Serving Nonprofits. Strengthening West Virginia.

2022 Leadership Summit – Speakers

Becky Mathis-Stump
Owner
Ethos Leadership Group

Becky joined Ethos in 2009 after leading the daily operations of five distinct work teams over a ten-year period. An analyst and solution-generator by nature, she works with clients to identify their needs and develops a plan of action to reach their desired results. Having worked in numerous disciplines in her career, Becky brings a broad range of knowledge and experience to our clients. Becky particularly enjoys working with clients on organizational audits, strategic planning, employee training and coaching, and governance.


David Ray
Owner
Ethos Leadership Group

In 2017, David joined Ethos after leading and advising in the non-profit sector. An organizational troubleshooter and natural synergist, David leverages his analytical and relational skills to help clients take their business and team to their desired next level. With a passion to see others live and lead well, David enjoys connecting leaders to evidence-based practices to boost leadership capacity, build human capital, and improve organizational performance. David particularly enjoys working with clients through strategic planning, executive coaching, and team development.


Danielle Walker
WV House of Delegates

Delegate Danielle Walker has devoted her life to service, family, community and advocacy. Danielle has represented District 51 (Monongalia County) in the WV House of Delegates since her election in 2018. Due to the redistricting which split District 51 into 5 separate districts, Danielle is running for reelection in District 81 (Morgantown).  
As a single working mother who has raised two proud sons, Danielle knows first hand the struggles of too many of West Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens and how unjust and ineffective too many of our government’s policies are. 
Danielle and her family settled in Morgantown after a move from Louisiana to Monongalia County in 2010 for work in the oil and gas industry. Danielle soon also helped her mother also resettle in Morgantown. During Danielle’s early Morgantown years, a series of crises led to Danielle finding herself moving from being a divorced mom but co-parenting living in a gated community in Cheat Lake to being a single working mom living in subsidized housing in Marjorie Gardens. To survive and to offer other struggling families a hand up, not a hand out, Danielle got busy organizing her neighbors to carpool to food banks and helping them learn to use the resources available. Through Habitat for Humanity, both Danielle and her mom each became homeowners after contributing many hours of labor helping to build their homes. Years later, Danielle has continued to volunteer in numerous ways for Habitat for Humanity, helping many other families achieve the necessity of safe and affordable housing and the dream of home ownership. 
After the shocking tragedy in Charlottesville in 2017, Danielle felt called to do more to fight for justice, so she could help make the world a safer and better place for her sons and all children. Danielle went to every meeting, every demonstration, and every action she could to speak out for justice and human decency and to do her part to make progress in our community and our world. Her inspiring and impassioned speeches and her profound commitment to progress caught the notice of local grassroots activists, who encouraged Danielle to run for office. 
Danielle’s first (and successful) campaign for House of Delegates in 2018 was marked by her incredible energy for making connections with our neighbors. If there was an event, Danielle was probably there. If there was a cause, Danielle was probably contributing. If there was a need, Danielle was probably trying to meet it. 
In 2021, Danielle’s eldest son, Demetry, lost his brief, tragic battle with leukemia, shattering Danielle and leaving a huge hole in their small, close family and their large, loving circle of friends. Demetry’s generous and determined spirit lives on in both the important work he left behind and the love he shared with so many beloved friends and family. Danielle and other loved ones continue the work Demetry had only just begun by organizing blood drives which have already raised hundreds of precious units of blood products (as blood products were critical to Demetry’s short battle with leukemia) and raising funds for a nursing scholarship fund (as Demetry was just finishing his nursing degree when he passed away).  
Danielle’s service as a Delegate has been marked by that same commitment to bring people together, same gift for inspiring others, and same passion for solving problems and serving the vulnerable. Danielle is fully committed to continuing to use her seat in the House of Delegates to effectively advocate for justice, opportunity, equality and compassion. 


Taylor Johnson, CFRE
Social Impact Strategist
EPIC Mission

Before joining EPIC in 2020, Taylor was a development officer for the University of Florida Foundation for four years during which she raised about $2M for scholarships and special projects to enhance the educational
experience for college students. Her graduate work was focused on program evaluation for youth leadership development programs. She currently serves as the Secretary for the Board of Directors for 127 Worldwide and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Family, Youth, & Community Sciences department at the University of Florida.
She is dedicated to high quality programs and solutions because she believes deeply in the intrinsic worth of those being served. She is compelled in her work to pursue communities that our more inclusive and uplifting of all its members.


Kimberly McLain
Social Impact Strategist
EPIC Mission

Prior to joining the EPIC team, Kimberly served as the Community and Donor Relations Director for a smalltown Florida non-profit for 2.5 years. Known for being a one-stop-shop for community resources, Lake Wales Care Center serves the low-income community of Lake Wales through Emergency Services, Transitional Housing, Literacy Programs, and other critical solutions.
She began her journey with EPIC in 2020 and has played a role in many strategic planning projects for organizations such as The CornerStone Initiative and Araminta Freedom Initiative. She is dedicated to organizations that want to make a positive change in the world and renew hope in the hearts of those in their communities.


Kiersten Hill
Director of Nonprofit Solutions, Firespring

Kiersten Hill, is a Nebraska-native born and raised in North Platte. She graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. With almost two decades in nonprofit management and fundraising, she has raised over $20 million for Nebraska nonprofit organizations and worked to better train and equip nonprofit leaders and boards of directors.


Olivia McConnell
Community Coaching Associate, WV Community Development Hub

Olivia McConnell is a West Virginia native, born in Kingwood and raised in Morgantown. A WVU graduate, she earned her Bachelor’s in Geography, and is curious about people and how the places they come from shape their experiences. After graduation, she spent time in Vermont working as a Farm Apprentice Instructor with The Putney School and then completed a year of AmeriCorps VISTA service focused on coalition building with The Alliance to End Hunger in Washington, DC. Returning home to the mountain state in 2020, Olivia committed to a second VISTA term as the Hub Communities of Achievement Program (HubCAP) Community Engagement Coordinator and VISTA Leader, and has since then moved into a Hub staff role as a Community Coaching Associate. Her work currently supports the Downtown Appalachia: Revitalizing Recreational Economies (DARRE) program, HubCAP, and Hub VISTA program.  She is driven by the vision of an equitable future where all West Virginians can thrive. In her free time, Olivia enjoys gardening, cooking, and sharing meals with others.


Erin Susman
AmeriCorps VISTA Program Coordinator, WV Community Development Hub

Erin McGrath Susman grew up a New Englander, but is a proud Mountain State transplant, calling the Charleston area home since 2018. She cultivated a love for community and service at a young age through involvement with the YMCA of Greater Hartford, which afforded her experiences she still attributes as foundational to who she is today. Erin joined AmeriCorps as a VISTA member after earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, with a minor in Global Education Studies, at New York University. She served with Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County, under the sponsorship of United Way of Central West Virginia from 2018 – 2019. During her year of service, she discovered her love for National Service, sustainability, and capacity building. After service, she joined the team at WV Community Development Hub, where she has served as the Operations and VISTA Program Coordinator since late 2019 and considers it the privilege of a lifetime to have a role where she uses the skills, she gained in AmeriCorps to advance our state, while simultaneously supporting others on their National Service journey. Erin holds a Master’s in Public Administration, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Marshall University. She enjoys her spare time by baking sourdough bread, creating visual art pieces, cycling, and traveling with her husband.


Alice Ruhnke
President
GrantStation

Alice is the President of GrantStation. She joined the team after 20 years of working in or with the nonprofit community. In the trenches, she raised over $45 million and worked with hundreds of organizations to help them increase their capacity to raise funds. Alice is the organization’s content expert and is responsible for online education, partnership development, and working with the talented GrantStation staff to provide quality resources to help the nonprofit community secure funding. Alice received both her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Relations and Master of Arts degree in Education/Counseling Psychology from the University of Connecticut. In August 2013, she completed a Certificate Program in Appreciative Inquiry from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management


Bernie Deem
Principal
AlignHR

Bernie Deem brings a new perspective to HR with her fresh insights and unique ideas for solving old problems. These abilities, combined with her extensive expertise and knowledge, led Bernie to be twice honored by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). She is one of only two individuals to have received the Charleston SHRM HR Award of Excellence and recently was named the HR Professional of the Year, an award bestowed by the WV State Council of SHRM.   

Bernie is a frequently requested speaker and is best known for her engaging style and high energy. Some of her topics have been: “The Seven Secret Reasons Employees Sue,” “Personnel and Employees from Hell,” “HR Secrets I Only Tell My Friends,” and “Building High Impact Relationships.” Her presentation on “We Don’t Hate You, We Just Want You to Leave” is the result of research she conducted on how to minimize the odds of a lawsuit based on using a technique she developed called “The Graceful Exit.” Bernie is also a published author, having written articles such as “Frequent Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners,” “Five Simple Rules for Dealing With a Marginal Performer,” and “Motivating Without Money.”

Bernie also serves as an expert witness for both defendant and plaintiff cases, as well as a case evaluator. Her experience with investigating, analyzing data, and writing depositions, combined with her special ability to articulate her perspective has led to her success. She has used this experience to create a dynamic presentation on unlawful harassment, a training she has conducted over 50 times using her testimony to emphasize the havoc and expense that can come to a company as a result of improper policies and processes. 

She has also served as an instructor for the SHRM Certification Exam, The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, and for the West Virginia School of Banking. She has presented for both the National Business Institute and Lorman Education Services on topics such as “Writing Legal Job Descriptions,” “Conducting Effective Terminations,” and “Discipline and Documentation in West Virginia.” 

She also works as an executive coach for high-level employees with great potential who have a limiting behavior. 

During her rapidly-promoted corporate career, she gained experience in recruitment, affirmative action plans, employee benefits, payroll, training and development, employee relations, and salary administration. This experience resulted in her being named the Vice President of Human Resources at One Valley Bancorp, a financial services holding company which grew to over 2400 employees with over 100 locations, comprising 17 mergers. She was also named Sr. Vice President for Sales in the Retail Division of the bank, part of a team that led to the quadrupling of sales in 16 months.  

Also known for her collaborative work style, Bernie left the corporate world and founded DeemHR in 2000. She has specialized in building client relationships with retainer services that provided access to HR portals and customized HR processes as well as unlimited phone calls to DeemHR consultants.  DeemHR grew to over $200,000 in sales over a 10 year period. 

In 2013 DeemHR, merged with Wes Mar HR (owned by Sharon Boyce-Werdebaugh in Bridgeport) and Zach Abraham (of Wheeling) to create AlignHR, LLC, a new HR company that would emphasize high-quality service with a personal touch.

The DeemHR Annual Conference has established a reputation as the premier Human Resources learning opportunity in the state attended by over 100 HR professionals and small business owners. AlignHR is prepared to grow the conference to a new level with additional features and opportunities. 

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