Laura Phillips Edgecombe will be Executive on Loan to City of Jacksonville Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a Jacksonville-based private foundation that seeks to create communities of belonging for the people, institutions and communities that Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved, has hired Laura Phillips Edgecombe as Principal, Downtown Public Spaces. Edgecombe will be an Executive on Loan to the City of Jacksonville, working with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, with responsibility for facilitating the equitable activation of Downtown public spaces for the benefit of all Jaxsons. 

As Executive on Loan, Edgecombe will oversee the strategy and implementation of activation plans for the Downtown Riverfront and other Jacksonville parks and public spaces, including Riverfront Plaza and Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing Park. She will serve as a liaison between City agencies, nonprofit partners, and community groups, and help ensure that public capital improvements, private development, and activation initiatives are coordinated to maximize value for our community.

“Laura is an energetic, results-driven, creative initiatives leader who is committed to building vibrant and inclusive public spaces for Jacksonville’s Downtown–both on and off the riverfront,” said Mari Kuraishi, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “Laura is well-positioned to oversee a Downtown public spaces strategy that welcomes community participation and a wide variety of partnerships.”

Prior to joining the duPont Fund, as Director Of Development and Strategic Partnerships at Build Up Downtown (BUD), Edgecombe cultivated funding, engaged with civic, philanthropic and neighborhood communities and built partnerships to advance the BUD mission of facilitating and advocating for preservation, smart development and great public spaces in Downtown Jacksonville and the surrounding community. Her career in community development, advocacy and large-scale event production spans nearly two decades, including previous positions with PRI Productions as a Senior Event Producer and with the Bread & Board/Estrella Cocina, where she played a key role in the Downtown locations coming to fruition. 

She is highly engaged in business, civic and nonprofit arenas in Jacksonville, including serving as a JAX Chamber Downtown Council Board Member and as the organization’s Speaker Programming & Engagement Liaison. She is in Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2024, a JAX Chamber Hightower Emerging Leaders Fellow Class V (2021), a member of the Jacksonville Women’s Network, an Urban Land Institute UrbanPlan Facilitator and a University of North Florida Taylor Institute of Leadership Mentor. Laura is also an active and engaged member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, Urban Land Institute and Gator Bowl Sports. She donates her time and expertise to local organizations such as Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park, Historic Stanton, Painting of the Pawprints, United Way of Northeast Florida, The Florida Theatre (Board of Directors), The American Cancer Society, UF Health, READ USA, Inc., Pink Ribbon Jax, The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Ritz Chamber Players, Downtown Vision, Inc., Riverfront Parks Now, Jacksonville Venture Competition, Epping Forest Yacht Club (Board of Governors) and her son's school parent association. 

Edgecombe earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. She and her husband live in Miramar/San Marco with their son. 


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