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SPEAKER:  Jill Upson, Executive Director, Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs

TOPIC:  Incredible Opportunities for Small Businesses  |  FLYER

PRESENTATION: Jill will be discussing resources and opportunities for small business and non-profits, and the BRIDGE Grant for Jefferson and Berkeley counties.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jill Upson is the Executive Director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA).  She was appointed to this cabinet-level position in December 2018 after serving for four years in the West Virginia House of Delegates.  Through her vision to employ a combination of informational and cultural initiatives, Upson has greatly expanded the impact of this agency statewide.

Only months after taking leadership, Upson designed, created, and implemented the first major grant program at HHOMA.  The community-based pilot project that she named BRIDGE (Building Resources In Diverse Geographic Environments), is providing a half million dollars in funding to underrepresented communities in West Virginia.

Elected in 2014 to the West Virginia House of Delegates, Upson served as Vice Chair of Banking in addition to serving on various committees, caucuses, and commissions.  Due to her steadfast leadership on criminal justice reform, Upson was recognized by the Governor of West Virginia with his Civil Rights Award.

Jill Upson holds the distinction of making state history as the first black Republican woman elected to the WV House of Delegates.  She currently serves as Chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission.  She was recently appointed to the Governor’s Complete Count Commission to assist the United States Census Bureau in conducting the 2020 Census.

Director Upson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Shepherd University.  She is married to retired Navy Commander Kelvin Upson and is the mother of DJ and Chandler.

ABOUT THE HERBERT HENDERSON OFFICE OF MINORITY AFFAIRS: The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs is committed to serving and assisting all underserved citizens across West Virginia and developing innovative ways to address issues affecting minority populations through conversation, education, leadership, and collaboration.

ABOUT THE EASTERN PANHANDLE ENTREPRENEURS FORUM (EPEF):  The Eastern Panhandle Entrepreneurs Forum is a non-profit organization comprised of individuals from within the business and technical community to promote the formation and growth of innovative new businesses. The EPEF is a chapter of the West Virginia Entrepreneurs Forum at West Virginia University.  Typical quarterly meetings include networking with a variety of business professionals including venture capitalists, private investors, industry experts, business service providers, inventors, and other successful entrepreneurs. In addition, a presentation on a topic of interest to entrepreneurs is also on the program. The EPEF is based on the premise that the future economic vitality of our region must come from the emergence of new businesses through entrepreneurship.  In order for this to occur, there must be an entrepreneurial culture, a pool of resources to draw from, and successful models to follow. It is our hope that the EPEF can provide the critical mass necessary to create this mindset and attract these resources to our region. The Eastern Panhandle Entrepreneurs Forum is a collaboration between Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

NOVEMBER SPONSORS: Berkeley County Development Authority, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, CNB Bank, Jefferson County Development Authority, Morgan County Economic Development Authority & Region 9 Planning and Development Council.

WHEN and WHERE: The EPEF meets quarterly on the first Thursday of the month in February, May, August and November and rotates between the three counties in the Eastern Panhandle at various locations.  The events are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and start at 5:30 pm with refreshments and networking followed by the program at 6:00 pm.

For more information, contact Jennifer Smith at the Berkeley County Development Authority, 304.267.4144, ext. 3 or

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