JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 22, 2019 – The Jacksonville Public Library Board of Library Trustees has announced its new officers and new members. Serving as board officers are Carlo Fassi as chair, Virginia Haworth as vice chair, and Mario Payne as secretary. Steve Eagerton, Virginia Haworth, Fernando Meza and Matt Swanson were appointed as new board members September 2019.
Carlo Fassi, Chair
Carlo Fassi of Southern Strategy Group has been with the Board since mid-2017. He is a specialist in public affairs and has been the manager of numerous high-profile political campaigns, state and local, and served the Office of the State Attorney and the energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan. He attended the University of North Florida where he served as student body president for two years. During his second term, Fassi was elected chairman of the Florida Student Association, a constitutionally recognized board that represents the interests of more than 330,000 students in Florida’s public universities. As chairman, he served as the student representative on the Florida Board of Governors, the State University System’s gubernatorially appointed governing board. He is a graduate of Class III of the James Madison Institute Leaders Fellows Program. A native of Miami Beach, he has lived in Florida most of his life.
Virginia Haworth, Vice Chair
As Director of Government Relations and Community Engagement for Florida State College at Jacksonville, Virginia Haworth executes the college’s strategy for legislative and government relations priorities, including $78 million in state funding. Previously, Haworth served as Appointments Director to Governor Rick Scott from 2012 to 2015 and later as Finance Director for Let’s Get to Work PAC. Prior to joining FSCJ, she worked with VisionFirst Advisors, an Economic Development Consulting Firm led by former head of EFI, Gray Swoope. Haworth received her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. from the University of West Florida.
Mario J. Payne, Secretary
Mario Payne has served on the Board of Library Trustees since 2015. He is a Certified Financial Planner with Raymond James Financial Services in San Marco and was previously with Edward Jones Investments. He holds licenses and designations including the Series 6, 7 and 24, Florida Life, Health and Variable Annuity, Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Asset Management Specialist certifications. Payne is a U.S. Army veteran, having served as a personnel sergeant during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also serves as a board trustee for the Ebenezer United Methodist Baptist Church, and manages the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. AlphaJax Scholarship Fund and other local endowments. He enjoys participating as a mentor to high school and college students. Payne is a graduate of Tennessee State University, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Steve Eagerton is vice president of Investor Relations, Sales Operations and Strategic Initiatives at Black Knight Inc., which is headquartered on Riverside Avenue in Jacksonville. Eagerton oversees a variety of initiatives in this role, including all communications with the investor community, planning and reporting on sales operations, and mergers and acquisitions efforts. He received a B.A in Accounting and an M.B.A from Jacksonville University, where as a member of the baseball team, he was able to finance all college expenses through academic and athletic scholarships. Eagerton is an active alumnus, helping place JU students in internships and planning baseball alumni events. A Jacksonville native, he is married to his high school sweetheart, an emergency room registered nurse with Baptist Health. He lives in Mandarin with his wife and three children.
Fernando Meza has lived in Jacksonville since 2003, when he was stationed aboard the USS John F. Kennedy Aircraft Carrier as a member in the U.S. Navy. Throughout his enlistment, he worked at a bar in Jacksonville Beach, learning mixology and sharpening customer service skills. Entrenching himself into a new community, Meza engaged in local political and nonprofit organizations. He took courses at the University of North Florida and began mentoring kids at Take Stock in Children. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, he ran twice for Jacksonville Beach City Council. Although unsuccessful, he has remained a vocal and active resident of Jacksonville Beach, participating in numerous organizations. In 2015 he opened the Wreck Tiki Lounge in Jacksonville Beach, where he serves as operating partner.
As the associate vice president of Financial Management at Jacksonville University, Dr. Matt Swanson supports student, employee and stakeholder success through the strategic management of JU’s resources. He oversees the controller’s office, budgets, financial planning and analysis, purchasing, audits and campus services. He provides advice and reports to the chief financial officer, president, and board of trustees. Previously, as vice chancellor for finance and administration at Fletcher Technical Community College in Louisiana, he partnered with the chancellor and leadership team to oversee the business components of acquiring and operating a regional technical college, ensuring sustainability despite budget cuts, and improving employee recruitment, retention and morale. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He lives in Riverside with his wife, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
New committee chairs were also elected: Guy Anderson, Chair of Capital Improvements Committee; Matt Swanson, Chair of Finance Committee; and Jill Dame, Chair of Governance Committee.
The four new members on the Board of Library Trustees replace former trustees Tim Anderson, Sybil Ansbacher, Charlie Kleeman and Jackie Perry.
CURRENT EX OFFICIO MEMBER:
Tia Mackey Leathers
Tia Mackey Leathers is the executive director of the Family and Community Engagement Department for Duval County Public Schools, overseeing district athletics, JROTC, community education, driver education, extended day, volunteer services, the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, the Parent Academy, partnerships, and the district’s United Way Campaign. Leathers has spent 16 years in management, including positions at MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation and Junior Achievement of North Florida Northside/Downtown schools. She is a member of the Jax Chamber’s Professional Women’s Council, United Way’s Atlantic Circle, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and the Bold City Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. She serves on numerous boards, including the Police Athletic League and Hope at Hand, and is a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, a Junior Achievement volunteer, and a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville. Leathers holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of North Florida, a Master of Business Administration degree, and has completed professional programs at Pennsylvania State University and Harvard University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.
About the Board of Library Trustees
The Board of Library Trustees is comprised of volunteers who serve as the policy and planning body for the Jacksonville Public Library system. There are 12 voting members and at least two non-voting members who serve in an ex officio capacity. Non-voting members are the city council president or a designee and up to one additional council member, and the superintendent of schools or a designee. Trustees are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. Each trustee serves a four-year term and may serve a total of two consecutive terms. Bios and photos of board members are available at https://www.jaxpubliclibrary.org/about/board-library-trustees.
About Jacksonville Public Library
The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community and foster success by bringing people, information and ideas together. Last year, more than 3.2 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Libraries, items were checked out more than 4.9 million times, and over 14,000 programs and services were offered to Duval County residents at the Main Library and 20 branch locations. For more information about the Jacksonville Public Library, call 630-BOOK (2665) or visit jaxpubliclibrary.org.