Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Former Jeff Brandes staff member appointed to DCF role

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Department of Children and Families announced two key appointments Tuesday. Michael Wickersheim will be the agency’s legislative affairs director. Tim Parson, the employee who formerly held that post, will now be the executive staff director for Florida’s Drug Policy Advisory Council.

“We are excited to bring Michael on board as we head into an important legislative session. His experience will provide us with a solid foundation that will allow us to further the important work of our department – to serve those most at need,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Tim is a tremendous asset to the department and I look forward to continuing to work with him as he moves into his new role.”

Parson was the head of legislative affairs for DCF since 2013. Wickersheim comes on after previously being deputy director of legislative affairs for the Florida Department of Transportation. Prior to that he was FDOT’s legislative specialist. He also worked as State Senator Jeff Brandes’ legislative assistant when Brandes was still in the State House.

“Michael has this rare gift of passion for public policy and he understands the people in the legislative process,” Brandes said. “He’s got a deep relationship with many members in the House and Senate. I think those relationship along with his passion for children will make him [a good fit.]”

Wickersheim earned his bachelor’s degree from Troy University and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida.

Both Wickersheim and Parson begin their new roles immediately.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

Latest from Statewide

Go to Top