The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society has appointed C. Thomas “Tom” Chapman as its new executive director.

Chapman will start April 1.

He has a bachelor’s in history from James Madison University and a master’s in anthropology from the College of William & Mary.

Chapman has worked for more than 20 years as an archaeologist, research historian, executive project manager and director of operations at James Madison’s Montpelier. He also has served as a member of the Orange County Historical Society and the board of directors of the Orange County African American Historical Society.

He spent three years managing a large private agricultural and environment property on the Eastern Shore of Maryland before returning to Virginia in 2018. Since then, he has worked as an independent contractor and started Westwind Flowers LLC, an Orange County business focused on the production of locally grown flowers.

“I look forward to the challenges and opportunities I will find at my doorstep as the new executive director for the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society,” Chapman said in a news release. “The Society is a museum, it is a library, but most of all it is, or it should be, an organization that finds its strength, its purpose, and its guidance from the Charlottesville and Albemarle County community. … There are important stories to tell, not only about the past, but which intertwine with the present to teach us who we are as a community now and what that means for our future.”

Chapman succeeds Coy Barefoot, who resigned in October. Barefoot, a local author and media personality, was hired for the position in early 2018 after the previous director’s sudden resignation following declining membership and the potential end of the society’s lease at the city-owned McIntire Building on Second Street Northeast.

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