Community Link Appoints Krystal Gruenenfelder as New Director

May 26, 2022

Community Link welcomes Krystal Gruenenfelder as its Director of Community Living Programs. She comes to Community Link with a long history of work in the field, and has a long-time connection to the organization that brought her back to it.

In her current position with Community Link, Gruenenfelder will oversee all aspects of the living programs. This means she will monitor the nine Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) homes and direct the Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals (QIDP) and team leaders. Gruenenfelder replaces Laurie Hemker, who was recently appointed as the director of the Community Day Service program at Community Link.

Gruenenfelder says “I am honored to be back with Community Link because it has been with me since I was a kid. I will work to maintain the high standards that Community Link CILA homes have.”

Gruenenfelder graduated in 2002 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Science of Mass Communication. She began her career at Community Link, running the fusion program from 2003 to 2006.

Since then, Gruenenfelder has always worked at organizations serving people with disabilities. Past jobs include activity director, CILA director and a licensed nursing home administrator. She is also a certified QIDP.

Although Gruenenfelder’s professional connection with Community Link only eclipses a few years, she has a connection with the organization that goes back further. Her mother, Donna, was with Community Link for more than 30 years and was the production director. Through her mom, Krystal always knew about the organization and knew a lot of the participants. She would also work at Community Link during her summer breaks.

Executive director, John Huelskamp, said, “Krystal’s vast experience and passion in supporting people with developmental disabilities in residential settings as well as her high expectations of quality will blend cohesively with Community Link’s CILA program. We look forward to welcoming Krystal back into the Community Link family.”

Community Link, a non-profit organization and proud United Way member agency, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through a person-centered approach that promotes self-directed living choices and community integration opportunities. The mission of Community Link is to offer opportunities for growth and independence for people with developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit our website at