Board Officers of Friends of American Beach provide leadership and shape its future near Fernandina Beach, FL

Friends of American Beach, Inc. Board Officers 

Pastor Carlton D. Jones – President

Pastor Carlton D. Jones – President

Carlton Jones is the Chairman of the Renaissance Group in a consortium of companies representing construction, construction management, property management, and real estate-related disciplines. With over 46 years of public and private development experience, he is also a Florida-licensed general contractor. 

Carlton is the Pastor of the Gateway to Heaven Christian Church, which he co-founded in 2012.  He has served on 32 boards, including hospital systems, national trade associations, college, and foundation boards. Carlton currently serves as President of Friends of American Beach, Inc., and holds board positions with Urban Land Institute, Clara White Mission, and the American Beach Museum.  He was also a past member of the Urban League Foundation and regional President for Trust for Public Land. Carlton has a Bachelor’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Architecture/Engineering, a Master’s degree in Theology, and two Honorary Doctoral Degrees in Divinity and Sacred Literature. 

Judge Henry L. Adams, Jr. – Vice President

Judge Henry L. Adams, Jr. – Vice President

Senior United States District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr., is a 1962 graduate of Matthew Gilbert High School  (Jacksonville, FL). He received his B.S. Degree in Political Science from Florida A & M University (Tallahassee, FL) in 1966. and his Juris Doctor Degree from Howard University College of Law (Washington, D.C.) in 1969. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in November 1969.

Judge Adams is married to the former Bernice Elaine Harris. They have two children, Cheryl L. and Henry Lee III, and three grandchildren.

In October 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Judge Adams for a vacancy on the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. The United States Senate confirmed the nomination on November 20, 1993, and on November 24, 1993, Judge Adams received his commission as a United States District Judge. He was the first black judge in the Middle District of Florida. Judge Adams was assigned to the Tampa Division of this Court from December 1993 until April 2000, when he was reassigned to the Jacksonville Division. In April 2010, Judge Adams assumed his current status of Senior United States District Judge.

James D. Staton – Treasurer

James D. Staton – Treasurer

James D. Staton, Jr. is an executive coach and business consultant with more than 30 years of corporate and government management, and leadership positions. In 2018, James launched his firm, Staton & Associates, LLC. 

James is the recipient of several honors, including a 2018 Made Man Award from the Made Man Foundation. He was conferred with the Chieftaincy Title of UMENWANNE 1 of AMOKWE ACHARA UTURU, NIGERIA, in recognition of service to humanity by His Royal Highness Eze Cyril E. IBE (JP). 

In September 2020, James became a Life Member of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NSAPO). He is married to Johnnetta Betsch Cole, and they reside in Fernandina Beach, Florida. He is the father of one son, three stepsons, and has three step-grandchildren.  

Sheran F. Fowler – Assistant Treasurer

Sheran F. Fowler – Assistant Treasurer

Sheran Fowler is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and a graduate of the University of North Florida. Her love for people and numbers is what led her to pursue a career in Accounting. She has over 15 years of experience in the accounting industry. She is currently Controller of Stone World Imports & Manufacturing and owner of SEF Services LLC, servicing all of her clients’ accounting and tax needs. Sheran grew up learning and hearing many stories about the great American Beach, so, of course, she had to experience it for herself. She was granted that opportunity many years ago and was well pleased with that experience. She desires to serve the needs of the community, and aid in the financial aspects of the organization to make sure needs are met.

Erving Gilyard – Secretary

Erving Gilyard – Secretary

Erving presently serves as secretary for Friends of American Beach, Inc. and is a member of the Historical Marker Committee. Also, he assists wherever needed. Erving was one of the Founding Members of FOAB, Inc. and has been a resident of American Beach since 1978, which he has enjoyed the historic beach since the late1950’s.

Friends of American Beach, Inc. Board Members

  • Beverly Davis
  • Allean D. Gilyard
  • Nellie Henry
  • Annett Hughes
  • Anthony Hughes

  • Evelyn Jones
  • Beverly McKenzie
  • Carlton McKenzie
  • Debra Morrison
  • William Price

Board Committee Chairpersons

  • Events/Fundraisers – Beverly McKenzie 
  • Finance – James D. Staton 
  • Grants – Carlton D. Jones 
  • Historic Marker – Allean D. Gilyard 
  • Information Technology – Anthony Hughes 
  • Membership Services – Evelyn Jones 


Step Into Wellness at American Beach -FUN WALK! Saturday morning, February 3, 2024. Click here to download PDF registration form.

The Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA) has partnered with the Friends of American Beach Healthy Heart Committee to bring a wellness class to the south end of Amelia Island.  A Zumba Gold class will be held at the American Beach Community Center, 1600 Julia Street on Tuesday afternoons from 3:00 – 4:00 PM through Tuesday, March 26th. The class is open to all.  Come on guys and join the ladies for a great workout.  The class is taught by certified instructor Stacey “Sparkle” Vinson.  Sparkle also teaches several wellness and fitness classes at NCCOA’s Fernandina Beach Senior Life Center, 1901 Island Way.  Classes are free for NCCOA members and $5.00 for nonmembers.  For additional information contact, NCCOA at 904-261-0701.


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