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Bowles Rice announces newly elected partners

Bowles Rice has elected two new equity partners and six new non-equity partners to the firm, effective Jan. 1, 2022. The selections were approved during the regional law firm’s annual year-end partner meeting.

The two attorneys elected to equity partnership are:

  • Michael C. Cardi focuses his practice on business litigation with an emphasis on complex commercial disputes and white collar defense. Cardi works from the firm’s Morgantown office.
  • Elizabeth M. Frame, whose practice encompasses a wide area of commercial and business law, including corporate, banking, health care, energy and financial services. Frame works from the firm’s Charleston office.

The six attorneys elected to non-equity partnership are:

  • Chelsea V. Brown is a litigator who represents health care systems and providers in litigation arising from the provision of medical care, including medical malpractice allegations and licensing disputes. Brown works from the firm’s Morgantown office.
  • Richard R. Heath, Jr. concentrates his practice in the areas of government relations, campaign finance and election law, and hospitality and tourism. Heath works from the firm’s Charleston office.
  • Kaitlyn N. McKitrick is a litigator who focuses her practice on mass tort and toxic tort defense, product liability, and insurance defense. McKitrick works from the firm’s Morgantown office and maintains a presence in the firm’s Parkersburg office.
  • John F. Nobbs concentrates his practice on general business and corporate law and real estate law, including residential and commercial. Nobbs works from the firm’s Southpointe, Pennsylvania office.
  • Drew A. Proudfoot focuses his practice on corporate and financial services transactions as well as business succession planning. Proudfoot works from the firm’s Morgantown office.
  • Charles K. Wade is a member of the firm’s Energy team. He has written and produced hundreds of certified title opinions for regional oil and gas companies. Wade works from the firm’s Morgantown, West Virginia office.

Farmers’ market on tap for February

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is now accepting vendors for the 2022 Winter Blues Farmers’ Market. The event will be held 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center.

In the past, the market has featured local West Virginia businesses that have sold everything from soaps and salsa to fresh vegetables and pet treats.

“The pandemic has continued to showcase the importance of local agriculture in regard to food security and economic development,” said Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt. “The Winter Blues Farmers’ Market is a great opportunity for those local agriculture businesses to showcase their goods and spread the word about what they do.”

In 2021, more than 60 vendors set up shop at the Winter Blues Market. The sales total for the day topped $60,000. This year, the market will include a wholesale buyers’ event from noon through 1 p.m. to connect retailers with West Virginia grown businesses. Winter Blues is sponsored by the WVDA and the WVU Extension Small Farm Center and is held in conjunction with the West Virginia Small Farm Conference which is being held virtually this year on Feb. 23-26.

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Producers who wish to sign up as vendors should contact Lisa Jones at the WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center at lisa.lagana@mail.wvu.edu (304-293-2715) or Beth Southern with the WVDA at bsouthern@wvda.us (304-558-2210).

Advantage Valley hoping to plant seeds

Advantage Valley, together with the eight Economic Development Authorities representing a nine-county region in central West Virginia, announces the launch of a new program called Economic Gardening designed to provide technical assistance to local companies poised for growth. Advantage Valley is offering this program because nationally, research shows local businesses create more than 80% of new jobs. The regional economic goal is to identify 45 local businesses in the next three years and offer an exercise proven to help expand market share, grow business and hire employees.

Advantage Valley, together with its business retention specialists and executives at eight local economic development authorities, seeks growth-oriented companies in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, Mason, Jackson and Wayne Counties that sell to markets outside the region, have six to 100 employees, and have experienced growth two out of the past five years with annual revenue between $650,000 and $50 million. Advantage Valley is offering this program for free to select companies through a partnership with the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG), an organization that has patented this successful approach to economic development over 20 years.

Funding for the Economic Gardening Program is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. For more information or to apply, go to https://advantagevalley.com/business-services/economic-gardening/ or call your local Economic Development Authority and ask for information on the Economic Gardening program.

Investors award capital to surgical device company

Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN) investors have awarded $40,000 in new capital to Endolumik, Inc., a surgical device company with a new bariatric surgery innovation.

CRAN, the state’s only accredited angel investment network, previously announced in October an initial investment of $175,000 to the Morgantown company.

Mara McFadden, chief executive officer, and Dr. Nova Szoka, inventor, presented at CRAN’s recent annual meeting in Glen Jean.

“Some of our investors who had limited knowledge about Endolumik had a chance to meet the leaders of the company and learn about the medical device’s potential,” said Judy Moore, managing director of CRAN. “Those positive interactions led to CRAN’s additional investment.”

McFadden has a track record of launching new medical devices and has worked with leading industry companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Philips Healthcare. Szoka is a bariatric surgeon who is leading clinical development of the product. Earlier in 2021, McFadden and Szoka secured a licensing agreement from West Virginia University to begin to position the product for commercial use.

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