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Omaha Magazine

An Evangelist for Innovation

Jan 19, 2018 02:29PM ● By Tamsen Butler

As vice president of marketing and communications for YMCA of Greater Omaha, Jocelyn Houston’s days never look alike. “No day is ever the same for me, and I like that,” she says. “Plus I love that it’s all for a good cause.”

Originally from Crawford “on the other side of Nebraka,” she attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study journalism. Houston came to Omaha less than five years ago to work in client relations at Universal Information Services.

Universal’s vice president, Todd Murphy, says Jocelyn brought energy to the tech-forward company.

“Attitude is everything, and she exhibited a professional, warm personality in the office, which I think helps to raise the attitudes of everyone around them,” Murphy says. “She was a good evangelist in helping raise awareness of our culture of innovation.”

Jocelyn likes Omaha for a variety of reasons. “It’s a great place to raise a family and still get that ‘big city’ feel,” she says. She and her husband, Josh, particularly enjoy visiting the farmers market at Aksarben and eating at au courant restaurants. “There’s always new things happening in Omaha.”

That love of the town is one of the reasons she is a good fit for the YMCA. She’s also an avid volunteer for the YMCA and has made a name for herself within the local media community as a member of the Marketing and Membership Committee of the Omaha Press Club. “I use the advice I get from other Press Club members daily,” says Houston.

Following one year on that committee, the members now also look to her for advice—she was voted to their board of directors in mid-January.

Marketing and Membership Committee chair and board secretary Bridget (Weide) Brooks says that Houston is “...a great gal. What I like about her most is her interesting ideas. Her perspective is unique and very actionable.” Brooks adds that sometimes Houston simply asks a question during meetings that gets everyone thinking and looking at things differently.

That may be because Houston is always open to new experiences. “I met my husband on a blind date!” she says, laughing. She also urges professionals to not be too hard on themselves. “We have to stop doing that,” she says.

Her years of success so far have taught her valuable lessons that she’s happy to share with other professional up-and-comers. “Success is hard work and it takes sacrifices. It can be discouraging trying to get a professional career off the ground. You have to create your own ‘having it all’ and decide what that means for you. Take advantage of opportunities and don’t be afraid to stumble into success.”

She looks forward to watching her two young children grow up and where life takes her. “I love the industry I work in,” she says. She’s a professional living in a city she loves, working in a career she loves—and that is certainly an excellent example of success at any age.

“Write your own story,” she adds. “Be part of a cause.”

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This article was printed in the February/March 2018 edition of B2B.

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