Michael J. Farrell, Esq., Chair
Michael J. Farrell is the Founding Member of Farrell, White & Legg, PLLC, a Huntington law firm. He graduated from Marshall University in 1969 with a B.S. He graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1974. He served as Interim President of Marshall University in 2005. Cumulatively, he served eleven years as a member of the Marshall University Board of Governors and its predecessor, Marshall University Advisory Board.
At Marshall, he also served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. As a Marshall student, he was Student Body President, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a Distinguished Military Graduate and the First Student Member of the President’s Cabinet. He also served as MARCO, the school mascot. At the WVU College of Law, he served two terms on the Visiting Committee including a year as Chairman. As a law student, he was an oralist on the 1973 National and World Champion, Jessup International Law Moot Court Team. He was Senior Class President, a member of law review and served as Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board as well as Captain of both the National and International Moot Court Teams. He is a member of Mountain, WVU’s Ranking Men’s Honorary.
Jenny Allen, Vice Chair
Jenny is the Chief Operating Officer at SkyTruth, a technology-based environmental nonprofit based in Shepherdstown that uses satellite imagery and remote sensing data to map and monitor threats to the planet such as oil spills, fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and overfishing of the oceans. As a leader of the Create campaign for Shepherd University, Jenny helped the institution raise $26 million in its first comprehensive fundraising initiative. She also served as a trustee for nine years and president for four of the Contemporary American Theater Festival as well as on numerous other boards, including the New York based playwright service organization New Dramatists. Jenny has participated in panels for the Theatre Communications Group and for the National Endowment for the Arts. She earned a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., an M.A. from the University of Georgia, and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Georgetown University.
Bob Brown who is employed in the Office of the President for the American Federation of Teachers, resides in Charleston, WV. Mr. Brown is Senior Vice President of the WV AFL-CIO; Chair of the WV Public Employee Grievance Board; a member of the WV Higher Education Policy Commission; a member of the WV Workforce Investment Council; a member of the Teachers Retirement System Committee of the WV Investment Management Board; a Commissioner for the Malden Public Service District; and a member of the WV Attorney General’s Citizen Advisory Committee. Bob Brown is a Marine Corps veteran of the Viet Nam war and was educated in Kanawha County public schools, West Virginia Institute of Technology, and West Virginia University.
James W. Dailey, II completed his Undergraduate Studies at West Virginia University in 1968 and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Northeast Louisiana University in 1970 while serving as President of Sigma Lambda Chi Construction Society Honorary.
Mr. Dailey is Chairman and Treasurer of W. Harley Miller Contractors, Inc., where he started with the company 47 years ago as an estimator, and progressed through to project manager, chief construction engineer, vice president, and executive vice president. His construction experience had afforded him the honor and privilege of being involved in a vast array of building projects throughout his career.
Mr. Dailey is a Past President, Officer and Director of the Contractors Association of West Virginia. He is a Past President, Officer and Director of Associated Builders and Contractors of Cumberland Valley Chapter and Board of Trustee for the Construction Education Foundation. Mr. Dailey is a Past Chairman of West Virginia University Board of Governors and past Gubernatorial Appointee of West Virginia University Board of Governors. He is a past Gubernatorial Governor Appointee to the WV State Building Commission and a current Gubernatorial Appointee to the Public Employees Insurance Agency, Finance Board and Trust Fund. He is a current Mayoral Board Member Appointee to the Building Code of Appeals Board for the City of Martinsburg.
Mr. Dailey is the Past President, Officer and Director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Executive Committee and Director of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board for United Bank of Martinsburg and Board of Director of United Bank of West Virginia. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Farmers & Mechanics Mutual Insurance Company of WV and as a Director since March 3, 1995. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Farmers & Mechanics Fire & Casualty Insurance, Inc. and as a Director since May 12, 2006. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pulaski and Giles Mutual Insurance Company of VA.
He was a Major (Retired Pilot) with the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard. He is a 32nd Degree Master Mason of Equality Lodge No. 44 of Martinsburg and the Osiris Shrine Temple in Wheeling WV. He is a member of the Christ Reformed Church, United Church of Christ.
He is married to his wife Diane and they have one (1) daughter, one (1) son and six (6) grandchildren.
Diane Lewis Jackson is a graduate of Fairmont State University and holds two degrees in Accounting and Banking. She is the Founder, President and CEO of Action Facilities Management, Inc. (AFM), located in Morgantown, WV. Diane has successfully grown her company to be a premier government and commercial contract firm specializing in site management, security services, maintenance and janitorial, equipment operations, consulting, staffing solutions and project management.
Diane currently serves on the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, West Virginia University Hospital Board, the Visiting Committee for the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, and is a former member of the West Virginia University Board of Governors. Mrs. Lewis Jackson has received countless awards/commendations for her dedication and leadership principles.
Dale Lowther is a retired accountant who resides in Parkersburg. He served two terms as a member of the Marshall University Board of Governors.
Gayle Manchin, Ex-Officio
Gayle Conelly Manchin attended West Virginia University, where she attained her Bachelor of Arts in Language Arts and Education and a Master of Arts in Reading, and a second master’s specialization in Educational Technology Leadership from Salem International University. She was recently appointed by Governor Jim Justice to serve as Cabinet Secretary for the Office of Education and the Arts within his administration.
As an educator, Gayle worked in Marion County Schools at the secondary level, served on the faculty of Fairmont State University in Developmental Education and was the Director of the university’s first Community Service Learning Program. From 2000-2004, she directed the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows in WV and through the Secretary of Education and the Arts, implemented a statewide initiative, WVPASS (WV Partnerships to Assure Student Success).
From January 2005 until November 2010, Gayle served as West Virginia’s First Lady and the official hostess of the Governor’s Mansion where she was an advocate for West Virginia children and families. In addition, she was appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the State Board of Education, where she completed her tenure in 2015 after serving as President for her last two years. She is the Chair of the Board for Reconnecting McDowell, an AFT initiative serving rural WV, is a past president of the Vandalia Rotary Club of Charleston, and currently serves on the Clay Center Advisory Board, Vision Shared and as an Emeritus Member of The Education Alliance. In addition, she serves on the REL Appalachia Governing Board.
On the national level, Gayle is a Past-President of the National State Boards of Education (NASBE). She served by appointment of Sec. of Education, Arne Duncan to the FIPSE (Federal Improvement for Post-Secondary Education) Board from 2010-2014, and is a current member of the International Friendship Club and the Senate Spouses Organization in Washington, DC. Gayle is also a member of the Board of Director’s for Horton’s Kids, a non-profit organization serving at-risk youth in Washington, DC. She has spoken both at a state and national level on challenges of rural education, poverty, and our responsibility to intersect economic development with education through collaboration with the Gov’s STEM and STEAM initiatives.
While at WVU, Gayle met and married Joe Manchin, III, elected as US Senator from West Virginia, to fill the unexpired term of Senator Robert C. Byrd in 2010, and re-elected in 2012 for a full term. Joe and Gayle have been married for 48 years and have three children and ten grandchildren.
Dr. Steven L. Paine, Ed.D., Ex-Officio
State Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Steven L. Paine began serving as West Virginia’s 31st Superintendent of Schools in March 2017. He previously served as West Virginia’s 25th Superintendent of Schools from 2005-2011.
Under his leadership, West Virginia was internationally and nationally recognized for its 21st century learning program. The state was also singled out for its work with pre-K programs, school technology implementation, school leadership development programs, reading initiatives and teacher quality efforts.
Paine was active in national education policy discussions as president of the Council of Chief State School Officers and as a member of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) Board of Directors and the National Assessment Governing Board. As part of the governing board, Paine helped lead its work to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation’s Report Card.
Paine joined the West Virginia Department of Education in 2003 as deputy state superintendent of Schools after serving as Morgan County superintendent. He also has served as principal, assistant principal, teacher and curriculum director in school systems in Upshur and Harrison counties.
During his tenure as principal, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School and a U.S. Department of Education Safe, Disciplined, Drug-free School, one of approximately 10 schools in the nation to earn both awards. As a result of his work as a principal, he was named a recipient of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.
Paine earned his undergraduate degree from Fairmont State College, in Fairmont, W.Va. He furthered his education by attending West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va., where he received his master’s in educational administration and his doctorate in educational leadership.
Andrew A. “Drew” Payne III, Secretary
Andrew Payne has worked in the financial industry for the past 30 years. He attended public school in Charleston, WV and graduated from George Washington High School in 1976. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1980 from Hampden Sydney College, and his MBA from George Washington University in 1985. Mr. Payne was a member of the Board of Governors at West Virginia University for nine years, serving three years as Vice Chairman and two years as Chairman.