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February 19, 2008

CW begins executive transition process

Colin G. Campbell, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, announced that the Foundation’s Board of Trustees has elected Richard G. Tilghman as chairman of the board to be effective immediately. Campbell will continue to lead the Foundation as its president and chief executive officer. Campbell also announced that the Board of Trustees, in keeping with its responsibility to assure the highest quality leadership of the Foundation, has initiated a management succession process, including the appointment of a succession committee, to work with him to effect an orderly transition of executive leadership at an appropriate future date.

These actions give effect to a long-planned return to a traditional not-for-profit governance model, which provides for a non-executive chairman separate and distinct from the president and chief executive officer. Tilghman has been a trustee of Colonial Williamsburg since 1994 and vice chairman of the board since 2000. Campbell has served as a trustee since 1989, was elected chairman of the board in 1998, and in 2000 added the responsibilities of president and chief executive officer.

Campbell underscored the importance of the board and the organization beginning to develop a succession plan, noting that succession is a primary focus for any well-managed organization, whether for-profit or not-for-profit. Campbell stated that trustee Edmond Villani of Mamaroneck, N.Y., has been appointed to chair the succession committee, whose other members include Richard Tilghman; Jeanne Daniel of New Canaan, Conn.; Amos Hostetter of Boston, Mass; Andrea Mitchell of Washington, D.C.; Gordon Rainey of Richmond, Va.; and Richard Worley of West Conshohocken, Pa. Campbell will be an ex officio member of the committee.

The Foundation’s board in 2000 anticipated a major organizational transition at Colonial Williamsburg, involving substantial facilities investments and programming changes, and asked Campbell to add the executive responsibility to his chairmanship and lead that transition. The board affirmed its intention at that time to return to the traditional not-for-profit governance model in the future upon substantial completion of the transitional activity. The change announced today sustains the leadership team of Tilghman and Campbell and ensures Campbell’s continuing active leadership of the organization throughout the board’s succession process until the successful completion of a transition.

“I am honored by the privilege of serving as chairman of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Colin Campbell as the organization’s president,” said Tilghman. “Colin Campbell has provided extraordinary executive leadership for Colonial Williamsburg during a remarkable period of transition and reinvention.”

“Richard Tilghman is a longtime, valued friend of Colonial Williamsburg, and an experienced and wise counselor to me, the trustees and officers of the organization,” said Colin Campbell. “He is deeply committed to the mission of the Foundation, and I am delighted that he will serve as the board’s next chairman.”

“I look forward to continuing to address the broad range of responsibilities and opportunities that characterize the executive leadership of Colonial Williamsburg, and I have committed to the board to remain in that role throughout this process and transition,” added Campbell. “No date has been set for completion of the process, but rather the board’s emphasis is on fulfilling this responsibility in a manner that best serves the interests and standards of the institution.”

Richard Tilghman served as chairman and chief executive officer of Crestar Financial Corp. and, subsequently, chairman of SunTrust Bank Mid-Atlantic and vice chairman of SunTrust Banks Inc. His board service includes Sysco Corp., the Richmond Community Foundation, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. A native of Norfolk, Va., he holds a degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

Tilghman becomes the 10th chairman in Colonial Williamsburg’s history. Previous chairmen have included Arthur Woods, John D. Rockefeller III, Winthrop Rockefeller, Lewis F. Powell Jr., Carlisle H. Humelsine, Charles L. Brown, Charles R. Longsworth, George B. Beitzel and Colin G. Campbell.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®” -- a daily dramatic live street theater presentation -- is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265