Jacksonville News

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo


Date ArticleType
6/19/2023 4:00:00 AM Member News

Junior Achievement of North Florida’s Two Longest Serving Board Members Reach Director-Emeritus Status


Jacksonville, Fla., June 20, 2023 – Junior Achievement of North Florida is pleased to announce that two of its longest-serving board members are the first board members to achieve the director-emeritus designation. Fred McGinnis and Mike Clements have served for decades as members of JA of North Florida’s board of directors. McGinnis was appointed to the board in 1977 and served 46 years to advance the nonprofit’s mission. Clements joined in 1991 and has spent 32 years on the board.


“The dedication that Fred and Mike have shown to Junior Achievement will likely never be surpassed,” said Shannon Italia, president of JA of North Florida. “Their commitment to the advancement of young people in North Florida through JA’s programs teaching financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness is honorable. In the last four decades, our nonprofit has grown a lot and that is in part to Fred and Mike’s guidance.”


The legacy that McGinnis and Clements leave behind will not end with a move to Director-Emeritus. The two will remain important and valued members of the board but will not be involved in motions and voting. They will receive board communications and are invited to attend all board meetings to continue to provide their wealth of knowledge and insight to continue JA of North Florida’s growth and its impact on young people’s lives.


“Fred and Mike are rare breeds, especially within a constantly changing business environment,” said Meg Rose, board chair of JA of North Florida. “Their dedication to JA is immeasurable and we thank them for their decades of service. They have positively impacted thousands upon thousands of young people through their commitment to this organization.”


Throughout the years, McGinnis and Clements worked both as volunteers and fundraisers for JA of North Florida. McGinnis was working as a CPA in 1977 when one of his clients suggested he join the board of JA of North Florida at a time when JA was available only after school hours and there was only one program for junior and senior high school students. At the time, JA only had three staff: an executive director, a project manager and a bookkeeper. Since then, the organization has grown both in the programs it offers, its staff, and the funds raised each year to deliver those programs.


When asked about his fondest memory, McGinnis said, “The growth of the organization particularly when we made it not just an after-school program but when we went into the high schools and into the middle schools and into the elementary schools. Watching the growth both in Jacksonville and nationally.”


Clements stated, “I enjoyed being there and helping grow Junior Achievement. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the younger kids the value of free enterprise. The value of being an entrepreneur. I too am an entrepreneur, so it was nice to explain to young children the value of being an entrepreneur.”


Asked what he would like to see for the future of JA, McGinnis added, “Obviously continued growth. I would just like to see a good active board where people are really interested and where every board member goes into the classroom at least one or two times. Until you get into the classroom you really don’t appreciate the value of Junior Achievement.”


About Junior Achievement of North Florida

We envision a world where young people have the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Since 1963, our volunteers, educators and supporters have been inspiring and preparing students to succeed through learning experiences that help young people reach their potential. To learn more about Junior Achievement of North Florida, visit www.janfl.org.