Groundwork Jacksonville Announces Two New Board Members

Sylvia Perry, Publisher Jacksonville Free Press
Marisa Brighton is the Senior Director of Strategic Engagement & Community Impact at Swisher

(Jacksonville, Fla.) – Groundwork Jacksonville, the City of Jacksonville’s nonprofit partner in building the Emerald Trail and restoring McCoys and Hogans creeks, has announced new members to the organization’s volunteer Board of Directors. According to Board Chair, Kerri Stewart, “I’m honored to welcome Marisa Brighton and Sylvia Perry to the Board of Directors. I look forward to working alongside these impressive women to achieve the mission of Groundwork Jacksonville. Together, we will ensure a brighter future for this community.”

Marisa Brighton is the Senior Director of Strategic Engagement & Community Impact at Swisher, the locally owned and largest volume-producing cigar manufacturer in the United States. She is responsible for leading the development and expansion of strategic partnership initiatives in the Jacksonville communities in which the company has operated for over 160 years. Prior to Swisher, Brighton was a Business Advisory Consultant at Slalom, a leading change and transformation consultancy.

“It is an honor to represent Swisher on the Groundwork Jacksonville Inc. Board of Directors during an exciting time for Jacksonville,” said Brighton. “The work being done by Groundwork with the Emerald Trail aligns with Swisher’s commitment to community vitality. I look forward to learning from my colleagues and watching the Emerald Trail and other projects come to life.”

Sylvia Perry, a native of Jacksonville, is the publisher of Free Press of Jacksonville, a 37-year-old weekly newspaper that serves the African American community of Northeast Florida. She has received many accolades on behalf of the publication and is actively involved within the Jacksonville community. Perry has served on several civic boards and committees including Jacksonville Urban Legend, Leadership Jacksonville, and Junior League of Jacksonville.

“Groundwork Jacksonville is a trailblazer in the nonprofit world through the Emerald Trail which represents a binding tie that will blend our community together. Through this innovative pathway, work is done from the inside out to not only maintain but showcase Jacksonville’s unique diversity and culture. It is an exciting opportunity to be a part of the development of our city’s growth,” said Perry.

About Groundwork Jacksonville

Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc., was formed in 2014 by the City of Jacksonville in partnership with Groundwork USA, along with support from the US National Park Service and US Environmental Protection Agency.

Jacksonville is one of 21 Groundwork Trusts across the country focused on environmental equity, resilience, and stewardship, and transforming the natural and built environment in low-resource and climate-vulnerable communities. Visit or follow @GroundworkJax on social for more information.


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