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Mayor Jean Stothert | City of Omaha

Mayor’s Staff

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I have reorganized the Mayor's office to provide excellent customer service to everyone.  My staff is here to help and inform you.  We all bring different backgrounds and experiences to our jobs.

MARTY BILEK
CHIEF OF STAFF

Photo of Marty BilekMarty is a top advisor to Mayor Stothert. His law enforcement background makes him a key resource on public safety issues, which is a top priority for Mayor Stothert and her team. “The Mayor’s most important job is keeping our citizens safe and that’s been my responsibility for almost four decades, first as a deputy on patrol and later as Chief Deputy to the Douglas County Sheriff. Together with Mayor Stothert and her team, we will provide the resources and support to help our police officers, firefighters and first-responders and we will always remember the citizens we serve and protect.”

Marty grew up in south Omaha, graduated from Archbishop Ryan High School and the University of Nebraska-Omaha with a degree in Computer Engineering. He retired from the Douglas County Sheriff’s department in June after 38 years of service. For the last eleven years of his career, he was the Chief Deputy.

Marty’s experience in budget management, contract negotiations, personnel decisions and government operations and mergers provides leadership in these critical areas. He is also certified by the National Incident Management System. Marty has served on the DOTComm board and the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.

Marty and his wife Jane have two children and a grandson.

 

CASSIE SEAGREN
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Photo of Cassie SeagrenCassie grows Omaha.  She works with the business and development communities and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce to promote Omaha as a business friendly city.  She is the Mayor's liaison with the Planning and Public Works departments, making sure current development projects proceed and new ideas are successful. "Omaha is a great place to live, work and do business. We need to aggressively recruit and retain businesses and people.  This includes evaluating all aspects of development from land use to revitalization to amenities."

Cassie is a native Nebraskan. She attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology.  She has a Master's Degree in Management with an emphasis on leadership from Doane College.  Cassie is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute.

Before joining Mayor Stothert's staff, Cassie was the Economic Development Manager for the City of Omaha Planning Department.  She has also worked for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and was Executive Director of the York County Development Corporation.

Cassie is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council, the Nebraska Economic Developers Association and Optimist International.

Cassie is an avid sports fan, especially Husker football. 

CARRIE MURPHY
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF/COMMUNICATIONS

Photo of Carrie MurphyCarrie develops and delivers information on behalf of Mayor Stothert; news media releases and interviews, social media, event-planning, speech-writing, and proclamations. She also assists the Community Relations Team with special events and neighborhood and community meetings.

Carrie is a graduate of Omaha Burke High School and the University of Nebraska Omaha where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. A college internship at KMTV led to a 34-year career in television news reporting, producing and news management.  “I am lucky that I worked in television news in my hometown, not many journalists get to do that. A News Director once called me ‘the Smithsonian” of the newsroom.  Knowledge of Omaha history, the newsmakers, and the issues Omaha citizens care about are important in television and now in public service.”

While at KMTV, Carrie led the station’s fundraising campaign to raise $100,000 for the City of Omaha’s first graffiti removal system.  She also represented KMTV on the Omaha World Herald Branching Out committee, created after the October 1997 ice storm that destroyed trees across the city.  KMTV sponsored neighborhood block parties for the next year to help neighborhoods recover and plant new trees. Those successes led to Carrie’s interest in community service.

Carrie has served on numerous boards and committees including the Omaha Community Partnership, Omaha Neighborhood Courage, Omaha Press Club Board of Directors, University of Nebraska Omaha Publications Board, and the Omaha Public Schools Career Center Television and Radio Advisory Board.

Carrie has three daughters.  She enjoys gardening, baking and reading, especially biographies and non-fiction.

KRIS BOCKERMAN

RECEPTIONIST

photo of Kris BockermanKris is “The Director of First Impressions”.  She is the first person you see when you visit the Mayor’s office and the first person to greet you when you call.

Kris is an active community volunteer.  Her service includes the Executive Board of the Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center Forum, where she met Mayor Stothert.  Kris later became the volunteer coordinator during the Mayor’s campaign.

Kris is a graduate of Omaha South High School .  She and her husband Brent have two children and a 10-year-old granddaughter.

 

CAMERON GALES 

COMMUNITY LIAISON

Photo of Cameron GalesCameron works with the Community Relations Team to address community and neighborhood issues. “What I like most about my job is serving the city in a capacity where I can make the most difference,” says Cameron. He is a graduate of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.  He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bellevue University.

Cameron’s experience in the field of community service includes the Urban League of Nebraska, Building Bright Futures, Teen and Young Parents Program and the Nebraska Health and Human Services.

Cameron is a member of the Scottish Rite, Phi Beta Sigma and the Nebraska Young Republicans.  He also played arena football for four years in Kansas and Iowa.  He and his wife have three children.

 

 

 


JOEL COTA

COMMUNITY LIAISON

Photo of Joel CotaAs a member of the Community Relations team, Joel works in the community, listens to your ideas and concerns and advises Mayor Stothert on how to help you, your families, community organizations, and your neighborhoods. He is your connection to the Mayor.

Joel has lived and worked in Omaha since 1996. His career started with the Nebraska Department of Social Services where he worked as a social worker, then later joined the Douglas County Health Department as a Community Health Planner.

Joel also volunteers with organizations including Catholic Charities, Juan Diego Center, Goodwill Industries, the UNMC South Omaha Shared Clinic, UNMC Mobile Clinic, Creighton South Omaha Clinic and One World Community Health Center.  Joel is bilingual.  Twice a month, he writes a column for the Mundo Latino Omaha newspaper on current city issues.

GAIL BRAUN
GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR
 

Photo of Gail BraunGail leads the Mayor's grant writing team. Under her leadership, the City of Omaha has been awarded more than $284,000,000 in grant funds that help maintain city and community programs and provide needed tools and training to the city departments and employees.  Through her work, Gail interacts with neighborhood and community groups to assess the needs of our community and match those needs with grant opportunities.

Gail has been successful in managing grants from the Department of Homeland Security, the Nebraska Crime Commission, the Mayor's Neighbohood Grants and many others.  She has served under four administrations.

Gail is an active community volunteer, serving on civic boards that advise law enforcement, juvenile justice, domestic violence and community and neighborhood revitalization.  She was a member of the 2008 Nonprofit Executive Institute. 

 

 

 

BARB FARHO
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND YOUTH INITIATIVES

Photo of Barb FarhoBarb facilitates projects and fosters partnerships with government and community groups that focus on positive youth development and student success.  Her responsibilities include writing and administering grants to support youth initiatives and family stability.

Barb brings more than 25 years of management, community service and public relations experience to her role as Education Initiatives Director, a position she has held since 2007.  Barb has excellent knowledge of and connections to the nonprofit community and the metro Omaha school districts. Out of school time and system building are her primary areas of focus.  More information about these initiatives can be found at www.collectiveforyouth.org and www.omahaafterschool.org.

Barb and her husband Jim have been married for 23 years and have four children. 

 

MELANIE BATES
GRANT ASSISTANT

Photo of Melanie BatesMelanie is a Captain in the Omaha Fire Department, assigned to the Mayor's office where she specializes in research and grant writing for the fire department and emergency preparedness.

Melanie began her career as a volunteer for a rural fire and EMS service after high school and attended Creighton University where she received her paramedic training and a Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Services.  Prior to joining Mayor Stothert's staff, Melanie served as the Omaha Fire Department's Infection Control officer for 5 years and has worked extensively with the Omaha Metropolitan Medical Response System, the Douglas County Health Department, the Douglas County Emergency Management Office and metro area hospitals on emergency preparedness.  She volunteers annually for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and maintains her certification as a nationally certified paramedic.

Melanie is married and stays busy with three daughters.  Her family is also active in rehabilitating, fostering and training animals.

 

 

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