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People in business, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013


  • Former state Tax Commissioner Craig Griffith has joined the Steptoe & Johnson law office in Charleston in an of counsel capacity. He will focus on taxation, corporate and transactional law and government relations at the firm.

Griffith was at the Tax Department for nearly 5 years, joining as deputy commissioner and chief of staff in 2007. He was appointed to head the department in 2010 by former Gov. Joe Manchin. Revenue Secretary Charles O. Lorensen took over as Tax Commissioner upon Griffith's departure earlier this year.


  • The Prestera Center for Mental Health Services Inc. has hired Catherine "Kate" Luikart as program director for adult services at the office located at 511 Morris Street in Charleston.

Luikart is a licensed professional counselor with a masters degree from Marshall University who previously worked as program director at River Park Hospital and director of clinical services for KVC Health Systems, Inc.

At Prestera, she will be in charge of supervising all adult services and programs for the center. Luikart will serve as a community liaison to the Charleston area.  


  • Summit Insurance Services hired Tina White  as its new property and casualty insurance agent in Charleston.

A native West Virginian, White has 17 years of experience in the insurance industry, working most recently with Erie Insurance. Summit said White's hiring represents a key company expansion into the growing Charleston market.


  • Rachel Coffman has been hired as the program manager for the Dollar Energy Fund's Appalachian Region.

Coffman, previously an account executive at TSG Consulting in Charleston, will oversee utility hardship programs in West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee hardship programs beginning March 1.

The programs provide grant funds for limited-income families needing assistance with their utility bills.

Coffman replaces current program manager Danielle Snidow, who is stepping down to focus on her growing business, Uncork and Create, in Charleston.  

The Dollar Energy Fund partners with ten utility companies in the Appalachian Region to administer the Hardship Program.

  • Charleston native Sterling Price has been named to the prestigious Verizon Wireless President's Cabinet.

The cabinet honor is reserved for those employees whose sales rank in the top 1 percent among more than 25,000 sales people across the country.

A West Virginia University graduate, Price lives in Mason, Ohio, and serves as Verizon's business sales manager in Cincinnati.


  • The U.S. Small Business Administration recently recognized West Virginia deputy director Karen Friel with a best practice improvement award for improving workflow at the state office.  Friel began compiling a briefing book of essential information, including necessary facts, statistics, contacts and news for the state district office.

Based upon its success, the SBA is now incorporating the briefing book approach nationwide as a way to boost efficiency at all SBA offices.



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