Board of Director Changes

Every year, the United Way of Central Kansas has to say good bye to board members, but has the opportunity to welcome new members. This year, UWCK will be losing three board members who have been instrumental to the causes that United Way supports.

Tatum Dunekack, Great Bend, has been on the board since 2013 after serving as a Campaign Co-Chair.  During her time on the board, Tatum went above and beyond by coordinating the Color Run in 2013.   She has been a fantastic part of the United Way team and her input will be missed.

Laura Smith, Larned, has been a board member for United Way since 2015, after also serving as a Campaign Co-Chair. Laura Smith has been an integral team member; being a strong representative for United Way in Larned. Her advocacy and involvement with United Way will be missed.

Bill Lowry, Hoisington, has been a United Way board member since 2016. He was an essential part of the success of the consolidation of Hoisington United Way and UWCK. He has been a strong promoter of United Way and extremely involved in the outreach that UWCK does within the schools and with youth. 

While the United Way staff and board are always disappointed to lose board members, we are excited to welcome new members to our family.

Patrick Cowan, Great Bend, will be joining the UWCK board after serving as a Campaign Co-Chair this past year. Cowan is an IT Support Specialist for Adams, Brown, Beran, & Ball after graduating from Barton Community College and working on his Bachelors in Management Information Services from FHSU. Cowan was an inquisitive and dedicated Co-Chair and UWCK is ecstatic to welcome him to the board.

Kenny & Cindy Vink, Ellinwood, will also be joining the United Way team after serving as Co-Chairs this past Campaign. They are co-owners of Office Products Inc. and Golden Belt Printing in Great Bend. Both have been actively involved in the Barton County communities, serving on numerous boards, coaching and church groups.

Aaron Andrews will be another new board member this year from Great Bend. Aaron is a partner and broker for MPIRE Realty Group and Mike Nieden’s Auction Services. Aaron has been a longtime supporter of United Way and has been involved with Reality U as a corporate sponsor. 

Rounding out the Board appointments is Sara Tarlton of Hoisington.  Along with her husband, Sara grew up in Hoisington.  They have two children and employed GE Capital as a Lead Accountant.  Sara was introduced to United Way through the Workplace Campaign.  She also supports the many impact programs such as Reality U, Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Literacy. As a member of the USD 431 Board of Education, she has seen the benefits students and their families receive from the programs and services that are offered through UWCK. 

“We are fortunate to have dedicated community members volunteer their time and talents for the mission and work we do at United Way”, says Gaila Demel, Executive Director.  “It is fun to bring new faces to our Board Room which adds even more creative ideas and strategic concepts as we strive to meets the needs in our communities”.