Conflict of Interest and Poor Business Decision in the Mayor’s Office

The headline read, “Mayor’s chief of staff Brian Hughes to serve as interim DIA CEO.”

Conflict of interest — first thing I thought.  And I was not alone with that thought either.  Twitter went crazy and even one of the members of the DIA questioned if it was a good move.

Of course it is a conflict of interest and those who make light of this “interim CEO” decision are foolish.

Brian Hughes has no experience to match the qualifications for even an interim CEO position.  He’s a media/communications guy – per his LinkedIn bio:

“With 20 years of professional communication and media production experience, I am ready to help you craft and deliver your message. Whether it’s corporate brand management, political outreach, or media strategy, give me a call and let’s get to work.  Specialties: Public relations/Corporate branding/Audio-video-film production and post-production/Strategic social media counsel”

Compare Mr. Hughes’ bio with that of the outgoing DIA CEO, Aundra Wallace:

“Prior to coming to Jacksonville, Mr. Wallace spent three years as Executive Director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority, with previous experience as the Senior Vice President for Commercial Real Estate at the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, as well as holding several positions managing community, economic and housing development initiatives over twelve years with Miami-Dade County Government.  Mr. Wallace holds a Masters of Public Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Georgia Southern University.  He is a Certified Housing Development Finance Professional and a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional.”

A man who spins messages compared to a man who is an expert and a professional in the world of real estate initiatives and community development.  What the heck?

With all the highly qualified professionals in Jacksonville who could have served in the Interim CEO capacity, why would they choose Brian Hughes, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff?  How can Brian Hughes do two jobs and do any of them well?  Why would they think this is okay?

This DIA CEO position is nothing to take for granted.  The person in that role has a lot of influence on how we spend tax incentives, grants, and taxpayer dollars.  When the job description is posted, Brian Hughes would not qualify for that position.  So why did he get it?

The excuses are not good enough.  This was a poor business decision.  This move deserves a STINK Eye and Eye on Jacksonville will keep a close watch on how this develops.

And we are certain the world of Twitter will too.


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Billie Tucker has worked in the CEO world for more than 30 years and was the Chief Operating Officer of Vistage Florida, a think tank for CEOs. She started her own consulting practice, CEO Service Bureau, in 2001 and earned a reputation for her keen understanding of the motivations, challenges and goals of people and became a life-long student and teacher of leadership principles. She craved anything leadership related and enjoyed being around the world of entrepreneurial CEOs. She watched as they made decisions; pondered how they would make payroll when cash flow was tight; and appreciated how they created career opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Because of her experiences, she has emerged as a key resource for the media and others who want to understand important insights about executives, management teams and board dynamics. In 2008, Billie became discouraged as she watched some of her clients struggle with the political economic impacts on their businesses. The same CEOs who mortgaged their home and charged up their credit cards to make ends meet to build a business and keep others working, now watched as their government bailed out the big banks who had mismanaged their resources. She cringed as most of her clients laid off employees for the first time and she vowed she would help them… somehow…someway. That somehow…someway showed up in the Tea Party Movement in America. She formed one of the largest tea party group’s in America (more than 9,000 members strong) and helped bring attention to America’s debt problem, out of control spending, over taxation and regulation strangulation on companies. With her background in working with leaders and her influence in the political and leadership world, Billie has continued her dream to help CEOs navigate these troubling waters that permeate the world of capitalism in America. She has been an active participant in the media as a guest on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Bott Family Network Radio and co-hosts a political/financial radio show in the Northeast Florida market entitled, Smart Money. She was the first speaker at the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus inaugural event and was invited by Heritage Foundation to speak at their prestigious annual Heritage Resource Bank, and on their National Security Panel live broadcasts. She spoke at the Congressional Republican House Retreat in Pennsylvania in 2012. She was also the co-host and co-producer of the CNN Tea Party Express Debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. She is a firm believer that America needs more entrepreneurs and more opportunities for people to use their God-given talents and passions to better themselves, their communities and America. Her favorite quote has become her mission to help CEOs succeed: “Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison[/author_info] [/author]



Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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