Florida Chapter Leadership
Sherrill W. Hudson was named chairman of the TECO Energy board of directors in August 2010 after serving as chairman and chief executive officer since July 2004. Under his leadership, TECO Energy achieved the 25th position out of the 338 S&P 500 companies included in Chief Executive magazine's 2010 Wealth-Creation Ranking. He also serves on the boards of CBIZ Inc., United Insurance Holdings Corp., and Lennar Corporation. He previously served on the board of Publix Super Markets Inc. for 12 years.
Hudson retired from Deloitte & Touche LLP in August 2002 after 37 years of service. He spent 19 years in Miami as managing partner for its South Florida offices, which included oversight responsibilities for Deloitte's Florida and Puerto Rico offices for much of that time.
Hudson is a member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which recognized him as the 2006 Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry. Known for his community service, Hudson chaired the 2007 United Way Tampa Bay Campaign, is a member and past board member of The Florida Council of 100, and is past chair of the Council of Governors of the Tampa Bay Partnership.
His community activities during his time in Miami include past chair, Florida International University Foundation; past executive committee member, Miami Business Forum; past president and current member, Orange Bowl Committee; past president, Zoological Society of Florida; past chair and board of governors, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; past chair, Dade Community Foundation, Jackson Memorial Foundation, and American Cancer Society; cochair, United Way Miami-Dade County Campaign (1996); vice chairman, Goodwill Industries of Miami-Dade County; and past chair, development committee, and treasurer, Community Partnership for Homeless Inc.
Hudson received his bachelor's degree and graduated cum laude, valedictorian, from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.
Lauren E. Smith is a managing director at Diversified Search, a top 10 executive search firm in the United States and the country's largest woman-owned firm, where leads board and executive searches. She has a track record of recruiting standout board members who bring both the skill sets and unique perspectives to add meaningful value in the boardroom, and she works with boards to take a fresh approach to defining diversity. Smith is also the president of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Florida Chapter and an NACD Board Leadership Fellow. She has published several articles on diversity in the boardroom. Earlier in her career, she had 12 years of experience leading marketing and strategy initiatives at two Fortune 50 companies: Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Motorola Inc.
Smith is a Board of Governors member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and of the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business & Entrepreneurship of Nova Southeastern University. She is an active member of Women Corporate Directors and Belizean Grove and is an Advisory Board member of Women Executive Leadership, where she spearheaded the first census that tallied the number of women on the boards of Florida's top 150 public companies.
Smith has been quoted as an expert on executive and board recruiting in NACD Directorship, Entrepreneur magazine, American Way magazine, Miami Herald, and South Florida CEO magazine. She was named by South Florida Business Journal as one of the Most Influential Business Women in 2010. She has been a guest lecturer at Nova Southeastern University and a speaker for NACD.
Gerry M. Czarnecki is currently chairman and CEO of The Deltennium Group Inc., a consulting organization focused on the leadership and governance of technology and disruptive strategies. He has previously served as general manager of the fourth largest bank trust department; CFO of the eighth largest bank holding company; CEO of a large, publicly held bank; CEO of a privately held bank owned by former Secretary of the Treasury William Simon; IBM senior vice president and chief of staff; president of UNC Inc., a manufacturing, repair, and overhaul company serving the aviation industry; chairman of a boutique investment bank; CEO of the largest charitable remainder trust administrator; and executive producer of TV programs airing on Lifetime TV, including the "Balancing Act," "Designing Spaces," and "The Suzanne Show," with Suzanne Somers as his co-executive producer and host of the show.
Czarnecki is chair of the Audit Committee, Jack Cooper Enterprises; chair of the board, ECO Building Products; member of the board, NuraHealth Inc.; chair of the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee, RFD & Associates Inc.; chair of the Board of Trustees, National University System; chairman emeritus, National Association of Corporate Directors Florida Chapter; and founder and chairman, National Leadership Institute. He is also a former 15-year director of State Farm Insurance, where he served as member of the company Executive Committee and was chairman of the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee of State Farm Bank.
Czarnecki holds a BS in Economics from Temple University and an MA in Economics from Michigan State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Doctor of Humane Letters from National University. He is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and holds the CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight from the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Don Denkhaus is a senior financial executive with 40 years of broad-based business experience. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and as chair of the Audit Committee of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc., a publicly traded biopharma company focused on innovative therapies for treating rare neuromuscular and neurological diseases. Since 2005, he has been executive chairman and CFO of The Kitchen LLC, a privately held company providing language dubbing and subtitling to the television industry. Denkhaus also served on the Board of Directors and as chair of the Audit Committee of Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc., a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company, from 2004 until its sale in 2009.
From 2010 to 2013, he was executive chairman of Nuovo Biologics LLC, a privately held biotech company. From 1970 until 2002, Denkhaus worked for Arthur Andersen LLP, a global professional services organization, where he was an audit partner for 22 years and held numerous leadership positions, including head of Andersen's South Florida audit practice and Audit Practice director responsible for Andersen's offices in Florida and Puerto Rico. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Gail Birks Williams
Gail P. Birks has successfully served as an independent director and entrepreneur for the past 24 and 27 years, respectively. For the past 27 years, she has served as the president/CEO for CMA Enterprise Inc., a boutique organization development consulting firm that specializes in performance and process improvement business solutions for corporations (private and public sectors), governmental agencies, and large nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Birks' corporate and entrepreneurial knowledge has enhanced the corporate and nonprofit boards that she has served on in the areas of policy development and deployment; performance and accountability; revenue enhancement and identification; marketing and product development/placement and distribution; and organization restructuring, planning, corporate, and community. Her participation on the board of Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust, FSB, has brought innovative approaches to the Audit, Director's Loan and Production, CRA, and Oversight Committees, encouraging a holistic approach to managing profitability, prudence, and soundness. Under her leadership of the CRA Committee, the institution has received several Outstanding ratings and several High Satisfactory ratings for regulatory agencies (OTS and OCC).
Her past and present board service includes Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust (director, 1994-present); NACD Florida Chapter board member; Doral Business Council (chairwoman and director, 2010); Women's Executive Leadership (Advisory Board member; 2009-present); Liberty City Revitalization Trust (interim chairwoman and board member, 2006-2009); ASTD/Broward (parliamentarian, director, 2002-2004); Academy of Finance - Miami Dade County Schools (Advisory Board member, 2001-2005); and Jackson Memorial Hospital Public Health Trust (appointed trustee, 1992-1995).
Ms. Birks is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (LMBB). She holds an Executive MBA (EMBA) from Florida International University with postgraduate studies in Human Resource Administration and Industrial Psychology. She holds a BBA (Honors) in Economics and Finance (minor in Accounting) from Tennessee State University
Ruth V. Brophy is currently the global chief financial and administrative officer for H.I.G. Capital, a leading private equity firm and SEC-registered investment advisor based in Miami, Florida. She oversees the global finance, administrative, and IT functions firmwide. H.I.G. manages LBO, credit, real estate, and bio-health investment funds with total assets under management of more than $25 billion. Brophy has served in this role at H.I.G. for the past 13 years, while H.I.G. has grown from $3 billion of assets under management to its current size.
Prior to working at H.I.G. Capital, she was vice president and chief financial officer for the media company Harris Connect LLC in New York for 12 years. Previously, for 10 years, Brophy worked as an audit and consulting senior manager in Connecticut and in New York City for Arthur Andersen, a global public audit and consulting firm servicing Fortune 500 and middle market private companies. During that time, she had exposure to a variety of industries and business models.
Brophy is a CPA and a graduate of Fairfield University, with an MS in Finance and BS in Accounting, summa cum laude, as well as a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. Her extensive career has allowed her to obtain considerable expertise in many areas of corporate governance, legal structures, and business operations.
Jocelyn Carter-Miller has been president of TechEd Ventures since 2005 and SoulTranSync since 2013, which specialize in the development and marketing of high-performance educational and personal empowerment programming. Currently, she serves on the boards of Principal Financial Group Inc. (Finance Committee chair, Nominating and Governance Committee member), InterPublic Group (Nominating and Governance Committee chair, Audit Committee member), Netgear Inc. (Audit Committee member, Compensation Committee member), and the nonprofit League of Women Voters of Broward County.
Previously, Carter-Miller was executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Office Depot Inc. from February 2002 until March 2004, with responsibility for the company's marketing for its 846 superstores, contract, catalog, and e-commerce businesses in the United States and Canada and operations in 15 other countries. Before joining Office Depot, she was corporate vice president and chief marketing officer of Motorola Inc. with overall responsibility for marketing across its $30 billion revenue base and diverse businesses. She also had general management responsibility while at Motorola for network operations in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Prior to joining Motorola, she was vice president, Marketing and Product Development, at Mattel Inc.
In addition to her marketing leadership background, Carter-Miller has executive-level experience in brand management, advertising, sales, multinational companies, international operations, mergers and acquisitions, product development, project management, strategic planning, technology, and leadership development and training. She was a 2013 NACD Directorship 100 Honoree, a Savoy Power 300: 2016 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors, and a 2017 Directors & Boards Directors to Watch honoree.
Carter-Miller received a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago. She is also a Certified Public Accountant. She frequently speaks at business, women, and community forums.
Evelyn D'An is a senior executive, corporate director, former Big 4 audit partner, and Hispanic financial leader with broad-based global financial experience in publicly traded companies and professional services with a Big 4 accounting firm. She has held numerous CFO positions during her career. D'An currently runs a consulting business where she primarily provides outsourced CFO services, working closely with founding CEOs and helping implement strong processes both on the front end of the business cycle as well as in back-office operations. She has helped companies implement incentive compensation plans aligned with overall company strategies. Her years of experience have enabled her to become an excellent sounding board for CEOs as they build strategies for future growth and sustainability.
D'An began her career with Ernst & Young and was named the first Hispanic female partner in the Southeast region. She was with Ernst & Young for 18 years, of which eight years she was a partner in the audit practice and represented multiple public companies with wide ranging financial and audit challenges, including numerous IPOs.
D'An currently serves on the Board and Audit Committee of Summer Infant, a $200 million NASDAQ-registered global leader in premium infant and juvenile products. She was a director of Hot Topic, the $800 million NASDAQ-registered teen specialty retailer, until its sale in 2013. She chaired the Audit Committee and the Nominating Committee, during which there was a successful transition of several board members, the chairman of the board, and succession of the chief executive officer. In addition, she served as a member of the Board of Directors and chair of the Audit Committee for Alico Inc., the $200 million NASDAQ-registered land management company specializing in agricultural and property development operations.
Julie Neitzel has extensive experience in wealth advisory, private equity, business acquisitions, strategy, and governance. Over the past two decades, she has served as advisor to global families in investing activities, operating business strategy, wealth transfer planning, philanthropy, and next-generation engagement. Neitzel earned her MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management. She is a board member for NYSE Heico Corporation, the NACD Florida Chapter, and the Miami Finance Forum.
Joseph O'Donnell has served nearly 20 years as the chief executive officer of several public companies, including Artesyn Technologies, Inmar, and Savin. Recently transitioning from executive to nonexecutive corporate roles, he remains active in senior corporate leadership at the board level.
O'Donnell currently serves on three corporate boards: BPV Funds, DTx, and ModusLink. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of NACD's Florida Chapter, and he is a member of the University of Tennessee School of Business Advisory Board.
Over 15 years, he has served on a number of additional public boards, including Artesyn Technologies, Boca Research, Comverse Technology, Converge, Cincinnati Microwave, Parametric Technology, and Superior Essex.
From a governance perspective, in addition to serving as a commissioner on the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on corporate leadership, he has been recognized by NACD as a Governance Fellow based on his commitment to boardroom excellence.
O'Donnell holds a Bachelor of Science and MBA from the University of Tennessee.
Bill Pruitt is president of Pruitt Enterprises LP and its general partner Pruitt Ventures Inc. His career began with Arthur Andersen & Co. where he remained for 33 years, retiring as the managing partner for Florida, the Caribbean, and Venezuela.
He was also a member of Council, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. After retirement, Pruitt continued to be involved in the business community. He is a founder and the first chairman of Adjoined Consulting Inc., which was merged into a large public company in 2006. He also served on the board of KOS Pharmaceuticals Inc. until its sale in 2006. In addition, he served as an independent director on the PBSJ Corporation Board of Directors from 2005 until its sale in 2010.
Pruitt served as an independent director on the MAKO Surgical Inc. board of directors since 2008 and later served as the Audit Committee chairman. He also served on the board for Swisher Hygiene Inc. In addition to public company boards, he served on the boards of privately owned companies, including Greensmith Energy Management LLC and, currently, Coral Gables Trust, Auxis Inc., and NV5 Inc.
Having been involved with many nonprofit organizations, Pruitt has served as a trustee or board member for the University of Miami, the University of Miami Citizens Board, the University of Miami Alumni Association, the Miami Bankers Club, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He is a founding board member of the National Association of Corporate Directors Florida Chapter, served as president from September 2006 until May 2009, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.
Pruitt attended the University of Miami, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Accounting and was selected by the University of Miami Business School as the Alumnus of Distinction in 1997.
J. David Scheiner
A highly respected veteran retailer, J. David Scheiner served as the president and chief operating officer of Macy's Florida/Puerto Rico, a division of Macy's Inc., before retiring in 2009. With $2 billion in revenue and over 10,000 employees, Macy's Florida/Puerto Rico is a department store well known for its ability to understand its diverse market.
Currently, Scheiner is chairman of the Board of Directors of Perry Ellis International. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Strategic Forum and a board member of the Florida Chapter of NACD. He is a board member and business consultant for SIB, a fixed cost reduction company. He is also an international business consultant to companies in the retail and wholesale fields, as well as investment banks and private equity groups investing in the consumer retail industry.
At age 38, Scheiner became president of Maas Brothers/Jordan Marsh, a $650 million, 8,000-associate department store based in Tampa. He began his career with Gimbel Brothers and later served in various leadership roles with Burdines, a division of Federated Department Stores, before being promoted to Maas Brothers/Jordan Marsh.
Scheiner's civic involvement has made him a pillar in the volunteer and philanthropic communities. He has devoted his time, energy, talent, and financial resources for over 30 years to Miami Children's Hospital and is a lifetime trustee at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Scheiner has received several philanthropic and leadership awards including Apparel Magazine Merchant of the Year, the University of New Haven Alumni Leadership Award, and the Caroline Halpern Award from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He earned a BS with a dual degree in Marketing and Management with honors from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.
Frank Scruggs, Esq., has extensive experience as a corporate board member. Currently, he serves on the boards of directors of SunTrust Banks Inc., one of the largest financial services companies in the United States, and Guidewell Mutual Holding Corporation, including its subsidiary, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc. d/b/a Florida Blue.
At Guidewell, he chairs the Board Governance and Nominating Committee and serves as a member of the Personnel and Compensation Committee. At SunTrust, he is a member of the Compensation and Risk committees. Previously, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Office Depot Inc. and on the Board of Regents of the State University System of Florida. He is also a trustee emeritus of the University of Miami.
Scruggs' history of service as an official of Florida's state government includes being Florida's secretary of labor and employment security from 1991 to 1992 and serving as assistant general counsel to the governor from 1979 to 1980. As an attorney, he advises companies and executives regarding employment law, conducts investigations for companies, and litigates employment and commercial disputes. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Florida Trend Legal Elite, Florida Super Lawyers, and the South Florida Legal Guide. He is a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, an honorary society consisting of less than one-half of 1% of American lawyers.
Scruggs has degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell.
David F. Walker is chairman of the Board of Directors of Chico's FAS Inc., a leading omnichannel specialty retailer of women's clothing and accessories. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of Commvault Systems Inc., a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, and CoreLogic Inc., a global property information, analytics, and data-enabled solutions provider. Walker previously served on the boards of directors of Paradyne Networks Inc. from 2003 to 2005, First Advantage Corporation Inc. from 2003 to 2009, and Technology Research Corporation Inc. from 2004 to 2010. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council, and he has served on the boards of several other private and nonprofit entities throughout his career.
Walker was employed as the director of the Accountancy Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg from 2002 through 2009, and he also served as director of the school's Program for Social Responsibility and Corporate Reporting during that time. For approximately 27 years through 2002, he was with Arthur Andersen LLP, a global accounting and consulting firm, serving as partner from 1986 until 2002 and partner-in-charge of the firm's assurance and business advisory services practice in the Florida/Caribbean region.
Walker is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow, a licensed Certified Public Accountant, and a certified fraud examiner. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.