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UWCK announces 2019 co-chairs
Co-chairs bring fresh prospective to campaign
new deh unitedway 2018  co chairs pic web
The United Way of Central Kansas 2019 campaign co-chairs include Patrick and Karisa Cowan, Kenny and Cindy Vink, and Barry and Monica Bowers. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

 United Way of Central Kansas Wednesday morning announced its 2019 Campaign co-chairs. They include Patrick and Karisa Cowan, Kenny and Cindy Vink, and Barry and Monica Bowers. 

“These individuals are an integral part of each Campaign year,” said UWCK Executive Director Gaila Demel. “They offer insight and a fresh perspective, being a voice for United Way in their communities, and learn more about what UWCK does in Barton and Pawnee counties.”

Each one of these individuals brings knowledge and experience to United Way, Demel said. “We are beyond pleased to have these six community members joining our team.”

• The Bowers have been married for 36 years and have lived in Great Bend most of their lives. Barry is a CPA and partner at Spectrum CPA Partners LLC. He is involved in many Great Bend and surrounding community boards, and Monica is a horticulture volunteer at Brit Spaugh Zoo and the Barton County Historical Village. 

Barry and Monica are active members at Grace Community Church. “They look forward to serving United Way of Central Kansas as Co-Chairs, helping communities stand strong in making a positive difference in the lives of others,” Demel said.

• Karisa Cowan is a lifetime Barton county resident. She teaches seventh-grade language arts, eighth-grade earth science, STEM and robotics in Hoisington. She is a graduate of Barton Community College where she graduated with highest honors. From there, Karisa received her bachelors from Fort Hays State University, graduating summa cum laude. 

She will graduate summa cum laude from FHSU with a masters in educational leadership this summer. In her free time, Karisa likes to spend time with her two dogs, Charlie and Thea. Patrick is an information technology support specialist for Adams, Brown, Beran, and Ball. He graduated from Barton Community College with an associate’s degree in computer networking. He is currently working on his bachelors in management information services from FHSU. In his free time, Patrick enjoys golfing.

• Kenny and Cindy Vink reside in Ellinwood. They are co-owners of Office Products Incorporated and Golden Belt Printing in Great Bend. Kenny is a lifetime Barton County resident and has served on many boards and committees. 

He has been a member of Great Bend Jaycees, and on the executive board of Central Kansas Development and My Town. He is the past president of Ambucs, Downtown Development, and the past Chairman of the Board of Great Bend Chamber of Commerce.

Cindy retired last May after 34 years as a teacher, coach, and school counselor. She has held memberships in KNEA, Kansas Counseling Association, and Kansas Coaches Association. She also helps teach Awanas. 

Both Kenny and Cindy have been very involved in coaching their children’s sports. They have two grown daughters who have blessed them with 4 grandchildren, and their son Gavin, will be a senior at Kansas University. They look forward to serving the community as co-chairs of United Way.