The people behind the programs.
Lauren Weedon Hopkins, CFRE
Lauren Weedon Hopkins joined the Catholic Charities Jacksonville Regional Office in August 2015. She is a Jacksonville native with more than 18 years of marketing and communications experience, including 13 years as a nonprofit leader focused on development and program management. She is past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Florida First Coast Chapter and holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. Lauren is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders sponsored by the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. She holds a B.A. in Print Journalism and English from Washington and Lee University.
Following a 24-year career with the U.S. Navy, Matt completed a B.S. degree in Business Administration with a focus in Project Management. He then accepted a position at Orion Solutions LLC as a Project Manager, overseeing a highly successful, multi-million-dollar communications project. Matt joined Catholic Charities as Associate Director in 2013.
Director of Finance
Emily Moody joined Catholic Charities in February of 2017. She has worked in the Jacksonville nonprofit community for more than 11 years. Emily holds a B.A. in Financial Services and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of North Florida.
Director of Development
Nicola Barnack joined Catholic Charities in July of 2017. With more than 13 years of nonprofit management, Nicola brings expertise in marketing, communications, development, and event planning. While working locally with national organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the American Lung Association, she launched annual campaigns and branding efforts to advocate for health and human services, education and mentoring. Nicola is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Communications.
Director of Camp I Am Special
Rebecca Aleman first started with Catholic Charities by volunteering at Camp I Am Special. She became the Director in November of 2010. Rebecca, a registered nurse, holds Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and in Behavior Psychology and she is certified in Behavior Management and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Rebecca is a proponent of celebrating the “abilities” in disabilities as well as mentoring teen volunteers who will be our future leaders.
Director of Immigration Legal Services
Iraida Maria Martinez has served as the Director of Immigration Legal Services since August 2017 and has been a part of the Catholic Charities team as an immigration counselor since 2006. In July 2010, she became accredited by the Department of Justice Accreditation to offer immigration legal services. She is involved in the community and is a regular contributor to “La Voz de Emanuel” radio program which airs on La Raza 92.9. Iraida holds a B.A. in Arts with a major in Public Communication from the University of Puerto Rico.
Lili High, Ed.S
Director of Emergency Assistance
Lili High has served as the Director of Emergency Assistance for nearly four years. During her 35-year career in social services, she has worked as an administrator, program developer, trainer, educational consultant, and adjunct professor. Lili has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana State University, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, a Certificate in Instructional Systems from Florida State University, and an Educational Specialist Degree from the University of Nebraska Kearney. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Florida Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. and the Northeast Florida COC Governing Board.
Manager of Workforce Development
Lynn Higgison joined Catholic Charities in January of 2019. Lynn completed her Master’s degree in Human Resources Development (HRD) from Webster University in July of 2019. In addition, Lynn is a certified Human Resources professional with both the SHRM-CP and PHR professional designations, as well as being an Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) since 2011. Lynn has spent the majority of her career in diverse corporate training and development roles in multiple industries. Prior to joining Catholic Charities, Lynn had her own small business where she provided professional resume writing, career coaching, and other career transition support services to clients throughout the United States.