Prominent entrepreneur Danny Gaekwad and former Florida Department of Transportation secretary Ananth Prasad are among three Indian Americans named by Governor-elect Ron DeSantis to his Transition Advisory Committee on the Economy. The third Indian American on the committee is Kumar Allady, founder of the engineering and IT services firm Radise International.
“I am very pleased to be part of the committee,” said Gaekwad, founder & CEO of the Ocala, FL, -based NDS USA and Danny G Hospitality Management. “I thank the governor-elect for this great trust he has placed in me. I am confident that under his leadership, Florida will continue to be an economic engine of the nation.”
Other members of the transition committee include former House Speaker Allan Bense, JAX Chamber president Daniel Davis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers COO Brian Ford, JAXPORT CEO Eric Green, and Gulf Power executive and retired U.S. Navy Capt. Keith Hoskins, among others.
Gaekwad, an Ocala resident, an influential campaign contributor and Republican fundraiser, was named to the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Florida by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year.
He is an executive board member of Visit Florida, the official tourism marketing corporation of the state, and a member of the board of director of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, a 100-year-old trade body that promotes a business friendly climate and jobs creations in the state.
Prasad, a 22-year Florida Department of Transportation veteran, served as its secretary from April 2011 to January 2015. He is scheduled to assume charge as the president of the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association early next year.
DeSantis will be sworn in as governor of Florida in January, after he won a hard-fought campaign based on his sterling biography and embrace of Trumpian populism. His victory signals the endurance of Donald Trump’s Republican party in the nation’s most populous swing state, dealing a punishing blow to liberals who were fired up around a potential rebuke of their state’s support of the president almost exactly two years ago. But it was not so.
DeSantis said Trump’s support made all the difference in his defeat of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who was hoping to be Florida’s first black governor and the first Democrat elected governor since 1994. “I’d like to thank our president for standing by me, for standing by me when it wasn’t necessarily the smart thing,” DeSantis said after the vote count gave him the edge. “Mr. President, I look forward to working with you to advance Florida’s priorities.”