Meet Steve Rippe, Senior Director, 211 at United Way of the Midlands (

Tell us a little about your business. – The 211 Contact Center, powered by United Way of the Midlands, currently covers the entire state of Nebraska and nearly all of Iowa. Our 211 helpline is a free and confidential service that provides referrals in areas of non-emergency health and human services. We understand that there are sometimes challenges in people’s lives, and 211 provides resources and assistance to help address these issues.

How did you get started in the business? – With more than 24 years of Contact Center experience in the business sector, I was given the opportunity to lead the 211 team for United Way of the Midlands. As a leader, my focus is on developing and promoting individuals in being the best version of themselves. This position allows me to not only develop the team, but also help the community with their needs.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Seeing the number of Nebraskans and Iowans struggling with basic needs and not having the resources to help them has by far been the biggest challenge I have faced. We continue to work with area agencies and state and local leaders to find ways to provide the assistance needed.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Earning my Green Belt in Six Sigma is definitely my most important achievement. This project management certification has allowed me to look at processes differently and now I am looking for efficiencies in everything we do.

Tell us a little about your family. – I’ve been married to my wonderful wife for 10 years. We have four kids (a son, 30, who lives in Papillion; a daughter, 28, who lives in Omaha; a daughter, 26, who lives in Kansas City and a son, 21, who attends the University of Missouri – Kansas City). We love the beach and travel to a tropical destination each year. We also have two grandchildren which we love to spoil.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Outside of work, you can find me on the golf course, cheering for all Husker athletic teams and spending time with family.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I sold 7-up at Memorial Stadium for Husker football games in the early 80s.

Who inspires you? – Everyone has something unique about them, and I try to find inspiration from everyone I interact with. My biggest inspiration and who I have tried to model my life after is my father. He has touched so many people in his life, and everyone you ask will say they are better because of him. I strive to have people say the same of me.

What local nonprofit organizations are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – In addition to United Way of the Midlands, in my position, I am able to see that there are so many outstanding agencies in our community. I am passionate and support any agency who is focused on the betterment of our community.

What is your favorite local Omaha restaurant? – Twisted Cork Bistro – Consistent service and creative menu selections.

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