We are proud to present our second annual Zenith Awards, given to those that have dedicated their lives to helping others and creating a better community. These five recipients exemplify the selflessness and dedication it takes to make a real difference in the Greenbrier Valley. The Greenbrier Valley Quarterly staff congratulates all of the honorees on the Zenith Awards, presented by City National Bank.
Roger Lockridge has been working with Childhood Domestic Violence Association (CDVA) since 2013 but has supported child victims of domestic abuse in various capacities for twenty years locally. Lockridge’s work with CDVA focuses on helping the organization increase awareness and reaching out to other people affected by childhood domestic violence. He has spoken to medical students, taken part in events throughout the area, and shown people that child domestic violence is a major issue that is believed to affect 1 billion people around the world. His own experiences with childhood domestic abuse are featured in Invincible: The Ten Lies You Learn Growing Up with Domestic Violence and the Truths to Set You Free, a book written by the founder of CDVA and featured on several best seller lists. Lockridge strives to serve as an example as to how people can “successfully overcome the effects of CDV to lead better lives.”
Val Colella runs Country Roads Transport Rescue, a transport service for dogs and cats in “rescue only” rural pounds. The animals in these pounds are closed to public adoptions, meaning a dog or cat’s only chance at survival is local volunteers who take pictures of the animals, network them on social media, and confirm out of state rescue commitments. Once a rescue commitment is made, Colella coordinates “tons of moving parts that take planning a week before or more.” The pets go to Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and other states as well. On the day of transport, Colella describes the process of loading the animals as “Petris.” Colella relies on volunteers who commit to driving for legs of the journey. The organization also has pilots that volunteer their planes and fuel to fly longer distances. Though a native New Yorker, Colella remains committed to the animals of West Virginia, declaring, “There is no higher service than to roll up my sleeves and make visible changes for the better in my own communities and others.”
Scouting has done a lot for Cliff Baker; it has allowed him to combine his passions for the outdoors, travel, and teaching. Inarguably, Cliff Baker has done much more for scouting, having served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 70 since 1984. His involvement stretches back years before that, beginning with his son’s involvement with Cub Scout Pack 122. Over his many years with Troop 70, Baker has led trips to Japan, Denmark, Iceland, England, Wales, and Germany where the scouts have attended Scouting jamborees, camped, backpacked, and cycled. Baker sees Scouting as a unique program that “provides an environment where boys develop self confidence supported by peers with similar values.” He has strived to develop and maintain an atmosphere of physical, mental, and moral excellence in accordance with the Scout Oath. After giving so much time and energy to the local community, he says, “Watching unruly boys evolve into productive and responsible young men is its own reward.”
Kathy L. Glover lives her life according to one of her favorite sayings: “work for a cause and not the applause.” Glover is an active participant in White Sulphur Springs Main Street, the Black Diamond Girl Scouts, and her church’s Sunday School and Youth Leadership Team. She is serving her second term as President for the WV Dandelion Festival Committee, furthering her commitment to the restoration of downtown White Sulphur Springs. Glover believes “it is better to be a helping hand than to be a complainer” and urges community members to be “joiners.” Through her active involvement in these various organizations, Glover has been able to “meet and work with wonderful people,” and as she makes the area around her better, she finds that she is able “to get a better understanding of how things can come together and work for a common cause.”
In 2012, Tammy Jordan expanded her fifteen-year-old culinary and agricultural corporation, Fruits of Labor, Inc., into a training center for those dealing with addiction. Today, her training center offers a unique farm-to-table culinary program, where those in recovery can earn American Culinary Federation (ACF) certifications. “With such a massive addiction problem sweeping our state and nation, it’s vital for individuals to have an opportunity to expand career choices and provide opportunities through education while in a safe environment.” In four years of operation, the program has had four babies born drug free, and 90% of the students graduate drug court successfully. “We see lives being transformed on every level—mind, body, and soul.” Fruits of Labor Cafe & Bakery is open to the public for lunch from 11-3 in downtown Rainelle Monday through Friday.