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.
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
Curriculum & Volunteer Specialist
Ally ZimmerMas joined Tri-Faith Initiative in April 2021. As Curriculum & Volunteer Specialist, Ally contributes to the success of education and programs in wide-ranging and important ways. This includes collaborating with other staff members on program and curriculum development, leading the ongoing evolution of Tri-Faith Initiative’s tours, and facilitating new and existing volunteer efforts.
Ally graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Psychology and a minor in Catholic Social Tradition, followed by a Master of Arts in Theology in 2020. She has spent the last eight years diving deeper into her own Catholic faith, while at the same time her curiosity about the experiences of those different from herself has grown through personal encounters and service.
When she isn’t working, Ally enjoys spending time with her husband more than anything, whether they’re going for a walk, experimenting with vegan recipes, or spoiling their two dogs with love and attention. They like to travel together, too; some of their favorite memories as a couple have involved visiting scenic parts of the western U.S. and Canadian Rockies as well as a few cities and towns around Germany. Ally also has a heart for social justice and a growing interest in sustainable living.
Having grown up in Omaha, Ally was in high school when she first heard about Tri-Faith Initiative’s groundbreaking work. Now she is proud and honored to contribute to the Tri-Faith team, as she believes building empathy and actively including those on society’s margins are essential to a more peaceful future. In her work, she looks forward to continuing to grow through learning about and celebrating diverse faith experiences.
Ellie Goergen has returned to Tri-Faith Initiative to further advance our mission after previously serving as an intern through the John and Mary Lea Marshall Scholarship in 2018.
Ellie received her BA in International Studies with a Minor in Religion from the University of Nebraska in 2019. During her studies, she made the Dean’s List, joined the honors societies Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Theta Kappa, and traveled abroad to study at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Japan. While overseas, Ellie participated in traditional Japanese religious festivals and ceremonies by visiting historical shrines in the area and Himeji Castle, a world heritage site.
When she isn’t working, Ellie likes to take care of her succulents and garden plants, play video games, and drink coffee. She also enjoys traveling with her husband or good company, whether that be around Omaha or around the world. Ellie looks forward to growing and assisting Tri-Faith while acquiring more knowledge of the vast and varied world to better apply experiences and further the inclusion of all.
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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