Governing Board


Ronald N. Short "Ron" | President


Ron is a retired city planner. He grew up in Moline, Illinois and attended Augustana College, Long Beach State College (Bachelor of Arts degree), Oklahoma University (MRCP) and Penn State University (MPA).  Before retiring, Ron worked as a city planner in eight states and thirteen agencies. He has played an active role in the historic preservation programs in Albuquerque, NM , Phoenix, Arizona and Glendale, Arizona.  While serving as the Historic Preservation Officer for Glendale, he initiated the nomination and designation of many of Glendale’s historic districts and properties to the National Register of Historic Places.  He also started the annual historic preservation bus tour for Glendale.


Ron became active with the Glendale Arizona Historical Society in 2012 as Vice-President and has been President since 2013.  Ron is active in all aspects of the Society. He researches and writes most newsletter articles, acts as a docent and wedding facilitator at the Sahuaro Ranch Guest House and Rose Garden, participates in the Historical Society’s library and research, and helps coordinate Manistee Ranch’s improvements. He is a strong advocate of preserving the historic resources and history of Glendale, AZ.

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Martha Noble Pitts Cole "Marty" | Treasurer

Marty was born and raised in Glendale.  She attended Unit 1 (Landmark Grammar School), Glendale High School, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University.  Years ago she was the co-owner of the original Glendale Floral, which is no longer in existence.  Marty loves to fill her time with travel, spending time with her family, and actively volunteering in Glendale's community.  In addition to the time she donates to the Historical Society, she often volunteers  to the Glendale Pride Ambassadors and the Glendale Women's Club. 

A long time Historical Society volunteer, she was elected to the Board of Directors as Treasurer in 2012.  She helps conduct tours at Sahuaro Ranch's Guest House on Sunday afternoons and special events, such as the Folk & Heritage Festival and Tractor Days.  Marty also helps facilitate Rose Garden weddings and helps with the set up of the Guest House's exhibits, including the military and wedding gown displays.

Jessica Koory | Secretary


Jessica was elected to the Board of Directors as Secretary in 2012.  She moved to Glendale many years ago and immediately fell in love with the people and the history of Glendale.  Jessica generously donates her time to the Historical Society,  she serves as the Accessions Chairman, keeps the Board of Directors' meetings minutes, acts a docent at Manistee Ranch, clips and compiles GAHS's obituaries and distributes name tags at the Historical Society's meetings.  Jessica enjoys collaborating with other people who also want to preserve the history of Glendale for future generations.

Martha Dennis | Director

Martha was born and raised in Glendale.  She attended Unit I (Landmark Grammar School) and Glendale High School and graduated from Arizona State University.  She taught in the Washington Elementary District until retiring in 1995.  Martha and her family have always been involved in Glendale activities and preserving Glendale's history.  She joined the Glendale Historic Society in 1982 and became more active when she joined the Board as a Director in 1995.


Martha conducts tours at Sahuaro Ranch, helps facilitate weddings and works with the City on special events and school tours.  She works with members to showcase the history with displays.  Martha is also a member of the Glendale Civic Ambassadors and the Glendale Woman’s Club.  The City of Glendale awarded the Ruth Byrne Historic Preservation Award to Martha in 2016.

Nelda Saxton Crowell | Director

Nelda began service on the board in 2018 after working with a group of GAHS volunteers to organize the library, a task she continues to pursue.  She moved to Phoenix in 1947 and has lived in Glendale since 1967.  She was a member of the first Glendale Leadership class.  Nelda holds a BA degree from Arizona State University and MA from the University of Colorado.  She spent most of her career in advertising, publications and public relations, having worked as advertising manager for a local newspaper, a shopping center, and a department store.  She also spent five years as Editor of Publications for Arizona State University’s College of Business and eighteen years as Assistant Vice President for Communication at Thunderbird School of Global Management, where she received numerous awards for publications and communication.  Following retirement from her full-time position at Thunderbird, Nelda developed the School’s archives and became its first archivist, part-time.  Nelda is also a volunteer and past president of Assistance League of Phoenix and Kappa Delta Sorority alumnae chapter.  She enjoys reading, gardening, and traveling with her husband Norm. 

Jon Froke | Director
Jon Froke has more than 30 years of experience in planning, zoning, development and historic preservation.  Jon received his Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University and his Master of Education from Northern Arizona University.
He is the Managing Partner of Jon M. Froke Urban Planning, LLC to assist the public sector and private sector on assignments. He has worked in both the public and private sectors representing a range of diverse community planning and land development issues overseeing and managing master planned communities, redevelopment plans, historic preservation efforts, and downtown area planning. He volunteers his time through several pro-bono speaking engagements on a range of topics including land use planning, public policy, economic development, and transportation including pro bono work to organizations and individuals that may need planning and zoning consultation and assistance.
He is a member in the Arizona Planning Association serving as Chapter President from 2009-2013, American Institute of Certified Planners, Salvation Army Advisory Board,  and the Glendale Planning Commission.
Catherine Morgan | Director


Catherine was elected to the Board in 2017 and has lived in Glendale since 1987.  She serves as a docent at Manistee Ranch and is currently on the programming committee and the library/archives committee for the Historical Society.  Her interests include history, genealogy, research on the mayors and early families of Glendale, and Glendale's cemeteries.

William Greb "Bill" | Director

Bill grew up in Oklahoma City where he spent 27 years working for the local telephone company.  He loves to play guitar, a skill his dad taught him while he was growing up.  Bill said, “Dad didn’t know a lot about playing, but I learned all he could teach me and I took it from there.”  He has led a group of contemporary musicians at 2 Catholic Churches in the Glendale area for 32 years.     


Bill has been a member of the Historical Society for more than 15 years and became a lifetime member and member of the Board in 2018.  He donates countless hours in the orchards at Manistee Ranch and the surrounding grounds.  While he grew up in Oklahoma City, one of his favorite memories was visiting relatives in Western Arkansas.  He learned a number of things about farming and the dairy business.  He says, “those years taught me how to appreciate the things that grow from the earth”.  He believes this is why he has become so involved with the orchard at Manistee Ranch.  Additionally, during his time at the phone company, he taught himself how to build and maintain homes, thus becoming a handyman.  Having that experience caught the attention of the Historical Society and now he is the handyman at Manistee Ranch.

Gary Sherwood | Vice President

Gary Sherwood is a native of Michigan, and has lived in Glendale since 1979. Gary holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, emphasis in marketing from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and a Master’s degree in Industrial Management from Western Michigan University, and has a strong background in program development, finance and marketing.


Currently Gary is a Special Events Coordinator of the  Glendale Ambassadors, and board member of the Glendale Sister Cities organization. In the past Gary has served his community as Glendale City Councilman of the Sahuaro District, served on the Board of Directors of Valley Metro Reginal Public Transportation Authority (RPTA), Vice Chair on the Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors, and chairman of Valley Metro’s Budget and Finance subcommittee. Sherwood is a Certified Ambassador for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) as an active participant. He is also active in the Arizona Town Hall organization.

Additional previous volunteerism with the City of Glendale includes serving as chair of the Personnel Board, and as chair of the Planning Commission; as an evaluator for From the Heart; a member of Glendale’s Water & Sewer Task Force; and a graduate of both Glendale University and the Glendale Citizens Police Academy. Sherwood has also held leadership roles in such organizations as the YMCA and the Ironwood High School Boosters, and is a 24K Gold Award Donor with United Blood Services.

On a national level, Sherwood served on the National League of Cities Transportation Infrastructure and Services Steering Committee in addition to serving on the NLC’s First Tier Subcommittee as Vice Chair.