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Audrey Koester earns Outstanding Performance Award at Sunflower
Sunflower Koester 2021
Audrey Koester earned the Sunflower Diversified Services Outstanding Performance Award for her diligence in shredding paper that is gathered in large bags. Koester, a client at Sunflower, is one of many individuals adapting to COVID-related challenges so they can be productive and earn paychecks.

 Audrey Koester was honored recently with an Outstanding Performance Award for her work ethic while shredding confidential documents at Sunflower Diversified Services.

            But her contributions to the non-profit agency’s operation don’t stop there.

            “Audrey always goes above and beyond,” said Shawn Bates, director of production. “She will take on any task that is presented to her. Audrey loves a challenge and faces it head-on. She flourishes when she has the opportunity to perform at a high level.”

            Koester, 34, and her peers have adapted to COVID-related changes in work schedules and sites at Sunflower, which serves children and adults with delays and disabilities in central Kansas.

            She currently works at the agency’s CHS location, 1521 K-96, where a confidential-shredding machine is at her fingertips. “Audrey has been running the machine on a steady basis during the pandemic,” Bates said.

            Koester also has worked at the Sunflower Recycling drop-off site, 5523 10th, collecting and sorting materials.

            “In addition, Audrey has shared her passion for getting the job done at our manufacturing plant,” Bates noted. “She has wrapped hoses for Flame Engineering and packaged dog treats for Ferguson Production.

            “Audrey also travels on our pick-up route to collect recyclables at businesses in central Kansas. She is very versatile and happy to tackle any job.”

            Koester is a 2008 graduate of Great Bend High School. She lived with her parents, Duane and Janet Koester of Hoisington, for a few years after graduation; she then chose to move into a Great Bend home with three roommates.

            Jodee Demel, CHS manager, pointed out that Koester now works at CHS, instead of the plant, because of social-distancing guidelines.

            “We have a paper shredder here so Audrey can do the work she loves to do,” Demel said. “She loves coming to work and is always ready to start the day. She likes for us to keep a tally on the number of bags she fills per day.

            “We also keep a weekly count that shows she has filled up to 73 bags in a week. Audrey is hard working and knows the importance of tidying up her area at the end of the day. She deserves the Outstanding Performance Award on so many levels.”

            Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 55th year.