On September 24, Voices for Children in Nebraska will honor those who have made an exceptional impact in ensuring Nebraska is the best place to be a kid. Over the next several weeks, Voices will highlight the 2016 Spotlight Gala honorees. We begin our special Spotlight Series today with our 2016 Honorary Family: Senator Ben and Diane Nelson.
Former Senator Ben Nelson is a Partner at Heartland Strategy Group. Prior to his current role, he served as Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) from 2013-2016. From 2001-2013, Senator Nelson served two-terms representing the State of Nebraska in the U.S. Senate. Earlier in his career, he was Governor of Nebraska. As governor, he pledged to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas to move forward as “One Nebraska” and to create a “more efficient and effective state government.” He was also instrumental in the creation of the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides health care access for thousands of Nebraska kids. In 1994, he became the first Nebraska Governor to be elected to a second term in two decades.
With a lifelong interest in serving her home state of Nebraska, Diane Nelson has acted on many community boards, including the Joslyn Art Museum Association, Girls, Inc., the Lied Performing Arts Center, the NEBRASKAland Foundation and the Museum of Nebraska Art. She has also served on the Joslyn Art Museum Board of Governors and the Omaha Symphony Guild. She currently serves on the Christian Urban Education Service Advisory Board, the Heartland Family Service Board of Trustees, the Eppley Cancer Center Board of Advisors, the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Board of Directors and the Nebraska Wesleyan University Board of Governors.
Voices for Children’s Executive Director, Aubrey Mancuso, commended the Nelsons for their decades of service. “Senator Ben and Diane Nelson have made public and community service their life’s work. Their dedication to the public good and support of children’s issues have had a lasting impact,” Mancuso said. “We want to express our gratitude for their continued efforts to build stronger communities.”
The Spotlight Gala, to be held on Saturday, September 24, shines a light on issues Nebraska children face and honors community members who continuously strive to improve the lives of Nebraska’s kids. The annual event includes silent and live auctions, dinner, and the 2016 Spotlight Gala Awards Ceremony. For additional information, or to purchase tickets, click here.