Michelle Zych – Executive Director
As executive director of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, Michelle leads the nonprofit organization as it identifies critical issues, funds innovative solutions and leads dynamic change to provide every woman and girl in our community with the opportunity to reach her full potential. Prior to joining the organization in May 2012, Michelle served as founding chair of the Women’s Fund Circles, a group designed to provide young women with the opportunity to network, interact with established community leaders, learn about philanthropy and support our mission.
Her past experience includes serving as regional development director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and director of strategic development for Camp Fire USA – Midlands Council (now known as Completely Kids). She holds a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a bachelor of art’s degree in women’s studies and sociology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Michelle is a member of Omaha Network; a recipient of the Midland’s Business Journal’s 40 Under 40; a graduate of Leadership Omaha Class 31 and the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands’ Nonprofit Executive Institute Class 7.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Traci Bruckner – Research and Policy Coordinator
Traci joined the Women’s Fund in June of 2016 as the Research & Policy Coordinator. In this position, her role is to oversee research efforts and develop strategy and relationships that will improve the lives of women and girls through public policy solutions. Traci spent the last 15 years with the Center for Rural Affairs leading their federal policy efforts around agriculture, conservation, beginning and women farming issues. She has also worked on state health care, agriculture, and tax policy issues. Traci holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science and Sociology.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Brenda Council – Adolescent Health Coordinator
Brenda joined the Women’s Fund in January 2014 as the adolescent health coordinator. Her previous involvement with the organization includes regular participation as a presenter for Ready to Run. She has an extensive record of public service, including election to the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education, the Omaha City Council and the Nebraska Legislature.
As adolescent health coordinator, Brenda leads the Women’s Fund’s project with the Sherwood Foundation, which is aimed at reducing teen pregnancies and STIs in our community.
“Service is the rent we pay for room on this earth.” – Shirley Chisholm
Meghan Malik – Trafficking Response Coordinator
Meghan joined the Women’s Fund in 2015 as the Trafficking Response Coordinator. She is working to combat sex trafficking in Nebraska through the development of a comprehensive approach that includes research, victim services, and public awareness.
Meghan’s previous experience includes serving as the Children & Family Center Director at Nebraska Children’s Home Society, the Young Families Initiative Supervisor at Lutheran Family Services, and the Executive Director of the Nebraska CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Association. She has experience building coalitions and community champions while remaining outcome-driven. Meghan holds a master’s degree in public administration from University of Nebraska-Omaha and a bachelor of arts degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences from University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Erin McArthur – Director of Operations
As operations manager, Erin is responsible for managing all office operations and serves as the staff liaison for the committees of Grants, Ready to Run, Talk of the Town and Circles. Erin has been a member of the Friends of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland since 2009.
“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” – Gloria Steinem
Jen Pavkov – Marketing and PR Manager
Jen joined the Women’s Fund in March of 2015 as the Marketing and PR Manager. Before coming to the Women’s Fund, she was the Creative Director at Heartland Family Service.
As the Marketing and PR Manager, Jen is responsible for leveraging the Women’s Fund brand through marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. Jen holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Columbia College with an emphasis in painting and drawing and a minor in psychology. She is passionate about solving problems through creativity and hard work. Jen is a member of Friends of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso
Lisa Schulze – Training & Education Coordinator Adolescent Health Project
Lisa Schulze joined the Women’s Fund of Omaha in April 2015. Prior to that she was a health educator for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for over fourteen years and a Career Specialist with the YWCA of Lincoln. Lisa specializes in working with youth, persons with intellectual disabilities and the intersection of sexuality and substance use. She is a frequent guest reviewer for the American Journal of Sexuality Education (AJSE) and has been a national trainer for Answer at Rutgers University. Her lesson plan on female sexuality was published in the Center for Family Life Education’s Game On! Manual: The Ultimate Sexuality Education Gaming Guide in Spring 2012. She holds a master’s of education in human sexuality from Widener University. She recently became an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator, the second in Nebraska. She sits on the Board of Directors of Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters and previously on the Mayor’s Commission on Women in Lincoln, NE.
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” – Audre Lorde
Emily Scotto – Weitz Fellow
Emily joined the Women’s Fund in August 2015 as a year-long Weitz Fellow. She works on a wide range of projects at the Women’s Fund and assists in many aspects of its operation. Emily graduated from Carleton College with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and a concentration in Women and Gender Studies. While at Carleton, Emily worked for two years as a sexuality peer-educator with an emphasis on sexual violence prevention and LGBTQIA+ community building. Through this peer-education, she gained a passion for work that empowers young people to be self-advocates for and become healthy members of their communities.
“Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction.” – bell hooks