Jeramey Jannene

Milwaukee Preservation Alliance Seeks New Leader

Executive director Jeremy Ebersole leaving the city's leading historic preservation group.

By - Sep 12th, 2022 03:44 pm
Old Main. Photo by Ryan Hainey Photography, provided by MPA.

Old Main, which MPA advocated to save.  Photo by Ryan Hainey Photography, provided by MPA.

Milwaukee’s leading preservation advocacy organization, the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, is looking for a new full-time, executive director as it approaches its 20th year of operation.

The current executive director, Jeremy Ebersole, is relocating back to Vermont with his family after two years at the helm.

“This is a very special place, and I will miss it deeply,” said Ebersole in a statement announcing his impending departure. “MPA is not a person or even a group of people; it is an idea. MPA is the feeling when you step into the Domes and are surrounded by the healing power of nature and the beauty of Modernist design. It is the unyielding belief that the Soldiers Home, a 150-year-old Cream City brick masterpiece that had been vacant for 30 years and had a collapsed roof, could be restored to serve veterans again. It is the commitment to partnerships that brought some of the historic preservation field’s most coveted national awards to Milwaukee in 2021. And it is the courage to advocate and rally around the places – from libraries to workers’ cottages to old hospitals and beyond – that make up the everyday lived experience of ALL Milwaukeeans.”

The new executive director will be just the third in the organization’s history. The board of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created the position in 2019 as part of opening an office in the restored building at 1100-1110 S. 5th St.

“The ideal candidate will have a strong background in historic preservation and nonprofit leadership, a commitment to MPA’s mission, and a passion for the people and places that make Milwaukee so special. Diverse candidates are encouraged to apply,” said MPA in an email announcing the opening.

MPA aims to make preservation mainstream by promoting the economic, cultural and historical value created by Milwaukee’s historic built environment. The executive director is expected to serve as a spokesperson and strategist for the organization in addition to executive oversight functions.

Members of the board, including president Peter Zanghi and past president Dawn McCarthy, have been active in advocating for the preservation of everything from the Mitchell Park Domes to the Marcus Performing Arts Center. The organization has been a partner in promoting the preservation and redevelopment of the historic Soldiers Home complex. The Soldiers Home project, which includes the Civil War-era Old Main building, was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2021.

Ebersole has helped elevate the organization’s visibility, repeatedly appearing at public hearings to advocate for the preservation of specific buildings, suggest ways to economically preserve buildings or champion the economic and environmental benefits of revitalizing historic buildings.

A public job listing says the starting compensation range is $60,000 to $65,000 annually, plus a $650 monthly healthcare stipend. Applications are due Sept. 30.

The membership-supported organization is part of the National Preservation Partners Network.

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