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Jody Hayward, Executive Director
Jody became director of the Port Royal Sound Foundation in July 2014, following several years as a volunteer and lead fundraiser for the Foundation’s Maritime Center, which opened in November 2014. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, she has a strong background in business, nonprofits, management, marketing, design and printing. Jody worked as general manager of a large printing company in Atlanta before moving to the Lowcountry with her family in 2004. While experiencing the water as much as possible since relocating to Beaufort, Jody also has enjoyed learning about the unique history and people of Beaufort County and is excited to have it showcased through history and art exhibits at the Maritime Center for others to explore.
Alicia Taylor, Director of Development
Alicia moved to Beaufort 14 years ago and loves everything the Lowcountry has to offer. She knew it would be a great place to live and one day retire. She has been in development for the past 18 years and previously worked for a large nonprofit in Beaufort. She has three girls and four grandchildren. When not working or playing with grandchildren, she loves to play golf. Working in development provides her with the opportunity to meet new friends every day, and she looks forward to sharing the mission and work of the Port Royal Sound Foundation and Maritime Center.
Rachel Jones, Naturalist/Programs Coordinator
Rachel, originally from Florida, has had an insatiable curiosity about all things outdoors since she was a child. She followed this passion into college, majoring in the Biological Sciences at the University of Central Florida, graduating in 2012. She worked as a naturalist guide in Charleston, where she taught others about the natural world around them. Rachel says she has found a home at the Port Royal Sound Foundation as a naturalist and programs coordinator. She is excited to combine her love of nature with her passion for conservation.
Chris Kehrer, Naturalist/Education Coordinator
Chris Kehrer is from Savannah and attended the University of South Carolina Beaufort. He graduated in December 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. While at USCB, he worked as a research assistant under Dr. Eric Montie in a marine bio-acoustic and toxicology lab from March 2013 to July 2015. He worked on the collection and analysis of wild and captive acoustic data files to better understand spawning habits of Sciaenid fish (red drum, black drum, spotted sea trout). In January 2015, he started volunteering at Waddell Mariculture Center, helping with the restocking program that every year releases hundreds of thousands of red drum and spotted sea trout into our coastal waters.
Jennifer Jenkins, Administrative Assistant/Grants Coordinator
Jennifer has a lifetime of fostering healthy lives (nursing and healthcare) and environments (gardening, habitat restoration and preservation). She has organized city-wide volunteer efforts and volunteered within her community. Jennifer has been involved with the PRSF Maritime Center since it opened. She first volunteered as a host and docent, then applied her experiences in development of a formal volunteer program. Jennifer now assists with solicitation and management of grants.
Jennifer and her husband have been avid hikers and fly fishers throughout the US. They helped their fly fishing club sponsor partnerships between the Arkansas DNR and high schools. The Water Education & Training (WET) program taught teachers how to incorporate stream management and habitat preservation into the science and math classes. In addition, the students conducted field studies and sent data to the state database. She and her husband recently from Colorado and now live in Sun City Hilton Head. Jennifer has a diploma in nursing, a BA in Biology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and an MBA from the University of Memphis. A life-long learner, Jennifer is a 2016 graduate of the Lowcountry Institute’s Master Naturalist Class.
Geri Kinton, Administrative Assistant/Rental Coordinator
As a mother of two daughters who, like their parents, love everything about the water, Geri couldn’t dream of a better place to work than the Foundation’s Maritime Center. Her family moved to Beaufort in 2004 and always remind themselves how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful place. She earned a degree in Recreation and Leisure Services from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in Recreation and Sports Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She worked in a variety of environments, managing and promoting programs, services and events. She and Jody originally worked together in 2009 with four other mothers creating and opening Riverview Charter School, Beaufort County’s first charter school. That endeavor led Geri to become more involved in education and eventually getting elected to the Beaufort County School Board, which she has served on since January 2013 and currently serves as Secretary.