Frederick Stachura, J.D.


Frederick Stachura is a graduate of Boston College (B.A. in History), Boston University (M.A. in Preservation Studies) and Saint Louis University School of Law (Juris Doctor). With prior experience in the private practice of law, non-profit advocacy, and consulting, Mr. Stachura has developed specific expertise in preservation law and planning, organizational development, community advocacy, and preservation-based real estate development. He has represented individuals, developers, neighborhood associations, and nonprofit organizations before zoning and historic preservation agencies, and state courts. His professional interests include Main Street/Smart Growth consultation, preservation non-profit organizational facilitation, and building collaborative relationships.

Mr. Stachura is the Planning Supervisor for the Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Community Planning Division, and has specialized expertise in technical preservation issues, preservation easements, ordinances, and preservation public policy. Along with teaching preservation law, advocacy, and policy at the University of Maryland, Mr. Stachura has taught historic preservation law and planning, and adaptive reuse and rehabilitation finance courses at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI, and Boston Architectural College, Boston, MA. He is currently the President and Chairman of MAHDC, where he has served since 2010.

Sheila Bashiri


Sheila Bashiri has worked professionally for local municipal governments for the past fifteen years as the administrative liaison to historic preservation boards. She recently relocated to Maryland from Michigan to become the City of Rockville Historic Preservation Planner. Prior to moving to Rockville, she worked as the Preservation Planner for the City of Birmingham, Michigan. She has served on boards for both the Michigan Historic Preservation Network and Main Street Oakland County, and she is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Heritage Montgomery. Her undergraduate degree is in historic preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design, and she has a master’s degree in urban planning, with a historic preservation concentration, from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Ms. Bashiri joined the board in 2014.

Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.


Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. is an Archives Specialist with the Archives Center, National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Institution. In addition to collecting, he works with the Archives’ processing team on preparing paper and film collections for long-term preservation and researcher use. He has collected and processed collections dealing with agriculture, popular culture, LGBT, and the performing arts. He has curated numerous Archives Center exhibits on a variety of topics. He has authored many finding aids as well as monographs and books on local Maryland history. He contributed a chapter to Jessica Lacher-Feldman’s book, Exhibits in Archives and Special Collections Libraries and has an article published in the summer 2014 issue of the journal QED. His latest book, Faith & Tobacco, was published in 2015 by Anchovy Hill Press. He is the former chair of the Charles County Historic Preservation Commission and a recipient of The Maryland Historical Trust’s Preservation Service Award. He was appointed to the board of the Maryland Historical Trust by Governor Hogan in 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Catholic University of America and a Master of Arts from American University. He is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. He is also a professional actor, produced playwright, and playwriting teacher. He is a resident of Benedict, Charles County, Maryland.

Cathy Thompson


Cathy Thompson has served as the Community Planning Program Manager for the Department of Planning and Growth Management for over 10 years. There she oversees the historic preservation program including the administration of the Historic Preservation Commission and review of all development projects for impacts to standing structures, archaeological sites, historic landscapes, and burial grounds. Thompson also works closely with community and stakeholder groups to document, preserve, revitalize and recognize the many unique and irreplaceable historic assets in Charles County. She holds a Master’s Degree in Folk Studies/Historic Preservation from Western Kentucky University and a Bachelors Degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. In 2016, she received Preservation Maryland’s Gearhart Professional Service Award which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, knowledge, and creativity while working to protect and preserve Maryland’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.

Kathleen Seay


Kathleen Seay is currently a Graduate Student at Goucher College studying Historic Preservation. She holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Maryland College Park in Art History/Landscape Management and three years of study in Landscape Architecture. Her primary area of focus in her graduate studies is in cultural landscapes and work towards enhancing the field of preservation for expanded inclusion and intangible asset recognition. She comes to the MAHDC with eight years of experience in museum and library work and is fluid in both archival and material sciences as well as policy and community engagement found in preservation work. She likes to use her experience as a way to intersect preservation work into giving back to the community in unconventional ways such as community health and arts. Kathleen has also spent time working as a Preservation Planning Intern for Charles County. She is a DMV native and active in local preservation efforts rooted both Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Kathy McKenney


A lifelong resident of Cumberland, Kathy received her undergraduate degree in History with a minor in Spanish at Frostburg State University and her graduate degree in History, with a concentration in nineteenth century United States History, from West Virginia University. In 1997, she became the City of Cumberland’s first Historic Planner/Preservation Coordinator. Combined with her duties as staff to the Cumberland Historic Preservation Commission, Kathy has been involved in grant writing for the City and has assisted in the development and implementation of the Cumberland’s Sustainable Communities Plan of Action, Downtown Design and Development Plan and the Virginia Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Plan. She was the 2006 recipient of the Roland B. Sweitzer Maryland Municipal League Municipal Employee of the Year Award. Her office is located on the lower level of City Hall in downtown Cumberland.

Christopher J. Berger


Christopher J. Berger, AICP, is a Historic Preservation and Land Use Planner, who has served with the City of Gaithersburg since 2015. Chris holds a Masters degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Florida. During his graduate studies, he also studied at the Preservation Institute in Nantucket, MA in 2009. In 2018 the City of Gaithersburg named Chris Employee of the Quarter, an award that honors hard-working individuals and teams. Chris was recognized for his exemplary work in researching, planning and coordinating the 2018 Historic Element of the City’s Master Plan. The Historic Element details existing and potential historic properties and outlines policies and programs to further historic preservation initiatives. The project involved exhaustive research on the economic benefits of historic preservation. Chris was lauded for maintaining a high level of productivity with his other duties while enthusiastically embracing this special project.

Grace Davenport


Grace Davenport is a historic preservation specialist and architectural historian. She has over six years of experience working in the historic preservation and public history fields and holds a Master of Historic Preservation degree from the University of Maryland. Ms. Davenport currently works as a Heritage Resource Planner for Fairfax County, Virginia, and is the Owner and Principal for a woman-owned consulting firm, Forgotten Landscapes Research, LLC. Her prior work experience includes working for Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, Inc., the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, the University of Maryland Historic Preservation Program, the Maryland Historical Trust, Vaughan Woods Historic Homestead, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Prior to her entering the field, Ms. Davenport worked in the theater production industry for six years. Ms. Davenport has served on MAHDC’s board since 2020.

Gaver Nichols


An architect in private practice, Gaver has served on the MAHDC Board of Directors since 2021.


Leslie is a graduate of the Goucher College Masters of Historic Preservation Program, Towson, Maryland. She also holds a Masters degree in Conflict Resolution from the McGregor School, Antioch University, Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a Bachelors degree in Art and Art History from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. From 2014 to 2017, Leslie lectured in the Masters in Historic Preservation Program, Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development, Addis Ababa University. Her prior work experience includes serving as USAID Democracy Fellow in the Office of Democracy and Economic Growth, United States Agency for International Development, Antananarivo, Madagascar, Faculty Research Associate in the Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland, College Park, and Administrator for a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. She specializes in public policy, community participation, gender, and climate issues at the intersection of historic preservation and community development.