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Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Celebrate and Refocus


With a theme of looking forward and refocusing on our mission, the annual State of the Agency was delivered virtually to Rainbows’ employees during All-Staff Inservice. A series of 10 virtual meetings were held throughout Monday and Tuesday, August 3 and 4, with President Deb Voth addressing each group and answering questions. Board members Gail Johnson, Board Treasurer, and Jim Walters, Incoming Board Chair both spoke to the group through pre-recorded video. Additional training and activities for departments were planned during other parts of the week.

The theme propelled employees to “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” and looking ahead to a new normal. “We’re not sure what tomorrow will be like. But we do know tomorrow will come,” said Deb. “This isn’t an end, it’s a beginning.” 

She gave employees an invitation to adapt and look for opportunities to improve, move forward and be better than before. “We’re not looking to go back to the way things were before. We’re looking forward to tomorrow for more successes and accountability,” said Deb.

Highlights over the past fiscal year included:
–    Technology up and running. Having myEvolv in place allowed us to move to remote work quickly.
–    Strategic Plan continues to progress, while more than 50% of our items have been completed or are in progress. It is now time for us to refocus our attention back on it. A pandemic was not in the original plan.
–    Camp Woodchuck adapted to our Summer Woodchuck Adventure and served 58 children in their homes
–    In September Lindsay Smith joined our Executive Leadership Team as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance
–    Volunteers
o    Ambassador Program kicked off with 2 trainings and more than 15 volunteers
o    Provided handmade masks for our staff
–    Legislative: Leadership
o    tiny-k Infant/Toddler funding increased 
o    No increase in funding for HCBS for our Family Support Services 
o    Deb met with Governor Kelly in July along with other InterHab Board Members
o    Enhanced rates through the CARES Act are now possible 
–    Fundraising
o    Vice President of Development Angela Kessler along with Major Gifts Officer Katie Fitch did a great year of fundraising for Rainbows even though events for 2020 have changed significantly
o    Textron Aviation Wings for Dreams: $2.7 million net
    Provides support for Mental Health Programs
o    Virtual 45th Annual Blarney Breakfast: $56,000 even though we went virtual less than a week before. 
o    Fashion Passion will take place in November 2021
o    Hampel Luau is canceled for 2020 due to the pandemic
–    Facilities
o    Response to COVID-19: Hand sanitizer stations at entrances, classrooms. Germ foggers, extra cleaning in bathrooms, increased cleaning throughout buildings daily.
o    Kids’ Point: New paint inside, conference room and office built; we need repairs of external walls and replace rocks
o    Kids’ Cove: Rod iron fence will be replaced, concrete pad for handicapped basketball hoop and ramp for stage by volunteer donor
o    New paper dispensers in bathrooms, both locations – cost savings with new vendor
o    Continued need for parking lot repairs and resurfacing, seeking bids
o    New used truck for Gordon replaces 15-year-old van that no longer went in reverse and had almost 300,000 miles 
–    Board of Directors remains strong and supportive
–    2019 Prism Award winner
o    Christi Hutto, Connecting Point Program Assistant
–    InterHab Award winners:
o    Outstanding Youth Winner: Dylan Schneider
o    President’s Award: Debbie Mai, Vice President of Programs and Services
–    Excellence in Health Care, Wichita Business Journal
o    Lynlea Southards, Family Support Services Coordinator
–    Budget FY21
o    Ended the year strong
o    Budget for 2021 is solid, $11.5 million

Gail Johnson, Board Treasurer, congratulated staff on a successful fiscal year and announced that the final payment of debt was made. He encouraged staff to continue to be diligent in managing resources and documenting for services. 

Better than before
As the focus shifted to “Tomorrow – it’s going to be better than before,” Deb shared the following quote from Brene’ Brown: 
o    “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

Deb challenged everyone to be courageous in moving forward: To move from the state of survival as staff have navigated to remote work and taking care of children and families well to refocusing on Rainbows’ mission. “What we thought would be just a few weeks has brought us to where we are today and the opportunities before us,” said Deb. “We will continue to move forward with courage and strength.”

Rainbows is now providing Infant/Toddler Services in Sumner County. Building this new program fit with our Strategic Plan and has provided opportunities for staff to collaborate. Congratulations to Katie Bally, speech/language pathologist, who will be the Coordinator for the program. Paco Price is assisting with startup and training.

Rainbows has worked hard to apply for every grant and funding source available during this time. Additional opportunities are in progress and will continue to be sought out.

In June 2022 Rainbows will be 50 years old. Our committees are dreaming of ways we might want to honor Rainbows’ history and celebrate all that has happened in 50 years. Rainbows’ staff and the community will be a part of that. 

Deb stressed, “It’s not “Business as Usual” it’s “Business as Unusual” and we’re going to need EVERYONE to do their part, to do their job, to document so we can bill for services, to see the needs of families and meet them consistently with excellence.

We need to work smart and keep everyone safe. To be vigilant with our sanitizing, protect yourself and others by wearing a mask in our public areas.”

Leadership staff will keep evaluating when to go face-to-face with therapy services. A transition to delivering those services in homes will be implemented. Safety of our staff, families and your families is of our greatest concern.

A reminder of our four major Strategic Plan priorities was shared:
a.    Champion children with special needs
b.    Develop diverse funding streams
c.    Promote talent development
d.    Build internal and external communication.
“We’re going to have these priorities in front of us as we step into tomorrow,” said Deb.

A challenge to keep the Rainbows’ promise of “doing things the Rainbows’ way” was provided through video by Incoming Chair Jim Walters. Jim congratulated staff for continuing to provide quality services and thanked them for their commitment and personal accountability demonstrated during this time. He shared the Board of Directors’ commitment to the agency and their confidence in the leadership team.

Employment milestones
Staff celebrating employment milestones were recognized in various ways during the week. Awards will be mailed to one and five year honorees. Those celebrating for 10 years and more will be honored in October during the Board sponsored 10:15+ Club event. 

One year Anniversaries:
Madelyn Beck, Kelly Clevenger, Jewel Cussaac, Kimberly Donell, Carmen Dorton, Christina Eakes, Gabriel Espinoza, Molly Farley, Katherine Fitch, Kristen Fralin, Christina Greenwood, Mary Greenwood, Carlis Hawkins, Angel Ingram-Clark, Madison Jacobs, Janelle Jeffrey, Emily Jensby, Tre’Zure Jobe, Emilee Johnson, Gay Kimble, Zachary Knopp, Karastene Koepplin Markham, Taylor Kubas, Dakota Lauer, DaRaynna Lawson, Ryan Lewis, Shannon Long, Brittany Ly, Hailey Martinez, Ruth Mote, Latisha Newman, Ariel Nothern, Haily O’Donnell, Hunter Pranion, Angie Quillen, Tyler Richards, Amber Rosenthal, Jennifer Simons, Lindsay Smith, Melissa Smitherman, Lynlea Southards, Christopher Spencer, Rebecca Spencer, Kelsea Steinbacher, LaShawn Stevenson, Leah Stewart, Cara Stinnett, Gerardo Treto, Clare Van Zelfden, Nhung Vuong, Patrick Washington, Dayton Watkins, Dana Welch, Olivia Welch, Peyton Wheeler, Julie Williams, Stacey Williams, Haily Wilson, Nora Wilson, and Macy Wyant.

Those honored for five years are Stephanie Castillo, Lindsay Coffee, Michelle Croomes, Jamee Funk, Tiffany Rima, Tiffany Sallee, Ragan Snyder-Smith, and John Safford III.

Fifteen year employees are Jane Eby and Elizabeth Watkins.

Twenty year honorees are Wesley Cantrell, Yolanda Castillo, Kerri Dixon, Amy Foster, Rossana Gonzales, and Brenda Marr.

Celebrating 25 years with Rainbows are Tina Beems and Paco Price. Pam Chiles and Dawna Weed will be honored for 30 years.

Events concluded with a live question and answer time with each online group. Other announcements and trainings took place throughout the week.