We are Civic Nebraska

We build young leaders; connect and empower Nebraskans to strengthen democracy; cultivate active members of society in our schools, neighborhoods, and communities; and protect your voting rights. We do this because YOU are democracy. YOU ARE CIVIC NEBRASKA.

Leadership and Administration

Adam Morfeld, JD
Executive Director and Founder

Adam Morfeld founded Civic Nebraska in 2008 with a group of politically diverse Nebraskans to create a more modern and robust democracy in the Cornhusker State. Since then, Civic Nebraska has grown to more than 100 full- and part-time staff who build youth civic leadership skills, increase civic life in our communities, and ensure nonpartisan and modern elections. 

Adam graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in economics. He graduated from U. Nebraska Law in 2012. In 2016, Adam became an alumnus of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Senior Executives in State and Local Government course in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Adam was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2014 as the 46th Legislative District’s state senator. He was re-elected in 2018 and serves on the Education and Judiciary committees. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Doane University.

In his free time, Adam enjoys spending time with his fiancée Rachel, backcountry camping, traveling, running, working on his house near Nebraska U’s East Campus, and watching Husker football.

402.904.5191 office
adam.morfeld@civicnebraska.org

To schedule a meeting with Adam:
Julie Ward, julie.ward@civicnebraska.org 

Amanda Barker
Deputy Executive Director,
Director of Civic Health Programs

Amanda’s work focuses on helping communities of all sizes create a vibrant civic infrastructure through social connectedness and community engagement. Growing up on a farm near Nebraska City, Amanda learned firsthand the value of being an active community member. She has developed a background in nonprofit work and community development through her time at MindMixer, the Nebraska Tourism Commission, and the Arbor Day Foundation. Amanda serves on a handful of boards in Lincoln, including The Foundry and Clinic with a Heart, and is a Leadership Lincoln Fellows XXXIII alum. Outside the office, she can most likely be found reading, attempting house renovation projects with her husband Scott, or enjoying time with her young daughter, Laney. 
 
Education: University of Nebraska, political science, English, economics
 
Responsibilities and expertise:
  • Civic Health Index, data, indicators
  • Service learning
  • Asset-based community development
  • Community asset mapping
  • Government systems literacy
  • Civil discourse and media literacy
  • Keeper of candy and other snacks
402.309.5350 cell 
402.904.5191 office

Julie Ward
Assistant to the 
Executive Director

Jules is the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of Civic Nebraska. You can contact her if you need to make an appointment with Adam Morfeld or need information about Civic Nebraska in general. Jules moved to Nebraska from Texas in 2009 after working for major corporations for 10 years. She then worked for the State of Nebraska for a decade, giving her an education on what it’s like to work in the private sector as well as being a public servant. She brought that dedication to Civic Nebraska in 2018, where she’s passionate about the mission and honored to help with all aspects of the organization. Jules likes to practice yoga, and she and her husband share their home with Lucy and Banjo, their terriers. 

 Education: University of Illinois, English literature
 
Responsibilities:
  • Coordinating Executive Director’s calendar
  • Civic Nebraska Board of Directors liaison
  • Special projects like coordinating staff training, tracking strategic goals, creating internal newsletter content, and coordinating the Internal Leadership Academy
  • Lunchtime recaps of real-crime TV documentaries 
214.392.4623 cell
402.904.5191 office

Liz Potter
Director of
Development

Liz manages our grant portfolio, plans fundraising events and cultivates relationships with donors. She loves building communities that foster meaningful relationships. A native of Lincoln, Liz thrives when she can build authentic connections and share the personal impact that Civic Nebraska has on those we serve. In her free time, Liz enjoys volunteering with middle-school girls at Grace Chapel, riding her road bike, and baking pies. She also is responsible for many of the memes posted around the Lincoln office.
 
Education: University of Nebraska, Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
 
Responsibilities:
  • Grant writing 
  • Individual donor relations
  • Event planning
  • Progress reports
  • Office memes and morale

402.904.5191 office
402.430.2673 cell

Westin Miller, MA
Director of Public Policy

Westin is our main point of contact with policymakers at the local, state, and federal level. Also, he conducts research, oversees our coordinated legislative strategy, and monitors Civic Nebraska’s compliance with nonprofit lobbying rules and reporting compliance. He assists senators and their staff with research and strategy, and is our go-to guy in the lobby. He gets excited about politics and good coffee, and joined Civic Nebraska in 2017 after three years of sales and management in the coffee industry. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Westin now lives in the Benson neighborhood in Omaha, where he and his partner Alex host a weekly Thursday night dinner, and you’re invited. 
 
Education: Creighton University, MA in rhetoric & composition and BA in communication studies
 
Responsibilities
  • Government relations
  • Policy research
  • Policy messaging
  • Connecting Nebraskans with their senators 
  • Arbiter of pocket-square do’s and don’ts
816.805.1641 cell
402.904.5191 office

Steve Smith
Director of Communications

Steve identifies, develops, and shares Civic Nebraska’s stories with the world. He joined Civic Nebraska in 2018 after a decade as a communications specialist at the University of Nebraska and, before that, 15 years as a journalist in Iowa, California, and Nevada. His passion for American history – especially the era of the Revolution and the Framing – has prepared him well for writing about our modern democracy-building efforts. Steve is a published author, an alumnus of Leadership Lincoln Fellows XXXII, a mentor of a local teen through Big Brothers Big Sisters Lincoln, and a (very) amateur cyclist. A native of Rosalie, Nebraska, Steve lives in Lincoln with his wife Kathy and their very laid-back cats, Frankie and Ellie.
 

Education: University of Nebraska, news-editorial journalism

Responsibilities:

  • Media and public relations
  • Storytelling
  • Branding and marketing
  • Media training
  • Social media
  • Stories about how information traveled before the Internet

402.419.4349 cell
402.904.5191 office
steve.smith@civicnebraska.org

Nicholette Seigfreid
Human Resources Manager

Nicholette works closely among all members of Civic Nebraska’s administrative team and plays a key role in ensuring a positive and successful work environment for our staff. She assists with hiring, onboarding, employee benefits administration, employee relations, and annual reviews. Nicholette also contributes to professional development planning. In addition to her work with us, Nicholette is an administrator at the Lincoln Jewish Community School and is vice president of the South Street Temple. She is also a certified diversity and inclusion trainer with Inclusive Communities. She lives in Lincoln with her family and her three cats.

Education: University of Arkansas, anthropology and Middle Eastern studies

Responsibilities:

  • Hiring and onboarding new employees
  • Administering employee benefits
  • Professional development planning
  • Managing internship program
  • Managing volunteer database
  • Creating and coordinating professional development
  • Being at ease with her Siamese

Sarah Cohen, MA
Grants Associate

Sarah, a May 2019 University of Nebraska graduate, strengthens our fundraising efforts and expands our grants portfolio. Crafting persuasive funding requests for our program areas present an exciting writing challenge for Sarah, who studied political science and English. Before joining Civic Nebraska, Sarah spent the last two years in public relations departments and community organizing roles at various Nebraska nonprofits. She loves teaching, was an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and continues to teach English coursework at Doane University. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, watching soccer, spending time with friends and family, and being outdoors.

 Education: University of Nebraska at Omaha, Masters in English
 
Responsibilities:
  • Grant writing and management
  • Event planning support
  • Fundraising support
  • Researching and identifying fundraising avenues
  • Laying the long-term groundwork to open a “Civic Madrid” branch office during her travels to Spain
Office: 402.904.5191
Cell: 402.802.7671

Youth Civic Leadership

Building the next generation of Nebraska’s civic leaders.
youth@civicnebraska.org

Kent Day, MA
Director of Youth Civic
Leadership Programs

Kent is an award-winning veteran public school teacher, having taught English, Gifted and Talented, and international studies. Beyond his 34 years in Nebraska public schools, he has trained and consulted in hundreds of U.S. schools and many abroad. This passion for education is now directed toward out-of-school-time programs, where he has found an outlet for creative energy and idealism. Kent lives in the Omaha area with his wife, Sandy, with whom he raised five children, and several dogs, birds, rodents, and reptiles.

Education: Dana College; University of Nebraska at Omaha, MA, English

Responsibilities:

  • Out-of-school-time program development and supervision
  • Program assessment and evaluation
  • Partnership development
  • Community engagement
  • Youth civic leadership development
  • Drone pilot

Shari Kimble
Youth Leadership Programs Manager
Omaha

Shari oversees day-to-day operations at Civic Nebraska’s Omaha after-school programs as well as its youth outreach programs. Shari has spent over 10 years guiding youth and adults at nonprofit organizations in the Omaha area. As a leader and trainer who is dedicated to program quality, Shari helps ensure that the youth of Civic Nebraska’s programs are best equipped to be tomorrow’s leaders. A lover of travel, Shari is always interested in trying a new food, meeting new people, and navigating new places. When Shari isn’t working or traveling, she’s spending time with her husband Charles, their son Isaac, and dog Sasha.

Responsibilities:

  • After-school programs
  • Program quality
  • DHHS compliance
  • Staff development
  • Food taster / explainer / recommender 

712.898.4211 cell
402.554.3584 office
shari.kimble@civicnebraska.org

Renae Ninneman, MPA
Youth Leadership Programs Manager
Lincoln

Renae oversees day-to-day operations at Civic Nebraska’s four Lincoln after-school programs and two elementary sites in Raymond Central Public Schools. Renae most recently worked with Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, coordinating and executing clubs in many school-based CLCs. She led programs that served thousands of girls across the state, led girls on trips domestically and abroad, led an annual Legislative Day for girls, and promoted gender equality in Nebraska. In her spare time, Renae enjoys music, including as a volunteer programmer for community radio KZUM (89.3 FM). She and her husband, Kurt, and three children live in Lincoln.

Education: Grand Valley State, master of public administration 

Responsibilities:

  • After-school programs
  • Program quality
  • DHHS compliance
  • Staff development
  • Searching the planet for new tunes to share across the city

Brianna White
Site Director, Sherman Elementary School Community Learning Center

Brianna provides daily after-school programming for over 115 Sherman Elementary students. Students are provided a meal, homework help and engaging, high-interest learning activities. A native of Omaha, Brianna worked in Georgia after graduating college before returning to her hometown and becoming involved in education. She enjoys gardening, dancing, and being involved in improving her community. 

Education: Clark Atlanta University, business administration and supply-chain management

Responsibilities:

  • Recruitment and communication
  • Plan program, field trips and family nights
  • Staff hiring, professional development
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Develop community partnership
  • Posing for a photo to go next to “Woo” in the new edition of Clifton StrengthsFinder

Equasha Smith Gooch
Site Director, Lothrop Magnet School Community Learning Center

As the Site Director of Civic Nebraska at Lothrop Magnet in Omaha since 2017, Equasha has guided 14 trained and qualified staff and 150 students during program time to ensure all participants are safe and learning lifelong skills to become positive citizens. She has been working in after-school programming since 2004. Equasha has a passion for serving others and enjoys working for students and their families. She has a two-year-old daughter, who is her motivation to continue her education: Equasha will earn her associates degree in early childhood education, on which she has been working on since November 2016. 

Responsibilities:

  • Recruitment and communication
  • Plan program, field trips and family nights
  • Staff hiring, professional development
  • Candle connoisseur

Tracy White
Site Director, Lewis & Clark Middle School Community Learning Center

Making a difference in the lives of youth is Tracy’s No. 1 goal. She joined Civic Nebraska in 2017 as site director after serving five years as assistant site director at Lewis & Clark. Tracy has worked in several youth programs, including Belvedere Elementary, Hope Center for Kids and others for 15-plus years after transitioning from the business world. A native of St. Louis, Tracy loves a good strong cup of coffee to get her going. She enjoys creating digital designs and also has an Omaha baking and sweet-treats business with her daughters. She has instilled success principles in her daughters Kelli, Jessica, and Bre. Tracy also has been public relations director for the Nebraska First Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ for the past 10 years. In her spare time, Tracy loves to travel — and relax. 

Education: University of Nebraska, business administration-marketing/industrial engineering

Responsibilities:

  • After-school Programs
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Classroom management
  • Youth quality work methods
  • Staff sweet-treat maven

Emily Koopmann
School Community Coordinator, Campbell Elementary School Community Learning Center

Emily takes her title as School Community Coordinator to heart as she connects the dots between the walls of Campbell Elementary and its Lincoln neighborhood. The Campbell Elementary Community Learning Center strives to make the school a hub for students, families, and area residents. Emily has worked in public schools for seven years — three in Chicago Public Schools and she is now in her fourth at LPS. Emily is especially fond of her son Maximilian, audiobooks, and ZIP codes (specifically 68504 and 60621).

Education: University of Nebraska, marketing and economics; Moody Theological Seminary, intercultural and urban studies

Responsibilities:

  • Expanded learning opportunities for grades K-5
  • Family and community engagement
  • Hiring and volunteer placement
  • Staff Jazzercise coordinator
Campbell Elementary: 
402.436.1129
Civic Nebraska: 
402.904.5191
Community Learning Centers:
402.436.1969

Levi Eggers
School Community Coordinator, Randolph Elementary School Community Learning Center

Levi advocates for Randolph’s youth, families and neighborhood residents; works with the Randolph community to create robust programs for kids; manages partnerships, projects, and relationships to benefit the CLC; and plans, schedules and directs daily routines, activities, and operations of the Randolph after-school program. He also is the point person for neighborhood, community, and other projects among the Randolph CLC and its community. A native of Lincoln and graduate of Lincoln Northeast High School, Levi also is enrolled at Southeast Community College. He most recently worked at Norwood Park Elementary’s CLC, serving there for three years. In his spare time, he enjoys sports (Indy Colts, Tottenham), music, and tattoos. He and his roommates live in Lincoln with their three-legged dog, Chuck.

Education: Southeast Community College

Responsibilities:

  • CLC recruitment and communication
  • Planning program, field trips and family nights
  • Staff hiring and professional development
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Developing community partnerships
  • Singing “Tottenham, Tottenham” in CLC staff meetings

Michael Bandy
School Community Coordinator, Northeast High School Community Learning Center

Michael leads Civic Nebraska’s Community Learning Center at Lincoln Northeast High School, working with the Rocket community to create effective programs for the teens participating in the CLC. Michael also directs daily CLC activities and builds neighborhood partnerships. He previously was a volunteer coordinator at College Possible. Raised in Omaha and an alumnus of Nebraska Wesleyan, Michael backpacked through South America after college, living and working in Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina. Most recently, he was a volunteer engagement specialist with College Possible. In his free time, Michael enjoys hanging out with his dog, Mago, and being outdoors. He’s a mountain biker and has recently started doing longer, adventure-style races and triathlons. An avid reader and cook, Michael also can binge on films and TV shows with the best of them.

Education: Nebraska Wesleyan, international relations and political science

Responsibilities:

  • CLC recruitment and communication
  • Planning CLC programs, clubs, and community activities
  • Staff hiring and professional development
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Developing community partnerships

Chelsea Egenberger, CMSW
School Community Coordinator, Lincoln High Community Learning Center

Chelsea leads our Lincoln High CLC by advocating for students, families, and neighborhood residents. A Lincoln native, she believes that by strengthening our connections, we can shape the world around us. Chelsea helps create a holistic learning environment that includes everyone – something, she says, that is a crucial element to community sustainability. Before coming to Civic Nebraska, Chelsea worked with a variety of human service organizations. She also has collaborated with Lincolnites around the issue of housing affordability, economic justice, and community advocacy. An alumna of Lincoln High, Chelsea is proud to return to her roots as a Link.

Education: University of Nebraska at Omaha, social work; University of Minnesota, social work

Responsibilities:

  • CLC recruitment and communication
  • Planning and coordinating all Lincoln High CLC programs
  • Staff hiring and professional development
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Developing community partnerships
  • Setting the eyewear standard for staffers
Lincoln High School: 402.436.1301
Civic Nebraska: 402.904.5191
Community Learning Centers: 402.436.1969

Kara Nelson
School Community Coordinator, Raymond Central Before- and After-School Program

As Civic Nebraska’s school community coordinator for Raymond Central’s Valparaiso and Ceresco elementary school Before and After-School Programs, Kara advocates for youth, families, and community residents. She plans, schedules, and directs daily routines, activities, and operations of both sites. Kara also builds partnerships with community-based organizations, school staff, and community members to support the program’s goals. Kara lives on an acreage near Davey with her husband – and their chickens, four cats, a beautiful lab, and an irresistible pug, between visits from her college-age daughters. She enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling, classic novels, and movies.

Responsibilities

  • Recruitment and communication
  • Planning programs, field trips and family nights
  • Staff hiring and professional development
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Developing community partnerships

Civic Health Programs

Strengthening our state’s civic, social, and political fabric.
civic@civicnebraska.org

Nancy Petitto, MA
Director
Collective Impact Lincoln

Nancy Petitto is the director of all Collective Impact Lincoln staff, initiatives, and policy. Prior to joining Civic Nebraska in 2018, Nancy worked at the University of Nebraska in academic, administrative, and research departments. Since 2017, she has served on the board of directors for GIRLPowR Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls in Lincoln and Nicaragua through educational and leadership programs, and is currently the board president. Nancy lives in Lincoln with her husband Scott, and their dogs, Frankie and Murphy. 

Education: University of Nebraska, news-editorial journalism; MA, educational administration-higher education administration 

Responsibilities:

  • Direct all aspects of Collective Impact Lincoln
  • Support resident-led neighborhood revitalization 
  • Build and maintain strong community partnerships 
  • Direct policy goals from deep canvassing activities 
  • Development and implementation of Community Builder Workshops
  • Gourmet coffee maker

402.904.5191 office
402.202.3807 cell
nancy.petitto@civicnebraska.org

José Lemus
Community Organizer
Collective Impact Lincoln

As the Collective Impact Lincoln community organizer, José works with residents and stakeholders in the Hartley and University Place neighborhoods to build strong and resilient communities. When it’s not snowing, you can find José and his volunteers knocking on doors or partnering on placemaking events that activate underrepresented populations in northeast Lincoln. He is a graduate of Lincoln High and the University of Nebraska and loves partnering with his friends and neighbors on grassroots tactics that elevate individual voices and democratize local decision-making processes. José lives in Lincoln, where he would be hard-pressed to turn down a soccer game or a new restaurant recommendation.
 
Education: University of Nebraska, economics and global studies
 
Responsibilities:
 
  • Asset-based community development
  • Community partnerships 
  • Grassroots initiatives
  • Housing affordability
  • Placemaking 
  • Volunteer leadership development
  • Staff Super Smash Bros tournament coordinator
402.440.3027 cell
402.904.5191 office

Daniel Bennett
Rural Civic Health 
Program Manager

Daniel supervises and builds civic health programs that affect Greater Nebraska, including the Civic Catalyst Communities Initiative and the Rural Civic Action Program. He also is a member of the team that updates the Nebraska Civic Health Index, hosts the Nebraska Civic Health Summit, and coordinates other special projects to help our towns and cities build civic health. A native of Omaha who spent five years in the Panhandle as a community planner for the Panhandle Area Development District, Daniel is based in Lincoln but travels regularly around the state. In his spare time, he enjoys percussion and vocal music, running, hiking, spending time with family, being involved in church, and volunteering.

Education: Iowa State University, Community and Regional Planning

Responsibilities:

  • Rural Civic Action Program
  • Civic Catalyst Communities Initiative
  • Developing and evaluating rural civic health programs
  • Research and outreach
  • Challenging the executive director in number of miles hiked and run per year
402.904.5191 Ext. 207 office

Chris McCurdy
Education Specialist

As our education specialist, Chris leads Capitol Experience Days, one of Civic Nebraska’s flagship civic engagement programs. She also serves as a curriculum specialist across all programs. Chris is the coordinator of our Think Make Create mobile labs and oversees all aspects of our fleet of on-the-go STEAM maker spaces, which are designed for children of all ages and skillsets. Chris taught art in Lincoln Public Schools prior to joining Civic Nebraska. A Chicagoland native, Chris lived in Illinois and Wisconsin before coming to Lincoln. She graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2011. She finds joy in faith, family, friends, and foster parenting, and also likes reading, ceramics, gardening, and drawing. She and her husband Martin have four grown children and four grandchildren. They live in Lincoln with their canine family members, Scooby and Strider.

Education: University of Nebraska, art education

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates and conducts Capitol Experience Days for Nebraska middle- and high-schoolers
  • Scheduling, maintenance, coordination, and deployment of all Think Make Create mobile labs
  • Developing and sustaining new and existing curriculum for all communities we serve
  • Building community partnerships 
  • Keeping co-workers engaged with cool new activities and games

402.904.5191 office
402.770.4851 mobile

chris.mccurdy@civicnebraska.org

Alexis Bromley
Director, ONE Omaha

Alexis is responsible for overseeing ONE Omaha’s  support of the development of strong, connected communities through training, engagement, and place-based initiatives. She builds and maintains relationships and collaborates with key stakeholders including community partners, neighborhood alliance leaders, and neighborhood association members; oversees ONE Omaha programming staff; and is a liaison between the city’s existing neighborhood structure and the City of Omaha and other government officials. Alexis also oversees data collection from the city’s existing neighborhood associations and alliances (elections, capacity, city directory information) and generates the annual Omaha Neighborhood Report; researches policy issues on specific neighborhood concerns; and coordinates with Civic Nebraska directors on administrative matters.

Alex O’Hanlon
Engagement Coordinator, ONE Omaha

Alex works with Omaha community groups to provide support, including facilitation sessions, capacity building, communications, and outreach. She also builds and maintains strong, trusting relationships with Omaha neighbors for place-based initiatives. Alex is a community leader who is committed to supporting resident-led projects that enhance their quality of life. Prior to joining ONE Omaha, Alex was a garden manager for City Sprouts South where she coordinated programs, workshops, and events. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in philosophy and history and also travels to California every fall to harvest olives.

402.554.3580 office
alex@oneomaha.org

Michael Van Sant
Leadership Coordinator, ONE Omaha

Michael is responsible for the coordination of One Omaha’s Leadership Series. He is an Omaha native and dedicated public servant. With an interest in computer science, he is always thinking about new and innovative ways to connect the community to information and resources. When he’s not working, Michael is volunteering throughout the community, enjoying craft beer, and building Lego models.

Voting Rights Initiatives

Protecting every Nebraskan’s right to vote.
elections@civicnebraska.org

John Cartier, JD
Director of Voting Rights

John is an attorney and graduate of U. Nebraska Law. Prior to coming to Civic Nebraska, John worked on several elections, including his own for Lincoln Public Schools board of education. Originally from Las Vegas, John moved to Nebraska in 2010 to attend Concordia University on a track and field scholarship and to study marketing and journalism. John has worked tirelessly to ensure that elections across the state are nonpartisan, accessible and modern. When not working, John enjoys spending time with his wife, son and cat. Occasionally, he can be found jogging along Lincoln’s beautiful MoPac Trail. Spare moments are spent chipping away at his personal goal to read a biography on every U.S. president.

Education: Concordia University, Nebraska, marketing and journalism; University of Nebraska College of Law, concentration in constitutional law

Responsibilities:

  • Expanding voting rights for all Nebraskans
  • Leading the state’s largest nonpartisan election protection program
  • Researching and publishing reports areas related to election law and administration
  • Defeating all challengers at Laser Tag

Brad Christian-Sallis
Voting Rights Field Director

Brad works daily with our volunteer Voting Rights Advocates and a range of community partners to educate and organize grassroots supporters of voting rights and related issues. He was inspired at a young age by his grandfather, a former civil rights lawyer, to become an informed and engaged citizen. Working for Civic Nebraska provides him an opportunity to combine his passion for civic engagement and the lessons he learned at Creighton Prep High School to be a man for others. Brad worked on various political campaigns in Nebraska and Iowa prior to joining Civic Nebraska.

Responsibilities:

  • Advocate outreach and communication
  • Election Protection Program training
  • Statewide voting rights education initiatives
  • Coordinating voting rights events to engage lawmakers and elected officials
  • Keeping the 14th & O Jimmy Johns staff busy

Margaret Marsh
Voting Rights Field Organizer

Margaret is our voting rights champion in Greater Nebraska, building policy initiatives, organizing campaigns, and building the Election Protection Program across the state. An organizer with a background in education, advocacy, and community engagement, Margaret believes that voting is essential to the civic health of a place. Margaret was an adjunct English, theater, and costuming professor at Central Community College-Hastings and Hastings College and is the creator of Shakespeare with Noodles, a youth theater group featuring props and costumes made with swimming noodles that provides free theater in local parks. Margaret is the mother of two grown daughters and the adopted mother to three cats and one three-legged dog. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and dancing.

Responsibilities:

  • Advocate outreach and communication
  • Policy initiatives and volunteer support
  • Election Protection Program recruitment and training
  • Statewide voting rights initiatives
  • Coordinating voting rights events to engage lawmakers and elected officials
  • Developing false confidence in her ability to fix anything by watching YouTube tutorials

Mike Forsythe
Voting Rights Field Organizer

Mike is a coordinator for our policy initiatives and organizes campaigns for policy-related issues. He also is a key member of our get-out-the-vote campaigns and the Election Protection Program. Mike organizes advocates for voting rights throughout the state, with a special emphasis on the Lincoln and Omaha areas. He retired in 2018 from Omaha Box Co. after 39 years of service, 25 of them as a production supervisor and also was a 2018 candidate for the Nebraska Public Service Commission — an experience Mike says reaffirmed his faith in civic engagement, civic health, and civil discourse. Mike and his wife Margo live in Omaha and have three grown children. He enjoys spending time with family, playing golf, birdwatching, listening to music, and long walks.

Responsibilities:

  • Advocate outreach and communication
  • Policy initiatives and volunteer support
  • Election Protection Program recruitment and training
  • Statewide voting rights initiatives
  • Coordinating voting rights events to engage lawmakers and elected officials
  • Jamming to live music and cheering on his favorite athletes

402.904.5191 office
402.490.4831 mobile
mike.forsythe@civicnebraska.org

Heather Engdahl
Census Director, Nebraska Counts

Heather coordinates statewide “Get Out the Count” initiatives for Nebraska Counts, a coalition of partner nonprofit organizations and NGOs working to increase 2020 census reporting for hard-to-count populations. Heather oversees the creation and implementation of educational, promotional, and actionable campaigns to enhance these efforts. An Omaha native and graduate of Concordia University, Heather interned at Nebraska Appleseed, where she helped coordinate different programs and disciplines. 

Heather also has independently authored five research studies. She presented her recent work at the 2019 Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting. Heather plans to continue her education, research, and work in serving communities across the state. She enjoys spending time with family, lifting weights, watching football, and writing.

Responsibilities:

  • Ensure a complete, accurate count for Nebraska in 2020 census
  • Coordinate promotion and education initiatives 
  • Volunteer recruitment and training
  • Working with Nebraska Counts coalition to ensure best “Get Out The Count” practices
  • Coordinating events to engage hard-to-reach populations
  • Explaining how correlation does not equal causation

402.904.5191 office
402.676.9406 mobile
heather.engdahl@civicnebraska.org

Locations

  • Lincoln
    1111 Lincoln Mall Suite 350, Lincoln NE 68508
    402.904.5191
  • Omaha
    6400 University Drive, N CEC 117.12, Omaha NE 68182-0708
    402.554.3584
  • Greater Nebraska
    203 N. Locust St., Grand Island NE 68801
    308@civicnebraska.org
  • Contact Us

After School Programs

  • Sherman Elementary School

    5618 N 14th Ave.
    Omaha, NE 68110
    402.457.6711

  • Lewis and Clark Middle School

    6901 Burt St.
    Omaha, NE 68132
    402.557.4300

  • Lothrop Elementary School

    3300 N. 22nd St.
    Omaha, NE 68110
    402.457.5704

  • Campbell Elementary School

    2200 Dodge St.
    Lincoln, NE 68521
    402.304.1165

  • Lincoln High School

    2229 J St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510
    402.436.1301

  • Lincoln Northeast High School

    2635 N. 63rd St.
    Lincoln, NE 68507
    402.436.1303

  • Randolph Elementary School

    1024 S. 37th St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510
    402.436.1163

  • Raymond Central Elementary Schools

    Valparaiso and Ceresco
    Coming Fall 2020