Jeff has called Nashville home since 1998, moving here to complete his music degree at Middle Tennessee State University. He went on to complete his MBA in Technology Management from the Nashville campus of University of Phoenix, located in Donelson. Jeff was a first-time homebuyer in Donelson Hills in 2002 and soon became involved in his neighborhood and community.
Jeff was born in Buffalo, New York. Jeff’s Dad retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel while stationed at Fort McPherson, Georgia after serving 20 years of Active and more than 11 years of Reserve service in Buffalo, NY, St Louis, MO and Atlanta, GA. He served as President of the Georgia Department of the Reserve Officer’s Association and stays involved in neighborhood and civic organizations. Jeff's brother, Dave, is an Emergency Room physician here in Nashville. Jeff has one son, Joey, who attends Hume-Fogg High School.
Jeff has been very active in the Donelson community for almost two decades and has a deep appreciation and understanding of its rich history and a strong vision for a bright future.
Donelson Hills (www.donelsonhills.com)
- Neighborhood Watch – Helped form the Neighborhood Watch for the largest neighborhood in Donelson (over 500 homes) and created the grassroots communication efforts as well as a large email and social networking infrastructure. As Watch Director, leads a team of 17 households that serve as Watch Captains.
- Donelson Hills Neighborhood Association – Founder and Past-President (2012-2013) with a mission to help preserve the post-WWII neighborhood and nurture a strong sense of community, implement beautification efforts (which has resulted in over $20,000 invested towards entranceway beautification and a street sign replacement project) and support greater participation of residents.
Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce (www.d-hchamber.com)
- Served as President (2013) and led the effort of revamping the Program of Work to streamline resources, expand advocacy efforts and enhance grassroots community engagement.
• Established a Business & Technology Committee to focus on applying newer technology and redesign of the website.
• Worked on workforce development advocacy efforts to connect post-secondary institutions with needs of area businesses.
• Expanded the Tourism Committee to include Historic Preservation to support the community’s historic sites.
• Helped develop the Donelson-Hermitage Emerging Leaders, the Chamber’s young professional group.
• Enhanced and streamlined the Community Development Division to engage neighborhoods, the faith community and non-profit organizations more collaboratively.
- Helped engage the Mayor’s Financial Empowerment Center in the Donelson-Hermitage-Old Hickory area.
- Involved in project to create a new tourism brochure with 50,000 copies distributed to Tennessee welcome centers on the interstates as well as an interactive online version.
Donelson Gateway Project (www.donelsongateway.org)
- Served as President (2012-2014) of the non-profit organization committed to beautifying Donelson’s entranceways and other important sites.
- Led the effort to create strong branding and enhanced social media and web presence.
- Expanded the project from physical gateways to figurative gateways with three landscaping projects at local schools – Two Rivers Middle, Hickman Elementary, and McGavock Elementary.
Friends of Two Rivers Mansion (www.friendsoftworiversmansion.org)
- Served as President (2014) of non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, preservation, and raising community awareness of the Two Rivers Mansion and 14-acre property.
- Helped create and establish the “Music at the Mansion” series bringing thousands of patrons to hear a wide variety of professional music acts.
Leadership Donelson-Hermitage (www.leadershipdh.org)
- Graduated with the Class of 2013 and as an alumnus, serve as Chair of the Government & Media Day Committee for future classes.
Hip Donelson (www.hipdonelson.org)
- Founding board member of community group started on Facebook and grew to become a non-profit organization dedicated to being the conduit for community development, enrichment, safety, and education for all Donelson residents.
- Through sponsorships and the sale of promotional items, Hip Donelson has raised thousands of dollars to support local non-profits throughout the community.
- Helped establish a community-wide Night Out Against Crime event at McGavock High School.
- Served as co-Chair of the Community Engagement Committee to help encourage participation of all Nashville communities in the process of planning the next 25-years of growth in our region.
Neighborhoods Resource Center (www.tnrc.net)
- Served as Vice President (2014-2015) of non-profit organization dedicated to neighborhood leader training and development, neighborhood organizing technical help and facilitating community-driven change.
The Blues Foundation (www.blues.org)
- Board Member of non-profit organization known as the international home of the Blues in Memphis, TN, dedicated to preserving Blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form.
- Participated in a $3.5 million capital campaign project that resulted in a Blues Hall of Fame that has become an international tourism destination.
Nashville Blues Society (www.nashvillebluessociety.org)
- Served as Secretary and board member (2010-2015) for Middle Tennessee’s regional non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and advancing the tradition and future of Blues music through music events featuring locally and nationally known recording artists, host blues jams and support The Blues Foundation initiatives such as Generation Blues, which gives kids the opportunity to attend camps and lessons through scholarships.
Music Makes Us (www.musicmakesus.org)
- Serves on the Advisory Council of the joint effort of Metro Nashville Public Schools, Mayor Megan Barry and music industry and community leaders, the Music Makes Us® initiative will lead the nation in music education. With a focus on music literacy and student participation, Music Makes Us® is strengthening traditional school music while adding a contemporary curriculum that embraces new technologies and reflects a diverse musical landscape.
Middle Tennessee State University (Graduated May 2001)
- Bachelors of Music with minor in Recording Industry
- Studied classical and jazz piano
University of Phoenix at Nashville (Graduated January 2005)
- Masters of Business Administration in Technology Management
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
- Over 20-year career holding various positions in sales, marketing, customer service and operations supporting BMI songwriters, composers and publishers. Currently Associate Director of Customer Relations.
- Donelson-Hermitage Chamber or Commerce - Community Service Award (December 2016)
- Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce - Anna Wiggs Memorial Award (December 2014)
- Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville - Nashville Emerging Leader Award 2014 for Arts, Entertainment, & Music Business.
- Nashville Business Journal - 2014 Forty under 40 Award (January 2014)
- University of Phoenix Alumni Association - Community Service Award (August 2013)
- Proclamation for Exemplary Community Involvement to Hip Donelson from Councilman Phil Claiborne (May 2013)
- Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce - President’s New Member of the Year Award (December 2011)
Jeff Syracuse Officially Kicks Off Campaign for Metro Council - September 12, 2014
I spent a great deal of time thinking about what the core values of the campaign should be. “The Soul of a City Lies in the Hearts of the People” is a phrase that went through my mind while reading one of the first articles that put Nashville in a national spotlight. It was from January 2013, written by Kim Severson of the New York Times, titled “Nashville’s Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself”. It is very well written and made me think a lot about our city from a big-picture perspective in terms of where we were, are, and going and also how Donelson’s future plays a part in that.
New York Times (January 8, 2013) - Nashville Takes Its Turn in the Spotlight (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/nashville-takes-its-turn-in-the-spotlight.html)
This line resonated with me: “But to be a truly great city, some skeptics argue, it has to be a place that tends to its residents first and tourists second.” Our neighborhoods are changing and growing and where the soul of our city truly is. We are well known as a friendly and hospitable city and it’s the people who have created that atmosphere and made this city great. I created two ways to highlight special reasons that make Donelson unique and worth investing in.
- The first is the Soul of a City section of the website, which will be something of a “musical blog”. As a musician, it’s an inherent trait in me to want to share music with others. I want to help preserve some of the stories of musicians who called or still call Donelson home and by sharing their music, it’s a great way of showcasing a core element of Music City. It’s already been a great learning experience for me as I research songwriters, composers, artists, and those in the music business who helped support the careers of artists. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have in putting it together.
- The Hearts of the People section will highlight special neighbors in Donelson that have passions for supporting their community and causes that will inspire all of us to support, serve, and give back. Donelson has some of the most warm-hearted neighborhoods in Middle Tennessee and that’s because of the people who live here. These will be stories that show how community is truly created.