The Foundation

Our mission

To create opportunities for all people to experience and understand the continuing American story that is Pullman.

What we do

We live our mission by performing three interrelated roles:

  • As the Friends Group for Pullman National Monument (PNM),  we raise funds to support PNM priorities, augment their programs, and manage volunteers. We also provide support for the Pullman State Historic Site (PSHS).
  • We support efforts among various park partner and community organizations.
  • We continue the role we’ve played since 1973 as an historic preservation, education, and cultural history organization.

Our History

HPF was chartered in 1973 as an Illinois nonprofit corporation with 501(c)3 tax status. Since then we have:

  • served as a vehicle to acquire and restore important public buildings within the Pullman Historic District;
  • developed and provided educational programs and tours; and
  • conducted research and long-range community planning to help preserve and restore the Pullman Historic District.

Our founding was the natural outgrowth of efforts initiated by the Pullman Civic Organization and its Beman Committee. Pullman residents and other interested individuals developed a growing awareness that Pullman’s historic significance and unique architecture needed to be preserved and protected. Through their efforts, the Town of Pullman was designated an Illinois Historic District in 1969 and a National Landmark District in 1970. In 1972, the southern part of the District became one of the first landmark districts created by the City of Chicago. More recently the City of Chicago amended the historic district boundaries to include both the north and southern parts of the district.

In 2015 President Barack Obama designated Pullman a National Monument. The National Park Service named HPF its Friends Group in February 2021.

To achieve stronger unity and to better coordinate and leverage the community’s historic and cultural assets, the Friends of the Pullman State Historic Site combined with HPF in June 2021.

The Friends of the Pullman State Historic Site group was formed in 2014 to support education and development activities at State properties in Pullman, including the Hotel Florence and major portions of the Pullman factory site. Among many other achievements, the group worked with the State of Illinois to significantly enhance an existing Pullman history website. Together, they developed the database at This site includes the Pullman House Project—consisting of more than 41,000 records, such as the 1883 and 1889 city directories, and the 1900-1940 censuses—and more than 9,200 additional documents and images.

With the help of our supporters and partners, valuable artifacts and archives are being preserved. The Hotel Florence and Market Hall survived the threat of demolition. And we have welcomed thousands of visitors from all over the world to Pullman each year—a testament to the importance of Pullman’s place in history.

HPF is governed by a Board of Directors, managed by a small professional staff and supported by volunteers. We also benefit from the strategic guidance and support of our Advisory Council consisting of civic, business, cultural and community leaders.

HPF maintains business records at our business offices, 614 E. 113th St., Chicago, IL 60628. Copies of annual 990 tax filings are on file and can be viewed through the website of the Attorney General of Illinois:

Board of Directors (2020-2021)

Joseph Szabo


Joe’s experience spans over 40 years in government and transportation, including serving as Chief Executive at the local, state and federal level. He was appointed by President Obama in 2009 as the twelfth Federal Railroad Administrator of the United States; served as Mayor of Riverdale, Illinois; was State Director in Illinois for the United Transportation Union; and Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Retired from CMAP in 2019, Joe brings a wealth of planning and rail transportation expertise to the Board.

Laura Ruiz-Stephan

First Vice President

Raised in Chicago, Laura spent her first 40 years in Pullman. She began her professional career in Customer Service for what was then Illinois Bell. She went on to spend 33 years with Verizon Communications managing key departments and advancing to Sr. Manager of Pricing & Contract Management Operations for Verizon’s Business unit. Since retiring in 2019, she continues to be a strong preservation advocate and supporter of the Pullman community.

Richard Wilson

Second Vice President

Architect and city planner with over 30 years of experience, Richard’s work focuses on large scale urban development and redevelopment in historic and emergent cities worldwide. Work in Chicago includes the Chicago Central Area Action Plan, Chicago Riverwalk Plan, North Branch Industrial Corridor Modernization, and more than a dozen neighborhood strategic plans. Richard was the National Parks Conservation Association and AIA Chicago Project Lead for Positioning Pullman and the site design team lead for the Pullman National Monument and State Historic Site Visitor Center.

Doug Davidson


Doug is the Director of Arbitration for the National Division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, and Chairman of the first Division of the National Railroad Adjustment Board headquartered in Chicago. An avid photographer, Doug has documented the Chicago railroad scene for nearly 50 years. He has a profound interest in Chicago, railroad history, labor history and everything Pullman.

Cynthia Martin-McMahon


Executive Assistant, Administrative Hearings for the Illinois Secretary of State for 42 years, Cindy has served on the Board since 1986 as President, Vice President, and Treasurer; and she co-chaired the popular Historic Pullman House Tour for 30 years. Born and raised in Pullman, Cindy’s roots go back to 1928 when her grandparents migrated here, and her strong commitment and dedication to the community is ongoing

Fred Ash

Board Member

Fred has 30 years of commercial banking experience for large museums, cultural institutions, and universities including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Field Museum and Chicago State University. Past Treasurer of the Illinois Railway Museum, Chicago Chapter of Railroad & Locomotive Historical Society and Twentieth Century Railroad Club, Fred has written over 40 articles on railroad history and is Co-Founder of the Illinois Central Historical Society.

James Badali

Board Member

Born and raised in Pullman in the home his grandfather built in the 1920’s, Jim’s career began with real estate developer Arthur Rubloff. By age 25, he successfully built and operated two retail stores in the Evergreen Plaza Shopping Center and one in River Oaks Shopping Center until 2010. Since retiring, he has purchased and renovated many Pullman homes, and in addition to serving on the Board since 2014, his volunteer efforts touch every area of the community.

C. Robert Bushwaller

Board Member

Bob has 45 years of experience in urban planning, design, transportation & consulting includes: directing architectural and engineering firms on the CTA Capital Improvement Plan; engineering and design coordination for the Chicago Central Area Circulator Light Rail System public transit project; and head management consultant for the CTA’s automated fare collection system. A 40-year Pullman resident, his professional skills are reflected in countless community projects.

David Doig

Board Member

President of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) for 25 years, Dave has served neighborhoods throughout Chicago in various nonprofit and governmental capacities, including North Lawndale community organizer and Superintendent of the Chicago Park District. His capital raising expertise led efforts to have Pullman declared a National Monument. He also serves on the Millennium Reserve Steering Committee and the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation.

Maria P. Hibbs

Board Member

Maria is Co-Founder and Founding Executive Director of the Chicago Learning Exchange, a leading non-profit promoting educational innovation and equity of opportunity for young people in Chicago; and was Executive Director of three civic collaboratives at the Chicago Community Trust. A George M. Pullman scholarship recipient, she brings a wealth of leadership experience, philanthropic connections, communications skills, and community building to the Board.

Craig Howard

Board Member

Now retired, Craig was Program Director at the MacArthur Foundation, VP & Co-Director of the Low-Wage Worker & Communities Unit of MDRC and former Program Officer at the Ford Foundation. These and other major leadership positions make Craig a valuable addition to the Board. A South Sider whose father was a Chicago policer officer in Pullman’s 5th District, he has a strong connection to the community and to Pullman.

Patricia Mahon

Board Member

The Deputy Village Administrator for the Village of South Holland, Illinois, the first to be appointed to this position, Patricia manages the day-to-day operations of the Village of 22,000 residents and a $40 million dollar annual budget. A Juris Doctor from De Paul University’s College of Law, Pat has served on several Boards, including the Victor C. Neumann Assoc., a not-for-profit organization, Diversity, Inc., an organization that fosters diverse residential environments; and she was a former Chair of the Metra Citizens Advisory Board. Patricia has received numerous community service awards, including Cook County’s Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroine Award.

Nathaniel Parks

Board Member

A Pullman resident, Nathaniel is currently the Director of the Art Institute of Chicago Archives, managing all archival programs, collections and services for the museum. He’s curated or collaborated on a number of Ryerson and Burnham Libraries exhibitions, including “Reconstructing Adler & Sullivan’s Stock Exchange Trading Room” and “Architecture for Urbanism: Selections from the Bertrand Goldberg Archive.” With a Master’s of Library & Information Science from Simmons College and a quarter-century in the field, Nathaniel brings valuable archival and collections expertise to the Board. Nathaniel enjoys working on his 1880 Skilled Craftsman rowhouse which he shares with his wife, their two cats and his vinyl record obsession.

Kathleen Schneider

Board Member

Kathy has over 37 years of professional service, including 16 years with the National Park, for a total of 29 years Federal Service. Kathy was named first Superintendent of the Pullman National Monument in 2016. As Superintendent, she directed the development of this new National Park Service site and led the planning for the $35 million rehabilitation project of Pullman’s Administration Clock Tower for the Park visitor center.

Michael A. Shymanski

Board Member

Retired architect and AIA Emeritus, Mike has over 40 years of experience in urban planning. Project Architect/Urban Planner for McDonough Associates, where he led land development projects for commercial, institutional and urban transit projects for the Lakefront, Millennium Park, Chicago Transit Authority and Forest Preserves of Cook County. He is a founding member and past president of the Historic Pullman Foundation, and Vice President of the Dunes National Park Association. A Pullman resident for over 50 years, he has devoted a majority of his time to preserving Pullman’s history.

Eric Thompson

Board Member

With over 35 years of banking experience, Eric is Vice President Regional Manager for Beverly Bank and Trust, providing leadership to develop strong community partnerships. In addition to the Historic Pullman Foundation, he serves on the Roseland Community Hospital Foundation Advisory Board, the Metropolitan Family Service Calumet Office Community Board, the Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center Advisory Board, among others. He has received many awards for community service, which is evident in his continuing commitment to Pullman.

Maurice Williams

Board Member

Vice President of Economic Development of Chicago Community Loan Fund, Maurice has over 32 years of experience in community and economic development. His expertise has led to construction of $527 million and 2.6 million sq. feet of retail and industrial centers throughout Chicagoland, including Pullman, and has completed more than 250 projects ranging from affordable housing to hospitals and institutional facilities.

Advisory Council


Jerry Adelmann, CEO of Openlands

Frank Beal, Civic Consulting Alliance and CMAP Board

Ron Batory, past Federal Railroad Administrator; former President of Conrail

Mark Bouman, Field Museum, Calumet Collaborative and Calumet Heritage Area

Rick Bryant, District Director for Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Norm Carlson, Past Chairman of Metra Board and rail historian

Jim Derwinski, Metra Executive Director

Tim Drea, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO

Andrew Fox, President of Overland Limited Associates, Inc. and former CEO South Shore RR

Jacky Grimshaw, VP Center for Neighborhood Technology

Clayton Harris, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs for Lyft

Natashia Holmes, local Attorney and former Chicago 7th Ward Alderman

Deborah Jackson, North Pullman Community Leader

Derrick James, Senior Manager Amtrak Government Affairs

Gary T. Johnson, President Emeritus Chicago History Museum

Pastor Luther Mason, Pullman Greenstone Church

Mike Matejka, Illinois Labor History Society

Lynn McClure, Midwest Regional Director National Park Conservation Association

Kathy McDonough, former Executive Director of Turnstone Development

C. “Wick” Moorman, retired CEO Norfolk Southern Railway

Les Pollock (FAICP), Urban Scholar UIC and Co-founder Camiros Ltd.

Robert S. Rivkin, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of United Airlines

Marcus Ruef, National Vice President BLET; Past President Illinois Railway Museum

Catharine Shannon, Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs Illinois State Treasurer; former Deputy Director Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

Cherryl Thomas, former CEO Ardmore Associates; former chair U.S. Railroad Retirement Board



Julian Jackson, Interim Executive Director