Lesly Messina – President
For over a decade Lesly has been the Research Director at the Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT). Before joining ACT Lesly spent ten years in the legal field with an emphasis on labor and disability law. After obtaining an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Marshall University, Lesly became the head of ACT’s research department supporting member construction trades unions. She also acts as a workers’ compensation advocate for injured building trades members.
Lesly has served on the board of WV FREE for 15 years and is deeply committed to reproductive justice for WV women and families and tries to serve as a vocal advocate for WV FREE’s mission and programs. She lives in Charleston with her husband Larry and daughter Sophia.
Michelle Storage – Vice President
Jennifer Wagner – Treasurer
She joined Mountain State Justice in the summer of 2008 as a Skadden Fellow. Jennifer represents low-income West Virginians in consumer cases and civil rights, health care, and workplace safety litigation. Jennifer is a Consumer Fellow to the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the American Bar Association, and has testified before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance about mortgage regulation. Prior to joining Mountain State Justice, Jennifer clerked for Judge M. Blane Michael on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked as an advocate for HIV+, mentally ill, homeless adults in New York City. She graduated with honors from New York University School of Law and Harvard College.
Dr. Bradley Milam was born and raised in southern West Virginia. He earned a BA in history from Yale, where his senior essay on the history of gay and lesbian life in West Virginia won the LGBT studies department prize. After college, Bradley was the first executive director of the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, Fairness WV. His work there with folks in need from around the state showed him how powerful a well-trained and compassionate primary care physician can be to communities in need, and he decided to become a doctor himself.
He graduated from the West Virginia University School of Medicine, where he was president of the LGBT student group and a founding member and president of the Medical Students for Choice chapter. He is now a resident physician in family medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
She is a nonprofit professional with over 15 years experience working with social justice organizations in the areas of advocacy, fundraising, communications, and development. She currently serves as Director of Development and Communications for a statewide civil legal services agency.
She has been a volunteer and advocate for women’s and reproductive rights since college, and says her interest is rooted in the experience of being raised by a teen mother, and seeing firsthand how few resources are available to assist single and working mothers. She cites increasing hostility toward reproductive freedom as the catalyst to her joining the WV Free Board, and she looks forward to actively promoting the organization and its goals during her term.
She is an Assistant Attorney General for the State of West Virginia, where she represents the Department of Health and Human Resources. Mindy is a former Legal Aid attorney, prosecutor, and Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia writ clerk who has practiced law for ten years.
When Mindy isn’t flexing on the law, she is a competitive roller derby player, a dachshund enthusiast, and stigmatophile with a pizza dagger tattoo.
Born and raised in Chicago, Mary graduated from University of Illinois where she studied engineering and human science. After university, Mary spent 2 years in a small village in central Honduras honing her Spanish and working with midwives and community health workers as a Peace Corps volunteer. Towards the end of her commitment in El Suyatal , Mary made the decision to become a doctor, deciding that an MD could work anywhere in the world and do the most good.
She graduated from Loyola Stritch school of medicine in 2007 and completed her residency at a small hospital on Chicago’s west side, serving primarily undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America. During her residency, Mary met Peter Wentzel, the love of her life and fellow family doctor, at a meeting for Single Payer healthcare in Washington DC. Peter assured Mary that there was a need in West Virginia for doctors that treat the whole human, regardless of their social status. Mary has been working as a family physician in Newburg and Rowlesburg for over 7 years with Preston Taylor Community Health Centers. She specializes in women’s health and is currently the only doctor in Preston County providing contraception under the state’s Family Planning program. Mary has also worked at Preston High School providing sex education to the students. Now the mother of three dynamite little humans, Mary splits her time between Morgantown and the family farm in Aurora, where her brood loves cross country skiing, canoeing in the Cheat River and hiking around this beautiful state.
She serves as Communications Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. She works to foster an environment of increased understanding and collaboration on budget and economic issues among citizens, partners and legislators through strategic communications.
Caitlin is a native of Charleston and brings business and public outreach experience to her role. She holds a B. A. in Journalism and a B. A. in Philosophy from Youngstown State University.
The mission and values of WV FREE appeal to Patti as someone who grew up prior to Roe v. Wade. As a young high school teacher in the 70’s, she incorporated sex education in her classes, inviting guest speakers to educate students on birth control every school year. She worked as a lobbyist for 20 years and collaborated with many state agencies during that time. She has been involved with many boards and organizations, including the Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations Subcommittee, the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation, and the Community Corrections Subcommittee, all appointed by the Governor. In 1988, she was the first woman delegate ever elected from Wetzel county to serve at the Democratic National Convention.