We’ve seen it happen before – community vision and collaboration working together to transform our riverfront into a destination flowing with promise.

The “promise” of 20 years ago was not only about development. It was also about creating a riverfront which attracted visitors and residents with quality events and activities. The parks departments of Council Bluffs and Omaha have filled the role of event organizers and landlords for years. Now, nearly two decades later, as discussions move forward for the next phase of riverfront development, a new coalition has been formed to lead the resurgence of activity along the riverfront.

Leading this crucial initiative, Missouri River Commons is a coalition of business, community, government and philanthropic leaders committed to the continued activation of riverfront land, facilities and venues on the Missouri River shorelines in Council Bluffs and Omaha.

The coalition is dedicated to activating the Omaha/Council Bluffs riverfront from a “sometimes destination” into a place where people regularly go for excitement, relaxation and entertainment – a riverfront alive with festivals, concerts and recreational activities.

Funded through the Omaha Development Foundation, Missouri River Commons – a program of the Greater Omaha Chamber – is a regional partnership between the cities of Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.

Missouri River Commons will:

  • Work with the Omaha and Council Bluffs Parks Departments to coordinate and expand activities along the riverfront
  • Lead the effort to develop a major riverfront festival as identified in the ULI Riverfront report
  • Support riverfront development initiatives identified by the Mayors of Omaha and Council Bluffs
  • Participate in and support the visioning and planning process for the Missouri riverfront
  • Raise funds as needed to support events and implement ULI recommendations

Steering Committee List

Missouri River Commons Steering Committee


Chris Kircher, Conagra Brands


Elected City Officials

Mayor Jean Stothert, City of Omaha

Mayor Matt Walsh, City of Council Bluffs


Committee Members

Keith Backsen, Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau

Holly Barrett, Omaha Downtown Improvement District

Brook Bench, City of Omaha, Parks & Recreation

Marty Bilek, City of Omaha, Mayor’s Office

Tre Brashear, Lozier

David Brown, Greater Omaha Chamber

Roger Dixon, MECA

Mark Eckman, Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Jeff Fassett, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources

Larry Foster, City of Council Bluffs, Parks & Recreation

Brenda Hermanek, First National Bank

Mark Johnson, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Rod Kestel, Waitt Outdoor

Jeff Kutash, Peter Kiewit Foundation

Louis Lamberty, Riverfront Place

Linda Lovgren, Lovgren Marketing

Scott Moore, Union Pacific

Scott Moulton, Gallup

Kristine Plunkett, Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce

Beth Ochsner, Heritage Services

Cassie Paben, City of Omaha, Mayor’s Office

Ariel Roblin, KETV / Hearst Television

Wendy Schultz, City of Council Bluffs, Mayor’s Office

Pete Tulipana, Iowa West Foundation

Brett Snead, Omaha World-Herald

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