Guiding your connection to nature
Co-Founder, BOD President
When Kate is not working with leaders throughout the state of West Virginia through her role at Leadership West Virginia, she spends free time in nature hiking, running, biking, climbing, camping, swimming, snowboarding, cross-country skiing or searching for mushrooms and fauna with her adventure-seeking family. She has a deep love of quiet snowy days and the magical sound of peepers on early summer mornings.
Kate was formally educated at West Virginia Wesleyan College where she earned a B.A. and continued on to George Washington University to earn a M.P.S. Kate is a Tinkergarten leader, a certified philanthropic fundraiser, and a Level 2 Certified Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide. However, she credits her real education from the time spent in the Appalachian Mountains. Kate enjoys meeting and working with children and families in the North Central region of West Virginia as they deepen their love and connection with nature!
Valerie Hart Warner
Co-Founder, BOD Vice-President
Valerie grew up adventuring in the wild wonderful woods of West Virginia. She ventured away from home to pursue a Bachelors in Chemistry at WV Wesleyan College and a Masters of Forensic Science at George Washington University.
After working in the forensic science field for 13 years and growing her family by two wild kids, she felt the pull to come back home and lead a simpler life with more nature and more connectedness.
Now as the Co-Founder of Wonder & Grow, a Level 2 Certified Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide, and a WV Master Naturalist in training, she has the joy of sharing her intense curiosity and wonder of the natural world with anyone and everyone!
Valerie loves to spend her time climbing trees, fossil hunting with her kids, petting moss, star gazing, and listening to as many podcasts and audiobooks as possible.
Board of Directors
Elkins City Clerk
Randolph County Teacher
Caleb is a business lawyer in Charleston and relies heavily on hiking, biking, and trail running all over West Virginia to balance out the time he spends in an office environment. As a father to a young daughter, he was eager to join Wonder & Grow to help advance its efforts to connect children with their natural surroundings.
Growing up in Elkins, WV, John loved exploring the outdoors. His father worked for the Monongahela National Forest and so as a child John enjoyed the benefits of getting to see some of the best of what nature had to offer. The fond memories of his childhood led John to return to Elkins after college where he now works for the Monongahela National Forest as a civil engineer, allowing him the opportunity of being in nature even while “on the job”. When not at work, he and his wife Kate enjoy as much time as they can exploring the wonders of the Appalachians with their two children, Ava and Dyer. John enjoys fishing, ramp digging, running, and hiking, as well as peaceful get-a-ways to the family homestead along the Williams river.
Certified Public Accountant