Meet Jeri Winkelmann, the director of administration and human resources at the Lincoln Airport Authority.
Tell us a little about your business. – The Lincoln Airport Authority (www.lincolnairport.com) operates the Lincoln Airport, a 5,000-acre public/military airport located five miles northwest of Lincoln that delivers more than $1.3 billion per year in value to the economy. We recently embarked on a major expansion and renovation, which will add 35,000 square feet to the existing 58,000-square-foot building and two new gates to expand airport capacity for new airline partnerships in the future.
How did you get started in the business? – I received a business degree when I determined that the only option for a biology degree was to teach. My first real job after college was at Health Care Credit Union in Lincoln. It was a small office with a strong female leader, and I was given the opportunity to do so many things, from teller work to marketing to loan administration. I loved it. I’ve been a fan of business, accounting, and credit unions ever since.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – The many individuals I’ve mentored, taught, and encouraged along the way. I would like to think that there are some really wonderful people out there who will work for or support the nonprofits in their communities because they had a positive experience working with me and my staff over the years.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – There is nothing better than sitting at a baseball diamond on a warm spring day watching one of my sons play ball. These opportunities are coming to an end, but I’ll substitute going with my sons to a ballpark any time.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – Most of my friends know that I don’t cook, but I really enjoy making (or attempting to make) a pie now and then.
Who inspires you? – Children, young people, my family, and my parents. I’m amazed by the ingenuity, positivity, and resilience of youth. The young people in my family are poised to do great things, and my parents have been setting an inspirational example for many years.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – I serve on the board of directors of Bridges to Hope, a local nonprofit that encourages men and women transitioning into the community after incarceration to become successful members of society. I believe that this is what we all want, and yet we create so many barriers that make this challenging. Working to break down and overcome these barriers can be very rewarding.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – I enjoy a good murder mystery series. The Talents Trilogy is up next on my list.
What is your favorite movie? – Field of Dreams.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – I am especially fond of the Green Gateau’s warm bread and roasted red pepper and Gouda soup with the Lithuanian apricot torte for desert…and don’t forget to add a glass of red wine!
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – I think it would be endlessly entertaining to have dinner with Julia Child. I would love to hear her talk about being a spy and working with sharks and how cooking didn’t come naturally to her. Maybe she could even further inspire my attempts in the kitchen.