Ray Moeller is a born-and-raised Michigander who only recently saw the light and followed it to West Virginia. Ray went to college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, then raised four boys while working in the pharmaceutical industry for 28+ years, ultimately becoming the Pfizer Global Account Manager for worldwide print and graphics services. While he had some time in between jobs, Ray partook of a Habitat for Humanity international build in a remote village of Papua New Guinea, went to a professional baseball umpire school (then umpired over 150 youth and high school games), rode a train across the country to attend the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and then took a driving tour of Ireland (discovering the life principle of “sine metu” – look it up).
After applying for the Peace Corps and finding himself on the verge of going to Africa for a two-year stint, Ray met Connie, and quickly realized that he did not truly desire to be on the other side of the world for two years. He shifted his efforts toward the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) program and sought a position in the second most remote area of the world – southern West Virginia. Ray married Connie after spending a year on his own in West Virginia, and they have since appreciated exploring and camping all around the state. They also enjoy Friday evenings boating with friends on Summersville Lake, teaming up to do challenging jigsaw puzzles, singing together in choir, hiking, biking, and generally relishing the beauty that West Virginia has to offer. The accompanying photo is of Connie and Ray, representing West Virginia while attending a Thanksgiving game of his beloved (and oft times pathetic) Detroit Lions.
Ray feels fortunate to have landed in Summersville, Nicholas County, served three years as a VISTA and is currently in his fourth year as a West Virginia State University extension agent. Throughout his tenure in West Virginia, Ray has been learning and providing community and economic development in Nicholas County and across the New River Gorge region, in partnership with the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority. Among his varied projects are trail development, dealing with dilapidated structures, enhancing tourism assets, supporting various civic and nonprofit organizations, promoting regional economic opportunities, and more. In addition to being treasurer for Friends of New River Gorge National River, Ray is secretary-treasurer for the Nicholas County Airport Authority, secretary-treasurer for the Richwood Building Commission, Chair of the Nicholas County Historic Landmark Commission, and a member of the Nicholas Old Main Foundation.