PastForward Online Speakers

Save the date for the PastForward National Preservation Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 28-30, 2024.

Tell Me More!

Learn more about the speakers for the PastForward Online symposium on climate change, April 3&4, 2024.

Lloyd Alter, Writer, Architect, and Teacher

Lloyd has been an architect, real estate developer, and writer, and is a past president of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. He teaches sustainable design at Toronto Metropolitan University. He has contributed to many publications, including The Guardian, Green Building Advisor, Corporate Knights, and Azure magazines, and was a contributor and editor at for 15 years. Lloyd is the author of Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle and his new book, The Story of Upfront Carbon, will be published in May 2024.

Erica Avrami, Assistant Professor, Historic Preservation, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Erica is also the co-director of Adapting the Existing Built Environment Earth Network and serves as the co-chair of the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation's Experts Advisory Committee. 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 policies toward equity, resilience, and decarbonization. Recently published works include Preservation, Sustainability, and Equity (2021), Preservation and Social Inclusion (2020), Preservation and the New Data Landscape (2020), and Values in Heritage Management (2019). Her latest book, Second-Order Preservation: Social Justice and Climate Action through Heritage Policy, is forthcoming in fall 2024.

Jack Barrow, Program Director, Cornerstones

Jake joined Cornerstones as Program Director in 2009 after retiring from a thirty-year historic preservation career in the National Park Service (NPS). The majority of those years were spent in the southwest focusing on earthen, stone, and timber architecture where he served as project manager and architectural conservator. He began his career as a carpentry contractor in 1970 and started working in historic preservation in 1978 in the National Capital Region of the NPS. He first volunteered for Cornerstones in 1987 shortly after moving to Santa Fe. He was named Executive Director in April of 2016. In December of 2020 he returned to his former position of Program Director

Bruce Becker, President, Becker + Becker

Over his 35-year career as an architect and developer Bruce have completed seven adaptive re-use HTC projects which resulted in over $330 million of transformative investment and creation of over 1500 units of housing in distressed communities and blighted urban properties. Each project has won City, State and/or National preservation awards. Three of the seven were certified as either LEED Platinum or LEED Silver.

Sara C. Bronin, Chair, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Sara C. Bronin was confirmed by unanimous consent by the United States Senate in December 2022 to serve as the 12th chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. A Mexican American, she is the first person of color to serve in this position. Chair Bronin is on leave from her tenured position at Cornell University, where she serves as Professor in the College of Architecture Art & Planning, Professor in the Rubacha Department of Real Estate, an Associate Faculty Member of the Law School, and a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Field of Architecture. Chair Bronin received a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.Sc. in Economic and Social History from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and received a B.Arch. and B.A. in the Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sean Denniston, Associate Director, New Buildings Institute

Prior to joining New Buildings Institute (NBI) in 2009, he worked for several years with an historic preservation consulting and development firm founded to rehabilitate historic residential properties with a special emphasis on energy efficiency upgrades that are effective and sensitive to the significant aspects of historic buildings. Sean’s work at NBI includes analysis and review of data relative to commercial building energy performance and prediction, code and energy program effectiveness and energy technologies. He also does research and review of commercial building design practices and energy and green technologies, including application, cost, savings and reliability, preparing analysis and graphics on commercial building energy use.

Lori Ferriss, Senior Fellow, Architecture 2030

Lori’s award-winning work spans design projects and research investigations to policy development with a focus on advancing climate action and equity through design. She is a co-developer of Architecture 2030’s CARE Tool, which estimates the carbon benefits of reusing and retrofitting buildings for designers, owners, planners, and policymakers. Her work establishing carbon accounting methods for historic buildings has been featured in publications ranging from the Journal of Architectural Conservation to Architect Magazine and presented on-stage at UN COP Climate Change Conferences. She serves as the 2023 Chair of the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment, sits on the Steering Committee of the Climate Heritage Network, and is an expert member on the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change.

Patrice Frey, Senior Advisor, Main Street America

At Main Street America, Patricia leads an initiative to accelerate investment in small-scale real estate development projects on Main Streets.  Patrice previously served as President & CEO of Main Street America (MSA) between 2013 and 2022, overseeing the creation of MSA as an independent subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Prior to her time at MSA, Patrice served as the Director of Sustainability at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she led the National Trust’s efforts to promote the reuse and greening of older and historic buildings.

Will Hurst, Managing Editor, The Architects' Journal (London)

Will Hurst is an award-winning British journalist who has spent his career writing about architecture and construction. He has written extensively about the climate crisis and leads the AJ’s anti-demolition campaign RetroFirst. He played a pivotal role in prompting the public inquiry into controversial plans by retailer Marks & Spencer to demolish its Oxford Street store, a proposal rejected by Secretary of State Michael Gove in 2023 on heritage and embodied carbon grounds. Hurst has written for national titles such as the Guardian, Times, Telegraph, and Financial Times. His investigation into Boris Johnson’s proposed Garden Bridge won him a British Journalism Award in 2017 and was shortlisted for that year’s Paul Foot Award. Most recently, Hurst co-founded the cross-industry lobby group Don’t Waste Buildings.

James B. Lindberg, Senior Policy Director, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Jim has more than 30 years of experience in preservation, planning, and sustainable development, including five years as director of the National Trust’s Preservation Green Lab. He has led nationally recognized preservation and sustainable development projects, including the adaptive use of a former dude ranch in Rocky Mountain National Park and the green rehabilitation of a historic school in Denver. Jim earned his BA in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Haverford College and his MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning.

Vince Martinez, President and COO, Architecture 2030

Through his 17-year tenure at Architecture 2030, Vincent Martinez has been working to solve the climate crisis by catalyzing global building decarbonization efforts through the development and activation of robust networks focused on private sector commitments, education, training, and public policies. Vincent has facilitated the collective impact of a large spectrum of industry partners and organizations to create local, regional, national and international initiatives and programs. Vincent is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and was the 2018 chair of the AIA Energy Leadership Group, a former member of the AIA Sustainability Leadership Group, and is the current chair of the AIA Committee on Climate Action and Design Excellence. He was named an Emerging Leader by the Design Futures Council in 2015.

Christina McPike, Vice President, Energy and Sustainability, WinnCompanies

Since joining WinnCompanies in 2013, Ms. McPike has implemented over $60 million worth of energy efficiency upgrades across Winn’s multifamily housing portfolio, while leading several innovative research and implementation initiatives with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as local and state partners. Under Ms. McPike’s leadership, Winn successfully integrates high-performance and low-carbon design in every project it undertakes, from historic adaptive reuse to ground-up new construction and deep energy retrofits, while continuously creating and preserving healthy and sustainable communities.

Shanon Shea Miller, Historic Preservation Officer and Director, San Antonio

Under Shanon’s leadership, the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) implements an award-winning program that includes extensive education and outreach, technical training, a comprehensive designation initiative, design, and development review, the City’s Vacant Building Program, the new Deconstruction and Circular Economy Program, and the Material Innovation Center at Port San Antonio. OHP also operates the Legacy Business program, the Living Heritage Trades Academy, and the Living Heritage Symposium. Shanon co-chairs the Big Cities Preservation Network of the HPOs in the country’s 23 largest cities. Shanon is a member of the first Climate Heritage Network Steering Committee and was appointed as the Co-Chair for the North America Region of the CHN in November 2021.

Jenny Parker, Program Manager, Cultural Resources Climate Change and Appeals Program, National Park Service

Jenny Parker recently moved to the position of Program Manager for the Cultural Resources Climate Change and Appeals Program within the National Park Service (NPS). Jenny has 17 years of prior experience with the NPS, where she developed guidance related to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards like the Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. She also reviewed applications for the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. In her new role, Jenny is coordinating and leading projects to develop resources and guidance related to the stewardship of cultural resources with vulnerabilities to climate change.

Julianne Polanco, California State Historic Preservation Officer

Julianne Polanco is a heritage professional with more than two decades of experience, from the international to local levels, focused on building rehabilitation, historic site stewardship, cultural heritage, climate change and public policy.  Her extensive work in the natural resources, environmental, and land conservation arenas has been on behalf of a member of Congress, California Governors, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. Currently the California State Historic Preservation Officer, Julianne oversees preservation laws, working in collaboration with Tribal nations, adjacent communities, federal and state agencies, and non-governmental organizations, to steward cultural and historic resources.  She is dedicated to helping ensure that the stories of all communities are present in the rich and beautiful mosaic of our shared history.  A primary focus of her work is on the intersection of cultural heritage and climate action, raising the voices of communities to create a just, low carbon, resilient future. Julianne is a founding member and Immediate Past Co-Chair of the Climate Heritage Network and a Fellow of the Urban Land Institute’s Sustainability Council. She serves as Senior Advisor to the Preserving Legacies framework.

Nakita Reed, Senior Associate, Quinn Evans

Nakita Reed is an award-winning architect with experience in the rehabilitation and sustainable reuse of existing and historic buildings. She has a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. She is a registered architect, a LEED®-Accredited Professional, and a certified Passive House Consultant. She serves on the board of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation and is a co-chair of the Zero Net Carbon Collaboration for Existing and Heritage Buildings (ZNCC). She is also the host of Tangible Remnants, a podcast for lovers of existing buildings that explores the intersection of architecture, preservation, sustainability, race & gender.

Brad Shattuck, Regional Chief of Facility Management, National Park Service

Brad has more than 25 years managing parks in all levels of the National Park Service, including cost efficiency and sustainably, and managing facilities programs in a manner that preserves cultural and natural resources so visitors may enjoy them in perpetuity.

Seri Worden, Senior Director of Preservation Programs, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Seri Worden brings two decades of expertise in historic preservation, urban planning, and nonprofit leadership to her role at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In this capacity, Seri provides invaluable on-the-ground insight and spearheads high-profile initiatives such as the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab and Backing Historic Small Restaurants. Prior to the National Trust, Seri held significant roles, including executive director of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, executive director of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, and project leader for the American Express Foundation's Partners in Preservation-New York City initiative. Seri's academic credentials include a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a degree in Art History from Boston University.

This May, our Preservation Month theme is “People Saving Places” to shine the spotlight on everyone doing the work of saving places—in big ways and small—and inspiring others to do the same!