Cue the “Pomp and Circumstance” – a milestone class of Leadership Omaha participants is now a milestone class of Leadership Omaha graduates deeply committed to strengthening and transforming our community.

Over the course of ten months, the members of Class 40 – diverse group of 49 leaders (listed below) – learned about challenges and opportunities in our community, visited multiple organizations and heard from various business and community leaders, educators, and political figures to better understand the work being done and the work that needs to be done to positively impact our community.

“They engaged in meaningful conversations about the community and became motivated to find areas of passion and assume leadership roles in community affairs,” says Liz Kerrigan, the Chamber’s leadership strategist.

Like the almost 1700 Leadership Omaha Alumni before them, members of Class 40 also participated in small group projects, another element of the curriculum that’s designed to have a positive, direct impact on the community.

Some project examples include: 

  • 40 for 40: A mindfulness campaign that encouraged community members to unplug from all electronic technology for 40 minutes per day for 40 days
  • A software platform (in progress) to easily connect willing volunteers to nonprofit organizations and vice versa
  • Connect Omaha: An event to introduce community members to and encourage them to use public transportation.


“Leadership Omaha motivates the class members to take an active role in the community,” Kerrigan says.

A program of the Greater Omaha Chamber, Leadership Omaha is one of the longest-running community leadership programs in the nation. Class 40’s graduation was held on Thursday, June 7, at The Venue at Highlander, 2120 N 30th St.

The Graduates of Leadership Omaha Class 40:

Emily Anderson Home Instead, Inc.
Drew Antonio Enterprise Bank
Victor Beanum Cox Communications
Ryne Bessmer Karstens Investment Counsel
Catherine Cano Jackson Lewis PC
Kasey Cappellano Kutak Rock LLP
Allen Chaffee Cornhusker Bank
Amy Cherko Olsson Associates
Vicki Christ LinkedIn
Kurt Cisar Holland Basham Architects
Charles Coley The Cloudburst Group
Matthew DeBoer HDR
Vanessa Denney University of Nebraska Foundation
Alex Epstein OMNE Partners
Joe Finnegan Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Brendan Flanagan C3 Brands
Suzie Heffernan BioTAB Healthcare
Luke Holst McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO
Ed Kaspar Physicians Mutual
Keegan Korf Omaha Public Schools
Andrew Lang Morrissey Engineering
Jeremy Langer Kiewit Building Group
Amy Lawrenson Baird Holm LLP
Daniel Lawse Verdis Group
Andy Liakos Proxibid
Jay Lund GreenSlate Development
Lauren Maskin Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
Erin McArthur Women’s Fund of Omaha
Parker McKenna Union Pacific Railroad
Nathan Morgan The Big Garden
Alisa Parmer Purdue University
Anthony Pasternak BKD, LLP
Alex Petrovich Lockton Companies
Joe Pogge McNeil Company
Mark Pohl Omaha Public Power District
Diane Poots Greater Omaha Chamber
Alysia Radicia RDG Planning & Design
Tara Slevin Methodist Jennie Edmundson
Bruce Stec CQuence Health Group
Suzi Sterba U.S. Bank
Dakotah Taylor First National Bank
Melissa Taylor Mutual of Omaha
Christopher Tooker Merrill Lynch
Sue Violi Omaha World-Herald
Cornelia Vremes Nebraska Medicine
Jill Wallen University of Nebraska Medical Center
Carrie Weiler Union Bank & Trust
Alex Wolf Koley Jessen, P.C., L.L.O.



The application window for Class 41 has closed. Applications for Class 42 will be available in early 2019. Class members are chosen based on their demonstrated community involvement and vision for the future of Omaha.

For more information about Leadership Omaha, contact Liz Kerrigan, leadership strategist, at 402-978-7913.