Russell Hired to Be First Executive Director of Foundation
The Directors of the Walthour-Moss Foundation hired Landon Russell of Vass to be the first executive director of the Foundation. This marks the first full-time paid position in the 30-year history of the Foundation.
Russell, the daughter of Mike and Irene Russell, was born in Southern Pines and raised on the family horse farm on Lake Bay Road in Vass. Russell grew up foxhunting and walking over Foundation land.
"Landon brings a unique background and experience to the job," said Vice Chairman Dick Moore. "She grew up in horse country, lives in horse country and has had managerial experience in the equestrian community."
Before accepting the position with the Walthour-Moss Foundation in January 2008, Russell was director of events for the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford. She had held that job since 2004 when she returned to the area after working in Chicago for five years. Russell, a graduate of the University of Virginia, worked in the trust and estates department of Sotheby's while living in Chicago.
"I was sick of the city and ready to come home," Russell says.
The Foundation was a perfect fit. Russell is an avid foxhunter and is very familiar with the 4,000 acres that the Foundation encompasses.
In addition to carrying out the duties of executive director, Russell sees her role as providing a 'friendly face' to the community. "I want to create a dialogue between different equestrian disciplines and the non-riding community," Russell says.
Russell will be responsible for managing the Foundation, including land management, stewardship, community outreach, development, finance and communication.
Russell is also the go-to person to call if there are any problems in the Foundation, such as horses being separated from riders. Russell is the person who organizes search parties should circumstances necessitate a search.
"It's nice to know we have a community willing to help with whatever comes our way," Russell says.
Committed to Land
The Walthour-Moss foundation is committed to preserving open land, protecting and improving wildlife habitat, and offering a place for equestrian purposes. It has one of the most significant stands of longleaf pine remaining in eastern North Carolina.
The Walthour-Moss Foundation was the dream of Virginia Walthour Moss and W.O. "Pappy" Moss. A bequest of 1,739 acres from the estate of Pappy Moss was the beginning of many more gifts of land that the late Ginnie Moss would make to the Foundation. Combined with recent purchases of land, the foundation now encompasses 4,000 acres.
Russell is committed to carrying on the tradition of land preservation begun by Pappy and Ginnie Moss.
"The land is a precious resource," Russell says. "It appeals to me that I can do something to help preserve it."
Russell can be reached at the Walthour-Moss Foundation office phone number (910) 695-7811 or on the Foundation cell at (910) 315-1990. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday though Friday.
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