Randy Cobb had been familiar with Sunflower Diversified Services for a while and decided he wanted to advocate for the non-profit agency that supports children and adults with disabilities and delays.
Therefore, he sought a position on the board of directors and served for a total of 17 years during two terms. Cobb, Lyons, recently retired from the board.
“I always admired Sunflower’s commitment to helping people with developmental disabilities to become more independent at home and work,” Cobb said. “I was impressed with the dedication of employees such as Jim Johnson, Decky Makings, Sarah Krom, Connie Pounds and Connie Oetken.
“Over the years, I got to know each of them, as well as many others who devoted their lives to helping people with special needs. They all should be commended.”
Cobb mentioned he was honored to collaborate with staff members that support clients “who deserve the chance to make lifestyle choices that best suit their needs.”
He also shared two pieces of advice for anyone who becomes a board member.
“First, a board member must do everything possible to ensure Sunflower continues to help clients achieve as much independence in their daily lives as possible,” Cobb said. “This includes employment and community involvement.
“Second, a board member should always, always, always keep a watchful eye on the financial health of the organization.”
Cobb’s first stint on the board began in 1997. He has watched the number of clients grow and supported expansions into enhanced services.
“For example, Sunflower has its roots in the 1960s when it began offering children’s services and today our Early Education Center and Incredible Years Preschool honor those beginnings,” Cobb commented. “They offer many programs for children and families and recently enhanced our local autism services. This is a wonderful addition to our area.”
Even though he retired, Sunflower can continue to count on Cobb for further support. For instance, he contributes to the agency’s Invest in Kids Club through an automatic bank draft.
“It is such an easy way to give to an agency that does so much good in the community,” he noted. “Our local communities have been good to Sunflower but we can never give too much; the needs are many.
“I am grateful to the numerous individuals and businesses who consistently give to Sunflower. I hope that level of giving grows even larger.”
Cobb was born and raised in Great Bend; he has been in the banking industry for more than 35 years.
Jon Prescott, Sunflower chief executive officer, said “Randy has been a rock for our non-profit agency. Even though he didn’t serve on the board for a few years while in Kansas City, his heart was always focused on Sunflower’s well-being.
“We have been so blessed to have him on the team for a combined 17 years especially because of his expertise in business management, operational policy and finance. Randy will be sorely missed and never forgotten.”
Prescott also noted he “warned” Cobb that he will reach out now and then for advice.
“Randy has a deep understanding of Sunflower’s roots and its reason for existing – to help individuals with delays and disabilities succeed,” Prescott said. “I am glad he is a phone call away.”
Jim Johnson, former executive director, said “Randy truly believes in Sunflower’s mission. He has supported expanded services for infants and toddlers and been a strong proponent of independent living for adults. He will be missed on the board.”
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 55th year.