New foundation exec: After more than a decade as executive director of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, Amy Owen will step down next month and a longtime Eastern Panhandle resident has been named as her successor.

“Leaving the area and this community foundation will be a little heartbreaking,” said Owen, who is moving with her husband as he takes a new job in Middleburg, Va. “But with the board’s hiring of Michael Whalton, I know a wave of fresh energy, innovation and passion for building local endowment will follow.”

Whalton, an expert in hospitality, special events management and fundraising who formerly served as director of a foundation in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, has lived in the Panhandle for more than 17 years. In 2008, he earned an MBA from Shepherd University.

Thanks to money from the Benedum Foundation, a substantial gift from 2010 lottery winner Randy Smith and bequests and smaller contributions from thousands of others, the foundation – founded in 1995 and serving Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire and Hardy counties – today has endowed assets of more than $16 million. Last year, the organization granted more than $2.3 million to support local causes.


United Way’s new chief: Peter Mulford has been named the new president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Eastern Panhandle, replacing Jan Callen, who is retiring after 12 years in the post.

Mulford served as CEO of the Gateway Regional Health System/City Hospital, now West Virginia University Hospitals-East.

Bank of Charles Town’s Robert Baronner led the United Way’s selection committee, which began meeting in October.

Mulford earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Vermont and after serving in the Army in Vietnam (where he won the Distinguished Flying Cross and other

medals of valor), he completed his MBA at Cornell University.

Mulford came on board this week to begin working alongside Callen; he will assume his responsibilities May 1.


New banker: David Irvin has joined City National Bank as a senior commercial lender. He will be based at City National’s King Street location in Martinsburg.

Irvin spent more than 10 years with the Bank of Charles Town, where he was executive vice president of commercial lending.


City National recently announced plans to acquire Virginia Savings Bank, based in Front Royal, Va. The bank also has offices in that state in Winchester, Stephen City, Woodstock and Strasburg. City has 68 branches in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, including seven branches in the Eastern Panhandle.

Skip Hageboeck, City’s president and CEO, said the bank expects to continue to grow in Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley counties, as well as expand in Virginia. “We own two parcels in the Eastern Panhandle for expansion, and four in Northwestern Virginia,” he said.

Race sponsor: Shepherdstown’s Hoxton Financial Inc. is the lead local business sponsor for this month’s This Race for the Birds.

Put on by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, the April 21 race will be held at the National Conservation Training Center just outside Shepherdstown.

Hoxton Financial’s $1,000 commitment makes it race’s platinum-level sponsor. Dozens of other local businesses also have made smaller donations to support the event. To register or get more information, go to the race website at or email or 304-876-6784.

Drawing winners: Four local business leaders got something extra from last month’s ribbon cutting/mixer at Charles Town’s new Hampton Inn & Suites. The four winners’ names were drawn from those who attended the hotel’s March 21 official grand opening. Tara Perry, the hotel’s sales manager, announced that Lynne E. Wiseman of ERA Liberty Realty and Roberta Chromey of Sir Speedy Printing each won a free night’s stay at the 131-room luxury hotel. Two others won a free trip through Charles Town Auto Wash: Angela Hill of Good Shepherd Caregivers and Brenda Poston of MVB Bank.

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