Two South Florida bankers with strong local connections top a list of nominees that will be forwarded to Miami-Dade commissioners in September to fill a single vacancy on the Public Health Trust that governs the county’s $1.8 billion-a-year hospital network, Jackson Health System.
The bankers, William “Bill” Heffernan and Adolfo Henriques, received the highest ranking from a nominating committee made up of Jackson trustees, Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and others who met this week to interview a group of four finalists for the opening.
Judith Rosenbaum, a past member of Jackson’s board and retired federal healthcare agency administrator, ranked third. A fourth finalist, Miguel G. Farra, a tax attorney and accountant, withdrew his application citing a conflict of interest because he serves on the board of the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
While the nominating committee gave Heffernan and Henriques their highest recommendation, Miami-Dade commissioners have final approval and they are free to ignore the rankings. That’s what happened in June 2014, when county commissioners bucked the advice of the nominating committee for two vacancies on Jacksons’s board.
The nominating committee, which is made up of current Jackson trustees, Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and others, showered praise on Heffernan, 63, and Henriques, 61, giving them each equal weight in the recommendation.
Joe Arriola, Jackson’s board chairman, was particularly effusive about Henriques during an interview before the nominating committee on Friday. Arriola noted that Henriques previously had been considered for the job of Jackson CEO.
Henriques, chairman and CEO of Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust, responded in kind. The exchange prompted Edmonson to remark that, “This is a big bromance, a lot of love around here.’’
Heffernan, who was interviewed earlier in the week along with Rosenbaum, 74, also is close with Arriola. Arriola nominated Heffernan for Jackson’s board.
Heffernan, a past president of Total Bank and former mayor of Miami Shores, serves on the board of directors for Apollo Bank, whose board chairman and CEO is Eddy Arriola, Joe Arriola’s son.
Retired from banking and now working as a banking consultant, Heffernan disclosed his Apollo Bank affiliation in his application.