Heartstrings Community Foundation® is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization

Staff

Bunny Higgins

Open Bio
Position: Executive Director

Biography:

Bunny Higgins graduated from Emporia State University with a B.S. in Rehabilitation Services and Education and a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Bunny has over 35 years of experience working in the human service field. She has served in a variety of positions, providing direct care as a nursing assistant, medication aid, restorative therapy, job development, job placement, and job coaching. Bunny continued her career at the administration level developing programs along with grant writing, financial and supervisory responsibilities.  She also traveled for 5 years with CARF (Commission of Accreditation Rehabilitation Facilities) as a surveyor. Her primary objective as a surveyor was quality and results.

Bunny started with Heartstrings Community Foundation as a consultant in September 2001. In January 2002 she was hired as the Program Developer and was promoted to Executive Director in 2004.

Heartstring Community Foundation has been a dream come true for Bunny. She has been instrumental in developing a service for adults with intellectual developmental disabilities like none other in the country.  www.heartstringscf.org

Bunny enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, reading inspirational books, traveling, horseback riding, and fly-fishing with Dennis her best friend and husband.

Bunny’s passion is assisting in making a lasting change in peoples’ lives.

email: bhiggins@heartstringscf.org

Rosanne Thiry

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Position: Assistant Executive Director

Biography:
Rosanne has a Bachelors of Arts in Education and Speech Pathology from Wichita State University and a Masters of Arts in Communicative Disorders and Sciences from Wichita State University. She has been at Heartstrings Community Foundation since 2003. Prior to joining Heartstrings, Rosanne worked as a Speech Clinician. She was also a QMRP Case Manager for a Residential Program.

Rosanne’s also enjoys her family (especially being a grandmother), cooking, reading and NASCAR.

Email: rosannethiry@heartstringscf.org

 

Anne Hull

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Position: Founder Of Heartstrings

Biography:

Heartstrings Community Foundation was founded by Anne Hull, a former Special Education teacher and a parent of two sons who have Fragile X Syndrome. After working with the school district very closely in an advisory capacity building new programs it became apparent that school life was a small part of a person’s lifespan. She began to research the adult agencies and found that life as an adult with developmental disabilities was often isolating and purposeless. Anne & Mack began searching for a model of service that would offer more. After several years, the idea became a reality in Oct. of 1999 when the articles of incorporation were filed for Heartstrings Community Foundation.

Anne has a B.S. in Special Education and taught in the public school system for 7 years.

She is a mother of 3 sons, 2 of whom have Fragile X Syndrome.

Anne remains active on many committees: Special Education Advisory Council, Transition Council and serves as commissioner of the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns.

Anne is the founder of Heartstrings Community Foundation / Past President. She currently heads the Fundraising Committee.
Anne served on the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns.

Email: anne@heartstringscf.org

Jonathan Watkins

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Position: Director of Employment Services

Biography:

 

Email: jwatkins@heartstringscf.org

 

 

Deb McQuay

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Position: Office Manager/Job Coach

Biography: Over twenty years of experience working with adults with developmental disabilities in day service, residential and administration. Deb loves spending time with her family (especially her grandchildren), cooking, gardening, sports including NASCAR, and teaching her grandchildren. She is passionate about doing her best with helping others to succeed.

Email: dmcquay@heartstringscf.org

 

Mary Uhl

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Position: Store Manager, Sacks on Santa Fe

Biography
Mary started her career with Heartstrings in February 2013. Mary attended KU and has a degree in Textile Design. She also attended Clarke College for Music Therapy. Mary is a full time wife and mother, having creative spots in imports and retail sales. Her hobbies include finding and repurposing treasures at stores, estate sales and thrift shops. Mary also enjoys growing, eating, and locating unprocessed food.

Email: muhl@heartstringscf.org

 

Claire Crowley

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Position: Goody Delivery Manager

Biography:

Email: ccrowley@heartstringscf.org

 

 

Kim Babcock

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Position: Team Leader

Biography:

Derek Crocker

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Position: Team Leader

Biography: Derek Crocker has been with Heartstrings since April 2011.

He graduated with his Bachelor of Science from Grantham University, and is attending graduate school.

He is a former debate coach from the Wichita area and Shawnee Mission South high schools. He has also been a corporate trainer for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., as well as a former youth basketball and soccer coach.

Derek’s passions include filmmaking, Legos, NCAA men’s basketball, NFL, Debate/Forensics, public speaking, motivating people, video games, sledding, and of course, his loving wife (Sarah), his step-son (Troy), and his son (Oliver).

“Rock-en-ja!”

Derek is a Team Leader, Marketing Director, Social Media Specialist, and our representative at the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce.

Email: dcrocker@heartstringscf.org

Sarah Ferguson

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Position: Team Leader

Biography:

 

Email: sferguson@heartstringscf.org

Rebecca Hayes

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Position: Team Leader & Transportation Coordinator

Biography: 🙂

Email: rsprinkle@heartstringscf.org

Amanda Henning

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Position: Team Leader & Retail Leader 1

Biography: Mandy began with Heartstrings in June 2012. Her work experience includes Sofro Fabrics, EKG Tech at KU Med, Home Office Reference Laboratory, Curves Fitness Center Instructor, and managing several family restaurants including 29 years at Torreador Mexican Restaurant.

Mandy’s passion is her husband and two beautiful, talented daughters. She loves to spend time with family and friends, especially her niece and nephews. Her favorite thing to do is to go camping at their secluded property in the Ozarks. Mandy’s goal is to live a joy-filled, meaningful, and productive life.

Email: ahenning@heartstringscf.org

 

 

 

Chloe McElhaney

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Position: Team Leader

Email: cmcelhaney@heartstringscf.org

 

Cathy Olson

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Position: Team Leader

Biography:

 

Email: colson@heartstringscf.org

 

 

Tisha Patterson

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Position: Team Leader

Biography: 

Email: tpatterson@heartstringscf.org

Tony Stark

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Position: Team Leader

Biography:

 

Email: @heartstringscf.org

 

 

Katy Palmieri

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Position: Billing Agent

Biography:
Katy has been with HCF since April 2008. Katy attended Colorado State University and graduated with a degree in Business Finance. Katy moved to Kansas City with her family in 2003. She is the loving mother of 3 children, one with MR/DD who introduced her to the wonderful world of special needs. Katy also loves to play tennis in her spare time.

Email: kpalmieri@heartstringscf.org

 

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