Our Team – Omaha
Arvin Frazier III
Senior Executive Director
Arvin Frazier III is executive director of College Possible Omaha, which began providing services to students in the 2011-12 academic year. He leads the Omaha team in all day-to-day management and operational issues, leading strategic organizational development, raising funds, coordinating communications and building relationships with partner schools, universities and organizations in the Omaha metro area.
Arvin comes to College Possible with a long career in public service and education. For nearly 30 years, he worked for the Nebraska Department of Education, progressing to serve as area administrator for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. There, Arvin managed a large staff in delivering vocational rehabilitation services across a multi-county area. Prior to College Possible, Arvin served educational support organizations as the senior director of community programs for Building Bright Futures, a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational outcomes for children in poverty. Arvin received his B.S. from Knoxville College and his M.S. from University of Tennessee.
He is a native Omahan, an Omaha North High Magnet School graduate, and an active community member. In service to the city’s educational and workforce development efforts, Arvin serves with such entities as the Inclusive Communities, 100 Black Men, North Omaha Cradle To Career Advisory Committee, Metro Community College President Committee on Equity and Diversity, UNO’s African American Advisory Cabinet, Millard Superintendent Service Advisory Committee and others.
Additionally, Arvin is a member of Salem Baptist church and an active member with the Omaha Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. In his spare time, Arvin enjoys officiating basketball for the Iowa and Nebraska State Athletic Associations. Himself a first-generation college attendee and proud Historical Black Colleges and Universities graduate, the work of College Possible greatly motivates him as he works to empower young adults and future leaders of our community by fulfilling their educational potential.
Lisa Lackovic, Board Chair
Architectural Representative, Endicott
Lisa Lackovic serves as board chairman of College Possible Omaha. She is the Omaha architectural representative for Endicott Clay Products based out of Fairbury, Nebraska.
She earned a BS degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication which she uses during many of her public speaking opportunities.
Lisa grew up in the masonry industry and has over 35 years’ experience promoting clay brick to architects, interior designers and contractors. She developed landscape contractor contest, “The Ultimate Backyard Challenge” and founded and trademarked Divas of the Dirt™, a networking organization for women in hardscape. She often refers to herself as “The Brick Chick.”
Lisa is past president of CREW Omaha Metro and Habitat for Humanity Omaha and currently serves board of the Nebraska Masonry Alliance and the American Institute of Architects Omaha. She is married to Bob and has 2 grown children and 5 grandchildren. Some of Lisa’s favorite pastimes are traveling, golf, spinning, yoga, gardening and mentoring young professional women.
Jack Becker, Ph.D.
Executive Director and CEO, Joslyn Art Museum
Jack F. Becker, Ph.D. is the Executive Director and CEO of Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. The largest museum in the state, Joslyn features diverse collections from antiquity to the present, with strengths in European painting, American art, art of the American West, and contemporary art.
Since Becker’s arrival in 2010, the Museum has defined and achieved several new projects and goals that have had a significant impact on its audiences and positioned the institution for the future. These include securing funding for a return to free general admission for the public year-round and growing the Museum’s annual attendance by over fifty percent. Becker established a new Contemporary Artists Project gallery and exhibition series to bring new perspectives on contemporary art to Nebraska and opened a 1,500 square foot hands-on discover gallery – ART WORKS: A Place for Curiosity – that welcomes over 45,000 visitors annually. Under Becker’s tenure, Joslyn has secured significant gifts of art, most notably to its contemporary collection.
In October 2018, Joslyn announced a major physical and programmatic expansion of the Museum, led by architectural firm Snøhetta. Introducing a new Joslyn for the twenty-first century, the transformative project will include a new building and an increase in areas devoted to educational offerings and public engagement.
Becker earned his B.A. in art history at Carleton College; his M.A. in art history and Ph.D. at the University of Deleware; and his M.B.A. at the University of Michigan.
President, P.J. Morgan Real Estate
Ryan Ellis began his career as an intern at P.J. Morgan Real Estate while attending Creighton University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance and furthered his education at Randall School of Real Estate. Upon earning his real estate license, Ryan became Director of Property Management for P.J. Morgan Real Estate and later, due to his outstanding leadership, achieved the roles of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2007.
In 2009, Ryan became the President of P.J. Morgan Real Estate and most recently became the owner. His responsibilities include coordinating agent activity, overseeing day-to-day operations and establishing the future direction of the company. Ryan also continues fulfilling his passion for high profile projects in commercial and residential real estate and in property management.
Honors & Achievements
- Omaha 100 Board of Directors, 2014-Present
- Omaha Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Omahans!, 2016
- Nebraska AIDS Project Board of Directors, 2010-2015; President 2012/2013
- Omaha Conservatory of Music Board of Directors, 2013-Present
- Fashion Institute Guild Board of Directors, 2014-Present
- College Possible Board of Directors, 2015-Present
- Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Leadership Omaha graduate, 2014
- Midland’s Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient, 2014
- CoStar Power Awards Top Sales Brokers, 2014
SVP, Enterprise Data Management, First National Bank
Hao joined the First National Bank in 2004 and his team is responsible for leveraging data to make data-driven decisions and identifying analytical solutions to improve the value of the relationship to customer and bank, prior to his current role, he was the vice president of enterprise data management.
Hao grew up in China and came to the United States in 2000 as a graduate student. He obtained his Ph.D. in Applied Economics and MS in Statistics from the University of Kentucky. Hao is passionate about education, and he has been an adjunct professor at the College of Business, Bellevue University since 2009. Currently, he is teaching two graduate level courses at Bellevue University: Microeconomics and Economics for Human Capital Valuation.
Emiliano Lerda, J.D.
Vice President, Paul G Smith Associates
Originally from Argentina, Emiliano Lerda was drawn to America’s Midwest because its agricultural environment reminded him of his native Cordoba province. He joined the Immigrant Legal Center (ILC), formerly known as Justice for Our Neighbors of Nebraska, as executive director in 2011. ILC is a nonprofit law firm that provides free immigration legal services, education, and advocacy for low-income immigrants. When Lerda joined ILC, the organization had a single office, with three full-time employees managing a 500-case load, and an annual operating budget of approximately $250,000. As of 2019, the organization has expanded to nine offices across the state of Nebraska and southwest Iowa. They have 46 full-time employees, 20 of whom are attorneys, managing over 3,800 cases per year with an annual operating budget in excess of $3.6 million. In 2018, ILC successfully completed a $3.3 million capital campaign to acquire a 23,000 square foot office building in Omaha, providing a permanent headquarters for ILC. Lerda left ILC in the late fall of 2019 to become Vice President of Paul G Smith Associates, which focuses on business development and real estate.
Lerda graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa, becoming the first international student elected student body president. He holds a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School with certificates in Public Service Law, Food and Agriculture Law, and International Comparative and Human Rights Law. He has a Master of Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He also completed the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. Lerda is licensed to practice law in the state of Iowa.
Emily Lischer was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1996. She is the mother to two boys, Will and Charlie and married to Tom, who is the Executive Vice President of Operations for Union Pacific Railroad. Emily is passionate about volunteering her time for various nonprofits throughout the metro area, including serving as a board member for Phoenix Academy and College Possible. In addition, she serves on the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Friends Board, sits on the United Way of the Midlands, Women United Steering Committee, chairs the United Way of the Midlands, Women United Mary C. Lopez Lunch and Learn, and is an advisory board member for Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium Raise Me To Read initiative. In addition, to her various volunteer commitments, Emily is extremely passionate about educating the community about dyslexia. She is also an ironman triathlete and marathon runner.
Jeff Skalberg is a community relations professional who specializes in employee engagement, corporate social responsibility and nonprofit management. Over the last seven years, Jeff has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of unique companies, developing and evaluating their community relations and volunteer programs, enabling them to expand their engagement in the communities we live and work.
Jeff currently serves as the Donor Engagement Director with Community Alliance. Prior to joining Community Alliance, Jeff led a development team through four fundraising Campaigns at United Way of the Midlands. Jeff also serves on the board of directors for College Possible and in 2018 launched a business called NoteWorthy which creates engaging concert experiences to drive social change.
Jeff holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Bellevue University and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Andrew Rikli, ED.D.
Superintendent, Papillion La Vista Community Schools
Dr. Andrew Rikli has served as the Superintendent of the Papillion La Vista Schools since July 2013. Prior to his work in Papillion La Vista, Dr. Rikli worked 10 years with the Westside Community Schools in Omaha as an elementary principal, central office director, and assistant superintendent. Rikli previously worked as a consultant with the Nebraska Department of Education and has served as a classroom teacher, coach, activities director, and curriculum and assessment writer. In addition to his work with PK-12 public schools, Dr. Rikli is an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and serves as a governor-appointed executive team member of the Nebraska Professional Practices Commission.
Rikli is a member of the American Association of School Administrators, ASCD, PDK International, the Horace Mann League, and the Beta Theta Pi alumni association. Rikli is the past Chairman of the Board for the University of Nebraska-Omaha Alumni Association, a current member of the Teammates Mentoring Board of Directors, and an Executive Team member of the Concord Mediation Center Board of Directors. Rikli is also a member of the College Possible Advisory Board and a member of the Offutt Advisory Council where he serves as the honorary commander of the 338th Combat Training Squadron. Dr. Rikli is a graduate of Leadership Sarpy, Leadership Omaha, the Midlands Superintendent Academy, and a member of the Papillion Lions’ Club. Dr. Rikli is also a member of the Urban School Superintendents Association of America (USAA), the Educational Research and Development Institute (ERDI), and Omaha Zoological Society Advisory Council. Andy was named a PDK Emerging Leader, UNO Hollie Bethel Distinguished Alumni Award winner, UNO Outstanding Service Award winner, and CHI “Friend of Midlands” community leader award in 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2019 respectively.
Dr. Rikli holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and completed his doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Andy is a fourth-generation Nebraskan who graduated from Auburn High School in Auburn, Nebraska. Dr. Rikli and his wife Amy reside in Papillion with their three children, Adrianna, Meredith, and Sam. They are members of Calvary Shadow Lake Church.
Senior Investment Strategist, Wells Fargo Bank
Tyler graduated from San Diego State University, with a degree in finance. Currently employed at Wells Fargo, he builds and manages the investment portfolios for high net worth clients and institutions. When asked why he wanted to join the College Possible board, Tyler wrote:
“What drew me to College Possible was its mission and drive to help first generation college students succeed on campuses around the country. Having volunteered at my alma mater with students searching for careers and entering the professional business environment, College Possible stood out as a fantastic organization and an opportunity to volunteer and work with others in Omaha that share a similar passion.”
Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
Gretchen Twohig is chief compliance officer and general counsel at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE). In her role, she oversees enterprise risk management, compliance, corporate audit, legal, government relations and is corporate secretary.
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.
Twohig is active in community service and serves on the boards of College Possible and the Women’s Center for Advancement. She was also a participant in the 2006 ICAN Leadership in Action program and is a member of Leadership Omaha Class 36. Additionally, Twohig is a United Way bridgebuilder and served as BCBSNE campaign chair in 2019.