Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jason Koegler and Director of Development Angela Zambito-Hill were selected for The State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 Under 40, recently. The awards were presented during a May 30 ceremony, held at the Culture Center, Capitol Complex, Charleston.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. congratulated each honoree as he presented them with their official plaques, honoring professionals younger than 40, that are doing great things in West Virginia.
“This year’s class of Generation Next embodies the essence of getting it done. Each honoree is dedicated to our state and to seeing it grow and prosper,” said Jim Ross, managing editor of The State Journal. “These are people who make West Virginia work, and each has a story the next generation can learn from.”
Koegler graduated from Wheeling Park High School and his first real job was with Oglebay Park. He went to James Madison University where he met the woman who would later become his wife, Sarah.
“We dated there and then she moved off to California,” Koegler said. “In 2001, I moved out to meet her. She was a teacher in Oakland.”
Koegler started working for the Boudin Bakery, the oldest company in San Francisico. The family-owned business made sourdough bread. While he was in California, Koegler finished his degree at Sonoma State University, right in the middle of wine country. Koegler and his wife, a Long Island native, lived there for nearly seven years, eventually having their first child.
When the second child was on the way, Koegler started to re-think California.
“When she became pregnant with our second son, it became pretty obvious that the cost of living and the distance from our family was too much for us,” Koegler said.
They made the journey when she was about eight months pregnant, Koegler said. She eventually got a job at Teach for America that allowed her to work at home. Koegler would get an opportunity at West Liberty University in Wheeling shortly after arriving back to his home state.
“It just worked out tremendously. I was very happy to get a job as a development officer for West Liberty in the fall of 2007,” Koegler said. “I bought a house and we had two boys. Over the last seven years, I worked my way up to vice president of advancement.”
Koegler works with many of the branches of the university that deal with externally communicating West Liberty’s message. He said he is proud to be able to help work toward improving his hometown. He also enjoys golfing, skiing, traveling, camping and exploring West Virginia in his spare time. His sons are Campbell, 7, and William, 5.
Zambito-Hill, 29, grew up in Wheeling. She earned bachelor’s degrees in both French and history from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2005. Then she moved away to Wilmington, N.C., for a few years, where she worked at an ad agency placing media for the pharmaceutical industry.
“Being 10 hours away from my family was kind of hard on me, so I moved back up to Wheeling,” she said.
She worked for a couple of years for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, coordinating the statewide development campaign for Catholic Charities West Virginia. About three years ago, she joined the staff at West Liberty University, where she now is development director. She’s in charge of annual fundraising, the capital campaign and major gifts.
“It’s so focused on cultivating and building relationships with all different kinds of people,” she said. “It’s interesting to talk with so many types of people, and I’m passionate about the mission.”
West Liberty can be a powerful part of the Wheeling region, she said.
“I like higher education,” she said. “I love being around the students as well as the alumni.
Zambito-Hill is on the board for the Museum of the Ohio River and is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Heath and Wellness Foundation Board. She also is a member of the Oglebay Institute Museum Committee. She is married to Chad Hill, a physician assistant who works in Wheeling Hospital’s Emergency Room.
40 Under 40 Sponsors include Orion Strategies, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP and West Virginia University at Parkersburg. To read more about this year’s honorees, please click here for State Journal coverage.