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Appalachian Forest Heritage Area

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Appalachian Forest Heritage Area

Annual Members/Stakeholder Meeting

Friday, March 16th
9:30 to 4:00

Hosted by Eastern WV Community & Technical College
at the WV Armory National Guard

157 Freedom Way
Moorefield, WV


9:30 am to 11:30 am Self-guided tour exploring Potomac Highlands sites.
                                        Thematic sites to tour on-your-own on your way to or in Moorefield
                                            Sites to visit and directions will be posted on website prior to meeting.
11:30 Gather at the Armory to discuss and share the sites you visited
12:00 Lunch
12:30 AFHA Intro and Annual Meeting
12:45 Keynote “National Heritage Areas and the Future of AFHA” Alan Spears, NPCA
1:15 Tourism Products Panel Discussion
                                Doug Arbogast- WVU Extension Tourism Specialist - moderator
                                Kristina Joyce – Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College
                                                                and the Hatfield McCoys Trail
                                Pamela Curtin – Clio
                                Danielle Buffa - AFHA Thematic Tourmaps
                                Ethan Serr, Ryan Runions – Potomac Highlands Tourism Development
2:30 Break and Informal Discussion
2:45 AFHA AmeriCorps presentations -- How we are Getting Things Done

For a printable PDF of the event brochure (below) click HERE.

2018 spring meet brochure
2018 Spring Meet Brochure Page2


Detailed Information On People Appearing
at the 2018 AFHA Spring Meeting


Alan Spears, National Parks Conservation Association

Alan Spears is the Director of Cultural Resources in the Government Affairs department of the National Parks Conservation Association. He serves as NPCA's resident historian and cultural resources expert. Alan is the only staff person to ever be rescued from a tidal marsh by a Park Police helicopter.
Alan worked for NPCA’s Enhancing Cultural Diversity program managing the National Parks Community Partners program from 1999 to 2003. This initiative was designed to connect national parks in Boston, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco more closely to racially and ethnically diverse constituents. The Community Partners created a ground-breaking youth employment program, a guide to understanding the National Park Service hiring process, and launched a volunteer service initiative in northeast Washington, DC, which ultimately grew into a highly successful friends group.
Alan Spears
After joining the Government Affairs department Alan gained introduction and passage of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Funding Re-authorization Act of 2008. More recently, as a part of the Government Affairs department, Alan has led, co-led, or supported five successful national monument campaigns including Fort Monroe, Harriet Tubman, Charles Young, and Pullman. Alan is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC, and his writing has appeared in the Civil War Times Illustrated and National Parks magazine.


Doug Arbogast, WVU Extension Service, Extension Specialist

Doug Arbogast is Rural Tourism Specialist at West Virginia University in the Community, Economic & Workforce Development (CEWD) unit of Extension Service. He is responsible for developing and delivering rural tourism development services and in doing so works collaboratively with the team of Extension professionals to promote sustainable development of tourism businesses in West Virginia. Duties entail development of proactive applied research, teaching, and service programs in tourism development including significance of rural tourism, planning and managing rural tourism, rural tourism business opportunities, marketing, and economics of tourism. His passion for developing, supporting, and promoting sustainable tourism in Appalachia comes from a decade of travel through Appalachia’s small towns and natural areas as a river guide on Central Appalachian rivers. Doug Arbogast
Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental geo-Science and a Masters of Science degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources both from West Virginia University. He lives in Morgantown, West Virginia with his wife and two children, Abby and Will.

Kristina Joyce
Kristina Joyce is currently the Program Administrator for the Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center. The Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center provides technical assistance and training to ensure that new and existing small businesses and entrepreneurs are being provided the highest level of service to optimize their success rates in southern West Virginia.
In 2016 the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority was approved for a three-year Appalachian Regional Commission Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (ARC POWER) Initiative Grant for its Southern Coalfields Sustainable Tourism & Entrepreneurship Program. Kristina is working on this program with a goal of the expansion of tourism activity in southern West Virginia and the long-term self-sustainability of an entrepreneurial training and business coaching program to support new and existing tourism-related businesses.
Kristina is also CEO, for KJoyce Enterprises, LLC – A consulting firm that provides professional advice, training and deliverables in the areas of business development, project planning, strategic execution and entrepreneurship for private, public and academic organizations. With over 30 years of expertise in entrepreneurship, business analysis and economic development, Kristina has founded various ventures that include manufacturing, advertising, business coaching and creative arts. From 2009 through 2017, Kristina was the state director of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an agency within the West Virginia Department of Commerce. Kristina has designed entrepreneurship curricula and training programs for Michigan State University, West Virginia University, West Virginia State University, and the University of Charleston. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts. She holds a Master’s business degree in Organizational Leadership, two undergraduate degrees, has completed professional graduate studies from Harvard Extension and earned a Certified Training Certificate from the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative.

Pamela Curtin
Pamela Curtin is a PreserveWV AmeriCorps member with Clio and a graduate of history programs at West Virginia University and Saint Vincent College. Clio is a free, nonprofit website and mobile app <> developed by Marshall University that connects the public to nearby history.

Danielle Buffa
Danielle Buffa is an AFHA AmeriCorps member serving directly with Appalachian Forest Heritage Area on tour map development. Her service involves identifying, gathering information, and GIS mapping of sites across our 18 county area to develop thematic tour maps. Dani has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, and a MS in Osteoarchaeology from the University of Sheffield, England. She has experience in zooarchaeology lab work as well as archival and interpretation work in museums. And she makes maps!

Ethan Serr
Ethan Serr is an AFHA Americorps member serving with the Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College to develop regional tourism in the Potomac Highlands. Ethan organized the first annual Regional Tourism Summit for the Potomac Highlands on August 23rd, 2017. The event brought in over 100 different tourism businesses for presentations and discussions on how collaboration can be a stronger force for development in the region. He has also organized several smaller meetings and was invited by the WV Tourism Office to moderate a discussion for the Potomac Highlands at the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism. He has followed up on these meetings by building bridges between communities and formulating thematic trails that will better promote the region. He’s proud to be on an expanding team of AmeriCorps with Ryan Runions and Sara Volkmann. Prior to his service in AmeriCorps, Ethan received a BA in History from Binghamton University and worked as the Executive Director of the Shippensburg Historical Society in Shippensburg, PA.

Ryan Runions
Ryan Runions is an AFHA AmeriCorps member serving with Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Eastern has identified tourism and agriculture is an essential component in the economic development of the area. Ryan is currently serving the Potomac Highlands by working on the mapping of existing outdoor and heritage related tourism assets. He is a native of Moorefield, West Virginia and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from Southern New Hampshire University.

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