LINCOLN -  Leadership Nebraska has selected Auburn City Administrator Crystal Dunekacke for the Nebraska Class 15.

The nine-month Leadership Nebraska program strives to enhance leaders’ understanding of challenges facing Nebraska, including economic, environment, health care, education and policy development.

Dunekacke has degrees from Peru State and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a former program manager for Southeast Nebraska Development District and has been with the city of Auburn since 2021.

Here is the Nebraska State Chamber Foundation press release:

LINCOLN – The NE Chamber Foundation is pleased to announce that Crystal Dunekacke has been selected to participate in Leadership Nebraska Class XV.

Crystal Dunekacke has been the City Administrator/Economic Developer for the City of Auburn since August 2021.

 In this position, she manages the activities and services of the City of Auburn, including implementation of the City’s economic development programs. She serves as an ex officio member of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and the Auburn Development Council. She is also active in the Nebraska Economic Developers Association (NEDA) and the Nebraska City/County Management Association (NCMA).

Crystal was previously the Community Program Manager for the Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD) where she spent 5 years securing and administering over $6 million dollars state and federal funds for projects in communities across southeast Nebraska. She has also worked in manufacturing accounting, and in various nonprofit management roles.

Crystal has a bachelor's degree from Peru State College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

In addition to her professional roles, Crystal has served her local community in elected office as the Mayor and City Council member of the City of Humboldt and as a School Board member for HTRS Public Schools. She has also served on the Humboldt Community Foundation, the Humboldt Shares Inc economic development group, and the HTRS Athletic Booster Club. Crystal is a frequent volunteer for local programs that support youth sports and the arts as well as activities at her church.

Crystal is married to her high school sweetheart Taylor who teaches upper elementary math at HTRS Public Schools. They live in rural Auburn with their sons Ty (12) and Tate (11) and their daughter Blake (6). Crystal spends most of her free time supporting her children at their many school, sports and music activities. She enjoys following current events and got her start in government working as an intern in both the Nebraska Unicameral and the US House of Representatives.

Leadership Nebraska was founded in 2006 to identify current and emerging leaders throughout the state, enhance their leadership skills and deepen their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Nebraska.

Participants have been selected from across the state and possess varied backgrounds and diverse talents. All candidates have demonstrated an abiding interest in Nebraska and its future.

The nine-month program covers a broad range of key Nebraska issues, including economic development, workforce and education, agriculture and environment, health care, education, government and policy development.

“We are excited and pleased to welcome this incredibly talented group to our statewide leadership program,” said Bryan Slone, NE Chamber President. If we’re going to truly compete and solve our workforce challenges by growing communities that excel at supporting young families, talent, innovation and community development over the next decade, the next generation of strong and informed leaders like this group will be necessary to achieve those goals.”