The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


July 22, 2012

New members, re-elections announced for BAF

BECKLEY — The Beckley Area Foundation is governed by a 15-member board of directors, each serving a three-year term. Members can serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Over the past 27 years, a total of 81 Raleigh County residents have served on the BAF board and generously given their time and talents to support the day-to-day operations of our community foundation.

“While membership is certainly an honor, this is a working board; the success of our organization depends upon time-consuming efforts of these volunteers,” commented Susan Landis, executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation. “They work without expectation of personal recognition or reward.”

Michael Cavendish, Debra Songer Gray and Linda Polly have been re-elected to fill a second three-year term. Conrad F. Cooper, Emmett S. Pugh III, and William F. Richmond Jr. were elected to fill the vacancies created when William Baker, William H. File III and Bill Turner rotated off the board.

Cooper is a lifetime resident of Raleigh County. A graduate of The Hill School and North Carolina State University, he runs a local insurance business. He is a past president of the Beckley Rotary Club, a past president of Black Knight Country Club, a former board member of United Way of Southern West Virginia and the Women’s Resource Center, and a member of the BAF board in its formative years. Cooper served as secretary of the foundation board and has long been a willing volunteer helping BAF with scholarship presentations, distribution committees and special events. He and his wife Carol Ann Cooper have two sons.

Pugh is also a lifelong resident of Beckley. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Alabama. He was president of Bowl-Wick (1974-87) and then a broker with Wheat First Securities. He was elected councilman-at-large in 1979 and has served as mayor of the City of Beckley since 1988. Pugh is a three-time past president of the West Virginia Municipal League and past president of 4-C Economic Development Authority. BAF and the City of Beckley have been collaborative partners in projects at Word Memorial Park, the Rahall General Store, Thornhill Courts, Freedom Park, Beckley Renaissance events and most recently New River Park.  

An active member of the Beckley Rotary Club, he is a past president, Paul Harris Fellow and long- serving program chairman. He currently serves on the Raleigh County Airport Authority, Beckley Little League Board and MSU Foundation Board. He chairs the Pinecrest Development Corporation, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Board, Beckley Renaissance, United Way of Southern West Virginia and the Region I Planning and Development Council.

He has received the West Virginia Mayor of the Year, the Spirit of Beckley and the MSU Living Leadership awards. He has five children and is married to Linda Moran Pugh. The Pughs are active members of the Family Worship Center.

William F. Richmond Jr. has lived in Raleigh County for 58 years. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and Marshall University; he then earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee. He is married to Jeannie Wheatley Richmond and they have two children. He has a private law practice in Beckley and serves as the assistant prosecuting attorney for Raleigh County.

Richmond’s civic activities include serving as president of the WWHS Alumni Association Inc. since 1981. This group established the Peregoy-Sallack-VanMeter Scholarship Fund at BAF in 1997. He is general counsel for the West Virginia Home Builders Association and the Southern Home Builders Association; past president of Black Knight Country Club; past president of the City of Beckley Civil Rights Committee; present member of the City of Beckley Historic Landmark Committee; past Mental Hygiene Commissioner; Ballot Commissioner for Raleigh County and current member of the Beckley Presbyterian Church Property Committee.

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