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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ELLEN BRIGGS | FOUNDER & PRESIDENT

Born and raised in a pre-Revolutionary built home which is still located along the Hudson River, Ellen has been poised with the honor of living within the walls of history her entire life. During the summers, with her family, she slept, ate and played in an iconic history-filled guest windmill built by her Great Uncle Herbert Briggs in Chatham. MA. Eventually, Ellen’s mother and father retired to their Chatham home where she visited whenever possible. Her father passed away in 1983 followed by her mother thirteen years later. Fortunately, Ellen and her husband, Robert, were able to buy this home from the estate in 1997. They enjoyed it part of the year as they continued to reside in Florida. Finally, with her husband, she decided to make Chatham their permanent home. What helped influence this life-style change was their decision to rescue the historic windmill her Great Uncle had built by having it moved onto their property for restoration.  Now fully immersed in the process of saving historic properties, to that end, Ellen has launched the non-profit Protect Our Past.

Her career includes sales and management positions with Ackerley Communications, Group W Satellite Communications (ABC, The Disney Channel, The Nashville Network), The Washington Post, and Pier 1 (Istanbul, Turkey). After co-writing 'Are Your Kids Running On Empty' and its accompanying cookbook, she created the 'Kid Kritics Approved' program, 'Family Food Experts', and hosted its radio shows. After retiring to Chatham, MA, she is finding good use for all of that experience!

FREDERICK H. ECKER II, | VICE PRESIDENT

Frederick H. Ecker possesses a unique background that bridges the fields of restoration, preservation and conservation. Throughout his 35-year-career, he has worked with a wide variety of administrators and owners of more than 300 historic properties. These include Federal, State, and Local agencies; non-profit organizations and museums; private foundations; and private individuals. His knowledge and expertise in the realm of historic preservation is well-recognized, and his work with board members, Federal, State, and Local officials, and private owners is highly regarded. His goal is to demonstrate that careful, thoughtful, conservative preservation and restoration, respecting the original sanctity of a building, can have a positive impact on a city, a community, a congregation, or a private individual. Mr. Ecker strives to work with and educate all parties, public and private, about the value of our architectural heritage and our role as its stewards. Past and current projects include such well-known historic structures as The White House (Washington, DC), Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, VA), the Green-Meldrim House (Savannah, GA), the Edith Wharton Estate (Lenox, MA), The Octagon Museum (Washington, D.C.), and Monticello (Charlottesville, VA).

GEOFF HOGAN | TREASURER

Geoff Hogan has been a senior executive in the high-tech field for over 35 years with a focus on venture-backed information technology.  Companies have included Quantum, HighGround Systems, Princeton Softech and Imprivata.  His responsibilities have included product-line management, sales, marketing, business development and corporate development.  He holds a BA from Hobart College and an MBA from Boston University.

He was fortunate to have grown up in a family environment that was passionate about early American architecture/furniture and their preservation.  He and his wife moved to Harwich full-time in early 2020 after splitting time between the Cape and Greater Boston for many years.

WINIFRED LEAR| SECRETARY 

Winnie Lear is a Chatham native whose family traces back to the 17th century when her ancestors settled in Chatham (When it was still known as Monomoyick). Twelve generations of relatives have lived in the neighborhood know known as The Old Village. Her father’s family moved to Chatham in 1912 when her father was hired as the plumbing contractor for the iconic Chatham Bars Inn.  She spent her childhood in Chatham and attended Chatham schools. After college, she moved to Philadelphia where she and her family lived for forty years. There, she was an active member of the Board of Directors for the Chestnut Hill Historical Society as well as the Parents Association of the Germantown Friends School where she also taught for 18 years. In 2008, she and her husband retired and permanently moved to their home in Chatham. She is now the President of the Board of Directors of the Old Village Association, is a founding member of the Chatham Orpheum Board of Trustees where she serves as Secretary, and is also on the Board of The Chatham Cultural Council.
 

Winifred is committed to actively promoting the preservation of the architectural and social history of Chatham, Cape Cod.

ERIC DRAY

Eric Dray has over twenty-five years of experience in the preservation field, with a focus on historic district and preservation planning issues. Mr. Dray graduated with a B.A. in History from Brown University and has both a Masters in Historic Preservation and a Law Degree from Boston University. Mr. Dray also spent a year mid-career studying Urban Planning at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. This educational background makes him uniquely qualified to provide a broad range of preservation planning services. 

Mr. Dray has extensive consulting experience with local communities, including preparation of MHC Inventory Forms, National Register nominations, design review guidelines, and town-wide Preservation Plans and Survey Plans. Mr. Dray has also consulted with many Community Preservation Committees, including preparation of preservation restrictions. Prior to establishing his consulting business, Mr. Dray worked for six years as Historic District Administrator and Preservation Planner for the Boston Landmarks Commission. In addition to consulting, Mr. Dray was an Adjunct Professor in the Boston University Preservation Studies program from 2006-2013 where he taught preservation planning.

Mr. Dray's community work has also been extensive. In Provincetown, he was Chair of the Historic District Study Committee, where he successfully guided the drafting of the bylaws and guidelines and the public process towards adoption of a 1,500 property district in 2004. He served as a Historic District Commissioner in both Cambridge and Provincetown. He served as chair of the Provincetown Historical Commission for many years and was the Vice-Chair for the Community Preservation Committee. 

STUART GREEN

Stuart Green is a retired Vice President of a high tech, internationally-focused mechanical engineering, consulting and manufacturing firm offering cooling solutions for computer chips in high heat dissipation electronics environments.  As a member of the senior management team, his responsibilities included worldwide Sales, Marketing and Customer Service. His forty years of senior level business experience also encompasses financial and administrative roles at a Big Six accounting firm, an international law firm with offices in the US and Saudi Arabia and two 501(c)3 organizations.  He holds Masters Degrees from Brown University and Bryant University. Over the course of his volunteer experience, he has been on the board of over a dozen nonprofit organizations.  Currently, he is a Trustee of the Chatham Historical Society and the Armenian Museum of America. He and his wife, Lisa, have homes in Chestnut Hill and Chatham, MA.

BEBE KEMPER HUNT

Bebe Kemper Hunt says that "The world's upheavals are a great challenge to our universal sense of harmony, and it seems that the gift of art, whether it be painting, sculpture, film, music, or some other form, is one of the things that, if we let it, can restore the sense of peace in one's soul." In addition to being an Emeritus Trustee and serving on the Board of Directors for the Kansas City Symphony, she is the co-founder of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Kemper is first and foremost an artist with homes in Kansas City, MO and Chatham, MA.

CAROL L. HUTCHINSON

Since 1980, the Carol L. Hutchinson Photography and Design business has been active in Annapolis, MD, Washington, DC, Marblehead, MA and now Cape Cod. In addition, for fifteen years, Carol volunteered on the Board of Trustees for the Hammond-Harwood House Museum (Annapolis, MD) chairing many highly successful fundraising events and serving as President for five years. While living in Marblehead, MA and Annapolis, MD, she restored three historic homes. Since living in Chatham, MA, she has also been a member of the Chatham Orpheum Theater Board of Trustees proving herself to be an invaluable fundraiser to rescue and restore this historic building. Her passions include boating, walking, skiing and being with her children and grandchildren. 

GREGORY JACOBS

Prior to earning a degree in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design in 1997, Gregory Jacobs began his preservation career by starting Renaissance Restorations, LLC, a company focused on the rehabilitation of condemned buildings in Savannah’s various historic districts.  Following graduation, he went on to rehabilitate dozens of historic commercial and residential structures.  His efforts were later broadened to pioneer the redevelopment of an entire neighborhood in Savannah, now commonly referred to as the Starland District. Greg’s responsibilities later expanded when he accepted the position of Deputy Director of Operations, which in addition to his duties as Building’s Curator, included development of operating budgets, long-range planning, and general site operations.  In 2011, Greg seized an opportunity to work for renowned preservationist Fred Ecker as a lead project manager within Mr. Ecker’s Tidewater Preservation firm.  Greg’s responsibilities within the organization included preservation planning, condition assessments, project estimating, proposal writing, and project management for all projects. 
 

Greg expanded his knowledge of hands-on means and methods to include most historic preservation trades.  Following Fred Ecker’s retirement from full-time work in 2015, Greg co-founded Landmark Preservation LLC along with John Ecker, Fred’s son.  As Landmark’s Managing Partner, Greg is responsible for all assessments, project estimating, proposals, project management, and general business management. Throughout the course of Greg’s career, he has restored and conserved countless historic structures. Furthermore, he has been instrumental in the hands-on conservation of a wide array of historic structures and their materials, including but not limited to: stone, masonry, slate, stucco, plaster, metal, carpentry, joinery, hardware, and finishes. Greg performs all work according to the guidelines established by the Department of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation, and subscribes to the Code of Ethics of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic Works.

JAMES MCNAIR

James McNair created a private equity firm to invest in and to manage small and mid-sized operating companies with an emphasis on the transportation and logistics industry. He also had the lead role in creating, executing, and managing six private equity, small and mid-sized operating company investments and two exits. His industries included trucking logistics, foundry steel products, printing machinery, and aluminum fishing boats. McNair was involved in raising the firm’s $314 million fund I. Investment Committee Member. He also managed complete transaction and project teams. Today, James McNair and his wife both live in Chatham, Massachusetts. 

SUSAN WILSON

Susan Foster Wilson is the daughter of former Board Member Anne Foster. Her grandfather first came to Chatham in 1910, and he bought property in North Chatham soon thereafter.  His children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren are still enjoying the same family house to this day.  Susan has spent almost every summer of her life in Chatham.  After graduating from the Dana Hall School and Connecticut College, she lived in Tokyo and Paris, before returning to live and work in Boston. Capitalizing on her familiarity with historic preservation, and love of the Eastern Coast, she is currently providing interior design consulting services with an expertise in historically-faithful designs. She has a love of old houses, dogs, sailing, painting, and preserving what is best about Chatham, the Cape, and the Islands.

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ADVISORY BOARD

Hannah Carlson | Carol Colecchi | Maura Cook | Sandra Maglione | Jane Moffett | Suzanna Nickerson

Mary Roberts | Francoise Surel | Maureen Vokey | Janet Whittemore

J. DUNCAN BERRY (HONORARY MEMBER)

J. Duncan Berry is a "visual equity analyst." His work centers on re-animating a brand's sensory equities in order to expand emotional connections with consumers/customers.  For many years managing director of a high-end, private label import company, Berry has extensive experience with global enterprise process management, marketing, systems design and quality control. He also maintains an international reputation as an art and architectural historian, publishing and lecturing at universities and academic symposia in the United States and in Europe.

Berry was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Vienna (Austria), an IREX Scholar at the Technical University of Dresden (Germany), a Fellow of the Institute of International Studies, and University Fellow at Brown University where he received both his A.M. and PhD degrees in the History of Art and Architecture. He received his undergraduate degree (with honors) from The College of Wooster (Wooster, OH).  He lives in Harwich, on Cape Cod, where he is actively working toward saving the historic Captain’s Row Houses.

DETAILS

PO Box #606

North Chatham, MA 02650

ellen@protectourpast.org

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