Our Team

Jessica Cocciolone

Executive Director

Jessica has spent the past 15 years helping nonprofits across the United States raise millions of dollars and create sustainable organizations. She has previously worked as the Chief Development Officer for Elk Hill in Goochland, VA.

She has also held leadership positions at High Achievement in Richmond, VA; JDRF in Albuquerque, NM; Alabama CASA in Birmingham, AL; and has served as an Adjunct Professor with the University of Richmond, Institute of Philanthropy. She has been actively involved in the Central VA Chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors, and is Chair of The Diversity and Inclusive Fellows Program.

Jessica can often be found with her daughter rock climbing around Virginia or hiking in Shenandoah.

Anna Patchias

Annual Fund Director

Prior to joining the Shenandoah National Park Trust, Anna held various development positions at the University of Virginia Office of Advancement, most recently with the UVA Parents Fund. Prior to her philanthropy career, Anna owned and operated a private tutoring company for 11 years, transitioning from entrepreneurship to fundraising in 2015.

Anna is also an active volunteer and most recently, she re-joined the leadership of Women United in Philanthropy, a collective giving organization that awards grants to local non-profits serving women and children.

In her spare time, Anna loves reading and gardening, often with her dog by her side. She also loves spending time with her husband and teenage son, watching movies, travelling, and exploring restaurants, museums, and historical sites in Charlottesville and beyond.

Emily Digney

Development Manager

Emily graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a degree in Business administration and a minor in Political Science. She found her way to the Trust after a year of teaching English in a small town in northeast Spain. 

Emily grew up hiking in the Shenandoah National Park and her favorite hike is Old Rag. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding, running, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Kelly Berrang

Volunteer & Events Coordinator

For ten years, Chelsea has taught American literature in the high school English classroom, so stepping into her role here at the SNPT seemed like the logical choice for an enthusiast of Emerson and Thoreau.  Prior to her endeavors as an educator, Chelsea worked for the Parks and Recreation in her hometown of Warminster Township in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia.  She filled many roles for the township,  including: programming, special events, and coordinating the summer camp program serving over 500 youth.  

Chelsea graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, and in 2012, she left her beloved city to find her home in Madison County.  She can be found exploring the trails of Shenandoah or paddling the Rapidan River with her husband and their four children.  She loves reading, writing, attending concerts and comedy shows, and of course, venturing “to the woods” in pursuit of “only the essential facts of life!”

Chelsea Murray

Assistant to the Executive Director & Board Liaison

Growing up with Shenandoah National Park right outside her back door made the opportunity to join the Trust all the more intriguing for Kelly. Following graduation from Virginia Tech with a degree in Public Relations and Marketing, Kelly raised four children while remaining an avid volunteer in local civic organizations and working part time to develop marketing campaigns for a number of nonprofit groups.

She worked for Wintergreen Performing Arts as a Housing Coordinator for the Summer Music Festival and provided marketing support to the Festival. Several years as a preschool teacher enabled Kelly to deepen her insights into locally based organizations. In her spare time, Kelly spends time outdoors with her family, reading and dabbling in sketching and painting.

Ethan Serr

Development Manager – Corporate and Foundations

Ethan Serr is glad to be joining the Shenandoah National Park Trust as the Development Manager of Corporations and Foundations. Ethan graduated from Binghamton University in 2013 with a degree in history, which he then parlayed into the role of Executive Director at his hometown’s historical society in Shippensburg, PA. Ethan then moved to West Virginia for a temporary position developing small tourism businesses, for which his work was recognized with the WV Governor’s Award for Regional Collaboration. Prior to working for the Trust, Ethan was the Development Director at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia.

Outside of the office, you’ll find Ethan out hiking/ biking in the mountains, playing/ watching soccer, or cozied up with a book.

Julie Shuren

Director of Programs & Partnerships

Julie served previously as Assistant Development Director with Habitat for Humanity in Charlottesville, Virginia, where, among other accomplishments, she implemented the first annual “Hike for Habitat.”

Her background includes fundraising, public relations, marketing and grant writing. Julie grew up in a small town in upstate New York nestled between the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the State University of New York in Oneonta. She is an avid hiker and loves to share the great outdoors with her husband and two daughters.

Ember Heishman

Communications Manager

Raised by environmental educators in rural northwestern Pennsylvania, Ember has always had an affinity for the outdoors. So, after graduating from Messiah College with an English degree, Ember combined her passions for writing and nature as an Interpretation & Education intern at Shenandoah National Park through Appalachian Conservation Corps, funded by SNPT.

After working as a Communications Fellow for the National Park Service – Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program in Washington, D.C, Ember returned to SNPT as an intern while earning her master’s degree in Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication from James Madison University and officially joined the team in October 2022.

When she’s not working, Ember gets lost in books or the woods (depending on the weather) and keeps her husband on his toes trying to track her down!