Orphans and Widows of Omaha Board of Directors

Jane Gommermann
Founder/Executive Director, 2017-Present
As the founder of Orphans and Widows of Omaha Jane is dedicated to using all of her life experiences to provide support and service to the young adults and widowed in her community. “I have always enjoyed helping individuals achieve their heartfelt goals.” Jane worked in telecommunications for 25 years in customer service, resource allocations, operations and process management. Jane left that world behind when her twin daughters arrived. When her daughters began school, Jane enjoyed working as a teaching assistant. In her spare time, she enjoys quiet time with her family, golfing, reading and traveling.

 

Joan Cooper
Secretary, 2017-Present
Joan trains Partnering for Permanence and Safety: Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. Joan and her husband were long-time foster parents and she knows firsthand the challenges and frustrations that foster parents experience. With an empathetic heart, Joan draws upon this knowledge and experience to meet the needs of new foster parents.

Joan is a stalwart advocate for all families in the foster care system. She does her best to ensure that foster parents and children have the best resources and tools. She is 'Mom' to three amazing daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and spending time with friends and family.

 

Kris Whisenhunt, BSW, CSW
Treasurer, April 2019-Present

Kris is the owner and primary consultant at Whisenhunt Consulting, LLC; providing grant writing, research, and program design services to nonprofit agencies in Lincoln, Omaha and across the state. Prior to beginning a private consulting business, Kris spent 41⁄2 years working with Nebraska Children and Families Foundation as the Assistant Vice President of Youth Economic Success; overseeing the work of Connected Youth Initiative Lancaster County programming and statewide financial well-being programming for current and former foster youth. Kris holds a passion for poverty prevention and financial empowerment and brings a financial coaching background and several years of financial literacy program management to her position as Treasurer; along with a strong passion for working with those who are in need of the connection, support and unconditional love to move forward and thrive.
Kris is a Lincoln, NE native and currently resides in Lincoln with her husband Caleb and beautiful English Pointer, Liberty Bell.

 

Margaret Campbell, M. Ed.
Board Member-Education Guidance and Counseling, 2018-Present

Margaret is a high school counselor and proud mom of two young adults. She has worked with students of all ages in public schools for over 14 years, spending most of her time teaching special populations. In her spare time, she enjoys movies, socializing with lifelong friends and traveling. Giving back to our most vulnerable citizens is something she is dedicated to in her personal life and in her career. “I am honored to be serving on the board of this important and vital organization”

 

Schalisha Walker
Board Member, 2018-Present

Orphans and Widows of Omaha Board of Directors

I have worked with Project Everlast for 6 years. I am currently studying at University of Nebraska Omaha to complete my BSW. I am passionate about using my personal foster care system experience to support young people who have been touched by foster care systems.

Schalisha is a compassionate, empowering mentor and role model for young adults transitioning into independence.

 

Kelly Travaille
Board Member, 2018-Present

Kelly has a passion for the young adult community. Kelly is an adoptive mom and is raising two children with her husband Todd. She currently works at Child Saving Institute (CSI) as a parent trainer for foster families.

Kelly is committed to family first even naming her business, Lyla James Design, after her children. Kelly's experience with the foster care system is an asset along with her focus, drive and determination to make a difference.

 

Cornelius Kincaid-Levering III
Board Member, 2018-Present

I grew up in foster care and was later abandoned. Unlike any other fifteen year at the time old I put myself back into foster care. I graduated from University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in Journalism. Across the U.S. there are many other like me who are in foster care. They are intelligent and may have answers to some of Americas biggest challenges. Through Orphans and Widows of Omaha it is my wish that I am able to encourage young adults to make the impossible - possible.

 

Crystal Wessel
Board Member, 2018-Present

Crystal has a passion for our older community of widowed and a desire to improve
lives through service. Crystal and her husband are raising two young children. She now stays at home but previously enjoyed a career in health care as an RN in St. Louis. Her compassion, energy, knowledge and commitment to improving the lives of others in our community is an asset to our team.

 

Richard Gommermann
Board Member, 2017-Present