Program Manager | Atlas Charles


Program Manager

Atlas Charles is a business management consultant who serves as Program Manager at Rural Support Partners. Atlas is also the Network Manager for the Central Appalachian Network. In their work with the Central Appalachian Network, Atlas advances the Network in growing a supportive regional ecosystem for community economic development and equity work in Central Appalachia.

Atlas’ current work is informed by more than eight years of leadership in rural community wealth building. Those experiences span multiple rural regions and fields including non-profit, education, entrepreneurship, and social equity work. Atlas holds a B.S. in Psychology from Bluefield College and studied at East Tennessee State University for a M.A. in Appalachian Studies with a concentration in Community Studies. Atlas possesses a significant research background in socioeconomic impacts in education, rural queer studies, and community economic development.

Atlas brings their diverse life and professional experiences to bear in thought partnership and sustainable community economic development and intersectional equity work. Their deep commitment to cultivating equity and sustainability in rural places comes from lived experiences in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Atlas grew up as a poor, queer kid in a coal community that faced a devastating economic downturn and public health crises including unsafe drinking water and an overdose epidemic, as in many Appalachian towns.

Atlas’ passion and skills as a program manager will help you deepen your impact and broaden your scale. Contact Atlas via email.


Interim Chief Executive Officer, Partners for Stronger Communities
Director of Organizational Development, The Bristol Crisis Center
Small Business Owner, JonBoys Pizza
High School Teacher and Department Chair, Lakeside High School
Fellow, Appalachian Teaching Project, Appalachian Regional Commission
University Instructor, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry
Teaching/Research Assistance, Department of Appalachian Studies, East Tennessee State University


Rural Support Partners Services

We are a nationally recognized management consulting firm with deep expertise in nonprofit management, social-enterprise development, networks, philanthropy, and rural community economic development. We work with high-impact leaders, non-profit anchor organizations, foundations, social enterprises, and networks that are working to bring about innovative forms of large-scale community and economic change in rural areas. Our services are based on a strong commitment to rural communities and result in increased organizational effectiveness, improved strategies, more collaborative efforts, and deeper impact.


We specialize in anchor organizations, grantmakers, and enterprises whose work advances complex community and economic change. Our services are built on decades of nonprofit and business management experience, employ the latest innovations from around the world, and remain grounded in what it takes to do effective change work in rural places. We ask powerful questions, listen deeply, and tailor our services to maximize organizational impact. The results of our management, planning, and strategy focused work includes increased organizational effectiveness, deeper community impact, and more resilient organizations. Core services include:

Organizational Assessment, Problem Solving, Consultation
Executive Transitions
Strategic Planning & Theory of Change
Program / Project / Initiative Development
Evaluation and Measurement Systems
Social Enterprise Business Planning and Theory of Change
Thought-Partnership and Coaching


We have over 25 years of hands-on experience in building, growing, and managing rural networks, collaborations, and teams. From organizational staff teams, to regional collective impact efforts, to national networks, we help our clients cultivate the necessary relationships and trust, clarify group norms and values, define their collective focus, develop plans, and build the right management structure to get collaborative work done. Core services include:

Network and Team Assessment, Problem Solving, Consultation
Team Building
Development of Partnerships and Collaborations
Strategic Planning and Theory of Change for Networks
Network Evaluation and Measurement Systems
Backbone Support / Network Management Training and Coaching
Thought-Partner for those who fund or support collaborations and networks


Our experienced facilitation team has decades of experience in event planning and design, group process, and participatory facilitation. With this experience, we help groups learn from one another, find opportunities, uncover solutions to sticky problems, and make collective decisions. Our events are engaging, productive, and produce deeper relationships, shared knowledge, and greater alignment among the participants. Core services include:

Design, Facilitation & Management of:

Think Tanks / Problem Solving Retreats
Conferences, Gatherings, Events
Group and Staff Retreats


We are driven to capture and spread the lessons, innovation, models, and tools that arise from rural development work. Though participatory research and evaluation methods, we help clients understand their impact, reflect-on their efforts, and incorporate lessons learned into their future work. We also work to unearth, document, and share the innovation and proven practices that arise across RSP’s body of work—making us smarter consultants and helping to advance the broader field rural development. Core services include:

Participatory Research
Tool and Model Capture and Development
Workshops and Training
White Papers
Thought Partnership
Knowledge Capture / Training / Field building (white papers, thought partnership)

Our work starts by listening deeply to the needs, problems, and desires of our clients and partners. We pinpoint the leverage points to improve effectiveness, increase resiliency, and deepen impact. We tailor a suite of services to advance your project.