Leadership Nebraska announces new class

Leadership Nebraska announces new class
Courtesy/ Nebraska Chamber. Leadership Nebraska.
May 26th, 2023 | Courtesy

LINCOLN – The NE Chamber Foundation has announced the members of its new Leadership Nebraska class. This year’s class is the 15th in the program’s history.

Leadership Nebraska was founded in 2006 to identify current and emerging leaders throughout the state, enhance their leadership skills and deepen their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Nebraska.

Participants have been selected from across the state and possess varied backgrounds and diverse talents. All candidates have demonstrated an abiding interest in Nebraska and its future.

The nine-month program covers a broad range of key Nebraska issues including economic development, workforce and education, agriculture and environment, health care, education, government and policy development.

“We are excited and pleased to welcome this incredibly talented group to our statewide leadership program,” said Bryan Slone, NE Chamber President. “If we’re going to truly compete and solve our workforce challenges by growing communities that excel at supporting young families, talent, innovation and community development over the next decade, the next generation of strong and informed leaders like this group will be necessary to achieve those goals.”

Following are the Nebraskans selected to participate in Leadership Nebraska’s Class XV, along with the class member’s employer.


Crystal Dunekacke, City of Auburn


Adam Jurgens, Hamilton Telecommunications


Kelli Vondra, Great Plains Communications


David Mazankowski, Nebraska Public Power District

Brett Rains, Columbus Credit Services


Julie Deepe, Midwest Bank


Jenna Roberts, Pinnacle Bank-Elwood


Shane Labenz, CMBA Architects


Jason Davis, Central Community College


Gina Jespersen, Hemingford Public Schools


Alex Linden, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District


Lauren Brandt, City of Kearney

Kristen Majocha, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Doug Sutko, FNBO


Katie Bass, First Five Nebraska

Stacy Clouse, Olsson

Lee Ann Heflebower, Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence

David Sharp, Hexagon Agility
Courtney Wittstruck, Nebraska Community College Association


Cassie Condon, North Platte Area Chamber & Development


Kyleigh Austin, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska

Patrick Burke, Viterra

Cristina Castro – Matukewicz, Wells Fargo

Beth Coffman, Omaha Public Power District

Rosalee Higgs, Nonprofit Association of the Midlands

Itzel Lopez, AIM

Tami Soper, Boys Town

Michaela Valentin, Omaha Public Power District


Jennifer Peters, Black Hills Energy

Amber Powers, City of Papillion

After graduation participants join a network of 330 alumni committed to lifelong learning and community engagement.

Leadership Nebraska is the NE Chamber Foundation’s cornerstone program. The NE Chamber Foundation is focused on meeting the needs of current business, community and state leaders, as well as equipping Nebraska’s next generation of leaders with the experiences, information and research they need to turn big ideas into bold moves.


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