What We Do
Growing Community Connections is a community collaborative. SHIP is the backbone agency and grant coordinator for the project. The collaborative formed out of the ashes of South Sioux City School’s Safe Schools Grant. Originally called “Cardinal Connections”, GCC changed its name to be reflective of the entire county, and be more inclusive of the 3 other School Districts. The collaborative through SHIP is funded by a Child Well Being Grant from Nebraska Children & Families Foundation, which helps build a community collaborative over 5 years and $340,000.
Project partners include Boys and Girls Home, NENCAP (Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership), Boys Town, South Sioux City Schools, Crittenton Center, Prairie Psychological Services, Jackson Recovery Centers, A Better Way Therapy, The Lodge Counseling Services, UNL Extension in Dakota County, ESU Service Unit #1, Dakota County Sheriff’s Department, Homer Community School District, Department of Health and Human Services, City of South Sioux City, South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, Cubby Care Campus Preschool, the Siouxland Family Center and many more.
Matt Ohman is the Executive Director for Siouxland Human Investment Partnership. He is responsible for the management, guidance and direction for all programs and services provided by and authorized by SHIP.
Graduating from East High School, Matt is a lifelong Sioux City resident. He graduated from Morningside College in 2000 with a degree in mass communication and business. He worked as an account executive at Cable One Advertising for six years prior to coming to SHIP in 2006. His role at SHIP from 2006 – 2012 was as a contract coordinator and Early Childhood Iowa Director.
Matt has been coordinating the Social-Emotional grant from Nebraska Children & Families Foundation for Dakota County Connections since early 2012. As the SHIP representative, he helps to facilitate all DCC meetings and coordinates all of the work being done by SHIP on behalf of DCC.
Matt’s personal connection to Dakota County is that his mother, Jean Ohman, was a teacher and librarian in the South Sioux City School District for nearly twenty years before she retired in 1993.
JoAnn Gieselman – Growing Community Connections Director
JoAnn has the joy of serving as the” Growing Community Connections” collaboration director. As director she gets to serve with, support, and connect many agencies, business, schools, city officials, churches, individuals and more in our tri-state area in fun and unique ways. The GCC collaboration’s Common Agenda is to improve the quality of life for the children, youth, and families that we all serve and live with. The GCC collaboration knows that by combining our expertise and resources we can provide the best supports possible.
JoAnn graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. Throughout her career JoAnn has taken additional graduate courses in Behavioral Disabilities and Social work from both the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa.
JoAnn has been an active part of Growing Community Connections since its conception and truly enjoys the wonderful opportunity she has to work with the many industrious and inspirational individuals and agencies in our area.
Below is a list of all the fantastic partners in Growing Community Connections who have signed the “Common Agenda Statement” which is to : “Improve the quality of life and social=emotional well-being of children, youth, and families in our communities”. Signing this does not obligate anyone but rather shows our wonderful collaborative spirit to work together to better support the children, youth and families in our communities. All GCC partners are encouraged to sign and add their name to the list at any time.
Becky Keen - Wayne State College
Abby Kempema - Beyond the Bell
Angela Korth - Neb. VR
Tyrion Lannister -
Tammy Lee - American Red Cross
Mariel Limon - NENCAP
Karen Mackey - Sioux City Human Rights Commission
Karen Mackey - Siouxland Pride Alliance
Lucus Mann - Neb. VR
Amber Martin -
Becky Mathis - South Sioux City Hosting Agency
Brooke McBride - S.T.A.R.S.
Kevin McCormick - Sioux City Police Dept.
Steve McGrory - BOOST
Michele Melo -
Shawna Messerlie - Wayne State College
Angela Messina Lundeen - NENCAP
Kara Michaelson - Nebraska VR
Rev. Jose Miranda - St. Paul United Methodist Church
Elexa Mollet - Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
Gina Moyer - Sanford Center
Jessica Nutz - Survivor Outreach Services
Andrea Paret - Mary J. Treglia Community House
Michelle Parker - Ho-Chunk Comm. Development Corp.
Tavis Perry - BOOST
Karen Ramos - NENCAP
Heidi Reinking - Siouxland Chamber of Commerce
Lillyan Rodriguez - Delta Hotels by Marriott
Rogelio Rodriguez -
Mecca Ross - UFCW Local 222
Brenda Sale - Neb. Extension in Dakota County
Stacy Schenk - Nebraska DHHS
Kelsey Schomaker - SHIP
Steve Shadle -
Alyssa Silver - Lutheran Services of Iowa
Jonette Spurlock - Center for Siouxland
Mawerdi Sufyan -
Kristy Tremayne - New Stage Players
Jennie Umland -
Susan Vondrak - Opportunities Unlimited
Mohamed Warsame - Sugal Consulting
Mohamed Warsame - East African Comm. of Neb.
Melinda Wells - South Sioux City HS
Jesse Williams - District 6 Probation
Valerie Williams - Center for Siouxland
Kim Wilson - Jackson Recovery Centers
Donna Wolff - Northeast NE Suicide Prevention Coalition
Donna Wolff - Ponca Tribe of Neb.
Veronica Yebra - Nebraska DHHS
Christa Yoakum - Nebraska Appleseed
Karina - Immigrant Legal Center
Jason Allen - GiGi’s Playhouse
Michelle Andersen - CAASA
Melinda Arguello - Mercy Housing
Sara Arguello - Haven House
Mallory Berkenpas - Lutheran Services of Iowa
Terrie Binneboese - United Way
David Bittenger - Norm Waitt Sr YMCA
Kristine Bornholtz - Women Aware
Julie Boyle - Neb. Extension in Dakota County
Rev. Sandra Braasch - Salem Lutheran Church
Kevin Brown - Sioux City Vet Center
Jacquelyn Brummond - Dakota County Star
Jami Canham - Neb. Department of Labor
Mike Carlson - District 6 Probation
Rachael Cohen -
Roxana Cortes Peyer - Immigrant Legal Center
Linda Cravens - NENCAP
Nicole Cusick - WellCare of Nebraska
Lacey Davis - Owens Educational Services
Rita DeJong - BOOST
Jacqueline DeLeon - BOOST
Sara DeLuna Institute for Community Alliances
Julie Elbert - Catholic Charities
Terry Embke - Morningside Bible Church
Abbie Engel - ESU #1
Abbie Engel - Parents Interacting With Infants
Kevin Engel-Cartie - Volunteer Siouxland
Susan Erickson -
Stephen Fasnacht - Camp High Hopes
Jim France -
Bill Garvey. SR. - South Sioux City Athletic Boosters
Bill Garvey. Sr. - South Sioux City Community Foundation
Bill Garvey. Sr. - Voices for Food
Bill Garvey. Sr. - Cardinal Christmas Baskets
Janet Gill - Dakota County Commissioners
Maria Gomez - CAASA
Anne Grohs - Cottonwood Conference Center
Olga Guevara - Unity in Action
James Gunsolley - ESU #1
Brett Hall -
Kerri Hall - SHIP
Jan Hawk - NENCAP
Heather Hennings - United Way
Molly Hewitt - ISU Ext. & Outreach
Trista Hodgson - Bethany Christian Services
Jacob Huju - Immigrant Legal Center
Jennifer Jackson - Heartland Counseling Services
Christie Johnson - Siouxland Comm. Health Center
Linda Kalin - Iowa Poison Control Center
Miranda Karn -