The cover photo was taken in the Flint Hills north of Strong City by Arthur H. Davis and has been reprinted with his permission.
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Sunflower Foundation 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
Jay Kennedy, Frankfort, is Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank. He was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2015.
Andrea Krauss
Board Chair
Andrea Krauss, Russell, is Secretary and Treasurer of John O. Farmer, Inc. She was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2013.
Les Lacy
Les Lacy, St. Francis, is Vice President for Regional Operations at the Great Plains Health Alliance. He was appointed by former Attorney General Steve Six in March 2010.
Beryl "Bebo" Lowery-Born
Bereyl “Bebo” Lowery-Born, Topeka, retired in 2013 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas as the Chief Financial Officer. She was appointed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas in 2014.
Mike Matson
Mike Matson, Manhattan, is Director of Industry Affairs and Development for the Kansas Farm Bureau. He was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2018.
Krista Postai
Krista Postai, Pittsburg, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Health Center of South-east Kansas. She was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2014.
Martie Ross
Martie Ross, Leawood, is a Principal at Pershing Yoakley & Associates healthcare consultants. She was appointed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2014.
Don Sherman
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
Liz Sosa, Garden City, is Chief Executive Officer of Epitome Enterprises. 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 a vote. Terms of office are three years and committee members may serve up to three consecutive terms.

Kent Bradley, MD
Obstetrics-gynecology physician at Newton Medical Center
Valley Center

John Coen
President & CEO of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce

Susan Concannon
Representative in the Kansas House, District 107

Francie Currie
Office manager for Neodesha Family Medicine

Andrea Krauss
Serves on the CAC in her role as chair of the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees

Sue Krische
Retired Chief of Staff to four Kansas Senate Presidents

Terry Presta
Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery
Overland Park

Glen Singer, MD
Retired family practice physician

Donna Thomas, DDS
Pediatric dentist 



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 Hall
President & Chief Executive Officer

Billie Hall is the president and chief executive officer and works in partnership with the board of trustees and staff to provide leadership, vision and direction for the organization. Hall’s career has encompassed many aspects of health care and public health, including health education, health care administration, women’s health, community health planning and health policy.

Prior to the Sunflower Foundation, Hall was vice president for public affairs for the Kansas Health Institute. Other positions include founding director of the first specialty women’s health center in Topeka, member of the leadership team that launched the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care and public health educator for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

Education: Master of Science in Public Health, University of Missouri; Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Washburn University.

Billie is a native of Topeka, Kansas and a fourth generation Kansan.

Cheryl Bean
Chief Financial & Operating Officer

Cheryl Bean oversees finance, operations and grants management for the foundation working closely with the CEO and the board of trustees.  She has been with the foundation since its inception. Previously, Cheryl was accounting manager for Key Staffing, a personnel firm in Topeka, Kansas. 

During her time with the foundation, Cheryl has served on the board of PEAK, a member-led national association of professionals who specialize in grants management. During her five-year tenure (serving as treasurer for three years), membership increased significantly and the organization grew from a staff of four to twelve. Cheryl is also a graduate of the 2018 Leadership Topeka class. 

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Management, Washburn University.

Cheryl is a native of Claflin, Kansas and a fourth generation Kansan.

Elizabeth Stewart Burger
Senior Program Officer

Elizabeth Stewart Burger oversees the foundation’s Healthy Living & Active Communities program area, which focuses on the built environment: systems, structures and surroundings that promote 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.

Education: Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in Health and Human Performance from the Oklahoma State University; Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University; post-doctoral fellowship from the University of Kansas; and Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Journalism from the University of Tulsa.

Elizabeth is a native of Oklahoma but has made Kansas her home since 2004. 

Jason Fizell
Director of Business Development, Sunflower Foundation’s Nonprofit Center

Jason Fizell oversees fundraising and grant development for the Nonprofit Center, as well as tenant recruitment 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 in Washington, D.C.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Kansas (emphasis in history of science and environmental history).

Jason is a native Michigander and has made Kansas his home since 1985.

Brandon Skidmore
Program Officer

Brandon Skidmore oversees the foundation’s health care program area, which focuses on integrated care: a comprehensive, team-based approach to patient care which integrates primary and behavioral health care at the clinic and community level. Previously, he served as Director of the Bureau of Health Promotion at the Kansas Department of Health and 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. 

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Biology, University of Kansas.

Brandon is a native of Augusta, Kansas and a fourth generation Kansan.

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 was a 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 a member of the American Business Women’s Association Career Chapter and an active member of the Washburn University Alumni Association.

Education: Master of Business Administration, Baker University and Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, Washburn University.

Gayle is a native of Topeka, Kansas and sixth generation Kansan.