Thursday, March 1, 2018

7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

CenturyLink Center Omaha

YP Summit Promise

For those in motion, it’s about change – about bending space and slicing time. It’s about professionalism and perspective. It’s about activating curiosity and cultivating community growth. It’s about everyone. It’s about you.

Your momentum is more than a straight line. You see the big picture, and it’s not in black and white. It’s drawn in vibrant color, with a broad brush – your brush – perfecting a palette shaded with individual innovation and tinted by collective creativity. You are a Young Professional, and you know how to color the world.

During the 2018 YP Summit, our promise is to activate curiosity and cultivate professional, personal and community growth through intentional development, inspiration and empowerment.

Over the course of the day, through change-making keynotes and empowering breakouts, we will celebrate differences, foster connections, grow inclusivity and initiate positive, community-enhancing change – all with the goal of bringing a new layer of vibrancy to our community.

We share a canvas. Let’s color the future of Greater Omaha together.

Greater Omaha YP. Vibrant. Passionate. United.


Early Bird

$150 SOLD OUT!

for the first 200 tickets sold.





Includes complimentary parking, premier, reserved seating during general sessions and access to the VIP meet-and-greet.

Reservations are due by Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. No refunds for cancellations received after Feb. 22, 2018.

Photo and Video Release

By registering and participating in this event, you consent to the recording of your likeness, image, and/or voice and authorize the Greater Omaha Chamber to use photographs, video, and audio recordings containing your likeness, image, and/or voice in any medium for any purpose.

Keynote Speakers

Julissa Arce ►

Ascend Educational Fund

Immigration & Education Advocate
Author of My American Dream
CNBC Contributor

◄ John Henry

CofoundHarlem + Harlem Capital

Venture Capitalist
Thoroughbred Entrepreneur
Host of Open for Business Podcast

Keynote Speakers

John Henry

CofoundHarlem + Harlem Capital

Venture Capitalist
Thoroughbred Entrepreneur
Host of Open for Business Podcast

Julissa Arce

Ascend Educational Fund

Immigration & Education Advocate
Author of My American Dream
CNBC Contributor

Change Makers

Change Makers


Thursday, March 1

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Registration + Networking // Engagement Space

We’ll be eagerly awaiting your arrival on the second floor of the CenturyLink Center Omaha. Collect your name badge then head into our engagement space to grab a morning pick-me-up and start making some amazing connections!

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Keynote // John Henry

Opening Session // Peter Kiewit Grand Ballroom

Build Your Block: How We All Can Be Innovators for Our Community

John Henry will share his experiences empowering minority and female owned companies, the symbiotic relationship between community and economic development and how you can build your company and community by thinking like an entrepreneur.

John knows making your impact isn’t a tomorrow thing, it’s here and now. Whether you work in the nonprofit sector, for a traditional mainstay fortune 500 company or dream to make your startup the next big thing, John has a message that will capture your imagination and inspire you to dig deep and keep growing.

John Henry, Cofound Harlem + Harlem Capital

10 – 10:45 a.m.

Breakout Session 1

1A // Personal Development // Room 207

Living Life with Intention: Helping Women Set and Achieve Goals in All Aspects of Their Lives

Can women have it all – at the same time? Join us as we explore the idea that living life in an intentional manner will lead to meaningful balance. During this session, we will help women set goals – and start identifying the best path – for their personal and professional journeys.

Amy Pick, PharmD, Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

Katie Wadas Thalken, M.Ed., Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

Sponsored by: Methodist Health System

1B // Technology + Innovation // Room 209

You Don’t Have to Suck at Money

There’s one aspect of life that touches all others both personally and professionally: money. Let’s talk about the foundational strategies that can help make your big dreams a reality.

Jonathan Teixeira, WalletWin

Sponsored by: Midland University

1C // State of Our City // Room 212

How to Be Here and How to Be Heard

Bring community development to life, block-by-block, to create the city you want to live in. Learn how to become more engaged in our community at a neighborhood level complete with a how-to guide to practical advocacy.

Jeff Spiehs, Metropolitan Area Planning Agency

Julie Smith, ONE Omaha

Sponsored by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business – MBA Program

1D // Professional Development // Room 213

7 Reasons Why it is Our Job to Redefine What It Means to be Midwestern

Following the 2016 election, media, business and our nation’s representatives are more interested than ever in understanding so-called and often-overlooked “Middle America.” That means it’s time for a new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and community builders – aka you – to roll up the sleeves on your “Midwest is Best” t-shirt and get ready to debunk some flyover country clichés because promoting this place we call home is your new side hustle.

Mel Dohman, Bailey Lauerman

Stephanie Roy, Bailey Lauerman

Sponsored by: First National Bank

1E // Talent Inclusion // Room 216

Re-imagining the Leadership Landscape: Changing Narratives and Creating Space for Black Leadership

Hear from the recipients of the Young Black & Influential Awards to understand the narratives and challenges of Black leadership, what this looks like in the workplace and how equity has to be a part of this conversation.


Ashlei Spivey, Peter Kiewit Foundation


Alisha Davis, Davie Grams LLC

Racquel Henderson, Metropolitan Community College

Precious McKesson, North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance

Dominique Morgan, Black & Pink

Sponsored by: Doane University

11 – 11:45 a.m.

Breakout Session 2

2A // Personal Development // Room 207

Resilience: Falling Down and Launching Forward

This session will inspire YPs to believe that failure is a positive experience and one’s response to failure – resilience – is the key to success. Explore the importance of a growth mindset to overcome professional setbacks and learn the process by which failure can lead to dynamic success and workplace confidence.

Sasha K. Shillcutt, MD, MS, FASE, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sponsored by: Methodist Health System

2B // Technology + Innovation // Room 209

Your Home Grown Startup

Grow great companies, where “we don’t coast,” on a silicon prairie all our own. Startups will showcase individual successes and how they’ve maximized the momentum of the Midwest to ignite and accelerate their organizations. Plus, learn what current and future founders can do to leverage the strengths of our startup ecosystem.

Erica Wassinger, The Startup Collaborative

Dusty Davidson, Flywheel
Dan Houghton, Buildertrend
Amy Johnson, Lifeloop
Brett Thome, Spreetail

Sponsored by: Midland University

2C // State of Our City // Room 212

YPs on the Ballot

Learn how to have a voice beyond the vote from this panel of young elected leaders – and discover how public service can be powered by YPs.


Jodi Benenson, University of Nebraska Omaha

Amanda Ponce, Metropolitan Community College

Patrick Leahy, Papio-Missouri River NRD Board
Lacey Merica, OPS School Board
Marque Snow, OPS School Board
Michael Young, Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors

Sponsored by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business – MBA Program

2D // Professional Development // Room 213

What’s Your Competitive Advantage? Much of our training, whether it be formal education or on-the-job, is focused on developing competencies. But competencies aren’t enough to help us excel personally or professionally. How do you move beyond competencies to develop your unique competitive advantage – and then leverage it for personal and professional success?

Dr. Erin Bass, University of Nebraska Omaha, College of Business
Dr. Gina Ligon, University of Nebraska Omaha, College of Business
Dr. Erin Pleggenkule-Miles, University of Nebraska Omaha, College of Business

Sponsored by: First National Bank

2E // Talent Inclusion // Room 216

Maintaining a Strong Spiritual Life as a Busy YP

It’s hard to juggle work, family, health, community and faith. But, having a solid spiritual core can help us maintain a healthy balance and the peace we need to work through our busy, stressful YP lifestyles. Join us for an inter-faith conversation as an expert panel shares tips on strengthening our spiritual lives and why that is so important.


Roger Garcia, InFaith

Todd Mercural-Chapman, Outward Bound School
Ferial Pearson, University of Nebraska Omaha
Amanda Ryan, Omaha Public Schools
Richard Webb, 100 Black Men

Sponsored by: Doane University

12 – 1 p.m.

Lunch + Change Makers

Lunch + Change Makers // Peter Kiewit Grand Ballroom + Engagement Space

Each year, we honor individuals making positive, innovative and powerful change in our community and beyond. These YPs see the big picture and are coloring the world! Hear their dynamic stories and leave inspired to become a Change Maker yourself.

2018 Change Makers

Brevan Jorgenson, University of Nebraska Omaha
Luis Lopez, Crumb
Ashlei Spivey, Peter Kiewit Foundation
Sarah Spooner, Four Sisters Boutique
Jay Warren-Teamer, Mutual of Omaha

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

Breakout Session 3

3A // Personal Development // Room 207

Proven Negotiation Tactics for Work and Life Success

Add to your toolkit more than a dozen proven negotiation tactics that will help you be successful at work and in your personal life, including how and when to negotiate a fair starting salary and renegotiate compensation within a current job. Plus, negotiation tactics that will help you outside of work to get better deals and keep more of your hard-earned money.

Blake Hoogeveen, MindSet LLC

Brett Hoogeveen, MindSet LLC

Sponsored by: Methodist Health System

3B // Technology + Innovation // Room 209

The Mentoring Mindset

Structured mentoring is key to development efforts. Having access to mentors will lead to positive results throughout Greater Omaha. Improving current mentorship efforts will benefit employees no matter their intended career path. Prospective mentors and mentees will benefit from this glimpse into the mentoring mindset.

Shonna Dorsey, AIM Institute

David Hopp, Agape Red

Sponsored by: Midland University

3C // State of Our City // Room 212

Old Power, New Power and Omaha’s Future

Session Description: Decisions made in the coming years on economic development, the riverfront and transportation will impact our city for decades to come. Learn how YPs can harness their collective power to help make big things happen – all at a time when younger generations of philanthropists and empowered community members are more actively charting Omaha’s course to the future.

Jeff Kutash, Peter Kiewit Foundation

Sponsored by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business – MBA Program

3D // Professional Development // Room 213

Values and Business: Build to Last or Build to Sell?

Three of Omaha’s prominent entrepreneurs provide an audience-engaged, technology-enhanced debate on the question, “If you are starting a company or business project, would you build it to last or to sell?” You’ll leave with a stronger sense of the values that drive capitalists, reflection about your own leadership goals, and proven insights on building your career with ethical intentionality.

Mary Ann O’Brien, OBI Creative

Mike McCarthy, McCarthy Group

Willy Theisen, Godfather’s Pizza & Pitch Pizzeria

Sponsored by: First National Bank

3E // Talent Inclusion // Room 216

Who’s Inside My Head?

Aren’t we supposed to be our own biggest champions? If so, why do we sabotage ourselves so often or let fear and pessimism hold us back? That voice in our heads can either lead us to greatness or keep us from reaching our full potential. Start shifting your inner dialogue from limiting to empowering – and walk away with strategies to elevate your mental game and stage your path to success.

Brianna Johnson, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC

Sponsored by: Doane University

2:15 – 2:45 p.m.

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up + Engagement Space

3 – 4 p.m.

Keynote // Julissa Arce

Closing Session // Peter Kiewit Grand Ballroom

Being the Voice: Standing Up for Your Community

Julissa will share her personal story as a vice president on Wall Street, a woman in a still male-dominated industry, the interconnectivity of our aspirations, how to keep your values in mind during the day-to-day grind, and meaningful mentorships that can take you beyond own ability. By speaking truth to power, she will talk address tough issues, such as immigration in our country, how to have ambition and drive as a powerful female leader with the will to make an impact that sticks.

Julissa Arce, Co-Founder/Chairman Ascend Educational Fund and Author of My American Dream


4 – 6:30 p.m.

YP Summit Post-Party

Toast to the day’s accomplishments as we celebrate all that’s been learned and lift a glass to the new connections made. Park in the CenturyLink Center Omaha parking lot and walk or take the shuttle to join us.

We are excited to have the gentlemen of Satchel Grande join us and own the stage!

Access to the Post-Party is included in the cost of your YP Summit registration.

Didn’t attend the YP Summit? That’s okay! You are still welcome to join us, but it will be $10 at the door.

Each attendee will receive one drink ticket and appetizers. A cash bar will be available.

Location: The Slowdown – 729 N. 14th St., 68102

Sponsored by: TD Ameritrade

#WeSummitOmaha, Do you?

Spread the word with our YP Summit toolkit.

Facebook Banner

Download our Facebook banner and let your friends know, you’ll be at the marquee event for YPs in Omaha – with 1,500 of your closest friends.

Letter from our CEO

Need help convincing your boss? This note from our CEO ought to do the trick.

Save the Date

Help us spread the word. Download our save-the-date. Put it around your office and share at upcoming events.







This is the marquee event for YPs in Omaha. The YP Summit brings more than 1,500 young professionals together – one place, at one time – to grow personally and professionally, to learn more about community and to convert their collective insight into real, positive action using strategic imagination and intentional, collaborative innovation. Together, we see beyond today and redefine what we are capable of accomplishing.

The YP Summit began in 2005 as a conference to celebrate young professionals in our region.

The Summit has featured an extraordinary lineup of talented community speakers and nationally known keynotes since its inception, including: 

Ari Shapiro, Journalist

Josh Linkner, Entrepreneur

Randi Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg Media

Shabnam Mogharabi, SoulPancake

Baratunde Thurston, Author and Comedian

Frank Warren, PostSecret

John Legend, Singer

Adam Braun, Pencils of Promise

Bruce Mau, Designer

Cory Booker, U.S. Senator 

Blake Mycoskie, TOMS

Malcolm Gladwell, Author

Robin Sharma, Author

2018 YP Summit Planning Committee:

Chair: Angel Starks – Nebraska Realty

Co-Chairs: Nate Shapiro – Jewish Federation of Omaha + Dakotah Smith – Redfin

Programing Committee Co-Chairs: Megan Flory Tommeraasen – Mutual of Omaha + Ashley Turner – Borsheims

Marketing Committee Co-Chairs: Lauren Lemke – Ervin & Smith + Kayla Snow – Creighton University

Participant Experience Co-Chairs: Elizabeth Kraemer – University of Nebraska Omaha + Kellee Grimes – Mutual of Omaha

Pre + Post-Party Chair: Stevie Sprague – Union Pacific

Greater Omaha Chamber Staff: Luke Hoffman, Sarah Moylan + Kayti Rachwalik


1301 Harney St.
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: 402-346-5000
Fax: 402-346-7050

Questions about the YP Summit? Contact Luke Hoffman. | 402-978-7914

© 2017 Greater Omaha Chamber.

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