River City Six – Winsley Durand
Meet Winsley Durand, executive director of REACH, a program of the Greater Omaha Chamber.
Tell us a little about your business.
I have worked for the Greater Omaha Chamber for over 13 years in roles that help to attract and retain businesses in Omaha. For the last four years, I have been given the opportunity to be an intre-preneur. With the REACH Program, I have been able to create a collaborative approach to growing the capacities of small contractors. Through training, technical assistance, mentoring, and access to capital, I get to assist people in realizing their entrepreneurial dreams and help them create a good living for themselves and their families.
How did you get started in the business?
Before college graduation, I went back to my hometown of Peoria, IL and personally dropped off resumes to as many businesses as I could. In one office building, I struck up a friendly conversation in the elevator. He turned out to be the VP of a finance firm and hired me because I had the “gumption to go make things happen.” Each subsequent opportunity has naturally progressed until today.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Empowering people to have control over their destiny.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife Lori and I are both transplants who have chosen to be Nebraskans. We came here separately in the 90s, met here, and have been married for 21 years. We have three amazing children: Brianna, Kaden, and Nathan. They range in age from 18 to 14 respectively.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Just relax and read a book on a beach.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” JFK
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
“I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts, famously known as the Friends theme song.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
To multiply myself. There are so many things I want to accomplish…but so little time.
Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to play the saxophone.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Educator. True educators have a special gift that inspires change within others.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Habitat for Humanity, Urban League of Nebraska, ACE Mentoring, and Nebraska Enterprise Fund. All of these organizations serve to economically empower people in different ways and at different life stages.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
Last book was Zero Day by David Baldacci. I love books that are part of a series so that when one is finished you can roll right into another and it already has a sense of familiarity.
What is your favorite movie?
The Matrix trilogy.
What is your favorite TV show?
Modern Family. I love Phil Dunphy and his eternal optimism.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?