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 Chiles

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

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.

Elizabeth Mizell

Good Neighbors Program Director

Beth has been fortunate to spend her entire career in the conservation realm. She began as an Interpretive Naturalist in her home state of Indiana while still in college at DePauw University. Prior to moving to Virginia in 2016 and starting a small native plant consulting business, Beth was a Land Steward with The Nature Conservancy for over 14 years caring for natural areas and restoring rare natural communities in northwest Florida and Indiana. Most recently Beth served as Executive Director for Blue Ridge PRISM helping to grow the organization from a project of the Trust to a well-respected leader in Virginia’s conservation community. Beth has extensive experience in natural areas management and restoration, invasive plant species management and control, native plant propagation, building partnerships to meet conservation challenges, and gardening/landscaping with native plants. Beth is a Level 1 Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional and holds a license as a Virginia Commercial Pesticide Applicator. 

When she is not thinking about conservation and land management, she looks for caterpillars in her native gardens, enjoys knitting, reading, birding, and spending time visiting national parks with her husband, Pete. They are huge fans of the Parks Passport Program. 

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!

Jillian Lum

Executive Assistant & Board Liaison

Jillian grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, where she spent as much time as she could outdoors – on foot, bike, or horseback.  She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA before spending a few years in North Carolina, where she worked as a Gallery Manager and Programming Assistant at a children’s museum. Family and the Virginia landscape eventually called her home and, after ten years working as an Executive Assistant at a Charlottesville-based wealth management fund, she is excited to join the team at the Trust.

In her free time, you can find her gardening, painting, or spending time with her kids.