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West Liberty University

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WEST LIBERTY, WV -

Two new members have been appointed to West Liberty University's board of governors while George Couch, who works as vice president of Wheeling Hospital, has been reappointed to another term.

Attorney Sandra Chapman and public relations expert Joe Carey are new to the board. All three were appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Couch, who serves as vice chairman of the university's board of governors, previously served as president and chief executive officer of Ohio Valley Medical Center/East Ohio Regional Hospital, chief executive officer of Wetzel County Hospital and as the owner/administrator of New Martinsville Health Care Center.

A lifelong resident of the Ohio Valley, Couch earned his bachelor's degree from Bethany College and his master's of business administration from West Virginia University.

He is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and a licensed nursing home administrator. He also is a member of the Wheeling Rotary and the Wheeling Symphony board. He has served on the boards of the West Virginia Hospital Association, West Virginia Health Care Association and Wheeling Health Right.

Couch first won appointment to WLU's board of governors in 2010 by then-Gov. Joe Manchin. He served as board secretary beginning in July 2011 and has been board vice chairman until this reappointment, which ends on June 30, 2017.

Chapman, a Wheeling resident, was born and raised in Rising Sun, Ind., and earned her bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Indiana's Hanover College. 

She went on to earn a master's degree at West Virginia University. She graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1983 and began her career as a law clerk Richard Neely, at the time a member of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Chapman was appointed to the West Virginia Board of Education by then-Gov. Gaston Caperton and served for nine years. She twice served as that board's president and also served as chair of the search for a new state schools superintendent. She also is a member of the West Virginia School Building Authority, the state's Secondary Schools Activities Commission and the State Bar Board of Governors, where she served as president starting in 2009.

She also served on the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform and an advisory committee to the governor related to judicial appointments.

She is a member of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and recently completed a three-year term on its executive council. She is a member of the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents and a fellow of the West Virginia Bar Foundation. She formerly served as a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates.

Chapman's most recent community service includes serving on the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra board of directors. She has served on the Ohio Valley Medical Center board of directors. She will serve through June 30, 2016.

Carey, for more than 20 years, has provided counsel in the public and private sectors. Before he founded Carey Strategic Communications, he served as vice president for Widmeyer Communications, a public relations agency with offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

He also has worked for the Walt Disney Co., where he managed several successful national and international marketing campaigns, and for the White House, traveling with President Bill Clinton to more than 24 countries and throughout the United States. He also was appointed by Clinton to work for Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater.

A native of West Virginia's Northern Panhandle, he also worked in the administrations of two of the state's governors: Caperton and Bob Wise. 

Carey earned a bachelor's degree in political science from WLU, where he has been active as a director on the board of the university's foundation since 2006.

He and his wife live in New York City. His term on the board of governors ends June 30, 2017.

Richard Carter of Wheeling serves as chairman of the university's board. Others who serve on the board: B. Ann Thomas of Wheeling; Brian E. Joseph of Touchstone Research Laboratory; Patrick D. Kelly of the West Virginia Health Care Association; Jessica McDonald, who represents WLU student government; Beverly Burke, the WLU classified staff representative; and Frank Noble Jr., the WLU faculty representative.