Like the Jonathan Heath painting of her, Jeanne Mozier juggles many activities in her adopted hometown of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Most of her activities are public so she is easy to find whether making popcorn at the Star Theatre every weekend or staging major events like the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting.
See Jeanne in various aspects of her life as the first writer featured in the innovative ArtVoiceWV video series.
Jeanne gives book signings, lectures and conducts classes. She is one of the best-known people in Berkeley Springs and commands recognition throughout the state of West Virginia thanks to her decades-long efforts in arts, tourism and history. Ask Jeanne what her favorite public activity is — besides showing movies at the Star — and she’ll tell you it is serving as Voice of the Apple Butter Festival narrating the Columbus Day weekend events especially the famous Hog Calling and Beard Contest.
She has been a West Virginian by choice since buying a Morgan County farm with her husband, Jack Soronen, in 1975. Jeanne takes giving back to her community seriously especially through her marketing skills. Her efforts in community building through promoting the arts, tourism and local economic development have led Berkeley Springs to many awards and an enviable position as a model small town in the new economy.
She sits on several major Morgan County boards related to the local economy including the Economic Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce and Travel Berkeley Springs. She staged Morgan County’s first Economic Summit in 2008, and invented the “Make Your Town a Hot Spot” game for the statewide Create WV Conference winning the groups’ first Creative Cone Award in 2008. In 2009, she established and chairs the Creative Economy Task Force in Berkeley Springs. In 2008, she was named the Mid-Atlantic region and West Virginia Small Business Administration’s Women in Business Champion.
In the arena of tourism, Jeanne was founding president of the local travel council, Travel Berkeley Springs and continues as Vice President. She has developed several award-winning marketing events over the years including the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the annual Apple Butter Festival, George Washington Bathtub Celebration and Hey, Girlfriend weekend. Countless thousands of people have visited Berkeley Springs drawn by both these events as well as Jeanne’s writings in brochures, web content and email newsletters. In 2002, she won the Mountaineer Award at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism for event notoriety on a budget. She is President of the Panhandle-wide, Washington Heritage Trail Board of Trustees and wrote a history-rich guide to the Trail. She was founding president of the Museum of the Berkeley Springs and recently returned to that role. She continues to research and develop exhibits for the Museum.
Berkeley Springs’ fame as a nationally-recognized arts town owes much to Jeanne’s efforts from the founding of the Morgan Arts Council to fundraising, grant writing and marketing. She was successively appointed by three governors to represent the Eastern Panhandle on the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. chaired the Governor’s Art Awards and wrote the state arts plan. She has long served as Vice President of the statewide Arts Advocacy of West Virginia and chaired several WV Arts Assemblies for that organization.
All these volunteer efforts have not gone unrecognized and she has a shelf full of awards including Distinguished West Virginian, a national award as a Classic Woman from Traditional Home magazine and the Governor’s Award for Community and Volunteer Service: Lifetime Achievement in 2006. She was Eastern Panhandle Woman of Distinction the first year the award was given, WV Woman of the Year for Volunteer Services and Top Ten Tri-State Women on the Move. In 2010, she received the Governor’s Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts and in 2011, she was named a West Virginia History Hero. Her most recent award was the Pioneer Award for promotion of statewide tourism, given by the Collaborative for a 21st Century Appalachia in 2014.
Jeanne holds degrees in political science from Cornell and Columbia universities as well as a professional background in research, planning and electoral politics. She is an equal opportunity campaigner having worked through the years for both Republican and Democratic candidates at every level from city, county and state to national. “I support the person not the party,” she says. Jeanne comes by her passion for American history through her family roots; she is a direct descendant of John Morton, Signer of the Declaration of Independence.