Joseph Eaves, President
Joseph Eaves serves as the lead lobbyist for a major business trade association located in the Washington, DC metro area. His work is primarily focused on energy and energy efficiency policy where he is constantly communicating policy recommendations to Congress, federal agencies, and state government officials. His background includes working with several members of Congress where he established and led the Congressional Heritage Area Caucus, leading the government relations department for the National Park Foundation, and working as the lead House lobbyist for the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association. His policy areas include energy, environment, appropriations, science, technology, and interior. Joseph has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA. He currently lives in Springfield, VA.
David Cooper, Vice President
David Cooper has more than 30 years of experience serving the nonprofit area specializing in principal and major gift fundraising for various industries including higher education, environmental and conservation, and human services. David is an expert in both the “art and science” of major gift fundraising and attributes much of his success to effective prospect development and management with a focus on working against defined metrics to achieve challenging goals and objectives. His efforts have generated more than $500 million for the organizations he has served.
David most recently served as Vice President of Individual Giving for the National Recreation and Park Association where he created their individual giving program from the ground up. He has also held development leadership positions at several prestigious institutions including the Gettysburg Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Land Trust Alliance and George Mason University.
David has a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science degree from Campbell University. He is a long-term resident of Ashburn, Virginia where he lives with his wife and family.
Jon Hickox, Treasurer
Jon Hickox is the owner of The Winery at Bull Run and the Stonebridge Equestrian Center, which border the Manassas National Battlefield Park near the historic Stone Bridge in Centreville, VA. The Winery at Bull Run is the largest working farm left in Fairfax County and is focused on growing premium Virginia grapes and crafting fine Virginia wines. The winery is also a tribute to the history and preservation of 19th century pastoral Fairfax County and takes its guests back to a much simpler time in our nation’s history. As a neighbor of the beloved Manassas National Battlefield, Jon hoped to find a way to help honor and protect the land and support the National Park Service, which is how he came to be one of the founding members of the Manassas Battlefield Trust. Jon grew up in Western Fairfax County and attended George Mason University to study business, math, and history. While attending college, Jon worked for a remodeling firm where he would learn more about home construction, architecture, and the hard knocks of business. By his senior year in college, he started his own business- Colonial Remodeling -and spent the next 20 years building his firm, from the ground up, into what is now one of the largest remodeling companies in Northern Virginia.
Kimball Brace, Secretary
Kimball Brace is the president of Election Data Services Inc., a political consulting firm located in Manassas, VA, that specializes in redistricting, reapportionment, the Census, and various election administration issues. Since founding Election Data Services in 1977, Kim has provided redistricting software, geographic and demographic databases, and data analysis and technical support services for redistricting plan development to more than 50 redistricting commissions and numerous state and local legislatures throughout the United States. As a nationally recognized expert on redistricting and the census, he has delivered speeches, conducted seminars, and testified as an expert witness in over 75 court cases in the past four decades.
Kim has served as a member and Chairman of the Prince William County’s Historical Commission, as well as the County’s General Registrar. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table and heads up their GIS Committee. He is also on the Board of the Manassas Battlefield Trust and the Washington Capitals Fan Club.
A graduate of The American University, Kim resides in Manassas, VA with his wife Trish.
Maureen Finnerty, Board Member
Maureen Finnerty retired in January 2005 after 31 years with the National Park Service (NPS). During her tenure with NPS, she worked in three national parks, a regional office and completed two tours of duty in the Washington office of the Park Service. Her park assignments included being superintendent of Olympic and Everglades National Parks, where she established the Washington National Parks Trust and the South Florida National Park Trust, respectively. She also held the position of associate director of park operations in Washington, DC (1994-2000), and associate regional director of operations in Philadelphia. Maureen is a recipient of the Department of Interior’s Meritorious Service Award (1996) and the Department’s Distinguished Service Award (2016). She currently serves on the board of the Shenandoah National Park Trust. She lives in Haymarket, VA.
John Stirrup, Board Member
John T. Stirrup is a Partner at Alcalde & Fay, an influential lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. that has helped corporations, individuals, municipal governments, foreign governments, associations, and alliances meet their government affairs goals. John has enjoyed a distinguished career of managing government affairs practices, leading grassroots efforts, implementing winning public affairs strategies, and achieving successful legislative and public policy goals.
John served as a political appointee in the Reagan Administration, serving in Congressional Relations positions. Subsequently, he served as Chief of Staff to then- Representative Dr. Tom A. Coburn, during which John was named a John C. Stennis Fellow. Since leaving Capitol Hill, he has represented private and public sector clients before Congress, the Administration, the Virginia General Assembly, regulatory agencies, local governments and international organizations.
John was elected to serve on the Prince William County, VA Board of Supervisors, representing the Gainesville District, in 2003 and he was re-elected in 2007. His colleagues elected him Vice-Chairman in 2008. Upon leaving the Board of Supervisors, he was appointed, by the Governor, to the Virginia Commission on Local Government.
A frequent lecturer at George Mason University’s Graduate School of Public Policy, he is often asked to address audiences on current public policy issues. He has appeared on multiple news outlets including all the major national and local television networks to discuss public policy issues of the day.
His philanthropic work includes serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, and serving on the boards of the Manassas Battlefield Trust and the Heritage Hunt Golf Classic.
John L. Nau, III, Board Member
John L. Nau, III is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products which employs over 1,400 employees that serve 16 counties in Texas.
John’s commitment to service is demonstrated through a broad spectrum of participation in civic, community, and philanthropic organizations in Houston and throughout the country. This currently includes service as chairman of the Texas Historical Commission, and as a member of board of directors of the National Park Foundation, the Civil War Trust, the Texas State Historical Association, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation,. John also serves on the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees, and the University of Houston Board of Visitors,. John is an honorary trustee of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Texas Heart Institute, an honorary state trustee for the San Antonio Parks Foundation and an advisory council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies. He also serves as a board member for Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park, the Houston Police Foundation and the Admiral Nimitz Foundation. Additionally, he is chairman of the Steering Committee for the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area.
He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and from 2011 through 2015 served on the board of visitors, a position appointed by the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is founder and president of The Nau Foundation.
Winston Watt, Board Member
Winston is a retired Human Resources Director after serving 40 years in the field with companies such as Lockheed Martin Corporation and BAE Systems. Key successes of his career included standing up a human resources function in a company divested by Lockheed Martin and the award of a patent in a recruitment process.
Along with his wife and a business partner, Winston operated a successful events venue specializing in weddings and receptions in an estate located in Warrenton, Virginia where approximately 650 events were planned and hosted. The manor house which they restored was originally built by John Quincy Marr, the first Confederate officer killed in the American Civil War.
Prior to his human resources career, Winston worked for the Boy Scouts of America and as a fundraising consultant in Kentucky and Mississippi.
Winston received his B.S. in Education, double majoring in History and Political Science, from Auburn University in Alabama and his Masters in Higher Education from Morehead State University in Kentucky.
Besides serving on the Board of Directors of the Manassas Battlefield Trust. Winston is active in the bluegrass music community where he organized and leads the Warrenton Bluegrass Jam. He also is a substitute teacher in Fauquier County Public Schools.
A. Scott Neese, Ph.D., Board Member
Scott Neese is Vice President and Senior Scientific Advisor for 3D EnviroLogics, LLC, an environmental remediation firm he co-founded in 2002. The company predominantly provides federal laboratories and hospital facilities hazardous material decommissioning services intended to prevent the release of pollutants to the environment during renovations and building demolitions. A niche service provided by the business is the unique scientific approach to the detection and decontamination of spilled legacy mercury, an insidious environmental toxin commonly found in older facilities. Dr. Neese’s professional experience includes 15 years as a research scientist and Director of R&D providing sustainable improvements in manufacturing processes, waste minimization strategies, as well as the reduction of environmental liability and compliance costs.
A native of Rochester, NY, Scott began his lifelong studies of the Civil War at a very young age, spending much of his childhood touring battlefields in Virginia with his family. Battlefield preservation is critical to our understanding our national identity and the painful history that often divides us politically and socially today. Conservation of natural spaces is an additional benefit of preservation, much aligned with his personal objectives. He views past successes at the Manassas Battlefields as a perfect example of this.
Dr. Neese is a philanthropic partner of our National Parks actively involved as a Color Bearer with the American Battlefield Trust and the Shenandoah National Park Trust (his wife, Patrice, is a Trustee). He is also on the Executive Board of the Anglers Club of Charlottesville and is an avid fly fisherman. He spends much of his free time road biking to stay healthy.
Dr. Neese received a Bachelor degree in natural sciences from Washington & Lee University and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Johns Hopkins University. He resides in Earlysville, Virginia.
David Ruth, Board Member
David Ruth retired from the National Park Service (NPS) in 2018, following a 43-year career in six national historic sites. His first NPS assignment was as park interpreter at Chancellorsville battlefield in 1973. Subsequently, he served as park interpreter and chief ranger at Fort Sumter National Monument. His other assignments included Manassas National Battlefield Park and Independence National Historical Park.
He completed his career as superintendent of Richmond National Battlefield Park and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. While in Richmond, he worked with other partners to more than quadruple the size of the park that was a mere 750 acres when he arrived in 1991, and which grew to more than 3,000 acres during his tenure. The NPS Director also assigned David as his representative to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, a position he held for ten years until his retirement. Following his retirement, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam appointed David to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, and in 2019, he was asked to serve on the Leadership Board of Richmond’s St. John’s Church, where in 1775 Patrick Henry delivered his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech.
David is a graduate of Virginia Tech where he earned a degree in history. He has co-authored his first book entitled, “No Turning Back; A Guide to the Overland Campaign,” and is currently working on a guide to the 1864 cavalry operations of the Overland Campaign that will conclude with the Battle of Yellow Tavern. He is also scoping out a future publication on the Blackford family of Virginia.
Adam Gillenwater, Advisor
Adam Gillenwater is one of two staff on the American Battlefield Trust’s Government and Public Relations team who focuses on state and local relations. On the state level, Adam is responsible for covering issues affecting Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia; on the municipal level, he handles issues of concern to Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, Petersburg, Northern Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley. Prior to joining the Trust, Adam was a senior associate on the Family Self Sufficiency team at ICF International, where he worked in federal and state relations on workforce development and poverty alleviation projects. He received his bachelor’s degree in government and master’s degree in public policy from the University of Virginia.
Brandon Bies, Advisor
Brandon Bies is the superintendent of Manassas National Battlefield Park, where he manages the historic meadows and woodlands of the 5,000-acre park, which draw more than 500,000 visitors annually. Before taking the helm at Manassas in March 2017, Bies served as the legislative coordinator for the National Capital Region of the National Park Service (NPS). During that time (2014 – 2017), he also served as the regional project manager for the rehabilitation of Arlington House, Robert E. Lee’s historic home, made possible by a $12.35 million donation from philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. Bies began his NPS work in 2001 as an archeologist at Monocacy National Battlefield. He has served as the cultural resources specialist for George Washington Memorial Parkway and on assignments as the site manager of Great Falls Park and in the Washington Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs, and held the position of site manager of Arlington House from 2010-2014. Bies holds a master’s degree in applied anthropology and bachelor’s degrees in American history and anthropology.
Christy Forman, Membership and Outreach Coordinator
Christy Forman spent twelve years working for the National Park Service at Civil War sites. She has worked at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Antietam National Battlefield, and spent nearly four years as an interpretive park ranger and education coordinator for Manassas National Battlefield Park. During her time with the NPS she served on the management teams for seven different Civil War Sesquicentennial events. After her son was born in 2016, she decided to leave her full-time position, with the hope of finding a way to remain involved in her passion of preserving and sharing the history of the Civil War. As such, she was thrilled to accept a position with the Manassas Battlefield Trust. She received her bachelor’s degree in history and historic preservation from Shepherd University, and a certificate in museum studies from Northwestern University.