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Whatever happened to 12 biz bigwigs?

Whatever happened to

… WorldCom CFO Scott Sullivan, sent to prison for his role in one of the world's biggest financial ($11 billion) scandals? He just got out after serving four years and lives in a modest suburban Boca Raton home — not the $15 million, 10-bedroom, 24,000-square-foot mansion he had started before he got caught.

… North Carolina builder of NCNB/NationsBank/Bank of America Hugh McColl Jr., the ex-Marine, ex-banker who described his relentless acquisition binge into Florida as a blitzkrieg? He's still at it as co-founder of Falfurrias Capital Partners in Charlotte, currently refinancing its control over the Bojangles restaurant chain, and probably glad he's no longer at BofA (though his office is).

… Former grocery store turnaround queen Shelley Broader, who converted Tampa Bay's Kash n' Karry Food Stores into the more upscale Sweetbay Supermarket chain? She's in Texas as president and COO of the hobby chain Michael's Stores. Last month she gave advice on how best to preserve Michael Jackson memorabilia.

… Ex-St. Pete Area Chamber of Commerce chief Russ Sloan, who ran the chamber for 11 years until 2005? After a few short gigs, he started promoting "athletic birth certificates" and landed a job as the executive director of the Lake Sumter Community College Business Resource Center in Leesburg.

… Former St. Pete resident and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales? After snubbing a still emerging Tampa Bay tech community, Wales took off in 2008 for Silicon Valley, where he continues to expand the online concept of the collaborative "Wiki" with his Wikimedia business empire.

… Big-dreaming Sarasota engineer Norman Nixon, whose proposed Freedom Ship was, in fact, a city of 50,000 people, complete with parks, schools, malls, casinos and even an airport that would circle the globe every two years? He's still dreaming but, as far as we can tell, there's little momentum.

… Robin Ronne, former chief business recruiter for Tampa's Committee of 100 at the Tampa Chamber? He's doing what he likes best — economic development — as managing director of the recently created CEO Council in Broward County.

… Longtime general counsel at Tampa's TECO Energy Sheila McDevitt? She's now with Tampa's Akerman Senterfitt law firm and, oh yeah, chair (until 2010) of the board of governors of the State University System of Florida.

… Perennial Florida government official (including former insurance regulator) and wanna-be governor Tom Gallagher? He has become a business consultant but is still seen in Tallahassee.

… Onetime CEO Frank Newman, who ran the now sold-off Largo-based drugstore giant Eckerd Corp.? After a stint at an Internet retail startup, he's CEO of New Jersey-based Medical Nutrition USA Inc. and remains a director of St. Petersburg's Jabil Circuit.

… Former chief of Tampa student loan provider Academic Financial Services Roger Wayne Morgan, whose company got big publicity for its sports marketing deals with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays sports teams (both left with unpaid bills) and the USF Sun Dome for naming rights (never happened)? Arrested in 2008 for writing bad checks, he's still around, though a Texas business is after him through the courts here to enforce collection of a $3.2 million unpaid debt.

… Founder of Clearwater IMRGlobal Satish Sanan, who sold his computer services company for $438 million soon after the "Y2K" (Year 2000) frenzy, when we were convinced computer systems would crash come the new millennium. They didn't. Sanan bought Padua Stables in Ocala and has become a major player in the horse breeding and Kentucky racing world.

Got a good area candidate for "Whatever happened to … ?"

Robert Trigaux can be reached at trigaux@sptimes.com

Whatever happened to 12 biz bigwigs? 08/08/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 8, 2009 5:31am]

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