How Stanford GSB Alumni Are Helping an Appalachian Town Move Beyond Coal


How Stanford GSB Alumni Are Helping an Appalachian Town Move Beyond Coal

Social entrepreneurs Daryn Dodson, MBA ’07, and Jenna Nicholas, MBA ’17, are building a more just, sustainable, and prosperous world — one community at a time.
April 5, 2019

With an economy tethered to a dying industry, Williamson, West Virginia suffers from severe unemployment and some of the worst mortality rates in the U.S.

Life After Coad

Over the past five years, Daryn Dodson, MBA ’07, and Jenna Nicholas, MBA ’17, have summoned outside investors, philanthropists, business owners, and scholars to the town to meet with local civic leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists in an attempt to bring the community back to life.

The efforts of their nonprofit, called Impact Experience, have brought into the region more than $8 million in public and private investments. As Nicholas explains in this video, they’ve teamed up with locals “to move things forward in an exponential way.”

— Beth Rimbey

For media inquiries, visit the Newsroom.

Explore More

April 1, 2020
His Medium article was read by 40 million people and sounded an alarm. Here’s what he hopes will happen now.
An illustration of two women, one wearing a medical face mask, and the other not wearing a mask, moving away from each other. Credit: iStock/Ada Yokota
March 25, 2020
Though concerns over COVID-19 forced the cancellation Me2We on-campus, participants brought the same enthusiasm and excitement, virtually.
Close up shot of a computer screen, in which Me2We participants are chatting in a virtual LEAD event. Credit: Tricia Seibold
March 19, 2020
Inspired by her students, a Stanford GSB Social Innovation Fellow connects Bay Area youth with degrees, jobs, and their own potential.
Claire Fisher, MBA and MA Ed ’18, is one of two 2018 recipients of the Stanford GSB Social Innovation Fellowship. Credit: Stacy Geiken