Christen H. Duhé, Ed.D.

President & Executive Director

Christen Duhé is the President and Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Previously, she worked at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College as the Associate Vice President of Institutional Relations. She began her career at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce as the first Director of Coast Young Professionals (CYP). Christen is a Mississippi Gulf Coast native, growing up in Bay St. Louis and now living in Gulfport.  She is a three-time graduate from The University of Southern Mississippi (To the Top!) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations, a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication, and most recently, a doctorate in Higher Education Administration.  She is a graduate of the Coast Chamber’s Leadership Gulf Coast program, the Business Council’s Masters’ Class, MEC’s Leadership Mississippi and the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy. She received her APR: Accreditation in Public Relations, in October, 2015.

Christen served as the Chair of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce in 2019 as well as President of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s state board of directors. She was recognized by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi as the 2020 Professional Achievement Award recipient. She was also selected as a Top 10 Finalist for the Top 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi in 2020, after being recognized as one of the Top 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi in 2019.

She married her husband David in March, 2012, in Cancun, Mexico.  They love to travel and have a cat named Chief.

Rodger Wilder

Chief Executive Officer

H. Rodger Wilder is a partner in Balch & Bingham LLP in the firm’s Gulfport, Mississippi, office.  He received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University in 1970 and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi, School of Law in 1977.Rodger is listed in Who’s Who, Best Lawyer in America, and Mid-South Super Lawyers.  In 2010, he was recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s Leaders in Law in its inaugural class. Rodger is Past President of the Mississippi Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar Foundation, and the Harrison County Bar Association.  He is also a member of the American Bar Association; a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation; a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of the National Conference of Bar Presidents.  Rodger currently co-chairs the Mississippi Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission.Rodger has been active in numerous community and civic activities.  He was a founding member, continuous board member, and past board chairman of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  In 2006 he was voted one of South Mississippi’s Outstanding Community Leaders by The Sun Herald and The Journal of South Mississippi Business.

Lisa Birmingham

Director of Grants and Scholarships

Lisa Birmingham joined the Foundation in September 2005 as the donor relations manager. Lisa is also responsible for grant administration, scholarship administration, accounts payable and various other office duties. She has always had a passion for volunteerism and has spent her career working with various non-profits and schools. Lisa has always called the Mississippi Gulf Coast home.

Patty Hammons


Patty began her Accounting career in the Mississippi State Auditor’s office, where she was senior auditor for nine years. She later joined the Hancock County Board of Supervisors and served as Comptroller for 12 years. Prior to joining the GCCF in late 2014, Patty served as Finance Director of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors for seven years. Since 2011, Patty has volunteered as president of the Gulf Park/ St. Andrews Fire Protection District.

Tiffany D. Bell

Director of Donor Relations

Tiffany D Bell currently serves as the Director of Donor Relations. Tiffany D. Bell is a multidimensional leader, influencer, and community advocate. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center. Having spent more than two decades providing the best in managerial, administrative, and servant leadership, Tiffany is often counted as one able to execute at high levels, regardless of unforeseen circumstances, business pivots, or various setbacks.

Tiffany is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast and was recognized three consecutive years in a row as “Top 100 Women to Know” by Gulf Coast Woman Magazine. Tiffany has also served as an Honorary Commander for the 81st Training Wing of the Keesler Air Force. As a veteran, she understands that military service members thrive when well connected to the local community.

She currently serves on a number of local, state, and international boards, such as EDO Women Founders, ProLife MS, iBud Foundation, and Leadership Gulf Coast. The Coast Observer awarded Tiffany the Tony Santucci Lifetime Achievement Award for her community contributions as Co-Director of Success Women’s Conference, the largest professional women’s conference in the state of MS.

She has been recognized for a number of awards and honors, but her most distinguished accomplishments can be found in the faces of her two children, Brieyon and Brandon. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, Leonidas and Israel. She believes firmly in creating a legacy for her children and grandchildren for years to come.

Kimberly Jones

Communications Director

Kimberly B. Jones serves as the Communications Manager for the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Previously, she was the Communications and Marketing Specialist at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where she worked for 31 years.

Kimberly earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from The University of Southern Mississippi and an Associate of Arts degree from Hinds Community College. Her skills span a range of areas, including editing, writing, photography, graphic design, and project management. She has served as a member and board member of the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi and as a member of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. She received several accolades from both organizations.

Community involvement is a cornerstone of Kimberly’s life. She is the Communications and Social Media Strategist for Stone High School’s band, Stone High Pride, and is actively committed to animal welfare, volunteering, along with her younger son, with Wild at Heart Rescue in Vancleave and fostering cats and dogs for many years for the Stone County SPCA. 

Kimberly is also a proud mother and says, “My three children are my greatest accomplishments.”

Alex Purchner

Administrative Assistant

Alex Purchner was born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and completed her education at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. She joined the Foundation in June 2021, after completing an internship with the Gulf Coast HUB through Mississippi Department of Rehab Services. With the Gulf Coast HUB, Alex continues to help connect local volunteers with local Mississippi Gulf Coast non-profit organizations, by producing monthly newsletters, by creating and managing social media content, and by providing other important support services. Alex also assists the Gulf Coast Community Foundation team with records management and donor services. When she is not in the office, Alex enjoys family time and volunteering at her church. She fully enjoys a career that aids those in need.

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