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Contact: Meredith Beatrice, 850.245.6522

Florida Citizens Recognized for Contributions to Historic Preservation

Tallahassee –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced that two Florida citizens, Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews (University of Florida, Gainesville), and The Honorable Ronald R. Richmond (Tallahassee), have been recognized for their extraordinary efforts and accomplishments in the field of historic preservation.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner, said: “I am pleased to announce that Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews is the recipient of the 2016 Senator Bob Williams Award in recognition of her extraordinary legacy of public service in Florida and at the national level. Dr. Matthews experience includes serving as Florida’s State Historic Preservation Officer and in Washington, D.C. at the National Park Service as Associate Director of Cultural Resources and Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places.

“I am also pleased to announce that former Minority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives, The Honorable Ronald R. Richmond, is the recipient of the 2016 Mary Call Darby Collins Award. Leader Richmond’s legacy of volunteerism and advocacy on behalf of Florida’s Historic Capitol has ensured that the future of this beautifully restored icon can sustain its vital mission of civic education.”

The awards will be presented by Secretary Detzner at a ceremony during the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s 38th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference on May 13, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee.


About the Award Recipients

Janet Snyder Mathews, Ph.D., Recipient of the Senator Bob Williams Award

Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews is a historian, author and nationally recognized leader in Historic Preservation. Beginning as a researcher and author of award-winning regional histories, she chaired the Historical Commission of Sarasota County, shaping its first historic preservation ordinance and the creation of a department of historical resources. Tapped by Governor Bob Graham, she directed his Oral History Program (1980-1986), was appointed to the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board by three successive governors (1980-1990), and served on the Florida Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Florida National Register Review Board between 1994 and 1998. In 1999, she became the Chief of the Bureau of Historic Resources and then Director of the Division of Historical Resources and State Historic Preservation Officer (1999-2003). In January 2004, she moved to Washington D.C. to serve the National Park Service as Associate Director of Cultural Resources and Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. After five years in the nation's capital, she was recruited by the University Florida to share her collective knowledge and experience with the next generation of preservation leaders as the Associate Scholar of the Historic Preservation Program and Director of Academics and Research for the University of Florida, Historic St. Augustine, Inc. Dr. Matthews' unique talents and commitment have, and continue, to shape the course of historic preservation in Florida.

The Honorable Ronald R. Richmond, Recipient of the Mary Call Darby Collins Award

For the past 15 years, Mr. Ron Richmond has served as Chair of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation and its current form as the Historic Capitol Museum Council. In that role, he has successfully advocated for bills that established a governance structure for the Historic Capitol’s operations and created a foundation to promote its continued support. During these years, Mr. Richmond devoted many hours applying his knowledge of the Legislature’s membership and procedures to ensure that bills supporting the Historic Capitol were put in place. The results of his efforts are evident in the much improved condition of the Historic Capitol and the level of support it now enjoys at the highest levels of Florida government.  Thanks also to his support, the Historic Capitol Foundation was established to raise private funds safeguarding the continued existence and prominence of this cherished symbol of Florida’s political history and sustain its vital mission of civic education.

About the Awards

The Senator Bob Williams Award is named for Florida’s first State Historic Preservation Officer, who created a framework for historic preservation in Florida. The award is presented to a public employee who has provided exceptional service that has changed the course of historic preservation in Florida.

The Mary Call Darby Collins Award is named for Florida’s former First Ladywhose devotion to historic preservation and the restoration of her ancestral home, The Grove, was legendary. The award is presented to a volunteer whose passion for historic preservation has changed the face of Florida.

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About The Division of Historical Resources

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is responsible for preserving and promoting Florida’s historical, archaeological, and folk culture resources. DHR directs historic preservation efforts throughout the state in cooperation with state and federal agencies, local governments, private organizations, and individuals. The director of DHR serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is comprised of two Bureaus or major program areas: archaeological research and historic preservation. For more information, visit