After critical audit, Friends of Hemming Park announces new leadership

Departing CEO hopes 'departure can alleviate on-going distractions'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The board of directors of the Friends of Hemming Park on Monday appointed an interim director to take over the organization after the group's previous CEO, Vince Cavin, resigned.

Bill Prescott, principal with Heritage Capital Group and former chief financial officer for the Jacksonville Jaguars will take over on a voluntary basis as the interim director of the nonprofit until a permanent replacement is named. 

Prescott acknowledged concerns over a recent audit and reduction of funding by the city of Jacksonville. He also said that Cavin and the organization had done some great things, adding that people who used to go out of their way to walk around the park now come through to have coffee or enjoy the park.

"It has been a privilege as well as a distinctive challenge to serve as the chief executive officer of Friends of Hemming Park for the last two years in Jacksonville’s oldest public park," Cavin wrote the board with his resignation. "I hope my departure can alleviate on-going distractions related to past decisions and help push the necessary conversation about what is the best direction for the park and its next level of achievement.”

Prescott said uncertain funding may make it tough to find a replacement for Cavin, and that plus ongoing security issues make it hard to find potential sponsors for future events.

Board Chairman Wayne Wood will take on the additional role as programming coordinator.

Wood praised Cavin for his efforts, noting that the organization has raised over $400,000 in private contributions and attracted over 700,000 people to 1,050 events and programs in the park.

“Vince has brought creative and passionate energy to our efforts to revitalize Hemming Park," Wood said. "We wish him well, as we embark on a new era in managing the park.”

In addition to the resumption of live lunchtime music in the park, Wood also announced that the second annual Hemming Park Beer Festival will take place Aug. 13. Tickets are available at hemmingpark.org/beerfest.

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