DVI announces next executive director, Jacob Gordon

Jacob Gordon
Jacob Gordon

Following a national search and interviews with seven candidates, Jacob A. Gordon, currently with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and the Camden Special Services District in Camden, New Jersey, has been named as the organization’s second Executive Director succeeding Terry Lorince who is retiring after 14 years in the position. Terry has led Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI) since it was created by an act of City Council in 2000.

DVI manages downtown Jacksonville’s Business Improvement District. The organization oversees enhancement activities in the 90-block core of Downtown and is best recognized by the orange shirted Downtown Ambassadors and its signature event, the First Wednesday Art Walk. DVI provides services and manages activities that enhance the Downtown experience and are beyond the scope and capability of city government departments.

“I am honored to be selected by the Board of Directors of Downtown Vision Inc. as their next Executive Director,” stated Jacob Gordon, new Executive Director, DVI. “I am very excited to work closely with the Board, the City of Jacksonville, the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) and the many businesses of Downtown Jacksonville to continue the essential work of DVI. Through innovation, collaboration and dedication, we will help Downtown Jacksonville continue to increase its reputation as one of the preeminent urban centers in the US, with world class anchor institutions, attractions and amenities.”

The selection process was supported by the local HR consulting firm Peoplr and was highly competitive. The process resulted in hundreds of interested applicants from which seven were invited to interview with the selection committee. As part of this process, Mr. Gordon came to Jacksonville for in-depth interviews before six and eight member panels on two separate occasions over the past three weeks. The selection committee in commenting on Mr. Gordon noted his successful management experience in one of the country’s toughest urban environments, his can-do attitude, creativity, unassuming and friendly demeanor, proven record of securing more than $30 million in foundation and government grants, and his passion and track record for urban placemaking.

“With Aundra Wallace and the DIA now in place to provide the executive leadership for Downtown, DVI can now focus on operational leadership and street level execution of key segments of the DIA’s plan,” stated Debbie Buckland, DVI Chair.

Mr. Gordon, a former litigation attorney, has spent the last eight years as a non-profit senior executive in the Philadelphia area. He has had numerous responsibilities including serving as the Board President and Executive Director of Camden’s Business Improvement District.

Mr. Gordon holds a BA in Communications from the University of California, San Diego; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He is active in the Urban Land Institute and the International Downtown Association (IDA).  In 2014 his Camden Night Gardens project won IDA’s Pinnacle Award, and in 2012 his team won IDA’s Public Space Award for Roosevelt Plaza Park. He has personally served in many public service roles including his town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Mr. Gordon is looking forward to returning to Florida with his family having lived briefly in Jacksonville in the mid 2000s.

“Mr. Gordon’s award winning performance in Camden, gives me confidence that his energy, creativity, street level experience and grant writing capabilities will complement the efforts of my DIA team and serve Jacksonville well,” stated Oliver Barakat, DIA Chair.

About Downtown Vision, Inc.

Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI) is a dynamic, not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization tasked with creating and supporting a vibrant Downtown. Created by commercial property owners through a self-assessment and governed by a board representing Downtown property owners, DVI administers a 90-block Downtown Improvement District to provide a multitude of services over and above what the City of Jacksonville provides: cleaning and safety via the Downtown Ambassador program; activation with more than 50 event days annually, like the award-winning First Wednesday Art Walk; marketing, communications and partnerships; comprehensive information resources and ombudsman services; stakeholder support and advocacy; and business retention and attraction support. For more information, visit


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For media inquires, please contact Katherine Hardwick, DVI’s director of marketing: 904-634-0303, ext. 230;