Exceptional Training, Consulting,
and Customer Service
The University of Nebraska at Omaha's NBDC Professional Instructors, Mentors and Facilitators
Rachel Baxter, BS Industrial & Management Systems Engineering, MBA
Baxter has 15 years of lean manufacturing experience through process improvement, facility management, maintenance and engineering management, and quality improvement. She was involved in multiple new manufacturing plant start-ups within the fenestration industry, has management and project leadership experience in both union and non-union facilities, and has led and participated on hundreds of Kaizen events to drive productivity improvement utilizing lean methodology throughout her career. Baxter has consulting experience in manufacturing, as well as sales and service-centric organizations.
Todd Conkright is an enthusiastic teacher, using his years as a human resources and training professional to equip learners to advance in their careers and lives. He currently teaches business students at Grace University, where he is associate professor and Chair of the Business and Technology program. He earned his BA in Human Resource Management from Grace University and his MA in Management & Organizational Leadership from Regent University. Todd is passionate about helping individuals and organizations close the gap between what is and what ought to be.
Mark is a Information Technologies executive and professional facilitator. He has experience in being the President and CEO of three companies and has over 37 1/2 years experience in a large IT corporate environment. He has had to deal with closing down a company in one city and effectively managing the move of that company to another city without losing any revenue or disrupting basic business processes, even though 75% of the people did not make the move to the new city. He has installed major operational systems in companies that have multi-billion and multi-million dollar revenue streams. These systems required detailed and focused due diligence on organizational change management. Mark is passionate about teaching others the skills, tools and techniques that can immediately be put to use on a project and how to implement that project more quickly and at less cost. He has been responsible for computer and business development, technical management, project management and product management. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics (with distinction) from Pittsburg State University. He has attended Harvard and Stanford Executive MBA classes.
Dougherty is a consultant with the Nebraska Business Development Center’s Business and Technology Solutions Group. He works with numerous NBDC clients to develop and enhance their database systems and knows the importance of streamlined, efficient access and control of data. In addition to consulting, he also teaches databases, spreadsheets, and other software classes at NBDC. Dougherty’s expertise is based on 30 years working with computers. Dougherty has a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Flemings is a skilled presenter of subjects relating to the software development process, especially project management and business analysis. Since 1992, all of his professional work has centered on management of information technology. He has worked in program management and project management in government and industry, small and large companies, systems and applications, small and large projects, as a consultant and employee, and as manager and mentor. He has facilitated guided discussions like those proposed here since his initial training in the technique in 1985. He is active in Omaha professional groups, having filled many leadership roles in the Project Management Institute (PMI) Heartland Chapter, including Chapter President for one year.
Beth Giesbrecht, PMP
Giesbrecht is a summa cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She joined the instructional staff of NBDC in 1993. Giesbrecht has more than 30 years of curriculum development, consulting, and computer technology expertise with a special emphasis in project management and databases. Her successful leadership and project management abilities are made evident in the way she directs and manages work groups, her business consulting efforts, and client mentoring. Giesbrecht has a proven track record in instructional design and involving students through simulations. She has successfully directed companies through various phases of the project management process. Giesbrecht acquired much of her project management acumen while working on projects during her tenure at Intel Corporation; she continues working with gathering and managing requirements for building web sites and the databases that power them. Combined with strong technical writing skills, she consistently strives to customize all she does to meet the needs of customers.
Ann Gillaspie, M.A., PHR
Gillaspie is a former Sr. Learning and Development Consultant for Zurich Insurance Company and a former adjunct professor for Bellevue University’s Accelerated program in Human Resource Management. She is an experienced coach, facilitator, and trainer and has provided many seminars in the community on human resource issues, professional and management development. Gillaspie is also a member of the faculty for Creighton University’s Human Resource Certification Program. She earned her Masters of Art in Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Currently, she works with Effective Communication Skills, Inc. which offers an Effective Listening Skills Clinic and an Effective Speaking Skills Clinic, which are both lead by Dr. Don Grandgenett. Ann devotes her energy to training and teaching. As a former high school communications teacher, Gillaspie knows the importance of education and training to sustain personal excellence.
a consultant and database administrator, has over 20 years of practical experience with Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server. He is certified in Oracle version 8 through 11g and is a charter member of the Nebraska Oracle User Group. He also holds a MCITP SQL Server DBA/Developer certification, Linux certification and a Real Application Clusters (RAC) certification. Steve has consulted for many fortune 500 companies including ConAgra, FDR, Sitel and TDAmeritrade. Since 1995 he has taught nationally in cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and New York. Through his experience using these products in both small and large organizations, Steve delights students by bringing 'real world' examples to the classroom. He enjoys preparing students so they can immediately be productive when they return to their work environment. He received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a specialization in management information systems from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
A native of Florida, Christy Hutchison earned a law degree from Stetson Law School and a Management degree from University of Tampa. She also completed the Harvard Institute on Educational Management and Harvard’s Program on Teaching Negotiation Skills. Hutchison served as legal counsel to Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, as General Counsel to Pasco-Hernando Community College in Florida, and as Vice President for College Relations at College of Saint Mary in Omaha. She now teaches courses in conflict management, ethics, leadership and law at Peru State College.
Nick Kramer, PMI-ACP, CSM, is servant leader with strong skills in coaching and developing high performing and innovative teams to provide maximum value. He specializes in large programs and projects management. Kramer is currently consulting as an agile coach and scrum master with several Omaha based companies helping accelerate their agile transformations.
Lassiter is the managing principal of TouchStone Strategic Consultants, a talent development consultancy providing leadership development, strategic planning, change management, and performance management services to clients in the private and public sectors including the Department of Homeland Security, the National Healthy Start Association, NASA, National Parks Service, state DOT’s and public utilities. Lassiter has over 25 years of experience in all areas of talent management and holds a doctorate (pastoral counseling) from Andersonville Theological Seminary, a M.S. (leadership and adult education) from Drake University and has earned numerous instructor certifications in areas of leadership, change management, performance management, communication and mediation. He is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality and has earned the Certified Quality Manager (CQM) designation, the Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) designation from the International Society for Performance Improvement, the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation from the Society for Human Resource Management and the Human Capital Strategist (HCS) designation from the Human Capital Institute.
Mixan has a master’s degree in communication with an emphasis in training and organizational development and a bachelor’s degree in communication/broadcasting. Christine’s areas of expertise are in leadership development, teambuilding, presentation skills, coaching, consulting and curriculum design. Christine’s training and organizational development programs are known for their tailored approach and practical application grounded in current theory and research. Her years as a highly effective manager within the corporate environment, along with her desire for teaching make her a "perfect fit" within NBDC's Professional and Organizational Development team.
Phillips has a bachelor and master's degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He also has an associate's degree in microcomputer technology from Southeast Community College with a specialization in computer programming. Phillips has more than 18 years of professional and technical experience as a manager, supervisor, project manager, and consultant. He specializes in Java Programming, VB.NET, C#, and ASP.NET. Clients utilize Phillips' expertise to debug deficient programs, improve program accuracy, or to supplement their own understanding of programming languages.
Kellie Morrell, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP, PMP is a seasoned agile coach specializing in the practical implementation of agile principles and practices. She brings a balance of business management and technical perspectives to deliver value through the use of agile techniques. She is currently information services director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska.
Hugh is an Associate Professor in the UNO School of Communication. He currently teaches classes in public relations, communications and business & technical writing. He is the author or co-author of six books and dozens of articles in regional and national magazines and is a Fellow in the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska. After beginning work on his Masters degree at the University of Arizona, he earned a MA in Communication from UNO in 1997. He is a certified public trainer with Achieve-Global Communications & Leadership training and conducted training for Boys Town, Mutual of Omaha, and Woodmen of the World employees. He worked for two newspapers and as a copy writer for two advertising agencies. Prior to teaching at UNO, he served as the Boys Town Press’ Marketing Manager for three years and Director of Donor Services for Boys Town for eight years. Hugh will be developing and facilitating workshops for NBDC's Leadership Certification Program.
Pam Soderholm, PMP
Sally Waters, MA SPHR CPCC
Pam has extensive experience in project and product management, IT and education. She is passionate about helping others to learn knowledge, skills, tools and techniques that can immediately be put to use. Before returning to Nebraska, Pam worked in R&D at Bell Laboratories in Illinois for 20 years where she contributed in the areas of computer development, technical management, project management and product management. Pam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics (with distinction) and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from Stephen's Institute of Technology and she has been PMP certified by the Project Management Institute since 1998.
Waters is a Conflict and Relationship Systems coach and consultant, helping individuals, partners, groups, and organizations build strong and enduring connections with self, purpose, and others. Previously, she founded and directed Organizational Development Services at University of California, Davis, where she specialized in helping leaders and departments increase their resilience for moving through conflict, change, and uncertainty. For three decades, she has worked as internal and external OD consultant, team and leader coach, meeting and retreat facilitator, interpersonal skills trainer, and instructional designer. She has also worked as a workplace, family, special education, and community mediator in a variety of settings. She is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate I/O Psychology program at UNO.She holds an MA in Psychology from UNO, is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC - CTI) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR – HRCI). She is certified with MBTI, Strong Interest Inventory, Achieve Global, Lominger VOICES® 360, and Enneagram. She has trained with Center for Right Relationship, Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution, Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, and the Institute for the Study of Alternative Dispute Resolution (Humboldt State University).
Rick Yoder, is UNO's College of Business Administration's first chief sustainability officer. Yoder is director of the Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC) one of the eight centers which comprise the USEPA-funded national information network known as the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx). His current focus is on the links between prevention, sustainability, and business strategy. Yoder is a registered mechanical engineer specializing in HVAC, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and water conservation.