Who's Behind WCP
Meet the passionate people who make Wolf Creek Park possible. This is a group of locals who got involved because they believe strongly that the business park will bring jobs to the region, build community, and foster local economic infrastructure.
Resource Coordinator’s Office Staff
The Resource Coordinator’s Office is the community and economic development office under the Fayette County Commission. The staff manage Wolf Creek Park’s happenings. They are the contact for potential buyers, real estate agents, and businesses in the park. To learn more about the Resource Coordinator’s Office please visit www.fayettecounty.wv.gov/departments/RCO.
Gabriel Peña is the Resource Coordinator, an elected member of the Fayetteville Town Council, and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for New River Health Association. As Deputy Resource Coordinator, Gabriel oversees grant proposal development and project management for various community and economic development projects in Fayette County.
A transplant from Dallas, Texas, Gabriel arrived here by an internship with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection following his earned Bachelors in Biology from Kansas Wesleyan University. Following his internship, Gabriel became a river guide and volunteered with various non-profits focusing on environmental stewardship.
Gabriel is an extrovert enamored by the communities and tradition of rural Appalachia. He sees opportunities where others may see discord and, as such, is passionate about fostering a resilient and just economy.
Gabriel, his wife, and their two daughters live in Fayetteville in a renovated coal-camp house. He loves to swim, garden, run, and paddle various water crafts.
Olivia Tygrett is a Program Assistant who develops systems to streamline processes that help the department increase capacity to serve Fayette County.
With training in Operations Management and Accounting, Olivia has spent 20 years in banking, finance and logistical management and staff development. Olivia also works part-time as a trainer for a national tax firm and considers it a giving back opportunity. Olivia enjoys looking for ways to better her community and make processes more efficient. Her work allows her to do both.
When Olivia is not working, she enjoys live music and festivals. She sits on the Board of Directors for a newly formed 501c3 that uses music to raise funds and bring awareness to the opioid epidemic spreading through Appalachia. She also enjoys spending time with her family, including 3 dogs and 4 rescue birds.
As the Communications Specialist Contractor, Angelina is responsible for the branding, promotions, social media, and media relations for Wolf Creek Park and the New Roots Community Farm. She also assists the department with social media and general promotions of additional county-wide projects.
She graduated from Sonoma State University with a bachelors in Communications Studies with an emphasis in Public Relations. Recently relocated to West Virginia, Angelina spent the last decade building a career in public health focusing on nutrition and food systems in the state of California. During this time, Angelina designed and implemented a Harvest of the Month program in the northern part of the state. This program introduced farm fresh produce to elementary age students in a classroom setting while providing school cafeterias with the resources they needed to serve more local food.
An avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast, West Virginia has a plethora of recreational opportunities for Angelina to enjoy.
Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority
The Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority (FCURA) owns Wolf Creek Park. The FCURA Board approves development strategies, property sales, and annual budgets. Learn more about the FCURA at www.fayettecounty.wv.gov/urban_renewal_authority.
Michael D. Smith, Board Chair
Michael D. Smith is a Senior Vice President at USI Insurance Services LLC., and Board Chair of the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority. As a Registered Health Underwriter and Registered Employee Benefit Consultant for USI Insurance Services, Michael has worked with mid to large companies in all industries, including insured and self-insured groups, designing and implementing employee benefit programs for twenty-five years.
He received his Bachelors in Computer Science from West Virginia University Institute of Technology and a minor in Accounting from Concord College.
Michael strives to find balance between work life, family life, and personal life which he believes is crucial for quality of life. “Quality of life is one of the best attributes that our community of Fayette County has to offer.” Michael volunteers on the FCURA board and in other capacities to help bring the opportunity of quality of life to others.
His personal interests include vegetable gardening, golf, skiing, biking, reading, and piddling around his hobby farm.
Jeffrey Proctor, Board Vice Chair
Jeff Proctor retired from Adventures On The Gorge July 1, 2018. Since that time, as a volunteer, he has focused his energy on expanding broadband in the State and Fayette County. In addition, Jeff is a Board Member for the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority and an active member of the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council.
Jeff received his B.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana then went on to found Class VI River Runners, Inc, currently Adventure WV, LLC (known as Adventures On The Gorge). This business continues to be the best adventure resort in the Country. In 1991, Class VI won “The Entrepreneur of the Year” and in 1997 Jeff and his two partners were named one of ten “Who’s Who in West Virginia Business” by The State Journal.
Thanks to an early scouting outing with an influential camp counselor and a 500 mile canoe trip, Jeff began his passion for rivers. Currently an Eagle Scout, Jeff gives back to the Boy Scouts of America to provide positive experiences for youth.
William S. Thornton, Board Secretary & Treasurer
William Thornton is the Vice President of Civil Engineering at Terradon Corporation and serves as City Engineer for the communities of Smithers and Montgomery. Will has a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology; is a Registered Professional Engineer in WV, OH, and VA; and a Registered Professional Surveyor in WV.
Terradon is a full-service engineering firm in Nitro and is West Virginia’s largest Woman Owned Engineering Firm. Will oversees projects with clients such as the WV Division of Highways, US Army Corps of Engineers, US National Park Service, along with numerous towns, cities, and private clients. These projects include infrastructure improvements, property surveying, mapping, material testing, and construction Inspection. Will has made a career of helping to improve the infrastructure to help achieve a sustainable world and raise the global quality of life.
Will, his wife Amy and their two children, Ben and Josie, live in Fayetteville. During his free time, Will likes to play outside – riding mountain bikes, hiking, playing golf. Will is also active in the Canyon Rim Rotary Club.
Gene Kistler is a Board Member of the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority and the Wolf Creek Park Committee Chair. He received a Bachelors in Art from Roanoke College and a Masters in Environmental Planning from Arizona State University.
Since then, he has dedicated himself to building community and improving the triple bottom line – economic, social, and environmental – in Fayette County and greater West Virginia. He has held the role of builder, business owner & operator, community activist, and county volunteer. Gene is selfless with his time.
In 2012, the Access Fund awarded Gene with the Menocal Lifetime Achievement for “community leadership and longstanding commitment to local climbing advocacy and stewardship in the New River Gorge area.”
To balance out all the hours spent giving back to the community, Gene enjoys the rich local art and outdoor offerings of the region. He is a long time rock climber, mountain biker, enjoys live music and participating in learning opportunities.
John Brenemen is a Fayette County Commissioner. In his day job, he works on his family’s 64-acre farm, J and K Farm in Scarbro. He is responsible for day to day operations along with managing 4 greenhouses. The farm grows anywhere from 9 to 14 acres of vegetables depending on the year.
John has a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology and an Associates in Science in Electronic Engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology. In his career as an engineer, he received various awards as a District, Regional, and training executive with several retail organizations.
John Brenemen’s mission statement is to, “increase my knowledge so I can help others obtain chemical free produce and to help educate others from my learning by teaching them how to grow their own food.”
Outside of work John enjoys his time in his wood shop, fishing or taking classes on farming, woodworking or gardening.
Matthew D. Wender
Matthew Wender is a retired Certified Public Accountant. Matthew received both a Bachelors in Business Administration, Major in Finance, and a Masters in Business Administration from West Virginia University. For 18 years, Matthew held a position on the Fayette County Commission, President for 10 years. During this position, he initiated numerous successful initiatives in the county as well as managed a balanced budget that provided for an efficient operation of county government.
Previously, Matthew worked as an Investment Manager for the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust – a 21-Million-dollar venture capital fund. He was able to successfully manage a portfolio of company investments in a very challenging West Virginia economic climate. Matthew learned early on the importance of solvency and matching expenditures with conservative revenue projections.
Now Matthew enjoys the company of his family, which includes three wonderful grandchildren. He enjoys carpentry as well as spending time on his boat and at his cabin – both require all the carpentry skills he can muster.