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Alpha Natural Resources’ vice president to chair VCEA

LEBANON, Va. — Donald “Donnie” Ratliff has been named the new chairman of the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance Inc. 

Donnie Ratliff
Donnie Ratliff
Ratliff, Alpha Natural Resources’  vice president of state governmental affairs for Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Wyoming, assumed the new post with VCEA effective in June. Prior to that, he served on the VCEA board.

VCEA is a non-profit trade association headquartered in Lebanon, Va. The Coal Energy Alliance focuses in three areas of primary interest, education and outreach, regulatory affairs and governmental affairs.Ratliff was also recently appointed to the Virginia Energy Advisory Council which is currently working to update the state of Virginia’s Energy Plan.Ratliff has more than 36 years’ experience in the coal industry, having worked previously for Pittston Coal Management Company, El Paso Energy Group and Coastal Coal Company LLC. He also taught at Garden High School in Buchanan County from 1975 to 1978.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Carson-Newman College and a Master’s of Science degree in safety from Marshall University.  He is active in many civic and community-oriented activities and is enthusiastically involved in the Shrine having served as president of both the Wise County Shrine Club and the Powell Valley Shrine Club, as well as the Kazim Shriner’s in Roanoke as Potentate in 2004. He currently serves the South Atlantic Shrine Association as president for 2014.  In August 2011, he was selected to receive the conferral of the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite Masons.

In addition to his service on the VCEA board as its chairman, he serves on the boards of the Kentucky Coal Association (Exec Committee), the Appalachian School of Law Board of Trustees,  the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, Coalfield Water Development Fund, the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation, the Southwest Virginia Community College Foundation, the Virginia High School League Foundation,  Southwest Virginia Arts and Crafts including the Trail of the Lonesome Pine and the John Fox House,  Dickenson Center for Education and Research Board,  Harvest Home Child Care Ministry’s Board,  University of Kentucky Mining Engineering Foundation Board,  Wise County Coal Haul Road and Improvement Committee,  Sorensen Statewide Advisory Board, One Care of Southwest Virginia,  Associate Member of the Southern States Energy Board’s Committee on Clean Coal and Advanced Energy Technologies Collaboration and the Virginia Energy Workforce Development Board.

Ratliff is the recipient of several Virginia gubernatorial appointments, including the State Board for Virginia Community Colleges, the Virginia Coal Mine Safety Board, and the Governor’s Task Force on the Southmountain #3 Mine Disaster. Currently he serves on the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Board, the Virginia Gas and Oil Board and the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission, all as an appointee of the Governor.  His latest appointment is the Governor’s Virginia Energy Council.

He was granted emeritus status by the Pro-Art Board of Trustees in 2012 and was recognized by the Wise County Chamber of Commerce as the “2010 Citizen of the Year” and by UVA College at Wise as the 2010 “Volunteer of the Year.” He was the recipient of the 2011 Virginia State Community College Chancellor’s award for “Leadership in Philanthropy.”   Also in 2011, he was awarded the “John Blair Jr. Citation” by the Grand Lodge of Virginia for his vision and leadership for both his masonic work and his work in the communities where he resides. In 2012, he was awarded the “Hall of Honor” by Mountain Empire Community College and he was the recipient of an honorary degree in Humanity of Letters from MECC.

Ratliff resides in Big Stone Gap, Va., with his wife, Victoria, and son, Nicholas.  He is a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Big Stone Gap, where he serves as a member of the Administrative Board and Chairman of the Trustees.

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