Municipal Strategic Partnerships

  • Tuesday, December 06, 2022
  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Virtual


Registration is closed

Aligning the Public, Private & Philanthropic Sectors for Good

Learn how Jacksonville Philanthropic and Non-Profit leaders successfully advocated for the launch of the inaugural Office of Strategic Partnerships in the Office of the Mayor.  Mayor Curry was the first Mayor in the Southeast to launch this innovative model and has since demonstrated the return on investment to the public, private and philanthropic sectors. Initial founders and the director will share the lessons learned, the infrastructure developed and the impact of their work together.

Learning Objective 1

Participants will learn the specific steps required to develop a municipal Office of Strategic Partnerships including advocacy, fund development, implementation and performance monitoring and impact.

Learning Objective 2

Participants will learn the strategies and tactics required to align government priorities with the non-profit, government and private sectors to achieve common goals.  Case examples to be detailed include pandemic response, census, housing/ homelessness response and coordination and community goals framework and financial analysis.

Attendees will receive packet of resources including related ordinances, partnership models and impact reports.


Dawn Lockhart was appointed as the inaugural Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mayor Lenny Curry in 2016, where she is responsible for developing a shared agenda between the private sector, philanthropy, nonprofits, and government.  Working across all sectors, Ms. Lockhart develops strategic partnerships to facilitate innovative collaborations and program policy reforms resulting in better outcomes for all citizens. Prior to her appointment, she served on the Mayor-elect's Economic Development Transition Team.

She previously served as President and CEO of Family Foundations of Northeast Florida, Inc., a 501-c-3, which provides financial and housing counseling, asset building, financial literacy education, and advocacy services to families. During her service, she designed and launched 1000 in 1000 and Wise Money Week.

Ms. Lockhart currently serves on the Lift Jax Steering Committee, as a Leap of Reason Community Ambassador, as an advisor to the Jacksonville Community Land Trust and is a member of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network.
Rena Coughlin took the helm as Chief Executive Officer of the Nonprofit Center  in 2006. 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 and its community platform,
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.
Katie Ensign serves as Vice President for Placemaking and Administration for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a private foundation located in Jacksonville, Florida. The Fund's work focuses on equity and placemaking to create communities of belonging for the people and places that Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved. Katie oversees the Fund's placemaking strategy as well as serving as lead program officer for Jacksonville and Port St. Joe, FL. She also assists the president with administrative duties.

Prior to joining the Fund in 2010, Katie served as President and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network, and before that, as Vice President of Programs for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. Ms. Ensign is a graduate of Executive Leadership Florida. In 2009, she was appointed to the Advisory Council for Economic Security by then-Secretary George Sheldon of the Florida Department of Children and Families.  In 2015, Katie was appointed co-chair of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry's Nonprofit/Government Interface Sub-Committee.
Katie serves on the boards of Feedback Labs and Downtown Vision, Inc. She also serves as a member of the steering committee for Strategic Partnerships for the City of Jacksonville and Lift Jax.
Sarah Schmidt joined the Office of Mayor Curry in 2019 as the Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, where she supports the mayoral priority of aligning the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors around a shared civic agenda to address complex community issues and leverage opportunities. Her role includes cultivating interdepartmental and cross sector partnerships, developing and implementing strategies as well as managing the City's Nonprofit Gateway to assist local nonprofits better understand how to partner with the City of Jacksonville.

Prior to working for the City of Jacksonville, Sarah served as the Legislative Assistant for State Representative Jayer Williamson (District 3) in the Florida House of Representatives. She has also worked at the United Way of Escambia County, where she served as the National Service Manager and the Educational Outreach Coordinator.

This event is Free & open to all staff &
board of FPN member organizations.

For programmatic questions, please contact Geula Ferguson.
For registration issues, please email here.

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