Phyllis Cantrell

Phyllis was born on Monroe Avenue on Ronceverte, and she’s spent her life serving the community ever since.

For the last 30+ years, she has worked at Gateway Industries, a non-profit Community Rehabilitation Program which provides employment services for citizens with disabilities. She began her career as the Floor Supervisor. In 1990, she was appointed to the position of Executive Director. Under her leadership and vision, the program grew and has since served over 2,000 disabled individuals.

She was awarded the Q.J. Humphreys Distinguished Career Award by WV Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. The award was to honor her for bringing the program back from the brink of financial disaster to financial and professional proficiency, accountability and viability. Under her tenure, the program has received a multitude of achievement awards from state and national organizations.

Prior to joining Gateway, she was employed at Computer Services Division at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Maryland. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, acts as an ambassador for the Greenbrier County Health Alliance, is an active member of WVARF, and was very active in the Ronceverte Development Corporation. She and her team organize Derby Days annually and are now hard at work on building a new mini golf course on the Ronceverte Island Park.

For a lifetime of advocacy on behalf of persons with disabilities, we are thrilled to name Phyllis Cantrell the certified Real West Virginian of the Week.

If you would like to nominate a neighbor as the Real West Virginian of the Week, email us at


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