West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Executive Director Jenny Gannaway to Retire

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.”

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.

“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.”

The West Virginia VOAD is the state chapter of the National VOAD. The WV VOAD consists of organizations active in disaster response throughout the state of West Virginia. The VOAD’s role is to bring organizations together and enable them to understand each other and work together during times of disaster preparedness, response, relief, and recovery.