IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Emilio Benitez is the President and CEO of ChildNet and has been involved with the agency virtually since its inception. He served as the first Chair of ChildNet’s Board of Directors and remained on the Board until January 2007. He was named President/CEO in January 2008. Prior to joining ChildNet, Mr. Benitez was a sole practitioner in his own Fort Lauderdale law firm where he focused on criminal, dependency and delinquency cases. Mr. Benitez also served as the Assistant Public Defender in Juvenile and Felony trial divisions with the Broward County Public Defender’s Office.
Mr. Benitez received his Bachelor degree in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and his Juris Doctorate at the University of Florida.
Mr. Benitez has been involved in children's advocacy efforts locally and statewide for more than a decade. His involvement includes participating on the Board of Directors of Family Central, Inc., Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Inc., and Hospice Care of Southeast Florida, Inc. Mr. Benitez has served on the Diversity Committee of the Broward County School Board, Broward County Multi-Agency Gang Task Force, and the Broward County Juvenile Justice Board. In 1993, Governor Chiles appointed Mr. Benitez to serve as Commissioner of the Florida State Commission on Hispanic Affairs; in 2003, he was appointed by Secretary Bankhead to serve on the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Business Partner’s Advisory Group; and in 2005, he was appointed by Governor Bush to serve as a commissioned member of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Committee.
In February 2007, Mr. Benitez was recognized by Governor Crist with a gubernatorial appointment to the Children's Services Council of Broward County. In 2011, he was reappointed by Governor Rick Scott.