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Our Next Executive Director

Jason Gerdes

Jason Gerdes Named 
Executive Director at NLOM

The Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Board of Directors announced that they have appointed Jason Gerdes to be its new Executive Director. The appointment comes as Dave Coker, long-standing Executive Director, will retire at year’s end. Gerdes will become Executive Director on October 1 and Coker will serve as Consulting Director until he retires at the end of 2018.


The Board-appointed team that led a national search process is confident and proud of where this leaves NLOM.“What an exciting time for NLOM,” says Pr. Tim Koester, Search Committee Chair. “Jason is exactly the right person to lead this vital ministry. He brings significant experience in every facet of camping and retreat operations including many years of leading NLOM’s Development team. Most importantly, Jason has a passionate heart and a compelling vision for the ministry of NLOM, centered around the graciousness, sacredness, and significance that people experience at its sites. It’s an honor to make this announcement.”


Dave Coker shares that Gerdes has served for 18 years at NLOM in a fundraising capacity. He says, “Jason started as a Development Associate right out of college and quickly demonstrated strong relationship and fund raising skills. He was promoted to Development Director in 2005. Along the way, as he made calls on donors, sought capital gifts and led some major projects, he gained incredible knowledge, confidence and leadership skills. Jason is a good friend and I am so very excited for the people of NLOM. This organization is in good hands.”


Gerdes says, "I'm thrilled to be invited to lead this awesome organization as we impact the lives of so many people - campers, retreat guests, volunteers, donors and employees. I love getting to engage with and learn the stories of the people that pass through the gates of Carol Joy Holling and Sullivan Hills Camps. The stories of how God is working through them and others is inspiring, and it is an honor that our people and places get to play a part in their stories. I'm so thankful to the Board and Search Committee for their confidence in me and for the staff I get to serve with every day. I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead a ministry that has made such a difference in my life and faith.”


Gerdes was raised in Kearney, NE and graduated from UNL with a degree in Agronomy and now lives in Ashland with his family. He, and his wife Leslie, both grew up attending camp at Carol Joy Holling and then met while serving as counselors. Now their three children, Lauren, Megan and Ben are the lucky ones who get to attend camp each summer. 

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