The Betsy Vander Velde Award
The Betsy Vander Velde Award

The Betsy Vander Velde AwardThe Betsy Vander Velde Award


The Betsy Vander Velde Award is designed to support, honor and recognize the work of an individual or organization in the Kansas City community committed to bettering the lives of children and families. This award will be given each year at our annual gala, the Blue Carpet Event, in Betsy’s name, honoring her selfless dedication to those less fortunate and her never-ending life’s work of giving back and bettering people’s lives--work which she carried out as the President and CEO of The Family Conservancy for 21 years before her 2014 retirement. The recipient(s) will embody her spirit of service and commitment to the children and families of Kansas City.

We're now accepting nominations for the 2018 Betsy Vander Velde Award. Please fill out the form below.

Make a Nomination

Award Criteria and Selection Process


  • Provide valuable service to improve quality of life for others in their community.
  • Assist families in achieving their full potential.
  • Dedicated to advocating for the most at-risk children or families in our community.
  • Can be a community volunteer or a person or organization whose professional focus is that listed above in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
  • Cannot be currently employed by or serving on the board of The Family Conservancy.

The Process

A selection committee, made up of a group of board and staff members of The Family Conservancy, will review all nominations and select one recipient of the Betsy Vander Velde award. The recipient will be notified in July and the honoree will be recognized at TFC's Blue Carpet Event.

About the 2016 Recipient

About the 2015 Recipient

Betsy Vander Velde’s dedication children and families and her never-ending work of bettering people’s lives has inspired many people over the years. The inaugural Betsy Vander Velde Award recipient is no exception.

On September 18, 2015, at TFC’s Blue Carpet Event, we will honor Kimber Myers Givner as the 2015 Betsy Vander Velde Award winner.

Like Vander Velde, Myers Givner’s passion for helping others runs deep. Shortly after graduation, Myers Givner began working for the Indiana Department of Justice. After seeing youth in the justice system as a result of barriers that they had no means of changing, she became a fierce advocate for social justice issues. This passion led her to pursue a master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa and a law degree from Drake University; she received both in 1997.

In 1998, Myers Givner moved to Kansas City and began working as a support service provider in Kansas City public housing facilities. In 1999, with a desire to help the families she served overcome barriers to success, she became the founding executive director of Phoenix Family.

In her role at Phoenix Family, Myers Givner has pursued her passion for helping other while creating a culture where people want to do their best. This role has become much more than a job, a fact that is apparent by the values she has passed on to her daughters. Recently, her 9-year-old twins collected close to 2,000 books for kids who don’t have access to reading materials.

Over the years, Myers Givner has often crossed paths with The Family Conservancy. Not only do the agencies frequently refer clients to one another, but Ms. Givner served as a member of the Heart of America Family Services (a TFC forerunner) Adults and Children Together Advisory Board, where she met Vander Velde. Both women know it well: it takes collaboration and a supportive community to support the children and families of Kansas City.

We hope you will join us on September 18, 2015, to celebrate the life-changing impact Kimber Myers Givner has made in the Greater Kansas City community.