Jacksonville Civic Council
|Type||Non-profit political advocacy and action group|
|Purpose||To promote a fiscally responsible, economically vibrant, thriving community, which offers opportunity for all its residents.|
|Headquarters||Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.|
Jacksonville Civic Council (JCC) is a non-partisan group of prominent Jacksonville, Florida business leaders whose goal is to help resolve community issues by studying a problem, proposing one or more solutions, advocating for change, and providing resources and support. The entity is akin to a brain trust or think tank, but with influence and resources available.
The Jacksonville Non-Group was an informal organization of business leaders established in 1993, initially to support the Duval County Public School's Alliance for World Class Education, which evolved into the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. Beginning in 2008, they began discussing whether to take a more active leadership role in the community and initiate programs.
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce took a trip to Kansas City, Missouri in October 2009 to look at the peer city's programs for ideas and innovations that could be utilized in Jacksonville. They saw that Kansas City had used a strong public/private partnership, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, to implement serious changes that revitalized their city. Lynn Pappas, who was Non-Group's chairwoman, realized that the members of the Non-Group could perform that same function in Jacksonville. After returning, she shared what she had seen, and at their December meeting, the Non-Group voted to disband and form the Jacksonville Civic Council as a more formal and public group.
The JCC was incorporated on May 17, 2000 with Hugh Greene, John Delaney, Lynn Pappas, Pete Rummell and Steven Halverson listed as officers, but was inactive until December 2009. The JCC is a 501(c)(6) entity which is a non-profit, tax exempt group like a chamber of commerce. Membership requires a minimum commitment of three years with mandatory meeting attendance, and an invitation from one of the officers. The number of members was expected to total approximately 50, and includes more diversity than the Non-Group. The JCC is funded by dues based on the size of the member's business, with a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $15,000. Pete Rummell was voted chairman, and the JCC approved hiring an Executive Director; Susie Wiles served as interim E.D. during the search. Wiles, a partner at IF Marketing & Advertising, also provided administrative support for the JCC's formation.
To determine what Jacksonville residents viewed as the most critical issues, the opinion research firm American Viewpoint was hired to design a poll and conduct a six-week study in March 2010. Five issues were identified:
- balanced budget/fiscal responsibility
- more jobs
- better public schools
- public safety/crime
- Jaguars staying in Jacksonville
Don Shea was hired as Executive Director for the JCC in July and assumed the position in September 2010. Shea was Director of the Economic Development Authority in Shreveport, Louisiana. He brings over three decades of relevant experience to the council. His office is in the Haskell building, which also provides administrative support. A research position will be hired or contracted for in the near future. Steve Halverson replaced Pete Rummell as JCC chairman before Shea resigned in early 2013 and returned to Louisiana. Once again, Susie Wiles served as interim director while a national search was conducted. On July 30, 2013, Jacksonville lawyer Jeanne Miller was named the new Executive Director and will assume the position on September 30. Miller previously worked in the Jacksonville office of General Counsel, the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission and most recently, Florida State College at Jacksonville. Miller reaffirmed that downtown redevelopment remains the JCC's first goal and commented, “What I’ve learned is I really love to put together deals and bring together partnerships. I’ve had a love and passion for this kind of work for a long time.”
Beth Weldon | Executive Assistant
Elizabeth Feustel | Public Policy Research Assistant
- "Jacksonville Civic Council, Inc" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- Harding, Abel: "Group disbands, launches Jacksonville Civic Council" Florida Times-Union, March 5, 2010
- Coursey, Leslie: "Jacksonville Civic Council Forms" WAWS-TV, February 18, 2010
- Brune-Mathis, Karen: "Civic Council’s Shea no stranger to city planning or city leaders" Jax Daily Record, August 5, 2010
- Davis, Ennis: "Jax Chamber Headed to Kansas City - A few Pointers" Metro Jacksonville, September 28, 2009
- "Civic Leaders Creating Vision For City" WJXT Channel 4, February 18, 2010
- Littlepage, Ron: "Formation of Jacksonville 'Civic Council' an encouraging development" Florida Times-Union, February 19, 2010
- Szakonyi, Mark: "Jacksonville Civic Council names chief" Jacksonville Business Journal, July 29, 2010
- Bauerlein, David (July 30, 2013). "Jeanne Miller named to head Jacksonville Civic Council". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 31 July 2013.