Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

A Florida lottery winner sues

In 2013, Gloria Mackenzie, then 84, became the single largest Powerball winner in U.S. history when she claimed a $590.5-million jackpot. Mackenzie, a widow, took a lump sum payment of $371 million ($278 million after taxes), split the fortune with her son, Jacksonville resident Scott Mackenzie, and gave him power of attorney over her finances.

Now 90, Mackenzie has sued her son for allegedly mismanaging her money.

The lawsuit, filed in state court in Jacksonville, maintains that Scott Mackenzie and his Jacksonville investment adviser, Harry “Hank” Madden, co-host of a financial talk radio show, invested her money in low-return CDs and money market accounts, costing her tens of millions of dollars in gains.

Her lawyers say that in the nearly four years Madden managed her money, she saw a return of less than 1% and was charged $2 million in fees. Several years ago, when family members came to her with information about Madden’s record as a financial planner, including three settled complaints, Scott Mackenzie threatened to disinherit them, the suit alleges.

His lawyers have sought to dismiss the suit, saying his mother’s money was invested conservatively according to her wishes, and the fact that she didn’t earn more isn’t a basis for a lawsuit.

A judge previously threw out a similar suit but allowed Gloria Mackenzie to file an amended complaint in March.

In 2013, Madden told Florida Trend that rather than growing the Mackenzies’ wealth, he hoped to preserve it so that it could be passed to future generations (“A-Lotto Money,” FloridaTrend. com). Their decision to trust him with such a large sum of money, he said, was “one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly.”


Well-Contained Housing

Jacksonville-based JWB Real Estate Capital unveiled plans for a new downtown apartment complex made of shipping containers. The investment and property management firm says it will convert the containers into 18 housing units and place them on a 0.13-acre lot in the city’s Cathedral District. The apartments will measure about 320 square feet and rent for $550, according to JWB. There are no plans to provide parking for residents. In May, JWB received conceptual approval for the $1.2-million project from Jacksonville’s Downtown Development Review Board.


  • Anna Lebesch joined JAXUSA Partnership as vice president of talent development, a new position. She’ll focus on connecting people to career opportunities, developing local talent and attracting skilled workers to Northeast Florida. Lebesch previously was vice president of work force development at St. Johns River State College and executive director of the Orange Park campus.


  • Jacksonville-based Haskell, an architecture, engineering, construction and consulting firm, sold its energy business to Colorado-based Merrick & Co. Terms were not disclosed.


  • Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jacksonville plans a $1.2-million renovation.
  • A Hilton Garden Inn is being built in downtown Ocala. The 107-room, five-story hotel is to open later this year or early next year.
  • Sleiman Enterprises bought the 200,000-sq.-ft. Lakewood Promenade shopping center in Jacksonville from Indianapolis-based Kite Realty Group Trust.
  • SS&C Technologies expanded to 107,000 square feet at the Gramercy Woods office park in Jacksonville, where it previously leased 73,000 square feet.


  • Denver-based Glowpoint and Jacksonville-based SharedLabs agreed to terminate a planned merger. Glowpoint moved to end the deal, saying SharedLabs had breached “certain of its agreements and certain of its representations and warranties.”


  • Houston-based Waste Management bought Ponte Vedra-based Advanced Disposal Services for $4.9 billion, including the assumption of $1.9 billion in debt. Advanced Disposal had sales of $1.6 billion last year. It employs about 6,000 people in 16 states.


  • Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty plans to open an e-commerce distribution facility in Northwest Jacksonville next year. Ulta says it will invest $37.5 million to lease and equip the facility and will hire 30 full-time employees, plus hundreds of seasonal workers. The city council has approved a $1.4-million grant for the project.


Air Canada stopped non-stop service to Toronto from Jacksonville International Airport, leaving JIA without a direct international route.

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority chose local engineering firm Jacobs/RS&H to design a third concourse at JIA.


  • Jacksonville-based Sweet Pete’s Candy agreed to pay $2 million to settle a trademark infringement lawsuit after a federal court in California ruled in favor of Beverly Hills-based Sugarfina, which had accused Sweet Pete’s of copying its product names and package designs.


  • Brett McClung is the new CEO at Jacksonville-based Baptist Health, succeeding Hugh Greene, who retired. Mc- Clung comes to Baptist Health from Texas Health Resources, where he was executive vice president and chief operations leader for a division with nine hospitals.
  • Two researchers at the UF College of Nursing received a five-year, $2.57-million grant from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health to study how to prevent falls among older patients.
  • The University of Florida named Dr. David Nelson its top health administrator. Nelson, who held the position on an interim basis for nearly a year, oversees operations in Gainesville and Jacksonville, including six health sciences colleges, nine research centers, two hospital systems and dozens of physician practices.


Read more in Florida Trend's July issue.

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