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Meet The Team

Our Newest Members...Welcome!

Michelle Azpiri

A native of New York City, Michelle attended the University of Delaware for Accounting, becoming an accomplished and well-respected member of the Business Development Team for Hyatt, as well as owner of a real estate investment company.

   She brings 25+ years of volunteer and charitable experience to CHABA, including almost 20 years of experience in tourism-related industries--three of them as Corporate Controller of Unlimited Vacation Club, and 10 years as C Level Executive Administrator for AMResorts. She has been responsible for full coordination and execution of annual and large company events and conventions, held both locally and internationally.

   Michelle comes from a military family and is a mother of four (one of whom is a U.S. Navy Sailor); she has served on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Navy League and as an Officer for a local unit of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corp (2018-2023). This experience has given her an appreciation for non-profit organizations, especially those that work together to improve the quality of life for military personnel and their families. She has worked to create the next generation of leaders for Sea Cadets, providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related opportunities, as well as various other training events, keeping Cadets on the leading edge of today’s high-tech environment. She fluent in Spanish (and several other languages),  AND she is proud new owner of one of the earliest and most elegant historic homes in the Bridgeton Historic District!

Judith Wulderk

  With a BA in Biology/Chemistry and MS in Biomed and Business Administration, Judy brings to the CHABA Board more than 27 years in the corporate meeting planning and special events industries, plus experience as a business and union executive, and even as a performer in television and radio. Now a freelance program and onsite event manager, she executes events or offers onsite assistance to offsite planners, doing it all: director, facilitator, coordinator, talent handler--plus (as needed) animal, staff, attendee and vendor wrangler and tourguide, and can handle about any situation she finds herself in.
  A father in the construction business gave her early access to architecture and building arts. Growing up in South Jersey, steeped in history from before the American Revolution, combined with her mother Goldie Wulderk’s interest in preservation, helped build a fascination with area history, as well as a hankering for a Victorian home. “I was always exposed to local historic homes and buildings,” she says.
  One of these--the 1891 Queen Anne Victorian so-called 'More House' on Pearl Street)--spurs an ongoing interest in both history and preservation, and she worked with Goldie not just to restore its original glory, but to uncover the More family role in the industrial heyday of the city. She also inherited the 1870s storefront at 28 East Commerce Street that houses her mother’s (and now her) nonprofit Senior Thrift and Caring Center. As STCC President and CEO, she has generously offered office space to CHABA here, while maintaining a food gleaning program and thrift shop. These roles have kept her in touch with both the needs of post-industrial Bridgeton and the complications of maintaining and restoring a downtown structure. She admits that it’s sometimes sad to see how parts of the historic district have declined. "We really need the preservation efforts of CHABA,” she says. “I’m willing to help!”

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Judy Wulderk, pictured here with her mother, the late Goldie Wulderk (1928-2022), longtime food activist, preservationist and Bridgeton--and CHABA--benefactor.
Flavia Alaya
Acting Director
Board President

Artist, author, professor, public historian (as well as Columbia U PhD and Guggenheim, Dodge, and Kress Foundation Fellows), Flavia is a habitual cultural kickstarter with a zealous sense of place. She 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 there as a founding faculty member of upstate Ramapo College. Pioneering the teaching of cultural and intercultural studies shaped her academic career, while ‘scripting the landscape” of this gritty industrial, multicultural and immigrant city opened her way into public history. She helped secure National Landmark status for Paterson's historic Negro Leagues Hinchliffe Stadium (now part of the city's National Historical Park) and National Network to Freedom status for the city's Underground Railroad activism. Now memorialized by the city's Huntoon/Van Rensalier site, this remarkable North Jersey history of racial collaboration in pursuit of social justice now forms part of the National Park Service's National Network to Freedom.

     She is past chair of the Passaic County Historical Society and both the Paterson and Bridgeton Historic Commissions, and longtime member of the New Jersey State Historic Sites Council.

     Flavia moved to Bridgeton in 2006, and two years later co-founded CHABA, in hope of creating a laboratory for preservation as an engine of economic redevelopment and urban sustainability. Her recent 'intergenerational children's book' about the Nail House--"This little building is HUGE," won CHABA the 2021 Statewide Preservation Award for preservation innovation. (See www.flaviaalaya.com ; personal email flavia@flaviaalaya.com)

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Adaria Armstrong
Boardmember
Social media consultant

 

Adaria Armstrong, MA, with a master's degree in Library Science (MLIS), is (however) first and foremost a nature lover. Of course, obviously a booklover too, she also responds acutely to the spirit of the community she is in. We are grateful for her creativity and to the Bridgeton Public Library for hiring her as its woman-of-all-work-librarian, where she deals with historical and cultural research & media as well as cultural anthropology and children's resources, while--for CHABA--helping add video to our own resources. A grounded, down to earth bonne vivante, Adaria is also a writer, singer, DJ, artist, traveler,  social justice and environmental activist in her 'spare time,' and likes to design and collect cool old stuff. She will serve--if asked--as diplomat and toastmaster too, and as appreciator and facilitator of art, music, architecture, design, fashion, comedy, wit, integrity, creativity, kindness, AND respect for our planet and universe. Lest you think there is any slack in her vivid life, she adds: "I am also a swimmer, hiker, kayaker, bird lover, tree embracer, photographer, inspiration, muse, actor, and more. I have done so much in this life thus far and looking forward to everything else!!"

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Dr James Johnson
Board Historian

Dr. James E. Johnson, CHABA's consulting historian, has his MA and Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in African American History and the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, and  has published several articles on the history of African Americans in Southern New Jersey.

  His varied background also includes a BA in Political Science from Rowan University and an AAS degree in Chemical Engineering Technology from Gloucester County College, adding to his diverse work experience, with several years apiece in the merchant marine, and in industrial meatcutting and chemical laboratory analysis. As a former industrial worker himself, he has a special interest in the history of worker experiences in industrial communities.

  Among his degrees and certifications is a NJ Standard Teaching Certificate in Social Studies. He is also a former high school history teacher, and now supervises social studies student teachers as an adjunct professor in the department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Education at New Jersey's Rowan University.

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Robert Preston
Landscape Architecture
Landscape/Access Consultant

ROBERT was an early Boardmember of CHABA, and we honor his past service as a contributor to our startup years and past advisor for our access requirements  An accomplished landscape architect and professional planner with a Penn State degree in landscape architecture, he came to New Jersey excited by the challenge of revitalization in Atlantic City, where major change and community consensus-building confronted rigorous budgetary and construction constraints. Here 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 a longtime seat on the New Jersey Historic Sites Council. He continues consulting and teaching while serving as Chief Landscape Architect of Atlantic City's Division of Planning, and remains a welcome Advisor to CHABA, especially in matters of design, landscaping and handicapped access, and often travels to Bridgeton from Atlantic City to share his expertise and wisdom. rcpreston@gmail.com

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Brittney Ingersoll
Past Nail House "Historian-in- Residence"
Cumberland County History Consultant

Brittney Ingersoll, Director of the Cumberland County Historical Society in Greenwich, has been a Nail House Historian in Residence under the auspices of CHABA and under grants from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission. She remains a stalwart source of support for, information about and preservation of local and regional history.

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Alan Maier
Chief Financial Officer
Board Treasurer

Alan Maier, a structural and electrical engineer, joined CHABA in 2018 when he was already a busy volunteer and community activist in and around Bridgeton. He has been especially active  with the Friends of Bridgeton Public Library and as a local robotics coach for students. At CHABA he has been critical to our financial management, most especially during the dry period of the pandemic, and has helped underwrite both our Obie Scholarship program and Bring Back The Nail House Campaign. His engineering advice--essential to the Nail House project--continues vital as we move on from the Nail House to other potential restoration sites in the Bridgeton Historic District. He is often the most accessible 'Johnny-on-the-spot' for those seeking immediate advice about repairs, or who have received violation or need-for-review notices.

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Maggie DeMarco
Boardmember
Project Manager,
  Nail House

Margaret ”Maggie” DeMarco, 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, taking the lead as Project Administrator for our 'Bring Back the Nail House' restoration campaign. She is also closely involved with the repair know-how of CHABA's signature HomeFronts program and brings her familiarity with Bridgeton neighborhoods and the culture of local home-ownership to the CHABA Board.  She can be reached personally at mdemarcobrnj@juno.com

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Wanda Albizu
Past Boardmember
Cultural Consultant

After 34 years of teaching in Bridgeton Public Schools, Wanda--a native of Puerto Rico--decided to leave another legacy to her students by becoming a bilingual author for children, and in 2010 published her first book called “Mona: the Story of a Monarch Butterfly.” Four years later she released a sequel entitled "Mona Travels to Peru." A return trip to Puerto Rico in 2018 motivated her to pen “Please Don’t Hurt Me,” a bilingual children’s book explaining the stories of abused dogs and how to care for them.

   Wanda presents at workshops, schools, libraries and community events, educating children and adults about the importance of reading. She has always enjoyed working and helping the Cumberland County community, and still helps CHABA build relationships with Bridgeton's large Spanish-speaking population.

     She continues now as bilingual educator to union workers, but still enjoys traveling, sharing with the people of other countries and learning more of different cultures. She has also been fortunate enough to present her books at local elementary schools in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia and Panama. Wanda says: “I enjoy seeing, presenting to and teaching children, it brings my heart a lot of joy. I know that I’m changing lives—one story, one book at a time.”  To learn more about her, please check out her website www.mswandasbook.com .

     She can be reached personally at wandaalbizu@gmail.com .

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Maria Cerda Moreno
Architectural Consultant

 One of CHABA's 'founding mothers,' architect Maria translated the City of Bridgeton Historic Preservation Guidelines into Spanish for us, which we then gifted to the City. This translation--first in the entire state of New Jersey--went on to receive an award for preservation innovation from PreservationNJ in 2014.  Maria also coordinated the translation of the video version, which can be found on YouTube in English at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=789JFzdl1dg and in Spanish at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qP_LO0_g2 .

    Maria has acted as sometime advisor to us on the Nail House Restoration Project. Her Bridgeton-based architectural firm is at 14 West Commerce Street. The guidelines can (hopefully) be found on the City website (in English and Spanish) at http://www.cityofbridgeton.com/historiccommission.php

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James 'Jim' Bergmann
Public Historian &
Expert on American Vernacular Building Techniques

It's hard to tell where one of Jim Bergmann's many skills as builder, carpenter, construction guru, storyteller and historian ends and another begins, they flow so seamlessly into one another. A former shop teacher as well as restoration expert in at least two states (especially for historic 'vernacular'* structures), he has been a principal consultant and priceless source of historical building information as we have proceeded through the Nail House project over the last five years.

    Author of several local histories related to both Maine and New jersey, and expert on the work of South Jersey novelist and Hollywood scriptwriter, George Agnew Chamberlain, Jim has now penned a kind of people's history of Bridgeton City Park for CHABA that will provide the perfect landscape backdrop to the storyline of the newly restored Nail House, at the park entrance. Watch for it!!

*The term 'vernacular' applies to historic buildings created with some construction know-how but without necessarily consulting an architect.

Are you interested in preserving history and want it to

help shape Bridgeton's future?  Do you have experience in

leadership, advocacy, or community engagement?

Then we'd love to have you join our Board and help focus our direction!

CHABA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and revitalization of historic buildings and other historic and cultural resources in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

We believe our work is essential for creating a vibrant, sustainable,

and inclusive community.

Please send an email to centerhabarts@gmail.com with a few lines about your background and

interests, and what you think you might bring to the work we do....We look forward to hearing from you!

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