Although Jones was born near Philadelphia, she has spent most of her life in Jacksonville and has always called the River City her home. Not only did she attend elementary, high school and graduate school here, but her parents and in-laws also live in Jacksonville. Although she’s worked in other cities for short periods of time, she was always drawn back to the First Coast.
Jones’ career in development started while she was in graduate school at the University of North Florida. Her passion for writing and desire to work while in school landed her in a campaign writer position. Her mentors and superiors recognized how impactful her writing was. This, along with her talent for building relationships, opened up multiple opportunities for Jones, leading her into a rewarding career in higher education.
Jones eventually rose to become the senior vice president of advancement at Jacksonville University, leading multiple successful campaigns over the course of a combined 16 years in a couple “tours of duty.” Her efforts there led to unprecedented fundraising progress, exceeding the ASPIRE campaign’s $120 million goal ahead of schedule. She was instrumental in the university’s 75th anniversary celebration, establishment of loyal donors and young alumni giving societies, expansion of engagement programs, the creation of a President’s Parents Council and multiple seven-figure gifts, including permanent naming of buildings, outdoor spaces, schools and colleges.
Although her accomplishments throughout her career are immense, she is not one to gloat. She is quick to remind herself, “None of that is possible without generous partners and investors.” She stays humble, continuously praising her mentors and the organizations and others in her life who have helped her get to where she is today.