2021 Outstanding Staff of the Year

Village Northwest Unlimited Awards 2021 Outstanding Employee of the Year Award


Sheldon, Iowa– During the annual Village Northwest Unlimited (VNU) Staff Christmas Party on December 2, 2021, Karma Funk was honored as the Outstanding Staff of the Year.  The Outstanding Staff of the Year Award is the highest honor awarded to a staff member of VNU.  Recipients are nominated by their peers for this annual award.


Karma began her career with Village Northwest Unlimited in the fall of 1990, after she graduated from Northwestern College with a Bachelor’s Sociology degree.  In her first role at VNU, Karma worked as a House Counselor at House #358, known at the time as the Free Wheelers Cottage.  In her 31 years of service to VNU, Karma has served as a Waiver House Manager, a Vocational Trainer, a Job Coach and a Registered Behavior Technician/Autism Program Instructor.  Since 2020, Karma has served as the Community Skills Supervisor at 1545 S. 9th Street.


Karma demonstrates the Village’s mission of purpose, privacy and dignity through her commitment to the individuals served and wanting them to experience success and have opportunities to do things they will enjoy.  Karma uses teachable moments to help residents be successful.  She encourages the residents to do their best whether working on a project at home or in meeting a goal at work.  She coaches them to think through all the possible outcomes before they make their choices.  She encourages them and makes sure they know she is proud of them.


Barry Whitsell, President and CEO when presented the award commented, “When thinking of the Village, and our desire to provide Purpose, Privacy and Dignity for all people, it is easy to see that Karma is a great asset to the Village. Karma has demonstrated the Village values in all her interactions with others”. 


For more information check out https://villagenorthwest.org/karma



Barry Whitsell, President & CEO

Village Northwest Unlimited

330 Village Circle – Sheldon, IA 51201

Ph. (office) (712) 324-5401