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DeSantis appoints a Miami Beach real estate investor and a philanthropist to the FIU Board of Trustees.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has nominated Yaffa Popack, a prominent Miami Beach real estate investor, for a position on the Florida International University (FIU) Board of Trustees.

Popack, who co-hosted a substantial fundraiser for the governor last year, co-owns YMP Real Estate Management based in Lauderdale Lakes alongside her husband, Moshe Popack. The fundraiser held at their sizable Miami Beach residence was reported as a $200,000 in-kind contribution to the governor’s political committee. Both Moshe and Yaffa Popack have also made maximum donations of $6,600 each to DeSantis’ presidential campaign, as per Federal Election Commission records.

Governor DeSantis had previously appointed Moshe Popack to the Florida Development Finance Corporation Board of Directors in 2021. The FIU Board of Trustees, consisting of 13 members, is entrusted with tasks such as formulating university policies, ensuring compliance with state standards, conducting performance assessments, and implementing educational programs.

Yaffa Popack’s nomination is among six appointments made directly by the governor, while five other members are designated by the Florida Board of Governors. Additionally, the university’s student government president and faculty senate chair hold seats on the board. Each member, with the exception of the faculty senate chair and student government president, serves a staggered, five-year term.

However, Popack’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate. She presently serves on the Board of Governors for Touro University, a private institution located in New York City. Popack expressed her gratitude for being chosen by the Governor, emphasizing her deep concern for higher education in Florida and her commitment to maintaining FIU’s esteemed status.

Beyond her real estate ventures, Popack is also a co-founder of Neighborhood Farms USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering community gardens and promoting healthy food programs. According to YMP Real Estate Management’s website, Popack serves as the company’s chairwoman and oversees day-to-day operations.

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