A former banking executive and an Orlando-based lawyer have been appointed to the Board of Trustees.

Thomas Kuntz
Daniel O’Keefe

If confirmed, banker Thomas Kuntz and attorney Daniel O’Keefe will fill the spots left by board members Steven Scott and David Thomas, UF spokesperson Margot Winick wrote in an email.

Trustees volunteer to serve on the board, and therefore they do not get paid. Members serve staggered 5-year terms, according to the current bylaws. The last appointment of new members was in June 2016, according to Alligator archives.

Both appointees cannot become full members until receiving approval by the Florida Senate, Winick said.

“The university is excited to welcome them to our board,” Winick said. “They bring a wealth of important experience with their leadership.”

O’Keefe, appointed by the Board of Governors, received his business degree in 1990 from UF, where he also attended law school.

O’Keefe plans to bring his years of business and legal experience to the board position, he wrote in an email.

He is a co-managing partner at Shutts and Bowen LLP’s Orlando office, where he deals with real estate and land usage, and for the past five years, he has also served as chairman of the South Florida Water Management District, which manages water in 16 counties along with efforts to restore the Everglades, O’Keefe said.

“My focus will be on the student experience and making sure that a UF education remains affordable and provides a strong foundation for students obtaining productive jobs,” he said.

Kuntz was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott for a term starting Jan. 26, according to a press release. Kuntz is currently serving his term on the Board of Governors, which isn’t supposed to end until Jan. 1, 2019.

He retired from a 35-year career at SunTrust Banks, Inc. in 2015. He was the president and CEO of the bank for eight years.

Kuntz has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Rollins College and a degree from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

The Alligator could not reach Kuntz for comment.

Contact Elliott Nasby at enasby@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter at @_ElohEl.

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