GO GIVER: Getting to know Alison Miller

GO GIVER: Getting to know Alison Miller

By Julie Kerns Garmendia
Resident Community News

Alison Miller of Avondale has her hands full with her dual roles as Mayor Alvin Brown’s Special Assistant and special projects director for Ronnie Belton, CFO of Jacksonville. She previously served as director of government affairs for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. When her beloved beagle Lucy died of cancer in 2010 she thought she did not need another pet and definitely could never replace Lucy.
“I have such love for animals I decided to look into fostering and soon learned of the tremendous need for foster homes through Duval County Animal Care & Protective Services, Friends of Jacksonville Animals (FOJA) and other local animal welfare and breed-specific rescue groups,” she said. “There are so many animals that need foster homes, some training and socialization so that they are ready to be adopted…and the individuals and groups working to help these animals always need foster homes, volunteers and financial support.”
The daughter of Avondale residents Gunnar and Betsy Miller, Alison was born at St. Vincent’s Hospital just like her mother, attended Lee High School and graduated from Bolles and Emory University. She completed her degree in Philosophy and English, then graduated from Florida State University with her MBA in Law. Her siblings are brother Cliff Miller and sister Daisy Davidson.

Miller is an active supporter of The Donna Foundation, which cares for women who are underserved and living with breast cancer, and of Greenscape. She also supports the Jacksonville chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national charity committed to raising funds to find a cure for blinding retinal diseases including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosis and Usher Syndrome. Miller’s father is blind.

The chapter’s Black Ties & Blindfolds fundraiser will be held Apr. 5 at 7 p.m. at FSCJ Wilson Center on Beach Boulevard. Tickets are $45 per individual and $80 per couple. Miller participates in their annual VisionWalk fundraiser which will be held Apr. 26 at UNF.

Miller’s interest in community affairs and her volunteerism continue a long family commitment to public service which brings her great pride. Her parents are longtime supporters of cultural organizations, especially the Community Nutcracker Ballet. Her father Gunnar, an attorney and financial planner, has guided many local philanthropists in their charitable
giving, most notably Edith Floyd Pillars and her estate’s renovation of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd pool complex. Miller’s uncle, Florida Senator Lew Brantley, was a lifelong Rotarian, Shriner and served on the Florida Council of Boy Scouts. His wife, Miller’s Aunt Catherine Brantley, also supported the Rotarians, Junior League, and held volunteer leadership positions within the Episcopal Church of Northeast Florida. She was a volunteer RSVP Tale Teller for Central Riverside Elementary Kindergartners.

Miller encourages residents to consider a donation or fostering or adopting an animal in need by contacting either of the two organizations she supports, Animal Care & Protective Services or Friends of Jacksonville Animals. She currently fosters two white German shepherds and a lovable terrier mix named Frisbee who need homes. Phone Miller at (904) 630-4558 or email her at [email protected]

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