This week the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) celebrates the integration of two new Business Advisors to the West Virginia HIVE Network initiative started in 2015. Both Ruthana Beezley and Judy Morris-Moore will be serving the twelve county region of southern West Virginia through one-on-one business advisement. Their professional and entrepreneurial experience and training will provide local start-ups, business owners, and future entrepreneurs a personal connection and guide to the business world.
The West Virginia HIVE Network is an initiative of the NRGRDA working to champion the establishment of an entrepreneurial culture in southern West Virginia. One of the ways that vision becomes a reality is to provide current and future entrepreneurs with the technical support and guidance they need to thrive. Support provided by these agents is made possible by funding from Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the One Foundation, and the Claude-Worthington Benedum Foundation. Each partner investment in the long-term prosperity of the region culminates in the NRGRDA’s ability to provide high-level advisory services to students and business owners free of charge. The installation of these Business Advisors allows business owners to take advantage of a state-wide partnership network and resources that rival far more advanced markets. Through these efforts, both Ruthana and Judy endeavor to help build and diversify local markets with new and original ventures that will fuel the future of the region.
Ruthana Beezley, one of the new Business Advisors, grew up in Pocahontas County where she will now be assisting small businesses to find their footing and gain a competitive edge. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Charleston and a Masters of Public Administration from West Virginia University, Ruthana brings her decades of experience and training to the entrepreneurs of southern West Virginia.
Her first-hand knowledge of the high-stakes game business owners play has provided her a unique and engaging approach to advising. She’s worked with businesses on everything from financial analysis to marketing and project management. Each experience and business owner bringing her a more comprehensive of the demands and rewards brought forth by entrepreneurialism. “I’m excited about helping people pursue their passions, to connect businesses with the resources they need to flourish, and to be a part of improving our communities through increased economic opportunity.”
When Ruthana isn’t working with businesses, she’s spending time with her husband and two sons, and nearby extended family. They frequently enjoy the unrivaled natural resources in the region through backpacking, geocaching, or listening to live music.
Judy Moore, another of the HIVE’s new Business Advisors, is a graduate of Nicholas County High School where she began a journey that has led to more than 30 years of managing non-profits, directing nationwide programs, crafting projects, and utilizing grants. Her bachelor’s degree in Digital Design and Visual Communications accompanied by her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications has primed her to guide regional entrepreneurs and businesses through a comprehensive approach that focuses on the unique assets each entrepreneur brings to the economy and works with them to develop those resources into thriving ventures.
After successfully leading the development of many of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium’s national programs for 12 years, Judy was able to multiply the impact of program resources and deliver efficient and effective results to their clients in an innovative structure. This delivery method coupled with her project management experience and communications strength are a few of the resources that she will be delivering to regional entrepreneurs through her business advising practices.
On her time out of the office, Judy enjoys spending time with her family, many of which are residents of Nicholas County. She enjoys traveling and taking in art in its many forms. She expresses that she is “extremely excited about returning to the area and having the opportunity to work with the wonderful residents of central West Virginia to help bring new jobs and revitalization to the state”.
Office: Lewisburg, WV
Office: Summersville, WV