Creating and sustaining authentic brands in the arenas of financial services, higher education and Florida history is the life work of Cindy O’Connell. O’Connell serves today as the Inaugural director of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and in that capacity has created unique scholarship programs to assist at-risk students that are first in their family to attend college or those needing middle to high school mentoring through the FPCF Project STARS program.

Prior to this assignment, she served as the Secretary of the Florida Lottery were she transformed the sales trajectory of a mature 25 year-old gaming operation (2001 – 2015) to that of the second largest lottery in the U.S. with a 38 percent increase in revenue in 4.5 years, Her career span has included three Olympic Games where she managed international tourism and trade pavilions, opened the Florida offices for two multi-national public relations firms and was employed as the advertising director for a family owned bank-holding company in Tampa, Florida

Her volunteer work is highlighted by her role as a 10-year member of the University of Florida (UF) Board of Trustees (2001 – 2011) with multi-year appointments made by Governors’ Bush and Crist,

In addition, she currently resides as the President of the Economic Club of Florida, past-chair and trustee of the Florida House in Washington, D.C., is a member of the UF Foundation Board, the UF Harn Museum of Art National Board and serves as Trustee advisor to the CEO of the Florida State University, Marine Coast Laboratory,

Applicable Board membership include Class XXII of Leadership Florida and the UF Florida Blue Key Alumni Advisory board. Relevant honors include: “Grad Made Good” Lake City Community College, Honorary member of Florida Blue Key, UF Honorary alumnus award, Great Gator award Tallahassee and the Girl Scouts of America, Diamond Award among others.

O’Connell is the widow of late Stephen C. O’Connell, former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court and the sixth President of the University of Florida, She is remarried to the Honorable J. Dan McCarthy, USN, Captain (retired) and former Assistant State Attorney of Jacksonville, FL.