Born Betty Joanne Cantley on Wednesday, March, 25th 1953, in Phoenix, Arizona; she was then raised in the small rural town of Crockett, Texas. During the 1950’s and ‘60s Betty grew up in a life of modest means and learned firsthand the value of an honest day of hard labor for very low wages.
After attending Mary McCloud Bethune Elementary School and Ralph J. Bunche High School, segregated black schools in that town, Betty and her family was uprooted and relocated to Arizona where she survived the cultural shock to graduate from rural all white Buckeye Union High School in 1971 and enrolled in Arizona State University the same year.
The long and winding road along Betty’s career path began at a local Tastee Freeze as a teen in Crockett and continued through her senior years in high school at a TG&Y store in West Phoenix.
In 1975, Betty was touted as one of the best front desk receptionists that ever did the job at what was then called the LEAP center on South Central Avenue.
Today that family support center is called Travis Williams Center. By 1977, Betty landed a job with the City of Phoenix in the field she had always desired. She became a Social Worker at Duppa Villa Housing Project and by 1980 promoted to Case Worker I with the Alta Vista Senior Center at South Mountain.
During the 1990’s Betty with her ample management skills became a star Catering Assistant with the Embassy Suites Hotel Industry and came to the notice of the wealthiest black man in the state of Arizona at the time; Dr. Lincoln J. Ragsdale, Ph.D.
He hired her as Office Manager where she quickly earned his respect and high praise. So much so that he and his wife Eleanor treated Betty like one of their daughters.
Betty was eventually employed with the Department of Economic Security where she became the manager of a key public service site near West Indian School Road. A compassionate and highly ethical supervisor, Betty has mentored many subordinates that grew to adore her and several workers climbed the career ladder and to this day credits Betty with their successes.
As a result of her compelling impact upon the productivity of employees, Betty was assigned to assist with a national program that was being implemented at the local level. Her new position as a Continuous Improvement Mentor, authorized her to engage, influence, train and mentor personnel at all levels of the Department of Economic Security (DES) – Family Assistance Administration.
In that capacity Betty conducted training according to an Organizational Effective Model developed by the American Public Human Service Association (APHSA) called; DAPIM which is an acronym which stands for Define-Assess-Plan-Implement and Monitor.
Betty’s combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application of the DAPIM methodology were instrumental in expanding operational technologies such as problem solving, process mapping, waste elimination, staff development and implementation of long term DAPIM standard operational procedures compelled the national training official, Phil Basso to call her the best among the several he had trained in a number of states in the country.
Family & Community
In 2007, Betty Ambrose who had been a standard bearer of her occupations, favorite boss to her subordinates, saint to her clients, angel to her husband, heroine to her six children and extended family was nominated, selected and honored as a lifetime member of the Cambridge Who’s-Who among female executives and professionals throughout the United States of America!
In 1996, Betty became co-founder & leader of The Family Affair Project which has for 19 years focused on the well-being, upliftment and guidance of current and future generations of children and teens in her extended family and the community at large.
Since her retirement from the workforce of the state of Arizona in April of 2014, Betty Ambrose is honored to serve as the Program Coordinator of UPI (Unified Progress International) a life skills Solutions Education program that works with students in schools and at various community sites throughout the city and state.