MPA Names New Full-Time Executive Director
- The MPA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that preservationist and architectural design professional Emelia Rudd has joined the organization as its next Executive Director. Rudd’s background in architecture, preservation, and non-profit work will advance MPA’s ongoing mission and build upon its 20-year foundation.
MPA Board President Peter Zanghi is enthusiastic about Rudd joining the organization and the future of MPA: “As a primarily volunteer-based organization, it makes us proud to be able to employ staff who dedicate themselves to furthering MPA's mission as we work to ‘make preservation mainstream’ in Milwaukee. Ms. Rudd brings with her a contagious optimism and dedication to the community and fabric of Milwaukee, and her passion for the stories and built history of this city is evident upon first meeting her. We are thrilled to welcome her as our next full-time Executive Director."
Rudd plans to use her skills to sustain partnerships, champion inclusive outreach and educational opportunities, and foster social engagement throughout Milwaukee and the surrounding communities. “Historic Preservation is about more than just saving old buildings - it’s about the stories told, the lives that were lived and events that unfolded behind the physical walls we see today.”
She plans to encourage designation and adaptive reuse through educational programming and community outreach: “The correlation between sustainability and preservation is undeniable. Milwaukee is a catalytic example for embracing its existing fabric and adapting it in new, innovative ways. Watching breweries, shops, coffee houses and more move into buildings that were once used for industry and commerce is something that Milwaukeeans do so well - and it’s a huge part of our story that deserves to be celebrated.”
A native Wisconsinite, Rudd hopes to reach all corners of Milwaukee County and beyond: “MPA isn’t here just to advocate for the best of the best of preservation - we love to see the reuse and rehabilitation of a grand Cream City jewel just as much as we do the small corner shop that was the heart of a neighborhood. It is my hope to amplify the benefits and beauty of preservation throughout the area, and to help tell stories that would otherwise be overlooked or disregarded.”
Rudd earned her BA in History with an emphasis in business studies from University of St. Thomas, MN, and her Masters of Architecture with Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Over the years she has worked for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (now Rethos), Historic Ard Godfrey House, the WI State Historic Preservation Office, the City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Office, and various architectural firms throughout Milwaukee. She credits her love of history and preservation to her parents, who from a young age exposed her to the wonder of historic buildings, stories and sites, and is thrilled to bring that lifelong passion to the MPA.