The veterans advocacy nonprofit Charlotte Bridge Home announced Tuesday that former Army Infantry officer Blake Bourne will succeed Cindi Basenspiler as executive director.
Bourne, who has served as interim executive director since January, was selected by the nonprofit’s board of directors after a national search for candidates. Basenspiler led the agency for about three years.
As executive director, Bourne will lead the organization and spearhead programing that meets its mission of connecting military and veteran families to community-based resources and helping them transition from the service to civilian life.
Bourne joined Charlotte Bridge Home in 2013 as director of community initiatives. He oversaw development of key programming such as developing the Charlotte veteran network, which provides networking and peer support for over 1,500 greater Charlotte veterans.
“After an extensive search for candidates, Blake has demonstrated to the board and staff over the past six months that he is clearly the best choice for our new executive director,” said Tommy Norman, chairman of the Charlotte Bridge Home Board of Directors, in a statement.
“Blake’s institutional knowledge and results during the interim period have been extremely impressive. We’re excited that our new executive director has been with us this entire time and he’s ready to further our mission of improving the lives of veterans here in Charlotte, as well as across the state.”
Bourne’s focus as executive director will be to grow, advocate and improve the coordination between Charlotte Bridge Home, veterans and the community. He will work with businesses to expand employment opportunities for veterans and guide veterans to the most appropriate resources available to achieve their goals.
“I’m honored to have been selected for this role as it will allow me to further advocate on behalf of veterans and connect them with the services and support they require to transition to civilian life,” Bourne said.
Bourne served as an Army infantry officer for six years, earning the rank of captain. He was stationed in Georgia, Germany and North Carolina and deployed to Iraq twice. Ranger and Airborne qualified, he earned the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and Bronze Star. Prior to joining the Army, Blake worked on Capitol Hill, in the U.S. House of Representatives.