Joe Morris joins the LandTrust

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 31, 2013

SALISBURY — Joe Morris has joined The LandTrust for Central North Carolina as the organization’s development director. Morris begins work at The Land Trust, the only nonprofit land trust serving counties in the Lower Yadkin/Pee Dee watershed, including Rowan, Richmond, Anson, Montgomery, Stanly, Davie, Davidson, Iredell and Cabarrus counties, on Friday.
Previously, Morris was the planning director for the city of Salisbury since 2002 and was employed by the city since 1987. During his tenure with the planning department, Morris oversaw or was involved with several major community development initiatives, including the West End Transformation Plan, the Downtown Salisbury Master Plan, the Salisbury Land Development Ordinance, and the Vision 2020 Comprehensive Plan. He is a native of Richmond County and has been an active volunteer with The LandTrust for many years.
“We are extremely excited to bring Joe onto our staff,” says Jason Walser, executive director at The LandTrust. “Joe’s planning background will help us bring strategic direction and initiative to our development and fundraising program, enabling us to broaden our fundraising efforts throughout our ten-county service region and emphasize long-term initiatives such as planned giving and major donor programs. Like many land trusts and nonprofits in the country, we are focusing on our long-term sustainability. During the interview process, Joe impressed us with his understanding of that need and his strategies for addressing it.”
Walser adds the organization interviewed several qualified candidates for the position. “Our search committee was amazed with the talent and experience of the applicants, both from within the community and across the nation, but ultimately we decided Joe was the best fit for this job and the needs of our organization at this time.”
Morris lives in Salisbury with his wife, Pam, and dogs, Cooper, Sophie and Lilly. He is the father of two children — Seth Morris, a senior at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and Sarah Morris, an event facility manager in Raleigh. An outdoor enthusiast and expert in urban forestry and horticulture, Morris brings a wealth of relative experience to his new role at The LandTrust.
“I’m thrilled to start a new phase of my career in land conservation,” says Morris. “This part of the central Piedmont has served as my home for my entire life. It’s where I was born and grew up, where I raised my family, and where I’ve spent my career. I’m excited to play a role in the permanent conservation of its most special natural places.”