Award for Advocacy

2019 VAF Advocacy Award


This year’s Advocacy Award goes to Dick Pencek, emeritus teaching scholar at Pennsylvania State University. He found his way to preservation through his love of early American furniture, and over a career spanning five decades he has engaged in preservation education and advocacy for central Pennsylvania’s vernacular heritage. Outside of the classroom at Penn State, he also taught hands-on classes at Centre Furnace Mansion and other historic sites in the region, helping save numerous vernacular structures while teaching proper preservation techniques. His passion for preservation has touched generations of students and professionals in the field, and a recent celebration of Dick’s dedication and expertise drew 150 attendees. His sustained dedication has helped people from all walks of life appreciate the significance of vernacular architecture in Pennsylvania and the region, and we are proud to present this year’s Advocacy Award to Dick Pencek. 


The Vernacular Architecture Forum encourages and supports citizen efforts to protect our vernacular built heritage. The protection and preservation of our vernacular built heritage depends on good stewardship by property owners supported by sound government land use policies. However, the long-term preservation of our cultural heritage is rarely achieved without the support of a well-informed, involved citizenry.

The VAF seeks to encourage citizen-based advocacy by recognizing exemplary efforts and achievements on behalf of our vernacular built heritage. The VAF Award for Advocacy honors individuals and groups for exceptional contributions toward the appreciation and protection of vernacular buildings and landscapes. The award recognizes outstanding initiative, commitment, and action to promote and protect vernacular resources. The award may be made in recognition of a specific advocacy effort, or on the basis of the nominee's long-term record of advocacy.

Criteria for nomination:

  • The Award for Advocacy is open to work performed in the conference region. Any public or private entity in these states may be nominated.
  • The basis of the nomination must be documented.
  • Award not based on victory (meaning not demolished) but demonstrating vision, outreach, reason, efficacy, players, timeline, and outcome.

Nominations must include the following within a PowerPoint not to exceed 15 slides: the parties involved, the period of time of their involvement, where and why it occurred, and the outcomes.

Awardee was given two full registrations to the conference and a certificate of excellence.

See our Tools for Advocacy including links to websites that offer information and advice to help you in your own advocacy efforts.

2020 Advocacy Award Committee
Jennifer Baughn, chair
Carter Hudgins
Eugenia Woo
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