Cathy Basen, M.S., (Retired Educator, School Administrator) – MCPA Secretary
Cathy has a long involvement in the study of history and world cultures. She received a degree in history and political science from Ohio University, and then worked as a teacher and administrator in middle and public high schools. Upon retirement, her love of working within educational communities has expanded her involvement in the history and culture of her own community of Martinez. By connecting with the Potter's Field Restoration Project, Cathy wanted to support the deep historical research being done regarding this cemetery; all involving the stories of those who reside within its sacred ground. Cathy, as one of the original founders of the Martinez Cemetery Preservation Alliance, looks forward to the work involved within this organization, particularly its historical research!
Christian Rousset, (Master: Craftsman, Carpenter, Stone Mason, Artisan, Sculptor) – Project Manager
His life long interest in historical sites led him to the restoration of Monasteries, Churches, Cathedrals, and Castles throughout Europe. He is a stone and wood sculptor, mason and brick layer specialist. With his family, he relocated to California from France, started his own custom homes building company, servicing the 24\680 Highway corridor. After 47 years of enjoying this wonderful trade he is currently half retired. He is overseeing the reconstruction of the Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center Wheat House, a Pleasant Hill registered historic site from 1864.
Della Washington, MSLS, MSCJ – Vice President, Legal Advisor
As an original founding member of the Potter's Field Restoration Project and one of its uber-volunteers, Della has the great honor of now being a MCPA founder and board director. Her motivation stems from the MCPA's support of the Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery as a significant outdoor museum for the community of Martinez and future generations to come. With her Masters in Science of Legal Studies, she supports the MCPA as a legal adviser.
Joseph Palmer, CMT – MCPA President, Underground Echoes Columnist
Joseph has extensive experience working with over 20 charities, the honor of being elected board director for 11, founder of five, president of four, while serving on or as chair of various committees along the way. He inherited his commitment to public involvement, interest in history, archaeology, anthropology, and more from his maternal grandfather (a professional historian and genealogist) and father (a former history teacher). Founding the MCPA is the culmination of all his life's work, studies, and interests, while also utilizing his theater training, therapist background, and research skills to help tell the stories of those that have come before.
Judie Palmer, CHt – Treasurer, Underground Echoes Columnist
As a descendant of immigrants that settled on the East Coast, Judie thoroughly enjoyed researching and visiting locations with deep American roots. She made many visits to Germonds Cemetery, NY with her family to visit her ancestors and tend their graves. Even her two honeymoons -- one on the New England coast and the other in Bath, England -- were steeped in historical discovery. With the Potter's Field Project, Judie refueled her passion for tending graves and researching new stories about Potter's Field decedents. As an empathic amateur geneologist, she finds great joy in assisting descendant's search for their loved ones, while also giving their ancestors a voice.
Keith Park, MAHP, (Certified Arborist, Preservation Horticulturist) – Lead Preservation Planner
Certified Arborist and Preservation Horticulturist for the National Park Service, with a special focus on preservation maintenance and the protection of historic cultural landscapes. Keith has a BS in Environmental Horticulture and MA in Historic Preservation.
Shauna Mundt, MA, RPA – Lead Archaeologist
Historical Archaeologist with extensive knowledge and experience in mid-19th to mid-20th century America. Shauna has a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, an MA in Applied Anthropology from San Jose State, and is a Registered Professional Archaeologist. She currently works as an archaeologist and lab technician at a cultural resources management firm in Berkeley. Shauna is passionate about preserving the history and culture of California and the U.S.