Gayle Manchin Keynote Speaker at Fahe's Annual Meeting in Charleston

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Former WV First Lady to discuss housing and educational goals in WV and across Appalachia.

It was with the help, support, and expertise of Fahe that we have begun "living the dream" of creating Renaissance Village

Fahe, a nationally recognized, Appalachian non-profit, will be hosting its Annual Meeting in Charleston, WV on September 23rd and 24th at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Fahe is comprised of 55 housing and community development organizations across Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Alabama, and Maryland that focus on empowering the people and the communities of Appalachia, by creating access to housing, healthcare, community facilities, and water.

The theme for the Annual Meeting is “Who Can Save Appalachia?” The two-day meeting features educational seminars, round table conversations, and panel discussions with experts from several fields. Fahe is pleased to announce that former West Virginia First Lady Gayle Manchin will be one of the keynote speakers.

“Reconnecting McDowell, Inc. is an initiative that goes to the core of poverty in a totally depressed area of Appalachia with a comprehensive plan,” said Manchin. “Obviously, all cannot be completed at once; it was with the help, support, and expertise of Fahe that we have begun 'living the dream' of creating the Renaissance Village: a total housing complex in downtown Welch to provide affordable housing, with amenities, to professionals coming to work and live in McDowell County. Without this project, we would never be able to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers, and other skilled workforce individuals, which is critical to the success of any program in McDowell County. The efforts of Fahe took a vision and focus and turned it into a reality!”

Along with her service during her term as First Lady of WV, Mrs. Manchin has served on several prestigious boards and is the current President of the State Board of Education. She is also serves as Chair of the Board for Reconnecting McDowell, which was recently recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative. The American Federation of Teachers and Fahe are some of the partner organizations involved in Reconnecting McDowell.

Also in attendance will be representatives from sponsor NeighborWorks America in which Fahe is a chartered member. NeighborWorks America is a nationwide network of 248 trained and certified community development organizations at work in nearly 4,000 communities across America. “The Fahe membership is truly an amazing group of organizations and professionals who are working to bring a new vision to Appalachia,” said Acting COO of NeighborWorks America Peter Carey. “Working at the local and regional level, Fahe is helping people live in safe and affordable homes, in economically sustainable communities. With an aging population that will need more assistance, an aging housing stock that will need significant rehab, the resources needed to address all these issues are scarce. NeighborWorks remains committed to working in partnership with Fahe to help their membership develop and implement innovative strategies to tackle and overcome these challenges.”

For more information on Fahe’s Annual Meeting, including attendance and sponsorship opportunities, please visit


About Fahe

For over 30 years, Fahe has been making a difference by providing opportunities to the Appalachian region, which impacts the lives of over 40,000 people annually.

We do this by connecting other non-profits, communities, and people with the resources they need to create better lives - resources such as funding, partnership, education, advocacy, and consulting. Our efforts empower families to take the steps needed to get into their first homes, start a business, or access essential services for their town.

About NeighborWorks America

For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

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Aaron Phelps
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