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Broad Perspective Leads to Big Commitment for Manager, MASWM Treasurer


Robert Greenwood has worked for nearly three decades in services for people with disabilities.
Robert Greenwood has an unusually broad view of workshops that helps explain why he’s among Missouri’s most involved managers.

Executive director of CASCO and Executive Director of the Cass County Board in Harrisonville and treasurer of MASWM, Robert has worked in services for people with developmental disabilities since 1989. He began in direct services with a Kansas agency providing services at an ICF. Later, he served in community settings, rising to the position of Program Director for a five-county area of southeastern Kansas. In Missouri, he’s served in a range of service areas, including one he helped create.

This broad background helps explain his perspective and his career, but it wasn’t something he planned. “I got out of high school, and nothing was really catching my interest,” he recalled. “But a couple of my wife’s cousins worked in the field, and I just thought it was interesting. I fell in love with it.”

Surprising Path

The result has been dramatic. Between experience in Kansas and Missouri spanning nearly 30 years, Robert has worked in employment, residential, targeted case management, day services and other services for people with disabilities. CARF accredited, CASCO is also one of the few workshops in Missouri that provides facility and community employment services, as well as a day program, case management and more.

“We’re unique,” he noted. “There are very few shops that have all of these services.”

Shortly before he became CASCO’s executive director in 2014, Robert’s predecessor, Peggy Kutchback, selected him to create a new behavior program, one of the earliest efforts in that field for Missouri workshops. Today, he also serves as the volunteer director of the Cass County Board of Services. His wife, Shanda, also has extensive experience in the field.

“I’ve gained a lot of knowledge over the years,” Robert notes with a laugh. “I don’t think there’s anything I’ve not done in this field.”

Workshop Perspective

That perspective helps explain why he’s outspoken in his support for workshops. “One of the problems is that there are a lot of people who want to group everyone with disabilities together,” he said. “My father lost his hand in a corn picker, but he spent his whole life working on cars and for Hallmark. People would say he’s significantly disabled, but he never thought of himself as disabled.

Individuals with disabilities have great abilities and one way he communicates these issues and how they can be dealt with are tours of the Harrisonville workshop. He’s found that seeing is believing when it comes to the value of workshops and how they can operate, whether the visitor is a state representative, parents or staff from other workshops, including from other states.

“I’m pretty vocal when it comes to supporting workshops,” he said. “When people see a workshop operation firsthand, they can see how they serve people with disabilities and how the different services benefit them.”

No Shortage of Work

All of this requires an intensity that isn’t easy, especially given the nearly endless list of demands faced by most workshop managers, even those not involved in county boards or services other than employment. His commitment also goes beyond his workshop. His involvement in MASWM – an extra effort that comes without pay – is a good example. But he feels that the value of the services requires such commitment.

“It seems like somebody is always after workshops, trying to do away with them,” he noted. “We have to be involved or no one else will. It’s too important for our employees not to.”

Robert does find time for a few things outside of work. With Harrisonville not far Truman Lake and the Grand River, he manages to get in a little fishing – though not as much as he used to. Even more importantly, he finds time for his two children and a grandson. But his thoughts are never far from his other “family,” the workshops and the over 6,000 people with disabilities they employ.

“You don’t get rich,” he said of the field. “But it’s very satisfying. It’s challenging, but satisfying.”


MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact: President Aaron Martin – (816) 796-7070 or amartin@job1one.org;
or Legislative Co-Chairs: Kit Brewer – (660) 263-6202 or kbrewer@rcsiemployment.org
and Brian Hogan – (816) 483-1620 or bhogan@bvinds.org