Executive Staff

patriciaDr. Patricia Nellius

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3002  Email: Patricia.Nellius@brevardfp.org
Patricia Nellius is the founding CEO of Brevard Family Partnership (BFP) where she has served since its inception in 2004. She is the longest standing CBC CEO in the state. Patricia holds a Masters and Doctorate in Counseling and recently completed the Multisystem Integration Certificate program at Georgetown University. Under Patricia’s leadership Brevard successfully transformed its local child welfare system into a national model recognized for its innovations, excellence and positive outcomes.

Out of a deep desire to impact change and improve the quality of life for vulnerable children and families, Patricia worked her way from the field up to administration. She has served in the human service sector with specific focus on system reform for over 25 years. Patricia is a passionate, civic minded advocate who has served on a numerous local, state, and national Boards. Her service includes but is not limited to: the Central Florida Cares Health System Board of Directors, the National Wraparound Initiative: Core Advisory Council at the University of Portland, Oregon; the Florida Coalition for Children Board of Directors; Promise in Brevard Board of Directors; Governor Crist’s Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Advisory Council; and as co-chair of Governor Crist’s Faith Based Initiative.

Patricia’s commitment to protect the vulnerable has resulted in many accolades for her efforts. Some of which include receipt of Eckerd’s “Children’s Hero” award in 2012; the “Distinguished Service” award from the Florida Coalition for Children for her local, state, and national System of Care efforts; the “Administrator of the Year”; and “Child Abuse Prevention Leadership” awards; and she received commendation from Governor Bush for assisting the state of Florida in obtaining its’ 1st Child Welfare IV-E Waiver for authoring the “Title IV-E Waiver Service Array and Practice Guide” and conducting statewide implementation training. Early in her tenure in Florida Patricia was appointed the CBC Chairperson of the Resource Allocation and Efficiency Committee by DCF Secretary Lucy Hadi resulting in the recommendation leading to the establishment of Florida’s Center for Child Welfare.

Patricia has also contributed to advancement of the field of child and family services having authored/coauthored several articles, peer reviews, presentations, and publications including but not limited to:

  • “Reducing the Threshold for Risk by Strengthening Families: Impact and Outcomes of Innovations in the Wraparound Process as Early Intervention”, 2013
  • C.A.R.E.S. Child Abuse Prevention Replication Toolkit, 2011                                                              
  • “Transforming and Localizing Child Welfare Systems of Care:”, Department of Health & Human Services Division of Children Youth and Families: National Child Abuse & Neglect Conference
  • “Sustaining Systems of Care” The Children’s Bureau: Administration for Children and Families Annual Grantees Convening, Georgetown University
  • Wraparound Training Curriculum, Systems of Care Consulting
  • Florida’s IVE Waiver Principles of Practice and Service Array Guide
  • Hope & Healing: A Higher Place, An Individual and Group Treatment Model for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse
  • Counseling the Victim, The Learned Society of Canadian Anthropologists and Sociologists
  • Creating a Compassionate Response, New Brunswick Teacher’s Association Convention
  • Understanding the Dynamics of Family Violence: A Ministry Handbook: Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches

Patricia is happily married, the mother of four, and a grandmother.


Jim CarlsonJames Carlson
Senior Executive of Administration

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3062  Email: James.Carlson@brevardfp.org
Jim Carlson has been involved in Human Services since beginning work in 1995 as a Public Assistance Specialist for the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. He held progressively responsible positions as Family Services Counselor, Independent living Coordinator, Program Operations Administrator, Contract Manager, and Senior Management Analyst Supervisor. Jim joined Brevard Family Partnership in June, 2006 as Director of Operations for Quality and Fidelity.

In his current role he provides oversight and leadership to our Finance, Communications, IT, Development, and Human Resources departments. He truly enjoys working with both BFP staff and its community providers in serving the children and families of Brevard.
Jim is currently working on his Masters degree in Public Administration and holds a B.A. in Economics from Eastern Illinois University. He and is wife Cynthia have 5 children, and 2 grandchildren. He enjoys diving, golf and travel.


Deborah A. Davidson-Cook
Senior Executive of Compliance

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3064  Email: Debbie.Davidson-cook@brevardfp.org
Deborah is currently serving as the Senior Executive of Compliance for Brevard Family Partnership, providing leadership over contracts and compliance, training, quality assurance, legal, and data and utilization management. Deborah came to the agency in September 2007, relocating from Indianapolis.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University and has served over thirty five years working with state and non-profit agencies serving both children and adults with disabilities. Since 1982, Deborah served in many leadership roles for Noble of Indiana, a non-profit organization providing services to over 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. In addition to overseeing and managing several large departments, Deborah initiated and integrated many innovative practices such as Person Centered Planning and Positive Behavioral Support practices into the Day Services Programs for adults with developmental disabilities.
Deborah also played a key role in five Commissions on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation site visits. In her role as Chief Compliance & Utilization Officer, Deborah lead Brevard Family Partnership through the Council on Accreditation self-study and site visit on June 29-30, 2009. The Council evaluated Brevard Family Partnership against rigorous national standards resulting in BFP achieving the coveted COA Accreditation as an outstanding agency.


Valerie_Holmes-CompressedValerie Holmes
Sr. Executive of Programs

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3004 Email: Valerie.Holmes@brevardfp.org
Valerie Holmes is the Senior Executive of Programs at Brevard Family Partnership. In this role, she provides oversight of the continuum of service delivery from entry to exit, including Brevard C.A.R.E.S., Child and Family Services, Clinical Services, Case Management contract and Care Center management.

Valerie spent the last five years serving as the Executive Director of Brevard C.A.R.E.S. where she was responsible for the oversight of all administrative, fiscal, and programmatic activities of the organization. During this time, she led the agency through its initial accreditation in COA and secured several state and federal grants. Prior to her role at Brevard C.A.R.E.S. and since BFP’s inception, Valerie served as the Director of Operations, Child and Family Services at Brevard Family Partnership where she provided leadership of Intake, Placement, Adoption, the Child Welfare Pre-Paid Mental Health Plan, Out of Home Care, Licensing and Child Placing Agencies.

Valerie continues to work in concert with the C.A.R.E.S. national replication team, trains social service professionals in System of Care and Wraparound, and serves as the principal point-of-contact and project lead on any research and data analysis of Brevard C.A.R.E.S.

Valerie received a Masters in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University in 2005, a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida in 2001, and a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 1993. She has worked in the social services field in a variety of community-based, non-profit settings for the last 21 years, including child welfare, child abuse prevention, mental health and domestic violence. Valerie enjoys spending time with her husband and son.


Jessica Simmons
Chief Finance Director

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3070  Email: Jessica.Simmons@brevardfp.org
Jessica joined Brevard Family Partnership in July 2014. She is responsible for developing the company’s annual budget and managing its finances.

Prior to coming to BFP, Jessica spent 11 years in the education industry, most recently as the director of student finance. During her time in the education field, Jessica held senior positions that included senior admissions representative, business office manager, and director of student accounts.

Jessica graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville with a Master’s degree in Management, after completing undergraduate programs in both Business Management and Accounting. In her previous finance roles, she managed a financial aid team that ensured students’ applications were packaged according to government regulations, that appropriate funding was awarded, and that all funding and payments were received timely.

Jessica and her family relocated from Tennessee. She enjoys spending time with her husband Jason and three children, and traveling.


Patrice Grier-03-04-14-ResizeWebPatrice Grier
Staff Attorney

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3030 Email: Patrice.Grier@brevardfp
Prior to coming to BFP, Patrice was a senior attorney for Children’s Legal Services where she handled litigation in dependency and termination of parental rights cases in Brevard County, and briefly in Orange County. Patrice also handled a special project as the Children’s Legal Services Independent Living Liaison for Circuit 18.

Prior to working for the Department of Children and Families, Patrice worked as a prosecutor for three years. Patrice graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and from Florida State University College of Law in 2003.

During her career, Patrice has handled numerous dockets and trials in several courts in the State of Florida. She has also developed and presented several trainings for her colleagues.


2036 BillBill Bucher
Sr. Executive of Strategy

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3032 Email: bill.bucher@brevardfp.org

Bill joined Brevard Family Partnership in September 2015 as the Senior Executive of Strategy. His responsibilities include strategy formulation and execution, performance measurement, monitoring, forecasting, and benchmarking across the BFP family of agencies.

Prior to joining BFP, Bill served as a consultant to multiple Community Based Care, case management, and child placing agencies. He has over 17 years of experience in child welfare and operations including progressive leadership roles with the Florida Department of Children and Families as a Public Assistance Specialist, Child Protective Investigator, Supervisor, Program Administrator, District Operations Administrator, and as the Central Region Support Services Director. In addition to his DCF experience, Bill also served as a Regional Administrator with Devereux Florida, responsible for case management operations with multiple CBCs, licensing, visitation, and therapeutic programs and services.

Bill has extensive experience working in the Brevard community through his roles with DCF and Devereux, and served as the Disaster Food Stamp Director for Brevard County during Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. He brings a unique perspective to BFP having served in various roles in investigations, administration, and as a contracted provider and consultant within the BFP system of care.

Bill received a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Florida State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Central Florida. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four children