Board of Directors

The KIDS COUNT Board of Directors includes some of the most prominent business, education, community, political and religious leaders in West Virginia — all of whom share a common mission:  to support KIDS COUNT’s efforts to provide the most trusted data about the well-being of children and build alliances to advocate for what kids need. They also share a common vision:  to make West Virginia a great place to be a kid.

Robert. E. Adams, CPA, CGMA

Gibbons and Kawash

Rob Adams has nearly 20 years’ experience as a certified public accountant. For the past 18 years at Gibbons and Kawash, A.C., Rob has advanced to the Director level and is currently the firm’s Assurance Department Coordinator, Continuing Professional Education Coordinator and a member of the Management Committee. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Charleston Chapter of the West Virginia Society of CPAs. He is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College with a B.S. in business administration.

Lynn Bennett

Bennett Educational Consulting

Lynn Bennett is Program Director of the West Virginia State Treasurer’s NetWorth Program and owner of Bennet Educational Consulting in Bridgeport, WV. She served as Director of Program Development for the North Centeral Regional Education Service Agency (RESA VII) from 1999 to 2003. She was also an elementary school principal in Doddridge County and an elementary classroom teacher for 20 years. She has been listed in Who’s Who in American Education, as well as Who’s Who in American Women, and has been a frequent presenter at national conferences. She is a board member for Mission West Virginia, Inc and has served as education chair for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.

Ann Marie Bollinger

Ann Marie Bollinger is a Certified Public Accountant and a self-employed accountant and bookkeeper for a number of Charleston-area non profit organizations. Prior to being self-employed, Ann Marie worked for a number of high-profile local and national companies as an accounting manager, internal auditor and senior accountant. She holds an MBA from Marshall University and is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the West Virginia Society of CPAs.

Pat White

Co-owner/Senior VP of Marketing
& Product Performance, Rehydrate

Pat White is part-owner and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Performance for Rehydrate, a healthy sport drink created by White’s former WVU football trainer.  White was the legendary quarterback for WVU from 2005 to 2009 and was the MVP for the Fiesta Bowl, Senior Bowl, Meinicke Car Care Bowl, and the Gator Bowl. He was the only quarterback in NCAA history to win four consecutive bowl games, including the Sugar Bowl.

White’s experiences in selecting a college and being a college recruit have led to another business venture with his two brothers called “Blueprint Performance: Your Blueprint to Success.”   Blueprint Performance provides resources and tools to prepare youth for the process, giving them information on the tests they will be asked to take, subjects they should take, the coaches for whom they might play, the depth charts and philosophies of the schools they are thinking of attending.

Prior to launching a successful career in business, White also played several seasons in the NFL and CFL and retired in 2015 to pursue a business career in West Virginia.  Pat is originally from Daphne, Alabama, but now resides in Morgantown.  He has a two-year old daughter.

Cheryl Jones

WVU Children’s Hospital

Cheryl Jones is a graduate of West Virginia University School of Nursing (B.S. in Nursing, 1986; Masters in Nursing, 1996) and has been employed with West Virginia University Hospitals/Ruby Memorial Hospital since 1986 where she has worked as a staff nurse, assistant nurse manager, nurse manager, and nurse director. Jones also served as the director of Chestnut Ridge Hospital — a 70-bed psychiatric inpatient unit and partial hospitalization program where she was responsible for the management of 110 full-time employees. She has served on numerous committees within the WVU Hospitals system including co-chair of the Patient Satisfaction Survey revisions, member of the Customer Service Steering Committee, member of the CRH Research Utilization Review Team and Team Leader of Performance Improvement teams. In June 2004, Jones became the director of WVU Children’s Hospital — a fully functioning 104-bed hospital specializing in the care and treatment of pediatric patients. Jones currently serves as a West Virginia University School of Nursing Adjunct Instructor and has participated in numerous community service projects including Relay for Life, Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock-Up and the United Way Day of Caring.

Michael Brian Kelley

Herbert Hoover High School

Mike Kelley has served as Principal of Herbert Hoover High School in Kanawha County since 2009. Under his leadership the school has experienced five consecutive years of academic growth. Prior to taking the leadership helm at Herbert Hoover, he was an assistant principal at South Charleston and Saint Albans High Schools and a classroom teacher from 1995 to 2003. He has a Leadership Certification from Salem International University; an M.A. in Special Education from Marshall University; and a B.S. in Education from West Virginia State University.

Cal Kent

Marshall University

Cal Kent served as as Vice President for Business and Economic Research and was Vice President for Technology Commercialization at Marshall University. He also served as Dean and Distinguished Professor at the Lewis College of Business for ten years. He is now an Emeritus Professor at the university. Cal came to Marshall University from Washington, D.C. where he was appointed by the first President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate as Administrator of the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to his stay in Washington, he held the Herman Lay Chair in Private Enterprise at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he founded and directed the Center for Private Enterprise and the National Center for Entrepreneurship Education, and was an adjunct professor at Baylor’s School of Law.

Before his work at Baylor, he was Chief Economist to the South Dakota Legislative Research Council and Professor of Economics at the University of South Dakota. He has been Mayor of Woodway, Texas, President of the Vermillion, South Dakota City Council and Chair of the Huntington, West Virginia City Council. His undergraduate degree is from Baylor. his Ph.D. is from the University of Missouri-Columbia with post doctorate work at Virginia, Chicago, Rice, and Wichita State Universities. He is married to Nita Sue and has two daughters and five grandchildren.

Patricia Kusimo, Ph. D.

From 2008 through 2013, Patricia Kusimo served as President and CEO of The Education Alliance, West Virginia’s premier statewide, nonprofit research and K-12 public education fund. Her distinguished career in education has also include serving as President and CEO of the West Virginia Center for Professional Development and PK Educational Enterprises. She was also a Senior Research and Development Specialist for AEL and a Systems Engineer at IBM. She was also an Associate Professor of Math at West Virginia State College and she began her career in education as a public school math teacher in Beaufort County in South Carolina.

Brian Lake

Fifth Third Bank

Brian Lake is a Financial Wellness Specialist at Fifth Third Bank. He is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford, OH, with degrees in both Marketing and Operational Management. He previously served as Resource Development Director for United Way of Central West Virginia and as Professional Healthcare Representative for Pfizer.

Bruce Lawson

Certified Public Accountant

Bruce Lawson is a Certified Public Accountant and Treasurer of the KIDS COUNT Board of Directors. Prior to launching his own CPA firm in 1997, Bruce was a partner in the Charleston accounting firm of Cleavanger & Rollins. He is also managing LLC member of Monvisor, LLC, an income tax and business services company in Eleanor, West Virginia. Bruce is a member of the Kiwanis Club of West Charleston and a former member of the Charleston Municipal Planning Commission. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Kentucky.

Dan Page

West Virginia Health Care Association

Dan Page, a native of Parkersburg, has held a variety of media and communications positions in West Virginia and Ohio. He is director of communications for the West Virginia Health Care Association in Charleston. Page assisted in the startup of The State Journal in 1984. He was editor of The Register-Herald in Beckley (1992-97) and communications director for Gov. Cecil H. Underwood (1997-2001). A graduate of West Virginia University, Page served on the board of the Beckley Area Foundation, was a member of the advisory board of the State Fair of West Virginia, and is a member of the board of The Education Alliance. Page is married and lives in Elkview. He has three adult children and four grandchildren.

Jeanette Perdue-Barker

Playmates Preschools & Child Development Centers

Since 1983, Jeanette Perdue-Barker has been the Executive Director and Founder of Playmates Preschools and Child Development Centers in Cabell and Wayne Counties. She has an RBA from Marshall University and extensive training in Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology. She is president of West Virginia Childcare Centers United; Chair of the Cabell/Wayne Early Childhood Council; and a member of the West Virginia Early Childhood Advisory Council.

Bill Raney

West Virginia Coal Association

Bill Raney, President, West Virginia Coal Association, joined the West Virginia KIDS COUNT Fund Board of Directors in 1992. He was elected President of the Fund in 2001. He is a native of Bluefield, West Virginia, and a graduate of West Virginia University with an undergraduate degree in biology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Mr. Raney was employed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources serving in various positions including surface mine inspector, supervisor, administrative assistant and assistant chief. He joined the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association in 1977 and served as its Vice President until April 1992. At that time, he was named President of the West Virginia Coal Association where he continues to serve in that capacity. Mr. Raney also serves as Chairman, West Virginia Business and Industry Council (BIC); Board Member of the Ohio-West Virginia YMCA Youth in Government; Vice Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America Buckskin Council Leadership Luncheon; President and Founder of the Don Nehlen Fan Club; and Officer in the West Virginia Army National Guard. He lives in South Charleston with his wife and two children.

Kenna Seal

Kenna Seal was the Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits at the West Virginia Department of Education and has been a member of the West Virginia KIDS COUNT Fund Board of Directors since 1991. He served as Superintendent of Braxton County Schools for over 20 years and was named State Superintendent of the Year by the West Virginia Association of School Administrators in 1994. During his tenure in Braxton County, all county schools were accredited, all elementary schools offered full-day kindergarten, and all four-year-olds had access to a pre-school program. The county’s dropout rate decreased by almost 62 percent from 1980 to 1995, and the college-bound rate increased 50 percent from 1980 to 1992. In his present position, Dr. Seal works with the State Board of Education on accreditation issues in all 55 West Virginia counties. Dr. Seal is a native of Exchange, West Virginia, and lives in Sutton with his wife. In addition to his work for the West Virginia KIDS COUNT Fund, he is Chairman of Glenville State College Board of Advisors and the West Virginia Association of School Administrators Legislative Committee, is on the Governor’s Early Childhood Implementation Commission and has served as a Member of the Rural Schools Task Force. He is affiliated with West Virginia Human Resources Association, Clay County Lodge #97 AF and AM and Beni Kedem Shrine, and is active in the Braxton County Chapter of Rotary International.

Richard Sinclair

Jefferds Corporation

Richard Sinclair has been President of Jefferds Corporation in St. Albans since 1991 and has worked for the company since 1975. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond where he earned a B.A. in History and English, and is a graduate of Marshall University where he earned a Masters in Industrial Safety. He served on the CAMC Board of Directors from 1988 to 2008 and was Chairman of the Board for ten years. He is a former President of the Charleston Rotary and former Chairman of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. In 2013 he earned the YMCA’s Spirit of the Valley Award. He is also member of the University of Charleston’s Board of Trustees.

Sara Steorts

Sara Steorts grew up in Charleston, West Virginia and received her B.S. in Elementary Education and specialized in Pre K – Kindergarten from West Virginia University and is pursuing her Masters in Early Childhood from Marshall Graduate School. Sara has depth of experience in early childhood education, teaching kindergarten in both Kanawha and Putnam Counties for twelve years. Sara has two boys, Chase and Ty.

Ron Stollings, M.D.

Ron Stollings is a practicing physician in Madison, WV, and a West Virginia State Senator representing the seventh senatorial district in Boone County. Senator Stollings serves as Chair of the Senate’s Health and Human Resources Committee. He holds his M.D. from West Virginia University and is a graduate of the Marshall University School of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine. Senator Stollings is active in numerous professional and community organizations, including the West Virginia State Medical Association, the United Way, and the Marshall School of Medicine Alumni Association. He has served on the boards of a number of non profit organizations, including Boone County Hospice, and is past president of the Madison Rotary Club.

Directors Emeriti

Richard Adams

United Bankshares

Richard Adams, President and CEO United Bankshares, has been a member of the West Virginia KIDS COUNT Fund Board of Directors from 1992 to 2009. He served as President of the Fund from 1998 through 2001. He is a native of Parkersburg, WV, and received an A.B. Degree from West Virginia University and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Rutgers University. Mr. Adams is currently a member of the University of West Virginia Board of Trustees; a member of the International Financial Conference; Vice Chairman of the West Virginia Business Roundtable; a member of Young President’s Organization; and a Board Member of the Parkersburg Area Local Development Council, Rediscover Parkersburg, and Wood County Development Authority. Mr. Adams is also a representative to the American Banker’s Association and a member of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. He formerly was Chairman of the Board of the West Virginia Banker’s Association; President of the Parkersburg Chamber of Commerce; Board Member of Camden Clark Hospital; Chairman of the Salvation Army Building Fund Campaign; Chairman of the Board of Eastern States Bankcard Association, New York; and a member of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Regional Advisory Council. He has received awards as the Parkersburg Area Jaycees’ Boss of the Year and YMCA Citizen of the Year. He was also a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. Mr. Adams has published articles in Banking Magazine, Bank Marketing and American Banker.

Sam Bonasso

Consultant

Sam Bonasso was the first President of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia KIDS COUNT Fund and was a member of the original Governor’s Task Force on Children, Youth and Families in 1989. He is the Project Manager for Vision 20/20. He is the former Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the former president of Alpha Associates, Incorporated, an architecture, engineering and design firm in Morgantown, WV. Mr. Bonasso’s career has involved diverse activities from designing ski lifts to bridges, from constructing housing to environmental systems. He is also a well known speaker and workshop presenter on the subjects of creativity, communications, and conflict resolution in business settings. He and his wife Nancy spent eight years as the live-in owner-operators of a bed and breakfast in a converted 1920’s elementary school. He is a member of the West Virginia Commission on Vocational, Technical and Occupational Education and the West Virginia Business Roundtable.

Gaston Caperton

Former West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton founded the West Virginia KIDS COUNT during his first term as governor in 1989. As the state’s thirty-first governor, Caperton was particularly concerned with improving West Virginia’s education system. His comprehensive plan emphasized the use of computers and technology in public schools; aggressive school building and renovations; and raising teachers’ salaries. He also served as President of the College Board and taught at Harvard University and Columbia University. Caperton has received numerous state and national awards and special recognition, including six honorary doctoral degrees and in 2014 was awarded KIDS COUNT’s “Making WV a Great Place to be a Kid” Award.