Emilio Benitez grew up in Miami and is native to Havana, Cuba. The past 27 years, Benitez has resided in Hollywood, Florida. He’s a Tulane University graduate and received his Juris Doctorate at the University of Florida.

In 2007, he took the reigns as president and CEO of ChildNet, a not-for-profit community-based child welfare agency, where he’s served on the board for many years prior to taking on this role. ChildNet is nationally recognized and awarded for its innovative child welfare efforts. It has offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties and serves abused, abandoned and neglected children. In addition, his career background includes service as an assistant public defender in juvenile and felony trial divisions with the Broward County Public Defender’s Office. Also, he has practiced criminal, personal injury and real estate law.

He was attracted to children’s advocacy because his grandmother was adopted, and his father had been in foster care.

Benitez is known among his peers for his unwavering compassion for the children ChildNet serves. He believes that all children, especially those involved in the foster care system through no fault of their own need and deserve to be loved.

NEXT: Elizabeth Schwartz - Attorney & Activist
PREVIOUS: Dean J. Trantalis - Out & Proud Politician