Board & Staff

Meet the board members and staff who are helping Omaha Bridges build solutions to defeat poverty once and for all.

2021 Officers and Board of Directors

John Langwith

President

Retired TD Ameritrade

Laurie Baedke

VP & Secretary

Creighton University

Barry Major

Treasurer

Retired Business Executive

Debra Dogba

Member

Getting Ahead Graduate

Dan Lindstrom

Member

UBS Financial Services

Kelly Nielsen

Member

CHI Health

Jamalia Parker

Member

Educare

Tara Slevin

Member

Methodist Jennie Edmundson

Roger Howard

Volunteer CEO

Retired CPA

Omaha Bridges Staff

Roger Howard, CPA

Roger Howard, CPA

CEO

Roger Howard, CPA, is a founder and full-time volunteer CEO of Omaha /Council Bluffs Bridges Out of Poverty. Until his retirement in 2015, he was a managing partner of an Omaha CPA firm, where he chaired the healthcare consulting division. Roger is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities, and Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin-by World.

Sharon Jackson

Sharon Jackson

Program Director

Sharon Jackson is the program director for Omaha Bridges Out of Poverty. Sharon previously served in the military, was a team manager for a national consumer credit reporting company, and the regional manager for a digital marketing company. She also was a case manager at an Omaha homeless shelter where she piloted the Bridges Out of Poverty curriculum. Sharon is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities, Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin-by World, Getting Ahead in the Workplace, Workplace Stability, and The R-Rules (helping middle school and high school students to identify and build resources).

Kendra Cain

Kendra Cain

Program Coordinator

Kendra Cain holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and came to us originally as a practicum student. As our program coordinator, Kendra supports planning, growth, development, and coordination of all programs. This includes organizing enrollment, orientation, and program delivery for multiple cohorts each trimester. Kendra is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities, and Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin-by World.

Cheryl Perry

Cheryl Perry

Program Specialist

Cheryl Perry holds a bachelor’s degree in education and has extensive experience in the classroom. As a program specialist, Cheryl facilitates multiple Getting Ahead ten-week cohorts and supports planning, growth, development, and coordination of all programs. Cheryl is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities and Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin-by World.

Carl Jackson, PhD

Carl Jackson, PhD

Director of Life Skills Coaching

Carl Jackson, PhD, is the director of Life Skills Coaching for Omaha Bridges. Experienced in group counseling, Carl has a passion for helping under-resourced individuals in our community to gain the skills needed to establish a stable, self-sufficient lifestyle. Carl is a certified Life Skills Coach and is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World, and Getting Ahead while Getting Out.

Julissa Rivera

Julissa Rivera

Life-Skills Coach

Julissa Rivera is our Council Bluffs Life Skills Coach. She studied business administration and accounting in college and has extensive experience in medical billing and claims administration. Julissa is a Getting Ahead graduate, and before joining us as a Life Skills Coach, she facilitated several Getting Ahead cohorts. Julissa is one of our bilingual Life Skills Coaches. She is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World, and Getting Ahead in the Workplace.

Pastor Daniel Zapata-Lopez

Pastor Daniel Zapata-Lopez

Life-Skills Coach

Pastor Daniel Zapata-Lopez serves both as a Getting Ahead facilitator and Life Skills Coach in a part-time capacity and also serves as the pastor of Iglesia Discipulos Church. Pastor Daniel is a Getting Ahead graduate, and before joining us as a Life Skills Coach, he facilitated several Getting Ahead cohorts. Daniel is one of our bilingual Life Skills Coaches. He is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities, and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World.

Walter Garcia Rodriguez

Walter Garcia Rodriguez

Director of Community Partnerships

Walter Garcia Rodriguez is the director of Community Partnerships and oversees our Community Coordinators to develop and nurture Community Partner relationships, recruit participants (Investigators), and coordinate all the needed class resources. Walter has a background in both nonprofit social services and financial services. Walter holds a master’s degree and is bilingual. He is certified as a facilitator in Bridges Out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities, and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World.

Joanie Soverns

Joanie Soverns

Office Manager

Joanie Soverns holds a bachelor’s degree from Creighton University and has extensive experience in donor relations and donor database management. She manages most of the administrative functions at Omaha Bridges, along with working in development. Joanie is a Getting Ahead graduate.

Sue Gerding

Sue Gerding

Donor Management Specialist

Sue Gerding brings more than thirty years of donor relations experience to Omaha Bridges, where she manages our donor database and supports all development activities.