During the video-conferenced Westfield Historical Society Trustee Board’s annual meeting, held on June 10, the trustees elected board officers for the 2020-2021 term including the election of Gregory Blasi as President replacing long-time President, Nancy Priest.
Gregory Blasi joined the Westfield Historical Society Trustee board in 2015. He is a resident of Westfield, since 2001, with wife Jennifer and three children Sebastian, Adrian, and Luca.
Educated at New Jersey Institute of Technology with a degree in architecture in 1995, Greg has been a partner or sole proprietor of his own architectural firm since 2004. His practice has placed a focus on traditional architecture, restoration, and preservation, as well as religious, commercial, and public projects.
As a trustee of the Westfield Historical Society, Greg has been a committee member of the nominating, new building, building and grounds, and chair of the historic preservation committee.
Since 2017, Greg has been providing architectural walking tours of residential streets such as Boulevard, Dudley, Stoneleigh Park, Kimball Ave, and Downtown Westfield. In the last two years, Greg has enjoyed providing walking tours for Addams Fest with a Charles Addams tour, lecturing on materiality and the building process, and virtual walking tours for Westfield’s Historic Preservation Committee.
Greg has volunteered in various Westfield youth athletic organizations, sponsored Boy Scout Eagle award projects, and is a past board member and current fund distribution committee member of the Westfield United Fund. From 2018 thruough 2020 Greg was a committee member of the Westfield Architectural Review Board and is currently a committee member of the Westfield Historic Preservation Committee.
“Through the Westfield Historical Society, I have only discovered a small percentage of Westfield’s rich history…from the Revolutionary War, Westfield’s unique clubs of the past, its commitment to the arts, its diverse architecture, and its incredible philanthropy through the last 300 years,” Blasi said. “It is my intention to open the Reeve House to outdoor events including lectures, music, and entertainment for all ages hoping to continue as a cultural connection to Westfield’s wonderful past and present. I hope you will join us.”
In addition to electing Blasi as President, the Westfield Historical Society Trustees elected the following officers: Sherry Cronin (V.P., Finance), Carol Tener (Secretary), Kris Luka (V.P., Member Relations), Mary Konsolaki (V.P., Community Relations), Ginny Leiz (Treasurer), Carey Golden (Curator), Robert Wendel (Archivist) and Lowell Schantz (Miller-Cory Liaison).
Outgoing President, Nancy Priest, has served as President of the Westfield Historical Society for 16 years. During those years, she has overseen the Society in the fundraising, restoration and maintenance of the Reeve House; many diverse history educational programs held both in the Reeve House and throughout the community; planning for the new Education & Archives building; the establishment of social events held at the Reeve House including the Edwardian Tea Luncheons; and acted as liaison between the Westfield Historical Society and other organizations within Westfield, Union County and New Jersey.
During the June 10 virtual Trustee Board meeting, the board honored Priest with gifts while Sherry Cronin stated, “Nancy Priest – We are Forever Grateful. How do we say thank you for all your years of service to the Westfield Historical Society until we are able to properly do so at our Annual Dinner? There has been no other force of nature like you, and I dare to say there will be no other. You have been such a tremendous and tireless volunteer not only with us, but with many causes and organizations not just here in Westfield…..You have given of yourself so freely and also of your husband, Dave. Without the two of you, it’s likely that the Reeve House would have been demolished, much less a nationally registered site that has welcomed thousands of visitors over the years.
“We know you simply wanted to leave the world in a better place. At a time when others could retire or step back, you did not. You bravely and passionately took it on with all the challenges that came with the job of President of the Westfield Historical Society. And, oh what challenges they have been. So, how can we honor your service? Mostly, I think, by finishing what you started and saying a collective Thank You!”
Reflecting on her departure, Priest states: “As I reflect on my 24 years as a Trustee and 16 years as the President of the Westfield Historical Society, many significant and positive changes have taken place. Thanks to all who have contributed, volunteered and participated in the success of the Westfield Historical Society.
I wish the Board of Trustees the very best and hope that they will continue to preserve the community’s history, present programs and exhibits, take care of the Reeve House as the Westfield Historical Society’s Headquarters and Museum, promote our Miller-Cory House Museum, and continue to preserve our extensive Archive Collection. We all look forward to the building of a much-needed and self-sustaining Education and Archive facility, on the Reeve property, so that all ages will have a place to learn about our tremendous heritage that we hold so dear.”
Since 1968, the 501(c)(3) non-profit Westfield Historical Society has worked to preserve, interpret and encourage interest in history, Westfield, and its residents through educational efforts and community outreach programs. The Westfield Historical Society’s umbrella covers the Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center (headquarters), The Westfield Historical Society Archives, and the Miller-Cory House Museum which is owned by the Westfield Historical Society and managed by the Miller-Cory Board of Governors.
Westfield Historical Society membership is encouraged, and interested individuals and families are invited to join the Society at https://www.westfieldhistoricalsociety.org/membership-donate
For more information on the Westfield Historical Society and their events or to make a donation, visit http://westfieldhistoricalsociety.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram at @westfieldhistoricalsociety.