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Omaha Performing Arts Board of Directors – Leadership Update

Posted On Sep 2, 2021, 16:12 PM by Sarah Kosch

Dr. H. Dele Davies and Sharlon Rodgers


O-pa’s board of directors provides oversight and leadership, dedicating their time and resources to help O-pa serve the community. Several important leadership changes occurred at the June 8 Annual Meeting.  

After serving O-pa for over 20 years, founding Chair John Gottschalk was elected to the position of Chair Emeritus.  John’s leadership of the original initiative for Omaha Performing Arts included the Orpheum renovation and the construction of the Holland Performing Arts Center. His efforts, along with Dick Holland, Walter Scott and others, ensured that today, we have a community that has been transformed through O-pa’s extraordinary arts, entertainment and community engagement.  And that growth continues with our campus expansion and the construction of Steelhouse Omaha.  At O-pa, we are deeply grateful to John for his incredible leadership, vision, passion and commitment to this organization.  

Moving forward, we are extremely fortunate to now work with our new leadership who were elected in June. Jack Koraleski, the former President and CEO of Union Pacific, is O-pa’s new Board Chair, and David Slosburg, Vice President of Spruce Capital Group, was elected as Vice-Chair.   

We are also very pleased to welcome two new board members who were elected to join O-pa: Dr. H. Dele Davies and Sharlon Rodgers. 

Dr. Dele Davies is currently the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean for Graduate Studies at UNMC. He currently is the Board President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands, serves on the Board of Governors of the Joslyn Museum and is the Board Secretary for Good News Church, Omaha.   

“Music and the performing arts are powerful instruments that have the ability to unify persons from diverse backgrounds and belief systems. I am excited about O-pa’s role in helping the ongoing transformation of Omaha from one of the best-kept secrets in the country to the vision of a world class city that is a destination site for young adults and families,” says Dr. Davies. 

Sharlon Rodgers worked at Methodist Hospital for many years, most recently as an executive in their radiation oncology department. She currently works with the Empowerment Network, which serves North and South Omaha, and is a COVID-19 Plan Reviewer for the Douglas County Health Department. She also currently serves as the Board Chair for the American Cancer Society and is on the Aksarben Women’s Ball committee and has been a very active member of O-pa’s Presenters Circle

“I was interested in joining the O-pa Board of Directors because these directors have proven time and time again their commitment to bringing premier performances and offerings to the Omaha community,” says Rodgers. “On any given day or night, a click of a ticket purchase can place you at O-pa’s world class venues, the Holland or Orpheum Theatre, where you can enjoy a full experience comparable to a larger urban setting without the sometimes more challenging logistics of getting there. What a great opportunity to work with these champions to continue to bring this magic.”  

We are delighted to welcome these two new board members to O-pa and grateful to the strategic leadership and support of the entire board. Together, we continue our work to bring the highest quality entertainment experiences and education and engagement opportunities to the community we serve.  

Read the full list of board members here