Our robotic governor last week nominated a youngish IT gazillionaire and an Indian River County advertising executive to fill two vacancies on FAU's Board of Trustees. Whether the nominations constitute an honor or a cross remains to be seen.
Daniel Cane, 36, of Boynton Beach, was nominated to fill the seat vacated in a cloud of confusion and controversy by Angela Graham-West, wife of disgraced former military officer Allen West. Mary Beth McDonald, 61, of Vero Beach, was chosen for a seat whose term expires January 2016.
Cane is a Lake Worth native who, as a Cornell undergrad, helped create the company that grew into educational software firm Blackboard Inc. The company went public in 2003 and was in 2011 sold for $1.6 billion. His current project, Modernizing Medicine, aims to replicate that success in the realm of digital medical records.
McDonald (FAU '74) was among the first to do student television at the school. Her public relations career in Indian River County led to a seat on the Vero Beach City Council and two terms as the city's mayor. She now runs a Vero Beach marketing firm, One Source Media & Marketing.
Both nominations are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate. Assuming they are approved, we wonder what they'll offer FAU.
Cane's facility with information technology, and his youth, could be a shot in the arm for the stodgy Board of Trustees. Reactionary trustees like Jeffrey Feingold will just have to overlook Cane's support of President Obama's reelection.
McDonald survived the nasty small-city politics of Vero Beach, enduring vicious battles over the disposal of "Dodgertown," the former spring training facility of the L.A. baseball team and questions about the sale of the municipal power plant.
McDonald went two-for-three on legal complaints during her time in Vero Beach politics. According to the Vero Beach Press-Journal, in April 2006, the Florida Commission on Ethics cleared her of two charges of abuse of power. In February of that year, the Florida Elections Commission found her to have violated state elections law in 2005.
If McDonald can go two-for-three on FAU's Board of Trustees, she'll raise that body's batting average like Ty Cobb. The board could certainly use someone with some marketing savvy.
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
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