Press & News

Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Celebrates Community Coaches Program

Jacksonville, Florida: In 2002 the face of volunteerism was radically changed when the Jessie Ball DuPont Community Building Fund established a coaching and consulting practice to serve Northeast Florida nonprofit organizations. The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida was tapped by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in 2005 to lead and manage the program.

The program, known today as the Community Coaches Program, engages a range of professionals with expertise in areas such as board development, strategic planning, communications, financial and business planning, development and fundraising. Community Coaches pass a rigorous selection process, commit to a minimum of 80 volunteer hours, and enter a ten month training, nonprofit organization training program. Nonprofit organization leaders contact the Nonprofit Center for a Community Coach to be paired with a coach for a specific project.

With the backdrop of Northeast Florida from the 35th floor of the River Club, the Nonprofit Center hosted a graduation celebration for Class V, a group of 20 successful and seasoned executives and consultants from across the region with experience in for profit and nonprofit business sectors. Members from Class 1-IV also attended to welcome their new colleagues.

“The Community Coach Program is the volunteer match program for the C-Suite,” remarked Rena Coughlin, Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida CEO. “Community Coaches are men and women who possess specific business and nonprofit expertise and have the ability to make an immediate connection with an organization’s executive director. As a team they solve a problem or identify how to take advantage of a new opportunity, ultimately benefiting those the organization serves. Today we celebrate not just Class V, but the achievements of all our 71 Community Coaches who have, to date, completed 169 assignments and devoted almost 5,400 volunteer hours.”

Ms. Coughlin introduced the guest speaker, Juan Sepúlveda, who helped develop the coaches’ program curriculum and currently is PBS Senior Vice President of Station Services, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Sepúlveda shared stories of his days in the White House and the campaign trail and how what he learned through those experiences have relevance to building a vibrant local nonprofit sector. “It all comes down to relationships,” Mr. Sepúlveda explained. “The Community Coaches Program is a successful example community building through strong The Coach and their partner build a trust that lends itself to better problem solving and innovation.”

Mr. Sepúlveda praised the Northeast Florida nonprofit sector as a leader in the country with programs and ideas, such as the Community Coach Program, adding “the rest of the country is looking to Jacksonville now as the innovator of new, big ideas.”


About the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida

Founded in 2002, the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida is a 501(c)(3) organization that connects, strengthens, and advocates for nonprofits. For more information, visit or The Nonprofit Center is also the leader of the collective sector awareness campaign, Local Focus. Lasting Impact. ™.

About Community Coaches

The coaching and consulting practice engages a range of professionals with expertise in areas such as board development, strategic planning, communications, financial and business planning, development and fundraising. Local nonprofit organizations may ask the Nonprofit Center for assistance and are carefully matched with a Community Coach with the expertise to provide the services the nonprofit organization requires.

About Juan Sepúlveda

As PBS’ Senior Vice President, Station Services, Juan Sepúlveda represents the perspective of PBS’ independent member stations in the ongoing management and strategic direction of PBS to ensure that PBS programs, products and services support each station’s connection to its community and audience. He also works closely with stations, the PBS Board of Directors, station affinity groups and other national public media organizations to focus on issues of sustainability.

Mr. Sepúlveda joined PBS in January 2014 from the Democratic National Committee where he was Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs.

Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics where he designed and led the first-ever Hispanic Policy Conference along with a series of Hispanic Community Action Summits across the country that brought together representatives of offices and federal agencies with Latino community leaders to build relationships and partnerships to tackle key community issues. His national strategy consulting organization, The Common Enterprise, which grew out of a national Rockefeller Foundation initiative, took him to over 35 states where he worked with communities in urban and rural settings as varied as the Appalachian region in the Southeast and numerous towns in the Deep South to American Indian tribes and Urban Indian communities in the Northwest and Midwest to rapidly growing cities on both coasts and the Southwest and many more places in between.

From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Sepúlveda was the host of “Conversations” on PBS member station KLRN, where he also designed and led KLRN’s community advisory board.

Mr. Sepúlveda is the third Latino ever awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Government and also holds a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy & Economics from Oxford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.