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Board of Directors

The first official Board of Directors of the HBFF of PA was elected by a unanimous vote during the Pennsylvania Barns Annual Meeting and Tour held June 7, 2009 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

President:

Priscilla deLeon (Term 2017-2020) was appointed to serve as interim Historic Barn and Farm Foundation director on its initial board in 2007 and has continued serving on the board ever since. She is an elected official in Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County, serving since 1988 as a councilwoman and is the current president. She feels very strongly about preserving our heritage through historic preservation and environmental protection. Future generations depend on us for protection and preservation of these precious resources before they are lost forever. In 1993, Priscilla founded the Saucon Valley Conservancy and served as president for a number of years. The Conservancy is the major steward of the Michael (and Margaret) Heller Homestead which is part of the Heller Homestead Park. She structured the first phase of the Heller Barn Stabilization Project, completed in May of 2011, preserving the defining stone archway and its adjacent walls of the Heller Barn ruins.  She was instrumental in starting the Saucon Valley Conservancy’s Annual Barn Tours held for many years.    During her term as president, the Michael and Margaret Heller House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She was one of the leading proponents for the Township accepting ownership of the Lutz-Franklin Schoolhouse in 2002 and the preservation efforts of the Old Mill Bridge (Pratt pony truss bridge) acquired by the Township in 1988. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She is a past board member of the Lower Saucon Township Historical Society.

Vice President:

Chris Witmer (Term 2017-2020)  graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and resides in Berks County. He is a former board member of the Pennsylvania German Society. He is involved in educational activities about the Pennsylvania Dutch through work at Landis Valley Museum, the Goshenhoppen Folk Festival, and Historic Schaefferstown.

Secretary:

Douglas A. Rotondo (Term 2018-2021) is an architect at a firm in Chester County, PA. His appreciation for barns and other vernacular structures originated in college, after discovering books by Robert Ensminger, Eric Sloane, and others in the campus library. He hopes to bring greater attention to the often overlooked barns in the suburban and developing areas throughout the Commonwealth. Of particular focus for him is the metropolitan region west and northwest of Philadelphia, where he has recorded numerous barns in various conditions, some of which are no longer standing. He lives in central Montgomery County and has previously served on the Worcester Township Planning Commission and the Board of Directors of the Worcester Historical Society.

Treasurer:

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Dianna Clemems-Heim (Term 2017-2020) is a graduate of Westminster College (PA) with a degree in Telecommunications and recently earned a master’s in Humanities with a concentration of Arts and Culture from Wilson College. Her thesis, Claiming Ground in Pennsylvania: Women Farmers, Feminism and Activism, included interviews with more than a dozen PA women farmers, several of whom are trailblazers in state agriculture, and focused on women farmers’ challenges and their sustainable contributions to agriculture’s future in the Commonwealth. A former reporter and marketing director, she is the prospect researcher for Wilson College’s Institutional Advancement office. She is the author of two editions of “Cumberland Valley Barns: Past and Present.” Her second edition includes the photography and field notes of HBFF member Phil Schaff.

Directors:

 

161024-clouse-jerry.jpg161024-clouse-jerry.jpg Jerry A. Clouse (Term 2018-2021) began his career as architectural historian as a surveyor for the county wide survey of Cumberland County from 1987 to 1988. In 1988 he began work in the National Register Division of the Bureau for Historic Preservation at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission where he worked for seven years. In 1995 he began work at McCormick Taylor, Inc. where he has worked as Architectural History Group Coordinator for the last 20 years. A long-time member of the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF), he was a tour leader for the 2004 VAF conference held in Harrisburg and also produced segments of the Tour Guide for that
conference. He presented a paper titled, “Philip Haun and His Legacy of Agricultural Re-building in Western Cumberland County, PA” at the 2014 VAF conference at Galloway, New Jersey. He is co-founder of The Perry Historians and is currently president of the Board of Directors. In 2015 he organized a tour of barns in Raccoon and Pfoutz vallies, Perry County.

 

Michael Cuba (Term 2019-2022) is a co-founder of Knobb Hill Joinery, a historic preservation company in northern Vermont focused on traditional restorative joinery techniques.  He also operates Transom HPC, a small consulting firm offering dendrochronology coring services, research, and documentation for historic timbered structures.  Michael is an active member of the Traditional Timber Framer’s Research and Advisory Group.  He has served in various leadership capacities with the Timber Framers Guild and currently serves as editor, along with Adam Miller, of the Guild’s quarterly journal, TIMBER FRAMING. In 2019 Michael was elected to serve as the secretary of the National Barn Alliance’s board of directors.

 

Patrick Donmoyer (Term 2019-2022) is the Director of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University. For over a decade, Patrick has documented decorated barns in southeastern PA, and is the author of the book Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars (2013). Patrick is also the author of numerous articles and two books on folk medicine in Pennsylvania. He is also an active speaker and promoter of the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, and is the print-editor of the dialect journal Hiwwe wie Driwwe.

 

2013_yvonne_ramsey_lefevreYvonne Ramsey-Lefevre (Term 2017-2020) lives in Perkasie, Upper Bucks County. She works for a manufacturing company in Montgomeryville and is concerned about the loss of the region’s rural character. She commented that this loss is occurring at an alarmimg rate and she would like to be part of saving the barns which are an integral part of area.. Yvonne has participated in HBFF of PA’s annual meetings in 2009 and 2010 and all of the historic barn tours — Oley in 2008, Gettysburg in 2009, and Chester County in 2010.

 

Larry LaFevre (Term 2019-2022) is a founding member and Chair of the Holland Twp. Municipal Agricultural Advisory Committee and township liaison to the Hunterdon County Agriculture Development Board. Since 1995, he has chaired the Holland Twp. Historic Preservation Commission, whose accomplishments include the listing of the Riegel Ridge Community Center as a historic site, publication of a sample barn survey, survey of 92 Twp. barns, listing of the Finesville Historic District (with Pohatcong History and Heritage Society), historic house and outbuilding documentation projects, the publication of the ‘Early History of Holland Twp.’ and an ongoing study and dating of township barns using dendrochronology. Larry has a BS in Economics and worked as an IT Manager at the Office of Information Technology, State of NJ, for more than 20 years. He has been  a trustee of the Hunterdon Land Trust  since 2008 and currently chairs the Dvoor Farm Committee, which oversees the uses and restoration of and capital improvements to the Historic Case-Dvoor Farm.

 

2013_bio_judy_lengle Judith Ann Lengle (Term 2018-2021) lives on a farm in the Pine Grove area of Schuylkill County. Her son lives on a farm close by so together they have two old barns. “I have loved barns and farms since I was a child visiting my uncle’s farm. I have been keeping my own horses since I was 10 years old. My dream was to have a farm of my own. I thank God every day that the dream has come true. My husband Scott and I have three horses and we trail ride together, doing horse camping in the mountains of Pennsylvania during the summer months. I have two grandchildren that I keep two days a week and truly love having the opportunity to watch them grow up and enjoy farm life with them. My son does most of the farming now. We raise hay, a few beef calves, produce maple syrup, and we do our own butchering. I think of old barns as hallowed places, and I can’t see enough of them. I have discovered many log cribs barns in my local area, and I look forward to finding more.

 

James A. Lewars (Term 2018-2022) is a native of Berks County who received his B.A. from Penn State (Journalism and History) and his M.A. from Penn State (American Studies). He enjoyed a 42 year career working at state historic sites, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission before retiring in 2017. From 1975-1981 he worked on the staff of the Daniel Boone Homestead (serving as Acting Administrator at Boone from 1980-1981). He was the Site Manager of the Conrad Weiser Homestead from 1981-1985 and was also the Acting Administrator of the Ephrata Cloister from 1983-1984. In December 1984 he became Administrator of the Daniel Boone Homestead, serving in that capacity until December 2009; from 1985 until 2004 he also administered the Conrad Weiser Homestead. From December 2009 until his retirement in February 2017 he was the Director of the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum. Throughout his career his museums won several awards for excellence from the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums/ PA Museums; and also from the American Association for State and Local History. He has served on the boards of the Historical Society of Berks County, the Berks County Visitors Bureau, various museum consortia (Lancaster County Museum, Council, the Berks County Museum Council, and the Rural History Confederation) and currently serves on the board of the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County. He continues to volunteer at the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum and with other historical organizations.

 

Jeffery Marshall (Term 2017-2020) President of Resource Protection at Heritage Conservancy in Doylestown, PA has been involved in historic preservation for 30 years having been involved with the documenting, photographing and researching of over 10,000 old buildings. He is a recognized expert in southeastern Pennsylvania historic architecture. He has taught courses on local history and preservation at the Bucks County Community College. Mr. Marshall has been a presenter at the National Trust for Historic Preservation annual conference as well as numerous other state and regional conference. Marshall serves on the Board of Directors of the National Barn Alliance and Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania. He is the co-author of the recently published Barns of Bucks County as well as other books on various aspects of Bucks County history and architecture.In 2003 he was the recipient of inaugural “Bucks County Preservation Legacy Award” created in his honor for more than 20 years of leadership and dedication for the preservation of historic places and open spaces by the Bucks County Commissioners. He is also the recipient of Governor, Senate and Pennsylvania of Representatives commendations for career achievements in conservation and preservation.

 

Terry Necciai (Term 2016-2019) is a licensed architect specializing in historic preservation and documenting historic buildings and landscapes in Western Pennsylvania .  He has prepared National Register nominations for many rural properties including 20 farms.  As the 2011 recipient of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s Peterson Fellowship, he conducted an intensive study of “The Pennsylvania Farm Landscape as a Historic Resource,” identifying the parts of agricultural landscapes shaped and designed to function like outdoor rooms, especially in relation to barns and other outbuilding, such as meadows, upland crop fields, pastures, haystack yards, composting areas, woodlots, orchards, and gardens, as defined by waterways, fences, and similar features.

 

Laura Walker, Term 2016-2019 For many years, Laura Walker applied an avid curiosity, a scholar’s depth and practical know-how to her study of the rural vernacular architecture of Washington County. She was active with local non-profit groups and citizen’s committees, advocating for historic preservation and farmland protection. In 2014 she and Terry Necciai hosted HBFF’s tour there. She has been on the board of HBFF since 2010, and also served as treasurer for several years. But now (2018) the little farm in Washington County has been sold and Laura and her husband have moved to a retirement community in Lexington Virginia. No doubt she will continue her interests in agriculture, history and preservation there too.