Coldwater in Lee’s Summit hires new director for social services programs

rpulley@lsjournal.comJuly 24, 2013 

Coldwater of Lee’s Summit recently announced the appointment of Rachel Cash as its new executive director.

She is joined by Monte Stull who was named community director.

Coldwater’s mission to serve those in need and to build community friendships will be served by Cash’s background in faith-based non-profits and Stull’s long-time involvement in the Lee’s Summit community, the agency said in a written statement.

The board voted in early July replace existing interim executive directors as well as to fill the new position of community director.

“I am extraordinarily excited to serve as Coldwater’s executive director,” Cash said. “I am inspired by the work that Coldwater has already done and their hope and vision for future ways to serve Lee’s Summit.”

Stull said, “I look forward to building friendships with Coldwater and the community.”

The interim directors were board members who took on additional duties. The previous executive director, Jackie Knabe, resigned in January to take another position in Lee’s Summit.

“Between life changes and how quickly Coldwater was growing, I found it was taking too much time away from my family,” Knabe said. “So I painfully made the decision to seek employment with fewer demands on my time. Coldwater is still very much a part of my heart and I am thrilled with the new employees and can't wait to see where they can take Coldwater.”

Coldwater President Chuck Arney said, “The decision of the board was unanimous in hiring both Cash and Stull. We believe that this new direction will allow us to reach deeper into the community with friendship and hope.”

Cash has an undergraduate degree with emphases in political science and economics from William Jewell College. She has previously worked with the Community of Christ, Community of Christ Historic Sites, Friends Committee on National Legislation and KC LINC. Stull has been actively involved with Coldwater, serving on various program committees as well as the executive board.

Cash said Coldwater seeks to break down socioeconomic barriers and build friendships through serving the community. It serves community members needing food assistance through a food pantry, senior mobile pantry and No Hungry Kids programs. Coldwater also provides a clothes closet and community events such as Summer Barbecues and the League of Smiles T-ball programs. Coldwater seeks to work closely with businesses, other not-for-profits, schools and local government to meet community needs.

Cash has been on the job about two weeks.

“I’m really excited, it’s going very well,” she said.

Cash said that the agency, four years old now, has had explosive growth as a grassroots effort.

She said the agency’s board of directors have asked her to focus on expanding the number of people it can reach with its services and providing help for special-needs people.

“It is a long-held hope that was on hold while getting a new director,” Cash said.

Her work history includes being a historic-sites interpreter. During her stint as a lobbyist, one aspect of her job was to help people to understand that only a small part of federal dollars is spent on foreign aid or social services.

“My job was to teach people how to lobby, for how to build support for programs they support,” she said.

She said that in the slow economy and shifts in employment, there are greater needs faced by not-for-profit groups that are vying for support from the same funding sources. Cash said making the case for Coldwaters’ hunger programs is one of her big goals. She said that children who aren’t hungry at school behave better and make better grades.

“My job is to really fight for the funding,” Cash said. “To show Lee’s Summit this is a really great organization and how it deserves their support.

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