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Lottery Secretary Jim Poppell to retire

“I will be forever grateful to have served you and the people of Florida.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced that Florida Lottery Secretary Jim Poppell is retiring.

“Jim Poppell is a dedicated public servant and consummate professional who agreed to continue serving our state when I became governor after a lengthy career in the private and public sectors,” DeSantis said in a statement.

Poppell replaced former Secretary Tom Delacenserie, who became president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery, and took over the agency under previous Gov. Rick Scott.

“Under Jim’s leadership at the Florida Lottery, students have benefited from outstanding educational opportunities provided by the department. I thank Jim for his years of service and wish him the very best in retirement. He will be missed.”

In the same statement, Poppell thanked the Governor for his “leadership and the opportunity to serve.”

“The more than 400 employees at the Florida Lottery have worked hard and accomplished much this year, including the successful installation and conversion to a new gaming system,” he said. “We also just awarded the contract for our new scratch ticket vendor, which will save the state approximately $18 million annually.

“My wife, Jeanette, and I will be forever grateful to have served you and the people of Florida.”

Lottery proceeds go into the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, which helps pay for public education and Florida Bright Futures Scholarships.

Here’s more from a press release:

Poppell has served as the Secretary of the Florida Lottery since July 2017 where he led more than 400 employees to increase sales and transfers to enhance education while also maintaining relationships with more than 13,000 retailers. Prior to joining the Florida Lottery, Poppell served as Chief of Staff at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

He previously served as Executive Vice President of Human Resources at NextEra Energy, Inc., held several leadership positions at Florida Power & Light Company and was a litigator with Foley & Lardner.

Poppell received his law degree from the University of Missouri, a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership from Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and his undergraduate degree in History from Eckerd College.

His resignation letter is below.

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