Throughout 2023, Chamber members and volunteers contributed to moving our economy forward. We recognize four individuals and companies who have exemplified what it means to be a part of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

We presented four distinguished awards:

  • Chair’s Award of Excellence
  • Dedicated Service Award
  • Headliner of the Year
  • Volunteers of the Year

Chair’s Award of Excellence

Celebrates an individual or organization who has produced exceptional Chamber membership sales and retention results during 2023. 

Chris Maher & Premier Bank

CEO & Chairman of the Board

Chris Maher, a native of Omaha, is an alumnus of Omaha Creighton Prep. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Nebraska and later earned his MBA from Creighton University. Currently, Chris serves as the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Premier Bank, a position he has held since the bank’s establishment in 2011. Chris has been happily married to Cindy Maher for 34 years, and they have raised three adult children, two of whom reside in Omaha and one in Denver, CO.

Premier Bank is a locally owned community bank that serves Omaha, its surrounding areas and the Nebraska City community. The bank provides a comprehensive range of deposit and loan products to meet both personal and business-banking needs. Additionally, Premier Bank operates a full-service consumer Mortgage Loan Department. The bank has strategically placed branches along the Dodge Street corridor at 43rd, 114th, and 168th Streets in Omaha, as well as a branch in Nebraska City.

Dedicated Service Award

Bestowed upon an individual for their sustained and exceptional commitment, diligence and contributions to an organization and community.

Tim Burke

Retired CEO of OPPD, Interim CEO of Greater Omaha Chamber (Feb-July 2023)

Timothy J. Burke joined OPPD in April 1997 as vice president and retired as the President and CEO of Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) in July 2021. Burke holds a master’s degree from Drake University and a bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University. He is married to Terri Burke. They have three sons who are married, as well as seven grandchildren.

Mr. Burke served as vice president of many OPPD departments including Customer Service & Public Affairs, Customer Service Operations, Customer Sales & Service, Customer Strategy, Economic Development, Safety & Technical Training, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Operations Analysis, Governmental Affairs and Environmental & Regulatory Affairs. In May 2015, he became president and CEO.

Headliner of the Year

Recognizes an organization that has positively impacted the image of Omaha and Nebraska as a whole.

Association of Defense Communities

Accepted by Tim Ford, CEO of Association of Defense Communities

Dr. Jeffrey Gold

Defense communities are the towns, cities, counties, regions and states that serve as home to our nation’s military missions, installations and industrial partners. What connects all defense communities is the importance of the local defense-related economy and their engagement in supporting our nation’s security.

Defense communities work to ensure our military missions and are ready to meet the dynamic needs of national defense through collaboration, advocacy and direct support. Building and sustaining partnerships that ensure coordination between base and community is a core function of defense communities, but their support is often more direct, including providing financial investment in infrastructure that supports the base.

Volunteers of the Year

Recognizes individuals who go above and beyond, offering so much of their time and effort to the Chamber and the business community.

Greater Omaha Chamber’s Public Policy Council 

Accepted by Scott Moore, Retired Union Pacific

Our Public Policy Council, composed of 35 community leaders, serves as a group of critical volunteers who play a pivotal role in sustaining momentum on legislative priorities for the Omaha business community. This dedicated group invests invaluable time and expertise in reviewing legislative bills, ordinances, campaigns and policies, aligning them with the Chamber’s public policy priorities.

The Council has been instrumental in various initiatives, including efforts to reduce top individual and corporate income tax rates to competitive levels. In the past year alone, they supported the establishment of large industrial sites for business attraction, demonstrated by their involvement in the Omaha Airport Business Park. Additionally, they advocated for the use of bonding for substantial state highway projects. Through their unwavering commitment, the Council has been an integral part of these endeavors on the Chamber’s behalf and the reason behind the Chamber’s successful policy engagement.


That’s lots of chances for business owners and their employees to make professional connections with potential business partners or clients.