NC DOT HBCU Safety & Risk Management Fellow
Kevon Price has a bachelor’s degree from Elizabeth City State University in Emergency Management and is currently working toward a master’s degree at East Carolina University in Occupational Safety. He has served with Americorps NCCC as a FEMA Corps Member and IEM as a Disaster Recovery Apprentice. Kevon is currently serving the NC DOT as a Safety & Risk Management Fellow. This is a paid position offered to recent graduates of historically black colleges. One of the most meaningful programs Kevon has worked on with the NC DOT is the slip and fall simulator. The slip and fall training simulator uses glass panels, a harness system, and specialized shoe covers to simulate slippery surfaces and the act of slipping and falling on a low friction surface such as ice. At NC DOT, slips and falls make up a majority of the workers comp payouts. The simulator is used to train peoples’ bodies on how to respond to regain balance, in hopes to lower future cases. Kevon is currently working on getting real life experience, while building his resume and professional network.
Jessica D. Frederick, SHRM-CP
Workers Compensation & Safety Coordinator
ECS Group of Companies
As an experienced HR professional with certifications from the Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR), I’ve been managing workers’ compensation claims nationwide for the last year, in North Carolina for the prior two years and in Virginia for ten years before that. I possess an in-depth knowledge of the workers’ compensation claims process including working with medical providers, insurance carriers, and most importantly injured workers. My goal is to streamline processes and enhance communication between stakeholders. I am currently serving as the NC ASSP Chapter’s Award Chair. I attended the ASSP National Conference in San Antonio this year as a new ASSP member I am excited about the opportunity to learn more about the safety-side of the house!
Elyse Barrick, CSP, WELL AP
Senior Manager & Site Lead EHS
Biogen Gene Therapy
Elyse Barrick is the Senior Manager, EHS and site lead for Biogen’s Gene Therapy facility currently under construction in Research Triangle Park, NC. After graduating with her BS in Environmental Sciences from the University of Toledo, she started her environmental career serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua teaching community environmental programs for 3-6 grade students. Upon returning to the US, she moved to Raleigh/Durham to start her first career position as an environmental scientist for an environmental and engineering consulting firm, mostly focused water and wastewater projects for the US government.
While leaving her office building one afternoon, the EHS project manager stopped her to correct an at-risk action of walking down the stairs while texting (her friend about Taylor Swift!) and it started a career shift that led her into the full environmental, health, and safety field. A few short weeks later, the same project manager reached out about the opportunity to provide some EHS consulting for a client in Santiago, Chile. Over the next few years, she supported the start-up of the client’s data center facility, built out their ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001 (now ISO 45001) management structure, and developing a solid understanding of South American EHS regulations.
As Elyse realized that she thoroughly enjoyed the field of Environmental, Health, and Safety, she decided to transition back to a US based role working as on-site EHS specialist for Valspar and later a Sr. EHS Specialist for BioMerieux. While at BioMerieux, she was able to focus on manufacturing and laboratory safety, process improvements through LEAN and obtained her Certified Safety Professional designation. Most recently, she was the Safety Program Manager at RTI International and led achievement of the WELL Health and Safety Certification as response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, she is focused on the start-up of operations at Biogen’s Gene Therapy facility, with a strong focus on building a sustainable management system, biological and recombinant DNA safety programs, and regulatory compliance programs.
Outside of work, she loves being outside, traveling with her husband, and learning about all types of construction equipment with her 3-year-old son. She loves to help her colleagues achieve success by providing them a safe and productive workplace and committing to Biogen’s patients by providing them with safe and quality treatments.
Harry L. Bell
Human Resources and Safety Manager
Gold Bond Building Products
Harry L. Bell is the Human Resources and Safety Manager at the Wilmington, NC Board Plant. A customer-centric driven Wall-Board facility manufacturing and delivering superior quality Drywall Products and maintaining a Safety First, focus. Harry and team have coined the slogan “You Know I Care About You Right” this encourages all individuals to practice safety first. Harry brings 30 years of Human Resources and Safety experience to his role as Human Resources and Safety Manager at Gold Bond Building Products. Harry has added to an already safety focus culture in Wilmington; the safety program is now second to none. Harry was able to bring his expertise from several other industries such as Retail, Nonprofit, and Transportation. He also served as an HR Consultant within his own business.
Harry holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Elizabeth City State University, he also holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development from Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland. Harry is proud of his HBCU heritage.
He has two children: one resides in Wilmington, NC, and works as a Nuclear Specialist with the Wilmington General Electric Plant. His other daughter resides in Charlotte, NC, and serves as a Physical Therapist. Since being at GBB, Harry has re-energized his safety perspective, which has forced him to take a deeper dive into Safety from a servant leadership platform.
He enjoys all types of competitive sports during his free time as well as family time as he is deeply invested in his family values.
Michelle Barger, OHST
Michelle Barger is the EHS Specialist at GKN Automotive in Sanford, NC., a precision forging facility and aftermarket service assembly operation for driveline components. She brings seven years of experience to her role at GKN Automotive including on-site contractor safety management for a major nuclear power generating utility in the Carolinas, EHS data management and analytical reporting, office and industrial ergonomics, and the development and delivery of engaging EHS trainings & orientations.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University and pivoted into her EHS career after receiving an Associate Degree in Industrial Technology: Quality Assurance & Occupational Safety from the Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach in 2013. Her affiliations include the Board of Certified Safety Professionals having achieved the Occupational Hygiene and Safety Technician (OHST) certification in 2021, the American Society of Safety Professionals, Member of the NC Chapter of ASSP, and has recently volunteered to serve the NC Chapter as the Membership Chair.
While raising her three children she received extensive volunteer experience managing projects for their schools and a large program for her military faith community, the success of which depended on annually recruiting and managing many volunteers. To her, leading in safety is like recruiting and leading volunteers…they choose to come with you because they trust you and believe in what you are trying to accomplish. Her passion for Safety is rooted in servant leadership and building positive relationships with employees at all levels of the organization. She is grateful to have found a career that continually challenges her to put others first and is emotionally and intellectually rewarding.
Michelle spends her free time visiting her children in Virginia, as well as hiking, camping, and backpacking in Western North Carolina and nearby Virginia and Tennessee.