Our Staff

Kay Ehas

Chief Executive Officer

Having devoted more than 12 years to polishing two of Jacksonville’s urban neighborhood gems as a board member and past board chair of Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP), Kay Ehas will now focus her attention on implementing the city’s Emerald Necklace as Groundwork Jacksonville’s new CEO. Kay has superior skills in consensus building, networking, recruiting, volunteer management and project implementation. She is passionate about urban neighborhood redevelopment and deeply believes that community empowerment is the key to vibrant successful neighborhoods. Kay has 15 years of experience in local government working with the City Council and a constitutional office, in addition to more than 11 years of private-sector human resources experience including VP of Human Resources for a financial institution. However, she is better known for her community advocacy on behalf of the Riverside Avondale neighborhood, serving as board chair for three years. Under her leadership, the 40+ year-old organization implemented its first strategic plan, expanded its community building capacity and reorganized to address the concerns of the neighborhood's residents. Kay also volunteered with JCCI for seven years, the preeminent civic engagement and participation organization. There she learned how to be a citizen leader, including running effective meetings, inclusive participation, consensus building, and the committee process, as well as gained extensive knowledge about Jacksonville and community issues. Kay Ehas has a Master's in Communication from the University of Florida, and received the Graduation with Distinction award for superior scholarship. She was a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) after receiving her undergraduate degree in Social Welfare where she worked with public housing tenant associations and a low-income senior citizens group.

To get in touch with Kay please email kay@groundworkjacksonville.org

Alyssa Bourgoyne

Program Manager

Ms. Bourgoyne uprooted to Jacksonville in 2012 after spending much of her childhood in the Detroit area. Alyssa worked with the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department (JaxParks) in 2014 to create an online, interactive amenities map. In 2013, Ms. Bourgoyne started work as the project coordinator of the then start-up, environmental non-profit, Groundwork Jacksonville. She led the Groundwork Jacksonville steering committee through the feasibility study process, which launched the organization. She has since led all of Groundwork Jacksonville's programming and project work along the Emerald Necklace. Ms. Bourgoyne graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Communications.

To get in touch with Alyssa please email alyssa@groundworkjacksonville.org

Tracie Thornton

Green Team Coordinator/ LISC AmeriCorps Service Member

Southern-born artist and community advocate Tracie Thornton has years of experience working to empower youth and communities stateside and abroad. Through her artwork Ms. Thornton endeavors to draw attention to the need to be environmentally conscious and responsible through recycling and re-purposing a large percentage of her materials. In Tracie’s community advocacy work she is dedicated to ensuring equal access to public art and active green spaces for all neighborhoods. Ms. Thornton, a returned Peace Corps volunteer, has worked and volunteered with many nonprofit organizations in and outside of the region including First Coast Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, Painted Bride Art Center, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Social Impact Studios, Riverside Arts Market, Harborview Neighborhood Association, and sits on the Art in Public Places Committee through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Tracie is a graduate of University of Florida and serves as the Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team Youth Coordinator as a LISC AmeriCorps service member.

To get in touch with Tracie please email tracie@groundworkjacksonville.org