Our Dedicated HistoriCorps team. Leadership with a difference.
“Our work is important, simply because if we forget our history, we really won’t have any direction for our future.”
HistoriCorps Board of Directors
Ann is a seasoned preservation professional with a love of the back country and passion for making, Ann is a specialist in renovation and adaptive use. A licensed architect and office director for the Michigan offices of Quinn Evans, Ann brings extensive knowledge and a seasoned perspective to both project work and organizational leadership. She has been fortunate to work on many historic sites for the National Park Service from small CCC cabins in Arkansas to the Old Courthouse in St. Louis. When not in the office or on a project site, Ann can be found hiking with her girl scout troop, camping with her family, or at her sewing machine quilting. Ann has a BA in Economics and Art History from Georgetown University and an M.ARCH and Certificate in Historic Preservation from Texas A&M. She is a member of Association of Preservation Technology International, Michigan Historic Preservation Network, Girl Scouts of America, and Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild. She joined the HistoriCorps Board of Directors in 2020.
Bart is a staunch, fourth-generation Coloradan, entrepreneur, innovator and storyteller with a passion for preserving both the natural environment and the legacy of Colorado leadership, weaving the two together for future generations. Bart founded and now serves on the Board of Directors for the Denver Mountain Parks Foundation. For 21 years, he served on the Board of History Colorado. As chairman of the Board, Bart helped guide the organization from the Colorado Historical Society to History Colorado and build the History Colorado Center. He has also worked with a host of civic non-profits. In 2004, he founded the Denver Mountain Parks Foundation to restore and revitalize the historic Denver Mountain Park system. Bart is currently working with the City and HistoriCorps to transform the 1930s Morrison CCC camp into a learning campus for outdoor education and skills training.
Theresa is Director of Strategic Communications and Media Policy for the Mayor’s Office of the City and County of Denver. She joined the HistoriCorps Board of Directors in 2020.
Gillian Bidgood is a shareholder and vice-chair of the Polsinelli’s Employment Advice and Investigations practice. She has served on HistoriCorps’ Board of Directors since 2018.
HistoriCorps’ field staff travel all across the country to lead crews of volunteers, students, and veterans in the hands-on preservation work that saves historic buildings and structures for public benefit. We have a lot of all-stars on our team. Their skills are as varied as the projects they work on! They range from passionate experts with over forty years of experience to students just entering the field of preservation. HistoriCorps field staff include all manner of craftspeople and some of the best outdoor chefs you could ever hope to meet. Field staff don’t only enjoy the preservation work; they are passionate about teaching and guiding the crews of volunteers, students, and veterans on projects. They make sure that everyone has a hand in saving places for generations to come.
Project Supervisors are the technical preservation experts on a HistoriCorps crew. They are responsible for everyone and everything related to their respective work sites. Project Supervisors take on one or more projects in a season. In no particular order, please welcome our new and returning Project Supervisors!
Alan Ash started Ash Stone Masonry in the mountains of Western Virginia and West Virginia in 1983. Western Oregon has been his home since 1997. Along with continuing masonry contracting, Alan has been teaching hands-on masonry courses for 23 years in many different aspects of Stonemasonry and Historical Masonry Preservation/Restoration. He has successfully worked on well over 100 National Register Buildings, Landscapes and National Historic Sites.
Originally from Illinois, Brandon Alleman has been working seasonally outdoors on trail crews in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest since 1998. He has been working on historic preservation projects since 2007 as part of his crew duties with the National Park Service. 2022 will be his first year with HistoriCorps. He is looking forward to completing interesting projects, seeing and learning about some new places, and sharing the experiences with people he hasn’t met yet.
Colby Baker-Thayer joined the HistoriCorps team for the first time in 2020, but has been working in historic preservation since 2017. Colby says, “I enjoy getting to explore new parts of the country while expanding my skills. I’m excited to work for HistoriCorps and hopefully spark an interest in historic preservation for more people!”
Dane Cowan first began working in the construction trades in 1976 in Eureka CA, after graduating from College of the Redwoods with an AA degree in Art. In 1978 he began his own construction company focusing on remodeling and historic building repairs. In 1988 he obtained his General Contractors license. Ten years later Dane was invited to teach historic preservation and restoration at The College Of Redwoods in Eureka CA, where he taught Architectural Mill Work, Cabinet Making, and field classes for eleven years. He was also engaged in teaching correct restoration skill to the Trust employees at the Presidio in San Francisco. Dane has spent two seasons with HistoriCorps on projects in Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, and California. He continues restoring windows, milling architectural moldings and parts, building doors and cabinets and other specialty projects. Dane says, “Historic restoration and preservation have and will continue to be one of my greatest passions in life. I delights in giving away what I have learned.” Dane leads HistoriCorps’ Workforce Training Program in partnership with Denver Parks and Recreation and the city’s Department of Economic Opportunity and Development.
Eric White has spent most of his working career in some form of construction and enjoys seeing a project come together. He says, “Most recently, my work has been developing training programs for youth and adults entering into construction and getting them skilled in the trades. I’ve trained 750+ people and counting and love to share the fun of building! I first started out in the industry building custom homes and additions before shifting into commercial finish work and flooring. I ran a handyman business for several years, dabbled in theater set construction, and of course, worked in historic preservation too! I have a keen interest in sustainability and working with natural resources in local communities abroad. I’ve had the privilege of working with the great Historicorps team in previous years and I’m so excited to help keep these historic structures alive for future generations! Each structure has a story to tell and we get to continue that priceless chronicle with perseverance and care. Not to mention the killer burgers after a hard day of work! The top 3 things I am excited about this summer: 1) Working with volunteers! 2) Saving places! 3) Exploring the great outdoors!”
Erin Crooks has been working in the preservation field since 2018, and joined the HistoriCorps crew in 2020. They got their start serving with AmeriCorps in Minnesota and West Virginia, where they quickly came to appreciate our shared cultural resources, as well as the unique communities in which these resources are located. This love of public lands and resources is what initially attracted Erin to HistoriCorps, and they are excited by the opportunity to promote preservation and the trades among younger and more diverse communities. Outside of work, Erin enjoys Russian history and culture, visiting new places, and trying to roller-skate.
Glenn Alf’s first job in his career was in 1971 with the National Park Service at Independence National Historical Park. At that time he was also was working as a union musician playing Jazz in clubs five nights a week. He went on to work for the largest restoration architecture firm in Canada & the USA, the National Heritage Service Corps, where he was offered a position with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. At the same time he was working part time nights and weekends for Sleepy Hollow restorations/ The Rockefeller Foundation. After graduation from Lyndhurst, NY, he went out on his own contracting projects in the North East for many State and local Historical Societies, galleries and private residences. Glenn proudly shares, “Most recently I designed and built a carbon neutral home on our 19th and early 20th century compound on Lake Champlain, Vermont.” Glenn’s first foray with HistoriCorps was in 2021 and we look forward to working with him again in 2022.
Growing up in New England, Matt Entwistle had some early exposure to timber framing and farm work which grew his interest greatly for the trades. Working with his hands, problem solving and being outdoors quickly became the drive for how he would spend the next 10 plus years. Having worked for several land management agencies and a handful of conservation corps in both crew and leadership roles he has built a solid foundation for front and backcountry construction projects of various sizes. The medium Matt most enjoys is carpentry, specifically working with big timber and hand tools. This work has given him the opportunity to learn, teach, and live in places like Alaska, the Rockies, the Southeast and New England. Matt currently works as a climbing arborist in Maine.
Patrick Kennedy has been involved in hands-on historic building renovation since the early ’70s. He began with residential and commercial buildings in Northern Kentucky and then log buildings. Relocating to central Kentucky in the early ’80s he continued to work on all aspects of the renovation and restoration of historic log and wood frame buildings including window restoration. He accepted a position in 1997 with the Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC), the State Historic Preservation Office. He worked there for fifteen years as an adviser for historic building and covered bridge renovations throughout the State. During his tenure at KHC he set up a nationally recognized hands-on restoration skills program at Pine Mountain Settlement School with major assistance from Bob Yapp. Patrick continues his work in historic preservation as a go-to source for historic building projects, contractor for special preservation projects, instructor at hands on education workshops and demonstrations, and supervisor for HistoriCorps volunteer projects.
Reid Saunders officially joined the HistoriCorps team in 2021 after on and off historic preservation work with HistoriCorps and others since 2016. She holds a masters degree in Urban Planning, concentrated in Historic Preservation, from the University of Virginia. Most recently, Reid has been in the desert of Moab, Utah building affordable, straw bale homes with Community Rebuilds. She is drawn to the craftsmanship and character of preservation and natural building and loves working with her hands. On that note, Reid spends most of her free time throwing pottery, among other artistic endeavors.
Pete Specht describes himself as a traveler of this world, builder, explorer of roads and places less traveled, skier, hunter, fisherman, sailing, avid reader. He advises “Good friends are one’s wealth” and loves cooking for friends. He prefers the high mountains, deserts, an open ocean. Pete learned of HistoriCorps through a friend and HistoriCorps volunteer and has been part of our community of teachers and learners since 2021. He brings a treasure trove of stories, good humor, and knowledge to each crew he’s leading.
Jason Benson began his career in historic preservation with the National Park Service in 2001, helping to rehabilitate the beloved 1860 Ferry House on Whidbey Island. Since then, he has worked to preserve historic structures throughout the west, including many amazing rustic buildings in North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park, and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. He joined HistoriCorps as a Project Supervisor in 2021, delighted to find a place where his passion for preservation and working with volunteers combines neatly with his love of travel and the outdoors.
Henry Bell grew up in New England where an appreciation for art, history, and the natural world was born. After graduating with a BA in English, he turned to the world of making to build his own story. This led him to a preservation carpentry program at our nation’s oldest trade school, the North Bennet Street School, in Boston, MA. He is excited to continue spreading the importance of threatened building techniques while also being a practitioner of them. Henry has worked in Maine and Alaska, and now works with Deep Roots Craftsmen, in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Crew Leaders assist the Project Supervisor, as well as prepare meals for project participants. Crew Leaders usually lead several projects throughout a HistoriCorps season, and connect with volunteers all over the country! Please welcome our new and returning Crew Leaders!
Karina Burbank is excited to be joining HistoriCorps as a crew leader! She graduated from Wesleyan University in Spring of 2022, and has spent the last year as a pastry baker in Durham, NC. After volunteering with HistoriCorps this past fall, she knew she had to stay involved. Karina is also a swing dancer, rock climber, and a huge fan of meeting new people and making new friends. She can’t promise baking any croissants while out in nature, but is looking forward to the challenge of applying her love of food, cooking, and the outdoors to HistoriCorps projects!
Beckett Hunecke first volunteered for HistoriCorps in 2019 and found a passion for hands-on preservation. He’ll soon be graduating from the Joint Degree Program between the University of St. Andrews and the College of William & Mary as a History major, where he specialized in Early America and public history. He’s excited to expand his knowledge of preservation through direct experience, while meeting other people with a love for history and nature. Beckett also looks forward to spending more time outside, cooking, and finding new spots to climb and read.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Brittany has a degree in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development from Western Washington University. Her love of building and commitment to affordable housing then brought her to the Southwest where she worked on a variety of different natural and conventional construction builds. She found that she loved renovation work in particular and became more and more interested in how to update and preserve existing spaces. She is the happiest with a trowel in her hands and her feet in the ocean and can often be found dancing or learning something new.
Charles Dobry has a Political Science Degree from Northern Michigan University and got introduced to HistoriCorps when the AmeriCorps crew he was leading partnered up with them to preserve an 1876 powder house in Isle Royale National Park. Charles shares, “I really loved how we got to use resources from the surrounding area to keep a piece of history alive.” That interest in using what is available, combined with the belief that history can teach us almost anything we need to know, made this position seem like one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had. During free time, Charles likes to have big meals with family, read, snowboard, surf, and cross-country ski.
Ethan Raath is a public historian, cook, musician, and outdoor enthusiast living in Colorado. He fell in love with historic buildings at an young age growing up in Ohio and believes every place has a story to tell. Ethan has experience as a tour guide while living in a ghost town near Aspen, Colorado, and spent the last three years as a consulting preservationist working across the country on transportation projects and historic designations. He is excited to rejoin HistoriCorps for the chance to blend his love of history and the great outdoors with hands-on preservation.
Remy Buxton is an adventure-loving outdoorsman, drummer, and cook. He holds a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Georgia at Athens. He joined the HistoriCorps team in 2021 after discovering the organization in 2020 through their wonderful volunteer opportunities, and he very much enjoys their hands-on approach to the preservation of our shared cultural resources. As an aspiring historic preservationist and teacher he looks forward to working with HistoriCorps’ diverse workforce to improve his preservation skills and learn more about the ways that communities engage with, and relate to their cultural resources.
Principal Investigators lead volunteers on HistoriCorps’ Architectural History Program surveys. They bring an extensive understanding of architecture, and use the information gathered on surveys to build reports for our US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management partners.
Mardita Murphy is an architectural designer and avid preservationist based in Denver, CO. She received her Master’s degree in Interior Architecture specializing in Historic Preservation from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. With six years of professional experience, she is involved with preservation efforts in multiple states, such as historic designations, tax credit applications, and architectural surveys. Mardita is the owner and principal of Rooted Preservation + Design, LLC, a design and consulting firm that specializes in the rehabilitation of historic structures. Working with HistoriCorps was an easy decision for Mardita because it is an organization that attracts people who love the outdoors and are committed to the preservation of historic resources on public lands.
HistoriCorps is welcoming new field staff every season!
Would you like to apply for a field staff position? Click here to view job descriptions.
Ever since he can remember Jason has been surrounded by old houses. Jason joined HistoriCorps in 2018 after more than twenty years at Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum. Serving as the Master of Masonry Trades, Jason presented and demonstrated the traditions of pre-1800 brick and plasterwork of the Chesapeake region in Virginia and Maryland. Before taking the helm as Executive Director, Jason served as HistoriCorps’ Director of Operations. He shares, “whether it was growing up surrounded by history in Williamsburg, exploring Civil War battlefields throughout the South, or just investigating old houses, somehow I knew that historic preservation would be my calling.” Today, Jason and his family call their small farm in New Kent County, Virginia home.
Juliana is jazzed about connecting people with their passions, especially when that passion has to do with preservation and stewardship of resources! She joined HistoriCorps in 2022 following more than a decade in non-profit administration and leadership development, ranging from service with a volunteer corps in Chicago to leading the education, networking and granting components of the Lutheran church’s domestic work to address hunger and poverty. She studied public history and anthropology at the College of William and Mary in her home state of Virginia, and later attended Willowbank School of Heritage Conservation in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario where she studied traditional trades and cultural landscapes, and developed a deep appreciation for the skill and dedication that goes into crafting and caring for the places that matter to us. She has had the opportunity to work with a preservation architect in Buffalo, the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC, and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris. Juliana currently lives in Chicago, where she is a founding board member of the pay-what-you-can neighborhood walking tour group Chicago for Chicagoans. She loves to explore and celebrate the stories and built environment that shape communities.
Ariel Clark is a working Class-A historic preservation contractor out of southwest Virginia. Her love for the problem-solving and artistry of historic preservation is a natural byproduct of being both a third-generation specialty tradesperson and a Bicentennial baby who has living history ties to Colonial Williamsburg and the First Virginia Regiment. She began doing preservation work with her father a decade ago and has since assumed ownership and leadership of her family’s company, Southwest Restoration. Ariel has completed structural, window, and masonry projects around the region for institutional clients like Virginia’s Military Institute, the Science Museum of Virginia, and Roanoke College, as well as restored and preserved the assets of multiple historic, public sites with HistoriCorps in North Carolina, Georgia, and California. As Job Corps Program Manager, Ariel passionately evangelizes the learning of traditional building trades in service to the important and ever-increasing task of preserving our nation’s architectural history.
Kyle is no stranger to the outdoor experience. Before graduating from CU Boulder in 2015 with BAs in Journalism and Cultural Anthropology, he completed his AmeriCorps Professional Developmental Internship through American Conservation Experience building trails, mitigating fuels, and displacing invasive plants. While at CU he worked as a seasonal Crew Leader over the summers for HistoriCorps, ultimately pursuing a path in digital media after completing an internship with Climbing Magazine. In 2016 he started his own independent content marketing business, providing brands with digital assets for ad campaigns and promotions. With strong skills in video production, photography, and copywriting, he’s excited to grow the HistoriCorps brand and enhance the volunteer experience that is crucial to preserving our treasured historical landmarks. In his spare time you’ll find him living on the sharp end through climbing or performing his music at the local venues surrounding his home in Boulder, CO.
Michael shares a passion for our natural, cultural, and built history and is always looking for projects that exist at that cross-section. He received his B.S. in Environmental Studies and later continued his education by completing a M.A. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology with a focus on environmental conservation projects and social geography. After a stint managing an environmental field station in Costa Rica, he joined Galveston Historical Foundation where he developed cultural preservation programs and managed the rehabilitation of historic residential and commercial buildings. Michael continues this work in project management with HistoriCorps where he shares his passion for working on critical cultural resources within a framework of our natural environment. When not in the office, you can usually find Michael out on a run, on a hike, or at a nearby brewery playing a few rounds of Gin Rummy.