Chesapeake Conservancy Hires Encore Fellow

Annapolis, MD – The Chesapeake Conservancy today announced that Michael Gee has joined the organization as an Encore Fellow. Gee will work with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office to jointly explore and develop strategic plans for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

“We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the John Smith Chesapeake Trail this year, and it has proven to be an incredible framework for large landscape conservation, as well as attracting federal funding for conservation and increased public access. Michael brings with him a wealth of marketing and business knowledge to help us plan for the next ten years,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said.

“We look forward to working with the Chesapeake Conservancy with Michael’s capable assistance to explore new ways to better connect the public with the Trail,” Superintendent Chuck Hunt, National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office, added.

Gee recently relocated to Maryland from Atlanta Georgia, where he served as the chief revenue officer for the Crescerance Corporation. He brings more than 30 years of business experience to the organization, which includes work for the Sprint Corporation, Arete Leadership Consulting, LLC, which he founded and served as a managing partner, NCR Corporation, and Motorola.

“I am very excited to join the Chesapeake Conservancy team partnering with the National Park Service. We will evaluate numerous revenue generating opportunities. These initiatives will help fund activities in conservation, restoration, and innovative new educational and recreational activities across the 3,000-mile John Smith Chesapeake Trail,” Chesapeake Conservancy Encore Fellow Michael Gee said. “Our goal is to attract new visitors and partners that will help promote environmental awareness in Chesapeake Bay communities. The trail offers an array of fun experiences for visitors while representing one of the most beautiful collection of sites in America.”

In his plans for the two organizations, Gee compared the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the John Smith Chesapeake Trail to a “Walt Disney World of bay-life experiences”—both boasting a wide variety of places and activities for all age groups and interests. One of the keys to success in this six month project, he explained, is to identify the ecosystems, partners, and people who can help create the experience people want in the Chesapeake, based their personal preferences, using education, conservation, restoration, and recreation as the four pillars upon which to structure public engagement.

“We are going to get ourselves organized in a way where we are talking to residents and visitors interested in exploring the Chesapeake about those things that interest them. We are going to get businesses involved in those things that interest them. Some of these businesses will be interested in restoration, some will be interested in conservation, some will be education-oriented, and some will be recreation,” Gee said. “The more people we attract, the more we are able to get new revenue generating opportunities, and in turn, they get an experience and tell their friends. Through a combination of websites, social media, marketing, and other platforms we are going to get the right message to the right audiences.”