PRESIDENT – PAULA HLADKY
When Paula Hladky retired from the working world, she found a perfect place to use her people skills and talents as a volunteer. She is currently volunteering for Douglas County Emergency Management, Keep America Beautiful, Perry Pride, The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center and on the Outreach Board for Domestic Violence in Jefferson County. She and her husband, Willard Epling, received President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award for their commitment to The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center. Paula lives in Perry, Kansas with her wonderful husband. They spend their free time riding bicycles and cheering on the Jayhawks. Paula has been a Silver Haired Legislature representative for Jefferson County for several years. Willard and Paula are also co-presidents of Perry Senior Citizens providing a monthly luncheon, wellness exams, and socialization for approximately 50 area senior citizens.
VICE-PRESIDENT– JOAN GRAVES
Joan has been a proud member of Keep America Beautiful (KAB) since she transferred into the Shawnee County Recycling Department in 1998. While working for Shawnee County, Joan worked closely with KAB to educate the public on proper recycling and taking care of the environment. Joan was instrumental in getting curbside recycling implemented in all of Shawnee County starting in 2013.
Joan was nominated for Woman of the Year in 2013, and was the recipient of the Kansas Organization of Recyclers (KOR) award in 2018.
Since retiring in 2018, Joan has continued her membership with KAB, and continues to help to educate anyone she meets on the proper way to recycle, the importance of disposing of Household Hazardous Waste properly, and the benefits of composting to help our environment.
Joan works tirelessly to keep her neighborhood litter free by picking up trash every day when she walks, and has encouraged neighbors to do the same.
SECRETARY – MAGGIE KELLEY
Maggie was a natural fit for Keep America Beautiful. An avid recycler for many years, she was brought up by a mother that taught you should always leave any place better than you found it!
She grew up as an animal lover and inherited a green thumb from her father, who was an organic gardener (before it was popular). As an adult, Maggie has always been a volunteer, as well as a natural health professional. She feels blessed having grown up in Topeka.
Maggie has served her community well, serving in many capacities at her church, having been a Chamber Ambassador, and a Keep America Beautiful volunteer. Maggie helps out at many KAB special events and also serves as Co-Chair of the Education Committee helping to create new presentations.
TREASURER – MARCIA STEINBOCK
Marcia joined KAB two years ago as a way to help her beloved community. As a native Topekan, she loves her town and wants to see it at its best. Marcia retired from the City of Topeka after working there over 30+ years. She worked in the City Attorney’s Office and City Manager’s Office. Her work experience attributes to her belief everyone should try to make our City better by recycling efforts and educating residents on environmental issues. She enjoys the KAB special trash pick-up events and volunteering to help with public gardens by planting and maintenance.
Marcia has been a Chamber Ambassador, a United Way fund raiser, a volleyball assistant coach, a Girl Scout leader, and held many PTO positions in the Shawnee Heights school district. Her other volunteer experiences include helping family members with tons of projects, making t-shirt quilts and volunteering at a local hospice.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – CHERYL WRIGHT KUNARD
Cheryl Wright Kunard was named Executive Director of Keep America Beautiful – Topeka/Shawnee County in 2021. She is a graduate of Friends University-Wichita, Kansas and holds SHRM’s credential of Senior Certified Professional. Wright Kunard has a long history of working as a public servant. From January 2005 to January 2021 Wright Kunard managed the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office. She has a deep connection to Shawnee County and Topeka. She grew up in Tecumseh, Kansas and was one of four siblings that attended USD 450 – Shawnee Heights.
When Wright Kunard is not working, she and her husband Kyle can be found riding their horses on the trails around an area lake, spending time with their spoiled dogs and cats, camping, kayaking, hiking, or bicycling.
KAB Committee Chairpersons
Business Committee: Willard Epling and Mary Thomas
Communications Committee: Sherry Clayton and Dee Duling
Community Organizations Committee: Judy Gatewood and Mary Cox
Education: Maggie Kelley and Mary Snyder
Government Committee: Bill Sutton and Sarah Velasquez
IT and Social Media: Mary Snyder