Maximizing with Michelle: Jennifer Waggener, founder and executive director of Faith in Action in the Greater Kanawha Valley

Jennifer Waggener is the founder and executive director of Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley.

A South Charleston native, Jennifer attended West Virginia University. Most of her career was spent in corporate administration and marketing, including a long-term role as the Director of Marketing for the Mid-Atlantic region of Skanska, an international construction firm. The Waggeners relocated to Virginia and North Carolina due to career opportunities and lived away for nearly 16 years before the chance to return home presented itself. 

Upon arriving back in West Virginia in 2009, Jennifer accepted a position with the Alzheimer’s Association, West Virginia Chapter. It was this job that opened her eyes to the vast unmet needs of our older neighbors and inspired her to start Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley.

Faith in Action provides free volunteer services to senior citizens in Kanawha and Putnam counties. Between 2015-2022, Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley volunteers performed 25,372 hours of service at a value benefit to our community of $608,161, simply through providing meaningful and reliable support for the independent living of older adults in the communities they serve.

In the 9 years since its inception, the program was given an Award of Excellence by the National Volunteer Caregivers Network; was an inaugural recipient of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s Changemaker to Watch award in 2017; and was a 2018 Governor’s Service Award honoree. But Jennifer’s greatest source of pride is simple: it’s the people – volunteers, care receivers, and collaborative partners – who make Faith in Action work, neighbor to neighbor.

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