Mayor-elect Lenny Curry announced today that he has appointed Kerri Stewart as his Chief-of-Staff; former City Councilman Dr. Johnny Gaffney as the Mayor’s Liaison to Boards and Commissions; former City Councilwoman E. Denise Lee as Director of Blight Initiatives; and Latanya Peterson as a member of the intergovernmental affairs staff.
“As I continue to fill critical staff positions the appointments included in today’s announcement represent a strong level of talent and commitment to the people of Jacksonville,” said Curry. “Jacksonville has many pressing needs and our team is being assembled to tackle the tough issues, work with all levels of the community and reach for a common goal, make Jacksonville the best city it can be. I am proud of the people who have agreed to join me in our mission to restore Jacksonville’s greatness.”
About Kerri Stewart:
Kerri joined Infinity Global Solutions (IGS) in September 2011 as Partner and Senior Vice President. Drawing on her extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, she focuses on assisting clients in the areas of executive management consulting, economic development, and public infrastructure development and general government relations. As a part of her consulting practice, Kerri has served as interim executive director for Visit Jacksonville, LISC and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
Prior to joining IGS, Ms. Stewart served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jacksonville/Duval County, Fla., under Mayor John Peyton and Mayor Alvin Brown. In this role, she oversaw day-to-day government operations for the city, including directing a nearly 5,000-member workforce and managing the $1 billion municipal budget and $164 million annual capital improvement plan. During her years of public service, Ms. Stewart also served as director of the city’s Housing and Neighborhoods Department, created the Office of Operational Efficiency (which later became the Inspector General’s Office), and served as a Policy Advisor to Mayor Peyton.
Prior to joining the City of Jacksonville, Ms. Stewart worked as a Program Manager for Alltel Information Systems in Leeds, UK and Jacksonville, Fla. She was a part of the program management team that worked for two years to migrate Bradford and Bingley Building Society’s mortgage processing software to Alltel’s solution.
Ms. Stewart graduated from the University of North Florida’s Coggin School of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, double-majoring in Marketing and Management. Kerri serves on the boards of Visit Jacksonville, Community Connections, the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Timuquan Trail Parks Foundation and Operation New Hope. She is an alumnus of both Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida. Kerri and her husband Sean Hall reside in the Springfield community of Jacksonville. Her salary will be $190K.
About E. Denise Lee:
Denise has a long and distinguished record of public service on both the state and local level. A Jacksonville native, her father, John, worked for 30 years for the Seaboard Coastline Rail System and her mother, Leanora is a retired school teacher from the Duval County School System.
Denise’s interest in politics began in Tallahassee while student where she attended Florida A&M University. In 1979, she returned to Jacksonville and was hired as minority coordinator for Jake Godbold’s first mayoral campaign. She has worked on many local, state and national campaigns.
In 1982, she was appointed to fill the vacant District 11 City Council seat held by the late Sallye Mathis. She was subsequently elected in 1983 to City Council District 8 and served until 1999, leaving due to term limit legislation. In a special election she in 1999 she was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and served until 2003. A veteran campaigner, she was again elected to the Jacksonville City Council in 2007 and ran unopposed in 2011. Her current term ends June 30, 2015 again due to term limits.
Denise served as chairman of many standing committees including finance and rules where she was chairman several times. During her second term on City Council she demonstrated her leadership by chairing three Ad Hoc Committees that brought immediate results for the City of Jacksonville. Her salary will be $90K.
About Dr. Johnny Gaffney:
Johnny is credited with having worked with local, federal and international governments in monitoring and protecting the welfare of its citizens and commerce; and will bring a strategic approach to the mayor’s goals of working with the City’s boards and commissions. As a City Councilman, with a Doctorate of Education, in Organizational Leadership, professor, astute businessman, international representative to Congo in Africa, lifetime native of Jacksonville and having been one of five brothers to play football for the University of Florida and the NFL, there are many areas of expertise where he will the mayor and the staff in a community based outreach approach.
He is also known for having successfully assisted the government and other Africa countries in the areas of economics, resources, infrastructure, social, financial, and policy reformation and development and philanthropy. His background in government, banking, business, community development, socialization, international contacts along with local, state, federal and international contacts, resources, and influence will be an asset in the creation of commerce, placement of students and recruitment of corporate partnerships and collaborations. His salary will be $92K per year.
About Latanya Peterson:
Latanya has served as liaison to offices of elected officials, participated in strategic coalitions and on strategy campaigns focused on community organizations; engage elected officials, labor and community organization to support synergetic campaigns. She has an accomplished career demonstrating consistent success as a Literacy Coach and Educator at the secondary education level and has an outstanding track record in assuring student success as an English Teacher, Various Grades from 6-12: Duval County School System August 2010 to June 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Science English Degree from Florida Atlantic University, 2003; and a M.S. Management and Administration for Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University, 2005. Her salary will be $75K.
Source: City of Jacksonville