Board of Directors
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Our Board of Directors is responsible for the mission of The Farmer’s House, which is to provide a community-integrated hands-on work environment that will provide youth and adults with developmental disabilities practical vocational skills.  Farmer's House is a place to cultivate self-esteem, grow self-worth and harvest the confidence and passion that come from a job well done.  Through its actions, the Board oversees an array of exceptional program to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Mary "Peaches" Cunningham, Board President

Armond Bechard

Judith Buchta

David Cunningham

Michele Kilo, MD

James Landrum, MSW

Alan Zimmerman

Suzanne Zimmerman

 


David CunninghamCo-Founder of The Farmer’s House. David graduated from The University of Kansas with a BS degree in 1984. He studied International Business at The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in Manchester, England. He began his career in the financial services industry by joining the Equitable Life Insurance Company in 1990. David became a Vice President with AXA in 1991 and built one of the company’s top divisions. He concentrated in the health care industry and worked with employers in managing employee benefit and group insurance contracts. In 1994, Cunningham began consulting with hospitals and nursing homes across the United States to provide state-of-the-art education and enrollment capabilities to their organizations. He has worked with some of the country’s largest long-term care providers. In 2007, he founded Benefitz USA and now consults with companies in the long term and health care industry. Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed David to the Kansas Governors Commission on Autism in 2006. He became the Chairman of the Commission in 2007 and worked closely with The Autism Task Force to advise and make recommendations to the Office of the Governor regarding matters related to Autism. In 2005, David along with his wife Peaches co-founded The Farmers House.


Mary Margaret Tutera Cunningham (known as Peaches), Co-Founder of The Farmer's House. Peaches comes from a background of banking and adult-care administration. Peaches received her BA from Williams Woods College. In 1984 she began her community involvement with the KC Junior League and was presented at the 1984 BOTAR Ball, and has continued her service to the community through The American Royal. Peaches was a vice-president with Central Bank and specialized in bookkeeping and customer service. Peaches changed career directions when her family opened The Atriums, a luxury senior living community. She was executive director and is currently the executive director of Carnegie Village in Belton, another Tutera Family Community. In 1996, Peaches found herself a happy mother of a son, John David. In 1998, she was forced to realize that John David had received a diagnosis of autism. It was at this moment that her life was changed forever. Since that time, Peaches has been a relentless activist for children with developmental issues. She immersed herself in her son’s therapy at The Children’s Spot, where she served for over five years as its president, and currently holds a position on its advisory board. She held a position on the board of directors of The Autism-Asberger’s Resource Center and the Bi-State Initiative of Kansas and Missouri, formed to foster a collaborative effort for the two states to work together on autism initiatives. She has also been a positive force and support of the G.R.A.M.S. (Grandmothers Raising Autism Money) program. Peaches has also been an active member of other organizations, including being president of The Prairie School PTA and vice-president of the board of the Belton Chamber of Commerce.


Suzanne Zimmerman  Suzanne has a diverse background in accounting, property management, small business ownership and nonprofit management which has contributed significantly to the co-founding and operation of The Farmer’s House.  For the past nine years she has served as Executive Director protem for the organization. Suzanne currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston Chamber of Commerce and the Platte County Cares Diversion Program. She and her family have been long standing members of Platte Woods United Methodist Church.  Suzanne’s passion for individuals with developmental disabilities was ignited when her oldest daughter Julianna, “Anna”, was diagnosed with a chromosome 6 deletion at birth.  She is, and always will be, deeply committed to providing programs and services that are transformative for the amazing people that The Farmer’s House serves.


Judith A. Buchta Judi is currently employed at The Atriums, a luxury senior living community. For over 17 years, she was an executive assistant in administration at Providence Medical Center. Through the last several years, she has served in a variety of volunteer service positions at White Church Christian Church. During her sons’ school years, Judi served on the school board and other committees at Grace Lutheran School, and was an active supporter in all of their activities at Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences. 


Michele Kilo, MD Dr. Michele Kilo is a graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine, completing both residency and fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital. From 1991 until 2018 Michele lead the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Sciences at Children’s Mercy Hospital. In 2000 Dr. Kilo started the physician well-being program at Children’s Mercy. In addition to being a founding Board Member for The Farmer’s House, Michele has served on and led numerous non-profit Boards including Crittenton Children’s Center, Children’s SPOT at St. Luke’s Hospital, Horizon Academy, JDRF, Jellybean Conspiracy, Reach Out and Read - Kansas City, and UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Board. She has received awards for her advocacy on behalf of children’s health and well-being.  Dr. Kilo currently partners with FosterAdopt Connect to serve children in the foster system as well as those adopted from the foster system. She is also a certified physician coach who supports and guides physician colleagues and healthcare professionals in achieving healthier and more fulfilled lives and careers.

 

James Landrum, MSW James is a former Executive Director of a large nonprofit organization providing residential services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, James is a residential real estate agent. He is committed to supporting organizations that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Also involved in advancing progressive political thought. For 20 plus years it has been his privilege to work with individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities. It brings him great joy and satisfaction to stay connected to this community. 

 

Alan Zimmerman has been associated with The Farmer’s House since inception in 2006 and a Board Member since 2020.  Alan is a Managing Director at Ernst & Young (EY) and has been with EY for over 35 years providing Consulting Services to the Financial Industry.  Alan has flown extensively for work and has earned over five million miles, but he really enjoys hanging with family, camping, and being a weekend yard warrior.. Alan is the father of three children, one of whom (Anna) has developmental disabilities.  Alan is passionate about The Farmer’s House mission and understands the challenges that young adults with developmental disabilities face when it comes to community integration and employment opportunities.

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The Farmers House

Embracing, Enhancing, and Supporting the Lives of Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities (our Farmers)

23200 Highway 273 - Weston, MO  64098
415 Main Street - Weston, MO  64098 - 816-640-3276
4740 Rainbow Blvd. - Westwood, KS 66205 - 913-283-8402

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A Place Where Exceptional Farmers

Live, Work, Play and Grow