Nine Fairmont State alumni to be honored during homecoming luncheon

Monday, October 14, 2019

As part of Homecoming 2019, nine alumni are being honored during this year’s Emeritus Club Induction and Alumni Awards Luncheon. The event will be held on Friday, October 25 at 11 a.m.

“This year the Fairmont State Alumni Association nominating committee worked tirelessly to select the best representatives of Fairmont State University from countless nominations.,” said Mary Jo Thomas, president of the Fairmont State Alumni Association “We are also very excited to induct members of the class of 1969 into the Emeritus Club.”  

Sponsored by Thrasher Group Inc., the event will be held in Falcon Center Gym 1. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at

In addition to the event on Friday, the award winners will be highlighted at the Community Bonfire on Thursday evening and the Homecoming parade on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. 

This year’s alumni award winners are:

Outstanding Alumni

  • Cheri Satterfield 
  • Alieu Demba
  • Frank Washenitz 

Alumni of Achievement 

  • Betty Jane Edwards
  • Rusty Hutson
  • Dr. Norman Wood 

Outstanding Young Alumni

  • Emily Hale 
  • Matthew Arcure

Lifetime Achievement

  • Gary Bennett

Outstanding Alumna – Cheri Satterfield, Class of 1984

Cheri Carlot Satterfield is a female entrepreneur who has been in business for over 30 years in West Virginia. As the eldest child of Caroline and David Carlot’s three daughters, Cheri grew up in Monongah and began working at her family’s chain of convenience stores at an early age. After graduating from North Marion High and Fairmont State University, she began her career as a teacher in Marion County and eventually ventured into the video rental business.

Today, Cheri is the president and owner of C.J.S. Enterprises, Inc., which encompasses brands like Tuscan Sun Spa and Salon (a salon and spa chain with three locations in Clarksburg, Fairmont, and Morgantown), as well as Tanning World, Electric Beach, and Glo Hair Salons, with seven locations in West Virginia. In addition, Cheri owns Highgate Carriage House, an event venue located in Fairmont, and Learningland Daycare and Afterschool Center, where she actively serves as the director. Cheri’s companies employ over 200 team members in the state of West Virginia, all of whom she loves seeing thrive and flourish toward success. A very hands-on business owner, Cheri prides herself on ensuring that the needs of her customers and team members are met. 

Featured innumerable times on television and in print, Cheri’s businesses have also been recognized with high acclaim by a plethora of accolades, including various local small business of the year awards, Best In Beauty and Wellness by WV Weddings Magazine, Best Of Morgantown, Best Of West Virginia, and Best in the Valley in Charleston, WV. Cheri has also been a contributor to “Ask the Pros” in DaySpa Magazine and was just recently named a 2019 West Virginia Wonder Woman by WV Living Magazine

Together, Cheri and her husband, Steve Holbert, have nine children and five grandchildren. In addition to her businesses, Cheri is passionate about women’s and children’s issues, as well as those having to do with addiction and recovery, and proudly supports causes that seek to improve the lives of those in need of help.

Outstanding Alumnus – Alieu Demba, Class of 1989

Alieu Badara Demba is currently Deputy Director, Human Resources Department, at the IMF in Washington D.C. Alieu Demba graduated from Fairmont State University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics-Business Administration. At Fairmont State, he was the first international student to be elected Student Government president. As a native of The Gambia, Mr. Demba was able to contribute a fresh international perspective to the way that college education was perceived. He brought an international education to the campus, which led to the creation of several scholarships for international students. Mr. Demba also spent time heading the Global Crisis Society, which was a college group focused on present international events as well as the effects of global challenges such as poverty and hunger. As a climax to his college education, he was honored to deliver the graduation commencement speech in 1989. Following his studies at Fairmont, he proceeded to earn his MBA in 1991 from Marshall University.

In 1990, he joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a Human Resources Officer and subsequently moved up through the ranks to head the IMF's Recruitment and Staffing Division in 2007. Mr. Demba has worked in several departments at the IMF, including the African Department, the Strategy Policy and Review Department and several stints at the Human Resources Department where he current serves as Deputy Director. He is currently responsible for the IMF’s employment policy, chairs the IMF Economist Program, and has oversight responsible on a number of IMF human resources programs. Throughout his tenure at the IMF, he has traveled extensively to Africa, Asia, Middle east and Europe in the quest to pursue candidates for positions at the IMF. Mr. Demba is heavily engaged in the IMF's current challenges, such as ensuring an exceptional workforce in order to respond to the current global economic challenges, as well as assisting the IMF to meet the demands from its 189 member countries. 

Outstanding Alumnus – Frank Washenitz, Class of 1994

Over the years, Frank has served Fairmont State in many different capacities. Frank holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science, Board of Regents degree with a concentration in architectural engineering which he completed in 1995. He was a member of the Fairmont State Men’s Basketball Team from 1990-1994, serving his senior year as captain.  

Since he graduated from Fairmont State University, Frank has remained involved through his positions and appointments as the Fairmont State University Basketball Assistant Coach from 1994-1999 and has served on the Fairmont State University Board of Governors since 2011, serving as the Athletic Chair from 2013-2018.

In addition to his degree from Fairmont State, Frank also holds a Master of Science in Safety and Environmental Management from West Virginia University. Since 2009, Frank has built an esteemed safety and sales career with Mylan Pharmaceuticals where he currently serves as the Vice President of Global and NA Sales Enhancement. Prior to his role at Mylan, he also had a career at Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in Pittsburgh, PA and NIOSH in Morgantown, WV. 

Alumna of Achievement – Betty Brown Edwards, Class of 1963

Betty Brown Edwards is the recipient of the 2019 Fairmont State University Alumni Achievement award. Betty played field hockey at Fairmont State for four years and was selected as the All Mid-East Regional Field Hockey team. While her achievements at Fairmont State are of note, her dedication and passion speak volumes about her character and commitment to her field, her family, and her community.

Betty Brown Edwards is a fixture in the Pataspco community where she has served 48 years as a teacher, coach and counselor at Patapsco High School. She arrived at Pataspco in 1963, the same year the school opened. She joined a small group of Physical Education staff members to create and lead the Patapsco interscholastic program. In her early coaching years, she coached three sports – varsity field hockey, JV basketball, and JV softball. She continued as Pataspco’s Varsity Field Hockey and JV softball coach for 30 years.

Over the course of those three decades, she led countless winning field hockey and softball teams. In hockey, she ultimately led the team to bring home two Regional Varsity Field Hockey Titles, two State Varsity Field Hockey Semi-Finalist Titles, J. Baltimore County Varsity Field Hockey Championship, and one Varsity Field Hockey Divisional Championship. In softball, she led teams that brought home two county-wide JV Softball championships and two JV Softball Divisional Championships. 

Betty was the original founder of the Pataspco Girls Athletic Association – an organization that paved the way for today’s female athletes by promoting sports among female students and that was honored for its accomplishments during a county-wide athletic camp for 16 years. During her tenure, the membership of the Patapsco Girls Athletic Association averaged over 100 students annually.

Betty’s sports achievements and education contributions have been widely recognized. She has received: the “Excellence in Education” award from the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce; the “Physical Education Teacher of the Year” award from MAHPERD (the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance); multiple “Favorite Teacher,” “senior superlative” awards; the “Patriot Award” for outstanding service, an honor that is given based on PHS faculty vote; and selection to coach the Baltimore County All-Star Field Hockey team on multiple occasions. 

After college, Betty completed two marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon and the Maryland Marathon and is still an avid snow skier. She has two post-baccalaureate degrees from West Virginia University and Loyola University. Although Betty has been extremely successful in her career, the real contributions from Betty come from who she is and impact she has had on many young people over the years.

Alumnus of Achievement – Dr. Norman Wood, Class of 1986
Dr. Norman J. Wood, Jr. is the 2019 Fairmont State University Outstanding Alumni Award Recipient. He is a 1978 honor graduate of the West Virginia State Police Academy and a 1986 graduate of Fairmont State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Norman served West Virginia as a State Trooper for eight years and had six years of special agent experience for the organized crime drug enforcement task force where he was responsible for the largest drug seizure in U.S. history. Following his stint in criminal justice and law enforcement, he graduated from the WV School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1997 with honors.

After suffering a fall, he developed the Rescue One Controlled Descent Systems Harness, a revolutionary full body safety harness that eliminates serious injury or death from suspension trauma. Since then he has been awarded four patents for fall safety products.  Norman became the Physician Director for the U.S. Veterans Administration in 2013, began working as a Physician for Immediate Clinic in 2015 and serves as the CEO of Elevated Safety Systems. He has been recognized as an outstanding cadet for the West Virginia State Police, an honor graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and received the Roland P. Sharpe Presidential Award for Outstanding Medical Student. 

Outstanding Young Alumnus – Matt Arcure, Class of 2008

Matthew Arcure is a Graduate of Fairmont State University where he received a BA in Business Administration. Matthew attended Alderson-Broaddus from 2002 to 2004 where he was a 2-year letterman in baseball. He transferred to Fairmont State in 2004 where he was also a 2-year letterman in baseball and went on to graduate in 2008.

Matthew worked part time in the family business starting in 2000 but after graduation was able to join full-time. Matthew currently manages the daily operations of the company as the Equity Agreement Manger. Valley Distributing Co. distributes Anheuser-Busch, Yuengling, Big Timber and Greenbrier Valley brewing products for Marion and Wetzel Counties.

Matthew currently resides in Morgantown with his fiancé Carmen Pennington, his son Lucca Arcure and stepson Donovan Dalton. Matthew is still an avid Sports lover and can be caught at any of the Fairmont or WVU games throughout the year. He enjoys golfing, fishing and currently serves on the board for Green Hills Country Club.  

Outstanding Young Alumna – Emily Hale, Class of 2004

Emily Hale, a native of Barrackville, West Virginia, earned her B.A. degree double majoring in Intelligence Research and Analysis and Political Science from Fairmont State University in 2006.

A 2002 North Marion High School graduate and recipient of a four-year academic scholarship to any public university in the state of West Virginia, Emily chose to attend Fairmont State. With the professors in the Social Sciences Department leading the way, she helped create the major for Intelligence Research and Analysis and was also the first graduate. Before graduating from Fairmont State University, Emily interned at The Potomac Advocates and The Space Transportation Association both in Washington, D.C. 

After graduation, Emily immediately moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue her career in the Intelligence and National Security field. After 6 short months working on Capitol Hill for a lobbyist, Jacques & Associates, and separately with The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation based in Herndon, Virginia, she took a leap of faith to pursue her passion and better serve her country by starting a consulting firm with a business partner. The company, 377 Omega, Inc., provides a range of services in the defense and space industry for government and industry clients in support of intelligence and national security programs by combining Executive Branch, Industry, and Congressional experience to help advance technology, programs, and policies. She served as the Vice President and part owner for 11 years until she became President and sole owner in 2017.

During Emily’s four years at Fairmont State University she participated in The Washington Center’s Academic Internship Program in Washington, D.C. and The Frasure-Singleton Legislative Program at the West Virginia Senate. She served as the Political Science Association Vice President, Pi Sigma Alpha Chapter President, and Fairmont State Honors Program Parliamentarian. She was also a member of Lambda Alpha Epsilon and served as a Freshman Counselor. In 2006, Emily received the Fairmont State University Outstanding Student in Political Science Award. Emily also served in Student Government all four years. She is most proud to have been elected the first Student Body President when Fairmont State College transitioned into Fairmont State University.

Emily currently lives in Bel Air, MD with her husband Aaron Hale and two young sons, Bryce and Brooks.  Emily spends her free time traveling with her family, reading, and advocating for food allergy awareness and inclusion. After almost losing her youngest son twice by the age of one year old to severe life-threatening food allergies she now helps and supports people all over the world cope with the emotional struggles and life changing impacts of food allergies by focusing on joy and positivity.

Lifetime Achievement – Gary K. Bennett, Class of 1972

Gary K. Bennett is originally from Webster Springs, West Virginia. Gary graduated from Webster Springs High School in 1968. Fairmont State College in 1972 with a B. S. in Business Administration with a major in accounting and West Virginia University with a Master’s in Business Administration in 1973. Gary successfully completed the Uniform Certified Public Accountants exam in 1974.

After graduating from West Virginia University, Gary taught for West Virginia University as an instructor of accounting until 1980. In 1980 Gary returned to his alma mater to teach accounting and finance until he retired in May 2008 after 35 years of collegiate teaching. Gary also served as the Assistant Chair and the Assistant to the Dean of the School of Business since 1992. In addition to teaching full-time, Gary began practicing as a CPA in Fairmont in 1975 and retired from his business in 2016.

During his tenure at Fairmont State, Gary has served as the vice-president and secretary of the Faculty Senate, created and served as the faculty advisor of the Student Accountant Society, served as the faculty representative on Fairmont State Board of Advisors, and has been a member of various other University and School of Business Committees. Gary has been recognized for the Faculty Recognition Award and the William A. Boram Teaching Excellence Award and was named the Educator of the Year by the West Virginia Society of CPA's in 2002. He was twice awarded the outstanding committee chair by the West Virginia Society of CPA's. In 2007 Gary received the award for Alumnus of Achievement from Fairmont State Alumni Assoication.

As a leader in the community Bennett has served as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Fairmont General Hospital. He has also served as the Treasurer of the Marion Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Rescue Squad, Fairmont General Hospital, Green Hills Country Club, and Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia. Gary has been a member of Fairmont State Foundation Board of Directors since 1982 and has served as Treasurer, Vice Chair and Chair during that time. Gary has also served as President of the Foundation on three occasions. Most recently, Gary was the recipient of the Fairmont State Foundation Outstanding Philanthropy Leadership Award.

Gary is married to the former Barbara Jo Dunn. Gary and Barbara have two children Brian and Lindsey and three grandchildren, Charlie, Lauren and Claire.