Board adds Apple exec., mobility leader, STEM diversity pioneer, and renowned physician
LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida’s Board of Governors appointed four distinguished and diverse members to the Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees.
Technology executive Lyn Stanfield, transportation systems leader Beth Kigel, STEM diversity champion Dr. Laine Powell, and prominent physician Dr. Narendra Kini will infuse the board with their unique experience, energy, and passion for education.
“Each of these remarkable individuals brings an invaluable perspective from their distinct fields of expertise, and I am honored to welcome them to our board,” said Cliff Otto, chair of the Board of Trustees.
Otto said he looks forward to the new trustees’ leadership and guidance as the board works toward growing the University and reinforcing its impact on the state.
“As Florida Poly continues building its reputation as a premier STEM institution, our board is now even better positioned to set the stage for the University’s success,” Otto said.
The new trustees participated in their first full board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
An experienced professional at Apple for nearly two decades, Lyn Stanfield is committed to giving back to Florida by helping ensure students receive the best possible education, and by helping diversify its tourism-based economy.
“Our economy is predicated upon tourism. All it takes is a global pandemic or a hurricane to keep folks from visiting our state,” said Stanfield. “Technology is a common denominator in any industry and there is a unique opportunity to help diversify our economy by contributing to the creation of a workforce that is in demand; after all, that was the wisdom of the legislature years ago – creating an institution focused on tech.”
The Tallahassee native said she’s eager to support the University president and leadership team in their mission to grow the school, increase diversity, and take advantage of opportunities available in the current environment.
“Florida Poly is a unique institution for Florida. As a polytechnic university, there are many opportunities to build strategic relationships in and around the tech industry, and that is key,” Stanfield said.
Having worked in education policy in Florida for many years, Stanfield said a priority as trustee will be to help the University strategize and plan for the future of Florida Polytechnic University and ensure that policies and funding ultimately provide for an outstanding student experience.
“We want to ensure policies support strategies that enable an amazing student experience,” Stanfield said.
Beth Kigel is a global thought leader in new mobility and smart city ecosystems, assisting transportation agencies, cities, and regions in developing smart and connected infrastructure solutions.
“I’m excited to be part of Florida’s only state university that focuses on STEM studies,” Kigel said. “I understand the mission originally established for Florida Poly and I’m happy to be part of the leadership and the entire team to realize that vision.”
With deep interest and experience in transportation technology and systems, Kigel hopes to advance the work of the University’s Advanced Mobility Institute and its partnerships. Also, as a former Florida Chamber of Commerce executive, she looks forward to additional opportunities for private sector involvement.
“Having private sector engagement creates opportunity and visibility for students and faculty, and assists in achieving Florida Poly’s full economic potential and contribution to the state of Florida,” said Kigel, who is vice president at the infrastructure solutions firm HNTB Corporation.
Kigel has been active on numerous appointed boards and industry associations, including ITS World Congress Board of Directors, Florida Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Florida. Kigel also serves on advisory boards of other Florida universities.
“I’m extremely action-oriented and looking forward to contributing to strategic planning and other processes to realize the University’s full potential in student achievement during their time here and, most importantly, as they embark on their careers,” Kigel said.
The daughter of Haitian immigrants and the first in her family to obtain a doctorate, Dr. Laine Powell brings extensive experience in higher education institutions, as well as tech industry wisdom to the Board of Trustees.
“Education was a non-negotiable value our parents instilled in my siblings and me,” said Powell, an advocate for education and diversity.
Powell’s mission to share that principle led to her founding of non-profit Tech Sassy Girlz in 2012, to help increase the presence of underrepresented groups in high-tech industries. She said she’ll bring her passion to diversify the STEM pipeline to the Board.
“There is a lack of representation of Black and Hispanic women in the STEM fields, and representation matters,” Powell said. “My priorities would be focused on recruitment and retention of students and faculty to address the diversity gap in STEM fields.”
Powell is vice president of AceApplications, LLC, a technology solution provider of software, web development, and staffing. She has also taught or held leadership positions at multiple respected universities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to support the University president in growing the University and shaping its trajectory in STEM education,” Powell said.
Dr. Narendra Kini
An experienced physician and healthcare administrator, Dr. Narendra Kini joins the board with a desire to improve and expand the University’s position within the state.
“My priority as trustee will be to help set the future vision and determine what is needed to execute it,” said Kini, who was president and CEO of Miami Children’s Health System and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Today, the pediatric emergency physician works as a consultant for innovation in digital health at Kiniconsult, a company he founded in 2019. He also has served on advisory boards for the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Miami.
“Having served in various executive roles, including that of CEO of a health system, I believe I can help with thoughts on the vision, mission, and operations of the University,” Kini said.
Moving the University forward will be his focus as part of the board, he said.
“Making the Florida Poly name known, getting a larger network for student experiences, and helping recruit talent and driving innovation will be areas of interest,” Kini said. “I’m excited to join a board where there is an opportunity to make an impact on the institution.”
For the most recent university news, visit Florida Poly News.
About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is a nationally ranked Top 100 engineering college, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and a member of the State University System of Florida. It is the only state university dedicated exclusively to STEM and offers ABET-accredited degrees. Florida Poly is a powerful economic engine within the state of Florida, blending applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. Connect with Florida Poly.