Established in 2001, Conservation Partners has worked tirelessly to preserve the beautiful open spaces and scenic views of Virginia. We believe that land conservation benefits the public through protecting important view sheds, water quality, and outdoor recreation while preserving the legacy and treasured land of individual landowners. Our dedicated and experienced staff are ready to help you!

Taylor Cole

President and Director of Landowner Relations

Taylor has helped hundreds of landowners protect their property through conservation easements. Taylor was raised in Lexington, Virginia, and received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University and his MBA from Duke University. After retiring from a career in commercial banking, he established Conservation Partners in 2001. As well as originating conservation easements, Taylor helps resolve the many challenges that may arise, including line subordination and coordinating the work of the attorneys, appraisers, financial advisors, and other professionals. He and his wife, Lois, raise all-natural grass-fed cattle and re-establish native habitats on their conservation easement-protected Scott Hollow Farm. 

James McLaughlin

Policy Director

Jim consults with donors’ professional advisors on technical issues and works on easement deed, appraisal, and tax credit documentation reviews, having practiced private conservation law since the 1990s. This Virginia-native completed his undergraduate work at Washington and Lee University, received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, and earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Virginia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Jim has expertise in land conservation, real estate, and tax law and has researched the public policy of land conservation as well as the valuation of conservation easements. In fact, Jim has helped his family protect almost 1,500 acres in Rockbridge County with donated conservation easements. 

Tori Kennedy

Director of Landowner Services

Tori coordinates the work of landowners, their professional advisors, land trusts and state agencies throughout the conservation easement donation process. Raised in the Shenandoah Valley and influenced by her family history of farming, Tori enjoys helping farmers protect their businesses while conserving the beautiful land and vistas of Virginia. Tori brings customer service experience and program management to facilitate the easement process for landowners and professionals. When Tori isn’t facilitating easements, she can be found traveling around the world with her husband, Greg, and their son, Patrick. 

Margaret Emore

Business Operations Manager

Margaret works with donors who are ready to sell their Virginia land preservation tax credits and manages the accompanying tax credit transfers. She also works with those who wish to support conservation in Virginia by purchasing land preservation tax credits. Margaret joined Conservation Partners in 2005, bringing extensive experience in office management, finance and customer relations to the team. Margaret’s free time is often spent on the ball-field with her husband, Jimmy, and three kids, Piper, Payton, and Tre.

Bridget Braunscheidel

Director of Administration and Management

Bridget serves as first point of contact for landowners and their professionals while supporting the Conservation Partners easement team. Her responsibilities include office and data management, the coordination, preparation, and processing of tax benefit documents.  Along with a master’s degree in history, Bridget brings years of experience in customer service, office management, and program management to Conservation Partners. Several years ago, she and her husband, Kyle, fell in love with the beauty of Virginia when they visited from their then-home of Buffalo, NY. Bridget and Kyle promptly moved to Lexington, where they are raising their three sons: Owen, Sammy, and Teddy.

E.C. Myers

Director of Conservation Programs

E.C. heads our community engagement through creative outreach to help individuals understand the benefits of working with Conservation Partners and the importance of greater conservation. She focuses on generating new conservation easements by connecting with people throughout the Commonwealth and on program development, including expanding marketing initiatives. Her degrees in Environmental Studies and Business Administration from Washington and Lee University perfectly align with Conservation Partners’ initiatives. E.C. is excited to have moved back to Virginia, this time in Charlottesville, where she explores the outdoors and good restaurants with her boyfriend, Jonathan, and pup, Lulu. 

Linda McKinnis

Compliance Director

Linda conducts easement deed and appraisal reviews for compliance with our Quality Standards and works directly with landowners’ attorneys, appraisers, and accountants in the preparation of materials for tax credit registration. She earned her B.A. in history from University of Virginia and her J.D. from Louisiana State University. Linda has practiced law in the fields of business entity choice and compliance, commercial litigation, banking, and collections. 

Nan Mahone Wellborn

Outreach Coordinator

Nan provides landowner communications and public relations support by coordinating events to introduce landowners to the process of conservation easement donations. A native Virginian, she joined CP in 2009 after a career in communications and public relations working with public, for-profit, and not-for-profit entities. Nan knows more people in Virginia than anyone we’ve ever met! Nan shares her interpretations of conserved lands through her stunning landscape paintings. She and her husband, Bill, call the Blue Ridge Mountains home.