Testimonials

“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 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

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

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, Director for Wales, National Trust of England, Wales, & Northern Ireland, UK

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

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

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

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, Strategic Communications at Office of Alumni and Development, Columbia University, New York, NY

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 Hill Consulting, Washington, DC