Name: Susan Cohn
Role with JCCI: Research Director
JCCI: What do you do from 9-5?
I am the newly-appointed Research Director at JCCI. I love digging into projects and working with the community to derive solutions and guide growth. I’m looking forward to researching community issues and indicators and working with the JCCI team to present data in a way that will motivate discussion and meaningful change.
JCCI: What do you do outside of work?
I’m a shutterbug, particularly when it comes to photographing my travels. I try to alternate domestic and international trips on a regular basis. I went to India last year and would like to go to Ireland and Scotland in 2014. I also love to be outside. We are so fortunate to have an expansive and diverse state and national park system. Hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, and bird watching are some of my favorite things to do, and our park system provides a beautiful and inexpensive way to see the state and country. Other than that, I usually start my day with yoga and finish it with a good book – Game of Thrones (book 2) has me captivated at the moment.
JCCI: How & when did you get involved with JCCI or JCCI Forward?
My parents are big believers in civic engagement, and my father had suggested I look into JCCI Forward about 10 or so years ago. I was getting ready to attend graduate school in Atlanta though so my time in Jacksonville was limited. More recently I’ve worked with JCCI staff on the Healthy Kids, Healthy Jacksonville initiative and have participated in JAX2025.
JCCI: What is your favorite hidden gem in Jacksonville?
Chamblins Bookmine. You can literally get lost in the Roosevelt shop. I grew up in Jacksonville, and they have been there as long as I can remember. I won’t go anywhere else when I need to buy a book.
JCCI: What community issue is on your radar that doesn’t get enough attention right now?
The health of the St. Johns River and all of our regional waterways is of primary concern. Most cities would love to have a gorgeous river running through the middle of their Downtown, but we’re so used to the presence of the St. Johns that we take this amazing gift for granted. There needs to be more education around water conservation and the impact that a healthy watershed has on our individual wellness and our city’s economic vitality.
JCCI: Why is JCCI important to you and Jacksonville?
JCCI encourages residents to not only learn about their community and participate in honest dialogue about difficult issues but also to get involved. The conversation is the starting place, but the journey to action and implementation is key. As a professional community planner, I can tell you that it is a rare and special thing to have an organization that is dedicated to the implementation of community plans by community members.