Steve Wykoff – VIPS 501
Steve volunteers as the Coordinator for the VIPS program with the Buckhannon City Police department and is one of three founding members still active with the organization. Steve holds numerous certifications in health and safety field, and in the emergency management field. He is also an instructor for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and the only CERT instructor trainer in Upshur County. In addition to teaching various CERT classes, he also teaches American Heart Association First Aid / CPR / AED courses, and Stop The Bleed (STB) courses. Steve has been actively involved in the community and volunteered with various other emergency services such as the Upshur County Emergency Squad (EMT, 1992-2004), American Red Cross (1995-2006), and Office of Emergency Management (2008-current), American Heart Association (2019 – current), as well as youth organizations such as Upshur County Little League (2008-2011) and Upshur County Flag Football (2008). In October 2018, Steve was honored as a Jefferson Award recipient for his community service with the VIPS program. Founded in 1972, The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a non-profit organization that "recognizes, inspires and activates volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America."
Jewel Fisher – VIPS 502
Jewel is a lifelong resident of Upshur County. She currently holds the position of Assistant Coordinator within VIPS, and is one of three founding members still active with the organization. Jewel is very community service minded, and joined VIPS to give back to the community she loves. In addition to volunteering with VIPS, Jewel is a member of Good Hope Tabernacle Church, Buckhannon Professional Women’s Club, and serves as secretary for Buckhannon Chapter #18 Order of the Eastern Star. Jewel has a strong history in emergency services, previously working as a 911 telecommunicator, and as an emergency medical technician (EMT) with the Upshur County Emergency Squad. She also worked for the Record Delta until recently. Jewel comes from a large family, having six siblings and many nieces and nephews. When not working as the site manager for River Place Apartments or volunteering with VIPS, Jewel enjoys crocheting, reading, and cooking for family and friends.
David Rowan – VIPS 503
David is a lifelong resident of Upshur County and one of three founding members still active with VIPS. He joined VIPS to gain further insight into the inner workings of police department after becoming interested in law enforcement by watching crime drama television shows. David is the VIPS task coordinator, and currently the only VIPS member to receive the Meritorious Service award from Chief of Police Matt Gregory. David was instrumental in identifying a wanted felon who fled to Buckhannon from out of state, which led to the felon’s arrest and subsequent extradition. In his spare time, David continues to help the community by volunteering at the Parish House daily as he has for the past 15 years. You will also see David walking around town with his dog, Foxie.
Anita Coleman – VIPS 504
Anita moved to Buckhannon in June of 2017 from north central Ohio. She loves giving back to the community and volunteered as a staff member for the Chesty Puller Young Marines program while in Ohio. Upon moving to Buckhannon with her husband of 28 years and 17-year-old son, she continued to pursue volunteer work in our area. Anita has been involved in VIPS for the past two years and currently serves as one of VIPS Assistant Coordinators, President of American Legion Auxiliary Unit #7, and is a member of American Legion West Virginia Rhododendron Girls State. When she is not volunteering, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, fishing, and camping.
Scott Coleman – VIPS 505
Scott moved to Buckhannon in June of 2017 from north central Ohio. He likes giving back to the community and also volunteered as a staff member with the Chesty Puller Young Marines program. Upon moving to Buckhannon with his wife of 28 years and 17-year-old son, he continued to pursue volunteer work in our area. Scott has now been with VIPS for two years. When he is not volunteering or working as a security guard, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, fishing, and camping.
Linda Coleman – VIPS 506
Linda moved to Buckhannon from the Cleveland Ohio area after living there for 52 years. She worked as a professional hairdresser for over 30 years while in OH, but after moving to Upshur County Linda decided it was time for a career change. She went back to school and completed two degrees; one in medical technology, and one in medical coding systems. Linda has a large family consisting of one son, two step sons, one girlfriend in-law, two step daughter in-laws, five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. In her spare time, Linda enjoys cooking and crocheting.
Joe Dillon – VIPS 507
Joe is one of our newer members, having joined VIPS just last year. He has worked in the private security field for over 8 years, during which time he also worked as a correctional officer. Joe holds numerous certifications through his employment and through VIPS, including crisis control, ALICE, and CERT. Joe sees Upshur county as his home, and joined VIPS hoping that by everyone working together, we can make our community safer.
Paul Coleman – VIPS 508
Paul lived in the Cleveland / Akron Ohio area before retiring from over the road trucking and moving to Buckhannon eleven years ago. He is an Army veteran, having served our country for five years as an engineer. Paul has two sons, one step son, 2 daughters-in-law, one step girlfriend in-law, five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren. When not volunteering with VIPS, Paul stays busy with his woodworking, making items such as trash cans, tater and onion bins, toy boxes, toilet tissue holders, and quilt racks. Paul believes Buckhannon is one of West Virginia’s best kept secrets.
Evelyn Syski – VIPS 509
Evelyn lived in Baltimore, MD for 68 years prior to settling in Buckhannon. Currently she volunteers with the VIPS. This program piqued her interest as her brother is a retired police officer from Baltimore City and she has a high respect for the work of the police department. She is an active member of Create Buckhannon, attends City Council meetings, and is active in her church. She also volunteers at the Buckhannon Senior Center by calling "Bingorobics" (a combination of bingo and aerobics) for seniors. Prior to moving to Buckhannon, Evelyn had a 36-year career with the federal government. Volunteering has been an active part of her life by serving through the years as: a Board Member on the Elvaton Towne Condominium Association; Chairman of the Pack Committee for Cub Scouts; and as a lay therapist for the Prevention of Child Abuse for the State of Maryland. Evelyn also volunteered as a financial councilor for her church, served/volunteered with the Combined Federal Campaign, Muscular Dystrophy, and Cystic Fibrosis. She also taught English Second Language (ESL) in two facilities for two years. Prior to leaving Baltimore, Evelyn worked part time as an Activity Specialist at both Arbutus and Lansdowne Senior Centers as well as coordinating their lunch programs.
Vito Syski – VIPS 510
Vito is a second-generation immigrant to the United States and a naturalized American citizen. He is proud to have received a commendation for good citizenship from the governor of Maryland. Prior to moving to Buckhannon, he spent many years in the Indexing Section of the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD as a contractor until his contract ended in 2016, at which time he decided to retire and move to West Virginia with his wife. Vito holds a B.A. degree in music from the University of Maryland, College Park. His volunteer activities reflect his desire to give back to the community for the privileges he has enjoyed in a free country. Vito regularly attends Create Buckhannon and Buckhannon City Council meetings, is active in his local church, and a pianist with the Buckhannon Chamber Orchestra. In Maryland, he volunteered with the Maryland Food Bank and was a choral singer in a Bethesda, MD church choir for 28 years. One of his interests is crime prevention and investigation and watching crime shows on TV. The VIPS program assists the Police Department, freeing them to focus on law enforcement. With his respect for the police force, and the goals of VIPS, the program was an immediate match.
Andi Cartier – VIPS 511
Andi grew up in Illinois, but has fond memories of spending time in Buckhannon with her grandparents and other relatives. Andi completed her BA in Psychology at Quincy College in IL in 1982 and her MA and doctoral coursework in Psychology at the University of Nevada-Reno in 1987. She pursued volunteer and part-time employment opportunities as a 'Big Sister' and Girls' Home staff during her college years, as well as a Crisis Call Center & Sexual Assault Response Team volunteer, trainer, and speaker bureau member during graduate school. Andi then began a 27-year career working with a private contractor for the USDOL Job Corps program, starting in Counseling and Student Services at Job Corps Centers in NV, WV and MD; in 1994 Andi moved on to Corporate-level responsibilities for what became 15 Job Corps Centers operated by her employer for the USDOL. In 2014, left the Job Corps career to return to West Virginia to spend time with her mother. Andi soon found outlets for continuing to learn, grow and serve with Celebrate Recovery where she continues to serve as a member of its local leadership team here in Buckhannon. In 2018, Andi added AmeriCorps VISTA and the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy to her learning and growth experiences, while serving at Opportunity House Inc. In 2019, Andi moved on to the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) as a Peer Specialist and Group Facilitator and currently serves as the (volunteer) Director for the local chapter based here in Buckhannon.
Morgan Cox – VIPS 512
Morgan joined VIPS in 2018 while she was interning with the Buckhannon Police Department as a Criminal Justice and Psychology major at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Upon graduating with honors in 2018 and logging more than 2000 hours of volunteer service with the Buckhannon Police Department, she obtained a career in law enforcement. Morgan credits her success in law enforcement to the knowledge, training, and experience gained from her time at the BPD. She still volunteers with the VIPS program as she is able.