Jim Welniak grew up on a family farm and ranch in Valley County, where he graduated from Ord High School. After earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jim embarked on a 36-year engineering career that took him to Kansas City and later Omaha, where he served as the Vice President of Engineering and Construction at Tenaska, an independent energy company. In that role, he was responsible for the development, construction, operation and acquisition of domestic and international power projects. Jim and his wife, Kathy, live on their ranch near Taylor and are active members of the Calamus Area Community Fund’s advisory committee, for which he currently serves as secretary for the affiliated fund benefiting Loup and Garfield counties. Most recently, Jim served as a member of the Digital Equity Planning Committee for the Central Nebraska Economic Development District Region.