Skip to main content

Omaha Magazine

Greater Omaha Chamber: Creating Community

Sep 29, 2022 03:29PM ● By Veta Jeffery

 Packing up your family, loading trucks, and relocating to a completely new city means leaving behind all that’s familiar. It means the comforts of the community you call home are no longer there to support you. I have spent many years helping groups to define and build community—living spaces where individuals and families could work together, play together, and most importantly have the opportunity to thrive together. Communities that could attract a diversity of thought, culture, generations, and experience.

It might seem odd to think that a neighborhood requires community building. That it would take developers, corporate and city leaders working with intentionality to create community. After all, aren’t cities built of neighborhoods that are,
inherently “communities”?

Yes and no. 

A community is more than proximity. Putting people together, next to each other, does not guarantee camaraderie. Togetherness comes from those spaces where we find we are more alike than we are different. Those spaces where our children can connect and spend time together just being children. Those spaces where we can bump into one another at the grocery store and spend more time than expected laughing at a shared, unexpected moment.

While people make community, it’s the interactions that bring us together which create experience: where we shop, what we do, and how we come together. Since being here, I have found that Omaha is definitely not short on experiences. 

The Gene Leahy Mall is a wonderful example of a great gathering space for people to come together and form that community experience. I am looking forward to the intentionality behind the scheduling of events at the mall to bring diverse communities of people together for
shared experiences.

In the two months I have been here, I have discovered so many different, active communities in Omaha. So many unique groups of individuals—sometimes with overlapping membership—work together to build toward a shared purpose. I’ve found it in the Greater Omaha Chamber’s community of members, volunteers, and staff building a vibrant business ecosystem that sustains shared prosperity. 

I am excited to have plans for expanding into untapped communities. I love that Omaha is welcoming and focused on building great communities; it is very helpful for those of us who left behind what we knew as home. I love the unexpected, intentional, and uplifting “Welcome to Omaha” that is always delivered with a sincere smile.

This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

Evvnt Calendar