Staff

Samantha Ellens Preservation Associate  Samantha is pursuing her PhD in Anthropology (Archaeology) at Wayne State University. She joined Preservation Detroit in November 2018, where she brings a love for public outreach, community archaeology, and the protection of our shared heritage. Samantha received a Masters in Anthropology from Wayne State as well as a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Anthropology and Biology from the University of Windsor. At Wayne State, she remains heavily involved with the  Unearthing Detroit Project , a community-based initiative dedicated to providing public access to the archaeology of the city.  Email   sellens@preservationdetroit.org

Samantha Ellens
Preservation Associate
Samantha is pursuing her PhD in Anthropology (Archaeology) at Wayne State University. She joined Preservation Detroit in November 2018, where she brings a love for public outreach, community archaeology, and the protection of our shared heritage. Samantha received a Masters in Anthropology from Wayne State as well as a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Anthropology and Biology from the University of Windsor. At Wayne State, she remains heavily involved with the Unearthing Detroit Project, a community-based initiative dedicated to providing public access to the archaeology of the city.
Email sellens@preservationdetroit.org

Board of Directors

 
Jolene Kijorski   Executive Vice President | Board of Directors  Joining the Board of Directors in August 2016, Jolene brings her educational knowledge and passion for historic preservation to Preservation Detroit. Prior to joining the board she has served to educate and advocate as a volunteer within the organization as well as in her personal life. Through her travels she has made it a mission to educate others about the history and beauty our city possesses. She studied Geography and Historic Preservation and hopes to act as an ambassador for those unfamiliar with Detroit’s preservation potential and to promote sustainability through historic preservation.  Email   jkijorski@preservationdetroit.org

Jolene Kijorski
Executive Vice President | Board of Directors
Joining the Board of Directors in August 2016, Jolene brings her educational knowledge and passion for historic preservation to Preservation Detroit. Prior to joining the board she has served to educate and advocate as a volunteer within the organization as well as in her personal life. Through her travels she has made it a mission to educate others about the history and beauty our city possesses. She studied Geography and Historic Preservation and hopes to act as an ambassador for those unfamiliar with Detroit’s preservation potential and to promote sustainability through historic preservation.
Email jkijorski@preservationdetroit.org

Jeff Richards    Secretary | Board of Directors  Jeff joined Preservation Detroit as a volunteer in 2014. He joined the board of directors in early 2016, and was elected as Secretary at the end of 2017. He has a BA degree in Communications from Wayne State University. Jeff has a passion for architecture and historic preservation, particularly in Detroit. He is also an interactive producer, working in online advertising for one of the Big Three.  Email   jrichards@preservationdetroit.org

Jeff Richards
Secretary | Board of Directors
Jeff joined Preservation Detroit as a volunteer in 2014. He joined the board of directors in early 2016, and was elected as Secretary at the end of 2017. He has a BA degree in Communications from Wayne State University. Jeff has a passion for architecture and historic preservation, particularly in Detroit. He is also an interactive producer, working in online advertising for one of the Big Three.
Email jrichards@preservationdetroit.org

Steven Levine Treasurer | Board of Directors  Steven joined the Board of Directors in October 2010 and currently serves as Treasurer. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and also attended Wayne State’s M.B.A. program, majoring in Accounting. With his own accounting practice, Steven brings to Preservation Detroit over 30 years of public accounting experience. Born in Detroit, he has a long family history rooted in Eastern Market. His grandfather started a wholesale produce business there in the 1930s, and Steven has shared his family experiences during Preservation Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market tours, offering a unique perspective on commerce and Jewish life in Detroit.

Steven Levine
Treasurer | Board of Directors

Steven joined the Board of Directors in October 2010 and currently serves as Treasurer. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and also attended Wayne State’s M.B.A. program, majoring in Accounting. With his own accounting practice, Steven brings to Preservation Detroit over 30 years of public accounting experience. Born in Detroit, he has a long family history rooted in Eastern Market. His grandfather started a wholesale produce business there in the 1930s, and Steven has shared his family experiences during Preservation Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market tours, offering a unique perspective on commerce and Jewish life in Detroit.

 
Tony Sabo Director | Board of Directors  Tony has been involved in historic preservation for the last 30 years. He recently joined the Preservation Detroit board of directors in 2019 and with his 30 years of service in the City of Detroit, he hopes to impact the future preservation of the historic architecture throughout the city. Through the work of Grunwell-Cashero Co. and Cashero Raycraft Co., he has been involved in the restoration and preservation of the Metropolitan Building, the Wurlitzer Building, The David Stott Building, The Michigan Opera House, The Fox Theater, The Fisher Building and The Henry Ford Hospital. He is currently Senior VP of Cashero Raycraft Co. and Director for Grunwell-Cashero Co.  Email   tsabo@preservationdetroit.org

Tony Sabo
Director | Board of Directors

Tony has been involved in historic preservation for the last 30 years. He recently joined the Preservation Detroit board of directors in 2019 and with his 30 years of service in the City of Detroit, he hopes to impact the future preservation of the historic architecture throughout the city. Through the work of Grunwell-Cashero Co. and Cashero Raycraft Co., he has been involved in the restoration and preservation of the Metropolitan Building, the Wurlitzer Building, The David Stott Building, The Michigan Opera House, The Fox Theater, The Fisher Building and The Henry Ford Hospital. He is currently Senior VP of Cashero Raycraft Co. and Director for Grunwell-Cashero Co.
Email tsabo@preservationdetroit.org

 
Mickey Lyons   Tour Director | Board of Directors  Mickey joined the Board of Directors in January 2018. She holds a BA from Wayne State in Literature and an MA from Boston College in Irish Studies. Mickey is a passionate believer in the power of storytelling to shape the way we look at the people and places we see every day in Detroit. In addition to being an author on Detroit history, Prohibition in particular, Mickey has been designing and guiding tours of Detroit since 2013.  Email   mlyons@preservationdetroit.org

Mickey Lyons
Tour Director | Board of Directors
Mickey joined the Board of Directors in January 2018. She holds a BA from Wayne State in Literature and an MA from Boston College in Irish Studies. Mickey is a passionate believer in the power of storytelling to shape the way we look at the people and places we see every day in Detroit. In addition to being an author on Detroit history, Prohibition in particular, Mickey has been designing and guiding tours of Detroit since 2013.
Email mlyons@preservationdetroit.org

 
Dawn Bilobran Director | Board of Directors  Dawn joined the Board of Directors in August 2013. She holds an M.S. in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University and a B.A. in Political Science and Jewish Studies from Indiana University. Dawn is specifically interested in the correlation between historic preservation, economic development and civic engagement and the roles they play in sustainable community revitalization. A Detroit resident, she also serves on the Board of Directors of the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.  Email   dbilobran@preservationdetroit.org

Dawn Bilobran
Director | Board of Directors

Dawn joined the Board of Directors in August 2013. She holds an M.S. in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University and a B.A. in Political Science and Jewish Studies from Indiana University. Dawn is specifically interested in the correlation between historic preservation, economic development and civic engagement and the roles they play in sustainable community revitalization. A Detroit resident, she also serves on the Board of Directors of the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.
Email dbilobran@preservationdetroit.org

 
 
 
Brandon Hodges Director | Board of Directors  Brandon joined the Board of Directors in November 2018. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He currently works as a Retail Development Manager with Detroit-based real estate firm The Platform. Previously, Brandon spent eight years working in the affordable housing finance industry in Washington, DC, where he was responsible for underwriting and loan originations of multi-family affordable housing projects. Brandon is passionate about the preservation of both physical structures and cultural identities in urban centers throughout the country. He’s also an avid painter.  Email:   bhodges@preservationdetroit.org

Brandon Hodges
Director | Board of Directors
Brandon joined the Board of Directors in November 2018. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He currently works as a Retail Development Manager with Detroit-based real estate firm The Platform. Previously, Brandon spent eight years working in the affordable housing finance industry in Washington, DC, where he was responsible for underwriting and loan originations of multi-family affordable housing projects. Brandon is passionate about the preservation of both physical structures and cultural identities in urban centers throughout the country. He’s also an avid painter.
Email: bhodges@preservationdetroit.org

Andrea Sevonty Director | Board of Directors  Andrea owns and operates Sevonty Restoration, LLC, a Detroit based historic stained glass window restoration company. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Public History and an Associates of Applied Science in Building Preservation and Restoration. She has taught and demonstrated her trade across the county and most recently was an instructor for the Detroit Living Trades Academy. Andrea also serves on the Preservation Trades Network Executive Board of Directors. Notable projects: NEIdeas grant, Palmer Park Log Cabin (2018 Craftsman Award), Cotswold Cottage (Henry Ford Greenfield Village) and historic St. Lorenz Church (Frankenmuth, MI). When she’s not working, she’s dedicated to preservation of the American art form of tap dance and is a member of the Detroit Tap Repertory.  Email:   asevonty@preservationdetroit.org

Andrea Sevonty
Director | Board of Directors
Andrea owns and operates Sevonty Restoration, LLC, a Detroit based historic stained glass window restoration company. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Public History and an Associates of Applied Science in Building Preservation and Restoration. She has taught and demonstrated her trade across the county and most recently was an instructor for the Detroit Living Trades Academy. Andrea also serves on the Preservation Trades Network Executive Board of Directors. Notable projects: NEIdeas grant, Palmer Park Log Cabin (2018 Craftsman Award), Cotswold Cottage (Henry Ford Greenfield Village) and historic St. Lorenz Church (Frankenmuth, MI). When she’s not working, she’s dedicated to preservation of the American art form of tap dance and is a member of the Detroit Tap Repertory.
Email: asevonty@preservationdetroit.org

Dan Austin Director | Board of Directors  Austin joined the Board of Directors in March 2019, bringing not only a passion and knowledge for Detroit's historic architecture, but also media and political connections and writing expertise. He is a senior account executive at Van Dyke-Horn Public Relations and previously served as the City of Detroit's No. 2 communications official under Mayor Mike Duggan. He also spent 12 years in newspapers, including a decade as an editor and columnist at the Detroit Free Press. Since 2011, Austin has run the online architectural resource  HistoricDetroit.org , and he also has authored three books on Detroit's buildings and landmarks -- "Lost Detroit," "Forgotten Landmarks of Detroit" and "Greetings from Detroit," with a fourth on the way. When not dabbling in architecture, he DJs and runs the Motor City Soul Club, which he founded in 2014. The longtime Detroiter is a proud resident of District 7's Aviation Sub neighborhood.   Email:   daustin@preservationdetroit.org

Dan Austin
Director | Board of Directors
Austin joined the Board of Directors in March 2019, bringing not only a passion and knowledge for Detroit's historic architecture, but also media and political connections and writing expertise. He is a senior account executive at Van Dyke-Horn Public Relations and previously served as the City of Detroit's No. 2 communications official under Mayor Mike Duggan. He also spent 12 years in newspapers, including a decade as an editor and columnist at the Detroit Free Press. Since 2011, Austin has run the online architectural resource HistoricDetroit.org, and he also has authored three books on Detroit's buildings and landmarks -- "Lost Detroit," "Forgotten Landmarks of Detroit" and "Greetings from Detroit," with a fourth on the way. When not dabbling in architecture, he DJs and runs the Motor City Soul Club, which he founded in 2014. The longtime Detroiter is a proud resident of District 7's Aviation Sub neighborhood.
Email: daustin@preservationdetroit.org