Wellcare gets new chief medical director

Sydney Ridley has been named manager of government and regulatory affairs at Frontier Communications, Tampa.
Sydney Ridley has been named manager of government and regulatory affairs at Frontier Communications, Tampa.
Published Sept. 16, 2016

Health care

Dr. Mark Leenay has been named chief medical director, care management at Wellcare, Tampa. Lennay brings nearly 30 years of clinical and operational experience to Wellcare, including 10 years of service as a chief medical officer within large healthcare systems. He most recently served as senior vice president and chief medical officer at Optum Global. He earned his M.D. from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; his master's degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania; and a bachelor's degree in biology from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. He is board certified in family medicine, geriatrics, and hospice and palliative care.


Patty Hamilton has been named a partner at Skoda Minotti, a certified public accountant, financial and business advisory firm in Tampa. Hamilton has been with Skoda Minotti for nearly 20 years in the accounting and auditing group. She is responsible for the oversight of the accounting and auditing staff group in the Tampa office and actively participates in recruiting and mentoring of staff at all levels.

Event services

Ashley McChesney has been named director of events at Armature Works, Tampa. Armature Works will house two event spaces, the Heights Market, two restaurants, a shared workspace, an open-air communal courtyard and a rooftop social area, all scheduled to be completed by early next year. McChesney's experience includes event planning and venue operations as a senior event coordinator at A La Carte Pavilion where she planned such notable events as Moffitt Cancer Center's Magnolia Ball, the DeBartolo Foundation's All Star Gala and the Ronald McDonald House Storybook Ball.


Edward Steinhoff has been named executive chef at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Steinhoff will be responsible for creating menus for the Straz Center's four restaurants: Maestro's Restaurant, Maestro's Café, Maestro's on the River and Steam Heat. Steinhoff brings a considerable amount of experience, having served as executive chef at Hunters Green Country Club, the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club and the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa. He's also served in several culinary capacities over a six year period at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel.

Higher education

Vijay Sonty has been named chief information officer at Saint Leo University. Sonty brings extensive technical and leadership experience in the information technology field to this position. He has worked in the higher education, corporate, and health care settings, and was most recently vice president for technology and chief information officer at Utica College, Utica, NY. He's also served as executive director-applications and operations at Kaplan Inc.; Chief Information Officer for Broward County Public Schools; and senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer for Foote Cone and Belding. Sonty earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Osmania University in India and master's degrees in both environmental science and management information systems from Southern Illinois University.

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Jaide L. Beverly has been named an associate at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP, Tampa. Beverly focuses her practice on health law and joins the firm's health care practice group. Prior to joining Shumaker, Beverly practiced commercial litigation and medical malpractice defense with a Sarasota-based firm. She earned her juris doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Jason Lambert has been named an associate attorney at Broad and Cassel, Tampa. Lambert joins the commercial litigation practice group and prior to joining Broad and Cassel he practiced at Zinzow Law in Palm Harbor and before that was a special assistant in the Office of the Public Defender for the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida. A successful entrepreneur, Lambert started law school only after he founded two companies, one of which, Absolute Notice, is still in operation today. He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Stetson University in DeLand and earned his juris doctorate from Stetson's College of Law in Gulfport.

Medical financing

Valerie Ruegger has joined Momentum Funding LLC, Tampa, as an attorney adviser. Ruegger will work with personal injury and workers' compensation attorneys on the west coast and central Florida to facilitate plaintiff and medical funding. Prior to joining Momentum Funding, Ruegger was a sales representative with Laser Spine Institute and is a graduate of Florida State University.

State of Florida

Cheryl Flood was appointed executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. Flood has served as interim director of the Fair for the past six months and previously was director of external affairs for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Flood joined the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2002 as assistant director of legislative affairs. Prior to that she worked in the Florida Legislature as a legislative assistant. Following her initial four years with the department, she served as district director and deputy chief of staff for then-Congressman Putnam. Flood returned to the Department of Agriculture in 2011 as director of external affairs, a position that included acting as a liaison with the Florida State Fair. Flood graduated from the University of Florida's Agricultural Leadership Education program with minors in Agribusiness Management and Sales, Agricultural Law and Agriculture and Natural Resources Ethics and Policy.


Sydney Ridley has been named manager of government and regulatory affairs at Frontier Communications, Tampa. Ridley will represent Frontier's Florida issues and programs and be based in Tampa. Most recently Ridley has been working for House Majority Leader Dana Young, initially as her chief legislative aide in the Florida House of Representatives and since April as Young's campaign manager for her Florida Senate bid, District 18. Previously she worked for Rep. Young as her district legislative aide and on the campaigns of Mike Prendergast for Congress, Jeff Brandes for Florida Senate and Dorothy Hukill for Florida Senate. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia.