Meet Our Staff

Laura DiBella

Executive Director

Who better to lead the charge of the Nassau County Economic Development Board (NCEDB) than a driven-to-win distance runner and competitor, who recently set her best time at the 2016 Berlin Marathon with a time of 3:03:42, Laura DiBella.  She hit the ground running when she took the helm of the NCEDB in October, 2014.  Her zest and desire to win brings much energy and inspiration to the team.
A South Florida native, Laura is the daughter of two Sicilian immigrants and American entrepreneurs who taught her that anyone can live the American dream.  Laura’s career began with her father’s company, a machine shop, which earned the reputation as one of the most trusted high-precision Beryllium manufacturers in the United States having successfully completed numerous high-profile aerospace and defense projects, most notably the gyroscope housing for the Hubble Space Telescope. 
But as much as she loved her father and manufacturing, what she really loved was interacting with a lot of very diverse people, so shortly after graduating from the University of Florida, a young and ambitious Laura got her real estate license and started a marketing company, both of which brought her much success, representing many Fortune 500 companies and sharpening her ability to market and sell not only products to consumers but also real estate to end users, often the cornerstone of economic development.  Brokering deals on behalf of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) is what ultimately led her to Nassau County.
While she is as comfortable running 26.2 miles as she is on the floor of a machine shop or negotiating large real estate deals, Laura’s heart lies in education and giving back to the community.  It is this passion that garnered Laura and the NCEDB the 2015 Emerging Partner of the Year award from Florida State College of Jacksonville’s Nassau Campus. Creating alliances with the local school district, community college and nonprofits serving our future workforce pipeline, allow the NCEDB to bridge the gap between education and industry. 
When not working or running, Laura can be found enjoying the beach or cheering on her favorite Florida sports teams.
My Favorite Restaurants:  29 South, Nana Teresa’s Bakery, Fantastic Fudge, every Mexican restaurant in Nassau County, and, of course, Callahan BBQ.

My typical weekend in Nassau County:  Running along Fletcher Avenue as the sun rises over the Atlantic, relaxing in the sun with my toes in the sand and watching football either live or at one of my favorite restaurants.

Why I love living in Nassau County:  The historic charm and also the kindness of the people, they define home.

Community Involvement:  Serves on the boards of the Nassau Education Foundation, Fernandina Beach Main Street, Community First Credit Union Advisory Council, Communities in Schools, Florida State College at Jacksonville School of Business Advisory CommitteeMcArthur Family YMCA and volunteers as a student mentor for Take Stock in Children Nassau County.

Shelley Hirsch

Operations and Compliance Manager

Shelley comes from small town, USA.  Long bedded in her roots of family farming, she always aspired to be a person who helped those beside her.  Being the first of her maternal family to attend college, Shelley excelled in her studies, garnering her Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Certification in Teaching, and being licensed in the insurance and annuities industry.
Her early career in rural New York found success in leadership roles, where Shelley worked as a retail fashion manager, as well as later managing GTi Temporary Services, an employee recruitment and placement office, where she increased job placement for candidates at a pace of 200% over an approximate 10 month time frame.  This success gave Shelley fame in a regional publication, reaping a “Women in Business” spotlight, a Kingston Freeman publication. 
Settling in Nassau County, Florida in 2005, Shelley immediately immersed herself in the non-profit community.  She has previously served on the boards of The Friends of Hilliard Library, First United Methodist Church of Callahan, Take Stock in Children Nassau (TSIC), and the Eight Flags Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA).  Dedicated to various outreach efforts, assisting in the betterment of quality of life, Shelley has been involved with the Nassau Volunteer Center, Barnabas, Communities in Schools Nassau (CIS), Guardian Ad Litem and Joy to the Children.  Shelley culminated her volunteerism career by being a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) as a Community Resource Development Coordinator, building sustainable partnerships focused on eradication of poverty to Nassau County’s population.
Joining the staff of the Nassau County Economic Development Board in 2013 was a natural fit for Shelley, and a win for the organization.  A hobbyist in all things economics, Shelley’s knowledge, perseverance, understanding and patience balances the multi-faceted, complex nature that is economic development, that which is very, very important to our public capacity.  In addition to operational and compliance duties performed for the organization, Shelley is trained in Emergency Support Functions for Business Continuity (ESF-18), and serves as the NCEDB’s liaison to the county’s Emergency Management Center.  Should a natural disaster become imminent, Shelley will work with the businesses of our county, before, during and after the threat, ensuring your business stability and permanence. 
Today, Shelley remains very active within Nassau County’s community, serving with the Amelia Island Museum of History, the Greater Nassau County Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Economic Vitality group, ABWA, the Northeast Regional Leadership Academy, The Sophisticates, TSIC, CIS, and, dancing with the Royal Amelia Dance Academy.
Favorite Pastimes:  gardening, baking, walking the coastline and, when the opportunity presents, visiting the snow-laden north searching out all of the fun wintertime activities.  Her most favorite wintertime fun:  making snow angels in fresh fallen snow. 
Best thing about Nassau County:  All of its history, from the eastern border to the western border.  There is an abundance of historical diversity, with significance to the early settlements of the founding our great country, the United States of America.

Connect With Us

Laura DiBella
Executive Director
Shelley Hirsch
Operations and Compliance Administrator
The NCEDB exists because of the generous support of the Nassau County Board of Commissioners, our local municipalities and economic development partners.
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