Meet the Faces: Brickey Nuchols
It’s a vital cog in the nonprofit wheel, yet it’s often the one part that folks don’t like to talk about: money. It can be an uncomfortable topic or doesn’t seem as exciting as celebrating a newly protected property…yet Brickey brings both a sense of ease and enthusiasm to fundraising.
Not that he’s competing for the longest title, but Brickey Nuchols is our Donor Engagement Coordinator & Resident Historian. He combines his love for both nature and history to help The Land Trust and its family of donors protect the places we call home.
Brickey Nuchols was born and raised in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Maryville, Tenn. He graduated from Maryville College and went on to earn his M.A. in Public History from Appalachian State University.
Brickey’s love for Tennessee kept him nearby as he developed his career in the nonprofit sector, including time with the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Community Food Advocates, and Alignment Nashville, before arriving at The Land Trust in 2017. He moved to Nashville five years ago, and while he misses the mountains of East Tennessee, he now considers Nashville home.
Q: Having started out in the public history realm, how did you find your way into conservation work?
A: After graduating with my master’s degree, I worked for a history museum in Townsend, Tenn. As part of a small staff, I wore a lot of different hats, from curator to fundraiser to event manager. As a student, I always saw myself in the back room of a museum, cataloging artifacts all day. However, my experience at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center allowed me to quickly discover that I like interacting with people and fundraising for causes that resonate with me.
I wasn’t actively looking for a conservation career when I applied for a position with The Land Trust in early 2017 – but as a life-long Tennessean who loves my home state, being outdoors, and visiting historic places, The Land Trust marries several different interests of mine. It’s a perfect fit for me and my background.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of fundraising for you?
A: Even though I am a behind-the-scenes fundraiser and consider myself to be an introvert, I love meeting our supporters. I truly enjoy hearing other people’s stories and learning more about what inspires their involvement with The Land Trust.
Q: What is a part of your role in fundraising that others may not be aware of?
A: Much of what I do involves researching and analyzing information in a way that aligns with our various fundraising strategies. I think fundraising is a more methodical process than most people realize. It is a science that I am continuing to learn.
Q: Your role recently expanded to include being The Land Trust’s Resident Historian. What does the role involve?
A: I serve as the Resident Historian for both of The Land Trust’s owned properties: Glen Leven Farm in Nashville, and Conner Toll House in Signal Mountain. This involves educating visitors to these properties on their unique histories and, most importantly, how the permanent protection of these properties ties into the larger work of The Land Trust. I also serve as a point of contact for key historical partners and as a resource for current and potential future protected properties of historic significance.
Q: Where does your appreciation for the great outdoors come from?
A: I grew up in rural East Tennessee in a ‘holler’ where my ancestors settled nearly 200 years ago. My parents’ house backs up to a forest and has a creek running through the front yard, so it is hard to escape nature when you live in that setting. I also lived just a few minutes outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so we often made day trips to the park for picnics, swimming, or drives around Cades Cove.
I also credit my maternal grandparents for much of my appreciation of nature, as I spent nearly every weekend with them when I was a child. My grandfather owned a sawmill and constantly worked outdoors, and my grandmother was always outside working in the garden or tending to her flowers. They expected kids to go outside and play at their house, so I have happy memories of climbing trees and playing outdoors with my cousins.
I can honestly say that my appreciation for the great outdoors has been instilled in me since birth.
Q: What excites you the most about where The Land Trust is headed?
A: This is a tough question for me to answer because there are so many exciting things happening right now with The Land Trust. I think I am most excited about all of the events that will take place this year that will allow us to interact with our supporters and engage new audiences statewide. We have accomplished so much over the last 20 years, and I look forward to seeing where the next 20 years will take us.
Whether it’s fundraising, conservation projects, or community engagement, the people are what matter most. The Land Trust’s family of donors are part of our foundation, and Brickey helps to ensure they remain connected to our mission.
Your support fuels our commitment to protect conserved land for years to come. Please consider a gift to support conservation in both our communities and wild, open spaces across Tennessee.