Energy & Natural Resources Group

In the Central Appalachian region, energy and natural resources present a range of potential economic and community development opportunities, as well as complex challenges. The two sectors are inextricably linked. As the region faces continued decline of its traditional industries, communities are seeking strategies that will facilitate a just economic transition through responsibly managed natural resources, widespread energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

The Energy & Natural Resources Group (ENRG) is exploring these opportunities and challenges in the region and has released a report from its first learning meeting. Click here to download the report

The ENRG welcomes other regional and national funding partners interested in bringing greater focus and impact to future energy and natural resource investments and programs in the Central Appalachian region. The group will also continue to incorporate practitioner and community insight into activities, investments, and ongoing dialogue about these sectors.  


  1. Convene

    Convene diverse stakeholders & build relationships.

  2. Learn

    Exchange information as a learning network of practitioners and funders.

  3. Support & Facilitate

    Provide leadership and serve as champions for advancing the energy and natural resource sectors.

  4. Leverage

    Leverage additional private, public, and philanthropic resources.

  5. Collaborate

    Align resources for greater impact and provide a regional voice for the energy and natural resources sectors role in the economic transition.

Co-Chairs of the Energy & Natural Resources Group

Hannah Vargason, Partner Community Capital

Rachael Young, Just Transition Fund

Andrew Crosson, Invest Appalachia

Members of the Energy and Natural Resources Group


Mary Hunt, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Eli Flournoy, Sugar Bush Foundation

Max Shipman, Just Transition Fund

Stephanie Randolph, Cassiopeia

Holly Hatcher, Genan Foundation

Peter Hille, Mountain Association

Louis Irvin, Redbud Financial Alternatives

Rudi Navarra, Emerson Collective

Bleik Pickett, James Graham Brown Foundation

Beth Wheatley, The Nature Conservancy-West Virginia

Heidi Binko, Just Transition Fund