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Staff

Our dedicated professionals are friends, neighbors, and leaders

More than specialists in their fields, the people who work at the Omaha Community Foundation are active participants in our community—as parents, volunteers, neighbors, and enthusiasts of all sorts. As philanthropic professionals, they are devoted to learning more about our neighborhoods, activities, needs, and organizations so they can better serve the donors and nonprofits who rely on us.

President’s Office

Donna Kush

President and CEO

donna@omahafoundation.org

More about Donna

Donna is a Nebraska native who grew up in Monroe, a rural town with only 350 people. She's proud of the values of humility, hard work, and gratitude that her small-town roots instilled in her. She loves working for the Foundation because of Omaha's generous and engaged philanthropic community — and it thrills her to be a part of creating positive community impact here. One of Donna's favorite local spots is Lake Zorinsky where she can easily be spotted on her runs; just look for her two (large four-legged) running partners, Macy and Stella.

Donna has been with the Foundation since 2020

Melanie King

Administrative Support Manager

melanie@omahafoundation.org

More about Melanie

Melanie returned to Omaha and the Foundation after a three-year hiatus working for the State of Iowa in Des Moines. Since returning to Omaha, she’s enjoyed being able to attend her grandchildren’s baseball and softball games. Her philanthropic interests lie in childhood development and children at risk. Her personal passions reflect her appreciation for the rural life she knew as a child and her intimate understanding of the sacrifices that career military families make.

Melanie has been with the Foundation since 2020

Donor Services

Matt Darling

Executive Vice President
402-342-9164
matt@omahafoundation.org

More about Matt

Matt’s giving goals are inspired by passion for the environment. He enjoys being outdoors, hiking or walking with his family in natural locations that enable a slower-paced experience. Matt is a glassblower, too—he learned it while a student at Hastings College and has practiced the art ever since.

Matt has been with the Foundation since 2013

Steven Jerina

Donor Services Specialist
402-933-4289
steven@omahafoundation.org

More about Steven

Steven is passionate about giving to education, arts and culture, civic engagement, and the environment. Omaha is home to him because of the Midwest mentality that has made him feel so welcome here. In need of a wedding officiant? He's also an internet-ordained minister.

Steven has been with the Foundation since 2018

Kelli Cavey

Donor Services Specialist
402-614-9510
kelli@omahafoundation.org

More about Kelli

Kelli supports organizations that serve seniors, children, and animals. While not originally from Omaha, she feels right at home because of the sense of community her neighbors have created. One of her favorite activities is an early morning walk at Zorinsky Lake with friends.

Kelli has been with the Foundation since 2018

Emily Prauner

Donor Services Specialist
402-933-4297
emilyprauner@omahafoundation.org

More about Emily

Emily is passionate about ensuring philanthropy is accessible to people of all ages and all backgrounds. Before joining the Foundation, she worked on the development team at Habitat for Humanity where she honed her skills in collaboration and nonprofit management. She loves bringing people together to dream of and participate in making Omaha the best place for all to live.

Emily has been with the Foundation since 2019

Juan Padilla

Donor Services Specialist
402-933-4229
juan@omahafoundation.org

More about Juan

Juan was born in Guatemala and moved to Papillion when he was five years old. He loves how Omaha-Council Bluffs has become more vibrant since his childhood, but continues to be tight-knit. Juan's charitable giving and volunteer time are focused on helping kids in our community to have the opportunities they deserve.

Juan has been with the Foundation since 2018

Vanessa Denney

Donor Services Specialist
402-614-9531
vanessa@omahafoundation.org

More about Vanessa

Vanessa joined the Foundation after various positions in both the government and nonprofit sectors in Omaha. She brings a strong background in fundraising, development, and relationship-building to her new role. As a new mom, she is passionate about mentorship and youth development. Her favorite thing about Omaha is that her family—close for lots of quality time together!

Vanessa has been with the Foundation since 2020

Pamela Pierce

Donor Services Associate
402-933-4109
pam@omahafoundation.org

More about Pamela

Pam loves working on a team that is totally dedicated to OCF’s mission, vision and values—while also managing to have fun. At work, she's known for getting things right the first time. Need proof? She does her crossword puzzles in ink. Omaha’s many wonderful “tourist” attractions are some of her favorite go-to places to relax. And the Joslyn Art Museum is at the top of her list.

Pamela has been with the Foundation since 2008

Community Investment

Anne Meysenburg

Director of Community Investment
402-933-4237
anne@omahafoundation.org

More about Anne

Anne was drawn to OCF because of its vision for impacting the community in a different way—it was about harnessing the exceptional generosity of so many in our community to provide opportunity for all. The endless supply of frozen York's Peppermint Patties that are available in the staff break room may have drawn her here, too.

Anne has been with the Foundation since 2015

Katrina Adams

Program Manager
402-933-4245
katrina@omahafoundation.org

More about Katrina

Katrina loves spending time in her Northeast Omaha neighborhood and thrives on the energy of all the community events where friends, family, and neighbors gather. Katrina appreciates that she is able to bring her whole self to work, which includes her eccentricity, her quirkiness, and her love for making things happen behind the scenes.

Katrina has been with the Foundation since 2016

Emily Nguyen

Director of Research and Evaluation
402-933-4205
emily@omahafoundation.org

More about Emily

Emily appreciates that people at OCF really care about each other and take the time to celebrate each other beyond just their jobs—which usually involves a great combination of food and laughter. She loves spending time at her neighborhood pool; it's a great place to get to know her neighbors and have fun with her family.

Emily has been with the Foundation since 2015

Communications

Ally Freeman

Director of Communications
402-933-4239
ally@omahafoundation.org

More about Ally

Ally spent nearly a decade in Washington D.C. and elsewhere, before returning to the neighborhood where she grew up to raise her own family. In case you're wondering: it’s Dundee. She loves the feeling of opportunity that comes from Omaha being a small enough place where you can accomplish what you set your mind to.

Ally has been with the Foundation since 2016

Finance & Operations

Melisa Sunde

Chief Financial Officer
402-933-4130
melisa@omahafoundation.org

More about Melisa

Omaha has always felt like a big, small town to Melisa; she loves that there is always something to do on the weekends and all the local restaurants there are to choose from. A true midwesterner, Melisa can drive a tractor and is a super-fan of her alma mater's football team; she has only missed six Iowa State games since 2000.

Melisa has been with the Foundation since 2007

Diane Darrington

Grants Manager
402-342-9062
diane@omahafoundation.org

More about Diane

Diane’s philanthropic interests are mostly directed towards those who cannot help themselves, especially animals. She loves the feeling of helping others through her work—and that there is something to smile about every day at OCF. Omaha-Council Bluffs has always felt like home to her; she can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Diane has been with the Foundation since 2001

Yvette Franks

Accounting Associate
402-342-9230
yvette@omahafoundation.org

More about Yvette

Yvette loves to support nonprofits that lean toward children, animals, and cancer organizations. Yvette appreciates that our community is quieter and less hectic than a typical big city. She and her family enjoy going for bike rides on the Wabash Trace in Council Bluffs.

Yvette has been with the Foundation since 2013

Shaun Hoschiet

Accounting Associate
402-933-4220
shaun@omahafoundation.org

More about Shaun

Originally from Fremont, NE, Omaha has become home to Shaun for all the connections he's made here and our community's great events. With his charitable giving, he has always had a soft spot in his heart for pediatric cancer patients and their families. Get to know Shaun and you'll learn that he's an enthusiast of American muscle cars.

Shaun has been with the Foundation since 2019

Amy Steinmeyer

Accounting Assistant
402-342-9095
amy@omahafoundation.org

More about Amy

Amy’s committed to giving to her church, prison outreach, and human services. She loves her co-workers at OCF and the culture of kindness, fun, hard work, excellence, and teamwork that’s fostered here. When not at work, she's into making all kinds of fermented things including kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

Amy has been with the Foundation since 2016

Russell Johnston

Director of Human Resources & Administration
402-933-4250
russell@omahafoundation.org

More about Russell

A Missouri native, but a two-time Nebraska resident, Russell moved back to Omaha just a few years before joining OCF. It has grown to feel like home because he regularly encounters people who speak lovingly and supportively of the children in our community. Ask him about his circus skills...he’s been formally trained in a few!

Russell has been with the Foundation since 2017

Beckie Brabec

Receptionist
402-342-3458
beckie@omahafoundation.org

More about Beckie

Beckie loves that Omaha-Council Bluffs is working to improve in all aspects of community life. It isn’t easy, but watching the effort being made is worth it. Personally, she's committed to supporting children, animal rights, and the theater. Her daughter introduced her to the theatre years ago, and now she’s hooked on attending as many shows as possible. She particularly loves the many small community theaters throughout Omaha.

Beckie has been with the Foundation since 2006

Southwest Iowa Foundations

Stacey Goodman

Iowa Foundations Director
402-933-4188
stacey@omahafoundation.org

More about Stacey

Stacey gets excited about coming together with others to learn about the emerging needs in our community. She has enjoyed participating in two local giving circles (Omaha Venture Group and 100 Women Who Care Omaha) where the collective gifts can have a greater impact than what would be possible if everyone acted on their own. Fun fact: Stacey performed in a leading role in an opera during her undergraduate years.

Stacey has been with the Foundation since 2014

Tess Houser

Southwest Iowa Associate
402-933-4164
tess@omahafoundation.org

More about Tess

Despite being born and raised in South Omaha, Tess has lived with more than 100 families in 100 homes around the world. With a knack for arts and culture, in her free time she enjoys taking classes at the OM Center downtown and attending arts related events or festivals in historic neighborhoods in the Omaha metro and at area museums.

Tess has been with the Foundation since 2019

In Memory and Honor

Kali Baker

Vice President of Community Investment

More about Kali

Kali Lynn Baker passed away on Friday, October 2, 2020 at age 44, due to complications from breast cancer that had more recently metastasized to her liver. At the end, she was surrounded by loved ones and passed peacefully and painlessly. Kali began her career in Omaha in the marketing departments at Borsheims and Kiewit, before ultimately taking her talents to the Omaha Community Foundation (OCF) where she served first as Director of Communications, and then as Vice President of Community Investment until her passing. It was at the Foundation that she was able to channel her devotion to community into a career. Throughout her 13 years at OCF, Kali spearheaded Omaha Gives, the community’s 24-hour celebration of giving, and launched The Landscape, a comprehensive community-indicator project incorporating policy and data. Kali’s love of community and caring for others defined her life.

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