Karen Y. Richmond
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Karen Y. Richmond has served children, teens, and families of New York’s 48th Senate District for nearly 30 years. The executive director of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County (CHJC) since 1997, Mrs. Richmond joined the agency in 1983, serving first as a bookkeeper and later as finance director. Under her guidance, the organization’s staff and programs have undergone tremendous growth. Over the past 14 years, the staff has expanded from 40 to 150 employees, and the annual number of clients served from 200 to 2,000.
When Mrs. Richmond took over CHJC’s leadership, the agency operated just two programs, both providing residential services for at risk and delinquent youth. Recognizing the need for a continuum of services for both these troubled youth and their families, she launched the agency into an era of growth through the creation of community based services strengthened by strategic partnerships with a cross section of local human services providers.
Mrs. Richmond’s awareness of pressing community needs set the direction for expansion into adult services in the area of mental health casework management. This work positioned the Children’s Home to take on its latest challenge. In June, the agency will open a mental health outpatient treatment clinic for both children and adults, filling the gap created by the impending closure of Watertown’s Mercy Behavioral Health and Wellness.
Mrs. Richmond is President-elect of the Watertown Sunrise Rotary Club, and Director of the Development Authority of the North Country and the Watertown Family YMCA. She serves on the Jefferson County Community Services Board and its Mental Health Subcommittee, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, and the New York State Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies Board of Directors. She was honored in 2008 by the Thousand Islands Girl Scout Council as a Woman of Distinction.
A former member of the Belleville-Henderson Central School Board and Henderson Recreation Commission, Mrs. Richmond also has been an active volunteer for the American Red Cross, Jefferson County SPCA, North Country Goes Green Irish Festival, and United Way.