Home / News
and Information /
James joins BPC to direct its Annual Fund
By Kelley M. Arnold
Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON—Brewton-Parker College’s new director of the Annual Fund is a familiar face in Toombs and Montgomery counties.
Jessica James, former chief financial officer of Community Hospice of Vidalia and frequent volunteer to the Toombs-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, joined the college, her alma mater, Dec. 3 to take over the position held by longtime BPC friend and supporter Claire Johnson. Johnson is the wife of Dr. Sid Johnson, vice president emeritus and political science professor. She plans to retire in June.
James is excited to be in this new position, one she says “just fell in my lap.”
“Doug (Baird, new Vice President for College Advancement,) contacted me at a choir rehearsal at church one Wednesday night. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of BPC again. It’s an uplifting experience. Being here is like coming home,” said James.
James graduated from BPC in 2004 with a bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in management. She is a 1999 graduate of Montgomery County High School. While still in college and until accepting the position at Community Hospice, James served as the executive assistant to both the president and chairman of VNS Corporation of Vidalia, BPC Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Campbell (VNS president) and BPC alum and supporter, Hugh Peterson Jr. (VNS chairman).
“It was the best job,” said James of her former position. “Mr. Peterson has a spirit about him that I have an ample amount of respect for. He’s one of those people that deem respect just upon meeting them.”
She adds that Campbell encouraged her to step out and serve the community as well.
“He really pushed me into the community,” she said. “I helped him behind the scenes with the Vidalia Onion Festival Air Show as he was the Blue Angels liaison for many years. I now always volunteer my service to the Chamber.”
Her favorites include the annual golf tourney and Showcasing Toombs.
When asked who her favorite person – staff, faculty or otherwise – was at BPC during her college years, she promptly answered Dr. Charlene Williams – with an enthusiastic grin.
“I love her,” she exclaimed. “She’s a great inspiration. She should be to all her students. She’s a hard teacher, but once you show her you are willing to do the work, she will assist you in obtaining your goal in the Business Division.”
“She showed me – actually sat me down and talked about this – my great attributes. I didn’t see them, most people don’t. She told me you are very analytical, hard-working and willing to the do the work, or have a great work ethic. It was a life-defining conversation.”
James is the daughter of David and Kathy James of Vidalia.
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college in south Georgia. Based in Mount Vernon, it has external learning campuses and centers in Baxley, Glennville, Liberty County, Newnan, Norman Park and Savannah.