Bessie Coleman and her plane (1922)

Join Us! February 21st Meeting “SMALL BUSINESS MOVES THE NATION”

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This month we are featuring presentations focused on small business opportunities, growth and development with a keynote address from Mr. Opio Sokoni.

Opio Sokoni has completed several documentary films but may be best known for “Bessie Coleman Flying the Blues,” a documentary about the life of the first black woman to fly an airplane. She died tragically in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida in 1926. Opio Sokoni is a renaissance man with a plethora of skills and accomplishments. He is an author many times over. His books include, “I Want to Be a Lawyer When I Grow Up,” “Controlling Blue: Race Media and Policing” and “Bessie Coleman Flying the Blues”; to name a few. He is a law school graduate and an adjunct Professor at Jacksonville University where he teaches criminology.

Opio is the past president of a local branch of the SCLC – the organization Dr. Martin Luther King helped to found. He has also been in radio since 2003. His documentary films are as follows: Small City Big Hip Hop (feature), Meth Around (30 min. short), Turn Off Channel Zero (feature) and Bessie Coleman Flying the Blues (30 min. short). Sokoni has registered several screenplays including a feature on the life of Bessie Coleman. He has signed with an investment company to secure the finance needed to place her life on the big screen as his current and biggest project. Finally, Opio Sokoni is an FAA certified drone unmanned aircraft pilot and provide drone services via his company Scholar Research Academy, LLC.

Ever dreamed of owning your own franchise? John Wyche, Business Development for Triton Franchise will discuss the many exciting franchise opportunities available in the Jacksonville area.




Date:          Wednesday February 21, 2018
Time:          11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location:   JAXPORT Board Room
2831 Talleyrand Avenue
Jacksonville FL 32206

Cost:            $10 Member     $20 Non-member    

Advance registration is required and lunch is included.  In the comment section, please include any special dietary needs.

Sign up here:


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 JAXPORT’s Lisa Diaz, Manager, FTZ and Logistics Services, today addressed attendees at the Conference of Minority Transportation Professionals (COMTO) Jax monthly meeting.

Lisa shared what led her to work in the transportation industry and how she earned her position at JAXPORT. She provided attendees with three steps to reach their personal and professional goals in 2018: believe and push yourself, find your inner motivation and show up each day.

COMTO is the nation’s only advocacy organization for minority professionals and businesses in the transportation industry.

Another Successful Year of Giving!

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For the fifth year, members of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Jacksonville Chapter facilitated a community outreach effort to support the local senior community.

Members boarded a Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) trolley to deliver holiday gifts to the residents of Peterson’s Assisted Living facility in Springfield. The gifts largely consisted of basic need items like warm clothing and personal care products. Peterson provides full support and housing to low-income senior citizens. Community champion, Mrs. Mary Peterson, has been providing these resources in the greater Jacksonville community for 46 years.

Very special thanks to JTA for allowing use of the trolley, our gracious sponsors and the holiday outreach committee chair Sherman Rothwell. They worked tirelessly to organize and facilitate a another successful outreach initiative.

Team COMTO with Mrs. Mary Peterson (center)

Good Time for a Great Cause

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The chapter also hosted its annual holiday social at The Candy Apple Café on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00pm. The event was an opportunity to thank our sponsors and for members to network with a wide range of transportation agency leaders and representatives. Pictured above is Holiday Social Chair, Martini White; Platinum Sponsor, Gregory Mundy, President and CEO of IMDC, Inc. and Chapter President, Aisha Eccleston



November Meeting Spotlight on Autonomous Transportation

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The COMTO Jacksonville November Membership Meeting featured a presentation on the autonomous transportation revolution by Robert Hooper Jr., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Atlantic Logistics. Autonomous vehicle technology is here and already changing transportation, the logistics industry and the world. This is a once in a lifetime revolution which will save thousands of lives and transform millions of jobs. Buckle your seat belts!

During the meeting, the COMTO Jax Executive Board recognized COMTO National Past Board Chairman Bob Prince on his recent induction to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Hall of Fame.

COMTO Jacksonville Wins Big at National Conference!

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At the 46th National Meeting and Training Conference in Detroit, Michigan on July 18th the Jacksonville chapter of Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and its members were recently honored with three awards at the annual COMTO Industry Awards Dinner during the organization’s National Meeting and Training Conference.

The organization’s highest honor, the Thomas G. Neusom Founders’ Leadership Award, was presented to Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., JTA’s Chief Executive Officer.

Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr.

COMTO Jax member Christopher Macklin, DBE/Diversity Compliance Officer/Diversity & Equity Program at JTA, received the emerging leader award.

Christopher L. Macklin

The Jacksonville Chapter received the award for best membership recruitment and retention activities.

Learn more about each award here.

APTA Board Member presents at COMTO Jacksonville meeting

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At the June monthly meeting, Kevin J. Holzendorf provided members an update on new funding in Washington, D.C. and how the changes affect transportation and infrastructure initiatives.  Holzendorf is an Account Manager at CISCO Systems, Inc., JTA Board Vice Chairman and APTA Board Member.

Also, the Jacksonville chapter awarded a $1,500 scholarship to Marcus K. Rentz. Rentz is an incoming freshman at Armstrong State University.

COMTO Jacksonville President named top young business leader

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JAXPORT marketing expert Aisha Eccleston has been named one of Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 under 40 recognizing Jacksonville’s most successful young business leaders.

Aisha has served in positions of increasing responsibility during her 10 years at JAXPORT, working in business development as well as sales and marketing. In her current role, Aisha provides guidance and assistance to freight forwarders and customs brokers looking to grow existing business opportunities and attract new business through JAXPORT. Last year, Aisha was nominated to participate in the country’s first U.S. Department of Transportation’s Every Place Counts Leadership Academy, held in Washington D.C.

Aisha is currently president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO Jax). She also gives her time to numerous community efforts, including serving as a JAXPORT mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

COMTO Jacksonville Provides Professional Headshots & Career Advice to Local College Students

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On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 COMTO Jacksonville hosted its 3rd annual college leadership event and provided local college students professional head shots. Forbes Magazine lists a professional head shot as one of the 8 Things Today’s College Students Must Invest In To Get Hired.  The event featured special guest speaker Fred Haley who shared his secrets on how to achieve career goals. ADD VALUE!

Special guest speaker and distinguished Toastmaster, Fred Haley has over 40 years experience in transit management and administration.