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New director in place at Rainbow Network

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The Rainbow Network Inc., an interdenominational Christian nonprofit that works in rural Nicaragua, named its second executive director.

Megan Munzlinger succeeds Keith Jaspers, the nonprofit’s founder who served as director from The Rainbow Network’s inception 23 years ago until his June 29 retirement. That same day, Munzlinger took the reins, said spokeswoman Linda Leicht.

Munzlinger in a news release said she is seeking to “make Rainbow Network a household name” with plans to double its size over the next six years. The Rainbow Network ranked 19th this year on Springfield Business Journal’s list of the area’s largest nonprofits. The organization reported seven local employees, 35,000 volunteers, a $1.9 million operating budget and $929,000 in funds raised locally during 2017.

“It is an absolute honor to carry Keith’s well-lit torch into the future,” Munzlinger said in the release. “He and I could not agree more in our vision for Rainbow Network programs and our approach to empowering people as they strive to overcome extreme poverty.

“With all the work that has gone into strengthening the foundation of Rainbow Network over the last 23 years, we are ready to expand our footprint in Nicaragua, using our simple principles to empower even more people.”

In Nicaragua, The Rainbow Network has nine regional networks that serve 164 communities and about 50,000 people with health care, housing, education and economic development needs. According to the release, the leadership transition at The Rainbow Network comes at a crucial time for Nicaragua, where anti-government protests and riots abound.

Prior to becoming executive director, Munzlinger served as the nonprofit’s development director for nearly six years.

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