Andrew A. "Drew" Payne III,  Chair

Andrew Payne has worked in the financial industry for the past 30 years. He attended public school in Charleston, 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 M.B.A. from George Washington University in 1985. Payne was a member of the Board of Governors at West Virginia University for nine years, serving three years as vice chair and two years as chair.

Michael J. Farrell, Esq., Vice 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 bachelor of science degree, and went on to the West Virginia University College of Law where he received a doctorate of jurisprudence in 1974. He served as interim president of Marshall University in 2005. Cumulatively, he served 11 years as a member of the Marshall University Board of Governors and its predecessor, Marshall University Advisory Board.

Diana Lewis Jackson, Secretary

Diana 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. Lewis Jackson 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.

James Dailey

James W. Dailey, II completed his undergraduate studies at West Virginia University in 1968 and received a bachelor of science in construction management from Northeast Louisiana University in 1970 while serving as president of Sigma Lambda Chi Construction Society Honorary. 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 has afforded him the honor and privilege of being involved in a vast array of building projects throughout his career.

Jim Denova

Jim Denova is an independent contractor working in the areas of education and economic development. He has had over thirty years of experience in philanthropy, including such roles as the Vice President of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Executive Director of the Forbes Fund, and Senior Program Officer with the Jewish Heathcare Foundation.

Jim holds a Ph.D. in social research from the University of Pittsburgh.

E. Gail Pitchford

E. Gail Pitchford has 15 years’ experience leading a multi-million-dollar healthcare foundation with proven fundraising success and executive leadership. In addition, she has 25 years previous banking experience leading highly productive, client focused financial teams. She retired as of September 30, 2021, as President of the CAMC Foundation which is the non-profit fundraising arm of the Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, West Virginia.

Ms. Pitchford is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Master of Arts in Corporate and Organizational Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from West Virginia State University.

Photo of Michelle Blat

Michele L. Blatt, Ex-Officio

Michele L. Blatt is the 34th State Superintendent of Schools in West Virginia. Blatt has enjoyed a distinguished career in education with more than 25 years of experience as a teacher, principal, and facilitator. Since joining the WVDE full-time as a Leadership Development Coordinator in 2007, she has earned promotions through the roles of Executive Director of the Office of School Improvement, Chief Accountability Officer, Assistant Superintendent for the Division of Support and Accountability, and Deputy State Superintendent.

Christina Cameron, Ex-Officio

Christina Cameron, Chair of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, is a Government Relations Professional with over 20 years of experience in legislative and administrative lobbying for diverse client groups, corporations and business trade associations in West Virginia. Ms. Cameron has served on various boards and committees and is involved in, among other efforts, fund raising and new business and industry development. She is part owner in 30 in-state businesses employing 130 West Virginians.