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Foundation - Board of Directors

Board of Directors

The BridgeValley Foundation leadership consist of a group of local industry and community leaders who volunteer their time to help BridgeValley build a brighter future for the places we call home.

Mr. Rick Atkinson, Chair - Term expires:  June 30, 2025

Rick serves as the City Manager for the City of South Charleston and began volunteering on the Foundation Board in 2018.

Rick Atkinson

Charlie Bearse - Term expires:  June 30, 2025

Charlie Bearse joined Blackhawk in 2018 as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Bearse has 38 years of operations experience in Central Appalachian coal mining. Starting as an hourly underground miner, he has developed extensive operating experience in underground mining, surface mining, coal preparation and operations support. Driving improvements in safety and operations has been a primary career focus for Mr. Bearse. Prior to joining Blackhawk, Mr. Bearse spent most of the previous 25 years managing mining operations for Massey Energy and its successor, Alpha Natural Resources. Mr. Bearse is a graduate of Michigan Technological University, where he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering. He is a certified mine foreman and mine rescue responder

Carlie Bearse Photo

Ashley N. Deem - Term expires:  June 30, 2025

Ashley N. Deem currently serves as the Deputy Clerk of the Supreme Court of Appeals overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Prior to law school, Ashley started a public relations company which consulted on various non-profit and issue advocacy campaigns, as well as political campaigns at the state and federal levels. Following law school, she clerked for Chief Justice Elizabeth D. Walker of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.  She then entered private practice where she handled significant trial preparation in product liability cases all over the country.  With the creation of the state’s new Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA), Ashley felt compelled to return to public service and has been integral in its implementation and execution. 

With a deep commitment to education, Ashley was appointed by Governor James C. Justice to serve on the Board of Governors at BridgeValley Community & Technical College, where she served as chairman of the board.  Ashley currently serves as an adjunct professor of legal studies and sits on the BridgeValley Foundation Board.

Ashley resides in South Charleston with her fiancé, Greg, stepchildren, Navy & Abe, and world’s most wonderful goldendoodle, Maggie.

Ashley is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.  She also holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Ashley Deem Photo

Ms. Danielle Douglas - Term expires: June 30, 2024

Ms. Douglas serves as branch manager for The Huntington National Bank.  She is also a registered investment representative for Huntington Financial Advisors.

Danielle Douglas


Dr. Sue Forsbrey - Term expires:  June 30, 2026

Dr. Forsbrey developed and directed the BridgeValley Nursing program and continues to serve on its advisory committee. She has served on the Foundation Board since its inception.

Sue Forsbrey

Mr. John Frisby, Vice Chair - Term expires:  June 30, 2026

John serves as an Investigator for the State of West Virginia and began volunteering on the Foundation Board in 2019.

John Frisby


Ms. Rachel Harper - Term expires:  June 30, 2026

Rachel is one of BridgeValley's distinguished alumna and the Director of Student Life and Leadership for BridgeValley.  While attending BVCTC, she was the Student Government (SGA) President, Board of Governors (BOG) Student Representative, and the first WV HEPC State Advisory Council of Students (SACS) Chair from a two-year institution. She went on to study at West Virginia State University where she received both a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in History and her Master’s in Public Administration. While at WVSU, she was both SGA Vice President, BOG Student Representative, WV HEPC SACS representative for WVSU, as well as, president of the Political Science Society and member of multiple campus organizations.

Rachel Harper

Dr. Carl Kennedy - Term expires:  June 30, 2026

Dr. Carl owns Kennedy Dental in Montgomery, WV.  In addition to serving on the Foundation Board, he is actively involved in the communities of Montgomery and Smithers.

Carl Kennedy