In her role as President and CEO, Shawna Forsberg ensures United Way of the Midlands’ relevance to the communities it serves, provides inspirational action-oriented leadership to enhance UWM’s capacity to carry out its mission and ensures accountability of the organization to its diverse constituents.
She also serves as the chief staff officer and main professional resource to the volunteer leadership of the organization – maintaining significant relationships with the Board of Directors and officers, committees and volunteer leadership, and with the health and social service agencies UWM partners with to serve the Omaha area. And in cooperation with the Chairman and other key board leaders, she represents UWM to the community and maintains active, cooperative relationships with broad and diverse constituencies.
In addition, Forsberg is responsible for the day-to-day operations, leadership and direction of staff in carrying out the organization’s mission. She makes sure UWM’s work focuses on providing critical funding to help our neighbors meet their most basic needs including access to healthy food, physical and mental health services, safe and affordable housing and academic supports – with the ultimate goal of helping families achieve long-term financial stability.
During her tenure with UWM, the organization has achieved a ranking of 7th in the network out of 1,200 United Ways for campaign performance, and Forsberg led the development and rollout of a new “open grant” funding strategy – ensuring impact will be measured and that every donor dollar is invested wisely to make the biggest impact in the community. In addition under her thoughtful leadership, UWM has: partnered with the Omaha World-Herald to administer the Goodfellows program; launched the JAG Nebraska program across the state; established partnerships with the City of Omaha for the disbursement of ARPA funds for basic needs support and with MAACH for the delivery of rental and utility assistance; created an initiative to address mental health needs and offer free Mental Health First Aid training for the community; expanded the 211 Call Center and added additional Community Resource Specialists to address the ever-increasing volume of contacts.
Prior to joining UWM, she led the corporate marketing team at Conagra and served as director of marketing at the Durham Museum in Omaha.
Forsberg earned an MBA from Sam Houston State University. She received a BSBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she majored in marketing and international business, and also studied abroad at Senshu University in Tokyo, Japan and Mansfield College at Oxford University. In 2016, she completed the United Way’s Executive Leadership Development Program which included coursework at the Center for Creative Leadership, Harvard University and Deloitte University.
She currently serves on the Omaha Chamber Board of Directors, United Way Worldwide Network Advisory Council and is a trustee of the Business Ethics Alliance.
Forsberg is married to Grant Forsberg and they have three adult children, Seth, London and Devon.