Another busy week for District 17. It was great to attend the Governor’s Summit and see so many friendly faces from Northeast Nebraska.

The Governor’s 4th Annual Economic Summit was held on Wednesday, July 19, 2019. The program included important topics like workforce talent recruitment and retention, career path development, housing, and more. The statewide focus is a vibrant Nebraska where our children, their children, and others, have opportunities to live, work, and raise their families.

Though held in Lincoln, all three counties in District 17 were recognized for their impressive work towards keeping the Nebraska economy thriving.

A shout out to Dakota County’s own South Sioux City Community Schools, which was recognized at the Summit for its Approved Career Academy. The Approval designation signals quality programming that allows students to take part in academic and career & technical education courses which reflect local, regional, or state employment needs and demands. The South Sioux City Academy offers education for employment opportunities in fields of Business, Marketing, and Management, Communication and Information Systems, Health Sciences and Education and Skilled and Technical Services. Great for our youth—great for our future. Way to go South Sioux!

Wayne County was asked to share about its great progress in developing workforce housing. Megan Weaver, Executive Director of Wayne Community Housing Development, shared about projects and accomplishments in Wakefield leveraging funds generated through LB518, the Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act. It is rewarding to see the results of the labor that went into introducing, prioritizing, and passing LB 518 when I chaired the Business & Labor Committee in 2017. Wakefield successfully leveraged the available funds to increase housing stock and increase the tax base through a community partnership with local business, contractors, utilities, and banks. Transforming empty lots and/or dilapidated housing into attractive and affordable housing is a goal that benefits all in the community.

Ray Welsh of Welsh Financial Group from Pender was a panelist on the topic of business growth opportunities that build communities where people want to stay. Highlighting the Welsh group’s successful growth in Pender, Ray had plenty to share about the importance of providing an attractive environment for businesses in small town Nebraska. He stressed that Pender is always considering what it would take for a family moving to Pender to call Pender “home.”

Finally, in a surprise ending to the Summit, the Governor and First Lady Susanne Shore unveiled a video being released to attract and encourage folks to live, work, and start businesses in Nebraska. Entrepreneurs Lukas Rix and Mark Kanitz and their businesses Rustic Treasure & 1912

Emporium in Wayne are spotlighted in the video. No doubt about it- District 17 businesses and residents model Nebraska Strong!


On a sadder note, the 45th Annual Walthill Memorial Rodeo put on its last show July 12-14, 2019. Though incredibly fun and entertaining as always, the finality of this years’ performances was sad for many. “It ain’t our first rodeo, but it is our Last,” declared the rodeo banner and photo. Some who are saddened by the rodeo’s end say that the organizers of the Rodeo have, over the years, provided not only a great time for friends and family, but also an annual opportunity for a “reunion” that will be greatly missed. I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation for the Rodeo’s dedication to Thurston County and say Congratulations on 45 years of a successful event for all ages. Thank you Walthill Rodeo for nearly five decades of family and community fun and enjoyment!

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you.

You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at

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