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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 Rouse, 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, aPHR®

Administrative Director
Sherri Dawn began with the Nebraska Safety Council in 2015 as a part-time assistant to the Executive Director and has continued to grow her responsibilities over time. She is currently the Administrative Director with duties that include supervision of the Administrative Staff, Human Resources, 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.

Kelsey Pruss, MS

Wellness Services Manager
Kelsey joined the Nebraska Safety Council in 2023 and brings 14 years of experience in health and wellness. She specializes in program development, education, health coaching, and operations management. In her free time, you can find her chasing her daughters and dog around, exercising, reading, and enjoying the outdoors.

Karen Rehm

Wellness Services Consultant
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 Services Senior Instructor
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 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.

Rebekah Lassen

Marketing Manager
Rebekah has been with the Nebraska Safety Council since 2020. She has worked in a variety of marketing roles over the last 12 years and continues to grow her skillset. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Brian and two children, Brooks and Madelyn, and friends. During the summer you can find them enjoying the outdoors such as; camping, swimming, haying, and more.
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.

Kirk Van Pelt

Road Safety Specialist
Kirk was raised on a farm and ranch in western Nebraska. He attended Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) and the University of Wyoming. He worked as a professional photographer while being an assistant instructor at WNCC. He spent 30 years in law enforcement as Chief Deputy Sheriff and Deputy Director of Emergency Management. He has worked as a contracted instructor for NESC since 1998. Kirk is married and has two sons.

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.

Eli Haschke

Marketing & Membership Coordinator
Eli Haschke recently started at NESC in 2023. She has past experience working in the retail industry where she gained the skills to connect with the public and brings a consistent positive attitude to the team. She spends her free time making art, cuddling with her cats, and being with her loved ones.

DIRECTORY:

Contact Name: Phone Number: Email Address:
 John Lefler, Jr., Executive Director 402.483.2511 ext. 109 jlefler@nesafetycouncil.org 
Valerie Rouse, Director of Operations 402.483.2511 ext. 108 vrouse@nesafetycouncil.org
Sherri Dawn Healy, aPHR®, Administrative Director 402.483.2511 ext. 112 shealy@nesafetycouncil.org
Kelsey Pruss, MS, Wellness Services Manager 402.483.2511 ext. 103 kpruss@nesafetycouncil.org
Karen Rehm, Wellness Services Consultant 402.483.2511 ext. 102 krehm@nesafetycouncil.org
Tracy Burmeister, Traffic Services Senior Instructor 402.483.2511 ext. 101 tburmeister@nesafetycouncil.org
Samantha Gentry, Development Manager 402.483.2511 ext. 116 sgentry@nesafetycouncil.org
Rebekah Lassen, Marketing Manager 402.483.2511 rlassen@nesafetycouncil.org
Brian York, Safety Services Manager 402.483.2511 ext. 110 byork@nesafetycouncil.org
Ric Voelker, Senior Trainer & Consultant 402.483.2511 ext. 111 rvoelker@nesafetycouncil.org
John Lewis, Safety Trainer & Consultant 402.483.2511 ext. 110 jlewis@nesafetycouncil.org
Sam Palin, Safety & Health Instructor/Consultant 402.483.2511 ext. 113 spalin@nesafetycouncil.org
Kirk Van Pelt, Road Safety Specialist 402.483.2511 ext. 104 kvanpelt@nesafetycouncil.org
Sheila Keck, Safety Services Coordinator 402.483.2511 ext. 114 skeck@nesafetycouncil.org
Dusty Hegwood, Traffic Services Coordinator 402.483.2511 ext. 107 dhegwood@nesafetycouncil.org
Eli Haschke, Administrative Coordinator 402.483.2511 ext. 105 ehaschke@nesafetycouncil.org