Neligh Economic Development Director Greg Ptacek was among the twenty-seven Nebraska leaders honored with certificates and commemorative awards at the recent State Chamber’s Leadership Nebraska Commencement ceremony.
"I’d heard about the program from a few colleagues. Knowing the track record of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, I knew it’d be a great program so I jumped at the chance to apply. I was very excited to be chosen among 27 other movers and shakers across the state," Ptacek said.
Ptacek was selected by his classmates to be one of two commencement speakers at the graduation ceremony.
Barry Kennedy, President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “The program is aimed at persons who have demonstrated community and professional leadership experience. Through a variety of tours, speakers, discussion groups and first-hand experiences, the class members develop and hone their leadership skills and gain a broader understanding of issues facing Nebraska. The key to Leadership Nebraska begins with the premise that all citizens across the state have a stake in our future, and that cooperative efforts will make for a successful future."
The program includes six two-day sessions held in various locations across Nebraska. Topic areas include: economic development, healthcare, agriculture, education and government & policy.
"I’m pretty familiar with Nebraska but to learn the ins and outs of the state was eye opening. Our sessions were held all over the state, focusing on different sectors of the state," Ptacek said. "We met the governor a few times, toured a nuclear power plant and were three feet away from a spinning hydroelectric turbine."
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.
"I’m honored to be counted among a select group of individuals in Nebraska. Our class was Class 8, which means I’m now one of roughly 160 leaders in the state who have completed this course," Ptacek said. "That’s something to be proud of."
The Leadership Nebraska Class VIII members who graduated in 2016 are:
Cameron Arch, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska, Omaha;
Jill Becker, Black Hills Energy, Lincoln;
Silas Clarke, Midwest Hop Producers, LLC, Plattsmouth;
Eric Drumheller, EducationQuest Foundation, Lincoln;
Linda Dugan, PayPal, La Vista;
Andrew Elder, Pinnacle Bank, Wisner;
Josh Erickson, Team Concepts, Kearney;
Kari Haase, Cuming County Public Power District, West Point;
Kyla Habrock, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, Lincoln;
Elizabeth Hilyard, City of Scottsbluff;
Amy Jacobsen, Deputy Douglas County Attorney, Omaha;
Melissa Jarecki, NUCOR Steel, Norfolk;
Meg Klosterman Kester, College of Agriculture Sciences & Natural Resources, UNL, Lincoln;
Scott Lloyd, Ameritas Investment Corp., Lincoln;
Christin Lovegrove, Heinisch & Lovegrove Law Office, PC LLO, Geneva;
Sarah McDonald, Werner Enterprises Inc, Omaha;
Stephanie Mueller, Metropolitan Utilities District, Omaha;
Andrew Niehaus, Nebraska Public Power District, Brownville;
Timothy Nissen, Omaha Public Power District, Omaha;
Shawn Pollock, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha;
Ann Prockish, CenturyLink, Omaha;
Greg Ptacek, City of Neligh Economic Development, Neligh;
Jeffrey Ray, JEO Consulting Group, Omaha;
Kyle Reisenweber, NUCOR Steel, Norfolk;
Darren Robinson, Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, Kearney;
Sara Semin, Robert B. Daugherty Foundation, Omaha;
Thomas Whiteing, Renaissance Financial Corporation, Omaha.
Application forms for the next class may be submitted until April 15, 2016. For more information on the State Chamber’s Leadership Nebraska, please contact Roberta Pinkerton at (402) 474-4422 or visit the website at www.leadershipnebraska.com.