Leadership Omaha, one of the nation’s longest-running community leadership programs, has graduated its latest “best class ever” – a diverse group of 47 leaders who are ready to strengthen and transform the Omaha community.

Over the course of 10 months, the members of Class 41 (listed below) learned about challenges and opportunities in Greater Omaha, visited multiple organizations and heard from various business and community leaders, educators, and political figures to better understand the work that needs to be done to positively impact the region.

“I’m honored to have been part of the journey these individuals have gone through to become active community leaders,” says Liz Kerrigan, the Chamber’s leadership strategist. “Their graduation is a time to reflect on what they learned these past 10 months, and it represents a launching pad for them to further engage in our community.”

“I have no doubt these leaders will have lasting positive change in the Greater Omaha area and beyond.”

They are well on their way. As part of the Leadership Omaha experience, class members participated in small group projects that pushed them to translate their community education and leadership training into direct, positive impact.

Project examples include: 

  • A leadership workshop for students at Blackburn High School to help them define who they can be as leaders and elevate how they are already leading.
  • A partnership with the Lozier Foundation, the Nebraska Historical Society and a local artist that will result in a new art installation and two historical markers in Miller Park. The markers will display information about Dr. George Miller (park namesake, pioneer physician, editor and politician) and Steve Hogan (Nebraska’s first African-American professional golfer).
  • A partnership with the Women’s Center for Advancement to provide training for hair stylists to identify signs of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or human trafficking and understand how to help/refer clients to the right resources.

Class 41’s graduation was held on Thursday, June 6, at The Venue at Highlander, 2120 N 30th St. The 47 members now join a network of approximately 1700 Leadership Omaha Alumni.

Reflections on the Leadership Omaha experience from members of Class 41:

“Prior to Leadership Omaha, I thought I knew a lot about our city and the challenges we faced. After going through the program, I realized that my knowledge was limited to my previous exposure. I was able to see situations for what they really are and not what I had made them out to be. Leadership Omaha has re-energized me, changed my perspective, and as a result, it has made me a better leader.” – Angela Roeber, Director of Communications, Project Harmony

“Leadership Omaha helped reaffirm the work I do in the community and helped me gain more connections to invite others into the work as well. From my amazing small group to others I’ve been able to build one-on-one relationships with, I know our class is capable of changing Omaha for the better.” – Ashley Turner, Content Marketing Specialist, Borsheims Fine Jewelry & Gifts.

“I learned a lot about myself and my leadership capabilities. It will be the relationships with my classmates that mean the most to me and be the foundation for future community opportunities. There is no doubt LO41 is the best class ever!” – Dr. Debora Wisneski, Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Nebraska-Omaha

“If you get to make the decision whether or not to become a part of Leadership Omaha, I hope you will stretch yourself and take the journey. It will be one of the best gifts of development you can give yourself.” – Sheri Howard, Organizational Development Consultant – Human Resources, Physicians Mutual.

The application window for Class 42 has closed. Applications for Class 43 will be available in early 2020. Class members are chosen based on their demonstrated community involvement and future vision for Greater Omaha.

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

The Graduates of Leadership Omaha Class 41:

Arun Agarwal, White Lotus Group
Luper Akough, Clout Logistics
Matt Alvarado, Kiewit Building Group Inc.
Alex Bakke, Nebraska Medicine
Jeremy Bouman, RISE
Kayleigh Bradley-Vogt, Greater Omaha Chamber
Jim Brannen, Union Pacific Railroad
Bridget Bumgardner, Boyd Jones
Arun Agarwal, White Lotus Group
Luper Akough, Clout Logistics
Matt Alvarado, Kiewit Building Group Inc.
Alex Bakke, Nebraska Medicine
Jeremy Bouman, RISE
Kayleigh Bradley-Vogt, Greater Omaha Chamber
Jim Brannen, Union Pacific Railroad
Bridget Bumgardner, Boyd Jones
Michael Crabb, Tenaska
Laura Essay, Dvorak Law Group, LLC
Donna Faust Aman, Outlook Nebraska
Erin Froschheiser, LEO A DALY
Tammy Green, Metropolitan Community College
Kerry Heinrich, WoodmenLife
Sheena Helgenberger, Live Well Omaha
Blake Hoogeveen, MindSet LLC
Sheri Howard, Physicians Mutual
Jeff Huether, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Megan Jarosz, Holland Basham Architects
Christina Kahler, First National Bank
Brian Koenig, Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O.
Angela Lennon, Koenig | Dunne, PC, LLO
Ryan Loneman, Lindsay Corporation
Tim McAreavey, Omaha Public Power District
Lauren Miller, Omaha World-Herald
Christian Minter, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Dominique Morgan, Black and Pink, Inc.
Kelly Nielsen, CHI Health
Autumn Noble, McGrath North
Kara O’Connor, Farm Bureau Financial Services
Beth Pantano, Renaissance Financial
Ben Reynolds, Sheppard’s Business Interiors
Eva Roberts, Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Angela Roeber, Project Harmony
Gale Sayers-Proby, Prairie Flower Casino
John Steier, Great Western Bank
Jill Stigge, Kutak Rock LLP
Shane Sullivan, Sully LLC
Sherie  Thomas, Omaha Police Department
Ashley Turner, Borsheims Fine Jewelry & Gifts
Tim Waggoner, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company
Richard Webb, 100 Black Men of Omaha
Mary Wells, DVG Realty
John Wiechmann, Midwest Housing Equity Group, Inc.
Ann Williams, HDR
Debora Wisneski, University of Nebraska Omaha
Joey Wolfe, The Hope Center for Kids

Photos by C41 Photography

WE DEVELOP: You expect development opportunities. We prepare the community’s future business leaders.

Why Giving Matters – Doing Good Makes Omaha Great

Give back. Do the most good. Help each other. Call it what you will, but heartfelt stewardship is vital to the success of a community, and those who create meaning through unconditional giving are motivating others to do right daily.

For Innovators, Change is Good

When Bill Gates was asked to present at the G20 Summit in 2011, he said something timeless: “I believe innovation is the most powerful force for change in the world. People who are pessimistic about the future tend to extrapolate from the present in a...

REACH The Next Opportunity with Fox Flooring

When Brent Fox moved from Seattle to Omaha in 2008, he saw a place with the potential for growth. At a time when the recession was at its worst nationally, Omaha maintained a solid market and continued to be a community worth raising a family in. After...

Connection. Collaboration. Celebration.

Leadership Omaha Alumni Association Spring Luncheon Celebrates Historic Initiative and Renowned Leader of Leaders Connection. Collaboration. Celebration. We channeled all three into an incredible Leadership Omaha Alumni Association Spring Luncheon, a...