PRESIDENT Kay Burtzloff Kay Burtzloff was one of the founding members of the Liberal Area Coalition for Families in 2001. She retired after serving more than 14 years as the Executive Director of the Seward County United Way in May 2015. Prior to moving to Liberal in 2000, she spent 16 years in higher education public relations at Cottey College, Northern State University and the University of Kansas. She also was a newspaper reporter and editor for five years prior to that. She has served as an adjunct instructor in communications at Cottey College, Northern State University, Butler County Community College, Newman University, and Seward County Community College, teaching journalism, speech, theater and interpersonal communication. In addition to being president of the Coalition, she is also the president of the High Plains Heritage Foundation, Liberal Memorial Library Foundation and the Southwest Symphony Society and is active in several civic organizations. In 2019, she was elected to serve on the Seward County Community College Board of Trustees. She served as a public relations consultant on political campaigns, capital campaigns, public relations campaigns, crisis communication and strategic planning. She has a master's degree in Communications from the University of Arkansas and is a trained large and small group facilitator.
VICE-PRESIDENT Clarissa Carrillo Clarissa Carrillo Martinez has been a member of the LACF since 2020 and currently holds a position with the University of Kansas Medical Center as the West Regional Lead for the COPE project. Originally from Durango, Mexico, her family immigrated to Liberal, KS, when she was ten years old. Clarissa graduated from Liberal High School and attended Emporia State University. Before forming part of KUMC and COPE, she worked as Executive Director for Seward County United Way, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, and Communications Director for St. Anthony Catholic Church. Clarissa believes that education can open doors and better the lives of families. Her love for learning encouraged her to pursue an MBA through ESU and work part-time at Epworth Adult Learning Center, where she helps teach beginner ESL to Adults. She also enjoys volunteering and connecting community members with resources. Clarissa has served as part of our Liberal Public Library Board, Cinco De Mayo Committee, LULAC member, and a Liberal Chamber Ambassador.
SECRETARY Kathy Bloom Kathy Bloom has been a member of the Coalition since 2007. She recently retired as Family Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension. She has a bachelors degree in Family Relations and Human Development from Kansas State University. She is co-owner of Bloom Family Farms. As a member of the community since 1983, Kathy has served on various boards and committees including: USD 480 school board, Seward County and Kansas Farm Bureau, Citizens for a Healthy Environment, Leadership Liberal, 4-H Club Leader, First Presbyterian Church, and Community Concerts.
TREASURER Jonathan Zamora Jonathan Zamora was born and raised in Liberal, Kansas. After high school, he obtained an Associates Degree of Arts with an emphasis in music education. In 2020, he graduated from Fort Hays State University with an undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership. Jonathan married his high school sweetheart Veronica, and together they raise four beautiful girls. After serving in various different capacities at his home church, Jonathan accepted the call to be the Pastor at CrossPoint Liberal in 2022. Jonathan and CrossPoint have linked arms with the Liberal Coalition for Families in a joint effort to love and serve Liberal.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Sarah M. Foreman Sarah Foreman has been Executive Director of LACF since 2011. Sarah graduated from Friends University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Christian Studies. She then obtained her Masters of Social Work from Washburn University. She has been approved by the BSRB to sit for the clinical LSCSW exam. Sarah has been in the Liberal community since 2006. Prior to leading LACF, she served at Southwest Guidance Center as a therapist. She loves to see other families thrive and connect community resources. Sarah has locally served on the Early Childhood Advisory Board for USD 480, Baker Arts Center, and Community Council for KCSL and is active in her church.
IVE OUTREACH COORDINATOR Kathleen Alonso Kathleen Alonso is a Hispanic Outreach Coordinator with the Kansas Health Foundation Integrated Voter Engagement grant Kathleen has always had a passion for civic engagement and creating inclusivity in her community. She hopes to change the culture around voting and continue to increase outreach within the Hispanic community. Currently she attends Seward Community College and plans to further her education and pursue a Law degree. Kathleen is an active member in her community and sits on several groups and organizations such as Black History Committee, Kansas Civic Network and others. In her downtime she likes to spend time with friends and family.
NAVIGATOR/BENEFIT SPECIALIST/COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER Julie Foster Julie has been a member of liberal area coalition since 2019. She graduated from Seward County Community College with an Associates Degree in Criminal justice. Julie was a Juvenile Probation officer for 6yrs. During her time as a probation officer Julie was able to establish our Local Teen Court. She then worked as a Behavioral Health Case Manager. Most recently working as a Patient Navigator focusing on social determinants of health. Julie is part of Seward County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Seward County Health Department Family Planning Advisory Committee, LULAC (The League of United Latin American Citizens ), Seward County United Way Board and Liberal Cultural Festival Committee. Julie was awarded Community Responder Women of Distinction in December 2020 this Award presented by Liberal Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Honoring our community's Pandemic responders. Julie’s passion is giving back. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you made a difference in someone’s life. Installing these important values in her two boys is very important to her. Julie has two boys M.J. An & Mason.You will often see her boys volunteering at many of our events. Julie enjoys spending time with her boys, family, traveling and exploring culinary cultures through cooking and eating. Julie’s goal is to do positive work that not only her sons can be proud of but that can leave a positive mark in someone’s life.
COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR/IVE OUTREACH COORDINATOR Charity Horinek Charity Horinek serves as Communications Coordinator for the Coalition, responsible for social media, website, and email communications. She is also an Outreach Coordinator with the Kansas Health Foundation Integrated Voter Engagement Grant, funded by the Kansas Health Foundation for the purpose of building a concentrated, multi-generational effort to increase voter registration and turnout in our area. Charity works on voter engagement strategies for Haskell County. She was previously the Project Coordinator for the SPF alcohol prevention grant in partnership with Seward County Community College. She is the Executive Director of Grant Development at Seward County Community College, and has a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Communications/Journalism with a minor in Political Science from Fort Hays State University. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Theology/Pastoral Ministry from Newman University and certifications in grant writing and program evaluation. Prior to coming to SCCC, she was a grant writer for Southwest Plains Regional Service Center for nearly 14 years, designing programs and procuring funding for school districts in Western Kansas and beyond. Charity lives in Sublette, where she serves as Haskell Township Trustee overseeing the public library and fire departments, is a club leader for Cloverleaf 4-H in Satanta, is a countywide leader for the rabbit 4-H project, and serves on the Wild West 4-H PDC, the High Plains Heritage Foundation Board, the Southwest Guidance Center board of directors, the Satanta Area Arts Council Board, the Sublette Centennial Committee, and is a member of the Noon Kiwanis Club in Liberal. She and her husband Mark are the parents of six ranging in age from 27-13, and have two granddaughters ages 5 and 2. She is an avid reader and crafter.
SECRETARY/FARMERS MARKET MANAGER/IVEG Outreach Coordinator Debra Huddleston Deb Huddleston serves as the Secretary for the Coalition, in charge of meeting minutes and agendas. She is also an Outreach Coordinator with the Kansas Health Foundation Integrated Voter Engagement Grant, funded by the Kansas Health Foundation for the purpose of building a concentrated, multi-generational effort to increase voter registration and turnout in Seward County. Since 2017, she has also been the Farmers Market Manager for LACF. In 2020, she was asked to serve as the LACF consultant to help start a food pantry with the South Church of God and also assist with the LACF’s Food Distribution Warehouse funded by Covid-relief funds. In that capacity she was responsible for ordering food, setting up distribution systems, inventory control, and volunteer coordination. Currently Deb represents the LACF on the Seward County Development Corporation and was voted in as secretary in 2023. She was selected to be in the Liberal Chamber of Commerce 2023 Men & Women of Distinction. A resident of Liberal since 1970, Deb has worked for Seward County Community College as Job/Business Developer for the Southeast Asian Refugee program and Assistant to the Dean of Continuing Education and Community Services. She retired from Cimarron Pathology/District 6 Coroner's Office after 13 ½ years as office manager, purchasing agent, HIPPA Officer, and Safety Officer.
Debra has always been active in her community, serving on the Boards of Liberal Area Network for Adolescent Psychology and Parental Involvement, Mother-to-Mother Ministry, the Southwest Kansas Humane Society, and Great Plains Angels for Animals. She volunteered as an AARP Tax Aide volunteer for the IRS for seven years (preparing and e-filing income taxes for low-income and elderly taxpayers), as a counselor for the Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansans program and as an advocate for the Liberal Area Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Services. For over 5 years, she served as elected Secretary/acting Treasurer of the Liberal Elks Lodge and received Officer of the Year award in 2013 and 2018.
HEALTHY COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE COORDINATOR Susan Lukwago Susan Lukwago, PhD, RD, LD has been a member of the Liberal Area Coalition for Families (LACF) for 16 years. During that time she has served as Coordinator of the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Grant (Kansas Department of Health and Environment), Co-Coordinator of the Healthy Communities Initiative (Kansas Health Foundation), assisted with the Pathways Initiative (BCBSKS) and Coordinator of an Impact Grant to promote breastfeeding support among early childcare and education providers (United Methodist Health Ministry Fund). She has also assisted with grant writing for the LACF and served as Secretary for the LACF. Currently, she is a Community Health Worker for the COPE (Communities Organizing to Promote Equity) Grant funded by KDHE through the University of Kansas Medical Center. Susan is also a contracted employee of Southwest Medical Center, Seward County Health Department as well as a few other health departments in Southwest Kansas. She was a founding co-owner of Spencer Browne’s Coffee House here in Liberal from 2009 to 2017. Susan currently serves on the Boards of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition and of the Wild West Extension District. Susan previously served on the Boards of United Way and of Stepping Stone Shelter and is a member of First United Methodist Church of Liberal. Susan is a vegetarian who loves to exercise, to do jigsaw puzzles and to support public radio.
BOOKKEEPER/EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIALIST Marilyn Svaty Originally from Nicaragua, Marilyn moved to the United States with her family when she was two years old and was raised in Liberal, KS. Her work with the coalition began in the spring of 2016 when she accepted the role of Facilitator for the community Learn and Play groups. Since then, Marilyn has expanded her work with the coalition by taking on the responsibility of bookkeeper and supporting parent engagement through the Early Literacy Grant. She is passionate about engaging families so that young children can reach their developmental potential. Aside from her work with the coalition, Marilyn’s days are filled with her husband and four wonderful children, and she is an active member of CrossPoint Church in Liberal.
NAVIGATOR/BENEFIT SPECIALIST Gabby Urquidi Gabby Urquidi is the newest staff member of LACF joining in 2022. Gabby attended SCCC and has an associates degree in arts and completed the cosmetology program from SCCC as well. Gabby has found new career interest at LACF. She loves being able to be a resource for families/ individuals in need. When she's not working Gabby is busy being a mom and wife. Gabby has two daughters and loves being involved in everything from sports to dance class.