Formerly an Information Services Manager for Mutual of Omaha for nearly 5 years, Shonna will step in as the Executive Director of the NTC in January of 2023.
In her new role, Shonna will oversee the day-to-day operations, goals, and relationships of the NTC, reporting directly to the NTC Executive Committee Chair and the President of the Aksarben Foundation.
Previously, Shonna was a Sr. Business Systems Consultant for Mutual of Omaha, an Adjunct Instructor for MindSet, LLC teaching themes around culture, leadership and inclusivity, and she was the Vice President of Business Development and Tech Talent at the AIM Institute.
Shonna earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in MIS from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a Trustee of the Business Ethics Alliance of Omaha.
Melinda joined the Nebraska Tech Collaborative in 2023 as Partnership Director working with partners across the state to eliminate friction, maximize Nebraska’s tech-ecosystem, and help entrepreneurs connect and find resources. Melinda has designed and executed partner outreach strategies across greater Omaha not-for-profit organizations and is an active volunteer and board member for youth, arts, and educational missions.
Melinda earned a phychology degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master’s in Organizational Psychology from Bellevue University.
Grace recently graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a degree in English and Political Science. While there, she served on the Student Advisory Board and interned at the State Capitol. With experience in communications and government, Grace is excited to bring her passion for community and social issues to her home state. As Program Specialist, Grace will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of partner programing that supports the Nebraska Tech Collaborative’s Committee’s strategic objectives and initiatives.
Michael A. Lechtenberger
As CIO of Mutual of Omaha, Mike oversees all technology, applications, information security and systems infrastructure.
Mike joined Mutual of Omaha in 1986 as a software developer. He was promoted to manager in 1991 and became a member of the management team in 1994, holding a variety of IT leadership roles supporting Mutual of Omaha’s business units, delivering transformational initiatives and leading IT strategy development. In 2010 he was named Senior Vice President, Information Services Applications. He assumed his current role in August 2015.
In the community, Mike serves on the University of Nebraska College of Engineering Advisory Board, as well as the boards of the Assure Women’s Center, Chariots 4 Hope, NU Foundation Trustees, and the Mutual of Omaha Foundation.
Mike earned his bachelors degree in computer science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his master’s in business administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Sandra joined the Aksarben Foundation as President in 2017. Working directly with the Board of Governors and Councillors, Sandra oversees and implements the strategic direction of the Aksarben Foundation and the Aksarben network – including the Nebraska Tech Collaborative (NTC) and the Northeast Nebraska Growing Together, Aksarben Workforce Initiatives. With over twenty-years in not-for-profit leadership, relationship cultivation and fundraising and vast experience in higher education and scholarship administration, Sandra brings a strong knowledge of leadership and has a proven track record of driving results, engagement and activation.
CEO, Cquence Health | President, Cassling
Mike Cassling joined the Cassling organization in 1985, working alongside his father and company founder Robert “Bob” Cassling to provide customer-focused, diagnostic medical equipment sales and service. Mike grew to accept the position of vice president of sales and marketing and was appointed president in 1996. Today, Mike provides primary leadership as Cassling’s CEO.
In addition to leading the Cassling organization, Mike is chairman and CEO of CQuence Health Group, formed in 2011 to provide shared services and strategic direction for its partner companies: Cassling and Ensocare. Through CQuence Health, Mike also oversees a diverse healthcare investment portfolio currently comprised of 12 corporate partnerships, each with a shared focus on improving patient care, decreasing costs and improving outcomes.
Through Mike’s leadership, CQuence Health Group companies have earned multiple honors and awards, including: Modern Healthcare’s #1 Ranked Best Places to Work in Healthcare; Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to work in Healthcare; Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association; Employee Voice Award, Quantum Workplace; Gold Well Workplace Award by the Wellness Council of America; Highest Actively Engaged Population and Highest Overall Job Satisfaction by Avatar Solutions; Platinum Well Workplace Award by the Wellness Council of America; Best Places to work in Omaha and Best Places for the Advancement of Women; HR Solutions Employee Engagement Awards, 1st place Nationally; and Omaha Chamber of Commerce Business in Excellence Award.
Mike is a graduate of UNL and Syracuse University, he is an Omaha “40 under 40” alumnus, and was recognized in 2014 and 2010 with an Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and is a Westside High School Hall of Fame honoree. Mike has two daughters, Megan and Kaila; his wife, Elizabeth, has two songs, Gage and JT.
Past & Present Community Involvement
- Joined the Aksarben as Councilor in 2012, Governor in 2019
- Founding Member, Nebraska Tech Collaborative (NTC) – An Aksarben Workforce Initiative
- Board, Salvation Army Omaha
- Executive Committee, Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board
- Board, Omaha Symphony
- Board, Omaha Community Foundation
- Board, Omaha Performing Arts
- Chairman of the Board, Bellevue University