Mandy J. Wriston, PhD Bio:
Dr. Wriston is a native Appalachian professional with almost two decades of experience in the Travel and Tourism Industry. Her early career occupations include Group Tour and Grant Specialist for the Southern West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was Director of Operation and Finance for the Raleigh County Recreation Authority. Most recently she was coordinator for West Virginia’s largest one day extreme sport festival Official Bridge Day. Her experience in Higher Education includes several areas: Dean of Students and Campus Life, Coordinator Doctor of Executive Leadership Program, and Assistant Dean of Mountain State University Academy.
She is currently the owner of Appalachian Queen Consulting and Public Relations LLC. In addition, she volunteers as consultant and mentor for Leadership Fayette County a non-profit youth leadership program in West Virginia. Her dissertation A Case Study of How Leaders in an Appalachian County View Themselves in a Global Society recently won the 2021 Dissertation of the Year Award for Higher Education Administration from Indiana Institute of Technology.
PhD, Global Leadership, Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne, IN, 2021 DISSERTATION: A Case Study of How Leaders in an Appalachian County View Themselves in a Global Society
MS, Strategic Leadership, Mountain State University, Beckley, WV
BS, Travel Industry Management, Concord College, Athens WV
2021 Outstanding Dissertation of the Year. PhD in Global Leadership, Higher Education Administration Concentration
Certificates of completion:
Leadership West Virginia (Leadership Development Program for West Virginia professionals)
Keynote speaker, Leadership Fayette County, graduating class of 2020
Research findings Leadership Fayette County Board of Directors, 2021
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Summit poster presentation,
International Leadership Association, 2021
Keynote speaker, Leadership Fayette County, graduating class of 2022 (Encore)
Keynote presentation for 1st WV Paranormal Convention 2022
Keynote speaker, fundraiser for Ukraine, Town of Smithers, WV
International Leadership Association
Appalachian Studies Association (Reviewer)
"Don't compare yourself to others.
You are unique as an Appalachian" MJW
Appalachian Queen, LLC did a fantastic job on the description for our website home page. The amount of detail, time, and attention she gave our project was without question, more than we expected. The level of professionalism and detail is unmatched. When we started there were many things we hadn't thought about. She would ask questions and research things we hadn't even considered. In the end, we ended up with a beautiful project that made our community sound like a fairy tale. As a result, we have continued to contract her for additional projects.
Christa Hodges, Destination Downtown Oak Hill
Dr. Wriston has been an amazing contributor to our organization. She began by consulting to improve our organization and how the Board of Directors functions. "Dr. Mandy" also inspired and coordinated our Leadership Fayette County program. Without her guidance we probably would not have survived the years affected by Covid-19. We have had the pleasure of receiving two commencement speeches from Dr. Mandy with two unique stories. Both speeches where authentic moving and inspirational. I would not hesitate to ask Dr. Mandy to be our key note speaker again.
Geoff Heeter, Leadership Fayette County
I have worked with Dr. Mandy for many years. She is a very authentic scholar as it relates to the Appalachian Region of the US. She is an outstanding speaker, researcher, project planner and facilitator and will be thorough in any project she is engaged in. Additionally, she has a great sense of humor, and she is very student-focused when it comes to leadership of youth!
Dr. Brenda C. Williams