Name: Denise M. Reagan
Role with JCCI: Mystery Lunch guest
What do you do from 9-5?
For the last 18 months, I’ve been editor of Folio Weekly. That means I direct the story content of the magazine and edit all of its contents. I work closely with our small but might full-time staff and a large group of talented freelancers. Starting Dec. 9, I will be managing communications at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
What do you do outside of work?
When I’m not at work, I try to spend most of the time with my husband and our 8-year-old daughter. She and I have tended our growing backyard garden for the last five years. We also love attending community events such as First Wednesday Art Walk, food truck rallies, concerts, plays and other art events. I am a big fan of Downtown, so I look for opportunities to go to events and eat there as much as possible. And soon I’ll be working there as well.
How & when did you get involved with JCCI or JCCI Forward?
I was thrilled to be asked to participate in a lunch conversation about Downtown Jacksonville. I’m a big fan of the work JCCI does, and I’m particularly excited by the JAX2025 project’s goals.
What is your favorite hidden gem in Jacksonville?
I don’t know if it’s hidden, but Downtown is ignored by a large segment of the community. It’s not on their radar, or they’re afraid of even going there. They don’t realize what’s already happening there and what more is in store. I’m excited to work for MOCA and let people know why they need to walk in those doors — and then try a restaurant and see a show or go to a club.
What community issue is on your radar that doesn’t get enough attention right now?
Hemming Plaza needs a complete overhaul to signal to everyone that Downtown Jacksonville is the cultural center of Northeast Florida. We should gut the square and install an amphitheater to host concerts of all kinds, theater productions and more. And it could still be the center of regular events like First Wednesday Art Walk. Then a streamlined system must be put in place so that groups can easily book the space and create constant activity there.
Why is JCCI important to you and Jacksonville?
I was born and raised here. My daughter will also call Jacksonville her hometown. I left for almost 20 years and came back. I’d like her to want to live here as well.