Leadership Transition

Hepburn takes the helm in 2014...

At its meeting of the Board of Directors June 5, 2013, the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation unanimously voted to hire Dr. Valerie Hepburn as Executive Director when Lee Owen retires in July of 2014. The action follows the unanimous recommendation of the foundation’s Executive Committee.

Lee Hiers Owen, who currently serves as Executive Director, had notified the Foundation of her plans to retire in 2014. Hepburn, who is stepping down as president of the College of Coastal Georgia on June 30th, will fulfill a prior commitment to a year of research and policy work with the University System of Georgia and then join the Community Foundation in mid2014. Rees Sumerford, Chairman of the Foundation, indicated that he and the Executive Committee approached Hepburn once Owen announced her planned retirement. He and the board expect a seamless transition and continued strong growth and engagement for the Foundation.

“Lee has done a terrific job and we are pleased that she will continue to serve for the coming year,” said Sumerford. “Valerie and Lee have worked closely on a number of education and community initiatives. We are delighted to be able to have identified a new leader of Valerie’s caliber and capabilities. We believe that the Foundation will continue to expand its relevance and its reach across the region.”

Of the new role, Hepburn reflects, “Working with the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation provides the opportunity to support philanthropy and innovation which improve the economy and quality of life in our tri-county region. The position allows me to build on my knowledge and recent experiences to continue the positive, impactful work of this young community foundation. We love Coastal Georgia, and there remains important work yet to be done.”

The Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation was established in 2005 with the goal of working with local philanthropists - ordinary citizens with extraordinary vision, connecting them with local nonprofits to improve the quality of life across Camden, Glynn and McIntosh counties. The Foundation carries the National Standards certification from the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C., demonstrating adherence to the highest standards of operational efficiency and stewardship. Though still young, the community foundation has grown significantly in philanthropic assets, currently totaling more than nine million dollars, and anticipates a strong trajectory for the future.