Jim Smith Named Executive Director Of Blueprint Nebraska

Jim Smith Named Executive Director Of Blueprint Nebraska

Monday, July 9, 2018 - 10:45am

LINCOLN – Blueprint Nebraska today named former Papillion Senator Jim Smith as the organization’s first executive director.  Smith’s background includes experience in small and large business environments, as well as community service on numerous non-profit boards.

For the past eight years, Smith has served in the Nebraska Legislature where he chaired the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and the Revenue Committee. 

Smith tendered his resignation from the Nebraska Legislature prior to assuming his role with Blueprint Nebraska, a recently formed organization that is spearheading a statewide, citizen-led economic development initiative.  The effort seeks to establish a comprehensive and pro-active plan to stimulate the state’s economic growth, competitiveness and prosperity, while building on current strengths.

Union Pacific Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz, based in Omaha, and 21st Century Holdings President and CEO Owen Palm, based in Scottsbluff, praised Smith’s appointment. Fritz and Palm are co-chairs of Blueprint Nebraska.

“Jim’s experience in the public and private sectors makes him uniquely qualified to guide the Blueprint Nebraska process,” Fritz said.

“Jim’s credentials as an established business community leader across the state make him a natural choice to lead what truly will be a statewide effort,” Palm said.

Over the next several months, Blueprint Nebraska will embark on a collaborative process to solicit input from a cross-section of industry stakeholders.  The initiative will utilize industry councils comprised of Nebraskans from across the state to help analyze current strengths and challenges in areas such as manufacturing; agriculture; health care; education; workforce; taxation and incentives; housing; community vitality; and technology and innovation.  The stakeholder input will be combined with research from higher-education institutions to produce a comprehensive, long-range economic plan for the state.

More information is available at www.blueprint-nebraska.org.