Letter from the Board Chair and the President & CEO
Storytelling is about more than just the words that are spoken; it is also about how those words make us feel. Stories are powerful and awe-inspiring tools which allow us to relive truths of the past and reflect on the promise of tomorrow. Stories unite peoples and cultures, they bridge gaps and they heal wounds. Stories keep front and center a world we want to remember and, sometimes, what we wish to forget. Stories are at the heart of philanthropy.
This year’s annual report tells Sunflower Foundation’s story through the lens of three leaders who work with nonprofit organizations committed to improving the health and well-being of all Kansans:
- Dee Ann DeRoin, MD, MPH, who coordinates the Kansas Tribal Health Summit Project and believes that all people deserve the opportunity to seek and receive quality health care, regardless of background or place.
- Teresa Lovelady, MSW, MBA, the President and CEO of HealthCore Clinic, who views the organization as a lifeline...a rest stop when the road gets too dark, a path forward when all others feel uncertain.
- Brian Walker, the President and CEO of the Kansas Food Bank, who understands that simply supplying people with food will not eradicate hunger and that we also need more effective policies to address areas like workforce development, healthcare, transportation, fair wages and childcare.
These nonprofit leaders are also alumni of our Sunflower Advocacy Fellowship Program. The Advocacy Fellowship Program celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2018; during that time, we have worked alongside more than 100 outstanding leaders and advocates across Kansas. And though it began as a program to build the capacity and advocacy skills of community champions, we knew early on that this program was transformational – reaffirming our mission, deepening our values and forever changing our lives.
Our work this past year has taken us into communities of all sizes working with people from all walks of life. As you read these stories, allow yourself the opportunity to journey with them. Experience the hardships, celebrate the successes and contemplate the impact these leaders and these programs have on your neighbors.
The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees and staff are thankful every day for the people we meet along the way. Without a doubt, we have received more than we have given – a gift we truly cherish and believe has made us a better health philanthropy.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Billie G. Hall
President & CEO