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Richard Kunnert

Mr. Kunnert is a Rockford resident and a member of Holy Family Church since 1971. While currently a choir member, Dick over the years served as a member of the Parish Council and the school board, lector, Eucharistic minister and chaired parish Renew.

Mr. Kunnert retired as Director of the Singer Mental Health & Developmental Center in 1996, a position he held for 11 years. Dick served 30 years at SMH&DC in a variety of clinical and administrative roles. Prior to being appointed Director of Singer he served as Assistant Regional Administrator for Mental Health Programs (1971-1985) which involved planning and implementing community programs for children and adults in 26 counties of northwest Illinois.

Dick served as a member of the Rockford (IL) Diocesan Intervention Team for 20 years, and was Chairman of the Mayor’s Task Force on the Homeless in Rockford, a post he also had held for 18 years. Over the years Dick held numerous positions at the local and statewide levels. His current involvement in mental health issues at the local level is through participation in the Mental Health Assoc. of the Rock River Valley and as an advisor on behavioral health to the Winnebago County Board.

His remarkable record of community service has been recognized by more than a dozen awards from mental health and community service organizations in cities all across Illinois — including Champaign, Chicago, DeKalb, Dixon, Galesburg, Rockford, Rock Island and Springfield. In 2008 he was recipient of the prestigious Excalibur Award by the Rockford Register Star for his community activities. In 2014 he received the Hero of the Homeless Award from the Community Coalition on the Homeless.

Dick has facilitated Lead Like Jesus Encounters since 2003 — working with groups of Catholic priests, permanent deacons and ministry professionals, as well as ecumenical groups of clergy and laity. Several years ago Dick initiated monthly Lead Like Jesus Encounters as part of a jail ministry.

All of these activities have been supported by his wife, Nancy, for over 50 years!