Speaker Date Topic
Kay Ehas - CEO Groundworks Jacksonville Sep 16, 2021
Groundwork Jacksonville Initiatives and Updates
Groundwork Jacksonville Initiatives and Updates

Kay Ehas joined Groundwork Jacksonville as CEO in September 2017. Since then, she has been relentless in her pursuit of achieving Jacksonville’s 100-year old vision of an “Emerald Necklace” of trails, linear parks and restored creeks that encircle the urban core.

Under Kay’s leadership Groundwork Jacksonville became the City of Jacksonville’s nonprofit partner in designing the 30-mile Emerald Trail that will connect the city’s historic urban neighborhoods to downtown, schools, parks and the St. Johns River. Construction of the first segment – the LaVilla Link - will get under way this August or September.

Additionally, Kay led the development of the plan to restore McCoys Creek to a naturally meandering channel design that will improve flooding, water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife. In partnership with the City, construction of Phase 1 has begun. 

Kay has 15 years of experience in local government working with the City Council and a constitutional office, most recently as chief administrative officer for the Duval County Property Appraiser. She has more than 11 years of private-sector human resources experience including VP of Human Resources for a financial institution.

She is also known for her community advocacy on behalf of the Riverside Avondale neighborhood, serving on the Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) board from 2004 – 2015. During her three-year presidency RAP designed and implemented the Riverside Arts Market and planted more than 1000 trees along neighborhood streets among other major accomplishments.

Kay Ehas earned a master’s degree in Communication and graduated with distinction from the University of Florida. After earning her undergraduate degree in social welfare, Kay was a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) where she worked with public housing tenant associations and a low-income senior citizens group.

To get in touch with Kay please email kay@groundworkjacksonville.org

Jim Kowalski - CEO Jacksonville Legal Aid Oct 07, 2021 12:30 PM
Insights on Legal Aid services in Jacksonville
Insights on Legal Aid services in Jacksonville

James A. Kowalski, Jr. has served as the President and CEO of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid since December 2012. 

A graduate of UC Berkeley and the University of San Francisco School of Law, Jim served as an Assistant State Attorney from 1989-1996 before moving into a civil trial practice; he has tried more than 65 civil and criminal jury trials to verdict.  

Jim was one of the first consumer lawyers in the nation to uncover the mortgage banking practice of “robo-signing”  (the Wall Street Journal blamed him for causing the housing crisis) and in December 2010, he testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary on the topic of “Foreclosed Justice: Causes and Effects of the Foreclosure Crisis.”  

Jim was named “Consumer Protection Lawyer of the Year” by the Consumer Protection Law Committee of the Florida Bar.  He is the recipient of the 2014 Haas Public Service Award from UC Berkeley and in June 2016, Jim received the Florida Bar Foundation President’s Award for Excellence.  

 In October 2018, Jim was named the “Consumer Advocate of the Year” by the National Association of Consumer Advocates. 

Learn more about Jim and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid

Greg McGarity - President & CEO Gator Bowl Sports Oct 21, 2021 12:30 PM
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl News
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl News

Greg McGarity joined Gator Bowl Sports in March 2021 following a 43 year career in college athletics which began at the University of Georgia in 1977. The University of Georgia served as the launching point of McGarity’s career where he served in multiple roles through 1992 when he left for the University of Florida. While at Florida, he served in several leadership roles and was a staple in all Florida vs Georgia operations. In 2010, McGarity returned to Athens as the Athletic Director for the Bulldogs until he announced his retirement in December 2020.

In the role of President and CEO of Gator Bowl Sports, McGarity will oversee all operations of Gator Bowl Sports including the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, JAXSPORTS Council and Gator Bowl Charities. He will continue to position the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl as a premier bowl in the country. In addition, McGarity will assist with Gator Bowl Sports strategic partners such as the City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, JAX Chamber and local corporate partners to ensure that Jacksonville remains forefront in collegiate sporting events for years to come.

Greg and his wife Sheryl recently relocated to Northeast Florida. They have one son, Alex, a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Georgia.