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Lee Clerk welcomes new Chief HR and Communications Officers

Demario and JosephFORT MYERS, FLA. (April 21, 2021) – Lee County Clerk Linda Doggett announced the appointment of two new chief officers to her team. Demareo Smith joined March 29 as Chief Human Resources Officer, and Joseph Abreu joined April 12 as Chief Communications Officer. Both replaced long-term team members who recently retired.

“Demareo and Joseph bring decades of specialized skills that will dramatically enhance the way our office serves the public and our Deputy Clerks,” said Linda Doggett, Lee County Clerk of Courts.

Smith is responsible for leading the overall human resources strategy, talent acquisition, leadership development, and compensation and benefits. He also oversees employee education and development as well as diversity and inclusion.

Smith previously worked as the Human Resources Officer for a large non-profit serving seven counties in southern Georgia. He was responsible for developing the HR function, shifting the organizational structure and culture of the office. He also served as the Chief of Personnel/HR in the U.S. Air Force serving more than 3,000 employees before retiring in 2018.

Smith holds a master’s degree in Performance Improvement from Grantham University, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Adult Education and Training from Walden University. 

Abreu is responsible for all external and internal communications, including strategic planning, brand management, crisis communications, media relations, and social media. He previously managed communications campaigns and strategies for the Clerk & Comptrollers of St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties.

Abreu is a nationally recognized public relations professional with experience in public, non-profit and private sectors. He currently serves as 2021 national secretary of the Public Relations Society of America, is accredited in public relations, and has a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from The University of Florida.