WV Hive Network Recognizes Top Clients and Partners at Annual Open HouseBeckley Mayor Rob Rappold Declares Day as ‘WV Hive Network Day’

Beckley, W.Va. (Dec. 15, 2023) – The West Virginia Hive Network presented 10 awards to
entrepreneurs and partners at its annual Open House and Awards Ceremony today at the
Historic Black Knight Country Club.
Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold, who attended and offered remarks, declared December 15 “WV
Hive Network Day” in recognition of “the commendable efforts and achievements of the WV
Hive Network and NRGRDA in promoting entrepreneurship, fostering innovation, and
contributing to the economic prosperity of our beloved city.” He called upon all citizens to join
him in celebrating this occasion and continuing support of the endeavors of the WV Hive
Network and NRGRDA as they strive to create a vibrant and flourishing community.
Rappold shared the proclamation with Jina Belcher, executive director of NRGRDA, and Judy
Moore, executive director of the WV Hive and deputy director of the NRGRDA.
Moore said competition was tight for the awards, which were judged by a panel of business,
education and communications professionals.

Winners and awards categories included:
2023 Small Business of the Year
Southern Pillar Jeweler / Trey Swartz / Fayetteville

2023 Start Up of the Year
Z&Z Beauty, LLC / Angela Bryant / Beckley
2023 Entrepreneur of the Year
Josh Bennett / Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co. and Hawk Knob Appalachian Hard Cider /
2023 Social Enterprise of the Year
Sage & Lila Company, LLC / Samantha Phillips / Beaver
2023 Survivor Bee of the Year
Deneena Lugar – Grandview Diner / Beaver
2023 Minority Business of the Year
The Hair Maxx Salon LLC / Veronica Haskins / Beckley
2023 Innovative Business of the Year
Edgell Development / Zachary Edgell / Little Birch
2023 Student Entrepreneur of the Year
Ellie Groves and Jacob Odell – Sanctum Tor Farm / Nettie
2023 Community Advocate of the Year
Chris Vaught / Beckley
2023 Partner of the Year
WV Community Development Hub / Charleston

Moore said, “The interest in and value of starting and growing one’s own business is alive and
well in our region. All of us at the WV Hive are privileged to support those with business ideas,
already launched companies or those seeking to grow their markets. These entrepreneurs –
and all of our partners – exemplify our mission to build a robust entrepreneurial culture in
southern West Virginia.”
The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development
Authority, serving entrepreneurs and small business owners in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas,
Summers, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming, McDowell,

Logan, and Mingo Counties. More information about the WV Hive can be found at