Kat Imhoff has served seven years as chief executive at Montpelier, where she recently partnered with the PEC to put 1,024 acres at under permanent conservation easement, essentially setting aside more than two-thirds of the 2,700-acre estate for all to enjoy.
Ms. Imhoff will have the title of senior conservation fellow.
“Kat comes to us with tremendous accomplishments and a wealth of experience in the conservation and preservation arenas,” PEC President Chris Miller said. “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
“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,” Mr. Miller said. “We are delighted to have Kat on board very soon.”
She has previously served as PEC’s vice president for conservation and development, and in the 1980s 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 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 those 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,” Mr. Miller added.
“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,” Ms. Imhoff said. “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.”
The PEC focuses on land conservation, preservation and the rural economy in nine counties. Founded in 1972, the organization has a staff of 37 and offices in Charlottesville and Orange County, along with the Warrenton headquarters.
Ms. Imhoff’s conservation achievements have been recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Virginia Wildlife Federation and the PEC. She has served as chairman of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, on the board of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation and on the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. She previously worked as executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Virginia and the Commission on Population Growth and Development.
At Montpelier, Ms. Imhoff has overseen all aspects of the national historic site, including restoration and refurnishing of President James Madison’s home, reconstruction of enslaved community sites and establishment of a permanent exhibition, “The Mere Distinction of Colour,” which has earned national awards since 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 Rockies, and as executive vice president for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates Monticello.