As the new CEO of Pine Castle, I know I have big shoes to fill! Jon May left an incredible legacy for all of us to build on, and I know we will – together. Alongside our dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and participants, I will work hard to ensure that we not only continue the great history of Pine Castle, but that we also build an exciting future.
My personal philosophy for life is that Faith is first, Family is second, and Career comes third. That doesn’t mean that I’m not driven to success. What is does mean is that my faith informs my life first, and I believe, as our participant Percy said in the recent Florida Times Union article about Jon May’s departure, “It doesn’t matter what type of disability you have, everybody just wants be loved.” In the Gospel of Matthew, the greatest commandment given to us is to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is what happens at Pine Castle – we deliver the mission with love now – and that is what we will continue to do as we move forward together.
As for my family, I am married to Ron Whittington, a public relations consultant and writer, and we have one daughter in college, and another daughter finishing high school this year. Ron’s mom, Frankie, also lives with us and is going strong at 88!
My qualifications to lead Pine Castle include more than 25 years of nonprofit experience. As a matter of fact, my entire career has been invested in the nonprofit sector. I have worked for local nonprofits, regional offices and national agencies in a variety of cities, including Dallas, Texas, Atlanta Georgia, and here in Jacksonville. I am a former Executive Director of the First Coast Area’s American Cancer Society office, and have been a consultant for a variety of social service agencies such as: the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Beaches Action Team / Baptist Medical Center, Barnabas Center, Feeding Northeast Florida, ElderSource, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of North Florida, DieRections, Creating Healthy Families, The Carpenter’s Shop Center and United Way of Northeast Florida. My expertise includes a strong fundraising background and a passion for strategy.
My immediate focus will be on the amazing People of Pine Castle – the participants, staff, volunteers and donors – followed by an emphasis on maintaining and growing the quality of our Programs to make continuous Progress towards innovative and meaningful new strategies to fulfill our mission.
The future is bright for Pine Castle! The fiscal year ended with a strong surplus and the organization is sound. I look forward to working together with each of you to serve even more people of different abilities in our community.
Lori Ann Whittington