At its meeting on August 8, 2013, the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Chris Vitello as the Executive Director for the Foundation. Mr. Vitello is retiring from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) after 27 years.
He worked his way through the ranks of the Department beginning as a Fisheries Management Specialist to Fisheries Management Biologist, Fisheries Regional Supervisor and Fisheries Unit Chief. He has served as the Fisheries Division Chief for the past three+ years before announcing his retirement from MDC. Vitello has worked with MCHF on several projects, including the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund and the recent construction and dedication of a fishing and viewing platform at Bennett Springs State Park.
Mr. Vitello is anxious to lead MCHF into a new era, replacing Rick Thom who served as Executive Director of the Foundation since 2007 before retiring on June 30 of this year. The Board did not waste any time finding a replacement as there is much work that needs to be done in conservation efforts across Missouri. MCHF was established in 1997, with its main goal to support the Department of Conservation’s mission of managing and protecting Missouri’s fish, forest and wildlife resources.
MCHF works with the Conservation Department and its partners to fund projects that address critical conservation and outdoor recreation needs. He will begin his duties as Executive Director on September 1, 2013.