Fairness Board Member on TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People

Photo by Rebecca Kiger

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fairness West Virginia board member Jan Rader has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Rader, who is the first woman to serve as Huntington’s fire chief, has made numerous headlines recently for her leadership in combatting the opioid epidemic that is ravaging the region. She was featured along with two other local women last year in the Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary “Heroin(e)” by West Virginia filmmakers Elaine Mcmillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon.

Rader, who joined the Fairness West Virginia board of directors in January, said she was humbled by the news. She said she learned of the nomination by email.

“I don’t even know what to say. I was shocked to receive the email, but I think it speaks to what we are doing in Huntington to not only combat the opioid epidemic, but discrimination as well,” she said.

“I’m keeping this in perspective,” she continued. “I might be out front because of the documentary and for being a spokesperson on these issues, but I am just one of many, many people doing this work under the leadership of Mayor Williams.”

Rader also serves on the mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee. The committee’s work has led to Huntington scoring higher than any other municipality in West Virginia on the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual Municipal Equality Index – a 95 out of 100.

Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider said he could think of no one more deserving of the honor.

“We are so proud of Jan and the incredible work that she does every day for the city of Huntington, the LGBTQ community and the state of West Virginia,” Schneider said. “From the compassion she shows to people battling addiction, to her courage in standing up for marginalized people, it’s no wonder that she has caught the attention of TIME.”