Luke McKenzie ’16 chose Shenandoah because of its reputation as a respectable university and because it was close to home for him. Although McKenzie was a commuter student, he enjoyed all his professors and believes that everyone at the university truly wants students to succeed. “Winchester and Shenandoah are both amazing for one reason,” said McKenzie. “They offer the amenities of a large city or university but they are both small enough that you don’t get lost in the mix.”
McKenzie was recently promoted to County Coordinator for the Mineral County Commission in Mineral County, West Virginia. As the county coordinator, he is responsible for all the county-owned facilities, managing the county’s personnel and its government budget. McKenzie is also the director of emergency services for Mineral County, and has been the director since 2016. In this position, he is responsible for all 911, emergency management and mapping and addressing activities within the county.
The most rewarding part of his career is having the opportunity to lead a dedicated team of people. “Being able to come to a job I love and make a difference every single day is a feeling like no other,” said McKenzie.
Prior to his current career with Mineral County, McKenzie worked as an emergency medical technician (EMT) for various agencies and was an occupational health and safety specialist at Pilgrims Pride in Moorefield, West Virginia.
Outside of work, Mckenzie is the treasurer of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and was voted Board Member of the Year in 2020. He also volunteers his time as the vice president of the New Creek Volunteer Fire Department and serves as an EMT for the fire department.
McKenzie believes that Shenandoah prepared him for his career by “teaching him how to think openly, how to communicate his ideas effectively and how to most efficiently work in a team.”
McKenzie’s advice to students is to: “make connections, work hard, be transparent and put the people you serve at the forefront of everything you do.”