Debbie Buckland is market president for Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) in Jacksonville. Prior to this position, she was executive vice president and commercial banking manager for SunTrust in Northeast Florida and Jacksonville City President. Buckland and her family moved to Jacksonville in the late '90s, when she joined the SunTrust Commercial Banking Group in North Florida. She serves on the Foundation Board for River Garden, is past chair for the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center and a trustee of JAX Chamber. She is a past board chair of the American Cancer Society Duval Board and served on the Florida Division Board. She is a member of Wolfson Children’s Hospital Women’s Board, Jacksonville Women’s Network and the Women’s Giving Alliance. She was named a 2006 Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal, 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. She is a 1979 graduate of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va., with a B.A. in business & economics and philosophy.
Bill Adams is a shareholder who joined Gunster in 2007 and is chair of the Jacksonville office. Adams' practice area is commercial litigation. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court. In 2006, he was named by Florida Trend as an “Up and Coming Legal Elite,” and Florida Super Lawyers named him a rising star in 2009. Adams earned his B.A. and J.D., magna cum laude, from Southern Methodist University. He currently also serves on the board of Episcopal Children’s Services, having served as president from 2010-2012.
First Baptist Church
John Blount is senior executive pastor at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. A life-long resident of Jacksonville, Blount has been a member of First Baptist since 1970. The son of a builder, Blount graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in building construction. He returned to Jacksonville to begin a 20-year career track that included working in his family’s construction business, commercial property development, and finally the establishment of his own business, which he led for eight years. During these years, Blount served as a Bible teacher, deacon, vice-chairman of deacons and Finance Committee member at First Baptist. He was chairman of the Building Committee during the construction of several projects at the church, including the Children's Building and Welcome Center. In 2000, Blount followed God's call to close his business and join First Baptist staff as facilities administrator. In 2005, he was selected to serve as executive pastor of business administration, and in 2011, was appointed senior executive pastor. Blount married his high school sweetheart, Ann. They have a son and a daughter.
Stephen Crosby currently serves as president of CSX Real Estate Property, Inc. During his more than 25 year tenure with CSX, Crosby has served as vice president of development, real estate operations and corridor development, as well as numerous other managerial positions before assuming the title of president in 2000. He received his B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia and University of Florida, respectively. Crosby currently serves on the Urban Land Institute – North Florida Advisory Board, is past national chairman of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), and is a past member of the advisory board of the University of Virginia School of Architecture.
Jan Hanak has more than 17 years of experience in advertising, design and communications. Jan leads Regency Centers national marketing, communications and market research team. Prior to Regency, Jan served at Director of Design and Interactive for GOLD, a full-service advertising agency in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. During his career, Jan has worked in various creative capacities for organizations including MCI, Chemence and Citi. His focus is a design-minded view towards marketing and communications with a keen eye towards emerging marketing technologies and demographic trends. Jan earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Florida and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Jan also volunteers his time with YMCA's Y Reads Program, HabiJax and other local charities.
Cushman & Wakefield of Florida
Traci Jenks specializes in leasing and sales of office and flex properties in the Jacksonville market and represents tenants and owners of real estate. Jenks joined Cushman and Wakefield in July 2013 after 10 years with Trammell Crow Company and then CBRE. Recently, she completed the largest lease transaction in Jacksonville between Prudential and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, leasing 217,000 sq. ft. at 701 San Marco. From 2000 to 2003, Jenks worked in economic development at what is now JaxUSA Partnership and was part of the team that enticed Fidelity National Financial and other large corporations to move their headquarters to Jacksonville. Jenks started her career in commercial real estate in 1992 after graduating with a bachelors of business administration in real estate from the University of Georgia. She worked for Barnett Banks, Inc. as an asset manager responsible for the disposition of bank-owned properties. When NationsBank merged with Barnett Bank, she worked for Lincoln Property Company and was involved in the largest sale of bank-owned properties at that time, including the sale of what is now the “Bank of America Tower.”
MICHAEL A. JENNINGS
As vice president, government affairs of the nine-state Southeast region of Prudential's External Affairs, Jennings is responsible for Prudential's legislative and regulatory affairs activities in those states. A strong believer in service to his community, industry and state, Jennings stays engaged. His past and current involvement includes: immediate past chair and board member, Downtown Vision, Inc.; past chair and current board member, Associated Industries of Florida; past chair and current Executive Committee and board member, Florida TaxWatch; past chair and current Executive Committee and board member, Florida Insurance Council; and former chair, Communities in Schools of Florida. Jennings is chair and board member of the Florida Life and Health Guaranty Association; treasurer and board member of the Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Corporation of Maryland; vice chair and board member of the Kentucky Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association; and board member of the Tennessee Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association. He is also a member of the Government Affairs Council of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Jennings to serve as a member of the Task Force on Privacy and Technology created by the 2000 Florida Legislature. He is a graduate of Leadership Florida and Leadership Jacksonville. Jennings holds a bachelor of arts degree from Florida State University and a juris doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law, and is a member of The Florida Bar. He also served in the U.S. Navy as a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
Vince McCormack, a Jacksonville native, is the president and co-owner of Perdue Office Interiors. McCormack has been with the company since 1986. In 2001, after years in sales and sales management, McCormack took over as president. In 2007, he and an investment partner purchased the company. McCormack is active in the business community, having served on the Jacksonville Regional Chamber Board of Governors and currently serving on the Board of Directors. He is also a trustee with the Chamber and serves on the advisory council for Jax USA Partnership, chair elect for the Gator Bowl Association, and several nonprofit boards including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and the Florida Theatre. In 2009, Mr. McCormack moved his company from the Baymeadows area back Downtown, where the company was founded in 1916. Mr. McCormack was a member of the committee that worked on NAIOP's Downtown position paper and was also a member of the Chamber's 2010 Downtown Revitalization Committee. Most recently, McCormack partnered with CoWork Jax, located above Perdue, to make the initiative a reality Downtown.
Dorothy Merrick moved to Jacksonville from Atlanta with her husband in 2006. They enjoy living Downtown because of their riverfront location, diverse lifestyle, proximity to work and walking distance to a variety of restaurants, sports and entertainment venues. She has been a licensed broker since 1977 and is now an associate broker with Warren & Co. Commercial Properties, holding an active Florida and Georgia broker’s license. As a member of the Downtown Jacksonville Chamber, Urban Core CPAC, president of The Plaza Condominiums Association and advocate for improvement of our city, she understands the success of mixed-use planning and living.
WILLIAM R. PRESCOTT
Heritage Capital Group
Bill Prescott is a principal with Heritage Capital Group, a leading investment banking firm and advisory firm for mergers and acquisitions, sales and divestitures, and strategic consulting on enhanced business performance. Prior to joining Heritage Capital Group, Prescott was the CFO and SVP of Stadium Operations for the Jacksonville Jaguars since the inception of the franchise in 1993. A native of the Bronx, N.Y., Prescott is a graduate of Pace University with a degree in accounting and a master's degree in taxation. He is a member of the executive board and chair of Visit Jacksonville, a member of the Executive Committee of Downtown Vision, Inc., a member of the Advisory Board of One Spark and treasurer of Jacksonville’s Downtown Marketing Collaborative. Prescott was born May 7, 1956. He has two sons, Christopher and Michael, and a step-daughter Nikki. He and his wife, Kim, live in Ponte Vedra Beach.
The Connect Agency
John Ream is the co-founder and president of The Connect Agency. Ream is an ideas-lead marketing strategist with more than 15 years of experience as a corporate adviser to emerging companies with a proven track record for leading national companies and brands. Ream has honed his skill of identifying targets and spearheading successful campaigns on both the agency and client sides in many different industries, eventually specializing in healthcare, manufacturing/distribution and CPG. In 2009, he opened his own marketing consultancy firm located Downtown, The Connect Agency, which has seen rapid growth throughout the state of Florida, New York and California. Recently, Ream was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the top 40 professionals under the age of 40 to watch. Ream has a unique perspective on Downtown from his experience as a one-time resident, landlord and now Downtown business and property owner. His civic involvement includes the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The First Tee of North Florida, First Coast Worksite Wellness Council and the Episcopal High School Alumni Advisory Board.
Numa Saisselin became president of the Florida Theatre on Sept. 10, 2012. He is only the second president in the theatre’s 30-year history as a nonprofit arts organization. Saisselin has built an award-winning career directing nonprofit performing arts centers, especially historic theaters, and developed a reputation for leading organizations from uncertain circumstances to annual profitability. Most recently, from 2002 to 2012, he was the CEO of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J. During these 10 years, the organization grew from a $1.5 million a year operation with an ongoing annual deficit into an $8.5 million a year organization that enjoyed nine years of cash surpluses. He is a graduate of the Fredonia School of Music, received his MBA from the Adelphi University School of Business and Banking, and a post-graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the Springfield College School of Human Services, which he attended on a full and unsolicited scholarship from the Texaco Foundation. He has been a board member of the League of Historic American Theatres, president of the Consortium of Eastern Regional Theatres, and a panelist for numerous foundations and grant makers.
Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
Tony Allegretti is the executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville champions the appreciation, relevance, and expression of art and culture. Previous to this position, Allegretti was director
of Downtown engagement for JAX Chamber. He has advocated for business
and growth Downtown and the urban core for more than a decade. In 2004, Allegretti won the individual award from the Cultural Council of
Greater Jacksonville for his work establishing the First Wednesday Art
Walk with Downtown Vision. He was the founding director of the Riverside
Arts Market and created Community First Saturdays Downtown while at JAX
Chamber. He is a stakeholder and entrepreneur as well with his
partnerships that own Burrito Gallery and Uptown Market. Allegretti
serves on the board of the Downtown Investment Authority, Jacksonville
Area Legal Aid, the Downtown Marketing Collaborative and Westside Soccer
NATHANIEL P. FORD SR.
Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Ford is a nationally-recognized senior executive with a distinguished career in the transportation industry that spans three decades. He has spent 14 combined years as CEO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Ford has worked in all facets of transportation, starting his career as a train conductor for New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Under his leadership, the JTA has received two prestigious awards, the 2016 APTA Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award and the 2016 Florida Public Transportation Association System of the Year Award.
City Council Member, District 13
Bill Gulliford has been a resident of Jacksonville and the Beaches community since 1954. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School and then the University of Florida. After military service, he returned to Jacksonville and joined his father's construction business, Pilot Equipment Company. He acquired the business from his father and successfully grew it until 1996 when he sold the company. Since then he has started two other businesses involved in the sale of construction equipment and currently is a partner in Major Machinery & Equipment LLC, a company involved in exporting construction equipment. In 1988, Bill was elected mayor of Atlantic Beach and served until 1993. Bill was elected to the Jacksonville City Council in 2011, to represent District 13, which includes the beaches and the southeastern section of Duval County.
ASST. CHIEF JACKSON SHORT
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
Assistant Chief Jackson Short is the Patrol Zone Commander for the downtown district. Jackson has served for nineteen years with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in a wide variety of positions. Jackson is a lifelong resident of Jacksonville who earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Florida and his master's degree from the American Military University.
CHIEF DONALD TUTEN
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
Chief Donald “Don” Tuten has served in law enforcement for the past 25 years, 22 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Tuten currently serves as the zone commander for the Downtown area (Zone 1). He has served in numerous areas of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, most recently as the assistant chief within the Homeland Security Division, where he commanded all of the specialized units (Bomb, SWAT, Dive, Negotiators, Air Unit and Canine) and continues serve as a chairperson on the Region 3 Regional Domestic Security Task Force. Prior to that assignment, Tuten was the commanding officer of the Intelligence unit, where he also served on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force; Zone 1 administrative lieutenant; Zone 4 watch commander; Sergeant of the Field Training Unit and Emergency Preparedness; sergeant and officer at the Police Academy; detective in Burglary, Auto Theft, Juvenile Intervention Unit; and Zone 1officer. During his tenure with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Tuten earned a bachelor’s of science in government and religion and a master of arts in executive leadership, both from Liberty University.
Downtown Investment Authority
Aundra Wallace is the executive
director of the City of Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority.
He has served in this capacity since August 2013. Prior to coming to
Jacksonville, Wallace spent three years as executive director of the
Detroit Land Bank Authority, with previous experience as the Senior
Vice President for Commercial Real Estate at the North Carolina
Community Development Initiative, as well as holding several positions
managing community, economic and housing development initiatives more
than 12 years with Miami-Dade County Government. Wallace holds a
masters of public administration from Clark Atlanta University and a
bachelor of science in political science from Georgia Southern
University. He is a Certified Housing Development Finance Professional
and a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional.