Mission and Leadership

We save and share New England’s past to engage and inform present and future generations.

Historic New England is the oldest and largest regional heritage organization in the nation.

We engage diverse audiences in developing a deeper understanding and enjoyment of New England home life by being the national leader in collecting, preserving, and using significant buildings, landscapes, archives, stories, and objects from the past to today.

The New England Plan

Strategic Agenda: 2021 – 2025

Cover of the strategic agenda. Image of a drone view of Roseland Cottage with the text, "The New England Plan Historic New England Strategic Agenda 2021-2025"

Board of Trustees

  • Deborah L. Allinson, Chair
  • David L. Feigenbaum, First Vice Chair and Clerk
  • Gregory D. Lombardi, Second Vice Chair
  • George F. Fiske, Jr., Treasurer
  • Nancy B. Tooke, Assistant Treasurer
  • Vin Cipolla, President and CEO
  • Jacob D. Albert
  • Richard C. Albright, Jr.
  • Azi Djazani
  • Wendy L. Ecker
  • Edward C. Fleck
  • Edward F. Gerber

  • James F. Hunnewell, Jr.
  • Judith A. Johnson
  • Lydia F. Kimball
  • Allen B. Kolkowitz
  • Nancy Lagassé
  • Sandra Ourusoff Massey
  • Kristin L. Servison
  • Angie Simonds
  • Ruth Kennedy Sudduth
  • Geneva S. Thorndike
  • Vera Trojan
  • Alan W. Wong

Trustees Emeriti

Former Trustees Recognized for Outstanding Service

  • Edward Lee Cave
  • Martha D. Hamilton
  • William C.S. Hicks
  • Elizabeth B. Johnson
  • Janina A. Longtine
  • David A. Martland
  • Robert I. Owens*
  • Roger T. Servison



Board of Advisors

Advisors Act as Advocates Throughout New England


  • Lydia F. Kimball, Chair, Massachusetts and Maine
  • F. Warren McFarlan, Vice Chair, Massachusetts
  • Jeffrey L. Bernier, Massachusetts
  • Ronald P. Bourgeault, New Hampshire
  • Richard L. Brickley, Jr., Rhode Island and Florida
  • James C. Buttrick, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • Jon-Paul Couture, Rhode Island
  • Jeremiah E. de Rham, Rhode Island
  • William F. Gemmill*, Maine
  • Leslie W. Hammond, Massachusetts
  • Stephen W. Harby, Maine and California
  • Eric P. Hayes, Massachusetts
  • James Horan, New Hampshire
  • Sidney Kenyon, Massachusetts
  • Patricia Kung, Massachusetts


  • David A. Martland, Massachusetts
  • Thomas S. Michie, Massachusetts
  • Paul Moran, Rhode Island
  • Stephen Mormoris, Massachusetts
  • Heidi O’Neill, Illinois
  • Elizabeth H. Owens, Massachusetts
  • Randy J. Parker, Massachusetts
  • Julie A. Porter, Massachusetts
  • Susan Rogers, Maine
  • Marcy Scott-Morton, Massachusetts
  • Roger T. Servison, Massachusetts
  • Sylvia Q. Simmons, Massachusetts
  • Susan P. Sloan, Massachusetts
  • Virginia S. White, Massachusetts


  • Julie A. Porter, Chair, Massachusetts
  • Lynne Z. Bassett, Massachusetts
  • Russell Bastedo, New Hampshire
  • Ralph C. Bloom, Connecticut
  • Randolph D. Brock, Vermont
  • Michael R. Carter, Massachusetts
  • David W. Chase, Maine
  • Richard W. Cheek, Massachusetts
  • Martha Fuller Clark, New Hampshire
  • Karen Clarke, Massachusetts
  • Barbara A. Cleary, Massachusetts
  • Gregory L. Colling, AIA, Vermont
  • Trudy Coxe, Rhode Island
  • Elizabeth Hope Cushing, Massachusetts
  • Elizabeth K. Deane, Massachusetts
  • Jared I. Edwards, FAIA, Connecticut
  • Robert P. Emlen, Massachusetts
  • Debra W. Glabeau, Massachusetts
  • Eric Hertfelder, Rhode Island
  • Bruce A. Irving, Massachusetts
  • Edward C. Johnson 3d, Massachusetts*
  • Mark R. Kiefer, Massachusetts
  • Anne F. Kilguss, Massachusetts
  • Matthew Kirchman, Massachusetts
  • Nancy Lamb, Massachusetts
  • Paula Laverty, Maine
  • Arleyn A. Levee, Massachusetts
  • Anita C. Lincoln, Massachusetts
  • Peter S. Lynch, Massachusetts
  • Peter E. Madsen, Massachusetts
  • Elizabeth Hart Malloy, Connecticut
  • Johanna McBrien, New Hampshire
  • Paul F. McDonough, Massachusetts
  • William L. McQueen, Massachusetts
  • Julianne Mehegan, Massachusetts

  • Maureen I. Meister, Massachusetts
  • Pauline C. Metcalf, New York
  • Keith N. Morgan, Massachusetts
  • Henry Moss, Massachusetts
  • Cammie Henderson Murphy, Massachusetts
  • Stephen E. Murphy, Massachusetts
  • Ann Nevius, Maine
  • Richard H. Oedel, New Hampshire
  • Janet Offensend, New York
  • Elizabeth Seward Padjen, Massachusetts
  • Samuel D. Perry, Massachusetts
  • Patrick Pinnell, Connecticut
  • Gail Ravgiala, Massachusetts
  • Courtney Richardson, Massachusetts
  • Marita Rivero, Massachusetts
  • Timothy Rohan, Massachusetts
  • Carolyn Parsons Roy, Maine
  • Virginia Rundell, Massachusetts
  • Gretchen G. Schuler, Massachusetts
  • Andrew Spindler-Roesle, Massachusetts
  • Dennis E. Stark, Rhode Island
  • Charles M. Sullivan, Massachusetts
  • John W. Tyler, Massachusetts
  • William B. Tyler, Massachusetts*
  • Theodore W. Vasiliou, Massachusetts
  • Gerald W.R. Ward, New Hampshire
  • David Watters, New Hampshire
  • Richard F. Wien, Vermont
  • Susie Wilkening, Washington
  • Robert W. Wilkins, Massachusetts
  • Robert O. Wilson, New Hampshire
  • Gary Wolf, Massachusetts
  • Ellen M. Wyman, Massachusetts
  • Charles A. Ziering, Jr., Massachusetts


Staff Leadership Team
  • Vin Cipolla was appointed the President and CEO of Historic New England in June 2020. He is the former President and CEO of the National Park Foundation (a Presidential appointment); the former President and CEO of The Municipal Art Society of New York and the former Executive Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. With Lincoln Center, he served as Executive Director of David Geffen Hall, a campaign partnership of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the New York Philharmonic, and he was Senior Strategy Advisor to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and led the formation of CMS Miami. Other leadership positions have included: Chairman and President of the Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston; Chairman, The Arts Arena Paris; Co-Chairman, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy; Vice Chairman, the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Citizen Chairman, the National Park Foundation, and serving on the Executive Committee of organizations including the National Women’s History Museum and Ballet Hispanico. He is the founder of the annual MAS Summit for New York City, along with having founded and led other conferences on national parks and preservation. In the private sector, he was a President and CEO with Fidelity Capital of Fidelity Investments, and he was the founder and CEO of successful companies in financial services technology, philanthropic services, digital publishing, and marketing. He was the founder and CEO of the cultural management consulting company, Five Mile River Company, working extensively in the arts, music, and higher education. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Clark University and is a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
  • Charles Frizzell was appointed Senior Vice President and COO at Historic New England in June, 2024. Finance, technology, human resources, and general administration areas will all report to Charles, and he will be a key team partner in real estate development in Haverhill.  Charles has extensive experience in operations, administration, and strategic leadership in both non-profit, and for-profit environments. For nine years he served as Dean for Administration and Finance at Harvard School of Dental Medicine with oversight of all business operations of the School. Charles served for sixteen years as the Chief of Operations at Harvard Clinical Research Institute, and Chief Operating Officer at the Cardiovascular Research Analysis Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He directly and indirectly oversaw all areas of the organization, grew the organization ten-fold, and oversaw the completion of over 250 national and international clinical trials involving more than 140,000 patients. Charles has also held leadership roles at Executive Life Insurance Company/Aurora National Life Assurance assisting with state takeover and company rehabilitation as the legal custodian of 38 million records, and at Archer Management Services overseeing 10 regional locations.  Charles earned his undergraduate degree at Emerson College, with further studies at Northeastern University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Colorado State University. A native New Englander, Charles has a personal interest in historic preservation having been a member of Historic New England and the Los Angeles West Adams Heritage Association, among others, and having restored his own historic homes.
  • Genevieve Burgett, Director of Membership, is the creative force behind the strategies that engage and support our 8,500 member households. Since joining Historic New England in 2020, Genevieve has used her decade of experience in the museum sector to strengthen connections within our member community. She supports and mentors her peers as co-chair of NEMA’s Membership, Development, Public Relations, and Marketing PAG. She has presented on membership strategy and building community partnerships through organizational membership programs at NEMA and the American Museum Membership conferences. Genevieve holds a BA in History from Framingham State University and an MA in History from Salem State University, and she previously worked for the Concord Museum and The Trustees.
  • Carissa Demore joined Historic New England in 2013 and was appointed Team Leader of Preservation Services in 2017. Her experience includes historic preservation advocacy, protecting properties using preservation and conservation easements, and developing educational programs, workshops, lectures, and tours for preservation students, professionals, and the general public. She has a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Colorado State University and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland. She previously worked for the City of Annapolis, Maryland, and the L’Enfant Trust in Washington, D.C., and served on the boards of the New England Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Downtown Waltham Partnership.
  • David Dwiggins, Chief Information Officer, oversees Historic New England’s technology program, including business systems, web and interactive services, digital preservation, telecommunications, and network infrastructure. He joined Historic New England in 2007 to help manage the organization’s Collections Access Project, and assumed responsibility for the IT program in 2013. Prior to his work at Historic New England, Mr. Dwiggins oversaw newsroom technology and managed the library and archives at The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. He holds a dual B.A./B.S. degree in English and Journalism from Syracuse University, an M.S. in Technology Management from University of Maryland Global Campus, and an M.S. in Library and Information Science and an M.A. in History from Simmons University.
  • Peter Gittleman, Team Leader for Visitor Experience, is content expert on interpretation, site management, visitor experience, and audience development for Historic New England. A member of the Historic New England staff since 1986, he has served as a museum teacher, school program developer, project manager, and overseer of the tour experience at Historic New England’s thirty-eight historic properties. He helped develop the organization’s school programs, which have experienced dramatic growth in school and youth audiences, received exemplary recognition from federal funding agency reviewers, and are identified as outstanding models for historical organizations nationwide by the American Association of State and Local History and others. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a Master of Arts in preservation studies from Boston University.
  • Wendy Gus, Director of Finance, is responsible for all aspects of budgeting and financial management. Ms. Gus has more than twenty-five years of experience working with non-profit organizations. As an audit manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers she worked with a variety of non-profit organizations and higher education institutions. Ms. Gus served as the controller at Montserrat College of Art for five years and as a senior manager at Stanton & Co. for seven years, specializing in their non-profit practice. She holds a B.A. in environmental studies from the University of Vermont and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University. She is a certified public accountant and a volunteer treasurer of the Newburyport Education Foundation.
  • Benjamin Haavik, Team Leader for Property Care, is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of Historic New England’s thirty-eight historic house museums and landscapes. Prior to joining Historic New England in 2004, he was deputy director of the Historic House Trust of New York City where he cared for twenty-four historic sites throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Mr. Haavik started his career at the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after receiving his M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, Mr. Haavik was a participant in the Attingham Summer School Program in England. He is a Professional Associate, a peer reviewed membership category, of the American Institute for Conservation.
  • Jennifer Kent, Vice President for Advancement, is the key leader for managing development strategy and operations. She designs and manages a comprehensive development program, ensuring implementation of timely cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies across donor groups and meeting or exceeding annual and long-term development goals established by the Board of Trustees and President/CEO. Ms. Kent brings more than twenty-five years of development experience to Historic New England, including her work as Director of Development at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, and previously as Director of Marketing and Development at EcoTarium in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her experience includes overseeing membership, annual and major gift support, grants, planned giving, capital campaigns, and cultivation and other fundraising events.
  • Julie Solz, Team Leader for Collection Services, coordinates the work of the collections management, conservation, curatorial, and library and archives teams. Prior to joining Historic New England in 2001 she worked as a registrar, collection manager, and conservator for museums in New England; Washington, D.C.; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Solz holds an M.S. in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and a B.A. in Art History from the University of New Hampshire. In 2000, Ms. Solz was a participant in the Attingham Summer School Program in England.
  • Laura Sullivan, Director of Marketing, oversees internal and external communications strategies. She joined Historic New England in 2023, bringing more than two decades of experience in marketing, public relations, and event management to the organization. Previously, Laura led marketing and communications campaigns in the cultural, financial, and health and beauty sectors. Her expertise includes comprehensive rebranding efforts, marketing campaigns for diverse cultural productions across multiple cities, and identifying and amplifying significant stories to engage new audiences. She holds degrees in theater and psychology from the University of Hartford.
  • Nora Trebbe Maroulis, Director of Campaign Planning and Partnership, brings over 25 years of cultural non-profit leadership, fundraising, and marketing experience to Historic New England. Nora began her career working on the front lines of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s $1B capital and endowment campaign. She went on to lead Development at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art before returning to her native New England to oversee the launch and positioning of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Her commitment to increasing the capacity and vitality of the cultural sector has continued as a member of the leadership teams of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Worcester Art Museum, and the Emily Dickinson Museum, and as an independent consultant assisting some of the region’s leading non-profits design, position, and launch major strategic initiatives and connect with transformative donors. She currently serves on the boards of MassCreative, the UMass Fine Arts Center, and Commonwealth Murals.

Founder and History

William Sumner Appleton was the nation’s first full-time professional preservationist

In 1910, William Sumner Appleton founded the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, known today as Historic New England. For the next thirty-seven years until his death in November 1947, Appleton continued to lead and inspire this rapidly growing organization. Appleton defined the organization’s purpose; persuaded, charmed, and occasionally hectored the membership; raised money (sometimes covering deficits from his own funds); worked without remuneration; established a sound preservation methodology; and guided the organization successfully through two world wars and the depression. Appleton’s vision evolved over the last century into a thriving heritage organization that now welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year to historic properties in five New England states.

Beginning in the 1890s and continuing through the first decades of the twentieth century, Appleton documented his widespread interests and activities in a series of remarkably detailed scrapbooks. The extensive national and international travel that influenced his thinking on the methods and aesthetic principles of preservation is recorded through maps, brochures, tickets, postcards, etc. Between 1893 and 1915, he made two trips abroad, traveled across the United States three times, and attended four World’s Fairs (Chicago, 1893; Buffalo, 1901; San Francisco and San Diego, both 1915), as well as participated in numerous historical events, such as the 1908 Tercentenary of Quebec.

Politics and current affairs take up numerous scrapbook pages. His deep interest in theater and the arts is apparent throughout. Appleton often viewed exhibitions of work by artists like Howard Pyle, Cecilia Beaux, and Charles and Marcia Woodbury at Boston’s Saint Botolph Club, the Boston Art Club, the Boston Camera Club, and other galleries. Many charitable and preservation organizations, including those concerned with the conservation of natural resources, received his support. His utter devotion to Harvard’s football team is shown through hundreds of pages of newspaper clippings recording the highs and lows of many seasons of play. Of course, hundreds of pages record his passionate interest in buildings, both old and new, and his interest in a more organized, formalized approach to preservation. As he recuperated from his breakdown, Appleton began to explore in a serious way the historical and antiquarian activities that had been a tradition in his family.

He turned to pursuits more in keeping with his interests and joined several patriotic, historical, and antiquarian organizations. Through the Sons of the Revolution, Appleton became active in the 1905 effort to preserve the Paul Revere House in Boston’s North End, the oldest surviving house in the city. Serving as secretary of the Paul Revere Memorial Association, he worked with architect Joseph Everett Chandler and others on the restoration.

After his father’s death in 1903, Appleton was trying to decide whether to continue the family’s Holbrook Farm Dairy in Newton, Massachusetts. He took classes at Harvards’ Bussey Institution, a school of agriculture and horticulture, but quickly decided that “the farmer’s life was not for me” and sold the dairy. Much more stimulating and rewarding was a course on architecture taught by Denman Ross, art collector and influential lecturer and writer on art theory and design. In 1906, Appleton took the lead in another preservation effort – to thwart the Boston Transit Commission’s plans to alter the Old State House.

In the face of opposition from a number of groups, the Commission was forced to change its plans. Appleton’s experiences in the fourteen years since his graduation from Harvard matured him into a more rounded individual and laid the foundation for his professional career. In 1909 Appleton learned of plans to significantly alter the eighteenth-century Jonathan Harrington House, which overlooks the green in Lexington, Massachusetts, and was the site of a dramatic incident during the confrontation with the British troops on April 18, 1775.

Outrage at yet another loss to the region’s historic fabric had a galvanizing effect on him, and he took the necessary legal steps to establish the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, taking care to ensure that it would enjoy non-profit status. As he gathered members for SPNEA, the charm, zeal, diplomacy, and tenacity that characterized his professional work for the rest of his life came into play. He assembled officers and a board of trustees, including his cousin Alice Longfellow, who could provide financial support and prestige. Several of them also had academic experience or had worked with other related organizations. Yet Appleton’s instincts were democratic. Membership was open to all, and dues were modest. As corresponding secretary, he communicated to members through the quarterly Bulletin, informing them of current activities and asking for annual contributions to support special projects.

The first house the fledgling organization acquired, in 1911, the c. 1670 Swett-Ilsley House in Newbury, Massachusetts, was initially let out as a tea house with the goal of making it self-supporting. Appleton’s prime criterion for preserving a building was its intrinsic architectural or aesthetic merit, rather than its association with great men or events. He had a special interest in the modest dwellings of the first settlers, which by the standards of the day were incompatible with modern comfort and were falling into decay. Over the years, the organization acquired ten seventeenth-century houses, valued today by scholars as unique records of late medieval building methods in this country.

In 1916 the organization acquired the Otis House in Boston as its headquarters, a step that fortuitously saved the building from demolition a few years later when Cambridge Street was widened. Appleton also established a New England Museum – at first a random assortment of old things, which gradually took shape as a systematic, documented collection of furnishings and fine and decorative arts, as houses with their contents intact entered the collection. At the same time, he was a voracious collector of images – postcards, ephemera, measured drawings, and most importantly, photographs. An avid amateur photographer who took hundreds of documentary photographs of his restoration projects, he befriended professional photographers and sought donations of their work. Not everything could be saved, but buildings and streetscapes could be “preserved on paper.”

Over the years, Appleton’s energetic if somewhat indiscriminate collecting practices have been refined, and today Historic New England’s holdings are recognized as the richest and best documented assemblage of New England material culture in the nation. As the country’s first full-time professional preservationist, Appleton brought a scientific method to his approach and defined procedures that are largely followed to this day. He came to see a building as an evolving organism, whose changes over time preserved the historic record of many eras. This enabled him to resist the temptation to restore a building to a particular period to make it easier for a layperson to understand.

Appleton hired professionals to do the work on a building and thoroughly documented the process in photographs and written records. As he wrote in 1930 about his restoration of the c. 1654 Coffin House, also in Newbury, “The more I work on these old houses the more I feel that the less of W.S. Appleton I put into them, the better it is.” On November 13, 1947, while on SPNEA business in Andover, Massachusetts, Appleton suffered a stroke. He never regained consciousness and died eleven days later. At the time of his death, the organization owned fifty-one historic properties, a museum collection numbering in the thousands, and a library with upwards of 600,000 images of New England.

More to Explore

Visit Historic New England's museum properties

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Find out how we protect privately owned homes through the Preservation Easement Program.

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Read our series of white papers sharing preservation best practices.

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