Bedford D-Day Memorial Now Has One President

Bedford, VA - It wasn't long ago that The National D-Day Memorial announced it was going a new direction with not one, but two presidents.

Now there's another change in leadership.

April Cheek-Messier and Jeff Fulgham were just announced as foundation co-presidents in November.

After eight months, Fulgham is no longer with the foundation and Cheek-Messier has accepted the job of president.

"We leaned down our governance and our chain of command and made just one person president," said Dr. Barry Moore, the D-Day Memorial Board Chairman.

Cheek-Messier has been with The National D-Day Memorial Foundation since before the memorial itself opened to the public in 2001. Her former co-president Jeff Fulgham is no longer with the foundation.

"Jeff decided to do some other things," Moore said. "The timing was perfect and we decided it's a good time to kind of tailor our chain of command and make it a little easier to manage."

"We knew there was going to be a transition that would take place," Cheek-Messier said.

Cheek-Messier says the co-presidency concept was an interim move.

"We wanted to make sure we filled the gap in once the prior president left. So it was just to make sure we had leadership in place," Cheek-Messier said.

Cheek-Messier said her next move will be moving forward with fundraising, the area Fulgham handled.

Moore says the board plans to bring on a lower level staff member to assist, and board members will be more involved in raising money, especially bringing in major gifts.

"We have a lot of exciting things coming up, in the future. We're not ready to break that news just yet," Moore said.

"The future involves having our education center. We want to make sure we complete the monument and secure it for the future and those are the thing we really are focused on," Cheek-Messier said.

ABC 13 spoke briefly with former D-Day co-president Jeff Fulgham Tuesday. Fulgham says although this move may seem sudden to some, he made the decision to leave the foundation a long time ago. Fulgham says he cares very much for the organization and wanted to ensure a smooth transition. Fulgham is still in Lynchburg and says he's not ready to announce his plans just yet.