Graciela Noriega Jacoby

Graciela Noriega Jacoby

Graciela Noriega Jacoby is the Chief Operating Officer for Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW).

United Way focuses on prevention and finding long-term solutions for pressing problems facing our community, specifically for the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population. HFUW is Central Florida’s largest supporter of local health and human service agencies serving Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.

Through corporate partnerships and donor giving, HFUW administers programs and invests in non-profit organizations that effectively meet the needs of individuals and families in the community.  Among its programs, HFUW operates the United Way 211 Information and Assistance Crisis Helpline, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) free tax preparation program, Mission United supporting military veterans, Destination Graduation enabling college students to graduate with a degree, and the Volunteer Resource Center.

In her role as COO, Graciela is responsible for oversight of the organization’s program administration, communications, public relations, partnerships, volunteer and advocacy efforts.  She assists the President/CEO in administration, planning, and organizational change efforts. Additionally, Graciela works closely with donors, investors, community partners and key stakeholders to serve and support individuals and families in Central Florida.

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.

Before joining HFUW, Graciela served as Chief of Staff to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs from 2011 to 2018 where she serves as the Mayor’s top advisor, managing the executive office and taking the lead in implementing all Mayoral initiatives.

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.

Graciela has volunteered and served in leadership positions with a variety of community organizations, including:

  • National Charity League Citrus Blossom Chapter, VP of Philanthropy (2023-current)
  • University of Central Florida’s Center for Innovation in Arts and Entertainment, Advisory Committee Member (2023-current)
  • East Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Member, Board of Directors (2021-current)
  • Inaugural Statewide ALICE Summit, Planning Committee Member
  • Giving in Florida,  Advisory Council Member- an in-depth analysis of Floridian households’ giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes, in partnership with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the Florida Nonprofit Alliance (2021-2022)
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, Government Affairs Committee Member (current) and past Chair
  • Adjunct professor at Valencia College
  • 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan Working Group
  • AmeriCorps Alumni – Orlando Chapter, Technical Advisor – 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.
  • Visit Orlando, Member, Board of Directors– 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.
  • 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

Awards and Recognitions include:

  • 2020 Don Quijote Excellence Award Recipient presented by Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and Prospera USA
  • All*AmeriCorps Award recipient presented by President Bill Clinton (1999)

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