Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park Announces New Appointments to Board of Trustees

Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park Announces New Appointments to Board of Trustees
Four new members join park leadership committee for three-year term


Jacksonville, Fla. –– April 6, 2023 –– Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park (FOJWJP) today announced the addition of four new members to the organization’s Board of Trustees. Michael Corrigan, Diana Donovan, Darryl Willie, and Marlo Zarka have joined the Board as of April 3, and will each serve a three-year term.

“Our board focuses and directs the efforts of the oldest and most historic public park in Jacksonville,” said Bill Prescott, Board Chair. “Transforming this public park into a modern, inclusive, urban space is our mission. We want to engage diverse communities and restore vitality to our city’s public square –– and our board’s involvement is essential to that work.”

“We are honored that these high-caliber professionals have joined us in our efforts, and will help steer our recently adopted strategic plan and community partnerships in the years to come,” said Liz McCoy, Executive Director of Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park.

Michael Corrigan has served as the President & CEO of Visit Jacksonville since 2018. He is responsible for marketing, selling and promoting Jacksonville’s image, driving visitation and boosting the economy through tourism.

Michael brings more than 40 years of executive leadership experience to the Friends of James Weldon Johnson board of trustees in both the public and private sectors. Prior to his role with Visit Jacksonville, Corrigan served the City of Jacksonville as a City Council member for District 14 for eight years, before going on to serve as Duval County Tax Collector for more than six years. Corrigan is also the Owner and CEO of Nu-Trend Plastics, a manufacturing business that primarily supplies the bakery, airline, seafood and candy industries throughout the United States.

Diana Donovan is the Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, a leading local arts and culture agency that stewards arts funding on behalf of the City of Jacksonville. As part of her role, she facilitates and elevates project management within the Art in Public Places program and, along with her team, helps to ignite the creative economy through partnership, granting and developing cross-sector opportunities.

Donovan currently serves on the JAXUSA Steering Committee for Elevate Women- Elevating Women into C-Suite and Business Board Level Positions and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s Committee for Riverfront Activation & Light Installment. Prior to her board appointment, she also served on the James Weldon Johnson Park Strategic Planning Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Jacksonville University.

Daryl Willie serves as a School Board Member for Duval County Public Schools, District 4. His accomplishments to date include securing monumental funding for the rebuilding of neighborhood schools, successfully raising teacher salaries with a county-wide vote and changing the names of confederate schools in the community.

Willie has 20 years of education experience, including as a classroom teacher, Education Administrator at the University of California, Berkeley and as the Executive Director of Teach For America in Jacksonville. His work centers on impacting communities of color, with an intentional focus on sustainable outcomes for students and young adults.

In addition to his school board role, Darryl also works as a non-profit leader and consultant in workforce development and education, spearheading community and business partnerships, managing strategic projects and accelerating and facilitating learning spaces across multiple cities and states. He holds a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Georgia.

Marlo Zarka is the Public Policy Lead of Blue Zones Jacksonville, working with community partners and local governmental staff to change, add or remove policies and practices in the built environment, including food, tobacco and alcohol arenas. She facilitates critical conversations supported through significant community outreach and education to increase understanding of how specific policies may impact well-being. She is an accomplished communicator and brings more than 15 years experience crafting customized strategic plans to expedite organizational goals over critical growth periods.

Zarka is a member of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), the International Coaching Federation and was part of the Leadership Jacksonville class of 2020. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Florida and a postgraduate certificate in executive coaching.

The four new additions join current board members Bill Prescott, Board Chair, Stephen Pollan, Vice-Chair and Wayne Wood, Secretary.

Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park is actively seeking candidates for two additional board positions, as well as committee members. For more information, contact Liz McCoy at