Bill Gladden will join French & Pickering as Executive Director on August 1. With more than 30 years of experience in land use, preservation, and management in the public and private sector, Bill will bring a wealth of experience to this role.
He has been Director of the Department of Open Space Preservation for Chester County since 2004, leading the county to invest over $200 million, and preserving over 55,000 acres of farms, forests, parks, and preserves.
According to Robert C.F. Willson, Board President, “Bill’s impressive resume, paired with a passion for strengthening community bonds with nature, make him the perfect choice to lead French & Pickering in its mission to preserve, steward, and connect people to the land in northern Chester County.”
Bill has been honored for his accomplishments in land protection, historic preservation and volunteer service, and has served on the boards of numerous community organizations.
His past and present affiliations include:
- Pennsylvania Land Trust Association policy advisory committee
- Schuylkill River Heritage Area and Greenways Association (past President)
- Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Agriculture
- YMCA Brandywine Valley Chapter (Board of Directors)
- East Brandywine Township Open Space Committee and Parks and Recreation Board
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Bill developed a love for the outdoors through exploring nature, participating in sports, church camps and family outings, and by becoming an Eagle Scout.
After receiving his master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Virginia—a continuation of his bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Political Science from the College of Wooster—Bill began what would become over three decades of work in land protection and preservation.
In his own words, Bill describes why French & Pickering is a natural fit:
Land trusts fill an essential role in our way of life in this region. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with landowners, municipalities, supporters and the French & Pickering board and staff to deliver the benefits of preservation to the community. I have long admired its work, and look forward to increasing French & Pickering’s connections with the public and partners while building on its core commitment to conservation.”