Interim President and CEO
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Jennifer Wakefield, APR, is the Interim President and CEO // Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Greater Richmond Partnership. She relocated to Richmond from Florida to work for GRP in September 2017 and became Interim President and CEO in January 2019.
Prior to joining GRP, Jennifer served as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Orlando Economic Development Commission (now the Orlando Economic Partnership) for 11 years where she launched a branding campaign bringing international attention to the region, increasing leads by 50 percent, increasing consideration of Orlando as a business location among c-suite executives from 19 percent to 63 percent and bringing the organization to its highest funding in history. She worked on numerous transformational projects in the region including the Amway Center, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Citrus Bowl, Lake Nona Medical City, SunRail, BRIDG / NeoCity and the merger of the Orlando Economic Development Commission and the Central Florida Partnership.
In her 20-year career, she has garnered extensive experience in strategic marketing and communications planning, executive consulting, proactive issues management and media relations and is a recognized thought leader in developing marketing strategies for economic development. She also has marketing and communications experience in the transportation, utility and financial services industries.
Jennifer has a master’s degree in communications from the University of Central Florida and a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from the University of West Florida. She holds the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) designation, signifying a high level of professional experience, competence and ethical standards. She is a former adjunct communications professor at the University of Central Florida.
Jennifer is a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) where she regularly serves as an instructor on marketing webinars and as a speaker at conferences. She is a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). In 2015, she was named to the top 40 Under 40 Economic Development Professionals in the industry as well as 40 Under 40 professionals in Orlando by the Orlando Business Journal. She has won numerous local, regional, national and international awards for her work. She is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Orlando and a 2018 graduate of Lead Virginia.
A self-professed Star Wars nerd and boring suburban mom, Jennifer can be found exploring the Richmond Region with her husband and son between playdates, teaching Sunday school and YMCA youth sports activities.