Piedmont Environmental Council President Chris Miller announced in a press release on Nov. 4 the appointment of Kat Imhoff to the organization’s staff. Imhoff will join the PEC Dec. 2 following seven years as president and CEO of James Madison’s Montpelier. She recently partnered with the Piedmont Environmental Council to put 1,024 acres at Montpelier under permanent conservation easement, setting aside more than two-thirds of the 2,700-acre estate.
“Kat comes to us with tremendous accomplishments and a wealth of experience in the conservation and preservation arenas. She is well-known for her longstanding dedication to land preservation, smart growth and environmental protections, and has always been a leader and early adopter of innovative ideas,” Miller said. “That she is already well-versed in the issues important to us and is personally familiar with PEC means she will be able to hit the ground running and move forward exploring innovative concepts and best practices in land conservation. We are delighted to have Kat on board very soon.”
This will not be Imhoff’s first time working with the Piedmont Environmental Council. She has previously served as its vice president for conservation and development; in the 1980s she led the labor-intensive process of getting the Southwest Mountains Rural Historic District named on the National Register of Historic Places under the National Historic Preservation Act. The designation, which must undergo significant local, state and federal review, recognizes the historic value of the landscape and offers some additional protections to the land by providing a clear public purpose for conservation easements within these districts.
“The process that Kat led at that time created a strong sense of cultural and geographical identity within the community, and has enabled PEC to establish more than a dozen more rural historic districts throughout the northern Piedmont,” Miller said.
“With great enthusiasm I am re-joining the PEC team, which has been setting a high bar for conservation not only in Virginia but nationally. There is still much good work that remains to be done in the Piedmont and in our commonwealth, and I look forward to contributing my share to that effort,” Imhoff said.
Imhoff has been recognized for her conservation achievements by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Virginia Wildlife Federation and The Piedmont Environmental Council.
She has served as chair of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, on the board of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation and on the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. And she was executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Virginia and the Commission on Population Growth and Development.
While at Montpelier, Imhoff has overseen all aspects of the national historic site, including restoration and refurnishing of Madison’s home, reconstruction of enslaved community sites and establishment of a permanent exhibition, The Mere Distinction of Colour, which has garnered national awards since its opening in 2017.
Prior to her role there, she served as state director for The Nature Conservancy in Montana, leading that organization’s purchase of more than 490,000 acres of land in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and as executive vice president for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates Monticello.