Henry Fortunato is the founder of Sunflower Republic LLC, a consulting and creative services firm that focuses on enhancing walking trails with interpretative signage panels and developing history-oriented traveling exhibits. Current undertakings include interpretative signage projects along the Indian Creek Trail in Overland Park under the auspices of the Johnson County Museum, the Burroughs Creek Trail in Lawrence in collaboration with the Lawrence Public Library and the Watkins Museum of History, a temporary exhibit about musician Charlie Parker in collaboration with the American Jazz Museum, and a traveling exhibit about Emanuel and Marcet Haldeman-Julius in collaboration with Leonard H. Axe Library at Pittsburg State University.
An avid advocate for active transportation, he walked some 450 miles across Kansas in fall 2014, leaving from his front door in Overland Park and ending a few miles west of the Greeley County line in the Mountain Time Zone.
From 2006-15, he was director of public affairs at the Kansas City Public Library. He led the department responsible for developing, orchestrating, and executing the Library’s special events programming, marketing, print publications, media relations, community affairs, online communications, social media, and exhibits. During his tenure, the American Library Association honored the Kansas City Public Library with the 2014 Excellence in Library Programming Award. Additionally, he conceptualized the Library’s KCPT television series Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III, a two-time winner of regional Emmy awards.
He holds a bachelor of science from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master of arts in American history from the University of Kansas. He is a member of the board of trustees of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and the board of directors of the Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park.