Board of Directors
Our Board is comprised of representatives from each faith partner with longstanding ties to the Omaha community. Furthermore, our work would not be possible without a network of community representatives and volunteers.
Bob Freeman is a senior partner at Fraser Stryker PC, LLO and is a founding member of the Tri-Faith Initiative, and served as chairman of the Tri-Faith Board of Directors from 2006-2015. He is a past Board President of Temple Israel and remains an active member of the congregation. Mr. Freeman has served in leadership roles and as counsel to numerous Community Boards, including the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA), the Omaha Sports Commission, and the Crane Trust. He is also an adjunct law professor at Creighton University Law School.
Wendy Goldberg is a founding member of the Tri-Faith Initiative. She served on the Board of Trustees of Temple Israel for 10 years, including a term as President of the congregation. She was on staff for seven years as Temple Israel’s program director. Wendy played a key role in communications, volunteer engagement, and the capital campaign during Temple Israel’s transition to the Tri-Faith campus in 2013. Wendy recently completed a Master’s of Art in Communication and graduate certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is currently the Project Manager at Project Harmony. Wendy and her husband, David, have three adult children.
Rabbi A. Brian Stoller
Rabbi Stoller joined Temple Israel as Senior Rabbi in July 2017, after serving as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation BJBE in Deerfield, Illinois. He is a thoughtful teacher of Torah who challenges people to think differently, to find meaning in Jewish study and practice, and to discover themselves in Judaism’s sacred texts. A dedicated student of Torah and Jewish thought, Rabbi Stoller has published articles on Reform Judaism and Jewish law, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in rabbinics and Jewish law. Before entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Stoller served as press secretary to then-U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois. Rabbi Stoller is the proud husband of Karen and the adoring father of Lindsay and Zach.
Countryside Community Church (UCC)
Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D.
Dr. Eric Elnes is a biblical scholar, with a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Senior Minister of Countryside Community Church (UCC), Omaha, NE. He also hosts Darkwood Brew, an interactive internet television program exploring the emerging and converging edges of Christian faith (www.darkwoodbew.org). Elnes is the author of several books, including Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers), and The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity. He and his wife, Melanie, have two daughters, a young dog, and an old cat.
Rick MacInnes – Treasurer
Rick MacInnes is COO & EVP Marketing for JButler Group, leading strategic operations, marketing, and communications. He holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. As an active member of Countryside Community Church, Rick has chaired Youth Board, Deacons, and served as Moderator. Rick is currently chair of the Countryside Relocation Committee for building the new church on the Tri-Faith Commons. A graduate of Leadership Omaha, he’s held other board and committee leadership positions for Omaha Children’s Museum, AIM Institute, Crèche Child Care Center, Youth Leadership Omaha, Phi Delta Theta, Henry Doorly Zoo, and Westside Community Schools. Rick and his wife, Cathy, have two married daughters and one granddaughter.
Mary Fraser Meints
Mary Fraser Meints is the Executive Director of Youth Emergency Services in Omaha, and has thirty-five years of experience in the world of child welfare and juvenile justice. Meints has served in leadership roles with Uta Halee Girls Village and The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Meints is currently serving on the Young Adults Voluntary Supports and Services (Bridge to Independence) Advisory Committee, focused on the implementation of the law to provide benefits to young adults who have been in the foster care system. As an advocate for homeless youth, Meints is on the board of Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless. Meints serves on the Board of Trustees at Countryside and represents the church on the Tri-Faith Board.
Brian is President and Owner of an Omaha based information security and document destruction company, DataShield Corporation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a member of Countryside Community Church, Mr. Gubbels served as Co-Chair for the Countryside Church Tri-Faith Discernment Process and currently serves on the Countryside Relocation Advisory Committee. Other community board leadership positions for Mr. Gubbels include the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Strategic Air and Space Museum, Kids Can Community Center, and the Platte Institute for Economic Research. Brian is married to his wife Shannon and they have three children, Zoe, Davis, and Oliver.
The American Muslim Institute
Dr. Syed Mohiuddin MD, DSc – Secretary
Dr. Mohiuddin is a founding member and President of the American Muslim Institute. He is a cardiologist and a member of the Division of Cardiology and Department of Medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine. He has served as President of the American Heart Association and Governor of the American College of Cardiology (Nebraska Chapter).
Farhan is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Communities. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is a member and past president of EO (Entrepreneur Organization) Nebraska. He has also served on the governing board for the Omaha Symphony, and is a member of the Assisted Living Federation of America and the Nebraska Assisted Living Federation. Farhan is married with two children.
Karim moved to the United States from Tunisia in 1998, and received his MBA from Creighton University. He works as an information technology professional covering a diverse range of industries. In addition to his membership on the Tri-Faith Initiative Board of Directors, he also currently serves as the vice president and treasurer for the American Muslim Institute (AMI). Karim is married to Olfa and they have three children.
Imam Mohamad Jamal Daoudi
Imam Mohamad Jamal Daoudi was born in Damascus, Syria, and graduated from Damascus University in 1988 with BA in English Literature. He continued his Islamic education at The Islamic Call College/Damascus and graduated with a BA in Islamic Sciences and Arabic Language in 1991. He came to the United States in late 1995 and started his first position as Imam at The Islamic Center of North Valley, Lancaster-CA in 1997. He then moved to Charleston-WV where he served The Islamic Association of West Virginia and achieved his “Doctor of Ministry” degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton-OH in 2005. That same year, he became a US citizen. Imam Daoudi joined the American Muslim Institute in 2017. He has three children, a daughter and two sons, all in college.
Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM – Board Chair
Dr. Stevens serves as President of the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. She serves on several community boards and has made numerous presentations to local and national professional groups on women’s issues, the value of gender specific education, and the value of meaningful work.
Susan A. Buffett
Susan Buffett serves as chair of The Sherwood Foundation®, The Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. Ms. Buffett also serves on several national nonprofit boards, including ONE, Girls Inc., and the Fulfillment Fund. Locally, she serves on the board of Girls Inc., the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center Foundation, and the Omaha Airport Authority.
Rabbi Aryeh Azriel
Rabbi Aryeh Azriel received his ordination and Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 1983 from Hebrew Union College and served as the Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel from 1988 until his retirement in 2016. He was the recipient of the Otto Swanson Spirit of Service Award in 1993, and in 1997 received the Martin Luther King, Jr. – Living the Dream Award, recognizing his continuing work on building cooperation with projects such as the Mitzvah Garden, Black/Jewish Dialogue, and Habitat for Humanity. Rabbi Azriel has been a visionary in directing the focus of the Tri-Faith Initiative.
Andy was born and raised in Omaha, and graduated from Westside High School. She was raised as a Unitarian, attending the First Unitarian Church of Omaha. With degrees from Texas Woman’s University (MLS), and the University of Texas at Arlington (MBA), she worked as an university librarian at Texas Christian University. She returned to Nebraska in 2005, and is a community volunteer, devoting time to various causes including the
Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH – Vice Chair
Dr. Khan is a former Assistant Surgeon General and current Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Dr. Khan’s vision is for the College of Public Health to play an integral role in making Nebraska the healthiest state in the Union as a national and global model for wellness. Dr. Khan’s passion for public health and social justice drives his service to the community. He serves on advisory committees including the Every Woman Matters and Nebraska Colon Cancer Medical Advisory Group and on boards including Live Well Omaha. Dr. Khan and his wife, Kris, moved to Nebraska from Atlanta in 2014. He and Kris, who is an artist, have three children.
Deb McCollister is the retired owner of HMS Toys in Omaha and a founder of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and logged miles as a consultant and trainer for several American and European toy manufacturers. She is a long time member of Countryside Community Church, past Moderator of the congregation, Chair of a senior minister search committee, a Sunday School teacher for 30+ years as well as a writer of Sunday School curriculum, and Chair of the Tri-Faith program committee. Deb and her husband John have three adult children and two grandsons.
Nuzhat has lived in Nebraska for more than 20 years. She is active in serving the Omaha community through various civic organizations including the Rotary Club of Omaha West and Girls Inc.
We are also grateful for the many key volunteers from all three faith groups who have donated large amounts of time to this project.