Children’s Center of SWMO Board announce hiring of new executive director

Local News
Children's Center

JOPLIN, MO (04/01) – The Children’s Center Board of Directors announce Matthew Stewart as the new executive director. Matt will replace current director, Vickie Dudley on May 3rd, 2021.

Stewart was most recently the Victim Advocate for the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office and Chief of Police for the Joplin Police Department. Matt has more than 20 years of experience in local government and law enforcement throughout his career. He is also proficient in budget management, community involvement, and strategic planning. He has served on several local and state committees which focus on sexual and physical child abuse programs. 

Matt is a resident of Seneca, Missouri, and a graduate of Missouri Southern State University’s criminal justice administration program. He also earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Southeast Missouri State University.

“Board members and staff have worked alongside Matt for several years, as he has served on our Executive Board June 2017. He carries a strong connection to the Children’s Center’s mission to serve vulnerable children. His experience in law enforcement will strengthen our operational effectiveness.” said Kevin Huffmaster, Board President. “His career commitment to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, coupled with his leadership and management expertise make him an excellent choice for this position.”

Vickie Dudley, current Executive Director, has created meaningful change and growth during her tenure at the Children’s Center. Since July of 2014, her strategic mindset has accomplished noteworthy achievements which will leave a lasting mark on the Children’s Center. “We are thankful for the years of commitment Vickie has devoted to the Center, and we will continue to build on her investment through every child abuse victim we serve, “Vickie has been wonderful to work with.  She was successful in adding counseling as an additional service to the center, with the service model used by the Child Abuse and Neglect Committee and duplicated across the state.   

For more information about Children’s Center, visit

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Weather Drawing Submission