Meet Our Staff
"For nearly 15 years, the Heartland Community Foundation has the privilege of supporting the Ellis, Trego, and Rooks counties through thoughtful philanthropy and partnership with nonprofits. We are proud to assist individuals and businesses fulfill their charitable goals by establishing endowed funds. But the greatest gift is granting funds to charitable organizations and knowing that the community foundation will be here for generations. I welcome the opportunity to tell you more about the Heartland Community Foundation, our fund types, or our other services. Please contact me to learn more." -Sarah Meitner, Executive Director
Executive Director Sarah Meitner has a passion for storytelling, promoting nonprofit programs, and ensuring that the region is thriving in sustainable ways for generations to come. She began her career more than 20 years ago in business journalism working at major metro newspapers, but transitioned to copywriting and marketing, with an emphasis in nonprofit work and development. That career change allowed her and her family to return home to Kansas. Sarah continued to provide freelance and contract work to businesses and other organizations, while also serving in an advocacy role for disability rights groups. She helped lead development of the Hays Accessible Recreation Complex (ARC Park) and was appointed by Gov. Jeff Colyer to the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities. She looks forward to working with the Heartland Community Foundation board members, donors, and community partners to grow the foundation and enhance Ellis, Trego, and Rooks counties. Sarah is married to Chad Meitner and they have five children.
Our Foundation is also supported by regional staff at GSCF.
President & Executive Director
Jessica joined the community foundation in 2010 and has served in many different roles, including affiliate and youth coordinator, grants and scholarships coordinator, and, now, president and executive director. Her experience has given her a thorough understanding of the community and helped develop strong relationships throughout the region.
Jessica grew up in Andover, Kansas, and received her B.S. degree at Kansas State University. She is married to husband, Aaron and mom to their sons Oliver and Jack. Her favorite part about the foundation is working with people and helping them make a difference.
VP of Community Impact
Michael Chambers grew up in Lindsborg, KS and graduated from Bethany College. He has worked and lived in Salina since 1995. Michael has a passion for bringing people together to support good ideas and has spent the majority of his career working in the non-profit world. He is married to Jim Loader and they have two dogs, Greta and Abby. In his free time, he enjoys taking walks, working in his yard, reading, and trying to play the guitar.
Rita is a lifetime resident of Salina. Prior to joining GSCF in June of 2015, she worked in customer service and management for local Salina banks for 24 years, then spent nine years as the administrative assistant to the Executive VP/Provost at Kansas Wesleyan University. She and her husband Charles have two children and three grandchildren. She has been involved in Noon Network Ambucs for the past 20 years. Rita is a graduate of Brown Mackie College and is excited to be with the Greater Salina Community Foundation!
Director of Operations
Brandee grew up in Minneapolis, Kansas. After earning her Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University in Life Sciences, she lived in the Kansas City area for 14 years before returning to the region. She is married to her husband Brent, who is a local dentist, and is mom to their twins, Ava and Carter, and twin pups Duff and Dash. She worked in the healthcare field for almost 15 years before joining the Greater Salina Community Foundation in December 2016.
Director of Finance
Kristin is a lifetime resident of Salina. She received her Associates of Arts in Accounting from Cloud County Community College and finished with a dual Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business from Kansas Wesleyan University. Previously Kristin worked for 16 years in the agricultural field and then 5 years in the dental industry. She is an active board member and treasurer for the Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank. Kristin and her husband Wes have 2 children, Betsy and Tate and one fur baby, Rowdy. Their family enjoys attending Kansas State University games, children’s activities and traveling. Kristin has also recently taken up a love of reading when she gets the chance.
Shanna King joined GSCF in June 2022. She served as the Accounting Services Director to the Presbyterian Manor for 17.5 years prior to joining the GSCF team. She has been a Meals on Wheels volunteer to the Salina Community for the past 8 years. Shanna enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren, hiking, camping, fitness and supporting the Kansas Jayhawks. She is looking forward to working with everyone on the GSCF team and expanding her business and personal relationships within the area.
Grants & Scholarships Manager
Jessica joined GSCF in February 2018. A Salina native, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Kansas Wesleyan University. Previously, Jessica has worked as the assistant winemaker at Smoky Hill Vineyards and Winery. For the last seven years, she served as the assistant director of admissions at Kansas Wesleyan University. Jessica and her husband, Andrew, have two children, Kinsley and Kace.
Affiliate Relations & Grants Coordinator
Natalie joined GSCF in August 2019. She grew up in Randall, Kansas, and earned a B.A. in Communication and B.S. in Physical Education (Recreation/Sports Management) with a field of emphasis in leadership studies from Fort Hays State University. Previously, Natalie worked in parks and recreation and education. She is actively engaged in her community and especially loves working with youth organizations. Natalie and her husband, David, have four children: Alana, Isaac, Evan and Odin. Together, they farm and raise their family near Solomon. Natalie also enjoys reading whenever she gets the chance and relaxing with family.