Historic Savannah Foundation’s lecture series, “People, Places and Stories that Define Savannah,”  will feature lectures covering a wide range of speakers and topics. Each lecturer will give a presentation on a subject that falls within the realm of his or her expertise followed by a question-and-answer session.

Discussion Panel


Women in Construction

MARCH 21  | 6:00 PM

HSF is pleased to host a special “Women in Construction” discussion panel as part of our 2024 Lecture Series, “The People, Stories, and Places that define Savannah.”
Meet the women who are changing the landscape of preservation and construction in Savannah at this interactive and engaging discussion that will explore the many aspects of being a skilled female craftsperson in the field of building arts.


About our Panelists:


Jessica Leavitt Outtara – Alair Homes and NAWIC

Jessica’s background includes fashion design, retail management, sales, operations, social media management, event planning and content creation. Her positive demeanor, entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude help with all facets in her current role at Alair Savannah as Chief Culture + Client Officer. The variety of day-to-day activities engages many of Jessica’s past experiences as well as allowing her chances to innovate, create and energize the team. We teasingly shorten her job to anything related to the four Cs: culture, community, clients, and collaborations. She shares her life outside work with her husband and cat. Her home is filled with artwork, as collecting is a huge passion of hers. She has enjoyed filling many roles in the local chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC.) and has most recently been elected president of the group. In her downtime she likes to cook, eat, talk about food, read, study astrology and tarot, and swim.


Katie Fitzhugh – Re:Purpose Savannah

Katie Fitzhugh leads our deconstruction team in the field. Her passion for architectural history drew her to a career in material preservation through deconstruction with Re:Purpose Savannah. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Architectural History from the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in History (emphasis in colonial American studies) from the University of Montana, where she also minored in African American studies.
Prior to joining our organization, she worked as an interpretive ranger at the Wormsloe State Historic site for two years. She is chairwoman of the Friends of Wormsloe Volunteer Group and a member of the Leadership Council of the National Small Business Administration (NSBA), a small-business advocacy organization working to support small business interests nationwide.
Katie is a historic document research buff who can put together a family tree all the way back to a King’s Grant without breaking a sweat.


Kelley Lowe – Re:Purpose Savannah

Kelley Lowe is a passionate environmentalist. Her interest in creating a sustainable future for material culture drew her to the work of Re:Purpose Savannah, where she is helping to build a regional market for reclaimed lumber.
Kelley has experience directing sales for national brands. She has also worked in fine art production and conservation as well as administration for arts-based institutions. She holds a Master of Science in Conservation Studies from University College London and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Kelley will eagerly trade French or Italian lessons for old-growth wood.


Yolanda Morris – Re:Purpose Savannah

As the Director of Marketing and Community Engagement, Yolanda serves in a key leadership role that is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to promote Re:Purpose Savannah’s mission while fostering positive relationships with the community. She originally joined Re:Purpose as a Crew Member in May 2022, and evolved into her current role of marketing director in September 2023.
Yolanda is also a dedicated graphic designer, with a passion for transforming ideas into visually stunning and impactful designs, bringing concepts to life through a combination of creativity, technical skill, and detail.
She currently serves as a volunteer member of the Marketing Committee of NAWIC Coastal Georgia, and volunteers time to run the chapter’s social media and design graphics.


Amanda Nelson – Owner, Nelson Preservation

Amanda Nelson is an historic preservationist and remodeler who recently started her own company, Leonard Preservation. Previously, she worked with Ellsworth Design Build after earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture from SCAD, with a minor in Preservation, in 2017.
Her interest in architecture was sparked by watching the show Treehouse Masters as a child, during which she boldly proclaimed to her family that she would grow up to build houses with secret passageways in them. Having grown up in South Florida, the 2005 hurricane season was severe, and her family home sustained significant damage which required intensive remodeling to repair. This was her first real exposure to remodeling and fueled her passion for the trade. She continued to chase the allure of home construction, and the art of building things.
She most recently managed the exterior restoration of HSF’s Sheftall House while upholding the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for the treatment of historic homes, standards of which she carries while working on the many other homes she has laid hands on throughout Savannah’s historic district.
Her dream is to move to France in 5 years to establish her own preservation company, and work to maintain the architectural culture that the country is so proud of.


The lecture will take place at Historic Savannah Foundation’s headquarters, located at 321 E. York Street. We will gather to mingle and enjoy a glass of wine at 5:30 p.m., and the discussion will start at 6:00 p.m. The event is open to the public; however, space is limited so reservations are recommended. Attendance is free for HSF members and $15 for non-members. Both members and non-members may RSVP by emailing Kendall Graham at [email protected] or calling 912-233-7787.


Mark your calendar and we hope to see you there!

April 18, 2024

Rachel Barnett, Lyssa Harvey, & Rabbi Robert Haas

Kugels and Collards: Jewish Foodways in the Lowcountry South

May 16, 2024

Becki Harkness & Sarah Ward

Nominating the Kiah House for the National Register of Historic Places

June 2024


Check back soon for more details!


July 2024


Check back soon for more details!