Governor Kemp Appoints Joe Wilkinson Chair of the Jekyll Island Authority

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, August 26th, 2019

Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp appointed Joe Wilkinson of St. Simons Island as chairperson of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority by executive order on July 24, for a term of office ending July 24, 2020. Wilkinson succeeds Mike Hodges as chair. Hodges was appointed to the board in 2005 and served as chair from 2017-2019.
“We appreciate Mr. Wilkinson’s contributions to the board and welcome him to his new position as chair,” said Jekyll Island Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks. “Through the years the Jekyll Island Authority has benefited from the experience and expertise of its board members. We look forward to continuing our success under Chairman Wilkinson’s leadership and we thank Mr. Hodges for his outstanding service to Jekyll Island over the last decade.”
Wilkinson is a former Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives, representing District 52 from 2001 to 2017. He served Presidents Ford and Reagan as a member of the White House Press Office, and is retired from a career in public relations and communications with The Coca-Cola Company. Wilkinson served in the United States Naval Reserve, where he rose to the rank of captain, and is a veteran of Desert Storm. Wilkinson served more than 11 years on the Jekyll Island Foundation Board of Directors.
“I have been associated with Jekyll for many years now and have worked very closely with staff members during that time. I am looking forward to being a part of carrying out Jekyll Island’s mission,” said Wilkinson.

Gov. Kemp also appointed Glen Willard of Richmond Hill and Dale Atkins of Baxley to the Jekyll Island Authority Board. A swearing-in ceremony was held at the State Capitol. They succeed Hodges and A.W. “Bill” Jones III, upon the completion of their terms. Trip Tollison of Savannah will succeed Wilkinson as chair of the JIA’s Legislative Committee.
Atkins is a native of Baxley and returned to his hometown to open a real estate office after graduating from the University of Georgia in 1973. He is a real estate broker and certified general appraiser as owner of The Atkins Agency. He served as executive director of the Development Authority of Appling County from 1993 to 2019. Atkins will serve on the JIA’s Human Resources and Legislative committees.
Willard is a managing member of Olde South Candy Company and River Street Sweets: Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, and served on the Bryan County Board of Commissioners. He attended Georgia Southern University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Finance. Wilkinson appointed Willard to the JIA’s Finance Committee.