Click Here To Listen Williamson Business 100 Leading Women Linda Crockett
Linda has dedicated her life to service, beginning at age 14 as a candy-striper at Williamson County Hospital and reading to the blind after school. She served as a volunteer police officer for the City of Franklin for 9 years, and an arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau. While serving as council leader for the Telephone Pioneers of
America she: Instituted computer training in preschools, fund-raised for WAVES, St. Jude’s and the Statue of Liberty restoration.
In 1993 Linda focused her efforts to help women and children who are victims of Domestic Violence. She began volunteering with the local Shelter and Domestic Violence Program. Soon after, she was hired as a woman’s advocate. As with any Non-profit the budget was small; there were four employees to work at the sixteen bed shelter. When a Volunteer Coordinator Position became available Linda jumped at the opportunity to build the support system of volunteers and donors. She felt that she could have a greater impact in the lives of victims if more resources and volunteers were
available to assist them with their needs. While in this position she built the volunteer base from Four to Seventy-five direct service volunteers and connected the shelter to many community groups that provided substantial amounts of financial and in-kind donations and services. In 1998 the local shelter consolidated their services into one large shelter in a neighboring county. Linda felt that services were still needed within her county and founded a Domestic Violence Program named BRIDGES of Williamson County. She work diligently for two years without a salary and single handily developed a board, applied for 501(c)3 status and implemented a shelter and domestic violence program which allowed victims to seek services within their community. BRIDGES offers the standard core components of shelter, court advocacy, child advocacy, support groups, and outreach. However, it also is unique to the area due to providing a crisis intervention team that responds to domestic violence assault calls with the local police department. She developed this program due to the fact that many affluent victims were not reaching out to the shelter because they could afford a hotel. This limited the programs ability to educate them on the other services offered. By responding to the scene we are able to provide option, education and resources.
In April of 2002 BRIDGES announced the start of a three year, two million dollar capital campaign to purchase a shelter that will accommodate the needs of a growing community. As one of the unique funding sources she worked with the District Attorney Generals office to impose mandatory donations from convicted perpetrators of domestic violence.
In November of 2004, Linda and the Board of BRIDGES purchased a shelter that increased the capacity of the program four fold. Over the next eleven months she added to her executive director responsibilities the overwhelming job of on-site job foreman of the $450,000 remodeling of the newly purchased shelter. In November 2005 we occupied the new 11,000 sq. ft. building which through volunteers and in-kind donations cost $65,000 to completely remodel.
Over the past several years she has expanded programs to include childcare, mental health care, a batterer’s intervention program, social entrepreneur lavender business and is currently working on a transitional housing capital campaign.
Linda not only provides victims with life saving options, she has worked continually on social change. She has held the position of Chairperson for the Williamson County Task Force Against Domestic Violence and served as a Board member for the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She was chosen for the Peer Review Committee, which evaluates other shelter programs through out the state. Linda is considered an expert witness and has testified for many victims at court proceedings.
Currently, she is working on a $1M capital campaign to provide transitional housing for domestic violence victims leaving shelter.
She has been recognized for her dedication and service with the following awards: Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, Helping Hand Award; Fraternal Order of Police, Community Service Award; Williamson County Task Force Against Domestic
Violence, Leadership Award; Tennessee Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Sue Juris Award for Outstanding Service to Victims, Lifetime Achievement Award, The Firestone/Bridgestone “100 People Who Serve” National Award and most recently the Sunshine Peace Foundation National Award. If ask she would tell you that her greatest award would be seeing the victims she serves become survivors and thrive in a life free of violence.
She has touched many lives, moved mountains and never learned the word can’t. Through example she empowers others to set goals, give back to there community and get involved to make home a safe place.