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SBTHP Announces New Board Members and Community Award Winners

February 4, 2016

(Santa Barbara, CA) – The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) is pleased to announce the election of two new community leaders to its Board of Directors. Joining the Board for a three-year term are: James Brooks and Kevin Nimmons.


Dr. James F. Brooks is currently a Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a specialist in the history of the Southwestern Borderlands and is the author of Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (2002), which won many awards, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Award (Organization of American Historians), the Bancroft Prize (Columbia University), the Francis Parkman Prize (Society of American Historians), and the W. Turrentine Jackson Award (Western History Association).  He received his PhD at the University of California, Davis in 1995. After holding professorial appointments at the University of Maryland, College Park and UC Santa Barbara he served as President of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2005-2013). He recently completed a ten year term as trustee, three as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Western National Parks Association, which supports research, preservation, and education in 67 National Parks, including Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Channel Islands National Park.  Brooks is also a trustee of the Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library.


Kevin Nimmons Kevin is a shareholder attorney at the law firm of Hollister & Brace. He joined Hollister & Brace as an associate in 2008, after graduating cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law. Kevin represents clients in all types of real estate transactions and real estate disputes. He represents the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation in real estate related matters. Kevin is also very active with SBTHP. He serves on the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation's Real Property Management Committee and Santa lnés Mission Mills Committee. Before attending law school, Kevin taught English in Japan with his wife Janelle and then traveled extensively throughout Asia, India, and the Pacific. Kevin enjoys surfing, backpacking, the outdoors, and spending time with his two children Gene and Cora, and his wife of 13 years, and Santa Barbara native, Janelle.


At the 53rd Annual Meeting and Community Awards Presentation held on January 23rd, members and friends of SBTHP gathered in the Chapel at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. The meeting featured a review of the 2015 Annual Report and the election of new Trustees.


The Board elected the following officers for a one-year term:

Terease Chin, President

Richard A. Rojas, First Vice President
Maggie Campbell, Second Vice President
Debby Aceves, Secretary

W. Elliot Brownlee, Ph.D., Treasurer
John S. Poucher, Immediate Past President


SBTHP also recognized outstanding community members dedicated to historic preservation. 


The 2016 George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award was presented to Katie and David Hay for their preservation of the Juarez-Hosmer Adobe.  In the 1830s an adobe house was built in the area that became known as Montecito.  It was on property owned by members of the Dominguez and Juarez families.  Colonel B.T. Dinsmore acquired the Juarez property in 1871 and deeded it to his daughter, Frances Dinsmore Hosmer.  The family established fruit orchards on the land and the adobe’s interior was updated.  The Hosmer Adobe was recognized as an historic structure in the mid-20th century.  Unfortunately the adobe house began to fall into disrepair and a large portion of the land was sold for development.  The deterioration of the house and outbuildings continued. 

A few years ago David and Katie Hay saw the possibilities hidden within the historic resources, although it was clear that attaining their goal would be difficult.  They hired consultants, drafted plans, and several public agencies were involved.  Eventually the County approved plans to rebuild and enlarge the house, preserve or reconstruct outbuildings, and create a beautifully landscaped private retreat. The house, barn and tank house appear to have been built in the 19th century.  Original windows were saved and re-used; old and new adobe bricks were carefully laid.  The Juarez-Hosmer Adobe project is an example of thoughtful, unwavering stewardship of an important and rare historic asset to Montecito and Santa Barbara County.


SBTHP presented the Sue Higman Volunteer of the Year Award this year to David Bolton.  Named in honor of longtime SBTHP supporter and community activist Sue Higman, the award is given annually to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding contributions of their time to SBTHP over the course of a year.  Bolton shared his many talents in a variety of ways; from cooking to event staging to translation services and galvanizing volunteers, he has worked to further the interests and goals of SBTHP. Bolton’s culinary skills were on display at the Pozole Feast and the Tamale Fest, but his most glorious event and successful fundraiser was the Candlelight Dinner in the Presidio Chapel.  Lit by hundreds of candles, guests enjoyed a magical evening dining on historically accurate delicacies. In addition to his work with the Development Committee, Bolton has supported SBTHP for years in his roles as the former President of the California Mission Studies Association, the current Executive Director and CEO of the California Missions Foundation, and as the owner of Cultural Global Media.  


2016 Awardees

  • George and Vivian Obern Preservation

Stewardship Award:  Katie and David Hay

  • Sue Higman Volunteer Award:  David Bolton

  • Certificates of Appreciation

    • Roger Knox

  • Certificates of Recognition

    • Sebastian Herics

    • Renée Longo        

    • Rob Ramirez



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