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TABLE OF CONTENTS Fellowship Overview...........................................................................................................2 Mike Hightower...................................................................................................................4 Guest Speakers...................................................................................................................8

Delores Kesler........................................................................................ 9 Susie Wiles............................................................................................ 10 Daniel Davis......................................................................................... 12 John Peyton........................................................................................... 13 John Rood.............................................................................................. 14 Audrey Moran....................................................................................... 16 Darnell Smith........................................................................................ 18 Tim Cost............................................................................................... 19 Peter Rummell...................................................................................... 20 Debbie Buckland.................................................................................. 22 Nat Glover............................................................................................ 23 Ed Burr................................................................................................. 24 Betsy Lovett........................................................................................... 25

Board of Directors.............................................................................................................26

Christopher Warren.............................................................................. 27 Andrew Kisz.......................................................................................... 28 Thomas Lee IV...................................................................................... 29 Christopher Conner.............................................................................. 30 Liam O’Reilly........................................................................................ 31 Ashley Rogan........................................................................................ 32 Gracie Simendinger.............................................................................. 33 Tyler Mathews...................................................................................... 34 Hightower Emerging Leaders: Fellowship Class of 2019....................................................36 Tiffany Ashurian................................................................................................................37 Amanda Avery..................................................................................................................38 Lauren Braddock...............................................................................................................39 Tom Caron.........................................................................................................................40 Mike Field.........................................................................................................................41 Kemal Gasper...................................................................................................................42 Randy Hardin....................................................................................................................43 Monica Hernández............................................................................................................44 Alex Jenkins......................................................................................................................45 Kelly Kristoff......................................................................................................................46 Mike McCann....................................................................................................................47 Aschelle Morgan...............................................................................................................48 Peret Pass..........................................................................................................................49 Ashley Pratt.......................................................................................................................50 Sharnese Thompson..........................................................................................................51 Jenn Toy.............................................................................................................................52 Nwabufo “Obi” Umunna....................................................................................................53 Darryl Willie......................................................................................................................54 Previous Classes...............................................................................................................56

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Fellowship Overview About the Fellowship The Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship connects talented young professionals with prominent and influential Jacksonville leaders. Fellows will network and learn from titans of Jacksonville who are looking to invest in the next generation. These monthly roundtable discussions will take place in a setting that allows for candid discussion about how these leaders achieved their career success, as well as their challenge for the next generation inheriting the city. The caliber of participants selected for this program is unlike any other young professional group in Jacksonville, and will allow each Fellow to develop lifelong relationships with classmates and speakers. Past speakers include Ed Burr, Tim Cost, Daniel Davis, Nat Glover, Betsy Lovett, Audrey Moran, Herb Peyton, John Peyton, John Rood, Peter Rummell, Darnell Smith and Susie Wiles.

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Program Meetings Program Kickoff (February) Monthly Meetings & Alumni Events (March - November) Future Jax Sessions (April, October) Closing Reception (December) How to apply Application period for the following year’s class will open at the end of the calendar year. Be the first to know when applications open by subscribing to the ImpactJAX newsletter, the Happs. For more information email ImpactJAX@myjaxchamber.com

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Mike Hightower Mike joined JEA in 2015. He brings over 35 years of Governmental & Legislative Relations experience to JEA. Mike also served 16 years on JEA’s Board of Directors and served two two-year terms as JEA Chair. Mr. Hightower joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida in 1981 as the Director of Governmental and Legislative Relations. In 1985, he was named the Vice President of Governmental and Legislative Relations. Mike worked closely with key political leaders in the federal, state and local government, after three decades of a successful career at Florida Blue; he retired in 2014. He joined the Holland and Knight International Law firm as a Senior Policy Advisor in 2014 prior to joining the JEA Senior Leadership Team in 2015. In addition to his professional accomplishments, he has dedicated his time, talents and leadership to numerous boards and commissions over the last 35 years. Presently, Mike chairs the following: the Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation and the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. In addition, Mike is the Vice Chairman - Florida House, Florida’s Embassy in Washington DC. He also serves as an active Board Member of the following: OneJax, Florida Ounce of Prevention, and Five Star Veterans Center. Previous to joining JEA, Mike chaired the following Civic and Trade Associations: United States Naval Academy, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Florida House, Florida’s Embassy in Washington DC, Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Insurance Council, Florida News Service, Florida College System Foundation, Jacksonville Library Foundation, Jacksonville Political Leadership Institute, JaxBiz, Duval County Republican Party, and the Cecil Field Base Closure Commission.

Honors • 2018 St Johns River State College Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Achievement • 2017 Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce created an emerging leaders program with the Board Chair as the namesake, The Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship with ImpactJAX • 2014 (1 of 40) Most Influential People in Jax Healthcare, 904 Magazine • 2013 Florida Federation of Republican Women, Man of the Year (2010-2013) • Chairman Award, Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists • 2011 Florida Federation of Republican Women’s Man of the Year • 2011 Tillie Fowler Lifetime Leadership Award, Duval County Republican Party • 2010 Department of Navy, Navy Superior Civil Service Award • 2010 Rhea Chiles Vision Award • 2009 Politics Magazine “The Influencers: Florida” Top 40 Republicans • 2009-904 North Florida Business & Executive Life Authority Magazine’s Ø 1 of 50 Most Influential Jacksonvillians • 2009 Florida Trend Magazine’s Ø 1 of 20 “Must Know Leaders” in Jacksonville • 2009 Scripps Newspaper’s Ø 1 of 100 Florida’s Most Politically Influential People • 2007 Tallahassee Lobbying Corp’s Outstanding Lobbyist (Secret Ballot) • 2007 Jacksonville University Distinguished Alumnus Award • 2006 Jacksonville Magazine’s 1 of the “45 Power People Who Run Jacksonville” • 2006 Jacksonville Business Journal’s Ø 1 of the “Top 20 Most Influential Business People since 1985” • 2005 Tallahassee Lobbying Corps’s “Outstanding Male Lobbyist” (Secret Ballot) • 2004 Florida Trend Magazine’s Ø 1 of “Florida’s Most Influential 174” • 1997 Jacksonville Magazine’s Ø 1 of the “100 Individuals with Clout in Northeast Florida”

Political Leadership Mike has served as Chairman or Finance Chairman for over 588 successful State, Local or Federal Candidates since 1972. In addition, he is credited with assisting in raising over $137.1 million for Charitable, Candidate and Political Party Campaigns since 1981. • 2010 – 2014 State Finance Chairman to Attorney General, Pam Bondi

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Mike Hightower - continued • 2010 – 2014 State Finance Committee, Governor Rick Scott • 2007-2018 Governor’s Appointee-Republican Party of Florida Executive Committee • 2003-July 2007 Duval County Republican Party, Chairman  ØDuring Mr. Hightower’s term, Republicans won eight back to back elections, registered 26,000 new Republican voters and raised $1.3M • 2  005-July 2007 - 4th Congressional District Caucus, Republican Party of Florida, Chairman ØSevered a 2nd Two Year Term • 1996-2006- Republican Party of Florida, Committee of 100 • 2004 - Republican National Convention, Florida Delegate • 2004 - Bush - Cheney “Ranger” Finance Committee Member • 2003 & 2007 Mayor John Payton Campaign, Finance Chairman • 2000 & 2004 - Duval County Bush-Cheney Campaign, Chairman • 2000 & 2004 - Florida Region IV, Bush-Cheney Campaign, Chairman • 2002-2004 - “Eagle” Republican National Committee Finance Committee • 1998-2003 - Republican National Committee Finance Committee, Member • 2001-2002 - Duval County Bush-Brogan Re-Election Campaign, Organizational Chairman • 2001-2002 - Florida Region IV, Bush-Brogan Re-Election Campaign, Chairman • 2000 - Bush-Cheney “Pioneer” Finance Committee Member • 2000 - Republican National Convention, Florida Alternate Delegate • 199 &1999 Mayor John Delaney, Finance Chairman • 1992-1994 Youth Leadership Jacksonville, Board of Directors • 1988 Leadership Jacksonville In 2006, Florida’s Legislative Leadership appointed Mike to the Florida Energy Commission. The nine-member panel was charged with making recommendations to the Florida Legislature on ways to secure Florida’s energy future. In 2010, Florida’s legislative leadership appointed Mike to the Public Service Commission Nominating Council, charged with interviewing and recommending qualified candidates for gubernatorial appointment to Florida Public Service Commission. Mike, a 1972 graduate of Jacksonville University, resides in Jacksonville with his wife Sue, an Elementary Special Education Instructor. The couple has one son, Parker, daughter-in-law Maggie and a granddaughter, Gracie. Mike is a third term 2003, 2005, 2007 University of Florida Graduate School Adjunct Instructor, “Principals of Lobbying”.

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Delores Kesler

Kickoff

Jacksonville native Delores Kesler is one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Guest Speakers Mike Hightower

Delores Kesler

She founded AccuStaff Inc. in 1978 and served as its Chairman until 1998. Starting it from her kitchen table, the company grew and evolved, eventually being sold to Adecco Group, one of the world’s largest recruiting companies. When she took the company public in 1994, she was the first female chairman to bring a company public on Wall Street. Kesler currently is Chairman and CEO of Adium LLC. Previously, she served as Chairman of the Board of PSS World Medical, on the Board of Directors for the St. Joe Company, and nationally a Director on the Board of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Most recently, Delores served on the board of JEA as Board Secretary and Chair of the Compensation Committee.

Susie Wiles

Daniel Davis

John Peyton

John Rood

Kesler was born and raised in the Dinsmore area, working with her family after school to support their chicken farm. While the farm ultimately was unsuccessful, her ambitions and dreams flourished. She is strongly committed to her belief and sense of responsibility to give back to the community. She created the Kesler Endowment at the University of North Florida that has enabled many Jacksonville youth to pursue their education and career goals.

Audrey Moran

Darnell Smith

Tim Cost

Peter Rummell Closing Celebration Hostest

Debbie Buckland

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Nat Glover

Ed Burr

Kesler was included in Dan Rather’s book, “The American Dream: Stories from the Heart of Our Nation,” and is featured as one of eight people that he believed epitomized the title. She was listed in Florida Trend magazine as a ‘Living Legend’ and one of the 174 Most Influential Floridians and featured in the Wall Street Journal. She also received the Silver Medallion from NCCJ for improving the quality of life in Jacksonville through charitable, business, religious and civic endeavors. Additionally, Kesler has served on the Board of Directors for the Florida Council of 100, was CharimanElect of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce in 1995, and on the Foundation Board for the University of North Florida for nearly a decade.

Betsy Lovett

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Susie Wiles - continued

Susie Wiles Susan Summerall Wiles is an accomplished communications, government relations and political professional with more than twenty-five years of experience managing government and public affairs endeavors. As a Principal in Right Coast Strategies, Ms. Wiles works with clients in Jacksonville, around Florida and across the nation. Ms. Wiles managed Governor Rick’s Scott’s successful campaign for Governor and is also the Managing Partner of the Jacksonville office of Ballard Partners, one of Florida’s most successful lobbying and public affairs firms. Ballard Partners opened an office in Washington, D.C. last year and the firm was recognized as the fastest growing government affairs firm of 2017. Ms. Wiles served as Florida Chair and Senior Florida Strategist for the Donald J. Trump for President in the last Presidential election cycle.

She served as interim executive director of the Jacksonville Civic Council, a group of Jacksonville’s most engaged business and civic leaders. Ms. Wiles has been recognized nationally as one of the best communications professionals in Florida and has been the recipient of numerous awards in the fields of organizational leadership and communications. She was recently cited in 904 Magazine as on of Jacksonville’s 50 most influential people and the Florida Times Union’s Most Influential in November of 2011, as well as recognized as one of the top five political professionals in Florida by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2012. Ms. Wiles’ national political experience spans three Presidential campaigns in senior positions, White House service in the Executive Office of the President for President Ronald Reagan, staff to Congressman Jack F. Kemp as he assumed leadership in the House of Representatives, a senior role at the Department of Labor, many local and statewide political campaigns and she served on the Transition Team of Florida Governor Charlie Crist and participated with his Board and Commissions appointments process.

Ms. Wiles was the executive director of Horizon Political Action Committee, a committee designed to identify and elect common sense conservatives across America and also served as Governor Jon Huntsman’s first national campaign manager.

She currently serves as Florida Co Chair of the Donald J. Trump Presidential campaign, was a co-chairman of McCain-Palin, 2008 in Duval County and was a member of the board of St. Johns Forever, a grassroots organization working to provide a dedicated funding source for conservation in St. Johns County.

Ms. Wiles has led initiatives at the highest levels of local government in Jacksonville, Florida as a senior appointee of three Mayors. She served as Chief of Staff to former Mayor John Delaney and served as Communications and Special Initiatives Chief for Mayor John Peyton. Her responsibilities included management of public-facing functions and personnel and also included strategy and implementation of such significant initiatives as the Preservation Project Jacksonville, a comprehensive plan to acquire land for conservation and to prevent further sprawl; for The River Accord – a partnership of public agencies designed to restore the health of the St. John River which was designated by the President of the United States as an American Heritage River; a collaborative effort - RALLY Jacksonville! – A targeted, first-of- itskind program to provide early learning and early reading skills to preschoolers; The Better Jacksonville Plan, a $2.5 billion capital projects and infrastructure Bond program approved by the voters in 2000 and The Jacksonville Journey – a city-wide mobilization of leaders and subject matter experts designed to curb Jacksonville’s violent crime epidemic.

In 2009, Ms. Wiles and former Jacksonville Jaguar great and media personality Tony Boselli became partners in Right Coast Strategies. The company represents a host of the most influential political, corporate and civic entities in Jacksonville including two Fortune 100 companies, municipal agencies, the country’s largest privately held health provider network, multiple real estate clients in Florida, a state college, one of the nation’s largest venture capital funds and the nation’s largest land conservation agency. She is also a partner in a privately held healthcare provide company based in Jacksonville.

Ms. Wiles represents clients in the areas of coalition building, strategic media relations, political campaigns, environmental permitting, grassroots activism, direct marketing, crisis communication and transportation. She has managed and held senior roles in numerous political campaigns at the federal, state and local levels.

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Ms. Wiles is a member of the Executive Board of the Jacksonville Civic Council, the Jacksonville Women’s Network, FreshMinistries Board, and Mission House Board of Directors and also serves on the executive board of Preservation North Florida and Republicans for Environmental Protection. She is the immediate past Communications Chair of the JAX Chamber and serves of the Chamber’s political committee, JAX BIZ. She was a Governor’s Appointee to the Republican Party of Florida Executive Committee. She remains active with land conservation programs throughout Jacksonville, north Florida and the southeast.

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Daniel Davis

John Peyton Daniel was named President and CEO in 2013 and his focus on promoting business-friendly policy, growing an entrepreneurial culture and reaching out to our entire community has led to significant membership increases during his tenure. Under Daniel’s leadership, the JAX Chamber was one of four national finalists for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives 2016 Chamber of the Year Award.

Daniel has in-depth knowledge of a wide range of business issues, and he is dedicated to further growing our local economy. Prior to joining the Chamber, Daniel was executive director of the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA), Florida’s largest local membership trade association representing the building and construction industry in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns Counties. Daniel previously served on the Jacksonville City Council and was elected President of the Council in 2007 – the youngest person to serve in this capacity. In addition to leading the JAX Chamber, he served in the State House of Representatives representing District 15, which encompasses parts of Duval County. Daniel is married to his wife of 20 years, Rebekah Davis and they have 4 children. Daniel also serves on numerous nonprofit organization boards throughout Jacksonville.

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John Peyton is President of GATE Petroleum Company, one of the largest privately-held companies in Florida, where he oversees the company’s operations in a variety of industries including retail convenience stores, car washes, fleet and fuel services, real estate, hospitality and construction materials. Peyton began his most recent role at GATE in January 2012 after serving two consecutive terms as Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida. Peyton is an alumnus of Mercer University, Harvard Business School Executive Education Program as well as Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida. He has been actively involved in the community serving as chairman of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Jacksonville Symphony Association and Greenscape of Jacksonville. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Peyton to the board of trustees of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. He currently serves as the Chair of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce for 2018. Peyton is married to Dr. Kathryn Pearson Peyton. They are the proud parents of two boys, Connor and Kent.

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John Rood Mr. Rood began his real estate career in 1983 as founder of The Vestcor Companies. Under his direction, the company focused on brokerage of multifamily properties and then expanded into real estate investments, development, and construction. As the managing partner for over 71 investment partnerships, Mr. Rood is responsible for acquisition or development, management and disposition of properties in the portfolio. A total of fifty-seven communities, consisting of over 14,000 units, have been acquired or developed by partnerships managed by Mr. Rood. In September of 2004, President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Rood as United States Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas where he served until 2007. An April, 2005 article from The Freeport News, commented, “John D. Rood is the quintessential diplomat. Ever since he presented his credentials to Governor General Dame Ivy Dumont, he has been a model diplomat, as he has sought to keep the promise he made to “work with my Bahamian friends, old and new, to advance our common interests and to help attain lasting prosperity and security for our two countries and the region.” The Ambassador’s commitment to public and professional service is reflected in his many activities outside his professional life. In 1999, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Ambassador Rood to the

the rise in Jacksonville’s crime and resulted in a multifaceted approach which was implemented by Mayor Peyton. Mr. Rood is a founding member of the Tiger Academy which provides the children of Jacksonville’s northwest quadrant a structured and nurturing learning environment. In 2009, Ambassador Rood was appointed by Florida Governor Crist as the Republican Party of Florida Finance Chairman. Mr. Rood served on the board of Alico Inc. (ALCO) from May 2009 until November 2013. In January 2010, Mr. Rood was appointed by Governor Crist to serve on the Board of Governors of the State University System where he was a member until September 2013. In April 2010, Mr. Rood received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Flagler College in recognition of his public service. Mr. Rood was elected to membership on the Board of Trustees of Flagler College in October 2010. In 2012, he became a member of the Board of Advisors for the JU Public Policy Institute. He is a current member of the Florida Council of 100. Mr. Rood currently serves on the Board of Directors of Fidelity National Financial, Inc. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committees of Black Knight Financial Services. In November 2015, Mr. Rood was appointed to the Jacksonville Port Authority Board of Directors by Mayor Lenny Curry, where he served until July, 2016. Governor Rick Scott appointed Mr. Rood to the Florida Prepaid College Board in July, 2016 and serves as Chairman of the Board. In September, 2016 Governor Scott appointed Mr. Rood to the Enterprise Florida, Inc. Board of Directors. Mr. Rood is the proud father of three children. He is a licensed pilot, an avid sportsman, and grandfather.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where he served as both a commissioner and chairman until 2004. Mr. Rood is a former board member of the James Madison Institute. He is a Rotarian and past president of the Rotary Club of Mandarin. He was a member of the University of North Florida Business Advisory Council and has served as a visiting professor at the university. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez appointed Mr. Rood to the Advisory Council on Renewal Communities to help local communities take advantage of tax incentives to stimulate job growth and economic development. Mr. Rood was appointed by Mayor John Peyton to serve as co-chairman on the Jacksonville Journey. This program addressed

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Audrey Moran Audrey Moran is the Senior Vice President for Social Responsibility and Community Advocacy at Baptist Health. She received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Syracuse University. Audrey is a graduate of Duke University’s School of Law where she served as student body president and at graduation received the Outstanding Oral Advocate award. Audrey served as Chief of Staff for Mayor John Delaney and as Director of Legislative Affairs for Mayor Ed Austin. She has also served as Managing Director and Special Counsel for the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. She is a certified mediator and was President of Moran Mediation Group. From 2007 to 2011 she served as President and CEO of the Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless. She began her legal career with the law firm of Mahoney Hadlow and Adams and later joined the State Attorney’s Office where she started the Special Assault Unit, handling rape, domestic violence and child abuse cases. Audrey was the first female attorney appointed to the position of director in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. At Baptist Health, Audrey is a Senior Vice President with four significant areas of responsibility: community health, philanthropy, behavioral health and spiritual care. She is a member of the executive team which serves as the cabinet for the President and CEO of the health system. In 2005, Audrey was selected to become a trustee of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a $270 million charitable grant-making organization, and served in that role until joining Baptist Health. She is a member of the board of directors of the LeRoy Collins Public Policy Institute at Florida State University and chairs the board of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center. Audrey is a past chair of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is an active member of the Women’s Giving Alliance. She has previously served on the board of the Jacksonville Public Education

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Fund, as chair of the board at the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, as Executive Board Member of the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership and on the Board of Directors of Baptist Medical Center. Audrey was chair of the Downtown Development Authority, was an inaugural member of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, served on Mayor John Peyton’s Jacksonville Journey Steering Committee and was the Transition Team Co-Chair for MayorElect Alvin Brown. In 2001, Audrey received the Klechak Award for Downtown Advocacy and in 2003 she received the Rotary Good Government Award. She has been chosen as a Gateway Girl Scout Council Woman of Distinction and in 1998 she was the first woman selected to receive the Jacksonville Bar Association’s Lawyer of the Year award. In 2004 Audrey was honored with Leadership Jacksonville’s Community Trustee Award. She received the Voice for Equality Award from Equality Florida in 2011. In 2012, she was recognized for her accomplishments during Women’s History Month and was honored with the Distinguished Business Leader Award by the University of North Florida’s College of Business. In 2015 she received the Humanitarian Award from OneJax. In 2015 and 2016, she was selected as an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation fellow. In 2017, she was inducted into the First Coast Business Hall of Fame. This March, Audrey will be recognized by Girls Inc. as a “Champion for Girls” and will receive the WoLF Award from the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum. Audrey is married to the Honorable John A. Moran, II and they have four grown children.

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Darnell Smith

Tim Cost Darnell Smith is Florida Blue’s market president for the North Florida Region. In his role, Smith is responsible for Florida Blue’s business market growth, as well as customer and community engagement across 36 North Florida counties covering cities from St. Augustine to Pensacola.

Prior to his current role, Smith was group vice president, Service Organization and Business Process Management Organization (BPMO). He was responsible for leading a team of approximately 2,000 people who provided service to more than 3 million customers and helped Florida Blue achieve market-leading customer satisfaction. He oversaw the company’s business process management strategy and execution through the deployment of Continuous Improvement and Six Sigma methodologies. Throughout his career, Smith has been very active in serving the community through numerous organization boards and councils, including United Way of Northeast Florida, First Coast YMCA, Sulzbacher Center, Communities in Schools Florida, Cathedral Arts Project and Feeding Northeast Florida. Smith has demonstrated leadership in developing the community through numerous board appointments including Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council of Tallahassee, JAXUSA Policy Council and Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce. Smith also served as 2017 Chair of the JAX Chamber Board of Directors. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Florida State University. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, the Advanced HR Executive Program at University of Michigan and is an active member of Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida.

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Tim Cost became President of his undergraduate alma mater, Jacksonville University, on February 1, 2013. Prior to his election, he was Executive Vice President for PepsiCo, the food and beverage world leader with revenues of $60 billion and 300,000 employees. He has 32 years of senior executive experience at many of the world’s top companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kodak, ARAMARK, Pharmacia, Wyeth/Pfizer and Centocor/ Johnson & Johnson. He was also Chairman of Global Health Care for Washington-based consulting firm, APCO Worldwide. Mr. Cost’s executive leadership experience at multiple FORTUNE 500 companies focused on several worldwide industries: consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and managed services. During his tenure at JU, President Cost is committed to substantial improvements in student success, faculty excellence, campus upgrades and community connections. Since 2013, the University has added 38 new programs in engineering, information technology, cyber security, kinesiology, data analytics, computer sciences and health informatics. The endowment has increased more than 20%, as has the University’s campus footprint. JU is consistently ranked as a premier institution (top 10%) for students’ return on investment, and has been selected one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U. S. News & World Report for more than 10 years. CEO Magazine recently ranked the University’s Davis College of Business #14 in the world for value/return on investment. He has led the investment of nearly $40 million into the University’s campus, is heading up an ambitious $120 million ASPIRE development campaign, and has launched the Florida EPIC program to support STEM education, regional economic investment and job creation. President Cost, a 1981 Magna Cum Laude Jacksonville University graduate, received his MBA in Finance and Economics from the William E. Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Presidential Seminar. As a collegiate athlete and four-year letterman on its baseball team, he is one of the top 10 winningest pitchers in JU Baseball history, and as a freshman in his first NCAA appearance, pitched the only 9-inning no-hitter in Jacksonville University history. He received the Jacksonville University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 and was selected a “Distinguished Dolphin” in recognition of Jacksonville University’s 75l Anniversary. He has been inducted into the Florida Council on Economic Education’s Business Hall of Fame, and also serves as Chairman of JAXUSA Partnership, Chairman of the Jacksonville Civic Council, past Chairman of the Education Advisory Board of the Northeast Florida STEM - Hub Initiative, and past Chair of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Strategic Initiative on Community Outreach. President Cost is a member of many civic, cultural, and business Boards: Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Florida Council of 100, WJCT, Web.com (NASDAQ: WEB), Stein Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMRT), NCAA Board of Directors, NCAA Presidential Forum, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Brooks Rehabilitation, JaxSports, Atlantic Sun Presidents Council, and THE PLAYERS Council. He and his wife, Stephanie, are the parents of two children, Melanie and Drew.

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Peter Rummell Peter Rummell has been active in the real estate development industry for over 40 years creating some of the most recognized and interesting projects in the world. In a recent presentation, Rummell was quoted as saying, “In this new world economy, management’s purpose has to be to bring together the three components of the creative process – resources, talent and ideas – in order to build new and better realities. This is the challenge of any process.” His career began in real estate in 1971 with the Sea Pines Company, developers of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Amelia Island, Florida. In 1977, he became general manager of Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the Arvida Corporation. He joined the Rockefeller Center Management Corporation in New York as vice chairman in 1983, leaving in 1985 to become president of Disney Development Company. At the time Disney Development Company was responsible for The Walt Disney Company’s non-theme park land, directing hotel and related development at the company’s theme park locations in Orlando, Anaheim, Paris and Tokyo. During Rummell’s 12-year tenure, Disney produced over 20,000 hotel rooms. The new town of Celebration, Florida was also a product of his focused development efforts. Disney Development Company and Walt Disney Imagineering, the company’s design and creative division responsible for theme park development, were later merged and Rummell became chairman of the combined group, Walt Disney Imagineering. From 1997 – 2008, Rummell was chairman and chief executive officer of The St. Joe Company (NYSE:JOE) where he led the transition of St. Joe from a regional manufacturing conglomerate focused on paper making to a dynamic real estate company and place maker in Florida.

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Today, Rummell leads creative and real estate projects focused on bringing together resources, talent and ideas. After leading a two-year global conversation about building healthy communities as the chairman of the Urban Land Institute, Rummell is now creating a development model built around building healthy communities. The first of which is being designed and developed along the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. As the founding board chair and chief patron of One Spark, the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival, Rummell’s vision and leadership has evolved a community endeavor into an economic engine connecting creators with capital –seeding ideas and helping them become companies. Rummell is on the board of AvalonBay Communities, the largest publicly traded apartment REIT in the United States, Haskell, a design build industry leader and Kitson & Partners, a Florida-based real estate firms. He is also active in real estate advisory work for several clients. Rummell is currently active and is past chairman of the Florida Council of 100, a nonpartisan organization of Florida’s leading CEO’s. He is also past chairman and on the board of The Alliance for World Class Education, an advocate for public education in Northeast Florida. He is the past chairman of the Jacksonville Civic Council, a CEO-based civic group dedicated to long-term growth and community betterment and serves on the board of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, an organization created by former Governor Jeb Bush to establish Florida’s education system as a model for the nation. Rummell was co-chairman of the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee, which hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Rummell graduated from The Hill School, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1971, he received a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Rummell and his wife, Lee Ann, have two children; Mahala Hunter (23) and Harry Stevenson II (20). They reside in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Debbie Buckland Debbie is Market President for Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) in Jacksonville, Florida. Debbie serves as Treasurer of JAX Chamber, on the board of First Coast YMCA and as Immediate Past Chair of Downtown Vision, Inc. She is a past chair of Jacksonville Women’s Business Center and American Cancer Society, a member of Wolfson Children’s Hospital Women’s Board, Jacksonville Women’s Network and Women’s Giving Alliance and is currently serving on the Campaign Cabinet for United Way of Northeast Florida. In 2016, Debbie was honored as a Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, was named Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2006, is a 2009 Graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and in 2011 was named by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women as one of Jacksonville’s Women Making a Difference. Debbie is a 1979 graduate of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia with a B.A. in Business & Economics and Philosophy.

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Nat Glover On April 11, 1995, Dr. Nathaniel Glover made history by being elected as the first African American Sheriff in Florida in more than 100 years and the first African American Sheriff in the history of Jacksonville. He served for two terms and retired from the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office on June 30, 2003. Currently, he serves as the 29th President of Edward Waters College, Florida’s oldest private institution of higher learning, located in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Glover was born and raised in Jacksonville and is a product of the Duval County Public School system. He is also a product of Edward Waters College where he earned the Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science. He later earned the Master’s Degree in Education from the University of North Florida. In addition, Dr. Glover is a graduate of the 130th Session of the FBI National Academy and a graduate of the 1989 class of Leadership Jacksonville and the 2016 Florida Leadership Class IX. He has received outstanding alumnus awards from Edward Waters College, the University of North Florida and Leadership Jacksonville in addition to being awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree by Edward Waters College and the University of North Florida. Dr. Glover is the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, community service, and leadership. Most recently, he was recognized by the City Council of Jacksonville for his distinguished career in public service on November 9, 2016 and received the “Great Floridian Award” from Governor Rick Scott on May 10, 2016. On March 8, 2016 he received the Junior Achievement Thompson S. Baker “Solid as a Rock” award in recognition of his dedication to bettering our community through leadership, handson involvement and philanthropic deeds. He also serves on several local boards including The Jacksonville Civic Council, The Jax Chamber Board of Directors, Tiger Academy, New Town Success Zone, UF HealthJacksonville, One-Jax Advisory and Habijax. Dr. Glover is a Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow and serves on the Judicial Nominating Commission of the Middle District Conference for the 114th Congressional Term and was the 2016-2017 President of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities.

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Betsy Lovett

Ed Burr Ed Burr is president and chief executive officer of GreenPointe Holdings, LLC, a diversified holding company that brings together the necessary disciplines to create sustainable, high-value communities throughout the Southeastern United States. Burr is widely considered a leader in the real estate industry for his ability to analyze real estate potential and to lead companies that create unparalleled communities known for their recreational, residential and commercial value. Prior to leading GreenPointe Holdings, Burr founded the LandMar Group LLC in 1987 and led the company’s creation of master-planned, award-winning communities in Florida and coastal Georgia. Burr’s career started as a CPA with Coopers & Lybrand working in Miami and New York City. Burr also founded Hampton Golf & Lifestyles Management with former PGA of America President M.G. Orender in 1998 to develop and manage golf courses and community recreational facilities across the country. Throughout his career, Burr has been actively involved in business, civic and community organizations. He has served as Chairman of Jacksonville Civic Council, the Chairman of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and as the Government Affairs Committee Chair for the Chamber Board of Directors. Burr was named Developer of the Year by his peers and accepted a gubernatorial appointment to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority serving as Chairman in 2012 and 2013. Actively involved in several national and regional development organizations, he serves as Chairman of Florida State University Board of Trustees, and serves as a board member for Fresh Ministries and Urban Land Institute. Burr is a past board member of JEA, Northeast Florida Builders Association and the University of North Florida Foundation. A longtime advocate for bettering the lives of children, Burr is founder of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, a foundation committed to the prevention of bullying and child abuse.

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Jacksonville native, Betsy Ross Lovett is well known throughout the city where she has spent the better part of her life supporting causes in the local community for education, the environment, the library and healthcare. Betsy was born in St. Vincent’s hospital and also credits the medical center with saving her life at the age of nine when she almost died from complications caused by a ruptured appendix. She grew up in Avondale during World War II and at just 12 years old learned the joy of giving when she volunteered her time to roll bandages and knit squares that were sown into quilts for servicemen fighting overseas. At 20, Betsy married childhood friend Billy Lovett. Together Betsy and Billy lived in Boston, Havana and Ecuador and traveled extensively through South America, Africa and Europe where she even attended birthday parties with royals at Kensington Palace. But despite the many fascinating places her travels took her, Betsy always returned home to Jacksonville - the community that she believes to be the most extraordinary. As a result, St. Vincent’s hospital is now home to the Betsy Lovett Surgery Center and sponsors the annual Red Rose Ball which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide compassionate care to people in the community – now in its 37th year and one of her favorite events. Her extensive support to the community also includes the Betsy Lovett Arts Center at The Bolles School Bartram Campus and the Betsy Lovett Courtyard at the Main Library where she served as chair of the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation from 2007-2010. After her late husband Billy died, she initiated the William Dow Lovett Laboratory of Molecular Neurogenetics at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Betsy’s environmental efforts include a long fought victory over an Amoco subsidiary, Waste-Tech, who intended to build a hazardous waste incinerator in Madison County. Her list of awards is equally extensive and includes the 2010 Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Individual Hall of Fame Award and the Florida Times-Union’s Lifetime Achievement EVE Award. Betsy is drawn to the outdoors where she finds that spending time with nature renews her soul. She loves to fish, hunt for deer and wild turkeys and is also a licensed alligator trapper. But it is her love for people where she finds her purpose. Always a lover of people, Betsy doesn’t give to receive, she gives to know that others have been helped regardless of who they are.

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Board of Directors Founding Members

Chris Warren University of North Florida

Andrew Kisz Ernst & Young

Thomas Lee IV Lee & Cates Glass

Class of 2018 Members

Christopher Warren Chris Warren, of Jacksonville Beach, is the Executive Director in the Office of the President and University Relations for the University of North Florida. He is responsible for leading the University’s community and business relations/coalitions, sustaining/creating University culture and experience (traditions and unifying beliefs), advocating support for local/federal governmental initiatives, directing strategic initiatives on behalf of President David Szymanski and serving as an incident command liaison officer on the University’s Crisis Management Team A UNF alum, Warren became director of Governmental and Community Relations in 2015 at the University, where he served as a registered lobbyist to identify legislative, regulatory and political opportunities to advance or defend the University’s interest at the local, state and federal levels. He was also responsible for retaining and expanding $111M of the University’s budget through the state’s appropriation process. Additionally, he exerted leadership in nonprofit organizations and associations to drive University initiatives. In 2011, he managed JAX Chamber’s legislative affairs portfolio and JAXBiz PAC before moving to Washington D.C. to work for Congressman Ander Crenshaw in 2013. Following his time in Washington, Warren worked as the business development manager for Operation New Hope.

Christopher Conner Jacksonville Zoo

Liam O’Reilly GreenPointe Communities

Class of 2017 Members

Ashley Rogan River City Science Academy

Chamber Liaison

He’s earned several awards, including Jacksonville Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” “30 Under 30” Rising Stars of Florida Politics from Florida Politics and Jacksonville’s Top 30 Under 30 by BUZZ Magazine. Warren’s commitment to his community is represented by serving in leadership roles as an Editorial Board Member for The Florida Times-Union, JAXBiz PAC Board member, a mayoral appointee for the City of Jacksonville Public Service Grant Council, Hightower Emerging Leaders Board Member, formerly a member of ImpactJAX Board of Directors, and was a Jacksonville Sheriff Appointee to his Transparency Taskforce. Chris received his Bachelor of Science from the University of North Florida in Communication and Public Relations, with a minor in Political Science. During his time at UNF he authored the official University Creed.

Gracie Simendinger Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM)

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Tyler J. Mathews England-Thims & Miller Inc.

Amanda Patch JAX Chamber

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Andrew Kisz

Thomas Lee IV Andrew is committed to serving Jacksonville’s veterans and business communities and strives to make Jacksonville a better place for his two daughters, Audrey and Leighton. Andrew served in the United States Army from 2001-2006 and is a distinguished combat infantry veteran. He served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one tour in Iraq where he went on frequent missions and patrols, trained Iraqi forces, and participated in capturing valuable Taliban and Al Qaeda targets. Andrew obtained the rank of Sergeant and was recognized with 12 awards and metals.

Andrew received his business degree from the University of Florida and his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest School of Law. While attending UF, Andrew was integral in erecting the first military memorial for Post 9/11 Veterans on the UF campus. As a result of his leadership in multiple campus organizations, Andrew was inducted into the 2009 UF Hall of Fame and the prestigious Florida Blue Key (FBK) Leadership Honorary. While at Wake Law, Andrew served as President of the Wake Forest Veterans Advocacy Law (VALOR) Organization where he provided legal services to veterans in need. Andrew has a passion for assisting veterans that suffer from mental disabilities and has served on the Board of a local Veteran’s homeless shelter, Five Star Veterans Center, since 2017. He also serves on the board of the JAX Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship, as well as served as the 2016 ImpactJAX Board Chair and ex officio on the JAX Chamber’s 2015 Board of Governors and 2016 Board of Directors. As a result of his service to Jacksonville, Andrew was recognized as Top 40 Under 40 by Jacksonville Business Journal and served on the selection committee in 2019. Andrew currently works at Ernst & Young as a Manager in the Financial Crimes Compliance practice where he manages project teams and provides consulting services to international financial institutions. He serves as the Chair of EY’s Jacksonville Veterans Network and leads his practice’s Community Engagement Committee

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Thomas Lee IV is the Vice President of Lee & Cates Glass, a fourth generation, family-owned glass company. His corporate duties including accounting, information technology, marketing, and operations management in support of the residential, commercial, and auto glass divisions. He also serves as the General Manager for Flat Glass Distributors, a glass manufacturing & distribution subsidiary, overseeing both sales and operations. He has served on the board of the Southeast Glass Association since 2015 helping represent the independent glass industry in Florida. Outside of the glass industry, Thomas is a 5-year board member of ImpactJAX, serving previously as Membership Chair and currently as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board. In his leadership role with ImpactJAX, he has been a member of the JaxChamber Board of Governors and the JaxChamber Board of Directors. Thomas is also a 6-year board member of the JaxChamber Information Technology Council, serving as Secretary in 2014 and as Treasurer since 2015. He has been an annual volunteer at The Players Championship since 2010, assisting with admissions, spectator entertainment, volunteer transportation, and spectator parking. Thomas is a year-round volunteer at ministry and community events with Chets Creek Church, where he leads a LifeGroup for married couples in their 30s. He resides on the southside of Jacksonville with his wife Lauren, a Preschool Director, and his three preschool age children, Kate, Ben, and Charlotte. As a native of Jacksonville and dual degree holder from Florida State University, he is an avid supporter of the Jacksonville Jaguars and FSU athletics.

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Christopher Conner While having an innate passion for wildlife, Christopher Conner’s talent for teaching has consistently led him down various paths of education and communications. Before joining the Community Education Division at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Christopher served in several different capacities around the country from pre – school and high school teacher for the Maricopa County and Memphis City Schools districts to data and communications specialist for Verizon and loan advisor for Regions Bank. However, in 2012, Christopher ventured into conservation education and back to his home state of Mississippi to lead the Outreach Division of Education at the Jackson Zoo. There, Christopher began his personal and professional campaign to reimagine the face of environmental literacy. Inevitably, this movement has taken Christopher all over the nation to several other globally accredited zoos and aquariums. Currently, Christopher serves as the W.I.L.D. (Wildlife Immersion and Leadership Development) Program Coordinator for the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The W.I.L.D. Program is the City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ innovative approach to youth engagement, community advocacy, environmental literacy, and cultural representation and awareness. The program, grant-funded by the Kids Hope Alliance, was developed to address the community’s need for out-of-school-time engagement, mentorship, jobs, and leadership opportunities for culturally diverse teens in targeted Jacksonville areas. These areas, statistically, have the lowest household incomes, little to no higher educational attainment and above average crime rates. Through his work within the W.I.L.D. Program, Christopher has helped the African American and Hispanic teens involved collect over a quarter million dollars in college scholarships, gained global recognition for their work in youth advocacy and led the program to award-winning heights like earning the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) 2017 Significant Achievement in Diversity Award. Christopher also holds a B.A. in English and Sociolinguistics from Tougaloo College.

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Liam O’Reilly Liam O’Reilly, a native of Jacksonville, is Senior Development Manager at GreenPointe Communities. In his role, O’Reilly leads the company’s land development projects and supports the company’s future growth with a focus on land acquisition. His responsibilities encompass all aspects of new community entitlement, design and development from acquisition to completed lot sales. O’Reilly is based in the company’s Jacksonville headquarters. An industry leader with over a decade of professional experience, O’Reilly previously managed land development for a national homebuilder and has proven success in land acquisition and development with an emphasis on large master-planned residential communities. Prior to his career in land development, he practiced as a licensed Civil Engineer and held leadership roles with an engineering consulting firm. His significant experience covers all types of private real estate development including single and multi-family residential, commercial, retail and mixed-use development. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Florida State University. O’Reilly is active in the Urban Land Institute North Florida (ULI), having served on the Membership Committee, Management Committee, and was past Chair of its Young Leaders Group. He is a member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA), serving on the Governmental Affairs Committee and Vice Chair of its Young Professionals Group. He is a current member of Impact JAX and serves on the Board of Directors for Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship Outside of real estate, he serves as a volunteer and fund raiser for the Monique Burr Foundation, which focuses on protecting children from abuse and bullying though preventionbased education programs. He leads volunteer efforts for the National MS Society’s Annual BikeMS fundraising event. Liam currently resides in Neptune Beach, with his wife Brett and son Mac.

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Ashley Rogan

Gracie Simendinger After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2010, Ashley moved to Washington, D.C. to begin her career on Capitol Hill. She worked for Congressman Steve Southerland (FL-02) for about a year before transitioning to Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) where she served as his Finance Director and Executive Assistant.

After three years in Washington, she and her husband relocated to Jacksonville where she served as the Deputy Campaign Manager to Mayor Curry’s campaign. Following his victory, Ashley worked under his administration in Military Affairs. After an almost 10 year career in politics, she followed a calling into education and now teaches Middle School World History and Civics at River City Science Academy, a public charter school in Duval County. Ashley was selected by the UCF Alumni Association to it’s 2019 30 Under 30 Class.

Gracie Simendinger is passionate about the future of Jacksonville and the role of young professionals to affect change. She currently serves the Jacksonville community as the JAX Chamber Downtown Council Programs Officer (2017-present), a JAX Chamber Beaches Division board member and community involvement co-chair (2017-present) and a Hightower Fellowship board of directors member. She is also an active member of the Women’s Giving Alliance, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) North Florida chapter and Beaches Rotaract. Ms. Simendinger is the first ever full-time fundraiser to join BEAM (Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry), an organization that provides crisis resources for hardworking families in the Jacksonville beaches community. Since her arrival in 2017, she has reversed a three-year declining donor trend, created a 27% increase in new donors, and achieved over 113% of BEAM’s revenue goals. Prior to BEAM, Ms. Simendinger was responsible for raising more than $4 million a year annually as part of the United Way of Northeast Florida campaign. She managed all fundraising efforts for financial institutions, accounting, law and architecture firms. After two successful campaign seasons, Ms. Simendinger was promoted to lead the Tocqueville Society, a premier giving society of the community’s top leaders donating $10,000+ annually, increasing her annual portfolio to more than $5 million. Previous community service roles include four years on the ImpactJAX board (2014 Chair), leading the annual Painting of the PawPrints community-wide event in 2015 and 2016, and membership on the JAX Chamber board of directors and board of governors. A Denver native, she moved to Jacksonville to pursue her M.Ed in instructional leadership and organizational development from Jacksonville University after receiving a B.S. in Marketing from Florida State University. In her spare time, you can find her performing improvisation comedy around town, at the gym or brainstorming her next great travel adventure.

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Tyler Mathews Tyler is currently a Project Manager/ Shareholder at England-Thims & Miller, Inc. (ETM) where he effectively combines his knowledge of the city, financial, engineering, development, and construction experience to manage large-scale land development projects. A native resident of the city, he is ardent in his belief that Jacksonville is a city ripe with opportunities and poised for growth. Tyler joined ETM in 2016 and has worked on dozens of notable regional growth projects. Tyler’s day to day over the past 12 months includes an active leadership position with over 16 regional land development projects representing over 17,000 acres of development. Tyler’s portfolio of clients includes multiple large generational land holdings, master planned communities, and healthcare projects around the region. Prior to joining ETM, Tyler worked as a Development Associate with CRC Companies (formerly Clark Realty Capital) a private development and asset management firm headquartered in the Washington DC metro. At CRC, Tyler’s main focus included leading a multifamily investment as well as assisting in land development and asset management initiatives. Tyler’s educational background includes a Master of Science in Real Estate and Infrastructure from the Carey Business School at the Johns Hopkins University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama. During his academic career, Tyler is most proud of his leadership on the team creating the University of Alabama College of Engineering Mentor UPP Program. A program that was founded in 2011 that continues to pair undergraduates with upperclassman as well as upperclassman with alumni throughout the 6,000 student College of Engineering. He is still involved in the program to-date serving as an Alumni mentor to upperclassmen. Tyler was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award from the Alabama National Alumni Association. In graduate school, Tyler led multiple team’s to real estate competition victories including the NAIOP Capital Challenge in Washington, D.C. and the International Real Estate Challenge in Berlin, Germany. Tyler believes in a better community inspired through collaboration and growing with others. This is evident by his involvement outside of the office through the work he does with the JaxChamber Hightower Fellowship Board, Christ Church East Building Committee, elementary Sunday school teacher, and the University of Alabama Mentor UPP Program. He also supports his wife, Ashford, a former educator, in her new role of mothering their son.

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CLASS OF 2019 FELLOWS Tiffany Ashurian CLASS OF 2019

Lauren Braddock SERVPRO of The Beaches/ Ponte Vedra, Mandarin, and St. Augustine

Randy Hardin Miller Electric Company

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Tom Caron City Year Jacksonville

Monica Hernández Deutsche Bank

Tiffany Ashurian Ashco Inc.

Amanda Avery TIAA Bank

Mike Field JP Morgan Chase

Kemal Gasper 121 Financial Credit Union

Alex Jenkins NestEggs Retirement Plan Services

Kelly Kristoff PGA Tour

Mike McCann JaxCo Furniture

Aschelle Morgan K9’s for Warriors

Peret Pass Pass Consulting Group, LLC

Ashley Pratt Mayo Clinic

Sharnese Thompson Fidelity Investments

Jenn Toy Jacksonville Jaguars

Nwabufo “Obi” Umunna Umunna Legal Group

Darryl Willie Duval County School Board

Tiffany Ashurian, Vice President of Leasing & Real Estate for Ashco Inc., believes in the philosophy of Real Estate as “Living Art”. With her #NextGeneration Initiative, the movement towards boutique style shopping centers that serve as an “outdoor living room”, she seeks to enhance the arts, innovation, and technology of the patrons and community. This movement embodies the idea that “We shape our environment and then our environment builds us”. The portfolio includes Class “A”: regional super centers, medical Epi-Centers, ground up retail boutique centers, and iconic restoration of landmarks in the North Florida & Jacksonville community at large. Prior to her role at Ashco, Ms. Ashurian was a Team Leader for Mckinsey Consulting Firm, working with clients such as Berkshire Hathaway, LVMH, and Turner Real Estate. She is currently involved with multiple professional, charitable, and social organizations such as; the International Council of Shopping Centers, North Florida Influencers, and Youth Against Cancer. Ms. Ashurian is proud to call Jacksonville home and is an alumnus of The Bolles School. As a fourth-generation commercial real estate developer, she has extensive experience in community development and business administration. Ms. Ashurian completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

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Amanda Avery

Lauren Braddock Amanda Avery is a Digital Product Manager for TIAA Bank. Her responsibilities include providing vision and direction to business partners and stakeholders in order to innovate and enhance our digital banking products. Prior to TIAA Bank, Amanda worked in various Technology Product, Project Management, and Sales and Recruiting roles.

Amanda is very passionate about encouraging growth in Jacksonville and the Jacksonville IT community, particularly on promoting women and minorities within it. She currently serves as the JAX Chamber IT Council Programs Officer. In her role as Programs Officer she works with local IT leaders to provide relevant and impactful speakers for meetings and events. The past two years she has served as an active board member for the JAX Chamber IT Council, being a Council member for three. She served as a volunteer for the Jacksonville Tech Coast Conference working on the Food and Beverage committee and as the Speaking Committee Chair in 2018 & 2019. She is continually looking for opportunities to encourage growth and better connectivity / networking. She has volunteered for the I-Tech program at FSCJ as a mock interviewer and speaker. She has also been a guest speaker at Generation – a worldwide program that empowers young people to build successful careers. Amanda received her BS in Business Administration from the University of North Florida where she majored in Finance. Outside of work she is a Certified Yoga Instructor and teacher at MBody Yoga. She serves on the Jacksonville Ultimate League – a local sports organization – as a board member and player. She lives in the Historic Springfield neighborhood in a house that was built in the late 1800s with her partner, 4 children, 1 French bulldog and 3 chickens.

Lauren Braddock is a proud Jacksonville native. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), 2007, with a double major in Sculpture and Art History, and a Minor Concentration in Photography. During her time at MICA Lauren was awarded a Travel Fellowship, to study Archaeology with Brown University at their Great Temple Project in Petra, Jordan. She is published as part of that excavation in Petra Great Temple Volume 3: Brown University Excavations 1993-2008, Architecture and Material Culture, by Martha Sharp Joukowsky. From 2010 to 2014 Lauren worked as a Contract Archaeologist traveling throughout the Southeastern United States. She began her work as part of the MC-252 Event, Gulf oil spill clean up in Dauphin Island, Alabama and Gulfport, Mississippi. Over the next few years Lauren continued her archaeological work participating in both state and federally funded excavations including; Osceola National Forest, Ocala National Forest, Camp Lejuene in North Carolina, and various dig sites in Saint Augustine, Florida. During this time she studied Geographical Information Systems (GIS) with the University of Southern California’s (USC) Spatial Sciences Department, as a compliment to her archaeological fieldwork. In 2014 Lauren took the opportunity to stop traveling, and take over her family’s SERVPRO franchises along with her husband, Benjamin Alcorn, and her brother, Andrew Braddock. Their business helped the Jacksonville and St. Augustine communities recover from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma. Lauren and Benjamin have also traveled to Houston, Texas to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and Wilmington, North Carolina for Hurricane Florence. Lauren also serves as the Tournament Director of SERVPRO of St. Augustine’s Annual Fancy Pants Golf Tournament, which helps fund First Coast Blessings in a Backpack’s elementary-aged children’s food insecurity program, since 2015. Lauren has been an ImpactJAX Board Member since 2016, and currently serves as Chair. Her additional community involvement includes: First Coast Blessings in a Backpack volunteer, 2014-2018, JaxChamber Board of Governors, 2018, JaxChamber Board of Directors, 2019. Lauren has served as an annual volunteer for The Players Championship (TPC) since 2014. Lauren, Benjamin, and their German Shepard Luna, live in Jacksonville’s Historic Springfield neighborhood. They are active in the Downtown Jacksonville community, and support its growth and development.

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Tom Caron Tom Caron believes that all children can learn when resourced for their needs. Additionally, he believes young people can make a big impact in their community when empowered to do so. That is why Tom serves as the Managing Director, Development for City Year Jacksonville where he leads external affairs and resource development. After graduating college, Tom served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year in the South Bronx. The experience transformed his world view and activated a passion for community activation and strategic philanthropy. After a few years with City Year NYC, Tom became an expert in Corporate Social Responsibility and consulted companies in Baltimore on how to establish corporate giving and employee engagement programs. In October 2014, Tom returned to City Year and relocated to Jacksonville to serve as the founding Development Director and has been leading external affairs and both friend- and fund-raising.

Mike Field Mike Field is a senior risk analyst for JP Morgan Chase. A 2014 Next City Vanguard, Mike is the co-founder of Modern Cities and TransForm Jax. In 2015, he was named the State of Florida’s small business advocate of the year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Florida State University and consults with real estate developers, nonprofits and small business owners on economic development and placemaking initiatives throughout the urban core. Mike is a native of Jacksonville and currently resides downtown.

He has been married for 8 years to his soul-mate, Alexa, who teaches history at Douglas Anderson. Together they are raising and empowering two adorable little girls aged 5 and 7. They live in Avondale and look forward to Jacksonville reaching its potential and giving young people voice and opportunities to contribute to their community. A strong believer in civic engagement, Tom and his family volunteer and contribute to several area nonprofits. Some of their favorites include Read USA, Generation WOW, and JASMYN. Tom is a proud booster of this hometown, Dearborn/Detroit Michigan. He can be heard singing “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey whenever the tune kicks on and yelling his favorite line, “Born in Raised in South Detroit”.

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Kemal Gasper Kemal Gasper currently works for 121 Financial Credit Union and serves the role of Vice President of Business Development. Kemal’s function includes overall membership growth of the organization by identifying potential members through employers, nonprofits, & college/universities and connecting individuals to help them reach their financial dreams. Kemal also helps support the strategy of 121 Financial Credit Union in Northeast Florida with branding, community events, and financial education seminars helping increase awareness of the solutions building lasting relationships with members. Kemal currently serves as Co-Chair of Atlantic Circle which is United Way of Northeast Florida’s Young Professional Organization, on the Board of Governors for the JAX Chamber, and is a member of Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2019. In 2015 Kemal served both as the Chair of ImpactJAX and on the Board of Directors for the JAX Chamber. Kemal was appointed by former Mayor Alvin Brown to serve on the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Board of Directors in 2013 for a nine-year term where he currently serves as the Development Committee Chair. In 2017 Kemal was named as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Young Professionals in Jacksonville by the Jacksonville Business Journal, in 2016 named Top 20 Under 40 Black Pages Magazine, and in 2013 named Top 30 Under 30 for Buzz Magazine. Recently, Kemal was selected to take part in New Leaders Council Tallahassee which is a the largest political leadership institute for young professionals across the country.

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Randy Hardin Randy Hardin serves as a Project Manager at Miller Electric Company with a focus on the Healthcare Market. He is dedicated to successfully executing the entire electrical life cycle of construction projects for new and existing Healthcare Facilities from early design involvement and budgeting to project completion and turnover. Since joining Miller Electric he has managed and lead a wide variety of large high profile projects that include new hospitals, data centers, food and beverage facilities, and new commercial buildings both locally and across the country. As an avid Jaguars fan, one of Randy’s favorite projects includes the renovations at Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank Stadium in 2014 in which his team was responsible for delivering power and communications to the world’s largest scoreboards. Along with his project management duties he helps lead the companies future leaders program and continuous improvement initiatives in which the emerging leaders of the company meet and collaborate on a consistent basis to develop their leadership skills, share current lessons learned and struggles; and collaborate and socialize across all business units and locations across the company. Randy earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Louisiana Tech where he played quarterback on the football team. Outside of work Randy is involved in a number of industry and community organizations such as the NECA Future Leaders Task Force, Associated Builders and Contractors young professionals, Jax Sports Council, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Dreams Come True. Randy and his wife live on the southside of Jacksonville with their two dogs Sophie and Duke. In his free time he enjoys traveling, golf, and spending time with family and friends.

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Monica Hernández Monica Hernández was born in Cali, Colombia and moved to the United States at the age of 11. She grew up in Ocala Florida and moved to Jacksonville in 2005. She is an Assistant Vice President at Deutsche Bank and oversees the Structured Finance group and Banking Loan Services. She has been with Deutsche Bank since 2009 and has worked in various roles within international settlements and securities lending. While at Deutsche Bank, Monica has received several awards for high performance and has been actively involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives for the Bank including co-chairing the Jacksonville Multicultural Partnership Employee Resource Group in 2016 and 2017. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Monica worked at Bank of America in Jacksonville as a Personal Banker while pursuing her undergraduate degree. She is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Finance and Marketing and a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business. She is currently attending the Harvard Extension School pursuing a Certificate in Strategic Management.

Alex Jenkins Alex Jenkins is a proud Jacksonville native. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School and went on to the University of Florida, studying Economics. While an undergraduate, he was a graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Life Sciences’ Leadership Institute and served as President of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He now runs Business Development for NestEggs Retirement Plan Services, an SEC registered Investment Advisory that specializes in boutique 401(k) and pension plan design and advising. He holds his Series 65 License and is a designated CPFA. Prior to joining NestEggs, Alex sold surgical medical devices for Zimmerbiomet and lived outside of Chicago, Illinois and in Austin, Texas. He is engaged in residential real estate in Jacksonville and moonlights in his family’s air conditioning business. Alex is a Trustee of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of Impact Jax, and serves on the Board of Trustees and Housing Corporation for Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He has returned to Jacksonville after 11 years and hopes to engage in leadership positions of organizations that are pushing Jacksonville toward manifesting its potential as a vibrant, first tier metropolitan destination.

Monica was appointed to President of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2019. Monica was also recognized in 2019 by the Jacksonville Business Journal in the Top 40 under 40. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cycling, and camping. She is member of JAX Chamber – ImpactJAX,

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Kelly Kristoff

Mike McCann Kelly Kristoff is a Manager in the Treasury and Player Benefits Department at the PGA TOUR. She splits her time between investment management and administering player and caddie benefits. Kelly co-leads the PGA TOUR’s Generational Employee Resource Group, whose mission is to streamline generational differences to enhance company culture. Prior to moving to Jacksonville, Kelly began her career in external audit with Deloitte & Touche in Chicago, serving multiple Fortune 200 companies.

Mike McCann, a Jacksonville, native, earned a full football scholarship to Charleston Southern University in 2004 and was elected captain by his peers in 2008. Prior to finishing his last year of football, he graduated with his undergraduate degree in 2007, and returned for his MBA in 2011. While in school, McCann began working with a small furniture retailer in Charleston, SC as the first employee hired. He helped the company grow from one store grossing $60,000 in retail to 43 stores and over $25,000,000.

Along with consuming a great deal of golf, Kelly volunteers with Hart Felt Ministries, the Arc of Jacksonville, and the Ponte Vedra Public Education Foundation. Her involvement in the TOUR’s employee resource group has led to the development of a young professional’s association, Elevate Jax, intended to unite emerging leaders within Jacksonville’s sports industry through camaraderie, philanthropy and education.

After parting ways with the organization, McCann focused on building websites and writing books before family and a stint in the healthcare industry brought him back to Jacksonville. Since being back in Jacksonville, McCann has stayed active in his alumni association at CSU while finding ways to bring joy to the lives of families and children in need every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In her four years at the University of San Diego, Kelly simultaneously earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accountancy, while maintaining the Presidential Scholarship for academic excellence. She is an Indianapolis native, but has adapted to living on the first coast by spending the rest of her free time at the beach with her dog Rory.

In December 2018, McCann opened JaxCo Furniture; a furniture and mattress store that provides the best values in home furnishings and donates mattresses to families and veterans in need every month.

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Aschelle Morgan Aschelle Morgan serves as the Executive Director of the American Service Dog Access Coalition (ASDAC) where she is leading the national effort to reduce the burdens disabled Americans face when traveling with a service dog. Aschelle brings to this role extensive experience leading coalitions to drive initiatives, launch organizations and win policy campaigns. Prior to this role, Aschelle worked on healthcare policy throughout the state of Texas where she won 6 issue-based campaigns and was named the American Heart Association’s 2018 national Coalition Leader of the Year. Prior to her time in Texas, her professional life was dedicated to redefining Jacksonville as the top location for her generation through her work on young professional development programs and community change efforts. Her work included the launch of the inaugural One Spark, JCCI’s collective impact efforts and managing ImpactJAX. In her current volunteer life Aschelle is a board member of the 5 & Dime Theatre and on the steering committee for Nine in 15. She is a member of the She Should Run Jacksonville Cohort, a proud graduate of the University of Florida and is Duval til she dies.

Peret Pass Peret Pass is the President of Pass Consulting Group, LLC--a political consulting firm based in Jacksonville with over 10 years of experience in the political arena. Peret has a passion for engaging her peers in the political process. In 2009, Peret co-founded the Jacksonville Young Republicans, which went on to be the largest YR club in Florida. Peret moved up the ranks quickly in the Florida Federation of Young Republicans first serving as Campaign Committee Chair before being elected to the board as National Committeewoman and then State Chairman for 3 consecutive terms. During her tenure, the FFYR was named the 2014 ‘Best State YR Federation’ by the Young Republican National Federation. Nationally, she was elected as the Assistant Secretary, and later, Vice Chairman At-Large. Because of her great work, The News Service of Florida named Peret one of the “Top 25 under 30 Rising Political Stars 2010” in Florida. Florida Politics also named her one of their “30 under 30” Rising Political Stars. In addition, Peret strongly believes in living one’s values and has been involved in her local non-profit community. She has volunteered with multiple non-profits including the Shannon Miller Foundation, Hope Haven Children’s Clinic, Riverside Relay for Life, The Sulzbacher Center, and Mental Health America. She is also involved with The Delores Pass Kesler Scholarship Program at the University of North Florida which provides financial & mentoring support for recipient winners during their time at UNF. The scholarship is named for Peret’s grandmother. Peret lives with her fiancé, John Scott, on the Southside with their cats. They worship regularly at Celebration Church.

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Ashley Pratt Ashley Pratt is the Clinical Operations Manager for Cardiovascular Diseases and Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Florida, where Ashley is actively involved in providing oversight to the day to day activity for each practice, involved in new initiatives, OR utilization/flow, and involved with finance/revenue discussions. In addition to her role, she is the Program Director for the Administrative Internship Program through Mayo Clinic’s School of Health Sciences, where she provides administrative support and guidance to the Administrative interns and their preceptors while continuing to look for ways to enhance and improve the overall experience for interns. Ashley has over 9 years of experience in a health administrative role at Mayo Clinic including Desk Supervisor for Transplant, Health Systems Engineer and the Clinical Operations Manager for the Transplant Department. She has bachelors in Health Administration from the University of North Florida and a Double Master’s in Nonprofit Management and Public Administration from the University of Central Florida. Outside of her position at Mayo Clinic she has held several volunteer positions at Nonprofit Organizations in Northeast Florida including a board member and Team Captain for the Katie Caples Foundation, cochair for United Way’s Atlantic Circle Committee; still serving as an active committee member, as well as completed the 2015 Stein Fellowship Program. She has a passion for making Jacksonville a better place to live, volunteering in the community, as well taking an active involvement in professionally developing other young leaders. In her spare time, Ashley loves traveling, rowing with the Jacksonville Rowing Club and spending time at home with her husband Jason and active 2.5 years old son, Vedder.

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Sharnese Thompson Sharnese Thompson serves as Senior Manager of Government Relations and Public Affairs for Fidelity Investments in Jacksonville, FL. In her role, Sharnese represents Fidelity’s business interest through advocacy at the local, state, and federal level. She also oversees community engagement and volunteerism for 1100 Jacksonville based associates. Sharnese joined Fidelity Investments in 2014 in her home state of Texas. Throughout her tenure at the firm she has worked in four regions which include Texas, New Mexico, New York/ New Jersey, and Jacksonville. Prior to working in the financial service industry, Sharnese worked for Junior Achievement of Chisholm Trail in Fort Worth, TX. Junior Achievement is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people skills to own their economic success. While new to Florida, Sharnese is passionate about the JAX community. She serves on the board of Junior Achievement of North Florida. She is a member of the JAX Chamber public policy committee and is a Trustee for JAXUSA and the Florida Foundation. Sharnese is also an avid volunteer for United Way of Northeast Florida. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.A. in English. She also holds an M.A. in sociology from the University of Texas at Arlington. Outside her professional commitments, you can find Sharnese working on one of her many creative projects and traveling with her fiancé John.

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Jenn Toy Jenn Toy is the Director of Events & Entertainment for the Jacksonville Jaguars and is entering her seventh season with the team. She leads a department that is responsible for the planning and execution of all fanfacing events such as the Draft Party, open training camp practices, and the annual State of the Franchise press conference. Jenn oversees a first-class entertainment experience at TIAA Bank Field and manages the programming and production of all entertainment elements on game day including the pregame fan entertainment area, player introductions, National Anthem performances, halftime entertainment, flyovers and recognitions featuring our First Coast military. Originally a native of Frederick, Maryland, Jenn is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s in Kinesiology. She was a Terps Cheerleader for three years which led to her pursuing a career in professional sports. Prior to her position with the Jaguars, she interned with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012, when they won Super Bowl XLVIII. Outside of the office, Jenn loves to travel globally and has visited a wide array of destinations including Greece, Spain, France, Portugal, Thailand and Australia. In Jacksonville, she enjoys spending time at the beach and playing frisbee with her dog, Zoey. She is thankful that she now gets to call a wonderful community like Jacksonville her home.

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Nwabufo “Obi” Umunna Nwabufo “Obi” Umunna is a local Attorney and Entrepreneur. He is a Jacksonville native with a degree in Political Science from the University of North Florida and a Law degree from the University of Florida. Obi’s firm, Umunna Legal Group, is multifaceted; while part of his practice focuses on small businesses, personal injury, and estate planning, he also specializes in consulting for politicians and organizations purposed around and organizing and motivating communities of color to vote. He has worked with local politicians such as Jacksonville Councilman Garrett Dennis, Former Council Chair (now School Board Member) Warren Jones, as well as State Representative Tracie Davis. He was one of the lead consultants on a campaign to defeat an attempt at privatizing JEA. Recently he helped coordinate the GOTV efforts for Gillum for Governor Campaign in Jacksonville. Obi currently consults for the JAX Chamber and Duval Democratic Party. Obi is married to his wife Jane and they organized the Duval version of the Black Panther Challenge where they raised money to take over 350 underprivileged kids to see the movie. He is currently a board member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northeast Florida where he founded a program to engage students while they were on the wait list to be matched. He is an active alumnus of UNF where he founded a scholarship in his mother’s name to support under-represented students in the study of political science.

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Darryl Willie Darryl Willie is a proud military brat that has lived in various states and overseas. For the past 10 years he has called Jacksonville home. Darryl has over 15 years of education experience including his time as a teacher in the Mississippi Delta where he was awarded Teacher of the Year twice. Darryl has also worked as a teacher coach and School Director at teacher training institutes across the country. Darryl most recently served as the Executive Director of Teach For America here in Jacksonville. The Nonprofit program has over 300 people working to help students attain an excellent education, 50 Teach For America teachers have been awarded teacher of the year at their schools. His passion for education continues as Darryl is now one of the newest members of the Duval County School Board. He was elected to serve alongside the 6 other board members as the representative for District 4 this past November. Darryl sits on several local boards and has served on advisory boards for University presidents at two institutions. He is a board member for Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation, Jacksonville Arts and Music School, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc and 100 Black Men of Jacksonville. Darryls efforts have not gone unnoticed as he has been recognized as a Jacksonville Non-Profit Emerging leader, Leadership Jacksonville class of 2016, Leadership Florida Education Class of 2017 and a Jacksonville Business Journal top 40 under 40. Darryl attended undergraduate school at North Carolina State University where he was elected Student Body President. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Georgia in Higher Education Administration. Darryl is madly in love with his wife and his 3 young daughters, the oldest will be starting school next year.

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Class of 2018

Ken Ackerson Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Ashley Cook North Florida Senator Rubio’s Office

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Trish Bautista Nemours

James Croft City of Jacksonville

John Brigman BB&T

Tad Dickman Jacksonville Jaguars

Sarah Henderson United Way of Northeast Florida

Jenn Kjellman Quorum Health Resources

Kim Kristoff Acosta Sales & Marketing

Kristin Livingston Cathedral Arts Project

Liam O’Reilly GreenPointe Communities

Ashley Rogan River City Science Academy

Katherine Ruttell Live Oak Contracting

Jessie Spradley Northeast Florida Builders Assn.

Christopher Conner Jacksonville Zoo

Alex Douglas Raymond James

Joey Vaid FIS

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Class of 2017

Ranaldo Allen Assembly Men

Diana Donovan Jacksonville University

Chester Aikens II City of Jacksonville

Jordan Elsbury Jacksonville Mayor’s Office

Hana Ashchi-Ferguson Ferg Creative

Elizabeth Feustel Jacksonville University

Britten Hughes Black Knight Financial Services

Tyler J. Mathews England-Thims & Miller, Inc.

Richard Naylor Jay Fund

Jordan Pope JEA

Jason Pratt Pratt Guys

Joseph W. Rogan Smith Hulsey & Busey

Matt Brockelman Southern Strategy Group

Haleigh Hutchison Political Consultant

Gracie Simendinger Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM)

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Ashley Strickland Kate Spilsbury Health Wealth Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville Simplified

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Profile for JAX Chamber

Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship Booklet 2019  

The Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship connects talented young professionals with prominent and influential Jacksonville leaders. Fellows...

Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship Booklet 2019  

The Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship connects talented young professionals with prominent and influential Jacksonville leaders. Fellows...