Join business, community, education and legislative leaders for an innovative discussion on public education – strengthening the pipeline to future jobs in West Virginia.


Event Details:
Thursday, June 15, 2017
11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Blennerhassett Hotel
320 Market Street, Parkersburg, WV 26101
Download: AgendaProgram 


Featured Speakers

Ralph Baxter
Advisor, Writer, and Speaker on the Legal Profession

Ralph Baxter has been a trailblazer in the world of law throughout his forty year career. In 2013, the American Lawyer Magazine named him one of “The Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the last 50 years.”

Ralph led the evolution of Orrick from its regional origin to become one of the world's leading law firms, with 1,100 lawyers in 25 locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Under his leadership, Orrick not only expanded its geographic reach, it transformed how it served clients and provided careers for its people.

One of Ralph’s most significant innovations was creating Orrick’s Global Operations Center in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 2002. Now the home of 15% of Orrick’s worldwide workforce, the “GOC” represents one of the world’s most prominent examples of how law firms can re-imagine their business models.

The Orrick GOC is a genuine “win, win, win” story. Clients are served better, lawyers and staff at Orrick have better careers, and the firm is more successful as an institution. The Orrick GOC also benefitted West Virginia, bringing 350 desirable jobs at Orrick, followed by more than 500 additional jobs when Orrick brought Williams Lea to Wheeling to serve it and other law firms, and countless other new jobs attracted by the success stories of Orrick and Williams Lea.

After nearly a quarter century as Chairman and CEO of Orrick, Ralph turned his attention to a combination of other business and public interest projects.

On the business side, he advises legal technology companies, law firms, law schools, and corporate legal departments that seek to modernize the way legal services are delivered and consumed. His activities include:

  • The Board of Directors of Intapp
  • The Legal Advisory Board of LegalZoom
  • The Advisory Board of Ravel Law
  • Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute
  • Fellow and Senior Advisor to CodeX, the Stanford University Center for Law and Informatics
  • Senior Advisor and Member of the Advisory Board of the Stanford Law School Center on the Legal Profession
  • The Advisory Board of the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession

On the public side, Ralph has long been active in public interest organizations in West Virginia. From 2006 to 2010 he served as Co-Chair of Governor Manchin’s 21st Century Jobs Cabinet. In 2009 he was inducted into the June Harless Education Hall of Fame at Marshall University in recognition of his contribution to education in the state. His current activities include:

  • The Board of Directors of the West Virginia Education Alliance
  • The Board of Directors of the Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation
  • Imagine West Virginia
  • The West Virginia Roundtable

Ralph received his BA from Stanford University, his MA in Education from the Catholic University of America, and his JD from the University of Virginia.

Before his career in law, Ralph taught the sixth grade at Scott Montgomery Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Chad Crumbaker
Vice President, WVU Parkersburg

Chad Crumbaker is the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs at WVU Parkersburg having previously served as the Chair of the Business, Accounting and Public Service Division and the Coordinator of the Legal Studies Program. He has taught at WVU Parkersburg since beginning as an adjunct in 2007. In addition to teaching, he practices law in Parkersburg and is licensed in both West Virginia and Ohio since 2006. After law school, Chad served seven years in Wood County Circuit Court for Judge J.D. Beane. He and his family own and operate a local HVAC company and believe that the Mid-Ohio Valley is a wonderful place to live and work.

Chad and his wife Katherine, a school nurse in Wood County, have two sons ages 7 and 5.

Toni Poling
2017 West Virginia Teacher of the Year

A 1999 graduate of Doddridge County High School, Toni Poling attended WVU’s 5-Year Teacher Education Program, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education. 

After graduating Cum Laude from WVU, Mrs. Poling taught for one-year each at both Doddridge County High School and Ritchie County High School before coming to Fairmont Senior in 2006 where she currently teaches AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, and serves in a number of leadership positions.  In 2013, she achieved her National Board Certification, and in 2016 earned her certification in Public School Administration. 

In 2016, Toni Poling was awarded the Fairmont State University Professional Development School Partnership Excellence in Teaching Award, was named Fairmont Senior High School Teacher of the Year and Marion County Teacher of the Year, and is currently serving as the 2017 West Virginia State Teacher of the Year.