PTN Board
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PTN Board 2015-2016

Zak Dunne

Zak Dunne, Galena, Illinois

Fifteen years ago, I started painting historic structures at night; while attending college classes during the day. I immediately fell in love with the craftsmanship that went into building these structures. The craftsmanship that is lost today; as today's buildings are only built as temporary structures. After being torn away from my education to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I decided upon my return that I would dedicate the rest of my career to preservation. After laboring in the field for over five years; I gained first hand knowledge on proper masonry restoration techniques. Be it lime putty mortars, working with stone patch materials, or hunting around to find the perfect brick match; I love masonry. My second love would be historic windows. I have reworked thousands of wood and steel windows on many prominent structures. Over the last six years I have acted as project manager/estimator. There have been numerous courthouse towers, train depots, libraries, a few Frank Lloyd Wright's, and other commanding structures that have won numerous awards. I do what I love, and love what I do. It's about saving these treasures so that future generation have the opportunity to touch the buildings; not just see them in pictures.

Sarah Jackson

Sarah Jackson, Natchitoches, Louisiana - Secretary

Graduated from Texas A&M University in 2003 with a Bachelors of Environmental Design and from Savannah College of Art and Design with a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation in 2005. While a student at SCAD I came to NCPTT as summer intern and have now been here over 8 years! I completed NCPTT's Study on the Durability of Traditional and Modified Limewash in 2005 and have continued with additional testing. I have spoken on the topic at AIC's Annual Meeting, APT's Annual Meeting, Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference and several times at PTN events. I have also completed research on removing paint from historic bricks and am beginning a study comparing different types of lime for use in mortars. I have spent countless hours renovating my 1930's cottage just outside the historic district in Natchitoches, LA. I am interested in making historic buildings more energy efficient while retaining their historic fabric. Some of these things are inherent in the design and have been lost over time.

Peter Janko

Peter Janko, Marengo, Illinois

Historic lighting restoration actually represents my third career change. My first career was at a major accounting firm performing market share analysis of various industries and forecasting future trends within those industries. My second career change took me to a fortune 500 manufacturer of high tech communications equipment where most products were designed to military standards. The background acquired in structural and materials properties would later come to be invaluable the field of historic lighting restoration. If there was ever a field where one has to be somewhat of a "country doctor", it is historic lighting restoration. You work with materials which may not have been used for 50-75 years such as 1) different metals - sheet and cast - involving soldering, brazing, and welding; 2) a variety of plastics, glass, and crystal; 3) wood; 4) different finishes - plating and painting, spray painting and hand brush painting; 5) even fabrics; as well as 6) electrical wiring and keeping up with the latest lighting technologies and UL requirements.

Mike Kassman

Mike Kassman, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

Mike is a second generation Restoration Mason from Buffalo, NY. He began his apprenticeship with the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) in the career of PCC\Masonry Restoration in 1990. Shortly, after completing the NY Apprenticeship Program, Mike received the "BAC Craft Award" in 1994 for Best Restoration Project. In 1999, Mike was hired by the International Masonry Institute (IMI) to serve as their Masonry Restoration Instructor at the IMI National Training Center. In 2001, Mike was one of several Craftworkers who participated in demonstrating masonry craft skills during the Folklife Masters of the Building Arts Festival. In 2005, Mike earned a Duel Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Health and Safety from the National Labor College.

In 2005, 2006, and 2007 Mike served as a guest presenter and conducted a weeklong masonry preservation sessions for graduate students enrolled in Eastern Michigan University (EMU) MS Historic Preservation Program. In 2011, he earned a Masters of Arts Degree from Goucher College in Historic Preservation and he received the Hiram McCullough Award for best thesis titled “Developing the Qualification Standard for the Preservation Craftworker”. In 2014, Mike served as a guest presenter for a 10-day Masonry Preservation Program for Graduate students attending the UPENN summer praxis.

In addition, Mike currently holds the nationally recognized Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) designation and is authorized as a "Master Safety Trainer" from the OSHA Training Institute (OTI)/CPWR Region III. Mike also serves on the ANSI/SIA A10, A14 and A92 Main Committee's and currently, serves as the IMI National Safety and Masonry Restoration Coordinator at the National Training Center located in Bowie, Maryland.

Lisa Sasser

David Mertz, Clairsville, Ohio - Vice-president

David Mertz continues to serve as the director of the Building Preservation Technology Program at Belmont Technical College in St. Clairsville, OH., a post he has held since the program's inception in 1989. The Belmont Program is seen as a national model for trades-based technical education in historic preservation and has been copied across the country. Mr. Mertz has been an active participant in the development of historic preservation on a local, state and national level. He has served four years as Chair of the National Council for Preservation Education, the consortium of colleges and universities that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in historic preservation, and four years as Chair Emeritus. He served on the advisory board of the Preservation Leadership Institute of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the editorial board of Preservation Forum, the nation’s scholarly journal on Historic Preservation and has authored numerous articles in national publications relating to trades education. He has served as a board member and vice-president in both Heritage Ohio and the Ohio Preservation Alliance, Ohio’s two state-wide preservation non-profits. He is a graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelors and masters degree in architecture and a certificate in Regional & Community Planning. He currently serves as architectural consultant to the St. Clairsville Board of Architectural Review and lectures frequently on technical aspects of historic preservation and community revitalization. Mr. Mertz is a third generation home builder having worked with his father and grandfather in the construction of dozens of homes in the Bethlehem/Easton, PA area and having constructed his own home. He is married to his wife Roberta, a former congressional chief-of-staff, and has two adult sons from a previous marriage.

Jim Nelson

Jim Nelson, Maple Grove, Minnesota - Treasurer

I grew up in the Minneapolis, MN area and attended St. John's University, in central Minnesota. I began working, as a Regional Sales Representative, for Mon-Ray, Inc., in 1992. Mon-Ray is a manufacturer of high performance window and door products, and one of the product lines I focused on was secondary glazing products, or storm windows and doors. Our three main market areas are energy conservation, noise abatement and historic preservation. Over the years, I fell in love with the historic applications. As my territory expanded from the Midwest to the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic, I found myself working more and more with window restoration specialists.

I am currently Sales Manager for Mon-Ray, and am involved in all aspects of projects - sales, estimating, field surveys, measuring and detailing, project management, testing and, occasionally, installation. I enjoy the challenges of working on historic properties and all of the custom applications needed to provide energy efficiency and comfort while maintaining the original architecture.

I live in Maple Grove, MN, just outside of Minneapolis. My wife and I have a 24 year old daughter who just completed her Radiology Tech degree and has one more year left in the National Guard. We also have a 17 year old son who will be a senior in high school and wants to pursue a degree in psychology or social work.

Sam Newton - Dothan, Alabama

Sam Newton started in preservation by conducting historic district tours, docenting at house museums, archiving 400 year old court records (found a deed signed by George W. when he was an Englishman), sharing tantalizing ghost stories with eager visitors, on dark damp nights, at old cold buildings (in full costume), and checking for water damage in old bank attics and unrestored mansion basements (in well-worn jeans and work boots, a very heavy rodent-whacker/flashlight in one hand, and a clip board in the other). For fun, she graduated from the National Trust’s Professional Leadership Training, their first Capstone Experience program, the National Alliance of Historic Preservation Commissions’ (summer) CAMP, the first class of the Leadership Institute of the Association of Non-Profits, and their Board Management program. (For work, there were academic degree programs at Woodbury, Harvard, and George Washington Universities.) Non-profit board activity has included an historic society, an arts council, a neighborhood association, an architectural review board, a local historic preservation commission, the Neighborhood Restoration Corporation, the National Alliance of Historic Preservation Commissions, and, since 2012, PTN. After 30 corporate transfers, Sam moved to the southeastern corner of Alabama, the ancestral home of husband John (in a 3rd career of shooting golf and skeet), where they were adopted by a very large white poodle, with a decidedly lady-like southern-accented bark.

Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart, Ghent, New York - President

After receiving his BA in Technical Theater, Ian Stewart spent several years as a roadie, with an abiding passion for History. In 2004 he went to work at Historic Huguenot Street as a Restoration Craftsman, it was at that time that he first became involved in PTN. He subsequently worked as a millwright/timberframer with Jim Kricker at Rondout Woodworking and as a Restoration Craftsman at Historic Hudson Valley. In 2011 he entered the Preservation Studies Program at Boston University. During that time he became involved with a project where he spearheaded the creation of a database and treatment plan for the 1400+ fragments of gravestones from 16 historic burying grounds which are owned by the city of Boston. This led him to the subject of his Master's Thesis, which is still in progress. In January of 2014 he founded New Netherland Timberframing and Preservation, a company focusing on many aspects of preservation work, including gravestone preservation.

Bob Zoni

Bob Zoni, Hamden, Connecticut

Bob Zoni has been in the restoration business for over 25 years, and worked on numerous old buildings employing much of the knowledge gained from attending many PTN events. Bob Zoni, Inc. is a general restoration contractor whose work includes, roofing, carpentry, masonry, plaster -work, painting and paint-removal, copper-smithing, leaded glass repairs and general restoration repairs. Bob also offers consulting services.

PTN Staff

Carole Briggs

Carole Briggs, PTN Attorney - Columbia , Connecticut

Carole Briggs has over nineteen years experience in commercial, real estate, construction, environmental and OSHA legal matters. She has represented private and public-sector owners and contractors in both transactions and litigation, in administrative, state and federal courts. Carole became involved with PTN as a demonstrator in 1999, at the IPTW in Gaithersburg , Maryland . Following Carole's involvement at IPTW, she became a legal representative for PTN. In 2001 her law firm handled the incorporation of PTN and became an Agent for Service. Since 2001 she has been PTN's corporate counsel.


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