River City Six – Vanessa Schmidt
Meet Vanessa Schmidt, the director of finance at Midwest Geriatrics/Florence Home Healthcare Center (www.omahaseniorcare.org).
Tell us a little about your business.
Midwest Geriatrics, or MGI, is an Omaha-based, nonprofit organization. Housed in Florence Home, we are the proud management team for Florence Home Healthcare Center, Royale Oaks Assisted Living, House of Hope Alzheimer’s Care, House of Hope Assisted Living, Senior Health Foundation, and Gerimed and Unimed Pharmacies. Our founder, Reverend Charles Savidge, had a vision to enhance the lives of seniors by providing quality, affordable care. While many things have changed since then, including the buildings, the neighborhood, the staff, the residents, and the families, one thing remains the same—our mission to inspire the individuals we serve to live life to the fullest.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
My biggest challenge professionally has been networking with other professionals. As an accountant, my mind is more analytically built. For years, networking events were very intimidating. Now, I enjoy getting to know people. Although, like any other introverted individual, I am exhausted after a full day of meeting new people.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
My most important achievement professionally would be passing my Certified Public Accountant exams. This certification requires an extensive amount of time and energy.
Tell us a little about your family.
My family is very important to me. My husband and I have four beautiful children. Our oldest is in first grade and our youngest is learning to stand! They bring a lot of energy and joy to our lives.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
The biggest turning point in my life was when I completed my master’s degree. Up until that point, I was torn between two different career paths. I was fortunate enough to gain experience in the accounting field as well as the collegiate coaching field. Ultimately, accounting was a great fit, and I can still coach on the weekends.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Going on a walk outside. No matter what season it is, there is beauty outdoors to experience and enjoy. In the winter, the walk may be up a snowy hill, just to sled down with my kids. Spring and fall walks are so beautiful with all the different colors. Early morning summer walks are enjoyable to jump start the day.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
It would definitely be to fly. I am imagining something like Wonder Woman.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
Juggling a soccer ball or swimming laps.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
I would be a marine biologist. My childhood dream was to swim with dolphins and other marine animals. Unfortunately, biology was not my forte in school.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
I am currently reading the Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver Potzsch. Although, my favorite childhood book was The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse.