Meet The Team

CHABA Board meetings are now held (with some exceptions) every third Thursday of the month at 6 PM at the Center headquarters: David Sheppard House, 31 West Commerce Street, Bridgeton, NJ 08302. 

HomeFronts Workshop Committee Meetings and other Committee meetings are held as needed while conferences and workshops are being planned and conducted.  Except in the rare case of executive sessions, all meetings are announced by social media and email as well as on this website and are fully open to the public.

CHABA Bylaws

Flavia Alaya, Ph.D

CEO and Board President

Artist, author, professor--Guggenheim, Dodge, and Kress Foundation Fellow--habitual cultural kick-starter with a zealous sense of place--was Inspired into housing and preservation activism on New York’s West Side during its embattled urban renewal phase, then locked onto the backstory of industrial Paterson after moving to New Jersey. ‘Scripting the landscape” of this gritty industrial, immigrant city shaped her public history career. Past chair of both the Paterson and Bridgeton Historic Commissions, longtime member of the New Jersey Historic Sites Council, she moved to Bridgeton in 2006 and two years later co-founded the Center for Historic American Building Arts to help create a laboratory for preservation as an engine of economic redevelopment.

Margaret "Maggie" DeMarco

Board Member
Project Administrator

MARGARET ”MAGGIE” DE MARCO, a Vineland native, came to Bridgeton in 1973, joining the struggle over city direction that, among other things, created the historic district.


An engineer by training (Catholic U, 1964), her early work as a VISTA volunteer in Arizona suggests the spirit of service that has defined her career. Bridgeton’s Neighborhood Preservation Coordinator from 1983, she was also its Assistant Director of Community Development, then Executive Director of the non-profit Bridgeton Housing Development Corporation, administering a Federal HOPE 3 grant that rehabbed 20 City-owned houses for resale to city residents. She retired in 2008 from the NJ Division of Taxation.


A member of the CHABA Board from 2011 to 2014 and Treasurer for two years, Maggie returned in 2018, joining the board and taking the lead as Project Administrator on the Bring Back the Nail House Campaign. She is also closely involved with our Homefronts program and brings her familiarity with Bridgeton neighborhoods and the culture of local home-ownership to the CHABA Board.

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Adaria Armstrong

Board Member

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Maria "Queni" Cerda-Moreno

Architect and Founding Member of the Board

Yesíka Meléndez


Yezí is a Bridgeton native, with a self-educated interest in filling in the gaps of our collective past to set proper foundation for our future generations. She joined CHABA in 2018 out of love for Bridgeton's historic structures and with an passion for innovative preservation. Along with helping to direct CHABA through it's various projects, she has also taken the lead on keeping our files organized (an undervalued yet indispensable task) as well as the creation and upkeep of our website. 

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Alan Maier


Alan joined CHABA in 2018 when he was already a busy volunteer in and around Bridgeton, working with the Friends of Bridgeton Public Library, and as a robotics coach for the local robotics team. At CHABA he has focused his community-based approach into our Obie Scholarship program as well as the Bring Back The Nail House Campaign. 

Robert C. Preston, CLA, PP, CPSI

Board Member

An accomplished landscape architect and professional planner with a Penn State degree in landscape architecture. In 1979, excited by the challenge of revitalization in Atlantic City, where major change and community consensus-building confronted rigorous budgetary and construction constraints, he launched his own consulting firm, Forrest Associates Limited, working on large private and public projects in recreation, housing and transit throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Boldness, community sensitivity and a sense of public service define his career, which now includes many non-profit boards and the New Jersey Historic Sites Council. He continues consulting and teaching while serving as Chief Landscape Architect of Atlantic City's Division of Planning. A CHABA board member since 2012, Robert travels to Bridgeton from Atlantic City to share his expertise and wisdom.

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James Johnson

Consultant Historian