CAG Expands the Team

Meet Mindy Salango

I am excited to join WVCAG as a Healthcare Organizer. Having worked with WVCAG on a volunteer basis, I look forward to taking on this new full-time role. As a type 1 diabetic who has been forced to ration insulin due to its high cost, I have first-hand knowledge of just how broken our healthcare system truly is.

In 2021, the federal House Oversight Committee invited me to speak regarding the rising cost of prescription drugs. Later that same year, I had the honor of attending President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address. 

My opinion piece for Newsweek Magazine, titled “I Need Insulin to Stay Alive. It’s Gradually Being Priced Out of My Reach”, highlights my personal struggles and the urgent need for change. Visit ppls.ac/InsulinPricing to read the full article.

Alongside my duties at WVCAG, I serve as the Chapter Leader for T1 International in West Virginia, working to advocate for those affected by type 1 diabetes.

I live in Morgantown with my fiance, Paul, our three children – Morgan, Colin, and Izzy – as well as our goddaughter Abi and our beloved cat Luna. I am passionate about working with WVCAG to achieve our shared goal of making healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone.

Meet Tyler Cannon

Hello, CAG members! My name is Tyler Cannon, I am the new Climate Coordinator for West
Virginia Climate Alliance; I prefer male pronouns. I live in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and grew up
in Logan, West Virginia. I bring a background of both grasstops and grassroots organizing,
project management, and a commitment to climate justice. I have spent years working towards
environmental, food and economic justice in different contexts across West Virginia. I am also a
Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture, a skateboarder, whitewater
kayaker, trombonist, father and husband.

As a graduate of Marshall University, I studied plant science, horticulture, soil science,
anthropology, and geography; this technical background informs and supports my organizing. I
learned the language of popular education and the importance of community-led movements for
long-term system change while working for the Highlander Research; Education Center.
People in communities impacted by resource extraction and a changing climate are the ones
who have both the most pertinent understanding of the issues they face and the ability to take
action to protect themselves. Learning from the grassroots and supporting them in taking action
based on their needs is a central tenet of my organizing strategy.

While working for the WVU Food Justice Laboratory, I worked with grasstops professionals
statewide to develop county-scale strategies for bridging gaps between vulnerable people and
food security. The WVU Center for Resilient Communities still carries forward this vital work.
Working collaboratively with my supervisors and peers, I developed a crucial understanding of
mobilizing the grasstops and maintaining an approach dependent on collective action and
reflection.

It is these frameworks, along with the buy-in from the Climate Alliance’s members, that will bring
an active, effective West Virginia Climate Alliance to fruition, and I am excited to hit the ground
running. Expect more activity from the West Virginia Climate Alliance in the coming weeks and
months. For more information, contact me directly at Tyler@wvcag.org.

Meet Jillian Welsh

Hello! I am thrilled to join WVCAG’s communications team. During my time with the West Virginia Environmental Council (WVEC), I had the pleasure of working with WVCAG during two legislative sessions. I have always been impressed by CAG’s dedication to empowering citizens and advocating for a better future for all West Virginians.

Through my continued work as Communications Coordinator at WVEC, I organize events like Environmental Day at the WV State Capitol and collaborate with groups such as WV Rivers Coalition, Solar United Neighbors and West Virginia Sierra Club on campaigns for Community Solar, the Orphaned Well Prevention Act, and the PFAS Protection Act. I also fought against harmful bills like Community Air Monitoring this past session.

I grew up in Massillon, OH, and attended Ohio University, where I studied Visual Communications. Before moving to Charleston, WV, in 2022, I worked in New Orleans as the Volunteer Coordinator for Green Light New Orleans, a nonprofit that provides artist-painted rain barrels to residents in the greater New Orleans area. I enjoyed educating volunteers and community members about flooding, stormwater management, green infrastructure, and reducing subsidence.

Earlier in my career, I worked as a visual journalist in the Food + Home section at The San Francisco Chronicle, where I developed a love for gardening and sustainability. During my 13 years in journalism, I also worked as an illustrator and designer for The Orange County Register and The Columbus Dispatch.

Serving my community has always been a priority for me. I volunteered as a Project Leader for the Young Leadership Council’s Recycles program in New Orleans, engaging volunteers to create a more sustainable community through education and service.

My work and service have deeply connected me to the community and its environmental future. Joining the CAG team is an excellent opportunity to continue that commitment.

When not causing trouble for the Bad Idea Factory, I am hiking, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, or hanging out with my dog and cats.

I look forward to working with all of you to serve West Virginia!

Meet Cassandra Wiley

My name’s Cassie and I’m WV CAG’s Communications Assistant. I grew up in Mason County, West Virginia until I was 6, and my family decided to move around the Southeast U.S. and Great Lakes area for work, ultimately moving back to the state in 2011. I headed straight to Marshall after high school, taking a pause at the beginning of my senior year in 2018 to gain some worldly experience.

Regardless of the chaos in my life, I find myself drawn over and over again to activism, community building, and intentional tech. I began working with WVCAG in 2021, combining skills in communicating science to the public, public health, and digital communications to get actionable information in the hands of active West Virginians.

I presently live on a sustainability collective in Putnam County, where life centers around community and experimenting with innovation. My work with WVCAG is no different! Making sure that technology speaks well with a team as diverse and flexible as the advocates at WVCAG is vital in bringing West Virginians accurate, note-worthy information on how to influence the wellness of their community. I strive to bring my best work to the team. 

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