The Golden Belt Community Foundation (GBCF) is welcoming three new members to its board of directors, while thanking two others for their past service.
The new additions are: Joan Panning of Ellinwood; and Sheryl Schamaun and Leonard Bunselmeyer, both of Great Bend. Outgoing members are Mark Bitter and Kathy Straub, both of Great Bend.
“We are pleased to welcome our newcomers and appreciate all our board members for their service,” said Christy Tustin, GBCF executive director. “Our 14-member board represents our four-county area, and donors and non-profit agencies benefit from their ideas and expertise.
“Serving on the board is an opportunity to learn about the overall Golden Belt area,” Tustin continued. “Board members help shape local philanthropy today and for the future. Each county is unique but there are many similarities across the Golden Belt that we strive to build upon.”
She also noted she appreciates Bitter and Straub for their six years on the board. “They were part of the Foundation’s significant growth during that time,” Tustin said.
The GBCF’s territory includes Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties. A board committee nominates members who serve a three-year term, with the option of renewing once for a second term.
Joan Panning, a lifelong Barton County resident, brings to the boardroom table a background in farming, ranching and oil exploration.
“Since our children are grown, it is now our turn to give back to our community,” Panning said. “When I was approached about this opportunity to serve the Golden Belt Community Foundation, I was intrigued to learn more.
“There is so much need in our four-county community,” Panning added. “I am eager to be part of its future progress.”
Panning grew up in Ellinwood and has been married to Douglas Panning since 1976. He is a fourth generation farmer/rancher.
“We became involved in Kansas oil exploration in 2005,” the new board member said. “My husband and I work side by side in all our endeavors.”
Sheryl Schamaun, a lifelong Great Bend resident, said she is continuing to learn more about the GBCF and is eager to do her part in its future growth.
“Giving back and staying involved is important to everyone in the community,” Schamaun commented. “The Foundation’s service territory is truly special and I want to make a difference in these four counties.
“There are many wonderful organizations that provide assistance to those in need,” she noted. “But many struggle with funding or have special projects that call for additional help. The GBCF helps these entities share resources and ideas, and allows our community to cultivate leadership and provide help to those in need.”
One of Schamaun’s goals is to help ensure central Kansas is a good place to live and raise a family. She also noted it is important to help local students with their educational needs.
“We want to support young people as they pursue their education, while giving them a reason to come back and call this area their home.”
Schamaun earned her bachelor’s degree in business accounting and business administration at the University of Kansas. After college, she joined Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball Chtd., where she works and is a shareholder.
She and her husband, Steve, have been married for 37 years, and have two sons and two grandchildren.
Leonard Bunselmeyer, a Stafford County native who brings medical and educational perspectives to the board, said he became aware of the GBCF through media accounts of its grant-awarding activities.
“What a wonderful example of altruism, the selfless concern for the well-being of others,” Bunselmeyer said. “After visiting with a couple of board members, I knew I wanted to serve.
“I have strong ties to this area,” he added. “My goal is to take seriously the responsibility of good stewardship of donors’ contributions. The GBCF is so important because it provides opportunities for individual communities to better themselves. The Foundation provides an intimate connection with and knowledge of local and area needs.”
Bunselmeyer was born in Stafford and raised in Hudson. He earned a bachelor’s in general science at Fort Hays State University. He also completed training at the Hutchinson School of Medical Technology and became certified as a Medical (Laboratory) Technologist (MT).
The new board member worked in the former Central Kansas Medical Center lab as a technologist and as the assistant laboratory supervisor. He then became director of the MLT (Medical Laboratory Technician) training program at Barton Community College and earned master’s degrees in biology and educational administration, both at FHSU.
Bunselmeyer later became executive director of Health Care and Public Safety Education at BCC until his semi-retirement. He continues to serve as a substitute teacher at the middle and high school levels.
“When I retired, I wanted to give back to my community,” he said. “I currently serve on the BCC board of trustees but that will end in December. I also served on many committees at First United Methodist Church and currently am a board member at the church’s Noah’s Ark Preschool.”
At $21 million in total assets and more than 170 funds under management, the Golden Belt Community Foundation has been connecting people who care to causes that matter since 1996. Golden Belt Community Foundation exists to provide non-profit organizations in central Kansas with a permanent source of support and to serve as a vehicle for charitable giving for donors. GBCF serves the counties of Barton, Pawnee, Rush, and Stafford. For more information about Golden Belt Community Foundation, call (620) 792-3000 or visit their website at www.goldenbeltcf.org.