2021 PRESERVATION CONFERENCE
Vice President, Development
Learn more about our conference speakers and panelists.
Virginia H. (Ginny) Adams
Senior Architectural Historian, Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.
At PAL, Inc. in Pawtucket, RI, Ginny manages architectural history and multi-disciplinary planning and regulatory projects involving historic buildings, structures, landscapes, and archaeological resources for public and private clients throughout the Northeast. She received her BA and MA from Brown University and teaches in the Master of Historic Preservation program at The Boston Architectural College.
Program Manager, DCR
Kevin manages the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Historic Curatorship Program. He has worked in the public history field for over 20 years, having previously worked at the Smithsonian Institution, the City of Columbia SC Planning Department, and the NC State Historic Preservation Office. In Raleigh, NC, Kevin managed a countywide preservation program, including staffing the countywide preservation commission. Kevin received a bachelor’s degree in History and Film Production from the University of Colorado, and a master’s in Historic Preservation from the University of South Carolina.
Senior Project Manager & Director of Preservation, AHF Boston
Kara is involved with all aspects of AHF’s work including development projects, property management and real estate and preservation consulting. Her role as Senior Project Manager includes management of capital and development projects and also acting as community liaison. In addition, Kara also acts as Director of Preservation for the various arms of AHF, overseeing historic issues and leading AHF’s preservation consulting efforts in communities across the Commonwealth.
Senior Architectural Historian, The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.
Alisa serves as a planner and project manager for multi-disciplinary projects involving environmental impact assessments and documentation, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Chapter 254 of the Massachusetts General Laws, and related state and federal environmental laws, regulations, and guidelines affecting historic resources, including the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA). Alisa has special expertise in the utilization of state and federal rehabilitation investment tax credits in MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ and PA, and has managed multiple historic tax credit projects for private and non-profit developers. Her expertise in the fields of architectural history and preservation planning, coupled with her strong professional relationships with the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Offices, provide a unique perspective within a redevelopment team and ensure successful outcomes for historic building rehabilitation projects.
Ian Blackman LLC Preservation & Restoration
Ian is a barn preservation contractor who has years of experience working with barn owners to care for and restore their historic structures. He established Ian Blackman LLC Preservation & Restoration in 2003 and has been a champion of barn preservation ever since. He is a graduate of the furniture-making program at North Bennet Street School in Boston and worked as a preservation carpenter at Canterbury Shaker Village prior to starting his own business. Ian is an active board member of the Preservation Alliance and an exceptional ambassador and supporter of the Preservation Alliance and preservation work. Leading by example and encouraging others, he enjoys offering workshops and on-site tours, helping people understand and care for historic barns, and fostering greater appreciation for these valued elements of our agricultural heritage.
Gary Brock, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, HMFH Architects
Gary is an architect with over 20 years of experience in the design of educational and residential facilities. His dedication to energy efficient design intersects with his work in historic preservation through his ability to remodel, renovate, or preserve historic properties while making them more sustainable. Most recently, he led a deep energy retrofit of a historic 1880s residence in Cambridge, MA. Gary holds a BS in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University and M. Arch. from the Boston Architectural College.
Rebecca Curran Cutting
Town Planner, Town of Marblehead
Established in 1629, Marblehead has one of the largest contiguous colonial historic districts in the country. Rebecca has participated in a wide range of planning issues including historic preservation, affordable housing, transportation, zoning, grant writing, and project management. Rebecca has a solid understanding of planning policy, state zoning regulations, and local zoning by-laws. Additionally, the Town Planner serves as the Town’s Chief Procurement Officer. She earned her degree in Environmental Design from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in Landscape Design and Regional Planning. She has served on the Salem Zoning Board of Appeals, several as chairman. She also served on the Salem Conservation Commission. Rebecca has worked in the field of planning for over 35 years. Prior to her employment in Marblehead, she worked for the City of Salem as a staff planner. She lives in Salem with her husband and daughter.
National Register Reviewer, National Park Service
Lisa serves as the National Register Reviewer for Massachusetts and for several mid-Atlantic and Southern states. She has been with the National Park Service for over 13 years and has worked in historic preservation and urban planning for over 25 years. She began her career with the Georgia Historic Preservation Division managing the National Register program, and she later worked for the Seattle Office of Planning & Development. She holds an MA in Historic Preservation from Georgia State University/Georgia Institute of Technology and an MLA in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington.
Craig Della Penna
Executive Director, Norwottuck Network
The Norwottuck Network is a 501C(3) established to highlight railroad history on the longest developing rail trail in the northeast, the Mass Central Rail Trail. Running from Boston to Northampton—104 miles long—this connects directly with another dozen former railroads being converted into multi-use trails or linear parks. Twenty-five years ago, having a background in railroad history, Craig was invited by a regional publisher to write a series of books about the history of old railroad lines and their conversion to biking and hiking trails. He was later hired by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy as an organizer, and for seven years, he covered the New England region. He has been involved in much of the rail trail development. He and his wife Kathleen also operate an award-winning bed and breakfast that sits next to one of New England’s earliest municipally-built rail trails in Northampton.
Architectural Designer, Catherine Truman Architects
Laura earned her degree from Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art & Planning and is currently working as an architectural designer for the award-winning firm of
Catherine Truman Architects in Cambridge, MA. Since 2009, she has been researching and
writing about pioneering women architects and builders, including Ann M. Cobb (1830-1911) and Clotilde Brewster (1874-1937) both of whom exhibited their work in the Woman’s Building at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Fitzmaurice helped create a long-term exhibit on Cobb at Historic Newton’s Jackson Homestead which opened in 2012 and closed in 2021. Two articles she has written on Clotilde Brewster have been published, one in 19th Century Magazine, a publication of the Victorian Society in America, in the autumn of 2014 and more recently in The Victorian, a publication of the Victorian Society in the UK, in November 2020. She has recently completed a major new biography on Clotilde Brewster.
Tracey A. Fortier
Preservation Planner and Grants Manager, Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC)
Tracey primarily focuses on the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF) grants program. Prior to joining MHC, Tracey provided preservation consulting services, managed historic properties as Historic New England’s North Shore Regional Administrator, and served on the Newburyport Historical Commission. Tracey majored in architecture as an undergraduate at Smith College and received her MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont.
Program Manager for Interpretation and Education, Springfield Armory National Historic Site
Amy is a 27-year career employee of the National Park Service. Currently, she is the Program Manager for Interpretation and Education at Springfield Armory National Historic Site and the soon-to-be established Coltsville National Historical Park. Amy has served as the Northeast Region 1 Youth and Volunteer Program Manager and as the Youth and Volunteer Program Coordinator at Lowell National Historical Park, where she managed youth work programs including a Trades Skills program with the Greater Lowell Technical High School.
Preservation Circuit Rider, Preservation Massachusetts
Jeff came to Preservation Massachusetts in 2015 as the Eastern Massachusetts Circuit Rider. He works in the field, delivering mentoring support, education, resources and technical assistance directly to those facing preservation challenges or projects. Jeff has been an independent historic preservation consultant since 2013, focusing on preservation planning, fundraising, and project management work and previously worked at Historic Boston, Inc. A graduate of Hamilton College, Jeff has master’s degrees from Smith College and New York University.
GIS Manager, Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC)
Annemarie has experience in data management, geospatial analysis, and mapping at a local, state, and national level. As the GIS Manager for MHC, Annemarie is responsible for the development and maintenance of MHC’s spatial data. She also maintains MACRIS Maps, MHC’s web mapping application. Annemarie received her MA in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and her BA in Anthropology and Art History from Fordham University.
Owner, Window Woman of New England
Alison's company restores windows in the North of Boston/Merrimac Valley region. Alison has a BA from Denison University and an MBA from Boston University, only some of which is useful when scraping paint. She is a founding member of the Window Preservation Alliance. When not restoring windows for other people, she works on restoring her 1850's farmhouse in Topsfield, MA.
Team Leader for Property, Historic New England
Ben is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of Historic New England’s 38 historic properties that are open to the public. He oversees 15 full-time staff, which include preservation carpenters, preservation managers, and landscape staff. He has a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). Ben started his career working for the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust and then was the deputy director of the Historic House Trust of New York City. During his 17 years at HNE, Ben introduced a system for strategic prioritization and management of Historic New England’s properties, spearheaded system-wide initiatives to understand their environmental systems starting, developed a weatherization and energy efficiency framework, established best practices for house museum security, developed a framework for resiliency in the face of climate change, and is currently spearheading the effort to make HNE’s sites accessible.
African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Lawana is the Program Officer of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the National Trust's multi-year, $25M initiative to identify, elevate, and support the voices, stories, and places of African American activism, achievement, and community. She was the 2014 National Trust Colodny Scholar and wrote her master's thesis on “Ethnic Minority Heritage Values and U.S. Historic Preservation Significance Policy." Lawana holds a BA from The George Washington University in History and Journalism and an MA from Goucher College in Historic Preservation. She was a Researcher for the White House Historical Association, where she served on the National Trust’s Diversity and Inclusion Group representing Decatur House. She has also helped the Greenbelt Museum and Historic House in Greenbelt, MD, field inquiries and manage their website and social media. A DC native, Lawana also serves on the Landmarks Committee of the DC Preservation League. She loves to talk to the public about African American history, preservation, and marginalized cultural groups.
Vice President, Development, Trinity Financial
Michael joined Trinity in 2016 and oversees development projects in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He manages the development team of professionals and consultants through the site acquisition, design, financing, construction, and marketing phases of each project. Michael has extensive experience with complex financial transactions, particularly those utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits. He is currently leading the redevelopment of the Washington Village public housing site in Norwalk, CT into a new 273-unit mixed-income transit-oriented development and the redevelopment of the former Worcester County Courthouse into 118-units of new mixed-income apartments. Prior to Trinity, Michael was the team-lead on over half a dozen award-winning affordable housing developments for a prominent national non-profit development company and several local community development groups, and before that was an architect at a Boston-based firm. He has a B.Arch. from Cornell University and an MA in Urban Planning from Tufts University.
Project Manager, The Architectural Team
A knowledgeable and proficient project manager, Scott has over 15 years of professional and award-winning design experience. Highly skilled in the areas of adaptive reuse, new construction and moderate rehabilitation, he has a wide range of sector expertise including multifamily, senior living, and mixed-use. Passionate about the practice of architecture, he seeks to create evocative environments that inspire and enhance the ways in which people work, live, and play. A collaborative and motivated team player, Scott is an exceptional communicator with the ability to manage multiple projects while directing diverse project teams to exceed project goals and client expectations. His responsibilities include all phases from schematic design to planning, permitting, and construction administration.
Executive Director, The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association (The Gables)
Kara provides leadership and directs policymaking, planning, organization, staffing and operations. She works closely with the Board of Trustees and staff to refine, develop, and implement progressive programs for The Gables in the areas of preservation, interpretation, exhibitions, collections management, finance, fundraising, marketing, educational activities and community outreach. Kara came to The Gables in 2013 with experience from the for-profit business world as well as public education. She spent almost 20 years in the field of human resources, serving several years as the President and CEO of The Survey Group, a regional compensation consulting firm. After leaving The Survey Group, she spent four years teaching math in the Salem and Danvers public schools. Born and raised in Salem, Kara received her BA from Wellesley College, MBA from Northeastern University, and master’s in Education from Lesley University.
Director of Energy & Sustainability, WinnCompanies
Since joining Winn’s Energy & Sustainability team in 2013, Christina has managed over $20 million worth of energy efficiency upgrades across Winn’s portfolio. Under her leadership, WinnDevelopment successfully integrates high-performance design and targets in every project, from occupied moderate renovations to historic adaptive reuse projects to ground-up new construction. Christina is a Lifetime Member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, through which she received the Kate Goldstein Fund award in 2016. She has spoken at numerous conferences, including NEEP’s Electrification Symposium, NESEA BE Boston and BE NYC, NH&RA’s Annual Conference, Greenbuild, and Multifamily Exchange. She holds an MS from Northeastern University and a BA from Boston College.
Janina (Nina) Peppers
Program Director, Massachusetts Historic Preservation Corps
The Massachusetts Historic Preservation Corps is one of only a few AmeriCorps programs focused on historic preservation in the country. While most of Nina's background and training is in education and program development, she has fallen in love with historic resources and the incredible work that goes into saving them. Nina has been with the MA HPC for four years and is excited to be a part of the growing Preservation Corps movement.
Architectural Historian, Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.
At PAL, Inc. in Pawtucket, RI, Gretchen conducts surveys and writes National Register and state-level documentation for a variety of clients, including the National Park Service, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and cities and towns throughout New England. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Tufts University Museum Studies Program, and the Boston University Preservation Studies Program.
Director of Organizing, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades DC 35
Jorge is a 21-year union member and a commercial-industrial painter. He has trained apprentices across the region, teaching bilingual classes on OSHA safety, first aid, and CPR. He concurrently serves as the director of organizing for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades DC 35 in Boston.
Director of Preservation, Providence Preservation Society
Rachel joined PPS in August 2017. She is the former executive director of the Vieux Carré Commission Foundation and Felicity Redevelopment Inc., both located in New Orleans. Rachel holds a master’s degree in urban and environmental planning and a certificate in historic preservation from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in historical and sustainable architecture from NYU London. She serves on the board of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association and the New England Chapter Society of Architectural Historians and is a member of the Providence Community Library Facilities Committee.
Peter Rust, AIA
Associate, HMFH Architects
Pete is an architect and Associate at HMFH Architects with over 17 years of experience. His expertise focuses on the design of complex renovation and adaptive reuse projects to which he brings a comprehensive understanding of Massachusetts’ unique historic fabric. He is a member of the Boston Society of Architects Historic Resources Committee and recently helped to restore Renae’s Place, a historic 1880s residence that was converted into emergency housing from its existing state of disrepair. Pete earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and a certificate from the New England school of Architectural Woodworking.
Senior Preservation Services Manager, Historic New England
In 2020, Leigh joined Historic New England, where she drives engagement in historic preservation throughout the region through a broad array of preservation-related programs, outreach activities, and management of several of the organization’s preservation easement properties and the Homeowner Services Program. Previously, Leigh worked in the private and public sectors of historic preservation in Minnesota, California, and Rhode Island. Leigh holds a BS in Art History from the University of Michigan and an MS in Historic Preservation from Clemson University.
Director of Architectural Review, Massachusetts Historical Commission
Community Engagement Manager, Historic Newton
Clara is the Community Engagement Manager at Historic Newton, and manages the
annual Newton House Tour. She is also the author of six books, most recently Norumbega Park and the Totem Pole Ballroom with Sara Leavitt Goldberg (Arcadia Publishing). Clara’s articles have appeared in publications including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Runner’s World, and The Boston Globe. She has an MA in history from University of Massachusetts Boston and a BA from Wesleyan University.
Charles M. Sullivan
Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Commission
Charles has served as Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Commission since 1974. He is a member of the Massachusetts Historical Commission and a former trustee of Historic New England. He is also a past president of the Cambridge Historical Society. He was co-author of A Photographic History of Cambridge (1984), Maintaining Your Old House in Cambridge (1988), and Building Old Cambridge: Architecture & Development (2016). He received an AB in Geography from Dartmouth College and a Master of City Planning degree from Harvard University.
Program Director, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance
In 2005, Beverly joined the Alliance, where she manages the Old House and Barn program and oversees both of the Preservation Alliance's grant programs for barn assessments and community landmarks planning studies. Beverly coordinates a range of educational programs and the biennial Old House & Barn Expo and provides direct advice, referrals, and resources to old house and barn owners. Beverly is a member of the NH Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee (NH Barn Committee), which helped establish RSA 79-D (Barn Tax Incentive Program) and promotes barn preservation statewide. She is also responsible for monitoring the Preservation Alliance's easement properties and provides support in developing new easements. She lives in Bedford, NH, where she and her husband have renovated and cared for their own old house for more than 30 years.
Secretary, Stockbridge Historical Preservation Commission
Peter, a retired attorney, is a resident of Stockbridge, MA, and a longtime officer of its Historical and Historic Preservation Commissions.
Assistant Professor, Practice of Landscape Architecture
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Sara is founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design firm practicing landscape architecture, urbanism, and public art. Recent and ongoing projects of the firm include the Mander Recreation Center Campus (Philadelphia, PA); the Midtown Activation Project (Seattle, WA); and Graffiti Pier (Philadelphia, PA). Sara’s practice and research start from her contention that the discipline of landscape architecture is tightly bound by precedents and typologies rooted in specific traditions that must be challenged. Without rigorous investigation, these cultural assumptions will silently continue to constrict the practice of design and reinforce a quiet, cultural hegemony in the built form of cities and landscapes. Her projects exemplify how sensitivities to culture, ecology, and craft can serve as creative departures for expanding design traditions. Sara previously held faculty appointments at GSAPP, Columbia University and at the University of Texas School of Architecture. She holds the Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a master in city planning from MIT, and a BA in sociology and statistics from Boston University. She regularly writes, lectures, and exhibits her work and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Silberberg Memorial Award for Urban Design and the Hebbert Award for Contribution to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. While a student in the MLA I program at GSD, Zewde was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation; she also was recognized with a 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; and in 2018, was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's inaugural “40 Under 40: People Saving Places.” In 2020, she was named a United States Artists Fellow. Her work has been exhibited at the 2016 and 2018 Venice Biennale, in the Brazilian and U.S national pavilions.