United Way of the Midlands Welcomes New Board Members

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2022

United Way of the Midlands Welcomes New Board Members

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) is proud to announce the addition of eight community leaders to its Board of Directors: Pamela Beall-Hill, Women United Board Liaison, Community Volunteer; Chanda Chacón, President and CEO, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center; Matthew DeBoer, Vice President, Great Plains Architecture Principal, HDR; Gladys Harrison, President, Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering; Chris Leitner, President, Development and Acquisitions, Tenaska, Inc.; Mindy Simon, Chief Information Officer, Conagra Brands; Dina Tilgner, Chief Operating Officer, NP Dodge Company and Eric Tiritilli, Partner, Lamson Dugan & Murray, LLP.

With their diverse backgrounds and expertise, these individuals will help guide the work of UWM, ensuring it is investing dollars wisely in nonprofit programs and direct services that are addressing social and economic disparities and meeting community members’ essential needs.

UWM also recognizes the contributions of its outgoing board members: Tim Burke, Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Omaha Public Power District; Jerry Crouse, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tenaska, Inc.; Nate Dodge, President, NP Dodge Company; Ia Hagan, Women United Board Liaison, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo; and Dan Walters, Partner, Lamson Dugan & Murray, LLP.

Pamela Beall-Hill is a community volunteer who has served numerous charitable organizations in the metropolitan area including the Bluffs Arts Council, Lutheran Family Service, Dodge House, Red Cross and the Omaha Symphony Guild. Most recently, she and her husband chaired the Iowa Western Black Tie Scholarship Ball – raising over $235,000 for scholarships during this past year. She currently participates in the Westside Advisory Committee for the Boys and Girls Club, the United Way of the Midlands Women’s United Committee and also serves as President of the Iowa Western Alumni Board. Beall-Hill holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Bellevue University and a Fundraising Management Certificate from the University of NebraskaOmaha. Her past professional experience includes working as the Community Relations Coordinator for Iowa Western Community College and serving as the Preferred Sponsor Program Coordinator and National Conference Planner for Securities America. When not volunteering, Beall-Hill enjoys traveling with her spouse and spending time with their five children and two grandchildren.

Chanda Chacón is in her second year serving as President and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, a role she graciously accepted in 2020. Over her 20 years of experience, Chacón committed her career to pediatric healthcare – striking a balance with safe, familycentered care with organizational and administrative excellence. She comes to Omaha from Arkansas Children’s, where she served as Executive Vice President and System Chief Operating Officer. In Arkansas, she oversaw system operations of two hospital campuses, clinical services, human resources and support services. Prior to her leadership roles in Arkansas, she served as the President for Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, Houston’s first community hospital designed exclusively for children. Chacón earned undergraduate degrees in Biology and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Public Health Management from Yale University. She is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and has also volunteered as a court appointed Child Advocate serving children in custody.

Matthew DeBoer is currently the Vice President, Great Plains Architecture Principal with HDR. As the architecture principal for Great Plains states, DeBoer is tasked with developing strong relationships throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and the Dakotas, among other areas. DeBoer’s career spans 15 years working as both an architect and designer. His award-winning work can be seen anywhere from his hometown of Papillion to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining HDR, DeBoer was part of the team at Leo A. Daly from 2007 – 2014. He has been active in the American Institute of Architects, Nebraska Chapter, where he is currently serving as president and previously served as AIA Omaha president in 2017. DeBoer is also currently serving as a board member for the Food Bank for the Heartland. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Architecture.

Gladys Harrison is President of Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering, and has worked at the business since founding it with her mother in 2007. The restaurant was featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” less than a year after opening, and was the first restaurant to open in the new 75 North Project food hall. Previously, she worked at Qwest Communications – where she served as steward of the Communications Workers of America, Local 7400 Union. She studied business administration and management at College of Saint Mary and Bellevue University and also ran in the 2020 Democratic Primary for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Harrison says she is thankful to be someone’s mother, grandmother, sister, auntie, niece and friend.

Chris Leitner is President of Tenaska’s Strategic Development and Acquisitions Group. In his role, Leitner is responsible for the overall strategy, investment and operation of the unit including strategic planning, business development and project origination for energy projects related to Tenaska’s core activities throughout North America. He also serves as Managing Director of Tenaska Capital Management, LLC, a manager of private equity investments, and is a member of Tenaska’s Board of Stakeholders. Leitner joined Tenaska in 2003 as part of Tenaska Capital Management, where he was responsible for investing capital in and managing energy-related assets. Before joining Tenaska, Leitner was a director of asset investments at Aquila, Inc., and he also previously worked at Koch Industries, Inc. Leitner holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and an MBA, with concentrations in finance and strategy, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Mindy Simon is Chief Information Officer for Conagra Brands. In this role, she has enterprise responsibility for global business services, information technology, cyber security and leadership in digital transformation, leveraging digital capabilities such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality. Since joining Conagra in 2000, Simon has held a variety of roles in finance and information technology. Most recently, she led global business services, including customer order management, accounts receivable, accounts payable, data management organization and vendor management organization. Simon holds a B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and an MBA from Creighton University. She serves on the Omaha Chamber of Commerce board of directors, supports Girls Inc. of Omaha and has served on the Institute of Career Advancement Needs (ICAN), SAP Services Advisory Board, University of Nebraska – Omaha Data Science Curriculum Advisory Board and Omaha Chamber of Commerce Guiding Coalition for the Technology Talent Taskforce.

Dina Tilgner serves as Chief Operating Officer for the NP Dodge Company. She joined NP Dodge in 2018 as Executive Vice President, and has served in her current role since 2020. Previously, she worked with Union Pacific Railroad from 1992 to 2017, serving in a variety of roles including as an Assistant Vice President in three focus areas from 2013-2017. In her final role with Union Pacific, she served as Assistant Vice President – Customer Experience. Tilgner has a BSBA in Finance and an MBA, both from Creighton University, and previously served on the Board of Directors for Fontenelle Forest from 2007-2012. She and her late husband, Charles, are the parents of two children, Drew and Matthew.

Eric Tiritilli is Partner in the Business Department at Lamson Dugan & Murray, LLP. He joined the firm in April 2017 as Senior Counsel, and has served in his current role since January 2021. His practice focuses on counseling and defending companies in matters of employment and traditional labor law. Tiritilli previously served with a variety of law firms including time with McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, Stinson Morrison Hecker, Gross & Welch and Vanenack Williams. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, and his law degree from Creighton University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude. Tiritilli also serves as the chair of the Employment Section of the Nebraska Defense Counsel Association and is a frequent speaker on labor and employment issues.

Beall-Hill, Chacón, DeBoer, Harrison, Leitner, Simon, Tilgner and Tiritilli join the other 18 returning members of the UWM Board of Directors, which is currently chaired by Cory Shaw, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Nebraska Medicine.

Avi Atholi 
VP, Enterprise Data Management
First National Bank of Omaha
Susan Courtney
Executive VP, Operations & Clinical Effectiveness
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
Gail DeBoer 
Retired President and Chief Executive Officer
Cobalt Credit Union
Shawna Forsberg
President and Chief Executive Officer
United Way of the Midlands
Bob Gunia Jamie Gutierrez
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs Group
Physicians Mutual
Jamie Gutierrez
Chief Executive Officer and Owner
Midwest Maintenance Companies, Inc.
Jessica Heidebrecht, Emerging Leaders Liaison
Communications Specialist
Metropolitan Utilities District
Carol Henrichs
Division VP, Patient Care Services
CHI Health
Steve Kaniewski
President and Chief Executive Officer
Valmont Industries
Derek Leathers
Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Werner Enterprises
Dr. Cheryl Logan
Omaha Public Schools
Paul Maass
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Clark Ponthier
Sr. VP, Supply Chain & Continuous Improvement
Union Pacific Railroad
Jim Richardson
Joseph Sullivan III Randy Wood
Regional President President and Chief Executive Officer
U.S. Bank Lindsay Corporation
Randy Wood
President and Chief Executive Officer
Lindsay Corporation
Brian Woolfolk
Senior VP, Head of Institutional Division
Pacific Life


About United Way of the Midlands
For nearly 100 years, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro by
bridging the business and not-for-profit sectors to create a Circle of Support that helps our neighbors overcome difficult challenges and start building a better future. UWM’s funded programs and direct services address social and economic disparities and meet families’ essential needs such as healthy food, safe and stable housing, physical and mental health services, career preparation and job training. For more information, visit www.unitedwaymidlands.org.

Read the full press release here.