September 16, 2014

Young Professionals

These Young Floridians Are Well-Connected

The next generation of Florida leaders is honing its skills and making connections at young professional groups around the state. Here are some of those future leaders.

Barbara Miracle | 11/1/2008
IMPACTjax
Jacksonville young professionals
Jacksonville young professionals, from left: Lee Brown, Justin Spiller, Leah Donelan, Juan Diaz, Kristen Nimnicht, Mary Goldsmith and Marcus Haile
[Photo: Kelly LaDuke]

“It’s really opened my eyes to what Jacksonville has to offer.”
— Kristen Nimnicht

IMPACTjax
(impactjax.com)
Location: Jacksonville (affiliated with Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce)
Chairman: Juan Diaz, 32,
products group counsel, BAE Systems Products Group, Jacksonville
Chairman-elect: Kristen Nimnicht, 30,
account executive, Lat Purser & Associates, Jacksonville
Members: More than 450
Ages: 21 to 35
Formed: 2005
Dues: $50 a year for professionals working at companies that are members of the Jacksonville
Chamber; $70 for non-members
of the chamber
Social networks: myspace.com/impactjax

Attorney Juan Diaz grew up in the Orlando area, attended Florida State University and law school at the University of Florida and spent the first part of his career practicing in North Carolina. So he jumped at the opportunity to expand his network in Jacksonville. “It’s opened up so many opportunities,” says Diaz, who mentions that it provided entrée to Leadership Jacksonville, which he participated in last year.

IMPACTjax offers monthly professional development seminars and one-on-one mentoring and community service volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House, Jacksonville Humane Society, Habijax, the Mayport U.S.O., Big Brothers Big Sisters and Dignity U Wear. Social events include networking functions, cultural outings and sporting events. On the public policy front, there’s an “Art of Advocacy” and “Ready to Run” series of workshops as well as meetings with public officials.

Incoming IMPACTjax Chairman-elect Kristen Nimnicht, a retail property manager and leasing agent who grew up in Jacksonville, joined the group two years ago even though she had an extensive network of friends and family in the area. “I was looking for some ways to become a more engaged citizen,” says Nimnicht.

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