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University of North Florida President John Delaney selected as 2015 JAX Chamber Chair

John DelaneyThe JAX Chamber nominated John Delaney, president of the University of North Florida, as 2015 Chamber Chair. Following approval by the Chamber’s board of directors, Delaney begins his duties as chair-elect in January 2014.

“I look forward to working with 2014 JAX Chamber Chair Bill Rupp and providing leadership to the board of directors as we build upon past accomplishments and work toward fulfilling our key initiatives,” said Delaney, who currently serves as the 2013 Chair of JAXUSA Partnership, a division of the Chamber. He previously has served on the Chamber’s board of directors and as the 2012 JAXBIZ Chair.

Delaney became UNF’s fifth president in 2003 and oversees a campus of more than 16,000 students, 600 faculty and more than 1,000 staff. During his tenure, the university campus has undergone significant expansion with numerous construction projects.  Delaney is UNF’s chief fundraiser and has nearly doubled the University’s privately-funded endowment campaign.

Delaney, a Republican, served as Jacksonville mayor from 1995-2003. He was named president of UNF after his two consecutive terms as mayor. During his mayoral terms, Delaney launched the Better Jacksonville Plan, a package of municipal improvement projects. He also launched the Preservation Project, a series of land grants for parks. Earlier in his career, he served as chief assistant state attorney, Jacksonville general counsel and mayor’s office chief of staff for Ed Austin.

“John is a highly respected and effective leader who has a unique combination of strategic focus, leadership skills, management experience, and a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the business community,” Rupp said. “He has been extremely successful in working collaboratively to bring positive growth and change to our community. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Under Delaney’s leadership as JAXUSA Partnership Chair, Northeast Florida has experienced significant job creation and broad-based economic opportunity. During the first half of 2013, JAXUSA Partnership and its partners have announced plans for more than 2,600 new jobs this year. The number of new jobs announced thus far in 2013 is more than any first half of the year since 2006 and nearly as many jobs announced in 2012.

As JAXUSA Partnership Chair, Delaney leads workforce development programs consistent with the recommendations from the Innovate Northeast Florida Target Industry Implementation Plan, a five-year community economic development strategic plan. Among the plan’s many accomplishments during its first year, Delaney has been pivotal in convening regional education and business leaders to discuss the needs of enhancing local education programs to meet the region’s skilled workforce demands in the growing finance and IT industries.

“John is a passionate and strategic leader who has demonstrated exceptional vision and leadership in our community,” said 2013 JAX Chamber Chair and Northeast Florida Market President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Greg Smith. “We are excited to have him step into this new position as a champion for the Chamber’s initiatives.”

As chair-elect, Delaney will lead the Chamber’s annual planning process along with the 2014 Leadership Trip.


About JAX Chamber

The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to live, work and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.

About JAXUSA Partnership

JAXUSA Partnership is the regional economic development organization comprised of almost 200 top private sector investors in Northeast Florida, including the Jacksonville Office of Economic Development, JEA, JAXPORT, JAA, JTA, WorkSource and the regional county partners – Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. A division of the JAX Chamber, its purpose is to facilitate the creation and retention of quality jobs and significant capital investment, resulting in a higher standard of living and better quality of life in Northeast Florida.


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