>Meet Our Team

Derek Rusher

President/CEO: 308-237-3132 / drusher@kearneycoc.org

KACC Staff

As President/CEO, Derek brings a fun and creative energy. He generates positive change with his hands-on leadership style. He is also the President of a nonprofit business and he possesses more than 15 years of experience as a teacher and many more as a former collegiate athlete and coach. Derek has worked part time for a consulting company working on employee engagement and leadership development for the last 4 years. He has also occupied a seat on the Leadership Kearney board and is currently on the Junior Achievement Board. He is passionate about supporting the growth and education of others. Derek's favorite motto is, "Do Right," a tenet he picked up from his father. With his beautiful wife, Meggie, he continues to pass this teaching on to their four daughters.

Sharon Almquist

Financial Director: 308-236-6005 / salmquist@kearneycoc.org

KACC Staff

Sharon Almquist is the Financial Director at the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and is responsible for all of the accounting for the Chamber, Visitors Bureau, and the Classic Car Collection. She graduated from Kearney State College with a Business Administration degree and an emphasis in Accounting. Sharon is married to Russell Almquist and their children are Sarah, and son-in-law, Gordon; Ryan and his wife, Laura; and Isaac. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at church and other organizations.

Shanna Schulte

Membership & Program Director: 308-237-4671 / sschulte@kearneycoc.org

KACC Staff

Shanna Schulte joined the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce as Program Director in May of 2014. Shanna is originally from Wauneta, NE. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in December 2000, where she received a degree in Organizational Communication with a minor in Human Development and Family Relationships. Before coming to the Chamber, Shanna worked as an Admissions Representative at Joseph’s College. Shanna’s husband, Tim, farms on their family farm north of Kearney. Tim and Shanna have two sons, Roman and Riley.

Megan Berry

Marketing & Event Director: 308-237-3102 / Mberry@kearneycoc.org

KACC Staff

Megan Berry is the Marketing & Event Director for the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and is responsible for e-blast promotions/newsletters, social media, all things marketing and all of the Kearney Chamber events. Megan is originally from Kearney, NE. She graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, where she received her bachelor degree in the department of Textile, Merchandising, and Fashion Design, and with a minor in marketing. Before coming to the Chamber, Megan worked on the Women's Buying Team at the Buckle. Megan is an active alumni for her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, where she is the recruitment adviser for the University of Nebraska at Kearney's Phi Sigma Chapter and also serves as the Alumni Chapter Vice President. During her time with the Chamber she has gotten involved in Junior Achievement and Leadership Kearney.

Laura Jensen

Program Coordinator: 308-237-3110 / ljensen@kearneycoc.org

KACC Staff

Laura Jensen is the Program Coordinator at the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce. Originally from the Grand Island area, she has lived in Kearney for almost four years. Previous positions include the World Theatre and UNK (where she also currently works as the Internship and Outreach Coordinator for the Engineering program). After graduating from Hastings College, she pursued a degree in creative writing at UNK, and adjuncted briefly in the English department. Other interesting employment includes a library and a post office. Aside from writing, Laura is dedicated to food, friends, art, her bicycle, various attempts at becoming a better runner, and drinking large cups of coffee in the morning.

Elda Rodgers

Communication Assistant: 308-237-3101 / erodgers@kearneycoc.org

KACC Staff

Elda Rodgers is a North Dakota native, who was raised in Northern Minnesota.  Leaving the cold for Southern California was a top priority in her life. Many relocations later, she and her husband Ron, a Nebraska native and pilot, finally settled and stayed in Kearney.  Elda was a bookkeeper for the US Department of the Army (receiving a  Sustained Superior Performance award), a travel agency, Nebraska Beef Council and Ron’s business, Rodgers Helicopter Service.  She has worked on a “need” basis for Kearney Visitors Bureau and Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years. Bookkeeping and numbers are her forte, but she enjoys assisting one and all in our endeavors to promote Kearney and Buffalo County. 

Neva Klemme

Communication Assistant: 308-237-3101 / chamber@kearneycoc.org

KACC Staff

Neva Klemme grew up on a farm in south-central Nebraska and has lived in Kearney for the past 37 years. She retired in 2016 from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and now works part-time for the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and part-time for the Kearney Visitors Bureau. A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, she received her degree in Organizational Communication with a minor in Business Administration. Neva and her husband Steve have two grown sons, Shane and Cale, and a trucking business where she does the bookkeeping. In her free time, Neva enjoys traveling with her husband, sewing, and yard work.

Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce
Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce

1007 2nd Ave  •  PO Box 607  •  Kearney, NE 68848
Phone: 308-237-3101