26.  Reservations are requested and may be made online at  (click on the Groundhog Day Breakfast billboard), by emailing or calling 304-384-6311.

For additional information about the breakfast including payment options contact the Concord University Office of Advancement at 304-384-6311 or


 A photograph of Amy Shuler Goodwin, a Concord Charlie logo and a list of Grand Groundhog Watchers are also part of this press release and are attached below.

Amy Shuler Goodwin

West Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and

Commissioner of Tourism


Concord Charlie




2016, Ms. Amy Shuler Goodwin

West Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Tourism

2015, Coach Garin Justice

Former Head Football Coach, Concord University

2014, Mr. Greg Puckett

Advocate for youth, community servant, Concord alumnus

2013, Ms. Lou Stoker

Volunteer, playwright, actress, community leader

2012, Mr. Pete Ballard

Artist, educator, Concord alumnus

2011, Mr. Scott A. Martin

Film industry personality – actor, director, producer, started Sorry Dog Productions in 1998

2010, Ms. Beverly Wellman

Executive Director, Retired, Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau

2009, Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, USAF (Ret.)

United States Air Force General (Retired); Executive Director, Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation (ALEF)

2008, Mr. Everett Lilly (deceased)

West Virginia bluegrass artist and inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Honor

2007, Ms. Barbara Hawkins (deceased)

Political correspondent, columnist, investigative reporter

2006, Ms. Kate Long

Writer, bluegrass musician

2005, Mr. Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient

2004, Dr. Ancella Bickley

West Virginian and African American educator, historian and author

2003, Dr. Jay Banks

Retired physician and author, lives in Union, W.Va., with his wife, “Marty”

2002, Dr. J. Douglas Machesney

Concord’s Vice President for Development from 1986 through 2002

2001, Mr. Andy Ridenour, Mr. Larry Groce

Ridenour is originally from Washington, D.C.; Groce is originally from Texas; and both were with West Virginia Public Radio

2000, Mr. Andrew Paterno

President and Chief Executive Officer of Acordia Mid-Atlantic, a Concord alumnus and Kanawha County native

1999, Mr. Jerry Jarrell

Retired Director of the National Hurricane Center, a Concord alumnus and Raleigh County native

1998, Recent Concord Retirees

Harold Bailey, John Seago, Paul Morgan (deceased), Bill Ryan, Bill Wells, Beryle Santon (deceased), Violet Martin (deceased), Kevin O’Sullivan (deceased), Ed Lowe, Dale Geiger, Carl Chapman, Shelva Rarick, Bernard Kiernan (deceased), Karl Fezer, Kenneth Baker (deceased)

1997, Dr. J. Elliott Blaydes, Jr. (deceased)

Retired Bluefield eye specialist and philanthropist

1996, Mr. Frankie Ferrante (deceased)

Owned Mercer County restaurant, Frankie’s La Salute, and was an active civic and community leader

1995, Mr. Thomas Conlin

Former West Virginia Symphony Artistic Director and Conductor

1994, Ms. Denise Giardina

McDowell County native, successful novelist focusing on the vibrant culture of the coalfields

1993, Ms. Katharine Tierney (deceased)

Bluefield civic leader and longtime friend of Concord

1992, Ms. Jean Battlo

Published poet and playwright from McDowell County

1991, Ms. Nelrose Richards Price (deceased)

Retired Registrar of Concord, 41 years of service

1990, Dr. James Bailey (deceased)

Co-founder of Veterinary Associates of Princeton and a Mercer County civic leader

1989, Reverend Harry Christie (deceased)

Former pastor of Princeton Presbyterian Church

1988, Mr. R. T. Hill (deceased)

Father of the Concord Groundhog Day Breakfast and former Professor of Geography at Concord

1987, Mr. Edward J. Cabbell

Appalachian scholar, founder of the John Henry Foundation

1986, Mr. Ken Hechler

Former W.Va. Secretary of State and former Congressman

1985, George A. Daugherty

“The Earl of Elkview,” a prominent Charleston attorney

1984, Dr. Charles Kenneth Sullivan

Executive Director of the West Virginia Humanities Council

1983, Mr. James Dent (deceased)

Humor columnist and cartoonist for The Charleston Gazette

1982, Mr. Don West (deceased)

Director of the Appalachian South Folklife Center, Pipestem, W.Va.

1981, Dr. E. Meade McNeill (deceased)

Professor of Biology at Concord

1980, Mr. Shirley Donnelly (deceased)

Historian and columnist for Beckley Newspapers, Inc.

1979, Mr. Jim Comstock (deceased)

Editor of The West Virginia Hillbilly

1978, Mr. A. James Manchin (deceased)

Former Secretary of State and State Treasurer of West Virginia




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.