Piedmont Environmental Council announces staff changes for Charlottesville and Albemarle, Culpeper, Greene and Madison counties

For Immediate Release

Dan Holmes, Director of State Policy
The Piedmont Environmental Council
dholmes@pecva.org; 540-347-2334, x7040

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (Nov. 19, 2020) — Piedmont Environmental Council President Chris Miller is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Hawk as its Land Use Field Representative in Albemarle and Orange counties and of Adam Gillenwater as Senior Policy Manager & Land Use Field Representative in Culpeper, Madison and Greene counties. Both began their new positions on October 30 and work out of PEC’s Charlottesville office. 

Christopher Hawk shifts focus to Albemarle and Orange counties

Christopher Hawk, who has been leading PEC’s land use response and advocacy in Culpeper, Madison and Orange counties since February 2019, is now focusing his efforts on Albemarle and Orange counties, filling a vacancy left by Sean Tubbs. “In the short time that Chris has been with PEC, he’s proven to be a tireless and fearless advocate for the communities he serves. The knowledge he’s accrued in that short time, combined with his personal passion and  the collaborative approach he so proficiently deploys will be a tremendous asset to his work in Albemarle,” Miller said.

“The diversity of outdoor access in the Charlottesville, Albemarle, and Orange region compelled my family to live in Charlottesville. As an avid runner, mountain biker, and outdoorsmen, I am ecstatic to promote and protect the beautiful resources in my backyard, while placing an emphasis on the importance of protecting these resources for generations to come. I look forward to working with the residents of Albemarle and Orange to promote sound local land use decisions, positively impact climate change, create public access, and continue to protect the natural resources we all love,” Hawk said.

While working for PEC in Culpeper, Madison and Orange over the past two years, Hawk has championed the protection of natural, historic, and cultural resources in Culpeper, Madison and Orange by collaborating with local governments and engaging with community members on zoning ordinances for utility-scale solar, proper siting of cell towers for rural broadband expansion, enhancing public access to the Rapidan River, and more. “Transitioning to Albemarle and Orange Counties will help me build upon the relationships I’ve established working for PEC, in addition to utilizing my personal experience in Albemarle,” he said.

Raised in Goochland County, Hawk was surrounded by an abundance of natural resources that impacted his decision to work in the environmental sector. Prior to joining PEC, he worked as an Environmental Scientist with GHD Services Inc., performing groundwater and soil remediation, compliance, and due diligence activities. He holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Hampden-Sydney College.

Adam Gillenwater joins PEC to cover Culpeper, Madison and Greene counties

With a background in government relations and advocacy, Gillenwater works on both state and local policy issues for PEC, focusing at the local-level on land use projects in Culpeper, Madison, and Greene counties. 

Gillenwater comes to PEC from the American Battlefield Trust, a national nonprofit that has preserved more than 53,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. As senior manager for state and local relations, he directed the organization’s state legislative efforts and grassroots engagement with battlefield communities across the country, played a role in securing state and local funding for land conservation, and responded to land use projects with potential to negatively impact battlefield integrity. Previously, Gillenwater was a senior associate at ICF International, working on workforce development and poverty alleviation projects at local and national scale.

“PEC is very fortunate to bring into the organization someone with Adam’s knowledge and experience. His work on historic preservation and land use, as well as his existing relationships with partner agencies and state legislators, will be invaluable in advancing PEC’s mission,” said Miller.

“The work of the Piedmont Environmental Council—engaging directly with community stakeholders and leaders for effective land use and land conservation policies and programs—has tangible impacts on protecting this region’s natural resources and improving the health outcomes and quality of life of current and future generations of Virginians,” Gillenwater said. “As a strong believer in this community-centered approach to project review and policy development, I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to join such a passionate staff and dedicated membership in those efforts.”

Originally from Baltimore, Gillenwater says he is excited to be back in a community and region that he developed a deep affinity for during five years at the University of Virginia, where he earned a Master of Public Policy and Bachelor of Arts in Government. 


Since 1972, The Piedmont Environmental Council has proudly promoted and protected the natural resources, rural economy, history and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont. PEC empowers residents to protect what makes the Piedmont a wonderful place, and works with citizens to conserve land, improve air and water quality and build thriving communities. PEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and accredited land trust. Learn more at www.pecva.org