Jacksonville, FL (March 6, 2024) – Scenic Jacksonville is pleased to announce three new Board Members and Officers for the 2024 term.

In the board leadership roles, Michael Kirwan was elected President for the second term, along with Bill Hoff Jr., Vice President; Laura D’Alisera, Secretary, Tom Larson, Treasurer, Jim Overton, Vice President, and Susan Caven, ex officio.  New Board Members Wiatt Bowers, Melissa Schmitt and Rebecca Billy Zeits have joined returning Board members for the 2024 term.

Wiatt Bowers, AICP, is an urban planner with nearly 30 years of experience. His primary areas of expertise include corridor studies and master plans, complete streets, long-range transportation studies, travel demand modeling, transit planning, bicycle/pedestrian planning, traffic impact studies, and mobility plans. Wiatt has been involved with the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association for 25 years and recently served as President of the 3000-member organization.

“I am passionate about cities and am invested in improving Jacksonville’s natural and built environments. I have been involved in numerous local organizations since moving to Jacksonville in 2006,” said Bowers.   “Scenic Jacksonville’s advocacy for design excellence meshes with my enthusiasm for enhancing public spaces and urban design.”

Melissa Schmitt is a Certified Financial PlannerTM with the Sextant Wealth Advisory Group at Raymond James.  She is passionate about supporting individuals and families in planning and realizing their vision, and holds series 7 and 66 securities licenses as well as insurance and long term care licenses.

“As a Jacksonville native, I believe this is our time to create an intentional and beautiful river city,” said Schmitt. “Passionate people who care, are generous with their time and work towards a shared vision are powerful.  It’s that combination that creates meaningful change.  Partnering with Scenic Jacksonville is an opportunity to be a part of this shared vision: creating a place we’re proud to call home.”

Billy Zeits is a senior project manager at Corner Lot Development.  He brings a wealth of experience from his history as Parks and Recreation Director for St. Johns County and transferred it to the development community. With more than 15 years of experience working in Northeast Florida, he has developed skills to offer high-quality, hands-on program planning and management services to the public, private and non-profit organizations.

“The work of Scenic Jacksonville to advocate for responsible development, with the improvement of the public spaces is in line with the work that I have done over my career,” said Zeits. “The professional presence that Scenic Jacksonville has established will continue to be critical to the growth of the City.”

“We are very fortunate to have such talented community leaders joining Scenic Jacksonville’s Board,” said Michael Kirwan. “These new directors bring energy and enthusiasm to our already active and passionate board and will help us continue our mission of preserving, protecting and enhancing the scenic character of our city.”

About Scenic Jacksonville

Scenic Jacksonville, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan advocacy organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and enhance the scenic character and beauty of Jacksonville, Florida. Today, the organization is focused on initiatives to ensure our natural and built environment will be both beautiful and resilient for citizens, businesses, and visitors. Focus areas include preserving and expanding the tree canopy, responsible control of signage, undergrounding utilities, historic preservation, and downtown urban design and downtown riverfront parks.

Scenic Jacksonville believes in the power of community for constructive change.  The organization is a founding member of both the Riverfront Parks Now coalition and the Jacksonville Climate Coalition.

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