The Story Behind AiP Hands-on Volunteer Vacations
Adventures in Preservation was founded in 2001 by two women with a great love of historic buildings and a strong desire to travel and understand the world. While perusing the travel section of the Boulder Bookstore, the Volunteer Vacation section suddenly brought everything into focus. Judith Broeker and Jamie Donahoe combined their goal of saving historic buildings with the concept of experiential travel, and created AiP’s hands-on preservation vacations.
Work started on several sites in the U.S., and as word spread, requests for help began to pour in from around the world, underscoring the great potential of using volunteers to restore historic buildings. In supporting community-based preservation initiatives, we discovered that our love of old buildings could translate into environmental and economic sustainability for communities.
“Five American women impacted the community simply by sanding and varnishing balcony posts. People saw them walking to work, knew they spent their own money to come, and asked: ‘Why are they here?’ They began to rethink how they could approach their own problems.”
— Gyumri resident
Adventures in Preservation has become a leader in offering volunteer vacations directed toward saving distinctive architecture that defines a region’s history and culture. The fact that historic preservation is innately “green” provides yet another compelling reason for restoring historic buildings for integrated community use, from affordable housing to community centers.
Adventures in Preservation’s staff and volunteers work with passion to save the world’s architectural heritage with the goal of benefiting communities worldwide. We are dedicated to bringing people and preservation together in meaningful partnerships.
AiP envisions a world where people use, understand, and appreciate historic buildings that are vital to economic and environmental sustainability and preserve cultural identity.
Adventures in Preservation (AiP) has recently embarked on an ambitious plan to grow the organization and enhance our effectiveness. With 35+ projects in almost 10 countries under our belt, we know there is a lot more we can be doing to safeguard cultural heritage, foster community sustainability and provide outstanding travel experiences. Our staff, Board of Directors, interns, and all our Jammers are key.
BOARD MEMBER - Program Director
Judith is the founder of Adventures in Preservation, which was preceded by her own company, Preservation UnLtd. She is a materials conservation specialist with both research and hands-on experience gained at historic structures in the United States and abroad. Judith holds a Master’s degree in History with an emphasis in historic preservation. She responds to all AiP requests for preservation assistance and works with community members to develop each project. For her, nothing is better than exploring a historic site with camera in hand.
AiP’s Board of Directors
In alphabetical order:
board member - Social Media Director
Maplewood, New Jersey
Innes Borstel has had a love of historic houses and archeology since childhood, even conducting an excavation at her own home at age 10. In college she majored in geology and anthropology, liking the connection between the earth and mankind. She has enjoyed varied careers—as an exploration geologist, studio potter and import-export manager, all enhanced by occasional archeological fieldwork. Travel is a passion—looking for geological marvels of the extreme past or discovering a sense of place through historic buildings, relics, and remains. Her 2013 AiP adventure to Gjirokaster, Albania, changed the way she thinks about travel, preservation and personal commitment. She currently works as a preschool teacher in a university setting, and assists AiP with outreach through social media.
BOARD MEMBER - Director of Project Development
Yvonne Caragounis is a LEED AP certified architect and project manager specializing in historic preservation and cultural resource management. She has a Masters in Architecture (Diplôme de Deuxième Cycle) from École d’Architecture de Paris La Villette in Paris, France, and recently earned a Masters of Science in Building Conservation from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Yvonne has worked in design and construction for 15 years, both in the US and Europe. Originally from Europe, she has lived, worked and volunteered in Sweden, France, UK, Romania, Latvia, Hungary, Poland and more. Many of the projects she worked on consisted of renovations and repairs to existing buildings and much of the work was carried out working in teams spanning different disciplines, borders and cultures.
Keen to put her historic preservation skills to use on international building conservation projects, Yvonne is working with AiP on project development.
BOARD MEMBER - CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Columbia, South Carolina
Tara Cubie has been active in historic preservation for over fifteen years. She has gotten her hands dirty helping to restore buildings from Smoky Mountain National Park and Maine, managed the historic preservation program for a non-profit, federal programs for the National Park Service in D.C. and currently serves as a Senior Architectural Historian for EBI Consulting.
Tara has a B.A. in Russian Studies from the College of Wooster, and Master’s degrees in Historic Preservation and Urban Planning from Columbia University. As AIP’s Creative Director, Tara will focus on growing AIP’s visibility in the non-profit world with a focus on marketing and fundraising.
BOARD MEMBER - Director of Outreach
Jolie Diepenhorst has a BA in History and a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation, both from the University of Colorado. She interned with Terracon Consultants, surveying 64 farmsteads; was a research intern for the Discover Denver program, creating a historic context and publishing two articles. She also completed the Wise Family Homestead Complex nomination.
Jolie served as the Historic Preservation Coordinator for the City of Brighton, Colorado for two years. She also served as Curator for the Bromley Koizuma-Hishinuma Farm. As an AiP board member, Jolie is taking the lead on public outreach and marketing through social media.
Max Kaiser, Jr.
board member - Fundraising Co-Director
St. Louis, Missouri
Max Kaiser, Jr. is a longtime historic preservation proponent and urbanist, from St. Louis, MO. During his involvement with historic preservation and urban rehab movements, he has been an advisory member of the Landmarks Assn of St. Louis, a board member and contributing historian to the book HISTORIC ST. LOUIS: 250 Years on the Frontier (1764-2014), an executive board member on the St. Louis City 250th Anniversary Committee, the Gateway Arch 50th Anniversary Committee and the Jaycees Foundation.
His preservation work involves Chouteau’s Landing in Downtown St. Louis, the Baden (MO) Historic District, Historic Sedalia, MO and Historic Kirkwood and more.
Max ix a professional oratory judge and award-winning print and broadcast communicator. He has always encouraged his fellow “young adults” (he was one of the first high-school age members of Landmarks Assn StL), believing that historic preservation and urban rejuvenation is “an investment in a region’s future by creatively sustaining its past relevant to today.”
Board Member - Student Director
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Rachel was raised in a military family and lived throughout the US and abroad. This sparked her love of travel and cultural experiences, leading to her BA in history and international affairs from the University of Maryland. During a Research & Advocacy Internship with Preservation Maryland, she had the opportunity to lobby for historic preservation on Capitol Hill.
Rachel combined her academic interests and sense of adventure as a Fulbright Research Scholar to Moldova in 2016-2017. In Moldova, she conducted original research on public monuments and preservation policy and designed and implemented a public outreach campaign through social media, reaching over 200,000 Moldovans.
Rachel is enrolled in the M.S. in Historic Preservation program at UT Austin. She recently returned from Vilnius, Lithuania where she worked with the national historic preservation agency as part of the US/ICOMOS International Exchange Program.
Board Member - Fundraising Co-Director
Kelly Rich has been active in historic preservation for over ten years including renovating 3 historic homes, volunteering for multiple historic preservation organizations, and training with the National Trust of Historic Preservation. She created Norla Preservation Project in 2013 to promote historic and cultural preservation in northwest Louisiana.
Kelly recently moved to Jacksonville, Florida to take the Executive Director position for Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) in the Historic Springfield neighborhood. Kelly will share her development skills with AiP and head AiP’s fundraising efforts.
Board Member - Director of Corporate Communications
Andreas Sandre is a press and public affairs officer at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., where he runs the digital diplomacy shop. He was previously at the United Nations, doing communications for the Italian delegation to the U.N. Security Council. Andreas is the author of Digital Diplomacy: Conversations on Innovation in Foreign Policy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) and Twitter for Diplomats (DiploFoundation, 2013). He's also the editor of Digital Diplomacy, a publication on Medium, and a contributor to HuffPost, the Global Policy Journal of the London School of Economics, and Hacker Noon. You can find Andreas on Twitter/Instagram @andreas212nyc or on Facebook @asandreDC.
Elisabeth Sobieczky is an art historian with a doctoral degree (Dr. Phil.) in Art History from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, and a Master’s degree (M.A.) in Art History from the University of Würzburg, Germany. For over ten years, she has taught at Universities in Austria (University of Graz, Vienna University, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Danube University Krems) with courses covering issues in restoration, conservation, and cultural heritage preservation.
Elisabeth’s research is focused on restoration from a historical and aesthetic perspective, considering how restoration makes physical changes, and thus changes the way we look at works of art, objects and buildings.
With her academic and teaching background, Elisabeth will combine her duties as Education Director with university outreach, developing partnerships between university programs and AiP projects. Her goal is to concentrate on the educational aspect of AiP projects to maximize learning outcomes.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Sean Etchells lives in Fayetteville, NC where he recently began working as an auditor for the US Army Audit Agency. Prior to moving to NC, he worked as a tax associate in Denver, CO while completing his Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Colorado. Before beginning his career in Accounting, Sean served in the US Army for 21 years and spent time in various European and Middle Eastern locations.
When not working, Sean enjoys traveling the world, kayaking, bicycling, skydiving and looking at cat memes on the internet. One of his recent adventures took him to the Mayan ruins of Uxmal in Yucatan, where he was able to walk among the ancient temples and buildings of a remarkable culture that has adapted to modern Mexican society. He is always on the lookout for the next trip, finding planning almost as enjoyable as the actual journey.
AiP’s Volunteers and Interns
Marcia Klopf began her studies at St. Olaf College and received a BA in Studio Art and Pre-Architecture, along with a Latino Studies concentration. She then earned a Master of Urban Planning, with a focus on historic preservation, at the University of Illinois. While a graduate student, she worked as a Research Assistant with the City of Washington, Illinois. The collaboration focused on the historic resources in the City of Washington, IL. Marcia completed the background work for a National Register nomination, wrote historic district design guidelines and compiled a resource book for historic district property owners. She also worked as the Preservation Planner for the City of Madison, Indiana and worked with the HPC, grant programs, and property owners to protect Madison’s historic resources.
Marcia currently works for Winter & Company, an urban planning, historic preservation and urban design consulting firm that works with communities around the country to guide future development through the use of design guidelines, preservation plans, and training manuals. She is working with AiP on marketing and outreach, as well as providing support for organizational development.
AiP’s Advisors and Consultants
Jane Britt Greenwood, AIA
Jane Britt Greenwood is a licensed architect, who worked in Boston for a number of years. In 1992, she took the position of University Architect for the newly founded American University of Armenia (AUA) in Yerevan.
She spent eighteen months in Armenia working on the design and development of an American-style university, teaching architecture students at the Yerevan Institute of Architecture and Construction.
Since entering academia in 1994, Dr. Greenwood served as Associate Dean in the Mississippi State University College of Architecture, Art, and Design, returning to the teaching faculty in 2009. Dr. Greenwood is also co-founder and President of Historic Armenian Houses, a cultural NGO located in Yerevan, Armenia.