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).
CESAR RODRIGUEZ |TREASURER
Raised in New Jersey in the small town of Haworth, NJ, Cesar developed his lifelong love of history and historical places. His involvement with history-related organizations continues to this day. Cesar earned his BBA Degree in Economics from the University of Georgia and a JD Degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Cesar transitioned from the practice of law into commercial real estate development over 35 years ago. In 1992 Cesar formed Rodriguez Klein Group, Inc. (“RKG”), a real estate investment and development company whose primary emphasis is on acquiring and developing retail, office, and related properties. In addition to his business interests, Cesar has served his communities through his involvement in the following organizations: Mentor in the Community In Schools program at Burroughs Molette Elementary School, located in Brunswick, GA; Director and Past President of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society; Director, Latin American Resources Center; Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors, Friends of Coastal Georgia History; Past President of the East Beach Homeowners Association, St Simons Island, GA; Past President of the Cobb County, GA YMCA; and as a Director on the Board of Directors, Boy Scouts of America, Roswell, Georgia. Cesar’s civic contributions include serving as a Glynn County appointed member of the Glynn County, GA Tree Board Committee, an appointed member of the Glynn County Tree Ordinance Committee, and a representative on the St. Simons Island Steering Committee for the Glynn County Comprehensive (ten-year) Plan.
STUART GREEN | SECRETARY
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.
THOMAS H. DOUGHERTY
Tom has over 30 years of experience leading businesses for several U.S. companies serving the commercial and residential building industries. They include Lennox International, Nortek, Otis Elevators, and Carrier Corporation. Having lived abroad for 12 years in six countries while doing work in over 50 countries, Tom brings a unique international lens to problem-solving.
After graduating from the Catholic University of America with a degree in economics, Tom served on active duty as a U.S. Army infantry officer for five years; he then earned an MBA in finance and statistics from the University of Chicago. Tom has served on the Board of Advisors for Bryant University’s College of Business and the Board for INROADs of Upstate New York.
Tom has a keen interest in history and architecture. He and his family have residences in Chatham and North Sapphire Beach, New South Wales, Australia.
GUNNY HARBOE, F.A.I.A.
In March of 2006 Gunny Harboe began his own architecture firm specializing in historic preservation and sustainable design. Prior to that he spent 17 ½ years at McClier (and Austin/AECOM) where he was responsible for all of the firm’s projects involving preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of older structures of historic or architectural significance. He is a registered architect having received his M. Arch. degree from MIT, which included study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark. He also has a M.Sc. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and an A.B. in History from Brown University. In 1998 he completed the course in Architectural Conservation at ICCROM in Rome, Italy.
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.
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.
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.
John Yacobian was born and raised in New York State, near Albany. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany with a BA in Political Science and History, and a MA in History, with a focus on American Studies. John is currently employed as an Emmy award winning producer with CBS News, based in NYC, and has been with CBS since 1997, working in the news division on various short and long form projects. Prior to CBS, John was news producer for APTN in London, and he worked for the CBS affiliate in Albany. John is very interested in history and preservation. He has homes in NYC and in Chatham.
Emily Donnan grew up in Chatham in the original farmhouse that boarded both the horses and the drivers for the carriages picking up passengers from the former railroad depot that served Chatham residents and visitors for nearly fifty years. After graduating from Chatham High School, Emily attended Middlebury College and Columbia University and went on to spend time in Malawi, New York City and Boston before settling in Winchester where she now lives with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home Mom, Emily worked for Goldman Sachs both for the bank’s foundation as well as on its institutional sales desk. Emily spends as much time as possible in Chatham where she enjoys being on the water, walking through town and soaking up the history and natural beauty of the "first stop of the East wind." She is thrilled to be a part of POP and looks forward to sharing her passion for writing with the organization.
MARIE KESTEN ZAHN
Marie, a Cape Cod native, received her Bachelor’s of Science from Florida Institute of Technology, where she studied astrophysics, interdisciplinary science, and history before focusing more on archaeology. She received a Master of Arts from Florida State University for her work on Mesoamerican and North American Indigenous cultures. Marie is currently the Director of the Brooks Academy Museum and A. Elmer Crowell Barn Museum for the Harwich Historical Society, as well as serving as the Administrator for the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth. Prior to this, she spent several years working on an early 18th century shipwreck as an archaeologist, conservator, and science education coordinator.
When she's not talking about history, Marie volunteers as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA, acting as a liaison between the space agency and the public, spreading awareness of current and upcoming NASA missions and sharing news about ongoing work in the space sciences and space exploration.
Marie’s work in science and archaeology has given her a unique perspective and appreciation for history. She believes that history is a continuous narrative, and that it is of the utmost importance to make connections between the past and where we are today. Marie aims to make science open, inclusive, and accessible to anyone that’s curious about the past, present, and future.
Marie has been awarded as one of the Cape & Plymouth Business Media's 40 under 40 honorees for 2022.
HONORARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS
J. DUNCAN BERRY
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.
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.
Former Executive with New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.: Managed Intellectual Properties, Contract Administration, Licensed Products, Business for International Subsidiaries and Distributors in Asia, Latin America, Canada and Middle East/Africa. Chairman: Falmouth Historical Commission, Director: West Falmouth Library, Director: Falmouth Preservation Alliance
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.