Board of Directors


Wells-238x300.jpgJennifer Wells, PRESIDENT 

West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition

Jennifer Wells is the schools organizer with West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. She holds a Masters of Social Work from West Virginia University with a concentration in community organizing and social administration. With over ten years of experience, Jennifer has worked in child welfare, juvenile justice and Medicaid Disabled Waiver programming. She currently serves as the Western Regional Representative on the WV Chapter of National Association of Social Workers Board, is on the WV Free Action Fund Board and is active with Huntington Women’s Caucus and League of Women Voters. Originally from New Orleans, she is proud to call the Mountain State her home with her lovely husband, David.


Marybeth Beller, VICE PRESIDENT 

Marshall University

Dr. Marybeth Beller serves as the Director of Public Administration and Associate Professor of Political Science at Marshall University. She also directs the graduate internship program for the West Virginia Legislature.  A native West Virginian, Marybeth earned a BA from WV State University, an MA from Marshall University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, where she specialized in Public Policy and American Political Institutions.  Her courses include Public Opinion and Propaganda; Data Analysis; Urban Administration and First Year Seminar.  Marybeth also serves on the board of the ACLU and Odyssey Fellowship Committee of the University Honors Program  at Virginia Tech University. Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall University, Marybeth served as a program administrator for senior nutrition services in Boone, Fayette, Clay, Kanawha and Putnam Counties. 


Thacker-238x300.jpgJennifer Thacker, Secretary

West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families

Jennifer Thacker is the Executive Director for the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families (WVASF). Ms. Thacker graduated from Concord College with a BA in Psychology. She is a licensed social worker and has over seventeen years of experience working in the non-profit industry. Ms. Thacker received her Executive MBA from Marshall University May 2011.





Efaw-238x300.jpgDavid Efaw, Treasurer

West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council

David Efaw is the Secretary-Treasurer for the West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council. He served six years as a Business Manager, six years Chairman of the Executive Board and 15 years on the Contract Negotiating Committee for IBEW Local 466 in Charleston, WV. Currently he serves as trustee on the IBEW 466 Pension Fund and as a board member of the West Virginia Public Port Authority.





CHristensen-238x300.jpgJohn Christensen

Government Relations, Business Development for Mountain View Solar

John Christensen serves as Government Relations Representative for Mountain View Solar in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. He is also Vice President of the Eastern Panhandle Labor Council and hosts the “Labor Beat” Radio Show from Shepherdstown, WV. He serves on both the Berkeley County Economic Development Authority and the Solid Waste Authority.





Eades-238x300.jpgDaniel Eades

West Virginia University Extension Service

Daniel Eades is rural economics specialist for West Virginia University Extension’s Community, Economic, and Workforce Development (CEWD) unit. His technical expertise in community data analysis and economic impact analysis provides communities and local leaders with information necessary to make informed economic development decisions. Prior to joining the WVU Extension Service in 2010, Eades worked as a research associate in Clemson University’s EDA University Center and Regional Economic Development Research Laboratory conducting and supporting input-output analyses and industry cluster initiatives throughout South Carolina. His teaching, research, and outreach activities cover a breadth of regional and community economic development issues important to rural West Virginians.



Gibson-238x300.jpgJoyce Gibson

Service Employees International Union District 1199

Joyce Gibson is the Director of West Virginia/Kentucky Health Care Division of Service Employees International Union District 1199, which represents more than 35,000 health care, social service, and public sector workers across Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. District 1199 is a part of the Service Employees International Union, whose 2 million members make it the largest union of health care workers and the fastest growing union in the world.




Kunz-238x300.jpgKaren Kunz

West Virginia University

Dr. Kunz teaches courses on public financial management, public budgeting, economic fiscal policy and advocacy, and civil disobedience at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Her research interests include public finance and fiscal policy, political economy, and financial markets regulation. In addition, Dr. Kunz brings over 25 years of professional experience in the financial markets industry. She began her career in the municipal bond market before starting one of the first female-owned consulting firms in the industry. Her clients included institutional investors and traders, and boutique, regional and multinational firms. Dr. Kunz also serves on the board of directors for the American Association of Budget and Program Analysts ( and Public Financial Publications (PFP). Her first book, When the Levees Break: Re-visioning Regulation of the Securities Markets, and related blog are at


Patterson-238x300.jpgReverend James Patterson

Partnership of African American Churches

Rev. James L. Patterson is an ordained elder and senior pastor of Institute Church of the Nazarene Institute, West Virginia. He also is a founder and current president of the Partnership for African American Churches Institute (PAAC), a West Virginia nonprofit, whose mission is to work with its 21 congregational communities to empower communities of color. Rev. Patterson holds an M.A. degree in sociology from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia; and a master’s of community change and conservation degree from Future Generations School of Graduate Studies in Franklin, West Virginia.



Wilson-238x300.jpgRick Wilson

American Friends Service Committee

Rick Wilson is the Director of the West Virginia Economic Justice Project for the American Friends Service Committee. He is a regular contributor to the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s editorial page as well as to WVCBP reports and issue briefs. Rick serves on multiple progressive coalitions across West Virginia. He resides in Milton, West Virginia.

© 2019 West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy