To promote the preservation and the inclusive sharing of the diverse architectural, historical and archaeological heritage of Florida.

We focus on four key areas to accomplish our mission:

Above: The Florida Trust House located in Tallahassee


Drive local connections and engage all aspects of Florida Trust’s mission across the state.


Advocate for historic preservation at the local, state, and national level.


Provide preservationists across the state with the educational tools they need.


Act as responsible stewards for the Florida Trust House and our easement properties.

Above: Florida Trust Board Members at the Capitol in 2024


The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is the statewide nonprofit dedicated to protecting Florida’s extraordinary heritage and history. Founded in 1978, the Florida Trust has collaborated to save irreplaceable Florida treasures like the Historic Florida Capitol and is a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


A Call for Florida Preservationists

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation evolved from meetings of Florida members of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The initial meeting was at the National Trust Annual Conference in Philadelphia in the fall of 1976, which later became the traditional Florida Party at the NTHP conference.


First Statewide Preservation Conference

The first statewide meeting of Florida preservationists was held in Tampa in the spring of 1977, with 120 people attending. It was unanimously agreed to create an organization that would continue the communication between preservationists in the state, facilitate coordination with the state’s historic preservation program, and get involved in statewide preservation issues – in particular the campaign to save the old Florida Capitol.


Florida Trust Established

The second statewide meeting was held in Miami in the spring of 1978. At the meeting, members voted to establish a Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and elected an interim board to serve until the first annual conference, with Joan Jennewein serving as the first board president. The organization was chartered in the summer of 1978 and the publication of a newsletter began. The first major decision of the interim board was to propose a joint membership with the National Trust. This proposal was accepted and for many years the Florida Trust had the only joint membership in the country. By the end of the year there were 69 members of the organization.


Preservation Awards Given

The first official annual conference was held in Tallahassee in the spring of 1979. This was the first year that awards were given to single recipients.


Easement Program Established

Florida Trust begins its Easement Program to protect significant historic properties in perpetuity. 


Florida Trust House Purchased & Restoration Begins

Stabilization work begins on the historic Hays-Hood home for use as Florida Trust headquarters.


Florida Trust House Restoration is Completed

Florida Trust for Historic Preservation completed the restoration project of the historic Hays-Hood home and moves into its new headquarters.


11 to Save Program Launched

Florida Trust announces its first 11 to Save listing to serve as the focus of the organization’s outreach and advocacy for the year.


POMS Launched

Florida Trust partners with Florida Main Street to create an annual conference “Preservation On Main Street.”


Florida Trust House Mortgage Paid Off

Florida Trust pays off the mortgage of the historic Hays-Hood home.


11 to Save Grant Fund Created

Florida Trust launches the 11 to Save Grant Fund to support historic resources given the 11 to Save designation. Palatka’s Noah’s Ark and Okahumpka Rosenwald School are awarded the year’s winners.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES (2023 – 2024)

Mike Cosden

Board President, Fort Myers

Ennis Davis

Board Vice President, Jacksonville

Mercedes Harrold

Board Secretary, Jacksonville

Linda Stevenson

At-Large Trustee, Sarasota

Mark Zubaly

At-Large Trustee, Tallahassee

Jenny Wolfe

Immediate Past President, Pensacola

Aimee Angel


Laura Bessinger-Morse

West Palm Beach

Julie Byrd, RPA

St. Petersburg

Corion DeLaine


Melissa Dunklin

St. Cloud

Kelly Perkins, AICP

St. Petersburg

Ross Pristera


David Salay, LEED AP, NCARB

Key West

J.J. Scott, AIA



Joseph Yates, III


CEO & President

Development Director

Business & Communications Manager

Communications Coordinator

Compliance & Outreach Intern

Advocacy Intern

  • Tribal Historic Preservation Officer – Dr. Paul Backhouse, RPA | Clewiston
  • Acting Director of Historic Preservation Program, University of Florida – Dr. Cleary Larkin | Gainesville
  • State Historic Preservation Officer – Alissa Slade Lotane | Tallahassee
  • Florida Trust CEO & President – Melissa Wyllie, CNP | Tallahassee

William Adams ▪  Hibbard Casselberry* ▪ Nancy Dobson* ▪ Carl Feiss* ▪ Martha P. Grafton* ▪ E. L. “Roy” Hunt ▪ Joan Jennewein* ▪ Sallye Jude* ▪ Connie Loucks ▪ Frances McIntyre ▪ Ross Morrell* ▪ F. Blair Reeves* ▪ Herschel Shepard, Jr. ▪ William Turnbull

*: Deceased

Above: Alissa Slade Lotane and Melissa Wyllie

Above: (L – R) Emeritus members Clay Henderson, Leslee Keys and Don Slesnick II at the 2022  Florida Preservation Award ceremony in DeLand

Those who have served on the Florida Trust Board of Trustees as an officer, and whose extraordinary contributions strengthened the organization.

Bill Adams ▪ Peggy Dodson* ▪ Barbara Hoffstot* ▪ Harry Piper ▪ F. Blair Reeves* ▪ Herschel Shepard, Jr. ▪ Nancy Dobson* ▪ Carl Feiss* ▪ William Turnbull ▪ Myrice Craig* ▪ Joan Jennewein* ▪ Jean Bunch ▪ Frank Perkins* ▪ Sallye Jude* ▪ Raymond Rose ▪ E. L. “Roy” Hunt ▪

Mary Barrow* ▪ Martha P. Grafton* ▪ Tim Blake ▪ Jim Hartley ▪ Frances Bourque ▪ Kathleen Monahan ▪ Don Slesnick, II ▪ Ralph Johnson ▪ Nancy Liebman ▪ Mimi Reid Hardman* ▪ Ellen Uguccioni ▪ Roy Eugene Graham* ▪ Dr. Leslee Keys ▪ Bert Bender ▪ Clay Henderson ▪ Rick Gonzalez, AIA

* Deceased

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