Categorized | JAX Briefs

Downtown Vision Inc. elects new board members

Downtown Vision Inc. (DVI) announces the election of five new members to the Board of Directors: Oliver Barakat, Donald Harris, William R. Prescott, Pamela Smith and Sarah Toppi. The new directors were recommended by the Board’s nominating committee and approved by the Downtown Improvement District stakeholders at the annual meeting.

Oliver Barakat is a senior vice president with CBRE specializing in the leasing and sales of office space. Barakat’s experience includes a seven-year stint on the Design Review Committee, serving on the JEDC’s Downtown Infrastructure Task Force, which helped create the Downtown Action Plan, and most recently, serving on Mayor Brown’s Downtown Transition Committee.

Donald Harris is the general manager of Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk on Downtown’s Southbank. Harris is past chairman of Visit Jacksonville and a member of the Board of Governors of JAX Chamber, the Board of Directors of the North Florida Hotel Association, the Jacksonville International Airport Managers Council and the Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

William R. Prescott is the senior vice president, stadium operations/chief financial officer for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Prior to Super Bowl XXXIX, Prescott oversaw the design and construction of the $63 million renovation of EverBank Field. He is a member of the executive board and treasurer of Visit Jacksonville, the Board of Governors of JAX Chamber, and former chairman for the Mohawk District of the Boy Scouts of North Florida.

Pamela Smith is the owner’s representative for El-Ad Florida, LLC, the owners of the AT&T Tower 301 in Downtown Jacksonville. Smith has 15 years of commercial real estate experience leasing and managing Class A office properties and is a past president of Commercial Real Estate Women-Miami, a Trustee member and Board of Governor’s member of the Jacksonville Chamber.

Sarah Toppi is an attorney with the litigation group at Holland & Knight. She is experienced in handling real estate litigation matters. Toppi serves on the Board of Directors for the West Point Society of North Florida and of the Hispanic Bar Association of Jacksonville. She is also a member of the Junior League of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Bar Association.

“We are pleased to welcome our newest directors who bring a breadth of leadership experience and perspectives which will contribute to the collaborative efforts of Downtown Jacksonville revitalization.” said Mike Jennings, Chairman, Downtown Vision, Inc.

Downtown Vision Inc. officers include: Mike Jennings, Prudential Financial, Chair; Chris Flagg, FLAGG Design Studio LLC, Vice-Chair; Dan King, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Secretary; Debbie Buckland, SunTrust, Treasurer; and Jay Southerland, The Southerland Group/Triage Management Services, Immediate Past Chair.

For a complete list of board members and bios, visit

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