New Members Join West Liberty Board of Governors

Attorney and businesswoman Teresa Toriseva is Gov. Jim Justice’s appointment to the board of governors at West Liberty University.

“He tapped me because we share both a passion and an emphasis on the value of education in moving the state forward,” said Toriseva, a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and the West Virginia College of Law.

Before she accepted the nomination to the two-year term, she first looked into the school’s situation. What she found is that the budget is now balanced, the men’s basketball team is competitive nationally and there’s a new soccer field being constructed. She said she was impressed.

“Even in tough economic times, I see a school that is just a gem to our community, and is thriving,” Toriseva said.

The Toriseva Law firm founder and CEO is also a board member for the Wheeling Country Day School. And she’s a member of Hoorah 2 Heroes Law Enforcement.

Toriseva, who attended some classes at West Liberty while earning her bachelor’s degree, said that, although her profession requires lots of talking, she plans to spend much of her first six months on its board “just listening a lot.”

“I’ll bring what I can to the table, and learn from the folks that are already there,” she said. “I’m humbled and excited about the opportunity, and I hope I can help move West Liberty in the direction it’s headed, which is just an incredible story of success.”

Wheeling attorney Lucinda “Cindy” Fluharty is also among those who have recently joined the board. Then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed her in September, and she has since attended two board meetings.

“I have been very impressed with the commitment of the board, and the commitment of the administration in fulfilling students’ goals for education and providing a good life on campus,” said Fluharty, who is with the Jackson Kelly law firm in Wheeling.

Although she didn’t have prior experience with West Liberty before joining the board, Tomblin “thought it was a good idea to have people vested in the university as graduates, and people who were not,” she said.

“I was recommended to President (Stephen) Greiner, and he met with me prior, and told me he would put my name forward with the governor,” she said.

At that time, there were two positions open.

Christine Carder was originally named to the position Toriseva now holds, but had to resign because of her position as an elected official with the Ohio County Board of Education, Fluharty said.

So Fluharty, a graduate of WVU College of Law, knows the challenges of finding the right career, and said she’s glad that West Liberty participates in “2-Plus-2” agreements that allow students to do the same thing she did: earn her bachelor’s degree in two additional years, after earning an associate’s degree.

“As a person matures and grows into their education, the coordination that exists in the Northern Panhandle allows students to reach for their dreams,” she said of cooperation between community colleges and the universities.

Fluharty also is a member of the board of directors for Laughlin Chapel, and is past president of the Wheeling Rotary Club.

Other new board members include Wheeling resident Rich Lucas and Wheeling native Kristina Williams.

Lucas, a West Liberty graduate, is president, CEO and a founding director of Main Street Bank. He serves on the boards the Wheeling Chapter of CPAs, the Centre Market Commission, the Ohio Valley Industrial Business Development Corp. and the Seeing Hand Association.

Williams, of Pittsburgh, is chief operating officer for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. The West Liberty University graduate is a former chief financial officer of wholesale banking for PNC Financial Services Group.