Snyder named chair of Generation West Virginia
CHARLES TOWN — Local resident Rod Snyder has been named chair of Generation West Virginia’s Board of Directors for 2019.
Snyder is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County with a history of significant community involvement in the Eastern Panhandle. A former candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates, he currently serves as president of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture.
“We are fortunate to have Rod leading our Board of Directors during this period of growth and expanded organizational impact,” said Natalie Roper, executive director of Generation West Virginia. “Rod’s commitment to West Virginia coupled with his nonprofit development experience uniquely positions him for this role. Rod knows how to dream big, grow strategically and promote our mission: to attract, retain and advance young talent in West Virginia.”
Snyder first joined GWV’s board in 2017 and brings more than a decade of experience in nonprofit leadership at the local, state and national levels.
In a state that is declining in population, Generation West Virginia believes that the state’s future depends upon its ability to become an ideal destination for young talent.
Snyder, who is widely recognized for his national leadership in youth advocacy, said he is excited and honored to assume this leadership role.
“Over the past few years, Generation West Virginia has grown from a small network of local young professional chapters into an organization that is tackling some of the most challenging issues facing young West Virginians,” Snyder said after the announcement was made. “While lots of groups talk about economic diversification, Generation West Virginia is taking tangible steps to make it a reality.”
Snyder has worked to engage young people in the political process in all fifty states; has traveled to Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe to speak about American democracy; and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS News and C-SPAN to offer commentary on the Millennial Generation.
“One of the most serious challenges facing West Virginia is its declining population and loss of young people to other states,” said Snyder. “I’m energized and inspired to work with policymakers, business leaders and neighbors across the Mountain State to ensure that West Virginia becomes an attractive destination for young talent to live, work and thrive.”
Snyder shared some of the priorities of Generation West Virginia for the upcoming year, including the expansion of its Impact Fellowship program.
“Now in its third year, it is connecting young people to host companies throughout the state through a year-long paid fellowship program,” Snyder said. “Our NewForce program, which was launched this month in Huntington, is offering skills training and building a pipeline for tech jobs in West Virginia.”
“We can’t afford to wait for any single industry or outside corporation to save us,” Snyder said of West Virginia. “The next chapter of West Virginia will be written from the ground up by young people who believe our state’s economic future can be better than our past.”
Generation West Virginia hopes to expand its network of local chapters to engage thousands of West Virginians, and to inform state and local lawmakers of policies needed to successfully attract and retain the next generation in the Mountain State. For more information, please visit www.generationwv.org.