Ernst, Nussel are members of the month

Travis Ernst and Jay E. Nussel are the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce members of the month in December.

Ernst is the chief operating officer of Blackheart International near Philippi. Nussel is the vice president for advancement at Alderson Broaddus University.

Ernst is a native of Schleswig, Iowa, where he graduated from Schleswig High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management magna cum laude from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has 12 years of U.S. Army Special Operations experience where he trained, managed and supplied security forces and various teams in tactical operations and combat medicine.

Ernst joined Blackheart International (BHI) as chief operating officer in 2011 after working as an independent security consultant from 2003 to 2010 for the firm and for other government


He holds a current security clearance and is responsible for the overall operations and financial management at BHI where he assists in the development of company strategy and financial goals.

BHI was established in 1999 by U.S. Army Special Forces members who recognized the need for a consolidated, one-stop logistics solution for specialized military units. It is a supplier of tactical gear and supplies to companies and government agencies around the world, including the U.S. Department of Defense, federal and public law enforcement agencies and private security


The company manufactures military and defense products including premium AR-15 rifles, semi-automatic short-barrel rifles, satellite communications antennas, combat medical kits, foreign weapons components for RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and PKM machine guns, weapons manuals, semi-automatic tactical rifles, and assorted firearms components.

BHI is located at the intersection of Routes 76 and 119/250 in the former 84 Lumber warehouse at Corders Crossing and has just opened a new tactical firearms pro shop featuring their complete line of semi-automatic tactical rifles, short-barrel rifles and precision BBG bolt-action rifles. Many of BHI’s employees are military veterans. For more information call 304-457-1280 or go to

Nussel was born in Wyandotte, Mich., and raised in Toledo, Ohio, where he graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Toledo. He is a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and a member of the Alumni Association.

Nussel was a teacher at Central Catholic High School for five years and a regional consultant for Benetech Inc. in Toledo for nine years. He was first vice president for Smith Barney in Toledo, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Ind., for 12 years before moving to Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind. as executive director.

He served as executive director of the University of St. Francis for three years before joining Alderson Broaddus University in 2013. He received an Outstanding Speaker Award from CASE and a Blue Key Award from the National Leadership Association.

Alderson Broaddus University is a four-year liberal arts institution with more than 1,100 students. It was named as one of West Virginia’s “Fifty-Five Good Things” in 2013 by the State Journal.

“Alderson Broaddus prides itself,” said Nussel, “on its outstanding academics, numerous clubs and organizations and West Virginia’s newest football program. Our two consecutive record-setting first year classes have dramatically transformed the campus.”

ABU is located on the site of the first land battle of the Civil War overlooking Philippi’s historic covered bridge.

It completed four new residential villages and a $ 7 million sports complex just before classes enrolled this fall. For more information about the university, call 304-457-1700 or go online at www.AB.Edu.