Jacksonville University alum Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, has won The Florida Times-Union’s 2013 EVE Award in the employment category.
Waters, a 1980 sociology graduate at JU, is also a JU Distinguished Alumni, a 2010 JU Community Woman of the Year Honoree and current secretary/treasurer of the JU Public Policy Institute’s board.
At a luncheon ceremony Friday, May 31, she received the EVE Golden Apple from Times-Union Editor Frank Denton, who applauded her accomplishments in expanding the scope of The Community Foundation.
“We are passionate about giving back and giving forward,” Waters said as she accepted her award. She acknowledged the generosity of the more than the 400 fund holders of The Community Foundation, as well as the tireless work of the many non-profit partners who are tackling some of the most difficult issues in our area.
Waters has been at The Community Foundation since 2002, and its president since 2005. Under her leadership, foundation assets have quadrupled (currently $257 million) and annual grants to the community have grown from $9 million to $31 million in 2012, according to a Community Foundation news release. Her work with philanthropists and community leaders brought in a record number of gifts in 2012, including $74 million from Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver; it was also the year The Chartrand Foundation decided to conduct all its grantmaking through The Community Foundation.
Waters’ stewardship in nurturing a philanthropic desire to affect public education in Jacksonville produced TCF’s Quality Education for All 10-year initiative, which culminated with last month’s announcement of plans for a $50 million fund slated for investment in Duval County schools, according to the news release.
“Relationship Builder, Visionary Leader, and Philanthropic Change Agent” were the words used by Cindy Edelman, former chair of TCF; Delores Barr Weaver, philanthropist and former TCF board member; and Trey Csar, president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund in nominating Waters for the EVE award. “She is the personification of the good that the Foundation seeks to perform for our community every day.”
In a previous interview with JU, Waters touched on how the University had played a role in her career:
“Many experiences at JU helped me to realize my full potential. The quality of the academic advising, the individualized attention – especially by professors in my major, the placement in an internship and the ability to participate and hold leadership positions in organizations such as Alpha Delta Pi, Green Key, Homecoming chairman, and many others were invaluable.”
Waters serves on the executive committee of the Jacksonville Civic Council, and the strategic planning committee of the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. She was recently installed as chair of The Southeastern Council on Foundations (SECF), a membership association of more than 360 grantmakers working together to strengthen, promote and increase philanthropy in 11 southeastern states. According to the Times-Union, employment nominees were judged on accomplishments during the past year (February to March) that improved the quality of how business was conducted in the community. She was judged on accomplishments that contributed toward achievement of company or personal goals or otherwise benefited the company’s position in the community.