Veta Jeffery has been selected to serve as the next President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. Jeffery will replace David G. Brown, who is retiring from that post after nearly 20 years.
Jeffery gained a great deal of experience convening public and private stakeholders while she was the Manager of Community Economic Development for the State of Missouri, having been appointed to the position by Governor Jay Nixon. Governor Nixon formed the Office of Community Engagement following the Ferguson protests. Jeffery’s engagement skills helped rebuild the business community in and around Ferguson and throughout the St. Louis region. She helped to establish workforce development programs to assist underserved communities, and helped to form the Governor’s Fellows Program, a unique corporate/public/nonprofit partnership driving internships for disadvantaged college students in Missouri. She also organized the workforce summer program for youths and developed programming and events for businesses to grow capacity and increase diversity through training and hiring initiatives.
Veta Jeffery, incoming president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber.
“By combining business growth in the Omaha region with strong workforce development efforts we become a magnet for attracting competitive talent.”
“The success of our business community is critical to the future of our cities,” Jeffery said. “When we strengthen our businesses by helping them build capacity and grow their opportunities locally, regionally and nationally, we grow the economics of the communities we call home. By combining business growth in the Omaha region with strong workforce development efforts we become a magnet for attracting competitive talent.” She added, “Omaha is a beautiful, well-established place that offers business owners the opportunity to thrive. I am excited to lead this business community and workforce development charge and I am equally excited to call Omaha my new home.”
Jeffery’s most recent position was Chief Diversity Officer for St. Louis County. In this role, she works closely with federal, state and local officials, as well as corporate partners and business owners. Jeffery brought a collaborative engagement style and thoughtful leadership to reach consensus on how to move communities forward.
“Bringing together diverse groups among our public and private partners is an essential piece of the work the Greater Omaha Chamber does,” said Leslie Andersen, chair of the Search Committee, former Greater Omaha Chamber Chair and current CEO of i3 Bank. “Veta’s experience as a leader and convener can only further enhance our current efforts.”
Prior to her St. Louis County work, Jeffery was instrumental in expanding the commercial, small business and mortgage services as Senior Vice President of Community and Economic Development for Midwest BankCentre in St. Louis. She drove programs that ensured banking products and services fit consumer needs across all economic groups as well as small, mid-sized and large business clients.
This combination of public service, financial leadership and workforce development efforts uniquely qualifies Jeffery to lead the Greater Omaha Chamber.
“I’m excited to work with Veta on her smooth transition into the President and CEO role,” said David G. Brown. “I’m proud of what the Chamber and our partners have accomplished over the past 18 years, and I look forward to supporting her and the Chamber team to reach new heights.”
Serving on the Search Committee with Andersen were Carmen Tapio, CEO of North End Teleservices, Mindy Simon, CIO at ConAgra, Clark Lauritzen, Chairman and President of FNBO and Mogens Bay, retired CEO of Valmont.
Committee member Mogens Bay added, “Our committee was 100% unanimous that Veta was the right choice. She stood out from the other candidates, and we found her to be very thoughtful, very committed and just impressive during every step of the search process.”
Jeffery will start her work at the Chamber in May. She and her husband Tony will relocate to Omaha with their daughter, Toni, later this year.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Greater Omaha Chamber, I am excited to welcome Veta Jeffery to Omaha, and look forward to working with her and assisting with her move to Nebraska,” said Mickey Anderson, Chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber. “I am convinced that she will provide the kind of transformational leadership we were looking for to take our Chamber and our community into the future.