Michigan Historic Preservation Network


Join us virtually for our annual member meeting 
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 12:45 PM.


MHPN Update
Financial Report
Election of Board of Directors
Changes to MHPN Bylaws (Click Here to Review)
Election of Officers

Thanks to Outgoing Board Members

Ron Campbell (Flint)
Denise McGeen (Detroit)
Karen Nagher (Canton)
Gary Rentrop (Bloomfield Hills)

Slate of Nominees for Election to Board of Directors

Third Term

Janet Kreger (Ann Arbor)

First Term

Emily Cauzillo (Grand Rapids)
Justin Knepper (Sault Ste. Marie)
Lis Knibbe (Ypsilanti)
Samantha Malott Brown (Detroit)
Liz Ware (Mackinac Island/Grosse Pointe)
Rob Yallop (Detroit)

Slate of Nominees for Election of MHPN Officers

David Jackson (Grand Rapids), President
Marcus Ringnalda (Grand Rapids), Vice-President
Laura Steenwyck (Grand Rapids), Treasurer
Devan Anderson (Detroit), Secretary


New Board Members

Emily Cauzillo

Vice President, Group Manager | InSite Capital

Emily started her banking career in 2012 and has contributed in many diverse departments throughout the organization, which has strengthened her leadership, critical analysis, and strategic planning skills. This unique background allows her to focus on investing in historic rehabilitations and other incentives, providing the necessary capital to bring complicated real estate projects to fruition. Emily earned her undergraduate business degree, double majoring in finance and operations management, and her Master’s degree in accounting from Grand Valley State University Emily is also the President of New Development Corporation, a Grand Rapids non-profit that supports affordable housing, free tax preparation assistance, and other services to the local community.

Justin Knepper

Owner, Knepper Development Strategies

Justin Knepper has been working in the economic development field for more than 10 years, and has gained experience in the areas of small business; retail; downtown development and small town issues; project management; fundraising and capital campaigns. He recently launched his own business, Knepper Development Strategies, and works on just about any project available up north. Justin has a deep love for historic preservation, both residential and commercial, and is in the process of restoring an 1882 pre-Victorian home in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as a 1902 mixed-use commercial building in Sault Ste. Marie. Justin is skilled in incentives and grant writing on the local, state, and federal levels. He enjoys spending time with local developers, contractors, architects and engineers, and mapping out plans and strategies to bring projects to fruition. Personally, Justin is married with step-daughter and a baby on the way, and loves hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.

Lis Knibbe

Retired architect (Quinn Evans)

For 40 years, Elisabeth Knibbe (Lis) has reinvigorated landmarks, connected people to communities, and lead with creativity and strength. She pioneered the use of historic preservation as an essential economic development tool to fund projects that have built the foundations for Detroit’s resurgence.

Lis began working in Detroit with restoration work at the old Wayne County Building and Fox Theater in the 1980s. Since then, she designed countless projects that capitalize on the potential of buildings to strengthen the fabric of the community. From the adaptive use of long-vacant buildings, the renewal of architectural landmarks, to new infill design projects, she has been involved with projects that have led the field in reviving Detroit’s neighborhoods in Midtown, Downtown, and Southwest. Her portfolio includes the adaptive use of four dilapidated houses into

the boutique Inn at Ferry Street that led to the rebirth of the Ferry Street historic district. At the Garden Theater Block on Woodward, new buildings respect adjacent historic buildings (including the landmark Garden Theater). At Woodward and Willis, a new office building explores the potential to re-establish the urban fabric with contemporary architecture. Her renewal of the McGregor Reflecting Pool and Sculpture Gardens faithfully restored a mid-century modern masterpiece central to the WSU campus. Lis’s recent work at the Wurlitzer and Metropolitan Buildings honors the early 20th century quality of craftsmanship and originality of design and links both to the future. Both transformations evoke optimism and economic opportunity while supporting the holistic lifestyle defining the future of Detroit.

Lis has extensive experience on community boards at the local and state levels. In Ypsilanti, she served on the Local Historic District Commission, the Downtown Development Authority and as vice chair of the Ypsilanti Public Schools Blue Ribbon Facilities Commission. At the State level she served on the Michigan Board of Architects and the Historic Preservation Review Board.

Currently she is mostly retired from Quinn Evans and pursuing opportunities to continue her legacy of strengthening neighborhoods and advancing urban redevelopment with creative design.

Samantha Malott Brown

Marketing Coordinator, Quinn Evans

As Marketing Coordinator for Quinn Evans’ Detroit office, Samantha Brown skillfully cultivates a genuine connection between people and the heritage of places where they live, work, learn, and play through impactful storytelling and community advocacy. With a master’s degree in historic preservation and a career background in marketing, she expertly leverages her diverse skills to create content that wins projects and award nominations, as well as strategies that engage and expand her firm’s network.

Samantha’s dedication to her community runs far deeper than an admiration of local architecture and history. Her work on the board of directors for the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (2019-present) is integral to the organization’s development. Her efforts have yielded membership growth, increased program offerings and participation, and fundraising success. In 2020, Samantha was recognized by the Detroit Jewish News, featured as one of their “36 Under 36.”

In the past, she has also volunteered with Michigan Historic Preservation Network as part of the membership committee (2012) and communications committee (2019), and with Preservation Eastern (2014-15) in the role of Communications Officer.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Samantha’s enthusiasm for preservation and culture dictates her personal pastimes as well. She can often be found exploring museums, admiring historic homes and revitalized buildings, or even taking in

(occasional!) ghost tours. But it has to be said that she’s always happiest to be at home with her cat, Fyfe (yes, named after downtown Detroit’s Fyfe building).

Liz Ware

Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Mission Point Resort

Liz serves as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for her family’s resort, Mission Point, on Mackinac Island. Her Pure Michigan story began with The Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac. After spending several years volunteering with the regatta, she planted roots on the island with the purchase and 7 year renovation of iconic Silver Birches, a doozy of a project done on an island with no cars allowed. Liz’s passion and love of Michigan, Mackinac Island and historic properties is palpable. Over that past six years, the Ware family has renovated and cultivated Mission Point winning numerous national and regional awards. Liz resides in Grosse Pointe where she is renovating an Alfred Hopkins Tudor and its Ellen Biddle Shipman gardens.

Prior to Mission Point, Liz was heavily involved with hospitality leaders, meetings, and events as the Chief Rainmaker at the American Society of Association Executives. She ran the association’s publications, fundraising events, and built their sponsor and partner programs bringing association decision makers together with hotel, convention center, airlines, and service industries.

When not at Mission Point, you can find Liz in her gardens filled with vegetables, delphinium, dahlias, and zinnias at Silver Birches and Grosse Pointe, seeking out distressed properties or reading the latest cookbook.

Rob Yallop

Senior Project Manager, Christman|Brinker

Rob Yallop is a Senior Project Manager with the Christman|Brinker Corktown Transformation Joint Venture. Joining Christman’s Historic Preservation Group in Detroit two years ago, Rob is part of the team responsible for managing the rehabilitation of the former Michigan Central Station. He has 25 years’ experience in the field of historic preservation, managing and supporting the restoration and rehabilitation of some of the nation’s most significant historic resources. Prior to joining Christman, Rob spent 20 years with Lord Aeck Sargent Architecture in their Atlanta and Ann Arbor offices. Rob has worked extensively throughout Michigan, the southeastern United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. He received a Bachelor of Technology in Architectural Science with a specialization in Project Management from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada in 1991. He went on to graduate with a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1993.