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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.
Ric Voelker

Ric Voelker

Senior Trainer and 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.

Joe Gehr

Road Safety Coordinator
Joe Gehr joined NESC in 2021 after working in Law Enforcement for the past 31 years. Joe started out in the Patrol Division where he was a forensic child interviewer and on the Accident Investigation Team. Joe also worked in the Courts Division and in the Civil Division. Prior to retiring, Joe worked as the School Resource Officer for the Norris School District. Joe is married and has a daughter. He enjoys cooking, watching sports and going on bike rides.

Doha Toma

Safety & Wellness Specialist
Doha teaches a variety of different classes in both Safety and Wellness. She is a licensed Health Coach and currently maintains 12 active licenses. Doha has 10 years of experience in the medical field (trauma and DHHS). Doha earned her bachelor’s degree from UNL and is currently a doctoral student at UNO/UNMC. She is working towards her Mental Health Practitioner License, specializing in children with Autism.

John Lewis

Safety Trainer and 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.

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.

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