Buell replacing Suzi Thien
Andover – Sunlight Children’s Advocacy and Rights Foundation has selected Dusty Buell as its new CEO. Buell will replace long time Executive Director, Suzi Thien who is retiring at the end of September.
As the new CEO of the Sunlight Children’s Advocacy & Rights Foundation (SCARF) Dusty Buell brings over a decade of nonprofit leadership experience, specializing in serving the state’s most vulnerable children who often need a strong advocate and someone to help them find their voice. Dusty’s motivation is propelled by the ongoing need of education and services for children and families that are currently underserved within the community and beyond.
Prior to joining SCARF, Buell served as the Executive Director of Kidzcope where he led all aspects of operating the only child bereavement center in the state outside of Kansas City. Buell led Kidzcope through a merger in July of 2018, that saw Kidzcope become a complementary service within the Wichita Children’s Home, which has allowed Kidzcope to serve not only children with a physical loss, but also serve children within the child welfare system that have experienced ambiguous loss. Through this merger, it is projected that the service capacity for Kidzcope immediately will at least double in the first year.
Buell also served on the executive leadership team at Heartspring, as the Director of Marketing for over 5 years prior to Kidzcope. Buell was instrumental in positioning Heartspring as a national leader in serving children with special needs and their families. He also played a critical role in shaping strategy and defining the long-term vision, including re-defining the organization’s mission, vision and value statements.
Buell also brings a wealth of knowledge of the child welfare system with him to SCARF. Early in his career, he worked as a lobbyist to promote greater change and a brighter future for youth in foster care. He has been credited with bringing the National Adoption Day to Wichita in 2007, an event that has successfully finalized adoptions of thousands of children in the foster care system, and has served as a Kansas State Leader at the Child Welfare League of America.
Buell’s work has also extended in to the community where he served as the President of the Wichita Chapter of the American Marketing Association in 2016. His passion to provide a positive influence for children and youth in the community extends beyond his work experience. Dusty is currently the head coach for the Augusta High School Boys’ Soccer program and as well as a coach of several teams within the Augusta Raptors youth soccer club, working with children ages 5-13.
Buell was inducted in to the 2016 class of the Wichita Business Journal’s 40 under 40.