ORC Board of Directors

Committed to Strengthening the Omaha Running Community

The Omaha Running Club Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers who are enthusiastic about running and the Omaha community. If you are interested in volunteering for the organization and/or Board, please Contact Us.

ORC Officers and Directors

ORC President Tom Whitaker

Tom Whitaker, President

Hometown:  Portland, Oregon

Interest:  Travel, archaeology and running

Professional Life:  Retired from Union Pacific Corporation following a 47-year career in the legal field

Running Life:  I have been a runner for almost 40 years and have completed 28 marathons and other races all over the United States as well as Greece and Finland.

Favorite place to run in Omaha:  Lake Zorinsky

Favorite Races:  Presidio 10 in San Francisco and the Big Sur Marathon.


Daren Konda, Vice-President and Marketing Director

I grew up in rural northeastern South Dakota and moved to Omaha four years ago for a career opportunity doing civil engineering work, and yes, the warmer weather and lack of snow is a lot nicer for outdoor training. I am employed by Thompson, Dreessen & Dorner, Inc. I have volunteered to be on the board to help increase the number of events that welcome the new and non-completive runner to participate. My favorite thing about running events is meeting new people. I participated in track and cross county in high school and have since completed a number of marathons over the past few years. This year, my goal is to break the three-hour mark.

Tim Lens ORC Lake Wehrspann 10K Director

Tim Lens, Treasurer and Lake Wehrspann 10K Race Director

I grew up in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area and came to Nebraska to attend Midland University in 2000. While at Midland I ran cross country and track competing in distance events (5k thru Marathon). In 2004 I moved to Omaha to pursue a career as a CPA and am currently employed at HSMC Orizon. I became involved in the Omaha Running Club to meet great people and to give back to the running community by volunteering at area races. I currently serve as the race director of the Lake Wehrspann Run, held the first Sunday of August. This event includes a 10K picturesque route on the paved trail around the lake, a 2 Mile moderately hilly out-and-back course across the dam and a 1K relatively flat route along the trail for kids 12 and under.


Mandy Kennedy, Secretary

Hometown: Girard, Kansas

Interests: Traveling, Concert-going, Arts & Crafts, Volunteering, Beer drinking

Professional Life:  Radiology Scheduling Associate at Nebraska Medicine

Running Life: Not a runner, but I enjoy being outdoors.

Favorite Race (to spectate): Dublin Marathon - Dublin, Ireland

ORC Directors

Marty Ertz

Marty Ertz, Volunteer Coordinator

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Interest: Running, Movies, Food(cooking and eating)

Professional Life: Software Engineer at Union Pacific Railroad

Running Life: Started running in 2011 as a incentive for cheaper health insurance - and I've never looked back. I've done races from almost any distance(1 to 100 miles) and love the challenge the sport provides.

Favorite place to run in Omaha: Chalco Hills

Favorite Races: Moose Mountain Marathon in Lutsen, MN.

Pam Car

Pam Car, RRCA State Representative and Director, Step into Running Program

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Interests: Outdoor activities, running, learning new things and Husker football  (in a good year)

Professional Life:  Lawyer in private  practice for 35+ years focusing on civil litigation, probate, and estates.

Running Life:  l ran track in school and  for leisure. Later I started competing in races. I challenge myself by running various distances and paces. I am an RRCA certified adult distance running coach and the Nebraska Representative to the National  Road Runner Club of America (RRCA) I enjoy helping other runners who are still on their journey, running with my friends a couple of times a week and volunteering at races.

Favorite place to run in Omaha:  Papio Trail

Favorite Races:  The ORC Jim McMahon track meet and races that help other runners: the Blade 5k for alternative runners (blades and prosthetic legs) and Be Brave inclusive  5k which includes Special Olympics runners.


Kim Kanellis

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Interest: Running

Professional Life:

Running Life:

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ORC Board Advisors

Derek Fey ORC Marathon Training Coordinator

Derek Fey, Distance Training Clinic Coordinator; Meet Director - Jim McMahon Open Track Meet

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Interests: Coaching, running, traveling, eating

Professional Life:  High School Social Studies Teacher - Omaha Westside High School, Head Cross Country Coach - College of Saint Mary, & Assistant Track Coach - Westside High School

Running Life:  I've been running for 24 years. Was a four-time state medalist in track and cross country, two-time All-American at Dana College, school record holder for the half marathon (1:09:25). Was lucky enough to win the Omaha Marathon (2013), placed second at the Lincoln Marathon (2004), and finished 77th out of 25,000 at the Boston Marathon in 2009. Attempted to run across Nebraska (ran 100 miles in two days and had to quit!). Have run 81 miles in 24 hours, as well as a marathon on Westside's track (105 laps).

Favorite place to run in Omaha: Dirt roads in the west

Favorite Races:  Bix 7

Kelli Sweet ORC Boxer500™ Director

Kelli Sweet, Media Support

Hometown: Albion and Fullerton, Nebraska

Interests: Traveling, Arts & Crafts, Jog-Walking, Cycling and Craft Beer Drinking

Professional Life: Marketing & Sales at Union Pacific Railroad

Running Life: I really like to jog-walk for general fitness.

Favorite Race: Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Gary Young ORC Equipment Manager

Gary Meyer, Equipment Manager

I have been actively involved with the Omaha Running Club since 1985, and board member for over 10 years, serving as Chair of Membership and also managed club Clothing, and Past President. I was assistant Director of the Omaha Marathon for 2 years and Director for 8 years. I currently am Director of the Omaha Corporate Cup Run and YMCA Masters Classic as well as serving on the committee of the Heartland Marathon. I am the acting Liaison for Omaha Running Club equipment rentals, and help events with planning and organization of events by proving advice and resource materials necessary for event planning. I also measure and certify events using the protocol of The USATF, and have measured/certified courses since “85”. My wife Judy as well as my children Lindsay and Greg are supportive of my activities, and Greg can occasionally be found timing events when I am unavailable or timing another event at the same time.

John Fey ORC Newsletter Editor

John Fey, Newsletter Editor

Hometown: Born in Wayne, Nebraska, but I consider Papillion/Omaha my home town

Interests: Golf (not very good at it), daily walks, writing, photography

Professional Life: Retired; 20 years at the Omaha World-Herald

Running Life: Started at the end of 1979, but got serious about it in 1982. After four full marathons and two half marathons, knee surgery turned me into a speed walker.

Favorite Place to run in Omaha: Keystone Trail, usually starting at 78th and Cass streets

Favorite Race: Omaha Marathon, 1984, when I set my PR of 3:19

Connie Garro and Kent Blaubaum, Co-Directors, the ORC Distance Training Program

The distance clinic is designed to educate, encourage and motivate beginning marathoners or anyone interested in becoming a better distance runner.  Experienced Runners will be available to answer questions, will help you choose and design a training plan that fits your schedule and capabilities and will be there at group runs on Wednesdays and Sundays.  On Wednesdays educational sessions covering a number of running related topics are presented.

Alan Higley Race Timing and Management

Alan Higley, Hall of Fame & Race Timing and Management

Alan ran middle distance and XC in High School and College. He started running again in 1993 after his father lost his leg to diabetes. He has run over 22,000 miles since, including 10,489 miles in a string of 1,234 straight days! His running tapered when he switched careers and moved to Omaha in mid 2002. He has run less than 1000 miles since injuring his back and neck in an automobile accident in 2004. Alan spent 9 years on the Omaha Running Club board of Directors as an at-large member, Director-elect and Director and Marketing Director. He has served as the Membership Coordinator for the ORC since 2004 and assists Stan Shirk with the scoring of Omaha Running Club events. He was a Lincoln Track Club Board Member for 5 years and served as the Computer/Results Coordinator for the Lincoln Track Club Board from 1998 to 2004. He still assists in the scoring of Lincoln Track Club events. He also times events for ChampionChip Minnesota (https://www.mtectiming.com/index.html). He is a member of the Planning Committee for the Lincoln Marathon and served as the volunteer Cross Country Coach for College View Academy High School in Lincoln from 1998 through 2003. He also coached Lincoln Youth Track and Cross Country from 1994 through 1997. He has met many lifelong friends through running.

David Hedman, Photographer



Professional Life:

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