In addition to our staff, the success of the Tri-Faith Initiative depends on the extraordinary commitment and efforts of a number of committed volunteers, clergy, lay leaders and the administrative staff of the three faith groups.

Executive Director – Rev. Bud Heckman

Rev. Bud Heckman (@BudHeckman) has worked to advance interfaith as a field in leading non-profits, academic settings, and throughout the field of philanthropy, even developing and heading an affinity group of donors and foundations to champion the development of interfaith cooperation as a full, public movement.  He discusses some of this in this interview with Georgetown University’s Katherine Marshall.

Bud served on the Interreligious Cooperation Task Force for President Obama through the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  

Bud serves presently as the President of the Board of Governors of the Religion Communicators Council and as Treasurer of The Interfaith Observer.  He has served previously on the boards of the North American Interfaith Network, the National Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff, the Tri-partite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation at the United Nations, the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN, and other organizations.

An ordained Christian minister from the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church, Rev. Heckman has served formerly as: Executive Director of the International Shinto Foundation, Director of Outreach and the Mosaic Initiative at El-Hibri Foundation; Senior Advisor to Religions for Peace USA; Executive Director of Religions for Peace USA, Director for External Relations for Religions for Peace International, Chief Development Officer of Hartford Seminary, Executive Secretary in the Mission Volunteers unit of the General Board of Global Ministries, and Program Administrator for the World Congress of Philosophy.  He has also consulted for: Worldwide Support for Development (a foundation), Unity Productions Foundation (a nonprofit), Coexist Foundation, the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, and the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, among others.

A summa cum laude graduate of Ohio University, Rev. Heckman has graduate degrees from the University of Chicago Divinity School and Boston University’s Division of Religion and Theological Studies, as well as additional education from several other schools and centers. He has served rural, urban, and suburban churches in Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut.

A frequent speaker and writer on interfaith relations, Rev. Heckman is editor of an award winning reference book for the field called InterActive Faith: The Essential Interreligious Community-Building Handbook (SkyLight Paths, 2008).

He lives in the Dundee community of Omaha, shares life with his best friend Amy who is the nation’s leading recruiter in hospitality, and tries to keep track of two children Annah and Noah, who are at Bard and Temple University in Tokyo, respectively.


Arianna Cabrera – Program Associate

Arianna first began working with the Tri-Faith Initiative in August 2016 as an intern through the religious studies department at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). In May 2017, she continued working for Tri-Faith as an intern with Vic Gutman & Associates. She has been involved in marketing and communications, fundraising, and event planning for Tri-Faith.

Arianna earned her bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of Nebraska Omaha and graduated magna cum laude in May 2018. As a regents scholar, her areas of focus included the Abrahamic traditions, interfaith work, and apocalypticism. During her time at UNO, she was involved with Sustained Dialogue and the Women’s Resource Center.


Lauren Zimmerman – Program Associate

Lauren Zimmerman began working with the Tri-Faith Initiative in September 2018. She plans to finish her bachelor’s degree in international studies in May 2019 from the University of Nebraska Omaha, focusing on the areas of Islamic studies and international affairs. 
Lauren has been involved with student-led refugee projects the Refugee Perspective and Room at Our Table while at UNO. In her free time, she enjoys being outside and spending time with her cat, Beans. 


Michael Herndon – Program Manager

Michael is a Service Supervisor at UNO’s Office of Civic and Social Responsibility and first partnered with The Tri-Faith Initiative in September 2018. In his position, he hopes to learn more about interfaith cooperation while also helping the organization with its overall mission. Michael is a senior studying political science and is hoping to attend graduate school in 2019 to study race and ethnic politics.  While at UNO, Michael has been involved with various multicultural organizations and in his free time enjoys playing soccer and board games.



Daphne Calhoun – Intern

Daphne began working with Tri-Faith Initiative in September 2018 as an intern, receiving the Lea Marshall Scholarship for the Tri-Faith Initiative internship. Daphne will be completing their bachelor’s degree in May 2019, majoring in religious studies with a minor in psychology and medical humanities. Daphne also organizes Omaha Zine Fest, a celebration of independent publishing in Omaha. In their free time, Daphne enjoys writing, playing the piano, and baking pies.


Ellie Wilson – Intern

Ellie first began working with Tri-Faith Initiative in August 2018 as an intern through the religious studies department at University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). Ellie is also a recipient of the Lea Marshall Scholarship for the Tri-Faith Initiative internship. Ellie is currently a senior in her undergraduate program studying international studies with an area concentration in East Asia with a religion minor. Currently, she is involved in Friends of Japan and is a volunteer with Omaha Sister Cities Association.



Additional Staff and Support
Public relations, fundraising, and program support are provided by Vic Gutman & Associates.

Public Relations & Fundraising:
Vic Gutman, and 402.345.5401 ext. 101

Programming Support & Speaking Engagements:
Lisa Winton, and 402.345.5401 ext. 105