Chamber exec hired to head sisters’ new effort

January 6, 2011 by

Cheryl Lyn Higgins

A native Kansan and former Chamber of Commerce executive has been hired to head the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia’s new Neighborhood Initiatives Inc.

Cheryl Lyn Higgins started her new job today (Jan. 6).

Higgins was most recently head of the Winfield (Kan.) Area Chamber of Commerce. From 1996 to 2004, she was executive vice president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce in McPherson, and then served for three years as president and CEO of the Junction City Chamber. She also served as director of Project WIN/the Welcome Home to Heroes Foundation in Junction City.

In her new role with the Sisters of St. Joseph, Higgins will serve as coordinator of the nonprofit corporation created a year ago. The idea is for Neighborhood Initiatives, under Higgins’ direction, to coordinate works of service sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, projects initiated and sustained by the congregation and activities the sisters undertake in partnership with others. Higgins will be responsible for ensuring that all those projects complement each other and for seeking out opportunities for new projects and partnerships.

The logo for Neighborhood Initiatives Inc. symbolizes the many projects undertaken by Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

“She brings a wealth of experience in initiative, in collaboration and in leadership,” said Sister Marcia Allen, president of the Concordia-based congregation, as she introduced Higgins to sisters at the Nazareth Motherhouse on Thursday. “We believe she is exactly the person we need for this new idea.”

Higgins, who was born and raised in Winfield, Kan., and is a Catholic, said the coordinator’s position is a perfect fit for her. “It’s part of a personal journey,” she told the gathered sisters. “I share your faith, and I share your vision of the good works we can achieve.”

Higgins said she was particularly impressed with the sisters’ Neighbor to Neighbor center in downtown Concordia and with the congregation’s continuing work at bringing various aspects of the community together through the public forums that began two years ago.

“I get satisfaction in bringing people together and asking those questions: How do we improve the community? What would a better community look like?”

But, she noted, while Neighborhood Initiatives and her position are new, the concept is not: “It’s really the way our country was founded. There were many needs and few resources; we had to work together to raise a barn or build a school.”

Higgins attended Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) and completed the Kansas Community Leadership Initiative. She has also served as a board member for several statewide organizations, and was president of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2007.

She has two grown children — a son who lives in Manhattan and a daughter in Galva, Kan.


4 Responses to “Chamber exec hired to head sisters’ new effort”

  1. Jeanette Wasinger, csj on January 11th, 2011 4:57 pm

    Welcome, Cheryl Lyn! It is good to see you moving around the Motherhouse and Concordia getting to know us. We are eager to know you and to work with you in this new venture, Neighborhood Initiatives. I am wondering how it will all unfold, but I have no doubt that it is what is required right now, and you are here to lead us in the next step! Thank you for your trust, for your enthusiasm, and for your desire to work with us. I appreciated your introducton in the dining room of the Motherhouse. I am grateful that we continue to add “new life” as our mission of unity remains solid, and our ministries expand beyond our walls.
    Jeanette Wasinger, csj

  2. Betsy (Elizabeth) Gasperich-Miller on January 9th, 2011 10:26 am

    I wish Lynn well and the best ever for the Sisters of St. Joseph at Nazareth Motherhouse and all of your mission places…..Keep on..Keeping on!
    God bless….prayers, hugs, love and blessings sent to you always…

  3. Anne M. Reinert on January 8th, 2011 8:08 pm

    May your office at Nazareth, nurture the creativity and beauty that you bring and cultivate to full flower. Blessings S.Anne

  4. Loretta Jasper on January 6th, 2011 7:00 pm

    Welcome, Lynn. I look forward to meeting you, and joining you as a CSJ in moving us along in our Mission.

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