The Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (J.U.M.P.) has announced the retirement of long-time leader, President/CEO Sharon Hurt. Hurt retires after over 22 years of service with the organization with her official last day being September 30. As part of its full transition plan, the organization has selected Nashville arts professional Lauren Fitzgerald to lead the future of the organization. Fitzgerald will begin her new role as executive director on December 1.
“It has been an amazing journey,” said Hurt. “I have grown with the North Nashville community and learned so much along the way. Our board of directors is completely supportive, and I appreciate all who have served this great organization. We accomplished so much in developing and nurturing this rich, vibrant and historic area of Nashville. I will be forever grateful to the J.U.M.P. team for the experiences and lessons you have given me and my family along the way.”
Hurt will continue serving as executive director of StreetWorks, a nonprofit working to eliminate the HIV/AIDS epidemic by providing free, confidential HIV testing and supportive services to persons living with HIV/AIDS. She has held both leadership roles for the past three years.
J.U.M.P. has grown under Hurt’s leadership from a group of concerned business owners, residents and developers into a nonprofit organization committed to cooperative economic development in North Nashville. Today, J.U.M.P.’s membership is comprised of individuals and businesses with one thing in common: keeping Jefferson Street alive and thriving. J.U.M.P. brings community members together to celebrate the diverse history of Jefferson Street each year at the annual Jefferson Street Jazz and Blues Festival, which earlier this year celebrated its 21st year featuring national artists After 7, and the annual Christmas Extravaganza (awards program).
J.U.M.P. is rolling out a transition plan that will fully acclimate the board and its new leadership.
“This organization started with the vision of key community leaders who were concerned about the impact of the city’s growth that did not include the importance of North Nashville within its fabric,” said Hurt. “Over the years, we have designed, built and executed programs, as well as initiatives that have assisted individuals, businesses and organizations within the Jefferson Street corridor and North Nashville area grow and thrive. But there is still so much work to do. It is an honor to pass the baton to an enthused board of directors and an experienced nonprofit leader.”
J.U.M.P. is pleased to announce that Lauren Fitzgerald, a local arts leader working to bring diverse communities to the intersection of non-traditional learning spaces such as libraries and community centers, social justice, and the arts will be joining the organization. She is skilled in program management, organization development, fundraising, community engagement, performing arts production, and youth services. She served most recently as the managing director of the Intercultural Leadership Institute at Alternate ROOTS, a regional arts service organization with a 30-year history.