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C&O Canal Trust Appoints New President: Robin Zanotti, career fundraiser, to lead Trust effective April 6

Hagerstown, MD – The C&O Canal Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Robin Zanotti as its new President effective April 6. Zanotti has thirty years of executive leadership experience and specializes in managing capital campaigns and major gift programs.

Robin Zanotti, the C&O Canal Trust's new President

Robin Zanotti, the C&O Canal Trust’s new President

A resident of Martinsburg, West Virginia, she most recently ran her own business, Zanotti Nonprofit Solutions, LLC, where she aided clients with strategy, fundraising, and management. She has also held high-level development positions with West Virginia University Healthcare and Shepherd University in West Virginia, as well as St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, Capuchin Ministries, and University Liggett School in her native Michigan.

“We are delighted that Robin is taking the helm of the Trust as its new President,” stated Board Chairman Michael C. Mitchell. “Robin is a seasoned development professional with a strong track record in fundraising as well as organizational management, and the Board of Directors and our talented staff are all looking forward to working with her.”

Zanotti commented on the challenges she looks forward to tackling as the President of the Trust: “The Trust is still a relatively young organization. There is a lot of work to do in securing resources to preserve the Park for future generations. I will be working with the Board of Directors, our talented staff, friends groups, and the communities adjacent to the Park to develop new programs to enhance much needed philanthropic support.”

She continued, citing her dedication to the Trust’s goals of Park preservation: “Like many people in the region, I love the C&O Canal! I walk the towpath frequently, usually in Williamsport or Shepherdstown. I enjoy the variety of places to appreciate the Park’s natural beauty. It certainly makes exercise more enjoyable to me. I’m looking forward to discovering new areas of the Park during the course of my work with the Trust.”

Aware of the challenges the C&O Canal National Historical Park is facing in the wake of budget cuts and the recent failed fee proposal, Zanotti stated, “I thought the National Park Service made a compelling case for the increasing need for resources in the face of repeated budget cuts. I see the Trust as a means for mitigating this gap in funding through increased community support.”

“The National Park Service heard loud-and-clear the objections to initiating park-wide fees and opted not to institute them. The Trust can provide an avenue for voluntary community support of this amazing natural resource enjoyed by so many of us each day.”

“The Park hosts so many visitors each day. It’s important to be sure we preserve this gem while enjoying the variety of recreational opportunities it offers. Let’s enjoy it, but then let’s preserve it, too.”

Kevin Brandt, Superintendent of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, commented on the appointment: “I am so pleased to welcome Robin Zanotti to the Trust and the C&O Canal family. Her fundraising background will be a tremendous asset to the Trust’s goals, and I look forward to working with her and the entire Trust team to take their support of the Park to the next level.”

An experienced fundraiser, Zanotti is one of approximately 100 individuals internationally to have earned the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE) credential. She is also very active with volunteer activities for both community and professional groups. Zanotti is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Martinsburg and serves on the board of directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Tri-State Chapter. She is a member of the current class of Leadership Berkeley, a community leadership development program of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, and has been actively involved with the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, CASA of the Eastern Panhandle, and the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.

Mitchell, who served as the Trust’s interim President during a nationwide search, is excited to welcome Zanotti aboard. “Her commitment to the C&O Canal Park and to the Trust mission, combined with her very strong professional credentials, will help elevate the Trust’s support of the Park to an entirely new level.”

The C&O Canal Trust is the official nonprofit partner of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, and a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information about the Trust visit www.canaltrust.org.

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