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 2021 Slate of Officers:
Jannet Walker-Ford Chair Senior Vice President & National Transit & Rail Leader for WSP USA
Walker Ford is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems, Central Michigan University with a master’s degree in business administration. She has completed significant coursework towards her doctorate in information systems from Nova Southeastern University. She serves on numerous diverse boards including as board chair of the American Public Transportation Foundation, is a board member of the American Public Transportation Association, chair of the WTS International Foundation Board and vice chair of the WTS International Board, ENO Transportation Advisory Board, a member of the Jacksonville University Board of Trustees, and is chair of the Greater Jacksonville Cultural Council Board. Learn more about Jannet Walker-Ford.
Ari Jolly Vice-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 Treasurer Senior global sales executive with IBM
Lisa Johnson is a seasoned Global Sales Executive 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.
Kemal Gasper VyStar @Work Financial Wellness Program Manager
Kemal Gasper serves as VyStar @Work Financial Wellness Program Manager, where he connects VyStar to members of the community to increase the awareness of the “people helping people” model that helps VyStar Credit Union thrive on its commitment to Northeast and Central Florida. In his role, Kemal strives to take his passion and meet it with his purpose of helping those that are unbanked, underserved, and or disenfranchised from traditional financial resources and solutions.
In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Kemal serves on The Leadership Florida Northeast Regional Leadership Council, Executive Board of NLC Tallahassee, King Soutel CRA Advisory Board Member, and is a former Chair of ImpactJAX in 2015 and Atlantic Circle’s Young Professional Affinity Group in 2019. Kemal is a JAX Chamber Hightower Fellowship graduate, member of Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2019, & United Way Stein Fellowship Class of 2018. 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 was named Top 30 Under 30 for BUZZ Media. Most recently, Kemal was selected as a member of Leadership Florida’s Connect Class X (Ten) in 2019.
Karen Feagens Vice president, client and community relations director for PNC Bank’s Port Cities 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.
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”
Sel Buyuksarac Chief of Public Affairs and Government Relationships at River City Science Academy
Sel Buyuksarac, Chief of Public Affairs & Co-Founder at River City Science Academy Sel Buyuksarac is well known and highly visible in the Jacksonville community. In 2007, he worked to co-found River City Science Academy, a high-performing public charter school in Jacksonville. Currently Sel is the Chief of Public Affairs & Government Relations at River City Science Academy. In this role he has navigated many obstacles that were blocking the establishment and growth of the school. Since the time he began in 2011, RCSA has grown from two to four campuses. Recently, he has worked to receive two new charter approvals and purchase two buildings to have six campuses total. He has helped grow enrollment from 500 to over 3,000 students. Before founding the school, Sel received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Civil Engineering. He completed his MBA with a focus in marketing in 2001. Sel is active in many community organizations. He is a graduate of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2019. He has served on the Mayor’s Asian American Advisory Board, the Read it Forward Jacksonville Coalition Board, and more. He now serves as the Vice Chair of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, Vice President of GlobalJax, and is a board member with the Jax Chamber Government Affairs Committee, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office Transparency Committee, Downtown Jacksonville Rotary Club, Jacksonville Public Education Fund’s Parents Who Lead Advisory Board, AdvancED Accreditation Committee and many more. He is known as a hard-working businessman who has devoted an extensive amount of time, energy, and resources to furthering the growth and stability of River City Science Academy and the Jacksonville community.
Adriel Rocha Community Relations Manager at Jacksonville Jaguars
Adriel is a newcomer to the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville this year and joins the Council with more than 10 years of sports industry experience with the NFL, NBA and NCAA. Adriel currently serves as the Director of the Jaguars Foundation and Community Impact. Adriel is a native of Gulfport, Mississippi, and a graduate of University of Southern Mississippi where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. He is an experienced community leader with a demonstrated history of guiding strategic outreach programs and marketing campaigns. Adriel also has proven skills in community engagement, event management, youth football development and sponsorship activation.
Sandra Hull-Richardson Retired City of Jacksonville division chief
Sandra Hull-Richardson is a retired Division Chief with the City of Jacksonville. Born in Atlanta, Sandra was reared in Jacksonville. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and she has been married to James A. Richardson, II for 30 years. Sandra Hull-Richardson is serving her fourth year on the Cultural Service Grant Program committee as well as serving as a member of the board for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
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.
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.
Ryan Ali Chief of sports and entertainment for the City of Jacksonville
Michael Boylan Jacksonville councilman for District 6
The Honorable Michael Boylan is a member of the Jacksonville City Council, serving District. He serves as the City Council liaison to the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Michael Boylan and his family moved to Jacksonville in May, 1999 when he joined WJCT Public Broadcasting as its President &CEO. During his tenure WJCT completed the federally mandated transition to digital television in 2003, not only broadcasting in high definition but increasing its number of television channels from one to five, the last of which was the 24-hour PBS Kids Channel. In 2006 WJCT introduced the first full-powered HD radio station on the First Coast and added two more HD radio services…89.9HD Arts and Relax Radio. Under his leadership WJCT forged numerous community partnerships and the development of a wealth of local programs and outreach initiatives. In 2013 Michael took the lead in forging the Digital Convergence Alliance, eleven public television stations from around the country with the goal of developing initiatives that would result in significant operational savings and the generation of new revenue opportunities for its members. The first venture was the creation a broadcast operations service, managed and operated by WJCT’s affiliate, JCT Services, that provides more than 17 million households with public television, all emanating from Jacksonville. His personal commitment of service spans the 20 years he has called Jacksonville home. He has held board leadership roles on a broad array of community organizations including Leadership Jacksonville, the North Florida Council of the Boys Scouts of America, the Jacksonville Symphony Association, Visit Jacksonville and St. Vincent’s Healthcare, to name just a few. He currently serves as the Chair of the Northeast Florida Long Term Recovery Organization (NFLTRO) leading more than 30 faith-based, non-profit, governmental agencies and businesses working together to assist families in the repair and/or replacement of their homes which were damaged during Hurricane Irma. Through the NFLTRO, the occurrence of duplicated services is reduced and the efforts of all involved agencies are amplified and leveraged so as to effectively and expediently serve these individuals and families. He is also the current Chair of the Board for Volunteers in Medicine which offers free healthcare services to the working uninsured. Michael is a graduate of John Carroll University and received his Master’s degree in Telecommunications from Kent State University. He and his wife, Susan, have been married for 42 years; have two grown children, one grandson and one granddaughter. They have called Mandarin home since arriving here in 1999 and are members of San Juan Del Rio Catholic Church where he has served as chair of its last two building campaigns.
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.