BRYAN COUNTY BARK PARK, GEORGIA, USA: FOUNDED IN 2012
An IRS approved 501(c) 3 corporation
Our Mission Statement:
- To provide a dog park for the Richmond Hill, GA area which is safe for families and where well-behaved dogs can be let off their leashes to run free
- To ensure that the Bryan County Bark Park provides a well maintained and clean environment for all responsible dog owners in our community
Wendy Nelson Bolton is a life-long resident of coastal Georgia and has been living in Richmond Hill since 1982. She is a founding member of the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation and the Bryan County Bark Park, serving both organizations as President. In 2005 she, along with Carole Brogdon, worked to launch the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation’s first official fundraiser – The Root Ball, a biennial event raising between $15,000 – $20,000 every time and attended by more than 200 people. Wendy has also been a long time Girl Scout volunteer, serving as a leader and special events coordinator at the troop level and seven years on the board of directors fulfilling the duties of secretary and fund development chair.
After working for 20 years as an Executive Assistant, Wendy relishes her current job as a full-time mother. She and her best friend, Mark Bolton are parents to fifteen year old, Nicholas. Mark, a Vice-President at Coastal Electric Cooperative where he has worked for over 34 years, has been married to Wendy since 1994. Loving the adventures of parenthood, most weekends find the Bolton family attending a sailing regatta and cheering on their son as he sails his Laser onto victory or yelling support from the stands at his baseball games.
After stumbling upon a dog park in Highlands, NC, Wendy started developing ideas for bringing a similar facility to Richmond Hill. Joining with other local dog lovers, the group is now working diligently to make this dream become a reality. Wendy is dedicated to volunteering in our community to make Bryan County an even more wonderful place to live.
During her 33 years of living in Richmond Hill, Wendy has shared her home with two incredible black Labrador Retrievers (Crystal and Lucy) followed by a rescued Golden Retriever, Brittney. Their current Golden Retriever, Bailey, can usually be seen riding with them on their morning drive to school.
As Vice President of Analytics and Digital Marketing, Renee Spurlin Kornegay leads ARPR’s inbound marketing team. Her award-winning work with this tech public relations agency has exceeded inbound lead targets, doubles website traffic, resulted in media placements in leading outlets like Yahoo!, Time, and CNN, sold out events and exponentially grown social media engagement. Passionate about the intersection of marketing and PR, Spurlin has authored several articles on the topic, appearing in PRDaily, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Hypepotamus, and most recently, in PR News’ Google for Communicators Guidebook. She has also spoken at numerous national events on integrated marketing, including Silverpop and Bronto’s annual email marketing summits, Geekend, PRSA’s national nonprofit group and more. As past president of the Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Association, Spurlin directed recruitment, communication, administration and programming for the nonprofit’s 900+ members. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in communication and a minor in business and completed her master’s in corporate public relations at Boston University.
McGee graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in accounting and is a retired Certified Public Accountant previously licensed in Georgia and North Carolina. She is active in community activities and formerly served as treasurer for Arts on the Coast and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children. She is also a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill. She has also served as treasurer, Jr. Warden and Sr. Warden at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church where she was one of the founding members. When Richmond Hill’s Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1984 McGee was the board’s treasurer. She has also volunteered with Junior Achievement, the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, the American Heart Association, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, among others.
McGee’s previous professional positions include opening the accounting firm now known as McGee Collins, serving as a tax accountant with Thompson & Benken, an auditor with the North Carolina Department of Human Resources, a staff accountant with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, CPAs, as well as Baird & Co, CPAs. These experiences make McGee an ideal treasurer of the Bryan County Bark Park board.
Shannon Arnold, Catering Sales Manager at Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites Historic Savannah, details and facilitates all Corporate and Special Events for this Charleston-based, Hilton-managed company, who also provides four-star dining through his Holy City Hospitality restaurants. With an early love for adventure, fundraising, and community, Arnold found herself studying at Georgia Southern University, focusing on Public Relations and Event Planning. After completing her education at Georgia Southern, Arnold settled down in Ellabell and visited the Bryan County Bark Park for the first time attending Christmas in the Park. She developed a continuing passion for event planning as a Savannah Chamber Ambassador and participating in multiple event planning opportunities with the Tourism Leadership Council. She felt compelled to focus her efforts locally on her new-found home, Bryan County. Her aim was to translate her skills into the Bryan County Bark Park, and community minded projects. Through her volunteer efforts at the First Annual Pup Pull, the Bryan County Bark Park board agreed.
Kyle has lived in Richmond Hill for 37 years and works as a veterinarian. He is a lifelong animal lover with a special place in his heart for Labradors who has worked over the years with multiple animal rescue organizations and spay/neuter programs. He joins our board because he believes that the Bark Park is a much needed and very welcome addition to the community. He would like to acknowledge the hard work of many people within our community who have worked hard to bring this project to completion and the unwavering commitment of the board to the completion, success and ongoing development of the Bark Park.
Kristyn Fielding earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations with a minor in marketing from Georgia Southern University. During her education she completed a summer internship with The Averitt Center for the Arts and volunteered with Main Street Statesboro for their 2015 ‘Staycation’ event as well as with Goodwill Industries as a Job Connection Volunteer. Fielding was also an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and co-host of a weekly radio show for Georgia Southern University’s official radio station, WVGS 91.9 The Buzz. She joined Richmond Hill based Lesley Francis Public Relations in 2016 and brings marketing and event management expertise to the board. Fielding has enjoyed volunteering with the Bark Park since relocating to Costal Georgia and her yellow lab, Cotton, loves visiting the park and participating in the organization’s annual events, especially Howl-o-ween.
Jeff Barnes has been “going to the dogs” for most of his life. During this time, he has always had dogs of a wide variety of breeds and found each one unique and remarkable. Barnes graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Zoology and is a proud “Bulldog.” He began working for the Wildlife Division of NCR in 1978 and came to Richmond Hill in 1981 to work on the hatchery. In 1994, Barnes worked for the Environmental Protection Division. Barnes retired in 2011 but continues to serve the community through his service with the Red Cross as well as completing volunteer maintenance at the Bark Park, which he has been doing since the park opened. He assists his Plott Hound “Copper” to the Bark Park on a regular basis and he welcomes the input of fellow dog lovers about ways to improve the Park and serve the community.
Greg Elmgren is a Savannah native and has been a resident of Richmond Hill since 2001. He is also the owner of Elmgren’s Garden Center, which he opened as Elmgren’s Services in 1986. To this day, it remains an independently-owned and operated, local retail business in beautiful Richmond Hill, GA. He proudly serves customers throughout the low country, Savannah and surrounding areas.
It is through love, understanding and ownership of dogs that Greg serves the Bryan Co. Bark Park with pride, and believes it is a very important part of our local community that must be protected and fostered. The Bryan Co. Bark Park adequately provides a safe, loving and respectful place for dogs and their companions.
Greg and his wife Joy Dunigan, are life-long dog owners and are currently under the watchful ownership of Elmgren’s Salty ‘Montauk’ and the love of his life, Elmgren’s Little Miss High in ‘Cotton’. It’s not uncommon for Montauk and Cotton to hang out regularly at the Garden Center. So on your next visit, please be sure to stop and say hello.