Charlottesville hires new director of communications

brian wheelerCharlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones announced the hiring of Brian Wheeler as the city’s next director of communications.

Wheeler is currently the executive director of Charlottesville Tomorrow, a non-profit, media outlet committed to covering the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County governments. Charlottesville Tomorrow distributes its award-winning journalism through its website, partnerships with local publications like The Daily Progress and in email newsletters. Wheeler has served as the executive director since its inception in 2005.

Wheeler also served as a member of the Albemarle County School Board from 2004 to 2010, including two years as the board chair.

“As a former elected official and the leader of an organization committed to the democratic principles of a free, objective press, Brian has the perfect mix of experience to direct our Communications Office,” said Mr. Jones. “He not only has the background we were seeking in this critical position but a true passion for our City.”

“Charlottesville is a special place I have been proud to call my home for more than 33 years,” Wheeler said. “I look forward to working with community members, city employees and our local media to ensure they all have access to timely and accurate information about activities and initiatives in Charlottesville. At this critical time in our City’s history as we take on critical challenges, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Jones and the City Council on community-building efforts that will move Charlottesville forward.”

In 2012, Charlottesville Tomorrow became the first online member of the Virginia Press Association and an inaugural member of the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers association. Wheeler has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association with 19 awards for news reporting, multimedia reporting and photography.

From 1998-2005, Wheeler served as chief information officer at SNL Financial (now S&P Global Market Intelligence), a leading provider of data to Wall Street. Prior to his work at SNL, Wheeler was employed at the W. Alton Jones Foundation, a private family foundation that focused on grantmaking supporting environmental and international security projects.

Wheeler will begin work with the City of Charlottesville on February 20.