News Go behind the scenes with Omaha Performing Arts

Q&A: OPA Office Coordinator Cindy Vanek, winner of OMA Tourism Award

Posted On May 14, 2019, 11:49 AM by Courtney Mattern
Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray, left, presents Cindy Vanek of Omaha Performing Arts with the OMA Tourism Award for Outstanding Guest Service at an Attraction.

Every year, members of the Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie county tourism communities gather for the Omaha Metropolitan Area Tourism Awards. The ceremony celebrates front-line employees who go beyond the call of duty to make the Omaha metro a great place to visit. 

This year, they honored one of our own: Omaha Performing Arts Office Coordinator Cindy Vanek. For more than 12 years, she's assisted visitors at our venues, the Holland and Orpheum Theater. Out of 92 nominees, she won the OMA Tourism Award for Outstanding Guest Service at an Attraction. We are so proud of her! 

As her nominators wrote, "Cindy's  voice is the first thing people hear when they call Omaha Performing Arts [...] she fields hundreds of questions from community members and visitors – sharing information such as how to buy tickets, parking options as well as hotel and restaurant suggestions. She strives to make sure anyone visiting the Holland Center or Orpheum Theater has the best experience possible."

Get to know one of our most cheerful and helpful team members in today's Q&A. Cindy answered questions about her job, winning the award and what she likes about living in Omaha. 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

Cindy Vanek: I am from Gretna and have lived my entire life in the Omaha metro area-except for my four years at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb. Ever since I was a young child, I have loved and appreciated the arts -- especially music and musical theater! I have been working full time at Omaha Performing Arts for 12 years and during the fall I also work part time on a pumpkin farm. 

Q: What’s your typical day like?
CV: There is a wide variety of day-to day tasks to be done in the administration office, but it can be summed up in two main areas: helping to keep the office running and providing customer service both in-person and on the phone. Some duties I do on a typical day are:  greeting guests, scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, answering phone calls, arranging tours of the venues and assorted clerical tasks for the Finance Department and Front of House team. 

Q: What’s your favorite part of working at Omaha Performing Arts?
CV: I really enjoy the creative and collaborative work environment and knowing our work makes a positive impact on the community. And, of course, attending shows!   

Q: What was your reaction when you won the OMA Tourism Award?
CV: I was surprised and so honored to be chosen because there are many deserving people both within our organization and across the community.  I was very grateful to be recognized.

Q: What do you love about living and working in Omaha?
CV: I am never bored. There is always something interesting and fun going on and the people are fantastic!

Learn more about the OMA Tourism Awards winners the Visit Omaha website here.