Our Staff

Carolyn Ward

Chief Executive Officer

Carolyn Ward, Ph.D. serves as the CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the primary philanthropic partner to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Willa Coffey Mays

Chief Development Officer

Willa has an MBA/ MHA and extensive experience in non-profit management.

Richard Emmett

Program Director, Blue Ridge Music Center

Richard Emmett is Program Director for the Blue Ridge Music Center.

Elise Kahl

Program Manager, Kids in Parks

Elise Kahl came to the Foundation in 2011 as a graphic artist/naturalist for the Kids in Parks program for which she now serves as Program Manager.

Jason Urroz

Director, Kids In Parks

Jason came to the Foundation in 2008 to assist in running the Kids In Parks program for which he now serves as Project Director.

Rita Larkin

Communications Specialist

Communications Specialist Rita Larkin graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism and went on to serve as a photographer, editor, and designer at community newspapers in Ge

Mandy Gee

Development & Communications Associate

Mandy joins the Foundation staff with over 11 years of experience in nonprofit organizations, including the Atlanta International School and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, both in her home