Meet Our Staff

Nicole Christian

President & CEO

Nicole is a 26-year veteran of the chamber of commerce and economic development industry. She joined the Alliance as president and CEO in 2021. Her career has afforded her the opportunity to work in a variety of communities and acquire the experience and knowledge beneficial to this role. Nicole believes the Charleston region has big potential, and she’s here to help achieve that potential.

Jeri Adkins

Vice President & Administration

Jeri has administrative oversight for the Charleston Area Alliance. Her 20+ years of experience with the Alliance serves her well in connecting with members and providing valuable resources to the community.

Paula Sims

Executive Assistant

Paula works directly with the President/CEO. She brings a tremendous amount of experience to the Alliance after working 30+ years in the chemical industry and higher education. In addition to working with the President/CEO, Paula assists the staff with various requests, schedules meetings and manages logistics for several Alliance events.

Susie Salisbury

Vice President & Community Development

Susie leads the Community Development Division for the Alliance and has over 40 years of community development experience. She assists with community planning, project and grant development, leadership development and is very active with many area nonprofits. She holds an MBA and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.

Debbie James

Chief Financial Officer

Debbie brings 30+ years of accounting and financial management experience to the Alliance. She is responsible for all aspects of finance for the organization including budgeting, strategy development and implementation and employee benefits as well as risk management and regulatory compliance.

Victoria Russo

New Markets Consultant

Victoria support existing industries in the Kanawha Valley by connecting businesses to resources and potential customers. She helps companies find non-traditional workforce pools and supports a collaborative effort to improve business-to-business transactions within the region.  

Jennifer Pharr

Minority Program Officer

Jennifer’s passion is growing Charleston; working to revitalize the city through economic development and assisting women and minority owned businesses. Jennifer has over 30 years of sales and leadership experience. She is very active in the community, enjoys networking, listening to business owner needs and creating solutions.