The Foundation

Our mission

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

What we do

As the Friends Group for Pullman National Historical Park (PNHP), we live our mission by performing three interrelated roles:

  • We raise funds to support PNHP 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:


Julian Jackson

HPF Executive Director

Julian has been leading the creation and management of compelling cultural experiences with partners as diverse as NASA, Saturday Night Live, and the Field Museum for over 20 years. As the Executive Director of the Historic Pullman Foundation (HPF), he is currently expanding and evolving the organization’s capabilities and staff in close collaboration with the National Park Service. Prior to the HPF, Julian was the Executive Director of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Vice President at the Milwaukee Public Museum and Director of Experience Design at the Adler Planetarium. Julian’s work has won awards from Exhibitor Magazine, American Institute of Architecture, American Association of Museums, and PC Magazine. He has been an adjunct professor in Digital Experience Design at Depaul University, a museum executive, a refugee advocate and a game designer.

Rebecca Conant

Programs and Visitor Services Director

Rebecca has 25 years of experience developing, managing, and evaluating educational and public programs as well as leading staff and volunteers in a variety of public institutions, including the Lincoln Park Conservancy, Adler Planetarium, and the Lincoln Park Zoo. A lifelong learner, Rebecca is a National Association of Interpretation certified guide and earned Master’s degrees in Nonprofit Management and Environmental Biology, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Geology, Studio Art, and Art History. Now one of Pullman’s newest residents, Rebecca was first introduced to the neighborhood through Hotel Florence. She is delighted to bring her historical interests and extensive programming experience to support Historic Pullman Foundation.

Board of Directors (2022-2023)

Maria P. Hibbs


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.

Richard Wilson

First 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.

Natasha L. Holmes

Second Vice President

Southside Attorney Natashia L. Holmes has over fifteen years of professional experience in municipal, regional, state and federal policy issues with an emphasis on urban planning and community engagement. A former Alderman in the City of Chicago’s 7th Ward, Natashia founded McMillan Holmes LLC a DBE/MBE/WBE law firm, in 2016. Her career has progressed through organizations including the Metropolitan Planning Council, Illinois Department of Transportation, and Metro Strategies where she specialized in executing policies and strategies, public outreach and government relations. Her affiliations include the African American Legacy Board of the Chicago-Community Trust and University of Illinois – Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Edgar Fellow (Class of 2013).

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

Joseph C. Szabo

President Emeritus

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.

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.

Colleen Callahan

Board Member

Colleen is most recently the retired Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and currently runs her own Communications Consulting firm. A graduate of the
University of Illinois, Colleen began her career as a television news reporter, was the Ag News Director at two TV stations, and previously served as the Illinois Regional State Director for the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Colleen comes from a proud railroad family and was a strong supporter of Pullman during her time at IDNR.

Kelwin Harris

Board Member

Kelwin currently serves as the Chief Civic Engagement Officer – Deputy Assessor for the Cook County Assessor’s Office. He was previously a Senior Outreach Planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Kelwin held several roles in community development in Chicago, including Director of Social Services with Catholic Charities and Executive Director of a non-profit organization with St. Sabina Church after working in the Mayor’s Office. He earned his Masters in Urban Planning degree from Harvard University and his Bachelors in City & Regional Planning from Cornell University. Kelwin is a Pullman resident and HPF member and has volunteered for various events.

Angela Manning-Hardimon

Board Member

Angela is vice president for finance, chief financial officer, and treasurer for the Illinois Institute of Technology. Previously the Deputy Director for Administration at CMAP, she has spent nearly 20 years as a chief financial officer and more than 30 years in finance, and also has a strong background in personnel management and labor relations. A resident of Bronzeville, Angela holds a master’s degree in project management from Keller Graduate School of Management, a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Chicago State University.

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.

Michael G. Matejka

Board Member

Mike Matejka brings a unique blend of labor and railroad history, and accredited museum experience, to the Historic Pullman Foundation. Retired as Governmental Affairs Director from the Great Plains Laborers District Council, Mike currently serves as a vice-president of the Illinois Labor History Society and writes and lectures regularly on labor history topics. In 2005 he was a consultant to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento as they redesigned their permanent exhibits. He serves as a board member and is a past President of the accredited McLean County Museum of History, where he has been the guest curator for five exhibits.

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.

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.

Laura Ruiz-Stephans

Board Member

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.

Advisory Council


  • Frank Beal, Civic Consulting Alliance and CMAP Board
  • Rick Bryant, District Director for Congresswoman Robin Kelly
  • Pastor Luther Mason, Pullman Greenstone Church
  • Norm Carlson, Past Chairman of Metra Board and rail historian
  • Jacky Grimshaw, VP Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Derrick James, Senior Manager Amtrak Government Affairs
  • Kathy McDonough, former Executive Director of Turnstone Development
  • Jerry Adelmann, CEO of Openlands
  • Michael A. Shymanski, HPF Founding Member and President Emeritus
  • Kathleen Schneider, Inaugural NPS Superintendent – Pullman National Monument (Retired)
  • Tim Drea, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO
  • Clayton Harris, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs for Lyft
  • Ron Batory, past Federal Railroad Administrator;  former President of Conrail
  • Mark Bouman, Field Museum, Calumet Collaborative and Calumet Heritage Area
  • Andrew Fox, President of Overland Limited Associates, Inc. and former CEO South Shore RR
  • Lynn McClure, Midwest Regional Director National Park Conservation Association
  • Jim Derwinski, Metra Executive Director
  • Robert G. Reiter, President, Chicago Federation of Labor
  • Robert S. Rivkin, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of United Airline
  • Deborah Jackson, North Pullman Community Leader
  • Gary T. Johnson, President Emeritus Chicago History Museum
  • Cherryl Thomas, former CEO Ardmore Associates; former chair U.S. Railroad Retirement Board

  • Catharine Shannon, Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs Illinois State Treasurer; former Deputy Director Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
  • Marcus Ruef, National Vice President BLET; Past President Illinois Railway Museum
  • C. “Wick” Moorman, retired CEO Norfolk Southern Railway;
  • Les Pollock (FAICP), Urban Scholar UIC and Co-founder Camiros Ltd.
  • Lynn Osmond, President & CEO Chicago Architecture Center
  • Lee Bey, Author, photographer & lecturer; former Architecture critic for Chicago Sun-Times; Pullman resident