2022 Preservation Award recipients recognized

2022 Preservation Awards Recipients. Photo courtesy of Kat Bynum.

By Susan Hardee Steger
May 6, 2022

Editor’s Note:  We encourage you to click here to view photos and writeups of the individuals and businesses recognized during the 2022 Preservation Awards event.  Preservation efforts continue in our community.  Congratulations to all who were recognized.


Yesterday,  individuals and businesses gathered at the Lesesne House on Centre Street to recognize individuals and businesses involved in preservation efforts in Fernandina Beach. Salvatore Cumella, preservation planner for the City of Fernandina Beach presented the awards. Preservations awards are presented every other year, but last May the awards were not given due to COVID-19.

The late John Cotner’s business, Cotner & Associates Inc., was recognized in many categories throughout the evening. John was a true champion of historic preservation.   In honor of John, future Preservation Champion awards will be named the John M. Cotner Preservation Champion Awards.  This year the award was given to Ernie Saltmarsh, whose efforts helped save and enhance a number of historic properties.

We are especially proud that Suanne Thamm, reporter-news analyst for the Fernandina Observer was recognized for her many years as an advocate for preservation.  She served on the City’s Historic District Council, as a board member of Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, Amelia Island-Fernandina Restoration Foundation, Northeast Florida Preservation, Inc., Amelia Island Museum of History, and the General Duncan Lamont Clinch Historical Society.  She is also the author of “Saving Fernandina,” a book chronicling the birth of the local historic preservation movement and the rebirth of Fernandina Beach’s historic downtown district.