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How Jaycees Young Woman of the Year came to help local children and victims of domestic violence
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Jenny Floyd is the Gainesville Jaycees Young Woman of the Year. She has spent 10 years on the board for Gainesville’s Gateway Domestic Violence Center. Floyd works with the nonprofit to fight against domestic violence and create a safe environment for victims of abuse in Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

Jenny Floyd’s passion for family law courses through her veins and flows into her philanthropic work.

Since moving to Gainesville in 2004  Floyd, Gainesville’s newest Jaycees Young Woman of the Year, continues to help victims of domestic violence and children with special needs in Hall County.

Floyd grew up in Dalton and earned her law degree at the University of Georgia. She then spent 10 years working at the Smith, Gilliam, Williams & Miles law firm in Gainesville.

Floyd said she was born into a family of lawyers, so it was only natural for her to gravitate toward the field. Her focus entails family law, which involves divorces and child custody cases.

Through her experience with family law, she dealt with domestic violence issues, which led to her taking an interest in Gainesville’s Gateway Domestic Violence Center.

She has spent 10 years on the nonprofit’s board of directors, helping with its fundraising efforts and putting on dinners for the center’s mothers and children.

“It’s a very well-run organization that I’m proud to be a part of,” Floyd said. “It does a lot of good for people who need it. There’s good leadership, a great executive director and very good staff that really accomplish the goals of the organization, providing support for victims of domestic violence.”

Whether victims of abuse need a place to stay, support groups or help with transportation, Floyd said Gateway meets those needs that exist in the community.

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Jenny Floyd was named the Young Woman of the Year at the Chattahoochee Country Club on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

After taking her child who needed speech therapy to Sisu Integrated Early Learning in Gainesville, Floyd’s attention turned her gaze to another nonprofit.

“I got to see personally how young children can benefit from therapy and how important early intervention is,” she said. “It’s awesome that there’s a place here that provides it so you don’t have to go to Atlanta.”

Floyd has volunteered with Sisu for nearly eight years and currently works as the organization’s board chair.

She is also the tri-chair of Marketplace, Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s annual fundraiser, and on the board of directors of the North Hall Community Education Foundation.

When starting her career in Gainesville, Floyd said she never expected to become so immersed in the community. She credits her pull toward volunteer work to her upbringing.

“I saw my parents doing it, so I kind of grew up with the expectation that you help and give back to your community,” Floyd said.

Floyd said she can’t pick one particular fundraiser that she’s the most proud of coordinating because “all of them are great.”

“We live in a very philanthropic community,” she said. “We’re lucky to live in an area with very generous people.”

Now that Floyd has retired from practicing law, she has more time to devote to her volunteer work, husband and two kids.

Even though neither Floyd nor her husband are from Gainesville, she said the city has quickly taken up residence in her heart.

“We definitely consider here home now because everyone welcomes you with open arms,” she said.

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