Search for Arrowhead West successor underway

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
After a 40-year career, Lori Pendergast announced her retirement as Arrowhead West, Inc. president effective Dec. 31. The process in finding her replacement is underway.

Arrowhead West, Inc. president Lori Pendergast will be calling it a career.

Recently, Arrowhead West announced Pendergast will retire on Dec. 31 which caps off a 40-year career.

Pendergast held several executive positions at Arrowhead West and became president in 2000.

“I have been fortunate to work in the field of developmental disabilities for the last 40-plus years, starting with a state hospital and seeing the field change to one that promotes inclusion in the community," said Pendergast. "The people we serve and their families are so appreciative of the individualized services that we provide. There are so many good people that I had the opportunity to work with over the years including co-workers and our board members.

"Arrowhead West, Inc. definitely follows its mission which is to empower people to live meaningful and productive lives.”

A non-profit organization that provides community based services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, Arrowhead West, Inc. has offices in in Dodge City, Medicine Lodge, Pratt, Kinsley, and Wichita and has been Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities accredited since 1980.

The organization works with close to 1,000 individuals annually.

“Under Lori’s leadership, Arrowhead West has been successful in fulfilling its mission of providing services to children and adults with developmental disabilities throughout its 14-county service area,” said current Arrowhead West board chair Mike Stein. “Over the past 20-plus years as Arrowhead’s president and CEO, and throughout her more than 40-year career in the field of human services, Lori has demonstrated a deep concern and passion for serving clients and their families.

"The board is grateful for Lori’s dedicated service and wishes her well in her retirement.”

The Nebraska native Pendergast, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science and went on to work at the Lancaster Office of Mental Retardation in Lincoln, from 1975-1981 in the residential program and then as a program manager before joining Arrowhead West.

In 1981 she was named the executive director of Community Living Services in Wichita until 1989 when a merger with Arrowhead West, Inc. took place, Pendergast was named the executive director of Arrowhead West.

Despite retirement, Pendergast will continue as president of the Arrowhead West Endowment Association.

According to Arrowhead West, the Arrowhead West Endowment Association is made up of private gifts and donations which started in 1982 to serve as a perpetual source of income in case of budget shortfalls.

"It is the mission of the Arrowhead West Endowment Association to solicit, receive and administer gifts and bequests in order to provide for the perpetual support and advancement of the purposes of Arrowhead West, Inc. and its services to people with developmental disabilities," said Arrowhead West development manager Nadine Lampe.

According to Stein, the Arrowhead West, Inc. board of directors will begin the search for Pendergast’s replacement.

Anyone interested in applying for the position can access the job description and requirements and apply, at https://www.hrpartnersks.com/jobs/1514-awi-president/.

The application deadline is April 23.