CEO Transition News & Updates

A letter from Lisa V. Johnson,

Dear Nonprofit Center Members and Colleagues,

Today we’re happy to announce that after a national search for our next leader, the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida’s Board of Directors has unanimously selected  Dawn Lockhart, former Director of Strategic Partnerships for the City of Jacksonville and former CEO of the nonprofit Family Foundations of Northeast Florida, to be our next CEO. Dawn will officially join the team on January 2, 2024, but will begin working with the team on December 18, 2023, to ensure a smooth transition.

The Nonprofit Center’s Transition Committee and the Board of Directors decided that Dawn’s strategic mindset, passion for our mission, and extensive reach into the local nonprofit sector made her the right person to lead our organization toward greater impact and success.

We were impressed with her extensive experience in leading, advocating for, and serving the nonprofit sector for thirty years. She is a long-time resident of the First Coast and has a true passion for the community she serves.

“I am so honored to have been selected to serve as the future CEO of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida,” Dawn said. “As a longtime member and partner of the Nonprofit Center, I am proud to follow in the footsteps of such an amazing legacy of leadership and am excited to work alongside the Board, staff, and members to achieve our important vision and mission. Continuing to champion and advance the high performance of the nonprofit sector, through advocacy, innovation, strategic partnerships, and results, is the most important work ahead to ensure all communities, neighborhoods, families, and individuals can thrive.  I can’t wait to get started!”

Join us in welcoming Dawn as the new leader of the team.


Lisa. V. Johnson

Board Chair

A letter from Rena Coughlin,

Dear valued colleagues and friends,

I have some news I want to personally share with you.  I recently informed the Board of the Nonprofit Center that I plan to retire in December 2023.

Because of our critical work strengthening the local sector, the Nonprofit Center Board will carry out a transition process that provides you with confidence in its integrity and outcome. Our current Board Chair Lisa V. Johnson and former Board Chair John Hirabayashi will co-chair the Leadership Transition Committee overseeing the selection of our next CEO. They are already at work and the Nonprofit Center will keep you informed of next steps and progress, and wwelcome your input and support from you throughout this transition.

In the 18 years as CEO of the Nonprofit Center, we have built an organization that now has 350 nonprofit members and provide advocacy and resources to the large, diverse, and powerful nonprofit community in Northeast Florida. I’m extremely proud of the Nonprofit Center’s accomplishments over the past two decades, but prouder still of the work we do together each day in the nonprofit sector.

The founders of the Nonprofit Center explicitly drew a connection between a healthy independent sector and a healthy civic society. The Nonprofit Center has never wavered on our mission to work solely to strengthen the local sector and I’m proud of the work we’ve done and the dedication we have to our community.  I’m looking forward to the months ahead as the Nonprofit Center stays focused on our mission to strengthen, connect and advocate for the local nonprofit community.  Please let me know if you have any questions (or advice!).  Thank you for your continued support of the Nonprofit Center.

All my best,

Rena Coughlin

Meet the Transition Committee

  • Lisa V. Johnson, Current Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Board Chair, Represents the private sector.
  • John Hirabayashi, Former Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Board Chair, Foundation Member.
  • Tim Conner, Current Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Board Member & Immediate Past Board Chair, Attorney
  • Velma Monteiro Tribble, Former Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Board Chair, Philanthropist
  • Maria Hane, Former Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Board member, Former CEO of a member organization.
  • Peter Racine, Funder of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida and Give & Go program.

Upcoming Trainings

CEO Confidential Convening

Aug 15, 2024 9:00AM—10:00AM

The Jessie, Room 318, 40 E Adams Street Jacksonville, FL 32202

Clay County CEO Confidential

Aug 28, 2024 9:00AM—10:00AM

Virtual. You will receive additional instructions once you complete your registration.

CEO Confidential Convening

Sep 19, 2024 9:00AM—10:00AM

The Jessie, Room 318, 40 E. Adams Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

CEO Confidential Convening

Oct 17, 2024 9:00AM—10:00AM

The Jessie, Room 202, 40 E. Adams Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Resources for CEO Transitions

Is your organization going through a leadership transition? Below you can access several templates that may be able to help your organization.