Two individuals from Ripley have accepted invitations to the 2019 Class of Leadership West Virginia.

The statewide education and leadership development program in WV, Leadership West Virginia ( has been around for 28 years. It is an eight-month program that identifies upcoming leaders from a variety of employers throughout the state. The program increases their knowledge not only of the challenges facing the state, but also the state’s unique characteristics and diversity.

Roberta (Bobbi) Ferrell, Jackson County Board of Education and Cam Matheny, Matheny & Company AC, are two of 57 leaders from across the state that will be participating in the 2019 class. Candidates were chosen from a list of nominees submitted in late 2018.

“I am extremely excited about being chosen to participate in Leadership West Virginia 2019. This an amazing opportunity for me to network with people from all around the state,” Ferrell said. “My hope is through that networking and the knowledge I will gain from LWV, I will help bring success to our Jackson County community and our wonderful state.”

“I am honored to have been chosen to participate in a program that brings together so many leaders from around the state of West Virginia. Several of my business colleagues are alumni of the program and say that it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of their professional and personal lives,” Matheny said. “My goal in participating in the program is to gain a deeper understanding of our great state and to grow my professional network in hopes that I can use those to benefit my community.”

LWV, realizing that producing new leadership is importance to West Virginia’s future for both prosperity and progress, works to develop and motivate its members.

“These individuals will use their talents and abilities to inspire others and to foster a new spirit of energy, enthusiasm, and vitality throughout the state,” Pam Farris, Executive Director of Leadership West Virginia stated.

LWV is affiliated with the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“Each year, the class participants are selected from a list of top-quality applicants from around the state. Individuals are selected into the program because they demonstrate leadership skills and experiences in civic activities and in their professional careers,” Farris said. “We continue to see an increase in the number of applicants each year and we are very pleased with the diversity of candidates in the 2019 class.”

Farris noted that interest in being a class member continues to be a very competitive process as the program now has over 1,400 alumni from across the state and graduates from 53 out of 55 counties.

Throughout 2019, members of the class will travel to different West Virginia communities in order to receive broad-based education on critical topics while having opportunities to tune their leadership skills.

“LWV provides graduates with the skills and the knowledge in making sound, informed decisions,” Farris added. “Many of the participants serve as private citizen volunteers, and many seek and serve in public office. Among the many benefits that come with being a graduate of the program is the network of alumni throughout the state. Leadership West Virginia congratulates the individuals who were selected to this year’s class.”