News Release: The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Announces Leadership Transition

Contact: Autumn Lee
Communications Director
O: 904-425-1183

The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida Announces Leadership Transition
CEO Rena Coughlin to retire at close of 2023

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 2, 2023 – The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida which connects, strengthens and advocates for the nonprofit sector in the region, announces Rena Coughlin, longtime CEO, will be retiring by the end of 2023. Rena will continue to lead the Nonprofit Center through the end of the year. The Nonprofit Center’s Board-led leadership transition committee will conduct an open national search
for a successor.

Rena has served as the organization’s CEO for nearly 18 years and is credited with building the organization to more than 350 nonprofit members, annually providing the region’s nonprofits with support through more than 150 professional development opportunities, events and programs. The Nonprofit Center has also provided more than 6,000 hours of community coaching and $1.7 million in funding to the sector through and the Nonprofit Center’s partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars – Give and Go!

“Rena’s leadership has cemented the nonprofit sector as an indispensable part of a healthy, diverse and thriving community,” said Lisa Johnson, chief technology officer for IBM Financial Services, and chair of the Board of the Nonprofit Center. “We intend to strengthen and further her work in our next generation of leadership.” Johnson and former Board Chair John Hirabayashi, CEO and president of Community First Credit Union, will
co-chair the CEO search which will launch in June.

“The founders of the Nonprofit Center explicitly drew a connection between a healthy independent sector and a healthy civic society,” said Coughlin. “The Nonprofit Center has never wavered on its mission to work solely to strengthen the local sector. I’m proud of the work we’ve done and the dedication we have to our community.”

Rena is credited with building the strong expert team, infrastructure and financial foundation which will remain in place through this transition. The Nonprofit Center has eight full-time employees, two senior consultants and 11 board members. The Nonprofit Center is supported by foundation funding, private donors, membership, consulting revenue, as well as its endowment.

The Nonprofit Center’s work is driven by proprietary research and analysis. It is known for its “State of the Sector” report but has supported the nonprofit sector with the “Repositioning for Strength” report to help nonprofits recover from the COVID-19 pandemic along with the “Moving Forward Together Initiative” to support nonprofits through the Great Recession and most recently the “Believe in the Good” campaign to build community support of the nonprofit sector. It also repeated in 2022 a region-wide survey of the public to provide even marketing insights to the sector.

In addition to its programs to support area nonprofits, the Nonprofit Center was the first investor in the Florida Data Science for Social Good, headquartered at the University of North Florida, and led the charge to create and fund the statewide Florida Nonprofit Alliance to make sure nonprofit voices are heard in Tallahassee and in D.C.

About the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida
The Nonprofit Center is a vital support system for our local nonprofits. We provide services, programs, research and information resources for our members while advocating for the Northeast Florida nonprofit sector locally and at the state level. We provide local government, civic and business leaders, and the media insights and information to promote smart decision-making and public support for local nonprofits. Visit to learn more.


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