State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Al Zimmerman
February 22, 2007 850-488-4855

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES WELCOMES NEW
LEADERSHIP


~ Secretary Butterworth recruits new staff to serve on Executive Leadership team in Tallahassee ~


         Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth announced new additions to his leadership team this week as part of the Department's ongoing transition under the direction of Governor Charlie Crist.

         George Sheldon has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Operations. Prior to arriving at the Department of Children and Families, Sheldon served as Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs at St. Thomas University in Miami. Most of his career, however, has been spent in public service, beginning 1967 with a position at the Florida Department of State. He then held a number of positions in state government including leader of Governor-Elect Reubin O.D. Askew's transition team, and as a two term Representative in the Florida House. As a state legislator, Sheldon served on the Committee on Health and Rehabilitative Services and was integral in the reorganization of the agency now known as the Department of Children and Families. In 1980 he was voted the Most Valuable Member of the Legislature by the Florida press. Among his other notable achievements: He served 20 years on the Board of Directors of the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, co-authored the legislation that created the Community Care for the Elderly with then Governor Bob Graham, and chaired the House Committee on Nursing Home Reform. Sheldon's dedication and commitment to public service is well known to Secretary Butterworth, having served in his previous administration beginning in 1999 as the Deputy Attorney General for Central Florida under then Attorney General Bob Butterworth. George Sheldon holds a Bachelor's degree and Law degree from Florida State University.

         Steve Holmes has been appointed Senior Executive Assistant to Secretary Butterworth. Holmes, a retired Marine Colonel, will serve on numerous boards, councils, and committees on the Secretary's behalf. He is charged with developing and maintaining specific partnerships in the governmental, business, and civil communities to enhance the Department's ability to serve Florida's children and families. Holmes will utilize his extensive experience with the Department to serve as a troubleshooter, responding to specific issues requiring an immediate resolution on behalf of the children and families of Florida.

         Jason Dimitris, who previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, has been appointed Chief of Staff. Jason Dimitris began his career in 1998 as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office. After prosecuting in many divisions of the office, he became a member of the Economic Crime Unit where he handled a variety of white collar cases involving technology crimes. In 2003, Dimitris joined the Florida Attorney General's Office as an Assistant Statewide Prosecutor, and was soon promoted to the position of Special Counsel for Technology Crimes & Identity Theft at the Florida Office of Statewide Prosecution. In his career as a prosecutor, Dimitris tried more than forty-five jury trials, and prosecuted a wide variety of crimes involving: intellectual property, white collar crime, racketeering, electronic auction fraud, child pornography, drug trafficking, armed robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping, home invasion robbery, and DUI. Prior to becoming an attorney, he was a high school teacher for adjudicated youth at the Outward Bound School in Manatee, Fla. Dimitris is a graduate of Stetson Law School.

         For more information about the programs and services offered by the Florida Department of Children and Families, visit www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.




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