Lead the Way: Dorothy Jacks


Every month we spotlight an exemplary alumnus or alumna who is a true leader in their field and in the community. These individuals astound and inspire us. We draw the curtain back on their professional careers, daily routines, and the source of their passion. 

Jacks%20Outdoor%20Headshot_0.jpgDOROTHY JACKS, CFa, aas

Palm beach county property appraiser

The Property Appraiser is tasked with valuing property, administering exemptions and maintaining ownership records for Palm Beach County. Dorothy has worked in the office for 30 years and was elected Property Appraiser in 2016. The role is an independent Constitutional officer, and the office values over 630,000 properties for tax purposes on an annual basis.  Dorothy lead sa team of 230 professionals in five offices throughout Palm Beach County. 

What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?  

I brush my teeth.

Do you get any work done before you get to the office?

Yes, I usually read emails while I’m on the elliptical at the gym.

Is there anything unique about your office setup?

I have really bright furniture!  I like surrounding myself with a lot of color, it is just cheerful. 

What are your current goals?

To make the PBC Property Appraiser’s office the best in the nation, through fair and equitable property values and exceptional public service. 

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?  

Running for public office.
What would you say is the hardest part of your day?

Time – I love what I do but am also in the public eye, I want to share our successes with the residents of Palm Beach County but also need to be at my desk – it’s always a balancing act.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

My greatest mentor was (is!) Judge Mary Lupo, the first female to sit on the bench in Palm Beach County.  She encouraged me from a young age to be active in the community and network – she showed me the power of relationships and those lessons served me well throughout my career. She also exemplified ethical leadership and holding yourself to a higher standard – but she is incredibly empathetic too. I try to be all those things. 

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

 I read a lot, and continue to learn all the time. I especially enjoy learning about what the future economy might look like and how the next generation likes to work – great stuff!

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Relatability. People want to know that you would walk in their shoes and you respect what drives them. 

Aside from your work role, what are you passionate about?

Orchids! I love to grow just about anything – it’s very rewarding.  I like to travel and I also treasure friendships – I have some that are very long term.  And my husband, Britt Deviney (LPBC Class of 2006!) – I’m pretty passionate about him….

What issue in Palm Beach County would you like to see fixed tomorrow?

Transit. Why can’t we have a high speed rush hour bus lane down Okeechobee and Southern Boulevards?  Traffic is getting worse and worse and I am not seeing the focus that is needed to solve the problems. I travel a lot and see many mid-sized cities tackling this problem with a lot more attention than we are. 

How do you unwind when you get home?

I’m not home a lot – but my guilty pleasure is HGTV! 

Rapid Fire Round:

Cats or dogs?

Cats – two – Oscar and Felix

Favorite holiday?


TV or movie?


Biggest pet peeve?

People strolling into crosswalks texting on their phones…

Favorite smartphone app?

PAPA Mobile!  (the Property Appraiser’s mobile enabled website – look it up! www.pbcgov.org/papa - you can find anyone in Palm Beach County on the go)