Brandon Wiig lends support to Steven Hanhardt in preparation for dinner.
Wiig is the new residential manager at Sunflower Diversified Services.
The new residential manager at Sunflower Diversified Services recently recalled his early experiences at the non-profit agency that supports people with special needs.
“The minute I came here, my life changed,” Brandon Wiig said. “I went from watching the clock at work to asking myself ‘where did the time go?’”
Wiig has been with Sunflower for almost five years and his recent promotion broadens the scope of how he cares for clients who depend on residential services. His new responsibilities include: managing all residential operations; and supervising staff, facilities and programs.
The number of people needing residential services varies but the average is 60. A large majority live in their own homes alone or with a roommate. Others choose one of Sunflower’s two group homes.
While some people need support 24 hours a day, many need only a few hours a week.
“In some instances, group homes are the best setting for those who need round-the-clock care,” Wiig said. “Many are non-verbal and have more severe disabilities, requiring a higher level of care.”
Clients who are more independent “can do virtually everything,” Wiig noted. “Our direct-support professionals are here for clients whatever the immediate and long-term
“The bottom line is every person is different. Needs vary and our staff adapts to these needs.”
Wiig has high praise for direct-support professionals “who step up every day to meet clients’ needs. They also step up for one another.”
In addition to supporting clients as they perform household tasks, staff members also provide transportation and companionship to medical appointments and for leisure
activities. These may include bowling, going to the movies and attending community
In addition to his administrative duties, Wiig also regularly visits clients’ homes.
“I don’t look at my time with clients as a job,” Wiig commented. “I am living a great life with these great people. I truly love this job. The environment here at Sunflower is so positive.”
Wiig is originally from Smith Center and moved to Great Bend in 2009.
Jon Prescott, Sunflower executive director, said he is “excited about Brandon’s promotion to this leadership position. He has learned so much in his few years at Sunflower.
“He demonstrates that he is passionately focused on ensuring clients are supported every day. Brandon is equally passionate about being supportive of his team in residential services.”
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 53rd year.