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  1. Pinellas

Marcie Biddleman plans to retire from Pinellas Juvenile Welfare Board

After being in the organization's leadership for 10 years, she plans to step down in September

The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County has launched a nationwide search for a new CEO to succeed Marcie Biddleman, who plans to retire in September after 10 years with the organization.

Biddleman, 73, said after five years as CEO, and the previous five as chief operating officer, she is ready to move aside to welcome "new ideas and new thinking." She said she warned her board of directors in 2017 that she planned to retire in 2019.

Funded through a special taxing district, the Juvenile Welfare Board has a budget of about $53 million that supports about 90 programs and 51 nonprofits, impacting tens of thousands of children every year. Its priorities are school readiness and success, prevention of abuse and neglect, and strengthening communities.

Biddleman said she is most proud of being able to connect providers and improve collaboration during her tenure, as well as an ongoing initiative to strengthen resources for youth mental health.

She said her replacement should be progressive and adept at showing the organization's impact through data and facts, a growing priority for the industry. Before joining the Juvenile Welfare Board in 2009, Biddleman served 12 years with the United States Marine Corps and later worked as district administrator for the Florida Department of Children and Families, executive director of Heartland for Children, vice president of Community-Based Services for Eckerd Youth Alternatives; and executive director of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

"I'm certainly not going to disappear," Biddleman said of retirement. "I want to make sure I can continue to utilize what knowledge and experience I've gained over these years so there will probably be a few different places I might want to help."