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Press Release for Friday, January 23, 2015

OneJax Institute at UNF Announces Humanitarian Award Honorees

Jessica Barber, Public Relations Specialist
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2192

The OneJax Institute at the University of North Florida, announces the recipients of its 2015 Humanitarian Awards, to be given Thursday, April 30, at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront Jacksonville. The awards honor those who have demonstrated the highest level of personal and professional integrity, have given generously and extensively and have been dedicated to the improvement of human relations among diverse groups in the Jacksonville community.


“We are excited to introduce this strong class of Humanitarian Awards honorees as we celebrate our 45 th year,” said Nancy Broner, OneJax executive director. “They truly represent a cross section of people doing meaningful work in our community in a variety of ways.” (I took out the last sentence)


“This year’s honorees reflect our efforts to educate, advocate and build community to promote the respect and understanding that will overcome bias, bigotry and oppression,” said Rev. Kyle Reese, OneJax Board chair. “They embody the spirit of this commitment and I am delighted to welcome them to the impressive group of humanitarians who have preceded them.”


The Gold Medallion for Lifetime Achievement recognizes those who have had an extraordinary impact on and have given back generously to their communities in their lifetime through exceptional commitment to the OneJax mission of promoting the dignity and respect of all people. This year’s recipient, Cindy Edelman, an active community volunteer, is the former chair of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, having served on the boards of the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Leadership Jacksonville and Youth Leadership Jacksonville. She was an EVE Award recipient for volunteer service, the past president of Congregation Ahavath Chesed and a founding member of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.  Edelman, a retired art history instructor, taught at The Bolles School and Florida State College Jacksonville. Currently, she is a member of the board for JPEF, City Year and teaches art appreciation to seniors at the Jewish Community Alliance.


The Silver Medallion is given to individuals in recognition of their outstanding dedication and community service. This year’s winners include Gary Chartrand, executive chairman of Acosta; Audrey Moran, senior vice president for social responsibility and community advocacy at Baptist Health; Charlene Taylor-Hill, executive director, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission; and Cindy Watson, executive director, Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network.


Chartrand has been the force behind quadrupling Acosta’s geographic coverage, transforming the company, which provides outsourced sales, merchandising, marketing and promotional services to manufacturers in the consumer packaged goods industry, into a leading full-service sales and marketing company in the U.S. and Canada. In 2007, he led a community effort to bring Teach for America to Jacksonville, and in 2009, he and his wife, Nancy, made a pledge gift to KIPP Schools of Jacksonville to help bring the first Knowledge Is Power Program school, a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools, to Florida. Additionally, Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to the State Board of education in 2011. Chartrand currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chartrand Foundation and the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, JPEF, City Year and the KIPP schools in Jacksonville. He is active in raising funds for The Wounded Warrior Project and supports Catholic Charities, Guardian of Dreams Catholic schools and the Diocese of St. Augustine.


Moran has enjoyed a broad and varied career, ranging from the State’s Attorney’s office to Chief of Staff for former Mayor John Delaney to the Sulzbacher Center CEO. She has also served as the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission managing director and special counsel. In 2005, Moran became a Jessie Ball duPont Fund trustee, assisting until she joined Baptist Health. She serves on the board of directors of the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University and the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, which she is slated to lead in 2016. She is an active member of the Women’s Giving Alliance and has previously served on Florida Coastal School of Law Board of Advisors, Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida and executive board of the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership. Additionally, Moran was chair of the Downtown Development Authority; served on former Mayor John Peyton’s Jacksonville Journey Steering Committee and was the transition team co-chair for Mayor Alvin Brown.


Taylor-Hill has led the JHRC since 1995, when she was hired by Delaney. She introduced study circles, a dialogue program on racial and ethnic relations, to Jacksonville and has led the JHRC in collaboration with OneJax, the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. and others to promote mutual respect and understanding among Jacksonville’s diverse populations. In addition to being an active lay leader in her church, Taylor-Hill has served on the boards of directors for Community Connections, United Way, Gateway Girl Scout Council and JCCI.


Watson has been a community organizer and nonprofit administrator for more than 25 years and is a founding board member of JASMYN, serving as executive director since 1998. She developed comprehensive youth development programs for teens and young adults, leading the organization through a transition to a case management model as the needs of its LGBT youth have changed. Watson serves as a JHRC commissioner and is past community co-chair for the First Coast Community AIDS Prevention Partnership.


Steve Halverson, president/CEO of the Haskell Company and a former OneJax Silver Medallion honoree, is this year’s awards event chair. Sponsorship information and tickets for the Humanitarian Awards dinner are available via online ordering . For more information, contact OneJax at (904) 620-1529 or .


Since 2012, OneJax has been an Institute at UNF. Through education, community building and advocacy, OneJax Institute works to make Northeast Florida a better place for everyone by celebrating differences and identifying commonality.


            UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.