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Shelley C.

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  • Tribute to Mark Felton

    by Representative Shelley Moore Capito

    Posted on 2015-12-14

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    CAPITO. Mr. President, I wish to recognize one of West Virginia's prized public servants, Mark Felton, on the occasion of his retirement. Through his various roles in the Region III Planning and Development Council, Mark has been an indispensable resource to the four counties he has served for over 30 years.

    After earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in geography from Marshall University, Mark began his career in the transportation department of the regional planning council in 1983. Mark authored and supervised innumerable transportation-related studies that benefited residents of the region through improved roads, bridges, travel times, and safety.

    The regional councils serve as integral partners in the planning and execution of infrastructure improvements, including water and sewer projects. During my time representing the 2nd [[Page S8632]] Congressional District and continuing through to my time in the Senate, my staff and I worked with Mark and the council to complete numerous infrastructure projects; as a result, we provided potable water to thousands of West Virginians. I have always appreciated the technical assistance and knowledge that Mark and his staff bring to any undertaking. These projects are not always the most glamorous, but they are necessary for the health of the people we serve.

    In 2006, Mark was promoted to executive director of the regional planning council. In this role, Mark successfully worked alongside local, county, and State leaders to achieve many goals throughout the region. Mark was consistent in his determination to utilize region III's resources in the most efficient manner possible.

    One highlight of Mark's career includes working with the West Virginia Division of Highways and the U.S. Department of Transportation to build the Saint Albans--Nitro Bridge. This was a major achievement that required patience and diligent planning to complete. Through a clever design variation, millions of taxpayer dollars were saved, and the project was completed ahead of schedule. I commend Mark and his team for working skillfully with Federal and State partners to accomplish this huge undertaking under budget and on time. Time and again, Mark exhibited great leadership and wisdom in his roles with the regional planning council and has made a lasting difference in the health and safety of residents of Kanawha, Clay, Boone, and Putnam Counties.

    In his spare time, Mark actively participates in local theater activities in the Kanawha Valley, acting in roles for the Charleston Light Opera Guild and Kanawha Players. In addition, he previously served as president of the Children's Theater of Charleston. Hopefully he will continue with his passion, as I have always enjoyed seeing him on stage.

    Mark is also a member of Kanawha United Presbyterian Church where he actively participates in the church and bell choirs. Additionally, he is a property trustee of the church and plans to be more involved in both internal operations and outreach ministries after his retirement. Mark and his wife, Kerry, a kindergarten teacher for Kanawha County Schools, have two children, Erin and Patrick.

    I wish Mark a fond farewell and the best of luck to him and his family in the next phase of their lives. Our State owes Mark a debt of gratitude for his hard work and dedication to his community. It has been a privilege working with him, and I urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating Mark on a wonderful career.


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