James (J.J.) Tighe

March 7, 2024

James (J.J.) Tighe joined the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation as Director of the Parks and Trails Initiative in 2017. In 2024, J.J. was promoted to Senior Director of Parks and Trails for the Foundation. He has successfully steered grantmaking strategy, worked to build the capacity of partner organizations, and organized a complex coalition of cross-sector stakeholders and funders to execute community-led park, trail, and green infrastructure projects. Key accomplishments include helping shape the Foundation’s “Centennial Commitment”— a $200 million initiative that will close regional trail gaps and build a signature waterfront park in Western New York and Southeast Michigan.  

Prior to joining the Foundation, J.J. served as the President and CEO of the Michigan Fitness Foundation, and on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports. JJ also worked as an instrumental intermediary in developing a collaborative partnership with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources to support the Iron Belle Trail Initiative, a state-wide regional trail that connects Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In addition to his eight years as a Senior Leader with the General Electric Company in New York and Michigan.

J.J. is a distinguished Veteran who served as a Captain in the U.S. Army with the 1st Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal during his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. He is also a strong advocate for Veterans— having served on several boards focused on empowering military Veterans and their families. J.J. holds a B.S. in Finance from Boston College and an M.B.A. at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.