PACE Center for Girls, a nationally recognized, statewide network of centers for at-risk middle and high-school girls, announced today the appointment of Nona C. Jones as its new Chief External Affairs Officer effective September 15th. In her new role as Chief External Affairs Officer, Jones will assume responsibility for state-wide Marketing and Communications, Resource Development, Legislative Advocacy, and Board Development. The appointment coincides with PACE’s selection of new Chief Program Officer Shana Broadnax and rounds out the Chief Executive team.
Although she will be assuming a new role at PACE Center for Girls, Jones is not new to the organization, bringing more than 8 years of volunteer leadership in various capacities. She joined the Board of PACE Center for Girls Alachua in 2006 and served as Board Chair before being elected to the PACE Center for Girls State Board of Trustees in 2010. Since joining the Board of Trustees, Jones has been intimately involved with the development and implementation of PACE’s Vision 20/20 strategic plan for program expansion in partnership with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. She will resign her current role as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees to assume her new staff role.
Jones, 32, brings professional experience from the private sector, public sector, and nonprofit sector to her new role. Immediately prior to joining PACE Center for Girls, Jones served as Public Affairs Director for Gainesville Regional Utilities in Gainesville, Florida. In that role she had responsibility for the utility’s Federal and State Government Relations, as well as its state and local community engagement. She also served as Vice-President of the Florida Municipal Electric Association and was in line to become the youngest and first African American President of the organization. She says, however, “there are many ways to make history and one of them is to change the lives of those that need you. Being the first African American and youngest to lead a statewide organization is a great bullet point for a resume, but working on behalf of the traumatized girls PACE serves everyday will be part of my legacy.”
Jones holds both, a Bachelor degree and Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida. She has been profiled by several major publications including ESSENCE Magazine as an “Under 40 Woman to Watch,” Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida’s 30-Something “All Stars,” Business in the Heart of Florida Magazine as a “40 Under 40 Community Leader,” and Home Magazine for being a “13 Under 30 Community Leader.” She has been honored as a “Woman Who Makes a Difference” by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council and was recognized as a University of Florida Outstanding Young Alumnus. She is a member of Leadership Florida, Leadership Gainesville, the Gainesville Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, Gainesville Women’s Forum, and the Women’s Giving Circle. Her additional board service includes Girl Scouts of Gateway Council (President), Education Foundation of Alachua County (President), the Leadership Florida Leadership Team, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of North Central Florida among many others.
Also joining PACE on September 15th as Chief Program Officer is Shana Broadnax, who currently serves as the Director of K-12 Programs at the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) where she oversees program operations for HCZ’s elementary, middle and high school programs with responsibility for a $19M budget, 700 staff and 4,000 children. Prior to that role she served as the Director of HCZ’s early childhood programs and before joining HCZ she was the Director of Employment and Training for Catholic Charities where she led a 30-person team focused on workforce development for unemployed and underemployed youth to move towards self-sufficiency. In her new role, Broadnax will be responsible for strengthening PACE’s service-delivery model and implementing policies and procedures that ensures consistently excellent programming throughout the network. She is a 2014 Annie E Casey Foundation fellow in a leadership development fellowship for accomplished professionals leading large scale change efforts for underserved children and families. She received her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from the New School University Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Afro-American Studies from Indiana University.
Of the appointments, PACE Center For Girls, Inc. President and CEO Mary Marx says, “Nona and Shana share a passion for our mission of empowering girls and young women and have a proven record of effecting change and successfully scaling large strategic initiatives. As PACE expands its work with girls in Florida and plans for expansion into other states we’re excited to have them as part of the leadership team”.