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Juggling multiple tasks, priorities and groups of people is commonplace for Chris Sutton. Before becoming SVdP Indy’s operations director earlier this year, Chris spent 31 years working with middle schoolers at Greenwood Middle School (GMS).

As a lifelong Southsider, serving at GMS was not just a professional endeavor but a personal one, too. “I’ve spent my entire life in Greenwood and love this community,” he says.

Chris spent a decade as a teacher before transitioning to administrative roles as assistant princial and athletic director. His final 11 years with GMS were leading the school as principal.

Now, all of the skills he practiced in the classroom, in staff meetings, or with athletes and parents are being applied to the 30th Street Food Pantry and Distribution Center.

“In my roles in the schools, I was focused on ensuring that people, processes and facilities had what they needed to be successful,” Chris explains. “The same applies here. We’re looking at how we support all of these areas so we can provide a great experience for neighbors, volunteers and staff alike. We also want to ensure our neighbors have the food, clothing and necessities they need to improve their lives.”

Finding His Next Purpose

Chris knew that he was ready to retire from the school system, but wasn’t sure he was ready for full-time retirement. He began looking for something for the “sunset of his career,” and when he learned about the operations director position, he knew he’d found his new purpose.

Chris was familiar with SVdP Indy as a parishioner of Our Lady of the Greenwood. He knew the blue bins were part of what we did and that we had a food pantry. Yet, he was unaware of how broad of a reach SVdP Indy has and all the different ways we serve Central, Southern, and South Central Indiana communities.

“I had no idea until I started the interview process, and now I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this wonderful organization,” he says. “Everyone I meet is here for the right reasons, and I want to do what I can to help things run smoothly and prepare us to expand if needed.

Family and furries
When Chris isn’t at the 30th Street Food Pantry and Distribution Center, he can be found with family, which includes Annie, his wife of nearly 30 years, and his children: Harrison (age 25) and Ella (age 23)—not to mention the dogs!

“My wife is the executive director of the Humane Society of Johnson County and I think we have more dogs at our house than at the Humane Society,” he laughs. “We love dogs.”

If you’re interested in supporting Chris and volunteering at the Food Pantry or the Distribution Center, visit the Volunteer tab on our website.