JPEF announces changes to Board of Directors


With the new year, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) welcomes new members and a leadership role for Terry Patrick Walton on the JPEF board of directors. Joining the board as of Jan. 1 are Dr. Barbara Darby, Whitney Meyer, and Susan B. Towler.

 Walton, of Terry Patrick Walton Consulting, became the secretary of the board as of Jan. 1. She joined the board in 2022. Walton’s experience in career consulting, career development, and executive search services span her 30-year career. Since 2008, she has focused on providing job search, résumés, interview skills, and career strategy coaching for young adults through Terry Patrick Walton Consulting, and recently with Early Stage Careers in New York. She is the author of the book "Yes! The Job is Mine; 4 Steps to Get the Job” and founded, and previously My Career Catapult, to focus on young adult career development.

Darby retired as president of the North Campus and the Nassau Center of Florida State College at Jacksonville in July 2015. She held this position since 1998. Darby received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Hunter College in New York, a Master of Education degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Florida. She received her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. In 2021 she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from UNF.

 Among her leadership roles, Dr. Darby has served as president of Delta Sigma Theta Jacksonville Alumnae Chapter; president of the Links, Inc., Bold City Chapter; and chair of Leadership Jacksonville. She currently sits on the board of directors for City Year Jacksonville, Volunteers in Medicine, City Rescue Mission, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and Kids Hope Alliance. In addition, she is on the board of trustees for Memorial Hospital. 

Meyer, senior vice president and chief community impact officer for the Jacksonville Jaguars, is responsible for the development and implementation of the Jaguars community impact initiatives, including operations of the Jaguars Foundation, Inspire Change and Social Justice Initiatives, and community activities in connection with local development projects.    

She previously worked as the inaugural Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of North Florida. In that role she advised University leadership on diversity, inclusion and racial equity pertaining to strategies and policies, learning and research, community relations and the recruitment, retention and admission of faculty, staff and students of color.

Currently, Meyer serves on the Florida Sports Foundation Board, PS27 Foundation Board, JAX Chamber Hightower Fellowship Board, and the World Affairs Council Board. She also is a frequent volunteer for the Friends of Boone Park South.

Towler is executive director of the Florida Blue Foundation, established in 2001 as the philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue. She is also executive director of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for Florida Blue and has responsibility for the company’s philanthropic strategy.

Prior to joining Florida Blue, Towler held previous public relations roles at Robin Shepherd Public Relations, Gulf Life Insurance Company, BancBoston Mortgage Corporation and was president of SEB Communications. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Towler is actively involved in the philanthropic and social responsibility sector. Towler serves on the board of directors for several nonprofits including the Children’s Movement of Florida and Florida Humanities. She is the 2021-23 chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation. Towler is active with the Florida Philanthropic Network where she served as chair in 2016. She is also a graduate of Leadership Florida and served as its 2012-13 chair. Towler served as the 2013-14 chair of Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, and is past chair of the University of Florida Public Relations Advisory Council. She also served as vice-chair for the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. Towler is an honorary member of Leadership Jacksonville and Florida Blue Key

“We are grateful to the experience, support and dedication our board members bring to JPEF,” said Rachel Tutwiler Fortune, JPEF president. “As we work to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color, we appreciate the leadership our board members provide.”




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.