Active Southern West Virginia (ActiveSWV), a new non-profit organization operating out of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority offices in Beckley, announces the hiring of Melanie Seiler as its first Executive Director. Melanie will report to the Board of Directors of ActiveSWV and be assisted by the NRGRDA staff

Melanie has been active in the outdoor industry for the last 17 years. A graduate of Fayetteville High School, Melanie earned an AAS degree in Adventure Sports Management from Garrett College, a nationally recognized signature program developing leaders in the adventure sports and recreation industries who also have a strong sense of community service

While working for Songer Whitewater and Adventures on the Gorge, Melanie’s experience included group sales and service, equipment procurement, program development, logistics, training and risk management. Event planning included organizing West Virginia’s first stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) race, one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational sports in the US, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. Melanie is a certified river guide, a PSIA Nordic ski instructor and holds certifications in outdoor emergency care. She is also the West Virginia Director for the American Canoe Association. In her spare time, she volunteers and fundraises for the local 4-H outdoor club in Fayetteville. ” I thoroughly enjoy introducing people to the benefits of health and recreation. The Active Southern West Virginia initiative is very attractive to me because it offers the opportunity to improve residents’ lives in a place of tremendous natural beauty and resources.”

The overall mission of ActiveSWV is to transform southern West Virginia into a physically active community by celebrating an active lifestyle. In partnership with industries, families, schools, government administrators, businesses, and their employees as well as health care professionals, ActiveSWV will advocate for southern West Virginians who deserve an attractive and vibrant place to live where safe opportunities to walk, run, dance, bike, and work out abound. In so doing, the region can diversify its economy and attract new businesses that are looking for a community where living a healthy, active lifestyle is a priority.

ActiveSWV Board Chairman, Bill Massey, added that “Melanie’s experience and energy will be instrumental in implementing our five core priorities: Community Captains, Active Kids, Bike/Walk SWV, Event Training Teams, and ActiveSWV Ambassadors. With the support of the New River Regional Development Authority, ActiveSWV and Melanie have the opportunity to make a difference in our community.”

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