Children’s Home Director to be Honored at Capitol Ceremony Tuesday
State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) today announced that Karen Y. Richmond, executive director of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County, has been named a “Woman of Distinction” by the State Senate for 2011.
Mrs. Richmond will be recognized in a special ceremony in the Senate Chamber, and a reception for family and friends later, at the State Capitol on Tuesday, where she will be joined by other nominees from across New York State in the annual Senate rite.
“For more than 25 years, Karen Richmond has devoted her life to serving and protecting children, and strengthening families, in Jefferson County and St. Lawrence Counties,” Senator Ritchie said.
“Her deep dedication and vision have helped the Children’s Home evolve to become a full-service agency dedicated to preserving and strengthening families, and helping build better futures for thousands of area youth.
“Her contributions to our community have earned her this recognition as a ‘Woman of Distinction.’ “ Senator Ritchie said.
When Mrs. Richmond become head of the Children’s Home, 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.
Today, in addition therapeutic residential treatment programs for troubled youth, the agency operates community-based foster care, mental health systems management, case management, and delinquency prevention programs in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. Affiliated programs include Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Watertown Teen Center.
During Karen's 14 year tenure as Executive Director, the staff has expanded from 40 to 150 employees, and the annual number of clients served from 200 to 2,000.
Like the Children’s Home, Mrs. Richmond’s own career has evolved, from professional nurse, to stay-at-home mom, to office professional, and community volunteer. She became associated with the Children’s Home in 1983, when she offered to “help out” as bookkeeper, gradually assuming additional responsibilities until she was named Finance Director, then Executive Director in 1997.
Mrs. Richmond credits her late mother, a single parent who raised seven daughters, with instilling in her a desire to serve, and she continues that legacy by volunteering for a number of community non-profit organizations—including as a past member of her local school board and recreation commission, and currently with the Watertown YMCA, Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, her local church, and the Watertown Sunrise Rotary Club, where she is about to become President.
Mrs. Richmond is a graduate of Mexico High School, in Oswego County, and currently lives in Henderson with her husband, Rodney. The couple has two children, and two grandchildren.