Palm Springs Preservation Foundation
 

Board of Directors

Vacancies on the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation Board of Directors are filled with appointments made by the existing board in accordance with the foundation’s bylaws. While candidates for the board are typically nominated by the current board, nominations from the PSPF membership are welcomed.
A board member of the PSPF is enthusiastic and passionate about the preservation of the historic resources of the city of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. He or she has a commitment to the ideals of preservation and the PSPF mission.

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation’s Board of Directors is composed of ten volunteers:

 

ErikErik R. Rosenow,
President

Erik works in the health care industry for the McKesson Corporation. He and his wife Ashley moved to Palm Springs in 2008 purely for their love of the mid-century architecture. They live in a Donald Wexler-designed home in the El Rancho Vista Estates neighborhood, where Erik chairs the neighborhood organization. Erik also serves as the administrator of PSPF’s very popular Facebook fan page.

RonRonald W. Marshall,
Secretary
Ron is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, a retired senior federal government executive and an author who has written on a variety of subjects including modernist architecture, silver jewelry and Scandinavian ceramics. Ron served as the PSPF President from 2008-2013. A full-time resident of Palm Springs for seven years, Ron and his wife Barbara now share their time between Palm Springs and Baltimore. When in Baltimore they reside in the Highfield House designed in 1964 by architect Mies van der Rohe.

StevenSteven Keylon,
At-large

Steven is a landscape historian who writes and lectures about Southern California's cultural landscapes. He is on the Stewardship Council of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, and on the Boards of Docomomo US/SoCal and the California Garden and Landscape History Society. Steven and his partner, metal sculptor John De La Rosa, live in a Herbert Burns-designed house in Deepwell Estates.

JanJan Harper,
At-large
After vacationing here for 15 years, Jan was bitten by the Palm Springs bug and now splits her time between an airy, downtown Seattle loft and her midcentury-inspired art-filled home in Palm Springs' south end. Jan's career as an executive in retail management with Macy's and Lord & Taylor had her hopscotching across the country to New York or Texas, Atlanta or Chicago. But her love of all things modern and the historic preservation of significant architecture drew her to the desert to what she calls her "someday permanent home." A gal with a hint of Texas twang from her home state, Jan is a seasoned member of boards that serve the fashion industry, kids' issues and the arts.

  GaryGary Johns,
Vice President

Gary is a Realtor for The Paul Kaplan Group and has been an outspoken advocate of preservation for many years. Gary frequently acts as the “public face” of the foundation before city boards, commissions and council meetings and serves on the board of Modernism Week and on the city's Historic Site Preservation Board. Gary lives in south Palm Springs in a restored Canyon View Estates condominium designed by the firm of Palmer & Krisel.

TracyTracy Beckmann,
At-large

Tracy is an LA native and spent her childhood coming to Palm Springs to vacation with her family. This is where her love for Mid-Century Modern architecture began. In Los Angeles she ran a successful hospitality interior design firm, Tracy Beckmann Design, which designed hotels, restaurants and bars in both the US and Australia. In 2009, Tracy and furniture designer, Ryan Trowbridge, purchased the famed architect John Lautner's only hotel located in Desert Hot Springs. After an extensive four year renovation, Beckmann moved to the Coachella Valley in 2013 to operate the award winning hotel now known as Hotel Lautner. She lives with her fine artist fiancé, Danny Heller, in their home adjacent to the hotel with their two chihuahuas Charlie and Matilda.

RickRichard D. "Rick" Hobbs-Seeley,
At-large
Rick hails from Long Beach, California where his family has resided for over 100 years. He maintains a second home there in architect Hugh Gibbs' mid-century Galaxy Towers in the historic Bluff Park neighborhood. He is a founding member of Long Beach Heritage which named Rick and his husband, Bradley, "Preservationists of the Year" in 2011 to recognize over 30 years of their support. Rick's love for Palm Springs started as a child on a family vacation and he currently resides in the Bella Monte community of South Palm Springs. He is also a director of the Southern California Gas Company where he has been employed since 1983.
  James R. HarlanJames R. Harlan,
At-large

A Chicago native, Jim is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Architecture. Jim established his architectural practice, which specializes in residential projects, in 1989 and formerly served on the city of Palm Springs' Architectural Advisory Committee. In recent years, Jim has written nominations for historic districts in both Palm Springs and Palm Desert and is the author of the popular PSPF tribute journal The Alexanders: A Desert Legacy. He resides in a modernist home in Palm Springs' Historic Tennis Club neighborhood designed by architect Dean W. Davidson in 1965.

Steven PriceSteven Price,
At-large
Steven is an author, producer, speaker, historian and preservation consultant. His book, TROUSDALE ESTATES: Mid-Century to Modern in Beverly Hills, is scheduled to be published in late 2016. Steven makes frequent media appearances to discuss Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Palm Springs architecture, preservation and urbanism. He has served as a consultant to the City of Beverly Hills, assisting with both their historical resource survey and list of Master Architects. Steven is the Director of the Harold W. Levitt Professional Archive and has advised on its placement with academic institutions. A full-time Coachella Valley resident, Steven enjoys life from the 8th Tee at the Marrakesh Country Club, a John Elgin Woolf and Ric Harrison-designed community in Palm Desert.

Barbara Anne MarshallBarbara Anne Marshall,
Treasurer
Barbara is a retired senior federal government executive who served as the PSPF administrator from 2008-2013 before joining the board. She served as the President of the Sunmor Neighborhood Organization and on the city's Historic Site Preservation Board where she was instrumental in gaining Palm Springs' its status as a Preserve America Community. A full-time resident of Palm Springs for seven years, Barbara and her husband Ron now divide their time between Palm Springs and Baltimore. When in Baltimore they reside in the Highfield House designed in 1964 by architect Mies van der Rohe.

Board of Advisors

Vacancies on the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation Board of Advisors are filled with appointments made by our Board of Directors. These advisors provide our directors with advice, insight and expertise on a wide array of matters including strategic planning, advocacy, financial objectives, corporate compliance, public relations, education and outreach, membership growth, etc.

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation’s Board of Advisors is composed of five volunteers:

 

Doug Hudson
Doug is an architect whose work includes the recently completed Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Since moving to Palm Springs in 2002, he has concentrated on residential and commercial projects, including Port Lawrence. Doug is a former member of both the Palm Springs Architectural Advisory Committee and Planning Commission. He lives in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood with his partner Erich Burkhart.

Tracy Conrad
Tracy is an Emergency Physician and the Chief Operating Officer of the famous Smoke Tree Ranch where she lives in an E. Stewart Williams-designed ranch house with her husband and two children. Tracy formerly served on the Palm Springs Planning Commission and is a former member of the Historic Site Preservation Board. She owns and has restored a number of historic properties in Palm Springs.
  Gary Grasso
Gary is the owner of a public relations and marketing agency specializing in media relations and on-line publicity. He created a start-up publicity campaign and special events to promote the preservation and revitalization of Old Pasadena, California, which is recognized as a national model for “main street” preservation efforts. Gary and his wife own a Palmer & Krisel designed Alexander home in the historic Twin Palms neighborhood.

Susan Secoy JensenSusan Secoy Jensen
Susan holds a Master’s Degree from the UCLA School of Architecture & Urban Design and has an extensive background in historic preservation and modernism. In 1996 she established Secoy Architects, Inc. which specializes in mid-century design and adaptive reuse projects, both residential and commercial. Susan currently serves on the city’s Architectural Advisory Committee. She lives with her husband Dan in a house they recently restored on Southridge.
  Richard A. "Kip" Serafin
For over a decade, since the mid-2000s, Kip has supported the Palm Springs Historic Site Foundation, and later the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, in a variety of capacities from partner liaison to board member. Kip's expertise in corporate compliance matters and non-profit management and operation has proved to be an invaluable asset to the foundation on innumerable occasions. Kip is the principal of The Kip Group, Richard Allen Associates and Locations 760 and is involved in high-profile event management in Palm Springs and throughout the Coachella Valley. Kip resides in Palm Springs.

 

Honorary Board Members

Honorary Board Members are recognized for their contributions to the fulfillment of the PSPF mission. These contributions include financial support, professional expertise and/or donations of significant volunteer time to the foundation.

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation's Honorary Board recognizes four individuals:

 

Alan HessAlan Hess,
Honorary Board Member

Architect and historian Alan Hess is author of nineteen books on Modern architecture and urbanism in the mid-twentieth century; his subjects include John Lautner, Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Ranch House, Googie architecture, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs. He is the architecture critic of the San Jose Mercury News, a contributor to The Architects Newspaper, grant recipient from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and a National Arts Journalism Program Fellow. He has received the Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Docomomo/US's Award of Excellence, and the President's Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy for three decades of work in preserving Modern architecture. Among the Modern buildings he has helped to preserve are the oldest remaining McDonalds, Stuart Pharmaceutical building by Edward Durell Stone, Valley Ho Motor Inn, Bullock's Pasadena by Wurdeman and Becket, and Norm's La Cienega.

William Kopelk,
President Emeritus

From 2001-2008, William served as the president of the Palm Springs Historic Site Foundation which (operating as the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation) published a series of important educational journals on local architecture, architectural styles (Tiki and Spanish-inspired) and architects (E. Stewart Williams and William F. Cody). William is one of the founders of Palm Springs' Modernism Week which began in 2005. William received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon, worked as the Landscape Architect for Harvard University, and later worked as a Landscape Architect for Walter Gropius' renowned firm, The Architect's Collaborative (TAC). After working for various architectural offices in New York City, William moved to California and in 2000 established his design company InsideOutside, Inc.
  Marianne & Tom O'Connell,
Honorary Board Members

Marianne and Tom O’Connell are both native Californians. Lifelong fans of Frank Sinatra and modern architecture, their purchase of Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate (1947, E. Stewart Williams) was a predictable step when they looked in Palm Springs for a vacation home in 2009. They immediately became supporters of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation and offered the Sinatra Estate to PSPF to use for fundraising during Modernism Week. They donate the use of the former home of Frank Sinatra to many other charities but kindly say that PSPF remains their “primary interest.” The O’Connell’s spend a week each month in Palm Springs where they love the weather, the friendly community and the wonderful environment.

  Hugh M. Kaptur Hugh M. Kaptur,
Honorary Board Member

Architect Hugh Michael Kaptur attended the Lawrence Institute of Technology (now Lawrence Technological University) and went to work for General Motors Styling in the Exhibit Design department in Detroit. Hugh moved to Palm Springs in 1956 where he briefly apprenticed with the architectural firm of Wexler & Harrison and in 1966 became a licensed California architect. During his professional career, Hugh has contributed considerable volunteer time to the city both as a member of the Palm Springs Architectural Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission. Some of Hugh's many notable commissions include the Burgess Residence (1957), Palm Springs Golf Club Clubhouse (1959), Steve McQueen Residence (1964) and Tahquitz Plaza (1974 and 1977). Hugh became an honorary PSPF board member in August of 2015.

 

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation recognizes three former board members In Memoriam:

 

Donald Wexler Donald A. Wexler,
In Memoriam

Architect Donald A. Wexler (1926-2015) served as a PSPF honorary board member from May of 2010 until June of 2015. A 1950 graduate of the University of Minnesota's School of Architecture, Don worked briefly for famed modernist architect Richard Neutra before coming to Palm Springs in 1952 to work with architect William F. Cody on the Tamarisk Country Club. After a productive partnership with architect Richard Harrison, in 1961 Don started his own firm and went on to build some of Palm Springs' most beloved civic buildings and residences (including the Palm Springs International Airport and the Steel Development Houses). Much of Don's work was showcased during PSPF's popular Wexler Weekend in January of 2010 which saw the release of a tribute journal, Donald Wexler: Architect, chronicling his impressive career. Don was active in preservation issues involving the Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan, Oasis Commercial Building, Royal Hawaiian Estates and the Steel Development Houses.

  Patrick McGrew,
In Memoriam

Author and architect Patrick McGrew (1941-2013) served on PSPF's board of directors from January of 2009 until March of 2013. Prior to moving to Palm Springs in 2005, Patrick was a formidable force for preservation in San Francisco serving as the president of that city's Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board for many years. Patrick's pro bono efforts on behalf of the city of Palm Springs included the submission of many important Class 1 historic site nominations including Royal Hawaiian Estates (the city's first residential historic district) and the Kocher-Samson Building (the city's first modernist building). Patrick was the author of various books on California architecture including Donald Wexler: Architect and Desert Spanish: The Early Architecture of Palm Springs.
  William KriselWilliam Krisel,
In Memoriam

Architect William Krisel (1924-2017) served as a PSPF honorary board member from July of 2009 until June of 2017. A 1949 graduate of the USC School of Architecture, William "Bill" Krisel's huge body of work includes many important contributions to the architecture of Palm Springs. As a principal of the firm of Palmer & Krisel, Bill's local projects included designing modernist tract homes for the Alexander Construction Company in Twin Palms Estates, Vista Las Palmas and Racquet Club Road Estates. Aside from being an outspoken preservationist in the Brentwood area, Bill found time to be a persuasive voice on such important Palm Springs issues as the historic designation of the Town & Country Center and Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan. Bill was the foundation's first honorary board member.

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