The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance
Board of Directors

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is governed by a board of directors that includes leaders from around the state who have made significant contributions to the business, public, and nonprofit sectors in New Hampshire.

Ian Blackman of Chichester specializes in restoring and preserving historic barns and houses, and is both a trusted adviser and a popular Preservation Alliance workshop presenter. Blackman is a graduate of North Bennet Street School's furniture making program.  He was a preservation carpenter at Canterbury Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark, from 1997 to 2003, and then launched his own preservation contracting business.

Byron Champlin of Concord has collaborated with the Preservation Alliance for many years as a frequent contributor on the communications committee. He also has edited our newsletter for almost two decades. Recently retired after 27 years with Lincoln Financial Group, Champlin is a member of Concord’s city council. He previously worked as a reporter for The Union Leader, served for seven years as communications officer for the N.H. House of Representatives, and as public relations director for Colby-Sawyer College. An independent historian and arts advocate, he has written and lectured on Concord’s role in World War I and has worked to advance the creative economy in New Hampshire.

David F. Choate III of Rye has more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience. He has been the managing partner of the Portsmouth office of Colliers International since 1991. In his career, David has been involved in transactions with a total value of more than $250 million. New Hampshire Commercial Investment Board of REALTORS named him the 2014 Realtor of the Year. Choate serves on the boards of The Housing Partnership, Northern New England Real Estate Network, and A Safe Place in New Hampshire.

Michael Duffy, Secretary, of Manchester, has been repairing and rehabilitating historic buildings for three decades. His most recent work is redeveloping old houses in Manchester. He serves on the Manchester Heritage Commission. 

Jeanie Forrester is the town administrator in Tilton and a selectboard member in Meredith, where she lives. She began her government service in the administration of then-Governor John H. Sununu and served as a New Hampshire Senator from 2010 to 2016. Forrester is the co-owner of Forrester Environmental Services. She was previously was the executive director for Main Street programs in Meredith and Plymouth.   

Jeffrey D. Gilbert, Immediate Past Chair, is a broadly experienced businessman who practiced law for 14 years, primarily as a business lawyer, and then spent a number of years as an investment banker. Currently, he is one of two principals of W.J.P. Development, LLC, which owns and manages retail and community shopping centers in New Hampshire. Gilbert has been active in politics since 2000, serving as a State Representative and vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from 2002 to 2005. Currently, he is chairman of the board of directors of New Hampshire Public Broadcasting, president of the board of trustees of the Housing Partnership, a local organization providing affordable housing in the Seacoast region, and treasurer and board member of Seacoast Hospice. Gilbert has served as chairman, vice chairman, and treasurer of the board of trustees of Strawberry Banke Museum. He lives in Rye.

Jeffrey Ingram is president of Ingram Construction Corporation, a construction company he founded in 1981 with his father, specializing in commercial, industrial, and historic restoration and preservation projects. The firm primarily works in southern New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Connecticut River Valley. Jeff was a friend and colleague of Rick Monahon and had teamed with him on several preservation projects and studies. Ingram has been the contractor for Preservation Alliance award-winning projects in Keene, Drewsville, Newport, Temple, and Nelson. Ingram served on the board of the Associated General Contractors of NH from 1990 to 1999 and was Chapter President in 2000. He currently serves on the board of NH Commercial Contractors Safety Group. He lives in Westmoreland with his wife, Lori.

Tracy Kozak, AIA, is an architect with JSA Inc. and served on the Portsmouth Historic District commission for a decade. Kozak is currently a Board Member for the AIA, New Hampshire chapter, and a member of the N.H. Environmental Guild. She lives in Portsmouth. 

Frank Lemay, Chair, is the president and owner of Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc., a construction management, general contracting, and consulting business. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and a registered structural engineer. He is currently the president of the board of directors for Second Start in Concord, serving as a board member since 2005.  He served on the board of directors of CATCH Neighborhood Housing from 1995 to 2005. His business focus is on institutional, educational, medical, business, and historic preservation clients.  Projects include Portsmouth's historic North Church, Folsom Tavern in Exeter, Ashland's Historic School, and Manchester's Odd Fellows building.  He lives in Chichester.

Lorraine S. Merrill and her family own and operate a dairy farm in Stratham. She served as commissioner of New Hampshire’s Department of Agriculture for a decade and on the USNH Board of Trustees for 18 years. Also a journalist and technical writer, Merrill and two collaborators, demographer Peter Francese and filmmaker Jay Childs, produced a book and documentary in 2008 titled, Communities and Consequences: The Unbalancing of New Hampshire’s Human Ecology and What We Can Do About It. The trio is currently updating their research and producing a sequel documentary and book.

Nick Mitchell, Vice Chair, was the president of MC2, Inc, a marketing and strategic planning firm he founded in 1992 and ran until his retirement in 2015. He previously served as managing partner of Altman and Manley/Eagle advertising. Nick graduated from The Lawrenceville School and earned a BA in Economic at Boston University. He has developed marketing strategies and advertising campaigns for a diverse group of clients including Agfa Corporation, Anheuser-Busch, Bitstream, Caterpillar Tractor and GTE/Sylvania. He has also managed communications and media relations for several U.S. Senate and House campaigns and served as vice president/communications director of Americans for Campaign Reform, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.  Nick is a former chair of the board of The Fells historic estate in Newbury, N.H., and former chair of the board of The Friends Program in Concord, N.H.  He lives in Warner in an historic cape built in 1796.

Rebecca Mitchell is a former reference librarian specializing in history at Vassar College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. At the latter she was also head of the Area Research Center, an archival center operated in conjunction with the Wisconsin Historical Society. Mitchell grew up spending summers at a family home in Hopkinton Village. She and her husband moved to Stratham in 2001 and she has been a member of the Stratham Heritage Commission for 11 years. Mitchell serves on the Stratham Planning Board's Gateway Commercial Zone Planning Committee and is on the board of the Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society.

Lori Wamser, Treasurer, is the controller for the New Hampshire Legal Assistance  She is a certified public accountant with more than 30 years of experience, mostly in the non-profit sector.  Lori served as treasurer and vice-chair of Home Health and Hospice Care of Nashua from 1996 to 1999, and was board chair of Emerson School in Concord from 2001 to 2003.  She lives in Dunbarton. 

Ben Wilson holds a degree in history and African American studies from Syracuse University, a certificate in preservation carpentry from the North Bennet Street School in Boston, and a master’s degree in building conservation from the University of York, England. Currently, he is the director of the Bureau of Historic Sites within the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation.  He has worked professionally in the field of historic preservation and museums for more than 20 years in South Carolina, Georgia, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. Ben currently sits on the boards of the Association of Preservation Technology, the Gundalow Company of Portsmouth, and his local Rotary Club. He lives in a restored 1791 tavern in the town of Hopkinton with his wife Lucy and their two boys, Lincoln and Harrison.

Recently rotated off board:

Kathy Bogle Shields was most recently the executive director of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, a quasi-state agency that oversees state investment in housing, economic and community development projects. Prior to her appointment at N.H. CDFA, Shields was manager of Providian Financial Community Grants and Investment Program, and as such led an innovative program to expand and improve child care in the state of New Hampshire and nationally. As a volunteer, she chaired the N.H. Main Street Center board of directors and served as an incorporator of Canterbury Shaker Village and as the inaugural chair of Canterbury's Historic District Commission. Currently, she is involved as a local lake host, volunteering to help boaters understand the importance of protecting New Hampshire lakes, particularly on Clough Pond. She lives in Canterbury.

Sue Booth became the owner of Vintage Kitchens in 1995 after working as a speech therapist for many years. She discovered her love for kitchens, renovations, and space planning after purchasing a small bungalow in the east end of Manchester. Her research and study of kitchens appropriate for her purchase resulted in her current career choice as a kitchen designer. Architectural study remains a favorite hobby of Sue and her husband Steve, a finish carpenter. In addition to her strong interest in preservation and restoration, Sue enjoys gardening, knitting, sewing, and antique hunting. She lives in Canterbury.

Lisa Thompson is an attorney with Hage Hodes P.A. in Manchester, where she focuses on business and intellectual property law, advising clients in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors on issues such as governance, brand management, copyrights, internet, and privacy issues.  She absorbed a love of modernist architecture while growing up in Houston, then studied medieval art and architecture in college.  Since returning to New Hampshire, she has visited more than 100 towns in the state and continues to pursue her goal of visiting all of them.  Her husband is the program director at New Hampshire Public Radio.   

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