Advisory Council

Excel Together West Virginia's Advisory Council is a collection of people with deep roots and experience across the state. The Advisory Council meets regularly through the year for updates on the initiative, brainstorming on how to improve Excel Together West Virginia's activities and outcomes, and discussion of emerging opportunities.

Rachel Bowman

Assistant Director of Workforce Development, WorkForce West Virginia

Rachel has over 21 years of experience in workforce service delivery activities, with a deep understanding of the myriad personal challenges facing West Virginians and a practical understanding of the many facets of the state’s workforce system. She's a true West Virginian, having graduated from WV State University and now residing on a farm with her menagerie just a few miles from the state Capitol.

Dr. Teresa Eagle

Dean, College of Education & Professional Development at Marshall University

With an Ed.D in Educational Leadership studies, an Ed.S in Education Supervision, and a B.S. in Mathematics, Teresa has served as a teacher, professor, and college administrator. With years in classroom math education, Teresa was awarded the WV Teacher of the Year award. As the Dean of Marshall University's Graduate School of Education and Professional Development for the past decade and earlier as coordinator of Marshall's doctoral programs in education, Teresa has been instrumental in shaping the next generation of West Virginia educators.

Mendy Marshall

Executive Director, Office of Adult Education and Workforce Development, WV Department of Education

Mendy Marshall has been employed by the West Virginia Department of Education’s CTE Division for 28 years. Twenty-one of those years have been spent in the Adult Education Office, and she has served as the Director of Adult Education since 2016.  Mendy has accumulated a deep understanding of the needs of adult learners in West Virginia, and learning how to work with community-based organizations, employers, and colleges to improve access to education and workforce training opportunities. Mendy is driven by seeing the successes of adult students who have overcome a barrier to education and employment.

Rebecca McPhail

President, West Virginia Manufacturers Association

A lifelong West Virginia resident, Rebecca graduated from WVU Institute of Technology, after which she served as Assistant Vice President for Development at Marshall University, and then President of the WV economic development organization Vision Shared, before starting at the WV Manufacturers Association.  With a strong civic mindset, she serves on the boards of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the WV High Technology Foundation, and the YMCA of Kanawha Valley.

Kathryn Pirie

West Virginia Hospital Association, Director of Workforce Development

After living and graduating from a physiotherapy program in Scotland, Kathryn Pirie returned to her native West Virginia to work as a licensed physical therapist for over a decade. In addition to her extensive clinical healthcare experience, she completed a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from WVU. She started in workforce development with the WV Higher Education Policy Commission supporting the behavioral health workforce and is now applying her knowledge to develop the broader health care workforce for the benefit of West Virginians as the first ever Director of Workforce Development with the WV Hospital Association.

Dr. Casey Sacks

President, BridgeValley Community and Technical College

With a PhD in Higher Education Administration, Casey has served in a wide variety of higher education posts and brings a wide grasp of challenges and opportunities in higher education. Casey served as Assistant Provost at the Colorado Community College System office reimaging developmental education.  This was followed by a position as Vice Chancellor at the West Virginia Community and Technical College System interrupted by 2 years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education for Community Colleges at the US Department of Education. Casey serves on the boards of the Thomas Hospital Foundation and the SkillPointe Foundation, and as a trustee of the Home Builders Institute.

Jimmy Smith

President/Director, WV Society for Human Resource Management

Jimmy has over25 years of experience in Municipal Government Human Resources, Finance and City Management. He currently is the Manager of Human Resources for HREA, Inc, a non-profit electric Utility Company in Harrison County WV. A lifelong resident of WV, he has given back through numerous volunteer roles. For over 20years, he has been a volunteer for the SHRM and is currently the WV State Director. He also is the current President of the Harrison County Planning Commission and has previously been the President/Chair for Local School Improvement Councils and PTA’s in the Harrison County School System. He has a degree from Marshall University and holds the SPHR, SHRM-SCP and IPMA-SCP professional human resource certifications.