Leadership Jacksonville names Gracie Simendinger CEO

She will take over the 45-year-old community development organization in August.

Leadership Jacksonville named Gracie Simendinger as CEO.
Leadership Jacksonville named Gracie Simendinger as CEO.
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Leadership Jacksonville announced June 27 it named Gracie Simendinger as CEO, succeeding Jill Langford Dame.

Currently director of development at the Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, Simendinger will take over the position in August.

Leadership Jacksonville announced March 24 that Dame, the organization’s CEO since 2013, is retiring at the end of August.

“I am deeply invested in the future success of our city. I believe fully in our ability to capitalize on the positive momentum by continuing to develop Leadership Jacksonville as a venue for strengthening our community leadership,” Simendinger said in a news release.

Simendinger is president of the JAX Chamber Downtown Council and an at-large member of the Women’s Giving Alliance steering committee.

She has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Florida State University with minors in Spanish and Hispanic marketing communications and a master of education from Jacksonville University. 

Leadership Jacksonville graduated its first class in 1977. It says its mission is to promote vibrant, connected communities where diverse perspectives are valued and encouraged for the greater good.