Cabinet Secretary Dennis Davis - a retired educator, former West Virginia
Workforce Development director and U.S. Army veteran – serves as the Cabinet
Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance.
Davis was appointed by Governor Jim Justice to head the
department that oversees 17 field and claims offices, the West Virginia
Veterans Nursing Facility, the West Virginia Veterans Home and the Donel C.
Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, as well as several high-profile,
statewide veterans initiatives.
Davis spent 29 years as a teacher and an executive within
the Kanawha County Schools system. He was first employed as a teacher at Dupont
Junior High School in 1968. He later served as Job Placement Specialist at the
Ben Franklin Career Center, Coordinator of Adult Education at the Garnet Career
Center, Coordinator of Cooperative Education and Assistant Superintendent for
Vocational, Technical and Adult Education. Davis was elected president of the
West Virginia Vocational Association and chairman of the Bylaws Committee for
the American Vocational Association.
In 1996, Governor Cecil Under Underwood appointed Davis as
Executive Director of West Workforce Development for West Virginia. He served
in this post for four years before entering the private sector, where he
founded the Davis Property Preservation Company. He retired from this company
Davis re-entered the education field in December 2013 when
he served a half-year as a member the Kanawha County Board of Education,
filling a previous member’s unexpired term.
He began his military activity in 1959 as a member of the
West Virginia State University ROTC program. His U.S. Army career included
stints at Fort Knox (Kentucky) and Fort Sill (Oklahoma. In 1965, he graduated
from the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy.
Davis lives in institute, W.Va. and serves as a member of
the honor guard at the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery. Davis
and his wife, Margaret, are the parents of five children, 10 grandchildren and
Deputy Cabinet Secretary Billy Wayne Bailey, who came to the department in 2011, helps directs the agency that serves as liaison for West Virginia’s more than 170,000 veterans.
Bailey has helped reorganize and renovate many of the state’s 17 Veterans Service field offices, which serve a critical function within the state’s community of military veterans. He has also been instrumental in the development of a Veterans to Agriculture program, an initiative that seeks to help veterans become independent business owners through farming. The program is considered one of the most progressive veterans initiatives in the United States. In 2016, Bailey created the Mountain State 22 program, which serves as the nation's only veterans-specific, suicide-prevention initiative.
A native of Wyoming County, Bailey is known for his 18 years as a state legislator. He served the entire time in the West Virginia Senate, where he represented Southern West Virginia’s 9th district. For 14 years, Bailey held the title of Senate Majority Whip. During all 18 years, he was a member of the Senate Military Committee.
Bailey has an extensive military background that includes service in the West Virginia Army National Guard’s 1092nd Combat Engineers Battalion (1978-1984). That service was immediately followed by 15 years as a member of the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 130th Security Police.
Bailey is also a former sheriff of Wyoming County. He is a graduate of Marshall University and of West Virginia University’s Master Gardener Program.