Vince Cavin Chosen as Hemming Park Executive Director

September 4, 2014 53 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Friends of Hemming Park announced their new hire to manage Hemming Park today, as well as the quiet announcement that longtime Metrojacksonville poster Mike Field had joined the board of the Friends of Hemming Park. Join us after the jump for more details!

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 4, 2014 – This morning Friends of Hemming Park board members Diane Brunet-Garcia, Bill Prescott, Mike Field and Dr. Wayne Wood gathered in Hemming Park to announce the park’s new executive director, Vince Cavin, and unveil its vision for the park’s future, new logo and website. They were joined by Mayor Alvin Brown, City Council members Bill Gulliford, Denise Lee and Don Redman, Parks and Recreation Director Daryl Joseph, and Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace and Chairman Oliver Barakat. Dr. Wood, president of the nonprofit Friends of Hemming Park, told of the organization’s plans for revitalizing the park with year-round programming, cleanliness, security, entertainment and events to make it once again a family-friendly central gathering place in downtown.

Cavin, Hemming Park’s new executive director, was one of the founding team members of One Spark, The World’s Crowdfunding Festival, now in its third year in downtown Jacksonville. He has held operations, finance and event director roles at One Spark. Cavin is also president and co-founder of Party, Benefit & Jam, a local nonprofit that raises money and awareness for local charities. He also holds an MBA from Humboldt State University.

“Starting today, we are embracing a place, a plaza, a park, soon to be transformed into a vibrant cultural center,” said Cavin. “Our mission is to bring Jacksonvillians together to enjoy the forthcoming amenities of the oldest public park in Jacksonville as it transforms into a modern urban space.”

Diane Brunet-Garcia, a board member of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and Friends of Hemming Park, unveiled the park’s new logo. Its green square is joined with abstract street intersections to symbolize the importance of this public park in the heart of Downtown and to form the letters “HP.”

The press conference concluded with Mayor Brown signing Ordinance 2014-434, passed by City Council on August 27. The bill authorizes Friends of Hemming Park to manage the park.

“The City’s new partnership with Friends of Hemming Park is the result of leadership and hard work from many people who share a deep commitment to the success of our Downtown,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “We all believe that a great city depends on having a great Downtown, and a great Downtown depends on having great public spaces like Hemming Plaza. This park may be small, but we know it can have a super-sized impact on our Downtown and our entire city.”

“The transformation of Hemming Park is in line with one of the DIA’s goals of reinforcing downtown as the City’s unique epicenter for business, history, culture and entertainment,” said Oliver Barakat, chairman of the Downtown Investment Authority. “The contract between the City and the Friends of Hemming Park is the result of great collaboration among many downtown stakeholders and the DIA is proud and excited to be part of it.”

“The management agreement for Hemming Park is a great example of a Public-Private Partnership,” said Bill Prescott, a board member of Downtown Vision, Inc. and Friends of Hemming Park. “Just as it took the collaboration of Wayne Wood, the City, DIA, Downtown Vision, and the Cultural Council to reach an agreement that gives the Friends of Hemming Park the best opportunity to succeed, it will take the collaboration of all the downtown stakeholders to make the transformation happen.”

Friends of Hemming Park will have its offices on the first floor of the Downtown Main Library just inside the front entrance on the Laura Street. The group plans to start its programming in the park in early October and have its daily programs fully operational by the end of 2014.

About Friends of Hemming Park: Founded in 2013, Friends of Hemming Park (FOHP) is a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization established to help revitalize the heart of our city. It has recently been selected by the City of Jacksonville to take over the management of Hemming Park. Led by Dr. Wayne Wood, founder of the Riverside Arts Market, FOHP is made up of a collaborative team supported by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Downtown Vision Inc. and numerous cultural institutions and downtown business leaders. The organization is dedicated to programming Hemming Park year-round to make it clean, safe, and attractive as a gathering place and central location for family-friendly activities. Visit for more information.