Fellows/Community Innovation Fellows/

Jeff Yost

December 13, 2017
Nebraska Community Foundation
Community Innovation Fellow | President and CEO Nebraska Community Foundation  
Community Innovation Fellow | President and CEO

Nebraska Community Foundation

 


 

Jeff Yost is the President and CEO of the Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF), which is heralded as a national model for empowering community leadership to build and sustain their hometowns. Yost joined NCF in 1998 and became President and CEO in 2003. In the past ten years, NCF and its affiliated funds have grown 17% annually, with total assets now exceeding $125 million. More importantly, NCF is achieving mission fulfillment with its statewide asset-based grassroots model of 225 affiliated fund being led by 1,500 volunteer community leaders. NCF has been featured in many publications, including The New York Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Quarterly. Yost is asked to speak frequently and has worked and taught throughout North America and internationally in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia.

jeffyost@nebcommfound.org

Expertise

  • Community Foundations
  • Asset-Based Community Development
  • Community Economic Development

Publications

Grants

  • Sherwood Foundation
  • Peter Kiewit Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Read More

Milan Wall

December 13, 2017
Heartland Center for Leadership Development
Community Innovation Fellow | Co-Director | Heartland Center for Leadership Development Lincoln, Nebraska  
Community Innovation Fellow | Co-Director | Heartland Center for Leadership Development

Lincoln, Nebraska

 


 

Milan Wall is a founder and co-director of The Heartland Center for Leadership Development, an independent nonprofit organization developing local leadership that responds to the challenges of the future. Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Heartland Center is known internationally for its practical resources for rural community survival. A native of North Platte, Neb., Mr. Wall has been a journalist, higher education administrator and independent consultant. He owned a strategic planning consulting firm before he helped to found the Heartland Center in 1985. He is the author of more than a dozen publications on leadership and community development and is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada. Active in community affairs, Mr. Wall is a former member of the Lincoln Board of Education and currently serves on the Board of the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association. Milan is an internationally respected rural community development practitioner in the design and implementation of hundreds of programs across dozens of rural communities in the United States.

mwall@heartlandcenter.info

Expertise

  • Degrees in English and Education
  • Expertise in Community and Leadership Development
  • Experience in Community Engagement/Facilitation
  • Expertise in Research and Evaluation

Publications

Awards

  • CDS Innovative Program Award
  • CDS Community Development Achievement Award
  • UNL College of Education Alumni Excellence Award
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation 75th Anniversary Award
  • Ford Foundation Program Award
  • Blandin Foundation Community Development Curriculum

Read More

Robert Stowell, J.D.

December 13, 2017
Stowell & Geweke, P.C., L.L.O.
Community Innovation Fellow | Lawyer, Business Owner | Stowell & Geweke, P.C., L.L.O. Ord, Nebraska  
Community Innovation Fellow | Lawyer, Business Owner | Stowell & Geweke, P.C., L.L.O.

Ord, Nebraska

 


 

Bob’s passion is around personal, family, workplace and community leadership engagement and development. He is also committed to facilitating entrepreneurship business startups through entity formation, mentoring and sometimes with financial support, as well as free or reduced rate legal assistance. Youth engagement, leadership and activity sponsorship is also very important to him. Bob’s leadership as one of the founding Directors of the Valley County Economic Development and Foundation Boards has paved the way for Ord to become a national success story. His legal expertise drafting one of the state’s first LB 840 Economic Development Sales tax plans has been modeled after across the state.

rstowell@ordlawfirm.com

Credentials

  • Juris doctorate, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Expertise

  • Estate planning
  • Trust administration
  • Real estate
  • Community development

Grants

  • Community development block grants
  • New Neighborhoods grant for $750,000
  • Peter Kiewit grant and local endowment grants

Publications

  • SynoVation Valley leadership curriculum (copyrighted)
  • Annual reports for foundation fund

Awards

  • Distinguished Service Cross (RVN)
  • AV rated lawyer for 36 years
  • Small Business Administration advocate of the year

Leadership Positions

  • Nebraska State Bar Association, House of Delegates
  • Nebraska State Bar Association, Fellow
  • Nebraska Rural Development Commission
  • United Methodist Foundation
  • Nebraska Community Foundation

Read More

Reshell Ray

December 13, 2017
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Community Innovation Fellow | Associate Director | Student Involvement University of Nebraska-Lincoln  
Community Innovation Fellow | Associate Director | Student Involvement

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 


In her current role, Reshell bridges the gap between the academic and co-curricular experiences for University of Nebraska-Lincoln students. Prior to this role, Reshell served as a consulting associate with the Heartland Center for Leadership Development where she worked with grassroots community organizations in the areas of strategic planning, capacity building, leadership and racial reconciliation. Most recently, she collaborated with the Center for Civic Engagement, Engler Entrepreneurial program and Nebraska Human Resources Institute to develop what is now RFI Student Serviceship.

Reshell not only has the academic credentials for community planning, but the respect of the student community on the UNL East Campus. Her interpersonal communication leadership style makes diversity awareness easy on campus where many of NE’s rural youth have little experience. Reshell served as the coordinator of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cultural Center. For more than 10 years she developed educational programs for students of color. In this capacity she developed the curriculum for the Critical Moments program.

As the Management Analyst/City Planner for Pacific, Mo., she worked with the Planning Commission and the Economic Development Commission. She was also responsible for the Risk Management program, interpreted city ordinances governing land use development and managed the Community Development Block Grant Program and served as the liaison between City, Chamber of Commerce and School District.

Reshell has a heart for people, especially those who are considered to be at risk. She works to help individuals develop their full potential building on their God-given strength and talents.

rray1@unl.edu

Credentials

  • Bachelor’s degree, psychology and sociology, Southwest Missouri State
  • Master’s degree, community and regional planning with an emphasis in social planning and community development, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Expertise

  • Community and Regional Planning
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

Grants

  • Rural Futures Institute

Awards

  • UNL Board of Regents Service Award
  • James Griesen Exemplary Service to Students Award
  • NACA Outstanding Programmer Award

Read More

Greg Ptacek

December 12, 2017
Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company
Community Innovation Fellow | President | Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company Wayne, NE  
Community Innovation Fellow | President | Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company

Wayne, NE

 


 

Greg Ptacek is the President of Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company. Ptacek’s passion for rural Nebraska led to a very successful career in rural economic development. He served as Director of Economic Development for the City of Neligh for five years, during which Neligh welcomed 27 new businesses (a 17 percent increase in total businesses); transitioned 14 businesses to new ownership (nine percent retention); and Antelope County welcomed more than $600 million in capital investment. Ptacek now promotes community development through founding Nebraska’s first benefit corporation brewery. Ptacek is a graduate of Wayne State College and is six hours short of his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Greg has a beautiful wife, Kelly, and three children under the age of three: Alexis, Crispin and Liesel.

Greg@Johnniebyrd.beer

Awards

  • Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Nebraska Graduate
  • Norfolk Area Person of the Year Finalist – 2015

 

Publications

Participant in RFI

  • RFI Competitive Award, Marketing Hometown America
  • RFI Student Serviceship

 

Expertise

  • Bachelor of Science, history & political science

Read More

Donald Macke

December 12, 2017
LOCUS Impact Investing
Community Innovation Fellow Senior Vice President of LOCUS Impact Investing  
Community Innovation Fellow

Senior Vice President of LOCUS Impact Investing

 


 

Don has more than 40 years of community economic development field experience working throughout North America and the Caribbean. Throughout the years Don’s work has varied between public service ranging from Unicameral staff to serving in the Nelson Administration, to both for-profit and non-profit consulting. Don’s four decades of rural community economic development field experience throughout the continent are widely recognized in programs like e2 University & National Conference.

don@e2mail.org

Credentials

  • Master’s degree, regional economics

Research Interests

  • Community Engagement
  • Entrepreneur Focused Development
  • Community Philanthropy Development
  • Impact Investing

Awards

  • Award for Overall Excellence in Economic Development, Arthur D. Little and the International Economic Development Council
  • Group Honor Award for Excellence, U.S. Department of Agriculture
    The Ron Shaffer Award for Collaborative Leadership

Expertise

  • Community philanthropy
  • Entrepreneur focus development
  • Community engagement

Grants

  • Power Grant, Appalachian Regional Commission
  • We typically do not receive grants. Payment for services.

Publications

Read More

Catherine Lang, J.D.

November 22, 2017
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Community Innovation Fellow | State Director | Nebraska Business Development Center University of Nebraska at Omaha  
Community Innovation Fellow | State Director | Nebraska Business Development Center

University of Nebraska at Omaha

 


 

Catherine Lang leads the statewide outreach for the Nebraska Business Development Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and works to build new collaborative efforts across the University of Nebraska system to support the Center’s mission.

From 2014 to 2016, Lang was the Vice President of Accelerate Nebraska, a statewide organization connecting improved educational outcomes to local business needs for better careers and stronger communities.

Lang also served the State of Nebraska for almost 33 years. She was the Director of Nebraska Department of Economic Development (December 2011 to June 2014) and the Commissioner of Labor (September 2008 to June 2014). She was the Nebraska Property Tax Administrator from 1996 to 2007, and the Deputy Tax Commissioner from 2007 to 2008. As an involved state and community leader, she is a member of several local and state philanthropic and community organizations.

cdlang@unomaha.edu

Research Interests

  • Rural business and community vitality
  • Small business support and sustainability after startup
  • Business transition and succession

 

Publications

Credentials

  • Juris Doctor

 

Grants

  • SBA Small Business Development Center Grant
  • DLA Procurement Technical Assistance Grant
  • Federal and State Technology Partnership Program
  • Currently leading statewide US EDA University Center grant application to promote Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

Read More

Rachael Herpel

November 21, 2017
Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska
Community Innovation Fellow | Assistant Director Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska  
Community Innovation Fellow | Assistant Director

Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska

 


 

Herpel provides leadership in the development and execution of research, education and engagement programs as well as events for the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, established in 2010, and the Rural Futures Institute, both at the University of Nebraska. Through this joint appointment she is able to share best practices and lessons learned to the benefit of both institutes. During her graduate studies, Rachael specialized in environmental planning and water quality issues. Rachel’s role with DWFI Fellows and partners provides great perspective for the RFI. Her work with the rural NRD’s is a nationally recognized model for managing a very important resource, fresh water.

rherpel@nebraska.edu

Credentials

  • Bachelor’s degree, political science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master’s degree, community and regional planning, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Publications

Expertise

  • Community and Regional Planning – Environmental Planning Emphasis
  • Political Science

Grants

  • $50 million gift to establish the Water for Food Global Institute, disbursed in 5-year increments. Currently WFI is in year 2 of the second 5-year increment.
  • Water for Food Institute directors secured more than 40 grants, contracts and gifts totaling more than $3.5 million in fiscal year 2016

Read More

Melissa Garcia

November 21, 2017
Black Hills Energy
Community Innovation Fellow | Community Affairs Manager | Black Hills Energy Broken Bow, Nebraska  
Community Innovation Fellow | Community Affairs Manager | Black Hills Energy

Broken Bow, Nebraska

 


 

Throughout the past fifteen years Melissa has played various roles in community development across western and central Nebraska. Her deep belief in using collective impact to intentionally seek a better future has given her the privilege of taking part in more than $300 million in development in her hometown of Broken Bow during the past five years. Her greatest professional accomplishments come in rural program development. She has had the pleasure of speaking at various conferences and events from National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship conferences to the stage of TEDx Lincoln. Melissa has been married to her husband Chad for 13 years. They and their two daughters live in Broken Bow where their children are the sixth generation of Melissa’s family to do so.

melissa.garcia@blackhillscorp.com

Leadership Roles

  • Creator of Leadership Custer County
  • Youth Leadership Custer County
  • Custer CAPABLE (Custer Alliance for Preparing Business Leadership and Education)
  • Former Connecting Young Nebraskans steering committee member

 

Expertise

  • Marketing
  • Speech Communications
  • Economic Development

 

Publications

TEDxLincoln 2015: Rooted, but Not Standing Still

Memberships

  • Nebraska Enterprise Fund Board
  • University of Nebraska President Advisory Committee
  • Leadership Nebraska graduate
  • Sherwood Foundation Community Catalyst
  • Former Member of Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force, created a joint community college curriculum for entrepreneurship

 

Grants

  • USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants
  • USDA Rural Energy for America Programs
  • Robert B. Daughtery Foundation

 

Awards

Read More

Marty Fattig

November 21, 2017
Nemaha County Hospital
Community Innovation Fellow | CEO | Nemaha County Hospital Auburn, Nebraska  
Community Innovation Fellow | CEO | Nemaha County Hospital

Auburn, Nebraska

 


 

Marty Fattig has been involved in healthcare for more than 35 years. He began his career as a bench medical technologist and expanded his technical skills to include radiology and electrocardiology. Later he entered the field of healthcare administration and has served in various capacities including Laboratory Manager, Director of Ancillary Services and hospital CEO. He has also served as a laboratory consultant and computer systems manager for a regional reference laboratory.

mfattig@nchnet.org

Leadership Roles

  • Past President of the Nebraska Rural Health Association
  • Chairman of the Nebraska Hospital Association Issue Strategy Group on Workforce Shortages
  • Past President of the Southeast Nebraska AHEC
  • Vice President of the Region 2 Trauma Advisory Board
  • Chairman of the Rural Health Advisory Commission
  • Executive board of the Mid-America Hospital Alliance

 

Grants

  • Helmsley grant for digital mammography equipment

 

Publications

Credentials

  • Bachelor’s degree, medical technology
  • Master’s degree, healthcare administration

 

Research Interests

  • Improving rural economics
  • Rural education
  • Rural population health to improve the quality of life for all Nebraskans

 

Awards

  • J. G. Elliott Award for excellence in medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Meritorious Service Award from the Nebraska Hospital Association
  • President’s Award from the Nebraska Rural Health Association
  • NeHII HIT Visionary Award
  • HIT Fellow

Read More

Tiffany Crouse

November 17, 2017
Hastings Downtown Center Association
RFI Community Innovation Fellow    
RFI Community Innovation Fellow

 

 

 

RFI Community Innovation Fellow Tiffany Crouse is driven to help her community and state and believes everyone deserves an honest and fair opportunity to succeed. Tiffany is the director for the Hastings Downtown Center Association, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hastings, co-owner of Catalyst2 and a freelance consultant. Tiffany was elected to the ACLU of Nebraska board in 2015.

Tiffany’s passion for community, diversity, and rural Nebraska has led her to serve in many roles in Hastings and through NE. Her role as the Executive Director of the Downtown Business Association fits with leadership on their YPN group. She also served a the Ravenna Nebraska Economic Development Director. Tiffany resides in Hastings, Neb., with her husband Brian Crouse, LIPC, and their two co-creations, Aisling, 6, and Charles, 5.

tiffanydeancrouse@gmail.com

Expertise

  • Masters in Management

Leadership Roles

  • Connecting Young Nebraskans steering team
  • ACLU of Nebraska board, 2015
  • HPAC board
  • MPAT board

Publications

Memberships

  • YMCA volunteer
  • United Way of South Central Nebraska Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Grants

  • United Way of South Central Nebraska
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • State of Nebraska Juvenile Justice

Awards

  • Pinnacle Award from Doane College
  • United Way Service Award

Read More