VCC Announces New Executive Director!
VCC Welcomes Adam Schellhammer as Executive Director
VCC is thrilled to announce our new Executive Director, Adam Schellhammer. Adam brings with him the regional conservation leadership experience and vision needed to build on the strong successes VCC has had over its past 32-year history. He hopes to expand on its long-held conservation mission by representing the needs of the entire Valley and improving the lives of the people who live, work and play in it and the surrounding region.
“VCC is in a position to reconnect the fabric of our community, the landscape is what connects us all, and we should manage it in a way that allows everyone to thrive. VCC has the unique opportunity to represent the needs of the whole Valley region, but also connect our local needs to the larger picture of building global climate resiliency.”
Prior to joining VCC, Schellhammer spent the last two years as the Wai Ora Partnerships Manager for the Auckland Council’s Climate Resilience Delivery program in New Zealand where he partnered with local communities to create high-value, holistic conservation programs to increase economic, social, cultural, and environmental outcomes. He has also served as District Manager of the Monroe County Conservation District in Pennsylvania, working closely with the farming community and collaborating with local municipalities, and as Natural Resource Manager for the Friends of Princeton Open Space a conservation and preservation advocacy non-profit in New Jersey.
“My experiences have taught me that you have to meet people where they are and get stakeholders involved at every level,” he says. “Building a strong foundation of public support is the key to long-term success. I love working with residents, community groups, and legislators to effectively promote resource protection and set policy surrounding environmental concerns.”
Schellhammer received his Master of Science degree in Natural Resource Management and a graduate certificate in Global Sustainability from Virginia Tech where he spent his time enjoying the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and building connections with the local community.
A native of Appalachian Pennsylvania, Schellhammer spent childhood summers fly fishing the headwaters of the Juniata and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River with his father, grandfather, friends, and family. He and his wife are looking forward to putting down roots and raising their young children in the Shenandoah Valley.
“This place is special to me. There is so much to love about the Valley. The people here share a sense of place and a love of the outdoors that creates a real sense of belonging.”
VCC is looking forward to growing and expanding under Schellhammer’s leadership. Stay tuned for new announcements about events, projects, and opportunities up and down the Valley!