Since 2017, the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation (EWVCF) has operated successfully with just four staff members. Amy Pancake has served as the Director of Affiliates since 2008. Michael Whalton replaced the Foundation’s first Executive Director, Amy Owen, in 2012. In 2017, the Foundation created its first new position in nearly ten years, Program Manager, hiring Karin Hammann Dunn, who now serves as the Scholarship Program Manager. In 2021, Administrative Assistant/Office and Grants Manager Rebecca Knight replaced previous Director of Finance and Administration Felicia Fuller. In that time, the Foundation has grown to just over $35 million in assets and continues to award over $1 million in grants and scholarships each year.
Now, EWVCF is excited to announce that we’ve invited longtime friend to the Foundation Susan Caperton to join the team as Associate Director/Chief Operations Officer. She will manage the Foundation’s committees and oversee grant, scholarship, and nonprofit education training programs. She and Executive Director Michael Whalton will work together to develop, monitor, modify, and implement long-range strategies to benefit the Community Foundation.
Susan, a resident of Berkeley Springs, first joined EWVCF’s Board in 2015, where she served as Secretary and then Vice President. She was also a member of several of EWVCF’s committees, including the Grants Committee, Scholarship Committee, Executive Committee, and DEI Task Force.
Susan first became involved with the Foundation through Jan Wilkins. She had been aware of EWVCF through the grant and scholarship programs. “I was impressed with the breadth and depth of impact the organization has throughout the region,” Susan said. Now, she says she is excited to join the staff and learn the ins and outs of day-to-day operations and help the Foundation to increase its impact every day.
In addition to her years of volunteer service at the Foundation and other local nonprofits, Susan also brings a law degree to the table! She graduated from Northwestern University in 1991, completed a legal internship at Northern Trust in Chicago, and graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1996. While working in Chicago, she met Gat Caperton, and the two were married in June 1996. They moved to West Virginia that same year, where he purchased Tom Seely Furniture (now Gat Creek) and she joined Bowles Rice LLP, working there for two years.
Since moving to the Eastern Panhandle, Susan has served a myriad of organizations. She is the current Board President of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Eastern Panhandle, a position she has held for four years now. She is also on the Board of the Tom and Virginia Seely Foundation, Morgan Arts Council, Morgan County Starting Points, and Morgan County Partnership; at the last organization, she served as Executive Director from 2008 to 2010.
Susan and Gat have three daughters. Their eldest, Eliza, 24, graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2021 and now works at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Katie, 22, is a senior at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Their youngest, Evie, is 20 and a sophomore at Grinell College in Iowa. When not working, Susan and Gat enjoy spending time with friends and family, including their dog Annie and cat Oliver.