After a three-month search, Heartland Community Foundation announced Sandy Jacobs as its new executive director.

Jacobs retired Oct. 1, 2014, from her position as executive vice president of Sunflower Bank, overseeing the Western Banking Division. Jacobs joined Sunflower Bank in 1990 and worked in the financial services industry for more than 40 years.

Jacobs is a native of Hays, graduated from Hays High School and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jacobs is involved with several organizations and efforts within the Hays and Ellis County communities. She is serving her fourth term on the board of directors of Downtown Hays Development Corp., which she was instrumental in forming for the purpose of redeveloping historic downtown Hays. Jacobs served as president of the board of directors of the Ellis County United Way, and two terms on the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, including one as president.

Jacobs also has served as chairwoman of the retail development task force for the Ellis County Economic Development Corp. and also the mentoring advisory board of the Chamber of Commerce. Jacobs also served as a member of the site council for O'Loughlin Elementary School, advisory board of the College of Business at Fort Hays State University, and the Ellis County Coalition for Economic development. She serves as a member emeritus of the Ellis County Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors, on which she was an active member for 10 years. She also served on the steering committee for the recently completed city of Hays 20 year Comprehensive Plan.

“It is not often one is presented the opportunity to champion an organization such as the Heartland Community Foundation,” Jacobs said. “As I visit with friends, associates, mentors and leaders in this amazing community I call home, I am constantly reminded of the quality of life we must protect. We must be ready and able to make a difference every chance we can. That is exactly the reason for the Heartland Community Foundation’s existence — to enable donors to fulfill their charitable desires, to build permanent endowments, facilitate prudent management and care of funds and most importantly meet needs through grants, awards and scholarships.”

Jacobs lives in Hays with her husband of 46 years, Dan. The couple has two children, Sarah Mitchell, Fort Lewis, Wash., and Ryan Jacobs, Kansas City, Mo. She and her husband are the grandparents of Jacob, 9, Samantha, 7, Gavin, 5, and Connor, 3.

The Heartland Community Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation whose mission is to build permanent endowments to benefit the people of Ellis, Rooks and Trego counties. The HCF is one of 12 affiliates of the Greater Salina Community Foundation.