WHO WE ARE
Founder, Publisher, and Editor
Nikki Bowman, of New South Media, Inc., is the publisher of WV Living, WV Weddings, Morgantown, and West Virginia Focus, and editor of WV Living, WV Weddings, and West Virginia Focus. She graduated from West Virginia University magna cum laude in 1992 and received her master’s degree in writing with honors from DePaul University in Chicago in 1998. Nikki grew up in Clay and Kanawha counties, and currently resides in Morgantown with her husband, Greg, a law professor at West Virginia University College of Law, and their two children.
Nikki has nearly 15 years of experience editing magazines in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Mississippi, and has won several industry awards. Since moving back to West Virginia in 2008 to launch WV LIVING and WV WEDDINGS magazines, she has logged thousands of miles in her car driving from one corner of the state to the other. She frequently speaks about the need for West Virginians to become invested in their communities and to take pride in their heritage, and she has seen firsthand the important role that tourism has in keeping our state’s small towns and businesses viable. Through her magazines, she is a passionate advocate for encouraging West Virginians to discover the hidden gems in their own backyard.
She is a member of several organizations including the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, West Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association, Main Street Morgantown, Morgantown Chamber of Commerce, Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce, and Generation West Virginia. She was recently selected as one of Generation Next’s 40 Under 40 and was honored as the 2011 Pocahontas County Woman Business Leader.
Carla Witt Ford
A native West Virginian, Carla has been adding her touch to photography, print, and other areas of design for more than half of her life. Before joining WV LIVING she was a photographer for the government and an adjunct photography professor at Fairmont State University (BS Graphic Design alumna). As a BFA graduate from the West Virginia University School of Design, she seeks to share the beauty of her beloved state through her work. Whether it is with wit or wisdom, as an artist, she is always looking for new ways to make her audience sit up and take notice.
She currently lives on her family farm in Marion County with her daughter, Olivia, her high school sweetheart, and four cats.
Laura Wilcox Rote
Laura is a Clarksburg native with a half-Morgantown, half-Huntington heart who has been telling stories since before she could write. As an adult, she has loved traveling across the Mountain State and the region. Some of her favorite stories have taken her to the fall-tastically awesome Pumpkin House in Kenova, the bright and exuberant Fiesta tent sale in Newell, the Obama presidential campaign in Charleston, and to alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Laura graduated from West Virginia University in 2006 with a BS in news-editorial journalism and a minor in English. She has written for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram, and the Times West Virginian, in addition to working in communications and project management in West Virginia, Illinois, and Puerto Rico. She has received multiple awards from the West Virginia Press Association and has covered everything from health to politics to arts and entertainment. She currently lives in Morgantown with her husband.
Pam has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write.
Her most recent writing position was as senior energy reporter with The State Journal in Charleston. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She and her husband, Evan, rehabilitated a Civil War-era log house outside Morgantown and they live there with their teenage son, Reese,
and Perry the Cat.
Mikenna moved to West Virginia in 2010 from upstate New York to complete her master’s degree in English, live in the mountains, and write. She loves digging around in the history, landscape, and culture of West Virginia, looking for those shiny gems that become great stories. She started at New South Media as an intern in 2011 and has been writing for the company’s diverse—and growing—set of publications ever since. She lives in Morgantown with her husband, Adam, her wiener dog, Tally, and far, far too many houseplants.
Shay Maunz is a writer and reporter living, working, knitting, and biking in Charleston. She enjoys long form journalism and short form videos, and before coming to New South Media made some of each at The New Yorker, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and West Virginia University. Most recently, she covered education for the Charleston Daily Mail. Lately, she’s been getting into cooking and concentrating on growing out her hair—it’s going OK.
Katie is a journalist living in Morgantown. She’s a WVU graduate with degrees in English, journalism, and French. After three years away from West Virginia living in Washington, D.C. and then traveling through China, Katie decided there really is something to be said for clichés like “home is where the heart is.” In 2014 the Morgantown native moved back. She spends too much time at places like Black Bear, Apothecary, Terra Café, and The Grind. Hobbies include taking neighborhood walks to jealously salivate over the grand houses of South Park and the adorable cottages in Suncrest. She’s still renting.
Web Manager & Staff Photographer
Elizabeth discovered her creative spark at a young age and has been making art, writing, and playing music ever since. Her passion for photography has led her to New South Media, Inc. where she captures the stories of the people, places, and food from the state she loves. She finds inspiration in her love for the outdoors, good food, and the simple beauty of the everyday. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art and minor in Arts Administration from West Virginia University in May 2013.
Sarah is originally from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, but moved to West Virginia in 2011 and quickly fell in love with the mountain state. She graduated from Westminster College (PA) with a degree in public relations and communication studies and her background ranges from community outreach to banking to non-profit work. She can’t go a day without reading at least a few pages from a good book and enjoys spending her free time exploring the state she now calls home.
Sarah currently resides in Fairmont with her husband Jake and their rescue animals, a fat cat named Cam and Mikan the dog.
Christa is a native West Virginian. She earned her BBA in Marketing from Marshall University in 1992 and chose to stay in the state she loves to pursue her sales career. Christa spent over 18 years in sales and sales management with The State Journal and has extensive knowledge of print publications. Christa also sold TV advertising for WOWK-TV in Charleston/Huntington. In addition, she is solely responsible for bringing the online “deal a day” phenomenon of Living Social to the Charleston market. Moving into yet another form of media, Christa was the director of sales and marketing for 2 years at MotionMasters, a video production company based in Charleston.
Christa’s proudest achievement is completing a marathon (26.2 miles) in August 2013 as she celebrated her 43rd birthday. Her goal was to finish under 6 hours and she came in at 5:59!
The youngest of four, Christa currently lives in Charleston and has the majority of her family—mother, sister, and brother—within 5 miles.
Season proudly hails from southern West Virginia and grew up in the quaint town of Crab Orchard, located just south of Beckley. She began her career in advertising with The Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia and has continued to work with regional print media ever since. Season often boasts that she “bleeds” gold, blue, green, and white, as she holds degrees from both Marshall and West Virginia University. In 2002, she trained to be a whitewater river guide on the New and Gauley rivers, creating a lifelong passion. Most summer weekends, Season can be found rafting with her family on one of the Mountain State’s many rivers or camping in the state parks.
Amanda lives in a quiet little country community just north of Charleston with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and a spoiled-rotten Cane Corso (dog) named Mia. Growing up, Amanda always though she would move west, and even spent a good deal of time in Colorado. But though the scenery was breathtaking, it just didn’t feel like home. Amanda’s love and passion for what makes West Virginia truly wild and wonderful brought her back to her home state for good.
Amanda is an avid outdoors girl. Her father instilled in her a passion for hunting, fishing, and camping that she hopes to pass along to her own children. She’s also a fan of extreme sports, and started whitewater rafting and rappelling back in her early twenties. Before starting a family, Amanda spent time surfing and traveling in Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands. She even spent a month driving from Colorado to Oregon, down Highway 1 through California and Baja Sur to Cabo San Lucas and back, surfing her way through. Amanda hopes to share these same kind of adventures with her husband and daughters.
Advertising Support Specialist
Bekah is a Charleston, WV native who has resided in Morgantown for several years. Upon graduating from Fairmont State University in the spring of 2012 with a BS in Fashion Merchandising and an AS in Applied Design, Bekah hopped a plane to San Diego for an internship with a human rights activist group. After spending six months enjoying the West Coast, she decided it was time to come home to the Mountain State. Before joining the New South Media team, Bekah worked in newsprint media and as a barista. She is a bookworm, blogger, and classic rom-com movie buff who spends her free time in the yoga studio, dancing at music festivals, and getting lost in nature. She currently lives in South Park with her boyfriend Kevin and their two dogs, an Old English Sheepdog named Jasey and a black Lab named Bodhi.