Shortly after retiring from her post as Executive Director of Child Safe of Central Missouri Inc., Carolyn Green has been honored with the title Sedalia Business Woman of the Year.
Green was named the 2015 recipient of the award during Sedalia Business Women’s meeting earlier this month.
“I was really honored and amazed and shocked,” Green said. “And actually before they said my name I realized it was me with the things she started saying. That’s when it hit me. I was really surprised, to say the least. And honored and humbled.”
She began working at Child Safe in 2000, the same month she retired from the Missouri Department of Social Services after 10 years with the Department of Mental Health and 20 years with the Department of Social Services. Child Safe works in 11 counties, serving children who are alleged victims of severe physical or sexual abuse and providing advocacy for their non-offending family members.
“When I retired from my position with the state, it was at a time I could do early retirement, but I didn’t want to retire,” Green said. “I knew (the Child Safe position) was going to be open and I applied for it. I’ve always worked with children and families and this was a new direction I wanted to go in. There was nothing like it in the area and I felt it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it.”
According to information provided by SBW, during Green’s time at Child Safe her accomplishments include achieving accreditation by the National Children’s Alliance, becoming a member of Missouri Kids First, assisting in development of a statewide database for Missouri’s child advocacy centers, helping with fundraising events for Child Safe, developing multidisciplinary teams, and receiving state and federal grants.
Green retired from Child Safe earlier this year, saying she felt it was time to move on, and to have more time to spend with her grandchildren. Even though she has left the organization, she said her time at Child Safe was worthwhile.
“I loved what we were doing and we were just a small part of a big picture of the investigation and treatment and prosecution of child abuse,” she said. “We were a small part, but the beginning part and we really made a difference in kids’ lives. They felt they could come talk to someone, even if it didn’t go any further than being able to talk to someone about what happened to them in a safe environment.
“… Our advocates do a good job of allowing families to talk about their hurt and frustration and all that comes with your child being abused. Unfortunately it’s usually someone the child knows and loves, which makes it more difficult. Just being able to talk about that, providing resources to talk about that, I think we made a huge difference in the lives of over a thousand children and their families. And we made the community safer by putting away some bad guys too.”
Green remains a member of the governor-appointed Children’s Justice Task Force, which she has been a part of for about eight years, working on improving investigation and prosecution of child abuse and exploitation. She said she will continue in that role until her term is up in a few years.
Green was selected the 2015 Woman of the Year by a committee of SBW members, chaired by 2014 recipient Linda Alcorn, from a pool of applications. Alcorn said Green is “deserving” of the award.
“She’s involved in serving on several committees, she has been an officer a couple times in the past and she’s very instrumental in stepping up and helping when asked to do something,” Alcorn said of Green. “She’s always on the lookout for new members, trying to promote business and professional women; she’s been a committed member for about 15 years.”
Green has been a member of SBW since 2001 and has served one term as second vice president, two terms as secretary and has served on several committees.
“It’s a wonderful group to belong to. We give back to the community a lot — we have a couple fundraisers a year and a majority goes back into the community through various nonprofit organizations and scholarships,” she said. “… We try to empower women and work on women’s issues and give back to a variety of groups in the community like Child Safe, CASA, PROP.
“… It’s just a great group of women and leaders in the community,” Green added. “… I’m very honored to be chosen (as Woman of the Year). I join a long list of very successful, smart, dedicated women, so I’m really honored to be part of that list now.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.