The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is back to full staffing, following the death of former director Cathy White.

Marlene Braker served as the interim executive director for a time, and Kit Parks was hired in May to fill the role going forward.

“There’s a lot to learn in this position, but every day I learn a little more and I’m real happy to be in this position,” Parks said, about how she’s adjusting in the role.

Not long after she was hired, Parks hired Sherri Stephens as the foundation’s new program coordinator

“The program coordinator position is one that the board recently decided to reinstate and in the position that Sherri was hired for, she’s involved in a lot of activities related to the grant programs through the foundation and also scholarship programs,” Parks said. “So having her on board in that capacity is obviously a benefit to all of us.”

Like Parks, Stephens also comes to the foundation with many years of non-profit, educational and community experience, according to a press release issued by the foundation. She served as the public relations and marketing coordinator for Elm Acres Youth Services for the last seven years.

“Of course it feels great, I feel very flattered for having been chosen to fill this position,” Stephens said. “I intend to do the best job that I can.”

Douglas Stuckey, president of the board of trustees, said in the press release that “We are now fully staffed and this team will serve the foundation and its stakeholders well.”

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is a local public charitable foundation that was formed in 2004, which recently reached $15 million in assets. With 137 funds currently in place, including 34 donor-advised funds that let living donors select their own recipients annually, it awarded over $8.6 million in grants through the 2014 year, including awarding $85,700 in foundation grants for the 2014 year alone.

However, 2015 is looking to be even better for the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas.

“This very week the grant review process occurred by our grant review committee made up of board members and this was the process of selecting our grant recipients for this year’s general fund grants,” Parks said. “It’s not been voted on by the full board at this time, but $90,000 will likely be awarded to approximately 30 agencies and organizations in the Southeast Kansas area.”

Now that these grants are about to be awarded, Stephens said she is now getting ready to gear up for the future funds in the next grant cycle.