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Historic House Trust Energized as Six New Members Join the Advisory Board

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The Governance & Nominating and Executive Committees of the Board of Directors for the Historic House Trust of New York City (HHT) have accepted six new candidates for the Directors’ Council to advise on subjects related to the preservation of New York City’s historic house museums. 

Boasting a diversity of professional expertise and personal interests, members of the HHT Directors’ Council support the organization’s mission to preserve 23 historic sites located on public parkland. By lending their knowledge, skills, and opinions, they help promote livable and culturally connected urban landscapes, protect the 400+ years of history embodied by the sites, and ensure that museum partners are supported in serving their communities citywide. 

The Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome six advisory members who bring energy, innovation, and new perspectives as the organization approaches its 35th anniversary. “HHT is committed to investing in inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainability” says Board Chair Lisa Ackerman. “We are dedicated to supporting efforts that strengthen our expertise as an organization, and bring new ideas for growth and partnership in the coming years.” 

2024 Directors’ Council Appointments

Phil Ballman is the Director of Cultural Affairs and Tourism for Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. Mr. Ballman is an internationally recognized performing arts professional with over two decades of experience as a drummer, percussionist, concert and event producer, entrepreneur, and educator. As a musician, he is best known for his drum set work with the Grammy-nominated afrobeat band, Antibalas. He has performed, recorded, and toured with diverse artists such as Cyro Baptista, Baaba Maal, Manhattan Samba Group, Gamelan Hanuman Agung, Femi Kuti, and producer Ticklah.

Matthew Coody is the Director of Development for NYC Audubon, where he leads fundraising efforts to protect wild birds and habitat, enhance equitable access to nature, and advance activism for a more sustainable and biodiverse New York City. With a background in nonprofit leadership, including roles at the Historic House Trust and the New York Preservation Archive Project, Mr. Coody is committed to uniting people and resources to create meaningful change.

Loycent Gordon is the Owner & CEO of the historic Neir’s Tavern established in 1829. Mr. Gordon is known for his remarkable story of saving one of America's oldest taverns when it was days from closing in 2009. As owner, he has returned Neir’s Tavern to an iconic Queens institution. Neir’s is one of the only taverns in America to have a street co-named in its honor, “Neir’s Tavern Way,” and is now listed in the United States Congressional Record.

Erica Harper is Vice President of Learning and Engagement at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn. In her role, she is responsible for the vision, strategy, and implementation for both the education and programming departments. Ms. Harper previously served as Head of PK12 Initiatives at The Phillips Collection, a museum of modern and contemporary art in Washington, DC. Her passion for education was deepened during her decade-long tenure at a local DC non-profit called “Live It Learn It,” which focused on experiential learning. There she developed an intimate understanding of the DC educational landscape, particularly its schools, museums, and monuments. 

Peggy King Jorde is Principal at KING JORDE Culturals, a multidisciplinary consulting practice prioritizing meaningful engagement with descendant communities and various stakeholders, developers, and design professionals. Ms. King Jorde is a global authority in African Burial Ground and heritage site reclamation, repair, protection, and memorialization for underrepresented histories and marginalized communities. Her reach and impact are global, having worked on heritage projects spanning the United States and the international arenas including Sint Eustatius, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Saint Helena, a United Kingdom territory in the South Atlantic.

Erin White is a Human Resources Business Partner at Hinge with a proven track record of developing and launching high impact projects and providing empathetic support and leadership to teams. Prior to Hinge, Ms. White worked at the Historic House Trust, where she oversaw day-to-day operations and honed her Human Resources skills through the development of manuals and policies to support employee retention and organizational sustainability. 

About the Historic House Trust of New York City

The Historic House Trust of New York City (HHT) partners with the New York City of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) to advocate for, promote, and provide expertise to preserve 23 publicly-owned historic house museums located across all five boroughs of New York City. HHT partners with independent non-profit organizations that operate the historic sites as museums, as well as NYC Parks and other City agencies, to assist in preservation and advocacy efforts. HHT manages restoration projects at its partner sites, coordinates daily maintenance needs, advises on best practices in historic preservation, and works to address the evolving needs of its partners and stakeholders. 

Press Contact:
Giulietta Fiore

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