Bicentennial Committee Members
(click names for bios)
Chucha Barber, President of Chucha Barber Productions, Inc., is a television and film producer most noted for her documentaries. Current work includes English and Spanish documentaries about the history of the Miami Grand Prix for broadcast on NBC and Telemundo, respectively; and a film titled UNFILTERED: The Truth About Oysters. She’s a six-time Emmy winner and is committed to creating one or more documentaries to commemorate Tallahassee’s Bicentennial.
Dr. James M. Denham
Dr. James M. Denham is Professor of History and Director of the Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History at Florida Southern College. He is the author of Florida Founder William P. Duval: Frontier Bon Vivant.
Claude Kenneson is a volunteer researcher at the State Library of Florida. Since the 1990s, he has created nearly 100 reference notebooks on Tallahassee and Leon County topics including two notebooks on the 1924 Tallahassee Centennial.
Joe Knetsch has taught in four colleges and universities in Florida as well as being a teacher of the gifted at Ramblewood Middle School in Coral Springs. He is a former president of the Tallahassee Historical Society as well as a member of the boards for the St. Augustine Historical Society, the Florida Historical Society, the Broward County Historical Commission and the Florida Heritage Foundation. Joe has published ten books, including Florida’s Seminole Wars: 1817-1858 and Forts, Ports, Canals and Wars: An Uncommon History of Tallahassee and the Surrounding Area, and over 200 articles on Florida history and genealogy.
Maggie Beth McGrotha, committee chair
Maggie Beth McGrotha is a Realtor, Educator, Toastmaster, Foodie, History Enthusiast and co-founder of Tallahassee Hidden History. Her passion for Florida and Tallahassee history began when she became the venue director of the Tallahassee Garden Club’s historic Rutgers House.
Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers
Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers is Distinguished Professor of History at Florida A&M University. He is the author or co-author of eight books, including his seminal work titled Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days To Emancipation.
J. Doug Smith
J. Doug Smith is a local historian and past President of the Tallahassee Historical Society, having served on the Board of Directors since 2016. A Leon High School graduate, he retired from the aerospace industry in South Florida before returning to Tallahassee in 2015. Smith is a native of Tallahassee and 7th generation Leon County resident with roots dating back to 1828.
KC Smith is a member of the Florida Historical Society board of directors and operates The Wordsmith, a contract writing, editing, and research business. Now retired, KC was a museum educator at the DeSoto Site, Mission San Luis, Florida Historic Capitol, and Museum of Florida History, serving for eight years as the MFH Curator of Education.
Joan Collins Wadsworth West
Joan Collins Wadsworth West is a fifth generation native, a Leon High and FSU graduate. She has lived in upstate NY, Delaware, England, Pennsylvania, Orlando, and Birmingham. She owned Tours with a Southern Accent, presenting historic Tallahassee to visitors. She is past president of the Tallahassee Genealogical Society, Tallahassee Literary Club, Tallahassee Music Guild, and served on boards of The Artist Series, the Museum of Art, the Florida Genealogical Society, the Museum of Art Angels, and others.