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Preservation Society Launches National Search for Chief Executive Officer

preservation-admin , October 13, 2021

FOR RELEASE: October 13, 2021
CONTACT: Betsy Cahill, Chair of the Board,, or John Massalon, Chair of the Search Committee,

Interim Executive Director In Place to Ensure Smooth Leadership Transition

Charleston, SC:   The Chair of the Preservation Society’s Board, Betsy Cahill, today announced a national search for a new chief executive officer for the 101-year-old organization.  Ms. Cahill stated, “As a world-class port city and a national and international icon, Charleston is experiencing a growth paradox that is both fueling economic prosperity and contributing to cultural and livability decline.   The PSC — newly invigorated and well-resourced as it comes off a highly successful Centennial campaign — has redoubled its efforts to address the challenges of unmanaged development, over-tourism, and the now-routine impacts from sea level rise that threaten the city’s livability and authenticity.  We will look to our new CEO to provide the strategic and visionary leadership that Charleston needs today.”

The CEO will serve as the PSC’s principal leader, advocate, and fund-raiser, with overall responsibility for advocacy and education, advancement, communications, retail, finance, and general operations.  The ideal candidate will be a seasoned leader with excellent communication and collaboration skills, fundraising experience, and the ability to work effectively with a close-knit team of talented professionals.  He or she will have experience in historic preservation, urban planning, land conservation, and/or related advocacy work.

The Search Committee will be chaired by John Massalon, a longtime Board member and member of the Executive Committee, and a well-known attorney with Wills Massalon & Allen in Charleston.   Mr. Massalon said, “I am delighted to be heading up the effort to find the next leader for the PSC.  This is a dream job for the right person, as

Charleston is in many ways a bellwether for the rest of the country.  We anticipate that there will be a lot of interest in this position.”

In a related move, in early September the PSC welcomed David A. Leckey, a non-profit executive with more than 30 years of experience in the business, government, and non-profit worlds, as Interim Executive Director.  Mr. Leckey served most recently as Executive Director of the Orton Family Foundation, a Vermont-based foundation focused on building stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America.

Mr. Leckey said, “It is an honor and a privilege to steer the folks at the Preservation Society through this transition.  In the few short weeks I have been here, I have been impressed not only by the passion that the staff, the Board, and our members have for Charleston, but also by the financial and operational stability and depth of this organization.  This is clearly a special place and I will do all I can to support the PSC during this exciting time.”

In addition to Mr. Massalon and Ms. Cahill, the other members of the Search Committee are Laura Gates,  Andy Gowder, Harlan Greene, Elizabeth Hagood, and Cindy Hartley.

About the Preservation Society:  Founded in 1920, the Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) is the oldest grassroots preservation organization in the nation. The Society is more resilient than ever as it enters its second century of recognizing, protecting, and advocating for the Lowcountry’s historic places, while serving as a strong advocacy leader for citizens looking to preserve Charleston’s distinctive character, quality of life, and diverse neighborhoods. For more information on the Preservation Society of Charleston, including a full job description, please visit

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