Executive Chief of Staff
Dr. Winfred M. Phillips, Executive Chief of Staff, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Don and Ruth Eckis Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida, January 1, 2015-present. Senior Advisor to the President at the University of Florida, April 1, 2014-December 31, 2014. Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Florida, September 6, 2011-March 31, 2014. President of the University of Florida Research Foundation, July 1, 1999-December 31, 2013. Vice President for Research and Director at the University of Florida from July 1, 1999-September 5, 2011. Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Florida from June 30, 1999-February 1, 2004. Dean of Engineering and Associate Vice President at the University of Florida from August 1988-June 1999.
Kathy Wilson, Executive Assistant
Executive Assistant to the President
Beth Boone works directly with the president and his cabinet and various organizations within and outside UF. She oversees the President’s schedule, assists with special projects and manages cabinet and board meetings. Additionally, she is responsible for the seamless operation of the president’s office, including budget, staff supervision, and student assistants. Ms. Boone came to the office in January 2005 from the UF Department of Physics, where she spent eight years, as administrative assistant to the chairman. Her over 25 years at UF have also included positions at the Division of Sponsored Research, Program in Linguistics, English Language Institute, and Department of Physics.
Aaron Hoover works closely with President Fuchs on speeches, presentations, op-eds, correspondence and other communications projects. He also provides communications expertise and assistance to UF's provost, senior vice presidents and Linda Fuchs. His speeches have won nine national Cicero Awards since 2011, including three in 2016. He joined the president's office in April 2011 following a 20-year career as speechwriter, science writer and daily newspaper reporter.
Lenny Kennedy is the logistics assistant for our office. She manages and compiles, procures and organizes material for the President's speaking and meeting engagements. She is also responsible for various correspondence requiring the President’s signature, filing and records retention. She works directly with on and off campus offices on a daily basis. This position also assists the First Lady, Linda Fuchs, with her calendar, scheduling of events and any special projects to further help her in her mission. Lenny joined the President’s Office in November 2016 after 15 years of service as Program Assistant to the Center for Governmental Responsibility at the UF Levin College of Law.
Ashley Partridge is the Scheduling Specialist for our office. She manages the President’s calendar in all aspects, and receives all requests for the president’s time. Ashley also manages his travel throughout the year and maintains all associated logs and spreadsheets. She communicates daily with our team and interacts daily with various organizations within and outside of the university. Ashley joined our office in July 2017 from UF Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology.
Assistant to Director of Presidential Events and Commencement
Stacey Merritt assists the director of presidential events and commencement with coordinating and monitoring University House rentals, university commencement ceremonies, and other presidential events. She also supports the president’s office with clerical and non-clerical assignments as needed. She joined the staff in August 2012 after spending 18 years in the banking industry in Jacksonville, Florida.
Director of Presidential Events & Commencement Coordinator
Donna Stricker is responsible for the planning and implementation of presidential events, as well as all university-wide commencement ceremonies. Additionally, she oversees the use of the University House for campus-related rental events; coordinates selection and celebrations of recipients of honorary degrees and distinguished alumni awards; and provides guidance for ceremonial events university wide. She joined the president's office in 2005 after spending 10 years as director of development for the Alachua County Housing Authority and five years as project supervisor in market development for General Mills Restaurant Group (now Darden Restaurants).
Administrative Support Specialist II
Suzzanne Zorilo is the office’s front receptionist. She also assists with office and financial management, including overseeing billing and other matters related to the rental of the University House. Additionally, she greets and assists all guests in the suite and works directly with the President to keep his day on schedule. Ms. Zorilo is a long time resident of Gainesville. She has served in our community by working for Alachua County School Board, Alachua County Civil Clerk of the Court, and volunteers for the Alachua County Animal Shelter. Ms. Zorilo joined the president’s office in March 2014 from UF Department of Medicine, OBGYN.
Director of Commencements
Provost’s Office Staff
As Director of Commencements, Ms. Stephanie McBride is responsible to plan and coordinate the university-level commencement ceremonies at the end of each semester. In addition to commencement responsibilities, Stephanie also provides support and assistance for other culminating ceremonies for areas such as the Innovation Academy and ROTC. Prior to joining the team in the Provost Office, Stephanie served in the College of Public Health & Health Professions as the Conference & Event Planner for three years.