Paula Garner leads the state’s oldest child welfare agency in Kentucky. Maryhurst transforms the lives of nearly 500 children and families every single year and sees some of the state’s most severe cases of neglect and abuse. The organization aims to prevent abuse, restore hope, empower survivors and promote resiliency among Kentucky’s children.
Garner is a 23-year veteran of Maryhurst, most recently serving as the nonprofit’s COO between 2016 and 2020 before taking over the CEO role. She holds master’s degrees in social work and business administration, and she sits on several area leadership groups in the child welfare space – including an interagency initiative focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Under Paula’s leadership, Maryhurst’s future-focused work prioritizes stability and independence for all youth overcoming trauma, as well as continued growth in its community-based counseling service that offers wellbeing resources to families facing crisis.
Paula is committed to giving Maryhurst an active presence in the wider Louisville community, and she recently represented the agency in Leadership Louisville’s 10-month development program. In addition to her background as a therapist and business leader, Paula is an active supporter of her church community and a proud mother of two daughters: Emma, 14, and Sarah Grace, 19 and a sophomore at WKU.
For more information about her and the work of Maryhurst, visit maryhurst.org.