The Jacksonville Transportation Authority's governing body is comprised of seven members. Three members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate, three members are appointed by Jacksonville's Mayor and confirmed by the City Council, and the seventh member is the District Two Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Members serve a four-year term with the exception of the FDOT Secretary who serves the length of his/her employment in that position and can be re-appointed for an additional four years. The board members of the JTA are not entitled to compensation but are reimbursed for travel and other expenses actually incurred in their duties as provided by law.


Ari Jolly

Ari Jolly

Chair

Ari Jolly is a Senior Assistant General Counsel at Florida Blue and provides corporate development as well as board governance support related to the various Florida Blue subsidiary and joint venture companies. Prior to joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida in 1993, Jolly was an officer in the United States Navy from 1983 - 1990 and the recipient of a Navy Achievement Medal (1987).

Jolly is a member of the Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association, served as the Chairman of the Board of the Greater Jacksonville Area USO, serves on the Fleet Landing Board and previously served as the Chairman of the Veterans Network at Florida Blue, where she spoke on the topics of women veterans and the multicultural US Armed Forces. In addition, Jolly is the corporate secretary to the Boards of Florida Health Care Plan, Inc., Navigy Holdings, Inc., GuideWell-Sanitas, LLC, Florida Blue Medicine, Inc., GuideWell Core Solutions, Inc., and GuideWell, Inc. and has supported several Florida Blue conferences on the topic of board governance best practices.

Jolly graduated from Jacksonville University and the Florida State University College of Law. She is also an honors graduate from the Naval Legal Justice School, Newport, Rhode Island.

Jolly was appointed to the JTA Board in 2015 by Governor Rick Scott and reappointed in 2019 by Governor Ron DeSantis.


Debbie BucklandDebbie Buckland

Debbie Buckland

Vice-Chair

Debbie Buckland is Market President for Truist Bank in Jacksonville, Florida.

Buckland currently serves as Board Chair of the JAX Chamber. She has also served as Chair of Downtown Vision, Inc., the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center and the American Cancer Society. She is a member of Wolfson Children’s Hospital Women’s Board, Jacksonville Women’s Network, Women’s Giving Alliance and First Coast YMCA.

Buckland was recognized as a 2006 Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal, is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and, in 2011, was named by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women as one of Jacksonville’s Women Making a Difference.

Buckland is a 1979 graduate of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, with a B.A. in Business & Economics and Philosophy.

Buckland was appointed to the JTA Board by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2019.


Ray DriverRay Driver

G. Ray Driver, Jr.

Secretary 

G. Ray Driver, Jr. has been practicing law for over 20 years and is a founding partner of Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow. He represents clients in business acquisitions, dispositions and mergers, and provides ongoing counseling regarding business formation, corporate governance, contract law and ancillary legal issues. Driver was added to the Florida Super Lawyer list in 2011 and his experience has led him to be recognized as Jacksonville Business Journal’s Ultimate Attorney. He was also named Lawyer of Year in 2019.

A graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, Driver is the current Chair of JAXUSA Partnership and the Chair-Elect for the JAX Chamber Board of Directors and Trustees. He also has chaired the Jacksonville Bar Association, served on its Board of Governors and served as the president and treasurer of the Young Lawyers Section.

Driver received both his Juris Doctorate and master’s degree in accounting from the University of Florida in 1994.

He was appointed to the JTA Board by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2019.


Nicole Padgett

Treasurer

Nicole Padgett is the Chief Administrative Officer for Summit Contracting Group, a Jacksonville-based multifamily general contractor. In addition to playing a key role in the leadership of Summit, Padgett is the president and owner of Elite Tech Solutions, a Jacksonville-based IT company founded by Padgett in 2014. Elite Tech provides an array of IT services across Northeast Florida, encompassing everything from network management to home automation and access security. Padgett also holds interest in HVAC Contractor Pinnacle Air Solutions, Summit Realty Partners, and Padgett Premiere Properties, all of which are headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

Before she joined the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) board, Padgett served on the Jacksonville City Planning Commission from 2015 through 2019, serving as secretary, vice-chair and chair.

Padgett takes pride in being deeply invested in the Jacksonville community. As Summit’s CAO, she leads the company in all community involvement. Through the vision and corporate philanthropy programs she established, Padgett has actively coordinated the support of many local non-profit organizations and others in need, most notably securing the donation of construction and materials for the K9s for Warriors Nocatee facility in 2014, partnering with a local developer to build the Sulzbacher Village Apartments located in Springfield in 2017, and the donation of construction for the expansion of the Woodland Park Boys & Girls Club which is currently in progress.

Padgett was appointed to the JTA Board by Mayor Lenny Curry in 2020.


Kevin HolzendorfKevin Holzendorf

Kevin J. Holzendorf

Immediate Past Chair

A lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Kevin J. Holzendorf is an Executive Account Manager at Emtec, Inc. Holzendorf has spent his professional career in both the private and public sectors working in the accounting, financial services and technology industries.

Holzendorf holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Florida. Holzendorf is active in the community serving as a “Big Brother” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Cultural Council Board Member, Wolfson Children’s Hospital Development Council Board Member, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVI, and YMCA of Florida’s First Coast Regional Board, to name a few.

Holzendorf was appointed to the JTA Board by Mayor Alvin Brown in August 2013 and reappointed by Mayor Lenny Curry in September 2017.


Abel Harding

Abel Harding

Board Member

Abel Harding is the market president for IBERIABANK and First Horizon Bank, responsible for the North Florida and Southeast Georgia markets. His banking career spans more than two decades and includes senior roles with several financial institutions.

He previously served as a senior advisor to the mayor of Jacksonville and as the director of communications for the City of Jacksonville. Prior to that, Harding was an award-winning journalist for the Florida Times-Union. In this role, he worked as a columnist, covering business and politics, and worked special assignments as an investigative reporter.

Harding serves as the chair of JAX Biz, the political committee of the JAX Chamber. He is a long-time member of the Chamber’s board of directors. He is the secretary of the board of directors for the Jacksonville Humane Society and previously served as a mayoral appointee to the Jacksonville Planning Commission. Harding is a member of the Florida Banker’s Association Government Affairs Committee.

He has served on several community boards during his time in Jacksonville, including the Cultural Council of Jacksonville, where he served as chair, the Cathedral Arts Project, co-chair of United Way’s first Atlantic Circle class, and founder of Rotaract of Ponte Vedra. He is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville (2013) and is a member of the 2020-2022 class of Leadership Florida.

A seventh-generation Floridian, Harding is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.


Greg EvansGreg Evens

Greg Evans, P.E.

Ex-Officio Board Member & FDOT District Two Secretary

Greg Evans was appointed as the Florida Department of Transportation District Two Secretary on February 6, 2012. Mr. Evans is responsible for the day-to-day administrative, planning, production and operations activities for District Two, which encompasses 18 counties, covers nearly 12,000 square miles in North Central Florida, and maintains 8,200 lane miles of roadway and over 1,200 bridges. The area is also served by two deep-water ports and three major rail lines.

Evans has over 21 years of experience in the management and operations of public infrastructure. He is an alumnus of Southern Institute of Technology, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology.

Evans joined the Board in 2012 as an Ex-Officio Member representing the Florida Department of Transportation, District Two.