Charles E. Schmidt College of Science Advisory Board

The Charles E. Schmidt College of Science Advisory Board is an independent organization providing support and assistance to the College of Science at Florida Atlantic University. The mission of the Board is to advise the College regarding its progress and interactions with individuals, corporations, and agencies external to FAU and to develop, plan, and facilitate specific targeted activities that advance College goals through outreach to them.

Megan Davis-Hodgkins, Ph.D.
Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Megan Davis, Ph.D., Associate Executive Director and Director at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has worked in the field of aquaculture and marine science for over 35 years. She is a graduate from Florida Institute of Technology and joined Harbor Branch in 1996. Her interests include development of aquaculture species for food and stock enhancement using economically and environmentally sustainable methods and providing training to advance the aquaculture industry. She was a co-founder of the world’s first queen conch farm in the Caribbean and was instrumental in developing commercial techniques for queen conch aquaculture. More recently she was co-inventor of queen conch cultured pearl techniques that led to licensing of the technology to Rose Pearl, LLC. In her leadership role at Associate Executive Director of Research, Dr. Davis oversees research development and operations at the Institute. She serves as co-chair of the steering committee for Our Global Estuary an emerging initiative which will guide the development of a strategy for science-based estuarine observation and prediction network.

Andrew Duffell
Research Park at Florida Atlantic University

Andrew Duffell is a recognized thought-leader on the strategic role of business creation, recruitment, retention and expansion as a foundation for the Florida economy. A frequent speaker and panelist, Andrew presents a pragmatic approach to working with start-ups and Fortune 100 companies on market entry and development strategies.

In his current role as president and CEO of the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, the governing body of the Research Park, he is bringing renewed energy to the growth of the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, formulating and implementing its first strategic plan, and raising its profile as a significant economic asset for South Florida.

With a degree in European studies and post-graduate work in human resources, finance and strategy, Duffell began his U.S. career working with the North of England Inward Investment Agency where he assisted U.S. companies with expansion into European markets. Using his bilingual capabilities, it was in this early capacity that Duffell honed his business assistance skills.

At the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Duffell helped orchestrate the recruitment and expansion of local, national and international technology companies, which continue to add approximately $3 billion annually to the regional economy. Due in part to Duffell’s work, South Florida is now home to Max Planck Florida Institute, one of the most revered bioscience research institutes in the world.

Duffell also worked with Enterprise Florida, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties to create the first trade mission and marketing materials to promote South Florida as the global business destination in the region.

In 2012, the South Florida Business Journal honored him as a top “40 Under 40” in South Florida; in 2010 the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean Chapter awarded him its “Young Leader of the Year” vision award and he was named the 2008 South Florida Business Journal’s “Up and Comer of the Year” for finance and economic development.

Duffell’s current civic leadership roles include serving on the Board of Directors for the Association of University Research Parks (AURP); the FAU Dean of Engineering’s Executive Advisory Council; as treasurer for the Florida Research Parks Network (FRPN); and on the Life Sciences South Florida (LSSF) Executive Committee. He was a final round judge for the FAU Business Plan Competition and served on FAU’s search committee for a new Associate Vice President for Research. He is chairman of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s economic development committee. 

Lon Gopie
Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Group
Florida Community Bank

Mr. Gopie is the Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Manager for Florida Community Bank leading a team of Commercial Bankers spanning the Treasurer Coast down to Dade County. Primary responsibilities are to maintain and grow the C&I portfolio with companies comprised of revenues between $20Mil to $500Mil+. Offerings to these clients include Commercial Mortgages, Lines of Credit, Acquisition Funding, Treasury Management and International Services.

He has over 14 years of Commercial Lending and Treasury Management experience in South Florida with companies having sales between $20Mil and $500Mil. annually. Prior to joining FCB he worked with SunTrust Bank in the Commercial Banking Group and was based in West Palm Beach with clients throughout South Florida and the Southeastern USA. Lon received his undergraduate degree in Finance from Florida Atlantic University and his MBA from Nova Southeastern University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Urban League of Palm Beach County, Chairman of the Board for New Urban Community Development and is involved in other organizations such as the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG), Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and the Angel Forum.