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Robert Trigaux

North Carolina's Progress Energy adds second Floridian to its board of directors



JohnD Progress Energy, the Raleigh, N.C., parent of Progress Energy Florida of St. Petersburg, just named a second Floridian to its board of directors. That's a good thing since Progress Energy Florida is a major piece of the corporation's business and has been sadly underrepresented at the board level for years.

The new director is John D. Baker II, the president and CEO of Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc., a transportation and real estate business in Jacksonville. Here's more detail on Baker.

The good news. Baker adds another Florida voice -- along with Miami's Carlos Saladrigas -- to a Progress Energy board packed mostly with Middle Atlantic folks. Baker also serves on the boards of directors of his own company, Patriot Transportation, and Wells Fargo & Co. He is past chairman of the Florida Concrete and Products Association.

The odd news. Neither Baker nor Saladrigas live and work anywhere near the Progress Energy Florida service territory that stretches from Tampa Bay east to Orlando and north up western Florida to Tallahassee.

Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, in a statement, said Baker's business executive experience in the construction materials and transportation industries will be "a tremendous asset" to the board.

Still, it makes one wonder what the added value of two Florida businessmen, neither intimate with the economy in the Progress Energy Florida territory, brings to a board. Perhaps distant objectivity? Still, better two voices from somewhere in Florida than none at all.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:26am]


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