• NEIA Red Cross

Nice to Meet You: Steph Novacek

Steph Novacek is the executive director of the Southeast Nebraska Chapter of the American Red Cross. Our Red Cross region relies on her strengths in buidling relationships and leadership. This is Steph Novacek's Red Cross experience.


Q: What does your job entail?

A: In my current role as an executive director, I am the face of the Red Cross in Southeast Nebraska. I work closely with Elected Officials and Government partners, raise funds to further the mission, develop and expand community partnerships, partner with our Board of Directors, support our Region team to achieve goals and metrics, and collaborate with individuals all across the country. Throughout my career I have served in many interim roles, gaining a great amount of experience and respect for all departments and lines of service with the Red Cross. I work to build relationships of trust and collaboration with our volunteers, external partners and paid staff.


Q: Why is the Red Cross important to rural areas?

A: Our rural areas across the state of Nebraska are gift-givers. Blood donors give to anyone in need. When there is a disaster everyone helps their neighbors and more. The Red Cross is able to add in the additional support alongside the neighbors and communities. I understand it is hard to ask for help in our Nebraska culture, but I feel the Red Cross is really able to provide some long-term stability when called upon.


Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?

A: 6 years as of August 3.


Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: The people I work with and the mission we deliver.


Q: What do you listen to during the workday?

A: Meetings on Microsoft Teams, otherwise I enjoy the silence.


Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?

A: Spend time with my family. You can usually find me at a youth sports game. I also volunteer at church and in my small Nebraska community.


Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?

A: The immense dedication and consistent commitment of Red Cross volunteers.


Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?

A: Having the Emergency Operation Center in Lincoln during the 2019 flooding. Being a part of all the behind-the-scenes logistics day in and day out and watching volunteers give so much of their expertise and time to anyone and everyone needing support. It was an incredible experience and created an extremely high level of respect for all disaster frontline work.


Q: What do you wish people knew about working at the Red Cross?

A: I wish people knew that just because you can’t see us doesn't mean we aren’t around. The Red Cross is intertwined in so many things surrounding the world we live in, people just don’t realize it. I hope individuals realize that the Red Cross is mobile and heads to wherever we are needed at the moment.


Q: Is there anything else you’d like folks to know about you and/or working for the Red Cross?

A: I have passionately worked in the non-profit sector for 17 years. I believe my true purpose is to serve and do my part in making the world a better place. Volunteers and paid staff, who carry out the mission of valuable nonprofits, constantly inspire me. The mission is the motivation behind my career decisions.

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