Press Releases

Ari Jolly selected as JTA Board Chair for 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FL  (January 15, 2021) – Ari Jolly will serve as Chair of the JTA Board of Directors and Debbie Buckland will serve as Vice Chair in 2021 after the board voted to approve its leadership group during its January 14, 2021 Board of Directors Nominating Committee meeting.

Ray Driver, Jr. was named Secretary and Nicole Padgett was named Treasure.

Jolly was appointed to the JTA Board in 2015 by Governor Rick Scott and reappointed for a second term by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2019. She served as Vice Chair since 2019 under Immediate Past Chair Kevin Holzendorf.

“Ari Jolly is a compassionate and strategic leader, and her contributions to the JTA Board of Directors since 2015 have helped guide my work in leading this agency,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “She takes on this role during a pivotal time for the JTA as we navigate new opportunities to better serve the citizens of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.”

Jolly is a Senior Assistant General Counsel at Florida Blue and provides corporate development and 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. She 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.

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.

Buckland named Vice Chair

Debbie Buckland will serve as Board Vice Chair in 2021 after serving as Board Secretary in 2020.

Buckland is Market President for Truist Bank in Jacksonville. She was appointed to the JTA Board by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2019.

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.

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.

Current Board Members:

  • Chair Ari Jolly
  • Vice Chair Debbie Buckland
  • Secretary G. Ray Driver, Jr.
  • Treasurer Nicole Padgett
  • Immediate Past Chair Kevin Holzendorf
  • Isiah Rumlin
  • Greg Evans, P.E. (ex officio board member and FDOT District Two Secretary)