Woman of the Year Nominees
Nominees for the Woman of the Year are people who live in the Fayette County community who have demonstrated hard work, dedication to the area, volunteer service, vision and for leadership in our county.
Helen Lewis: Mrs. Lewis has served as director of the St. Andrew’s Day Care since 1989 and has worked there for a total of 29 years. She is originally from Mount Hope and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Bluefield State College. She is certified in CPR and first aid, as well as medication administration. She teaches the preschool group at St. Andrew’s with a focus on advanced reading prior to kindergarten. While director, she has successfully sought out grant funding and increased the day care’s participation in programs for children in need, including the Fayette County pre-K program, W.Va. Child Nutrition Program and W.Va. Stars Program.
An active part of the Fayette County community, Mrs. Lewis serves on the Ladies Aid at Pleasant View Church of the Brethren, as well as being involved in the adult and youth choirs. She met her husband, Coach Ronnie Lewis, at Mount Hope, and they have been married for 39 years. They have two children. Mrs. Lewis is also a classically trained soprano and enjoys fishing with her husband, travel and gardening.
Diana Janney: Diana Janney has been instrumental in the Oak Leaf Festival every year since it began. She has taken care of vendors, worked with ideas for the kids’ entertainment and served on the steering committee.
I have seen her in action, literally stopping traffic on Main Street outside her place of employment (Chase Bank), so that one of her elderly customers can safely cross the street. She has always done whatever it takes for her customers.
Diana is on the board of directors at her church; she teaches Sunday school and is a big asset to the Vacation Bible School. Diana still has time to serve on the city council and always brings a positive attitude with some wonderful ideas to the table.
She has been a huge asset to the White Oak Rail Trail Expo. She is always there with a smile on her face. She helped paint the spaces, assisted me with what should and shouldn’t be done. To sum it up, anytime something needs done, she’s doing it.
Marion Tanner: One woman makes a huge difference in our community through her volunteer efforts. That woman is Marion Tanner. She has achieved the level of Master Gardener for five years. When she heard about the Boy Scout programs, she came up with the idea of having the group to do gardens and bat houses at the 4-H camp so the kids wouldn’t be afraid to sleep in the cabins. She didn’t want to see the bats exterminated because of the benefits bats bring to our communities. She spent countless hours working out thousands of details to make everything run smoothly.
We ended up with hundreds of plants, pre-cut bat houses, 40 Boy Scouts, our gardening group and 4-H Extension all working together to make this a success story. We now have a beautiful entrance garden, meadow garden, bat houses and then, in addition, a West Virginia garden.
She is a longtime member of the Fayetteville Baptist Church and very involved in her county. I would love to see her hard work and dedication rewarded. She is truly an inspiration to us all.
Brenda Taylor: Brenda Taylor is nominated because she is a person who cares so much for others. She is constantly doing for others, especially for kids. She collects clothing and toys, including stuffed animals. She has been president of AIM (Ansted Improvement Motivators) for four years and spends many months volunteering her time for the Christmas parade and the annual veterans’ program. In keeping with serving her community, she is a newly-elected councilperson for Ansted.
She works hard for the kids at her church, teaching Sunday school and Wednesday night classes and is the director. She also does Bible school and prepares all the lessons. She helps people find places to live and helps them to do their paper work to apply to college.
All these things she does while caring for her husband, who is a disabled veteran. This is the reason why I believe my mom, Brenda Taylor, should be Fayette County Woman of the Year. She always goes above and beyond for anyone she meets. She is an inspiration to me and many other young women in Ansted and Fayette County.
Jennifer Salvatore: I would like to nominate Jennifer Salvatore for Fayette County Woman of the Year. No matter when I call for assistance, she has always been there when I have needed anything special for our school, New River Elementary. She has been a dedicated PTA president at the school since its opening several years ago. As a teacher, I can always count on her to help. She is simply amazing.
Jennifer is involved in her community of Fayetteville as well, opening a business, Wild Flour Bakery, and supporting her local schools and civic groups with something sweet to complement any fundraising efforts. She has served on several committees for the county over the years. I think Jennifer Salvatore is your next Fayette County Woman of the Year.
Denise Scalph: Denise is nominated for her hard work, commitment, vision and leadership of Fayette County. She is a business owner in Fayetteville and serves as county commissioner. But if you know Denise, you know her dedication and hard work goes far beyond that.
In many years of living in Fayette County, she has always volunteered her time and participated in any way she could in helping others. She is generous in her support of civic organizations, schools and churches by always contributing gifts and donations for any fundraiser that the people in our community have. She is actively involved as a board member and committee member in many of these community organizations and gives generously of her time as well.
Denise’s hard work, positive friendly attitude and sincere concern and love for our county and the people who live her are why I believe Denise Scalph should be Fayette County Woman of the Year.