Earlier this year, the Omaha Community Foundation (OCF) announced the addition of Deborah Bunting, Gary Gates, and Sergio Sosa to its Board of Directors.
Bunting is the Community Development Manager at the Nebraska Art Council. Gates is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD). Sosa is both the founder and Executive Director of the Heartland Workers Center.
All three bring a unique point of view, vast knowledge of the Omaha community, and considerable leadership experience to the Foundation’s Board. Each has been widely recognized for their considerable contributions both to the community and within their professional fields.
“As the Foundation looks to its future, growing our presence throughout the Omaha-Council Bluffs community, and working with our many community partners to build a stronger region, I welcome the leadership and experience that these three individuals bring to the Omaha Community Foundation’s Board,” said Todd Simon, OCF Board Chairman. “Collectively they possess a deep knowledge of the nonprofit sector, rich personal and professional backgrounds, and a unique commitment to bettering our community throughout their careers. They will add three distinct voices to our Board of Directors.”
Deborah Bunting currently serves as Community Development Manager at the Nebraska Art Council, where she directs several of the organization’s programs that enrich the state’s arts organizations and their communities. She has served on numerous grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and is also involved in the Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) program to ensure the arts are accessible for all. She first came to the NAC as an artist-in-residence. Before joining the NAC, Bunting worked as a freelance artist for several local organizations including the Joslyn Art Museum, Museum of Nebraska Art, Omaha Public Schools, and the Bemis Center. She has also served as the Unit Director for Boys & Girls Clubs, and in Program Management for UMCC/Wesley House. Bunting was born and raised in Omaha and attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Gary Gates is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), a position he held from 2004 until his retirement in 2015. Gates has a long history of community leadership and involvement, having served on the boards of the Aksarben Foundation Governor’s Council, the Boy Scouts Mid-America Council, the Greater Omaha Chamber, Creighton University, Heritage Services, the College World Series, and the Joslyn Art Museum, among others. Gates and his wife were awarded Humanitarians of the Year in 2012 by the United Way of the Midlands; he was inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 2016. Gates holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Iowa State University, a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a master’s degree in business administration from Creighton University.
Sergio Sosa currently leads the Heartland Workers Center as its Executive Director, an organization he founded in 2009. Throughout his 30-year career as an organizer and Executive Director, Sergio has received recognitions including the Community Leader of the Year recognition from the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Defender of the Bill of Rights from the ACLU of Nebraska, and the Good Apple Award from Nebraska Appleseed. Sosa currently serves on the Board of Directors for Spark and the leadership team of the Coalition for a Strong Nebraska. He was a founding and former board member of the Nebraska State Civic Engagement Center. Originally from Huehuetenango, Guatemala, he studied Philosophy and Theology at the University Rafael Landivar and the National Seminary of the Assumption in Guatemala. Sosa has lived in Omaha for the last two decades with his wife and children.
The Omaha Community Foundation is proud to let good grow in Omaha by helping 1,500 donors facilitate their charitable giving. Since the Foundation’s inception in 1982, donors have granted more than $1.5 billion to area nonprofits, supporting more than 3,000 local charities.