University of South Florida


Patel and Seixas appointed to USF Board of Trustees

The Florida Board of Governors has appointed Shilen Patel and Melissa Seixas to serve five-year terms on the University of South Florida Board of Trustees.

Patel is the chief executive officer and founder of HealthAxis, as well as a serial entrepreneur and investor who has spent his entire career leading companies in the health care IT space. Prior to founding HealthAxis, Patel was a top executive and part owner of Visionary Healthware. Under his leadership, Visionary Healthware achieved 30x growth and received recognition as one of America’s 100 largest health care IT companies before being acquired by an international public company.

In 2017, Patel became a co-founder and chairman of the TiE Tampa Bay Angel Fund, a $3 million fund established to financially support Florida startups, improve understanding and awareness of angel investing among Tampa Bay investors and help startups fulfill their potential as value drivers and community assets. He chairs the Creative Entrepreneurship Lab, a non-profit initiative related to the Tampa Innovation Alliance that supports entrepreneurial activity in the USF area and at the uptown site. Additionally, he is a founding director of Central Bank, a community bank serving Tampa, St. Augustine and Winter Park.

Patel graduated from the EMBA-Global programme at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and the London Business School with an MBA from both institutions. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship at Babson College.

Seixas serves as vice president of government and community relations for Duke Energy Florida.  She directs the company’s efforts to strengthen relationships with municipal, community and civic organizations, as well as business leaders throughout the company’s 35-county service area.

She is a veteran of customer service and operations at Duke Energy. She joined Florida Power in 1986, starting in distribution engineering where she learned the operational side of the electric industry. This experience has served as a foundation for her 33-year career as she moved into roles with increasing responsibilities.

Seixas has served as a board member for many non-profit and business organizations including Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Pinellas County Urban League. She is currently the chairwoman of the board for the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. She recently served as an appointee to the USF Consolidation Taskforce and served as co-chair for the USF St. Petersburg campus 50th anniversary in 2015-2016.

Seixas holds a bachelor’s degree in American history from Eckerd College and a master’s degree in American history from USF. Her executive training includes a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) certification from Johns Hopkins University, and programs with the Edison Electric Institute and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

The two new trustees take seats on the board previously held by Stephanie Goforth and Nancy Watkins, whose terms expired.

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