Don Macke Joins the GROW Nebraska Board

Don Macke Joins the GROW Nebraska Board

A Nebraskan with more than 40 years of experience in community economic development is the newest board member for the GROW Nebraska Foundation.

Don Macke, vice president of e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (previously the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship), has been selected to join GROW’s 12-member statewide board of directors.

“I have been following GROW Nebraska and supporting it from its very beginnings,” Macke said. “I so believe in its mission and value of growing our artisans’ community in Nebraska. Fostering this kind of development not only contributes to the personal and economic wellbeing in our state and region but greatly enhances our culture.”

GROW Nebraska Foundation CEO Janell Anderson Ehrke said she is excited to have Don join the board.

“Don brings a wealth of entrepreneurship and nonprofit success and strategic vision to our organization, which will be critical to our ability to scale and meet the growing demands to help Nebraska businesses connect to the global marketplace,” she said.

Macke said as a board member he hopes to shine a light on GROW Nebraska to share how its mission is critically important to the state. 

“In today’s very competitive human talent environment, genuine community is so important in attracting, developing and retaining human talent,” Macke said. “By fostering a robust artisan sector in Nebraska, GROW Nebraska is contributing to creating a much more interesting state while helping individual artisans find greater success with their passions.”

Macke’s experience in both nonprofit organizational development and working with entrepreneurial ventures will be of great value to GROW Nebraska.

Most of Macke’s career has been related to economic development. He worked for nearly 10 years on staff in the Nebraska Unicameral, serving in Ben Nelson’s cabinet and leading the Rural Development Commission. He also has provided consulting services to businesses and nonprofit organizations and has taught college economics.

Macke said he wants to “ensure that GROW Nebraska has the recognition, funding and staffing to fully optimize its potential.”

When he’s not working, Macke is active in his East Campus Neighborhood Association and assorted charities in his three hometowns of Mullen, Ogallala and Lincoln. He grew up in Mullen, graduated from high school in Ogallala and has lived in Lincoln since 1974.

He is married to Jenny Carver, who is a preschool special education teacher with the Lincoln Public Schools, and they have two adult sons who both live and work in Lincoln.

“As I approach this time in my life, I want to give back to my home state and hometowns,” Macke said. “Serving on the GROW Nebraska board hopefully will provide me another way to give back.”

GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.

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