WELCOME TO PLAYSMART
Contact us if you would like more information or join PlaySmart in Nebraska.
My son Sayler (from Weeping Water Public School) has been attending your Playsmart Academy camp this week and I would just like to pass on my thanks to you and everyone else who make this possible. He has had a wonderful week and I am so excited about the activities he has had the opportunity to be involved in. I am a big believer that children learn the most from experiences, and this has been great exposure for that. I understand the hard work and coordination something like this must involve. – Jane R.
I wanted to let you know our kids had many positive comments about their week at the camp. Thank you and the entire Playsmart crew for all your hard work. – Terry D.
I just wanted to tell you thanks for having the Weeping Water kids at the PS leadership academy again this year. They had a great time and learned a lot. – Gary W.
PLAYSMART LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
The PlaySmart Leadership Academy is geared towards 7th graders going into 8th grade who have a desire to lead and need some extra skills and tools to do this back in their schools. The academy is a fun but intense program requiring a commitment and desire to lead.
Students will develop leadership and teamwork skills while creating a strong foundation on how to lead. These students will be coached on how to lead and will be put into situations where they will practice refining their skills on leadership. During this week long academy students will become confident leaders and be given tools to use back in their perspective schools. While attending the academy students will work on 5 Pillars: Respect, Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Honesty, and Hard work. They will be exposed to speakers throughout the week who have become leaders in their profession and they will work on two projects while attending the academy: Community Service Project and School Focused Literacy Project.
LATEST EVENTS & NEWS
MEET THE PLAYSMART LEADERS
National Director, PlaySmart Academy
Derek Leathers, a Texas native, was raised in the Houston area. He earned a degree in economics from Princeton University, where he played center for the Princeton Tigers football team.
Following graduation, Derek embarked on a career in the trucking and logistics industry. He served as one of the first foreign members of CANACAR, Mexico’s trucking association, and helped draft the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Since joining Werner Enterprises in 1999, Derek has played an instrumental role in launching Werner’s cross border operations in Mexico and Canada. He served as president of Werner Global Logistics before accepting the role of President and CEO of Werner Enterprises.
Derek and his wife, Nicole, reside in Omaha, Nebraska, with their daughter, Olivia, and son, Creed. Derek enjoys sharing his passion for athletics by coaching softball and football. He is also very active in the local community with a particular focus on early childhood education and at risk youth. He currently serves on the board or in an advisory capacity to the following organizations:
- PlaySmart – Founder and current Board Member
- Accelerate Nebraska – Advisory Board Member
- AAA Baseball All-Star Board – Board Member
- Omaha Men Go Red – Founding Chair
- Nebraska’s Early Childhood Business Roundtable – Board Member
- Gretna Youth Sports Foundation – Board Member
- Omaha Chamber of Commerce – Board Member
- ALS Association Mid-America Chapter – Corporate Chair 2017 Walk to Defeat ALS
Derek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Omaha Regional Director, PlaySmart Academy
Chad was born and raised in the state of North Dakota in a ranching community. A four sport athlete in high school, he was a standout receiving honors academically, as well as athletically. Chad went on to receive a BA in Education from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota. While at Moorhead State, Chad participated in sports such as football, broomball, and basketball. After graduating from Moorhead, Chad entered St. Mary’s University and received a Masters in Education. He continued his quest for higher learning by attending Bemidji State University where he received his secondary degree in math and science. Chad earned his latest Masters Degree from the University of Nebraska where he received his degree in Educational Leadership/Administration.
Professionally, Chad has taught elementary grades and secondary grades in the area of math and science. He has worked at poverty stricken and affluent school districts. In both situations he has immersed himself into programs that have engaged students in learning, deflated bullying and most importantly getting kids connected/belonging to their communities. As a community member he is involved with the local YMCA, he coaches several youth sports, serves on multitude of boards and is active in his church. Chad is now the principal of a middle school in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska. Chad was asked to lead the construction of this middle school. It was a two year project that he took from bricks and mortar to learning. After its third year of existence the middle school was named the number #1 highest academic performing school in the State of Nebraska.
He is an avid runner and loves to fish. Chad is married to his wife Shelly and together they have three wonderful girls. Chad and his family reside in Omaha, Nebraska. Chad lives by his motto in making a difference in the lives of children, as well as the greater community. He can often be heard saying …”Did you make a difference today?” Chad can be reached at Chad@playsmart.org.
WADE BEHLEN, AIFA
With a degree in Marketing Management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Wade joined Feltz WealthPLAN in 2007 to spearhead the company’s Group Retirement Plan Division. With over 23 years of business-to-business sales management experience, Wade brings a unique perspective to the division he directs.
“When I was offered the opportunity to head up the Retirement group at Feltz WealthPLAN, I didn’t hesitate! As a client, I knew from experience the quality of service provided by the Feltz team, and I knew their reputation for integrity and intelligent, independent counsel was well-deserved.”
Having viewed the company from outside and in, Behlen says that he can point to several things that make Feltz WealthPLAN unique, including the company’s strong leadership and talented, specialized staff. In addition, the cooperative-team concept the firm employs also uniquely enables the delivery of superior client service. Finally, he adds, the firm’s infrastructure allows for flexibility and continued growth. Not many other firms can say that!
Wade enjoys building and strengthening relationships and assisting business owners in pursuing their corporate goals through the management of their retirement plans. Working with a variety of companies, he particularly finds fulfillment in the diversity of business owners’ visions and helping them realize their aspirations.
“I get a great deal of satisfaction getting to know our corporate clients – who they are, how they feel and what they want to accomplish. Many have told me that their relationship with Feltz WealthPLAN gives them more confidence than those they’ve had with previous firms.”
On a personal note, Wade and his wife, Christine, have two sons, Weston and Wyatt. Wade is active in his church and the community and enjoys family activities and sports, in particular golf, basketball, and swimming. Wade has lived in the Omaha area for over twenty years. Wade can be reached at email@example.com.
Todd was born and raised in Bennington Nebraska and graduated from Bennington High School. Todd received a BS in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Nebraska.
Todd has worked for both local and national home builders and banks. He is now EVP of Premier Bank and a member of the ownership team that purchased a failed bank from the FDIC five years ago and turned it into a highly rated bank today.
Todd has been married to Tracy for 19 years and they have one daughter, Molly, who will graduate from Elkhorn South High School in the spring of 2017 and she will be attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the fall.
Todd’s community activities include volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and The Parkinson’s Society. He also held a seat on the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. Todd loves to play golf and go boating with his family and friends. Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole Leathers, a Wisconsin native was raised in the Green Bay. She earned a degree in Business and Spanish from St. Norbert College, DePere WI.
Following graduation, Nicole taught English in Japan. Upon Returning to the US, she embarked on a career in the transportation industry. She served as a Customer Service Manger in Mexico City and the US. After 2 years she transitioned to the role of Human Resources Business Partner serving the Maintenance and Mexico Divisions at Schneider National.
After moving to Dallas, Texas She became a Regional Management Recruiter for Mervyns’s California,/ Target Corporation covering seven southern western states. After taking time off to raise a family she decided to start her own business. She is currently owns and operates a boutique, NJ&CO in Omaha, NE. She is married to Derek Leathers. They are raising two children Olivia and Creed.
She is also active in the local community and acts as a volunteer for her area schools. Nicole can be reached at email@example.com.
BRENT O'MARA CFS
Brent O’Mara joined Feltz WealthPLAN in May of 2000 as a Wealth Advisor, and he hit the ground running and never looked back. It was his first position within the industry.
“Wow, did that work out!” he says. “I landed my dream job the first time. How many people can say that?”
As a Senior Wealth Advisor, O’Mara works with a number of the company’s clients, both new and existing, managing and monitoring their investment portfolios. He regularly meets and communicates with them in order to ensure their goals and objectives are being addressed, and he gets his greatest satisfaction in watching their accounts grow, in exceeding their expectations, and in protecting their interests.
Brent has a passion for charitable causes and as chairman of the ‘Feltz WealthPLAN Swing for Charity,’ he has successfully raised over $311,000 to benefit The American Cancer Society, The Alzheimer’s Association, The American Heart Association, Angels Among Us, and PlaySmart.
In his spare time, Brent, his wife, Erin, and children Wyatt, Quinn, and Sloane, love spending time with family, friends, and enjoying the great outdoors by hunting, fishing, and the occasional round of golf. Brent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dawn Zumbrennen started her teaching career in 1993 after graduating from Chadron State College in Nebraska. Dawn taught high school social studies in Green River, Wyoming (where she also went to high school) for several years before embarking on a new challenge: starting an alternative high school for kids who had dropped out of high school or fallen through the cracks. Dawn helped to write new curriculum, name the school, identify a mission statement, etc. Dawn worked at Expedition Academy for a few years before her family moved to Elkhorn, Nebraska as her husband was promoted in his company. Dawn earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and continued teaching, this time in a middle school. Over the years, Dawn has coached cheerleaders, dance team, and track. She also is a sponsor for the school’s student council and Board Game Club.
Along with her teaching job, she assists with the Omaha PLAYSMART Leadership Academy in the summer.
Dawn regularly volunteers with the Special Olympics and enjoys spending time with her husband Bill and two sons. She likes to camp, read, work in the yard, shop for antiques and read or watch anything related to U.S. History. Dawn can be reached at email@example.com.
Nebraska Board Members Blane Hunter, Mary Hunziker, John Manna, Cheree Watts
CONTACT US & QUICK DOWNLOADS
Download forms, flyers and application in pdf format. If you have a question or need to contact us please complete the form below and we will respond as soon as possible.
Leadership Academy Flyer
Download the 2022 PlaySmart Leadership Academy flyer.
Leadership Academy Registration
Download the 2022 PlaySmart Leadership Academy Registration form.
Leadership Academy Counselor Application
Download the 2022 PlaySmart Leadership Academy Counselor application and Child Interaction Policy.