New Hire for CKCF

Erin Hein
Associate Director, Hillsboro CF

Erin was born and raised in Hillsboro, Kansas.  She graduated from Hillsboro High School and attended Tabor College.

She most recently served in a coordinator role where she wrote and managed grants, educated children and families on a variety of safety topics, and organized community events.  She is involved in several coalitions/boards including the Hillsboro Community Child Care Center Board where she serves as secretary.  She is passionate about working with local agencies and individuals to help make our community better.

Erin currently lives in Hillsboro with her husband and two daughters.  She enjoys attending the various activities that her children are involved in, and in her spare time, enjoys gardening and being outside.

New Hire for Florence Community Foundation

Cal Pendergrass

Associate Director, Florence CF

Cal grew up in the small village of Mohawk NY and Graduated from Gregory B Jarvis Jr/Sr high school. Upon graduating High School Cal enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to Fort Knox Kentucky for One Station Unit Training to become an M1 Armor Crewmember. Cal deployed to Kosovo KFOR 4B for peacekeeping operation in 2004-2005, and again to Iraq in 2005-2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. After returning to Germany Cal returned to Fort Knox KY to serve as a Tank Commander/Instructor for basic training Soldiers. Cal’s next duty station was in Fort Hood Texas where he deployed to Iraq again for the troop surge in 2008-2009. Cal was sent to Fort Carson Colorado in 2009 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010-2011 in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Cal’s next duty station was Fort Polk Louisiana where he served as the Brigade Deployment Non-Commissioned Officer in the 162 nd Infantry Brigade (Tiger land). Cal moved to Fort Riley KS in 2014 and served as a Tank Commander with another rotation to the middle east. While at FT Riley he also served as a Platoon Sergeant, Protocol Events Coordinator, and capped off his time in the military as the 1st Infantry Division Barracks Program NCIOC.

Cal’s awards include:
Combat Action Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, 7 Army Commendation Medals, 6 Army Achievement Medals, Valorous Unit Award, 5 Army good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign medal with 2 campaign Stars, Iraq Medal with Campaign Star, 2 NCOES Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, 5 Overseas Service Ribbons, Kosovo Campaign Medal with Bronze service star, 2 NATO medals.

Cal also received the Honorable order of Saint George Medallion for demonstrating outstanding leadership, and exceptional teamwork while serving in Armor and Cavalry units.

Cal is currently serving on the Florence Kansas City Council, and is a member of the Marion VFW, and Florence American Legion.

New Hire for Elk County Community Foundation

Brandi Mast

Associate Director, Elk County CF

Brandi was born and raised in Kansas. She graduated from Andover Central High School and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Life and Community Services from Kansas State
University. She went on to earn a Master of Education degree in Counseling from Wichita State University. She is also a certified yoga instructor, teaching free weekly yoga classes in Elk County.
Brandi has worked for non-profit organizations in a variety of capacities for most of her career including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sedgwick County and Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. She is
passionate about improving the lives of those around her and making her piece of the world a better place.

Brandi currently lives with her husband and two daughters on a cattle ranch near Fall River, Kansas. In her spare time, she enjoys helping take care of the animals on the ranch, fishing, gardening,
working in her flower beds, riding horses and spending as much time as possible outdoors. When the Kansas weather doesn’t cooperate for outdoor activities, she enjoys baking and riding her spin bike indoors.

Brandi is thrilled to embark in her new role as Associate Director of the Elk County Community Foundation. She hopes to make a lasting impact on her community by furthering the already amazing work that the foundation has accomplished.

New Hire for Central Kansas Community Foundation

Melissa Schreiber

Program Officer for Grants, CKCF

Melissa Schreiber recently joined Central Kansas Community Foundation as the Program Officer for Grants. Most recently, serving as the Program Manager for the Harvey County Drug-Free
Youth Coalition overseeing a federal grant, community relationship building, and sustainability, as well as many years in consumer and commercial banking.

She is a long-time Newton and Harvey County resident, a 1993 Graduate of Newton High School, and a 1997 Graduate of Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Finance with an
emphasis in Marketing. Melissa is passionate about community building and servant leadership. She serves on many community boards, is Co-Chair of the Healthy Harvey Coalition, Harvey County Interagency Coordination Council, an organization focused on early education, Tobacco Free Harvey, and a member of the Newton Lions Club and Newton Area Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the USD 373 Board of Education for four years, three years as Vice President, and is currently President of the Board.

Melissa is very excited to be part of the Central Kansas Community Foundation and help communities thrive.

New Hire for Central Kansas Community Foundation

Carrie Herman, Central Kansas Community Foundation Executive Director

Carrie Herman has been the Executive Director at the Kansas Learning Center for Health in Halstead since July 2016. Prior to that she spent almost nine years at Asbury Park (now known as Paramount Community Living) where she was most recently the Vice President of Operations.

A 1993 graduate of Halstead High School and a 1997 graduate of Pittsburg State University with a Bachelor in Business Administration, emphasis in Marketing, Carrie completed the LeadingAge Kansas Center for Leadership Program in 2012 and was a coach on the Design Team for the class of 2015. After receiving her certification in 2013 to be an Adult Care Home/Assisted Living Operator, Carrie went on to obtain her Adult Care Home Administrator license in February 2016.

Carrie enjoys getting involved in the community and is currently serving on the Harvey County Department on Aging Advisory Council, NetWork Kansas E-Commerce Committee, Healthy Harvey Coalition (Secretary), Harvey County D-FY Coalition, Halstead Chamber of Commerce (Secretary), and the Newton Lions Club (Past President). In addition, Carrie served almost eight years on the Central Kansas Community Foundation board. Carrie resides in Halstead with her husband Clint and two sons, Cole and Connor.

Carrie will serve as the CKCF Executive Director in support of the expansive staffing opportunity made possible by grant funding.

New Hire for Newton & North Newton Community Foundations

Greg Bontrager – Associate Director for Newton & North Newton Community Foundations
Greg is newly retired after 33 years teaching vocal music in the Goessel (KS) and the Buhler (KS) school districts.  Greg graduated with an Associate of Arts degree from Hesston College, a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Bethel College, and a Master of Music Education from Wichita State University. In the Summer of 2022, Greg was awarded the Harry Robert Wilson Life-Time Achievement Award at the State KCDA Convention.
He has been involved as an adjudicator and clinician for elementary, junior, and senior high school choirs, competitions, and festivals. Greg has served as the South Central District KMEA Choir Chairman, State KMEA Choir Chairman, and president of the Kansas Choral Directors Association. Greg is in his 17th year as the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Choir Director.
Greg’s family includes his wife, Melody, and kids – Shawn, Seth, Marissa & Nathan Murphy and Grandsons – James & Charlie Murphy!
Greg starts March 5th as our first Associate Director hired with the Patterson Family Foundation Staff Capacity Grant. He will be working with the Newton and North Newton Community Foundations.


New Hire for Hesston Community Foundation

Kristie Diller – Hesston Community Foundation Associate Director

I was born and raised on a farm near Hillsboro, Kansas. After graduating from Hillsboro High School, I attended Bethel College. Since that time, I have worked in a variety of settings, including sales and property management. My most recent work has been at CKCF, as Program Director.

I am married to a Hesston native, Phil, and we live in Hesston. We have two sons, Colton, Freshman at Kansas State University and Hunter, Hesston High School junior. I enjoy the Colorado mountains, cooking/baking, being outdoors, shopping and spending time building relationships with family and friends.

I believe in the mission of Community Foundation work and am excited about facilitating philanthropic efforts with community partners and cultivating relationships in the community in which I live, as I begin as Associate Director for Hesston Community Foundation.

Kristie is transitioning from her role as Program Director to Hesston’s Associate Director effective April 1st.




The Newton Area Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting at Central Kansas Community Foundation on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.

According to chamber staff, “Giving Tuesday was the perfect day to celebrate CKCF and their new office location at 400 S Main, Ste. 101 in Newton!”


Thank you Newton Area Chamber of Commerce. We appreciate your service to us!! And thanks to our generous community for stopping by during the ribbon cutting and open house event. We enjoyed sharing our new space with you and celebrating Giving Tuesday.


Thank you for your generosity!

On Giving Tuesday, November 28th, nearly $255,000 was donated in our service area. Your efforts this year increased our last year’s total by over $215,000. We love our Donors !!!

So, you missed our Giving Tuesday events? No problem. You can still make a donation to a cause that matters to you at Central Kansas Community Foundation, or one of our 17 affiliates.

Volunteer Opportunities at CKCF


Volunteers are an integral part of day-to-day operations at CKCF and our affiliate foundations. From advisory board of directors to review committee members, to event support; volunteers make things happen. This special volunteer recognition is for youth who helped us during the preparation for the office move and the actual move itself. Their helpful hands took a load off of staff and the CKCF board, and we are so grateful for their contributions.

Hunter Diller helped prepare for our shredding day, going through boxes and boxes of old files and materials. Pictured here with CKCF Staff, Kristie Diller.

Isaiah McNary blew Us Away as our Fan Installation Assistant, while Aedric McNary was the Drill Sergeant, installing Pictures and providing comic relief. Both pictured here with CKCF Board Member, Rick McNary.

Owen Newell, our Chief Supervisor, oversaw furniture assembly and office organization while, Olivia Newell, our Heavy Lifter, loaded and unloaded boxes and office furniture. Pictured here with CKCF Staff, Melinda Newell.


  • Data Base
  • Social Media Post Assistance
  • Website Updates – WordPress experience preferred
  • General Office Duties
  • Review Teams for Grants and Scholarships

“It’s worth making the time to find the things that really stir your soul. That’s what makes you feel alive. You have to…do it with all your heart.” – Roy T. Bennett