The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center has named Tammy Pierce as the new president of the board of directors, replacing past board president Bill Fletcher.

"(Fletcher's) tireless devotion and dedication to the needs of our kids has been outstanding," said CEO Julie Hurst-Porterfield. "Tammy Pierce is our new board president and ready to step up to the challenge.”

Originally from Atlanta, Pierce relocated to Destin in 2005 with her daughter Caitlin to continue her career in a family business specializing in manufactured housing for FEMA. In 2009, she married Jim Pierce and the couple now reside in Miramar Beach.

Because of her husband’s challenging childhood, she was introduced to the effects of child abuse when she and Jim married. Together, they are committed to lead the charge to make the world a safer place for children. The Pierces were major donors for the Walton County location, named the Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center in their honor.

Joining the board in 2015, Tammy Pierce said, "We pray our gift to help build the Walton County facility will positively impact the lives of the children served by ECCAC each day. I look forward to serving as the 2018-2019 board president and working with fellow board members, volunteers and staff to help make a difference in the lives of impacted children and their families. "

ECCAC is governed by an all-volunteer board of directors, each bringing a unique perspective and expertise to the organization. From bankers to business owners to foster parents, the board tries to maintain a diverse membership to guide the centers.

In addition to Pierce serving as the 2018-2019 president, other board members are Tom Cooper (vice president), Alan Wood (treasurer), Eric Aden, Shaun Eubanks, Bill Fletcher, James Jacquess, Terry Jones, Velia Lala, Artie Rodriguez, Katrina Puri, Audie Rowell, Tom Saffel, Maurice and Janine Stouse, and Mike Thompson.

“We would like to welcome our 2018-2019 board of directors,” said Hurst-Porterfield.

ECCAC’s board of directors can serve up to two three-year terms, so openings do become available. Those interested in applying to be on the board should either call Hurst-Porterfield at 974-8668 or email her at julie@eccac.org.

With centers in both Walton and Okaloosa counties and a $1.3 million annual operating budget, ECCAC has for the past 17 years provided services at no cost to more than 11,000 children under abuse, abandonment and neglect. The child-friendly, nonprofit centers house a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, ECCAC staff and volunteers.

For more information, visit www.eccac.org.