Todd Lemke, Publisher
Todd grew up in Papillion, Nebraska, and graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1981 with a degree in journalism. Two years later he started a magazine called Omaha Today, which helped to springboard a 30+ year career in magazine publishing. The positives include the philanthropic and cultural events around town as well as the abundance of business opportunities. Todd credits his staff with creating an award-winning magazine that has been recognized with regional Great Plains Journalism Awards, state AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) awards, and local Omaha Press Club awards.
Greg was an entrepreneur with a bottle recycling business before joining Omaha Magazine back in 1988. He and wife Terese went on to invest in the magazine, becoming partners with publisher Todd Lemke in 1990. Today, Bruns is Vice President of Omaha Magazine and works in advertising sales. An avid music lover, Bruns has played the role of drummer and/or lead singer in numerous Omaha bands over the past 35 years. He enjoys golfing, hiking, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and hanging out “in our little house on the prairie” cabin in Estes Park, Colorado, with “my awesome wife of 30+ years.”
Bill was born in Utah and currently resides in the hip Benson neighborhood with wife Kim, son Ty, and daughter Parker. He has shot for every magazine since 2002 and originally worked alongside partner Scott Drickey, who helped him found minorwhite studios in 2008. In 2012, Bill joined Omaha Magazine‘s staff as Director of Photography and was promoted to Creative Director in 2015 and associate publisher in 2018. He enjoys early mornings, space and conversations. His work has helped him travel the world and meet amazing individuals. His client list includes Rolling Stone, Sony, Borsheims, and Money Magazine.
Editorial & Creative
Daisy studied journalism at the University of Iowa. She spent 10 years at the Omaha World-Herald, where her responsibilities included writing for the paper’s many special sections and its Wedding Essentials magazine. She loves writing community features that inform people about their friends and neighbors, which is why she enjoyed freelancing for the Glenwood Opinion-Tribune and Destra Magazine. Daisy also writes fiction and spends time every summer at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Classes have included The Art of Nonfiction; Edit Like a Zen Master; Poses and Prose, a weekend of writing and yoga; and Things that Go Bump in the Night, a week-long gothic writing course. When she isn’t writing or reading, Daisy travels the tie-dye circuit to music festivals and Volkswagen campouts/rallies with her husband in their 1963 Microbus.
After slinging food and drinks for nearly two decades, Tara Spencer finally realized she would need to, well, write if she were to ever write the proverbial great American novel. For motivation and inspiration, she decided to try college again. She settled on the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she majored in journalism and strangely (yet timely?) decided to minor in Russian. Most of her free time is spent reading, writing, and watching any Marvel-based television series. And of course, snuggling with her “puppies,” Jesus (the rat terrier) and Sophie (the St. Bernard). Other hobbies include drinking on patios and arguing with anyone who is willing to do so without getting angry.
Matt is the youngest of four boys, meaning there was always someone around with whom to play football and wrestle. This prepared him to play in many sports at Ralston High School. He earned a degree in Graphic Design, Computer Graphics, and Illustration from The Creative Center in 2005. Matt’s professional life has taken him from Hayneedle to DocuLynx to Fat Brain Toys. This DIY’er enjoys building and welding, and considers himself an amateur carpenter, shade-tree mechanic and blacksmith, all of which are useful skills as he and his wife, Chelsie, are currently fixing up a home in Ralston. Matt retains his love of the outdoors—camping, hiking, and biking as often as possible. When they are done with all these projects, Matt likes to relax with a cigar and small-batch bourbon while hanging out with Chelsie, bull terrier Koa, and mini schnauzer Ozzy.
Derek Joy, Senior Graphic Designer
Derek came to Omaha Magazine highly recommended…after all, the person previously sitting at his desk was his wife, Rachel Joy. Derek became interested in art at age 5, when he began painting miniatures, a hobby he continues to this day. His interest in art took him to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he earned a BFA, with an emphasis in painting, illustration and design. He previously worked as a graphic designer at Lovely Skin. In his off hours, he is a musician, specializing in synthesizers, and dad to Rachel and his two young stars—Nova & Orion.
Mady Besch, Graphic Designer II
Mady started her graphic design career in the depths of Microsoft Paint, where she made her numerous sketches into digital drawings. She attended UNO, declaring her graphic design major before ever taking a class, and earned a BASA (Bachelor of Art in Studio Art) with minors in art history and mass communication. If that didn’t keep her busy enough…she was also an art director for UNO’s American Institute for Graphic Arts. Her hobbies include thrifting, high-kicking, binge-watching The Office, teaching her cat new tricks, and attending concerts.
Sales & Operations
Sandy Matson Publisher’s Assistant
& OmahaHome Contributing Editor
Sandy joined the Omaha Magazine team in 2011. In September, she added the title ‘Contributing Editor of OmahaHome magazine.’ Having worked in the home industry and marketing/advertising for the last 15 years, her new position seemed a natural fit. “I have a passion for OmahaHome, and have been told my whole life I missed my calling and should have been an interior designer,” Matson explains. “I love helping friends and family with their homes, and enjoy painting and unique home projects of all sorts.” The Iowa native has three children—Steph, Jake and Mady. She enjoys going to estate sales and antique stores, and sharing wine with good friends at favorite spots like Johnny’s Steakhouse, Brix, and the Old Market. “Most nights, though, you can find me at home watching a good movie under a comfy throw,” Matson confides.
Mary Hiatt Senior Branding Specialist
Mary grew up swimming at the local pool in Glenwood, Iowa, and, with her non-swimming mom frantically looking on, was jumping off the high diving board before she was in kindergarten. She developed a love of boating in her teens, tagging along on Missouri River boat rides and trips to Lake of the Ozarks with her brothers and sister. After college, one of her first “grown-up” purchases was a boat of her own. Mary and her husband Scott lived on a lake-front home at Beaver Lake, Nebraska, but recently decided the commute was too much. Mary’s heart longed for the water, so after a mere two years in a new suburban neighborhood, Scott found her a home with a nice big pool in the backyard. Now she spends her summers entertaining family, friends, and her daughter’s friends in the backyard pool. She spends winter waiting for summer, and occasionally travels with her family to warm weather destinations; where they enjoy, you guessed it, swimming and boating.
Josh Peterson Local Stubs Ticketing Representative,
& Branding Specialist
Josh Peterson moved frequently throughout the Midwest as a youth. At the age of 14 he was transplanted to Omaha and it instantly became his home. The major priorities in Joshua’s life are family, friends, food and hobbies. He is a trained chef who graduated from the Institute for Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College. He has worked for many local and national restaurants and most recently was the R&D Chef for International Spices in Fremont, Nebraska. Joshua has two strong willed and loving young boys, and a very forgiving and understanding wife. When Joshua is not with his family or friends you can find him at Viral Crossfit or attempting his new hobby, bow hunting. He is also an advocate of donating time and knowledge to worthy causes throughout the community. Joshua thanks the many people throughout his life that helped get him to where he is now.
Gil is a New Jersey native, who moved to Omaha in 1984 when he worked as a hotel manager with Marriott. Since then, he’s held positions as director of a Missouri riverboat, marketing director for the Omaha Symphony, and his current position at Omaha Magazine. Outside of his sales responsibilities, he’s always looking for new and exciting business ventures. Gil is Omaha Magazine’s “man about town,” and is often seen at Omaha events and hotspots, promoting Omaha fun. When not working, he can often be found at Havana Garage, Mahogany Steakhouse, Pitch, and Sullivan’s for live jazz on Thursdays. He also enjoys golf, his Vespa, and driving his 1979 MGB…when it’s running, of course.
Gwen Lemke, Senior Sales Executive
& 60 Plus Contributing Editor
Gwen and her husband, Raymond, raised their four sons in Papillion. After retiring from a distinguished career in real estate, she joined Omaha Magazine in advertising sales. “Having been a business owner, I can relate to the budget and advertising goals of my clients,” Gwen says. “This is a business where you have the opportunity of meeting many interesting people who also become your friends.” Gwen enjoys time with her friends and large family, which includes nine grandchildren. Much of her leisure time is spent reading fiction, especially mystery novels with historical context.
George Idelman, Brand Specialist
George has called Omaha home since 1991. The Chicago native and his wife, Jill, will soon celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary with their two sons, Justin and Brandon. George is no stranger to the Omaha sales community and has held sales and management positions with ITI Marketing Services, Ecolab, and, most recently, Valpak of Omaha. He joined the Omaha Magazine family with a diverse selling background and a passion for building loyal customers. When George isn’t focused on creating great opportunities for his clients, you can find him with his family enjoying a wide range of activities and sporting events. You might even find George hitting a few rounds at one of the many area golf courses. In addition, George is a faithful Chicago Cubs fan…but we won’t hold that against him!
Born and raised the youngest of five children in small-town North Dakota, Jillian Dunn became interested in the marketing/advertising field after winning a national poster contest (promoting national internet security) in third grade. As one of six kids in the nation who were selected winners, she flew to Washington D.C. and received her award in the White House. The trip also inspired her love for travel. During her college years in Virginia, she took a gap year to live and work in New Zealand and has since traveled to Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Mexico, Canada, and driven across the U.S. twice. Other hobbies include playing violin and piano, camping, walking around the zoo, getting her knees up (her signature dance move) on a Friday night, spending quality time with her family, friends, and boyfriend (who serves at Offutt Air Force base).
The origin of obsession is the subject of much discussion in psychological circles, but Dawn doesn’t care to give it a second thought when it comes to frogs. That’s right. The slimy kind. Warts and all. “What’s to explain,” the Omaha native chuckles, “I’m just crazy about frogs.” A fascination with the emerald-hued amphibians has led her to collect everything from frog-related ceramic figures to clothing—and everything in between. Something of a tadpole here at Omaha Magazine, she joined us last June after a long career in a variety of advertising gigs. Her giving and nurturing nature also led her to dedicate four years of her life as a medical assistant working with Alzheimer patients. Dawn has been married to husband Steven for 14 years and is the proud mother of adult sons Joshua and Austin. She recently became a grandmother for the first time and is already spoiling grandson Gabriel with all manner of frog-themed toys, clothing, and baby gear.
Mike joined Omaha Magazine in 2010. As distribution manager, he can often be spotted about town in the Omaha Magazine van, delivering to Omaha-area schools, businesses and venues. A graduate of Omaha Bryan High School, Mike is a “proud South Omaha boy and crazy sports fan” of the Nebraska Huskers, Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Chiefs. He also enjoys playing softball and bowling, volunteering with the men’s club at Holy Ghost and coaching youth baseball. His family includes his wife, Stephanie, and his children.