Board Of Directors
Linda Lindenmoyer, LJ 2018
Cynthia Griffin, LJ 2011
Will Smith, LJ 2011
Michael Howland, LJ 2012
Immediate Past President
Irvin PeDro Cohen
Gracie Simendinger, Chief Executive Officer
Gracie Simendinger joined the Leadership Jacksonville team in August of 2022. Most recently, Gracie led all fundraising strategies for Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM), an organization that provides crisis resources for families in Jacksonville’s Beaches community. Prior to BEAM, Gracie was a part of the United Way of Northeast Florida campaign team. She managed all high performing industry partners including financial institutions, accounting, law and architecture firms and was responsible for raising more than $4 million a year. Gracie was later promoted to lead the Tocqueville Society (donors $10,000+), increasing her annual portfolio to $5 million. Before her time at United Way, Gracie ran Jacksonville University’s annual fund giving strategies. Gracie currently serves the Jacksonville community as the JAX Chamber Downtown Council Immediate Past President (President 2020-2022), which is now the largest Chamber council, a JAX Chamber Beaches Division board member, and an at-large Women’s Giving Alliance steering committee member. Previous community service roles include two years on the JAX Chamber Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellowship board (Class of 2017), four years on the ImpactJAX board (2014 Chair), and leading the annual Painting of the PawPrints community-wide event in 2015 and 2016. A Denver native, Gracie moved to Jacksonville after earning a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Florida State University. Upon graduating with a Master in Education degree from Jacksonville University, she decided to stay in Jacksonville because of the great weather and the ability to get plugged in within the local community. In her spare time, you can find Gracie enjoying one of Jacksonville’s amazing restaurants with her partner Jon or brainstorming her next great travel adventure.
Nicole B. Bryan, ProgramS DIRECTOR
Nicole Bryan joined Leadership Jacksonville in June 2015. She is currently a Programs Director and oversees the flagship program and New Leadership Summit. Nicole is an active volunteer with the Association of Leadership Programs (ALP). She served on the 2022 National Conference Team and is currently the 2023 Lead Facilitator for flagship programs. ALP is the connection source for community leadership programs in 45 of the contiguous states. Nicole’s prior experiences include co-owning Crossfit West Jax, working for The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida, and Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) in Winston-Salem, NC. She has been active in her church, serving as a small group facilitator as well as serving on a Rector’s Search Committee. At her children’s former school, Nicole served on the Board of Trustees for St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School in various roles, including leading a strategic planning committee that completed and implemented a five-year strategic plan and serving as Board Chair. Nicole also oversaw a capital campaign and co-led a head of school search. Nicole graduated with honors from Hollins University, Roanoke, VA. She has two wonderful daughters, Klare and Bella.
Meg Folds, Programs Director
Meg Phillips Folds (LJ 1999), a Programs Director for Leadership Jacksonville, manages Leadership Jacksonville’s Youth Leadership Jacksonville and Next Generation programs. Prior to joining Leadership Jacksonville in 2002, Meg had twenty years of sales management in the telecommunications sector. In addition to her professional roles, she has served many community organizations including the Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital (2023-24 Florida Forum Chair, 2021 Art & Antiques Show Chair, Board of Directors), Jacksonville Women’s Network (President 2022), Junior League of Jacksonville (Board of Directors – Sustainer Representative 2023 -2024, President 2001-2002), the Rotary Club of San Marco (Charter President), Girls Inc. (Past President), Memorial Park Association Board of Trustees and the Salvation Army as a Celebrity Chef. Meg has been honored to receive the AT&T Community Service Award, Junior League of Jacksonville Pam Paul Award, the Tillie K. Fowler Award, and the Rotary District 6970 Service Above Self Award and Rotarian of the Year. Meg is an alumna of The Bolles School. She graduated from Stetson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science and did post graduate work at FSU and UNF. Meg is thrilled to be a grandmother to James; Mom to Chris Folds (NextGen 2005), Chief Community Partnerships Officer at Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville and mother-in-law to Lauren, an accountant. Meg has recently ‘crossed the river’ and resides in San Jose with Abby, her yellow Labrador. In her spare time, she loves entertaining, volunteering, and playing Bunco.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Manisha Joshi, Communications Coordinator
Manisha Joshi (aka Jack Leader) joined Leadership Jacksonville in October 2021. She brings an extensive background in marketing, social media and communications and most recently enjoyed working at the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center. As a longtime JAX Chamber member, she stays active in the business community with various Councils and projects, and most recently served as the Three Rivers Council Program Chair. Manisha also volunteers and serves on the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center Advisory Board. Her entrepreneurial background includes owning Style by Manisha, in which she works with small businesses and individuals with their communications, social media, photography, video and wardrobe styling. Prior to that, she was the designer and owner of Sunisha Designs, a handbag accessories company for 13 years, during which she collaborated with local boutiques and produced over 30 fashion shows in Jacksonville. Manisha is also the host of Conversations with Manisha, a YouTube series in which she interviews local change-makers and leaders. She has a B.A. in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine and a B.A. in Economics from Mithibai College of Arts in Bombay, India. Manisha loves spending time with her daughter, Saloni (YLJ 2022 graduate) and son, Sohan (YLJ 2024) as well as traveling, photography, watching movies, and visiting her former hometown of Orange County, California.