Leadership Nebraska Honors 29 Graduates


A cohort of twenty-nine leaders from across the state of Nebraska were honored for successfully completing Class XV of Leadership Nebraska. The graduation ceremony, held on Thursday, February 8th, in Lincoln, marked a significant milestone for these individuals as they were presented with certificates and commemorative awards in recognition of their accomplishments.

Graduates are current and emerging leaders from communities throughout Nebraska. The program enhances their leadership skills and deepens their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing our state. Leadership Nebraska is dedicated to the development of informed leaders who understand issues, define problems, develop solutions and achieve positions of higher responsibility in Nebraska.

“We’re pleased to add such a great group of individuals to the larger network of Leadership Nebraska alumni,” said Bryan Slone, NE Chamber president. “These individuals truly represent the state of Nebraska and are actively shaping their organizations, communities and the state.”

The program includes six, three-day sessions held in various locations across Nebraska. Topic areas include economic development, healthcare, agriculture, education, and government and policy.

Leadership Nebraska Class XV members who graduated Thursday include:

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
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, Latino Economic Development Council
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 360 alumni committed to lifelong learning and community engagement.

Leadership Nebraska is an NE Chamber Foundation program designed for current and future Nebraska leaders to view challenges and opportunities that face Nebraska. 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.