With 2021 comes a brand new slate of executives ready to lead the Young Professionals Council! Learn a little bit about each executive below!
Rebecca Atkins – Council Chair
- Company/Organization: UNO College of Business Administration
- Job Title: Career Advisor
- Year on Council: 3rd What are you most excited for in your role? I am most excited to see how the council can continue to be creative in engaging YPs in 2021. Now that we are comfortable in the virtual space as well as the in-person space, the possibilities are endless.
- What is your favorite YP Council memory? Hosting Intro at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Midtown. We played movie trivia with the attendees which was a huge hit! It’s always fun engaging newcomers to our city while catching up with folks who have lived here forever.
- Why Omaha? Omaha’s size and diverse makeup allow for easy access to experiencing various cultures’ food, festivals, traditions, etc. I also have strong family ties here and want to raise a family, surrounded by family.
- If you were an action figure, what two accessories would you come with? A bottle of hot sauce and a puppy.
Chris Humphries – Exec Operations Chair
- Year on Council: 3rd
- What are you most excited for in your role? I am excited to be entering my final year on the YP Council. I have learned so much from serving alongside so many passionate YP’s and am proud of what we have been able to accomplish. I am looking forward to leading my team in our goal of supporting the rest of the YP Council and ensuring we are doing everything we can to provide Omaha YP’s opportunities to grow.
- What is your favorite YP Council memory? As a Council we have organized a long list of great events over the past two years but my favorite memories come from the time before and after those events. I have gotten to know so many amazing YP’s that bring their own unique skills and passions to the Council. They have become great friends and I look forward to working with them this year and in the future.
- Why Omaha? I feel lucky to have been born and raised here in Omaha. It has all the best qualities of both a small and big city. It provides residents with all the arts, entertainment, and food options it could want with a cost of living that makes it so you don’t have to choose between them. Omaha is a diverse community that provides everyone opportunities to learn about other cultures and embrace new experiences. This community listens to its YP’s and provides them with real chances to make actionable change in the short and long term.
- If you were an action figure, what two accessories would you come with? Hockey Stick & Golf Club
Kelsey Christensen – Attraction Chair
- Company/Organization: Physicians Mutual
- Job Title: Staff Auditor
- Year on Council: 2
- What are you most excited for in your role? I am excited to highlight the different aspects that Omaha has to offer and introduce people to something new about this city.
- What is your favorite YP Council memory? Intro 2020. It was not as expected going into the year, being virtual, but I am extremely proud of the team and how the event turned out, especially the diversity and inclusion panel that kicked off the event.
- Why Omaha? Omaha has so much to offer in terms of culture, activities, food, diversity, and so much more. Also, the energy of the young professionals in the city shows so much hope for the future and how Omaha will grow for the better.
- If you were an action figure, what two accessories would you come with? Wine & a book.
Darius Christensen – Development Chair
- Company/Organization: Trane Technologies
- Job Title: Nebraska Account Manager
- Year on Council: 2
- What are you most excited for in your role? I am very excited to come up with a brand new event that revolves around development in Omaha.
- What is your favorite YP Council memory? Leading the selection committee was one of my favorite memories. We did a lot of great work, it was challenging and it was definitely worth it!
- Why Omaha? Omaha is a truly underrated city! It’s the perfect mix of small town and big city not to mention the food scene is unbelievable! There is always something to do all you have to do is look!
- If you were an action figure, what two accessories would you come with? A Microphone and Golf Club.
Laurel Oetken – Council of Companies Chair
- Company/Organization: Ervin & Smith
- Job Title: Account Executive
- Year on Council: 2nd
- What are you most excited for in your role? I’m excited to revive a committee that we haven’t seen on Council for a few years and provide more resources and to be a resource for employee resource groups and organizations that cater toward young professionals across the city. When we are all working to make Omaha a better place to live, work and play for young professionals, the future and our opportunities are endless.
- What is your favorite YP Council memory? State of our City was one of the first council events I was able to attend, and while things were still happening in-person. I loved getting to connect with young professionals and community members to talk about the future of our city. Plus, there was dedicated time set aside for YPs to ask the mayor questions about the things that matter most to us.
- Why Omaha? I’ve lived in Omaha my whole life and I was determined not to move back after graduating from college. But, as most of us on Council know, this city has a way of pulling you in and keeping you here because of the opportunities it is always presenting. Plus, while Omaha is a growing city, it has a small-town feel and its community members care about each other. Omaha is truly a place where young professionals can thrive, find opportunity, connect and have some good food and cultural experiences along the way.
- If you were an action figure, what two accessories would you come with? Definitely a great pair of high heels that could go with any outfit (you never know as an action figure/super hero when you’ll need to attend a ball or business meeting) and I’d also want a rocking blazer (preferably red) that could turn into an invisibility cape or be used as a shield.
Patrick Kilcoyne – Retention Chair
- Company/Organization: United Way of the Midlands
- Job Title: Director, Leadership Giving and Campaign Administration
- Year on Council: 2nd
- What are you most excited for in your role? As we move through this pandemic, I am very excited to take on this role so that I can work to deepen the ties of young professionals to the community. I am excited to focus on the relationships between the GOCYPs and other stakeholders including local/state government, the nonprofit sector, other YP groups, and more. There are plenty of ways to help people feel engaged in their community and I look forward to helping facilitate that.
- What is your favorite YP Council memory? On the whole, I have loved getting to know people with a variety of backgrounds and passions. While it’s a simple, somewhat non-specific memory, I believe my favorite memories have been casually connecting with my fellow council members. Whether at an event, before or after a meeting, or over Zoom, it’s been wonderful to get to know this group.
- Why Omaha? I was born and raised in Omaha and, in full transparency, I was the sort of person who always looked to leave the metro area. As I entered my mid-to-late twenties, however, I became more and more involved with other community organizations and began to find a deeper sense of belonging and community. I am very passionate about the opportunities Omaha has to volunteer and network and hope to help others feel the engagement I have been able to feel.
- If you were an action figure, what two accessories would you come with? After a year worth of Zooms, I definitely would want to come with a laptop. In addition to that, I would probably need a very cool sword. I have a theatre background and have always loved participating in and teaching stage combat.