Jennifer I. Nelson has joined the Uncommon Friends Foundation today as its new executive director. She will oversee daily operations of the Uncommon Friends Foundation, the operation and maintenance of the Burroughs Home & Gardens, and oversight of the James Newton Archives. Nelson has been in senior management positions for eight years at Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, most recently as senior director of operations.

Nelson held previous management positions at Goodwill Industries in Houston, Austin and Galveston, TX. Her vast nonprofit experience includes operations management, budget oversight, fundraising, expanding streams of revenue, cost containment, marketing, personnel supervision, and event leadership.

John Albion, chairman of the Uncommon Friends Foundation’s board of directors said, “After a process that saw over 150 applications submitted, the board is very pleased with the extensive experience, energy and commitment that Jennifer brings to the Foundation. We had many exceptional candidates and believe Jennifer is the right leader to help us expand our mission and goals to write our next chapter. As Jim Newton always said, “The best IS yet to be …”

Nelson has been an active volunteer and advocate for PACE Center for Girls of Lee County as both a board member (since 2015) and as chairman of its “Love that Dress!” fundraiser (2014). She is an active board member for Recycle Florida (since 2011) and is a member of the Women in Business Committee for The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. Nelson was also appointed as a member to the Lee County Sustainability Advisory Committee for the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.

Nelson holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Art History from the University of Texas and is a graduate of Goodwill Industries’ International Senior Leadership Program and its Kaizen Training program. She resides in Cape Coral with her daughter, Piper.