Bill Jones III Fund

Alfred William “Bill” Jones III was born in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 25, 1958, the son of Alfred William Jones, Jr. and Betty Wray Macdonald Jones. Bill was reared in Glynn County and graduated from Frederica Academy on St. Simons Island and from Valdosta State University. He married the former Sarah (Sally) Davenport Hopper on October 3, 1987.

Bill began his career at Sea Island Company in 1981 after working at resorts in Virginia and Florida. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he served for many years as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sea Island.

During his tenure as CEO, Sea Island received four Mobil (now Forbes) Five Star awards at one time—the first resort anywhere to do so. The awards were for The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, The Cloister Hotel, The Spa at Sea Island, and the Georgian Room. Sea Island also hosted four United States Golf Association National Championships. Additionally, Ocean Forest was awarded the 2001 Walker Cup matches.

The 2004 G-9 Summit hosted by President George W. Bush was held at Sea Island and for his role in securing the Summit for the State of Georgia, Bill was named Georgian of the Year by Georgia Trend magazine.

Bill is currently Senior Advisor to Sea Island Acquisitions and a board member of Broadmoor/Sea Island Company. He is the Founder of Ocean Forest Golf Club and serves as Chairman of the Club’s Advisory Board.

Bill has been actively involved in many civic and philanthropic endeavors. He served as a member of the Board and as Chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Historical Society. Bill is also a past Chairman of both the St. Simons Island and the Brunswick/Golden Isles Chambers of Commerce and the Brunswick/Glynn County Development Authority. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Georgia Historical Society and of the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation and a past Director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Jekyll Island Authority, and the Coastal Georgia Historical Society. He is currently a Board member of the St. Simons Land Trust and serves as Vice Chairman of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Bill’s recognitions include The Rock Howard Conservation Award, given annually to the person who has made great contributions to the DNR mission, part of which is to sustain, enhance, protect, and conserve Georgia’s natural resources. Ernst and Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year for Principled Leadership in the Southeast. Bill received the Frederick B. Kerr service award from Leadership Georgia, and the John Macpherson Berrien Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Historical Society. In 1994, he was the recipient of the NAACP Freedom Award from the Brunswick Chapter of the NAACP. Bill also served as President of the Okefenokee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is a recipient of the Boy Scouts of America’s Silver Beaver Award. An avid hunter and fisherman, Bill served as Chairman of the Golden Isles Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, received the Conservation Service Award from Georgia Ducks Unlimited, and served as a Ducks Unlimited State Trustee and National Delegate.

Bill and Sally reside on St. Simons Island and are active members of Wesley United Methodist Church at Frederica.

The Anschutz Foundation, created by Philip F. Anschutz, established the Bill Jones III Fund at the Georgia Historical Society in 2021, honoring Bill’s leadership and ensuring his commitment to Georgia history will continue in perpetuity.