Local child advocate taking similar position in Lansing

SAGINAW (WJRT) - (01/08/19) - A Mid-Michigan woman dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect is taking her talents statewide.

Suzanne Greenberg, president and CEO of the CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region, has accepted the executive director position with the Michigan Children's Trust Fund.

It's similar work but on a much larger scale.

Locally the CAN Council works to prevent child abuse and neglect through three core focuses: prevention and education, children's advocacy centers, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

In Lansing her focus will be more heavily on prevention and education, including additional legislative work.

"Several people are referring to me as being 'called up'. You know when you think of a sports analogy, I mean honestly it's a dream come true for me," Greenberg said. "It's the only job I would want to leave this organization for."

Greenberg's new role begins March 3, shortly after the CAN Council's largest fundraiser, the 26th Annual Mardi Gras Auction.

She said leaving Saginaw will be tough, but she knows there are capable and willing people looking to make an impact.

"If you have a passion for something and you're sitting back thinking, 'why don't they?' Then go do something because this is a community where you can," Greenberg said.

Greenberg said the 'can do' attitude made a big difference in her 24 years with the CAN Council.

During her time the Saginaw office expanded, ultimately providing a better facility to help kids, including new interview rooms.

She said she's thankful for the board members, volunteers, staff and community members who all played a role. "There's really no where we weren't willing to work that meant we could protect children from abuse and neglect. And so that's how things happened," Greenberg said.

And while strides have been made in education and prevention, Greenberg said there's a long way to go to protect children. Even awareness is an issue.

"If it's happening there, then it's happening here. And we need to be owning that, looking out for children right in our own backyard. Not for those poor children over there," Greenberg said.

Whether she works in the Great Lakes Bay Region or in Lansing, Greenberg plans to continue advocating for children. "I hope that when I'm gone people remember that I really cared about children, I was really passionate about this mission, and that will never change," she said.

A search for her replacement has started.

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