Corporate Operations

As the population of the Jacksonville region continues to expand, so do the occupations that support this growth, including corporate operations. The region’s competitive business climate, entrepreneurial spirit, and young, highly skilled talent base are just a few reasons why so many companies have already chosen to locate a regional, national or global headquarters in Northeast Florida.

Industry Report

Industry Overview

Northeast Florida’s rich and diverse economy along with the region’s strategic plan has guided our region into economic success and expansion. You’ll find regional and global headquarters from all 5 of The Jacksonville region’s target industries: Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, Financial Services, Life Sciences and Technology Services. Many headquarters throughout the region fall into our support industries as well.

Additionally, the region’s commitment to low cost of living and ideal atmosphere for work-life balance draw in highly skilled workforce that fill the positions that help these companies grow and succeed at levels that make them competitive in the global market. Whether you’re drawn to the scenic waterscapes or adventure of city life, our region offers spaces that welcomes residents to plant roots. From ease and adventure to educational opportunities and career advancement, companies are continually making their way to our region.

Possible Career Paths
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Customer Service
  • Technology Services
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Legal
  • Sales
  • Human Resources

Popular Job Titles
  • First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers Customer Service Representatives
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
  • General and Operations Managers
  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Financial Managers
  • Business Operations Specialists Human Resources Specialists
  • Software Developers

Top Corporate Operations Centers in the Region

Raef Godwin

VP, Advertising Strategy & Operations, PGA TOUR

Like many other recent college graduates, Raef Godwin had a job as a server while trying to determine his future plans. One day, a customer came in who would change the course of his career and life.

A sports enthusiast, Godwin recognized the restaurant’s guest, former collegiate and professional basketball player Kent Benson, and served as his waiter that evening. Benson was one of Godwin’s sports heroes and their exchange at dinner led to an invitation to join Benson for breakfast the next morning. Benson recognized Godwin’s enthusiasm and knowledge, and asked him if he wanted to work in sports.

“Kent Benson’s kindness completely changed my life and career,” Godwin said.

The Jacksonville native, who earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Florida in 1991, parlayed his chance meeting with Benson into a successful career in sports marketing and management. Godwin is now VP, Advertising Strategy & Operations for the PGA TOUR.

“I loved sports as a kid, but I had no idea that my passion for sports could evolve into a career,” Godwin said.

As a result of his connection with Benson, Godwin relocated to Columbus, Ohio, and began working as a community relations assistant at the Continental Basketball Association. Shortly after he arrived, he knew he had found his calling.

“It’s important to find something you have passion for and apply it to your career pathway,” he said.

Godwin wanted to learn more about the business of sports and enrolled in the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he earned a master’s degree in sports management in 1996. His career path included working at the Orlando Magic, the National Basketball Association and the ATP Tour before he joined the PGA Tour as a broadcast project assistant in 2000.

Over the years, Godwin’s responsibilities have advanced as the PGA TOUR has grown and expanded, responding to changing media landscapes and audiences to entertain fans with a variety of platforms. Positions and promotions in digital media, advertising operations and client services led Godwin to his current role.

“There’s great value to getting into an organization, doing the hard work and learning the business,” Godwin said.

Godwin oversees a department of more than 40 talented colleagues responsible for the global strategic oversight of the buy and sell side of advertising operations including high impact display, live and on-demand video, social media, radio, podcast, email, database, search and TV. As a hiring manager, Godwin looks for talented candidates who demonstrate curiosity, a willingness to doing things that haven’t been done before, and who aren’t afraid of a challenge.

“With curiosity, they are going to think about the business innovatively and creatively,” he said.

Godwin attributes his longevity to the PGA TOUR’s culture of collaboration and innovation, and the organization’s charitable impact.

“The PGA TOUR brand is so well respected, but the heart of the organization is its community involvement and charitable giving,” Godwin said. “The PGA TOUR has made a significant impact on so many lives throughout Northeast Florida.”

As Godwin’s experience shows, a career pathway can be unexpected and transform to reflect industry changes. He started out as part of a small team at the PGA TOUR, which has flourished into a news and entertainment brand that engages, inspires and positively impacts golf fans, partners and communities.

Emma Carlson

People Operations Analyst, Dun & Bradstreet

Emma Carlson accomplished what most college students dream of – making a successful transition from college to the workplace.

Carlson secured an incredibly valuable internship at Dun & Bradstreet, gaining on-the-job experience while attending the University of Miami. Upon graduation, she received an offer to transition into full-time employment at the company’s Jacksonville headquarters.

“I was fortunate to land a virtual internship during the summer of 2021 and extend it throughout my senior year,” said Carlson, a People Operations Analyst at Dun & Bradstreet. “This is my first professional job and it has been exciting to start my career at Dun & Bradstreet in Jacksonville.”

Dun & Bradstreet is a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics, and assists companies around the world to improve their business performance. People Operations is a modern interpretation of the responsibilities of a human resources department within an organization, focusing on putting the employee first.

In her role at Dun & Bradstreet, Carlson helps manage the employee journey including orientation and onboarding for new hires. She supports the People Business Partners and the HRIS (HR information systems) Team. She also assists the Early Careers Program Manager with internship program recruitment and operations – the same program that introduced her to Dun & Bradstreet. Carlson relocated to Jacksonville in June 2022.

“It was an exciting time to join Dun & Bradstreet as they were moving their headquarters to Jacksonville,” Carlson said.

Like many students, Carlson was exploring a variety of career pathways during her junior year of college. The internship experience helped her discover her passion, skills and strengths, which is essential for career success.

“I enjoy working with people and achieving business objectives,” Carlson said. “The People Team at Dun & Bradstreet turned out to be an excellent fit for me to learn and grow.”

During her internship, Carlson participated in a rotational training program within the People Team. The experience provided her with skill development and unique insight to support business divisions and corporate functions across the company.

“After exploring the different areas, I gained an understanding of my ideal first job,” Carlson said. “I knew what I wanted before committing to a full-time opportunity.”

Carlson has a strong work ethic and thrives on innovation and embodying the company’s core values. She says collaborating and assisting others throughout the company – both locally and globally – is the most rewarding part of her position. Carlson appreciates the company culture at Dun & Bradstreet.

“The support I have received from my team and my leader throughout my time at Dun & Bradstreet has been amazing,” Carlson said. “Everyone supports your growth and wants you to succeed.”

Like many young professionals, Carlson would have relocated anywhere for the right position. She’s happy her career brought her to Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville is one of the hottest job markets and has so much to offer,” Carlson said. “I enjoy the beaches, the restaurants and the St. Johns Town Center where our headquarters is located. There is something for everyone in Jacksonville.”

Lex Walton

Production & Application Support Specialist, VyStar

They said it paid $10, so I was interested,” says Lex Walton, Production and Application Support Specialist at VyStar Credit Union, of his opportunity as a student intern and student manager at Wolfson High School’s VyStar Academy. “I never thought about going into the financial sector, but that was the start of my IT career.”

Lex learned tremendous lessons while involved in the VyStar Academy in high school in 2012 and 2013. He assisted in teaching fiscal responsibility to other students. He assisted with branch efficiency and modified processing systems. Lex also learned computer repair, which included hardware and software, sparking an interest in Information Technology (IT). Lex learned about the multitude of career opportunities available at VyStar while a high school student. He reviewed active job postings and saw the education needed to obtain IT positions, as well as the average wages he could earn with specific IT skills.

Lex continued working for VyStar post-graduation as a Teller Specialist 1 and Teller Specialist II. These positions allowed him to craft listening and empathy skills, as well as master cash handling and balancing abilities. Lex knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career outside of direct customer service.

However, his transferrable experience as a teller consistently proves valuable as he grows his IT career. His career ladder has allowed him to interface with customers, the end-users of the apps he works so diligently to support. “I’ve worked with our customers and I know how they’re going to react if technology isn’t working. It gives me a sense of urgency to make sure everything’s right.”

While working as a Teller, Lex continued his education in IT. While at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ), Lex was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Lex received his Associate of Science degree in Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management and continued on at FSCJ for his Bachelors Degree in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications. Lex took advantage of scholarship opportunities via Career Source Northeast Florida to assist with tuition. VyStar also provides an outstanding tuition assistance program.

As Lex continued to complete educational milestones, he continued taking new steps in his professional career. Averaging a job change at least every 1-3 years, Lex continues to progress. He has been with VyStar for over 8 years now and only continues to progress.
In his current role in Production and Application Support, he troubleshoots application software issues and ensures successful resolution. Lex is an example of how motivation, strategic planning, and resiliency has tremendous impact. He has successfully leveraged opportunities available to him in high school and college. Lex has taken advantage of the high caliber of education and the high-growth IT occupations in Northeast Florida to craft an enviable career with limitless possibilities.