Meet Our Board: Christie Kinsey – Jekyll Island Foundation

Meet Our Board: Christie Kinsey

It only took one visit to Jekyll Island for Christie to fall in love. It was 1976 when she first crossed the then draw bridge and saw the welcome sign to the little island that would change her life. Her cousins had moved here from New York and prompted the visit. “The beaches, the history, the wildlife, the bike paths, the oaks, the ocean – it all fueled my desire to live here one day.”

Christie longed for the island life. “From biking around to playing tennis in the Morgan Center [formerly an indoor tennis court], I thought this was paradise!” She visited as often as possible, trading in the mountains of West Virginia for the sandy beaches of Georgia whenever she could – each visit refueling her commitment to one day fulfil her dream of calling Jekyll Island home.

In 1990, she gave the island an even bigger piece of her heart, marrying her husband Tim at the historic Faith Chapel. They filled the church with their immediate family members and their cousins’ friends from around the island, saying “I do” in the beautiful light shimmering through the [one-of-a-kind Tiffany Studios] stained-glass windows.  

In 2015, Christie and Tim celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a visit to the island in search of the perfect cottage or home to purchase. “We bought our house on North Riverview Drive that week and the excitement began!” Christie still remembers the butterflies she got when they signed the closing paperwork, realizing her dream was becoming a reality. They made the move from West Virginia and began turning the house into their perfect home with some extensive remodeling. By 2020, Georgia had become their permanent resident state.

With the move, Christie knew she wanted to be involved in two things: the Jekyll Island Arts Association and the Jekyll Island Foundation (JIF). Having served on various boards during her career as a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual, she knew the integral role that foundations have in the success of an organization. After getting involved with the Jekyll Island Foundation, she realized the immense impact philanthropy has on their beloved island, helping to fund important island initiatives and projects for the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA).

Since she’s been on the JIF board, Christie and her husband have adopted a cabbage palm tree at Faith Chapel in honor of her cousins, The Bromsteds, who first brought her to Jekyll. They’ve installed a bench in memory of their parents and planted live oaks in memory of her sisters. They’ve also been involved in the Muhly Grass restoration project, as well as the bat boxes and Chimney Swift towers projects. “The Foundation is the vehicle through which donors can help make a positive impact on the present and future of this unique place,” Christie explains.

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to their perfect paradise, but Christie believes this little island off the coast of Georgia is one of our country’s best kept secrets. While many of her friends have chosen to retire to other beach towns along the coast, she believes the reason Jekyll will always remain the best is that it will always keep its peaceful, as-is charm, knowing it will never be overdeveloped. And working with a board that shares that vision is one of the things she loves most. “The best part about Jekyll Island is its commitment to maintaining a balance between nature and humans. The Foundation’s mission to raise funds to help conserve and preserve the Island as we know it is the primary reason I wanted to be involved as a donor and Board Member.” 

It’s been almost 50 years since Christie made her first memories on Jekyll Island, adding to them along the way with collecting shells, admiring the spectacular sunsets, getting a glimpse of the occasional alligator, or spending dinnertime crabbing in the backwash areas. Over the years, her adoration for this place has only grown. “Every day my love for Jekyll and my passion for its future increases.” She loves the life she and her husband have built here, enjoying everything the island has to offer and vowing to continue giving to it even more, offering her time and resources to be a positive piece of Jekyll Island’s ongoing progress.

Contact Us

Jekyll Island Foundation

P.O. Box 13002, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Phone: (912) 635-4100


Looking to contact the Jekyll Island Authority? Please click here.