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The Center announces Manning’s retirement and Gray’s promotion
Bill Manning recently retired as Community Support Services director and Shionta Gray was promoted to that position at The Center for Counseling & Consultation. The photo depicts a recent event where Manning and Gray were honored for their years of service to The Center.

When Bill Manning recently retired as Community Support Services (CSS) director, Julie Kramp was faced with a bittersweet situation.

As executive director of The Center for Counseling & Consultation, Kramp was sorry to see Manning leave. But, at the same time, she knew that Shionta Gray was well-equipped to step into the position.

“We are happy for Bill as he looks forward to his retirement,” Kramp said. “But we will always miss him. Bill helped us through so much change, especially during the peak of the pandemic.

“However, we are fortunate that Shionta brings her extensive skills, knowledge and experience to the job. She is allowing a smooth transition, as well as opportunities for new ideas. We are grateful to have such a highly qualified internal candidate for this important position.”

The CSS department offers community psychiatric support and treatment; attendant care; psycho-social rehabilitation; targeted case management; and certified peer support.

The CSS director oversees all functions of the 12-member department.

Shionta Gray

Gray has served The Center clients for almost 11 years and held several titles, including Community-Based Services support aide for youth; CSS case manager; health home care coordinator; and CSS targeted case manager.

“I have always enjoyed the work I do and the difference we make in people’s lives,” Gray commented. “Staff members support one another, which makes for a great work environment in which to care for and treat those who need a helping hand.

“Our mission is to promote mental health as we cultivate hope and healing. We offer quality care and education with integrity, dedication and compassion with the highest quality of service possible.”

Gray is a 2002 graduate of Great Bend High School and a 2009 graduate of Barton Community College with an associate’s degree in accounting. She earned her bachelor’s in business administration in 2011 at Fort Hays State University, with a certificate in human resource management.

Gray was a teacher assistant at Great Bend’s USD 428 Alternative Learning Center from 2005-12 and a chemical dependency technician at the Women’s Recovery Center in Hoisington from 2007-2009.

“I want to use this education and background to support The Center’s consumers,” she said. “I learned a lot from Bill, who was a great supervisor and mentor. He is missed by everyone here; it will not be the same without him.”

Bill Manning

Manning, who had worked at The Center for 16 years, began his journey there in psycho-social rehab and attendant care. He then advanced to adult case manager before being promoted to CSS director.

“I wanted to help people with mental illness,” Manning said. “The Center is the only place in the area that offers so many badly needed services, such as case management for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. The team supports these clients, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.

“The Center is the best place I have ever worked,” he added. “I have never encountered a more caring and compassionate team. They benefit the clients and their co-workers by providing necessary and excellent support.”

Manning also emphasized that the CSS department is in good hands with Gray in the director’s position. 

“Shionta shows great compassion and is a great team player,” he said. “She has always stepped up to take on additional responsibilities and is willing to support clients and team members whenever needed. Shionta has the skills, talents and understanding to be the new CSS director.”

The Center for Counseling & Consultation is a Community Mental Health Center serving Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties. Professionally trained personnel offer: individual and group therapy; marriage and family counseling; community-support services; community-based services; psychosocial rehabilitation; peer support; and medication management. The confidential 24/7 crisis hotline number is 800-875-2544.