Early Childhood Special Education Teacher Mindy Brockmeyer was awarded the 2020 Prism Award at the virtual 2020 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, December 15. The award was delivered earlier in the day to Mindy by her supervisor, Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services Coordinator Alexia Foster. This award was created in 2013 to recognize a staff member who demonstrates the Guiding Principles; achieves excellence in the role they fulfill for the organization; demonstrates leadership; makes children and families their highest priority; and represents Rainbows in a way that reflects positively on the entire organization.
Mindy actively contributes to a positive working environment and culture of treating others with dignity, respect and compassion. As an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher with Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services for the past 4 years, Mindy serves families facing a lot of challenges: poverty, mental health, and isolation on top of parenting a child with delays.
Mindy shows each family the same level of respect and compassion, cheerleading the parents’ accomplishments as well as the child’s, providing a compassionate listening ear when times are hard and connecting to community supports when needed.
Her strength is her ability to actively listen and effectively communicate to engage families in early intervention. A natural teacher, she earns their trust by calming their fears and giving them reassurance.
“My biggest achievement is that I get to make a difference in the life of a child every day,” said Mindy. “I cannot think of anything greater in this world than making a difference for a child.”
Mindy’s name will be placed on the Prism Award plaque at Kids’ Point. Read her full profile here.
Board of Directors’ Chair Janeen Hughes shared many accomplishments of the year:
• In 2020 Rainbows celebrated 48 years of making a difference. This year more than 4,051 children with special needs, birth through age 21, and their families were served. That’s an increase of 206 children served over the prior year.
• Rainbows’ Strategic Plan was reviewed and updated with strategies through 2022.
• Camp Woodchuck looked different this year as Woodchuck Adventure offered families options for much needed summer services in the family home. The creativity of Family Support Services staff made sure the needs of families were met and essential services continued.
• We had more than 614 volunteers who put in 5,546 hours of service including several Corporate groups who are doing projects for Rainbows at their offices and bringing them back completed to Rainbows.
• Vice President of Programs and Services Debbie Mai was awarded the InterHab President’s Award for her life-long support of children and youth across the state.
• Rainbows’ youth Dylan Schneider was honored statewide by InterHab with the Outstanding Youth Award.
• Fundraising events have been impacted significantly by the pandemic.
o However, the 45th Annual Blarney Breakfast raised $52,000 net even though it had to go virtual just days before the scheduled event.
o Through proceeds from the CJ Memorial Golf Tournament, The CJ Memorial Foundation donated $8,000 to Rainbows to support Camp Woodchuck.
• To help keep donors engaged and informed, the development department hosted several successful virtual Investor Calls that were well attended.
• The Development Department worked with members of our Board to secure grant funding from The Lattner Family Foundation, The Beach Family Foundation and the Dwane and Velma Wallace Foundation.
• Rainbows applied for and received Payroll Protection Loan, funds through the Medicaid Provider Relief Fund and also through the Sedgwick County CARES funding.
• Received 25 of 36 grants submitted for a 69% approval rate.
• High quality videos were created telling the stories of two Rainbows’ families. You can view these informative pieces on Rainbows’ Facebook or YouTube channel.
• Families served by Rainbows started receiving a monthly e-newsletter, sharing agency news and opportunities.
• The Human Resources Department updated Job Descriptions, developed Performance Appraisal tool, established Employee Behavior Standards and a Progressive Discipline Policy.
• During this challenging year, Rainbows has been successful in maintaining 100% of the workforce without furloughs or layoffs and has continued to provide essential services to children with special needs and their families.
• Implemented remote work for 79% of employees (excluding Direct Support Professionals and Early Care and Education staff)
• In August, Rainbows’ mortgage loan was paid off resulting in Rainbows being debt free from the 2009 bankruptcy.
All in all, it has been an interesting and momentous year!
Janeen was thanked for her service as Board Chair for the last 2 years.
2021 Board Officers
Board members for 2021 were approved along with Vera Bothner, Pat Gearhart, Janeen Hughes and Gail Johnson re-elected for another term.
2021 Board Chair: Jim Walters, Community Volunteer
Past Chair: Janeen Hughes, INTRUST Wealth
Secretary: Lisa Farris, Community Volunteer
Treasurer and Finance Chair: Gail Johnson, INTRUST Bank
Board Development Chair: Steve Cox, Cox Machine
Communications Chair: Sherii Farmer, Evergy
Human Resources Chair: Jim Walters, Community Volunteer
Mission Advocacy Chair: Hale Ritchie, Community Volunteer
Operations Chair: Pete McKernan, Community Volunteer
RUCF Chair: Steve Cox, Cox Machine
Special deliveries were made in advance to those attendees in the local area. The event concluded with a toast by Incoming 2021 Chair Jim Walters.
The FY20 Annual Report can be found here.