The Heritage Park Museum Project Team is composed of members dedicated to preserving the community’s heritage for future generations. The members of this team are as follows:
Laura Babcock, Director
Laura is a long-time community leader and former Heritage Preservation Commissioner with a life-long passion for preserving history. Laura served on the Orchard Heritage Interpretive Exhibit Project Advisory Board for the society and was the Project Manager during its construction. She also chaired and served as Project Manager and Coordinator for the successful Museum Barn Relocation Project for the City of Sunnyvale in 2003. Laura was employed as private practice, department manager in radiology of Orthopedics at Stanford University Medical Center for thirteen years and is now the principal of Laura’s Garden Design.
She is a 1986 graduate of Leadership Sunnyvale, and serves on the Leadership Sunnyvale Board of Directors and the Historical Society Board of Directors. Laura brings extensive experience in leadership, project development and project management to this team. Laura has been a resident of Sunnyvale, California since 1979.
Leslie Lawton, President
Leslie is a long-time member and docent of the Historical Society and has been the editor of our monthly newsletter since 2007. She has owned her own transcription business, We Produce, since 1984 and has lived in Sunnyvale since 1976, but in Santa Clara County since 1959. Prior to starting her business she worked for Syntex Pharmaceuticals in Palo Alto for 18 years. There, she served as Manager of Community Relations.
Leslie has served as a board member and president of both the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce (six years) and Sunnyvale Community Services (twelve years). She is also a 1999 graduate of Leadership Sunnyvale. In 2016, Leslie was awarded Lifetime membership of the Chamber of Commerce.
Flo Stafford, Vice-President
Flo Stafford was born and raised in Sunnyvale. She is a lifetime member of the Sunnyvale Historical Society as was her mother, Pearl Gilmore. Flo’s father, Bill Gilmore, served on the Sunnyvale City Council for ten years and was elected mayor in 1954. Her nephew, Jim Roberts, also served eight years on the Sunnyvale City Council and elected mayor in 1994.
Flo owns and manages Starlite Storage. Flo has been married to Douglas Stafford for 53 years and has two children. Flo has been a member of the Sunnyvale Rotary Club for the past 25 years and was the first woman to serve as its president. She is a 30-year member of the Sunnyvale Tennis Club and still plays on its USTA teams. She is also a 1995 graduate of Leadership Sunnyvale.
In October of 2016, Flo will be representing the City of Sunnyvale on a friendship exchange to the City’s sister city of Iizuka, Japan.
“I am very much looking forward to working with the wonderful volunteers on the Historical Society Board of Directors and I’m proud to serve as Vice President.”
Allan Smirni, Treasurer
Allan Smirni was born and raised in New York City by immigrant parents from the Caribbean. He graduated from Brooklyn College, CUNY in 1960 with a degree in Economics and Accounting. Upon graduation, he entered the US Air Force as an officer, and served eight years first as an accounting and finance officer and then as a helicopter pilot. After leaving the USAF, he attended the Berkeley Law School, graduated in 1971 with a JD degree. During the next 39 years, he practiced corporate law first with a law firm in San Francisco, and then with five technology companies in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties as Corporate/General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary. He retired in 2010. Allan has been married for 24 years to a woman with many years of volunteer activities, including the SV Chamber of Commerce and the SV Heritage Park (Outdoor) Exhibit. They have lived in SV for 32 years.
Allan has enjoyed the study of history since college and has visited many historical museums during he and his wife’s travels around the world. They have been members of the Society for over 10 years. Allan has volunteered during retirement in his church activities, including St. Vincent de Paul and Bread of Life. He is pleased to have been asked to serve as Treasurer of the Society in June 2016. Allan and his wife have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.
Linda Kubitz, Secretary
Linda Kubitz is a “California Girl”, born in Glendale and raised in the Southern California towns of Altadena and Santa Barbara. She graduated from California State University at San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and taught grades 2, 3, 4, and 6 in a teaching career that spanned 28 years. During her last ten years of teaching Linda was the Language Arts Coordinator for her school and led students and fellow teachers in several writing workshops and annual district-wide young authors’ fairs. For several years she served on the board of the Santa Clara County Reading Council.
Linda has always enjoyed history, and when her retirement from teaching coincided with the building of the Heritage Park Museum, she found her volunteer niche. Volunteering at the museum since opening day in 2008, Linda has served as a docent for both adult visitors and the school program. During last year’s Centennial celebration Linda was the co-chairman of Sunnyvale’s city-wide children’s writing and drawing contest. She recently worked on the revision of a museum publication describing the westward trek of the Stevens-Townsend-Murphy wagon train. Sunnyvale residents since 1970, Linda and her husband have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.
Other advisory committees and chairs are established as needed.
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