The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation Board of Directors and Leadership is a richly diverse group that draws from educational, philanthropic, business, legal, civic and architectural sectors of the Tucson community.
Demion Clinco, CEO
Clinco served as President of Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation from 2008 - 2014 after relaunching the organization following a decade of inactivity. Clinco served as a member of Arizona State House of Representatives (2014-2015) and is a member of the Pima Community College Board of Governors representing District 2. Clinco is the CEO of Frontier Consulting Group LLC, an Arizona firm that researches and prepares nominations for historic preservation projects. Projects include the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District, The Ranch House Lodge, Indian Ridge Historic District and the Historic Context for the Oracle Area Revitalization Plan. He was appointed by the Mayor and Council in 2007 to the Tucson-Pima County Historic Commission, and has served on the Plans Review, Landmark Signs, and Preservation Awards subcommittees. Clinco is also a member of the Board of Directors of Archeology Southwest and has chaired the fundraising and community outreach committes. Since 2010, Clinco has served as the Arizona State Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is currently the Vice Chair of the Western Region. He has served as a Trustee of St. Gregory College Preparatory School and on numerous boards and committees. Demion is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, with a B.A. in Art History. He completed postgraduate work at Istituto Marangoni in Milan Italy.
Suzy Gershman, President
Gershman relocated to Tucson in 2005 moving into the historic El Encanto Neighborhood and restoring a 1939 property. She comes from a fundraising and event planning background and is involved in community projects through out the Southern Arizona region. Gershman has served as THPF chief event coordinator since joining the Board in 2010. She was awarded the First Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation President’s Award in 2012. Gershman asumed the role of Board President in January 2015.
Michael Fassett, MD, Vice President
A native Arizonan currently residing in Los Angeles, Dr. Fassett began his advocacy for preservation of Tucson’s mid-century modern architecture in 2004, after witnessing the demolition of a Catalina Foothills Estates modernist residence for the purpose of speculative, in-fill development. Michael has restored mid-century modern homes in Windsor Park and Indian Ridge Estates. He has won numerous awards from the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission. Fassett has restored his Tucson home designed and built by Tucson modernist Tom Gist, and is involved with preparing a nomination to the National Register for Gist’s residential work in Tucson. Fassett is authoring a forthcoming book on the residential work of Tom Gist. While studying as a Grady and Kathryn Gammage Scholar at Arizona State University, Michael earned his B.A. in French and B.S. in Microbiology. He received his M.D. from the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Jennifer Levstik, Secretary
Jenn Levstik is a historic preservation consultant and archaeologist. She specializes in historical southwestern archaeology and architecture and has conducted and participated in a number of prehistoric archaeological projects. Her work includes the evaluation, excavation and documentation of historic-period sites and buildings, archival research, and historic artifact analysis. She has authored numerous archaeological reports, including Building Condition Assessment reports, National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nominations, Historic American Building Surveys (HABS), and Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) reports. She holds a B.S. degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona and Master's degree In Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Kegan Tom, Treasurer
Tom is a native Tucsonan who graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors of Architecture. During her university education, Kegan had opportunities to study abroad in China, Australia, Italy and Greece. She is currently a principal at The Architecture Company where she works with her father, Richard Fe Tom, who started the architectural firm over 30 years ago. With her father’s strong interest and passion in historic architecture, she grew up with the opportunity to visit historic projects that The Architecture Company worked on throughout Arizona. She has helped on master plans for historic properties, historic surveys and adaptive re-use projects, including the City of Tucson’s Historic Survey of Grant Road, Artisans lofts at Curley School in Ajo, the restoration of the Ajo Train Depot and the design guidelines for Salinas Chinatown. She currently resides in a Joesler house and her office is located in the historic Silverbell Guest Ranch.
Members at Large
Clark is a Designer and long term residence of Tucson Arizona. His work in the Arts and Design field has shown a community awareness of the public / private partnership that creates positive and engaging environments: The Rialto Theater, Cup Cafe and R Bar to name a few. He was the photographer responsible for the 7,000 citizen portraits in the 4th avenue underpass and is also a founding member of the annual Tucson Moderns Week. In his spare time he sows wildflower seeds in abandoned lots durning monsoon rains.
Dittemore holds degrees in Religion from Colorado College and a Masters in Anthropology form the University of Denver. She is a cultural anthropologist and museum curator with the Arizona State Museum. She has researched and curated exhibits, written about collectors and dealers of Native American arts and crafts in Tucson. She has interests in mid-century Tucson painters and has lent curatorial content to an exhibit of Maynard Dixon drawings at the Arizona State Museum. Her interest in Southern Arizona’s history and preservation stems in part from living in a 1908 stone house near A Mountain.
Kimball is a life long Historic Preservation Advocate and Historian. She graduated from the University of Texas and holds master's degrees in American history and library science from the University of Arizona. Kimball is a Senior Advisor and Founding Board Member for the national voter education NGO Vote Smart. She is the steward of early architect Josias Joesler‑designed home in Tucson, Arizona.
Amelia “Mel” Lavery
Lavery holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design from the University of Texas, Austin and is an active member of American Society of Interior Design. She launched her own design firm in 1998 and has completed and overseen numerous historic preservation projects including the restoration and historic interior reappointment for Selma Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi. Her projects have been published in numerous periodicals and magazines including Architectural Digest, House and Gardens and Antiques Magazine.
Paul is an interior designer who has worked nationally with offices in New York City and Tucson. Her interior work has been featured in multiple publications including The New York Times and New York Magazine. She attended New York University graduating with a degree in Urban Studies and Planning. Paul works locally with Robinette Architects and continues to freelance nationally. Born and raised in Barrio Viejo, Paul is a strong advocate of Southwest culture and heritage.
William R. Ward II
William “Bill” Ward is the Vice Chancellor for Facilities/Operations at Pima County Community College overseeing one of the ten largest multi-campus community colleges in the United States Bill is responsible for all District facilities operations and related issues including areas such as: College Police, facilities planning and construction, real estate management, industrial maintenance and repair, environmental health and safety, emergency planning, staff management, purchasing, fleet management, district warehousing and mail. He serves as the chief point of contact regarding questions or concerns from the general public, staff and students and outside agencies pertaining to facilities services. Bill has over thirty-four years of progressively responsible experience in all aspects of facilities management and construction, primarily in a public funded college setting. In addition to a B.S. degree, he is a graduate of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA), Facilities Management Institute and the Leadership Academy. He has held various facilities management positions at Western Carolina University, NC and St. Petersburg College, FL and worked as a student apprentice on the Panama Canal, Panama. Bill has worked with Arizona State University to help organize the Arizona community college facilities management professionals into a working group to improve communications between the institutions and to promote participation within the APPA organization. He is currently serving as the Co-chairman of the APPA Community College Champions Program. Bill is an emeritus board member of the Tucson Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers organization and a board member of the Metro-Tucson YMCA organization. Bill is the past-president of the Arizona Association of Directors and Superintendents of School Operations organization.
Andie (Debra) Zelnio is an architect/designer specializing in architecture, interior design, graphic design and exhibit design. She holds degrees in both studio art and architecture, and her professional work encompasses both fields. Andie has been a partner in a design firm, collaborated with or worked as a consultant to other architects and executed individual design work during her 30 year career. Her practice has been based in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and Tucson, and her work has been published in numerous magazines + books. Andie has taught design studios and history at the college level and is now an active member of the preservation community focusing on mid-20th century architecture, design and art.
Christopher H. Mathis | 2009 - 2012
Mathis and his wife have worked in historic preservation and restoration in Tucson since moving to the valley in 2001. Projects have included a 1941 territorial style house near the Arizona Inn which included an Arthur Brown addition and a 1931 Foothills Joesler. Mathis served on the Blenman Elm Neighborhood Association during the districts nomination to the National Register and serves on the the Catalina Foothills Neighborhood Association Board.
Drew Gorski | 2008 - 2011
Gorski served as board treasurer from 2009 -2011, he is a Registered Architect and Preservation Specialist. As a LEEDR Accredited Professional, he is a leader in the movement to make new and existing buildings more sustainable. In his association with Tucson architecture and planning firm Poster Frost Mirto Associates, Drew has been involved in several Master Plan projects in Southern Arizona, including Canoa Ranch, Steam Pump Ranch and Fort Lowell Park. He has also worked on the preservation, restoration and adaptive reuse of buildings in Tucson, Bisbee and Nogales. Drew's educational background includes undergraduate studies completed at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a double Masters in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona with a certificate in Preservation Studies.
Allison Kennedy | 2011 - 2012
Kennedy grew up in the Southwest and has an abiding interest in and respect for the unique landscapes and cultures of this region. Allison is a Project Director in the Heritage Conservation Program | Drachman Institute of the University of Arizona (UA) where she is engaged as principal investigator on a variety of cultural resource preservation projects with federal land management agencies. Her work includes documentation and physical stabilization, with a focus on service-learning through field schools. With the UA, Allison has also been involved in participatory outreach targeting underserved groups and neighborhoods in Tucson and throughout Arizona. Allison holds a BA in English Literature with an emphasis on critical writing from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona. She serves on the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission and is a member of US/ICOMOS and the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Penny Kautz | 2008 - 2013
Kautz has been a historic preservation advocate for last twelve years in the Catalina Foothills. She has overseen the detailed restoration of two Joeslers and has developed a personal focus on early twentieth century Arizona and California art and design. Kautz owns Adobe House Antiques.
Shana Oseran | 2011 - 2014
Shana Oseran's interest in culture, history, geographical landmarks and World Heritage sites has taken her around the world. For more than two decades as a private sector stakeholder, Shana has been a tireless advocate for Tucson's downtown and commercial historic resources. She promotes historic preservation as an economic cornerstone of Tucson's downtown redevelopment. She is the owner of Tucson's iconic downtown landmark, the historic Hotel Congress, and has remade the site to become a major venue for arts and music. It is an outstanding example of historic renovation and adaptability. She also worked with City leaders to adapt the Historic Train Depot into a downtown market and restaurant. Shana is a graduate of the University of Arizona.
Lisa Erly | 2008 - 2013 | 2014
Preservationist Elissa Erly has been recognized by the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission for volunteer preservation activities in the community. Her preservation activities have included collaborating on National Register of Historic Places nominations and Cultural Landscape Reports, as well as content development for the Tucson Modern Architecture Preservation Project website. Lisa earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, a Masters degree from University of Alabama, Birmingham and is currently undertaking graduate coursework in Art History and Cultural Preservation at the University of Arizona. She served on the THPF board from 2008 - 2013 leading the Joelser Book project and rejoined the Board in early 2014.
Elaine Paul | 2013 - 2014
Paul was born and raised in New York City’s first neighborhood to receive Landmark status. Growing up in Brooklyn Heights fostered a life-long interest in architecture and historic preservation. Paul received her BA from the University of Arizona with a double major in Anthropology and Art History. She worked at the Western Archaeological Center doing field work and adobe restoration at Tumacacori Mission and the Harmony Borax Factory in Death Valley. Paul enrolled in the Historic Preservation graduate program at the University of Wisconsin- Madison spending 2 years studying Architectural History and Historic Preservation. Paul returned to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona College of Law graduating with a JD. Her studies in law school included Historic Preservation law and Land Use Planning law. For the past 25 years she has co‑owned Arroyo Design and has been a practicing interior design both in Arizona and in New York City. Her work has been editorially featured in the New York Times, Elle Décor, This Old House Magazine, Southern Accents and Phoenix Home & Garden. Paul has lived in Barrio Viejo for over 30 years on a property she and her husband restored and has served on the Barrio Viejo Advisory Board for historic review.
William Doelle | 2010 - 2015
Bill Doelle has a long-term interest in the history and prehistory of the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest, in particular the prehistoric demography of that region. He is President of Desert Archaeology, Inc., and President and CEO of the nonprofit Archaeology Southwest. He has worked on a variety of large projects over the years including the Bureau of Reclamation's Central Arizona Project, the City of Tucson's Rio Nuevo Project, and the community-based concept of a Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area. His professional goal is to promote preservation archaeology, which involves a balanced commitment to research, public education, and preservation of cultural heritage. Bill earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and he received his doctorate from the University of Arizona.
Elaine Hill | 2008 - 2014
Elaine is an active advocate of historic preservation and neighborhood sustainability in Tucson. She serves on the Fort Lowell Historic Zone Advisory Board, Tucson Medical Center Architecture Design Review Committee, and was appointed by the Mayor and Council in 2007 to the Fort Lowell Restoration Advisory Board. Elaine holds degrees from the University of Arizona and has worked in healthcare informatics for over 20 years. As Co-Chair of the Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association Land Plan Committee, she is active in local projects and volunteers in community and neighborhood efforts for preservation and toward innovative solutions to maintain Tucson's unique historic environment.
Chris Evans | 2013 - 2015
Evans is a Tucson-based architect and architectural historian. His award-winning architectural practice specializes in regionally responsive Modern design, sustainability and preservation. He is currently the president of the Modern Architecture Preservation Project (MAPP) of Tucson, a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy organization focused on preserving mid-century Modern architecture. He is a former member of the University of Arizona faculty, and has a MS in Architecture Studies from MIT.
Julie Hecker | 2007 - 2016
Hecker is a designer who has successfully completed restoration and design projects involving residential and commercial properties in historic neighborhoods throughout Tucson. Her work has been featured in several national and local publications including Tucson Lifestyle magazine,Phoenix Home and Garden magazine and the recently published The New Adobe Home. She has renovated several older homes and designed new homes in the Catalina Vista, Sam Hughes, Blenman-Elm and Ft Lowell neighborhoods.