River City Six – Kristen Dineen
Meet Kristen Dineen, public relations coordinator at Open Door Mission (www.opendoormission.org).
Tell us a little about your business.
Open Door Mission is a Gospel Rescue Mission committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
How did you get started in the business?
In 2018, my 27-year radio career came to an end when the radio station I worked for was sold to another company and I lost my job. I was looking for a new career that provided more stability for my family, but I also wanted to feel like I was making a difference. I had worked with Open Door Mission in partnership with the radio station I worked at, so I was very familiar with what they do and how they help people. My two bachelor degrees are English and communications, so they fit the qualifications for a job in public relations.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Losing my job two years ago and having to start over professionally with a new career mid-life.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Dana and I have four kids: Cody (24), Molly (14), Lyla (7), and Sophia (6). We are also about to be first-time grandparents to baby Carter!
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
I worked in radio in California for 11 years when I lost my job due to budget cuts. I felt like God was leading me back “home” to Nebraska, so I packed up my things and headed back to my home state. It was just a few months later my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time so I could be there to help here through treatments (10 years later and she remains cancer free) and within six months of moving back to Nebraska, my mom set me up with my now husband!
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Spend time with my family! We love to be outside when the weather is nice.
Who inspires you?
My youngest daughter, Sophia. She was born with special needs, but we didn’t learn of her diagnosis until she was 18 months old. My precious girl is sweet, happy, and so loving. She enjoys the moment. Things we take for granted can be a challenge for her, but she is so strong and brave. She says “Best day ever!” almost every single day and means it.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
I would LOVE to narrate audio books or be able to write books.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Open Door Mission! It’s not just because I work there…I have seen firsthand the lives that are changed there every day.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
My favorite book is the Bible, but I do love to read all sorts of books from fiction to biographies.
What is your favorite TV show?
This is Us.
What is your favorite local Omaha restaurant?
Firebirds, The Good Life, Fernandos…don’t make me pick just one!