Betsy Miles named next executive director of the West Virginia Press Association

Oct 1, 2023


CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Betsy Miles will be the next executive director of the West Virginia Press Association, which was established shortly after the Civil War and serves as the newspaper industry representative for the state’s 69 newspapers.

Miles has been assistant executive director and advertising director at the WVPA since 2018, after serving as the WVPA’s accountant since 2012. She will replace current Executive Director Don Smith, who is leaving the association at the end of September for a position at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg.

The WVPA board of directors and foundation trustees met with Miles in August to formalize the transition plan. The board had created the assistant executive director position in 2018 to assist Miles with preparation for the leadership role. In addition to the assistant executive director role, Miles has headed the WVPA’s advertising agency (WV Press Services), served as the representative for the national Newspaper Association Managers (NAM), and assisted with the WVPA lobbying, news sharing, video product and membership events.

“The WVPA board knew it had a responsibility to develop a leadership track that would recognize and prepare potential leaders for our organization. We wanted to ensure a smooth transition and the continuity of our programs and efforts,” said WVPA President Hannah Heishman. “Betsy has been outstanding in her dual roles as assistant executive director and advertising director over the last five years. She works personally with every newspaper on a regular basis. She is a key part of our ongoing success, is well-prepared to direct the association and will head our staff development into the future.”

Miles said she is excited about the opportunity and working to move the newspaper industry forward.

“I am honored to have been named the new executive director of the West Virginia Press Association and look forward to building upon all the things that Don Smith, the staff and the board have accomplished over the past several years. I have a passion for community, and I believe that is what this industry represents. Newspapers aren’t just good business; they’re the glue our communities need to bring everyone together. I am eager to get started in my new role and even more so to be a part in moving this industry forward," said Miles.

Smith applauded the decision, noting the board’s vision in developing a leadership plan and in recognizing the value of Miles, who will oversee the operation of the WV Press, its ad agency and its education foundation, the WV Press Association Foundation.

"Betsy has been a leader in the success and growth of WV Press over the last decade,” he said. “Her initiatives, advertising program development, grant work and efforts in all phases of the operation have benefited this organization and its member newspapers. She will do an excellent job as executive director.”

Prior to joining the WV Press team, Miles was an accountant with Smith, Cochran & Hicks PLLC of Charleston. She served as outreach coordinator for the Mountaineer Energy Forum of the American Petroleum Institute and served as a consultant for the West Virginia Department of Commerce on its EXCEL effort.

Miles has an MSA in accountancy, an MBA in business administration and a BS in biology. She is a certified Workers Compensation Professional, accredited fraud investigator and QuickBooks Pro Advisor.

In addition to her national role with NAM, at the state level, Miles is also treasurer and a member of the board of directors for the West Virginia Society of Association Executives and a member of Leadership West Virginia, Class of 2019.

Miles lives in St. Albans with her husband, Wayne Miles, a captain with the City of South Charleston's Fire Department, and son, Aidan, who is a student at Marshall University.

The board will soon begin its search for an additional staff member at WV Press.