We Are O.NE. Series. Let’s make this a place where I get to be me and you get to be you. Let’s make this a place where together, we are O.NE. Put your hands in the middle and share your story.

I’ve always said that I was born with an agenda, a spreadsheet, a budget and the attitude of “come on people! We don’t have time to waste!” My family, however, lovingly refers to me as the “Mayor of Attitude City.” Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

I know you’re not supposed to let your job define you, but I really love my job! I work at Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska as a fundraiser, amateur comedian and full-time klutz. I have never felt more “me” than working for this organization. When I’m not doing Girl Scouty things, I’m either at a Board or committee meeting, volunteering for something, at Target or wishing I was at Target.

I’m an ambivert which means when I want your attention, you’ll know it. I love burritos, guacamole and anything potato. I have twin sister greyhounds who are practically perfect except when they’re not and a really fuzzy cat who just wants to be hugged 24/7.

Originally from Reno but raised in Omaha, I spent some time away from the Big O (like so many of us do). I went to college in Iowa, grad school in Michigan, then headed to the DC area for my first big girl, real life, adult job. There, I began my career in fundraising and nonprofit management. After about 12 years, something happened. And I don’t just mean that I was about to turn 30, which was earth-shattering enough.

I wanted more. And I thought, why not Omaha?

So I “boomeranged” to Omaha. I never say I “moved back” or I “came home” because there was nothing backwards or regressive about my choosing Omaha. I was moving forward with my life in a city that was special to me.

I knew I could continue to grow my career, be nearer to family and maybe possibly someday even get out of debt because the cost of living is so great (especially compared to DC).

I chose Omaha. I was intentional about getting involved and being engaged so I could reacquaint myself with the city. That was something I could never fully realize in some of the bigger cities I lived in. My life used to revolve around traffic, which prevented me from being a “joiner.” But in Omaha, I not only “joined,” I probably joined too much! What a high-class problem!

Ten years later, I still choose Omaha.

How do you make a difference in this community? 

I hope that I’m contributing to a community that is raising girls to become CEOs – or whatever they want to become! My title at Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska indicates that I’m a fundraiser. Which is true, so please send me all your money. But what I really do is ask the community to give a BLEEP about girls. ALL girls.

I hope I’m contributing to a community that sees individuals with disabilities as human beings who deserve the same quality of life as everyone else. I am the adult child of a mother with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I take every opportunity to tell our story, to remind people that a child with autism will grow up to be an adult with autism. And are we, as a community, being supportive? Welcoming? Inclusive? Are we prepared to treat our aging autistic citizens with grace and kindness? What can we, as a community, do better?

I hope that I’m contributing to a community that treasures its artists and cultural potential. This city is so freaking cool and I don’t even think we realize it. I have had the honor of serving on boards and committees for some of Omaha’s fantastic arts organizations. I hope that in some way, I’m helping to make Omaha’s artists (and I’m consolidating all art forms into the word “artist”) feel valued.