Lara Hoke— BRSA President
Lara Hoke is the owner and consultant for Leadership Foundations with a passion for leadership development. Her business offers customizable cost-effective solutions for Human Resources & Safety safety needs. she is a facilitator of the Leadership Foundations development program. She also serves at Bridge Christian Church in Fishersville as the Prayer & Advocacy Minister. Previously she worked as the HR & Safety Supervisor for Hollister and before joining Hollister, she worked at RR Donnelley & Sons in Harrisonburg as the HR Supervisor. Lara is a Bridgewater College graduate and received her Master's Degree in Adult Education and Human Resources Development from James Madison University. Lara is a founding member of the Blue Ridge Ridge Safety Association. She lives in Waynesboro with her husband, Jeff and daughter, Riley.
Travis W. Vance—BRSA Secretary
Travis has tried matters across several industries and various subject matters, including employment litigation, business disputes and matters prosecuted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He uses unique or outside-the-box approaches to counsel employers and owners on all aspects of employment law and the development of preventive policies and procedures to avoid employment and workplace safety-related claims. Travis handles litigation in both federal and state courts as well as claims pending with state and federal agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), MSHA, OSHA, and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).
He has represented clients in numerous matters pending in either state or federal courts in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. Travis has also assisted clients in OSHA/MSHA matters pending in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Travis has emerged as a thought leader in the field of workplace safety. His writing and interviews are followed closely by experts in the safety arena and have been featured in premiere publications such as EHS Today, Business Insurance, and The Wall Street Journal.
Gary W. Higgs—BRSA Treasurer
Graduate of Eastern Mennonite University with a BS degree in Accounting and a minor in Business Administration. Gary was employed with Maphis Chapman Corp. for eight years as an Administrative Assistant to the President and later as Accounting Manager. Retired from Wetsel, Inc. after thirty years of service where he was controller and later Secretary and Treasurer of the company. Responsibilities included managing the accounting and credit departments, preparing monthly financial statements, managing year-end independent financial audits, supervising HR functions, commercial insurance coverage, and administration of Employee Benefits. Gary have also served as Church of the Brethren Congregational Treasurer, Moderator, member of the Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren Board and Investment Advisory Committee.
John Sutton – BRSA Board Member
NIBCO of Virginia, Inc.
Since 2008 John has been the Compliance (EHS) Manager at NIBCO of Virginia, Inc. Prior to that, John was the Environmental Engineer at AMP/TYCO in Harrisonburg VA for 17 years. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Health Science from James Madison University. John is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and is a Certified Hazard Materials Manager (CHMM).
Roy Norville, SPHR, SHRM-SCP - Board Member
Shenandoah Valley Organic-HR/H&S Manager
Roy Norville is a certified Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR, SHRM-SCP) with 30 years of human resources and safety management experience. His background includes a wide range of hands-on HR/HS practices including Health & Safety, worker’s compensation, recruitment and staffing, training and development, compensation, employee and labor relations. He has worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, scientific research (FFRDC), commercial construction, distribution and non-profit environments. Roy graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences and is OSHA 30 trained. He is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management. Roy is the HR/HS Manager for Shenandoah Valley Organic in Harrisonburg, VA and owns Strategic HR Solutions, LLC an HR and Group Benefits consulting service, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ann Marie Gathright - BRSA Board Member
Ann Marie Gathright is the Charlottesville, Virginia office-based Business Development Manager/Account Executive for Environmental Standards Inc.,an environmental consulting firm. She is a veteran account executive with over thirty-five years of experience. In addition to having the privilege of serving on the board of BRSA, she is a member of the Board of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association and the Yellow Door Foundation.
Andy Vanhook - BRSA Board Member
Co-Founder & Imaginative Producer, Appeal Production
Andy wants to live in a world filled with innovative communicators, airline tickets with free upgrades, and belly laughs which make him cry.
As a video producer for nearly 20 years, he's worked in all aspects of producing video for clients in the Shenandoah Valley, across the Commonwealth of Virginia, around the country, as well as Central America. He has helped numerous companies and organizations to tell their unique story to their audience. Along the way, he's won a few awards which proved to his mom he had a legitimate career.
When he's not helping craft a client's story to inspire business growth, you'll find him whipping up a delicious, made-from-scratch pizza, chest-deep in the river with a fly rod in his hand, making up songs about his dogs, or searching for the next great 'dad joke.'
Hans VanBenschoten - BRSA Board Member
Hans VanBenschoten is the Quality, Safety, and Compliance Coordinator at InterChange Group in Harrisonburg where his primary responsibilities include maintaining and administering OSHA compliance programs and supporting adherence to various food grade and pharmaceutical grade warehouse storage requirements. He earned his B.S. in Meteorology and B.A. in Geography from Virginia Tech in 2015 and previously worked as an Operational Meteorologist at MDA Information Systems in Gaithersburg. Hans is also OSHA 10 certified and a member of the International Warehouse Logistics Association where he regularly attends Safety & Risk Conferences to keep up with the latest safety regulations, practices and crisis-management strategies for warehouse organizations.
Michelle Wilson-Johnson —BRSA Project Coordinator
Newly hired as the BRSA Project Coordinator. Served as the Executive Officer of the Shenandoah Valley Builders Association for 20 years. Currently works full-time as a Refurbishment Coordinator for Massanutten Resort. She is a graduate of James Madison University.
Michelle is involved in her local church in Luray, Loaves & Fishes community outreach and enjoys extracurricular activities such as hiking, disc golf, & paddle boarding.