About The Knox County Landmarks Foundation
The Knox County Landmarks Foundation (KCLF) was created as the Knox County Renaissance Foundation in 1988 to encourage and promote the preservation and development of Knox County’s historic, cultural, and architectural heritage. It is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a Board of Directors and open to anyone willing to contribute time, talent, enthusiasm, resources, experience, ideas or creativity to our mission.
In recent years KCLF has taken on the role of the public’s voice speaking for preservation rather than demolition of public buildings and works as a means of promoting historical tourism in the county. We see the “bottom line” in a longer perspective. The organization is a firm believer in keeping history alive. KCLF believes that historic buildings are more than just beautiful examples of old-world craftsmanship. Rather, they reflect the history, identity and character of the people of a place. In short, they help to connect people to their community. With each building lost, the community loses some of its connection with its own past and identity.
The goal of the KCLF is to preserve, promote, and protect Knox county's rich historic legacy through restoration, recognition, and awareness.
In its beginnings, KCRF (now KCLF) pioneered the establishment of the Knox County Visitor’s Bureau, developed and ran the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival, and initiated the restoration of the 1851 Woodward Opera House. We have sponsored numerous Historical Tours since and have established ourselves as a protector of Knox County's historical legacy.
Board of Directors
President - Jeff Gottke a 30 year resident of Mount Vernon got involved in KCLF after his 1840s era house was nearly destroyed by a fire. During the rebuilding process he came to understand the importance of historic buildings to the identity of the community. He hopes that KCLF will be able to inspire others to save their historic buildings.
As a career Jeff is the Vice President of the Area Development Foundation, the non-profit economic development organization for Knox County. He is excited to help Knox County grow but with a mind toward historic preservation. He also serves on the board of Main Street Mount Vernon, Knox County Chamber of Commerce, Knox County Historical Society, Muskingum Valley Council - Boy Scouts of America and the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Knox and Licking Counties.
Treasurer - Renee McDaniel is a Certified Public Accountant and received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Capital University. Although she started out her career in the field of public accounting at Kenneth Leventhal, Renee has also been the director of finance for The Builder’s Exchange of Central Ohio, a non-profit organization, as well as the controller of Maidware Products, Inc. In 2003, Renee returned to the field of public accounting because she loved the challenge and variety of the clients. As Managing Director, Renee is responsible for firm administration, along with accounting services and tax preparation for a variety of clients. She is a member of the Ohio Society of CPA's and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Renee enjoys an active involvement in her community. She is President of Knox Energy Cooperative, Treasurer for Heart of Ohio Estate Planning Council, Board member for Area Development Foundation, The Station Break, COTC Knox County Advisory Board, and a member of St. Luke's Catholic Church. Renee and her husband, Don, are avid water skiers, and proud parents of two sons both of whom attend the University of Toledo. Their son oldest son, Mitchell, is in medical school, and their youngest, Matthew, studies mechanical engineering.
Membership Chair - Phyllis Williams moved to Knox County in 1994 and has been a board member since 1999. She was the Treasurer for 19 years, Secretary for 10 years, and involved in media development and production. She developed and produced the first six Knox County Barn Tours. She is also a passionate gardener and past-president of the Town and Country Garden Club.
Advocacy Chair - Stacy Haught works within Kenyon's Office for Community Partnerships in the Wright Center where she helps community partners build sustainable relationships with Kenyon and assists faculty, staff and students wanting to get more involved. She believes that the places, buildings and landmarks we share give our community a unique story to tell, can bring us together and point the way forward. When she isn't out and about, you'll find Stacy in her garden with the chickens and bees in Fredericktown.