Cincinnati Preservation Welcomes New Board Members

Cincinnati Preservation Association is pleased to welcome four new members to its Board of Trustees: Dr. Eric Jackson, Jeffrey Rush, Thea Tjepkema and Will Yokel. Each new board member brings with them a unique background and set of skills as they join the current CPA Board of Trustees to promote the appreciation, protection and appropriate use and development of the Cincinnati region’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes.

Dr. Eric R. Jackson is a professor of history with nearly 30 years of university-level academic experience, primarily in American and African American history, race relations and peace studies. He earned his doctorate degrees at the University of Cincinnati and has published a wide array of books, book reviews, and articles in numerous journals. He teaches at Northern Kentucky University and is director of its Black World Studies program.  Among his more than fifty publications, those of special local interest are his recent online book/website on African Americans in Cincinnati, and a book he co-authored: “Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad.” Dr. Jackson has served on the Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board, is a member of the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board and is board vice president of the Boone County Public Library.

Jeffery Rush is a recently retired partner at Frost Brown Todd LLC where he served as head of the firm’s commercial transaction and real estate department and was a member of its executive committee. He earned his JD degree at Vanderbilt University and his bachelor’s in economics/finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Rush’s local historic preservation involvement includes representing the financing lender for recent major renovations to Music Hall and Cincinnati Union Terminal. On a more personal level, he donated an easement for the historic home he formerly owned in East Walnut Hills.  His past community involvement includes serving on the boards of Seven Hills School and the Beechwood Home.

Thea Tjepkema is an ardent preservationist who holds a BFA in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a master’s in arts administration from the University of Akron. She and her husband, John Morris Russell, conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, are passionate advocates of Cincinnati history as told through its buildings. Tjepkema has worked at several historic sites and museums across the country and in Canada. More recently, she served on the board of the Friends of Music Hall for six years. In this role, she identified, researched, and guided major restoration projects such as the restoration of the building’s missing roof ornamentation. She also developed an outdoor architectural walking tour and two major presentations about the building’s history. In 2020, she presented “Muses: The Women of Music Hall” at Cincinnati Preservation’s Fall Forum. Tjepkema was recently named historian and archivist for the Friends of Music Hall and will continue to explore new historical topics in her blogs at https://friendsofmusichall.org/blog/.

Will Yokel holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the University of Cincinnati as well as a certificate in historic preservation. Since 2016, he has been the in-house architect at Urban Sites where he manages the predevelopment and design of mix-use renovation projects in Cincinnati’s urban neighborhoods. His projects often utilize state and federal historic tax credits. Prior to joining Urban Sites, Yokel worked at Bloomfield/Schon + Partners and Jose Garcia Design in Cincinnati, and held co-op positions at Hartmax-Cox Architects in Washington DC and Architectural Resources Group in San Francisco. He currently serves on the boards of the American Sign Museum and Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (NEST) and is a past member of Covington’s Urban Design Review Board. He and his wife recently restored their 1890 Victorian home in Northside.

CPA also thanks Eric Landen, Danny Lipson and Jim Gibbs for their service and dedication to preservation as they leave the CPA board.