Board and Staff
KANEKO is honored to have a devoted and engaged Board of Directors.
Ree and Jun Kaneko
FOUNDING BOARD MEMBERS
Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942. He studied painting with Satoshi Ogawa during his adolescence – working in his studio during the day and attending high school in the evening. He came to the United States in 1963 to continue his studies at Chouinard Institute of Art, when his introduction to Fred Marer drew him to sculptural ceramics. He proceeded to study with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman in California during the time now defined as the Contemporary Ceramics Movement in America.
The following decade, Jun taught at some of the nation’s leading art schools, including Scripps College, Rhode Island School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art, before settling permanently in Omaha in 1986.
KANEKO was established in 1998 by Jun and his wife Ree, whose extensive experience with the Omaha arts community, nonprofit administration and collaboration have been an essential part of the organization’s development. Jun and Ree envisioned KANEKO as a gift to the community, a space that celebrates the creative spirit and explores and encourages creativity in all of its expressions in the arts, sciences, and philosophy.
After purchasing a string of buildings in the Old Market, Jun, with an artist’s eye, recognized potential in the brick and concrete warehouses and imagined a future for the structures that would contribute to the community and the country that had supported him.
Jun imagined an institution that would bring to Omaha creative people of all types – artists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, poets, and scientists, connecting an increasingly diverse and vibrant Omaha to the arts, culture, and sciences worldwide.
In 1998, Jun and Ree founded the non-profit cultural organization, establishing an international Creative Board and a Board of Directors whose members voted to name the institution KANEKO.
CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Robert Schlott is the CEO and owner of Warren Distribution, manufacturing and marketing lubricants and automotive aftermarket products, located in downtown Omaha. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University, and an MBA from Harvard University. Bob lives in Council Bluffs, and has served as a board member for the Historic Dodge House and for Children’s Square/Christian Home. His family includes three grown children, two sons and a daughter. Bob is also involved in hiking, biking, mountaineering, and horticulture.
J. Robert Duncan
CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Robert Duncan is unquestionably among Lincoln’s foremost supporters of the arts. The Duncans’ private art collection is one of the finest in the area, and they are renowned for their generosity to the arts community. Their successful family-owned business is a leader in the field of business aircraft services.
Robert is the Chairman of Duncan Aviation; it was established in 1956 by his father, Donald Duncan, and has grown into the largest family-owned aircraft support facility in North America. The company’s extraordinary commitment to excellence and innovation and its employee-driven attitude toward business are among the many reasons why Duncan Aviation is frequently honored with awards in excellence, such as FORTUNE magazine’s list of “100 Best Places to Work in America.”
John P. Nelson
John P. Nelson is Chairman of the Board of SilverStone Group, (www.silverstonegroup.com) which provides employee benefits, wealth transfer, executive compensation plans, risk management, and human resource consulting services.
After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1958, John attended Carlton College in Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. John then joined the United States Navy where he served as a Supply Officer for three years. After leaving the Navy in 1965, John returned to Iowa and joined his family’s insurance agency, now SilverStone Group.
John is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter. He also serves on several boards, including American Cancer Society, Bellevue University, Bellevue University Foundation, Boy Scouts of America – Mid-America Council, Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation, Doane College, Durham Museum, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, H.H. “Red” & Ruth H. Nelson Family Foundation, Iowa West, Iowa Western Community College Foundation, Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital, Joslyn Art Museum, Joslyn Art Museum Foundation, KANEKO, Mammel Family Foundation, Methodist Health System, Omaha Community Foundation, Southwest Iowa Foundation, Stratcom Consultation Committee, TeamMates Foundation, United Way, United Way Foundation.
Because of his active service participation throughout the area, John has earned several prestigious awards: Outstanding Young Man of Council Bluffs, Outstanding Young Man of Iowa, Harry Voss Award for Community Involvement, Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce-President’s Award, Children’s Square-Jason Award, Prevent Blindness Nebraska-People of Vision Award, Bluffs Arts Council’s Renaissance Faire of the Midlands-King, Honorary Doctorate of Commerce-Bellevue University, Alegent/Mercy Hospital Heritage Award, Sertoma Club-Outstanding Humanitarian Award, United Way of the Midlands-Citizen of the Year, Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben King, Iowa Western Community College-Investment in Excellence Award, Goodwill Industries-People of the Year Award, Omaha Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame, National Conference for Community & Justice-Humanitarian Award, Boy Scouts of America-Citizen of the Year and the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame.
John’s wife, Anne, also graduated from Carleton College and taught high school English for several years. She holds membership or board positions within numerous community organizations including: Ak-Sar-Ben Friendship Circle; Partnership For Our Kids; Child Saving Institute; Jennie Edmundson Hospital Auxiliary; Friends of the Council Bluffs Library; Joslyn Art Museum; Nebraska Cultural Endowment; Omaha Community Foundation; Omaha Community Playhouse; Omaha Symphony; and PEO.
John and his wife Anne have three adult children and eight grandchildren. Son John H. is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and is the President of SilverStone Group. He and his wife Susie live in Omaha and are the parents of triplets. Daughter Kate and her husband Shelby live in Kansas City and have three children and daughter Molly and her husband Matt live in Los Angeles and are the parents of two children.
The Nelsons are avid travelers, readers and golfers. Anne also enjoys tennis and needlepoint.
Frank L. Hayes is the founder and President of Hayes & Associates, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. He is a native of Mendenhall, Mississippi, but has spent his entire adult life in Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. Hayes is a graduate of Creighton University.
Over his career, Mr. Hayes has had the privilege of serving the community in various capacities, including the Nebraska State Board of Accountancy, where in 1984 he became the first African American and youngest person ever appointed to the Board. He also served on the Boards of The Omaha Branch of Federal Reserve, United Way of the Midlands and the Omaha Community Foundation, among others. He currently serves on the Creighton University Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee of the 100 Black Men of America, the Executive Committee of Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Committee of KANEKO, an institute for the study and advancement of creativity in work and life.
Mr. Hayes has received numerous honors during his career, including the Nebraska Society of CPA’s Public Service Award, Otto Swanson Spirit of Service Award from the NCCJ, the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Community Leadership Association of America, The Rotary Club of Omaha Free Enterprise Award, the Western Heritage Museum African American Award for Corporate & Community Leadership, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Business Administration Alumni Association Leadership Award.
In 2009, Mr. Hayes was inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame and the Omaha Technical High School Hall of Fame for outstanding accomplishments in business and community service.
Mr. Hayes has two children and two grandchildren.
Karen A. Linder, is founder and President of Linsipration Inc, a company focused on entrepreneurship and creativity. She founded the school of cytotechnology at UNMC and is past President of the American Society for Cytotechology and Heartland Pathology, a private laboratory. Her creative interests are diverse, and include writing, painting and sculpting. She serves on the boards of directors of the Museum of Nebraska Art and SkyVu.
Karen has helped compile the art collection in the education buildings at UNMC. This collection features works of nearly 200 Nebraska artists, including rotating exhibits from the Museum of Nebraska Art and the Joslyn Art Museum. She and her husband Jim have six children who work in science and business.
Henry Davis grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from Omaha Central High School in 1969. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver in 1973, and upon graduating began his career at Greater Omaha Packing Company, a family owned beef processing company.
In 1987 Mr. Davis became the President and CEO of the company. As the result of two decades under his strong leadership, the company has grown to become the fifth largest beef processor in the United States and one of the largest privately owned beef processors in the country.
Mr. Davis is highly involved in the Omaha community, and currently serves on the Boards of Bellevue University, the American Meat Institute, Partnership For Our Kids, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Board of Counselors, and the Foundation Board of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. He is a past member of the Nebraska Governor’s Advisory Task Force, YPO, American National Bank, Catholic Charities, Omaha Community Foundation and Past Chairman of the Enterprise Association Board/Federal Enterprise Community HUD.
Deryl is senior counsel to Baird Holm, LLP, a firm he joined after law school and one year clerking at the Federal Court in Lincoln. He received his Juris Doctor, cum laude from the University of Nebraska College of Law. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America in the categories of corporate law, taxation, and trusts and estates. He is former chair of the Advisory Committee on Ethics, appointed by the Nebraska Supreme Court. He is a former chairman of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, the Nebraska Association of Bank Attorneys, and the Omaha Estate Planning Society. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Hamann is former chairman of Great Western Bank, Midland College, Bellevue University, Bethphage Foundation(now Mosaic), and Spectrum Financial Services where he currently offices. He was king of Ak-Sar-Ben 2011-2012.
He is married to Ramona, has four children and three step children. They collectively have 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
A reader of historical fiction and biographies, he and Ramona enjoy traveling. They have been to Europe, Egypt, China, Africa and Hong Kong. Favorite destinations include Kenya and Cabo San Lucas.
Larry Jobeun was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas in 1987 and a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University in 1990. Jobeun has been practicing law in Omaha, Nebraska for over 22 years, concentrating in the areas of municipal finance, land use and real estate development law. He has 16 year-old twins, Jackson and Maria. He enjoys bicycling, traveling and spending time with his family.
Vicki Krecek has a degree in Journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was the Manager of Community Development for the City of Omaha; Vice President of Communications for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and was a free-lance writer. She retired from the Chamber of Commerce after 23 years. Krecek’s volunteer work is centered around the arts and social services, and her interests include art, music, opera, horses (fox hunting and trail riding). She and her husband David have two sons and two grandchildren.
Carl and Marilyn Mammel
Carl Mammel graduated in 1955 with his Bachelors Degree from the College of Business Administration at University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As a student, he was affiliated with Beta Theta Pi.
He founded Mammel, Schropp, Swartzbaugh, Engler and Jones, Inc. in 1959. Their consulting firm provided services in executive benefits, employee benefits planning, and wealth transfer planning. In 1991 the firm merged with the Redland Group, which is now SilverStone Group. He still sits on the board of SilverStone Group.
Carl is also a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Children’s Hospital Advisory Board, and member of the board for the Omaha Performing Arts Society, and for the University of Nebraska Foundation.
He is a past board member of the Omaha Symphony and the Omaha Community Foundation, where he served as Chairman. Carl is a retired member of M Financial Holdings.
Carl has two daughters, Ann Balusek and Nancy Mammel and a son, Jim, and three grandchildren.
Therman Statom is primarily a glass artist, cutting, painting and assembling the glass, adding found objects along the way, to create compelling sculptures. He began his study of glass as an art medium at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, California in 1971. He was awarded the BFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design in 1974 and the MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute of Art and Design in 1978. His professional career includes exhibitions at major American and international museums. Statom has also completed public commissions in Los Angeles and San Jose, California and has work in numerous collections, among them the Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles; Detroit Institute of Fine Arts, Toledo Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, California; High Museum of Art, Atlanta and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Born and raised in Riga, Latvia, Polina Schlott attended the University of Nebraska Omaha where she received a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and master’s in Public Administration Management. She has worked as an Acquisition Professional for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over fifteen years.
As a former runway model, Polina has a keen interest in fashion and textile design, as well as contemporary architecture and sculpture. She is an active member of the KANEKO board and several of its sub-committees.
Polina also serves on the Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands, Children’s Square USA, Lauritzen Gardens and she is a long-time mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands. She is fascinated by science and enjoys spending time in her garden.
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Chris is a native Nebraskan and is married to Kelly Hochstetler, formerly Bates, of Council Bluffs, Iowa. They have two children, Hayley and Tanner. Chris grew up in central Nebraska and graduated from Grand Island Senior High School in 1986. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies and a History minor from the University of Maryland and a Master of Public Administration, specializing in non-profit management and leadership, from Walden University.
Shortly after high school, Chris joined the Army and had a decorated twenty-year career. He served in various assignments and locations including Europe and Iraq. Chris is a combat veteran and his last assignment in the Army was the Acting Battalion Sergeant Major of the Army’s only Special Operations Recruiting Battalion, a unique unit with a global mission.
The last decade Chris and Kelly have spent their time dedicated to philanthropy and nonprofits. Chris has served as a Senior Vice President of Resource Development for the American Lung Association as well as the Director of Fund Development for the Missionary Society of St. Columban, an international missionary society. Chris has a passion for connecting people with causes that make our world a better place and his specialization is major gift development work.
Chris and Kelly are widely traveled and enjoy spending time in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Poetry, gothic architecture, history and creative writing are special past-times for Chris.
Chris has been honored and recognized with induction into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society for achievement in academic excellence and the Phi Alpha Alpha honor society for advancement in public administration. He is also the recipient of the Legion of Merit, our nation’s sixth highest military honor and one of only two such awards that are authorized to be worn as a neck device.
Chris and Kelly now call Council Bluffs Iowa and the creative “Open Space for Your Mind” of KANEKO their home. He is honored to serve as KANEKO’s Executive Director.
Chief Operations Officer
Mike is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law and serves as Chief Operations Officer of KANEKO.
He previously lead marketing for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and most recently established MEEM Legal Services, a legal practice devoted to supporting creative endeavors.
He was named Top 40 Under 40 in 2008 by the Pacific Coast Business Times for his work with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and his role as founder of an independent record label and recording studio. Mike presently serves as a board member of the Nebraska Film Association and the MEDICI (friends of UNL’s Art & Art History Department) and co-produces the Prairie Pride Film Festival in Lincoln.
Director of Operations
Andrew helps maintain the physical structure of KANEKO while also helping out behind the scenes to keep programs and processes running smoothly. Coming from a small rural Nebraska town, Andrew earned his B.A. in History and Native American Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Before joining KANEKO, Andrew spent time teaching on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.
Director of Programming
A native of Omaha, Michael attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Philosophy, and Film Studies. He then ventured to the west coast where he earned his Master of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California–Los Angeles. Michael has worked in nonprofit film, academia, and museum settings before joining KANEKO as Program Coordinator.
Stephanie Plummer holds two degrees, a BA in art history from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a master’s degree in popular culture from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. As a college instructor, she encourages students to link themselves to the art of everyday life. With several years in art and cultural organizations, she looks for opportunities to advance the goals of those around her. Stephanie’s research interests include museology, foodways, art, and children’s culture; and her passions include art and cultural preservation, conversation, and community.
Elisabeth, a native Omahan, graduated from Saint Louis University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History 2015. Shortly, thereafter, she joined the KANEKO team as the Development Associate where she coordinates the new membership program and performs other administrative duties. Elisabeth has prior experience working for museums, libraries, and archives in both Omaha and St. Louis. She is currently working on her Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.
As Communications Assistant, Jennifer serves as KANEKO’s brand manager and plays an integral role in the organization’s communications and marketing efforts. Jennifer grew up in rural Southwest Iowa and has a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has prior experience in museums, photography, radio, outdoor recreation education and non-profits.
Molly Hobson is a Nebraska native and graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor degree in Irish Literature. Working previously with the Joslyn Castle and Restoration Exchange Omaha, Molly developed a love for the city of Omaha and non-profit work. As a KANEKO Gallery Attendant and now as Gallery Manager she looks forward to serving the creative community of Omaha and giving visitors the best experience in the gallery. Molly is a published illustrator and is currently working on her first graphic novel.