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DeSantis Selects Chad Poppell as DCF Secretary

January 3, 2019 - 12:45pm
Chad Poppell
Chad Poppell

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis announced Thursday the appointment of former secretary of the Department of Management Services Chad Poppell as secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families. An experienced public servant, Poppell will lead the agency beginning as the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration takes office.

"Chad Poppell is a dedicated public servant with a proven track record of achievement within the public sector," DeSantis said in a written statement. "From his service at the Department of Economic Opportunity to his leadership at the Department of Management Services, Chad is the kind of leader who will be committed to strengthening Florida's families and fighting for Florida's children."

Poppell currently works as the IBM industry client leader for Florida's public sector, which includes state and local government, as well as K-12 and higher education. Before this role, Poppell served as the secretary of the Department of Management Services. There he worked to support state agencies as well as current and former state employees with workforce and business-related functions.

Previously, he served as chief of staff to the Department of Economic Opportunity, the state agency charged with advancing economic development, growth management, community development and workforce development activity across Florida.

In 2011 Poppell was employed as director of Employee Services by JEA in Jacksonville. Before his time in this role, Poppell served as the chief of human resources for the City of Jacksonville.

Poppell earned his bachelor of science in psychology from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., and his master of science in industrial and organizational psychology, also from Valdosta State University.


Okay, so you appoint a person who has "NO Child Welfare" experience! I'm speechless!

First, I seriously doubt that Mr. Poppell will ever see this as he has much else to do. But in the oft chance he does, my experience with DCF at various levels informs my understanding that the culture of DCF headquarters is sustained by insiders and influencers who hire their cohorts and supporters. Its true, that is the way it works. Not until the ranks are cleared and true unaligned outsiders are hired, will there ever be true a change in attitude and performance. Good luck!

I hope for the sake of Florida children, that this secretary can see the huge need for cultural transformation within the department. I have been observing, studying the stats, talking to victims, survivors, perpetrators, old and young, documented, and undocumented for 30 years now. The problem continues or perhaps it is worse. Millions of dollars spent in bringing people from other states to train, re-train, and, sadly, you have a lot of street smart, some lazy, some don't even like children, but for Florida, compensation in good. Come on Chad, clean house. Protect our Children and the Elderly!

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