Rotarians Vocational Talk
Aug 27, 2019
Mick Hale, Penny Johnston, Leslie Levy
Rotarians Vocational Talk
Presentation:  Rotarians at Work

Mick Hale is the Executive Director of Leadership Lincoln, a leadership and engagement organization that has developed community leaders and advocates since 1985.  Leadership Lincoln has over 3,500 alumni from their four programs and you would be hard pressed to find an organization in the community that doesn’t have a Leadership Lincoln alum engaged in some capacity. Mick’s professional career has been education focused, first as a classroom teacher and coach in Omaha and the surrounding area for 18 years and then as the Director of Education for The Durham Museum from 2005-2015.  Mick joined Leadership Lincoln in May of 2015 bringing nearly 30 years of experience in both formal and informal education to the agency. Mick and his wife Lisa, who is the Vice-President of Customer Service for Lincoln Electric System, are active in the Lincoln community supporting many youth and education causes.  Lisa serves on the Library Board of Directors, Community Action and they are a “Big Couple” for Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Mick and Lisa have three adult children and greatly enjoy the times when they can get them all together! 
Penny Johnston joined AOI as the Lincoln General Manager in early 2018. A graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Architecture, she has over 20 years of experience in the commercial interior design industry with a focus on healthcare design. In addition to being NCIDQ certified, Penny has passed the LEED AP, AAHID (American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers), and EDAC (Evidence Based Design) exams and written two articles for Health Facilities Management Magazine. She is very active with the IIDA Great Plains Chapter and currently serves on the board as VP of Professional Development. At AOI, she supports all aspects of furniture projects from planning through installation, and is well versed in working with architecture and design firms.

Leslie C. Levy, J.D., was named the Ardis & Robert James director at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in 2014.  A year-long Rotary scholarship to study in Japan inspired her to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs from the University of Nebraska. 

After earning her Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska's College of Law, Leslie worked in both private and public service. As Chief of the Consumer Protection & Antitrust Division for the Nebraska Department of Justice, Leslie gained extensive legal and real-world experience required to manage teams, work under deadline, balance budgets, and find creative solutions to diverse challenges. 

What started as a curiosity about one of America's iconic storytellers, manifested itself into the opportunity to lead the internationally acclaimed Willa Cather Foundation and provide the impetus to grow an international organization as well as broaden Leslie's skillset in academia, networking, outreach and fundraising.

Leslie's unique international and work experiences chartered the course towards the International Quilt Museum (IQM).  An opportunity not-to-be-missed, Leslie pursued the chance to lead the world's preeminent quilt museum. Quilts have enabled Leslie to experience many diverse cultures as she has traveled the world in service to the IQM meeting its members, scholars, donors and visitors.