Welcome Mariama Dryak—our new Program Coordinator for education and science at Friends of the North…
Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River is pleased to announce that David Brotman will join the Friends in early June as its new Executive Director. David, a native Virginian with a degree from Virginia Tech in biology, recently returned to the Commonwealth from California where he ran his own successful custom-furniture woodworking business. He is happy to be back in Virginia and is eager to engage early on with the Friends’ members, partners, and Valley residents, on appreciating the River and our natural heritage, while improving the quality of our water resources.
David comes with a broad background, fresh ideas, and deep enthusiasm for not only bolstering what has thrived in the Friends organization for the last 31 years, but also for expanding its programs, membership, and effectiveness in caring for the River and its full watershed. Since re-establishing himself in the Valley, he has been active with the Woodstock Tree Board, Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards, Coming to The Table (Northern Shenandoah Valley, Front Royal), and has helped at both Seven Bends and Shenandoah River State Parks.
In the mid-1980s, David studied biology, ecology, and animal behavior at Virginia Tech, earning his Bachelor of Science degree there in 1988. Since then, he has worked with primates in the field, spent years with the Fish & Wildlife Information Exchange (now CMI -Conservation Management Institute) at Virginia Tech, and years more in the teaching labs at the veterinary college there (VA-MD RCVM). He comes as a seasoned businessman, having run a custom woodwork business for fourteen-years in California and, more recently, in Front Royal, VA. During his time in California, David also trained in mediation and conflict resolution, and practiced with a local youth services center (Centinela Youth Services), and an international mediation group (Mediators Beyond Borders).
As far as avocations go, he is a consummate camper and outdoor educator, an avid hiker, hunter of wild edible plants, and a general student of our woods, wildlife, and landscapes –including some of the unique and historic, cultural heritage sites still scattered through the forests, fields, and waterways of the Valley.
For more information contact Frank Cihlar, Board Chair, at (703) 635-8147.