Introducing the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program. LEARN MORE  


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

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

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

Kelli Cavey

Vice President of Donor Services

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

Wynter Davis

Donor Services Specialist

Vanessa Denney

Director of Philanthropic Services

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

Eyerusalem Gehringer

Process & Database Administrator
402 933-4297

Tess Houser

Philanthropic Services Administrator

More about Tess

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

Tess has been with the Foundation since 2019

Sunni Kamp

Donor Services Specialist

Nathan Morgan

Donor Services Specialist
402 933-4229

Community Investment

Anne Meysenburg

Director of Community Investment

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

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 Strategy

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

Laura Contreras

Program Manager


Ally Freeman

Director of Communications

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

Ally Karsyn

Content Manager

Bernie Post

Content Manager

Finance & Operations

Melisa Sunde

Chief Financial Officer

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

Beckie Brabec


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

Diane Darrington

Grants Manager

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 Manager

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

Russell Johnston

Director of Human Resources & Administration

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

Kristin McKenzie

Accounting Associate
402 342-9095

Uri Rueda Licea

Accounting Associate

Southwest Iowa Foundations

Stacey Goodman

Iowa Foundations Director

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

Sydney Calcagno

Southwest Iowa Associate

Front Porch Investments

Meridith Dillon

Executive Director

More about Meridith

Meridith has a passion for place-making and works to promote community development through public policy, advocacy, and community engagement. Prior to leading Front Porch Investments, Meridith served as a Program Associate in Community Development Initiatives at The Sherwood Foundation, where she focused on affordable housing, transit, and neighborhood development. She has worked towards addressing equitable access to opportunity and completed the first Regional Assessment of Fair Housing for the Omaha-Council Bluffs municipal area, as well as helped to implement the Housing Affordability assessment released in Spring of 2021 for the Greater Omaha Metropolitan Area.

Naomi Hattaway

Director of Operations

More about Naomi

Naomi is passionate about community building, diversity, and accessibility in online and physical spaces, and is equally driven by a vision of adequate affordable housing so folks can thrive, not just survive, in the places they call home. Naomi previously served in executive leadership at Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, and consulted with nonprofits and organizations on inclusive program design, mutual aid and housing solutions. In addition to recently leading the COVID-19 eviction prevention and rental assistance program, and the 2020-2021 Winter Plan non-congregate shelter efforts in Omaha, Naomi is a licensed Realtor, and recently ran for Omaha City Council in West Omaha.

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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