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Meet the Omaha Startup Week community leaders

Omaha Startup Week Powered by Cox Business is a five-day celebration from May 1-5 of the local community and its entrepreneurial identity. SPN is turning the spotlight on the community leaders who are helping organize content for the week and continuously supporting the Silicon Prairie.

Marketing Innovation

Melissa Dohmen
Senior PR Strategist, Bailey Lauerman

Why I am doing this: I’m excited to get to know innovators and startup community members that are shaping the future of our Omaha community.

Session I am most looking forward to: The Women in Leadership Panel. I think it’s so important to support women in startups and learn from leaders who can share real insights on thriving in businesses of all shapes and sizes.


Courtney Kottich
Account Executive, Bailey Lauerman

Why I am doing this: The startup community in Omaha is so inspiring and I’m excited to see how the week’s events will bring members of the community together and potentially fuel new ideas.

Session I am most looking forward to: Productizing a Service Business, Taking Over For the Founder and More Lessons – talk with Sarah Bird from MOZ.


Melanie Phelan
Chief Production Officer, Flywheel

Why I am doing this: Because I care deeply about the community of people, what they are doing, and where their passions will take them!

Session I am most looking forward to: Any and all panels! I love to hear how people play off each other and also relate to one another. Answers in the raw.


Shayla Kelly
Co-Organizer, Big Omaha, SPN

Why I am doing this: I enjoy bringing people together who can benefit from one another, and I continually work to build a more collaborative community in our region.

Session I am most looking forward to: Silicon Prairie Awards cause I’m so fancy. 🙂


Sam Lindsey
Chief Operating Officer, Conagra Brands

Why I am doing this: Love Startup Week’s emphasis on community! Great opportunity to expand your network, develop your career & company culture, and celebrate startup success.

Session I am most looking forward to: Anything in the Corporate Innovation, Startup, or Inclusivity tracks!


Lindsey Pfeifer
Track Organizer, AIM Institute

Why I am doing this: I wanted to give the creative community a platform to talk about issues that concern them professionally in hopes it will facilitate discussion about future change and community collaboration.

Session I am most looking forward to: All of the panels sound amazing so I am very excited for those. Also really looking forward to the motion design workshop!


Jessica Smolinski
Track Co-Organizer, From Now On






Victor Cassone
Track Organizer, Agape Red

Why I am doing this: I thought it would be a great way to give back to the startup community. There usually aren’t many tech talks on high level tech strategy and I thought that would be beneficial to all.



Corporate Innovation

Lacey Dalton
Director of Client Success and Product, Econic

Why I am doing this: I love to be a part of collaboration in a community. I’m looking forward to seeing the great things that can happen when a group of smart, passionate people collide and come together over common interests.

Session I am most looking forward to: Being new to the startup community, this is my first Omaha Startup Week so I’m excited to experience the unique combination of attendees, speakers and tracks that this event brings.


Jeff Spiehs
Community Relations Manager, Metropolitan Area Planning Agency

Why I am doing this: Omaha is home to some great places, but they are made even better when people can participate in the design of these places and add their knowledge and perspective to the process. I want to connect the startup community to these places because I think that they play an important role in shaping our city.

Session I am most looking forward to: Following the American Dream: Immigrants and the Startup community.

Diversity and Inclusion

Cammy Watkins
Operations and Business Development Manager, Inclusive Communities

Why I am doing this: Investing in diversity and inclusion for businesses is so important to insure longevity and innovation.  The people who work for our companies and the clients we serve are our most valuable assets.  And the best way for companies to invest in these assets is to nurture a culture of inclusion.  Startup Week is the perfect opportunity to connect with emerging and growing businesses and innovators and discuss the benefits of diversity and inclusion programming. This is also the perfect audience to take on this charge and make it happen.

Session I am most looking forward to: The opening session with J. Kelly!


Kyle Tut
Founder, Kyna

Why I am doing this: Omaha Startup Week highlights the great startup community that will support us on the way up and on the way down. Startups by nature are difficult yet also exciting. It’s important to show the startup stories of people living it everyday.

Session I am most looking forward to: New Kids on the Blockchain

To view the week’s complete schedule or to register, visit the Omaha Startup Week website.

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