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Staff

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

donna@omahafoundation.org

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

melanie@omahafoundation.org

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
402-614-9510
kelli@omahafoundation.org

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
402-933-4289
wynter@omahafoundation.org

More about Wynter

In her previous role, Wynter helped students and families navigate the complicated processes of college enrollment and seeking financial aid. That passion for collaboration and discovering new possibilities for people made her a perfect fit for her role as a Donor Services Specialist. With over 70 plants in her home she’s got a bit of a green thumb, so don’t hesitate to ask her for a few flora tips.

Wynter has been with the Foundation since 2021

Vanessa Denney

Director of Philanthropic Services
402-614-9531
vanessa@omahafoundation.org

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

Katie French McGill

Gift Acceptance Manager
402 884-1757
catherine@omahafoundation.org

More about Katie

Katie, who previously worked as an estate planning attorney, lives in a 90-year-old Dundee home that she and her husband painstakingly restored. She's particularly proud of the original bright yellow and powder blue art deco tiles in both bathrooms. When she's not living a real-life episode of This Old House, Katie likes to take long walks with her two dogs in Memorial Park.

Katie has been with the Foundation since 2022

Eyerusalem Gehringer

Process & Database Administrator
402 933-4297
eyerusalem@omahafoundation.org

More about Eyerusalem

Eyerusalem was most recently a Project Director at the Women’s Center for Advancement and is our new Process & Database Administrator. It’s important that her work makes an impact on the world around her and she sees that happening in the work at OCF. She’ll be one you call when you can’t get the ball return to work at the bowling alley. As a student, she was the building manager at the student center that included a bowling center.

Eyerusalem has been with the Foundation since 2021

Tess Houser

Philanthropic Services Administrator
402-933-4164
tess@omahafoundation.org

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
402-342-9164
sunni@omahafoundation.org

More about Sunni

Sunni joins the Omaha Community Foundation as a Donor Services Specialist after working at the Story County Community Foundation in Ames, Iowa. She uses her community foundation experience to help others make an impact in our community by working with the people and organizations who are making things happen. Ask Sunni about her love of being active outdoors and brick oven pizza.

Sunni has been with the Foundation since 2021

Nathan Morgan

Donor Services Specialist
402 933-4229
nathan@omahafoundation.org

More about Nathan

For the past nine years, Nathan was Executive Director at The Big Garden in Omaha and joins us as a Donor Services Specialist. He brings over 25 years of nonprofit experience to OCF and uses that experience helping to figure out the different passions each donor holds and how they can best affect our city. Want to talk about finding and replacing an alternator on a Chevy pickup? Nathan can be your “car guy” resource.

Nathan has been with the Foundation since 2021

Community Investment

Anne Meysenburg

Director of Community Investment
402-933-4237
anne@omahafoundation.org

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
402-933-4245
katrina@omahafoundation.org

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
402-933-4205
emily@omahafoundation.org

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
402-884-0792
laura@omahafoundation.org

More about Laura

With a background in program management, Laura is especially interested in serving refugee, migrant, and low-income families to ensure they have equitable access to quality healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. Originally from a small town, Laura loves that Omaha is an urban but close-knit community. On the weekends, you can find her exploring local restaurants and coffeeshops.

Laura has been with the Foundation since 2021

Communications

Ally Karsyn

Content Manager
402-933-4136
allykarsyn@omahafoundation.org

More about Ally

As a former journalist, Ally is passionate about community building and telling stories to inform, inspire, and connect. She's also the founder of an award-winning live storytelling series in Sioux City, Iowa, where she's coached over 150 community members to share their true stories since 2016. A few of her favorite things are hiking, plants, good design, dark chocolate, and contemporary art. Want to try yoga? She's a certified teacher.

Ally has been with the Foundation since 2020

Bernie Post

Content Manager
402-933-4195
bernie@omahafoundation.org

More about Bernie

Bernie brings nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to his role at OCF. Using his creative skills to amplify the stories of generosity happening every day in our community is what gets him excited. Outside of work, Bernie is passionate about Omaha's historic neighborhoods. He appreciates the tight-knit communities and "big, small town" feel Omaha offers.

Bernie has been with the Foundation since 2021

Finance & Operations

Melisa Sunde

Chief Financial Officer
402-933-4130
melisa@omahafoundation.org

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

Nicole Murry

Director of Human Resources & Administration
402-933-4250
nicole@omahafoundation.org

More about Nicole

Born and raised in Omaha, Nicole can’t imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She’s passionate about creating opportunities and supporting the next generation. In her free time, she likes walking or biking on Omaha’s many trails, taking time to reflect and enjoy nature. Favorite meal? Anything with queso.

Nicole has been with the Foundation since 2022

Beckie Brabec

Receptionist
402-342-3458
beckie@omahafoundation.org

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
402-342-9062
diane@omahafoundation.org

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
402-342-9230
yvette@omahafoundation.org

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

Kristin McKenzie

Accounting Associate II
402 342-9095
kristin@omahafoundation.org

More about Kristin

Kristin brings a wealth of accounting knowledge to OCF with experience in the public sector, nonprofits, and small businesses. In looking for a new accounting role, it was important she found a place where her talents were helping make her community better. Omaha has always been home and Kristin loves walking just about anywhere in town and maybe stopping at a new coffee shop along the way.

Kristin has been with the Foundation since 2021

Uri Rueda Licea

Accounting Associate I
402-933-4220
uri@omahafoundation.org

More about Uri

Uri's work experience includes three years at Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands and another two years at a small immigration law firm in Omaha. What drew Uri to work at the Foundation? The opportunity to be surrounded by people who are kind and benevolent. So far, so good. He’s found the team here to be incredibly nice and welcoming. A couple of his favorite places to spend time in Omaha are the University of Nebraska - Omaha library and shopping at South Omaha grocery stores.

Uri has been with the Foundation since 2021

Southwest Iowa Foundations

Stacey Goodman

Iowa Foundations Director
402-933-4188
stacey@omahafoundation.org

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
402-884-1378
sydney@omahafoundation.org

More about Sydney

Sydney returns to her hometown after being Program Director at Storytime Village in Wichita, Kansas. She is excited to be that connector between nonprofits and the resources they need to get their work done. Don’t be surprised if she responds to a question in a foreign language. She studied French for 10 years and is currently learning Italian.

Sydney has been with the Foundation since 2021

Front Porch Investments

Meridith Dillon

Executive Director
402-884-1681
meridith@omahafoundation.org

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 Communications & Community Initiatives
402-884-1728
naomi@omahafoundation.org

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.

Eva Roberts

Director of Policy & Strategy
402-933-4109
eva@omahafoundation.org

More about Eva

Eva is passionate about creating opportunities for children, families, and communities to thrive. She is committed to upstream systems-change and partnerships to achieve lasting impact. She recently completed an MBA with a focus on strategy, partnership, and organizational effectiveness. Eva has worked for the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, in several child-serving nonprofits in Phoenix, and in the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a graduate of Leadership Omaha, and a member of the Leadership Omaha Curriculum Committee.

Eva has been with the Foundation since 2022

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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Join the Giving

You can help us strengthen our community, and we can help you make your giving more effective. Be a part of the good we’re growing by contributing to one of our funds or opening your own philanthropic fund.