Speakers

Featured Speakers

Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver

Lieutenant Governor Oliver is a self-described “Jersey Girl,” born and raised in an ethnically diverse Newark neighborhood.  

Lieutenant Governor Oliver was inspired as a young girl to be a fighter for the voiceless when her eyes were opened to societal injustices and inequities around her, often citing “A Tale of Two Cities” as her youth awakening. She has since pioneered a successful career in public service advocating for social justice, women’s equality, and education, ultimately becoming the first woman of color to serve in a statewide elected office in New Jersey history. 

In addition to her role as Lieutenant Governor, she serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, where she has led efforts to strengthen and expand initiatives for fair and affordable housing, community revitalization, homelessness prevention, and local government services that support New Jersey’s 565 municipalities. 

Under her leadership, the Department has also expanded and leveraged a wide range of initiatives aimed at assisting distressed municipalities, including the federal Opportunity Zones tax incentive, the Main Street New Jersey program, the Neighborhood Preservation Program, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, which have received increased funding. 

In her role as Acting Governor, she has signed multiple bills into law, including those that established a Caregiver Task Force to identify ways to support people taking care of loved ones who are elderly or disabled, require all public school students in grades 6-8 to receive financial literacy education, strengthen equal pay for equal work by preventing employers from asking employees’ previous salary history, and protect employees from wage theft. 

Across her career, Lieutenant Governor Oliver has worked in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, and has taught numerous college courses. She has served as a member of both the East Orange Board of Education and the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.  

In 2003, she was elected to serve the 34th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly.  

A trailblazer in every sense of the word, in 2010 she became the first African-American woman in state history to serve as Assembly Speaker, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house. 

A proud alumna of the Newark public school system, Lieutenant Governor Oliver graduated cum laude from Lincoln University, and received her Master of Science Degree in Community Organization, Planning and Administration from Columbia University. She has received honorary doctorates of humane letters from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Lincoln University, Montclair University and Berkeley and Essex County Colleges. 

She is a proud 40-plus-year resident of East Orange where she treasures her time with her 93-year-old mother, who has always encouraged her to be a critical thinker while fostering her passion for helping people through effective public policy. 

Erica Avrami

Erica Avrami is the James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and an affiliate with the Earth Institute—Center for Sustainable Urban Development. Her research and teaching extend the heritage enterprise beyond a practice focused on sites and buildings, exploring preservation as a form of public policy that functions across geographic scales and diverse demographics. She interrogates the intentions, processes, and outcomes of historic preservation in relation to social justice and the climate crisis, and seeks to transition heritage tools and preservation policies toward equity, resilience, and decarbonization. Avrami was formerly the director of research and education for World Monuments Fund and a project specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute. She earned her BA in architecture and MS in historic preservation, both at Columbia, and her PhD in planning and public policy at Rutgers University. She was a trustee and secretary of US/ICOMOS from 2003 to 2010 and currently serves on the editorial advisory board of the journals Change Over Time and Future Anterior. Recently published works include Preservation, Sustainability, and Equity (2021), Preservation and Social Inclusion (2020), Preservation and the New Data Landscape (2020), Values in Heritage Management (2019), as well as studies examining policy challenges and opportunities, including Energy and Historic Buildings: Toward Evidence-based Policy Reform and Confronting Exclusion: Redefining the Intended Outcomes of Historic Preservation.

Speakers

Atalaya Armstrong

Atalaya Armstrong was born, raised, married, and reared three children in the City of Trenton. Her passion for advocacy started 26 years ago with the birth of her first daughter, […]

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Erica Avrami

Erica Avrami is the James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and an affiliate with the Earth Institute—Center for Sustainable […]

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Meghan MacWillliams Baratta

Meghan MacWillliams Baratta, is a Supervising Historic Preservation Specialist with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (HPO). Meghan has worked in a professional position at the HPO since 1999, when […]

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Janine Bauer

Janine Bauer is a trial lawyer and partner with Szaferman, Lakind, P.C., a general practice law firm in Lawrenceville that focuses primarily on litigation. Janine currently represents the City of Hoboken Historic Preservation […]

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Ian Burrow

Ian Burrow has been an archaeological and cultural resource management professional since 1975, firstly in England and, since 1988, in the United States. From 1988 to 2015 he was Vice-President […]

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Michael Calafati

Michael Calafati, AIA, is a preservation architect based in Cape May, NJ. Being located at the extreme southernmost point of NJ notwithstanding, he is active in preservation matters statewide. Michael has […]

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Ronnie Cameron

Ronnie Cameron is a Senior Designer at Historic Building Architects. Ronnie has taken an active leadership role in the community outreach surrounding interpretation and re-use of the Carver Center and Higbee […]

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Kinney Clark

Kinney Clark is a Geographic Information Systems Specialist with the NJ Historic Preservation Office (HPO), coordinating cultural resources GIS development and other initiatives. Mr. Clark was involved in HPO’s response […]

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Rachel Craft

Rachel Craft

Rachel Craft joined Hunter Research, Inc. in 2018 as a Historian/Architectural historian. Rachel has worked on public history projects such as interpretive plans and signage, as well as conducted historical research […]

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Angelica Diggs

Angelica Diggs has been in the role of Assistant Director of Operations at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (METC) since 2019. Diggs has been working in the nonprofit […]

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Michelle Doherty

Michelle Doherty is the Education Coordinator at the Old Barracks Museum. Michelle came to the Old Barracks with degrees from Rider University in English Literature and Music as well as […]

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Linda J. Caldwell Epps

Linda Caldwell Epps

Dr. Linda J. Caldwell Epps brings to clients more than 45 years of experience working with educational and cultural institutions, including The New Jersey Historical Society, New Jersey Network Television and […]

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Janet W. Foster

Janet W. Foster is an architectural historian, historic preservation consultant, and a member of the Board of the NJ Historic Trust.  Ms. Foster is a noted teacher and lecturer on […]

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Edward Fox

Edward Fox is a senior planner and historic preservation specialist at ERI. He graduated with a BS in Historic Preservation from Roger Williams University in 1985 and strengthened that with a […]

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Patty Gerstenblith

Patty Gerstenblith is Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul University and Faculty Director of its Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law. President Obama appointed her to serve as […]

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Amanda Gold

Amanda Gold is a Project Architect with Preservation Design Partnership, a Philadelphia-based architectural design and preservation firm. She is currently responsible for overseeing the architectural construction administration for the New Jersey […]

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Rachael Goldberg

Rachael Goldberg is the Executive Director of Liberty Hall Museum, Gardens and Arboretum, one of New Jersey’s premier historic tourism destinations. Rachael’s career in museums began at Liberty Hall in 2008. She […]

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Dorothy P. Guzzo

Dorothy P. Guzzo

Dorothy P. Guzzo, currently serves as the Executive Director for the New Jersey Historic Trust. The Trust provides matching grants for capital preservation projects and funds heritage tourism initiatives. Prior […]

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Donna Ann Harris

Donna Ann Harris

Donna Ann Harris is the principal of Heritage Consulting Inc., a Philadelphia-based consulting firm that works nationwide providing training, research, coaching and consulting services on historic preservation, audience development, volunteer management, […]

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Patrick Harshbarger

Patrick Harshbarger

Patrick Harshbarger is Vice President at Hunter Research, Inc., a Trenton-based cultural resources management firm. He currently oversees the firm’s work in historical research, historic architectural survey, interpretive and preservation planning, and industrial […]

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Timothy Hart

Timothy G. Hart is the Division Director of Recreation in the Ocean County Parks and Recreation Department. He is also the Division Director of the Ocean County Cultural & Heritage […]

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Dominique Hawkins

In 1995, Dominique established PDP as a planning and design practice focusing exclusively on offering high-quality professional services for clients with nationally significant historic sites and buildings.  Her work is […]

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Isaac Kremer

Isaac Kremer is a nationally recognized expert in the Main Street Approach® to commercial district revitalization. He has nearly two decades of experience working with Main Street and historic preservation […]

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Samantha Kuntz

Samantha Kuntz is an AICP-certified Preservation Planner in AECOM’s Cultural Resources Department in the Greater Philadelphia area. Her background in urban development and historic preservation provides a foundation for cultural […]

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Sally Lane

Sally Lane, a fourth-generation member of a Trenton newspaper family, worked as an editor and columnist at the city’s two newspapers for 19 years. As an advocate for the importance […]

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James Lee

James Lee is Vice President of Hunter Research, Inc. and serves as the firm’s Principal Archaeologist. He has worked as a consulting archaeologist for 25 years and has a deep […]

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Jennifer B. Leynes

Jennifer B. Leynes is a Senior Historic Preservation Specialist with the NJ Historic Preservation Office. Her responsibilities include project review under state and federal preservation regulations, as well as the […]

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Emily Manz

Emily Manz

Emily Manz is a Newark-based economic development professional seasoned in leading collaborative initiatives, program development and execution, and unlocking potential of quasi-governmental organizations. Since March 2020 she has served as the […]

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C. Aidita Milsted

C. Aidita Milsted currently serves as Director of Historic Preservation at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) where she is responsible for the implementation and management of the Historic […]

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R. Isabela Morales

R. Isabel Morales

R. Isabela Morales is a public historian based in New Jersey. She is the author of Happy Dreams of Liberty: An American Family in Slavery and Freedom (Oxford University Press) and […]

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Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver

Lieutenant Governor Oliver is a self-described “Jersey Girl,” born and raised in an ethnically diverse Newark neighborhood.   Lieutenant Governor Oliver was inspired as a young girl to be a fighter […]

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Ashley Parker

Ashley Parker is a Historic Preservation Specialist for Heritage Tourism at the New Jersey Historic Trust. She holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Monmouth University with a concentration […]

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Elizabeth Rairigh

Elizabeth Rairigh is the Preservation Services Division Chief at the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office. In her role at the SHPO, she serves as both the National Register and Certified […]

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Gilda Rogers

Gilda Rogers is a journalist, author and playwright, producer, director, historian, educator, and currently the Executive Director of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation & Cultural Center in Red Bank, NJ. She […]

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Bernadette Rogoff

Bernadette Rogoff

Bernadette Rogoff has worked with the collections of the Monmouth County Historical Association for thirty years. She has produced over 45 changing exhibitions on all aspects of Monmouth County History, from […]

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Gary Garrido Schneider

Gary Garrido Schneider currently serves as the Executive Director of Grounds For Sculpture where he is leading the organization through a complex founder transition and has set a vision to […]

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Jean Shaddow

Jean Shaddow oversees Isles’ Clean & Green vacant lot stabilization and improvement work along with other neighborhood arts and green infrastructure initiatives and Isles T-Recs, mobile recreation service. Jean started […]

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Ralph Siegel

Ralph Siegel is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. He established Trenton Battlefield Tours 21 years ago to present a battle narrative of the crucial surprise attack […]

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Lisa Soderberg

Lisa Soderberg has worked for Preservation Design Partnership (PDP) since February 2013, providing building conservation and construction administration services for numerous restoration projects.  Lisa has over thirty years’ experience in the […]

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Ned White

Coming soon!

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Michael Wierzbicki

Michael Wierzbicki is a Senior Project Officer within the Historic Preservation Department at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Since joining the NJEDA in the fall of 2021 he […]

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Joe Zemla

Joe Zemla is the Associate Curator of the Monmouth County Historical Association, which operates five historic houses and maintains a collection of nearly 40,000 objects pertaining to Monmouth and New […]

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