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Heywood is 2017 Spirit of the Valley winner

Tom Heywood

The YMCA of Kanawha Valley has selected Bowles Rice managing partner Tom Heywood to receive this year’s Spirit of the Valley Award.

Heywood will be honored as the award’s 33rd recipient at a luncheon on Aug. 24.

“Each year, the Spirit of the Valley recognizes an outstanding community citizen helping to enrich life for all the Kanawha Valley. Tom Heywood fits this mold superbly well,” said Marty Becker, chairman of this year’s event. “Tom is a leader in a variety of local and statewide community organizations and economic development groups while simultaneously leading one of our state’s premier law firms. Tom embodies all that the Spirit of the Valley award recognizes.”

Heywood was chairman of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s election campaigns in 2011 and 2012 and served as chief of staff and counsel to then-Gov. Gaston Caperton from 1989 to 1993.

He serves on numerous charitable and nonprofit boards, and he participates in various business and economic development organizations, including the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation (2012 to present); the Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation (president, 2011 to present); the West Virginia Roundtable (chairman); and the Mid-Atlantic Technology Research & Innovation Center — MATRIC (chairman of the board presently).

He also was also appointed by Tomblin to serve on the West Virginia University Board of Governors in 2016.

Heywood is a 1982 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. He earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University.

Tom is married to Melody Simpson, also an attorney at Bowles Rice. They are the parents of three grown children, Michael, Stephen and Lindsay.

The August awards luncheon will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center.

For more information, those interested in attending or sponsoring at the luncheon can contact LeeAnn Doyle at the YMCA (

Also, tickets for the luncheon, reservations and organization tables will be available from many of the campaign captains and hosts during the Spirit of the Valley fundraising campaign, which will run from May 11 to July 27.

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