Executive Transition

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A Message from Jim Igoe

Dear Preservation Friends and Colleagues,

I am excited to announce that on January 1, 2022, my longtime colleague Erin Kelly will be the next Executive Director of Preservation Massachusetts. Erin is well-known and respected within the preservation community. She has been with the organization almost as long as I have. She will be an outstanding leader, and she has my full support. At my request, I will continue my work with Preservation Massachusetts as Policy and Legislative Consultant, a role that will allow me to utilize my decades-long experience with legislative process and advocacy to benefit our preservation programs. 

Today, as I look around our office in Plymouth, I am amazed by the growth and resiliency of Preservation Massachusetts. When I joined the organization in 2001, we were in shared office space with one full-time employee and a temporary administrative assistant; one advocacy program, the Most Endangered Historic Resources; and one event, our annual awards dinner. Over the past 20 years, we have grown and evolved in so many ways. In 2002, for example, I established our statewide Preservation Coalition as a partnership and advocacy network for our more than 30,000 constituents. From the Coalition emerged the state historic rehabilitation tax credit. 

Our operating budget has grown by 300%, thanks to our generous donors, members, and sponsors. This growth has allowed Preservation Massachusetts to increase its staff, program capacity, credibility, and impact. We have established collaborative relationships and witnessed the positive impact of preservation in communities across the Commonwealth. The field of preservation is constantly changing, and I know that under Erin’s leadership, our organization will continue to evolve and serve as a beacon for preservation efforts large and small in Massachusetts. 

Transitions are part of life. The important—indeed critical—task is to ensure transitions are managed properly. Preservation Massachusetts has done that by elevating the best person possible to serve as its next leader. Since 2004, Erin’s responsibilities have increased exponentially—managing our consultants, educational offerings, advocacy initiatives, and so much more. Her impact on the past and future success of the organization cannot be understated. It has been my great privilege to lead Preservation Massachusetts through this transformation and growth. We have a dedicated board of directors and remarkable staff, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together. 

I hope that I will have an opportunity to thank each of you in person for your friendship, partnership, and dedication to historic preservation. If you have a few moments, I invite you to watch the video below for a few thoughts on the past 20 years. Please read on below for a message from our Board of Directors.

With gratitude,

Jim Igoe

Preservation Massachusetts, Inc.

A Message from Preservation Massachusetts’ Board of Directors

On behalf of Preservation Massachusetts’ Board of Directors, I offer sincere congratulations and best wishes to Jim Igoe on this next chapter with the organization. After 20 years of dedicated service, Jim is transitioning from Executive Director to a new position as Policy and Legislative Consultant, a role defined with Jim’s active participation. This will allow him to remain with Preservation Massachusetts and to collaborate with us on issues that he enjoys and that benefit the organization. 

The Board of Directors hired Jim in 2001 to take the organization to the next level. He has done that and so much more. His inspiring leadership and management have fueled the growth of Preservation Massachusetts and its impact on communities across the Commonwealth.


Highlights of Jim's many significant accomplishments include:

  • increasing the visibility, impact, and credibility of a statewide preservation organization;

  • establishing programs and services, like our Preservation Circuit Riders, that are well-respected and in demand;

  • expanded collaborative partnerships with funders, such as the 1772 Foundation, to bring critical funding to preservation projects;

  • launching online educational resources and opportunities for preservation advocates;

  • growing core programs, such as the Massachusetts Most Endangered Historic Resources Program, to be more effective and collaborative;

  • conceptualizing and strengthening legislation that protects our state’s historic resources; 

  • forming partnerships with businesses and organizations in the cities and towns we serve; and

  • perhaps most importantly, working to enact the legislation that established the state historic tax credit, which is so impactful for Massachusetts communities.


Thanks to his vision and the hard work of our amazing staff, Preservation Massachusetts is stronger than ever and well-positioned to move forward. Our Board has unanimously appointed long-time Associate Director Erin Kelly to lead the organization as Executive Director, effective January 1, 2022. 

Erin joined Preservation Massachusetts in 2004 and quickly made herself indispensable as an influential leader and member of the team. She has deep expertise with our education and advocacy departments, as well as with the internal operations of the organization. I have worked closely with Erin for over a decade. I have witnessed first-hand her impeccable skill, hard work, and dedication to our mission. Those of you who know me also know that I am a tough grader. In my estimation, Erin has always done an A+ job in every aspect of her work. I know I am not alone when I say we are excited to witness the organization’s next chapter under her leadership.

We will be sharing reflections on the past 20 years at Preservation Massachusetts in the coming months, along with plans for the organization’s future. For now, I will simply say that we are deeply grateful to Jim for his years of service, and we are incredibly excited about the future of the organization that he has built from its very foundation.

While the entire board has been involved in this leadership transition, please feel free to reach out to me or Julie Roper, our Communications Manager, with comments or questions.

John Gahan
Chair, Board of Directors