Preservation Sacramento Bylaws
Click HERE to view our current bylaws.
Meet the Board of Directors
Board of Director Officers
Garret Root (President) I have served on the Preservation Sacramento board for two years. In that time I have helped with the organization re branding and built up our presence through social media adding to our Facebook and creating Instagram and Twitter accounts in addition to helping with the new website. I have a BA in History with a Certificate in Public History from CSU, Chico and a MA in Public History from CSU, Sacramento. I work as an architectural historian at Cardno Inc., where I conduct historic property surveys and environmental review, oral histories, exhibit design and production, and research at the state and local level. I authored From Sawdust to Uranium, a book chronicling the history of electrical power generation in Humboldt County and the Humboldt Bay Power Plant. I have a great appreciation and interest in further promoting Preservation Sacramento through membership outreach and educational postings.
Sean deCourcy (Vice President) joined the SOCA Board in 2011 after completing my MA from the CSUS Public History program, and live in Oak Park. In addition to my role as Board Secretary, I manage the PS website and work with the Membership Outreach and Special Event subcommittees. I work at the California Office of Historic Preservation, Local Government unit, specializing in CEQA review. I was previously employed by Arntz Builders Inc. as construction manager who specializes in existing building restorations and re-use, and recently completed the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building renovation.
Patrick Stelmach (Secretary) is a passionate advocate for classic architecture and urban smart growth. He is a Realtor and Director at Turton Commercial Real Estate, focusing on multifamily, residential income and mixed-use properties. As a public affairs consultant and grant writer, he has been involved in high-density infill housing development projects. In his previous career as a community organizer, he had the opportunity to experience many walkable cities with rich architectural heritage, like Boston, Washington, DC, Denver and Bethlehem, PA. Now back in his hometown of Sacramento, he hopes to champion the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and construction of sustainable, transit-oriented development to repopulate downtown. In addition to serving as Secretary and Planning Chair of Preservation Sacramento, he is active in Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, Urban land Institute, American Planning Association, and Rooftop Alliance. Patrick studied Political Science and Society and Environment at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated cum laude in 2010. He lives in the Southside Park neighborhood in a mid-century triplex.
Jennifer Stanley (Treasurer): I was a member of SOCA for many years before joining the Board some 10 years ago, after retirement, and currently live in East Sacramento. Upon joining the Board I was elected Treasurer and remain in that position today. I’ve been a resident of Sacramento for 40+ years having migrated here from Michigan. A very good move on my part! I became interested in City preservation issues when the Alhambra Theatre was demolished and a Safeway took its place. Never again! We must keep up the fight!
William Burg (Assistant Secretary): I joined the SOCA Board in 2007 after organizing the street fair for the 2006 Home Tour as president of the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association. I received my MA in Public History from Sacramento State in 2010, and have written about 100 articles and six books on Sacramento history, planning, transportation and culture. I am a historian for the California Office of Historic Preservation, and also serve on the boards of Sacramento Heritage Inc., Sacramento County Historical Society and Capital City Preservation Trust. I became Board President in 2012, organize the street fair for the SOCA Home Tour, and coordinate our Jane Jacobs Walks.
At-Large Board Members and Subcommittee Chairpersons
Evan Elliott: I am a professional archaeologist who has focused on the prehistoric and historic periods of Northern California. I grew up in the East Bay, in a neighborhood filled with 1920's eclectic homes. My love of architecture began between there and trips to my grandmother's Victorian in San Francisco. Since then it has grown and one of my favorite things is exploring the architecture of neighborhoods I don't know, on foot and on my bicycle. I feel that the feeling of a neighborhood rests in its history and that this is often threatened by thoughtless development. While new construction has its place, creative use of the places we have help preserve neighborhoods. Additionally, new development must be considerate of the area that is located in, rather than disrupting it. As Sacramento enters a new era, with redevelopment of the Downtown and the Railyards, an organization such as Preservation Sacramento becomes all the more important. I hope to make a difference in this community through this organization.
Donald L. Cox has worked with Paula Boghosian and Historic Environment Consultants since 1994. He has worked in the capacity of architectural historian, writer/editor and photographer. Mr. Cox has worked on several community and neighborhood surveys. He has participated in the successful nominations of numerous homes and buildings to the National Register of Historic Places. Cox has worked on rehabilitation/seismic upgrade projects involving civic and government buildings such as the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento City Hall, Sacramento Water Filtration Plant and Emeryville Town Hall. Commercial projects have included the Maydestone, Hotel Stockton, Globe Mills, Hotel Marshall and Historic Modesto Post Office.
Prior to joining HEC, Mr. Cox had a 20-year career in Marketing and Advertising where he specialized in software and high technology products. He owned his own advertising and marketing agency, Don Cox & Associates for ten years.
Matt Walker: I have been a resident of Sacramento, California since taking residence in Midtown in August 2012. Born and raised in Richmond, California, Ir earned my M.A. in Public History from California State University, Sacramento in December 2014 and B.A. in History from University of California, Santa Cruz in June 2011. Currently a Research Assistant at JRP Historical Consulting in Davis, CA, while completing his graduate work, I focused my efforts largely on preservation, interning at the California Office of Historic Preservation in Sacramento and ECORP Consulting in Rocklin, CA. My M.A. thesis, National Register Nomination for the George and Eliza Withington House, documented the process of nominating an 1850s Ione home to the National Register of Historic Places. Before moving to Sacramento, I worked at the Richmond Museum of History in Richmond, CA where I assisted with the development of museum exhibitions and spent time working on the Museum-run SS Red Oak Victory, one of the last remaining ships built at the Richmond Shipyards during WWII. I am published in the Richmond Museum of History’s The Mirror and the CSUS chapter of Phi Alpha Theta’s history journal Clio. After moving to Sacramento just over three years ago, I quickly fell in love with the vibrant cultural and diverse architectural landscape within Sacramento. My goal in becoming a member of the Board of Directors is to continue to further the public outreach and visibility of the organization and to be a part of advocating for the preservation of our city’s historic properties and looking for ways to rehabilitate and reuse our existing resources.
Brittani Orona is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and completed her Master of Arts in Public History with a focus on Environmental and Native American History at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History from Humboldt State University in 2010. She has worked at several Sacramento area institutions including Government Operations Agency, California State Indian Museum, the California State Office of Historic Preservation, California State Archives, and the Maidu Museum and Historic Site. She has also worked with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the Native American Heritage Commission to coordinate efforts related to AB 52 and the CEQA process. Brittani is currently an Environmental Justice & Tribal Affairs Specialist for the State of California. She currently provides freelance museum, historic preservation, and cultural resources consulting to various Sacramento institutions. Brittani is interested in historic preservation, cultural resources management, sustainability, and environmental justice as they relate to underserved communities.
Greg VanAcker: After getting a Master's degree in Television-Radio from Syracuse University, I worked in broadcasting for 25 years for stations in New York, Illinois, and California, ending up at KOVR-TV in Sacramento in engineering. I decided to become a teacher and spent a transition year at UC Davis working in Distance Learning as I earned two teaching credentials (Business and English). I worked as an educator for the Elk Grove Unified School District for 19 years, finishing as the Business Technology Department Chair at Valley High School. I joined SOCA in the early 80's after reading about it in the Suttertown News. The organization meshed with my interest in both community health and design, an interest which grew after Stuart Brand of the Point Foundation introduced me to A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander in 1978. I have been married for 35 years and have two grown sons. We have owned two older homes. The first was a 1920 Elk Grove farmhouse, and I joined SOCAbecause I wanted to learn more about home maintenance and resources. Our second home is a 1937 Land Park Tony Brasil design, and the maintenance never stops. I am interested in preserving older buildings as well as working to improve our urban fabric. I have been a Rotarian for over 25 years, and am Past President of the Rotary Club of Midtown-Sacramento. I am also a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a Microsoft Office Specialist 2007, 2010, and 2013 Master.
Vickie Valine: I have always been fascinated by history and historic buildings. In the past 35 years, I have lived in 3 apartments and owned 2 houses with my husband Matt in Midtown Sacramento. I’ve never wanted to live or work anywhere else but Midtown/Downtown Sacramento. When I was growing up in Sacramento, my family and I would frequently visit my grandparents who lived in the Boulevard Park neighborhood. My grandparents owned a “boarding house” (built in 1904), rented out four upstairs bedrooms to single men, and built an attached apartment for a single, elderly woman renter. My sister and I would play on the grass strip “mall” (now called “the Boulevard”) across from my grandparents’ house. I have always felt an affinity for Midtown. When I moved out on my own, I came to Midtown Sacramento to find an apartment. I lived in the Hale Mansion at 1300 H Street (built in 1894) until it turned into the Sterling Hotel. I worked for an attorney who had his office at The Suhn Building at 717 K Street (built in 1895) during the late ‘70s through the mid-‘80s, and later worked 12 years for a nonprofit Quaker lobbying firm at the Cal-Western Life Building at 926 J Street (built in 1923), which is now the Citizen Hotel. After Matt and I moved into our 1911 bungalow 15 years ago, I thoroughly researched our house’s history at the Sacramento Archives and The Sacramento Room, and even arranged a meeting with the grand-daughter of the original owner. I have been attending the SOCA Home Tours since 1990, have volunteered as a docent/House Captain at the Home Tours since 2008, and have been a SOCA/PS Board member since 2009. I have found my niche in being the Home Tour Volunteer Coordinator and working with volunteers and like-minded people who love and respect old houses and neighborhoods as much as I do. If you might be interested in volunteering as a docent for this year’s 41st Annual Historic Home Tour (scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2016), we would be pleased to have you join us. If you have not already filled out a Volunteer Submission Form on our PS website, please do so. I look forward to working with you!
Luis Sumpter is a licensed Realtor-Associate with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason McDuffie, working in its Midtown office. He has represented Buyers and Sellers for 15 years with a focus on historic properties in the City’s older neighborhoods. Luis’ community involvement includes Alkali Flat/Mansion Flats Historic Neighborhood Association (AMFHNA), Board of Directors; Preservation Sacramento, Board of Directors; Preservation Sacramento Annual Home Tour Chair; Sacramento City Management Academy, Alumni, Sacramento Police Chief Interview Panel, Appointed by City Councilmember Hansen; and his professional involvement includes: Sacramento Association of Realtors (SAR) “Masters Club”: President; SAR Leadership Academy, Chair; SAR Grievance Hearing Committee, Boardmember and Life Member of SAR’s Masters Club. Luis lives in a 1909 4-plex in the Alkali Flat neighborhood and some of the units in his building make up the “FStreetLofts”, fully furnished guest accommodations, that are rented to visiting professionals.
Guy Guarige has been a SOCA member since the mid 1990s and joined the Board in 2009 as s chair for membership events. Some of the more notable tours have been the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, The Elks Building, the Citizen Hotel, 16 Powerhouse and the Maydestone Apartments. Guy came to Sacramento to attend UC Davis from Santa Cruz County and remained in the valley after earning a degree in history. Guy’s career took him away from his interest in history but lucky for him the Sacramento region is so steeped in history that he was able to parlay his interest in history in other ways, most notably buying mid town Victorians when few people were interested in these properties. In addition to helping to restore and sustain Sacramento’s Victorian heritage, in his role as events chair, Guy has arranged member tours of historic, repurposed commercial/residential buildings, as well as newly constructed projects. Guy lives in Midtown with his partner of twenty-two years in an 1889 Queen Anne high water Victorian purchased in 1989. The home has been on the SOCA home tour three times as a nice reminder of Sacramento’s past.
Karen Jacques: I have lived in the Central City for over thirty years and am a long-time preservation/neighborhood activist and resident of Midtown. I love Sacramento’s old neighborhoods and historic buildings. My husband and I have rehabbed nine historic buildings in the Central City, doing most of the work ourselves. I founded the Midtown Neighborhood Association (formerly Winn Park/Capitol Avenue) in 1991 and began serving on the SOCA board in the mid 1990’s. I coordinated the Fainted Ladies Tour - a bus tour designed to call attention to old buildings in danger of demolition due to neglect (1994 to 2003). I have served on both the Preservation Commission, including two years as chair and the Sacramento Heritage Board.
Susan Ballew: Born and raised in Sacramento County, Susan moved to the central city in 1981 and currently lives in East Sacramento. She graduated from CSUS in 1977 with a BA in Business Administration and began working for the Office of Legislative Counsel in 1973, retiring in 2013. For 31 of these 40 years she was the Administrative Assistant to the Legislative Counsel of California. Susan trained and volunteered as a docent for the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park conducting pre-restoration tours. She was the co-founder of the Sacramento Bungalow Heritage Association., served on the board of Sacramento County Historical Society as Secretary and President. She has also volunteered as a docent (and house captain) for many SOCA Home Tours.