Gigi Simmons has resided in Gainesville for 40 years. As a mother and small business owner, Simmons is being recognized for her devotion to community service. She is the driving force behind the development and improvement of her long-time neighborhood, Porters Quarters. Upon completing college, Simmons returned to Porters Quarters in an effort to bring it back to the “caring and family-oriented community” it used to be, she says. While raising her two teenage sons, Sterling and Nicholas, she started her own business, Simmons Tax Service LLC. In 2012, she received the Albert Ray Massey Citizen Volunteer Award for her service in the community and earned the title of Neighborhood Hero from the Gainesville Police Department.
As the president of the Porters Community Neighborhood Organization, Simmons has collaborated with public agencies on several initiatives to enhance the neighborhood’s image and decrease crime rates. These initiatives include beautification projects, health fairs, voter registration drives, back-to-school backpack giveaways and more.
Simmons has showed a clear passion for service, but Porters Quarters holds a special place in her heart. Her primary mission is to serve the community she has called home for most of her life.
By organizing initiatives such as the Summer Heatwave Program, Simmons has provided a way for young adults to spend their time in the summer in a productive manner. The program includes everything from basketball tournaments to pool parties to life-skill classes, offering positive ways for kids to spend their free time.
Simmons is currently working toward a master’s degree in public administration. She hopes the degree will provide her with the tools necessary to bring even greater benefits to the Gainesville community at large.