CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster has chosen a veteran in dealing with disasters as its interim director.

The board that oversees WV VOAD said Rev. Jack Lipphardt will lead the organization for the next several months while the search takes place for a new executive director.

Former executive director Jenny Gannaway announced her retirement last month. Gannaway said she was stepping away to “prioritize quality time with her family.”

Gannaway came under fire by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, during an interim meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding in early January when she testified about the handling of the nonprofit’s finances.

VOAD’s former finance and operations manager, Benjamin Cisco, was charged in the spring of 2023 with several counts of fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced in January to spend 41 months in federal prison.

Lipphardt, who was director of disaster recovery for the West Virginia United Methodist Church following the June 2016 flood, said his job in the interim would to be to celebrate VOAD’s past successes and work with the transition team “to shape a more resilient future by refining the organization’s mission.”

A news release from WV VOAD said Lipphardt would also work with the transition team to create the job description for the next executive director and review the organizaton’s current programs and policies.

Lipphardt said he’ll also be speaking with organizations that make up WV VOAD.

“As a group of organizations, we have to work together. I want to connect members to understand what value each partner brings to disaster response to create confidence in their interconnectedness throughout the state in responding to disasters,” he said.