Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

January 4, 2012
John Harrell, (904) 723-5470/(904) 233-7792
Morgan Rockey, (352) 258-4030/(352) 955-5010

DCF Announces New Community Development Administrator
for North Central Florida
Will Lead Department’s Efforts To Seek More Community Partnerships
To Help Children, Families In Need

GAINESVILLE, FLA. - As part of its Strategic Initiative to engage communities, the Department of Children and Families is announcing the hiring of a new Community Development Administrator for 13 North Central Florida counties, including the areas of Gainesville, Lake City, Live Oak and Macclenny. Janet Bente Romero will be responsible for increasing and strengthening DCF’s partnerships in local communities. Romero has an extensive background in identifying and establishing community partnerships in both the public and private sectors in the Gainesville area.

"Janet has a broad range of experience that makes her the best person for this important position," explained Pattie Mallon, Northeast Region Family and Community Services Manager. "She has excelled in her work with public, private and non-profit entities."

"I am energized and proud to join the Department of Children and Families, and look forward to building on DCF's outstanding community outreach that is taking place in Gainesville and North Central Florida," said Romero. "I want to help create more community initiatives similar to the Library Partnership, which has brought several agencies together to help operate a community resource center to provide services to nearly 60,000 people. I look forward to the opening of the Southwest Advocacy Group Neighborhood Resource Center, which will provide similar services to southwest Gainesville. I appreciate DCF's continuing involvement with the Alachua County Children’s Alliance, which helped the county be recognized for the second year in a row as one of America’s 100 Best Communities for Young People."

Agencies that are participating in the Library Partnership include Partnership for Strong Families, the Alachua County Library District and DCF. Alachua County will receive the award for being named as one of the Best Communities for Young People from America's Promise Alliance, which was founded by General and Mrs. Colin Powell. The formal presentation of this award will take place on January 28 at the kickoff rally for Children’s Week at the O2B Kids Supercenter in Gainesville.

Romero will serve as DCF's Community Development Administrator for 13 North Florida counties- Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union. DCF has several Community Development Administrators throughout the state. Their roles are to work with the spectrum of community resources that are unique to each community. The Department recognizes that there are many people who share its mission to help others, including substance abuse centers, schools, workforce agencies and more. The Administrators have the responsibility of understanding the unique needs of each community and ensuring that DCF’s social services delivery system is optimized to address those needs. This includes working with each of DCF's partners to ensure that their missions are accomplished, that opportunities for new partners to help in DCF's missions are created, and that the needs of Floridians are being addressed.

Before joining DCF, Romero served as the Associate Director of Development for the University of Florida Foundation, where she was responsible for major gift development efforts for the University's International Center and Center for Latin American Studies. Romero previously worked as the Marketing and Business Development Manager for Applied Management Corporation of Gainesville, where she led a marketing team in facilitating strategic planning and cultivating business relationships for a number of clients. Before that, she served as the Acting Executive Director and Director of Resources for the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County, where she provided overall operations management, cultivated new partnerships, and enhanced relationships with donors. Romero is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a B.A. degree in Political Science.