Leasha Johnson fills many roles in her community. From working to make a brighter future for the residents of Mingo County to serving as a volunteer for several organizations, she is always looking for new opportunities to make a difference.
Preserving Our History and Investing in the Future
Leasha Johnson began working with the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority in 2004 and assumed the role of Executive Director in January 2015. As executive director Leasha says, “I’m committed to investing in economic diversity for Mingo County while preserving our history, as we transition to new industry sectors.”
THE MCRA is an economic development agency with what Leasha describes as a non-traditional structure and mission. It was created in 1989 to redevelop areas in the interest of the health, safety, and welfare residents of Mingo County. While the MCRA acts as a land planning agency and helps to create and maintain partnerships between coal companies, land companies, and federal funding agencies, they also see a need for a diverse economy in Mingo County. “Through the MCRA’s forward thinking vision, we recognized the need for economic diversification some 30 years ago,” Leasha says.
With the MCRA, Leasha has a variety of responsibilities, including understanding and overseeing ongoing projects and operations, managing the agency’s financial performance, identifying grant funding opportunities, and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of Mingo County’s economy. She has helped the agency to build partnerships with a variety of organizations, including Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Williamson Health and Wellness Center.
Leasha is also involved in her community through her work with a long list of various organizations. To name a few, she is Vice Chair of the Williamson Health and Wellness Center Board of Directors, a long-time member of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the board of directors for Coalfield Community Action Partnership. Leasha is often called upon to assist with project planning, economic development ideas, and presentations to visitors to the area who are interested in learning more about Mingo County.
Country Roads Take Me Home
When she’s not working, Leasha lives a life that she describes as “a simple one...grounded in my faith and my family.” She is a member of Chattaroy Missionary Baptist Church where she is active with Vacation Bible School(in non-pandemic years), and spends plenty of free time with her husband, Ronnie. They enjoy cooking, gardening, and walking together. The pair also enjoys spending time with their daughter and son-in-law, Kristyn and Jason, who live in Morgantown. As a 1988 West Virginia University graduate, Leasha says “We’re loyal Mountaineer fans, so we spend many weekends in Morgantown attending both football and basketball games.”
Speaking of her love for Mingo County Leasha says, “My favorite thing about living and working in Mingo County has to be the people,” she says.