Sheila McDevitt is a groundbreaker. Her career has ranged from extensive experience in public utilities, maritime and coal mining, to pioneering work in corporate compliance, and pollution control negotiations that made her company a leader in the environmentally responsible production of coal-fired electricity.
Ms. McDevitt retired in July, 2007 as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Legal Officer at TECO Energy, Inc. in Tampa, Florida where she is credited for having built the first Legal Department within a 108 –year- old, traditional electric utility company. Currently, she is the Principal of Sheila M. McDevitt P.L. a consulting firm advising corporations and law firms on business strategies, governmental related issues, and compliance.
At TECO Energy, Ms. McDevitt was a key member of the CEO’s senior leadership team formulating and implementing strategic initiatives. She led the corporation’s legal affairs, all corporate compliance and governance, environmental strategy; internal and external communications; diversity and the corporate secretary duties.
As the General Counsel, Ms. McDevitt provided counsel and advice to senior executions and the Board on a wide range of issues. She led the strategic acquisition and merger of Florida’s largest regulated gas utility which expanded the company’s service footprint throughout the state. She created the company’s Standards of Integrity framework in 1987 and a formal Compliance Plan thereafter, which established a comprehensive code of ethics and compliance for TECO Energy and was appointed the company’s first compliance officer.
Her leadership of groundbreaking NSR pollution control negotiations with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice led to an agreement that established TECO Energy as a national leader in the environmentally responsible production of coal-fired electricity. She is known for her ability to advocate primarily on environmental, insurance and tort reform matters at both the state and federal levels.
In recognition of her professional expertise and dedication to the community, Ms. McDevitt was selected by the Secretary of Defense as one of 50 community leaders from throughout the U.S. to
attend the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, a 10-day field session on each branch of the armed services. She has received numerous awards including: the Outstanding Contribution Award for Pioneering in Business Ethics from the Center for Ethics at the University of Tampa and Distinguished Alum from the College of Law at Florida State University.
Ms McDevitt is a gubernatorial appointee with Senate confirmation to the Florida Board of Governors, overseeing the State University System for which she is the Vice Chair and the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee. She chaired the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education Minority Access and Diversity. She is a Trustee of St. Leo University, serving from 2005 to 2007 as the Chair of the Board. She is a former member of the Audit, Advancement and Nominating Committees. For the College of Law at Florida State University she chaired the Board of Visitors from 2004 to 2005, and has remained a member since 1996.
She also held gubernatorial appointments to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Nominating Committee from 2001 to 2003 and the Florida Humanities Council, Board of Directors from 1999 to 2003. She was appointed to the Federal Judicial Advisory Commission for Florida from 1989 to 1993 by US Senator Connie Mack. Ms. McDevitt was a member of the Florida Department of Labor’s Workers’
Compensation Advisory Council from 1984 to 1988 and a member of the Commission on the Status of Women from 1972 to 1976.
Ms. McDevitt continues to build her expertise in board service and board governance. She attended the Florida Director’s Institute, Women On Boards, OnBoard BootCamp, and the Edison Electric Institute’s ISS- approved, Director Training Program. She also served as a panelist for a KPMG Audit Committee Roundtable on Risk Assessment.
Within the community, Ms. McDevitt is a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee for The Florida Orchestra. She is also President-Elect of the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation and a member of boards of the Center for Women, Lowry Park Zoological Society and the Pier Aquarium in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ms. McDevitt holds both a B.A. and J.D. from Florida State University in Tallahassee and continued her education at the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, Leadership in Professional Service Firms. She lives in the Tampa Bay community of North Redington Beach, Florida.