League Officers and Directors
On an interim basis, the Executive Committee will be functioning as the League's President.
Vice President Martin Laney
Having been raised in Sonoma, and lived in the valley most of his life, Martin’s involvement with the League for Historic Preservation is a natural extension of his appreciation for the opportunity to live in a wonderful location with such an important historic heritage. It’s not an overstatement to say that Sonoma is the birthplace of modern California, and as such, occupies a unique position, spiritually and physically, in the history of our state. Martin’s thinking aligns closely with the League’s purpose of preserving, protecting, and promoting that history, along with educating residents and visitors about the importance and impact of what has transpired here in our valley, and where our history actually took place. Being a recent retiree from the telecommunications industry, he looks forward to being able to devote some of his new found time to helping the League further advance and expand upon that mission.
Treasurer Mary Szykowny
Mary Szykowny is a licensed Real Estate Agent working at CENTURY 21 Wine Country, focusing on residential real estate since 2009. She earned her A.A. from College of Marin and worked as a Certified Dental Assistant in the Bay Area for 4 years before moving to Sonoma in 1988 with her husband, Mike, to raise their two children. She was drawn to the rural and historic town of Sonoma and joined the League in an effort to do what she can to help others appreciate and preserve these properties. She has been the bookkeeper for her husband's construction business since 1994 and was also a bookkeeper for a local attorney from 2011-15. Szykowny worked as the Health Tech at Flowery School from 1995-96 and from 1990 until 2005, served as a volunteer at Presentation School and in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District, serving on various boards and fundraising committees at both.
Secretary Beth Skrondal
Elizabeth Skrondal was employed for 10 years at the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department as the Administrative Assistant on the Historic Resources Survey Team. She assisted in proofreading and editing context statements and surveys. She was also responsible for archiving/indexing survey properties and DPR forms. She served on the San Francisco Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board for 5 years, two of those as Vice President. Her training was in art and interior design. And, for 33 years, she flew around the world as a flight attendant.
Director Gerard Bessat
Gérard Bessat retired in 2007 from a long career in information technology working for financial services companies, Credit Agricole Bank in France and Visa International in the US since 1984. Gerard held a variety of technical and senior managerial jobs covering the full range of IT functions in large IT organizations. Gerard earned an aeronautical engineering degree in Toulouse France (home of the Concorde and Airbus planes), and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Gerard has been a resident of Sonoma since 2011.
Director Sidney Hoover, A.I.A.
Sidney Hoover was born in Palo Alto, California and attended Palo Alto High School and Los Altos High School. Upon graduation with honors, he attended Stanford University in the Architectural Department and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1963. He was accepted at most east coast universities and chose the University of Pennsylvania for his Master of Architecture degree. He graduated with honors in 1965 and returned to San Francisco where he worked on projects including the Civic Center BART station and the new Palo Alto High School. He then joined Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and spent fourteen years with SOM designing many large high-rise office buildings as well as domestic and international projects.
As a continuing side interest, he has designed over 100 residences in California.
At Stanford, he was a Board Member of the Stanford Historical Society and at Sonoma he is a member of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society and the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation. He continues private practice of architecture and is licensed in California and is a long time member of the American Institute of Architects. Refer to his web site for additional information.
Director Tracy Reynes
Achieving success in the culinary and event planning fields after earning a degree from the acclaimed California Culinary Academy gave Tracy Reynes organizational, customer relations and project management skills along with an attention to detail and follow-through that have become the hallmarks of her success as a Realtor. Tracy brings those skills to every situation with a sense of calm and grace
through what are complex and often emotional transactions.
Having lived in Wine County for over 25 years, Tracy has dedicated herself to serving her communities as well as her clients. She has been on the Board of Impact100 Sonoma and Sonoma Little League, and is an active volunteer with the Sonoma Community Center. She genuinely enjoys being a valuable and contributing member of her community.
Tracy is also enthusiastic about sharing what makes Sonoma Valley such a unique and truly special place to live and work. You can find her videos and posts spotlighting local events and businesses at her community Facebook page ‘Seriously Sonoma Valley’ and on her YouTube Channel “Living in Sonoma,
Executive Director Robert Demler
Robert Demler has served as a Director and President of Sonoma League for Historic Preservation several years ago and prior to becoming Executive Administrator in September 2019. Previously he served as the Sonoma City Historian and is Director Emeritus and Founding Member of the Blue Wing Adobe Trust. Mr. Demler was also the Chairman of the General Vallejo Monument Committee who was responsinle for the Vallejo Statue in the Sonoma Plaza. He is also the Archivist of the Sonoma Sunrise Rotary Club and is a member of the Advisory Board of Global Partners for Development. Demler and his wife, Leslie, spent over 15 years as the owners/caretakers of the historic Demler-Jones-Vallejo Adobe, now called the Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe in Sonoma.
Immediate Past President and Board Advisor Alice Duffee Healy
Trained as an architectural historian and historic preservation planner, Alice specializes in evaluation, recordation and inventory of historic resources, and provides consulting services through her company, APD Preservation, to satisfy cultural resource compliance requirements at the federal, state and local levels. Architects, contractors, and home owners retain her when they have a vision for their property and can't wait months or years of trying to navigate the complex business of city planning and environmental compliance.
After years of work, our Historical Resources database is now online. The Preservation Guidelines are available on this site.
Address & Map
291 First Street East
Sonoma, CA 95476