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Opportunities in the Economy: Speaker Bios

Dr. Kim Becher

Kimberly Becher, MD, is a family physician at Community Care of WV in Clay County. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians and was named the 2016 Outstanding Rural Health Provider by the WV Rural Health Association. She is a Paul Ambrose Health Policy Fellow and uses that training to target disparities in health care.

Terri Baker

For more than thirty years, Terri’s career has centered on education. She has 25 years of experience in curriculum development, grant writing, workforce education, business development, program development, and community relations. At WVSOM she served as the Staff Council Treasurer. Prior to WVSOM, Terriworked with Bluefield State College as their Education Coordinator. During her time at New River Community and Technical College, she was the Workforce and Business Development Coordinator. She also served as Chair for Criterion 2 (Integrity: Ethical & Responsible Conduct) and Criterion 4 (Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement) for accreditation purposes to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). While at New River, she also served as the representative of the Board of Governors and as the Chair of the Classified Staff Council.

John Deskins

John Deskins serves as Director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research and as Associate Professor of Economics at West Virginia University. He leads the Bureau’s efforts to serve the state by providing rigorous economic analysis and macroeconomic forecasting to business leaders and policymakers across the state. Deskins’ academic research has focused on economic development, small business economics, and public policy. His work has appeared in numerous professional economics outlets. Deskins has testified before the U.S. Congress and the West Virginia Legislature. He has delivered more than 200 speeches and his quotes have appeared in numerous media outlets such as The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has obtained more than $1 million in funded research.

Jerome Gilbert

Dr. Jerry Gilbert feels destiny has brought him back to the Mountain State. He first visited West Virginia in 1973 as a delegate from Mississippi to the National Youth Science Camp. In 2016, he returned as president of Marshall University, fulfilling a commitment he made more than 40 years ago to pay this state back for launching his career trajectory in science and academia. A Mississippi native with a background in biomedical engineering and research, Jerry came to Marshall after serving nearly 30 years in various administrative, academic and research positions at Mississippi State University.

Dr. Drema Mace

Dr. Drema Mace is the Vice President for Community Engagement & Development and Executive Director of the Center for Rural and Community Health. Dr. Mace’s public health career spans four decades from July 1980 to present, with 24 years working in the WV Public Health System and 13 years working in Nashville, TN, specifically focused on Infectious Diseases as the CEO of the Nashville Health Management Foundation and Vanderbilt University Comprehensive Care Center. She returned to West Virginia in 2010 as Office Director of the WV State Office of Emergency Medical Services and the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Health Office before coming to WVSOM in 2016. Dr. Mace has a Master of Science in Public Service Management and a Doctorate in Human Services, with a specialization in Health Care Administration. She is a prolific and successful grantwriter, from multi-million dollar federal and statewide grants to small grants for local non-profits. At WVSOM, Dr. Mace leads the programming that addresses the Opioid epidemic in West Virginia through community and professional partnerships. Dr.Mace is a native of rural Boone County, West Virginia.

Dr. Clay Marsh

Clay B. Marsh, MD, leads the academic health sciences center of West Virginia University — including five schools — Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health — and numerous allied health programs and clinical operations around the state. A national leader in personalized medicine and in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Marsh has concentrated his efforts in determining how to help individuals stay healthy and how to create ecosystems to make this easy. Marsh is a two-time graduate of West Virginia University, earning an undergraduate degree in biology in 1981 and a medical degree in 1985.

F. Scott Rotruck

Scott Rotruck is the Senior Account Executive for Orion Strategies. He is a member of the WV Board of Education and current Chair of the WV Public Education Collaborative, who once taught Entrepreneurship at WVU. He has appointed be five governors to serve on, or chair many statewide boards, including the state's venture fund, known as WV Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT).

Kim Tieman

Kim Barber Tieman is the Health and Human Service Program Director for the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Kim has a Masters Degree in Social Work and is a Licensed Social Worker in West Virginia. She has a background in community development, program development and management, grant writing, grants management, and training.