DIA head takes on new role with JAXUSA

After five years serving as chief executive officer for the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA), Aundra Wallace will be the next president of JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development arm of JAX Chamber, effective Oct. 1. Earlier this year, longtime JAXUSA President Jerry Mallot announced he would retire effective Sept. 1. 

A local committee of past and current volunteer leaders of JAX Chamber and JAXUSA Partnership worked with a search firm to vet and interview candidates from across the country. The search committee included Tim Cost, Jacksonville University president and chair of JAXUSA Partnership; John Peyton, president of GATE Petroleum and JAX Chamber chair; Kelly Madden, head of commercial banking for Florida for Wells Fargo, past chair of both JAX Chamber and JAXUSA Partnership; Darnell Smith, North Florida Market president for Florida Blue and past chair of JAX Chamber, and Daniel Davis, JAX Chamber president and CEO.

JAXUSA is a private, nonprofit division of the Chamber that oversees economic development in Northeast Florida, working with regional and state partners to create jobs and generate investment. In 2017 alone, JAXUSA Partnership helped attract 5,000 new jobs and more than $633 million in private capital investment.

“Through a very competitive process, Aundra emerged as the right person at the right time to lead our economic development at JAXUSA Partnership,” Davis said. “We have incredible momentum right now and Aundra will use his skills and relationships, both within Jacksonville and around the globe, to keep the momentum going and attract jobs to our region.”

Wallace, 50, has helped finalize and move forward deals which had struggled to take off over the years, such as the Barnett Building and the Laura Street Trio and the former JEA Southside Generating Station on the Southbank, which will be a mixed-use development known as The District. Wallace also structured the financial incentive package to assist One Call Management with its business expansion on the Southbank and participated in and helped facilitate the VyStar headquarters relocation to downtown Jacksonville.

Wallace previously served as Executive Director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority and as Senior Vice President for Real Estate Development and Lending at the North Carolina Community Development Initiative in Raleigh. He graduated from Georgia Southern University and has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Clark Atlanta University.


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