Beckley, W.Va. – Andrew Davis has been promoted to Director of
Strategic Redevelopment at the New River Gorge Regional Development
Authority (NRGRDA), effective July 1.
“Andy’s leadership in cultivating stronger relationships throughout the gateway
communities to the new national park and preserve, as well as in Appalachian
outdoor economic development, has been impressive,” said Jina Belcher,
NRGRDA executive director. “Prior to Andy’s work with NRGRDA, the skillset
needed to strengthen those relationships didn’t exist within our team.”
Davis joined the NRGRDA staff as Special Projects Coordinator in December 2020.
He spearheaded multiple projects and grants supporting community and
economic development efforts within Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers
counties. He came to NRGRDA from the West Virginia Community Development
Belcher said Davis will be extremely active in his new role. “We recognize the
importance of reuse and redevelopment across our gateway communities. Andy’s
focus on resource identification and coordination for redevelopment projects will
ensure that we determining the highest and best use for spaces and places
throughout the region,” emphasized Belcher. “Andy also has a great relationship
with many of the state and federal funders with whom we work, so he really was
an organic fit.”
Davis developed an appreciation for combining outdoor adventures with his
educational and social pursuits in his native Georgia. He was first introduced to
West Virginia while visiting Canaan Valley with his church youth group. He
returned to train as a whitewater rafting guide in the New River Gorge between
college semesters at Georgia College and State University where he earned a
degree in Environmental Sciences.
After two years of service through AmeriCorps VISTA in the New River Gorge
region, Davis earned a graduate degree in Municipal Sustainability at Indiana
University and then returned to West Virginia in 2019 to focus on community
development across the state. He has collaborated with elected leaders, civic
groups, nonprofit organizations, economic development professionals, university
employees, local businesses, and volunteers to plan programs, projects and
special events aimed at improving people’s experiences within their communities.
His new role will focus on the necessary steps for properties to be made available
for various economic uses. The redevelopment of vacant buildings and
brownfields sites will be a focus for commercial use and properties adjacent to
public lands will be assessed for their outdoor recreation potential.
“The last two years at NRGRDA have allowed me to combine my passions and
better understand the opportunities we have to leverage our tremendous
outdoor assets to attract more residents, create good jobs, and tap into our
region’s economic potential” said Davis.