The Community Action Partnership of North Central Missouri (CAPNCM) welcomes new executive director, Dr. Christopher A. Small who recently began with the agency. Many from north central Missouri know the organization as Green Hills Community Action Agency. Several years ago the agency began doing business under the name of Community Action Agency of North Central Missouri.
Dr. Small comes to CAPNCM with a wide variety of leadership experiences, and a background of service. Most recently, he was Training Manager with the Missouri Community Action Network (Missouri CAN) in Jefferson City. Missouri CAN is the statewide association for all nineteen community action agencies across our state. While at Missouri CAN, Chris’ responsibilities included designing training and professional development opportunities to meet the needs of all community action agencies in Missouri. In addition, he was responsible for event planning including the flagship annual conference.
Chris spent a long career in K-12 public education as teacher, principal, and superintendent before moving into community action. He commented, “I am so very excited to be serving the people of north central Missouri and our staff here at CAPNCM. We have such a dedicated and committed group of folks who work tirelessly to help those in need find a pathway to sustained living. I look forward to walking with our staff and serving them as, together, we help those in poverty find a better life.”
At CAPNCM, we focus on assisting low-income people in their efforts to become self-reliant. We strive to work in partnership with the state, counties, communities, and other agencies to provide a range of human and economic development services and activities. The goal of these services and activities is to address and ease the misery of poverty, replace despair with opportunity and hope, make known the plight of the poor, focus in on people, individuals, families, communities, and facilitate problem solving.
In recent weeks Chris has been asked often, Why north central Missouri? “I jumped at the chance to lead again, after serving as a public school superintendent for twenty-four years in several districts. I love teaching those around me and working to bring out the potential in all. We are all leaders and can make a much bigger positive impact than we imagine for those most in need across our communities in the nine counties we serve. At its core, leading is teaching.” Having literally taught students from early childhood through doctoral students, Chris finds himself now leading the charge at CAPNCM with a new sense of mission and focus.
“The motto of community action is ‘Helping People, Changing Lives’. It’s my role to bring out the best in our staff, develop our Board of Directors to be strong advocates for our mission, identify strong sources of funding, and give back to the communities across north central Missouri. That’s no small task, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
Chris has bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. He holds a Ph.D. in school/higher education leadership and research from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. When not “formally” working, he enjoys speaking to groups and conferences in what he hopes to be another aspect of his career someday. His wife Kelli is children’s therapist as a licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist. They have two boys who are students at Missouri State University in Springfield.
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