The Cultural Council Board is made up of a diverse group of community leaders who understand and champion the value and importance of MORE ART and MORE CULTURE throughout our Greater Jacksonville area.
The 2022 Slate of Officers:
Ari Jolly Chair Assistant General Counsel for GuideWell Mutual Holding Corp.
Ari Jolly is a Senior Assistant General Counsel at Florida Blue and provides corporate development as well as board governance support related to the various Florida Blue subsidiary and joint venture companies. Prior to joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida in 1993, Jolly was an officer in the United States Navy from 1983 - 1990 and the recipient of a Navy Achievement Medal (1987). Jolly is a member of the Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association, served as the Chairman of the Board of the Greater Jacksonville Area USO, serves on the Fleet Landing Board and previously served as the Chairman of the Veterans Network at Florida Blue, where she spoke on the topics of women veterans and the multicultural US Armed Forces. In addition, Jolly is the corporate secretary to the Boards of Florida Health Care Plan, Inc., Navigy Holdings, Inc., GuideWell-Sanitas, LLC, Florida Blue Medicine, Inc., GuideWell Core Solutions, Inc., and GuideWell, Inc. and has supported several Florida Blue conferences on the topic of board governance best practices. Jolly graduated from Jacksonville University and the Florida State University College of Law. She is also an honors graduate from the Naval Legal Justice School, Newport, Rhode Island. In addition to serving on the board of the Cultural Council, Ari was also appointed by the governor to serve as the Chair of the Board at JTA.
Lisa V. Johnson Vice Chair Chief Technology Officer with IBM
Lisa Johnson is a seasoned Chief Technology Officer for one of the world’s premier technology services company, IBM. Currently, she manages a global client, the largest independent systems integrator in the world, and operates across 6 continents. During her 25+-year tenure at IBM, Lisa has been recognized with many corporate awards for outstanding sales leadership, and has been recognized in the industry for some of her innovative efforts with clients around transformation and modernization. Learn more about Lisa V. Johnson.
David Faliszek, Secretary Senior vice president/national contracts and lender strategy counsel for Fidelity National Financial
David Faliszek is in his third year on the CSGP Committee and also serves as a Board member for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. He oversees National Contracts and Lender Strategy Counsel at Fidelity National Financial. David enjoys visiting arts organizations throughout Jacksonville and seeing the new and exciting things that artists are doing. He even took a beginner’s glassblowing class at Jacksonville University in the spring of 2020. David attended the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate degree and the University of Southern California for his Doctor of Law.
Karen Feagins Vice president, client and community relations director for PNC Bank’s PortCities Market
Karen Feagins is Vice President, Client and Community Relations Director for PNC Bank’s Port Cities market of Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing PNC’s strategic brand alignment and philanthropic initiatives. Before joining PNC in March of 2018, Karen served as the chief operating officer of WJCT Public Media. She began her career as a television news reporter and joined WJCT in 2005 as the host of 89.9 FM’s Morning Edition. Over 13 years with the company, sheserved in a variety of roles in radio, television and executive management. Karen is active in the community, serving as a board member for the Early Learning Coalition of Duval, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, and WJCT Public Media. She is a 2016 alumna of Leadership Jacksonville and was named one of the 2019 “Women of Influence” by the Jacksonville Business Journal. She holds a degree in broadcast journalism from The University of Missouri and has two daughters.
Chris Lazzara Founder of MountainStar Capital
Christopher M. Lazzara is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MountainStar Capital, headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Mr. Lazzara is skilled in finance, operations, and management. He leads the firm’s investment committee, directs investment strategy, and oversees all major initiatives for MountainStar Capital and its affiliated companies. Although its holdings include diversified positions in financial markets, the firm’s focus is in active and passive direct investment, real estate, health and joint venture opportunities. The firm’s flexible decision making process, team culture and due diligence processes are the central components of its success. Mr. Lazzara is also the Co-founder of the Georgia School of Orthodontics, the nation’s largest Orthodontic Residency Program. The Program has gained national acclaim for its advanced facilities, quality care and service to both the military and underserved communities. He serves as the Chair of Finance on the Executive Committee of GSO’s Board of Trustees and leverages MountainStar’s Health Division to oversee administration of the Program. Prior to founding MountainStar Capital in 2013, Mr. Lazzara served as Senior Managing Partner of Ponte Vedra Management Group (PVMG), an asset management group with diverse real estate, securities, and corporate holdings. Mr. Lazzara is an active member of the community serving on the executive committees of several boards. He is on the Board of Trustee’s Executive Committee for the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation as well as the University of North Florida’s Student Affairs Community Council. Mr. Lazzara also directs all operations of the Lazzara Family Foundation, which has provided grants to worthy organizations since 1997. Mr. Lazzara co-chaired the 2016 Cowford Ball benefitting the American Cancer Society, which raised more $650,000 for the fight against cancer. In 2017, Mr. Lazzara was honored with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Robert Arleigh White Award for Art Advocacy. He currently serves as board member for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. He was recognized as one of the six individuals who demonstrated the highest dedication to arts and culture in the Jacksonville community. Mr. Lazzara is also a member of YPO Jacksonville, the premiere leadership organization of chief executives around the world. Additionally, Mr. Lazzara was named as a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Jacksonville Business Journal. The Jacksonville Business Journal ranks top young professionals in North Florida annually. Mr. Lazzara is a graduate of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University where he received the Presidential Award for Service. He has numerous certificates from the Wharton’s School’s Center for Executive Education and is a graduate of the Political Leadership Institute of Jacksonville.
Kirsten Doolittle Founder and managing shareholder, Aequitas Counsel
Kirsten graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Minor in Education. After graduation, she worked for the New York County District Attorney’s Office assisting trial attorneys in the Special Prosecutions Bureau. In 2000, Ms. Doolittle graduated from the University of Southern California Law School, where she served on the Law Review and worked as an extern to the Honorable George King, District Court Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. In 2005, Kirsten began working for the Jacksonville, Florida law firm of Henrichsen Siegel, PLLC, where she continued her employment practice. At Henrichsen Siegel, she represented both employers and individual employees. In her representation of individuals, she litigated several cases in the federal courts involving wrongful termination, race, gender, and disability discrimination, and retaliation, and negotiated severance agreements and employment contracts on behalf of executives. Among her many career accomplishments, Kristen has represented labor unions in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, in the federal courts, and before various Senate and House Committees. In the Spring of 2007, she started The Law Office of Kirsten Doolittle, P.A. Kirsten list of honors and awards includes:
Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating
Florida Trend Legal Elite, Up and Comers 2010 and 2012
Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2014
City of Jacksonville’s Retirement Reform Task Force
The American Registry North American Top Attorney
Avvo Rating of “Excellent”
Kathrine Hardwick Vice President of Marketing and Research Downtown Vision
Katherine Hardwick is the vice president of marketing and research for Downtown Vision (DVI), Downtown Jacksonville's Business Improvement District. With 17 years of experience, she oversees marketing and research efforts to promote Downtown as Jacksonville’s unique and authentic epicenter for business, history, culture, education and entertainment. Prior to joining Downtown Vision, she worked for Burdette Ketchum advertising agency managing accounts in real estate, healthcare, legal, education and nonprofit. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of North Florida and graduated with top honors. In addition to serving on the board of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, she serves on committees for JASMYN, Leadership Jacksonville and ULI North Florida. She is a member of the International Downtown Association and TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Bowl’d Ladies. Katherine was named a Jacksonville Business Journal’s Woman of Influence in 2022. She enjoys traveling, visiting our National Parks and is near her goal of joining the 50 States Club. Leadership: Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2020 ULI North Florida Center for Leadership, Class of 2019 International Downtown Association Emerging Leaders Fellowship, Class of 2018
Jeff Strohecker Owner : Jeff Strohecker Photography
Jeff Strohecker is an artist and photographer with over twenty years experience creating imagery seen in advertising and magazines nationwide. A Jacksonville native Jeff received his BA in Photography from UNF in 1999. His early career focused on exhibiting while training under several top photographers. Jeff is known for his work as a fashion, beauty and celebrity photographer as well as his more recent studio work creating commercial product imagery. Since returning to Jacksonville in 2014 Jeff has been a regular image contributor to our regional health industry. Proudly producing images for several pediatric cancer relief efforts including The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. Outside of his commercial work Jeff enjoys creating a variety of Fine Art imagery including surreal landscapes, musicians and anything with a motor.
Dr. Jennifer Brown Executive Director/CEO KIPP, Jacksonville Schools
Matt Swanson Vice President of Finance and Business Operations, Jacksonville University Treasurer
Dr. Matt Swanson is a seasoned business and finance leader. His contributions and experience span between public, private, and non-profit organizations. Currently, Matt serves as the Controller for Bravado Health. Prior to Bravado Health, Matt was the Vice President of Finance and Business Operations for Jacksonville University. Matt arrived in Jacksonville by way of New Orleans, LA where he served as Chief Financial Officer for Fletcher Technical Community College. As an industry thought-leader, Matt frequently presents on continuously aligning resources (people, finances, and assets) to scale/grow, meet the changing needs of stakeholders, and achieve strategic priorities. Matt enjoys supporting his community and currently serves as an appointee of Mayor Curry to the Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority. Previously, he served on the Jacksonville Board of Library Trustees. He has also served as the Chair of the Tri-County Youth Services Bureau Board of Directors and as a volunteer for non-profit and professional organizations. Matt holds a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), an MBA, and an undergraduate degree in Business. Originally from Annapolis, MD, Matt lives in Riverside with his wife and favorite artist, Emily. He is thrilled to serve on the Board of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville where he can apply his love of people, passion for the arts, and belief that creativity is essential to quality of life and vibrant communities.
Craig Shoup Executive Director, Jacksonville Bar Association
Craig Shoup was named Executive Director of the Jacksonville Bar Association in February 2019. In this role he oversees the day-to-day operations of the approximately 2000-member organization. Prior to being named Executive Director he was the Chief of Staff for the Jacksonville Bar Association from December 2017 to February 2019. In this position he worked closely with the Executive Director to handle day to day operations and special projects. Prior to joining the Jacksonville Bar Association, he served in the administration of the 4th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s office for 9 years and was a Special Assistant to the Duval County Clerk of the Circuit and County Court for 2 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. He is a member of the National Association of Bar Executives, the Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee where he is a regular speaker at their annual conference. His community involvement includes the Board of Directors for the DePaul School of Northeast Florida, City of Jacksonville Southeast Citizen Planning Advisory Committee, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, and the Zoe Gaudet Endowed Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of Jacksonville.
Ryan Ali Director of Community Relations and Philanthropy at Ackerman Cancer Center
Laura Schepis Chief External Affairs Officer, JEA
Laura Marshall Schepis is JEA’s Chief External Affairs Officer. She leads teams responsible for government relations, media relations, communications and environmental services.
For over two decades, Ms. Schepis has focused on improving outcomes for energy utilities and the customers and communities they serve. In leadership positions at the American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, she directed advocacy, political, and communications campaigns on issues including energy efficiency, renewable resources, national security, telecommunications and climate change.
Ms. Schepis received her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Georgia and practiced civil and criminal law in Georgia before beginning her government relations career in 2000. She is a long-time board member and general counsel for the National Energy Resources Organization and a participant in Leadership Jacksonville’s Class of 2023. Ms. Schepis and her family live in Jacksonville, Florida.
Michael Freed Attorney- Shareholder, Gunster
Mike is a trial lawyer with a wealth of experience in the courtroom and arbitrations, administrative proceedings and other forms of dispute resolution. As an attorney, board certified in business litigation, his practice spans a wide range of substantive legal disciplines and specialized industries including corporate governance, education, health care, hospitality, labor and employment, construction, logistics, transportation and receiverships. Mike serves as counsel for a variety of companies, with regular involvement in personnel matters, labor relations, contract negotiations, insurance, risk analysis and strategic planning. He has appeared on national and local television and radio programs including The Today Show, 20/20, Good Morning America and National Public Radio. Mike is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education presentations on various substantive legal topics and professional ethics. He also has been published, both inside and outside of the legal community, regarding a variety of subjects. Mike actively engages at the local, state and national levels with significant causes and organizations. Among other causes, he is active in speaking out in support of legal aid for the indigent, and collaboration within the non-profit community. He is the founder of FreedToRun, a marathon series that raises money to endow a program that provides legal services to indigent pediatric patients, and otherwise raises money for legal aid.
Timothy Snyder Dean, Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities, Jacksonville University
Timothy Snyder is Dean of the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities at Jacksonville University. Prior to coming to Jacksonville in 2010, Dr. Snyder held teaching and conducting positions at Connecticut College, Metropolitan State College of Denver, University of Colorado and Yale University. He formerly served as Director of Choral Activities and Chair of the Division of Music at JU, and was twice honored with the Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching. Choruses under his direction have toured throughout the United States, to the People's Republic of China and on eight European concert tours. A passionate advocate for arts education and believer in the power of the arts to transform communities for the better, he serves on the Boards of Directors of Jacksonville’s Cathedral Arts Project and the Jacksonville Symphony. Under his leadership as Artistic Director of the Boulder Chorale in Colorado from 2001-2010, the organization grew from a single community chorus to become one of the leading choral arts umbrella non-profits in the region, serving over 200 singers in multiple graded ensembles for children and adults. He established the Yale/New Haven High Schools Choral Festival in 2003, was instrumental in the founding of the Boulder Children’s Chorale in 2009 and was honored with the Boulder County Pacesetter Award in recognition of significant contributions to the arts in the community. Dr. Snyder’s research on choral literature and performance practice has been presented to national and regional gatherings of the American Choral Directors Association, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Boulder Bach Festival, College Music Society and published in the Choral Journal. Active as a guest conductor, clinician and composer of choral music, his works are published by Hinshaw Music, Shawnee Press, Lawson-Gould and Santa Barbara Music. He holds degrees from Colorado State University (B.Mus.Ed.), Yale University (M.M.) and the University of Colorado (D.M.A.)
LeAnna Cumber Jacksonville Councilwoman for District 4
LeAnna first learned the importance of public service in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she grew up. As a junior and high school student she became involved in addressing the issues of domestic violence, something she continues to be passionate about today.
LeAnna received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Government from the University of Texas at Austin. Following her graduation, LeAnna moved to Nacogdoches, Texas where she worked as a House Manager at the local battered women’s shelter before obtaining a position as a 3rd grade bilingual teacher. LeAnna taught school in this region of rural east Texas for two years before moving to Los Angeles to continue her teaching career. In Los Angeles, LeAnna taught 5th grade bilingual students. In 2001, she graduated from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. While in law school she helped create a domestic violence clinic. LeAnna also represented Federal and State prison inmates in civil actions such as child custody and parole hearings.
In 2002, LeAnna moved to Washington D.C. where she began a career in transportation and homeland security. LeAnna worked in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of Transportation and at Baker Botts, LLP. Since 2010 LeAnna has been a consultant representing states, cities, seaports and railroads on public financing of surface transportation capital projects. As a consultant, LeAnna is a small business owner who understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs. Since moving to Jacksonville, LeAnna and her husband, Husein, have been deeply involved in the community. LeAnna is a Past President of the San Marco Preservation Society, where she brought together the community to support smart growth initiatives. LeAnna served as a mayoral appointee to the Board of the Kids Hope Alliance (formerly the Jacksonville Children’s Commission) serving two terms, most recently as co-Chair and Finance Chair. She also served as a Board Member of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Theatre Jacksonville, the Up & Cummers at the Cummer Museum, and co-chaired the 2017 Cummer Ball. LeAnna is a proud member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2017. LeAnna is currently licensed to practice law in California and Washington D.C.
She resides in San Marco with Husein, their two children (Jake and Penelope) and black lab (Scout).
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
40 East Adams Street, Suite 140 Jacksonville, Fl 32202
Operating Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is sponsored in part by the City of Jacksonville and by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.