BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Great-granddaughter of the original family
Coming to visit my great Aunt Emelita at the house was always a special occasion. I learned that this place was truly unique, not just the home my grandfather was raised in. The house is a time capsule that deserves to be preserved for the future. My degree is in interpretation; I've worked teaching and training teachers, students and docents for the City of Berkeley's Shorebird Nature center and Adventure Playground for 38 years. Teaching increased knowledge and my appreciation of this area and its history. I've been on these boards: Save S.F. Bay, Aquatic Outreach Institute, Citizens for Eastshore State Park. I am on these boards now- Rotary Nature Center Friends, Things that Creep and Victorian Preservation Center of Oakland/Cohen Bray House since its inception.
My interest here is to continue to preserve the house and property as a study center, create workshops to revitalize the lost crafts of restoration and to reach out to benefit the neighborhood. This is a place where everyone can teach each other and learn the best practices to preserve it. I love to learn and everyday is a new experience here at the house. Join us.
house & Collections manager
Nancy Donald is also a great-granddaughter of the house and is Patty's sister. Nancy retired from teaching in 2014 and has dedicated her time and energy to the house. She has been managing the collections, volunteers, administrative duties and so much more.
I discovered the Cohen Bray House when I volunteered to help with cataloging the collection.
I learned how to use new software programs, PastPerfect and then Catalogit (much easier). Then, I started helping out in the garden, becoming the “Rose Queen” of Cohen Bray garden.
Eventually, the Victorian Preservation Center of Oakland (VPCO) needed a new board member.
Having kept the books at a law firm for 14 years, I volunteered to act as treasurer. Having also taught science to 9th graders for 5 years, I've offered to help with the school programs when classes return.
I visit the Cohen Bray House once or twice a week. There’s always a great variety of things that need to be done. It keeps my visits fun and interesting for me. I have also met some new friends along the way.
New Board Member
Originally raised in the Pennsylvania Laurel Highlands, Miranda completed their degree at Purdue University before moving to San Francisco to work as a theatrical stage manager. Since moving to Oakland last year with their partner and cats, Miranda has transitioned into stage managing corporate events and now travels the country to call shows across dozens of industries.
Miranda previously spent a decade volunteering as a re-enactor and tour guide at a 1799 Stage Coach Museum, served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for San Francisco foster youth, and represented the 5,000+ undergrad students in the College of Liberal Arts as a Senator in the Purdue Student Government. They enjoy collecting mechanical typewriters, tinkering with computers, and spending time making things from inside their pile of yarn. She the Victorian Preservation Center's I. T. pro and volunteers to help with that and the events and window restoration projects.