• Entrepreneur of the Month

Montpelier's Kat Imhoff Takes Us Inside the Home and Lives of James and Dolley Madison

COVER STORY: JULY 2014

Montpelier Foundation President Kat Imhoff Takes Us Inside the Estate and Private Lives of James and Dolley Madison

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Publisher Be Inkandescent

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Virginia home of James and Dolley Madison, be sure to put it on your to-do list.

After Madison’s presidency, Montpelier became the family plantation that the couple retired to in 1817. They entertained hundreds of visitors and jointly edited Madison’s significant political papers—including his notes on the Constitutional Convention.

“Madison predeceased Dolley by 13 years, after which she traveled back and forth between Montpelier and Washington, DC, before permanently settling in the nation’s capital in 1844,” explains Kat Imhoff, who has been president of The Montpelier Foundation since January 2013.

Interviewing Imhoff for the July episode of The Grateful American™ TV Show was a pleasure. In addition to being an expert on the Madisons, she formerly was chief operating officer and vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, heading special initiatives and leading the team that created the new Visitors Center.

Imhoff also served as the state director for The Nature Conservancy in Montana, where she led the organization’s Montana Legacy Project—the purchase of more than 300,000 acres of land in the Northern Rockies bordering Glacier National Park. This land now completes a corridor of environmental protection extending across Montana from Wyoming.

Before we dive into our Q&A with Kat Imhoff, here’s a brief primer on James Madison.

Often considered the most cerebral of the Founding Fathers, Madison had one of the most effective and influential careers in the history of American politics.

“Even as a young child, Madison was bright, erudite, analytical, and thirsty for knowledge,” Imhoff explains. “Madison was literate in seven languages, curious about the latest technological advances, and obtained his degree from the College of New Jersey, which today is Princeton.”

He was considered tenacious, perhaps a bit scrappy, and a defender of rights for all Americans. He was a skillful legislator, serving in the Virginia Assembly, the Continental Congress, and the first four Congresses of the United States. He also served as secretary of state for Thomas Jefferson, and then as two-term president of the United States, from 1809-1817.

Imhoff says Madison is best known for his role as Father of the Constitution, in recognition of his leadership, scholarship, and dedication in shaping the values that characterize our nation and resulted in the first and longest-standing representative government on earth.

As for his love life: On Sept. 15, 1794, the 43-year-old, never-married Congressman James Madison married 26-year-old widow Dolley Payne Todd. Throughout their 42-year-long marriage, Dolley was an indispensable aid to her husband’s career and is responsible for many notable accomplishments in her own right.

“Dolley was known to be fond of feminine frippery, and for using her social savvy as a means of political diplomacy,” Imhoff notes. “She implemented unprecedented standards in the nation’s new capital in Washington, DC, creating traditions that are still followed to this day.”

Are you ready to learn from the past? Click here to read our entire Q&A with Imhoff. And click here to learn five things you can discuss about James and Dolley Madison at dinner tonight.

Also be sure to listen to watch this Grateful American TV episode on InkandescentTV. And listen to our podcast interview on Inkandescent Radio.

For more insights, click here for 10 Leadership Lessons from JMU President Jon Alger.

http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1202/3-ways-to-become-more-empathetic http://www.beinkandescent. com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/586/ I%27ll+Mature+When+I%27m+Dead http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1791/7+Top+Dog+Tips http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/650/guy-kawasaki-s-enchantment-the-art-of-changing-hearts-minds-and-actions http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1849/Charting+the+Course http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/2082/what-will-your-second-act-be http://beinkandescent.com/back-issues?q=2011-10 http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1272/Seth+Goldman http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1288/do-you-have-the-barefoot-spirit-here-s-are-11-ways-to-harness-it http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1819/mansour-javidan-s-tips-for-successful-global-leaders http://trulyamazingwomen.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1763/how-to-create-a-lean-in-circle http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1127/entrepreneurs-in-education http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1897/mob-rules-what-former-heist-expert-louis-ferrante-can-teach-you http://www.theinkandescentradioshow.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/447/a-look-inside-the-nature-conservancy http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/974/dont+sweat http://www.sharonarmstrongandassociates.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/653/guy-kawasaki-s-journey-to-enchantment http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/714/wannabe-fools http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/736/the+four+generations http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1987/darrah-cloud http://www.inkandescentnetworking.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/323/the-magic-of-blackboard-inc http://www.inkandescentspeakers.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/650/guy-kawasaki-s-enchantment-the-art-of-changing-hearts-minds-and-actions http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/2230/what-can-entrepreneurs-do-to-fight-for-human-rights-karen-hanrahan-explains http://www.beinkandescent.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1870/dr+ruta+aidis http://inkandescentpr.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1081/Pamela+Hartigan http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/2100/Montpelier http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/653/guy-kawasaki-s-journey-to-enchantment http://www.beinkandescent.com/articles/?c=hiring http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/426/insights-on-business-from-the-rosetta-stone http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/359/steven-schussler-s-5-ps-for-business-success-personality-product-persistence-people-philanthropy http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/561/starbucks-rules http://www.weaversway.coop http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1007/the-science-of-healing http://www.currysauto.com http://www.inkandescentnetworking.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/2055/the-fun-of-paying-it-forward http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/893/Maria+Bartiromo http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/401/robert-s-rules-for-non-profits-businesses-volunteers-and-donors http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/183/ted-leonsis-tips-for-entrepreneurs http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/299/dr-ben-carson-offers-advice-for-entrepreneurs-on-how-to-conduct-a-best-worst-analysis http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1966/selling-with-noble-purpose-what-you-need-to-know http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/2229/science-of-gratitude http://inkandescentnewsletters.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/236/nell-merlino-s-tips-for-entrepreneurs http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1918/dr-andrew-weil-s-tips-for-achieving-emotional-well-being http://inkandescentnetworking.com/?s=network http://www.pr-rules.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/2147/andy-hines-shines-a-light-on-the-future-of-the-workforce http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/205/muhammad-yunus-tips-for-entrepreneurs http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/461/business-tips-from-the-love-doctor http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1462/government+rules http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/2163/holy-bagumba-kate-dicamillo-s-flora-ulysses-takes-readers-on-an-incandescent-adventure-costco-connection http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/781/alan-webber-s-favorite-rules-for-2012-and-beyond http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/954/martha-beck-helps-you-find-your-way-in-a-wild-new-world http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/2100/Montpelier http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/2201/can-lsd-and-ecstasy-help-us-harness-the-power-to-heal http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/690/good-ideas-optimism-and-a-healthy-splash-of-doing-good-success http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1924/michael-franti http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1058/michael-gerber-takes-us-inside-the-dreaming-room http://www.theessentialhrhandbook.com http://www.andyhinesight.com/ http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/102/the-bognet-way http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/1163/what-it-means-to-have-it-all-insights-from-52-truly-amazing-women-and-some-amazing-men http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/863/ridley-pearson-lights-up-the-sky http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/818/reebok-s-president-uli-becker-jumpstarts-the-shaping-up-of-america www.bartlettpearinn.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/152/tactical-tips-from-gina-schaefer http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1737/Zieglers+7+Tips http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/21/julie-s-tips-for-entrepreneurs http://www.weaversway.coop http://www.beinkandescent.com/entrepreneur-of-the-month/2041/PR+Rules http://www.inkandescentpr.com http://www.crewscontrol.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/620/unleash-your-potential http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/501/lee+woodruff+tips http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/270/jonathan-alter-s-tips-for-entrepreneurs http://inkandescentnetworking.com/index.php?s=host-directory www.houseofsteep.com http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/530/to-everything-turn-turn-turn-roger-and-camilla-mcguinn-s-tips-for-entrepreneurs http://www.beinkandescent.com/tips-for-entrepreneurs/1702/marketing-professor-raj-sisodia-on-the-future-of-business-success http://artatlargeinc.com/