Board of Directors

Bill Tammeus is a former columnist for The Kansas City Star, where he worked full-time for almost 36 years. Since 2004 he has written his daily “Faith Matters” blog ( He also writes columns for The Presbyterian Outlook, Flatland, KCPT-TV’s digital magazine, and, until recently, for The National Catholic Reporter.

A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Bill was a member of the Star staff that won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. His many other awards include several from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the American Academy of Religion, in addition to receiving the 2005 Wilbur Award given annually to the best religion column in the country. The latest of his six books is The Value of Doubt: Why Unanswered Questions, Not Unquestioned Answers, Build Faith, published in 2016.

Bill is an elder at Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City and past president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He’s married to Marcia Tammeus. Between them they have six children and eight grandchildren.

Kay Walkup has been involved with the KCIYA since the organization’s beginning.

She was Associate Head of School of Notre Dame de Sion where she was a teacher, counselor, Academic Dean, and Mission Director for 32 years. Although retired for five years, she represents the Sisters of NDS on the Board of a Trustees. She is a graduate of the Florence Melton program for Jewish learning, and has been a participant and co-convener of the Kansas City Interfaith Council’s Sacred Text Study program. Kay describes educating for interfaith learning as her passion and believes that there is no greater gift we can give the next generation than an understanding and respect for “the other”.

Sheila Sonnenschein has been working to build relationships between people of different faiths and cultures since 2002. She is a past chair and vice-chair of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council and continues to serve on its board.

In addition to planning a variety of multi-faith programs for the Council and beyond, Sonnenschein was a member of the Festival of Faiths committee helping to bring dynamic speakers to Kansas City and served as an advisor for the KCIYA from 2009 - 2012, which included mentoring teens to plan multiple peace walks.

Sonnenschein also sits on the national advisory board of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS), an organization that brings Jewish and Muslim women together in each other’s homes to build friendship and trust. She most recently chaired the SOSS Civil Rights and Social Justice Trip to the American South and is co-chairing an upcoming trip to Berlin and Poland.

Sonnenschein enjoys gardening, traveling, and cycling with her husband, Ken and hosting people from around the world at their dinner table. Both are the proud parents of four grown children.