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Zuniga accepts executive-director position at Sunflower Diversified

Since Shelby Zuniga realizes her professional and personal lives are meshing well with one another. She has accepted the position of Sunflower Diversified Services executive director.

Zuniga, a Great Bend native, had served as the interim executive director for the past few months while maintaining her chief financial officer duties.

Sunflower serves children and adults with developmental disabilities and delays in central Kansas.

“After nearly three years under my belt at Sunflower, and now that our twins are almost two years old, I know I can take on the enormous responsibilities of this position,” Zuniga said. “Jon Prescott (former executive director) and I worked hand-in-hand on pretty much everything, which has made the transition pain-free.

“In addition, Sunflower has an amazing group of next-generation leaders at the helm. All the credit of our success goes to them and the individuals we support. I am blessed to be part of this team effort and excited to see what the future holds.”

Recent and ongoing successful projects include:

· The extensive remodel of the Community Habilitation Services facility at the manufacturing plant;

· Early Education Center playground improvements, which recently received a $10,000 boost from 100+ People Who Care;

· A Kansas Department of Health & Environment grant for a new forklift that was recently delivered; and

· The use of the lot behind Sunflower Recycling Center for the city-wide clean-up, in partnership with the city of Great Bend.

“These and other projects allow us to serve people and support our community every single day,” Zuniga commented. “Sunflower staff support allows individuals to live the best lives possible because they gain skills, enhance their quality of life and reach new levels of independence.”

Zuniga and her husband, Juan, are the parents of twin girls, Isabella and Sophia.

Scott Donovan, a member of Sunflower’s recruitment committee, said “Shelby has grown into the kind of young leader needed to continue with the positive growth of Sunflower. She has local roots and has grown to love her job of serving people with disabilities.

“Shelby has an incredible business sense too. We are ready to watch her continue to lead and grow.”

Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 57th year.

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