MIAMI – Adele Lyons, a Gulf Coast native and longtime nonprofit executive, has joined the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as program director for Biloxi/Gulfport and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
As program director, Lyons will work with local leaders and a group of community advisors to identify opportunities for investing in ideas and programs that can help rebuild and transform the Gulf Coast. She will continue to live in Biloxi.
Since 1991, Lyons had served as executive director of the Greater Biloxi Economic Development Foundation and Gulf Coast Business Technology Center, a business incubator facility. Lyons counseled small businesses and entrepreneurs in all aspects of starting a company, and worked closely with various economic development and civic organizations on educational seminars and other business creation efforts.
Prior to that, Lyons served as a business counselor at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Small Business Development Center, where she worked with small business clients and economic development agencies.
Lyons has been actively involved in civic work, serving as president of the board of trustees of the Ohr-O-Keefe Museum of Art, chair of the Junior Leadership of Biloxi, vice president of membership & marketing of the Coast Chamber and a member of the United Way investment team. She was also chair of the board of directors of the National Business Incubation Association.
Her numerous awards include “Top 10 Business Leaders under 40” by the Sun Herald, the City of Biloxi’s Art & History Volunteer of the Year, First Lady of the Year by Beta Sigma Phi and a special service award by the University of Southern Mississippi’s Alumni Association.
Lyons holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1987, Knight Foundation has made 107 grants totaling nearly $16 million to Biloxi/Gulfport and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. For more, visit www.knightfdn.org.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.