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Omaha Magazine

From the Editor: Giving Time, Giving Money, Giving Gifts

Aug 23, 2021 12:46PM ● By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman
managing editor Daisy Hutzell-Rodman

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

My first introduction to my now-husband’s extended family was in November in the late 1990s. I remember seeing a newspaper section from earlier that fall sitting on the coffee table, and Wade’s great-uncle noticed. It happened to be the special section of the Omaha World-Herald that revealed the court of Aksarben, and he proudly showed me the page that showed one of Wade’s cousins, who was a countess. 

That was my first introduction to the mythical kingdom of Quivira. Like many people in Omaha, throughout much of my career, I did not know much about Aksarben other than it included a large ball celebrating volunteerism in the state. This is one reason why, when we discovered women are serving ever-bigger roles in this group, I chose to write the article myself.

I’m glad I did. Through interviewing several women, all of them also working full-time, often executive, jobs, I discovered this organization features many layers, all of which work together for a common cause of retaining employees in, and attracting employees to, this state. The photographs for this feature were taken at Charlie's on the Lake, and we thank them for their generosity in giving us space at the restaurant during the lunch hour.

The other feature in this edition is about Opera Omaha. Opera is an art form about which many people have opinions, and the folks at the organization want to make sure those opinions are positive. The feature speaks to some of the innovative programs they have implemented, especially over the last year.

There are several notable Omahans in this edition, including Annie Bird. She has volunteered her time for several organizations in this city, and the Arthritis Foundation is honoring her as their Woman of the Year on Sept. 30.

Many Omahans may not have heard of our Gen O subject this round, but Jayleesha Cooper has been moving and shaking at Duchesne Academy and through Girls Inc. We at Omaha Publications have a feeling she’s going to continue doing great things.

September in Nebraska means football season for many. Husker fandom extends to charity work in this state, from the noted TeamMates mentoring program, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, to Team Jack, which is less than 10 years old. Six Husker-related charities are highlighted as our Obviously Omaha this month.

Those more into swimming can check out the article on Addie Schiermann, who was involved in a horrific accident her freshman year of high school. She has since continued with her preferred sport, and now swims at the University of Arizona.

Wade brought home a pizza margherita from Frank's Pizzeria in West Omaha a couple of years ago. He had eaten there with colleagues, and liked the food so much bought a pizza for me before leaving. He knew I would love it, and we've eaten there many times since. The rest of the editorial staff got sick of hearing me talk about the place and reviewed this New York-style pizzeria while I was on vacation.

There are a lot of great articles in this issue. I hope you enjoy them all.

* Note: The hotel edition of Omaha Magazine has a different cover and does not include all of the editorial content included in the magazine’s full city edition. For more information on our city edition, visit

This article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

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