Tallahassee, Fla. – CareerSource Florida is announcing three new members of the state workforce board: Kevin O’Farrell, Ph.D., Rep. Lauren Melo, (R) Naples, and Brent McNeal.

“On behalf of our state workforce development board, CareerSource Florida is grateful to House Speaker Chris Sprowls for his appointment of Rep. Melo, a champion for her constituents, a successful entrepreneur and business leader and one of the principal legislators who helped enact Florida’s landmark Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) Act,” said CareerSource Florida Board Chair Stephanie Smith, senior director of government relations for Anthem, Inc. “ We are also delighted to welcome two accomplished leaders from the Florida Department of Education to the board, Kevin O’Farrell and Brent McNeal. We look forward to the contributions of all three new members as we continue our collaborative work to fully implement the REACH Act to improve access, alignment and accountability in Florida’s workforce and education systems.”  

Kevin O’Farrell, Ph.D. 

Dr. O’Farrell, of Wesley Chapel, serves as chancellor for the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Career and Adult Education. Chancellor O’Farrell, who has more than 15 years of experience in higher education as an instructor and executive administrator, previously served as the provost of the Porter Campus at Pasco-Hernando State College. Dr. O’Farrellis a board member of the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, Advent Health Wesley Chapel Hospital, Pasco Education Foundation, and New Tampa Family YMCA and has worked closely with the Pasco Economic Development Council on workforce talent development initiatives and strategy. He volunteers with the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Office and Shepard’s Village, a transitional housing nonprofit organization serving single mothers.  

Lauren Melo 

Rep. Melo, of Naples, appointed by Speaker Sprowls, (R) Palm Harbor, represents District 80 in the Florida House of Representatives. In 1991, she founded a trucking company which grew from a single truck into a large fleet, at one point managing more than 100 trucks. She also owns Florida’s Realty Specialists, a successful real estate brokerage firm. Rep. Melo has served as the president of the Naples Area Board of REALTORS and on several boards including the Southwest Florida Truckers Association, National Association of REALTORS® and Housing, Education, Lending Programs (HELP). She has volunteered with the Florida Guardian Ad Litem program.  

Brent McNeal 

Mr. McNeal is the director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at the Florida Department of Education. Director McNeal plans, directs and monitors the activities of the division to help Floridians with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. In addition to serving on the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors, he serves on the Able Trust Board of Directors, the Florida Rehabilitation Council, and the Mediator Qualifications and Discipline Review Board. Director McNeal previously served for eight years as legal counsel for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Blind Services. He has been a frequent presenter with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation attorney network. Director McNeal earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and a juris doctor degree from Florida State University College of Law. 


CareerSource Florida, with its business-led board of directors, provides policy direction for talent development programs administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards and their 100 career centers. The CareerSource Florida State Board serves as the Governor’s principal workforce policy and investment board, working in partnership with DEO, which is responsible for the state workforce system’s fiscal and administrative affairs, and local workforce development boards that serve Florida’s businesses and career seekers. Together, the CareerSource Florida network connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. Learn more at careersourceflorida.com.