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Welcome to My City:  Charleston, W.Va.: The Place to Experience the Great Outdoors


NBE Pat Galloway has worked for the OCC in the Charleston satellite office for15 years. He has been an examiner for 20 years.

Let me share with you the reasons why Charleston, West Virginia, is a fantastic place to live. It’s a city with a low cost of living. And it’s convenient. You can drive to the office or the airport in 15 minutes, and ‘rush hour’ lasts only 45 minutes and is only on Interstate 64. Not to mention, everyone is friendly.

Charleston, WV

While at work, I spend half of my time conducting Bank Information Technology exams at all types of banks and third-party service providers. I spend the remainder of my OCC time performing portfolio bank work for the Virginias field office (Roanoke field office plus Charleston)―participating in the shared national credit examination each spring, teaching credit fundamentals, and evaluating Uniform Commission Exam candidates.

What I love most about Charleston is . . . that there are always outdoor activities available, such as running or walking along the river, mountain biking at Kanawha State Forest, playing tennis at the many public parks, and waterskiing on the Kanawha River. The New and the Gauley Rivers are an hour away from the city, and they offer rail trails (former railroad beds with the ties and rails removed) for biking, zip line excursions, and the best white water rafting in the eastern United States. In winter, you can ski at four resorts: Winterplace is a little over an hour away; Canaan Valley, with two ski areas, is three hours away; and for the big resort experience, Snowshoe Mountain is a little more than three hours from Charleston.

The best kept secret about Charleston is . . . the summer concerts every Friday night at Haddad Riverfront Park. Sit under the awning or anchor your boat and enjoy the music. Vendors sell food and drink, so bring the family.

Whatever you do, be sure to . . . check out the evening activities downtown. Local businesses sponsor ArtWalk every third Thursday of the month. Photographers, painters, jewelry makers, and other artists display their talent in offices and retail shops. The business owners provide adult refreshments and snacks for the patrons. The West Virginia Power is the local Single A baseball affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The stadium is a short walk from the downtown hotels and there always seem to be refreshment specials and fireworks after the game.

My three favorite restaurants: My wife is a fantastic cook, so my favorite place to eat is at home. But if you’re looking for a restaurant in Charleston, check out Fazio’s, an Italian home cooking landmark for over 60 years; Pies and Pints, a pizza joint that offers a variety of fresh and unique toppings; and Tricky Fish, a new addition with fantastic shrimp soft tacos.

One last thing to mention is that Charleston’s location in the east central U.S. is within a four-to-five-hour drive from many large cities. This is important if you want to go to a professional sporting event other than a local baseball game. It is also beneficial for work if you are traveling to a midsize or large bank. Nearby cities include Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; Winston-Salem, Raleigh, and Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville Tenn. and Lexington, Tenn.; and Washington, D.C.

How did I do with the sales job? Have your ADC or EIC fill a National Resource Planning Tool assignment at City National in Charleston next June. I will bring homemade cookies to the exam and take you waterskiing after work one evening. If there isn’t an NRPT job posted, let me know, and we will find some complex work or on-the-job opportunity for you!

Last Updated: 08/23/2016