West Virginia Department of Commerce Come Home to WV Essays

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Come Home to WV Essays



My sister, Susan Rainey, is the ultimate spokesmodel for Come Home to West Virginia. Susan worked her way through college paying her own way through the best universities, never complaining about working more than 40 hours per week while at the top of her class and maintaining full time student status. She has lived and worked in many places worldwide impressing people with her knowledge of West Virginia. She has recently returned home, starting her own business and non-profitely raising awareness and funds for children in West Virginia. Susan Rainey is the spokesmodel for Come Home to West Virginia.
~Scarlett Enos, Point Pleasant , WV
(Nominates: Susan Rainey, sister)
Susan Rainey
Marilyn Meade

I have lived in so many places in the US and I always called WV home. I would cry every time I heard Country Roads, Take me home by John Denver. But 20 years ago I moved back home and here I will stay. The mountains make me feel so safe and secure. The people of WV are so friendly and make you feel like family wherever you go in WV. I would rather live here than anywhere else in the world because I know West Virginia is almost heaven and am so glad to be back home again.
~ Marilyn Meade, Huntington, WV
(Nominates: self)

I have known Shirley for about 2 years now. I have just recently been to WV and visited all of her family this past summer. It seemed like everywhere we went she knew someone from years past. Being from Texas, I was never really a WVU fan until I met Shirley. I feel like I could write a report of the states history. I know she would be honored to have this position. She is gold and blue through and through!
~ Ben Smith, Plano, TX
(Nominates: Shirley Brown, family friend)

Shirley Brown
John A. Tampoya

John A. Tampoya, the son of Filipino immigrants, was born in Wheeling in 1956. In the early 1960s, Johns family moved to Morgantown, where he attended St. Francis School. John left to attend college and dental school, moving to California after graduation. However, John always yearned for home. In 1998, John convinced his wife that West Virginia would be a safer place to raise their children. In July 1998, John returned to West Virginia with his family, reacquainting with old friends and making many new ones. Currently, John and his family live in Morgantown, where he owns a fitness business.
~ Jennifer Tampoya, Morgantown, WV
(Nominates: John A. Tampoya, spouse)

As a business owner and ambassador for the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, I travel extensively throughout the U.S. As much as I like to travel, there is nothing that replaces that special feeling in my heart of coming home to West Virginia. I hold West Virginians in the highest regard because they are the kindest, most helpful, moral, empathic and family oriented people I have ever known. Living here, surrounded by the states pristine mountains, green grass, fresh air and watching the seasons change enlightens my soul. I can't imagine living any place else. For me, Life is good in West Virginia.
~ Debra Cunningham, St. Albans, WV
(Nominates: Judy K. Sheppard, friend)
Judy K. Sheppard
Gina Simmons Gina has recently completed a book about Lavalette highlighting history, travel and tourism, culture, commerce, and other positive aspects of WV. She has started a small bus. to assist other WV authors in producing their positive literary works. Gina is a proponent of small business development in the state. She has a BA from Marshall in Geography with Anthropology minor, won 1st place Mrs. Photogenic in 2002 Mrs. WV Pageant and 2nd place overall. Granddaughter of a coal miner, daughter of a retired small bus. owner. She would encourage people to come here for cultural and small business advantages.
~ Greg Barker , Lavalette, WV
(Nominates: Gina Simmons, sister)

I would like to nominate my wife, Natalie Hemann, to be the spokesmodel for Come Home to West Virginia. Natalie would consider it a great honor to represent the state she loves so much. When I asked her to marry me she said she would on one condition - that I never ask her to move. She thinks that West Virginia is the best place to live in the world and can't imagine living anywhere else. She would tell anyone who has moved away to Come home - Its a wonderful life... in West Virginia.
~ Richard Hemann , Kenova, WV
(Nominates: Natalie Hemann, wife)

Natalie Hemann
John Corbett

John Corbett was my immediate thought. John, a musician, TV, and movie personality, was born in Wheeling in 1961. He graduated from Wheeling Central Catholic and continues to visit and support his alma mater. He recently performed a charity concert at Whg Park's White Palace. The Come Home rep will "hit home" and be more effective if known to West Virginians. Residents will less likely relate to a stranger regardless of their message. This is a GREAT and unique idea! Good luck!
~ Laura Johnson, Wheeling, WV
(Nominates: John Corbett)

As a WV native, I love to travel too, but I don't want to call a cold apartment in cement city home. They are void of our mountain vistas, clean air and wonderful people. WV's the whole package! If your business doesn't exist, it's waiting for you to bring it home. If your dream home doesn't exist, it's waiting for you to build it. If your hometown doesn't have your amenities, changes are their waiting on you to deliver them. So what are you waiting for? Come home now, to WV!
~ Craig Hyre, Elkins, WV
(Nominates: self)

Craig Hyre
Shirley Brown I have never met anyone in my life that is more proud or more knowledgeable about their state than my mom. She taught in Harrison County for 35 + years and has touched thousands. She has an entire basement painted gold and blue; with WV carpeting it's a sight to see. She exudes her pride when speaking to others and you can see it in her face. When she visits me in NC, all of my friends say "Wow I had no idea WV has so much to offer". She is beautiful, kind and well spoken and would be ideal.
~ Shannon Mazzier, Raleigh, NC
(Nominates: Shirley Brown, mother)

When this country has stared at the face of adversity in the past, it was always West Virginia that stood out. From the day we split from Virginia to stay a part of the United States during the Civil War, to the strong stable economic shape our state is in during the national financial crisis, West Virginia remains a shining example of American family and strength. West Virginia serves as a leader in the United States for its hard working, family oriented and patriotic residents. Those who have moved away know where home is Come Home to West Virginia.
~ Michael Willis, Hurricane, WV
(Nominates: Emma Willis, daughter)

Emma Willis
Martha C. Stephens We just reunited after 32 years since high school graduation and married each other august 3rd 2008. We haven't seen each other or communicated since 1975. My wife lives in Orlando, Fl and is a West Virginia native. She is a WVU mountaineer fan and goes to every WVU bowl game; her car is blue with a WVU license plate; her golf club head covers are WVU covers; her wallet is a WVU wallet and she uses a WVU cell phone. She vacations in West Virginia. her brother lives in Princeton and now her husband (me) lives in Pt. Pleasant.
~ Samuel Stephens, Point Pleasant, WV
(Nominates: Martha C. Stephens, wife)

West Virginia has and always will be home to me. By staying in West Virginia to obtain my education, I have gone from the halls of the State Capitol in Charleston to the United Nations in New York to the shores of Santande, Spain. Through all of this, though, I have always taken the country roads back to my home in West Virginia. Furthermore, it is because of these experiences that I want to call West Virginia home until the day I die, as the song says, this is the place I belong-and so do many others!
~ Robby Queen, Stollings, WV
(Nominates: self)

Robby Queen
Craig Hyre

My family returned to W.Va. when I was two months old and I've called Elkins home ever since. When my education led me to schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and NY, I experienced nearly a decade of WV jokes as they ran down my heritage. I quickly discovered it was their insecurities projected on us. They had to put us down to feel big. Sad. I turned down numerous lucrative metropolitan professional opportunities to open a practice cold back home and have never looked back. All the bling in the world can't equal life in WV!!!
~ Shelley Hyre, Elkins, WV
(Nominates: Craig Hyre, husband)

My wife, Patricia, was teaching how Pilgrims lived off the land. She raised our Thanksgiving turkey, canned fruit, and froze corn. She even grew the pumpkin for the pie. She'd be a good spokesperson to convince others to move back. She has been practicing for years on our kids. In 1984, she helped build our farmhouse from our own lumber. She slept for a week in a backyard tent this summer with five grandkids, the cat and a chicken named Cousin Lucille. My wife is also a writer. Her book should convince you that this is the best place to raise kids.
~ Larry Syner, Edmond, WV
(Nominates: Patricia Syner, wife)

Patricia Syner
Bill Kimmons

Bill Kimmons is a leader in the Charleston community promoting West Virginia music, radio and performances. He is the MC for the FOOTMAD concert series and active among other community and state activities including Augusta. He is the bass singer in the Bare Bones a cappella trio group and upright bass player for the old time string band Four Pole Creek in Huntington. His Garrison Keillor voice and never-met-a-stranger personality, as well as appearance would serve WV well as their spokesperson. Do not let this one get away.
~ Dennis Bills, Huntington, WV
(Nominates: Bill Kimmons, friend)

The person who should be selected to represent and endorse West Virginia is Jennifer Greer. I am not a native West Virginian but now I consider this place my home and it is because of her. I have never met anyone who was more proud of her mountain home. The person selected for this should be honest and passionate about their cause. This is the case with Jenn. I have heard her reminisce about winning her Golden Horseshoe, traveling the state with her family and even reciting the counties in alphabetical order many times.
~ Mike Greer, Charleston, WV
(Nominates: Jennifer Greer, friend)

Jennifer Greer
Lisa Lazarczyk

Coming home to West Virginia recaptures the peace in your heart in a place where people are uniquely friendly and accepting. If you are native to this beautiful state or lucky enough to have wandered in and stayed, you are treated like family. Life is treasured here in unique towns that provide creative, sports, educational, business and nature cenered opportunities. Parades, picnics and many more time honored traditions are happily a staple of West Virginia life. Take a scenic drive through this beautiful state and you will remember that unique peace which lives here in wild and wonderful West Virginia.
~ John R. Lazarczyk, Shepherdstown, WV
(Nominates: Lisa Lazarczyk, wife)

My wife and I will never retire and move out-of-state, because as she says: "I would rather spend my time with my grandchildren, not on the road to see them." Living near my favorite people in the world means I am able to spend time with them enjoying all the advantages West Virginia has to offer on a daily basis, not just for a visit.
~ Danny Harper, Charleston, WV
(Nominates: Terry Lee Harper, wife)

Terry Lee Harper