State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Staff

NOTE: Please send all initial correspondence related to the historic preservation program and all consultation queries to our general email box at Your dedicated SHPO representative will contact you directly should further correspondence be required. Thank you!

Kathryn Leonard

State Historic Preservation Officer
(602) 542-4009‌

Kathryn was appointed as Arizona’s State Historic Preservation Officer by Governor Doug Ducey in September 2016. Kathryn is a professional archaeologist and historian with more than 20 years of cultural resources management experience in both the public and private sectors, providing expertise in National Register of Historic Places eligibility, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act compliance, and tribal government-to-government consultation for federal undertakings. She is a graduate of Vassar College, and holds master’s degrees in anthropology and history from ASU. Kathryn works with a team of archaeologists, architects, historians, and planners to promote historic preservation as a tool for economic development. She collaborates with various agencies, municipalities, tribes, and the development community to ensure cultural resources are integrated into all aspects of short and long-range planning. 

Bill Collins

Historian and National Register Coordinator
(602) 542-7159

Bill has a strong commitment to understanding Arizona’s rich history and economy. He’s worked for the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office since 1990 and, in his current capacity, oversees the National Register of Historic Places program, historic building surveys, and historic context studies. Bill is a native Arizonan and an ASU graduate with an M.S. in Economics and a Ph.D. in History. Especially rewarding for Bill has been the opportunity to work with small communities by encouraging the preservation of their historic heritage while concurrently securing future economic opportunities. Bill has written two books, The New Deal in Arizona (based on his dissertation) and The Emerging Metropolis: Phoenix, 1944-1973

Mary-Ellen Walsh

Cultural Resources Compliance Manager
(602) 542-7120

Mary-Ellen received her M.A. in Anthropology (archaeology) from Northern Arizona University in 1993 and has worked in the field of archaeology since 1985. She joined SHPO as a compliance specialist in 2013 and became the Cultural Resources Compliance Manager in 2018. Current interests include collaborating with her compliance team, tribes, consultants, and agencies to help improve current professional standards and SHPO guidance. She's happiest at the beach, and her spirit animals include the sea turtle, sloth and moose. Fun fact: Mary-Ellen is growing a shell garden!

Caroline Klebacha

Archaeological Compliance Specialist
(602) 542-7140

Caroline joined SHPO as a Compliance Specialist/Archaeologist in December of 2021. She earned a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in Anthropology and an M.A. in Applied Anthropology (archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. Caroline worked on a wide range of archaeological projects across the country before finally putting down roots in Arizona. Her professional interests are in the application of archaeological laws and tribal involvement in cultural resource management. When not working, Caroline enjoys drawing, painting, and experimenting with chilis and chocolate.

Kimberley Ryan

Archaeological Compliance Specialist
(602) 542-7142

Kim’s background in Cultural Resources Management includes a diverse range of roles and responsibilities across state and federal government and private industry consulting. She holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Environmental Archaeology) from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.A. in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University. Professional “side interests” include ethnobotany and cultural landscapes. In her free time, Kim enjoys the great outdoors, gardening, and family time with her houseful of fur-babies. She joined SHPO in 2022 as a Compliance Specialist/Archaeologist. 

Erin Davis

Archaeological Compliance Specialist
(602) 542-7141

Erin escaped the east coast in 1997 and has been an Arizona resident ever since. She earned a Master’s degree in Archaeology and Heritage from the University of Leicester. Before joining the SHPO team as an archaeological compliance specialist in 2018, she worked throughout Arizona for private companies and tribes. Although no longer doing fieldwork, Erin loves to read about current archaeological projects across the state as part of her job. On her time off, Erin loves to read fiction, hike (when it’s under 100 degrees!), and blast ‘80s punk rock while folding laundry.

Susan Lawson

(602) 542-6943

When Susan was 8, she wrote “I want to be an architect” in her diary and never looked back. It wasn’t until she attended college at the University of Virginia and Cornell that Susan discovered the magic of historic buildings and enthusiastically decided to focus on their preservation after her registration exams were complete. After practicing her craft in New York for two decades, she now uses her advanced skill at SHPO to advise government agencies, architects, and building owners on how to be responsible stewards of their historic buildings. Outside of work she fosters rescued pugs and tries to out-climb her husband and son at the rock gym.

Eric Vondy

Preservation Programs Manager
(602) 542-6998

SHPO Preservation Manager Eric Vondy is a Phoenix native and Arizona State University graduate who oversees the National Register and tax incentive programs. Prior to joining SHPO, Eric worked in the airline industry. He is also an accomplished photographer, having won multiple awards, and primarily uses his smartphone these days to capture beautiful moments. 

Joseph Roth

Programs Project Specialist
(602) 542-4009

Joe Roth joined the SHPO office in September of 2001. He currently serves as a project specialist, engaging in various duties that include project management, administration, conference planning, graphic design, technology, and support services for the SHPO staff.

Arianna Urban

CLG / SPT Coordinator
(602) 542-4009‌

Arianna Urban is a proud Phoenix native who never had a choice whether she enjoyed buildings or not…her architect parents engendered it from the cradle. After earning a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Oregon, Arianna was finally able to fulfill her teenage dream of becoming a historic preservationist. She is fortunate to spend her time at SHPO as the Certified Local Government liaison driving around Arizona and talking to people about their buildings. Not ironically, in her free time, she also enjoys historic preservation and driving around Arizona talking to people about their buildings.

Sean Hammond

Site Steward Coordinator
(602) 542-7130

Sean worked at the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety as a grants/injury prevention coordinator before joining the Arizona State Parks team in 2014. He started his State Parks journey as a park ranger at Kartchner Caverns State Park before transitioning to a role with the Grants and Trails program. While working with the Grants team, Sean also served as the ADA coordinator before assuming his current role with SHPO’s Site Steward Program in 2018. Sean graduated from the UA with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Russian and Political Science.  Sean is a huge supporter of Liverpool Football and a proud Phoenix Club member.

David Zimmerman

Archaeological Compliance Specialist
(928) 732-9644

David joined SHPO as an Compliance Specialist / Archaeologist in January of 2024. He earned a B.A. from the State University of New York at Oneonta in 1987, and his M.A. in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 1992. David has worked for the Zuni and Navajo Nations, The Arizona Department of Transportation, and in private sector CRM. David is on the board of the Arizona Preservation Foundation and served on a number of commissions in his home city of Flagstaff. When not working, David enjoys ceramics, kayaking, hiking, and travel.

Jessica LaPota

Grants Coordinator
(602) 364-0059

Jessica has worked at a number of historic sites and museums in a variety of roles that led to her diverse background in grants and museum management. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology and B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona, and an M.A. in Museum Studies from Arizona State University. Jessica joined SHPO in the spring of 2023 and loves combining her grants experience with her love of history. In her free time, Jessica loves spending time with her family, baking, gardening, and traveling. 

Theresa Cano

Administrative Assistant
(602) 542-4030

Theresa has been an administrative assistant at SHPO since 2018. Before assuming her current role, Theresa’s background was in entertainment journalism. Born and raised in Phoenix, Theresa is passionate about music, film, TV, literature, pop culture, New York City, traveling, and the Phoenix Suns, though she will never forgive them for trading her favorite player, Mikal Bridges. She is obsessed with her two dogs, Brontë and Sully, and her cat, Zuzu. Currently, she is finishing her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts, Media, & Entertainment at the University of Arizona. Bear down, Wildcats!






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