About the  Lincoln Today People

Sriyani Tidball, editor and publisher, balances the production of Lincoln Today with various other projects for Tidball Productions. The UNL graduate holds a degree in architecture and a master’s degree in journalism. She completed 10 years on the UNL faculty teaching advertising, PR and human rights. Now she works part-time in the UNL human rights program. This energetic mother of four and grandmother of five splits her time between the U.S. and her native Sri Lanka, where she and her family have devoted themselves to projects that assist the poor and combat human trafficking worldwide. She recently published her book The Breadwinner, stories of slavery of Sri Lankan housemaids. While working as a researcher on social justice and human rights issues, she thoroughly enjoys her work with the Lincoln Today magazine.

Art director and assistant editor Rayna Collins has been a part of the Lincoln Today team since its first issue 31 years ago. After eight years in corporate graphic design in New York City, she runs her own diverse graphic design business in Lincoln, serving both local and international clients. She devotes herself to her children, cats, dogs and the pursuit of art and happiness. You can see her work at raynacollinsdesign.com, at etsy.com/shop/lonelycards, the LUX Center for the Arts, and the Metro Gallery.

Tom Tidball, Lincoln Today’s chief photographer, has shot wonderful photographs for numerous international, national and local publications, including five coffee table books of his own photo studies, including his tribute to Nebraska football fans with his book, A Day in the Life: The Fans of Memorial Stadium. Tom’s Pow Wow Plains photography exhibition was the main exhibit at the Great Plains Gallery from August to December 2002 and has toured the state for many years. He displayed over 160 art prints and Native narrative in the exhibit, which brought rave reviews and shared Nebraska’s Native heritage with thousands. His coffee table book, People Sri Lanka, published in 2009, showcases his compelling images of a cross-cultural nation. Tom also applies his exciting photographic perspective to video production, teaching and online work with his regular blog at tomtidball.blogspot.com and his social media sites.

Editorial assistant Neva Winkle is a graduate of the UNL College of Law, and works for the Nebraska State Ombudsman’s office. 

Editorial Assistant and writer Michelle O’Dea, is a former Lincolnite that still loves the Capital city. She is skilled in marketing, nonprofit management, event planning, and public speaking. Michelle has been on the Lincoln Today team for over 20 years, working in editorial and management functions. 

Patty Beutler worked for many years at the Lincoln Journal Star as a reporter and a features editor. She now freelances and takes pleasure in planting a clover lawn, playing mahjongg and sightseeing on Nebraska backroads.

Matthew Boring is the Associate Director of Marketing and Patron Development at UNL’s Lied Center for Performing Arts. Matthew is a well-known local performer and enjoys playing and writing
about music. 

Donna Joy Brakenhoff loves living in Lincoln, enjoying all of it’s sights and sounds. Walking
paths, writing stories and reading are some of her favorite things. 

David Bristow is the editor of Nebraska History Magazine and author of Nebraska History Moments. Read more at history.nebraska.gov

Amy Dickerson, Managing Director at Lancaster Event Center, was raised on an acreage outside of York and graduated from UNL with a BS in management and marketing and an MBA from UC. As an experienced event manager, she executes events for groups from 12 to 36,000 people and makes a difference in her community operating under Midwestern values of hard work, integrity, and teamwork.

Lauren Silverman Durban is the Communications Manager at the Lied Center for Performing Arts—and a theater-obsessed former TV news anchor raising three tiny people and writing to stay sane.

Kate A. Engel is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications at the Nebraska Innovation Campus. A skilled storyteller, public speaker, event planner, community builder, and collaborator is a communications professional with strong customer service skills. 

Mary Friesen is a long time Lincoln resident and the owner and publisher of Family Values Magazine. She devotes the rest of her time to her three amazing children and handsome husband.

Ken Hambleton retired after 44 years at the Lincoln Journal Star where he worked as a golf writer, Husker beat writer, columnist, and a prep writer. He currently drives the train at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, does freelance writing and loves playing golf.

Lincoln native Erik Brodin Higgins was recently hired as second-bass by the Aarhus Sinfonior Kester, a 67 member orchestra in Aarhus Denmark. He commutes between Lincoln and Denmark, developing his vision for Crossroads Music Festival in Lincoln that has been a huge success.

Kaylie Hogan-Schnittker is the Director of Talent Strategy at the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. She is on the advisory board of StarTran where she reviews matters relating to the operation of the bus system for Lincoln.

Jeff Korbelik became the winery manager at James Arthur Vineyards in March 2018 after enjoying a 33-year career as a newspaper editor and reporter, including 22 years at the Lincoln Journal Star. He’s also the author of Lost Restaurants in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Erin Lenz is the Director of Communications at Lincoln Children’s Zoo. Prior to her work at the
Zoo, she was the Public Information Officer for the Nebraska Tourism Commission. 

Aja Martin is a UNL Law School graduate and the former manager of Indigo Bridge Book Store. She hopes to pursue a career in immigration law.

Kayla Meyer works at the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development as the coordinator for the Young Professionals Group. Kayla demonstrates an unparalleled level of passion for the Lincoln community and the young professionals who work here.

Dave Mlnarik is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Sports Council, and has worked for the Council for the past 30 years. Dave is an important component in all NSC operations and remains dedicated to on-going success of the Cornhusker State Games.

Molly Nance works for the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. She is also a communications consultant and life coach who is putting those skills to work in planning her daughter’s wedding. Among her many accomplishments, in 2018 Molly was the first woman marathon swimmer to complete the 21.2 mile swim across the St. Lucia’s Channel.

Julie Nichols is a freelance writer, editor and social activist who lives in Lincoln with her very musical son. 

Cynthia Peterson recently retired from her day job as an IT project manager and is trying to figure out what comes next. She is a freelance writer and hopes to do more of that in the future. Cynthia is passionate about politics and women’s issues, and advocates and raises funds for a local women’s shelter. Genealogical research into her ancestry has yielded some surprises, leaving her eager to find out more. She loves jazz, margaritas, good conversation, her friends…and art.

Logan Spackman has served as the City Manager for BikeLNK since January 2022. In addition to his work at BikeLNK, he is a certified League Cycling Instructor through the League of American Bicyclists.

Meghan Stratman is the graphic designer and communications specialist at the Ross Media Arts Center. A Lincoln resident and graduate of UNL, Meghan has a BFA in studio art, with an emphasis in graphic design, and a minor in film studies.

Tyler A. Thomas is a social media and integrated digital content strategist, author, keynote, entrepreneur, and consultant. Adjunct professor at Harvard University and the UNL, Tyler and his wife Mandy cofounded nebraskafoodie.com. He is the author of Nebraska Beer Great Plains History by the Pint and founder/managing editor of Nebraska Foodie (@NebraskaFoodie) on Instagram. He loves to visit Lincoln’s restaurants and blog about it. 

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