Media Guide

Regional Leadership Team

Walter SachsWalter Sachs , Northwest Regional Managing Director
Walter Sachs has served the state of Florida for more than 27 years Sachs began his state career in the former Department of Health and Rehabilitative Service’s District 2 office, which is now Circuits 2 and 14 in the Northwest Region, and worked closely with many regional staff. At HRS, and later at the Department of Juvenile Justice and DCF, he was responsible for a variety of contracting, procurement, and administrative functions. Prior to his appointment at DMS in 2012, he served as the Deputy Program Director for DCF’s Economic Self-Sufficiency program, leading procurement and contract activities. Sachs retired from the U.S. Army, Seventh Infantry Division, at the rank of Captain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in public administration from Florida State University.

Pattie MedlockPatricia Medlock, Northeast Regional Managing Director
Patricia began her career at DCF in 1998 as a child protective investigator, and advanced through multiple roles in the child welfare system. Prior to her appointment as Regional Managing Director, Patricia served as the region’s Family and Community Services Director.

Patricia has received numerous professional accolades for her work, including the Child Welfare award in May 2011 for the Transitional Trauma Therapist Program development. She also graduated from the Child Welfare Leadership Program in 2006.

Patricia holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University.

DCF LogoJennifer Kuhn, Interim SunCoast Regional Managing Directorr
Jennifer Kuhn is a dedicated and results driven professional with nearly two decades of experience in child and adult welfare. In 2017, Jennifer was appointed as the Interim Regional Managing Director for the SunCoast Region. Prior to assuming her current role, Jennifer served in leadership roles at the Department including Community Development Director, Director of the Regional Family Safety Program Office, Director of Community and Family Services and Regional Program Manager.   Jennifer worked for over a decade in community based child welfare for Hillsborough Kids and Eckerd Community Alternatives. During her tenure, she led multiple quality assurance projects and was responsible for the implementation of a State Quality Assurance Plan. Prior to working with community based care organizations, Jennifer served on the front lines for the Department as a Child Protection Investigator – Court Specialist. Jennifer holds bachelor’s degrees in both English and psychology from Florida State University and a master’s degree in organizational management from Springfield College.

William “Bill” D’AiutoWilliam “Bill” D’Aiuto, Central Regional Managing Director
Bill D’Aiuto, appointed in 2012, began his career on the front line as a public assistance specialist for the agency. During his 20-year tenure, Bill has held various positions, bringing a wealth of experience to the Central Region. He served as the region’s ACCESS Director and was also the Circuit 5 Administrator. Bill is a graduate of the 2006 Department of Children and Families Executive Leadership Program and played a crucial role in the modernization of public assistance. He was also a critical figure in the Haiti Repatriation Operations of 2009, assisting with the emergency re-entry of more than 12,000 Haitian-Americans to the United States. Bill earned his Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts Degrees from the University of Central Florida.

Vern MelvinVern Melvin, Southeast Regional Managing Director
Vern Melvin brings more than 40 years of experience in child welfare to his current position as managing director for the Southeast Region.  Prior to rejoining the Department, the veteran director and administrator most recently served for four years as Circuit 19 Guardian ad Litem (GAL) director. Vern had retired from state government in January 2012 but returned to state service as a director with GAL.  Much of Vern’s service has been in the four-county Treasure Coast region, including eight years as the circuit director for the Department of Juvenile Justice, which was followed by 12 years of service as the interim district administrator for District 15 and as interim regional managing director of the Central Region.  Vern holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology, as well as a Master of Science degree in Dispute Resolution.  Vern also has proudly served in the North Carolina National Guard, Florida Army Reserve and Alabama Army Reserve.  Vern and his wife, Maureen, have two grown sons and three grandchildren.

Bronwyn StanfordBronwyn Stanford, Southern Regional Managing Director
Bronwyn Stanford is the department’s Regional Managing Director (RMD) for the Southern Region covering Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. From 2012 until her appointment as RMD for the Southern Region, she served as both Statewide Deputy Director for Children’s Legal Services (CLS) and as Regional CLS Director for the SunCoast Region, a position she first took on in 2008. She twice filled in as Interim CLS Director for the SunCoast Region and developed and presented numerous DCF training programs on transformational leadership and management. Before joining DCF, she was a corporate and insurance defense attorney with Carlton Fields Law Firm in Miami and Tampa. She earned her law degree at Stetson University College of Law, where she was editor of the Law Review. A native of New Jersey, she earned master’s degrees in exercise physiology and education and previously taught as a college professor and coached Division 1 track and field.

Watch the Latest Videos

Media Contact Information



DaMonica Smith


Northwest Region

David Fierro

Northeast Region

John Harrell

Central Region

Kristi Gray

SunCoast Region

Natalie Harrell

Southeast Region

Paige Patterson

Southern Region

Beatriz Lopez