OVEC Board Members 2020

Mike Sullivan (board chair) is a retired conductor for CSX railroad. He is a part-time caregiver at Village Caregiving. He serves on OVEC’s executive and membership committees. Mike attended the University of Maryland while serving in the U.S. Army in South Korea. He graduated from Marshall  University with a B.A. in Social Studies.

Steven Perry (vice chair) Steven is a byproduct of I-64 upbringing, having lived, grown and worked in the chemical valley most of his life. With a personal and professional interest in issues relating to social justice and civil rights, Steven was moved to join OVEC after observing firsthand the effects that environmental degradation and mountaintop removal have had on many of the trails, streams and communities he grew up in. Steven holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from Marshall and University of Kentucky respectively. He is employed as a supervisor and therapist for a behavioral health agency, and spends his free time playing music, running and hanging with his dog, Sasha.

Lauren Kemp (treasurer) is the director of programs at Unlimited Future, in Huntington, WV.  She has a Master’s in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Marshall University. She founded and been involved as a key strategist in several local food programs/organizations, including The Wild Ramp, Refresh Appalachia, and New Leaf Cooperative. Today Lauren is leveraging her experience in local food to work on downtown revitalization.

Gina Hart-Smith (secretary) and her husband Mark have been long time members of OVEC and have launched a business, Elevate Elixers, specializing in kombucha. Their business is a representation of their values to put people and the planet first. Gina is also a yoga instructor at Studio 8 in Huntington, WV.

Lyndsay Tarus has lived in the foothills of Appalachia most of her life admiring the beauty and abundance of the region, from east Tennessee to Huntington, WV where she connected with OVEC. She currently lives in Moneta, Va and serves as the Engagement Coordinator of the Alliance for Appalachia, a coalition of social justice organizations which OVEC helped found. When she isn’t fighting for clean water, Lyndsay and her husband, Kyle are fresh roasting coffee with their hobby-turned-business, Sunview Coffee Roasters- though coffee is better with clean water too!

Mikael Huffman was born in Charleston, WV. She obtained her BS in Marine Science Coastal Carolina University, where her leadership roles membership on the student conduct board and building manager of her student union. Via the Sustainability Office she taught first year students about sustainability initiatives on campus. She served as president of the Coastal Elasmobranch Society (Shark Club). She came to WVU to a Masters in Public Administration, and will graduate in May 2019. While at WVU she has served as a legislative intern for the Legislature’s House Health and Human Resources. 

Becky Ellis is a Putnam County native, with long time environmental interests stemming from growing Burley tobacco and vegetable gardening. Becky works as a land title agency representative and auditor, traveling the state on a regular basis, observing the recent changes to our beautiful landscapes. Becky has been volunteering as a stream monitor and is interested in new ways to be of assistance to preserve our hills and streams. 

Mike Forman moved to West Virginia along with his late wife, Laura, in 1992. They joined OVEC in 1993. Laura joined the OVEC staff in 1994, working there until her untimely death in December 2001. Mike is married to Linda Frame, operations manager for the WV Center for Budget & Policy, and a long time WVCAG employee/activist. Linda is currently the President of the WV Environmental Council. Mike retired from the Federal Aviation Administration in 2016 after 32 years as an Air Traffic Controller (including three years in the United States Air Force). Mike is a charter member of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and served as Union President for three different ATC Locals including 7 years+ at Yeager Airport (Charleston) and three years at Tri-State Airport (Huntington). Mike was NATCA’s WV State Legislative Representative for four years and is a federally trained facilitator. Mike is an avid traveler, hiker, and birder.

Will Edwards is has extensive experience in mmanagement training and development. organizational development, and NGO board development. Among his academic degrees, he has an MA in Administration from Marshall University. 

EXPERTISE: Management Training and Development; Organizational Development; Program Development; International Trade; Cultural Training and, NGO Board Development

DEGREES: West Virginia University, Ed. D.: Leadership. Specialization HRD/Psychology; Marshall University, CAGS(EDS): Supervision/Administration. Specialization Career Development; Marshall University, MA: Administration. Minor Sociology; Marshall University, AB: Education. Specialization: Social Science

OTHER EDUCATION: Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University, World Trade Institute, International Trade Specialist Certificate; National West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, post graduate work industrial psychology; West Virginia University, post graduate work technology ed.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING EXPERIENCE (1985-Present): International Education and Training Consultants: a consultancy service which provides training services to various businesses, educational institutions, health care institutions, and government agencies. The consulting jobs include personal development courses including cross cultural training, communications, supervisory management, time management, personal understanding such as brain dominance, personality or behavioral understanding, and leadership skills.

Baleigh Epperly was born and grew up in Charleston, West Virginia. She attends Marshall University and is studying Sociology, Psychology and Studio Art. She is an Ambassador of Social Change at Marshall, and created and leads the first branch of Earth Guardians in West Virginia, a movement geared toward educating and empowering young people to become leaders and activists of environmental change. She spends her summers in Fayetteville, where she enjoys hiking, swimming, kayaking and making nature-inspired art.

Amy Parsons-White is a native West Virginian who is passionate about the people of Appalachia and our environment. She has a Master’s degree in Biological Science from Marshall University and focused her studies on aquatic toxicology. Currently, Amy is the Sustainability Manager at Marshall University. Her work involves creating programs within the university that incorporate environmental conservation with social equity and justice. In her spare time, Amy enjoys hiking, kayaking, and listening to live music with her husband Paul, their two daughters, Isabella and Gillian, and their three dogs.

Kate Lambdin grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She became an environmentalist at a young age. It was clear to her that something was wrong: the local air quality was bad and the Cuyahoga River caught on fire! She moved to a commune outside of Kent Ohio in the late 70s, where she was introduced to organic gardening. Later, she moved up a holler in Lincoln County, WV to escape progress. What she thought would be a brief escape became her life. She has lived off the grid in WV since 1980; she bought her first solar panels in 1984. Kate is a believer in alternative energy and sustainable agriculture. She has been a peripheral activist against mountaintop removal for decades. She has been a long-time member of OVEC and is happy to now be on its board of directors.