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This morning the Friends of Hemming Park (FOHP) board of directors announced a change in its leadership team. Bill Prescott, principal with Heritage Capital Group and former Jacksonville Jaguars CFO, will take over on a voluntary basis as the interim director of the nonprofit organization, following the resignation of CEO Vince Cavin. Board Chairman Wayne Wood will take on the additional role as Programming Coordinator.

Other additions include Michelle Barth (former Chief Strategy & Development Officer at Feeding Northeast Florida and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the Mayor), who will serve as advisor for fundraising and development. Suzanne Jenkins, City Councilwoman for District 4 from 1999 to 2007, will take over the role of Director of Strategic Planning.

In submitting his resignation, Cavin said, It has been a privilege as well as a distinctive challenge to serve as the chief executive officer of Friends of Hemming Park for the last two years in Jacksonvilles oldest public park, Hemming Park. I hope my departure can alleviate on-going distractions related to past decisions and help push the necessary conversation about what is the best direction for the park and its next level of achievement.

Wood praised Cavin for his efforts, noting that the organization has raised over $400,000 in private contributions and attracted over 700,000 people to 1,050 events and programs in the park. Vince has brought creative and passionate energy to our efforts to revitalize Hemming Park. We wish him well, as we embark on a new era in managing the park.

Bill Prescott commented, I cannot thank Vince enough for his leadership and energy in getting the Friends of Hemming Park off the ground. Hemming Park is a key first step in the revitalization of Downtown. There is still much to be done, but there is no doubt that Hemming Park is better today than two years ago.

In addition to the resumption of live lunchtime music in the park, Wood also announced that the second annual Hemming Park Beer Festival will take place on Saturday, August 13. Tickets are available at hemmingpark.org/beerfest.