March 24, 2016 by Kathy Jesperson, NRCCE
Morgantown, W.Va.–TransTech Energy Research & Business Development welcomes Jamie Huggins as its new communications and social media strategist. Jamie started working with TTE in August 2014 as a student and worked with them through December 2015. Now she is joining the staff part-time to help the program grow by increasing its visibility through increased social media and marketing strategies.
Jamie holds a master’s degree from WVU’s Reed College Media’s Integrated Marketing Communications program. She also has a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairmont State and a Liberal Studies degree from Pierpont Community and Technical College.
In addition to her social media responsibilities, Jamie will be writing articles and creating publications that illustrate how TTE fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship around innovative, new companies and how it helps create new jobs—which she believes “could not be more important to our state at this moment.”
“Right now, West Virginia is faced with serious issues like significant drops in population and employment after the decline of coal and other manufacturing industries,” said Jamie. “I think one of the biggest challenges we face is creating a shift in mindset about our state. West Virginia needs to be known as a state that supports and fosters entrepreneurship.
“We must work to retain the bright, innovative minds that we do have by investing in them and their ideas,” she continued. “That’s why the work of TTE is so important—it seeks to do exactly that—and helps bring other innovative minds to our state as well.”
Jamie is not coming to her new role unprepared. Her experience with TTE has provided her with a solid background on which she can build.
“As a student worker for TTE, it became my job to solely grow all of TTE’s social media presence—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram—to name a few,” said Jamie. “We used social media to attract start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, and the general public to the TTE conference, as well as, to further promote the TTE program. I will still be working in that area in my new role here as well.”
Social media was a new venture for TTE. And Jamie took the program to new levels.
“Jamie has been an asset since the day she walked through our doors as a student worker,” said Angela Shock, TTE’s program coordinator. “None of us really knew the power of social media. We were just muddling through, posting random events, and reposting comments from those we follow. She took our marketing attempts up several notches to increase our followers four fold in just a few months.”
“She has worked hard to get our brand out there,” Angela continued. “Recently, I was attending a conference in Pittsburgh where quite a few people knew of our program. One attendee from a famous business incubator in California even recognized the name! That has to be related to Jamie’s social media efforts. Now that she has her masters in Integrated Marketing Communications and has come on board as an official employee, we anticipate great things from her.”
And Jamie is looking forward to doing great things. By using her communication skills, she plans to further the TTE message, grow its state-wide conference, and promote entrepreneurship.
Jamie credits Carl Irwin and Angela Shock with opening her my eyes to the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in West Virginia. “I unfortunately admit that these are areas I knew little about before my time working with TTE. Being aware of these issues and desiring to be a part of the movement to help improve our state is something that I will certainly carry with me into the future.”
Currently the future looks bright for Jamie and TTE.
When Jamie isn’t working, she said she enjoys spending time with her husband Josiah and their dog Riley. And she’s developed a bit of passion for photography. “I love photography. I purchased my first DSLR camera over a year ago. Whether it be taking pictures of people or scenery, I am always amazed how it allows me to be fully creative and see the world from a completely different perspective.”
About TransTech Energy
TransTech Energy is a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University. The program’s goal is to promote new companies and commercializable projects that can provide solutions to energy, environmental, and economic development challenges such as creating new jobs and more competitive industries.
Energy technologies and strategies are constantly in transition as countries around the world strive for economic growth and stability, a reasonably healthy environment, and national security. The term TransTech Energy (TTE) refers to transition technologies, strategies, apps and software that move us along the pathway to a lower carbon, industrially competitive, sustainable economy of the future.