Nonprofit CEO Showcase: Wanda Lanier

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  • | 12:00 p.m. July 17, 2012
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Executive Director, Barnabas Center


To provide assistance to individuals and families in crisis throughout Nassau County.

Serving Northeast Florida

Serving Fernandina Beach since 1986.

Those served

We serve more than 5,000 men, women and children annually in Nassau County.

Biggest challenge

Although Nassau County has a much smaller population than Duval County, it covers more than 600 square miles with large rural areas that are challenging to serve, especially given that there is a lack of public transportation. There is a perception that the wealth often seen in Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island is representative of the county, when in fact there are significant pockets of poverty throughout the county. This presents a special challenge in that there are tremendous needs in our community, yet the financial and other resources are very limited in order to address those needs.

Biggest satisfaction

The people of this community are incredibly generous, caring and involved. The many retirees that are drawn to the beauty and charm of Amelia Island also are drawn to serve as volunteers in our organization and others throughout the community. It has been inspiring to witness people coming together to serve their community and to solve problems. The positive impact is more readily seen in our county as opposed to a larger community like Jacksonville. One example is a collaborative project called “Soup Train” that provides nutritious, homemade meals to senior citizens who were on the waiting list to receive Meals On Wheels. Barnabas Center provides the food from our pantry, volunteers from the Coalition for the Homeless of Nassau County prepare the meals using the donated food, and Council on Aging volunteers deliver the meals to these low-income seniors each week. The waiting list was eliminated in a few short months — with no additional government funding.


Beaufort, S.C.

First experience with community service  

As a college student, I tutored children at an orphanage. It was very rewarding and made a difference to these kids, both academically and emotionally.

Your job before Barnabas Center

I was the development director of North Carolina Outward Bound in Asheville, N.C. However, before that I served as the executive director of the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville.

Upcoming events

None planned this year.

Contact information

(904) 261-7000, ext. 101



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