For two leaders at Children’s Trust of South Carolina, August marked 15 years of work preventing child abuse and neglect in the Palmetto State.

sue williams and deb werdunn

Sue Williams (left) and Deb Werdunn (right) celebrated 15 years at Children’s Trust in August.

Sue Williams has led the organization as CEO since it began in 2007. And Deb Werdunn, director of grants and contracts management, has been a leader in the fiscal management of the organization.

“Sue has unrelenting vision and drive to ensure the expansion of prevention initiatives across the state; she understands that impact requires transformational approaches across systems, including youth, families, nonprofit organizations, health and state agencies,” said Chief Operations Officer Joan Hoffman, who has worked at Children’s Trust for 14 years. “Deb has been instrumental in shaping the foundational structure that ensures we are stewards of all investments that flow through Children’s Trust.”

Since its formation, Children’s Trust has operated as the only statewide organization dedicated to child abuse prevention. It primarily does this in an intermediary role, directing federal, state and private foundation funding to community-based organizations and supporting the implementation of parenting programs across the state; providing training to child-serving professionals; and advocating for child and family well-being.

Williams is embedded in the child abuse prevention field at the state and national levels. She sits on state and national organizations’ boards of directors, serves on statewide committees and routinely works with partners at the statehouse and state agencies. Sue is a peer reviewer for Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), of which Children’s Trust is the state affiliate, and has received the PCAA James Hmurovich Award and the U.S. Children’s Bureau Champion Award.

Werdunn has been instrumental in ensuring the strong fiscal management of the millions of dollars annually entrusted to the organization. She has helped the organization grow its budget from $1 million to $21 million. She has played a key role in leading the organization through the inception and growth of many programs across the state, and she ensures the community-based organizations funded by Children’s Trust have the resources needed to serve their communities.