Membership Services Department Changes Titles for District Directors; New Southeast Director Hired

10/25/2013 7:40:00 AM

The Member Services Department has changed its name to Membership Services Department, and the District Directors of Member Services are now Regional Directors of Membership.

“This change reflects our renewed and even deeper focus on what makes this organization great – the people from all across Nebraska and all walks of life who each have a role to play in feeding our neighbors. Our team of RDMs are a critical link to what is happening on the grassroots level in the real lives of those members we serve. We are looking forward to working with our members today and actively seeking new hearts and minds who have a passion for agriculture and ensuring all our neighbors are well fed and living in healthy and safe communities,” Del Ficke, director of membership services, said Oct. 16.

A search was conducted to replace Southeast Director Karl Linke after his retirement. Justine Petsch of Omaha has accepted the southeast regional director of membership position within the Membership Services Department, Ficke said. Her first day with Nebraska Farm Bureau was Oct. 2.

“We are very excited to make this announcement. Karl Linke did such a great job developing strong relationships with his County Farm Bureaus, and we look forward to Justine continuing this effort placing a stronger emphasis on membership,” he said.

Petsch grew up near Milford, where some of her family still farms in the area raising corn, soybeans and livestock. She is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

Since her graduation from college Justine has worked as a community banker for Mutual of Omaha Bank and as an art sales and events manager for Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. She has been very active in the community managing events for nonprofits such as Kent Bellow Studio for Visual Arts and took the lead on the Empty Bowls Campaign for the Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha. She continues to be a Kiwanis International member of the Milford Club and the Seward Helping Hands Club.

“Justine will work in the most populated Nebraska Farm Bureau district that includes Omaha and Lincoln. She will visit with her 17 counties in southeast Nebraska and with career agents to develop a plan to increase membership,” Ficke said.

The strategy will include ways to better communicate with the agency force in the district and help counties with projects in their local communities.

“Justine has many talents, abilities and passions. One is working with volunteers to engage, excite and train them about outcomes that make a difference. She also will work to provide customer support and service resulting in positive outcomes like increase membership growth and designing a plan to reach those specific goals. I look forward to working with Justine as she gets to know her counties in southeast Nebraska,” Ficke said.

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