Meet Our Team

Our passionate team of experts provides support and services to organizations of all sizes, across a wide range of industries throughout the state and surrounding areas.

John M. Lefler, Jr.

John M. Lefler, Jr.

Executive Director
John brings over 20 years of experience with a broad background in management, marketing, and sales. He most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer with The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, NE. He looks forward to his new role with NESC.
Valerie, She/Her/Hers

Valerie Haschke, She/Her/Hers

Director of Operations
Valerie, ACE Certified Health Coach, joined NESC in 2015 as the Workplace Staff Assistant, eventually moving into the Director of Operations position. Valerie’s Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a Certificate of Gerontology helps her successfully build relationships with our members. Her passion lies with wellness and helping others with lifestyle changes. She lives by example on a daily basis and focuses much of her personal time on exercise and good nutrition choices.

Sherri Dawn Healy

Office Manager
Sherri Dawn began with NESC in 2015 as a part-time assistant to the Executive Director and has continued to grow her responsibilities over time. She is currently the Office Manager with duties ranging from supervision of the Office Support Staff to oversight of both A/P and A/R and a little bit of everything in-between. In her personal time, she is an active Boy Scout and Girl Scout mom and enjoys attending Scouting events with her kids.

Karen Rehm

Wellness Services Manager
Karen joined the NESC team in 2020 and brings 18+ years of experience. Karen specializes in developing outcome based interventional programs and services that are designed to increase on the job safety and reduce work-related injuries, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and improve the bottom line. Karen and her husband Gerry are avid Husker fans and enjoy family trips to Minnesota.

Tracy Burmeister

Traffic Manager
Tracy moved to Lincoln from the great State of Iowa in 2005. She attended the University of Nebraska and earned her Bachelor’s & Masters in Education. Tracy recently transitioned from the State of Nebraska Liquor Control Commission. Prior, she was a substitute teacher for LPS. In Iowa, Tracy worked in the manufacturing industry, hotel/restaurant industry, and the insurance industry. The culmination of her work and life experiences brings great value to the NESC.

Samantha Gentry

Development Manager
Samantha Gentry graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Arts & Sciences from UNL. She is a current graduate student at UNO pursuing a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management. Previously, she was the Development Manager at The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum. She loves learning new things, going on adventures, and hanging out with her dog Rico and her cat Olive.
Brian York

Brian York

Safety Services Manager
Brian brings 27 years of experience working in non-profits and over 20 years of military experience. He has worked as a curator and a leader, developing skills in conservation, research, design, and collection management with several Nebraska museums and the National Park Service. Brian’s military experience focuses on logistics, planning, and leadership. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and staying active.
Ric Voelker

Ric Voelker

Senior Trainer & Consultant
Ric has been with NESC since January 2017. He has been an adult instructor since 2004 and brings a vast amount of experience and knowledge from work in law enforcement. He has been focused in workplace safety since 2006 and continues to grow and expand his skillset in this specialty. His enthusiasm to share his experience has made a big impression on those who work with him.

John Lewis

Safety Trainer & Consultant
John has been with the Council for over 13 years. His credentials include a B.S. in Education from the University of Nebraska and an EMTA from Southeast Community College. His responsibilities with the Council involve providing training and on-site consultation on a wide variety of safety topics. John is also an OSHA Training Institute Construction Industry Trainer and Trainer Instructor. His other duties include conducting walk-through inspections and customized safety training.

Sam Palin

Safety & Health Instructor/Consultant
Sam is originally from Montana. She started with safety back in the mid 90’s with an employer and helped with training with the Nebraska Safety Council. Sam has continued to be involved with safety over the years. Sam most recently left the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.

Matthew O'Rourke

Wellness Services Coordinator
Matthew joined the Nebraska Safety Council in 2022. His credentials include a B.S in Nutrition, Exercise and Health Sciences and minor in Business from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His responsibilities with the Council involve scheduling safety services for non-member/member businesses throughout the state. He enjoys playing with his dog, Moe, being outdoors, traveling, exercising, and cooking.

Sheila Keck

Safety Services Coordinator
Sheila joined the Nebraska Safety Council in 2022. She has worked as a para educator for Lincoln Public Schools for 16 years and as an Adult Residential Tech at a drug/alcohol treatment facility for 4 years. Sheila has 3 sons and 3 grandchildren who all live in Lincoln. Sheila enjoys time with her family, painting, reading and being outside as much as possible.

Dusty Hegwood

Traffic Services Coordinator
Dusty joined the Nebraska Safety Council in 2021. She has worked in the non-profit world (mostly with adults with developmental disabilities) almost 19 years. Dusty has two children; one son who plays on a travel baseball league, and one daughter who is on the softball and bowling team in her high school. Dusty enjoys spending time outdoors, camping, fishing, and traveling.

Riley Schwartztrauber

Administrative Associate