Time and Talent

By Beth Griffin

“Time, talent, and treasure” is a

phrase that is often used in churches, charities, and non-profit organizations such as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) to promote sacrificial giving and acts of service. As an organization of over 6,000 volunteers, 42,000-plus members and donors, and thousands of men and women who came before and upon whose work we continue to build, the ATC truly embodies the ideals of these three simple words.

We have the opportunity to profile just a few of the people whose work combines all the ideals of the words: time, talent, and treasure. Beyond financial support, board, committee, and club service are among the more obvious ways volunteers connect to the ATC. And then there are the unique talents that Stewart Verdery brings our organization.

From top: Stewart at Mount Blanc in France; With his wife, Jenny at Crabtree Falls in Virginia

Stewart is a native Virginian and a graduate of Woodberry Forest, Williams College, and the University of Virginia Law School — all schools from which he was able to enjoy frequent day hikes on the A.T. Since college, his work in law, government, and advocacy — and as a husband and father of three — have largely limited time on the A.T., though the idea of an unplugged month on the Trail still serves as a calming ideal in the midst of his busy days. Stewart’s career has included serving as legal counsel to three U.S. Senators: John Warner, Orrin Hatch, and Don Nickles, and then serving as assistant secretary for Border and Transportation Security Policy and Planning in the Department of Homeland Security. In 2006, he founded Monument Policy Group, a bi-partisan public policy advocacy firm, headquartered in Washington, D.C. At Monument, Stewart has served as a senior advisor to leaders of some of the world’s best-known corporate brands.

For the past decade, Stewart and Monument Policy Group have provided pro-bono assistance to the ATC in its policy advocacy work with Congress and federal agencies. The ATC is proud to have a long history of support from both sides of the aisle, and Stewart’s expertise, reputation, and guidance have helped us continue to navigate successfully in a political climate that is increasingly polarized.

More recently, Stewart has served as the chair of the ATC’s President’s Advisory Circle, which provides strategic advice to ATC leadership and supports the ATC’s fundraising team. Through this work, Stewart has helped us secure significant contributions for the ATC’s work. We are grateful to Stewart and Monument Policy Group for an extraordinary commitment of time, sharing of uncommon talents, and generosity of treasure.

Beth Griffin is the ATC’s associate director of Individual and Planned Giving.