Shannon Italia – President – Leadership
I joined Junior Achievement of North Florida as President in December of 2020 bringing more than 25 years of experience in business development and community engagement to the organization. Prior to joining JA, I served as the Chief Business Development Officer at Harbor View Advisors, a boutique investment banking and consulting firm in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Most of my Jacksonville connections know me from my role as the Senior Director, External Relations for the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business, where I founded the Career Center, providing best-in-class support for students and building impactful relationships with the regional business community for over 12 years. I loved working with college students and enjoy seeing many of my former students excelling as young leaders in the region!
Although I have been living in Jacksonville for over 16 years, I am a Cincinnati native and hold a Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing from the University of Cincinnati where I graduated magna cum laude. I also hold an MBA from the University of North Florida. #swoop I have been an active volunteer in the community for years. I served on the board of directors of the nonprofit Rethreaded and was chair from November of 2015 until March of 2020; I also served on the Junior Achievement of North Florida Board from 2019 until joining the organization as President. I served on the board of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center for five years and was a founder and advisor for the UNF Women in Business Society.
Throughout the years, I have won several awards and accolades including being named a 2013 Women of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal. I was a 2015 winner of UNF’s Susan B. Anthony Award which is given to an employee who actively promotes women’s growth, provides a positive role model, works to improve the position of women, and exhibits qualities of leadership on campus. I also received the 2017 UNF Alumni Service Award. I’m proud of these accomplishments because they help me to see a pattern in what drives me and what I care about; they also provide a validation and currency that helps me to be a more impactful leader.
I reside in the Lakewood area with my husband Mike, a Georgia native who brought us to the South in 2005. We enjoy working out together and following college football. #GoBearcats #GoDawgs