Michele M. Merrell and Richard V. Reikenis have been appointed to The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University Advisory Board.
“Floridians and Americans yearn for respectful dialogue around important policy issues,” former U. S. Senator George LeMieux said. “These outstanding new members of the LeMieux Center Advisory Board will propel the Center toward its mission of enhancing the student experience and engaging the community to tackle the issues of tomorrow.”
Michele M. Merrell is a senior level telecommunications and technology executive with 30 years in the corporate world. She is president of Merrell Consulting Group, a global consulting consortium, and additionally serves as a director for three corporations.
Merrell is on the international board of directors for the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN), and is the North America President for GTWN, an organization that actively promotes and mentors women in the global telecommunications and technology industries.
Merrell’s achievements have earned her dozens of awards and recognition over her career for her business and leadership acumen. She was the recipient of the Women of the Channel Power 100 Award by CRN Magazine. Merrell was the recipient of the Florida Achievement Award from the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, part of the Office of the Attorney General, State of Florida. The South Florida Business Journal also named Merrell as their “Business Woman of Influence” recipient. Merrell was named by the Diversity Journal as the recipient of their “Woman Worth Watching” award. She has been a featured business executive in an edition of March Magazine, a women’s executive magazine.
Merrell is a life-long Conservative and Republican, and is highly active in local, state and national politics. She has worked on numerous presidential campaigns including Reagan, Bush, McCain, Romney and Trump. In the State of Florida, she has been both a grassroots advocate and volunteer, and a fundraiser. Merrell has served on various host committees, and has been an advisory committee member on numerous state and local campaigns. In January 2018, she was elected as the Broward Republican State Committeewoman for Broward County, Florida. In February 2018, she was honored as the recipient of the Statesman’s Award for South Florida. She currently the president of the Broward Republican Women’s Club, Federated. In 2017, Merrell was elected as 3rd vice president for the Florida Federation of Republican Women. She is the vice president of the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club, and is also a committeewoman for the Broward Republican Executive Committee.
A Broward County resident, she speaks regularly both internationally and domestically on topics ranging from technology, entrepreneurship, marketing, business leadership, politics and women’s issues.
Richard V. Reikenis, a West Palm Beach resident, is president of Reikenis & Associates, responsible for business development and infrastructure program management on behalf of their clients in Florida and elsewhere. In addition to meeting the needs of municipal and private sector clients in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, he has also been responsible for significant project development in Central/Eastern Europe, the Near East, Central America, the Caribbean and Africa. His team is focused on providing the best combination of technically superior and financially responsible solutions to meet client needs.
In 1983 Reikenis joined with a group of friends and colleagues to start Sunfest, and served on the Sunfest Board of Directors until 1985. He served as city commissioner of West Palm Beach from 1985 to 1989, and as mayor from 1987 to 1988. He also served on the governing board of the Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority (1985 – 1989), Florida League of Cities Board of Directors (1986 – 1989) and the Florida League of Cities Executive Board (1987 – 1989). From 1990 to 1992 he served as president of Adopt-a-Family of Palm Beach County, helping the organization earn one of President George H. W. Bush’s Points of Light in 1992. Over the past 20 years, he has served on numerous other boards and committees in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Reikenis’ education includes a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science (Environmental Engineering) from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. A native of Baltimore, he moved to West Palm Beach in 1978. He is married to Carolyn and they have two grown children.
Established in in 2012, The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University connects students with opportunities to dialogue with state and national officials, journalists, authors, academics and other notable thought leaders through its popular on-campus speaker series and its Fellows program. The LeMieux Center moderates important conversations for serious thinkers on issues important to Florida, the United States and the world.
The Center’s founder, Sen. George S. LeMieux, served in the U.S. Senate for Florida during the 111th session of Congress and gifted his senatorial papers and other memorabilia to the Palm Beach Atlantic University Warren Library archives. Sen. LeMieux and journalist Laura Mize, a Palm Beach Atlantic alumna, are the authors of “Florida Made: The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State” (Arcadia Publishing, 2018). Book sales and private contributions support the work of the LeMieux Center for Public Policy.
Sen. LeMieux currently serves as chairman of the Gunster law firm.