Irene Lazzara, Trustee
Irene graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S. In education. With a specialization in education for the emotionally disturbed, Irene taught both at the elementary and middle school-high school levels. Upon meeting her future husband, she worked as an operations manager for a large, multi-office orthodontic practice, developing and implementing DR-Patient communication systems.
She and her husband, Gasper, established a Family Charitable Foundation in 1997 with stock from their operating company, which later went public. With this liquidity event, they have been able to fund many organizations in their community, along with some targeted contributions outside of their area. With a sincere belief in quality educational opportunities for all in her community, she supports educational efforts for students from age 3 through college. She is an avid animal lover and is part of the Steering Committee for the current capital campaign to benefit the Jacksonville Humane Society. She also supports her husband’s mission to provide affordable dental and orthodontic care to the public, as well as his effort to ensure that enough health care professionals receive quality training to meet the growing need for access in underserved neighborhoods.
She is the proud mother of a “modern family” of five children along with spouses, fiancées, boyfriends, girlfriends, grandchildren and pets. They all have a love of travel and have recently enjoyed family vacations to the Galapagos Islands and Sicily. Along with loving the adventure of travel with friends and family, she also is a lover and supporter of the arts. A true believer that exposure to the arts adds immensely to our quality of life, she supports and enjoys music, theater and visual art.
Irene currently serves as Honorary Board Member and Past Chair of the Florida Theatre Board, Executive Committee Member for the University of North Florida Foundation Board, Co-Chair of The Success by Six Council through The United Way, and Honorary Chair of The Night for Heroes Gala to benefit UF Shands Trauma One, being held in February, 2015. She loves her jam-packed, wonderful life!