Chamber members honored

Jeff Powelson and the Rev. Dr. Robert Wilkins are the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce Members of the Month for September. Powelson is the chief executive officer at Broaddus Hospital in Philippi. Wilkins is the executive coordinator for the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network, which covers the 13-state Appalachian region.

A native of Pittsburgh, Powelson was raised in Bridgeport and graduated from Bridgeport High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in business administration from West Virginia Wesleyan. He was chief physical therapist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Huntington then director of rehab services at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston before becoming director of Rehabilitative Services at Broaddus Hospital in 1999. He was appointed CEO at Broaddus in 2002.

Powelson is past president of the Critical Access Hospital Network, past treasurer of the Alderson-Broaddus College Board of Trustees and a member of the Barbour County Development Authority and the Barbour County Community Foundation.

Wilkins is a graduate of the University of Alaska with a degree in electronics. Prior to entering the ministry, he worked for the U.S. Office of Naval Research on polar ice drifting and was employed by NASA on the Apollo Lunar Landing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at West Virginia Wesleyan College and a doctorate in ministry from United Theological Seminary. He was a church pastor for 12 years in Ohio and West Virginia before serving as director of Heart & Hand Ministries in Philippi. He began his current position as the executive coordinator for UMAMN in 2010.

Wilkins is currently president of the Barbour County Board of Education, a past president of the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, a 10-year former member of the Philippi City Council, vice president of the West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Association and a member of the Barbour County Bee Keepers Association. He was elected the Barbour Chamber’s Man of the Year in 1992.