West Virginia Professionals, Teeth Intact, Join Forces to Fight Negative Stereotypes and Foster Entrepreneurialism and Innovation across the Mountain State

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Create West Virginia seeks to harness collective goodness to build positive momentum, awareness and support for up-and-coming West Virginia communities wherever they may be

“Create West Virginia is about looking within our state’s borders to tap our most valuable resources of imagination, passion and enthusiasm.” Jeff James, Chairman, Create West Virginia

Hollywood movies have guilt to some extent for helping to create a fairly negative perception of the people living in our "Wild and Wonderful" 35th state. Internet joke web sites also help keep the Mountain State in a perpetual state of ridicule. Common joke themes online cover the gamut but primarily focus on West Virginians as toothless dimwits or as overly-country folks with extremely low IQs.

Enter Create West Virginia. Create West Virginia is a progressive, statewide movement proving, day in and day out, just how ridiculous those toothless, hillbilly and sub-zero intelligence cracks really are. The pioneers, professionals and visionaries who have come together as Create West Virginia seek to end the butt-of-the-jokes era that has so long plagued the region and to promote a spirit of innovation and forward-thinking in line with other creative communities throughout our country.

Create West Virginia is a grass roots organization in partnership with Vision Shared — a state-wide melting pot for community and economic development ideas and action. Together, both organizations aim to bring together West Virginians united by a passion for helping the state live up to its unlimited economic growth potential.

As part of the goal to build and support creative communities for the New Economy, Create West Virginia Chairman Jeff James has begun an online video library to capture the personalized tales of innovation and vision that play an instrumental role in transforming minds and hearts about West Virginia’s economic promise and bright future ahead.

“Create West Virginia is about looking within our state’s borders and tapping our most valuable resources of imagination, passion and enthusiasm,” says James. “We harness this collective goodness to build positive momentum, awareness and support for up-and-coming West Virginia communities wherever they may be.”

Recent online videos published on Create West Virginia’s YouTube channel showcasing state-based entrepreneurs and visionary West Virginians include:

Create WV is a grass roots movement to bring more new economy opportunities to West Virginia by building "creative communities." Just like only a few visionary whitewater rafters saw a vision for building a new industry in the New River Gorge, others in West Virginia are seeing beyond traditional industry and building new types of communities and companies. Jeff James explains the vision.

  •     Create WV - Home grown new media and Internet entrepreneur George Rogers of WELD

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In the heart of West Virginia coal country, something else is being mined: ideas and data. George Rogers, a native of Fayette County, West Virginia, is a successful digital marketing entrepreneur who has attracted young talent from around the country to work at his firm WELD. Drawn by the beauty of outdoor amenities such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking, these talented young people are defining a new kind of economic opportunity in the state.

  •     Holly Clark from Create Fayetteville - Part of the Create WV Movement

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Holly Clark is a business consultant living in the beautiful town of Fayetteville, West Virginia. She leads the local Create Fayetteville team which is dedicated to building a "creative community for the new economy."

While these meaningful, personal stories of out-of-the-box thinking won’t change unfavorable views overnight, the seeds for “perception transformation” have undeniably been planted.

West Virginia and its creative economies are full of promise. They surge forward in spite of the state’s challenged stereotypes, break new ground with a heart-felt, entrepreneurial spirit and possess a hopeful vision for the very state they live and work in.

Groups and organizations committed to the region’s economic success — including Create West Virginia and Vision Shared — will continue to draw inspiration from passionate locals (as those showcased in the videos above) who not only defy challenge head on but blossom and flourish in sake of it.

To learn more about Create West Virginia, visit http://www.createwv.com.
To learn more about Vision Shared, visit http://www.visionshared.com.


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