A Sit-Down with Judy Moore of West Virginia Hive Network

As Part of the Heroes of Change Podcast

Jeremy Turner, Founder and Managing Director of EPIC Mission:

Thank you for tuning into this episode of the Heroes of Change podcast from EPIC Mission. This is Jeremy Turner, Founder and Managing Director of EPIC Mission, and I’ll be your host.

Here on the podcast, we are highlighting the trials, victories, and applied wisdom of our community change agents, unsung heroes, and those empowering them to be the change across Appalachia and beyond. We seek to inspire and equip everyday heroes just like you to take on our greatest challenges because together, we are the change.

And for today, it’s my distinct pleasure to welcome the one and only Judy Moore from the West Virginia Hive Network to the show. Thank you for coming on today.

Judy Moore, Director of West Virginia Hive Network:

Thank you, Jeremy. Appreciate the opportunity.

Jeremy Turner:

Absolutely. So let me read a little bit about you. So, Judy Moore has been the Director of the West Virginia Hive Network since November 2017. As the Hive Director, Judy focuses on establishing partnerships and alliances that provide increased access to resources for businesses and entrepreneurs. She works with her team of business advisors, support network, and funders to bring about more effective and efficient means through which regional entrepreneurs can operate successful establishments.

Before joining the West Virginia Hive, she was employed as an Assistant Director at West Virginia University’s National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. There, Judy’s main roles and responsibilities included providing leadership in areas of creative direction, media relations, and management of the communications, marketing, and education and outreach efforts of the organization.

Judy has a bachelor of fine arts degree and masters of science in integrated marketing communications.

So we all know that there’s a lot more to human beings than what we see on a page. So let’s go beyond the bio, and tell us a little bit about who you are beyond that. What do you want us to know about you and the work that you do?

Judy Moore:

So I will say at the West Virginia Hive Network and the opportunity I have as being the director of that program is the most fulfilling role that I’ve really had throughout my entire career. So I wish I had started on this entrepreneurship journey a little earlier in life, but I’m having an amazing time right now just sitting in this seat and trying to really serve and help West Virginia entrepreneurs.

Jeremy Turner:

That enthusiasm shows. Every time I see you and talk to you is just an exuberance that flows out.

Judy Moore:

Thank you.

Jeremy Turner:

So I love it.

Judy Moore:

I appreciate that.

Jeremy Turner:

Yeah, for sure. So we’re going to dig into some questions today because the whole mission of this podcast is to find out more about the real people like you and I that are out here doing stuff so that maybe another real human being out there might be inspired by hearing a story.

So inspiration is a big deal, as you know. Whether it’s a for-profit or nonprofit entity, someone is born with an idea or an idea is downloaded into them. There’s some sort of inspiration, and maybe that seed is planted years ago. So you’re thinking about, for yourself, who inspired you growing up and who or what or what’s the source of inspiration nowadays?

Judy Moore:

So it was definitely a journey. I was extremely blessed or have been extremely blessed with being raised by parents that have an amazing work ethic and daily start out … They’re in their 80s now, and they still start out with a list of things to do. So that has tremendously impacted me, being extremely resourceful and not necessarily relying on a lot of different people to help get things done. They just jump in and do it, and so that has also helped me just mold myself after them and just whatever it takes to get it done, get it done, right? So I value that beyond words.

I also have to say that I was extremely inspired growing up by an aunt that I had. I grew up in a very, very small town. And going to college was not something that was even discussed in the family, right? It just wasn’t one of those things. And so I watched her have aspirations. And unfortunately, when she graduated, she left the area because there wasn’t a lot to be offered to her at that time. And she moved to DC and she’s done amazing. But she pursued higher education and she became that role model for me that I really wanted, what I saw in her.

And so I have always appreciated so much just her taking that leap of faith and really being that inspiration for not only myself, but I know a lot of other nieces and nephews that were watching her as well.

Jeremy Turner:

That’s cool. This is an emerging theme in these podcasts, is that we’ve got to keep in mind that other people are watching us, and then we’ve all been watching other people growing up and seeking … Our lives have been informed by watching other people and seeing how they operate in the world around us.

That’s great that you’ve had some really wonderful people to mold yourself after. And you may remember I’ve been to your hometown and met your parents.

Judy Moore:

Absolutely.

Jeremy Turner:

Yeah.

Judy Moore:

Yes, I do. And that is a connection, I think, between us, because you get to see the humbleness of my roots. And I appreciate that and the kind words you’ve said. They’re amazing people.

Jeremy Turner:

They are.

Judy Moore:

I wouldn’t trade them.

Jeremy Turner:

I thought they were cool before I knew who they were, so I love it.

Judy Moore:

Thank you.

Jeremy Turner:

Yeah.

Judy Moore:

Thank you.

Jeremy Turner:

So talk about your home. And I lived outside the state for about 20 years and still work outside the state a fair amount. And so I come across people that have all sorts of predispositions and ideas about West Virginia, and not all of them are wholly positive unfortunately. And I think we get a bad rap sometimes. So part of this is to dispel some of those myths, but talk about where you grew up and how that shaped you and drives you.

Judy Moore:

Sure. So even though the West Virginia Hive Network is based in Beckley, we serve 12 counties in southern West Virginia and one of them being Nicholas County. And so Nicholas County is my home, and a little town, Craigsville, which sits between Richwood and Summersville. And so that’s where I grew up.

And whenever I actually joined the Hive, I was able to come back home. And that’s really how I found the Hive and I found this journey. But Craigsville is a really small town. And when I lived there growing up, there was a Dairy Bar and a gas station and a post office and our dentist and things of that sort. And then the town began … it started growing little by little, and it’s evolved into this great little community that I am so happy now to call home again.

I unfortunately, too, was one of those people that felt that I had to leave the state at a period of time when the coal industry went downhill. And coal is my heritage. And so my husband and I picked the kids up, and on a leap and a prayer, we moved to Florida where we thought that we were going to set the world on fire.

And fortunately, we had some great opportunities when we got there. But we were there about five years and home just called our name. West Virginia, if you are a true West Virginian, you have it embedded within you. And we had to come back.

And so we made our way back to the state, but we ended up landing in Fairmont, which, again, allowed me that opportunity to work for WVU for a number of years in a great role. And I was able to pursue my masters at WVU, which has led to additional doors being opened. It’s also where I had the opportunity to learn about grant management and how you can pursue all those funds and how all of that happens.

And so all that journey is what has prepared me for the seat that I sit in today, and I can’t imagine having missed one little piece of that along the way, because every piece of it has played into being able to … I don’t want to make myself sound amazing or anything like that, but it’s prepared me for what we’re being able to do at the Hive right now, which is all incredible things.

Jeremy Turner:

Well, we’re going to talk about that, what you’re doing there at the Hive here in just a moment. But first, two things. One is you are amazing, so I’ll say it. You don’t have to say it.

Judy Moore:

Thank you, Jeremy.

Jeremy Turner:

You’re welcome.

Judy Moore:

I appreciate that.

Jeremy Turner:

Two is I talked to a lot of young people or older people as well that operate sometimes under this idea that, well, it used to be that success was this linear path of go to school, get good grades, get a job, and then you retire and get your gold watch, and you go off into the sunset.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

The landscape has changed and we have many more chapters in our journey. And I find that a lot of people don’t really maybe … How do I share this? They think that changing jobs is probably not a good thing. Maybe they have these misperceptions that they should stay in one position forever.

But what we just heard from you, and I know I can say this from my life as well, is each one of these chapters informed the next.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

And it’s really created this snowball effect of experiences and skill sets and networks that help you do what you do now. Do you want to take a minute and talk about that?

Judy Moore:

Sure, I do. So there’s a lot more in the middle there that I’ve had the opportunity to do. I actually spent 16 years working for a well-known West Virginian by the name of Bill Bright who has Bright Enterprises. And as I interviewed for the Hive director position, one of the gentlemen on the interview team said to me, “Bill Bright is a serial entrepreneur.” And I said, “Absolutely.”

And so that was so instrumental in preparing me because there were massive small businesses that were started, sold, acquired, all of the above during that journey. And again, that was just amazing.

But I think it’s so important that, even whenever you graduate high school and you have to make that determination that you’re going on to pursue a degree, we don’t always know where our strengths, our talents lie, right? But the best recommendation that I can make is chase it, right? Just shoot for the stars. And through that journey, you are going to find those nuggets that are just going to lead you on that pathway to where you’re going to find what you’re really preparing yourself to be or do.

And it may take a good, long while for you to get to that point. I do think that changing jobs, not every year or every maybe two years, I think that that is really, really important because of the skills that it allows you to add on to that in preparation. And when you sit within one position too long, your skills really can just get stale, right? And you just don’t have that opportunity for growth. So I think you should definitely pursue those opportunities and take them and just continue on searching for what that golden nugget is and that star that you’re shooting for.

Jeremy Turner:

Well said. Yeah. So it’s embrace the journey?

Judy Moore:

Embrace the journey. That’s right.

Jeremy Turner:

Look for the learnings along the way. Stay insanely curious. Absorb what you can. I heard once a long time ago that you can learn one of two things from everyone you meet, either what to do or what not to do.

Judy Moore:

Exactly. Exactly.

Jeremy Turner:

So, good. Well, take a minute and talk a little bit more about what the Hive, because whoever’s listening, they may not actually know. So what sorts of things do you do? How do you support people? Who do you support? And maybe anything that’s coming down the line that you want to talk about as well.

Judy Moore:

Sure. So the West Virginia Hive Network is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority. And in 2016, we basically started under the Appalachian Regional Commission Grant, that we formed across the region through 12 counties, working with other economic development authorities, providing services to entrepreneurs.

And those services really are varied because you can’t cookie cut the needs of an entrepreneur. And so every entrepreneur that we work with gets a customized, one-on-one business advising plan to help support them along the way.

We are in a huge growth stage right now. We are approaching the end of our Appalachian Regional Commission Grant. And so we’re taking those lessons learned through that process and we have just recently gone through a strategic planning process that allows us to put together, use those lessons learned, expand on them, but move us forward into a direction that we are hopeful that’s going to allow us to be more effective.

And so we’re launching some new training that is through CO.STARTERS, and we’re so excited about this training. It’s a nine-week cohort-based training. And we start our first training class actually next Monday. Our senior business advisor, Ruthana Beezley is going to be leading that training. And we just see this as a huge, new piece of what we’re bringing to entrepreneurs in southern West Virginia.

But we work with those that are in ideation. They come to us just with a thought that, “I would love to be a business owner, have a little bit of an idea, but need help getting it to that next point.” We work with those that are just purely in startup mode. It’s like, “I’ve set up my business. I have a business license. I’m ready to open my doors,” or, “I just opened my doors, but oh, golly, geesh, now what do I do?”

And then we also work with those that are in accelerator mode, and those can be that they’re in a growth position and the floodgates have opened and it’s like, “How do I handle all of this?” Or it can be that they’ve been in business for a number of years, but they need to look at how to take that business and bring it forward into the technology age.

We have new things that are put on us every single day that we work with clients, and we don’t claim to have all of the answers. What we will tell them is we have a huge resource network, that if we don’t have the answers, we’re going to find someone else out in that network that can work with you and can serve your needs.

And so I often say to people, we’re like your general practitioner at the Hive. When you go to a doctor, you might have a lot of different needs. And that general practitioner will set you up with all of the specialists needed to take care of you and your bodily needs, but they stay connected. And that’s what we do at the Hive.

So we will work with you, we will get to know everything about you and what your needs are, and then we will call in the specialists or the subject matter experts. And we will stay connected, though, to make sure that all of that expertise actually comes into you and you know what to do with it and go away being more successful.

Jeremy Turner:

Love it. Love it. So you’ll engage with the people, learn about them, figure out holistically what it is that they might need, pull in the different pieces, and then basically project manage the relationship to ensure that they get to where they need to go. Love it.

Judy Moore:

Absolutely.

Jeremy Turner:

I don’t know about you, but too often I see where we’ve got clusters, gaps, and silos within this, as we refer to it, as the ecosystem out there, clusters of, we’ve got people doing the same things, duplicative. We’ve got gaps where there’s nothing, no one maybe addressing things. And then we got people in silo that are just doing their own thing, either they have their head down on purpose and they’re just busy and don’t notice.

So I appreciate the collaborative nature of you as a human being and leadership of the Hive. It’s so, so important to have that collaborative effort. So thank you for that.

Judy Moore:

Thank you.

Jeremy Turner:

You talked about, and what I heard, lessons learned. So I want to ask a couple questions around lessons learned.

So in our culture, in our American culture, and I’m thinking in West Virginian culture, we are taught that failure is not an option and we are absolutely … I don’t know. I grew up terrified of failure. I was an athlete and a scholar and just thought, “Man, I can’t fail.” And that kept me from trying things, because I didn’t want to fail because I was taught that I wasn’t supposed to fail.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

And I think what a huge disservice we’re doing people. So what I wanted to do with this podcast and my work in general is to help demystify failure for people.

And as an entrepreneur and a teacher of entrepreneurship nowadays, you and I both know failure is a great learning opportunity when it’s embraced properly. So maybe you can talk a little bit about failure in general. And if you can share something from your own life, some failure that you’ve encountered, and how that’s informed you and guided you later on.

Judy Moore:

Sure. Absolutely. And I’m the same way, Jeremy, so I don’t deal with failure very well at all. And for a long time, this is a story that I didn’t want to tell because I wasn’t proud of it, right?

But it’s also one of those pieces of this journey that has been so important, that has prepared me. And at the time, obviously I couldn’t see that.

So I have had my own businesses, and some have been great and some have failed. One has failed and failed miserably. And so back in … Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that. That would date me too much. So back several years ago, back several years ago, I actually was at that point in my life where I had kicked around ideas way earlier of wanting to own my own businesses and had talked to some folks and different things, but it never came together.

And so back when travel agencies were still a really good thing, where you walked in and everything wasn’t done on the Internet, I had the opportunity to actually open a travel agency office as a branch of a state travel agency. And I went for it hook, line, and sinker, just jumped out there. But the thing that I didn’t really do was, again, do my homework.

But I thought that we were going to have tons of clients. There were a lot of people that I knew that I was in touch with in Summersville that did a lot of traveling. And so I myself felt that there was a great need, and I still feel that it was a good idea, it was a good need.

But what I didn’t take into consideration was, one, what was going on with the Internet and how that was going to compete, right? I also didn’t take into consideration how long it was going to take for people to know that I was there and to develop that client base. All of these things would have been things that, at the Hive, that we would have challenged to that person that would have come to us saying, “Hey, I’m looking to open a travel agency,” right?

So if I’d had the support, I think it could have been totally different and I probably would have never done it, because that would have been one of those things that someone at the Hive would have said, “Well, have you really considered this? And this competition is probably going to be too much. You’re in a small town. You’ve got to keep in mind that there are thousands of people, but how many of them really are going to use travel-related services? And how many people are going to travel from nearby towns to come see you when now they can go out on the Internet and do these same, similar services?”

Of course, they wouldn’t have gotten the customer service, but that wasn’t going to be enough to carry it forward.

But again, that just helped me, another part of the journey. It was a painful one, but now I consider it a very good lesson learned because it truly has allowed me to be more empathetic to those that we serve.

And as far as failure, we are truthful with the clients that come to us. And if they come to us with an idea that just doesn’t pan out, we’re not going to tell them anything other than the truth. And sometimes, that is painful and sometimes the clients accept it and sometimes they don’t.

But one thing that they will have to always remember is that we were truthful with them and told them exactly how we could support their efforts moving forward or that we didn’t recommend that they go forward with that idea. And a lot of times, entrepreneurs, the failure is what really prepares them for the big idea.

So they have to go through a lot of versions of that idea that they think at the time is the best thing since sliced bread to get them to the point of really having the idea that is truly going to be successful and what they really need to do. Just doesn’t happen overnight. It just doesn’t. And there’s just versions of that taking place to prepare them.

So that’s part of what we do, is to try to explain to them how they have to embrace that journey to get where they need to be in order to be successful.

Jeremy Turner:

So I think oftentimes, as entrepreneurs, we look at Silicon Valley as the mecca. It’s the be all, end all of entrepreneurship. And so I was hearing the other evening someone talking about the exceptionally high number of companies in Silicon Valley who failed on their first or even second idea, that they didn’t really begin to experience success until after they had failed.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

Also, I was in a couple other meetings where, one, there was a venture capitalist who said that he tells people, “Go fail, and then I’ll talk to you.”

Judy Moore:

Yes.

Jeremy Turner:

“But go fail on somebody else’s money.”

Judy Moore:

Yes.

Jeremy Turner:

And another investor who said that he was talking with some folks and they had an idea and he knew that the idea was not so good, but David loved it. Well, he invested in them because he liked them and believed in them. He knew the idea was terrible and it was going to fail, but he continued to invest in them because he liked their enthusiasm and their gumption and whatever.

So I think the point of failure is not the ending. It’s the next step-

Judy Moore:

That’s right.

Jeremy Turner:

… or maybe the beginning of the next step.

Judy Moore:

Exactly. Exactly. Well said. It is exactly that.

Jeremy Turner:

Well, we won’t get into all the ways I failed today because that would take too long. But just sufficed to say that any of us who ever tried to do anything have failed and continue to fail, and we just try and embrace that failure.

And in entrepreneurship a lot, there’s this talk about embrace the failure and look forward to failing. I think it’s a weird narrative. I personally don’t really look forward to failing. I don’t enjoy failing. In the moment, it stings, it sucks, and I don’t like it. At least for me, the message I would like to share out is embrace it after the sting is wearing off and realize it’s an opportunity to learn and go forward and reinvent.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

So thinking about the people who might be listening to this, or hopefully there’s thousands and thousands of them, I think we’re getting into some good stuff today and I appreciate you, Judy.

What would you like others to take away from your story, from your personal story and learning about the Hive as well? And any advice that you might give to people out there that are listening?

Judy Moore:

I can go on with that for a long time. But I guess the big thing is, Jeremy, is that I would like for people, the people that we serve to know that this is just not a job. For me, it’s a heartthrob. It’s something that I believe in so deeply, that truly every morning when I get up, it is not a job. It’s what I feel I’m called to do that has got to be done.

And so I, still being a mommy and daddy’s girl, they worry about the fact that I drive from Craigsville to Beckley at least three days a week to be there in the office with the team. And I try to explain to them it’s not like that. I get in the car and close the door. It’s Hive time, right? It’s preparation for what’s going to happen when I get there, and then it’s wind down coming back. And it’s just all good and it’s so gratifying.

And I work with such an amazing team. It’s phenomenal because they feel the same way. And that’s the team that we’ve worked hard to put together, that we love what we’re doing. And the challenges every day, we work through them. We have fun and we make that clear up front to any new team members coming on. It’s like we work hard and we get the job done, but we have the thing called life that we also don’t want us to dismiss along the way. We have our families, we love our families. I always encourage everyone, family comes first.

But there’s expectations with getting the job done, right? And so that’s how we work every day, is we work hard, but we have fun doing it and there is an embedded passion with everyone on the team. It’s like we’re doing this. This is a service and it’s not a job.

Jeremy Turner:

And if anyone listening to this can’t feel that, then they might want to go check their pulse. It absolutely comes through and-

Judy Moore:

Oh, thank you, Jeremy.

Jeremy Turner:

Love it. So you talked about work-life balance and the need to do things outside of work. What do you do to go and recharge? What does that look like for you? And then talk a little bit about personal and professional development and what that looks like for you.

Judy Moore:

Sure. So I’m a very faith-based person obviously. You and I share that, and you know that. Maybe everybody else doesn’t, but I hope it shows. But that daily walk that I have, I have to say is what just keeps me motivated and moving forward.

I also love my family, and that is really probably at the core of my work-life balance, is checking in with my children. And again, I’ll age myself, but I’m on round two with my grandbabies. And yes, they are the best part of it all. I love it. I love them so much because you can just love them, spoil them, and send them home. So it’s amazing.

But I still have my mom and dad with me, and another reason why I moved back to Craigsville. And so just enjoying living life with my family and watching them grow and do amazing things and just spending that quality time together is really what keeps me moving forward.

And just as far as professional development, I’m a life learner. I acquired both of my degrees as an adult, which is one of those things that I would, if I had the opportunity, I would have changed that. But I’m always seeking that learning opportunity and I love it, whether it is listening to podcasts or reading books. Ruthana Beezley that I work so closely with at the Hive makes fun of me because I’ll tell her I’ve started reading probably about six books at one time. I don’t seem to ever get to the end, but I glean enough out of it to get the gist of it.

But I love all of that. I’m always seeking out so that I can just learn additional things. And in the industry that we’re in, you have to continue learning all the time. And so there is workshop opportunities and networking opportunities that have all of those great learning opportunities embedded within them that I try to take advantage of as much as I can.

Jeremy Turner:

It’s a great message to maintain this intellectual curiosity and to be the lifelong learner with a growth mindset concept of continuous learning. I love it.

So you’re doing things in your personal and your professional life to ensure that you’re well-prepared and fully energized to go forth and help people. Talk a little bit about why people listening or why people out there in the world should care about those that you are serving and how your work is making a difference.

Judy Moore:

So in West Virginia and I know across Appalachia, we have suffered the downturn of the coal industry. But it hasn’t just been the coal industry. It’s like every time it seems like we get something that really brings a great economic growth, like all of the resurgence of coal and then the oil and gas and all of that, we have just suffered tremendous depression. And that is what it really has brought within the individuals in West Virginia, is depression.

And with West Virginia being so rural across the entire state, West Virginians haven’t had the opportunities that a lot of other states have had. And because of that, they may not have had that inspiration that I was able to have, right? Or they may not have had those opportunities that I had. And I think that they’re all entitled to that, every single one of them.

It needs to be a new day in West Virginia. We can be as good as any other state because we have some things in West Virginia that other people and other states don’t have, and we have a scenic beauty that cannot be matched. It’s just amazing. But our people are also amazing and the work ethic that they have and they grew up, and they are extremely resourceful. You give a West Virginian a piece of wood and they can make anything out of it, right?

And so we just need to provide for them that little bit of a lift to help bring them out of this devastation that we have all seen and just show them, provide a pathway for them, what they can do with those talents to be better, to be more. And that’s just what I hope that I can be a part of, is actually bringing on that change.

We have a lot of work to do, Jeremy. We really have a lot of work to do because we have sustained … we’ve had a lot of devastation for so, so many years that we’re trying now to make better. But there are a lot of people, and you being one of them, Jeremy. The work that you’re doing and what you’re doing with these podcasts and the fact that you are making it available to so many people, if only one person hears some of these stories that you’re sharing, it’s worth it, for us to make a difference in those people’s lives.

And so those people, like yourself, is really what we have to bring together, work together to make this change happen across our state.

Jeremy Turner:

Absolutely. We have to work together, and there is a lot of work to do. But as you said, this is super meaningful. For those of us who moved out of state, we chose to come back. We don’t have to be here.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

Florida is great. They’ve got these huge Palmetto bugs that I don’t really love so much, but-

Judy Moore:

Me neither.

Jeremy Turner:

That’s one absolute plus for West Virginia over Florida, is we have no Palmetto bugs.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

However, but we chose to be here because we feel so very called to serve our people. I say this, and this is a line that many people have heard from me, but I mean it. Charlotte was a place I lived and I love Charlotte. I love the Carolinas. Really, really meaningful for me. I met my wife there and made many, many friends to love it there. But that was a place I lived. West Virginia has always been my home and will always be.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

So I felt called like you to come home and serve and live and work here because this is my state and these are my people.

Judy Moore:

Right. That’s right.

Jeremy Turner:

So I don’t want to keep you all day, because I think that would be frowned upon. You got work to do. I want to move towards closing with a two-part question, then I’m going to ask one final thing.

So the name of this podcast is Heroes of Change. The tagline for my company is, “Guiding Heroes of Change.” You’ve heard me use this phrasing more than once, I imagine.

Judy Moore:

Yes.

Jeremy Turner:

But for you, when you hear that phrase, what does Heroes of Change mean to you? And talk a little bit about why you feel it’s important for everyday people like you and I to accept the challenge and step up and go do and be these Heroes of Change.

Judy Moore:

Yeah. So it means a lot to me. I think a lot of heroes don’t really realize that they are heroes. They’re going through their daily tasks or whatever just because they believe in what they’re doing. They don’t have a clue that somebody’s looking at them as a hero, right?

I have many of those. And since I’ve started this entrepreneurship journey, I have really had the good fortune to work with many that I look at as being those mentors that have helped guide. Because when I came into entrepreneurship, I had all of this experience that prepared me, but there was a lot of learning to do. So it was change for me and it took me some time to really get my mind set on, okay, that’s the direction that we need to go with the Hive.

And I have been extremely blessed with these wonderful people that have come into this world for me and have helped mold me and move me forward to really help the Hive be what it is.

So I would never say that I’ve done this alone. I’ve worked hard, but there have been so many people that have helped mold what the Hive has been. I have an amazing advisory committee that I am so proud of. I tell them they’re a powerhouse group. But they were all hand selected. And they really are the ones that I have to say have really made this program what it is.

I’m a worker bee with the Hive, no pun intended. But I am. I’m a worker bee. And I have been able to have all of these people that have been within the entrepreneurship world for a long period of time that wanted to give of themselves, that saw the foundation of the Hive and the opportunities. And they’ve just poured themselves into our daily activities of providing advice and guidance and help setting that roadmap. And if it hadn’t been for those people, I don’t know that the program could have been as successful as it has been.

So every one of those people and more, all of our network, we have just such an amazing partnership network. It really is about the partners and everybody just truly working together for this one same mission.

So I don’t know that that answers your question, but that’s how I see the Heroes of Change.

Jeremy Turner:

I think that does answer the question nicely, so I appreciate that. You described them as these humble people who may not know that they’re heroes, but they are because they get up and they go do.

So why is it so important for others, for other people to … maybe someone listening to this podcast, that they have an idea or they’ve noticed some injustice or something wrong, something that bugs them, why is it so important for everyday people to stand up and say, “Enough. I’m going to go be the change?”

Judy Moore:

Because if they don’t, someone else may never do that. Or it may take a lot of years for someone else to come along. I feel like each one of us has a real purpose in life, and sometimes we can miss that opportunity of what we were truly called to do just from not taking those chances, those opportunities when they’re put in front of us.

So those of us that have a voice, that can use that voice and it be a God-given talent or opportunity, you should take advantage of it, because not everyone can do that. All of us have different talents and we’re blessed with different talents. And if you have the talent to stand up and advocate for something that you have the opportunity to truly make a change, to be that difference in the world, you should definitely take that. Take that chance and go for it.

Jeremy Turner:

Good. I think that’s great advice.

Judy Moore:

Yeah.

Jeremy Turner:

Accept the calling and go forth and do. And the great thing is that they’re not alone.

Judy Moore:

Right.

Jeremy Turner:

We’ve got organizations like the West Virginia Hive Network, people like you. And so I’d encourage anyone listening, if you have an idea, reach out to someone. If you’re in southern West Virginia especially, reach out to Judy and reach out to her team there at the Hive and let them pour into you and see where things go. I think you’ll be amazed with that.

Judy Moore:

Yeah. Thank you, Jeremy.

Jeremy Turner:

Absolutely. Absolutely. So if people want to learn more about you and the Hive, how can they do that? How can they learn more and connect?

Judy Moore:

So the easiest way is to visit our website, and that is WVHive.com. And we’re opening a new office in downtown Beckley. You can find us at 205 South Kanawha Street. Just stop in and say hi. We should be there in a couple of weeks. By the first of March or so, we should be in. So we’d love for anyone just to come in and sit down and say, “Hey, I’m here either to find out what you can do for me or what I can do for you.”

Jeremy Turner:

Love it. Well, I’m definitely going to make a trip down. I need to get down to Beckley for a bunch of reasons, so I definitely want to come by and see the new office, too.

Judy Moore:

Yeah, Jeremy, and I would love for you to do that because you have expertise in a lot of areas that we could actually really use. So I would love for you to come down sometime and see what we’re doing and offer up some suggestions that might make us stronger.

Jeremy Turner:

Fantastic. Well, we’ll do that. Offline, we’ll book a time. Let’s do it. I’m always game for it.

Judy Moore:

Sounds good.

Jeremy Turner:

Well, we’re at the end. You have survived. I appreciate you being on here today. So that’s all for this episode of the Heroes of Change podcast from EPIC Mission. We hope that you’ve been inspired by something you heard today, because together, we are the change.

Tune in next time as we dig into the story of another Hero of Change and learn what they do, how they do it, and most importantly, we learn why they do what they do. So take care, stay encouraged, be hopeful, and we’ll see you next time on the Heroes of Change. Thanks so much for tuning in.