Who We Are
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Since taking the helm as Chief Executive Officer in 2006, Rena Coughlin has focused on strengthening the nonprofit sector. She has made significant progress as the leading nonprofit sector advocate helping governments, philanthropic organizations, and citizens understand the importance and positive impact of local nonprofits-both in quality of life and financially within the region.
A proponent of innovation, Rena has championed the Nonprofit Center online fundraising WeGive.org and its community platform, TheNonprofitLink.org. With the Board of Directors, she leads strategy, resources allocation, and staff development to sustain and carry out the mission of the Nonprofit Center.
Previously Rena led Girls, Inc. of Jacksonville as CEO, providing programs for over 1,800 youth across multiple outreach sites. As Special Projects Manager for Leadership Florida, she managed programs and special projects such as gubernatorial debates for the statewide community building organization. Earlier in her career she spent eight years in Washington D.C. as a legislative aide to Senator Bob Graham working on legislation across a broad spectrum of issues important to Florida constituents. Joining the Peace Corps immediately after graduating from the University of Florida, Rena headed to Liberia, West Africa. Working as a volunteer she helped introduce fish farming as a source of protein and family revenue, raised funds to construct a rural medical clinic, and developed a long-term strategy on behalf of the World Bank for Liberian fresh water aquaculture.
Contact Rena if you need: information and resources for advocacy or lobbying local, statewide and national officials on issues concerning the nonprofit sector; information about the Florida Nonprofit Alliance; recommendations for building alliances with people and organizations to advance your organization; and information on state of the nonprofit sector. Rena facilitates the CEO Confidential member convening group.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, STRATEGIC INITIATIVES AND EVALUATION
SENIOR DIRECTOR, STRATEGIC INITIATIVES AND EVALUATION
Deirdre Conner joined the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida in 2017 as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Evaluation, leading program, research, and consulting planning and supervises the successful execution and evaluation of these and other member resources. She previously served as Advocacy & Communications Director for the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, overseeing the organization's advocacy, communications and teacher leadership initiatives.
Prior to her career in nonprofits, she spent nearly decade as a print journalist. As a staff writer for The Florida Times-Union, she covered a broad range of issues, including nonprofits, urban and suburban affairs, education, demographics and race relations. Before moving to Jacksonville in 2007, Deirdre was a reporter for the Naples Daily News, writing about education and child welfare. Deirdre is a native of Miami, Florida, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. She lives in Jacksonville with her husband, Larry Hannan, and their son, Rowan.
Contact Deirdre for questions about programs and special initiatives, research, and consulting. Schedule a time to meet with Deirdre here.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, PROGRAMS
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
Callan is the Senior Director of Programs at the Nonprofit Center. She helps to strengthen the capacity of the Nonprofit Center’s members through a portfolio of initiatives that includes the Nonprofit Center's professional development and board series, the annual Nonprofit Works Conference, and Clay County outreach. She earned her Masters Degree in Public Administration at the University of North Florida with a focus in Nonprofit Management. Having worked for both small and large nonprofit organizations, Callan has experience in development, grant writing and management, and before joining the Nonprofit Center, was the Program Director for Take Stock in Children Clay County at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast.
Callan first got involved with nonprofits while serving with AmeriCorps during her time at the Florida State University, where she earned her BA in Art History and Museum Studies. Her passion for the arts continues here in Jacksonville; Callan previously taught an arts enrichment program to youth in St. Johns County, and currently teaches dance to adults at Dance Trance Fitness.
Callan was born in New Jersey but calls Jacksonville her home; she loves exploring her Springfield neighborhood with her husband, Josh, and growing family.
Contact Callan with questions regarding programs such as our Professional Development Series, Ahead of the Curve Board Series, How to Start a Nonprofit, and Clay County Outreach.
DEVELOPMENT & CONSULTING DIRECTOR
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & CONSULTING
Kimberly is the Director of Development & Consulting for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. After relocating to Jacksonville in 2004, she worked for Episcopal Children’s Services, a nonprofit agency, where she oversaw preschool education standards encouraging a conducive learning environment for its students. Soon after, she decided to take her career a step further and became an administrator at Tutor Time Learning Center, managing a staff of 40 teachers and 200 students.
Kimberly is originally from Orangeburg, South Carolina. She obtained a bachelor’s of science degree in Family Consumer Sciences Business/Child Development from South Carolina State University. While there, Kimberly volunteered at several organizations including health ministries, summer reading programs, voter registration and community theaters.
Contact Kimberly if you need: information about Nonprofit Center development, consulting, coaching and more.
MEMBERSHIP OUTREACH & PROGRAM MANAGER
MEMBERSHIP OUTREACH & PROGRAM MAMANEGER
Rebecca is the Membership Outreach & Program Manager for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. She maintains nonprofit, partner, and foundation memberships and helps facilitate programming.
Rebecca grew up in Missouri and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Truman State University, where she studied Romance Languages, Linguistics, and Psychology. During her time at Truman, Rebecca was a member of the national service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and became an active volunteer at nonprofits in her community; she has volunteered with the Crisis Text Line and currently volunteers as a Patient Advocate at Planned Parenthood. Rebecca started her professional nonprofit journey in 2018 when she began working for the Community Action Partnership of Northeast Missouri, where she created and implemented programs to help fight in the war on poverty. After this, she became certified to teach English as a Foreign Language and taught adults in Virginia. Rebecca joined the Jacksonville community in February of 2021 and has worked with the Jacksonville Humane Society and Project Access, Inc. before coming to the Nonprofit Center in February of 2022.
Please contact Rebecca if you have questions about Nonprofit Center membership, its benefits, the member portal, and programming. Rebecca can speak basic American Sign Language and Spanish. Schedule a time to meet with Rebecca here.
Issis is one of the Nonprofit Center's Senior Consultants. Issis earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at The Florida State University (FSU), She is an experienced researcher and data analyst, fluent in Spanish and has an impressive volunteer background that has allowed her to support the performing arts as a film and set assistant at FSU, co-director of make-up and costuming for Capital City Shakespeare, and the co-creative director for the Dream Defenders FSU Chapter. She’s trained in conflict resolution.
Her hometown is Tampa via Venezuela.
Leah Donelan Senior Consultant for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. Leah’s nonprofit work began while attending the University of Florida where she chaired the UF Dance Marathon, an event that included 700 volunteers who raised over $175,000 for Children’s Miracle Network. After graduating, she worked for the American Cancer Society, providing cancer education to the community and coordinating ACS’ largest local fundraiser, the Cowford Ball. As an independent consultant, she worked with a variety of nonprofits including the Alliance for World Class Education, a group of business leaders whose focus is improving public education; Better Baymeadows, a transportation management organization; and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida.
Leah serves on the Governing Board for CISV International, an international peace education organization; the executive committee of JCCI Forward; is a co-founder of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Jacksonville; and was honored as the Jacksonville Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40. She is a Jacksonville native and graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in political science.