Bright Futures Community Engagement Conference
Keynote Speaker: Carrie Caruthers
Business Manager - Priority Investors - American Century Investments@CarrieCaruthers Profile
Carrie Caruthers has been a leader in the business community of Harrisonville, MO, for over ten years where she has worked for American Century Investments and now serves on the Bright Futures USA Board of Directors. Carrie currently manages the priority investor program specializing in project management, investment strategies, client base growth and retention, and performance development. Prior to serving on the Bright Futures USA Board of Directors, she served as chair of the Bright Futures Harrisonville Advisory Board. Carrie was awarded the Guiding Principle Award in Challenging & Inspiring in her department by ACI in 2010 and 2012. She was also inducted into the Circle of Honor by ACI in 2008 and received a Guiding Principle Award in Innovation from ACI the same year. Carrie attended Fort Scott Community College and Fort Scott High School in Fort Scott, Kansas. She and her husband, Brent, have three children and are active in their church and community.
Dr. C.J. Huff currently serves as the Superintendent of Joplin Schools, a position he has held since July 2008. Dr. Huff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University, a Master and Specialist in Education from Missouri State University, and later in 2003, a Doctorate in Education with a focus in Educational Leadership from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Huff possesses a deep understanding of the interrelations that exist between community organizations, local governmental agencies, faith-based organizations, and business/private industry. Under Dr. Huff’s leadership, more than 270 formal partnerships were established in the Joplin community within nine months of initiating the district’s community engagement initiative. Dr. Huff meets regularly, both formally and informally, with key individuals in his community to maintain and grow relationships. This allows him to more easily recognize partnership potential in relation to connecting resources in the community to support broader organizational and community needs.
Following the devastating tornado on May 22, 2011, Dr. Huff declared that school would start on time. This key factor drew the community of Joplin together just days after the tornado and provided a positive light for the country to rally around in the midst of such tragedy and destruction.
Dr. Huff is well respected by the community and his peers as a man of vision and a man who keeps his word. People magazine named him as one of their “2011 Heroes Among Us.” Other honors and recognitions include the 2013 Missouri Superintendent of the Year award, one of four finalists for the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year award, 2012 Missouri National Education Association Horace Mann Award, 2012 National School Public Relations Association’s Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award, 2012 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award, 2012 Missouri Association of School Administrators Pearce Award, 2012 Missouri School Public Relations Association Administrator of the Year, and the 2011 American School Board Journal Magna Award/Grand Prize Winner for Joplin’s Bright Futures initiative focusing on community engagement and drop-out prevention.
Director of Student Service
Bentonville School District
Executive DirectorView Profile
Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce
Principal, Royal Heights Elementary
Joplin School District
Bright Futures Joplin