Jeff Hayward: President & CEO
Jeff Hayward has served as President & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way since December 2016. With over 20 years of experience in the United Way network and as a nonprofit professional, Jeff brings a unique blend of expertise to the Heart of Florida United Way.
Before his arrival to Central Florida, Jeff served as chief of external affairs at United Way of Massachusetts Bay (Boston) where he was responsible for overseeing the annual strategic investment of nearly $32 million in initiatives and agencies. In addition, Hayward oversaw marketing and communications, volunteer engagement, grants department and the public policy strategy.
Prior to his becoming chief of external affairs, he held the position of senior vice president of community impact where he was responsible for the development and implementation of United Way’s strategies related to healthy childhood development, increasing youth opportunities and family financial stability. In 2007, Jeff oversaw United Way’s strategic shift in its community investment strategy, one which tied United Way’s investment in community-based agency partners to the achievement of measurable, specific outcomes in these focus areas.
Jeff’s professional background – a hybrid of politics, public and private sector service – has prepared him well for his responsibilities. He previously served as chief of staff to the Mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts for five years. He later served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives before becoming the New England vice president for development and marketing for a national, publicly traded health care company.
Jeff represented United Way of MA Bay on the Board of the Massachusetts Alliance for Shelter and Housing, a first-in-the-world “Pay for Success” initiative to reduce chronic individual homelessness statewide. He was also a member of the MA Policy Academy on Ending Family Homelessness charged with developing a 10-year plan to eliminate family homelessness, and was a member of the MA Department of Transitional Assistance’s Housing and Homeless Advisory Committee appointed by the Commissioner of DTA. He also served on the Massachusetts Commission to End Homelessness, which developed a five-year plan to end homelessness in MA under the Patrick Administration.
Finally, he also served as a member of the United Way of America, Financial Stability Partnership Steering Committee, representing one of 25 United Ways selected for their innovation in using asset building as a strategy for providing economic opportunities for lower-income families.
Here in Central Florida, he serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, on the Board of CareerSource Central Florida and as their Secretary, as Secretary/Treasurer of the United Way of Florida in Tallahassee, and as a Board Member of the Orlando Economic Partnership.He is a graduate of St. Anselm College and was a Casey Foundation/United Way of America Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Jeff and his wife Anne-Marie have three children, Nathaniel, Victoria and Abigail.
Graciela Noriega Jacoby, Chief Operations Officer
Born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, Graciela moved to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she received both a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration with a certificate in Urban and Regional Planning.
Graciela began her public service career while she was attending UCF. From 1997 to 1999, she served with AmeriCorps, a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service. She served as a Team Leader for the National Civilian Community Corps in Washington, D.C. With AmeriCorps, Graciela earned the All*AmeriCorps Award, presented to her by President Bill Clinton and the late Coretta Scott King, for a foreign pen pal and cultural education program she launched in one of the outlying communities within Orange County.
From 2000 to 2008, Graciela served as Aide to Orange County Commissioner Teresa Jacobs. On January 3, 2011, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs took office and Graciela has served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since that time. In her role as Chief of Staff, Graciela serves as the Mayor’s top advisor, managing the Mayor’s executive office and taking the lead in implementing all Mayoral initiatives.
Graciela has also worked as an adjunct professor at Valencia College since 2016.
Graciela continues to be engaged in her community. She has volunteered and served in leadership positions with a variety of community organizations, including:
Visit Orlando, Member, Board of Directors (current) – The mission of Visit Orlando is to brand and market the Orlando area globally as the premier leisure, convention and business destination.
City Year Orlando, Member, Board of Directors (current) – Under the Corporation for National and Community Service umbrella, City Year corps members serve as tutors and mentors to help students stay in school and reach graduation.
Prospera, Statewide Board of Directors (current) – The mission of Prospera is to strengthen the economy of Florida through quality business development and training to Hispanic entrepreneurs.
Orange County Sustainability Committee, Co-Chair (current) – The mission of the Orange County Sustainability Committee is to develop a Sustainability Plan to make Orange County a more prosperous, healthy, and livable community for current and future generations by addressing economic, environmental, social and cultural issues in a holistic manner.
AmeriCorps Alumni – Orlando Chapter, Technical Advisor (current) – The goal of the Orlando AmeriCorps Alumni Chapter is to engage alumni in volunteer service projects and social events where they can build a network with other civic-minded citizens.
Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation – Project on Municipal Innovation (PMI) Advisory Group – As a part of the Harvard School of Government, the PMI Advisory Group fosters ongoing collaborative discussions to speed the adaption and replication of innovative ideas into municipal government management.
UCF Alumni Association
Jill Grevi, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
A highly respected member of the executive team, Jill Grevi is responsible for the fiscal oversight of approximately $26.1 million in total resources managed each year by the organization.
Her additional responsibilities include guiding United Way’s financial planning strategies, developing and implementing new policies, ensuring compliance with United Way World Wide membership standards, and managing administrative operations, such as human resources and facility management. As an advisor to the United Way Board of Directors, she also reports on new business ventures, banking and investment strategies and budget matters.
In addition to dollars raised by the annual fundraising campaign, organizational resources for which Jill has oversight include funds managed through United Way’s Emergency & Homelessness Services division, as well as two programs Grevi helped implement — the Ryan White Part B/General Revenue program, which serves AIDS/HIV patients; and the United Way Gifts in Kind Center, which collects and distributes donated goods that help local nonprofit agencies conserve precious dollars.
Committed to fiscal transparency and responsible stewardship, Grevi’s high professional standards have ensured a history of impeccable public audits, which reinforce United Way ‘s reputation as the gold standard for charitable giving — locally and nationally.
An accounting graduate of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Grevi began her career in the commercial real estate and insurance industries. Guided by her passion for helping others, she joined United Way as Finance Director in 1991.
After three years of working with the agency, she returned to Heart of Florida United Way and has continued her tradition of running a first-class accounting operation, which continually receives accolades from United Way board members and the accounting community.
Raymond L. Larsen, M.A., Senior Vice President, Strategic Impact and Community Engagement
Raymond Larsen leads Heart of Florida United Way’s efforts to develop the strategic directions and initiatives that support our mission and create positive changes in people’s lives by providing leadership and vision to address root causes of community issues and the community.
Ray received his master’s degree at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He has worked in the nonprofit sector in Central Florida for his entire career. Ray was co-author of the “Central Florida Regional Indicators Report: Legacy 2000”; and the “Central Florida Children and Youth Report”. He has published numerous articles including: “The Opportunity for Quality Child Care”; “A Strength-Based Approach to School Readiness”; and, “Incubated in Terror: The effects of Abuse and Neglect on Child Brain Development”.
Ray has been recognized for his efforts in the community proudly receiving the Lawton Chiles State Child Advocacy Award; the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce Unsung Hero Award and the March of Dimes National Distinguished Volunteer Service Award. Ray is married to Mary Larsen and the is the father of three sons.
Ashley Blasewitz, Chief Marketing Officer
Ashley Blasewitz leads the strategic direction of the marketing and communications department for Heart of Florida United Way.
She joined the leadership team from Costa Communications Group in Winter Park, Fla. after nearly five years of managing high-profile clients’ communications needs in a variety of industries, including education, nonprofit, banking, real estate and senior living.
Ashley brings expertise in public relations, marketing, social media, community relations, branding and integrated communications. In her previous role as a senior account executive, her duties included overseeing communication strategy, handling media relations on local, regional and national levels, developing community relations campaigns, writing press materials, coordinating events and facilitating production of marketing materials.
An active member of Public Relations Society of America, Ashley was recently certified as an Accredited Public Relations professional. Through the course of her career, Ashley’s work has been recognized by Florida Public Relations Association through Awards of Distinction, Judge’s Award, an Image Award and a Grand Image Award. She earned both her bachelor’s degree in public relations and master’s in integrated marketing communications from Florida State University. A native of Central Florida, she currently lives in Seminole County with her husband, Brian.