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Scott names UF trustee Cynthia O'Connell head of Florida Lotto

Cynthia O'Connell, senior vice president of the Tampa-based public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, was named head of the Florida Lottery today by Gov. Rick Scott.

O'Connell, 54, is a former division director of research and promotions at the Florida Lotto and previously worked as a managing director for BSMG Worldwide, where her clients included the Florida Lotto and Floridians for School Choice. She was also GM of RBBO/WeberShandwick has also run her own business, Total Event Management.

The widow of former University of Florida President Stephen C. O'Connel, Cynthia O'Connell was appointed to the UF Board of Trustees in 2001.

Scott's press shop has not said how much she'll earn or when she starts. Here is the press release from Scott's office:

Today, Governor Scott named Cynthia F. O’Connell as Secretary of the Florida Lottery. O’Connell has an experienced record in lottery management, communications, and higher education that will allow her to improve the agency’s efficiency and core mission of raising revenues for Florida public education.

O’Connell has previously served as a Division Director of Research and Promotions for the Florida Lottery, where she developed the promotional launch of the Lottery’s instant and online games, and oversaw a staff of twenty with a multi-million dollar budget authority. She most recently served as CEO at O’Connell Consulting, where she managed consulting contracts for clients seeking significant re-branding communication programs.

Previously, she served as a Senior Vice-President/GM at Hill & Knowlton, where she oversaw communications strategies for major national and Florida accounts.  In addition, she served as the Information Manager for the Olympic Athletes Villages and Southeast US manager of the Torch Relay for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She has vast experience as a branding, marketing, and communications executive with financial companies and higher-learning institutions.

Aside from her previous experience at the Florida Lottery, O’Connell has a long history of public service to Florida. She is an inaugural (2001-2011) Board of Trustee member of the University of Florida, where she oversaw committee assignments including educational policy and public relations including brand management.  She has been a catalyst for numerous statewide philanthropic interests including the development of the Stephen C. O’Connell Supreme Court Reading Room at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Florida House in D.C, Florida’s embassy on Capitol Hill, where she oversees Florida House’s important mission of showcasing Florida’s cultural and economic resources to the nation’s capital.

“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,” Governor Scott said.