Gracie Simendinger succeeds Jill Langford Dame as the new Executive Director of Leadership Jacksonville. Dame announced her retirement in March this year after serving as CEO since 2013.
In a press release issued in June, Simendinger said, “I am deeply invested in the future success of our city. I fully believe in our ability to capitalize on the positive momentum by continuing to develop Leadership Jacksonville as a place to strengthen our community leadership. Leadership Jacksonville is an incredible catalyst for building the inclusive and vibrant Jacksonville that we can see on the horizon. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to this vision.
Prior to this appointment, Simendinger was Director of Development at the Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM). She currently holds other leadership positions, including Steering Committee Member of the Women’s Giving Alliance and Chair of the Jax Chamber Downtown Council.
“I have worked in non-profit organizations large and small, and held business-oriented and philanthropic leadership positions with well-known institutions. I take great pride in serving the Jacksonville community and have volunteer leadership experience, which has contributed to my strong network and positive reputation,” she added in the press release.
Established in 1976, Leadership Jacksonville was created “to stimulate the growth of leadership” in the Northeast Florida community. Twenty-nine members made up its first promotion the following year. Over the decades, the organization has evolved to include its four main programs: Next Generation; New Leadership Summit; Direction Jacksonville; and Jacksonville Youth Leadership.
“We are thrilled to have Gracie join the LJ team,” said Kathy Miller, chair of the board of directors of Leadership Jacksonville, in the press release. “His local development experience and enthusiasm will be essential in helping us continue to execute on our mission.”
Simendinger will step into his new role this month.