CHARLESTON -- Nov. 19 marked the induction of the 11th class of Young Guns for West Virginia Executive.

During a reception at the Governor's Mansion, the statewide business publication welcomed into its Young Guns family 13 new members from around the state. The Young Guns Class of 2010 is comprised of professionals from varying industry fields who also invest their time in their communities.

The 2010 members are: Emily Bennington, director of marketing and development for Dixon Hughes, Charleston; Thomas Cole, dealer operator and vice president of Cole Chevrolet – Cadillac, Bluefield; Joelle Ennis, marketing and community relations specialist for the City of Wheeling, Wheeling; Jeff James, chief executive officer of Mythology, Charleston; John Gaddis, owner of GADDIS Consulting Group, Morgantown; Thomas Johnston, United States District Judge for the Southern District of West Virginia, Beckley; Kristy Lanier, owner of Dirtbean Ohana, Marlinton; Brian Noland, chancellor for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Charleston; Matthew Sheppard, director of corporate communications at Chesapeake Energy, Charleston; Gary and Brian Sims, owners of Advanced Technical Solutions, Teays Valley; Sandy Sponaugle, founder and chief executive officer of Platinum PR, Shepherdstown and Alison Wilson, director of the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center and associate professor of surgery at West Virginia University Health Science Center, Morgantown.

"As the new owners of West Virginia Executive, it's exciting for us to have the opportunity to mark our one-year anniversary with the induction of such an incredible class of Young Guns," says April Plank, chief financial officer of Executive Ink, LLC, the magazine's publishing company. "It is a privilege to be able to recognize the up-and-coming leaders of the Mountain State and to garner support in them as they continue in their successes for West Virginia."

The reception at the Governor's Mansion was sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, Dixon Hughes, The Barnes Agency and State Newsline.

"The amount of support we have received since we took over the magazine and the support we continue to receive, like our gracious sponsors for this year's event, has been overwhelming," says Jennifer Nugent, chief creative officer of Executive Ink. "Our sights are set on the future and how we as a statewide magazine can promote our state, replace the negative stereotypes with positive stories and encourage more West Virginians to partake in the entrepreneurial spirit. West Virginians have great stories to tell about overcoming obstacles and rising from the mountains to be national and international players. We are honored to be able to play a role in telling those stories, knowing that the greatest stories have yet to be written."

The Young Guns awards began in 1999. Each year, a new class of Young Guns is selected. Members must be 43 years of age or younger and are chosen based on their professional success and their community involvement. "We're looking for the professionals in the state that go above and beyond," says Plank. "We look for the ones that stand out just a little more than everyone else and I think we've done a good job of that."

Nominations for this prestigious honor are accepted throughout the year and new members are selected each November.

To submit a nomination for the 2011 class, visit www.wvexecutive.com and complete the online nomination form.

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