Our Story

Putting Community First – An Association Management Philosophy.

Community Association Management is a people business. Yet, for decades, managers have focused their day-to-day efforts on technical activity such as rule enforcement, facilities maintenance, and dues collection. This emphasis, though functional, puts the proverbial cart before the horse. It does not address many of the human needs within communities. Managers need to rethink their jobs, switching the emphasis to service and community building. Why this need for redirection? Because the association management industry, like society, is changing rapidly. Managers must grow with society – even lead the change. Increasingly, managers’ jobs are expanding beyond the traditional roles of a neighborhood police officer, tax collector, or handyman. The notion of service, in and of itself, has become more important. Some of these societal changes stem from legal issues. The concept of reasonableness is replacing strict letter-of-the-law covenants enforcement. The historical measuring sticks of association management success – delinquency rates, the number of work orders processed, the number of outstanding rules violations, performance against the budget – can no longer be the sole indicator of management effectiveness. In truth, these measures track only a fraction of overall performance. The management team and board of directors could achieve perfection in these areas and still have a problem community. How is such a contradiction possible? Because an association’s core purpose is not about buildings, rules, or money. It is a corporation that helps people. Putting people first – building a community for them to prosper in – is the essence of association management. Managers must be the lead architects of this community construction. We are more than maintenance supervisors, rule enforcers, dues collectors, and meeting planners. We are leaders and teachers as well.

Sovereign & Jacobs: A Legacy of Excellence

The great Vince Lombardi once said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence.” This is especially true with the life of our founder, Philip H. Jacobs, and the basis upon which he built this company. Our story began in 1992 when Phil & his wife Mary Way Jacobs founded Jacobs, Jacobs & Associates, after Phil had served in the U.S. Navy for twenty-eight years in various leadership positions, including commander of Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Phil and the Jacobs team quickly formed a reputation for excellence and personalized service to the associations they manage and the owners they serve. As JJA grew over the years, Phil became known in the industry for his intense understanding of community association management and real estate law. Phil became a recognized leader with the highest designation in the association management industry as a Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM®) and was designated as a faculty member for the Community Association Institute teaching advanced management techniques throughout the United States. Phil was certified by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) to facilitate seminars for the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums and Mobile Homes targeting Condominium and Cooperative homeowners in Florida. He was also a State designated education provider for the C.A.M. Pre-Licensure requirements. While expanding their business in the central Florida area, Phil & Mary met Ellen G. Lumpkin, a Partner of Melrose-Sovereign Companies, a leading dual-service Property Management Company operating throughout the state. Ellen is also a management leader known for her integrity and solid knowledge of community association management. As their relationship grew over the years, the trio realized their philosophies and desire for excellence through expertise, service and community building were exactly aligned, and a decision was made to merge their companies in early 2012. It became an immediate success and was often described by Mary and Ellen to be, “the perfect partnership.” On October 2nd, 2012, Phil passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, which was a huge loss for his family and the community. Most of those who attended his funeral he served over the years in community association management, an enormous tribute to the respect people have had for him as an industry leader. Mary, Ellen and the Sovereign-Jacobs team, however, continue to carry the torch Phil lit for the company and pay him tribute by our commitment to excellence, providing the same “hands on” personal service to those we serve. We have a proven proficiency in and are dedicated to delivering quality professional community management services with over sixty years of combined experience. Sovereign & Jacobs Property Management consistently provides the highest quality of Team Management services. Our highly skilled and motivated employees are key. We continue to strengthen our organization, encouraging personal responsibility, creativity and enhanced skills–with the sole aim of meeting our client’s needs to the best of our ability. We are aware that we will only achieve our mission if we meet, and whenever possible, exceed our client’s needs and expectations in every aspect of our business. We are totally dedicated to achieving this goal. Every Association, whether small or large, will get the same attention to detail and the same high standard of quality services. We strive to meet each of our Association’s needs and expectations with the ultimate objective of improving the mutual investment each owner has in his/her unit and the association.

Meet Our Owner

Ellen Lumpkin

Founder & CEO

As the owner of Sovereign & Jacobs, Ellen is the epitome of a strong leader who is committed to finding the “win-win” with every partnership, every individual client, and every employee. She does so with quiet confidence, immense integrity, and a strong desire to “do the right thing” for those she serves. Prior to the formation of Sovereign & Jacobs, Ellen was a Partner of Melrose-Sovereign Companies, a leading dual-service Property Management Company operating throughout Florida. Mrs. Lumpkin has over 35 years of experience in the multifamily industry and has developed and leased over 15,000 multifamily units throughout the State. Melrose-Sovereign managed over 40,000 units including homeowner's associations, condominium conversion and third-party multifamily developments. Prior to Melrose-Sovereign, Ellen was Vice President of Development and Property Management of Echelon Residential, LLC for nine years. She was directly responsible for all property management operations and development in the southeast, which led to groundbreaking design and trendsetting communities. Her work in the industry was recognized by many prestigious awards on multiple projects nationally as well as in the Southeast. Earlier in her career Ellen worked with Zom Communities, Inc. for seven years where she was the first hire within the multifamily division, which over time included a portfolio of eight properties. In addition, Mrs. Lumpkin enjoyed tenures with Post Properties, Embrey Investments and Trammel Crow.


Jacksonville Business College, Business Administration


Community Association Manager; Florida Real Estate Broker

Relevant Organizations:

  • Fundraiser, St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS)
  • Broker, St. John’s County Board of Realtors
  • Member, Community Association Institute
  • Member, St. John’s County Chamber of Commerce

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