Gigi Simmons is a 40-year resident of Gainesville who returned after studying sociology at the University of South Florida to her home in Porters Quarters. Gigi has been instrumental in improving conditions in her community and motivating citizens to come together to create better conditions in the area. She organized the Heat Wave program and coached the basketball team in addition to serving as President of the Porters Community Association.
In 2012, Gigi was awarded the Albert Ray Massey Citizen Volunteer Award and was named as a Neighborhood Hero by the Gainesville Police Department for her efforts on behalf of the Porters neighborhood. In late 2012, Gigi joined the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, hoping to focus on the positives of the Porters and its potential for development and growth.
Simmons collaborated with public agencies on projects such as a community garden, a health fair, a voter registration drive, and a back-to-school backpack giveaway. As president of the Porters Community Neighborhood Organization, Simmons strives to foster neighborliness and prosperity in her long-time home neighborhood. Reports of crime in Porters have dropped by more than half from 2011 to 2012.
In addition to graduating from USF, Gigi also earned her certificate of Small Business & Entrepreneurship from Santa Fe College. After rearing her sons and forming her own business, Simmons Tax Service LLC, Gigi is now working on her Master’s Degree in Public Administration.