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Home arrowNews arrow2006 Preserve America Presidential Awards Presented
President Announces Two Appointments to Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

WASHINGTON, DC—President George W. Bush has appointed one new member, and reappointed one current member, to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).

The reappointed member is Susan S. Barnes, of Aurora, Illinois, who was named vice chair of the ACHP by the President in April, 2006, and now is beginning her second four-year term as an Expert Member.  The new member is Rhonda Bentz, of Arlington, Virginia, who is appointed to a four-year term as a General Public Member. Both members’ terms expire in June 2010.

“In an time of greatly increasing ACHP activity as we implement and broaden the Administration’s Preserve America initiative, we thank the President for these excellent appointments,” said ACHP Chairman John L. Nau, III. “I know Susan’s experience on the Council and preservation expertise, coupled with her recent appointment as vice chair, will greatly benefit the federal government and nation. Rhonda’s expertise will assist our efforts to reach a broader audience in building greater awareness of, and support for, the importance of historic preservation to communities and the nation.”

Susan S. Barnes is the president and CEO of The Landmark Group of Companies, headquartered in an Aurora, Illinois, landmark firehouse. She is founder and owner of the company, which specializes in the acquisition, renovation, and management of its multi-million dollar portfolio of Chicago-area historic properties. She represented Illinois on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Board of Advisors from 1993 - 2002, and is now an Advisor Emeritus. Barnes serves on the Chicago Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Land and the Board of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois. Having worked on the finance committees of several local, State, and Federal elected officials, she continues, as she has since 1986, on the Congressional finance committee of Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL).

Rhonda Bentz is vice president for public affairs with Visa USA, Inc., in Washington DC. Since 2000 she has directed public affairs programs and served as press spokesperson on public policy and product issues. Prior to assuming that position, she was vice president of public affairs for APCO Worldwide, where she designed and implemented communications, grassroots, political and legislative strategies for issue campaigns. Bentz also has extensive prior experience in the public affairs, corporate, and political consulting fields based primarily in Washington, DC, and Sacramento, California. She has served as a member of campaign steering committees for U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN), and U.S. Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL), as a volunteer for the Bush-Cheney campaign, and in numerous other state and national campaigns.

ABOUT THE ACHP: The ACHP, an independent federal agency, promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of the nation’s historic resources and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also provides a forum for influencing federal activities, programs, and policies that impact historic properties. In addition, the ACHP has a key role in carrying out the Administration’s Preserve America program. Visit for more information.


Posted July 5, 2006

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