NRGRDA’s newly-appointed executive director talks new position, plans for region

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Jina Belcher was just named the executive director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, an organization that supports business retention and development in Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers Counties. 

Belcher is bringing years of financial planning and community development experience to her new position.

She started with the NRGRDA in 2018 as a director of business development before she became the deputy director, and she says when the executive position became available, it just felt organic. 

“I’m fortunate that the board trusted me with this position, and I’m excited to lead the organization moving forward, but really, I’m able to provide some of my financial skills and my community development skills together and figure out how to move the region forward in a positive direction and create some economic impact,” she said. 

She says moving forward, the NRGRDA will be focused on new business recruitment, retaining businesses, programs that will benefit the region as a whole and entrepreneurship  support.

Belcher is also looking at ways in which West Virginia can capitalize during the pandemic. 

“Right now, the housing market is a seller’s market. Folks are trying to locate here. We see the opportunities around recruiting remote workers with the outdoor assets that we have here and so really instead of, you know, we don’t want to focus on all of the negative that came with COVID. We just want to look at the opportunities that we’ve got as a state and really sort of capitalize on those.” 

As a McDowell County native, she says she is excited to continue to watch Southern West Virginia grow and be a part of the process. 

“I’m fortunate to be in this position and continue this good work and have really great colleagues and organizations to partner with and work alongside, so you know, I’m just thrilled to do it,” Belcher said. 

She officially takes on her new role at the beginning of December.

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.