Board of Directors
One of Preserve Nevada’s most significant accomplishments has been to bring together people from different parts of the state who share a common interest in preservation. Because of its unique geography, the Northern and Southern parts of Nevada can seem like different worlds, with entirely different histories and historical concerns. Preserve Nevada’s Board of Directors represents the full range of these concerns within the state, and has played an important role in shaping a common understanding of the Nevada’s preservation needs
Richard H. Bryan, Chairman of the Board
Former U.S. Senator Richard H. Bryan is a native Nevadan with a demonstrated commitment to the state of Nevada and its people. A graduate of Hastings Law School, Senator Bryan is a partner in the Lionel, Sawyer & Collins law firm and emphasizes Federal, state and local government relations; gaming, mining, and public land uses in his practice. Prior to serving two terms in the United States Senate, Bryan served with distinction as Clark County’s first Public Defender, State Assemblyman and Senator, Attorney General and two terms as Governor. The Senator is an active community and business leader, and in addition to his duties as Chairman of the Board for Preserve Nevada, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nevada Development Authority and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce; a Board Member of the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center; and a member of the City of Las Vegas’ Centennial Committee.
Robert A. Stoldal
Robert Stoldal is an award-winning journalist and broadcast manager who is the former Vice President of News at KLAS Television and oversees the news operation of KLAS, KTUD, and Las Vegas ONE. During Stoldal’s tenure as news director, United Press International honored KLAS as “Best Newscast in America.” He was instrumental in the drive to allow the public to have access to judicial and governmental proceedings through television broadcasting and was elected to the Nevada Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1998. Nationally, he has helped to launch 24-hour news channels in Tennessee and Virginia and has served on the National Committee on Ethics in Television and was a board member of the National Committee on Civic Journalism. As a community leader, Stoldal works with several historical and preservation groups throughout Nevada as Chairman of the Board of the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society, Chairman of the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission and a board member of the State Commission of Cultural Affairs and the Las Vegas Springs Preserve Foundation. Stoldal also serves on the steering committee of a construction project to build a history museum in Las Vegas, scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. In addition, Stoldal serves on the Executive Committee of the City of Las Vegas Centennial Celebration Commission. Stoldal also serves on the Centennial Commissions History Working Group. The working group’s projects include the creation and installation of historic markers for Las Vegas, along with creating and implementing plans to save historic structures. In March of 2003, Governor Kenny Guinn requested Stoldal’s participation in the process of select to new United States quarter commemorating the state of Nevada. Stoldal now serves on this committee, chaired by Nevada State Treasurer, Brian Krolicki.
Michael Green, Director
Michael Green is an associate professor of history in UNLV's Department of History. He earned his B.A. and M.A. at UNLV and his Ph.D. at Columbia University. He teaches history courses and advanced undergraduate seminars for UNLV’s Honors College on nineteenth-century America and on Nevada and Las Vegas.
His books on the Civil War era are Freedom, Union, and Power: Lincoln and His Party during the Civil War (Fordham University Press, 2004), Politics and America in Crisis: The Coming of the Civil War (ABC-CLIO, 2010), and Lincoln and the Election of 1860 (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011). He is editing A Companion to Abraham Lincoln as part of the Wiley-Blackwell series of historiography volumes and co-editing Ideas and Movements in American History: From the Bill of Rights to "Occupy Wall Street" as well as "The Idea Exchange" database for ABC-CLIO. His works on Nevada include Las Vegas: A Centennial History (with Eugene Moehring, University of Nevada Press, 2005); Nevada: A Journey of Discovery, a middle school textbook (Gibbs-Smith, 2004); and the oral history of a longtime Nevada attorney and politician, A Liberal Conscience: Ralph Denton, Nevadan (University of Nevada Oral History Program, 2001). He edits the Wilbur S. Shepperson Series on Nevada History for the University of Nevada Press. He is a member of the board of directors and researcher for the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, better known as the Mob Museum, and a member of the board of Preserve Nevada. The University of Nevada Press published his college-level textbook Nevada: A History of the Silver State in 2015 and he is writing a history of the Great Basin in the twentieth century for the University of Arizona Press.
Green is also active in writing and speaking in the community. He writes the "Politics" column and blog for Vegas Seven, "Nevada Yesterdays" for Nevada Humanities and KNPR, and "Inside the Beltway" and "Books" for a newsletter, Nevada’s Washington Watch. He lives in Las Vegas, but not in Las Vegas (and he can explain why), with his wife, Deborah Young, former director of scholarship and tribute giving at UNLV, in a home owned by their two cats.
Andrew Kirk, Emeritus
Professor Kirk’s research and teaching focus on the intersections of cultural and environmental history in the modern U.S. with a special interest in the American West, the counterculture and public history. In public history Kirk specializes in innovative collaborative federal and regional research partnerships with his students linking historic preservation and environmental history. This work resulted in 22 National Register Nominations, National Landmark designations, Cultural Resource Studies, Multiple Property Documents for Yosemite National Park, Historic Resources Studies and Administrative Histories across the West. His research methods in public/environmental history are explained in, “When Nature Becomes Culture: The National Register and Yosemite’s Camp 4” with Charles Palmer, Western Historical Quarterly37:4 (Winter 2006):496-506.
Kirk was Co-Pi on the award-winning Nevada Test Site Oral history Project funded by the U.S. DOE and U.S. ED. His research, exploring the environmental/public histories of atomic landscapes and the lived history of nuclear testing, was published in, “Rereading the Nature of Atomic Doom Towns,” Environmental History 17:3 (July, 2012) and more recently as a graphic history, Doom Towns: The People and Landscapes of Atomic Testing (Oxford University Press, 2017). From 2012-2014 Kirk was the lead researcher on a U.S. State Department Funded exchange of students and researchers working on the U.S. and former U.S.S.R. nuclear test sites and then served as a Scholar on the Department of Energy and Department of the Interior Manhattan Project Roundtable. His notable publications exploring the environmental history of countercultures include, Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (Kansas, 2007) and more recently, “Alloyed: Countercultural Bricoleurs and the Design Science Revival,” in, David Kaiser and W. Patrick McCray, eds., Groovy Science: The Countercultural Embrace of Science and Technology over the Long 1970s (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Kirk is co-editor of the Modern American West Series for the University of Arizona press and serves on several national academic organization boards in his fields.
Mark Bassett is the President of the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark in Ely Nevada. Central to this National Historic Landmark, an operating historic railroad the Nevada Northern Railway. This fifty-six acre complex consists of sixty-six buildings and structures, operating steam locomotives, over sixty pieces of antique railroad equipment, thirty miles of track along with the corporate paper record of the railroad. Mark’s biggest challenge is how to preserve and protect this nationally significant landmark that is located in, what has been called, the most remote incorporated city in the continental United States. Part of the challenge is not just preserving the equipment and buildings, but teaching the skills necessary to maintain equipment that is over a century old to the current generation. Mark’s experience as a National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Project Manager, Publisher, Retailer, Historic Building Restorer, Marketing Professional and Traveler give him unique insights in how to make the past relevant to present day visitors.
Joni Eastley is vice-chairman of the Nye County Board of Commissioners. She is a committed preservationist who, along with her husband Dennis, restored their home, the 1906 Raycraft House, in Tonopah. The restoration was featured on an episode of HGTV’s Restore Nevada and was selected for special recognition by the State Historic Preservation Office in 2005. Joni leads a multi-organizational partnership for the BLM’s Tonopah Field Station for the preservation of the historic Rhyolite townsite. She is also a founding member and secretary of the Tonopah Historic Mining Park Foundation Board and a longtime member of its Advisory Board. She is currently actively involved in the restoration of the 1906 Nye County Courthouse in Tonopah. Joni is an 11-year member of Rotary Club of Tonopah, where she has served as president as is a Paul Harris Fellow. She is past president of the Nevada Association of Counties, founding member of the domestic violence organization No to Abuse, current president of both the Nevada Airport Managers Association and the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority, and secretary and founding member of the Tonopah Development Corporation. She was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to the BLM’s Mohave-Southern Resource Advisory Council in 2004 and is a 2006 County Leadership Institute Fellow of NYU Wagner.
Honor Jones was raised on a ranch near Gardnerville, Nevada and graduated from Douglas County High School. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. She subsequently taught science at Reno High School, taught in the U.S. Army school system in Virginia, in Reno’s private sector and the adult education program. Subsequently, Honor founded a nationwide mail order company for outdoor wear kits including her pattern designs which she owned and operated for 20 years. She has consulted in design for the outerwear industry and the military. Supporting her alma mater, she served on the UNR Alumni Council and chaired the Alumni Travel Committee for 10 years. She has served her community and country by volunteering for agencies for years. As a board member of Step 2, Honor conceived of, created and orchestrated, for 10 years, Reno’s now well-known fundraiser, STEP 2’s Homes for the Holidays. She served on the national level as the Master National Retriever Hunt Test Secretary. Her tenure in Virginia, travel experiences and love of her state’s heritage spark her continuing interest in historic preservation. She is a past Reno Recreation and Park Commissioner and a board member of the Truckee Meadows Heritage Trust.
Melinda has a wide range of practical experience in historic preservation. Her focus includes landmark buildings, with emphasis on historic landscape design, site and plant material research, and treatment recommendations. Her appointment to the Board of Advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation began in September of 2006. Melinda is a member of the City of Reno Historic Resources Commission, a lifetime member of the Historic Reno Preservation Society, and holds memberships in the Cultural Landscape Foundation as well as the American Society of Landscape Architects. She was appointed to the Nevada State Board of Landscape Architects, by Governor Brian Sandoval in 2015.
Melinda is a Landscape Historian with the landscape architectural firm, Landscape Architecture Studio, Nevada, and is a private historic landscape consultant at Gustin and Associates, Inc. She most recently graduated, as Harrison Fellow, from the University of Virginia, Historic Landscape Institute; Historic Landscape Architecture Design Documentation. Additional studies include dual honors degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Truckee Meadows Community College, Graduate Certificates from the University of Nevada, Reno, in the Advanced Business Management and Human Resource Management programs, and holds SHRM & HRCI: (SHRM-SCP and SPHR), professional designations.
She and her husband, Dan, were the recipients of the City of Reno Historic Resources Commission inaugural Historic Preservation Advocacy Award, as well as the City of Reno Historic Preservation Award for the restoration of the grounds and residence of the Francis G. Newlands Mansion, National Historic Landmark, which has been featured on HTV’s Restore America national program as well as the KNPB House with a History series.
Michelle Follette Turk
Michelle Follette Turk is a historian of occupational health and the state of Nevada. Her book, A History of Occupational Health and Safety: From 1905 to the Present, examines work, hazards, and safety programs in southern Nevada from early building of the railroad through dam construction, chemical manufacturing during World War II, nuclear testing, and resort industry employment. She has also authored scholarly articles on health, safety, and labor at the Hoover Dam, and is a lecturer on Las Vegas medical history and Hoover Dam labor history. Michelle earned her doctorate in the history of the twentieth century American West with specialties in public history from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She served as deputy director of Preserve Nevada from 2005-2008, and currently teaches history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Michelle is the granddaughter of Kirk V. Cammack Jr., MD, the second board-certified surgeon in Nevada and cofounder of the Lion’s Burn Care Center at University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and two children.
Jonathan Foster is professor of history at Great Basin College where he teaches courses on the history of the U.S., the West, the environment, and Nevada. He grew up in Alabama where he earned a B.A. and M.A. in History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Foster then journeyed westward and completed his Ph.D. in History of the North American West at UNLV.
Foster’s research interests are centered primarily on urban, environmental, and regional history. His recent publications include Stigma Cities: The Reputation and History of Birmingham, San Francisco, and Las Vegas (University of Oklahoma Press, forthcoming 2018) and Lake Mead National Recreation Area: A History of America’s First National Playground (University of Nevada Press, 2016).
He lives in Elko, Nevada with his wife Marianne, twin daughters Nora and Sadie, and a wonderfully bossy miniature Dachshund named Phoebe.
Shae Smith Cox, Deputy Director
Currently a Ph.D. student in the UNLV History Department, Shae Smith Cox earned her M.A. in American History from Oklahoma State University in 2013. She studies the Civil War with an emphasis on material culture and memory and is minoring in Public History. Shae interned with the Mob Museum’s content department during the summer of 2016 and worked as the project manager for the Fall 2016 exhibit Ready to Roar. She coauthored the grant application for the Nevada Humanities Mini Grant awarded to the UNLV Public History Program in 2016. Shae is the recipient of the Spring 2017 Hal Rothman Doctoral History Student Scholarship. She holds the position of Deputy Director for the nonprofit organization Preserve Nevada and is the local student representative and assistant coordinator for the 2018 Local Arrangements Committee for the National Council of Public Historians.