HumanKind Ministries announces Dawn Shepler as new President and CEO

 

Following an intense four-month search, the Board of Directors of HumanKind Ministries is pleased to announce Dawn Shepler as the next President and CEO of our organization.

 

“We put a great deal of emphasis on finding a strong organizational leader with regional experience, and Dawn is the perfect fit,” said HumanKind Board Chair Scott Eilert, Ph.D. “She has a genuine passion for our mission. She embraces our philosophy that we achieve nothing by operating alone… but can achieve great success when partnering with fellow nonprofit, civic and government leaders.”

 

Most recently, Dawn served as executive director for the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition, a group of local leaders from law enforcement, health care, behavioral health programs, private businesses, education, and nonprofits addressing issues of mental health, substance abuse and homelessness. She provided leadership within numerous groups addressing housing and public health, including the Homelessness Task Force, the Opioid Strategic Planning Task Force, Project Hope and the Sedgwick County Crisis Intervention Team.

 

“My admiration for HumanKind and its invaluable work started more than 20 years ago,” said Dawn, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and Sociology from Wichita State University and began her career as a parole officer for the Kansas Department of Corrections. “I could see then that HumanKind was an amazing partner with other nonprofits, providing resources and a continuum of care for our community’s high-needs populations. I’m thrilled today to become part of that continuing mission.”

 

“This is a pivotal time in Wichita and Sedgwick County, with so many new initiatives coming to the forefront and so many individuals, agencies and government partners eager to contribute,” Dawn continued. “This is the first time in years that our community has been so collaboratively focused on addressing the needs of the underserved.”

 

That collaborative focus is due, in large part, to the efforts of HumanKind’s departing CEO LaTasha St. Arnault, who has changed the conversation about homelessness in our community.

 

“In her six years at the helm of HumanKind, LaTasha launched a strategic, long-range campus plan to provide affordable housing for those experiencing homelessness,” Board Chair Eilert continued. “She oversaw the opening of The Studios in 2021 and has helped us launch our current $10 million capital campaign to build a 30- to 40-unit complex to provide affordable housing for families. The Board and staff of HumanKind wish LaTasha well as she leaves to spend more time with her family. Her legacy with us is indelible, and we are profoundly grateful for her leadership.”

 

With the current capital campaign in full swing, HumanKind hopes to break ground on the family housing units within the next 12 months, and over the next five years find additional ways to expand affordable housing and supportive services for those most in need.

 

“Going forward, Dawn is exactly the leader we need to engage with staff, donors, community partners and local governments to determine where and how HumanKind can continue to have the greatest positive impact in the future,” Chair Eilert said.

 

Watch your email for a future meet-and-greet event with Dawn. In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to Dawn with comments or suggestions at dawn@humankindwichita.org.

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