EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

W. Mark Clark – President

Mark Clark is an Arizona native and has been enthralled with Tucson’s history since moving here for the first time in 1980. He has been doing history as a living historian (of several time periods) since 1982. In his work life, Mark is the President & CEO of Pima Council on Aging, a position he has held since January of 2014. He has more than thirty years of executive leadership of behavioral health, human service, housing and faith-based organizations. He has been active in a number of community and professional organizations, including the Old Ft. Lowell Neighborhood Association where he served as President, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. He is currently a board member of the Arizona Town Hall and the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona. He is honored to have been selected to be Arizona Social Worker of the Year in 2009, and to have received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness. Mark holds a Masters in Social Work from ASU and an undergraduate degree from NAU.

Homer Thiel – Vice-President
Homer Thiel received his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and has a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from Arizona State University. He has worked as Desert Archaeology, Inc.’s historical archaeologist since 1992. His work has included locating the walls and corner tower of the original Presidio San Agustín del Tucson, preparing family histories of all residents of the fortress, and working on numerous other blocks in downtown Tucson. He has been on the Board for many years serving in a variety of capacities including developing the TPT newsletter, planning the annual member meeting, and acting as recording secretary.  Occasionally he appears as a Victorian gentleman for events.  He is a native of Traverse City, Michigan.

Erica Rankin – Secretary and Controller
Erica Rankin has a background in Journalism and Media Arts.  She works at Banner University Medical Center where she acts as a Media Specialist for Medical Television, streaming medical school classes and producing videos for the hospital and department websites.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona, followed by a Master’s in Education at Northern Arizona University. Erica became a member of the Board in 2010 serving as the Public Information Officer,  Vice President of Communications from 2013-2015 and now as co-Treasurer.  Over the years she has done publicity for Living History days, helped develop the Presidio logo and print materials and has helped on fundraising events, such as the Chocolate Festival and the 2014 virtual campaign.

John F. Bird – Treasurer
John Bird is a retired accountant and a U.S. Navy Veteran retired.  He is “Treasurer for Life” for the Tucson Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Society of the Mayflower descendants in the State of Wisconsin.  He is a Wisconsin farm boy who grew up in a volunteering family and still donates tax preparation time to twenty tax-exempt organizations every year, mostly veteran’s organizations. John served for ten years on the Board of Directors of Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. He has been a member of the Tucson Presidio Trust for several years and just finished a wonderful season volunteering at the Presidio Museum.  His passion is history and family history.  

Jean Baxter
Jean Baxter’s professional career is in the area of education.  She spent the last twenty-five years of her career as a reading teacher for the Flowing Wells School District and many years as a staff development specialist and teacher trainer.  Before that she worked for the Department of Defense based in Okinawa and Germany. In her retirement, she became a professional storyteller specializing in historically-based presentations. She has two Master’s degrees in Education (Reading and Administration) from the University of Arizona. Jean has been on the Board since 2011 and as Vice President for Education she has developed the bulk of the children’s educational programming now offered at the Presidio.  She also volunteers as a regular docent.

Rick Collins
Rick Collins has been active with TPT since 2006 including serving six years as its President. Rick has been a volunteer for most of his adult life with organizations including the Red Cross, Arizona State Parks, the Southern Arizona Rescue Association, the Arizona Historical Society and the National Park Service. Rick has organized and interpreted various historic units and events. He currently is working for the National Park as a Ranger providing interpretive programming at Tumacacori.  He has also served as a volunteer coordinator for the living history programs at the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.

Yvonne Carrasco Clay
Yvonne Carrasco Clay  was born at The Stork’s Nest, a maternity birthing center, now on the National Register of Historic Places, and just two blocks from the current day Presidio Museum.  She is a ninth generation descendant of Arizona Pioneer families dating back to the 1700’s including Carrillo, Coenen, Comaduran, Otero, Sosa and Soto.  Yvonne grew up in Sahuarita which was then a cotton farming community.  She went on to Pueblo High School and received a B.A. and M.Ed at the University of Arizona. Her Masters was in School Counseling and Elementary Education.  She taught in TUSD for over 30 years and later was an Adjunct Instructor at the UA for M.Ed candidates.  Most recently she has been serving on the Southern Arizona Chapter of Friends of Arizona History, a support group for the Arizona History Museum where she also docents and volunteers. 

Dr. John P. Langellier
John Langellier received his PhD. in military history from Kansas State University.   He spent a dozen years with the U.S. Army and helped to found California’s Autry Museum of the American West.  He served as Director for the Wyoming State Museum, Deputy Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Executive Director of Prescott’s Sharlot Hall Museum and Director of the Arizona Historical Society’s Central Division.   He is the author of many books including Fighting for Uncle Sam: Blacks in the Frontier Army.  After a 45 year career in public history he retired in Tucson.