THE WOMAN DOING IT ALL
Program Manager, City of Weirton
SUPERPOWER: BEING A “JILL OF ALL TRADES”
Risha Marple is one smart and stylish force of nature. When she tells you she thought she was going to be a rock star when she grew up, you can see why. Though she initially earned her cosmetology license after realizing rock stardom was unlikely—she still works part-time in a local salon “for fun”—Marple eventually went back to college to earn her degree in economics with a focus on community relations and economic development, along with an associate degree in building restoration and preservation.
The result of all that education: a schedule to rival those of heads of state. “I have my full-time career. I run the Community Development Block Grant that provides annual grants to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and also by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. I assist the director of planning and sit on several boards. I work in a salon. I am a marathon runner. I sing in a local band.”
On top of all that, she and her husband recently purchased one of North Wheeling’s historic Victorian homes and are working together to restore it. “I really believe in investing in our downtowns, and I wanted to practice what I preach by purchasing a home in a downtown neighborhood.”
Though she has left the state a time or two, she’s made her way back home for good. “I am inspired most by my community and the people of West Virginia. There is a grit, a strength of character, to the people here. West Virginia is my home now, and it always will be.”
Written by Tara Wine-Queen
Learn more about our Wonder Women
Since 2014 WV Living magazine has been honoring West Virginia Wonder Women, amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. WV Living is proud to celebrate these Appalachian mothers, millennials, and mavens proving that in a time full of uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate, love for one another is all we really need. No need for bulletproof bracelets or a golden lasso of truth—these women are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.