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  • Writer's pictureDrew Williams

Staff Spotlight: Kimball Payne, Executive Manager and “James Changer”

Our Executive Manager, Kim Payne, would likely rather tell you more about his joy fishing on the James River and being identified as a “James Changer” by the James River Association (JRA) than his experience as a Naval Flight Officer, County Manager, City Manager, or International City-County Management Association Senior Advisor.

Kim was recently invited to be in the new JRA advertising campaign “Be a James Changer.” Beside an image of him fishing, found in the September issue of the Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine, it reads:


I’ve been fishing up and down the James River since I was a boy, and I witnessed the decline in water quality firsthand. But as a member of the James River Association, I’ve been able to help the organization lower urban and wastewater pollution to the lowest levels in decades. There’s still work to be done – and I’m glad to be part of the comeback story.


According to the JRA website, “The mission of the James River Association is to be a guardian of the James River. We provide a voice for the river and take action to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of its natural resources.” JRA releases a report card that provides a comprehensive assessment of the health of the James River every two years. At their Annual Meeting and Oyster Roast on Oct. 2 in Richmond, they will a provide a sneak peek into the 2019 report card (a comprehensive river health report card that the organization has maintained biennially since 2007) and present “James Changer Awards” to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to protect the river and connect people to it.

Like Kim, many of our employees are members of JRA and similar type organizations (Friends of the Rappahannock, Friends of the Lower Appomatox, etc.) because our personal and career goals align: to protect our local and regional natural resources for a sustainable and resilient Virginia. If you’d like to learn more about our environmental projects and services, please contact Denise Nelson (

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