CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – After twelve years of distinguished service, Jenny Gannaway, the Executive Director of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), has announced her retirement.
Under Gannaway’s leadership, WV VOAD has become one of the nation’s leading State VOADs. The organization’s success is attributed to the commitment of its members, consistently prioritizing the welfare of West Virginia families, and establishing a commendable standard of service.
“An important key in a leader is that he or she achieves vision to guide an organization,” said Rev. Dr. David Guadalupe EJ, CEO of Missionary Disaster Response, chair of Puerto Rico VOAD and Board Member of National VOAD. “Jenny achieved the vision of establishing a model to support WV in disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation” But she also set a standard for the ideal state VOAD model. Only a true leader can achieve that.”
Gannaway’s tenure has been marked by a strategic focus on enhancing WV VOAD’s capacity for rapid and efficient disaster response. The organization has successfully reduced deployment times during a disaster for families and individuals to receive essential supplies, ensuring the timely delivery of critical resources. A notable accomplishment during Gannaway’s leadership is the WV VOAD Bridge program, resulting in the construction of one hundred and sixty-seven bridges for families facing adversity. This initiative, recognized with several awards, involved the collaborative efforts of WV VOAD members, including Mennonite Disaster Service and contributing partners.
“Jenny’s middle names should be “Cooperation” and “Collaboration” as she embodies these elements that define VOAD,” said Jack Lipphardt, Director of WV United Methodist Conference’s Disaster Recovery Ministry. “She was masterful in helping voluntary organizations that had varying missions and objectives to work seamlessly in addressing recovery needs for disaster survivors.”
WV VOAD’s Board of Directors will establish the transition team with disaster experience in the coming weeks to include WV VOAD board members, member partners, emergency managers, and state officials.
“We want this to be a collaborative process because WV VOAD is an integral part of emergency management in the state and we want those voices to provide input for our next successful chapter,” said Kim Tieman, Chair of WV VOAD Board of Directors.
When asked what she is looking forward to in her next chapter, Gannaway said it was time with family.
“I look forward to spending time with my grandson and being there for his little moments,” she said. “It’s been an honor to serve in this role and I will miss the people and working with all the amazing voluntary organizations that serve the state. I will never forget the faces of the thousands of individuals and families that WV VOAD has helped when they lost everything in a flood, a mudslide, or other disaster. It was an honor to serve you. It’s time for my next chapter.”
Our Members and Partners React to Gannaway’s Announcement
Cyndi Kirkhart, CEO of Facing Hunger Foodbank
“Jenny Crum Gannaway….while we honor every single accomplishment that you spearheaded and affected change with, I am most grateful for your kindnesses, examples of leadership, and resolve. You have been, and remain, a true champion of West Virginians in need. Enjoy the knowledge and comfort of a job well done, while you add chapters of adventure and new challenges. Enjoy, and know how much you are loved and respected! Congratulations!
Cathy Rennard, past WV VOAD employee and now the CEO of Carnegie Hall
“No one deserves a happy retirement more! Your commitment to WV VOAD, the families of WV, and to moving the needle on disaster resiliency is unparalleled. You built an amazing program out of very little and countless people recovered as a result. It was an honor and privilege to fellow West Virginians together.”