ONP Wire: Omaha Community Foundation Appoints New President and CEO

March 20, 2020

The Omaha Community Foundation Board of Directors has named Donna Kush as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

Kush was selected as the result of a regional search to replace former President and CEO Sara Boyd, who was in the role from 2013 through 2019. The Omaha Community Foundation has been led in the interim by the Foundation’s Executive Vice President, Matt Darling.

“We are grateful to Sara for building such a strong and strategic organization, and to Matt for taking the reins in the interim,” said Connie Ryan, Omaha Community Foundation Board Chair. “As an organization, we are ready to advance the Foundation to the next level and we’re delighted to have found the right leader. Donna is prepared to work with our partners to meet our community’s changing needs, which are particularly evident during this time of crisis. Her extensive network and relationship-building skills, along with her strategic partnership expertise, will help us elevate the Foundation’s role in our community.”

“The metro Omaha community is fortunate to have an extremely generous and engaged philanthropic community. There is important work to be done on tackling issues and challenges, starting with the COVID-19 Response Fund, in partnership with our donors, nonprofits, community partners and civic and business leaders. I am thrilled to lead the Omaha Community Foundation and join its dedicated staff to help further its mission,” Kush said.

“As a native Nebraskan, I’m proud of my roots and excited to be part of an organization that is deeply integrated in my community.”

Kush brings decades of experience developing and implementing organizational strategies across corporations, nonprofit organizations and the philanthropic community. Most recently, she led the process to create, build and launch SHARE Omaha, which today works with more than 400 local nonprofit organizations and is a strategic partner to the Omaha Community Foundation.

Her corporate experience spans from executive roles in communications, marketing, public affairs and policy for Fortune 500 companies including TD Ameritrade and Union Pacific. She has developed and implemented strategic plans, built and restructured organizations, led public affairs initiatives and public-private partnerships, developed corporate communications, managed crisis situations and has worked to build a wide breadth and depth of relationships.

“Donna has been pivotal in establishing partnerships between companies, foundations, community leaders and nonprofits in Nebraska and Iowa. We were especially pleased to find this level of expertise, experience and vision in a local candidate,” said Mike Cassling, who serves as the Board of Directors Vice Chair and led the search committee.

“With her for-profit and nonprofit experience, she is uniquely positioned to lead the Omaha Community Foundation through the next phases of our strategic plan.”

Kush has played key roles as a community volunteer and leader in a wide variety of local, state and regional initiatives and nonprofit organizations. She currently chairs the Omaha Sports Commission and SHARE Omaha, and serves on the Invest Nebraska board of directors. She has also served on the boards of the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, Nebraska State Chamber, Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission and Omaha Downtown Improvement District.

Kush begins her position on Monday, March 23.

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