People Working and Serving to Improve Wyoming County and southern West Virginia

Dewey Houck
RAIL Acting Executive Director & Board President
(540) 344-5750

Dewey Houck, RAIL President and acting Executive Director was born in Wyoming County, West Virginia. He left Wyoming County in 1961 to follow a railroad career that ended with retirement in Atlanta, GA in 1990. He and his wife Sheila left Atlanta and moved back to Roanoke, VA to spend their retirement years. In 2001 Dewey returned to Mullens in his home county and volunteered to help local citizens implement a West Virginia University sponsored Community Design Team Plan. Dewey solicited the aid of the AmeriCorps programs to work with volunteers and other agencies to build RAIL into a corporation that has gone far beyond the tasks laid out in the Community Design Team plan.

During the seven and a half years Dewey has volunteered, the efforts of all those responsible for RAIL successes has culminated in prestigious awards in his name. Such as Mullens Area Chamber of Commerce 2001 “Civic Hero of the Year”; Governors Service Award 2005 “Senior Volunteer of the Year in West Virginia”; National Award to 60 People in US by Civic Ventures 2006 “Purpose Prize”; Roanoke Civitan Club 2006 (for work done in WV) 2006 “Good Samaritan Award”. Dewey quickly points out that these honors go to all the people that have worked to better their community through the efforts of the Rural Appalachian Improvement League, Inc.


Click here to read more about Dewey.

Jack Seitz

Jack Seitz is a consultant for the Farming for Health and Wealth project. The goal of this project is twofold. First, the project will work with local agriculture to “grow” the number of small scale farms in the area in an effort to diversify the local economy and provide fresh, healthy, local food to the area. In an effort to increase access to this food, and encourage area farmers, the project will also establish a local farmers market in Wyoming County. The final component of the project is to establish a growers co-op for low income families. This co-op will assist families in growing and preserving their own food. This will help offset some of their food budget while giving them healthy food and a sense of empowerment. Jack, a native of Morgantown, WV and graduate of Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, has been involved in food security and local farming since 2002 and managed his own for two years 2006-2008.

Katheryn Prussia

Katheryn joined RAIL as a VISTA in August of 2009, and is working on Land Use Planning, to come up with possitive uses for abandoned mine land.

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Volunteers are a vital part of RAIL's success. We are SEEKING VOLUNTEERS! Please contact us if you want to make a difference and join our remarkable work teams.

In September 2010 RAIL volunteers began initiating a plan to invigorate Community and Economic development in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. In the past ten years RAIL has studied the needs of families in Appalachia as well as available resources and other accessible opportunities that can help their community become sustainable. Gaining a better understanding of what is needed has culminated in the Coal Heritage Trail of New Commerce Action Plan. Those implementing this plan, an organization at the grass roots, well understand their work cannot be successful without the help of volunteers and generous resources providers. Anyone interested in participating in this bold undertaking of helping families living in the Appalachian coalfields improve their economic and social conditions may contact for more information. RAIL gets its name from Rural Appalachian Improvement League, Inc. and can best be described as Volunteers coming together as an organization to find ways to best benefit their community

March 18, 2011

Alternative Spring Break
click to view this video