Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Scott names former UF trustee Cynthia O'Connell head of Florida Lottery

TALLAHASSEE — Cynthia O'Connell, a communications professional with ties to Tallahassee and higher education, is Gov. Rick Scott's pick to lead the Florida Lottery.

Contrary to the majority of Scott's 10 secretary appointments, O'Connell brings capital city ties to her new role. Before becoming chief executive of her Tallahassee media consulting firm, O'Connell Consulting, she was a senior vice president of Hill and Knowlton and started the public relations firm's Tallahassee branch.

O'Connell had served as the lottery's division director of research and promotions, the Governor's Office said.

The widow of Florida Supreme Court justice and former University of Florida president Stephen C. O'Connell, she recently wrapped up her second five-year term as a UF trustee. Her online trustee bio lists the lottery as one of her public relations clients when she worked at BSMG Worldwide.

O'Connell takes over an agency that employs 400 people with a $135 million budget. The lottery has lost its luster in recent years thanks to the expanding popularity of casinos, online gaming and parimutuels.

"Cindy brings an impressive record of leadership and brand management to the Florida Lottery and will improve the agency's important mission of maximizing revenues for the enhancement of public education in Florida," Scott said in a statement.

O'Connell declined to comment when reached by phone. She said the governor's press office would field media questions, but the office did not respond to a request for O'Connell's salary and start date.

Fifteen agency heads remain unnamed.

Scott names former UF trustee Cynthia O'Connell head of Florida Lottery 02/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Five recipe ideas for cooking with sparkling wine


    With high school and college graduation season upon us, you might find yourself stocking up on sparkling wine (if you don't normally). Though the obvious choice is to drink it all, you may find yourself with leftovers after all the parties are over. These five recipe ideas will use up that grad-friendly bubbly so …

    Sparkling Wine Risotto takes risotto up a notch.
  2. Florida education news: Budgets, principals, vouchers and more


    VETO TIME? Gov. Rick Scott weighs advice on whether to reject the Legislature's education budget. • Pasco County school officials

  3. UK police arrest man in Manchester bombing, which May called 'a callous terrorist attack'

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — Greater Manchester Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the apparent suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]
  4. Trump condemns 'evil losers' who carried out Manchester concert attack


    BETHLEHEM, West Bank — President Donald Trump condemned the "evil losers" responsible for the deadly attack on concert-goers in England Tuesday and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence.

    President Donald Trump pauses as he makes a statement on the terrorist attack in Manchester, after a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem. [Associated Press]