Dean's Advisory Council

Juan Diaz

Juan Diaz


Juan Diaz serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for The HCI Group, a healthcare IT consulting services provider based in Jacksonville and leads all corporate legal activities including government and commercial contracts, business transactions, and legal and regulatory compliance matters. He also oversees international strategic business development with IT consulting firms, hardware providers and application developers to enhance the company’s go-to market approach and service offerings, with specific focus on the Middle East, Pacific and Asian markets. Diaz received his undergraduate degree in Economics and International Affairs in 1998 from Florida State University and his law degree from the University of Florida’s College of Law in 2003. Diaz was a founding co-chair of IMPACTjax, the young professionals’ initiative of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and has served the City in a variety of roles, including the Cultural Services Grant Panel, the Public Service Grant Council, and the Convention Center Task Force. He has supported a number of philanthropic and community endeavors including Board service for the United Way of Northeast Florida, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida, Dreams Comes True, and Theater of Jacksonville. He is married to Kristen, a television reporter and freelance producer and together they have a 2 year old son, Daniel.

Paula Smith

Paula Smith

Immediate Past Chair

Paula Smith is a 1976 graduate with a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising from Florida State University. She has chaired many projects in the Tallahassee community and at FSU, including the planning and construction of the Leon County Public Library, renovation of the downtown chain of parks, the 2001 United Way Campaign and the 50th anniversary celebration of Florida State University. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida Class IX and an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church. Paula and her husband, Bill, have a daughter and son-in-law in St. Louis and a son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons in Tallahassee.


Valerie Boyd

Valerie Boyd has thirty years of experience in real estate development and banking, specializing in land development and rezoning. She has been involved as a community and political leader in Florida including having held appointments by three of Florida’s Governors and previously serving as a commissioner for the Florida Transportation Commission. Valerie has chaired and served on numerous state and national environmental sustainability commissions including the Collier County Economic Development Council, South Florida Water Management Governing Board, Florida Transportation Commission, Sustainable South Florida Commission, CREW Land & Water Trust, and Big Cypress Basin Board.

Additionally, Valerie is a founding member and trustee of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, trustee and Vice Chair of the Grant Committee for the Naples Children & Education Foundation, and a founding member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation and Immokalee Foundation.

Valerie has a degree in dietetics from Florida State University and is a graduate of the Leadership Florida and Leadership Collier programs.

Betty Crowe

Betty Crowe

Betty Williams Crowe is a 1969 graduate with a B.S. in Home Economics Education & Extension from the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. She was a Senior Extension Home Economist in Calhoun County (Blountstown, FL) and Food Service Vocational High School Teacher in Charleston, SC. She has continued to joyfully apply her education within her home and family life throughout the ensuing years.

Betty has also worked in the banking industry, state government and has held numerous volunteer and leadership positions in her churches, schools and communities. Betty and her husband John (B.S. 69′, M.S. 71′, FSU) have a son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in Tallahassee and a son in Los Angeles, CA.

Kevin Hayes

Kevin Hayes, DO, MS, FACC

Kevin Hayes obtained both his bachelor and masters (B.S. Education 1992 and M.S. Exercise Physiology 1994) degrees from Florida State University. During his time there he was also a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. After graduating, he worked as a clinical specialist with Medtronic Inc. programming and analyzing implantable pacemakers and ICDs before deciding to further continue his education. At that point he obtained his doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Hayes completed his residency at The Johns Hopkins/Sinai program in internal medicine and his fellowship in cardiology at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, N.J. He has worked in private practice in Jacksonville, Florida since 2008. Currently he is working as a founding partner at First Coast Heart and Vascular Center and also serves as Vice President of Medical Executive Committee for Specialty Hospital of Jacksonville. Hayes lives in Jacksonville with his wife, Ashley (who is also an FSU grad, Human Sciences-2005’) and their two children, Langley and Easton. In his free time he enjoys going to the gulf, exercising and traveling.

Peggy Hseih

Peggy Hsieh, Ph.D.

Yun-Hwa Peggy Hsieh received her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Taiwan, her M.S. in Animal Science from Purdue University, and Ph.D. in Food Science from the Florida State University. She joined the faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Auburn University, Alabama in 1993. After ten years of service at Auburn, she accepted a faculty position in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at FSU.

Her primary research interest has been developing rapid immunochemical methods for ensuring food safety and quality. Her work at both universities has resulted in 13 patented and patent-pending technologies. At least 6 of her innovative technologies developed with her research team have been commercialized for rapid detection of adulterated food and food allergens. She retired from FSU in 2016 and received a Professor Emerita status to continue some work on licensed projects. Hsieh has been an invited speaker to ~80 national and international conferences. She is an elected Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science & Technology (2007) and a Fellow of Institute of Food Technologists (2008).

She is married to her husband, Ping, of 44 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.


Matthew Lee, M.D.

Matt Lee is an orthopedic surgeon and practices at the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic. He also helps the sports medicine team at Florida State University, assisting athletes with spine and back related injuries.

After graduating from the College of Human Sciences with a degree in exercise science, Matt stayed at Florida State University for his medical training and earned his M.D. from the College of Medicine in 2006.

Justin Lewis

Justin Lewis, DPM, MS, FACFAS

Justin Lewis is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon and the founder / owner of Maryland Foot and Ankle Specialists. He is an inaugural winner of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship Seminole 100, which recognized the 100 fastest-growing FSU alumni-owned businesses in the U.S.

Justin obtained his B.S., magna cum laude, in 2002 and his M.S in 2004 in Exercise Physiology from Florida State University. After graduating, he obtained a second M.S. in Biomedical Sciences in 2006 and his Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine in 2008 from Barry University, graduating in the top 10 percentile in his class. He then went on to complete a 3 year residency in foot and ankle reconstructive surgery, obtained his board certification from the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and then became a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Justin is currently the Chief of Podiatry in the Department of Orthopedics at Carroll Hospital, Team Podiatrist for the Baltimore Orioles, and Company Podiatrist for the Baltimore Ballet. He is the President-Elect of the Maryland Podiatric Medical Association and held previous officer positions of Secretary and Treasurer. Justin is a medical consultant and faculty instructor for Arthrex, Inc., an orthopedic medical device company and leader in product development and medical education and he lectures nationally teaching the latest techniques and medical advancements in foot and ankle surgery.

He resides in Maryland with his wife, Dr. Tania Burinskas, 3 boys, 2 dogs, and 2 horses and spends his free time advocating for animal rescue.

Loretta Willis

Loretta Willis

Loretta J. Willis is a 1977 graduate with a B.S. from the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. After enjoying a career with AT&T/Ameritech she has owned and operated her own company, Loretta’s Interior Design, LLC and since the early 1990’s and is currently based in Alpharetta, Georgia. Willis was an FSU Cheerleader and husband Ken, a Marching Chief. Loretta and Ken have three children (a current FSU student and two FSU graduates) and live in Roswell, Georgia.

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