state  Official Nebraska Government Website

Governor’s Summit Speakers

Lindsey Woolsey Bio
Tom Barry Bio
Matthew L. Blomstedt, Ph.D. Bio
Mike Boyle Bio
Brian Bywater Bio
Courtney Dentlinger Bio
Courtney Dunbar Bio
Douglas Kristensen Bio
Richard Langer Bio
Greg Lickteig Bio
John Madsen Bio
Cliff Mesner Bio
Deb Miller Bio
Kyle Schneweis, P.E. Bio
Craig Stoffel Bio

Lindsey Woolsey Picture

Lindsey Woolsey – Has Been Invited
The Woolsey Group

Contact Information

Lindsey Woolsey is the President and principal consultant of The Woolsey Group, a research, technical assistance and facilitation firm that works with CEOs and industry leadership to connect their needs to education, training and economic development programs. The Woolsey Group’s mission is two-fold: to ensure industries thrive and grow in their regional economies, and to get people the right education and training at the right time for the jobs that exist now in their local labor market. This work involves high-levels of industry engagement; understanding industry trends and opportunities; community partnership building; and knowledge about student and worker advancement policy and practice.

Ms. Woolsey is a national expert in the field of industry sector and cluster strategies. For over a decade she has studied the policy and program elements of successful industry strategies, including engaging industry; the role of intermediaries; coordination of programs to support employers and workers; career pathways; work-based learning; rural economies; and evaluation and benchmarking models. She is published in each of these areas.

Ms. Woolsey has worked at the state policy level in some capacity in half of the states in the U.S., and intensively with over a dozen. She is known for her unique capacity to engage CEOs directly, harness their passions, and sustain their co-investment in shared solutions to pressing workforce and other issues. She is relied upon by national organizations for her industry partnership knowledge, including the U.S. Department of Labor, Pew Charitable Trusts and National Governors Association. In 2017, her experience and model of industry partnerships was acknowledged by JP Morgan Chase Foundation which provided funding for a national learning academy. For more information on the resulting learning community, visit For more information on Lindsey Woolsey, visit

Lindsey earned a Masters in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University where she studied labor economics and workforce development, and her BA in International Relations from American University. She resides with her family on Bainbridge Island in Washington State


Tom Barry Picture

Tom Barry
Former Secretary
Florida Department of Transportation

Contact Information

Tom Barry has served in a variety of roles for Atkins, most recently as DOT Business Unit Director. He also has been a senior advisor on projects throughout the country, including numerous Florida DOT GEC Programs, the Tennessee Long Range Transportation Plan, North Carolina DOT 2040 Plan, and the North Carolina DOT I-95 Tolling Feasibility Study.

Before joining Atkins, he served as FDOT Secretary from August 1997 to February 2003, Assistant Secretary for Finance and Administration since July 1992, and directed FDOT operations in ten central Florida counties as District Five Secretary from August 1989 to July 1992. He started at FDOT in 1979.

Tom grew up in the Philadelphia area. He graduated from Penn State in 1979, with a BSCE degree. He and his wife Betty Ann live in Winter Springs, Florida. They have two daughters, Caitlin and Brianna, both of whom graduated from Florida State.


Matthew Blomstedt Picture

Matthew L. Blomstedt, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education
Department of Education

Contact Information

Dr. Blomstedt was named Commissioner of Education by the Nebraska State Board of Education on January 2, 2014. In two years, Dr. Blomstedt has led the successful development and implementation of a comprehensive state accountability system, AQuESTT, and positioned Nebraska to meet new federal requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

AQuESTT – Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow – is Nebraska’s next-generation accountability system. AQuESTT goes beyond test scores and graduation rates to classify schools and districts under a system that provides critical information for continuous school improvement. This forward-thinking system is expected to position Nebraska to not only meet new federal guidelines but to also empower the state’s excellent schools to become even better while helping schools needing improvement. AQuESTT’s goal is to provide the data and information needed to strengthen school and district support of student learning by focusing on every student every day. AQuESTT has earned the support of Nebraska educators, state education policy leaders and the State Board of Education.

To further develop and focus on improvement efforts, Dr. Blomstedt and the State Board of Education have jointly launched a comprehensive strategic planning process to guide their student-focused work and that of the Nebraska Department of Education.

Dr. Blomstedt is a native Nebraskan whose career has focused on local, regional and statewide education issues. Blomstedt’s experience includes education finance and organization, assessment and accountability, professional development, and the development of systems to enhance blended and distance learning opportunities across the state.

Dr. Blomstedt earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well as a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning.


Mike Boyle Picture

Mike Boyle
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp, USA

Contact Information

Mike graduated from UNL in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Desiring to remain in Lincoln, Mike went to work for Kawasaki. He started in the engineering department as a process engineer; designing robot welding cells and automation systems, new composite molding and joining processes, and bringing new Jetski personal watercraft and motorcycles into production. Eventually Mike was promoted to Engineering Manager, overseeing all engineering activity at the Lincoln plant. At various times, he also managed Production, Quality, and Information Technology departments. In 2007, he became Plant Manager/Vice President, overseeing operations at Kawasaki’s Lincoln plant. In 2017, Mike was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, currently responsible for operations in the Lincoln and Maryville, Missouri plants. Mike lives in Lincoln with wife Pam, they have 2 daughters.


Brian Bywater Picture

Brian Bywater
Community Housing Specialist
Schuyler Community Development

Contact Information

Brian Bywater is the Community Housing Specialist with Schuyler Community Development, a 501(c)(3) located in Schuyler, Nebraska, and has been in this role since October 2014. The Community Housing Specialist position was created to place a full-time focus on growing Schuyler’s stock, and exists through a partnership between NIFA, local government and business sources to build capacity through facilitating accelerated expansion of new housing construction to continue upgrading overall quality of existing housing stock and to grow Schuyler’s property tax base. To date, Brian is credited with helping establish 27 housing units in Schuyler.

Prior to becoming Community Housing Specialist, Brian spent 20 years in the banking industry with experience in Bankcard telemarketing, credit and collections, as well as consumer, commercial, agricultural and residential mortgage lending.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and History from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, and holds an MBA from Bellevue University. He is also a 2016 graduate of the Heartland Economic Development Course.

Brian is married to Christina who is the Vocal Music Director at Schuyler Central High School, and they are the parents of two sons, Connor (15) and Gavin (11).


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Courtney Dentlinger
Nebraska Department of Economic Development

Contact Information

800-426-6505 or 402-471-3125

Courtney Dentlinger is director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). Under Dentlinger’s leadership, the department is undergoing a comprehensive reorganization to align the agency to better grow the state through attraction of innovative industries and talent. The state was recently awarded the prestigious 1st place Governor’s Cup award from Site Selection magazine. Nebraska won first place in the nation for the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita in 2016.

Prior to Dentlinger’s leadership at DED, she served as Executive Director of the Norfolk Area Economic Development Council, in Norfolk, Neb., where she built a new economic development department for the City of Norfolk from the ground up.

Dentlinger also served in the Administration of Northeast Community College. During her tenure as the Executive Director of Development, she managed one of the largest capital campaigns in Northeast Nebraska in recent history.

From 2005-2007, she practiced law as an Associate Attorney at Fitzgerald, Vetter & Temple in Norfolk, and from 2001-2004, she served as Associate Director of Government Relations with the nonprofit NAFSA: Association of International Educators in Washington, D.C, where she monitored legislation and regulations affecting international education, and worked with Congress and federal agencies to implement laws and regulations favorable to promoting international education.

Dentlinger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, International Studies and Spanish from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., and a Juris Doctor from George Washington University College of Law in Washington, D.C.

Dentlinger currently serves on numerous boards of directors, including Bio Nebraska, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition, Nebraska Diplomats, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, University of Nebraska – Lincoln College of Business Administration and Workforce Investment Board.


Courtney Dunbar Picture

Courtney Dunbar, CEcD, EDFP, AICP
Industrial Program and Economic Development Leader
Olsson Associates

Contact Information

Courtney Dunbar is the Industrial Program and Economic Development Leader for Olsson Associates, a civil engineering firm that was ranked number 106 on the Engineering News-Record list of Top 500 Design Firms in 2017, and employs more than 1,000 staff members. Olsson Associates’ staff consists of highly trained professional and technical personnel with broad experience in all phases of engineering design and construction phase services.

Courtney has 19 years of combined career experiences in economic development, site selection, community planning, and project funding. In her current role as Industrial Program and Economic Development Leader, she leads the industrial client program strategy and is actively engaged in industrial site planning, site selection, site certification, economic analysis, and community planning. Her goal is to align the intellectual and physical resources of potential developmental areas or sites with their economic needs. She has written many community plans focused on developing vital, innovative communities that entice economic growth and redevelopment as well as addressing funding strategies.

Her career has centered on industrial and base-company development. She serves as a contributing writer for both Site Selection and Area Development magazines with articles centered on site preparedness for economic development opportunities. She is a sought after speaker nationally on topics related to economic development site preparedness. Courtney’s career has centered on primary development, community planning, and finance. She is a faculty instructor on topics of real estate and infrastructure development at both the Heartland Basic Economic Development Institute and the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. During her tenure as the eastern field representative for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, she served as the statewide manager for industrial site evaluations and as the advisor to agency management on siting and funding speculative industrial park projects. She evaluated and recommended placement of over $5 Million in CDBG and Workforce Training Funding. Courtney’s comprehensive expertise in economic planning, development analysis, industrial infrastructure requirements and project finance uniquely positions her as a qualified industrial site development partner.

Courtney received her Masters of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and is a certified community and economic developer, certified economic development professional, and holds an American Institute of Certified Planners certification. She is actively involved in the Omaha, Nebraska, volunteer community and was recognized as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Omahans” in 2007.


Douglas Kristensen Picture

Douglas Kristensen
University of Nebraska at Kearney

Contact Information

Douglas Kristensen was appointed to lead the University of Nebraska at Kearney in July 2002 following a distinguished career in the Nebraska Legislature. He represented the 37th legislative district from 1989-2002 and, at the time he retired from office, was the longest serving Speaker of the Legislature. During the time he held political office he practiced law and was a partner in the law firm of Lieske & Kristensen in Minden, Nebraska. Chancellor Kristensen received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Drake University.

He is an enthusiastic advocate of everything UNK and, since assuming his position as University Chancellor, he has directed a number of dramatic campus renewal projects – including construction of Antelope and Nester suite-style residence halls and refurbishing UNK’s traditional residence halls; Cope Stadium and Foster Field; a new central utilities plant; upgrading the Nebraskan Student Union and campus dining facilities; extensive landscape improvements; and major renovation of Bruner Hall of Science. In addition, the campus’s state-of-the-art Wellness Center opened in 2014, and, in August 2015, in an historic collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, UNK celebrated the grand opening of its new Health Science Education Complex.

Work is also beginning on University Village, an ambitious and exciting initiative that will double the size of the existing campus. The development of the 107-acre tract of land will bring businesses, housing, services, recreation and academic buildings together in a unique, urban neighborhood setting.

Chancellor Kristensen and his wife, District Judge Terri S. Harder, have two daughters, Morgan and Paige. Morgan is a UNK graduate and now a student at the University of Nebraska College of Law; Paige is a sophomore at UNK.


Richard Langer Picture

Richard Langer
President and Managing Director

Contact Information

Richard Langer is the President and Managing Director of Quetica, a transportation, supply chain and global trade information technology consulting firm. He is a retired senior military officer with various career assignments designing and managing expeditionary supply chains and transportation networks. Langer is a well-respected industry expert in government and private sector designing and building global supply chain, transportation and trade systems for half of the Fortune 500 and Federal Government.

Quetica’s principals have a deep understanding of government and commercial transportation, supply chain, global trade and information technology. Langer initiated the concept and led the effort to adapt supply chain network optimization, a proven private sector practice, to public freight networks and to reduce transportation costs for local businesses.


Greg Lickteig Picture

Greg Lickteig
Director, Specialty Grain
The Scoular Company

Contact Information

Greg Lickteig is the Director of Scoular’s Specialty Grains group. In this capacity, he oversees the Company’s efforts in Non-GMO, organic, identity preserved and specialty grains. The group manages world-wide supply chains with sales in excess of $220 million and ships product via truck, rail, barge, and container.

The Specialty Grain group supplies product to food and feed manufacturers in over 18 countries from North American origins and has been managing supply chains to Japan for over twenty years. Scoular supplies Japan with corn, soybeans, DDGS, meal, barley, buckwheat, popcorn, and other products.

Greg joined Scoular in 1994 and orchestrated the Company’s entry into the specialty markets and was the first Scoular business to export grain by container. In 1995, Greg championed Scoular’s entry into the organic market and Scoular’s certification.

Born and raised on an Iowa grain and livestock farm, Greg graduated summa cum laude from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Greg and his wife Stacey reside in Omaha and have four children.


John Madsen Picture

John Madsen
Krotters Home and Auto Centers

Contact Information

John Madsen from Stuart, Nebraska is Vice-President of Krotters Home and Auto Centers, a family-owned and operated business which celebrated its 125th anniversary this past year. Krotters operate 6 Do-it Best lumber/hardware locations in Ainsworth, Bassett, Stuart, Atkinson and Spencer, NE and Gregory, SD. They have a Design Center with a full-line major appliance store and the Chevrolet – Buick – GM Truck dealership in O’Neill, NE. John’s wife, Pat, is the oldest of the fourth generation of owners from the Krotter family.

He has been actively involved in Community and Economic Development since the late ‘70s, having served on the Stuart Village Board and Stuart Development Corporation. He was the founding Chairman of CNEDD and helped form Central Nebraska Housing and Economic Developers and is still on the board of directors of both groups.

Madsen recently served on the NBA Next Generation Housing Task Force and is a member of the JHEDI Task Force.


Cliff Mesner Picture

Cliff Mesner
Mesner Development Co.

Contact Information

Mesner Logo

Cliff Mesner and his wife Kathy are partners in Mesner Law Office and Mesner Development Co. in Central City, Nebraska. The Mesners have been involved in community economic development work in Central City and throughout rural Nebraska for many years. Cliff served as the City Attorney and Economic Development Director of Central City for more than 25 years.

Serving as an Economic Development Director taught Cliff the importance of housing to the growth of small communities. The Mesners have experience in Low Income Housing Tax Credit developments, subdivision development, affordable and market rate housing, multifamily and single family housing, spec housing, student housing, new neighborhoods programs and the workforce housing initiative pilot program. They have worked with local, state and federal agencies to bring housing investment dollars to small towns in Nebraska and Kansas.

Madsen recently served on the NBA Next Generation Housing Task Force and is a member of the JHEDI Task Force.

In addition, Cliff has also spent many volunteer hours helping communities form investment clubs and home builder groups to recruit local private resources for business and housing development. Most recently the Mesners have started doing solar development for communities in the State.


Deb Miller Picture

Deb Miller
Surface Transportation Board

Contact Information

Deb Miller was sworn in on April 28, 2014, as a Member of the Board for a term of office expiring on December 31, 2017. She is currently serving as a Commissioner at the Surface Transportation Board.

Commissioner Miller, a Democrat from Kansas, is the Board’s 12th Member since the agency’s inception in 1996.

Ms. Miller most recently served as a Senior Consultant with Cambridge Systematics, Inc., a firm specializing in transportation planning and policy, primarily for public-sector clients. From 2003 to 2011 Ms. Miller served as the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (Kansas DOT), a term of office marked by her distinguished service for three successive Governors of Kansas. She has the distinction of being the longest-serving Secretary of Transportation in Kansas history.

Ms. Miller also worked as a Senior consultant with Cambridge Systematics, Inc., a firm specializing in transportation planning and policy primarily for public-sector clients, for HNTB, a national architecture, engineering, and planning firm where she provided strategic planning and public-communications assistance to state departments of transportation and municipalities, and as the Director of the Kansas DOT’s Division of Planning and Development. Before beginning her work in transportation, Ms. Miller was a Policy Assistant to the Governor of Kansas.

Ms. Miller has been active with the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Research Council that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies of Sciences, and was a member of the TRB's Executive Committee for five years, including a year serving as Chair. She also has been active with the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials, where she headed numerous task forces and workgroups and served for nine years as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning. She also served on the Eno Foundation's Board of Advisors.

Ms. Miller graduated magna cum laude from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Sociology.


Kyle Schneweis Picture

Kyle Schneweis, P.E.
Nebraska Department of Roads

Contact Information

Kyle Schneweis was appointed by Governor Pete Ricketts to serve as the Director of the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) in May 2015. In that position, Schneweis leads the agency’s more than 2,100 employees in planning for and addressing Nebraska’s transportation needs.

Prior to his appointment with NDOR, Schneweis was a partner at an industry leading transportation policy and financial consulting firm where he provided strategic planning and performance management expertise to more than twenty-five national, state and local clients. He also has significant experience in the public sector, having served at the Kansas Department of Transportation where he played an instrumental role in developing and winning legislative approval for the state’s $8.2 billion transportation investment program.

This balance of private and public sector experience allows Director Schneweis to bring a unique perspective to NDOR. His customer-focused and data-driven approach emphasizes transparency and stakeholder engagement and he understands the critical role strategic transportation investments can play in strengthening Nebraska’s economy.

Director Schneweis earned his civil engineering degree from the University of North Dakota and is a licensed professional engineer. He and his wife Laurel are parents to two toddler boys, Mazlo and Karver.


Craig Stoffel Picture

Craig Stoffel
Vice President Global Logistics
Werner Enterprises

Contact Information

Craig Stoffel is the vice president global logistics at Werner Enterprises. Throughout his more than 25 years at Werner, he has held a variety of positions within Operations, Marketing, Process Engineering and Business Development and has been an integral part of the management and development of Werner’s non-asset logistics services. Stoffel helped launch and currently manages the Werner Final Mile division and Werner Global Logistics subsidiary companies and its global freight forwarding operations, which encompasses global transportation management, international shipping , Ocean, Air and customs brokerage, in China, Mexico, Australia and the United States. Stoffel holds a finance degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Werner Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1956 and is a premier transportation and logistics company, with coverage throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. Werner maintains its global headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and maintains offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Australia. Werner is among the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, with a diversified portfolio of transportation services that includes dedicated van, temperature-controlled and flatbed; medium-to-long-haul, regional and local van; and expedited services. Werner's Value Added Services portfolio includes freight management, truck brokerage, intermodal, and international services. International services are provided through Werner’s domestic and global subsidiary companies and include ocean, air and ground transportation; freight forwarding; and customs brokerage. Werner Enterprises' common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select MarketSM under the symbol “WERN”. For further information about Werner, visit the company’s website at


Conference Information:
Cornhusker Marriott
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Check In 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Conference 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Reception 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 pm

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Registration is $55 per person.
Please register by Friday, June 23, 2017.

The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel has reserved rooms for $119.00 USD per night for July 12 through July 14, 2017. Book your room by June 22, 2017 for this rate. Click here to book your room for the Nebraska Governor’s Summit.