John joined FOR in 1995 as Executive Director and led the organization until August 2014. Now, he works part-time in an advisory role and on a variety of projects for the organization.
During his tenure as ED, John led the expansion of the organization with a focus on constructive engagement on issues to reduce the impacts of land development on the Rappahannock and its tributaries. He was instrumental in the creation and passage of Virginia's first Low Impact Development ordinances in Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg. He played a leadership role in advocacy initiatives that resulted in the removal of Embrey Dam and in the placement of 4,232 acres of riverfront (30+ miles) into perpetual conservation easement.
In 2014 John received the Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution. Other recognition includes the 2014 Watershed Champion Award by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the 2010 Stoneroller Award from the Center for Watershed Protection, the 2008 National River Hero Award from River Network, the 2007 National Environmental Partnership Award by the Conservation Fund and International Paper, and the 2005 Conservationist of the Year award by the Float Fisherman of Virginia, John was a Fellow in International Community Development from 1993-95 through the Partners of the Americas/Kellogg Foundation.
John previously worked as an Environmental Scientist with Research Triangle Institute, where he developed a computer model for estimating sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus loads from the Tar-Pamlico river basin in North Carolina. He has also worked on a Water Quality Decision Support System for the Danube River in Eastern Europe. Other international work includes building capacity among environmental nonprofits in the Phillipines, and environmental educational programs in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil.
John's professional interests are in the science of watershed management, the design and implementation of Low Impact Development Practices, and the intersecton of watershed science, public policy and community advocacy,
He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Allegheny College and a Master's degree in Environmental Resource Management from Duke University (1990). John is a native of Southern Maryland and he says he "fell in love with rivers as a child spending time fishing and crabbing on the lower tidal Potomac." He notes, "There is no greater priviledge than to be able to work for something you care so deeply about".
Nick Cadwallender, Development Coordinator and Environmental Educator
Nick Cadwallender, joined Friends of the Rappahannock in April 2016 as Development Coordinator and Environmental Educator. Prior to joining FOR, Nick was Publisher of The Free Lance-Star. He has served on the boards of numerous local organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Mental Health America Fredericksburg, The Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Rotary Club and Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation.
Nick grew up on the south coast of Australia where his love of the outdoors led him to Melbourne Teachers College and a Diploma of Teaching, majoring in Outdoor Recreation. In 1987 he graduated from Mary Washington College with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree focusing on education.
Nick has enjoyed the Rappahannock River since moving to Fredericksburg in 1990 and has fond memories of many father-daughter canoe trips and many happy days spent fishing with his son on the river. Nick was the first stage MC of Riverfest 20+ years ago and will be heading sponsorship and fundraising for this signature FOR event.