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Jason Gerdes Named NLOM Executive Director

Updated: Apr 29, 2019


The Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Board of Directors is pleased to announce Jason Gerdes as its new Executive Director. The appointment comes as Dave Coker, long-standing Executive Director, will retire at year’s end.


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,” said 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."


Dave Coker shared that Gerdes has served for 18 years at NLOM in a fundraising capacity. “Jason started as a Development Associate right out of college and quickly demonstrated strong relationship and fundraising skills," Coker said. "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.”


“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," Gerdes shared. "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, Neb. and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln 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 Camp 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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