The trusty bunch

James Shackelford; Reporting by Karla Bowsher and James Shackelford

Board of Trustees meeting
Several trustees at a recent board meeting. Photo by Charles Pratt.

Some of FAU’s trustees have had financial and legal problems in the past, but they aren’t all bad news.

Some are very involved in their communities, and some run successful businesses.

The Board of Trustees includes financial advisers, the CEO of an insurance company, a finance professor, a self-described homemaker, and the FAU student body president. They are all South Florida and Treasure Coast community members whose ages range from 44 to 68 — plus a 22-year-old student from Central Florida.

So readers can get to know all 13 members of the board, the University Press obtained copies of the questionnaires that the trustees filled out prior to getting a position on the board. The following profiles contain information and excerpts written by the trustees in their questionnaires.

Anthony BarbarAnthony Barbar
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2008
  • Age: 55
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
  • Occupation: President and CEO of Barbar & Associates, LLC, a real estate consulting firm
  • Highest degree: Bachelor’s in international business, Florida Atlantic University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “Serving as a Trustee at both FAU & Palm Beach Atlantic Univ. provides the experience that most qualifies me for this appointment. Those responsibilities include working with the other trustees & administration to develop a strategic plan with benchmarks so progress can be determined. I have also served on other boards including as chairman.”
  • Trivia: Barbar is a member of the Board of Trustees at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a private Christian school located in West Palm Beach.

Sources: Barbar’s most recent Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies.com, Barbar.com, PBA.edu

David FederDavid Feder
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2005
  • Age: 65
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: New York, N.Y.
  • Occupation: Hotel manager at Turnberry Isle Miami, a luxury resort
  • Highest degree: Master’s in business administration, American University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have been in Florida since 1980 and a resident of Palm Beach County since 1987. I’ve been a president of a corporation and feel my private sector business expreience [sic] brings value to my role as a Board of Trustee [sic] at FAU.”
  • Trivia: Feder is a former president of Boca Raton Resort & Club, located on the Intracoastal a few miles from FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

Sources: Feder’s Questionnaires for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, TurnberryIsleMiami.com

Jeffrey FeingoldJeffrey Feingold
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2010
  • Age: 66
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Occupation: President and CEO of Managed Care of North America Inc., a dental insurance company; president and CEO of Dentaland Dental Centers, a group of dental offices
  • Highest degree: Doctorate of dental surgery, New York University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have achieved the highest level of Certification in my Specialty (Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology) & Master of Science in Dentistry (Periodontology); Previously Co-Chairman Periodontics Dade County Dental Research Center; Published Articles in the Journal of Periodontology; President of one of the largest group dental practices in Florida and President of MCNA Dental Plans providing Medicaid, SCHIP, and Commercial Insurance.”
  • Trivia: Feingold has also served on boards at Tulane University, Columbia University and New York University.

Sources: Jeffrey Feingold, Feingold’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, Dentaland.net, MCNA.net

Angela Graham-WestAngela Graham-West
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2011
  • Age: 52
  • Race: African-American
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
  • Occupation: Financial adviser for Raymond James & Associates Inc., a financial services firm
  • Highest degree: Ph.D. in Education, Kansas State University
    Why she thinks she’s qualified: “My professional experice [sic] has been primarily within the financial services industry, both in Texas and Florida. Prior to returning to Kansas State University in 1990, I worked with a variety of companies: AT&T, Clairol and Banker’s Trust as a consultant in the Marketing and Information Technology fields. Upon making the decision to further my education, I was accepted into the Ph.D. program at Kansas State, where I also was a Research Fellow at the International Trade Institute. I feel that both the experience from within the theoretical construct and practical aspect through the financial services industry, I will contribute the working knowledge of faculty life with the ability to apply this knowledge to the University.”
  • Trivia: Before becoming a financial adviser at Raymond James & Associates, Graham-West worked as a lecturer and professor at Kansas State University’s business school for eight years.

Sources: Graham-West’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, AllenWestForCongress.com, State.FL.US

Robert HuffmanRobert Huffman
  • Trustee type: Student body president
  • Trustee since: 2012
  • Age: 22
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican*
  • Hometown: Murfeesboro, Tenn.
  • Occupation: Student body president
  • Highest degree: Currently pursuing a bachelor’s in marketing
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: Huffman is one of two Board of Trustees members who did not seek appointment to the board: He automatically became a Board of Trustees member when he became student body president. According to the Student Government constitution, the duties of the president include serving on the board.
  • Trivia: Huffman started FAU’s Movember team. The Movember Foundation raises awareness of prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Huffman’s team has raised about $6,000 by growing mustaches, which were sponsored by donors.

*The University Press originally reported, per PoliticalStrategies.com, that Huffman was a Democrat. Huffman has since informed the UP that he is presently registered as a Republican.

Sources: Robert Huffman, FAU Media Relations Department, FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies.com, Movember.com

William McDanielWilliam McDaniel
  • Trustee type: Faculty Senate president
  • Trustee since: 2011
  • Age: 66
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.
  • Occupation: Professor of finance
  • Highest degree: Doctorate of philosophy in finance, Georgia State University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: McDaniel is one of two Board of Trustees members who did not seek appointment to the board: He automatically became a Board of Trustees member when he became president of FAU’s Faculty Senate. According to the Faculty Senate bylaws, the duties of the the president include serving on the board.
  • Trivia: McDaniel has worked at FAU for 36 years. Prior to that, he worked as an instructor at Georgia State University for two years.

Sources: FAU application [PDF], FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies.com

Abdol Moabery
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2011
  • Age: 44
  • Race: White*
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Iran*
  • Occupation: President and CEO of GA Telesis, LLC, a commercial aerospace company
  • Highest degree: Bachelor’s in international business management, Florida Atlantic University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have significant management experience derived from the experience gained in the United States Navy as well as over a career in management, including serving as President & CEO of GA Telesis over the past nine years where the company achieved an average growth rate of 26%.”
  • Trivia: Moabery was looking for a loan to start his current business, GA Telesis, around the time of Sept. 11, 2001. Once 9/11 happened, he struggled to find a loan. “I started to talk to banks, to hedge funds, to investors, and just about every one of them threw it in the garbage,” he said of his business plan. So to pursue the plan, Moabery sold everything he owned except his home.

*Moabery, who moved to the U.S. at age 1, considers himself an American of Middle Eastern descent.

Sources: Abdol Moabery, Abdol Moabery’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu,GATelesis.com, Moabery’s Executive Forum speech on Oct. 20, 2011, at FAU’s College of Business

Sheridan PlymaleSheridan Plymale
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2001
  • Age: 65
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Bryn Mawr, Penn.
  • Occupation: Homemaker
  • Highest degree: Bachelor’s, Saint Leo College (now Saint Leo University)
  • Why she thinks she’s qualified: “I believe that universities need BOT members who understand; 1) the history of the [State University System of Florida] since the restructuring, 2) the BOG devolution in 2003 to the univ. BOT’s, 3) The establishment of the BOG authorities, 4) the legislative dynamic with the BOG, and 5) advocacy for ‘their’ university within the context of advocacy for the SUS system. The educational continuity for our students is paramount as we struggle through this higher ed realignment.”
  • Trivia: Plymale has chaired the Board of Directors of the YMCA of the Treasure Coast and served on the Board of Trustees of Saint Leo University, her alma mater, in Central Florida.

Sources: Plymale’s most recent Questionnaire for Gubernatorial Appointments [PDF], FAU.edu, FLBOG.edu, SaintLeo.edu, YMCATreasureCoast.org

Robert Rubin
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2010
  • Age: 50
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Boston, Mass.
  • Occupation: President of Rubin WealthAdvisors, LLC, a wealth management firm
  • Highest degree: Bachelor’s in finance, University of South Florida
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “As a graduate of the University of South Florida and a current member of the FAU Foundation Board [FAU’s fundraising arm], Florid’s Universities mean a great deal to me. I believe my 25 years of professional experience in Wealth Management and my community involvement and contacts will be useful to FAU.”
  • Trivia: Rubin has been involved with FAU since the 1990s, when his oldest son was diagnosed with autism by FAU’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Rubin has also been active in local charities such as the Autism Project of Palm Beach County and Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida.

Sources: Robert Rubin, Rubin’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, RubinWA.com

Robert Stilley
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2006
  • Age: 55
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Natrona Heights, Penn.
  • Occupation: President of HeartCare Imaging Inc., a medical testing and equipment company
  • Highest degree: Bachelor’s in business, University of Florida
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “20+ years of executive mgt, service on numerous local boards, local volunteer work in Palm Beach, Martin counties. I am a long term Floridian and understand the need to provide an environment that will meet the needs of our students and industry and state.”
  • Trivia: Stilley coaches his daughter’s softball team, the Jupiter Seahawks. In 2008 and 2010, the Seahawks made it to the U.S. Specialty Sports Association’s Fast Pitch Softball World Series.

Sources: Stilley’s most recent Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, HeartCareImaging.com, JTAA.org, TCPalm.com

Paul TannerPaul Tanner
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2011
  • Age: 55
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Brookline, Mass.
  • Occupation: Senior vice president of investments at UBS, an international company that provides wealth and asset management and investment banking
  • Highest degree: Bachelor’s in political science, Florida Atlantic University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have served on the Broward College Board of Trustees for the past 7 years and am deeply involved in the [illegible word] of higher education to improve Florida’s workforce. Plus I am an FAU alum.”
  • Trivia: Tanner has served on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.

Sources: Paul Tanner, Tanner’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, UBS.com, Broward.edu, MODS.org

Julius TeskeJulius Teske
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2011
  • Age: 66
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Elizabeth, N.J.
  • Occupation: Former assistant superintendent of human resources for the School District of Indian River County (retired in 2010)
  • Highest degree: Doctorate of education in educational management, Nova Southeastern University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “Thirty six years as a professional educator.”
  • Trivia: Before serving as assistant superintendent of human resources, Teske was interim superintendent of schools and a middle school principal for the School District of Indian River County.

Sources: Teske’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu

Thomas Workman Jr.Thomas Workman Jr.
  • Trustee type: Government appointee
  • Trustee since: 2008
  • Age: 68
  • Race: White
  • Political party: Republican
  • Hometown: Camden, N.J.
  • Occupation: President of Thomas Workman & Associates, an accounting firm
  • Highest degree: Bachelor’s in accounting, Florida Atlantic University
  • Why he thinks he’s qualified: “Having lived in Boca Raton before FAU was started, I know its history and have been able to see the University develop into the fine institution it is today. I am currently Treasurer of the FAU Foundation and Past President of the FAU National Alumni Association. I’ve been very involved in FAU activities and believe my knowledge and experience at FAU will be a great asset to the FAU Board of Trustees.”
  • Trivia: Workman is a past president and vice president of the American Heart Association’s Boca Raton chapter.

Sources: Workman’s most recent Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation [PDF], FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies.com, WorkmanCPA.com

Robert Huffman photo by Charles Pratt.
All other photos courtesy of FAU Media Relations unless noted.


This article is part of an investigative series about FAU’s Board of Trustees members. To read the other articles in the series, visit upressonline.com/BOT.