Interview: Moya Doneghy

How long have you been living in Charleston, and why did you decide to settle in this city?

I have lived in Charleston for 32 years. I settled here because my husband is from Charleston.

How do you find the general vibe of Charleston?

I like Charleston. I come from a big city, and even though this is a very small city, it is the capital city, so that means that anything that comes to WV is likely to come to Charleston. People complain about not much to do, but I think that if you have the time and the money there is too much to do!

Which season is Charleston at its best?

I like the spring – but then I like the spring anywhere! Blossoms along the boulevard and trees bursting on the hills are always great to see.

What do you think is Charleston’s biggest attraction?

It is such a good size – you can be anywhere is about 10 minutes, it seems. People are helpful and welcoming.

How would you describe Charleston to someone who hasn’t been here before?

Small town feel with big town amenities.

What are your top 5 dining places in Charleston?

Sitar, Blue Grass kitchen, Tricky Fish, Main Kwong, Tidewater, Ellen’s

What are Charleston’s attractions that every tourists must visit?

The Capitol, Capitol Street and Market, Mountain Stage concerts

What are the absolute must-try’s for every visitor in Charleston?

Critter Dinners/ramp dinners if you come at the right time of year! Ellen’s ice cream any time!

What are the cheap thrills that you can enjoy in Charleston?

Kanawha State Forest, Capitol Market, Cultural Center, Capitol Roaster’s and Taylor Books concerts, FOOTMAD events

About Moya Doneghy:

I come from London, England. I live in the East End of Charleston.

I work for Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service. Among other things, I am responsible for the coordination of the annual Faces of Leadership conference – a statewide event held at the Charleston Civic Center in July. This year’s event is July 14-16 and the theme is Strengthening Community. Each year more than 400 people attend this conference. This year will feature keynote speakers Becky Anderson, the founder of HandMade in America; Suzanne Morse, president of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change; and Jenny Nolen, an inspirational speaker billed as the funniest lady in Alabama. There are 66 workshop choices and the Governor’s Service Awards banquet.

This event is for people ready to roll up their sleeves and get things done. People who see possibilities in problems and who are eager for new ideas and willing to try new approaches. Each year, this conference community comes together to draw strength from the speakers and workshops, but especially from each other. This strength refreshes and recharges them; and the excitement of new ideas and perspectives gained during the event goes back with them to their communities. The conference brochure is available at:

Some scholarships are available for people who live or work in distressed counties. Please call Moya Doneghy at 304-558-0111 with any questions.