In a significant development for the South City Foundation and the Tallahassee community, Rahkiah Brown has been named the organization’s new chief executive officer [CEO], effective Oct. 9.
This announcement marks a pivotal moment in the foundation’s journey, and stakeholders are eager to witness the positive impact Brown will bring to the South City neighborhood.
South City Foundation, a distinguished member of the Purpose-Built Network, plays a vital role as the community quarterback, uniting various stakeholders in community revitalization efforts. By approaching challenges systematically, the foundation promotes access to quality education, affordable housing and local health and wellness opportunities. It creates an economic pipeline for residents, including job opportunities and access to capital.
Brown’s appointment as CEO is a testament to the foundation’s commitment to fostering positive change in the South City community.
Courtney Atkins, South City Foundation’s Interim CEO and Whole Child Leon’s executive director, praised Brown’s appointment.
“The most important thing about this job is relationship building, which sounds corny but really is true,” Atkins said. “There is so much to know about affordable housing, education, health and wellness, community building, and grassroots engagement. It’s really kind of impossible to be an expert in all of that, so the important thing is to be able to build those relationships, know what you don’t know, and reach out and partner and work with other organizations, the city, the county, and the universities. And I think she’ll be very good at that; she has a lot of experience.”
Brown joins South City Foundation following a successful career at the United Way of North Central Florida [UWNCFL], where she served as the director of community impact. During her tenure at UWNCFL, Brown led strategic initiatives that enhanced the health, financial stability and education of residents in the region. Her accomplishments include overseeing the ReadingPals and Volunteer Income Tax Assistant [VITA] programs and community engagement initiatives.
Brown’s passion for her new role is evident as she stated in a press release, “As the CEO of South City Foundation, I am eager to champion equity, working hand in hand with our dedicated community stakeholders and residents to amplify voices, close service gaps, and provide resources needed for everyone to flourish.”
Brown’s diverse community involvement and leadership background extends beyond her professional roles, as proven by her advisory role in the Partnership for Reimagining Gainesville and her membership in the Greater Gainesville Chamber’s Leadership Gainesville Class 45.
Her extensive contributions have not gone unnoticed, as she was recently nominated as a recipient of the 2024 Fierce Award, honoring women in Gainesville for their outstanding contributions to their community.
Shonda Knight, co-chair of South City Foundation’s Board of Directors, echoed these sentiments in a press release, emphasizing the importance of Brown’s experience.
“We are excited to welcome Rahkiah. Her experience in convening non-profits and civic and private groups is a huge asset in our efforts to strengthen the South City neighborhood.”
The appointment of Brown as CEO of South City Foundation followed a nationwide search conducted in partnership with search advisor Intentional Works. This rigorous selection process underscores the foundation’s commitment to identifying the right leader to guide its mission of community revitalization.
As South City Foundation looks forward to a new era under Brown’s leadership, her wealth of experience and dedication to community empowerment is expected to drive positive change and growth in the South City neighborhood and Tallahassee.