Calendar of Events

Welcome J.J. Conners, Board of Directors Jay Fund

Tuesday April 23, 2013
Lunch begins at noon - Meeting begins at 12:30 p.m.
Meet J. J. Conners
Member, Board of Directors
Tom Coughlin Jay Fund

J. J. Conners is the founder and president of Chestnut Hill Investments, a Jacksonville-based commercial real estate development company, and a founding partner of Fairlead of North Florida, a real estate investment and operating company.

Prior to forming Chestnut Hill Investments and Fairlead of North Florida, J.J. was the vice president and market officer for North Florida for Flagler Development Company.  Before joining Flagler Development Company, J.J. worked for AEW Capital Management in Boston, sourcing, underwriting and managing new office, apartment and condominium developments in London, Toronto, Chicago and Washington D.C.

J.J. was born and raised in Jacksonville and attended Bishop Kenny High School. He is a 1992 graduate of Boston College, where he knew Jay McGillis, the namesake for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, and first met Coach Coughlin.  In 2001, he returned to Jacksonville where he currently lives with his wife, Sarah, three daughters, Lauren, Maria and Anna, and their golden retriever, Rose.  He is the chair of the YMCA Duval Regional Board of Directors and has been a board member of Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation since 2008.  

About the Jay Fund program:
The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund is a Jacksonville-based nonprofit founded by former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and current New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.  It assists families with children with cancer by providing emergency household expenses, funeral costs, gas and food necessities and hospital/clinic services as they deal with the emotional and physical adversity of childhood cancer. Coach Coughlin launched the Jay Fund in honor of former Boston College safety Jay McGillis, who battled leukemia.

The Jay Fund recently launched a new financial literacy tool to help families tackling childhood cancer.  Called the Financial Game Plan, the four-step approach helps families understand and manage financial challenges that result from helping a child battle cancer.

The financial game plan includes:

  • A backpack with an organizer to help families manage doctor appointments, keep important contact information and track expenses. 
  • Quarterly financial seminars that give families information, insight and support to manage their finances while battling pediatric cancer.
  • Access to a financial coach that helps families develop and implement a budget and provides guidance to help families make difficult decisions to improve their financial health. Emergency financial assistance.

The Jay Fund worked closely with the families that the Jay Fund serves to develop the Financial Game Plan, finding many times families, consumed by their children’s health, were too overwhelmed to take a real look at their financial health. The Jay Fund realized that sharing with families best practices and tips for making smart financial decisions could significantly improve their financial situation and reduce stress, allowing parents to concentrate on the well being of their child.

Since 1996, the Jay Fund has provided more than $4 million in grants to approximately 1,000 families in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area facing pediatric cancer. As childhood cancer continues to be the number one disease-related death among children under age 19, the Jay Fund is dedicated to not only expanding its financial services, but to also expanding the numbers of families it serves.

For more information on the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, please visit or, or call 904-543-2599.

New Members’ Service Project!
Our Club appreciates our new Members (and Sponsors) for Rotary Year 2012-13!
As we’ve done in the past, the Club is planning a “PET workday” on Saturday, April 27. The volunteer effort has been specially arranged for our new members and their sponsors, and anyone else interested is more than welcome to join the group for our 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. visit to the Penny Farms workshop & warehouse. 

What is a PET? Most of us never give it a second thought. However, for more than 20,000,000 people in developing countries who are unable to walk, it is a major concern. These individuals have suffered the loss of mobility because of landmine explosions, illness, birth defects, disease, or accidents. The three-wheeled, hand-powered PET wheelchairs, manufactured by PET-Florida (and other PET affiliates), provide a means for these physically challenged individuals to achieve the “gift of mobility”. And you have an opportunity to help provide that gift!
A PET vehicle in Honduras

So whatever your skill level, if you want to build “wheelchairs on steroids,” send James Chansler an email ( ) to sign up and for carpooling information. We will be leaving around 8:00 a.m. and returning at 12:30 p.m. Thank you for being  South Jacksonville Rotarians!

Welcome New Member Sandi Christiansen

Sandi Christiansen has a master’s degree in computer science; and has been in the technical field for more than 20 years.  She currently works at JEA as the ERP manager; supporting their financial system.    Prior to that Sandi was the Network/Telecommunications manager; as well as a program manager

Born and raised in Jacksonville, new member, Sandi and husband, Mike, have been married for 21 years. Between them they have six children and 5 grandchildren with another grandchild due in June.  Sandi has two younger sisters and an older brother.  Her parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in July.  Since most of her family lives here in Jacksonville,  family gatherings are events with nearly 50 people in attendance! 

Their youngest child is an 8th grade cheerleader at University Christian School, so many of their nights and weekends surround her activities.  Sandi & Mike love outdoor hobbies -- camping and boating. In addition to children, they have three miniature female dachshunds; ranging from 4 to 11 pounds. 

Brynn, Chris, Lauren & PP Odette

Ladies Ladies Ladies!

From baby talk (Lauren Hopkins) to wedding excitement (PP Odette Struys),  welcoming a new member (Brynn Titone) and celebrating a sabbatical (Chris Bouton)!!

Mark Your Calendar

South Jacksonville Rotary Club Event
Jacksonville Suns Baseball Game
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Food & fun 5:45 pm , game time 7:05 pm
Includes All You Can Eat Pre-game Buffet  $16.95

Recap of the April 16th Meeting
Greeters:   Sandi Christiansen & Alejandro Leon
The Pledge & Prayer:  Sandi Christiansen
Presentation of Australian Club Banner:  Juan Miguel Gutierrez
Introduction of Visitors & Guests: Bill Jaycox
Introduction of Guest Speaker:  PP Mike Darragh
Guest Speaker: Sarah Boone, Executive Director of Theatre Jacksonville