Press Releases

Abel Harding appointed to the JTA Board of Directors

JACKSONVILLE, FL  – Jacksonville City Council approved Mayor Lenny Curry’s appointment of Abel Harding to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) Board of Directors.

Harding will serve a 4-year term on the board, filling the vacancy from former Board Chair Isiah Rumlin, whose term ended in 2020.

“Abel Harding has a long history of serving the Jacksonville community, through his work and his continued engagement in civic and philanthropic efforts,” said JTA Board Chair Ari Jolly. “Abel is a welcome addition to the Board as we pursue the monumental and exciting work of the JTA in the years ahead.”

“I’ve known Abel to be a strong supporter of public transportation since I arrived at the JTA in 2012,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “He brings a unique perspective having worked in government, journalism and finance. I look forward to his thoughtful guidance and contributions to our Board.”  

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.

He joins the JTA Board of Directors comprised of Board Chair Ari Jolly, Vice Chair Debbie Buckland, Secretary Ray Driver, Treasurer Nicole Padgett, Immediate Past Chair Kevin Holzendorf and Florida Department of Transportation District Two Secretary Greg Evans.

About the JTA Board of Directors

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.