The First Responders Foundation is formally announcing the retirement of co-founder and President and Executive Director Ray Somberg. Ray and longtime friend Jerry Hoberman founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2008 in an effort to enhance public safety and build community appreciation and respect for our first responders.
Under Ray’s leadership, the First Responders Foundation has donated more than 1.5 million dollars for much needed equipment and support for Omaha’s police and fire departments.
“The First Responders Foundation provides so much more than financial resources for our police and fire departments. It creates community pride, gratitude and public awareness of the risks police officers and firefighters take every day,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “The Foundation started as a way to thank our first responders. Now it’s our turn to thank Ray for his lifelong dedication to Omaha and support of public safety.”
The foundation is pleased to announce that Major General Al Batschelet has agreed to accept the position vacated by Somberg and will take over executive responsibilities immediately.
“We are thrilled to welcome Al, who brings a wealth of strategic planning and organizational skills and whose life’s work and experience aligns with our mission,” said Jim Hanson, Jr., Chairman of the Board. “While it will be difficult to replace Ray, we believe that Al is the perfect fit to lead the foundation into the future.”
MG Batschelet had a 33-year career in the US Army and retired as a Major General. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in history and political science from Iowa State University and three military master degrees. Al has been a motivational leader, a creative thinker and consensus builder in organizations ranging in size from several hundred to over 100,000. Most recently, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base. There Al was directly responsible for the supervision of more than 4,000 military and civilian staff personnel in 10 operating units.
The First Responders Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners directly with Omaha’s police and fire departments and unions to provide meaningful resources and vital equipment and create programs and events that make a positive impact on the community.
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Jim Hanson, Jr. | 402.657.9022 | firstname.lastname@example.org