Landmarks Illinois Influencers

Landmarks Illinois Celebrates its Influencers at 50Forward

To celebrate our past and welcome our future, we’re dedicating our spring fundraiser and anniversary celebration, 50Forward, to the people who influenced our development along the way. Landmarks Illinois has named 20 Influencers who have had, and will continue to have, a profound affect on our organization and our statewide historic preservation movement. Learn about each of our 20 Landmarks Illinois Influencers below!

 

Joe Antunovich

Landmarks Illinois Board Chair (2003-2005)
Architect

Joe Antunovich has been a principal contributor to Landmarks Illinois’ adaptive reuse studies and building assessments that demonstrate preservation of historic places is possible. He has specialized in the design of historic preservation and adaptive re-use projects that celebrate the rich urban context and history of cities across America. He is a larger-than-life advocate who played a pivotal role in the preservation of Old Cook County Hospital in Chicago and the Farnsworth House in Plano. He has participated passionately in many preservation projects that have ensured that our marvelous historic buildings are preserved for future generations. Joe’s volunteer service, which continues to this day, has included four terms on the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors, with two of those years as board chair (2003-2005). He was named Landmarks Illinois Legendary Landmark in 2014 in recognition of his service, generosity and preservation achievements.

David Bahlman

Former Landmarks Illinois President (1999-2008)

David Bahlman is Landmarks Illinois’ longest-serving executive leader during which he led many high-profile preservation battles and raised the profile of, and respect for, the organization at a critical time. David was involved in major preservation efforts including at Chicago’s Soldier Field, Old Cook County Hospital, Lathrop Homes and North Michigan Avenue, as well as the successful purchase of the Farnsworth House in Plano at auction. His preservation efforts in Illinois also include his board tenure at Glessner House and the National Association for Olmsted Parks. He aided the preservation and fundraising efforts in Riverside and for Chicago’s Washington and Jackson Parks through the Cultural Landscape Foundation. David also served as a member of the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation and the Elawa Farms Steering Committee to raise awareness of, and appreciation for, architecture in Lake Forest. Throughout his career and volunteer service, David has championed historic preservation and shown how preservation is an effective development solution.

Lee Bey

Journalist & Photographer

As a former architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, Lee Bey raised the profile of historic places as a vital contributor to Chicago’s reputation as a world city of architecture. He continues to serve on the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, where he shapes the newspaper’s position on a range of issues including urban planning, land use and politics. His role in Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and Design from 2001-2004 allowed him to further position preservation as a well-known part of the mayor’s agenda. As an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, he teaches a class that examines how race shapes architecture and urban planning on Chicago’s South Side and other communities of color across the country. He’s continued to promote preservation locally and nationally as a journalist, podcaster, social media influencer and editorialist. He is a well-published photographer and author of his acclaimed photographic essay, “Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side” (2019).

Erika Block

Landmarks Illinois Board & Skyline Council Chair (2016-2018)

Erika Block is a trained planner who has been a Landmarks Illinois ambassador in her tenure as a volunteer since 2014. Erika began her service to the organization as a member of the Skyline Council, Landmarks Illinois’ young & emerging professionals committee. Erika was an active Skyline Council event promoter and helped to connect new people to the organization’s and council’s mission. She led the Skyline Council as its chair from 2016-2018. As a Planner for the Village of Wilmette, Erika supported fellow Skyline Council member Chris Enck’s memorable move of John Van Bergen’s Irving House from Wilmette to Evanston. Elected to Landmarks Illinois’ Board of Directors in 2018, Erika stepped into the vital role of Legendary Landmarks Celebration Co- Chair, and this year leads the 50Forward event committee. We believe Erika will continue to have an impact on Landmarks Illinois for many years to come.

Ciere Boatright

Landmarks Illinois 50th Anniversary Task Force Member
Community Development Professional

Ciere Boatright is a celebrated community development professional serving as Vice President for Real Estate and Inclusion for Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Inc. She has spent her career addressing food, retail and housing deserts within Chicago neighborhoods. She advocates for bringing economic development and investment to neighborhoods that need it most through high-profile projects that she has spearheaded. Included in the 2020 Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40, Ciere’s inclusive and equity-focused community engagement practice has created successful new and adaptive reuse projects in Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood, including Pullman Park, a 180-acre mixed-use site that sparked $400 million new investment and created nearly 1,800 new jobs. She has led community engagement processes and diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as building support for endeavors in several Chicago neighborhoods. A member of Landmarks Illinois’ 50th Anniversary Task Force, she is directly influencing Landmarks Illinois’ future and shaping preservation practice statewide. Her voice will only continue to make our work accessible, just and equitable in the years to come.

Jean Follett

Landmarks Illinois Board Member & Interim Executive Director (1998, 2011-2012)
Historic Preservation Consultant

Jean Follett has dedicated more than 20 years to Landmarks Illinois. She’s one of the few people who have served as a board member, staff member and executive leader for Landmarks Illinois. Jean has been a tireless champion for the organization’s statewide mission and its work saving rural historic places. She has supported vital networking and capacity building programs such as Landmarks Illinois Regional Advisors, Suburban Preservation Alliance and statewide conferences as well as serving as Preservation Issues Committee Chair. In her second stint as interim Executive Director from 2011-2012, Jean ensured the launch of the organization’s first regional office in Springfield, which was fulfilled with Frank Butterfield’s hire as its director in April 2013. Her generous financial support for this position has ensured Landmarks Illinois’ statewide impact. Jean’s continued influence on the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors, as well as the organization’s 50th Anniversary Task Force, will surely continue to enhance the organization’s statewide mission.

Ed Gerns

Landmarks Illinois Emeritus Board Member
Architect

Volunteer extraordinaire Ed Gerns’ quiet, yet profound, influence extends beyond Landmarks Illinois to the countless preservation advocates statewide he has helped by providing professional advice. As Senior Principal with the architecture and engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Ed and his team have devoted hundreds of hours providing free building assessments to small nonprofits across the state as a Landmarks Illinois volunteer. These reports, which often confirm the building’s structural integrity, are a vital advocacy tool. Ed’s impact as a volunteer has also included service on the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015 as well as his longstanding service as a Preservation Fund and Easement Committee member and a mentor to members of Landmarks Illinois’ young & emerging professionals committee, the Skyline Council.

Shelley Gorson

Landmarks Illinois Board Chair (2011-2013)

Shelley Gorson has been a visionary force for change over her nearly 20 years volunteering with Landmarks Illinois. She began serving on the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors in 2003 to pursue her passion for historic architecture and its preservation. In 2006, she launched the Legendary Landmarks Celebration – what has grown into organization’s largest-attended annual fundraising event (for which she has served as chair multiple times) that brings in nearly $900,000 annually to support the organization’s advocacy programs. Shelley served as Landmarks Illinois Board Chair from 2011 to 2013 and further left her mark by shifting the organization “beyond the beautiful building” to focus more on people and vernacular places. Her vision led to the 2011 launch of the Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois, the organization’s young professionals committee, and the later creation of the Emeritus Board in 2016. Shelley chaired the Emeritus Board from 2016 to 2019 and shepherded its steady growth to continually engage and include sunsetting Landmarks Illinois board members.

Dr. Stacy Grundy

Springfield Historic Preservation Advocate
Public Health Professional

Stacy Grundy is showing us the future of Illinois’ preservation movement by ensuring we share the experiences of Black people and their perseverance against systemic racism and injustice. With colleagues Dr. Gina Lathan and Kenneth Lockhart, Stacy launched Route History in 2019, a space to tell the stories of Black people in Springfield, Illinois, and traveling historic Route 66. Route History tells the stories that haven’t been told about the history of African-American commerce, especially as it relates to Route 66. Route History recognizes, celebrates and captures the often-untold story of Black people who defied the odds, demonstrated the epitome of community and sacrificed with their lives for the betterment of others. Route History is not just about revealing the truth of the past, it seeks to shape the future by supporting sustainable and transformative community projects and educational initiatives using positive and relevant images and experiences. Stacy believes that authentic community engagement, investment and input can created sustainable solutions that build stronger communities.

Allen Johnson

Historic Preservation Consultant

Allen Johnson is a 35-year preservation veteran and Partner with MacRostie Historic Advisors’ LLC, a historic preservation consulting firm providing services on a nationwide basis to developers active in the rehabilitation of historic real estate using historic tax credits. Allen’s and the firm’s unrivaled work has resulted in dozens of noteworthy Illinois preservation projects honored through the annual Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards, as well as recognition from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. Beyond facilitating adaptive reuse projects statewide, Allen is a steadfast Landmarks Illinois volunteer on the organization’s Real Estate and Building Industries Council. He is ever-motivated to engage more investors, developers and contractors in supporting Landmarks Illinois’ advocacy work, as well as helping the organization showcase stellar historic rehabilitation projects. Allen is also an unsung hero for his multi-year support of Landmarks Illinois successful effort to pass the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit, which was signed into law in 2018.

Katie Kim

Landmarks Illinois Board Member
Developer

Katie Kim is a force for change in Peoria, Illinois. Katie is Director and Small Business Specialist for The Kim Group, a Peoria-based development and construction management firm. In part through her vision, advocacy and showing how something can be done, Katie has helped reposition the once vacant, historic Peoria warehouse district as the most desirable place to live in the city. This has resulted in the expansion of the Warehouse Historic District and the direct engagement by Peoria’s elected officials in promoting preservation. State Rep. Jehan Gordon Booth sponsored the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit bill in part through Katie’s advocacy, which successfully passed in 2018. That year, Katie joined the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors to keep a focus on the organization’s statewide mission long into the future.

Richard Miller

Landmarks Illinois Founder & Board President (1971 – 1976)
Attorney

Of all who influenced Landmarks Illinois, perhaps most influential is the organization’s founder Richard Miller. In 1970, as a young lawyer, Richard courageously voiced opposition to the demolition of the Chicago Stock Exchange Building and successfully formed an organized preservation movement, creating the Landmarks Preservation Council. The extensive responsibilities of starting a new nonprofit organization were laid largely upon Richard’s shoulders, and by 1972, he took a leave from practicing law to work for LPC as its professional president. Four years later, Richard and the board had stabilized the organization to the extent that others could step into leadership and he could return to practicing law. Richard continues to hold the title of Landmarks Illinois’ Chair Emeritus, which recognizes the principal role he played in envisioning an organization and mission that would thrive for 50 years.

Emilio Padilla

Landmarks Illinois Board & 50th Anniversary Task Force Member
Architect

Emilio Padilla has partnered with Landmarks Illinois through various professional and volunteer capacities throughout the years, most recently as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors and 50th Anniversary Task Force. As an emerging architect, Emilio worked for Bauer Latoza Studio, a design firm often focused on historic preservation projects. He also has served on the Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission while we worked to save the historic Berwyn Bank and is the former President of Arquitectos, the national society of professional Hispanic architects headquartered in Chicago. Emilio has partnered with Landmarks Illinois to provide resources, information and training to Latina and Latino historic property owners, as well as further cutting edge ideas of adaptive reuse in his current work with the firm JGMA. Landmarks Illinois is confident Emilio will continue to bring his visionary ideas to the organization’s work and mission.

 

Sandra Rand

Landmarks Illinois Board Chair
Purchasing Professional

Sandra Rand has an exciting vision for Landmarks Illinois’ future, one that will ensure the organization’s relevance in the future. She envisions a diverse organization that serves all communities, provides accessible and equitable resources and fosters a culture where anyone would feel they belong. As Landmarks Illinois’ Board Chair, Sandra uses her platform to engage board members in the hard but rewarding work of identifying and driving needed change to position Landmarks Illinois as a national leader. She is an active contributor to the organization’s 50th Anniversary Task Force and is preparing board and staff members to operationalize its future vision in 2021. This work has already begun under her leadership with the expansion of Landmarks Illinois’ small grants programs, including the new Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side and the COVID-19 Organization Relief Grant Fund. Her strategic and hardworking board leadership inspires others and will profoundly and positively impact the future of Landmarks Illinois.

Erica Ruggiero

Skyline Council Member
Historic Preservation Specialist / Architectural Historian

Erica Ruggiero has been one of the most dedicated and visionary volunteers over the last eight years, greatly expanding the Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois’ mission to include service projects. A principal of the women-owned architectural firm McGuire Igleski & Associates, Inc., Erica has also helped provide pro
bono services to further Landmarks Illinois’ preservation advocacy initiatives. Her impeccable research skills and organizational acumen led the Skyline Council to take on a successful five-year effort to preserve the Whitney Schoolhouse in Campton Hills. Her service-based vision has engaged new volunteers and provided small nonprofits and cultural institutions, building owners and under-represented communities with much-needed help. Her focus on people that have been excluded from traditional services and financing has made this a key priority for Landmarks Illinois’ future. From installing artwork on The Forum in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood to helping lead Landmarks Illinois’ Women Who Built Illinois initiative, Erica’s focus on inclusion and equity is building upon the organization’s future. This is another reason she is a member of the Landmarks Illinois’ 50th Anniversary Task Force.

Martin Tangora

Landmarks Illinois Board Member (1971-present) & Board President (1976)
Mathematician

While not technically on the founding Board of Directors, Dr. Martin (“Marty”) Tangora was not far behind. The young mathematician and academic had been cultivating a deep knowledge and love for Chicago’s historic architecture for a decade prior to joining the Landmarks Preservation Council Board of Directors weeks after its formation. Marty has served continuously on Landmarks Illinois’ Board from 1971 to today and is recognized as a Life Director for his dedicated service. Like the organization’s founder Richard Miller, Marty’s extensive volunteerism launching and stabilizing LPC took his attention away from his primary career and ultimately may have cost him the chance to become a full professor. The 1975 save of Chicago’s Marquette Building is much credited to Marty, as well as countless other successes he’s achieved while in service to Landmarks Illinois’ mission.

 

Allison Toonen-Talamo

Landmarks Illinois Board Member & Skyline Council Chair (2018-2020)
Architect

Allison Toonen-Talamo has already made a mark on Landmarks Illinois in her nearly five years volunteering with the Skyline Council and Board of Directors. She first became involved in the organization during her graduate project preserving the Albert Kahn-designed Ford Hangar in Lansing and the Harley Clarke Mansion in Evanston when she consulted with Lisa DiChiera, Landmarks Illinois’ Director of Advocacy, on preservation solutions. Allison has also engaged her employer, Klein & Hoffman, in donating pro bono services such as building condition assessments to Landmarks Illinois for preservation efforts, including most recently at Chicago’s Muddy Waters House. As a passionate advocate of Landmarks Illinois’ mission, her efforts include enrolling Klein & Hoffman as one of Landmarks Illinois’ first Annual Corporate Sponsors and engaging new people in preservation and the Skyline Council, the organization’s young & emerging professionals committee. During her tenure as Skyline Council Chair from 2018 to 2020, program engagement grew and event attendance diversified. Her professional and volunteer impact resulted in Allison’s receiving a 2020 American Express Aspire Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Jack Tribbia

Landmarks Illinois Board Member
Restoration Construction Expert

Jack Tribbia joined the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors in 2009 and quickly established himself as a go-to resource for the organization’s advocacy and easements staff. His generosity is shown through the countless hours he donates to Landmarks Illinois by conducting free building assessments, a tool that sets the organization apart as a national leader. He chairs the Landmarks Illinois Preservation Fund and Easements Committee, helping navigate complex construction issues that continue to protect the organization’s 539 easement properties. Jack also engages his industry by volunteering with Landmarks Illinois’ Real Estate and Building Industries Council and mentoring many young professionals on the Skyline Councila. He has coordinated and hosted group tours of significant projects at historic places to help educate and raise interest in preservation. He has helped forge a strong relationship between Landmarks Illinois and Union Local/52/21, where he is a long-standing member. His employer, Berglund Construction, has been recognized with several Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards and was honored as a 2018 Corporate Legendary Landmark in large part through Jack’s preservation leadership, including his award-winning work on easement property Unity Temple in Oak Park.

 

Anne Voshel

Longtime Landmarks Illinois Board Member & Current Emeritus Board Member
Engineer

Anne Voshel is one of Landmarks Illinois longest-serving volunteers with over 30 continuous years dedicated to the organization. Her impact goes far beyond mere tenure with four terms to the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors and two terms on the Landmarks Illinois Emeritus Board. Anne was introduced to Landmarks Illinois through its former President’s Committee, a young professionals group active in the 1980s and 1990s. As a young real estate professional, Anne became an engaged volunteer and was asked to join the Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors in 1990. Anne dedicated herself to the establishment and growth of the organization’s former Building Industries Council – today called the Real Estate and Building Industries Council – establishing Landmarks Illinois as a knowledgeable and trusted resource for the development community. That shift, from being antagonistic to developers to seeing them as a partner in adaptive reuse, was a profound positive change for the organization that has resulted in far more historic places saved.

Gail White

Former Landmarks Illinois Board Member & Current Regional Advisor
Architect

Carbondale architect Gail White, of White and Borgognoni Architects, was one of the early downstate representatives on Landmarks Illinois’ Board of Directors. During his six-year board tenure from 1989 to 1995, he reinforced the need for the organization to expand its services statewide, helping coordinate a Statewide Committee, create a statewide legislative agenda, grow the Preservation Resource List and strengthen relationships between Landmarks Illinois and the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office and Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council. Thanks to Gail’s efforts, Landmarks Illinois staff travel to provide direct field service increased markedly and the organization’s programs expanded through former Statewide Programs Director Nancy Wagner. Gail was also honored with a Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Founder’s Award in 1998 due to his board service, local nonprofit volunteerism and preservation design work. He continues to serve as a Landmarks Illinois Regional Advisor and is an active part in the organization’s grant projects like the restoration of Carbondale’s Buckminster Fuller Dome Home. His impact is seen in Landmarks Illinois’ many statewide preservation success stories and the opening of its first field office in Springfield in 2013.

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