Book An Individual Assistance Appointment
Looking for guidance on how to tap into grants and tax credits your next big project? Do you need help accessing funding for staff training? Or, are you looking to expand your markets? We know you can’t always get the help you need in large meetings, so we’ve assembled three all-star teams to help get you the individualized assistance you need.
Schedule an appointment with our teams of industry experts to get down to the details – specific to your destination or organization’s needs. Explore the available topics below, and book your appointments today. Act fast because spaces are expected to fill up! If the type of appointment you’re interested in is full, click here to join the waiting list.
West Virginia has some of the country’s best tax credits, grants, and technical assistance, but we know it’s not always easy to navigate those programs.
Let team members from the WV Department of Economic Development and Partner Community Capital share insight on which programs might work best for you. This team of economic development professionals will make sure you leave with the tools needed to get started applying for assistance.
Work Force Training
Our state is on its way to becoming a national leader for hospitality work force training programs with a range of new funding and assistance programs available for tourism industry professionals.
By sitting down with the team from the Department of Economic Development and Department of Education, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your organization’s workforce needs and learn about the specific assistance programs available to you and your employees.
New Market Connectivity
Ready to start expanding your markets? We’ve got just the experts to help. We are fortunate to have both Nate Huff, SVP Tourism Exchange USA, and Liz Bittner, President & CEO of Travel South on site to educate partners about a revolutionary new tool — the Tourism Exchange.
It’s a one-stop exchange for suppliers (accommodations, tours, attractions, and outfitters) to manage live availability, pricing, and booking across multiple distribution channels, including international.
Meet the Experts
Economic Development Team
Meghan Smith joined the West Virginia Department of Economic Development (WVDED) during the fall of 2019. As a member of the Business and Industrial Development Team at the WVDED, she focuses on bringing new investment and job opportunities into the State of West Virginia. Her role also involves the management of the Tourism Development Act tax credit program, working alongside the West Virginia Department of Tourism’s Destination Development Team.
Prior to her current role, she worked in external communications for the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council and was also a member of the West Virginia Department of Tourism’s Public Relations Team. She is a lifelong West Virginian and a proud graduate of West Virginia University. Meghan is grateful to promote both tourism and industrial development in her role with the WVDED. Meghan lives in Charleston with her husband, Nathan, and their 2 cats, Mango and Goldie, and dog, Porter.
Kristen Beverage is the WV Recreation Economies Manager for Partner Community Capital. Kristen is a local to the small mountain town of Marlinton, WV and takes pride in the beautiful assets that the Monongahela National Forest has to offer.
Prior to her position with the PCAP, Kristen was a Business Advisor with the WV Women’s Business Center. In January of 2023 she traveled to Delhi, India to complete her graduate degree of Master of Arts in Applied Community Development from Future Generations University. Until 2021, Kristen was the Executive Director of the Snowshoe Foundation and is an active member of Rotary International. She also has an extensive background in Recreation and Trail Development from her work with the US Forest Service earlier in her career. She received her undergraduate degree in Finance from West Virginia University.
Timothy Elliott is currently a Manager for the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Career Technical Education and National SkillsUSA Board of directors member. Before joining the West Virginia Department of Education, Tim worked in Lincoln County School Systems for 9 years. For seven of those years Tim was the electronics, robotics, computer repair, and Project Lead The Way Computer Science instructor. During that time his students earned over 40 gold medals in SkillsUSA West Virginia competitions and brought home a long list of awards.
Work Force Training Team
David Rogers joined the WV Department of Economic Development as a Senior Manager for Workforce and Industry Training, in September of 2019. Rogers manages the Governor’s Guaranteed Workforce Program and is program officer for the U.S. Dept. of Labor SAEF (State Apprenticeship Expansion Formula) grant and helps administer the Tourism Works training grant. Previously he worked for nearly 21 years for Mission West Virginia, Inc., a statewide nonprofit started in 1997 by then-Governor Cecil H. Underwood. His work there focused on technology and computer literacy and he served as executive director for the last four years before leaving to begin consulting and grant writing. David earned his Masters of Business Administration from Marshall University in 1998 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Kentucky in 1989. In a former life, he was a newspaper reporter in Connecticut, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Nick Nunnery is the Apprenticeship Program Coordinator for the WV Office of Economic Development since the fall of 2022. Born and reared in the Upper Kanawha Valley of Fayette County and graduate of West Virginia University of Technology in 2005, Nick Nunnery learned a sense of community and willingness to serve communities from his parents and community members, through workforce development and training in the Coalfields of the Upper Kanawha Valley. After seeing many of friends and family having to give up their careers and livelihoods due to the decline of coal and industries, he decided to go into Economic Development to help upskill and educate the labor force through state and federal grant assistance. For over five years he has dedicated his career to help companies, located in the state, upskill and educate their labor force to enhance individual’s skills and salaries.
A current Board Member of the Metro Valley Society he encourages professional development, networking, and helping transplant West Virginians learn and enjoy the history, heritage, and culture of the Mountain State. As the Co-Chair for the WV State Workforce Career Pathways Committee he is dedicated to the advancement of apprenticeships for the Youth of West Virginia.
He currently lives in Charleston with his Showline German Shepherd, Sam and his ball pythons, Crowley, Castiel, and Lillyth.
New Market Connectivity Team
Nate Huff is the Senior Vice President of Tourism Exchange USA, a Miles Partnership company. Nate has spent the last 15 years working with destinations and travel partners to craft brands and develop digital content and media strategies that generate measurable results. He has extensive experience working with clients like Brand USA, San Francisco Travel, Discover Puerto Rico, and Visit California. He is currently heading up Tourism Exchange USA, a global product development and distribution platform for DMOs and travel businesses that are being launched nationwide in collaboration with Brand USA and Travel South. When not traveling for work or fun, Nate spends his time playing competitive wiffle ball, racing old Japanese sports cars, and watching his two daughters dance.
Liz Bittner serves as President & Chief Executive Officer for Travel South USA, a 12-state regional marketing alliance owned by the state tourism offices of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. At the helm of the oldest, largest regional alliances in the United States, Liz manages advertising and marketing programs in the USA, Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Oceania to ensure tourism is a vital and dynamic element in the region’s economic development. Travel South USA is a premier partner of Brand USA and Tourism Exchange USA.
Her background includes serving as Executive Vice President of Group Leaders of America, Inc and Cendant Corporation, now Wyndham Worldwide, the largest franchisor of lodging brands, rental car companies, and transaction processing services, and she began her career with Choice Hotels. She is a member of the U.S. Travel Industry Board of Directors and Beautiful Places of South Carolina. She manages the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marketing Alliance, LLC. Liz graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Organizational Communications/Marketing and resides in Atlanta with her husband, John, always happy to brag about her adult children.