What is the best thing about living in your community?
Above all, I have valued being near my family and giving my kids the opportunity to see their grandparents on a consistent basis. Beyond that though, we have found so many treasures living in our community: new people and their stories, local businesses and restaurants, activities for our family. We have explored more of our whole state now than we ever did in the past.
What was the most important factor in your decision to move to your community?
Of course, the opportunity to buy into my family’s business was a big consideration and opportunity for us. However, when our family started to grow, we knew we had some decisions to make. We didn’t want to uproot our kids when they were school-age. We made the decision to move back before they started school.
Did you always plan to return to Greater Nebraska? If not, what changed your mind?
No, I didn’t have plans to return to Greater Nebraska. We were content in our jobs and neighborhood in Omaha. However, when the opportunity was presented to us to move back and buy into my family’s business, we began considering the decision.
For you personally, what has been the most valuable part about moving to your community?
I love the people that we have met. I have developed connections and friendships with people of all ages and backgrounds. I also love being able to send my girls to school and know all the kids and families that they go to school with. That gives me peace of mind that I wouldn’t have had in a much larger school.
I’m most surprised about how much is going on in our county and community. We find that we are actually more busy now than we ever have been, but we love it because we can see the results of the work we are doing with others. We aren’t getting lost in the shuffle, but rather finding our voice and using it to contribute to our community.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about returning to Greater Nebraska?
I would tell them to keep an open mind. I hear a lot from other people “Don’t you get bored?” We have yet to find ourselves bored here in our small community. Simply passing through cannot do justice to the depth of the people and projects going on in a community. When you are open and immerse yourself into an area, you find more than you ever imagined.
What excites you when you think about the future of your community?
What excites me is that I hear more and more young people have plans to move back to the area. It’s not a place that kids want to escape and move far away from. If we can give more kids a voice and an opportunity to see their future here, this trend will only continue.
How would you describe your experience serving on your local affiliated fund?
Serving on the Boone County Foundation Fund has been a constant and needed source of support and motivation for me. The leadership from NCF trickles down to our local affiliated fund and I find myself surrounded by “yes” people. The BCFF has made me more confident in working towards a project or mission. It’s turned my “whys” into “why nots”.
What drew you to the NCF network?
I was somewhat skeptical at first, not knowing very much about NCF or even our local affiliated fund. However, I kept an open mind. The thing that drew me in the most though, and continues to draw me in, is the inspiring leadership that NCF provides and access to those people. It is said that great leaders make you feel that you too can be great. That is exactly how I have felt working with NCF. I have never felt like it was the leadership telling us what to do, but rather a collaborative effort on overcoming obstacles and celebrating our successes.