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Board of Trustees

Paul Muir

Paul Muir,
President

Paul Muir grew up in Mountainside, moving to Harding Township during High School, where he graduated from Delbarton School. Paul’s drive for serving his community derived from his parents who were always working to improve the community around them, whether that be the municipality in which they lived or the schools and churches they attended. After Delbarton, Paul attended and graduated early from Bucknell University with a BSBA where he met his wife Dawn. Paul was President of his Fraternity, Theta Chi of which the motto is “The Helping Hand” furthering his commitment to serving the community around him.  Paul was also the Theta Chi alumni President for eight years after graduation.  Paul and Dawn moved to Bethlehem Township in 2000 one month after their marriage. Paul has two children, Morgan (17) and PJ (14).

Paul has served nine years as Mayor of Bethlehem Township, and thirteen years on the Township Committee. Paul has served on Bethlehem Land Use Boards since 2001. As Mayor Paul also serves on the Route 78/22 Economic Development Coalition and Hunterdon County Solid Waste Advisory Committee. Paul is the President of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors as well as Chairing the Intra Municipal Affairs Committee of the Legislative Committee of the League of Municipalities. Paul is also a Board Member of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and Non-Profit Committee Co-Chair. He is the former Chair of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Roundtable and Government Affairs Advisory Board Member.

Paul is also a lifelong entrepreneur starting various businesses with his core operations being a metal recycling business derived from his family’s original business started in 1938 as well as automotive operations including a nationally recognized award-winning automotive restoration business. 

Mark Nonestied

Mark Nonestied,
Vice President

Mark Nonestied is the Middlesex County Historian and a Division Head with the Middlesex County Division of History and Historic Preservation. He oversees an array of history and historic preservation endeavors in Middlesex County including the operation of East Jersey Old Town, The Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum, public archaeology programs, historic preservation grants and collections management operations. Nonestied has lectured and written on a number of topics related to New Jersey and Middlesex County history. He is the co-author of New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape, published by Rutgers University Press and the recipient of the 2010 New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Award and has received an Award of Recognition by the New Jersey Historical Commission for outstanding service to public knowledge and preservation of the history of New Jersey. He lives in a historic house in East Brunswick.

Melissa Ziobro,
Secretary

Melissa Ziobro is Specialist Professor of Public History in the Monmouth University Department of History and Anthropology and the primary point of contact for the University's public history program. Her regularly taught classes include Intro to Public History, Oral History, Museums and Archives Management Basics, and Exploring History and Heritage Sites: Preservation, Interpretation, and Management. Melissa has served for many years as the editor of New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, a joint venture of the NJ Historical Commission, Rutgers University Libraries, and Monmouth University. She was the last Command Historian at Fort Monmouth prior to the base's closure, and would love to connect via LinkedIn

David Reading

David Reading,
Treasurer

Elected to the board of Preservation New Jersey in 2018 and currently serves as Treasurer and chairman of the Governance committee. David is the founder and President of the Mount Amwell Project, Inc, a NJ non-profit corporation and historical preservation 501 (c) (3) charity dedicated to cultural and historical preservation in Hunterdon County. The Mount Amwell Project under David’s guidance has made important contributions to historic preservation over the last 18 years including the preservation and maintenance of eight abandoned cemeteries. Readington Township awarded the Mount Amwell Project their Preservation of the Year award in 2022 for restoration and preservation of the Haypress cemetery in Whitehouse Station.

 

He grew up in Hunterdon County, attended Fairleigh-Dickinson University, and served in the U.S. Army from 1964-1968. He later graduated from the University of Maryland University College, Summa Cum Laude, with a BS in Computer Science and joined an aerospace software company in Melbourne, Florida. David served on the Board of Directors and was Vice-President of Development when he left in 1998 to form his own firm. He provided consulting services to the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. until he retired in 2013.

 

He is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Sons of the Revolution in NJ - Hunterdon Chapter and in 2017 he was elected to serve as a member of the Council of West New Jersey Proprietors. David is a Patron of the Hunterdon County Historical Society, a member of the Descendants of Founders of New Jersey, and a life member of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. GSNJ published his article on Abraham DuBois in the May 2022 (Vol. 87 No. 2) edition of their journal.  David has also published several articles in the Mount Amwell Project’s newsletter over the past 15 years, and two books on the Reading family:  Gov. John Reading’s Diary and an updated Reading genealogy.   

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson, AIA

Mr. Thompson is currently the County Architect for Passaic County in New Jersey. Projects range from restorations and renovations of Dey Mansion in Wayne NJ, Lambert Castle and  the historic Courthouse Annex in Paterson New Jersey. His projects include the construction of a new County Public Works facility in Wayne New Jersey. Andrew works with the Passaic County Department of Cultural and Historic Affairs on historic renovation and rehabilitation projects.

Mr. Thompson previously was the Director of Campus Operations for the New Community College at CUNY renamed the Guttman Community College. His responsibilities included the fit-out of a 7 story building in midtown Manhattan in proximity of Bryant Park for the College’s inaugural student body. The Stella and Charles Guttman Community College is the first community college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system in over 40 years. CUNY is the largest urban university system in the United States.

Mr. Thompson served as the Chief Architect in the Design and Construction Department Facilities Management for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) for 12 years. He supervised a staff of in-house designers and managed out sourced architects on multiple projects. MSKCC’s Construction Guidelines were created by Mr. Thompson and his staff.

Mr. Thompson received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Pratt Institute in 1991 and is a 1993 Graduate of Columbia University with a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design. He also holds an Associates Degree in Applied Science from New York City College of Technology.

Maria Boyes

Maria Boyes

As a member of the Board of Trustees of Preservation New Jersey, Maria looks forward to lending her time and experience to the commitment of historic preservation. She has volunteered on the Marketing and Communications Committee for several years, where she penned articles and contributed to the revival of PNJ's newsletter, Preservation Perspective. Maria has worked as both a journalist and public relations professional and holds a degree from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

Currently, Maria serves as the Chair of Westfield's Historic Preservation Commission. During her tenure, she's lead the HPC in the revision of the Design Guidelines, created workshops to help keep residents informed, both in person and through virtual presentations, and was instrumental in updating the Town’s ordinance to comply with MLUL. These efforts, with the help of her commission members, resulted in a notable increase of owner-requested local designations as well as having the honor of receiving PNJ’s Historic Preservation Commission Award.

Additionally, Maria is a real estate professional affiliated with Coldwell Banker in Westfield. She was drawn to this profession, not only because of her love of traditional architecture but because she finds it crucial to provide homeowners, particularly seniors, with an honest evaluation of their most valuable asset. Maria has been involved in several community organizations, including Imagine: A Center for Coping with Loss, Westfield High School Parent-Teacher-Student Organization, BeSmart for Kids Campaign, St. John's Mission Kitchen, and Reach to Recovery International.

Maria and her husband raised their three children in a Victorian home which they renovated and have lived in Westfield for over thirty years. In addition, they own a locally designated historic cottage in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

James Giresi

James Giresi, AIA

James Giresi is a licensed architect and Associate at Clarke Caton Hintz in Trenton, NJ. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Infrastructure Planning from NJIT. His experience began with a curiosity about the built environment and the process of design and construction. Throughout his career, James has been instrumental in preserving numerous historical landmarks. His work is characterized by a commitment to preserving the original character of buildings while adapting them to modern needs. He understands that the past should not be locked in time but should evolve to serve the present and future.

One of James’ most notable projects was the restoration of Belle Vista (Lambert Castle) in Paterson, a gilded age masterpiece that had fallen into disrepair. Through painstaking research and attention to detail, James and his team brought the mansion back to its former glory. The project garnered widespread recognition for its meticulous restoration of period-specific elements, including ornate moldings, stained glass, and plasterwork.

James’ dedication to architectural preservation has also extended to advocacy. He has been a vocal supporter of local and national preservation organizations. He is an experienced grant writer and has helped numerous clients secure funding and raise awareness for endangered historical sites.

Richard Veit

Richard Veit, Ph.D.

Richard Veit is Professor of Anthropology and Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University. He received his B.A. from Drew University in 1990, his M.A. in Historical Archaeology from the College of William and Mary in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. In 2007 he was the recipient of Monmouth University’s distinguished teacher award and in 2012 he received Monmouth University’s Donald Warnecke Award for outstanding university service. At Monmouth he teaches courses on archaeology, historical archaeology, New Jersey history, Native Americans, and historic preservation. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and reviews and five books including Digging New Jersey’s Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State (Rutgers Press 2002), New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones History in the Landscape (co-authored by Mark Nonestied, Rutgers Press 2008), New Jersey: A History of the Garden State (co-authored with Maxine Lurie, Rutgers Press 2012), Historical Archaeology of the Delaware Valley (co-edited with David Orr, U. Tennessee Press 2014) and The Archaeology of American Cemeteries and Gravemarkers (co-authored with Sherene Baugher, U. Florida Press, 2014).

His first book, Digging New Jersey’s Past, received awards from the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, New Jersey Academic Studies Alliance, and the New Jersey Center for the Book at Rutgers University. Two of his books, Digging New Jersey’s Past and New Jersey: A History of the Garden State are listed on the New Jersey State library’s 101 Great New Jersey books list. He serves on the New Jersey Historical Commission and on the boards of the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology, Crossroads of the American Revolution, and the Archaeological Society of New Jersey. He is the President of the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference. His work research has been featured on NPR, in Archaeology Magazine and at TEDx Navesink in 2014.

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Gordon Bond

Gordon Bond is an independent historian, author, and lecturer. He is the founder and ePublisher of www.GardenStateLegacy.com, an online New Jersey history resources website. He is the author of six books focusing on aspects of New Jersey history and has written a large number of articles and reviews for Garden State Legacy.

Among his many areas of research are James Parker of Woodbridge (established NJ’s first print shop and partner of Benjamin Franklin), the 1951 Woodbridge train wreck, the life and legacy of Thomas Mundy Peterson of Perth Amboy (first African American voter under the Fifteenth Amendment), Rev. Hannibal Goodwin of Newark (inventor of roll photographic film), the 1926 Carteret race riot, and New Jersey’s folk grave marker tradition.

When he’s not researching and writing, Gordon runs his own freelance graphic design business, Gordon Bond Designs. He has designed exhibits for the Middlesex County Office of Arts and History, the Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook, and the Historical Association of Woodbridge Township.

Bond is a native of New Jersey living with his wife and cats in Newark’s historic Forest Hill neighborhood.

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Robert Wendel

Robert Wendel has a long history of Historic Preservation from College where he lived and worked in the Pabst Mansion as Caretaker and Guide/ Assistant Manager on the weekends to fascinate tours to helping save the Reeve House at the Westfield Historical Society by volunteering, fundraising and serving on the board over tow different periods. Robert is a volunteer and on the Miller Cory House Committee as the house manager helping to fundraise, facilitate restoration of the 1740’s historic plantation in Westfield, NJ as well as act as a volunteer in many different capacities. Robert has also served as Town Historian for Westfield, NJ while he worked on the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission and was integrally involved in saving several historic structures through cooperative efforts to locally designate the structures on Westfield’s Historic Preservation Listing. Robert has given numerous presentations on the importance of Westfield’s history both for the Historic Preservation Commission as well as the Westfield Historical Society. He holds a Political Science and French double Major from Marquette University.

William Michelson

William H. Michelson, Esq.

Michelson is a long serving member of PNJ. Serves on the Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission.

Michelson is a graduate of Rutgers University and the University of Iowa for both law school and urban planning. He has mostly practiced law since then, holding an office in Fanwood for 25 years. He is interested in land use planning and historic preservation on a neighborhood and community level, not just individual historic structures and sites. Michelson served two terms on the Plainfield Planning Board and is now in his 5th term on the Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission, currently Vice-Chairman but have also served 8 years as Chairman. Michelson is also involved in politics and ran for the N.J. State Senate in 2021 and 2023.

Frank Banisch

Frank Banisch

Frank Banisch is currently serving his third term on the PNJ Board of Trustees. Brought into the group by a former board member, Frank’s historic preservation interests developed in his work with historic villages, hamlets, and towns throughout New Jersey. Frank is the President of Banisch Associates, Inc., a community planning and design consulting firm in operation since 1976. He is a graduate of Princeton University with a BA in Architecture and Urban Planning.

James Pittman

James has served for twenty years with the John O'Hara Company, a construction management firm.

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Susan Shutte

Sue Shutte has been the Historian for Ringwood State Park since 2005, dealing primarily with the historic preservation and interpretation of Ringwood Manor, the 51-room country estate of the Cooper & Hewitt families during the 19th century. Her responsibilities include strategic planning for the site, audience engagement through interpretation, programming, and event planning, along with the overall restoration and preservation of the various structures, collections, and planned gardens. She has overseen numerous large-scale restoration, preservation and museum projects including the interior conservation of Ringwood Manor (2012-2014), the restoration of the interior of the carriage barn (2017), the roof restoration of Ringwood Manor (2020-2022), and the stabilization of the colonial red building (2022). She also works to preserve the history at Long Pond Ironworks & Skylands Manor as part of her responsibilities.

 

Ms. Shutte received her bachelor's degree in architectural history from Rutgers University and her master's degree from Cornell University in Historic Preservation Planning.  Her master’s thesis is entitled Rational Thinking in Insane Asylums: 19th Century Environmental Deterministic Ideals and Their Impact on the Plans and Landscapes of Two New Jersey State Mental Hospitals. It focus is on 19th century environmental deterministic theories and how those social influences manifested themselves in the architects’ specific designs of the structures and landscapes with mental hospital complexes.

 

Prior to working at Ringwood State Park, Ms. Shutte was employed at the Von Steuben House Historic Site in River Edge, NJ.  Her main interests include 19th and early 20th century American social history and society’s influence on the architecture, landscape design, and design arts of those periods. Ms. Shutte is an advocate of preserving and adaptively reusing historic structures in New Jersey and of presenting the unique history of New Jersey to the public.

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