Foundation Staff

Foundation Staff

Michelle Foster, Ph.D.

President
and CEO

Kristin Mounts, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Stephanie Hyre, MA

CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER

Angela Dobson

ACCOUNTANT

Todd Dorcas

Program
Officer

Susan Hoover

Scholarship Program Officer

Candace Krell

Grants
Manager

Jane Powell

Communications Director

Megan Simpson

Program
Director

Derek Vance

Program
Officer

Christine Spaulding, MBA

Controller

Almeda Tincher, CPA

Accountant

Katie Smith

Program
Associate

Johanna Miesner

Donor Relations
Officer

Lesley Kimbler

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Michelle Foster, Ph.D | Biography

President and CEO

Dr. Michelle Foster is the President and CEO of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF). Before joining TGKVF, Michelle was the CEO of the Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc. (KISRA), a community-based, nonprofit organization that strengthens West Virginia families through health, employment, asset development, and learning initiatives. Michelle’s original career was as a chemical engineer, most recently at Union Carbide Corporation.

Michelle’s chemical engineering undergraduate degree was conferred at City College of New York. Additionally, she has a doctorate in community economic development (CED) from Southern New Hampshire University and two master’s degrees – one in CED from SNHU and another in engineering management from Marshall University. Her doctoral dissertation was entitled, “The Contributions of Pre-Incarceration Experiences and Prison-Based Programs to Post-Release Employment Acquisition, Retention and Recidivism.” She completed additional university-level studies in impact investing at the University of Oxford, Saïd Business School as well as in nonprofit management and leadership at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Through the years, Michelle’s work has been recognized locally and nationally. She has received many awards including the Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA (2020); Living the Dream Award from the WV Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission (2016); Woman on a Mission Award from Union Mission (2016); Civil Rights Day Award from the State of West Virginia, Office of the Governor (2015); Dr. Martin Luther King, Humanitarian Award from the Saint Albans Ministerial Association (2015); Fatherhood Champion of Change recognition from President Barack Obama at the White House (2012); National Association of University Women, Charleston Branch, Leadership Award (2012); Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Theta Psi Chapter, Citizen of the Year (2012); Charleston Police Department, Award for Community Service (2011); U.S. Small Business Administration, Minority Business Champion (2009); and West Virginia State University, President’s Award for Community Service (2009).

Michelle lives a life of community service. Nationally, her leadership savvy led to an appointment on the board of directors of Women for Economic Leadership and Development (WELD). In the philanthropy sector, she serves as a co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Appalachia Funders Network, board member of Philanthropy West Virginia and Invest Appalachia, and founding member of African American Philanthropy in Action (a giving circle). In the community, she is the President of the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated; member of the Charleston-Institute Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; President-Elect of the Charleston Rotary Club; and Minister of Administration of Ferguson Memorial Baptist Church.

Michelle published her first book, Maximizing Impact: Success Strategies for Dynamic Nonprofits, in February 2023. You can find her podcast, Fostering Solutions, wherever you get your podcasts. In her free time, Michelle enjoys traveling, attending music festivals and theatrical productions, making scented candles, and soul line dancing.

Kristin Mounts, CPA | Chief Financial Officer

Kristin joined The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation team in May of 2017.  She received both her BSBA, Accounting emphasis, and MPA from West Virginia University. Kristin has been a licensed CPA since 1999.  Prior to her work at the Foundation, Kristin spent the majority of her career in the public accounting industry working for both Ernst & Young and Dixon Hughes Goodman. She also served as Deputy Commissioner for the WV State Tax Department. In her role as Chief Financial Officer, Kristin provides leadership, supervision, oversight and management of the Foundation’s finances and investments. Kristin enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and cheering for the Mountaineers.

Stephanie Hyre | Biography

Stephanie joined The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation team in 2012. She received her MA from the University of Georgia and BA from West Virginia University. Prior to her work at the Foundation, Stephanie was the director of a small, basic needs assistance agency and before transitioning to the social sector, she taught composition and rhetoric to college freshman. In her role as Chief Program Officer, Stephanie oversees the Foundation’s Program Department, including its competitive Grant, Scholarship, and Affiliate programs. She also manages the Foundation’s education and arts grant portfolios and leads its nonprofit capacity building efforts. Stephanie is a 2017 class member of Leadership WV. She is co-chair of Philanthropy WV’s Education Affinity Group, a past board director of Charleston Montessori School, and previous co-chair of the Appalachia Funders Network’s Arts & Culture Working Group. Stephanie currently serves on the WV Department of Education’s Professional Teaching Standards Commission. As a certified yoga instructor, Stephanie has volunteered at various nonprofits to guide practitioners through relaxation and stress management. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and traveling.

Angela Dobson | Biography

Angela Dobson, a native of Dunbar, is an Accountant at The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. She started working with the Foundation in October 2017. Before joining the Foundation Angela worked 17 years for the Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action, Inc. (KISRA) as Executive Assistant to the CEO and then as the Quality Financial Manager. During her time with KISRA, she was responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll along with some human resource duties.  

She graduated from Dunbar High School before attending West Virginia State College.  Angela is very family oriented.  She and her husband love spending time with their three children and three grandchildren.  She also enjoys traveling the world, reading, watching sporting events and working out.

Todd Dorcas | Biography

Todd came to The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation after nine years with the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Public Transit (DPT) where he was charged with implementing the Federal Transit Administration’s State Safety Oversight Program over the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) in Morgantown, WV. He has a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State and he attended Graduate School at Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning.  Todd was theExecutive Director of the King Park Area Development Corporation where he assisted the city of Indianapolis with a $4.5 million HUD-awarded grant to demolish vacant and blighted houses, build 269 new homes, rehabilitate 44 homes, improve streets and infrastructure, and develop a system of parks and green space.  This project, known as “Fall Creek Place,” is one of the country’s most successful residential/mixed-use redevelopment projects.  Fall Creek Place has won several national design awards and has been designated as best practices in architecture and redevelopment.  Todd later went on to work for the city of Indianapolis as a city planner specializing in writing zoning ordinances and land use.  Todd is a current board member for the Kanawha County Ambulance Authority and an avid golfer.

Susan Hoover | Biography

Susan is the Scholarship Program Officer at The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.  She started with the Foundation in September 1998 as the receptionist and quickly became the Scholarship Coordinator in January 1999.  Before joining the Foundation, Susan worked in research and banking.  She is a native of Charleston and graduated from Charleston High School before attending West Virginia University.  Susan is very family-oriented.  She and her husband together have five children and nine grandchildren.  Through her work at the Foundation, Susan channels her passion for youth by helping students apply for scholarships and pursue their post-secondary ambitions.

Candace Krell | Biography

Candace Krell began working with The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) as a consultant in
2016 and transitioned to full-time work with the Foundation in 2018. She received a BA in visual
communication from the University of Kansas in 2009 and a BS in Elementary Education from Fort Hayes State University in 2016. Prior to her work with TGKVF, she worked as a graphic designer, email marketing coordinator, customer service representative, and student teacher. Candace has worked in a number of different industries and held various kinds of jobs, but finds that she is happiest when she is doing work that is meaningful.

In her free time, Candace enjoys traveling with her daughter, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying the many blessings that life has to offer. She is an avid knitter and a firm believer that all you need is love.

Jane Powell | Biography

Jane is the Communications Director for The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. She is responsible for directing and administering all aspects of TGKVF’s marketing and communication programs as well as management of the Foundation’s special events. After a career in retail, Jane joined the Foundation in 2012. She is a native of Charleston and graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon.

Jane is an active community volunteer and enjoys working in her garden. She writes a weekly garden-based column “Good to Grow” for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. She is also steward to a Little Free Library, which spreads her love of reading throughout her neighborhood and surrounding areas.

Megan Simpson | Biography

Megan is the Program Director at The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and has been at the Foundation since May 2015. She is a Parkersburg, WV native and a graduate of Purdue University. Before coming to TGKVF she worked at a public relations firm in Indianapolis that focused on several disease awareness campaigns and this is where she developed her passion for Public Health. She returned to West Virginia in 2010 and before starting at the Foundation worked as a Program Specialist at the American Lung Association. In her role as Program Director, Megan oversees the Grant and Scholarship Program Officers. She also manages the Foundation’s health and dental portfolios. In 2022, Megan was named a Grantmakers in Health Terrance Keenan Institute Fellow for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy. 

Megan is a former board member of the West Virginia Children’s Advocacy Network and Awareness Committee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor. She currently serves on the Friends of the Library steering committee for Kanawha County. She was the co-chair for the Appalachian Funders Network Health Group. Megan enjoys spending time with her friends, family, reading and cooking.

Derek Vance | Biography

Derek joined The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation team in 2019. Before coming to the Foundation, Derek worked in fundraising strategy and grantwriting at a number of West Virginia nonprofits. In his role at the Foundation, Derek strives to support local nonprofits and others in the community as they go about their life-changing work.

Derek is a graduate of West Virginia’s public school system as well as Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. When not in the office, Derek enjoys sitting on the front porch with friends and family, adding too many books to his reading list, and traveling.

Christine Spaulding | Biography

Christine joined The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation team in 2007.  Previously, she was the Accountant/Grants Manager/AmeriCorps Director for the United Way of Central WV/LifeBridge AmeriCorps.  In 2014, Christine furthered her education by earning an MBA from the University of Charleston.  A strong community advocate, she volunteers by reading to at-risk youth, fundraising for charitable causes, and providing tax return assistance to marginalized populations.  Her professional interests include accounting, taxes, program, and development.  Christine serves as a site manager for the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program; she is also a member of FAOG and the Charleston Estate Planning Council, as well as the Treasurer for the WVNPA Board of Directors.  Beyond her professional and volunteer pursuits, Christine is very family-oriented.  She and her husband love spending time with their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, Carleigh and grandson Brooks. Outside of her family and community building activities, Christine enjoys crafting, Zumba, concerts, reading, and traveling.

Almeda Tincher, CPA | Biography

Almeda joined The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation team in March 2022. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business with an Accounting and Finance focus from Wright State University and passed the CPA exam in Ohio. Almeda also obtained an Executive Master of Business Administration from Bellarmine University. Almeda spent 12 years as the Treasurer on the Board of her Homeowner’s Association. She also performs volunteer work within her community and for Habitat for Humanity. Prior to working at the Foundation, Almeda’s career focus was mostly working for TC Energy (Columbia Gas) as a Project Manager and Owens Corning in various accounting roles including Financial Controller. Almeda is very family oriented. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Almeda likes movies, music, reading and traveling.

Katie Smith | Biography

Katie Smith’s history with The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) started back in 2010 as a TGKVF scholarship recipient graduating from Riverside High School in the Upper Kanawha Valley. Katie went on to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature in May of 2014 and immediately entered the workforce in a traditional “9-5” setting. In 2015 she left her cubicle in Charleston for a career in dual entrepreneurship, owning both a gym and a holistic wellness blog and business. In 2019 she left entrepreneurship for the opportunity to marry her love of literature and desire to serve others by working for the Putnam County Library system. After leading hundreds of story times and shelving countless books, she found her way back to TGKVF, this time as staff, joining The Foundation’s Program Team as their Program Associate. While Katie deeply loves her work, connecting with others, developing relationships, and joining in efforts to build better communities, she truly believes there is no place like home. Outside of TGKVF you will find Katie on a hiking trail, curled up on the couch with a good book (and her cat, of course); antiquing with her husband, or spending time with family.

Johanna Miesner | Biography

Johanna joined The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation in May of 2023 as the Donor Relations Officer. In this role, she works to connect donors’ philanthropic goals with the Foundation’s strategic priorities and emerging community needs. Johanna grew up in Charleston, WV, and attended George Washington High School. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, she returned home where she worked in a variety of marketing positions. Before joining TGKVF, she served as Communications & Events Coordinator for the Charleston Area Alliance.

Johanna is the president of the Children’s Theatre of Charleston. She currently serves on the Charleston Main Streets East End Board of Advisors, the Kanawha City Community Association Board of Directors, Friends of Clay, and various other community event committees. She lives in Charleston with her fiancée and enjoys live music, bike rides, and a never-ending search for antique green Blenko.