The Alleghany Foundation Announces the Election of New Officers and Board Members

The Alleghany Foundation has new board officers and four new board members.

Dr. Susan W. Rollinson has been named president of The Alleghany Foundation Board of Directors, while new board members include Teresa Johnson, Brandon Caldwell, Jim Eller and Rusty Hammond. Dr. Rollinson succeeds Meade Snyder as president of the board. Kelly Dean Madsen is the new secretary/treasurer of the board.

These appointments will begin at the close of the foundation’s annual meeting on Friday, July 23.  Other remaining board members include Janie D. Barnette, Dr. David E. Crandall, and Lisa Schoppmeyer.

A native of Oak Park, Ill., Dr. Rollinson moved to Clifton Forge in 1980 and has been an integral part of the educational community in the Alleghany Highlands for many years. Dr. Rollinson has served on the faculty at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and directed and instructed in the Field Ecology Summer Regional Governor’s School at DSLCC. She has served as director of the Jackson River Governor’s School and as an instructor at Jackson River Technical Center.

She was a member of the Alleghany Highlands School Board from 1994 to 2000 and was chair of the school board in 1997 and 1998. Dr. Rollinson also served from July 1995 to June 1997 and from July 1998 to June 2000 on the JRTC Joint Board of Control. She has served as both vice chair and chair of the JRTC Joint Board of Control.

Dr. Rollinson succeeds Meade Snyder as board president. “I am honored by the trust the other board members of The Alleghany Foundation have shown by electing me as president,” she said. “It will indeed be a challenge to follow the excellent leadership of Meade, who has been president for the past three years. Fortunately, the foundation has an outstanding staff to help us.”

She also reflected on the recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The last year and a half has seen unique challenges to keeping businesses and non-profits alive. Our recent sponsorship of the very successful inaugural Give Local Alleghany campaign is an example of what we can do when everyone works together to support our local non-profits that provide so much — from human services to education to the performing and visual arts,” Dr. Rollinson added.

“As we exit the worst of the COVID-19 era, the foundation looks forward to working with our non-profit and government partners to improve life in the Alleghany Highlands, “ Dr. Rollinson concluded. “While our area faces many challenges, the foundation will continue to be a strategic partner as we work to make the Alleghany Highlands a desirable location to live, work and play.”

Snyder, a Clifton Forge attorney, was named to a three-year term as board president in July 2018, succeeding Dr. Michele Ballou.

“It has been a privilege to have served as president and board chair of The Alleghany Foundation for the past three years,” said Snyder. “As I step away from that role, I am also looking forward to what I know will be exceptional leadership for The Alleghany Foundation with Dr. Sue Rollinson, who will be transitioning to the role of president and board chair, and also of Kelly Dean Madsen, who will be serving as secretary/treasurer.”

He added, “In addition to this very capable transition in the foundation’s leadership, I am also excited about our incoming board members, each of whom is dedicated to our Alleghany Highlands community and who individually brings very capable talent and perspective to The Alleghany Foundation board that will undoubtedly bolster the foundation’s board and the furtherance of its mission.”

The four new foundation board members offer a vast array of educational and business experience. Johnson is the director of education at Boys Home of Virginia. Her resume reflects a life of service and commitment to education.  Prior to working at the Boys Home, she served 35 years as an elementary school principal and teacher with Alleghany County Public Schools from which she retired in 2016. 

Her educational background includes a Master of Science degree in educational leadership and supervision from Radford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education with a minor in early childhood education from Hampton University. She is a graduate of Clifton Forge High School.

Johnson is a member of the Clifton Forge Library Board of Trustees and a past president, vice president and past corresponding secretary with the Alpha Beta Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Teacher Society. Johnson has also served on the Alleghany Highlands Community Services Board of Directors.  She and her husband, Robert, reside in Clifton Forge. They have one child, Brianna Johnson.

“It is my pleasure to serve on The Alleghany Foundation Board of Directors,” she said. “I am looking forward to continuing to serve the community.”  

Caldwell is the vice president and chief lending officer for Highlands Community Bank. He began his banking career in February 2003 at SunTrust Bank where he worked for 10 years and served in various roles. In August 2013, he joined Highlands Community Bank and followed the same path to his current position.

Caldwell is a graduate of both Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and Bluefield College, with an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in information technologies. He grew up in Clifton Forge and lived there until he went to Bluefield, then resided in Roanoke for 10 years. In 2012, Caldwell was led back to Clifton Forge with his wife, Kara, and daughter, Amelia.

In addition to his role at Highlands Community Bank, Caldwell serves on the board at the Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation as treasurer, the board of trustees at Bluefield College and the Clifton Forge Economic Development Authority. He is also a member of the Clifton Forge Masonic Lodge, the Clifton Forge Shrine Club and Clifton Forge Elks.

“I’m very honored to be able to join an organization such as The Alleghany Foundation,” Caldwell said. “Their contributions to this community are vital, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to join that ongoing effort.”

A native and resident of Clifton Forge, Eller was educated in local public schools, while also attending Greenbrier Military School and Emory and Henry College. He and his wife, Joyce Ann, have been married for 37 years.

Eller is president of Alleghany Printing Co. in Covington. He is also a board member of the Covington-Alleghany County Industrial Development Authority, a past president of the Clifton Forge Kiwanis, former member of the Covington – Hot Springs Rotary Club, and is a member of the Clifton Forge Elks Lodge.  Since becoming a Shriner in 1974, Eller has served as Potentate of the Kazim Shriners – a region covering the Alleghany Highlands southeast to Danville and west to Lee County.  For nine years, he served on the Board of Governors for the Shriners Hospital in Greenville, S.C., and chairman of the board for his last two years of service.  Eller was elected director emeritus of The Alleghany Foundation in 2017.

“The Alleghany Highlands community has been very good to me over the years, and serving on The Alleghany Foundation board of directors is a great way to ‘pay it forward’,” Eller said.

Hammond is retired from WestRock after 33 years of service. He began his career with Westvaco in its Fine Papers Division in Luke, Md. For the Westvaco Fine Papers Division, he held positions as a project engineer and technical assistant on Nos. 5, 6 and 7 paper machines. Hammond’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in management from James Madison University and Bachelor of Science degrees in chemical engineering and pulp and paper technology from North Carolina State University.

In 1992, Hammond transferred to Westvaco’s Bleached Board Division in Covington as technical sales service representative responsible for assisting in development of the aseptic market worldwide. In 1995, he transferred to No. 2 paper machine as senior engineer. He was promoted to production supervisor for the Low Moor Converting and Services facility in 1996, where he was involved in all phases of operations with his primary responsibility for the extrusion coating and winding departments. In 1997, he moved back to the paper mill department and was supervisor of No. 5 paper machine, No. 1 paper machine, No. 2 paper machine and paper mill superintendent.

In 2003, he was named manager of the PD and TSS organizations for the Covington mill. In 2007, he was named global director of Technical Sales Service for the PaperBoard Resources Group. He assumed the role of production manager – finished products in 2010 at the Covington mill. With the formation of the WestRock Consumer Mill division, Hammond was named vice president of Technical Sales Service, Product Management and Quality Systems for the Consumer Mills. He retired in July of 2020.

Hammond is an elder at First Christian Church in Covington. He and his wife were small business owners for 10 years with Covington Florist. He is currently vice chairman of the Lewis-Gale Hospital – Alleghany board.

“Having been raised in the Alleghany Highlands, moving away for roughly 13 years and returning as a result of career opportunities, I have spent 80% of my life in the area,” commented Hammond. “My wife has been very involved with the community since we returned to the area. My career with WestRock afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively as well as work closely in operating departments with many area residents.” 

Added Hammond, “Having retired last year after 33 years with the Company, I look forward to being on the Foundation Board, supporting and continuing to advance the region’s priorities in the community which I love and have lived in for 48 years.” 

Hammond’s wife, Teresa, is executive director of the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. They reside in Alleghany County and have two grown children, Tripp who is a firefighter in Durham, N.C., and Travis, who lives in Lewisburg, W.Va., and is the operation manager at Smooth Ambler Distillery.

While Madsen succeeds Dr. Rollinson as secretary/treasurer of the foundation board and Martha Atherholt leaves the board, Dr. Mulcahy has been named a director emeritus after 10 years of service.

Dr. Mulcahy is retired from Westvaco and MeadWestvaco after 30 years of service as vice president and general manager of the Consumer Packaging Division and production manager at the Covington mill. He also worked as division product development and converting services manager and technical director at the Covington mill. Additionally, he served as a research chemical engineer at the Charleston, S.C., research lab. After retirement from MeadWestvaco, Dr. Mulcahy worked for two years as program head for advanced manufacturing and packaging technology at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and served as chair of the Alleghany Highlands YMCA Board of Directors.

Dr. Mulcahy received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has six U.S. Patents. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society, Who’s Who Among Students, Mensa and the Knights of Columbus through Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Covington. He also serves on the board of directors for Jackson River Enterprises.

Dr. Mulcahy and his wife, Heide, have been married for nearly 50 years. They have three children, Erin, Laura and Brian, and four grandchildren, Aurora, Anya, Ponyo and August.

“Thanks to my friends on The Alleghany Foundation board for electing me an emeritus director,” Dr. Mulcahy said. “The Highlands is blessed to have the foundation and all of the non-profits it supports that add so much to the quality of life in our community. It is a well-run organization with dedicated and talented staff and volunteers.”

He added, “I’ve especially enjoyed my involvement in the foundation’s focus area of education. It’s been a pleasure to work with our wonderful teachers and school administrators on our shared vision of moving schools in the Highlands ‘from good to great’.”

The Alleghany Foundation Executive Director Mary Fant Donnan said both board members and staff are grateful for Dr. Mulcahy’s service over the past 10 years. “Dr. Mulcahy has left a legacy of passion for work that makes our community stronger, and, in particular, the vision of great schools and the importance of educational excellence as part of economic development for the region,” she said. “He has also modeled asking good questions and pushing each of us to think more deeply about the challenges and solutions at hand.”

 “One of the important aspects for any non-profit is board governance,” Fant Donnan said. “The Alleghany Foundation and the Alleghany Highlands more broadly are fortunate to have such great leaders willing to give of their time and talent to serve the community.  We will miss Dr. Mulcahy and Ms. Atherholt and all the energy, commitment and ideas each contributed and are all grateful for their service.”

About The Alleghany Foundation: The Alleghany Foundation was established in 1995 in Covington with $35 million in proceeds from the sale of Alleghany Regional Hospital. The foundation’s vision is to be a resource partner with eligible organizations to make the Alleghany Highlands a civically engaged, prosperous region that builds upon its assets to produce opportunities for its residents.

The total annual awards from The Alleghany Foundation now add up to more than $58 million. For more information, visit