Keynote Speakers

bonnie_mcdonaldBonnie McDonald joined Landmarks Illinois in June 2012 and as president, she advances the vision, mission, and programs of Illinois’ only statewide preservation nonprofit organization. Bonnie’s expertise in community development through historic preservation has emerged over her 17 years working and studying in the field. Her first executive director position came at the age of 26 running the Anoka County Historical Society in Anoka, Minnesota from 2002 through 2005. She became the executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in 2005, and quadrupled the organization’s capacity in seven years. This included re-launching the Minnesota Main Street Program within the Alliance, as well as starting the Investment Partnership Program, a real estate partnership where the Alliance invests in development projects.

Bonnie is most proud of her role assisting with the passage of legislation to provide incentives for preservation in Minnesota. As the Alliance’s lobbyist, she advocated for the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Act providing millions of dollars annually for preservation grant funding. She was also a key leader in the passage of the Minnesota state historic tax credit in 2010, which has since incented over $500 million in economic activity through the sustainable reuse of historic assets. She was named a “Minnesotan on the Move” in 2011 by Finance & Commerce, the Crain’s Chicago Business of Minnesota, as well as being called to meet President Barack Obama at the White House that year in recognition of her work to help solve the nation’s employment crisis. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota was honored in 2012 with the National Trust for Historic Preservation National Award for Organizational Excellence in recognition of its success.

In 1998, Bonnie graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History (Summa Cum Laude) and received a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University in 2008.

mcmahonEd McMahon holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC where he is nationally known as an inspiring and thought-provoking speaker and leading authority on economic development and land use policies and trends. As the Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development, McMahon leads ULI’s worldwide efforts to conduct research and educational activities related to environmentally-sensitive development policies and practices. McMahon is the author or co-author of 15 books and over 300 articles. His most recent book is: Conservation Communities: Creating Value with Nature, Open Space and Agriculture. During the past 30 years McMahon has worked with more than 600 communities in all 50 states on a wide variety of land use and economic development issues.

pinskerMatthew Pinsker holds the Brian Pohanka Chair of Civil War History at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and serves as Director of the House Divided Project (, an innovative effort to build digital resources on the Civil War era. Matt is also a fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington DC. He has previously held visiting fellowships at Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Matt graduated from Harvard College and received a D.Phil. degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He is the author of two books: Abraham Lincoln – a volume in the American Presidents Reference Series from Congressional Quarterly Press (2002) and Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home (Oxford University Press, 2003). Matt’s next book is forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co., tentatively entitled, Boss Lincoln: Understanding Abraham Lincoln’s Partisan Leadership. Matt has also published widely in the history of American politics, contributing to the Journal of American History and several other academic journals as well as to newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and USA Today. He appears regularly on TV channels such as C-SPAN and A&E’s History. He has led numerous K-12 teacher training workshops on the Underground Railroad and other historical topics for organizations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History. He currently serves the Organization of American Historians (OAH) as a “Distinguished Lecturer.” Finally, Matt sits on the advisory boards of several historic organizations, such as Ford’s Theatre Society, Gettysburg Foundation, National Civil War Museum, and President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home.

Session Speakers

Scott Allen joined OPN Architects in 2013 as an architect and project manager. Specializing in historical restoration, he has worked on notable projects including the Iowa State Capitol, Terrace Hill Iowa Governor’s Mansion, The World Food Prize, Spaulding Center for Transportation and Morrill Hall at Iowa State University. Prior to joining OPN, Scott was a Partner at RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines where he was the Restoration Focus Market Leader for the Restoration Studio. Scott is active in the historic preservation community serving as Chairman and historical architect for the City of Des Moines’ Urban Design Review Board; on the Landmark Review Board for Des Moines; and as a volunteer for the Historic Site Preservation Grant Program. Scott holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Iowa State University.

Sara André is an architectural historian with the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office. Ms. André has been working professionally in the preservation field since 1999. She has experience with survey work, National Register nomination review, preservation planning and regulatory review. An Iowa native, Ms. André, and her family, recently returned after 15 years in New Jersey, where she worked at the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office. Currently, she is reviewing applications to the Federal and state tax incentive programs. Ms. André is looking forward to rediscovering and reconnecting with the state of Iowa.

Lowell Blikre is a professional archeologist with more than 25 years of experience conducting archeological investigations throughout the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains. Mr. Blikre received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Dakota in 1986 and his Master of Arts Degree from Northern Arizona University in 1993. He has been with Bear Creek Archeology, Inc. of Cresco, Iowa for more than 20 years. His experience includes archeological survey, testing, data recovery, architectural recording, and the analysis of prehistoric stone and other artifacts. Mr. Blikre formerly conducted overviews and assessments of cultural resource management programs at Air Force Bases in the Rocky Mountain, Plains, and Midwest states for the National Park Service. Prior to joining Bear Creek Archeology, Mr. Blikre was an employee of the University of North Dakota, Department of Anthropology and also worked briefly in the Southwest.

Ralph Christian is the historian for the State Historic Preservation Office, where he has worked in virtually every aspect of the program for over 35 years. Prior to moving to Iowa, he worked as a historian for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) conducting National Historic Landmark theme studies under contract to the National Park Service, eventually preparing over 100 NHL nominations in twenty-eight states. An active member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he has made numerous presentations on various aspects of Iowa’s fascinating baseball history at national, state, and local conferences and meetings. Ralph and his wife Victoria live in a 123-year-old house in the “Oaklands,” a National Register-listed district in Des Moines’ River Bend Neighborhood.

Mary Cownie was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad as Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) in January 2011. The DCA empowers the state to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our Iowa. The department serves the state through the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa – Office of State Media Production.

Born and raised in Des Moines, Mary served in the Office of Presidential Advance at the White House under President George W. Bush and returned to Iowa in 2007 to become Communications Director for the Republican Party of Iowa. She also served two years as Communications Director at Prairie Meadow’s Racetrack and Casino and opened her own public and community relations firm, Goldfinch Strategies, before being appointed director of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Mary serves on the Mercy Medical Board and Character Counts in Iowa Board. She is Co-Chair of Capital Crossroads’ Cultural Capital Initiative and is Co-Chair of the Healthiest State Initiative for Lifelong Learning. She is also a member of the West Des Moines Planning and Zoning Commission.

Mary lives in West Des Moines with her husband, Peter, and son, John Henry. Peter is Executive Director of the Iowa State Blue Ribbon Foundation and serves in the Iowa House of Representatives.

Brennan Dolan is a cultural resources project manager and archaeologist for the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT). Previously, he worked for the State Historic Preservation Office in Iowa, the Louis Berger Group, and the National Park Service (Midwest Archeological Center). He thoroughly appreciates being in the field as well as all aspects of cultural resources management. His professional research interests include the proto-historic period, faunal analysis, experimental Woodland Period ceramic replication, fire studies, and site preservation. Since joining the Iowa DOT he has enjoyed working on a number of larger projects including the statewide historical sites management plan and the 2014 Iowa Tribal Summit on Cultural Preservation and Transportation. His educational background includes undergraduate work at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa, and his graduate work was at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. In his spare time you can find him hunting and fishing across the state.

Lance Foster is a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska and resides in White Cloud, Kansas. He received a B.A. in anthropology and Native American studies from the University of Montana as well as an M.A. in anthropology and an M.L.A. in landscape architecture from Iowa State University; and is an alumnus of the Institute of American Indian Arts. He has been director of the Native Rights, Land and Culture Division for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; a historical landscape architect for the National Park Service; and an archaeologist for the U.S. Forest Service. He taught a variety of anthropology, archaeology, sociology, and art courses at the University of Montana-Helena College of Technology. Mr. Foster currently serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Iowa Tribe where he is active in preserving and promoting the Ioway language and culture through historic preservation, educational development and presentations, and he has established a tribal culture center and museum. Mr. Foster is also an artist, author of the book The Indians of Iowa, and served as a consultant and interviewee for the documentary movie Lost Nation: The Ioway.

Matt Harris, a Cedar Falls, Iowa native, joined the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs in 2011 as Iowa Arts Council Administrator and leads state arts agency staff, grant-making initiatives and programming, provides oversight to the Iowa Great Places Program, Iowa Cultural Trust and serves as liaison to the Iowa Arts Council’s regional and national partners. Harris previously worked for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on campus at the University of Northern Iowa before serving as Development Coordinator for Des Moines Performing Arts for more than six years. Harris serves on the board of directors for Arts Midwest, a non-profit regional arts organization that promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences throughout a nine-state Midwest region. He is a 2013 Des Moines Business Record ‘Forty Under 40’ honoree, a recipient of the 2013 University of Northern Iowa Heritage Honours Distinguished Young Alumnus award, and is a graduate of the 2009-2010 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. During his time in the Cedar Valley, Harris was active with the Cedar Falls Vision 2010 Strategic Planning Team, Cedar Falls Community Main Street and the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau. He resides in Des Moines.

Dan Higginbottom is one of the archaeologists on staff at the State Historic Preservation Office in the Department of Cultural Affairs, State Historical Society of Iowa. He has been with the SHPO for 15 years, where, among his many responsibilities, he conducts project reviews for 30 State and federal agencies including USDA, US Army Corps of Engineers, HUD, and the Department of Natural Resources.   Dan was born and raised in central Iowa; and it was on his family farm here in Polk County that he first developed an interest in archaeology. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with minors in Anthropology and Foreign Languages from Iowa State University in 1986.   In 1987 he moved to Minnesota where he received a Master of Arts degree in Ancient Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1993.   Dan’s interest in cemetery research dates to his undergraduate days at Iowa State University while studying under Professor David Gradwohl, who continues to encourage and mentor his work. As part of the Gone But Not Forgotten Project, Dan has completed surveys, analyses and historical evaluations for central Iowa cemeteries, the most recent of which is the Byers Cemetery in Elkhart Township, Polk County.

Ron Howell was raised on a farm in Madison County and attended the public school in Winterset. His college undergraduate study was done at the University of Iowa. The education received there prepared him for twenty-three years of teaching instrumental music, most of which were in Iowa. His next nineteen years were spent in customer service for several Des Moines area retail, financial, and shipping businesses.   Since complete retirement six years ago, Ron has become a volunteer at the Madison County Historical Museum. Ron now spends two days a week reviewing the local newspapers for information on the business buildings of Winterset, collecting information on the rural schools of Madison County and finding details about his family history that he might never have known. Ron says, “My research has brought me back to my roots where I have discovered much long-lost history which is being preserved for the future generations of this county.”

Tim Ita’s great-grandfather started the Ita & Sons plastering business over 100 years ago. Tim is a fourth generation plasterer in southeast Iowa around the Burlington area. After graduating from high school in 1977, Tim took up a four-year apprenticeship with the plaster union in the Quad Cities. Working side by side with many seasoned “old-timers,” Tim learned all aspects of the plastering trade. In 1985 Tim made the decision to buy the family business. From restorations to new construction, from commercial buildings to residential housing and patches to remodeling, Tim has experienced it all. Some of his most memorable jobs include restoring the Civil War “Cannonball House” at Athens State Park in Athens, Missouri. Another challenge was the restoration of the Lee County Post Office in Keokuk, Iowa. From new million dollar mansions to century old houses and churches, Tim confronts each project he tackles with professionalism and the expertise he has acquired from 38 years of experience.

Tim resides in Burlington, Iowa with his wife, Teresa. They have three grown children, Emily, Grant and Victoria. They are also are blessed with three grandchildren, Lincoln, Addyson and Kennedy.

Anthony “Tony” Jahn is an archives professional, expert in organizing and transforming organizational historic content into vital services and solutions. He received his B.A. in History and Political Science from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin and then transitioned into a twenty-three year career with Target Corporation starting at Marshall Field’s department stores. In 1997 his management portfolio was expanded to include the company archives. In 2004 he was promoted to the new Senior Archivist Historian role at Target Stores. Tony led many enterprise initiatives during his career there including building best-in-class archives, heritage programs and historic content integrations within current strategic business priorities.

In July 2014 Tony was appointed to the position of State Archivist for Iowa and is focused on strategic master planning including building the institution’s first ever all-encompassing collection plan. Active in the professional community, in 2007 Tony was elected by his peers to a one-year appointment as chair of the Business Archives Section of the Society of American Archivists. Tony is an active member of the Society of American Archivists, the Council of State Archivists and is the coordinator of the Iowa Historic Records Advisory Board.

Roslea Johnson, Professor Emeritus, taught for 32 years at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). She became interested in historic preservation when she and her husband bought a farm in Madison County on which stood a historic property. This led to research into stone buildings all over the county and resulted in the first National Register thematic nomination in the state, “Legacy in Stone: A Settlement of Madison County, Iowa.” In addition, Roslea has worked on several other nominations and most recently the intensive survey of Winterset’s downtown commercial district.

Doug Jones is an archaeologist on staff at the State Historic Preservation Office and also serves as the Iowa Freedom Trail Project Manager. Doug has worked at the State Historic Preservation Office for nineteen years. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Iowa State University in 1989 and a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Iowa in 1993. Doug has worked professionally as an archaeologist throughout the Midwest and South Carolina.

Steve King is Iowa’s Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer and a licensed architect with over 20 years of experience leading teams on a range of complex urban revitalization and award-winning historic preservation projects. As a student at the University of Kansas and the Edinburgh College of Art, Steve developed a hands-on appreciation for the materials and processes used to create historic buildings.

Leo E. Landis is the museum curator for the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Prior to that he worked at Salisbury House in Des Moines. His previous work experience includes positions at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana; and eight years as a curator at Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

He received his Bachelor of Science in History from Iowa State University and his Master of Arts in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. He has completed all but his dissertation toward a Ph.D. in History from Iowa State University. His fields include Midwestern Cultural History and Environmental History.

Shawna Lode is Manager of the Iowa Tourism Office at the Iowa Economic Development Authority where she is responsible for developing and implementing programs that support and promote Iowa’s tourism opportunities for economic growth. A lifelong Iowan, Shawna grew up in Aurelia and earned her bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. She received a Master’s Degree in Communication Leadership from Drake University in Des Moines.

Shawna began her career in tourism in 1996 when she became Director of the Burlington Area Convention and Tourism Bureau in Burlington, Iowa. In 1998 she joined the staff of the Iowa Tourism Office where she worked as Public Relations Manager. After seven years, she left the Tourism Office to serve as Communications Director for the Iowa Finance Authority, a position she held for five years. In September 2010 Shawna returned to the Iowa Tourism Office to assume the role of Manager. Shawna enjoys exploring Iowa with her husband, James Myers, and their sons Paxton and Rowen.

Ben Mayer is a stone carver in Winterset, Iowa who specializes in lettering and relief work in limestone and marble, as well as other stones. Ben carves small to medium-sized architectural pieces and memorials in his Madison County studio. His larger works have been contracted through cut stone mills, such as Rowat Cut Stone & Marble Co. located in Des Moines. All of Ben’s work is traditional hand (pneumatic) chisel work, except when sawing, sanding, grinding, and polishing are required. Another of Ben’s specialties is monument restoration.

Paula Mohr is the architectural historian and Certified Local Government coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office. Previously, she has held preservation and curatorial positions at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the White House, the National Park Service and the U.S. Treasury. A native of Bentonsport, Iowa, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa, a graduate degree in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in New York and a Ph.D. in architectural history from the University of Virginia.

James Olson is Mayor of Winterset, Iowa. His career has included 35 years as a physical education teacher/coach with the Winterset Community Schools. His roots run deep as a life-long resident of Winterset. His father, Lowell “Ole” Olson designed, built, and erected the canopy atop the Madison County Courthouse dome. Mayor Olson holds degrees from Buena Vista College, the University of South Dakota, and administrative certification from Drake University. As Mayor of Winterset his goal is to make Winterset a great place to live, work, and worship. He says with all that is available to see and do in Winterset, still the most valuable resource we have to offer is the friendly well-educated people who live here.

Cheryl Peterson is a preservation specialist with the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, where she is a member of the review team for the State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives programs. Cheryl is a licensed architect, with work that has included award-winning preservation projects. Before joining the Iowa SHPO, Cheryl worked in local government in historic preservation planning.

Jack C. Porter is a preservation consultant based in Des Moines’ historic Sherman Hill neighborhood. He retired from serving at the State Historical Society in 2014 after serving 13 years. While at the Society, he reviewed applications for the federal and state historic tax credit programs; provided technical assistance on a wide variety of issues relating to the preservation of historic properties; and conducted numerous workshops on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Rehabilitation. Prior to joining the Society, he served as a Program Coordinator for the Iowa Commission of Volunteer Service for the AmeriCorps program.

Jack earned a Master of Architecture in 1975 and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture in 1969 at Iowa State University. He is a member of Sherman Hill Association, Preservation Iowa, Des Moines Historical Society and the National Trust. He has served on numerous committees, councils and boards throughout his life – Des Moines City Council, Salisbury House Foundation, Terrace Hill Society, Iowa Sesquicentennial Commission, City of Des Moines Historic Preservation Commission, and the Des Moines Art Center board just to name a few. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Sherman Hill Association, Des Moines’ oldest neighborhood organization. He and Martha live in a historic 1905 home in the Sherman Hill Historic District.

Dr. Jim Pottebaum graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University in 1988. He owns the Winterset Veterinary Center where he enjoys a mixed animal practice from cow-calf, swine, sheep, and equine work, as well as pets and exotics. Jim is passionate about cemetery restoration which he has enjoyed for many years.

Aaron Price is chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors. His career has included 26 years in the U.S. Army where he managed an environmental land management program. He has been a resident of Madison County since 2001. He holds degrees in engineering management and physical geography.

Steve Reed is owner and operator of Steve Reed Developments of Winterset where he serves as a general contractor as well as a stone mason. Steve has had many mentors over the years including past local masons, Leo and Ralph Rogers. His career portfolio includes projects that range from small to multi million dollars in size. Steve has had the pleasure of working on several preservation projects including a privately-owned school house, preservation of the stone arbor in the city park, and countless other stone and brick projects. Steve’s most recent work includes the stone entrance to Monumental Park, the Court House Bell Project and the John Wayne Birthplace. Preservation comes naturally for Steve because of the many beautiful old stone and brick barns, buildings, and homes in Madison County, all of which, according to Steve, have a story to be told and preserved.

Heather Riley has served as the Executive Director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce since 2013. She is a 1992 graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in German, and a 1993 graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. Heather is a member of the 2010 Class of the Des Moines Business Record’s “Forty Under 40”, a graduate of the Madison County Leadership Institute, and former Executive Director of the Central Iowa March of Dimes. She and her husband, Patrick, are parents to three daughters and are 10-year residents of Madison County. Heather enjoys networking, event planning, hospitality, and working on community projects that benefit and promote Madison County.

Leah Rogers received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Missouri (1978) and a M.A. in Anthropology from Michigan State University (1985). She worked as a consultant in historic preservation (archaeology and architectural history) from 1986 – 2000 and as partner in Tallgrass Historians L.C. since 2001. Leah also serves on the Mt. Vernon Historic Preservation Commission.

Jessica Rundlett is special projects and outreach coordinator at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, where she has worked for three years. Previously, she served as a cultural interpreter at Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor, Ia., Yellow River State Forest in Harpers Ferry, Ia., and Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch, Ia.

A fifth generation Iowan, Ms. Rundlett is a native of Vinton. She is an Iowa State Fair aficionado, a competitive baker, an avid cyclist and an Iowa enthusiast. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics, History and International Business from Cornell College and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Simpson College.

Jeff Schott is the Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa. Since 2006, he has been responsible for delivery of the Institute of Public Affairs’ organizational improvement programs, including goal setting, strategic planning, council/board effectiveness training, educational programs and information, public management assistance, and staff training, to hundreds of local governments across Iowa. Schott is also an adjunct instructor in the University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning. Schott received the prestigious Joe Lukehart Service Award from the Iowa City/County Management Association in 2004 for outstanding contributions to the development and support of the city management profession in Iowa. He received the Iowa League of Cities’ Hall of Fame award in 2011 for outstanding service to the League and municipal governments throughout the state.

Angela Shearer, for the past fifteen years, has been an architectural historian with the Technical Preservation Services division of the National Park Service in Washington, DC, where she works with the Federal Tax Incentives program reviewing rehabilitation work of historic properties and providing technical assistance to the public. Angela received bachelor degrees from Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia majoring in History and Political Science and minoring in anthropology.   After working in the archaeology field for several years, Angela completed graduate study course work in American Studies with a concentration in Historic Preservation at The George Washington University. She is a past President of the Association for Preservation Technology, Washington, DC Chapter (APT DC) and has been a member of the Association for Preservation Technology International’s technical committee on Modern Heritage.

Linda Griffith Smith is a lifelong Madison County resident. Now retired from a career in Information Technology management, she volunteers her time in various history-related Madison County organizations. She participated in the Winterset Courthouse Square Commercial District research and is currently leading the Madison County Underground Railroad research project.

Jerome Thompson is State Curator for the State Historical Society of Iowa, a position he has held since 2004.   In this position he provides professional and technical assistance and training to local historical organizations and museums across the state. He has a long tenure with the Historical Society beginning in 1982 where he has directed the historic sites program, state archives, the State Historic Preservation Office and directed the museum and education programs for 18 years.

Nancy Trask grew up in Winterset and has been the Director of the Winterset Public Library for the past 10 years. She attained her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Oklahoma. Besides Iowa, Nancy has worked in academic and public libraries in Oklahoma, Texas, Massachusetts, and New York. She has had a lifelong interest in The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), and is currently on their national board of directors. She worked with the ICA for over 15 years on community development projects, including four years in the villages of India. One of Nancyʼs current research interests is World War II, and especially George Stout, the Winterset native who was portrayed by George Clooney in the movie “The Monuments Men.”

Lori Unick is a preservation specialist with the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, where she is a member of the review team for the State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives programs. Lori received a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and prior to joining the State Historic Preservation Office she was an Intern Architect at Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering.

Kristen Vander Molen has been with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and State Historical Society of Iowa since June 2001, following her graduation from Luther College with a degree in English and Museum Studies. She has served as the grants manager since November 2007. Over that time, she has coordinated 10 regular grant rounds and three special grant rounds. Currently, she coordinates the Historical Resource Development Program and the Country School Grant Program. Both programs have an annual grant round. Prior to working with the grants programs, Kristen worked as an Archives Associate with the State Archives from 2001 to 2007.

Michael Wagler is the State Coordinator for Main Street Iowa housed in the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center. He has been with Main Street Iowa since 2002 serving in different capacities. Wagler earned a B.F.A. in Historic Preservation and Architectural History from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. He received his Master’s degree in Community & Regional Planning from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.