Former Joplin Police Chief named Children’s Center Executive Director

Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Children’s Center of SWMO Board of Directors announce Matthew Stewart will replace current executive director Vickie Dudley on May 3, 2021.

Stewart most recently served as the Victim Advocate for the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office and Chief of Police for the Joplin Police Department. He has more than 20 years of experience in local government and law enforcement.

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.”

Outgoing director Vickey Dudley has worked with the Children’s Center since July 2014.

“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.