The Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Jill Miranda Baker as Executive Director. Most recently Jill has been serving as manager of medical staff services at Mariners Hospital in Tavernier.Jill

JillFoundation President Richard Russell said, “We are fortunate to be able to attract a person of Jill’s caliber as executive director of our foundation. Jill is active and is highly regarded throughout the community. She has a real affection for the Florida Keys and its history and has a deep knowledge of our community and its people. I am confident she will provide us with the energy and leadership to lead the foundation in meeting its goals of creating and sustaining a world-class history and discovery center that will be a show piece for our community.”

Director George Hertel said, “Bringing Jill on board following the signing of our lease with the Islander Resort, and hiring historian Brad Bertelli as our curator, represents another major step forward in our ongoing progress toward developing a world class discovery center. There is still much to be done, but Jill has the leadership qualities, the network of relationships, the diversity of experience and passion for our community to get us where we want to go.”

Jill Miranda Baker said, “I am extremely excited about this opportunity. It was not easy to leave Mariners Hospital/Baptist Health, which is truly a great company with great leadership. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities that I was given at Mariners and the many good friends that I made there. But the challenge of working with the foundation and building out a world-class history and discovery center was irresistible. With the support of the foundation board and David Curry at the Islander Resort, and my many friends throughout the Keys, we are going to create a treasure for our community and an exciting new destination facility for our visitors.”

A native of South Florida, Jill began her career as a reporter for the Deerfield BeachObserver before joining the South Florida Newspaper Network. She spent several years working for State Representative Rick Minton, Jr. before joining Mariners in 1997 as manager, marketing and public relations. She became manager, medical staff services in 2005.

She has received numerous awards including various Mark of Excellence awards from the Florida Society of Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing. In 2002, she was named Woman of the Year by the Upper Keys Business & Professional Women’s group. In 2011, she received the Certified Green Business Award from Keys GLEE for Mariner’s activities, commitment and practice for a sustainable environment.

She is recently served as chairman of the board of the Good Health Clinic and is on the board of the Upper Keys Rotary Club. She is an ambassador of the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce and in the past has held board level positions with the Treasure Village Montessori Charter School, the Florida Keys Area Health Education Center, the Rural Health Network of Monroe County and the Upper Keys Business & Professional Women. She is a 1999 graduate of Leadership Monroe.

Jill is married to long-time backcountry fishing guide Duane Baker, who currently serves as the Commodore of the Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association. They have two children. She is a graduate of Lynchburg College with degrees in Communications/journalism and sociology and has a Master of Management Degree from the University of Phoenix.

About the Foundation: The Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation is a nonprofit entity formed to develop and operate the Florida Keys History and Discovery Center and Theatre in the Conference Center of the Islander Resort. When completed, the Discovery Center will include a state-of-the-art 40-seat theater and exhibit space totaling 7,500 square feet.

The foundation’s geographic emphasis is generally on the history of the Upper Keys, but encompasses other areas to help tell the stories and preserve that history in a meaningful, entertaining and educational manner. The Discovery Center will appeal to local residents, school groups, tourists, adults, families and scholars interested in the area. The Foundation Board is working with museum professionals in the community and beyond to develop and create the activities of the Discovery Center.

The Foundation Board and committees are composed of members of the community with an interest in preserving the history of the Upper Keys and linking that history to the overall geography and experience of the total Florida Keys to inspire appreciation for our island chain. The exempt educational purpose of the Foundation is furthered by the development and maintenance of a world-class Discovery Center that accurately reflects the history of the Florida Keys community in a multi-faceted and interactive environment.

For more information,

Facebook: Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation

Contact: Rich Russell 305 522-0948, George Hertel 305 393-1303, Frank Hawkins 305