Sunflower Foundation > 2017 Annual Report > Rosters
Board of Trustees
The Sunflower Foundation is governed by nine trustees who represent, as much as possible, the diversity of Kansas. Eight trustees are appointed through a process overseen by the Community Advisory Committee and the Kansas Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The voluntary trustees serve three-year terms and can serve up to three terms.
Jay Kennedy, Frankfort, is Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank. He was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2015.
Beryl “Bebo” Lowery-Born
Krista Postai, Pittsburg, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. She was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2014.
Reginald L. Robinson
Immediate Past Chair
Martie Ross, Leawood, is a Principal at Pershing Yoakley & Associates healthcare consultants. She was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2014.
Don Sherman, Wichita, is Vice President of Community Relations and Strategic Partnerships at Westar Energy. He was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2014.
Liz Sosa, Garden City, is Chief Executive Officer of Public Square Communities. She was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2016.
Community Advisory Committee
The nine-member Sunflower Foundation Community Advisory Committee nominates candidates for the foundation’s Board of Trustees. The Kansas Attorney General appoints eight of the committee members; the ninth member is the chair of the Sunflower Foundation board, serving ex-officio with vote. Terms of office are three years and committee members may serve up to three consecutive terms.
Sunflower Foundation staff members are passionate about our work. Whether it’s talking through a possible project or finding creative ways to provide technical assistance, we believe in trusting our partners’ knowledge and perspective. Relationships are important to us and we strive to foster a culture of grantee-centric service. Trust, fairness, responsiveness, and respect are the principles we use to guide our daily work and grantmaking decisions.
Billie G. Hall — President and Chief Executive Officer
Billie Hall is the corporation’s chief executive officer and works in partnership with the Board of Trustees and staff to provide leadership, vision, and direction for the organization. She is responsible for policies, programs, practices, and procedures to accomplish the foundation’s functions including grantmaking, investments, operations, and communications. Hall’s career has focused on many aspects of health care and public health, including school health education, women’s health, community health planning and health policy. She was Vice President for Public Affairs for the Kansas Health Institute. Previously, she led the development of the first specialty women’s health center in Topeka, where she served as Executive Director for nearly 10 years. She began her career as a public health educator for the Kansas Department of Health & Environment. She is a native of Topeka.
Education: Master of Science degree in Public Health, University of Missouri; Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Washburn University.
Cheryl Bean — Chief Financial & Operating Officer
Cheryl Bean oversees both the finance and grants management operations of the foundation. Her responsibilities include the management of all grants, including grant contracts, payments, reporting requirements and maintenance of the grants database and software. Her financial management duties include oversight of all financial accounting activities, budget preparation, payroll and working with chief executive officer, finance committee, Board of Trustees concerning the foundation’s investment policy and management and annual audit. She also is responsible for human resources, maintaining personnel records, administrating benefits and personnel policies. Since 2013, she has been a board member of the Grants Managers Network. Previously, Cheryl was an office coordinator, staffing consultant and accounting manager for Key Staffing, a personnel firm in Topeka, Kansas. In that position, she performed all accounting functions for four divisions of the privately owned corporation, including payroll preparation, management and oversight of employee benefit plans, and accounts payable, receivable and collections. She is a native of Claflin, Kansas.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Management, Washburn University.
Elizabeth Burger — Senior Program Officer
Elizabeth Stewart Burger, PhD, MBA, oversees the foundation’s Healthy Living & Active Communities program area. This program area focuses on the built environment: the systems, structures and surroundings that make “the healthy choice, the easy choice” around physical activity and healthy food access. Burger began her career as a TV news producer but later transitioned to health and wellness. While completing her graduate degrees, she owned a personal training business, managed hospital-based wellness programs, and taught health education at the collegiate and community level. Most recently, she served as the evaluation director of practice-based research for the American Academy of Family Physicians. Burger loves running, hiking and biking whenever and wherever she can, but her favorite spot is near her log cabin home in rural northwest Douglas County.
Education: PhD and Master of Science degrees in Health and Human Performance, Oklahoma State University; Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University; post-doctoral fellowship, University of Kansas; and Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Journalism, University of Tulsa.
Phil Cauthon — Director of Communications
Phil Cauthon oversees external and internal communications for Sunflower Foundation. This primarily includes messaging that furthers the mission of the foundation and advances the goals of programs and initiatives. Communications are aimed at amplifying the work of Sunflower grantees and other stakeholders and its effect on their communities, particularly successful initiatives that can serve as models for others. The primary modes for communications are Sunflower’s website, email newsletter, annual reports, traditional media, social media, and nonprofit journalism grantmaking.
Education: Master of Science degree in Journalism and Bachelor of Arts co-majors in Spanish and International Politics & Economics — all from the University of Kansas.
Jason Fizell — Director of Business Development for Sunflower Foundation’s Nonprofit Center
Jason Fizell is the Director of Business Development for Sunflower Foundation’s Nonprofit Center. He oversees fundraising and grant development for the Nonprofit Center, as well as tenant recruitment for its shared office space and marketing of the conference center. Previously, Jason served for five years as Development Manager for St. Francis Health Foundation in Topeka. He has also served as Executive Director for the Kansas Land Trust in Lawrence, District Director for U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, and Proposal Development Manager for Health Systems Research, Inc. in Washington, D.C.
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in History focusing on history of science and environmental history, University of Kansas.
Brandon Skidmore — Program Officer
Brandon Skidmore oversees the foundation’s health care portfolio, including the Integrated Care Initiative. The focus of this program is on attainable and sustainable integration of primary and behavioral health care at the community and statewide levels. Previously, he served as Director of the Bureau of Health Promotion at the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, where he worked for more than a decade. He is a Fellow of the Kansas Public Health Leadership Institute and a recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brandon is a native Kansan.
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Kansas.
Gayle Smith — Executive Administrator
Gayle Smith oversees all corporate responsibilities at Sunflower Foundation, as well as provides executive and governance support, organizational and project management, and event planning. Previously, she served for seven years as Senior Executive Assistant at Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka. Before that, she did similar work at Childcare Aware of Eastern Kansas (a non-profit social service agency) and Security Benefit. Gayle is currently President of the American Business Women’s Association Career Chapter and is an active member of the Washburn University Alumni Association.
Education: Master of Business Administration from Baker University and Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Washburn University.