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Operation New Hope is pleased to announce that Kaley Vontz has been promoted to Community Engagement Manager. In this new role, Kaley will be responsible for increasing awareness of our mission and cultivating relationships to encourage support, partnerships, and engagement.
Kaley is a Jacksonville native who grew up at the beach and graduated from Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Like many on our team, she has a story of growth here at Operation New Hope. Kaley joined the team as an intern 3 years ago learning about the organization’s Marketing and Communications during the summer before her final year at Wake Forest University. After graduating college, Kaley has done a phenomenal job as our Grants and Donor Relations Coordinator, building a robust contact management platform, helping design our new website, and developing a winning grants management system.
During the last two years, Kaley has acquired a strong understanding of fund development and community engagement and helped increase our message of hope. We are excited to see her put all she has learned into action. We sat down with Kaley to ask her about her plans for continuing to grow with the organization in her new role, and here is what she shared:
• How have you grown professionally while on our team?
I started at Operation New Hope as a Social Media and Marketing Intern in the summer of 2020 and returned as a Grants and Donor Relations Coordinator after graduation in the summer of 2021. Going on my third year at the organization, I feel confident taking on my new role, and I am excited to learn more about the world of fund development. I am so happy to work at an organization that believes in the growth of their employees. Also, I recently was accepted to Leadership Jacksonville’s Next Gen Program 2023, where I am learning alongside other young professionals about what it means to be an emerging leader in Jacksonville. I am excited for the possibilities to come in my new role!
• Who are some of your biggest inspirations within the company?
I am lucky enough to be Kevin Gay’s niece, so I grew up hearing all about Operation New Hope. To know Kevin is to be inspired by Kevin! He leads with passion and by example effortlessly. He inspired me to learn more about the criminal justice system as I grew older, and I am honored to even attempt to carry on his legacy at ONH.
• What’s the most unique part about working here at Operation New Hope?
It’s truly a rewarding job. You get to to see the direct impact of your work every day, which is something that is hard to come by. Everyone here is extremely dedicated to their job, and it’s seen in the success of our clients and the smiles on their face.
• What is one of the most significant lessons you have learned so far?
Personally, one of the biggest lessons I have learned so far is the importance of saying hello and a friendly smile. Many of our clients have been deprived of genuine human connection for far too long, and I have really seen how something so simple as a hello makes such a big impact on someone’s day. Professionally, I’ve learned that there truly is no such thing as a bad question. Asking a question goes beyond getting the answer you thought you were looking for, and it could open a door that you didn’t even know was there. Most often, the answers to questions aren’t what we think they are, and usually, those are the best answers.
• What do you think are the best things about our community?
Jacksonville has an amazing sense of hope, probably instilled in us by loving the Jacksonville Jaguars. We are always looking towards the future, wanting the next best thing for our city. We all have the desire to achieve common good, which I think is great considering all of the wonderful nonprofits in our area. While there is a lot of work to be done in our community, I am confident that our community will do the best we can to address them.
• What does HOPE mean to you?
Hope is the desire for something more and something better, and the thing that you hold on to when times are hard. I see HOPE in our clients every day.
Please join us in congratulating Kaley!