Nonprofits, at the helm: New execs at North Florida Land Trust, Elevate Jacksonville

A section of the "little Nana" dune complex at American Beach in 2020. As part of its land conservation mission, the North Florida Land Trust has preserved three undeveloped lots at the Amelia Island site.
A section of the "little Nana" dune complex at American Beach in 2020. As part of its land conservation mission, the North Florida Land Trust has preserved three undeveloped lots at the Amelia Island site.

The North Florida Land Trust, a Jacksonville-based land conservation nonprofit, has new leadership in its president's office and board room.

Allison DeFoor was recently named president after serving in an interim role since August 2022, following Jim McCarthy's departure. DeFoor, a seventh-generation Floridian, first came to the trust in 2018 as a board member.

"We are delighted to see Allison take over," said Matt Rapp, board chairman. "In his brief but extremely active tenure as interim president, he has more than earned the board’s full trust."

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The appointment is one of several recent leadership changes and additions at area nonprofits.

Under DeFoor's interim leadership, the trust exceeded its year-end fundraising goals, lowered internal costs and helped win Nassau County voter approval of $30 million in general obligation bonds to fund land conservation. In addition, he hired a "top-notch" chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

DeFoor, also an Episcopal priest, is "the perfect person" to lead the trust as it is "poised for unprecedented growth," Rapp said.

"For 23 years those who proceeded in this work … have built a grand enterprise," DeFoor said. "We are making sure our grandchildren will be able to see what the real Florida looked like. It is an honor to … be the next person at bat."

He holds degrees in theology, law and criminology and served as both a county and circuit judge. He has been active in Florida conservation for most of his career. In 2014 he led the passage of the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, also known as Amendment 1, which was designed to fund the state’s conservation programs.

Additionally, he was "Everglades Czar" to Gov. Jeb Bush and was a trustee of the Florida Audubon Society, Florida Land Trust Association and 1000 Friends of Florida. He also was on the boards of Florida TaxWatch, Associated Industries and the Florida Chamber Foundation.

"I have always believed that the environment and economy are not at odds in Florida, but rather are partners for all our way of life and our true economic engine," DeFoor said.


The trust also has a new board chairman in Rapp, who joined in 2019 and was vice chairman in 2022. He is the PGA Tour’s senior vice president of Championship Management, which oversees The Players Championship, among other events.

Elevate Jacksonville

Elevate Jacksonville, an education nonprofit founded in 2018, has hired a veteran educator as executive director.

George Maxey has a 35-year career working with youth, including as principal of became principal of Ribault Middle School and Raines High School from 2004 to 1022. He has also worked as a consultant for Pearson Inc., a school textbook and study tool company; as executive director of New Town Success Zone at Edward Waters College; and as executive director of 2nd Mile Ministries in the Brentwood community.


Skip Alcorn, board chairman of Elevate Jacksonville, said Maxey was the unanimous choice of the board's search committee to succeed Jon Heymann, who retired last year. He has the necessary experience to lead the nonprofit, which is in its fourth year placing full-time teacher-mentors in public high schools, currently Duval County's Raines, Ribault and Terry Parker high schools, Alcorn said.

"We are now entering our second phase of an incredible growth spurt," Alcorn said. "Elevate brings forth a critical need, and role, in the lives of these students and their extended families. George has the expertise and clearly sees the need."

Nonprofits, at the helm: Retirement at Elevate Jacksonville, new board members at 3 other nonprofits

He "brings both a solid educational background, especially as a former principal at two of our schools, combined with his recent experiences heading up successful nonprofits, "Alcorn said.

Maxey grew up in a housing project in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was inspired to pursue a career in education by his third-grade teacher. He has a master's of science degree in education, several professional certificates and has been a teacher and school administrator.

"My goal is to continue the tradition of excellence that has taken place over the past four years and chart out new opportunities for our students and their families in the Jacksonville community," he said.

Community Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation

Annie Tuttle is the new executive director at the Jacksonville-based Community Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation of Caring after volunteering for several of the nonprofit's programs.

The foundation is the fundraising arm for Community Hospice & Palliative Care, which supports unfunded and under-funded patient care, outreach programs and services for people facing advanced illness and grief. Tuttle will not only lead the foundation but work for donors and the board of trustees.


"Her energy, vision and deep understanding of our mission will help her guide us in our work," said Susan Ponder-Stansel, president and CEO of nonprofit parent Alivia Care Inc.

Tuttle said her mother died while in Community Hospice care and she volunteered in several capacities. She has also volunteered for Champions for Hope, The Donna Foundation, Wolfson Children's Hospital, Hugs Across the County and The Kate Amato Foundation.

“I was so impressed with the amazing nurses and staff that I wanted to give back somehow," she said, referring to her volunteer work. "Now having the opportunity to work for the Foundation for Caring brings me full circle."


Virginia Hall is retiring after 10 years as president and chief development officer of Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation, the charity arm of the Jacksonville-based health care system.

She said she plans to spend more time with her family.

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Among other things, Hall has overseen the foundation's community outreach ministries, including mobile and at-home health care, assistance for expectant mothers and mothers and the Good Samaritan Fund, which provided patients being discharged with medication, transportation and essential medical supplies.


"I have been blessed to … further our mission of providing all patients with quality, compassionate care," she said. "It has truly been an honor and a privilege to work in this ministry and advocate for the patients in our community."

While Ascension leadership searches for Hall's successor, Hope VanOsdol, currently the foundation's director of finance and business operations, will serve as interim president and chief development officer

Duval County Medical Society

The Duval County Medical Society welcomed Dr. Steven Kailes as its 2022-23 president. He works with Emergency Resources Group providing emergency care for the Baptist Health system and is a past president of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians.

Send nonprofit news to Beth Reese Cravey at, (904) 359-4109

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: New execs at North Florida Land Trust, Elevate Jacksonville, hospice