Skip to content

Originally from Argentina, Emiliano Lerda was drawn to America’s Midwest because its agricultural environment reminded him of his native Cordoba province. Emiliano currently serves as Co-Founder and CEO of Elevator, a co-warehousing company.

Formerly, Emiliano served as President at Paul G Smith Associates (PGSA). PGSA is a family investment and real estate development firm that oversees the development and management of The Capitol District and Millwork Commons innovation district in Omaha, NE, with assets exceeding $300 million. Prior to joining PGSA, he was the Executive Director of the Immigrant Legal Center (ILC) from 2011 to 2019. His collaborative and innovative leadership style guided ILC through a period of rapid growth, increasing the annual operating budget from $250,000 to $4,000,000; growing staff from 3 to 48 full time employees, and expanding the organization’s physical footprint from a single office in 1 state to 9 locations in 2 states.

Emiliano graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication studies at the University of Northern Iowa, becoming the first international student elected student body president. An Iowa licensed attorney, he earned his J.D. from Drake University Law School with certificates in Public Service Law, Food & Agriculture Law, and International Comparative and Human Rights Law. He earned his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of Arkansas.

He has always been passionate about public service and has worked with nonprofit organizations both as a staff member and as a board member since 2002. Emiliano participated in the Nonprofit Executive Institute and Leadership Omaha Class 36 and also completed the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. He was an honoree in Omaha Jaycee’s “Ten Outstanding Young Omahans of 2017,” and named the Recent Alumnus of the Year at Drake University Law School in 2019. A respected community leader, Emiliano currently serves as Chairman of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Board of Counselors, and Chairman of the Douglas County Visitor Promotion Council. Emiliano loves building profitable, sustainable, and dynamic organizations that make a positive impact in our community.

Back To Top