The Alleghany Foundation’s Founding President and Board Member Retires; Two New Members Elected to Board

Covington, VA —  (September 14, 2013) — The Alleghany Foundation announces the retirement of founding Board Member and founding President, James Snyder, effective July 2013.  In honor of his dedicated service, the Foundation board has elected him as a director emeritus. 

During his tenure, Snyder dedicated countless hours to the creation and work of the Foundation and its predecessor institution, the Alleghany Regional Hospital. He played an instrumental role in the growth of the Foundation by nearly doubling its net worth from $35 million from the sale of the hospital to approximately $60 million today. During his eighteen years of service on the board of The Alleghany Foundation, the Foundation has awarded over $41 million in grants to the community.

“As our first president, Jim’s dedication, leadership, and invaluable knowledge were critical as The Alleghany Foundation began a mission of improving the Alleghany Highlands. Since 1995, Jim has offered countless hours to the Foundation’s work helping to manage day to day operations, investments and the awarding of grants to numerous community organizations. I know I speak for our board as we thank Jim for the hard work during his tenure and recognize his individual contributions that will enrich our community for many years to come,” says Charles Kahle, The Alleghany Foundation president.

Prior to the Foundation’s creation, Snyder was a leader in the creation of the Alleghany Regional Hospital in 1975. He served on the hospital’s board of directors from 1975 – 1995, and as president from 1985 until 1995. He sustained his long commitment of leadership to the Alleghany Regional Hospital with the creation of the Diabetes Center as well as an addition to the hospital that tripled the size of outpatient surgery, doubled the size of physical therapy and created centralized admitting and outpatient registration. Snyder served as president of the Foundation from its founding in 1995 until 2007 – a period during which the Foundation initiated its first grant making and distributed over $21 million in grants supporting important community efforts.

Snyder graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. In 1965, he joined the law firm of Stephenson, Kostel, Watson, Carson, and Snyder and began his practice, Snyder & Snyder PLC, 27 years later. He and his wife Sara Lu Persinger Snyder live in Clifton Forge and have two sons.

“Starting a foundation takes vision and a lot of planning. As staff, I appreciate the contributions Mr. Snyder made to the Foundation while he was president of the hospital board as well as the impact he made as the first president of The Alleghany Foundation. His attention to detail coupled with his leadership left a legacy that continues to benefit the Foundation and the community today,” says Mary Fant Donnan, The Alleghany Foundation executive director.

The Alleghany Foundation also announces the election of two new members to its board of directors: Andrew Dreszer, a retired MeadWestvaco Corporation executive; and Lisa Schoppmeyer, the owner of Schoppmeyer Accounting.

A resident of Alleghany County, Andrew Dreszer and his wife Elizabeth (Beth) Leitch Dreszer, returned to the area in 2010 after living and working in Europe for a number of years. Dreszer retired from MeadWestvaco Corporation after more than 36 years of service and spent the latter part of his career overseas, most recently as Vice President, Folding Carton Operations Europe. From 1978 to 1988, he worked in Covington as Public Relations manager at then Westvaco’s Bleached Board Division Covington mill. He is active in the community and is a pastpresident of the Greater Alleghany Highlands Chamber and former board member of both the Greater Alleghany United Fund and the Salvation Army. Today, he is a partner in CLEAR, LLC and Karnes Creek Investment Company, LLC.

“My wife, Elizabeth, and I are pleased to be home,” says Dreszer. “The Alleghany Foundation has contributed much to the quality of life in our area. I have been impressed with the care and consideration given to the Foundation’s investments, its operations and the manner in which area requests for funding are addressed. I look forward to being an active board member and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Foundation’s ongoing efforts.”

Lisa Schoppmeyer, a lifelong resident of Covington, has been the owner of Schoppmeyer Accounting for 25 years. Passionate about giving back to her hometown, Schoppmeyer previously served as President and Treasurer of the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and Board Member of the Alleghany Highlands YMCA. She continues to play an active role in the community today as the Treasurer of Olde Town Covington. She and her husband, Larry, have two children and enjoy walking and riding bikes on the Jackson River Scenic Trail.

Schoppmeyer has seen firsthand how the area has benefited from the Foundation’s contributions. “I look forward to promoting the area and helping it become more economically viable,” says Schoppmeyer. “The Alleghany Foundation is helping the community help itself and I hope that I can make a positive impact.”