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CEO PROFILE: Jekyll Island Foundation Names Dion Davis as New Executive Director

Category: CEO Profiles

BBJ Staff Report

The Jekyll Island Foundation has named Dion Davis as its new executive director. The decision was made at the August meeting of the Jekyll Island Foundation Board of Directors.

Davis has served in several roles at the Foundation prior to becoming executive director. She joined the Foundation in September 2011, as administrative assistant, and was appointed assistant director in April 2013.

“I am overjoyed to be taking on this role,” Davis said. “For the last two years, I have watched the Foundation grow in its mission and reach for higher goals. We are in a place now where we are on a solid path, in a forward-moving direction.”

Chairman of the Jekyll Island Foundation Board, Hank Linginfelter, said promoting Davis to leader of the Foundation was an easy choice.

“Ms. Davis has worked hard and with an enthusiastic energy since coming to the Foundation. Her dedication to this organization is clear,” Linginfelter said. “We have extreme confidence in her leadership abilities. Under her guidance, the Foundation has the momentum needed to reach new heights and achievements.”

A native of Phoenix, Az., Davis brings a wide variety of previous life and work experiences to the Foundation. She served in the United States Air Force as an electrician for six years at Hurlburt Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fl. After her service, Davis attended Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts in Pittsburg and worked as a pastry chef for several years.

Davis most recently provided her leadership and community-building talents at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, where she worked as the Chamber Coordinator and Membership Director. In that role, she grew the chamber to more than 300 members, founded the Chamber Ambassador Program and launched key networking programs.

“My true passion lies in developing organizations and helping them thrive,” Davis said. “My philosophy is, whatever you are doing, do the best you can do, be energetic about the task at hand and start on solid ground. We have that already at the Foundation, and we are ready to achieve great heights.”

Davis’ first goal as executive director is to complete the Foundation’s current C.P.E. (Conservation, Preservation and Education) Campaign. The campaign includes several key projects, including restoration of the Jekyll Island Skeet House; Operation Plover Patrol, a volunteer project to protect nesting Wilson Plovers on the south end of the island; Diamondback Terrapin Research Project, in partnership with the University of Georgia, to reduce terrapin turtle mortality rates on causeways; and construction of a wildlife viewing platform and nature trail at Horton Pond, on the northern end of Jekyll Island. Davis said she and the Board are hopeful to have the fundraising complete so the new platform and nature trail are visitor-ready by summer 2014.

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