Community Information Exchange is critical tie that binds

No one works the room like Carol Green. Even if you’ve never met her before, there’s no way you can miss her. She’s easily the most visible person on the floor, greeting people more with hugs and smiles than handshakes. And her mental rolodex is sure to contain the information you need to take your community engagement to the next level.

Indeed, she’s the engine that powers the Community Information Exchange and she’s the one you can always count on to keep the trains running on time.

Carol Green
Carol green

But how did she get here?

“At one point I was director of the Brush Creek Community Center,” Green said. “I was planning the annual Toys for Tots Christmas party. I hustled. I begged to make this the most fantastic party ever. Two blocks away there was some other church party and four blocks away there was another party. I thought there must be a way we could be better connected.”

Clearly, she was right, and soon this vision she had about a coalition that could connect all of these dots became real thanks to support from Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry and City Manager Troy Schulte.

The coalition certainly reflects Green’s enthusiastic attention to detail. The meetings are held every three or four months to bring together community agencies and related service providers to discuss how best to coordinate programs, services and activities for the benefit of residents and for the efficiency of the businesses -- decreasing duplication and adding a more coordinated effort in an era of dwindling resources.

These gatherings are the ultimate networking session for participants, who are encouraged to bring business cards, literature and promotional items. Each guest, provided they arrive on time, is allowed two minutes to promote their business, neighborhood association or upcoming event.

“I will often inject a commercial, as I call it,” Green said. “What’s Kansas City’s best kept secret? … Go Ape in Swope Park! No two meetings are alike. I believe in making it happen – turning a vision into a reality.”

Green has the pedigree to coordinate this vision. She’s worked in several capacities for the City during her career, including stints as director of Brush Creek, Garrison and Gregg/Klice Community Centers. The dual-title she has now is Community Outreach Administrator and Marketing and Event Administrator.

In the summer of 2012, Green coordinated the efforts for Mayor Sly James’ Rock the Block activities and the Recreation Express, pulling the events and activities together and securing the entertainment and establishing partnerships with vendors while still executing her regular duties at Gregg/Klice.

This do-it-all approach earned her the Rich Noll Pacesetter Award, which honors City employees who provide excellent customer service. Spend a little time in her world and you’ll quickly see just how serious she is about serving others.

Green is an unabashed advocate for the Parks and Recreation Department, which she repeatedly proclaims is the best place in the City to work. Her professed love for her department may be slightly overshadowed by her passionate advocacy for KCMO residents who need help and don’t know how to find it.

On this overcast Thursday morning in February, Green is facilitating the meeting at Brush Creek and constantly encouraging the 110 or so representatives present to speak into the microphone and take full advantage of the two minutes they have to promote their agencies or events.

The room is filled with folks from Sam’s Club, the Optimist Club, Swope Health Services, home healthcare providers, adult education services, YMCA, Union Station, KC Mothers In Charge and the Special Olympics just to name a few.

“This is your chance to find the volunteers, expertise and sponsorships that you need to make your event even more successful, so get connected with something or someone today,” Green said.

For more information, contact Green at 816-513-7701 or carol.green@kcmo.org.