Michael Hirsch, New York, NY
Michael is an experienced urban planner and design architect with significant experience in the resort and tourism market. His work has included architecture and planning projects, including Red Sky Ranch Member + Guest Clubhouses (Eagle County, CO); Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail; and a new base ski village for Breckenridge Mountain Resort, in Colorado. Serving as a preservation planning consultant to the New York City Department of City Planning, he completed work on design guidelines and signage recommendations for the Coney Island Redevelopment Master Plan, Brooklyn, NY. Prior international planning experience includes the Master Plan for the Lulu Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, U.A. E. Prior architectural experience includes the Doubletree Hotel, Tarrytown, NY (2005); and the Parker Meridien Hotel / Spa / Conference Center, Palm Springs, CA (2004). He is currently consulting on architecture, planning, and historic preservation projects in New York City.
Michael received his B.Arch degree from Pratt Institute (1986), and a M.S. in City and Regional Planning, with a preservation planning certification, also from Pratt Institute (2006). Michael has served on the advisory board of The Doo Wop Preservation League, in Wildwood, NJ since 2003. The organization’s educational mission is to foster awareness of the popular culture and imagery of the 1950's and 1960's, and to promote the preservation of the largest collection of Doo Wop (mid-century modern) resort architecture found in the United States. In this role he wrote the “How to Doo Wop” handbook of design guidelines for the Wildwood Hotel/Motel District. He was also involved in the research of the Chateau Bleu Motel for its nomination to the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places, now on the National Register. Mr. Hirsch has received A.I.A. and A.P.A. awards for his urban planning/community design work.
Raina Regan, Indianapolis, IN
Raina Regan is a Community Preservation Specialist with Indiana Landmarks' Central Regional Office. Her work encompasses historic preservation education, advocacy, and technical assistance for 12 counties in central Indiana. Prior to working at Indiana Landmarks, Raina served as the staff architectural historian for the Indiana Army National Guard. Raina has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture from Michigan State University and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. Raina is an Indiana import by way of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan and loves the culture and architecture of the Midwest.
Carol Ingald (Historic Preservation Specialist), Philadelphia, PA
Barbara Gossett, Garden Grove, CA
Barbara Gossett resides in Southern California and is actively involved in local history organizations. She volunteers as a docent and task force member at the Olinda Oil Museum, the site of an old oil company town, and is an assistant archivist at the Garden Grove Historical Society. She completed her Masters in public history at California State University, Fullerton, in 2006, with an emphasis on architectural history. She retired in 2009 after eighteen years with the California Department of Transportation, where she worked as a planner.
Barbara’s interest in roads and roadside curiosities began during her childhood in Oklahoma, nurtured with frequent road trips along Route 66 to visit family in Albuquerque. Living in Southern California has made her an enthusiast of Googie signs, architecture, and interiors. She has compiled a collection of photographs, postcards, and other ephemera from travels around the western states. In addition to SCA, she is a member of the Garden Grove and Orange County Historical Societies and the National Council on Public History.
Ron Dylewski, Pittsburgh, PA
On the day that he peered out of the rear window of his school bus and saw the Rhinebeck Diner being hauled on a flatbed out of his home town, Ron knew something was up. What he didn't realize was that he'd be chasing diners the rest of his life. After studying Communications at SUNY Brockport, where he would stumble on John Baeder's "Diner" in a local bookstore, Ron settled in the Rochester, NY area, working first as radio DJ and later in television production. In the early ‘80s, work took Ron to Pittsburgh, where he would eventually become a freelance commercial TV director.
Around 1992 Ron was introduced to the SCA and attended his first event, The Delaware Valley Diner Tour. The next year he was off to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Ron's lifelong fascination with the roadside led to him launch the website, www.TheAmericanRoadside.com in 2005, as a way to connect with others and share his photos and thoughts on his favorite subject. A Flickr group he started soon after now hosts more than 80,000 roadside images.
Jeremy Ebersole, Woodstock, VT
Leaping Muffler Men in a single bound, Jeremy is a passionate lover of all things quirky, off-beat, and eccentric. Growing up on a solid 1980s diet of Midwestern drive-in movie theatres, a requisite college cross-country Route 66 road trip, and a stint amongst the exquisite movie palaces of Los Angeles, his appetite for mimetic architecture, neon signs, Art Deco chevrons, and Googie boomerangs is limitless. Jeremy currently connects travelers to the gems of northern New England as a concierge at the Woodstock Inn & Resort.
He most recently worked in the North of Boston region with the Essex National Heritage Commission, helping to rally the local community around the unique character and sense of place that exists in Essex County, MA. He previously served as the regional National Heritage Areas Communications Coordinator with the National Park Service, as an Admissions Counselor at his alma mater Elizabethtown College, built a labyrinth along the border of the ancient Roman Empire in Germany, dug through even more ancient dirt pursuing a different kind of archaeology in Israel, and of course worked at an old neighborhood cinema (Annville, PA's Allen Theatre). Jeremy holds fast to his conviction that the best architecture is the kind that makes you smile.
Cindy Flora, Clearwater, FL
Cindy Flora has enjoyed writing, art, travel, and photography her entire life and tried to combine those interests whenever possible. She has worked 32 years for Pinellas County Schools (PCS). She was a high school language arts teacher, yearbook advisor, and multicultural committee sponsor before serving in various coordinator and specialist positions at the district level for the past 16 years. She currently coordinates the Principal’s Multicultural Advisory Committee (PMAC) program and Character Education initiatives under the social studies department.
She is the editor of the Pinellas County Schools’ Dimensions of Diversity newsletter which she created in 2002. She is also the webmaster for the PCS PMAC http://www.pcsb.org/Domain/5058 and Character Education http://www.pcsb.org/Page/362 web site pages. She was the past editor for the St. Petersburg Historical Museum newsletter and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Largo, Florida, newsletter. She is a regular contributor to the Storycircle Network and SCA Road Notes.
Her interests also include commercial archaeology (she has spent a lifetime exploring this topic informally and collecting its ephemeral), gardening, horseback riding, running, art (painting, folk art, crafts, etc.), mid-century modern architecture and furnishings, vintage clothes, exotica music and Tiki culture, etc…really the list and future possibilities are infinite. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, a master’s degree in Composition and Rhetoric, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, all from the University of South Florida. She has been married 27 years to Tom Flora, has one daughter, Kaycee Flora, in college, and two step-sons, Jason and Shawn.
Matthew Hayes, Miami, FL
Matt Hayes is a doctoral fellow at the University of Florida. He holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and is currently a professor at Miami-Dade College. He has presented on the subject of historic stadia and arenas at numerous national and international conferences, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Association of Preservation Technology, the Society of Industrial Archeology, the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, the American Planning Association, and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). Matt serves on the board of the Florida chapter of DoCoMoMo (Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement) and continues to conduct research on the architectural and social evolution of ballparks, stadia, and arenas.
Peter B. Ives, Albuquerque, NM
Peter was born in west Texas and raised in New Mexico, living in many small towns in that region as a child. He has in BA in Geography with a minor in History from the University of New Mexico, 1970; was in the USAF from 1971-1973 in England, where he took courses in a Masters program in International Relations. Once back in Albuquerque, he took classes in Art History and worked as Library Information Specialist in Government Publication & Maps, running the Map Room's map and atlas collection for three years. He earned his MS in Library & Information Science from U. of Illinois in 1983. After working a year at the Illinois Dept of Energy & Natural Resources, he was hired by the Universary of New Mexico’s William. J. Parish Memorial Library as a Business Librarian in 1984. He retired as its Collections Manager in 2009, having spent the better part of his career doing reference and collection management for Business and Economics, plus 15 years also as Geography selector.
Kevin Patrick, Indiana, PA
Kevin Patrick was born beneath the nurturing glow of a blinking, multicolored, neon halo at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, and from there came to appreciate all the common landscapes, and commercial roadsides the plebian suburbs had to offer. Searching for answers as to why such built environments look the way they do, he got a BA in Geography at Glassboro State College, an MA in Geography at the University of Illinois, and a PhD in Geography at the University of North Carolina. Along the way, he discovered, researched, wrote, and taught about the evolution of the American road and roadside, joining other like-minded scholars with a membership in the SCA. He has taught Geography at Indiana University of Pennsylvania since 1993. He has also acted as a consultant for the National Park Service’s Lincoln Highway Special Resource Study, Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, and the Allegheny Ridge Corporation’s Main Line Canal Greenway Project.
Kevin is the author of Pennsylvania Caves & Other Rocky Roadside Wonders, coauthor of Diners of Pennsylvania (with Brian Butko and Kyle R. Weaver), and coeditor of Pittsburgh and the Appalachians: Cultural and Natural Resources in a Postindustrial Age (with Joseph Scarpaci) and has written chapters for Looking Beyond the Highway: Dixie Roads and Culture and An Uncommon Passage: Traveling through History on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail. He is currently working on the book, Diners of New Jersey. Kevin has led dozens of commercial landscape-laden field trips through Las Vegas, Chicago, Canada, Pennsylvania, numerous other places throughout the Northeast, and most recently was the leader of SCA’s South Jersey Diner Tour.
Travis Ratterman, Little Rock, AR
Travis Ratermann is the Survey Historian for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, located in Little Rock, AR. He has a B.S. in Historic Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. As the Survey Historian, Travis is involved with reviewing Residential and Commercial District Surveys from throughout the state. In the past, Travis has surveyed the Historic Roadside markers located in the eastern portion of South Dakota. Travis has also surveyed Historic Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis through a grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation program, as part of the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office, where he surveyed historic roadbeds of the famed Route 66, but also its iconic architecture which can be found in most of the small communities that once flourished along the road.
Janice Rohn, Venice, CA
Janice Rohn has been an SCA member for approximately 6 years, and has participated in 3 conferences. Janice designs for a living, and absolutely loves the roadside architecture, neon signs, architectural follies, and other interesting historical icons of our heritage as an SCA member. Janice has worked in high-tech since the inception of personal computers, starting as a researcher at Stanford when the personal computer industry was born, then joining Apple as a designer, where she worked on the design and usability of the operating system, hardware, and other products, including QuickTime, and was a co-author of the Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines. Since Apple, Janice has founded and led User Experience departments at multiple companies, including Sun Microsystems, Siebel, AT&T, Experian, and others, where she has been responsible for the design and usability of websites, web applications, mobile, and interactive TV. She was a founding Board Member and past President of the Usability Professionals' Association and regularly publishes and presents at conferences.
Joe Seely, Chicago, IL
Joe is a lifelong Illinoisian and nearly lifelong commercial archeology enthusiast. He joined the SCA around the mid-1990's, attended his first SCA Conference in Reno in 2002, and has since been hopelessly hooked. He spent his childhood in Centralia (southern Illinois) and Dolton (near Chicago), where he observed the evolution (or devolution) of small agricultural/industrial towns into Anyplace, USA. Wherever he goes, Joe likes to discover what is rare, old, and unusual about the place.
Joe graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a B.A. in English, and has a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Roosevelt University. He has worked at Holland & Knight LLP as a paralegal in the fields of Litigation and Labor and Employment since 2000. His work involves a lot of writing and editing, which he puts to good use within the SCA. Among other activities in his checkered past are karate (purple belt), stand-up comedy, painting (with a decided SCA/Society for Industrial Archeology bias), and urban adventuring (which he swears he has given up).
Ex-Officio Committee Members:
Immediate Past President
Nancy Sturm, Washington D.C.
Nancy has worked professionally as a fundraiser for national Washington-based nonprofit organizations for 22 years. She currently directs the League of Women Voters of the U.S. national fundraising program, which includes direct marketing activities via mail, phone, and the Internet, individual major and mid-level annual giving, planned giving, and corporate, foundation, and government grants. Prior to joining the League’s staff in 2003, she served as an executive director with the National Park Foundation. Previously she held development positions at the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Parks Conservation Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Nancy has a B.A. from Newcomb College of Tulane University.
Brian Butko, West Mifflin, PA
Beth Dodd, Austin, TX
Rick Kilby, Orlando, FL
Kristin Leuschner, Burbank, CA
Greg Smith, Austin, TX
Douglas Towne, Phoenix, AZ
An idyllic evening spent at the former Ward's Motel on East Van Buren Street (formerly U.S. Highways 60, 70, 80 & 89) was, fittingly, the setting for Douglas Towne's first overnight stay in Phoenix in 1986. Captivated by the dichotomy of the strip's neon splendor and its challenging street environment, Doug began to study commercial archeology although he had no idea at the time that such a field existed.
Doug is editor of the Society for Commercial Archeology (SCA) Journal, the SCA News (both since 2004), and Arizona Contractor and Community magazine (since 2012). A former contributor to Phoenix New Times, he has authored more than 25 history articles for PHOENIX magazine, including the cover stories, "Phoenix in the 1920s" and "the Arizona Centennial."
Doug also creates floating montages which incorporate roadside vintage imagery; the resulting pieces are as much social commentary as they are homage to the past. His art has been featured at Modified Arts, Tempe Public Library, the Trunk Space, Tohono Chul Park, the Downtown YMCA, @ Central Gallery, and the Frontal Lobe Gallery.
A badminton enthusiast, Doug has smashed shuttlecocks to win competitions in seven states and one national title. He lives in mid-town Phoenix with his lovely wife and the secret to his success, Maureen.
Ralph Wilcox, Little Rock, AR
Ralph S. Wilcox, National Register and Survey Coordinator for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, is a native of Meadville, Pennsylvania. He has served on the SCA Board for 8 years. He has a B.A. in History from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, and obtained his M.S. in Historic Preservation from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. Ralph has worked for the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology in Indianapolis, Sagamore Environmental Services, Inc., also in Indianapolis, and currently works for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program as the National Register and Survey Coordinator. His work with twentieth-century roadside resources has continued with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program where he has authored National Register nominations for numerous bridges and gas stations, numerous highway segments, and even a single-arch McDonald’s sign.