The public is invited to a reception to bid farewell to Ann Burge on Friday, April 29, from 1-3 p.m. at Southwest Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation, 115 West Third Street in Grant.
By Jan Rahn
Nearly nine years ago to the day, a change took place at Southwest Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation (SWNCBC) when Ann Burge became the program officer and later the administrator.
Now there’s another big change that has taken place at SWNCBC—this time because Burge is leaving the company and a new administrator is now on board.
Burge has accepted a position in Omaha. Local banker Dennis Hansen is her replacement.
Admitting he has big shoes to fill, Hansen said, “When I saw the ad in the paper it had “me” written all over it.”
Hansen said his background in banking and loans led him to further investigate the position.
“I like challenges, that’s my thing,” said the former vice president of Pinnacle Bank.
He is also looking forward to the travel required in overseeing a five-county area that will lead him to meet and work with new people while administering the affordable housing and economic development corporation.
Burge is also excited about her new position with Midwest Housing Equity Group Inc. in Omaha where she’ll serve as chief operating officer and director of asset management.
Burge is modest about the role she has played in the accomplishments of SWNCBC since she has been at the helm.
She did share the greatest accomplishment of SWNCBC as that of being the recipient of $4.4 million in funding through grants from both public and private sources—grants Burge humbly admitted to writing and submitting.
Finding funding is always a hurdle to cross, said Burge, because funding for programs has decreased due to budget shortfalls at both the state and federal levels.
With several programs already in place, there shouldn’t be delays, said Burge, pointing out the diverse program base in both housing and economic development SWNCBC is fortunate to have.
Hansen has no qualms about taking over the many facets of being the new administrator and is excited about the opportunity to work with the great staff already in place—Program Officer Amy Thelander and Administrative Assistant Valerie Foster.
“Everything is in great shape,” said Hansen. “I don’t expect it to miss a beat.”
The aspect of her current job Burge enjoys the most is increasing the quality of life for others.
“We touch so many people with the assistance we can offer,” she said. “It is really great to give to others.”
Developing a budget and implementing fundraising, recommending policy and directing strategic planning, along with administering activities and services are general responsibilities Burge will pass along to Hansen.
Primary duties includeseeking and obtaining funding, designing and utilizing communication tools to attract investments.
Other tasks include maintaining finances, housing programs, construction codes, municipal codes and economic development programs, along with managing affordable housing units, ensuring policy and procedure compliance; and working with a board of directors to evaluate success in achieving goals.
Burge’s new position will allow her the same pleasure. The Midwest Housing Equity Group she’ll be working for is a non-profit corporation that raises private capital from corporations for the production, rehabilitation and preservation of affordable housing throughout Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
To date, the company has raised over $675 million in equity, creating and sustaining almost 8,000 units of affordable housing.
Burge will assist in the day-to-day management and operation of the corporation, as well as oversee the operational phase of the affordable housing developments that are invested in by the various investment funds.
Burge has served in several positions on the Nebraska Housing Developer’s Board of Directors and has obtained her Nebraska Real Estate Salesperson license—assets that will benefit her new company.
The Bruning native received her bachelors degree from UNO. She is the mother of six-year-old Delaney, a kindergartner at Perkins County Elementary, and 13-year-old stepsons Bronson and Derrick, sixth graders at Adams Middle School in North Platte.
Hansen’s wife Deb works at Midwest Electric in Grant, which, as it happens, is the same company Burge’s husband Jerod is working for until they uproot for Omaha.
Hansen has a daughter, Lacy and family in Grand Island and a son Barry and family in Ft. Collins, Colo. He is grandfather to four.
The public is invited to a farewell reception on Friday, April 29 from 1-3 p.m. at the Southwest Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation’s offices located at 115 West Third Street in Grant.
Come wish Burge well in her new endeavor and welcome Hansen on board as the new administrator of SWNCBC.