Business and community leaders
gathered Wednesday morning to officially mark the establishment of Alignment
Bay County, Inc., (ABC) a local non-profit with a solid goal of building a more
“We’re doing something in Bay County that brings all of us together to solve some of the more critical problems facing our youth,” said ABC Chairman Guy Tunnell of the Bay County Board of Commissioners. “Folks are rolling up their sleeves – from CEOs to educational leaders. We’re all in this together.”
is not a service provider, nor does it exist to create new programs. Instead,
it is a "backbone" organization designed to work directly in
partnership with Bay District Schools and committed community volunteers and
organizations. The model provides a structure and a process to educate
community members about issues preventing student success. By harnessing
existing resources in Bay County, creative student-centered solutions can be
Officially, the mission of ABC is to “align community organizations and resources so that their coordinated support of Bay County's youth has a positive impact on public school success, children's health, and the success of our community as a whole.”
released by Bay District Schools underline the importance of ABC, a collective
than 59% of all Bay District students are on free and reduced-price lunch programs.
District Schools currently serve upwards of 1,400 homeless students.
of BDS students are living in poverty.
3,000 students miss more than 21 days of school annually.
ABC volunteers are not starting from scratch. A strong collective impact model exists in the form of Alignment Nashville (www.alignmentnashville.org). Nashville leaders have guided the Bay County development process, and over the past several months, the organizational pieces have been firmly laid locally. A 25-member Governing Board is seated, including:
Tunnell (Chairman), Bay County Board of Commissioners;
Littleton (Vice Chair), FSU Panama City Foundation, STEM Liaison;
Walters (Secretary), Burke Blue Hutchison Walters & Smith, P.A.;
Juchniewicz (Treasurer), CFO, Berg Steel Pipe Corp.;
Rinker (Executive Board), Vice President/Market Manager, iHeart Radio;
McDonald (Executive Board), Senior Vice President, ARA;
Smiley (Executive Board), Chief Judge, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit;
White (Executive Board), CEO, Bay County Association of Realtors;
Husfelt (Executive Board), Superintendent, Bay District Schools.
“Our team – from the Governing Board to the Operating Board and on down the line – is extremely strong,” Tunnell said. “We have chief financial officers, presidents, lawyers, doctors, educational and governmental leaders – even a retired physicist. What we need now is for every member of this community to consider how they might help us.” For more information,
visit the website at AlignmentBayCounty.org or contact any Governing Board
member. A full listing of leaders is published on the website.