Our Board

M.C. DAVIS,
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AND PRESIDENT

 

M.C. Davis is Founder of Nokuse Plantation and E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center. M.C. was raised in Santa Rosa County, Florida and currently resides in Okaloosa County, Florida. He has been an entrepreneur for 48 years and a senior leader in a sundry of businesses. For the past 19 years Davis has been CEO of Fountain Investments, Inc., of Miramar Beach, FL, a land and timber trading company. Has been an avid conservationist for the past nineteen years and involved with a number of conservation projects all over the south, including:

 

-Mallory Swamp, Lafayette County, Florida

-Glass Mountain, Dawson County, Georgia

-Nokuse Plantation, Walton County, Florida

-Founder of E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center

 

Davis considers Nokuse Plantation his biggest and probably the most important project. It is comprised of 50,000+ acres, which form a critical section of the proposed Greenway Corridor that would connect Eglin Air Force Base, Black Water River State Park, and Conecuh National Forest, etal with the Apalachicola National Forest and Tate’s Hell State Forest.

Stella Davis,
Co-Founder and Secretary
Nokuse Plantation and E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center

Born in Okaloosa County, FL and raised in Santa Rosa County makes Stella a true native of this area. Stella has been the driving force and at times working alongside her husband, M.C. Davis, in his endeavors in education, business and both their quest for conservation.

 

Stella works full time as a volunteer at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center where she handles scheduling.

 

Stella and MC have raised 3 daughters and have 5 granddaughters

Paul Arthur
President, Nokuse Education, Inc.  
Director, E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center
 

An entrepreneur turned naturalist/educator; Paul has been with the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center since 2010. Before moving to the Panhandle in 2009 from Birmingham, Alabama, Paul owned and operated a moving/delivery company that provided nationwide services commercially and privately.  He also owned a local coffee shop in the southern part of Birmingham. 

 

After the successful sales of both of his companies, Paul and his family decided to pick up and move to their favorite vacation spot; the Florida Panhandle.  It didn’t take long for Paul to get involved in the community.  He became a Cub Scout pack leader, joined the board of the Walton County School District Advisory Council and found his passion for educating children by working at Van R. Butler Elementary School as a substitute teacher and also as a Paraprofessional. 

 

Paul then joined the team at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center as a part-time educator and soon was promoted after that.  Paul is currently the President of Nokuse Education Inc. and Director of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center.  The Biophilia Center is the perfect spot for Paul to share his enthusiasm of the outdoors by teaching future generations the importance of conservation and preservation. 

 

Paul lives in Freeport with his wife Heather and their three children: D.R., Lindy and Lillie.

Laurie Hood,
Director
Alaqua Animal Refuge

In 2006 Laurie conceived the vision for Alaqua Animal Refuge, a non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to providing care for Walton County’s animals in need. Laurie opened Alaqua Animal Refuge in January 2007 on 10 acres of her and her husband Taylor’s personal property. In the first three years of operation, Hood was responsible for finding homes for more than 4,000 animals. The refuge is currently home to more than 250 animals at any given time and places up to 100 animals per month. Hood and her husband designed the refuge to be distinctly different from the standard concrete-and-chain-link kennel concept, and thanks to a generous capital improvements grant last year, were able to create a facility that resembles more of an amusement park than a shelter. The refuge accepts nearly any animal in need of care, including dogs and cats, kittens, puppies, horses, pigs and even emus. Hood has drawn on her business background to create a non-profit that functions for success. Her prior professional experience includes operating an international magazine in south Florida for eight years and serving as the marketing director for a medical development company that has launched several publicly traded medical and drug companies. A graduate of Choctawhatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach, FL, Laurie holds a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. She is a resident of Freeport and she and her husband are parents to two boys, Crockett and Garner.