Florida Department of State
Kathleen Kauffman has over 25 years of experience in the field of Historic Preservation. She currently serves as the Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Gainesville. She has a bachelor’s degree in historic preservation from Mary Washington College and a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Florida. She started her career in 1997 at the Florida Division of historical resources as a Historic Sites Specialist, managing the Great Floridians program and the State Historic Marker program. She has been the Historic Preservation Officer for the Town of Lake Park (Palm Beach County), the City of Fort Pierce, and the City of Miami. She has also served as Executive Director for the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, and served as the Historic Preservation Chief for Miami-Dade County, a position she held for almost ten years. In 2017 she started her own historic preservation consulting firm, KSK Preservation. She is a Director for the Council on America’s Military History (CAMP) and in 2023 was appointed to the University of Florida’s Historic Preservation Board of Advocates.
Tony Cortese is a political fundraising and campaign consultant. Over the past decade, Tony has served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of both the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives. Tony attended Florida State University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and 3 boys. Along with his wife, he has owned and renovated numerous historic homes and buildings.
John Phelps has worked for the Florida Legislature for 48 years. His first appointment was in the House of Representatives where he held positions in various committees and the Speaker's Office. He was elected Clerk of the House in 1986 and served for twenty years before leaving in 2006 to accept an appointment as Curator of the Historic Capitol and pursue a longstanding interest in Florida history. In 2010, the Senate President recruited him for the position of Staff Director of the Rules Committee, which he held until November of 2022, when he retired. John has held numerous offices with national legislative organizations, including Staff Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures, President of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries and Chair of the Commission that revises Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure. Outside the legislature, John has been a procedural consultant to legislatures in Central America, Africa and the Middle East, most recently Iraq, Afghanistan and Morocco. He is a trustee of Eckerd College and Honorary Consul in Florida for Great Britain.