The public is invited to contact CAEZ, or drop by and talk, about any of its projects or services, community or personal needs, or business opportunities from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays.

Check the CAEZ Calendar for community events, meetings and notices.  To post calendar listings contact Michelle Bodkins.

Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ)
Valley Fork Business and Education Center
4208 Wall Back Road
P. O. Box 176
Clay WV 25043
Phone (304) 410-5070

CAEZ does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, sex or national origin.

CONNIE LUPARDUSExecutive Director of CAEZ
Connie M. Lupardus has worked with CAEZ since 2003, and has served as Executive Director since 2006. She worked with Kanawha County Schools at the Garnet Career Center as a Job Placement Coordinator, Student Mentor, and Instructor of Medical Terminology and Medical Information Systems. Her early career was in nursing.Ms. Lupardus has completed numerous economic development training and certification programs to enhance her ability to serve the CAEZ communities. Certifications from Neighbor Works include:

  • Foreclosure Intervention & Default Counseling
  • Home Ownership Counseling
  • Property Assessment, Acquisition and Financing
  • Pre-Purchase Homeownership Education

Graduating from Charleston High School, Ms. Lupardus continued her education with degrees from Gaston College, Charleston Business School, Ohio Business School, Roane Jackson Technical Center, Basic Economic and Community Development University of Kentucky, and attended Economic and Community Development Institute at WVU and International Economic Development Council, University of Oklahoma.Ms. Lupardus enjoys canoeing, mountain biking, hiking and trail riding. She also enjoys camping and spending time with her grandchildren. She has a son and two daughters.

Michelle Bodkins has worked as CAEZ’s Office Manager since June 2000. She is a Notary Public and holds many certifications from NeighborWorks America including:

  • Pre-Purchase Homeownership Education
  • Certified Counselor in Homebuyers Education
  • Certified Counselor in Foreclosure Intervention
  • Loss Mitigation – Post-Purchase Homeownership Education

Mrs. Bodkins has attended and completed trainings offered by West Virginia Housing Development Fund including:

  • Financial Fitness: Teaching Financial Management Skills
  • Data Management and Tracking with CounselorMax
  • Single Family Development for CHDO’s
  • Fitting the Pieces Together
  • Building HOME: A program primer
  • Rental Housing Underwriting and Finance Workshop

A graduate of Clay County High School, Mrs. Bodkins is working to attain an Associate’s Degree in Community Behavioral Health Technology from West Virginia State College. She was honored on the Dean’s List in July 2002. Mrs. Bodkins resides in Bickmore with her son Travis Allen Morris

She works full time at the Clay County Bank in the bookkeeping department.

Certified Occupancy Specialist at Clay Apartments.

STEPHANIE ADKINSDirector of Kiddie Patch Daycare
304-410-5214 , , , Cell 304-880-0945 

Stephanie Adkins operates the Kiddie Patch Daycare located inside the the basement of the CAEZ building at Valley Fork. 

Director Stephanie Adkins is a 2014 graduate of Concord University.  There she received an RBA, with an Associate degree in Early Childhood Development.  She participated in training on various topics such as emergency preparedness, medication administration, child abuse & neglect, autism awareness, WV Early Learning Standards, and safe sleep practices just to name a few. Kiddie Patch Daycare, Clay County’s only certified daycare goes further: they provide nutritious hot meals, healthy fruit and vegetable snacks, provide indoor and outdoor safe activities, and exercises. They provide both healthful, educational activities and entertainment for the further development of your children. If you need daycare one or two days a week, or even the entire work week, choose Kiddie Patch for your daycare needs.