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Magazine Special Edition 2020


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R. Gary Goosens Class of 1974

Kristin Cook Class of 2006

Scot Mitchell Class of 1985

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Michelle Burdette Class of 1986

Larry Lilly Class of 1967

John Moyer Class of 1999

MAGAZINE STAFF Vice President for Advancement: Alicia Besenyei Director of Alumni and Donor Relations: Sarah Turner '98 Director of Communications: Amy Pitzer Creative Services Manager: Christopher Boyd '02 Staff Writer: Sarah M. Pritchett Staff Writer: Lindsey Byars '03

Concord University Office of Advancement PO Box 1000 Athens, WV, 24712

Special Edition 2020

1-304-384-6311 • Fax: 1-304-384-6017 advancement@concord.edu • www.concord.edu


R. Gary Goosens ’74 – From Coal Town to D.C. Administrative Law Judge BY LINDSEY BYARS


n 1950, the year Robert Gary Goosens was born, the coal industry in McDowell County, West Virginia was booming. People flocked towards the economic opportunities both within the industry, and the community that supported the workers and their families. “My grandfather was a coal miner,” says Gary Goosens ’74, who grew up in the coal towns of Gary and Northfork. His parents, Bob and Lorraine, were both public school teachers, a profession Goosens would eventually gravitate towards, though not for long.

“Growing up in communities in McDowell County typically involved coal mining and Appalachian culture, although later as I lived in larger cities, I realized that it had also involved an element of isolation,” Goosens says. Education and professional endeavors took Gary Goosens across the United States and back throughout his career. Over the years, he has worked as a teacher and later a law professor. He followed a civil service career track that led him from being a city attorney in Clarksburg, West Virginia to eventually becoming an administrative law judge in Alabama. At the center of this journey was a deep desire to learn and follow his interests, and as this proved successful, ambition continued to drive his



climb up the professional ladder. As a young man, however, the small coal towns served as Robert Gary Goosens’s knowledge of the world. In this microcosm, coal may have been the life force, but for many kids, including Goosens, sports played an equally important part. “Prior to my senior year, I had been more interested in football than school,” Goosens remembers. It was his English teacher that helped him redirect his focus. “Mr. Stark in my senior year was an impetus for me to conceive of higher levels of learning,” Goosens says. “Mr. Stark enabled me to catch up academically and to form realistic professional goals for myself.”

Gary Goosens '74 with his wife, Maxine.


Those professional goals did not immediately begin with college. After graduation, Goosens enlisted in the U.S. military. “I had a lower draft number so I decided to enlist. This decision proved to be highly beneficial in providing funds for various levels of higher education and for my hiring in the federal government,” Goosens says. After an honorable discharge from the military due to a medical condition, Goosens decided to pursue his undergraduate degree from Concord College. His mother was a Concord graduate, and the school’s reputation solidified the decision. “I wanted to attend a college with a good reputation in southern West Virginia, affectionately known as ‘Little Harvard,’” Goosens says. At Concord, Goosens majored in history, political science, and education. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of



Gary Goosens '74 with his wife, Maxine.

Science in 1974. Reminiscing on his time on “The Campus Beautiful,” four professors still stand out in his memory as being influential to his future career paths: history professor Dr. O’Brien, political science professors Dr. Brown and Dr. Moore, and education professor Dr. Dolan. Goosens was determined to excel scholastically so his foundation for future pursuits would prove solid, and he did. “It was important for me to graduate Cum Laude at Concord to bolster my future professional endeavors,” Goosens says. After graduation, Goosens returned to McDowell County as a fifth grade teacher at Switchback Elementary school. He taught for two years, but his undergraduate accolades only served to ignite a spark for his desire to pursue additional degrees. “At that time, having high energy and ambition, I enrolled in West Virginia College of Graduate Studies one month after graduation from Concord,” Goosens says. The higher GPA from Concord paved his way into the Educational Administration program. While teaching, Goosens took classes in the evenings and also during summer breaks. In 1975, he graduated with his M.A. in Educational Administration. In his twenties, Goosens says his interests drove his studies, and Education was not the only field that he wanted to academically pursue. His undergraduate work in political science and history took root, and following his need to know more, Goosens left McDowell County and moved to Morgantown. For the five years that followed, he studied at West Virginia University, earning a M.S. in Industrial Relations, a M.P.A. in Public Administration, and J.D. in Law. “My ambition to study law was the product of successful undergraduate and graduate education. The higher GPA at Concord enabled acceptance into both graduate and legal programs of study,” Goosens says. After graduating from law school, Goosens accepted a position in Clarksburg, West Virginia

My interest in becoming an administrative law judge arose after various attorney promotions within my federal agency, the Social Security Administration.

as an Assistant City Attorney. He held this position for two years, but ultimately he was working towards a civil service career track with the federal government. His opportunity for a federal position came, taking Goosens to Spokane, Washington where he accepted a temporary position as a staff attorney with the Social Security Administration. While living for one year in Spokane, Goosens says he also found himself back in the classroom as a teacher. In the evenings, Goosens taught school law for Wentworth College. A permanent staff attorney position with the Social Security Administration opened in Denver, Colorado, so Goosens accepted, staying here for three years before a promotion took him to Albuquerque, New Mexico as the Supervisory Staff Attorney. The pursuit of knowledge was no longer impacting Goosens’s career trajectory, but rather his success in the field of law. Another promotion followed, this time taking Goosens back towards the East Coast as an Appeals Officer in Washington, D.C. In 1991, Goosens competed for and was offered the position of Administrative Law Judge. “My interest in becoming an administrative law judge arose after various attorney promotions within my federal agency, the Social Security Administration,” Goosens says.

- Gary Goosens '74

This particular position took Goosens to different stations in the United States: Salt Lake City, Utah and Mobile, Alabama. This final position was conveniently located near his parents, who had retired to Navarre Beach in Florida. This also happened to be where he met and married his wife of 22-years, Maxine. Goosens spent the last 30-years of federal service in Mobile, and this is where he and Maxine have retired. Retirement hasn’t kept Goosens from pursuing new endeavors. During his retirement, he wrote and published a book entitled Secrets of Life Revealed in 24 Sentences. He also is enjoying spending this time visiting and Skyping with his children and grandchildren who live in various parts of the country. His son Richard Goosens lives in Bluefield, West Virginia, Michael Goosens and Barbi McLain, his son and daughter, both live in Eugene, Oregon, and his daughter Chrissy Manahan lives in Union, Maine. His grandchildren include Elliot, Bridget, Faryn, and Wren. The only one of Goosens’s children to pursue a law related career is Barbi, who is employed by the law school at the University of Oregon as Director of the Writing Program. While he hasn’t lived in the area for many years, Goosens continues to collect objects from the Mountain State, such as coal art and southern West Virginia coal mining literature: “West Virginia will always be my home state.”




Kristin Cook ’06 Goes the Extra Mile to Protect the Children of WV BY LINDSEY BYARS


rowing up in Summers County, West Virginia, Kristin Cook knew she wanted to protect people. Today, she does, particularly children and victims of domestic abuse. Kristin Cook is the Prosecuting Attorney for Summers County, elected by the community she serves. As a child, however, protecting people looked a little different. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a cop,” Kristin remembers. Terrified of the risk associated with the career choice, it was Kristin’s mother that redirected her path.

“Mom was like, ‘Are you kidding me? That’s really dangerous! You shouldn’t be a cop.’ So she convinced me at a young age that I should be a lawyer because lawyers have more success with getting the bad guys. And I think that was her way to keep me safe.” Even if her only driving force was Kristin’s safety, her mother proved to be persuasive. If Kristin was going to affect change, she agreed with her mother, that being a lawyer should be her career goal. This focus on a law career didn’t waver as Kristin grew older. Her experiences only helped direct the type of law Kristin would practice. At Shady Spring High School, she took an environmental sciences class that sparked her interests. That, in addition to her father’s work as a



coal miner, inspired her to pursue a degree in environmental law. “You’re always going to have coal mines and you could probably make some big money if you represent the right people,” Kristin thought at the time. Her mother also worked for an engineering firm that did business with coal mines, which introduced her to cartography and GIS. If environmental law didn’t work out, Kristin decided she could fall back on map making and analysis. After graduation, Kristin came to Concord and double majored in Geography and Sociology, minoring in Legal Studies. Splitting time between her mother in Raleigh County and her father in Summers County, Athens was close enough to both.

“Concord’s reputation in this area is great, and it was close enough that I could go have a college experience but be close to family, too,” Kristin says. During her time spent on The Campus Beautiful, Kristin did an internship with Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick, III in the 10th Judicial Circuit Court in Beckley. Between her time in the court room and returning home to work on the weekends, Kristin says she enjoyed her time at Concord. She remembers several professors who helped her move towards her goals. “I always felt like Dr. Towers and Dr. Manzo would always go above and beyond to help in so many ways,” she says. “They always took us on different trips, but they were also there as mentors for life, not just education.” Kristin also has fond memories of Dr. Luff who was “fun to be around and talk to” and Dr. John David Smith who helped guide the process of transitioning from Concord to law school. When Kristin goes to her local bank to open an account, the woman who helps her and recognizes her name is the same one who scanned Kristin’s lunch card in the cafeteria when she was a student. “It’s not just about the education part,” Kristin says. “You’re always going to have people you can count on and get to know, people who are



going to be there for you and reach out to you and help you in any way they can.” After graduating from Concord University in 2006, Kristin left West Virginia for Vermont Law School. There, she completed her Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy and then graduated from the juris doctoral program in 2011. Kristin says she built relationships in Vermont, but many of her classmates were from Colorado, California, or Washington. “Most of those people I’ll never see again. Concord’s different because it’s more of a closeknit community. You’ve seen a lot of those faces before throughout high school and you know who they are.” Kristin would not only see many of these people again, but her career would bring her back home to Summers County to serve where her journey began. During her time in law school, the United States entered a recession that Kristin says made student loans uncertain, much less employment. Luckily, she was able to secure loans to finish law school, and when she graduated in 2011, Kristin was one of the few in her class who had a job. “I knew I wanted to be in the government sector because of student loan forgiveness and because jobs were scarce,” Kristin says. “Just so happens that there was a law clerk job opening

Concord’s reputation in this area is great, and it was close enough that I could go have a college experience but be close to family, too.

with Judge Irons.” Moving back home and working in Summers County with Judge Robert Irons in the 31st Judicial Circuit Court allowed Kristin to spend time in the courtroom, watching prosecutors work. It was this experience that altered her career aspirations. Instead of pursuing a career in Environmental Law, Kristin set her sights on the Prosecutor’s Office. “That got me into the government sector, back into the courtroom. Watching prosecutors and watching things going on, I thought, ‘That’s definitely something I can do,’” Kristin says. After one year with Judge Irons, Kristin went to work with the Prosecutor’s Office in Summers and Monroe counties as an assistant prosecutor, splitting time equally between the two counties. In 2016, she decided to run for Prosecuting Attorney of Summers County and she was elected to the position. Kristin may not be fighting for the environment, but she does fight for the people of Summers County. “The things I focus on are child sexual assault and abuse cases, and domestic violence,” Kristin says. “Those are the cases that always stick out and make you, or validate that you are doing the right thing and you’re doing this for the right reason.” Her work has not gone unnoticed, even on the state level. In September of 2017, the West Virginia Children’s Justice Task Force, a group comprised of public and private agencies and individuals all committed to the protection of children, presented Kristin with the “Extra Mile” award. This is given to recognize professionals who demonstrate excellence in the protection of children from the impact of child abuse and neglect. “I love what I do, I’m blessed in what I do, and I will do this as long as the people let me serve,”

- Kristin Cook ’06

Kristin says. While she does not have any immediate plans to leave southern West Virginia, Kristin does not limit the reach of service to Summers County to the Prosecutor’s office only. If she left to be on the United States Supreme Court, Kristin says that would still be serving the people she does now. “You never restrict yourself to, ‘This is the only thing I can do to serve the people of Summers County.’ If something else comes along that I think would help the people, that I can serve them better on, then I would have to consider it. But I have no intentions on not serving the people of Summers County.”




Scot Mitchell ’85 – Rural to Frontier Healthcare, Adventure and Discovery BY LINDSEY BYARS


ary Scot Mitchell grew up in southern West Virginia between the towns of Oceana and Baileysville, an area referred to as Crouch’s Farm. Scot’s father worked in the coal mines in Kopperston, a career he did not want for his son.

“He actually took me into the coal mines and showed me what I would end up doing if I didn’t get my act together, and it taught me a lesson,” Scot says. “Being underground with the water dripping from the ceiling and the mountain popping and cracking and things like that, I figured I didn’t want to do that for a living and decided I better get my act together and get an education.” Scot graduated from Oceana High School in 1981 with his sights set on medical school. Growing up in a rural area a good distance from any major city, Scot saw his grandmother struggle to receive the care she needed, inspiring him to pursue medicine. “I watched my grandmother go through all kinds of health care problems and seeing that there was really no system for health care. She was going to multiple doctors for different things. I think some doctors didn’t know what the other doctors were doing and I think it really



made an impact on me to look at ways I could help rural communities and help people not have to deal with those types of issues,” Scot says. Scot started his college career at WVU as a chemistry major, but an advisor told him that biology majors at Concord had one of the highest rates of acceptance into medical school. Scot took his advice to heart and transferred. “I ran into Organic Chemistry class, and that ended my medical career.” Scot laughs now thinking back, but the CEO of the Robert C. Byrd Clinic in Lewisburg has made a meaningful impact on medicine with a career that has carried him across the United States, to a remote fishing village in Alaska, and back home. Even when Scot wasn’t sure about medical school, he never doubted that the medical field was where he belonged. In high school, he took an EMT class, and between his junior and senior year at Concord, took a paramedic course at Bluefield State.

Scot Mitchell '85 with his wife, Bonnie at the Colorado River near Moab.

“I became a paramedic my senior year at Concord and made the decision that I wanted to get out and actually work as a paramedic for a little while before deciding whether I was going to apply to medical school or whatever,” Scot says. He worked in the Princeton-Bluefield area for a while, and then moved to Greenville, South Carolina to work for an EMS system. As a paramedic, Scot got the opportunity to meet people from all levels of the health care profession—doctors and administrators alike. Still not sure if he should completely give up on medical school, Scot decided to ask his doctor colleagues if they would do it over again if they could go back. “The vast majority said no,” Scot says. “That was a time when health care was really changing a lot. They were moving away from the old-time family doctor that would come and talk to you. I remember my family doctor. My medical history was on a note card. Now, it takes more time for doctors to document the visit than to do the visit.” The EMS system Scot was working for at the time was willing to help pay for his master’s degree, so he enrolled at the Medical University of South Carolina and graduated in 1991 with a Masters in Health Services Administration. After graduation, he was offered an administrator position at the hospital in Hinton, West Virginia. He accepted and worked in that position for five years. “Being in a leadership position gave me the opportunity to help communities instead of one



individual at a time,” Scot says. During this time, Scot says HMO health insurances were making changes they referred to as “managed care,” but looking back, he says it was more like “managed cost,” reducing the amount of money they were paying hospitals and doctors for their services. As a response, Scot and ten other hospitals formed what would be called Partners in Health Network, a group that today has grown to include more than 30 hospitals. “Our goal was to really combat the negative things that these HMOs were doing to us as hospitals,” Scot says. As this endeavor grew, he eventually left Hinton to become the first CEO of this network in Charleston. After working there for nearly four years, a consultant and friend of Scot’s reached out for some help to reopen the hospital in Man, the hospital closest to Scot’s parents. He agreed and collaborating with the community, they were able to acquire enough funds to purchase the hospital from the previous owner and reopen it. Scot stayed on as their Interim CEO for one year. “I lived in Charleston, so I had to drive almost two hours, one way, to get there every day and I was not interested in moving to that community full time,” so he left, accepting a job as a consultant working with various hospitals and clinics on projects. Scot also spent a couple of years working with the West Virginia Senate Health Committee as a policy and budget analyst. It was his next move, however, that would forever alter how he defined rural medicine. “My wife [Bonnie] and I got our kids out of high school and decided it was time to do a little bit of exploring and we ended up moving out West,” Scot says. For the next seven years, Scot served as the CEO of a small hospital in Montana. “I thought I knew what rural was until I moved out there,” Scot says. “The closest large

There were no roads in or out of that town, so it was completely isolated. You had to take a ferry or a plane to get in and out of there. That’s another definition of frontier.

hospital was 100 miles away. The closest Wal-Mart was 100 miles away. The community there, the county that we lived in had 1.4 people per square mile, but there were 18 cows per square mile.” Scot quickly learned the difference between rural and frontier. He says you could drive for hours and never see another person in Montana. Availability of resources was another huge difference between the rural hospitals of West Virginia and the frontier hospitals out West. “We just have a lot more resources here than what they do there,” Scot says. “And I was surprised.” After Montana came Colorado, where Scot worked for a hospital network and helped them develop programs, including what’s called an Accountable Care Organization. This project allows hospitals and doctors to work together to help healthcare and reduce expenses. Scot was able to create two ACOs that together cover almost the entire western half of Colorado. Frontier life out West was certainly an education in isolation, but at least there were roads that led to new destinations. Scot’s next position took him and Bonnie to a hospital in a remote fishing village in Alaska called Cordova. “There were no roads in or out of that town, so it was completely isolated. You had to take a ferry or a plane to get in and out of there. That’s another definition of frontier.” In the summer, a hydroelectric system provided power to the island as the snow melted, but in the winter, Scot

- Scot Mitchell ’85

says a generator in the back of a tractor trailer was the only power source: “You just pull it in, plug it up, and that’s how the town gets electricity!” Scot says he enjoyed this experience, the amazing people and the “sheer beauty of being in Alaska,” but living two days away from their aging family was difficult. He started looking for a position closer to home and was offered two positions: one as a hospital CEO in Minnesota and the other at a hospital in California. Before he could accept either, a CEO position opened at the Robert C. Byrd Clinic in Lewisburg, West Virginia and he accepted. “Ultimately, we thought we would come back to West Virginia eventually,” Scot says. “We thought it would be a little bit later in my career.” Scot says being close to their family was an important reason for the decision to accept his position at the Robert C. Byrd Clinic, but also because of the clinic’s affiliation with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. “We’re really making improvements with how we function as a clinic and still see patients, but then we also serve that mission to be an educational setting.” The clinic has over 40 providers— physicians and nurse practitioners—and they are home to two-dozen residents who are training in family medicine and osteopathic neuromuscular manipulation therapy. Even if Scot feels the need for another adventure, Bonnie has made it clear this will continue to be their home: “My wife told me we’re not moving ever again.”




Michelle Burdette '86 from Madison Finds Success in Medicine BY LINDSEY BYARS


ichelle Burdette was born and raised in Summers County, West Virginia. Her father and most of her family worked on the railroad, an industry that served as the main source of employment for the area when Michelle was growing up.

“In Hinton, or Summers County, we don’t have coal mines so the railroad is the main employer,” she says. Her mother worked in billing at the local hospital, one of the other major employers in the rural area. Michelle’s career aspirations would eventually lead her to a similar work environment, but not in the town where she grew up. The community of Hinton was tight knit, so much so that Michelle and a group of her friends commuted to Concord together after they graduated from Hinton High School. The college was a short drive from their home, so sharing the cost of fuel and forgoing room and board helped Michelle save money for the



degree that would come after she graduated from Concord. “There were several people from my high school class, that if we had classes at the same time, we were able to carpool together, so it wasn’t too bad. Until we had snow storms,” Michelle says. Commuting may not have given Michelle a traditional college experience, but she was focused on her academics more than her social life on campus. She majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry with a career goal aimed towards the medical field. “I kind of always wanted to go into medicine,” Michelle says. “I thought at one point, I was thinking maybe pharmacy. And then I decided I

Allen H. Ball, Burdette's husband, Michelle, Michelle's mother, Margaret Burdette, and father, Ferrell Burdette

may get bored with that, so I decided to go into medicine.” Professors like Dr. Bayless and Dr. Chapman in the Biology department, and Dr. Jones and Dr. Elkins in Chemistry motivated Michelle to work hard, preparing her for her years of medical school that would follow. “I felt really prepared for medical school after going to Concord,” Michelle says. Michelle graduated from Concord in 1986, leaving home for Huntington where she attended medical school at Marshall University. When it came to choosing a specialization, Michelle again worried that her choices would eventually lead to monotony and boredom. She decided the best fit for her would be Family Medicine, a field that offered stability and daily variety. “I thought I would get bored with one of the more specialized specialties. With Family Medicine, you see a little bit of everything,” she says. Michelle graduated from Marshall University in 1990 and spent the next three years doing her residency through West Virginia University and Charleston Area Medical Center. After her residency, she worked part time between Ashland Medical and The Care Center, which operated out of the emergency room at Thomas Memorial Hospital. She also put in time in the medical department that the DuPont Corporation provided at their chemical manufacturing plant in Belle, West Virginia. After a couple of years working between locations, Michelle took a full-time position



at Ashland Medical located on the fringe of Charleston on the section of Route 119 called Corridor G. “I really had no idea what I was going to do when I finished residency, and I was offered the job at Ashland Medical by one of the owners,” Michelle says. The practice was started in 1989 by three doctors who had previously worked in an emergency room together. Michelle was offered a position in 1993 and eventually became a partner in the practice. “When I started working with them, we kind of clicked and we’re all still together. One of them finally retired a couple weeks ago, but the rest of us are still together,” Michelle says. The group owned Ashland Medical until 2015 before selling out to Thomas Health Systems to escape the financial overhead that was proving difficult to manage. “I think a lot of the private practices are gradually going away because of that, because it’s gotten way too expensive to keep up a private practice, which is sad,” Michelle says. Even though ownership has changed, Michelle says the practice has grown over the years. They currently have five physicians, two physician assistants, and a nurse practitioner. Together, they treat many of the common ailments in West Virginia, like hypertension, diabetes, and COPD. The office also acts as an urgent care facility, so they treat lots of walk-ins and minor injuries. Due to the location of the practice, Michelle says they see lots of patients from Logan,

I felt really prepared for medical school after going to Concord.

Boone, and Lincoln Counties. That area is largely supported by the coal industry, so over the years, Michelle has seen firsthand the economic impact of the industry on the area and the people who live in the coal fields. “With the coal mines closing, there’s a lot of people moving out of those areas so we’ve lost patients because of that,” Michelle says. “And then we’ve had a lot of patients that have stayed with us, but they’ve lost their insurance and we’ve had to work through some of that.” For the past 27 years, Michelle has not only seen economic changes in her patients, but also shifts in the medical field. “There’s gotten to be a lot less freedom in practicing medicine,” Michelle says. “There’s a lot of insurance involvement, so if there’s a certain medication I want to put someone on, I may not be able to because of their insurance.” Regardless of the obstacles facing the medical industry, Michelle believes Family Medicine is important, especially in West Virginia. “There’s not enough to go around,” she says. “We’re always getting people looking for new

- Michelle Burdette

physicians. There’s a big need for it.” Michelle has put in nearly three decades at her family practice. In 2000, a lab tech and friend she met during her residency fixed her up on a blind date with a man—Allen Ball— who lived in her home town of Madison. “She kept thinking for years she wanted to get us together and finally she worked it out and it worked,” Michelle says. This marriage only deepened the roots Michelle had planted in the Charleston area after medical school. Michelle says she is familiar with the area, familiar with all the specialists there, and she has no plans on retiring any time soon: “Oh, I will retire, but I don’t know. I have been thinking about it, but I haven’t made any definite plans.” When she does finally retire, Michelle feels like practicing medicine will still be part of her plan, even if it’s on a volunteer basis. Health Right in Charleston provides free care for people who need it, so even if it is a few days a month, Michelle wants to continue to serve the people she has dedicated her career to caring for.




Larry Lilly ’67 Went from Graphic Artist to Government Imagery Analyst BY LINDSEY BYARS


The first time Larry Lilly enrolled at Concord College was in 1961. He had just graduated from Mullens High school where he was an accomplished athlete and was selected to attend Mountaineer Boys State in Jackson’s Mill. After only one year at Concord, life changed Larry’s course.

“My education was interrupted in the fall of 1962 due to a family medical and financial issue,” Larry says. Returning home, he took a job for the retail store G.C. Murphy Co., eventually becoming an assistant manager over three West Virginia stores. It was at one of the other branches that Larry met the woman who would become his wife. “It was at the Oak Hill store in 1963 that I met my future beautiful, sweet wife, Beulah, who worked at the candy counter,” Larry says. “We were married in 1965 at the Mt. Hope Baptist Temple.” Beulah took a position working in sales at the G.C. Murphy store in Princeton, and Larry returned to Concord to finish his education.



“When I attended Concord as a student, I realized that I had to maintain a balance between studying and recreational and social activities, with the primary emphasis on academics if I was to succeed,” Larry says. Succeed he did. Before graduating with a B.S. in Advertising Design in 1967, Larry was selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, he was the president of the Interreligious Council, and he was an active member of the Phi Alpha Chi fraternity. Upon graduation, Larry was hired as a consultant for the director of the Center for Economic Action, which established the Mountainaire Travel Council (MTC). The center was located on campus and allowed Larry

Larry and Beulah Lilly

to work on brochures promoting tourism in southern West Virginia, designing and then distributing them to in-state and out-of-state businesses. Concord’s President at the time, Dr. Joseph Marsh, also commissioned Larry to design a scrapbook cover for him. While working on campus, Larry met a Central Intelligence Agency recruiter looking to hire students upon graduation and was impressed. He wanted to work for the government and felt that the CIA would provide job security, good benefits, and a suitable starting salary for his growing family. He applied, and was hired. In July of 1967, two months after the birth of their daughter, Larry and Beulah moved to northern Virginia to await his employment with the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Washington, D.C. “Initially I worked as an illustrator, secondly as a graphics analysis officer, and thirdly as an imagery analyst,” Larry says. As an illustrator for NPIC, Larry did layouts, as well as pasting up graphics and text for publications. He prepared technical drawings,



lettering, designed posters and announcements, prepared vu-graphs, and did miscellaneous art assignments. As a graphics analysis officer, Larry’s graphic art skills expanded into technical, schematic, and perspective drawings for the government. He also provided graphics and reproduction guidance, and served as graphics coordinator for briefing aids. It was as an imagery analyst that Larry’s job description dramatically changed, and the position gave his family the opportunity to move away from the city, closer to home. Together with Beulah and their two children (their son was born in 1969), the Lily family headed from Washington, D.C. to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1978 where Larry worked with the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center, later to be named the National Ground Intelligence Center. “As an IA, I analyzed satellite imagery and various air platforms to produce timely detailed scientific and technical intelligence, and military capability analysis of foreign ground forces required by warfighting commanders, the force modernization and R&D communities, and the Department of Defense and national policy makers,” Larry says. “It was my responsibility to evaluate changes to military equipment configurations, site features, or activities noted.” With a graphics background, Larry says he would create artist concepts of military equipment that could provide insight into reports and studies. “I was the prime author of a special study of a foreign weapon system,” Larry says, his concept drawings appearing in at least five publications. “The study dealt with system weaponry and electronics and the influence they would have on U.S. designers.” Larry worked in this position for 23 years before retiring in 2002. He was the chairman of an international working group for five of those years, and combined with his previous experience, spent a total of 34 years working with the military, contractors, and other members of the intelligence community. Upon retirement, Larry and Beulah built a home in Lewisburg, West Virginia, moving back to the region where their journey began. This year in September, the couple celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary, and when Larry describes his typical day post retirement, kissing his beloved Beulah is how it begins and

I shall continue to be thankful for all of life’s blessings received in the past and those I am currently receiving, specifically my wife and our immediate family.

(left to right) SGT Samuel Finley, Lisa Finley, Jim Finley, James Finley and Jonathan Finley

ends. “On a typical day other than Sunday, my wife and I will usually sleep late, kiss each other ‘good morning’ after awakening, read our morning devotionals, enjoy time with ‘Razzie,’ our energetic chihuahua,” followed by brunch, some inside and outside work, naps, dinner, and the evening news. And before turning in for the day, Larry’s day ends in much the same way it started: “kiss my wife ‘good night.’” While they are both retired, Larry says they try to stay busy. He is a deacon in their church where both he and Beulah teach Sunday

- Larry Lilly ’67

school. Larry is also a member of the Lion’s Club, president of the local National Active and Retired Federal Employees chapter, chaplain for the same group, and is also in charge of collecting trash for Adopt-a-Highway in their housing development twice a year. Larry and Beulah’s children have made their lives away from West Virginia. Their son, Stephen, lives in Salem, Oregon and works for a minor league baseball team of the San Francisco Giants. Their daughter Lisa is an art teacher in Griswold, Connecticut and her husband, Jim Finley, is a scientist with Pfizer. The couple has three sons: Jonathan, an industrial engineer with General Dynamics, Samuel, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps working for an electric utility, and James, a part-time college student studying computer science and full-time employee for General Dynamics. “I shall continue to be thankful for all of life’s blessings received in the past and those I am currently receiving, specifically my wife and our immediate family,” Larry says. “We pray for their safety.” In the future, a time without pandemic restrictions, Larry’s primary goal is to see his children and their families. Regardless of what time may bring, he finds comfort in knowing his relationship with his wife and the one they share with a Savior is all that matters: “Once Beulah and I pass on, it is comforting to know we’ll be with our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who truly holds our future!”




John Moyer ’99 Specializes in Bringing Orthopedic Technology to WV BY LINDSEY BYARS


f you’ve had an orthopedic related surgery in Virginia or southern West Virginia, there is a good chance Moyer Medical Inc. had a hand in the procedure. John Moyer’s company distributes for two major orthopedic companies—Smith and Nephew and Wright Medical Technology—and their focus is primarily on sports medicine. The company distributes parts for foot and ankle reconstruction, as well as biological materials that help grow bone.

“Most are made of materials that occur naturally, like calcium phosphate, and biological proteins called growth factors that are infused into these materials that help initiate the healing response,” John says. “There’s a lot of products out there that through discovery and really good science, they’ve created the technology to manufacture these things. It’s a huge, huge market. It’s a billion-dollar market. It’s where technology and science meet and has enabled medicine to move forward.” While many people in this billion-dollar market transitioned from medical careers, John’s path was somewhat unconventional, proving the versatility of a college degree and the importance of building relationships along



the way. After graduating from Atlee High School in Mechanicsville, Virginia, John Moyer came to Concord as a history major. The educational environment proved to be more than he had anticipated, learning quickly the meaning of the Mountain Lion adage, “Bard is Hard.” “I wasn’t prepared for college studying and the course work. It was difficult for me to adjust, and it was hard!” John says. “I remember that about Concord. I mean, academically, it’s a very good school.” Deciding history wasn’t for him, John changed his major to Travel Industry Management. “One of the reasons I went to Concord was

John Moyer with his family.

to be into the outdoor recreation,” John says. “I loved to ski, I loved to mountain bike and all that, so I think I just gradually migrated in that direction.” After graduating from Concord in 1999, John moved back to Mechanicsville and took a position as a house manager on a golf course. He may have been drawn to the outdoors, but John also had a gift for sales and building relationships. This strength led to his first job selling medical devices in Roanoke, Virginia. “I was selling spinal instrumentation, things that go in your body to fix deformities, pathologies, basically screws and rods and plates used in orthopedic surgery. And also biological materials,” John says. “It’s just not one of the things that you hear about in college. People know about getting into pharmaceutical sales, but ultimately it’s better than that.” In 2006, after working for other companies, John decided to start his own. At the time, he was single, had no children or any other attachments, so he took “a leap of faith.” John had been an athlete in high school, and with his interest in outdoor recreation, he was no stranger to athletic injury, paving a natural progression into building a team-based company focused on sports medicine.



“We do a lot of shoulder injuries, a lot of knee injuries, sports injuries,” John says. “We go into surgery. Most of our time is spent going into operating rooms and selling and assisting on surgery.” As a distributor for Wright Medical Technology, John’s job means processing and sterilizing the materials for surgery. Then, his team helps the nursing staff, identifies things the physician needs, and stands by for quality assurance of the product. This involves being the expert on their products, knowing the finer details of the science and how mechanically things work. John says this is a heavily regulated industry that requires constant training. “We have 12-weeks of training at the corporate office, we’re heavily tested on product knowledge, we have to keep up with that four to five times a year, and we’re constantly going to trainings, constantly reading medical literature,” John says. In addition to product knowledge, John emphasizes the importance of building relationships with physicians. “It’s a relationship driven industry,” John says. “You have to have a close working relationship with your physicians and you’re really part of

I think resiliency is probably the biggest thing to becoming successful. You can’t be scared to fail, in fact, we fail all the time. But being able to come back from that is really what defines your character. - John Moyer ’99

the team, so I think the team aspect of things I really embraced. It just feels natural.” Many of John’s competitors have biology degrees, or formerly worked as physical therapists or nurses. And while this knowledge is essential, John says it takes that and more to be successful. “The ones who do well, the ones who are successful, are the ones able to sell. There’s got to be this balance of science minded, very technically minded, very relationship minded people who also know how to sell their product and really know how to identify a sales cycle,” John says. This balance is something John has achieved, and it has served his company well. Moyer Medical Inc. is now comprised of John and four other members of his team. John says growing to where they are now has taken some time, and it was not without struggle. “It’s only been the last 10 years that I would consider myself relatively successful. I’ve had ups and downs, I’ve been at rock bottom more than once. I’ll probably be at rock bottom again. It’s one of the realities you’ve got to face in business. I mean, hopefully not, but things change daily, and the only thing that’s constant is change.” One thing changing yearly is the age of the Baby Boomer generation, a fact that John

believes will double the orthopedic industry in the next 10 to 20 years. John has no plans to leave this industry until he retires. “It’s considered one of the top sales positions that you can achieve. It’s changing because the medicine and health care are changing so much, but it’s a good spot. A really good spot,” John says. John is still an avid outdoor enthusiast, spending lots of time hiking and biking or at Smith Mountain Lake wakeboarding and fishing. He’s a Hokie fan, spending Saturdays with friends at games or home cooking with his family. John, who describes himself as a “regular old dude” is married now, and with his wife of eight years, John is the father of two little boys, ages three and five. “I enjoy spending a lot of time with them and I think it’s the best thing ever,” John says. “My only regret is not starting early and having more. I love my family.” Looking back over his career and the path that brought him to where he is today, John says the key to being successful in life at whatever you do is resilience. “I think resiliency is probably the biggest thing to becoming successful. You can’t be scared to fail, in fact, we fail all the time. But being able to come back from that is really what defines your character.”



Concord University Office of Advancement PO Box 1000 Athens, WV 24712

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Concord University Noteworthy Fall 2020 Special Edition