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Introducing your new 2008-2009 Board Members

Curtis Drake receives the gavel as new president of the SOHO Board of Directors. Photo by Sandé Lollis

Annual elections were held on September 20 at the Stein Family Farm. Outgoing SOHO president Michael Kravcar presented the gavel to Curtis Drake as the new president. Three director positions were filled with newcomers to the board. Please take a moment to read about your new directors. You will find the complete bios online for all directors at

Karen Huff-Willis is founder and chairman of the Museum of San Diego African American History, as well as the Black Historical Society of San Diego (one of the largest black historical societies in the country).

Obtaining both bachelor and masters degrees in business from the University of Phoenix Arizona, she has a law degree from Western Sierra Law School in San Diego. After spending two years as an intern Deputy Public Defender and one-year law clerking as a civil litigator and CEQA specialist, she decided not to go into legal practice. Instead, she re-dedicated herself to her first love, historic preservation. To date has preserved over nine historic African American sites in the San Diego area.

Sandor W. Shapery is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California and has practiced before the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Shapery is currently developing real estate, managing his real estate holdings, and developing a transportation infrastructure company.

Mr. Shapery is the principal of Shapery Enterprises under which various corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies operate. Shapery Enterprises is involved in the ownership, design, and development of high-rise office buildings (Sempra Energy corporate headquarters building; Emerald Shapery Center), high-rise hotels (Westin Emerald Plaza; W Hotel downtown San Diego), commercial centers, historic renovations, and raw land. A large part of Mr. Shapery's real estate development pursuits involve historic renovations. Most notably, Mr. Shapery rehabilitated, among numerous historic renovations, the historic Keissig house at 2nd and Ash St., the Del Mar Castle, Las Casitas Del Mar, 1576 Law St. Victorian home, Aspen Victorian home, South Park business district complex and fire station, the Riviera Hotel, and the Chinese Steam Laundry which is now incorporated in the W Hotel. Most of the rehabilitated properties are located in San Diego County.

Dan Soderberg is a native of San Diego County and a 4th generation Californian. The local history he's seen first hand has shaped his advocacy for historic preservation.

Dan is a graduate of UCLA film school with a BFA in Motion Picture and Television Production. He is a photographer and video journalist. Dan produced the short film Save the San Diego Mills Act, which is a history of this important preservation incentive and its importance today in San Diego. He currently lives in Normal Heights in a small 1927 cottage home, which he restored himself. Dan has an appreciation and love for many styles of architecture, but feels especially attracted to mid-century modernism, particularly the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

2008-09 SOHO Board of Directors

Curtis Drake - President   Jaye Furlonger - Vice President
Jessica McGee - Treasurer   John Eisenhart - Secretary
Michael J. Kravcar - Ex Officio   Courtney Ann Coyle, Esq.
Erik Hanson   Allen Hazard
Karen Huff-Willis   Peter Janopaul
John Oldenkamp   Sandor Shapery
Dan Soderberg   Mary Wendorf

Thank You To Our Outgoing Board Members
On behalf of the organization we would like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing board members for all the hard work they have contributed over the years. Their participation has helped to make us the fabulous organization that we are today. We will truly miss their presence on the Board and we look forward to their continued involvement in other ways.

Welton Jones served the organization for seven years, acting as officer twice both as vice president and secretary and at other times director at large. Welton also brought his great skill of theatre production to our organization and under his tutelage we were able to produce the first performances in 133 years in the Whaley House theatre, San Diego's first commercial theater, and equally of importance he brought the historically important La Pastorela back to Old Town after a century. We hope to do more theater in the future when funds allow and will look to our dear friend Welton again when that time comes.

Martha Jordan is one of the staunchest preservationist in town! The Coronado resident is an activist to behold and has led the charge in many preservation battles in her city and continues to do so. While Martha served only two terms, her voice was heard and helped to keep the grass roots ideals of the organization front and center. Many will remember her graciousness and generosity in opening her wonderful historic home last year for the annual Holiday party.

Also, while President Michael Kravcar remains on the board as ex officio, his role as president this past year must be called out. Mike stepped into the role of president in a most difficult transition time of the organization with the untimely passing of President Beth Montes. Mike's time was at a real premium with major preservation projects in both San Diego and Indiana and he sacrificed as needed to keep our course steady in the direction in which it had been set. It has been a difficult time for everyone and he had to work within that sensitive atmosphere. Thank you Mike.

2008 - Volume 39, Issue 3/4


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From the Editor

2008 Most Endangered List of Historic Resources

Character Matters

Smart Growth - or is it?

The Impact of Historic Districts
Washington Didn't Sleep Here

How to Research Your House

Preserving Community Character

Behind the Tuscany Craze

2008 People In Preservation Award Winners

Preservation Community


Annual Financial Report

Book Review - Working Windows

Sherlock Homes

Speakers Bureau Forming

Lost San Diego

Strength in Numbers


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