Slider 2020 Paden City Distinguished Alumni
In the world of accounting, being in balance is a necessity. Paden City High School graduate (1970) Van Slider can attest that maintaining balance is tantamount in living an eventful and successful life. Being able to balance a professional career while making the most of a personal hobby turned almost second career and participating in various civic organizations all while helping raise a family in his hometown has led to Slider being selected as the recipient of the Paden City Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for 2020. He will be presented his award at the upcoming Alumni Celebration slated for July 3rd.
Last year’s Alumni weekend festivities were canceled due to public health concerns.
Van is a Certified Public Accountant having operated his own accounting firm along with being on staff at West Virginia Northern Community College as a professor of Accounting and numerous other accounting jobs along the way. He also maintains a highly active hobby of photography which has morphed in another career and is evidenced with numerous publications of his photos in widely circulated periodicals and even led him directly to the sidelines of Mountaineer Field and the WVU Coliseum as a sideline photographer for West Virginia University.
Balance in high school life appears obvious by the various activities and organizations Van participated in at PCHS prior to his graduation in 1970. Some of his endeavors included lettering in basketball and golf, being a member of the Wildcat Band and the National Honor Society, serving as representative to Boys State and as student body president and graduating ranked 3rd in his class. From high school Van turned his sights on a career in accounting and attended West Virginia University to get the education to make that happen. As any accountant worth his weight in “beans” would attest, Van learned the principles of accounting and that debits must equal credits for the world to stay in balance. He used this knowledge after his graduation in 1974 to obtain an auditor’s position with the firm of Robinson, Caltrider and Tenney and then on to a cost accountant’s role with Wiser Oil Company. In January, 1979 Van hung out a shingle and opened his own accounting business, Van Slider, CPA located initially on Main Street in Paden City. Van also maintained the desire to teach which led him to becoming an Associate Professor at WV Northern Community College where he taught business introductory courses and of course, accounting classes. Van continued to balance his teaching career with other accounting jobs and served as the internal auditor for Hometown Bancshares, Inc. and currently works as a loan review officers for Hometown Bancshares. As a certified public accountant (CPA), Van maintains memberships in the West Virginia Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.
Another part of Slider’s life balancing act is his interest in photography. Van noted, “my interest in photography was sparked by the work of Arnout “Sonny” Hyde, Jr, the editor and photographer of Wonderful West Virginia magazine, the official magazine of West Virginia. Mr. Hyde later became a mentor to me. Landscape photography provided motivation for me to explore the outdoors.” Slider added, “my primary motivation for pursuing photography is to share the beauty of West Virginia with others, many of whom already love the state, but also with those who have no idea what West Virginia is really like. Photography allows me to use the creative side of my brain and has led me to be at some amazing places at wonderful times.” Slider’s well-known landscape photos have landed on the cover of Wonderful West Virginia 20 times with many more photo credits inside the magazine for years. The next time you see the West Virginia University Mountaineer football team take the field at Milan Pushkar stadium or when the carpet is rolled out to “bring on the Mountaineers” at the WVU coliseum, look for Van on the sidelines as he is an official event photographer for WVU. Some of his photos have been used in the annual sports media guides produced by the University for both the basketball and football teams.
A third pard of the equation that makes up Van’s life is his service to his hometown. Slider is a lifelong member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church where he has served as a Sunday School teacher and currently serves as the treasurer, a post he assumed in 1982. Van also was an initial member of the Paden City Development Authority and served until 2010, supported the efforts of the Cornerstone Project in 2010, is a past treasurer of the Paden City Alumni Association and past president of the Paden City Athletic Association. Van has also pulled his shift as chairman of the Paden City Labor Day Celebration and coached grasshopper basketball. Van is a volunteer in the annual Foundation 5K race and also organizes a team for the annual Bill Stewart Memorial Golf Tournament.
Just as all these parts of Slider’s life computation are important, perhaps the most important is the family variable. Van married Barbara Crone, a Paden City Middle School teacher, and together they raised two sons, Adrian and Corey. Like their father, they graduated from West Virginia University and are pursing successful careers in their chosen fields.
In speaking about the Distinguished Alumni Award, Slider cited some of his early teachers and the impact of his hometown had on him. “I had many caring, dedicated wonderful teachers in Paden City beginning with ‘Miss Ruth’ in first grade and continuing all the way through high school. They prepared me well for college and for my career. I never felt I was at a disadvantage when in class with students from much larger schools and communities.” Slider continued, “I have loved Paden City as long as I can remember and consider it a blessing to have been raised here and for my wife and I to have raised our sons here.”
In accounting, there is a basic mathematical statement that reads, “Assets = Liabilities + Owners’ Equity. For Slider, it is easy to see all the assets he has acquired during his lifetime, with few, if any liabilities, making his life’s equity something that has value beyond calculation. Van considers himself “a numbers person,” which makes his career choice easy to understand. From the standpoint of the DAA committee, his numbers certainly add up nicely, making him a solid choice as the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.
Slider will be presented his award at a ceremony slated for Saturday, July 3rd on Berger Field at Paden City High School. Approximate time for the ceremony is 8:30 PM. There will be two presentations made that evening as the 2021 DAA recipient, Scott Nichols, will also be honored for the current year. The DAA committee, along with the Paden City Alumni Association cordially invite everything to join in the festivities.