David has been one of my heroes…(with his) undying service ethic, unflappable humor, and his Jeffersonian optimism.

Leslie Greene Bowman, President Emerita, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (Monticello), Charlottesville, VA

One of David’s many strengths is his intellectual and practical understanding of the international context of the preservation movement. David has forged lasting global relationships that have inspired and empowered numerous domestic and global heritage NGOs and groups.

Justin Albert, OBE, Former Director for Wales, National Trust of England, Wales, & Northern Ireland, UK

David Brown ― a true strategic thinker ― brought professionalism, empathy, expertise, and knowledge to our planning process.  He enabled us to view our organization through multiple lenses culminating in a road map on how to achieve our vision for the future. David made the strategic planning process both enjoyable and thought provoking.  His guidance enabled our staff and board of directors to work together to define our mission, vision, values, and goals, resulting in a plan that can be easily understood by all the stakeholders of our organization.”

Kathryn M. Pumphrey, Ph.D., Chair of the Board of Directors, Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Lynchburg, VA

“David was the ideal consultant for our strategic planning process. He is extremely well-versed in the preservation field and quickly earned the trust of our staff and board. And he brought a practical, diligent, and highly organized approach that was critical to our success. Most important, David is an outstanding person — patient, kind, and wise. These traits were on full display throughout.”

Scott Holbrook, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Cleveland Restoration Society, Cleveland, OH

“David’s exceptional facilitation skills and keen knowledge of the field galvanized our board and staff team to confront, examine, and plan for the opportunities and challenges in the wake of the events of 2020.  The resulting strategic plan and vision promotes diversity, inclusivity and relevance of our programs across the organization and in our interactions with partners and allies.”

Elizabeth Kostelny, President & CEO, Preservation Virginia, Richmond, VA

“David’s depth of experience as a non-profit executive and as a board member for several organizations enables him to offer uniquely effective insight and strategic counsel.  With a full understanding of the realities nonprofit executives must navigate as well as a deep understanding of the workings and expectations of governing boards, he offers guidance that helps to strengthen the partnership between boards and executive leadership.  I deeply valued David’s partnership and thoughtful advice throughout my time as Main Street America CEO.”

Patrice Frey, Senior Advisor and former CEO, Main Street America, Seattle, WA

“When Danville sought advice about how to develop a world class program to protect and celebrate our amazing architecture, a better advisor could not be found. David’s global experience in the field of preservation, along with his vast network of contacts and exposure to best practices, qualified him to develop original solutions to meet Danville’s unique needs. Our community will no doubt benefit from David’s thoughtful guidance.”

Rick Barker, Founder & CEO of Supply Resources Inc, Thrive Logistics Inc, and Rick Barker Properties, LLC, Danville, VA

“David has the remarkable insight to be both grounded in history with all of its nuance and complexity while also prescient to future opportunities. This enables him to be an excellent strategist who can leverage lessons learned but not be hamstrung by them. I found this particularly effective when he led a group of experts from across the organization in a strategic planning retreat in which he helped us think deeply about what is possible and collaborate intensively to develop an executable plan.”

Merrill Hoopengardner, Former President, National Trust Community Investment Corporation, Washington, DC

David has the unusual ability both to dive in deeply to truly understand a situation and to step back strategically to fully consider the contextual framework of a given challenge or opportunity. He rolls up his sleeves with determination spiced with humor and smarts and works with colleagues collaboratively to get to the real heart of an issue. What’s more, he invariably coalesces and summarizes findings into synthesized recommendations that are realistic, achievable and visionary.

Judith Fiske Moak, Founder & Principal, Clear Circle Consulting, Potomac, MD

One of the highlights of my career was working with David Brown to co-create the Partners in Preservation Program while I was at American Express and David was at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We started with the premise that real partnerships begin with a problem — in this case how to bring more attention to important historic sites in communities and neighborhoods — and then create an environment where ideas can be generated and discussed and creative solutions agreed upon, jointly developed and implemented. What we created was a marriage of equals and a family of collaborators focused on a single vision, which resulted in over $30 million being distributed to over 250 historic sites around the country based on the input and votes of local communities and citizen advocates over a 12-year period. It was both a privilege and enjoyable experience working with David and his team, and I hope we can collaborate again sometime in the future.

Timothy J. McClimon, President, The Celeste Group (formerly President, American Express Foundation), New York, NY

“I am deeply grateful to my colleagues at Preservation Virginia for recommending David Brown as a facilitator for our strategic planning process. Hiring David was the step that set us up for success. He excels at guiding organizations through the planning process, and his deep experience with historic sites and museums strengthened our work together. Our staff, board and key stakeholders all spoke very highly of their interactions with David, and we are all extremely proud of the work we accomplished together.”

Alyson M. Ramsey, CFRE, President & CEO, Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Lynchburg, VA

David Brown is rock-solid in his knowledge of strategic planning and gentle and empowering as a facilitator in group meetings.  He is also incredible at tracking detail.  For me, he was like a ballast in potentially rough waters.

Kathleen H. Crowther, President, Cleveland Restoration Society, Cleveland, OH

I credit David’s challenge to think broader and deeper about the role of the built heritage with paving the way for my work on statewide economic impact studies and issues related to housing, the environment and historic preservation. David opened up opportunities for me to expand my perspectives.

Donovan Rypkema, Founder & Principal, Place Economics, Washington, DC

David is the perfect consultant. Not only is he hugely experienced and knowledgeable; he is also diligent and a pleasure to work with. David recently helped us develop and secure new grant funding and he has been involved in all stages of project delivery: listening, asking questions, writing and more. The fact that he’s still able to be inquisitive and supportive after a long career in our sector makes him a stand-out addition to the team.

Catherine A. Leonard, Secretary General, International National Trusts Organisation (INTO), London, UK

Your addition at Filoli has done wonders to mend a battered bridge…but now I believe the bridge is strengthened by the mutual respect, honesty and open communications you brought to us.

Kara Newport, President & CEO, Filoli Center, Woodside, CA

Working closely in a strategic plan leadership team with our CEO and Board Chair, David established an immediate bond not only with our staff and board members but also with Preservation Virginia’s key supporters, partners, and allies to help us identify preservation strengths, needs, and opportunities in Virginia. David adeptly used online Zoom sessions — a medium then new to many in our community — to solicit and incorporate participants’ ideas into a timely strategic plan that emphasizes internal and external collaborations as the most effective way to ensure that historic preservation makes a difference in addressing the critical issues that confront Preservation Virginia’s own historic sites as well as our historic cities, towns and countryside.

Genevieve Keller, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Preservation Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

David Brown served as the study leader on a recent tour that my company designed in Asheville, NC.  David was a congenial presence throughout, but his lecture to our travelers stood out as being of especially high quality, tying together local Asheville architectural history and preservation stories with bigger, national-level issues. I have escorted well over 100 tours in my career in cultural tourism and David’s lecture was one of the better presentations I have seen.  He speaks with warmth and in an approachable style, but still manages to effectively address high-level issues relating to communities and historic preservation.  Lectures can have varying levels of success on cultural tours, but David’s was certainly a highlight!”

Jordan Cook, President, International Seminar Design, Inc., Tampa, FL

David is by far one of the best managers and leaders with whom I’ve ever worked. He has a steady managing style combined with an ability to think nimbly and strategically to changing circumstances and challenges. David listens well and thoughtfully processes ideas to help find the best way forward for growth during a nonprofit’s pivot. Above all else, David is kind, thoughtful, and has a great sense of humor. It has been an honor to work with him.

Barbara O’Reilly, CFRE, Founder & Principal, Windmill Consulting, Washington, DC

“David and I met in the 1980s when the late Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles selected David to chair The Governor’s Commission to Study Historic Preservation in Virginia. I was the Chief of Community Planning in Roanoke, Virginia, where we had just completed a new comprehensive plan that included the premise that older neighborhoods don’t always contain historic landmarks or noteworthy architecture that meet the strict standards required for ‘historic’ designation, yet they were worthy of preservation. David and I connected 35 years ago when I brought that vision to the Governor’s Commission. Recently a committee made up of private sector, city, and historic preservation leaders selected David to lead a strategic planning effort in Danville, Virginia, where I currently serve as Deputy City Manager. Once again, we have had the opportunity to recreate the magic that characterized the work that he did as chair of the Commission back in the 1980s. David led us through a process that helped us to think through the creation of a new nonprofit organization that will have the potential to keep the preservation of landmarks, historic architecture, and older neighborhoods at the forefront of the community’s agenda.”

Earl B. Reynolds, Jr., Deputy City Manager, City of Danville, VA

Excellence. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of David Brown. Devoted to building, executing, and evaluating the best possible strategy with input from the very best people, David has spent his career leading mission-based organizations. He is a results-oriented, thoughtful problem-solver. He listens — really listens — a true skill. I have always been inspired by David and couldn’t recommend him more.

Tracy Quinn, Senior Director (Retired), Strategic Communications at Office of Alumni and Development, Columbia University, New York, NY