Meet the people who make Tri-Faith Initiative work:
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Wendy Goldberg is a founding board member and the Executive Director of Tri-Faith Initiative.
For more than 15 years she has worked with clergy, lay leaders, social sector and nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and local educators to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Wendy leads from her value of courageous living. She is deeply passionate about how we can understand ourselves and our neighbors better, adapting to meet the needs of our community.
A believer in Tri-Faith’s audacious experiment — even when many said it could not be done — Wendy loves the work of meeting congregants, clergy, and local leaders to talk about the shifting religious landscape, religious pluralism, and how to grow an unprecedented interfaith initiative that transforms lives and communities. She leads Tri-Faith’s vision and strategy and is a thought leader and regional advisor on:
- Bridging differences
- Shifting religious landscape
- Religious pluralism
- Cultivating inclusive environments.
Wendy is chair of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity (CODE) Advisory Council, on the advisory board of The Journal of Interreligious Studies, and a LeadDiversity and Racial Equity Institute’s Racial Equity Workshop alum.
Wendy is a 50 Over 50 honoree, and a finalist in the Visionary category for Omaha’s Inspire Award.
A fourth-generation Omahan, she served on Temple Israel’s Board of Trustees for 10 years, including a two-year term as President of the congregation. She also served on the Temple Israel staff for seven years as Program Director, where she played a key role in communications, volunteer engagement, and the capital campaign for Temple Israel’s transition to the Tri-Faith Commons.
Wendy earned a Master of Arts in Communication and a graduate certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has served on the staff of Project Harmony.
Wendy and her husband David are parents to three adult children. She enjoys gardening, biking, and teaching yoga.
Vice President of Operations & Development
Erik Servellon has devoted his young career to serving his country and community and lives by his motto: “Continue to Serve.” Erik strongly believes in a servant-leadership model of leadership.
Born in Los Angeles to then-undocumented Salvadoran parents, Erik is a 2nd generation Latinx-American who affectionately calls Omaha “home.” Erik earned his Bachelor of Art in Political Science and Master of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Two months after receiving this Master’s, Erik deployed to Afghanistan as a Flight Medic Sergeant in the summer of 2016. A formative experience in many respects, this deployment taught Erik the value of human life and what it means to be a servant-leader.
Erik continues to serve: Sergeant with the Nebraska Army National Guard, Board Vice President for the Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership, President of the Metro Young Latino Professionals Association, Vice-Chair of the Nebraska Unity PAC, Vice-Chair of the Learning Community Foundation, and Board Member for OneWorld Community Health Centers.
Erik’s military decorations include an Army Commendation Medal earned during a harrowing medevac mission in Afghanistan and the Humanitarian Service Medal earned conducting search and rescue in Houston, Texas, post-Hurricane Harvey. Erik is a 2018 alumnus of the New Leaders Council Institute and is active in the Omaha Chapter. Erik was honored as one of 2018’s Ten Outstanding Young Omahans by the Omaha Jaycees and a 2019 Ten Outstanding Young American by Jaycees USA.
Erik’s full-time role is serving as Vice President of Operations & Development for the Tri-Faith Initiative. In Erik’s off-time, he likes to listen to books on Audible, ride his motorcycle, and play video games.
Vice President of Mission Advancement
- Marginalized and New Religious Communities
- Racism and Religion
- Implementing practical strategies for DEI in the workplace and community
- Interfaith Dialogue Welcoming the Unaffiliated
- American Secularism’s Relationship with Religion
- Interfaith Understandings in the Abrahamic Scriptures
Mission Advancement Coordinator
Corey Oldenhuis joined Tri-Faith Initiative in August 2022. As Communications Manager, Corey helps curate its social media presence, website, email newsletters, and other public-facing materials. Most importantly, he aims to capture and amplify the unique perspectives found on the Tri-Faith Commons to spread awareness of Tri-Faith Initiative’s mission and resources.
Corey graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017 with a Bachelor of Journalism, and shortly thereafter relocated to Arizona to work as a general assignment reporter for publications serving Coconino and Yavapai counties. He then went on to work in Kirkland, Washington as a business and development reporter before moving back to Omaha, his hometown. Here, he made a career switch to B2B marketing, learning invaluable skills across various digital platforms.
When he isn’t working, Corey enjoys spending time with his significant other, Hannah — particularly, in the form of board games, movie nights, and nature walks. He’s also an avid reader, devouring (or, at least, amassing) books on topics such as world history, religion, mysticism, anthropology, politics, and psychology. In especially creative moods, he’ll play music, write poetry, or brainstorm story ideas with Hannah.
Corey is proud to contribute to the Tri-Faith team, as he believes building empathy and actively including those on society’s margins are essential to a more peaceful future.
Kalil Johnson joined the Tri-Faith team as the Administrative Coordinator in December 2022. In this role she has become the first point of contact within the organization, helping to facilitate communication (both externally and internally) while making sure everything has been taken care of on the administrative side. She’ll also be working closely with the Board of Directors.
Kalil received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska Omaha. During her time in university, she worked in a variety of roles ranging from banking to reception work. In her last position as the Administrative Assistant at The Durham Museum, Kalil acted as the Executive Assistant and Office Manager. She oversaw the Board of Directors, making sure all meetings and agendas were set in a prompt and timely manner. She also interacted with various community leaders, and she aided in the steady development of the museum.
When Kalil is away from the office, she likes to travel. She has been to 10+ countries, and counting. When she is not traveling, she enjoys spending time with family, reading mystery novels, and cheering for her beloved St. Louis Cardinals.
When Lucas Schulte first heard about Tri-Faith through an NPR story roughly a decade ago while in graduate school in California, he had hoped to become involved. He finally joined the Tri-Faith Initiative in January 2023 as Program Associate. His role will help develop curricula, facilitate programs, and uphold and expand diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
Born and raised on a small family farm near Pleasanton, Nebraska, Luke first became interested in interfaith relations while learning about a Second Vatican Council document on non-Christian religions as part of his Catholic youth group in high school. As an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he petitioned for an Individualized Program of Study major in Comparative Religious Studies for his Bachelor of Arts. He then completed a Master of Arts in Religion focusing on Bible at Yale University Divinity School and was awarded the Two Brothers Fellowship for Biblical Studies. Moving from Connecticut to California, Luke then earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Religion at Claremont Graduate University, with particular focus on the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and the ancient Near East. While at Claremont, Luke helped co-found and co-chaired the Religions in Conversation Conference, an annual interfaith conference that ran from 2007 to 2016. During graduate school, he helped edit books and volumes on the Dead Sea Scrolls and also a textbook on Zoroastrianism. He also worked summers as part of international teams of scholars on archaeological excavations in Israel at Ramat Raḥel (near Jerusalem) in 2008 and 2009 and Tell Akko (near Acre) in 2010.
For ten years, Luke taught undergraduate and graduate students as an adjunct professor of religion at a wide range of colleges, universities, and seminaries, such as Pomona College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Eden Theological Seminary (to name a few).
In 2016, he published as a book through Peeters Publishers a revised and expanded version of his doctoral dissertation on interfaith elements in the biblical book of Nehemiah within the historical, sociological, and religious contexts of the first Persian Empire. More recently Luke has contributed the chapter “Isaiah in the Persian Period” in the forthcoming book The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah by Cambridge University Press. After years of part-time contractual teaching assignments as well as full-time positions in the insurance industry, Luke was thrilled to join full-time the kind of inter-faith work for which he had been preparing for the past 20 years.
When not working, Luke enjoys reading fiction (particularly from NPR’s book concierge), riding his bike, cooking until the smoke alarm goes off, helping out on his parents’ farm, playing games and watching Star Trek with his 2 kids, and also traveling and watching K-dramas with his significant other, Ligyeom.
Grant Writer & Project Specialist
Maddie Cunningham joined the Tri-Faith team as the Grant Writer and Project Specialist in January 2023. In this role, she will be helping secure necessary funds for the organization and will be supporting other staff members in the planning of special events.
Maddie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska Omaha. While at UNO, she also earned a Minor in Public Policy & Leadership and a Certificate in Gerontology. Throughout her undergraduate career, Maddie developed a strong connection to her community and wanted to channel this energy into making a difference within the nonprofit sector.
Involvement in the nonprofit sector is not a new thing for Maddie, as she has been active with the Alzheimer’s Association since the age of 5 years old. Her great-grandma Carrie showed significant signs of dementia before passing away in 2006. Maddie understood that joining the fight against this horrifying disease was the only necessary next step. Over the last 19 years, Maddie has been a remarkable proponent for individuals and their loved ones living through Alzheimer’s disease by raising nearly $40,000 for research purposes and advocating for policy advancements at the state and federal levels amidst various other degrees of involvement over the years.
Maddie was initially intrigued by the role at Tri-Faith because of the mission of the organization and how it relates to her life. She focuses on meeting people where they are and intentionally interacting with others from a place of understanding, rather than a place of difference. She believes there is space for us all within our respective communities and she is eager to expand upon these beliefs while at Tri-Faith.
In her free time, Maddie enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing volleyball around the Omaha-Metro, listening to true crime podcasts, reading various love story novels, and volunteering within her community.
Maddie is thrilled to be part of the Tri-Faith team as there is so much knowledge to learn and because of the great momentum behind the mission of the organization.
In addition to our staff, the success of Tri-Faith Initiative depends on the extraordinary commitment and efforts of a number of committed volunteers, clergy, lay leaders and the administrative staff of the three faith groups.
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