Saturday, July 30, 2011

In the paper - TWICE in one week! ... SS

It is always exciting to see a sister quoted in the paper for work or a happy occassion. Thank you Cynthia (Beta Eta, FSU) for being a Real. Strong. Woman. role model.

Fla. Lottery secretary touts contributions to education
By Kate Schofield
Democrat writer
11:16 PM, Jul. 29, 2011|

Ending her speech in front of the Economic Cub of Florida on Friday afternoon, Cynthia O'Connell had one simple request — she asked the audience to buy lottery tickets.

O'Connell, appointed secretary of the Florida Lottery by Gov. Rick Scott on Feb. 9, spoke to the club about the mission behind Florida's Lottery: to give funds to Florida education and to aid the Florida economy as a whole.

Last fiscal year, the lottery brought in more than $4 billion, and about $3.9 billion of that was injected into the state's economy, O'Connell said. That is the first time the lottery has brought in that amount since 2008.

The Florida Lottery has contributed $22 billion to education since 1988. O'Connell and her staff of 24 aim to reach the $23 billion mark by October or November.

For every dollar spent on Florida lottery tickets, she said about 62 cents are returned to players as prizes. Thirty cents gets transferred to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF), 5 cents are returned to retailers for commissions and bonuses, 1 cent is paid to game vendors and 2 cents are used for other operating costs (including staff salaries, advertising and all office operations).

The lottery also has funded a half-million students' Bright Futures scholarships, she added. Even with the recent changes the Legislature has made with Bright Futures, O'Connell said the mission to fund education is still at the heart of the Florida Lottery.

"The Florida Lottery is still important for education regardless of the changes the Legislature makes," she said after her speech. "It is our mandate to help fund education and we will continue to do that."

She said the Florida Lottery will use more social networks and mobile apps to expand demographics and be part of the 21st century world.

"We want to move Florida Lottery into the modern day we live in" she told the audience. The Economic Club of Florida tries to meet once a month and has had more than 400 speakers in its history including former Sen. Bob Graham and Clark Hoyt, public editor for The New York Times, said club chairman John Kurowski.

Lt. Gov. Carroll headlines panel featuring women in government

By Dana Edwards
Special to the Chronicle
Jul 27, 2011|

Jennifer Carroll told more than 300 Girls State delegates that being Florida's first African-American lieutenant governor was "never part of my personal plan — but, sometimes, you have to be open to higher plans."

Speaking on a panel organized by the James Madison Institute (JMI), Carroll retraced the steps that led to her election last November. She described her years serving in the Florida House, and how her early experience in the Navy helped prepare her to head the Florida agency in charge of veterans affairs.

She also admitted that public speaking came easily to her — after she had practiced in front of a mirror.

Carroll's remarks highlighted the James Madison Institute's annual "Women in Government" panel at Florida Girls' State.

This year's forum took place at FSU's Moore Auditorium and also featured Rep. Marti Coley of Blountstown, Florida Lottery Secretary Cindy O'Connell and Leon County Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson.

Coley advised the young women to recognize that being a mother can aid one's experience rather than stifle opportunities. And Coley admitted that she, too, had never imagined running for public office — until the unfortunate death of her newly elected husband in 2005 prompted her to run for his House seat.

O'Connell noted that the diverse backgrounds of the JMI panelists — military, education, business, law — showed that there are many different routes to public service. She also shared her time-management techniques and how she weighs commitments in her personal and public lives.

Similarly, Richardson encouraged the students to invest time in something besides their future careers, offering her participation on the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Board as an example. She said the key to a successful career is choosing something you enjoy doing every day.

Each panelist advised the girls to take time for themselves each day, whether that is prayer, exercise or something else. Taking time for yourself, they said, helps you to be at your best for all the people in your life.

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