United Way of the Midlands Welcomes New Board Members

For Immediate Release: July 6, 2023

United Way of the Midlands Welcomes New Board Members

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) is proud to announce the addition of seven community leaders to its Board of Directors: Anna Cramer, Chief Legal Officer, Nebraska Medicine; Josh Dixon, Group President, Irrigation, Valmont Industries; Sal Isaaka, Director of Resident Initiatives and Public Housing Engagement, Omaha Housing Authority; Ty Kreitman, Emerging Leaders Board Liaison, Assistant Economist, Federal Reserve Bank; Dr. Andrew Rikli, Superintendent, Papillion La Vista Community Schools; Tracy Schaefer, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Conagra Brands; and Gretchen Twohig, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska.

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: Susan Courtney, Executive Vice President, Operations and Clinical Effectiveness, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska; Gail DeBoer, Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Cobalt Credit Union; Jamie Gutierrez, CEO and Owner, Midwest Maintenance Companies, Inc.; Jessica Heidebrecht, Emerging Leaders Board Liaison, Supervisor, Corporate Communications, Metropolitan Utilities District; and Steve Kaniewski, President and Chief Executive Officer, Valmont Industries.

Anna Cramer, JD, serves as the chief legal and compliance officer for Nebraska Medicine. In her role, Cramer has responsibility for departments including legal, compliance, regulatory and accreditation, government affairs, internal audit, risk management and privacy. Prior to her appointment as chief legal and compliance officer and general counsel in June 2018, Cramer served as interim general counsel and deputy general counsel for Nebraska Medicine. Before entering health care, Cramer served as legal and regulatory counsel in industries that included pharmacy, health insurance, real estate and franchising. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law, and her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Cramer is a board member for Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue and a member of professional organizations that include the American Health Lawyers Association, Nebraska Bar Association, Association of Corporate Counsel and the Rotary Club of Omaha.

Josh Dixon joined Valmont Irrigation in 2015 as Vice President of Global Operations. In 2016, Dixon was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of International Irrigation and in 2022, promoted to President of Irrigation. He is an experienced global executive who has deep, wide-ranging knowledge of Lean Enterprise, Supply Chain, Operations Management, Product Management, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Mergers and Acquisitions and Acquisition Integration. Dixon has held various positions of increasing responsibility at Lear Corporation, General Electric’s Motor Division, Danaher Inc.’s Dynapar Encoder Business and Belden Corp. He is a graduate of General Electric’s prestigious Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP) and is listed as co-inventor of a unique coaxial connector for the broadcast industry that was awarded a U.S. Patent (US8591255 B2) while in his role as a product manager at Belden Corp. He has an MBA from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Michigan State University. In 2019, he was appointed honorary consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan, representing the territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

Sal Issaka is a highly experienced professional with over 25 years of expertise in resident services, community engagement/partnership and affordable housing. He holds a BS and MS in Urban Planning from the University of Nebraska – Omaha, and is a dedicated community advocate – actively involved in the community, volunteer service and supporting Omaha’s underserved families and refugee community. He brings his expertise and leadership skills to a number of community boards and has become a trusted voice and valuable asset in the organizations he serves. Since November 2010, Issaka has served as the Director of Resident Initiatives & Public Housing Engagement at the Omaha Housing Authority (OHA). In this role, he has been responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of human service programs for public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) residents, and has excelled in developing both short- and long-term program policies, objectives, goals and plans that align with OHA and the community’s vision and strategic plan. Additionally, he has been a crucial liaison between OHA and the Resident Council and Resident Advisory Board.

Ty Kreitman is an assistant economist in the Regional Affairs Department at the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In this role, he primarily supports the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the Federal Reserve System efforts surrounding agricultural economics research, analysis and outreach. His responsibilities include co-authoring the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions and Agricultural Finance Updates. Kreitman joined the Bank in 2015 as an assistant bank examiner in the Examinations and Inspections Department at the Omaha Branch and transferred to his current position in 2018. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and a M.A. degree in Financial Economics from Youngstown State University.

Dr. Andrew Rikli has served as the Superintendent of the Papillion La Vista Community Schools since July 2013. Prior to his work in Papillion La Vista, Rikli worked 10 years with the Westside Community Schools, and also as a consultant with the Nebraska Department of Education. In addition to his work with PK-12 public schools, Rikli is an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, serves on the Educators Health Alliance (EHA) Board of Directors and was appointed by Governors Heineman and Ricketts to the Nebraska Professional Practices Commission. He is a member of the American Association of School Administrators, a current member of the Teammates Mentoring Board of Directors, a member of the College Possible Advisory Board and a member of the Offutt Advisory Council. Rikli also received the CHI “Friend of Midlands” community leader award and was named a Nebraska School Mental Health Champion. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and completed his doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Tracy Schaefer is Senior Vice President and 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. Schaefer joined Conagra in 2001 and has held a variety of leadership roles in finance, information technology and business services. Most recently, she led global business services, including operations and ongoing transformation of Customer Order Management, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Consumer Affairs and Data Management. Schaefer has led several technology implementations and launched Conagra’s first enterprise-wide Automation Center of Excellence. She holds an accounting degree from Drake University, and serves on the board of the Institute of Career Advancement (ICAN), as well as serving as treasurer and exec member for the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation.

Gretchen Twohig is the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE). In her role, Twohig is General Counsel for BCBSNE and responsible for corporate governance. She oversees legal; provider networks and contracting; enterprise risk management; corporate audit; physical and cyber security and risk; compliance; and government relations. Prior to her current role, Twohig served as vice president and general counsel for BCBSNE. Before joining BCBSNE, she was a partner at Baird Holm LLP. In addition to United Way of the Midlands, Twohig serves on the boards of the Women’s Center for Advancement and Ignite Nebraska. She was a participant in the 2006 ICAN Leadership in Action program and is a member of Leadership Omaha Class 36. Additionally, Twohig served as BCBSNE’s United Way campaign chair in 2019. She received her Bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas Christian University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law. She also participated in the International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Cramer, Dixon, Isaaka, Kreitman, Rikli, Schaefer and Twohig join the other 17 returning members of the UWM Board of Directors, which is currently chaired by Brian Woolfolk, EVP, Head of Institutional Division, Pacific Life.

Avi Atholi

Vice President, Talent Acquisition

First National Bank of Omaha

Pamela Beall-Hill

Women United Board Liaison

Women United Steering Committee

Chanda Chacón

President and CEO

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

Matt DeBoer

Vice President, Great Plains Architecture Principal


Shawna Forsberg

President and Chief Executive Officer

United Way of the Midlands

Bob Gunia

Senior Vice President, Public Affairs Group

Physicians Mutual

Gladys Harrison


Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering

Carol Henrichs

Division VP, Patient Care Services

CHI Health

Derek Leathers

Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Werner Enterprises

Paul Maass

Chief Executive Officer and Director


Clark Ponthier

Sr. VP, Supply Chain & Continuous Improvement

Union Pacific Railroad

Jim Richardson



Joseph Sullivan III

Regional President

U.S. Bank

Dina Tilgner

Chief Operating Officer

NP Dodge Company

Eric Tiritilli


Lamson Dugan & Murray, LLP

Randy Wood

President and Chief Executive Officer

Lindsay Corporation


About United Way of the Midlands
For 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, go to: UnitedWayMidlands.org.

Read the full press release here.