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WICHITA, Kansas – Bill Hanna will be honored later in June for his contributions to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Over the years, Hanna has had an impact on many.
“There’s no doubt in my mind he’s influenced thousands and thousands of people from every corner of the state and even nationally,” said Jody Horner.
Horner is the president of Cargill.
She joined the board for Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters shortly after meeting Bill Hanna.
“His power comes through his passion for kids. You can see it in his eyes, you can see it in his smile, and you can hear it in the stories he tells,” said Horner.
Hanna retired as an executive with Koch Industries in 2001, and while there’s more time to enjoy spring afternoons on his picturesque property, he also wanted to give back.
“All of us need to do something we enjoy because we’re going to do a lot better,” said Hanna.
He was drawn to the cause after a tragedy involving a colleague’s daughter and soon became immersed in its mission.
His passion for children and his business background made him the right man to head the first state board for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The move helped consolidate dozens of chapters across Kansas into the largest one-to-one mentoring organization in the country.
“It allowed me to use some of the skills in thinking about how you lead, how you manage, how you control, how you raise money,” said Hanna. “All the things that fit a business.”
Not to mention the countless contacts he’s made in the community.
Among them, Phil Neff, a friend, who Hanna convinced to join the cause.
“He will never ask you to do something that he won’t do or hasn’t done,” said Neff.
Like being a Big himself, Hanna has spent almost a decade matched with Daquan.
“It’s been something I think that was helpful to him,” said Hanna.
He’s also an active member of the national board.
“I’ve seen him interact with his own match and the kids, and he can be as effective in a one-on-one session as he can be in the board room,” said Horner.
All things that give to his lasting legacy, one that’s sure to impact Big Brothers Big Sisters for years to come.
If you’d like more information on becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister just call 1-888-KS-4BIGS or go to Kansasbigs.org