The Kansas Chapter is delighted to welcome its new Director of Development, Bob Sommer.
Bob is well known to Kansas Sierrans for his work as the Chapter’s Political Chair and as the Kanza Group’s Chair. He authored the Antiwar Resolution unanimously approved by the Kansas Chapter’s ExCom in 2011. Additionally, the Kansas Chapter’s new grant program to support educators teaching climate change was his brainchild, and he continues to serve as Chair of the Education Grants Committee. He’s also been a regular contributor to Planet Kansas, writing on topics ranging from politics to poetry
Bob brings considerable experience in fundraising and financial management to this position. In a past life he pursued a fifteen-year career as a Financial Advisor for two Fortune 500 investment firms. Additionally, he served for four years on the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra’s Board of Directors, two years as President. He has been active in a variety of regional organizations, including PeaceWorks and Safe Home.
In recent years, Bob has worked at the writer’s trade, publishing his first novel, Where the Wind Blew, in 2008. His second novel, A Great Fullness, is forthcoming from indie publisher Aqueous Books later this year. His award-winning prose has been recognized by the Kansas Authors Club, the Kansas Writers Association, and elsewhere. His feature writing and columns have appeared in many commercial and literary publications. His recent work is also featured in The Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers.
Bob’s love of literature has left its mark on the Kanza Group, where he set the tone for every General Meeting with a reading from poets like Wendell Berry and Walt Whitman.
Asked what he most hoped to accomplish as Director of Development, Bob said, “Organic growth! We should apply the lessons of nature to our own organizational development. We need to encourage more of our members to take an active role in the activities and work of the Sierra Club. If that happens, membership rolls will grow and donations will increase. Then the Kansas Chapter of the Sierra Club will continue to increase its impact on the environmental health of the state. Organic development and organic growth—that’s what I hope we can do together.”