Debbie Cooper was born and raised in the small town of Crab Orchard, WV. She holds a B.S. in Business Management from Concord University, and is currently employed as Construction Business Manager for marine contractor and marine towing company Amherst Madison.

Debbie spent her childhood playing outdoors in the woods, going fishing on weekends with her parents and cousins on various local creeks and rivers. From a young age, she gained a great love for the outdoor beauty that her home state has to offer. She and her dad went rafting her first time as a Father’s Day gift to him when she was only 13. She currently lives in Beckley, refusing to move closer to her job in Charleston where she has worked for the past 14 years, because she needs to be “home” and near the places she loves in the southern part of West Virginia. She still spends as much time as possible outdoors with friends, usually hiking beautiful trails in the New River Gorge National River area, and other state parks and surrounding areas. She finds leisurely raft trips on the Upper New River are now her favorite after many years of enjoying higher adventure trips on the Lower New and Gauley Rivers. Debbie feels very lucky to have a close-knit group of friends who enjoy the outdoors with her, so she is never lacking for company in her outdoor fun, including the occasional 5K or Tough Mudder, and several group camping trips each year. Exploring as many of our nation’s parks as possible is one of her life goals.

It is that love of our New River Gorge National Park that made her want to be involved when the idea for the Friends group originated several years ago. At that time, she was encouraged by a close friend to join the Board, and she is happy now to continue that involvement as its current secretary. Her love for the New, Bluestone, and Gauley Rivers fuels her energy to help in any way she can in accomplishing the goals of this organization.

In addition to serving on the board for Friends, Debbie serves as Vice President of the board for the Historic Fayette Theater in downtown Fayetteville, WV, where she has been active for over 15 years.