No doubt about it, Ira Combs is a blessing to the community. After a long career working as a nurse at UNMC and other social and health organizations, Combs felt a strong calling to do more to positively impact his community.
Over the years, he could see the gaps in healthcare that were creating issues and leaving thousands of people un-served. Lower rates of health insurance. Poverty. Unemployment. Lack of transportation. Lack of awareness and information. Lack of access. He decided to do something about it and stepped out in faith to form the North Omaha Area Free Clinic (NOAH). His story is one of perseverance, faith, passion, hard work and commitment.
(Photo: Ira Combs and the NOAH Team)
“We want to make North Omaha the healthiest place in the state.”
Not one to seek personal attention, Combs just does the work. He is focused on making sure his community has what it needs, and if possible he wants to provide it at no charge. He has been quoted as saying, “We want to make North Omaha the healthiest place in the state.”
The work to make that happen is daunting, but he keeps plugging along with the assistance from his team and many others in the community working to improve conditions in North Omaha and for African-Americans and people of color.
He is also incredibly committed to reaching the youth. Combs has consistently created innovative and creative ways to get messages into the minds of children and teens. He has a “whatever it takes” mentality when it comes to making sure children understand healthy behaviors.
He is also incredibly committed to reaching the youth.
Whether it’s creating attention grabbing marketing materials, bus benches, radio spots, jingles or billboards, Combs and his team are dedicated to the cause. He’s even created superheroes and other characters to get the message across.
Knowing kids usually relate to people closer to their age and speak their language, Combs is dedicated to hiring younger staff members from the community.
Another key need that Combs identified over the years is the limited number of African-Americans and people of color in the health industry. Rather than complain, Combs did what he always does, he did something about it.
He launched Youth Expressions of Health (YEOH), one of the best youth training programs in the city. Every year, the program recruits youth and exposes them to career options available in the health field.
Shomari Huggins works with Combs to facilitate the highly impactful and successful initiative. A number of the graduates have entered the health field, attending and completing college in pursuit of their goals.
Through his efforts, Combs is lifting up the health of North Omaha. Though he does not seek attention, his work has brought him plenty of it. He was recognized by the White House under President Barack Obama’s administration.
Personally, Combs has lived through his own challenges, but always seems to have a positive and comforting spirit at all times. He has his own health obstacles and has cared for his loving wife, Victoria, who is confined to a wheelchair, for many years. Their love is as strong as ever as they continue to pursue this faith filled journey.
North Omaha is blessed to have Ira Combs and his team in place before, during and after this pandemic passes.
To connect with NOAH visit: noahclinic.org or call 402-933-0737
NOAH Clinic is a beacon of light in the community, by ministering to the hearts, body and minds of families and individuals in North Omaha. The clinic provides care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Their primary value is “the needs of the patient come first.”
- Drive Thru COVID-19 Testing
- Physical exams for men, women and children
- Family Planning
- Health Education
- Medical Referrals
- Mental Health Screening
Personal Health Screening for:
- Diabetes, High Blood Pressure
- Anonymous HIV and Hep-C testing and risk counseling
- Anonymous STD testing and treatment
- Daycare worker and camp physicals
Health Classes and Support Groups:
- Smoking Cessation
- Weight Loss
- Diabetes Support
- Hypertension Support
- Grief Support
- Sickle Cell Support Group
Watch NOAH’s weekly show, COVID Conversations on Facebook at: facebook.com/NoahFreeClinic. The live show is hosted by Pastor Portia Cavitt and features guest panelists who discuss topics related to COVID-19. Noahclinic.org 402-933-0737
Atlanta Congresswoman Nikema Williams visits North Omaha
Williams was elected to serve in the district formerly held by the late legendary Congressman, John Lewis
While in Omaha, Williams stopped by Pleasant Green Baptist Church led by Pastor Brian Page for morning services, attended a rally to support congressional candidate Tony Vargas and was the keynote speaker for a luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Democratic Party and Team Vargas on Sunday, October 30, 2022.
Williams emphasized the importance of voting and mobilizing others to vote.
“Tell your family, friends and everyone you know to get out and vote.”
Specific to Nebraska, Williams encouraged voters to support the $15 minimum wage, reject voter ID and vote for candidates that support health care, voting rights and economic advancement for all.
Her primary message was democracy is not a spectator sport. Everyone must use their voice.
“Your vote is your voice,” said Williams. “This is a vitally important time in our country. Nebraska is a crucial state. That is why I am here. You cannot sit this one out.”
Welcome Veta Jeffery, CEO of Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
Revive Magazine asked some leaders to share their thoughts about the Chambers new CEO and to provide an official welcome to Omaha for Mrs. Veta Jeffery, her husband, Tony and daughter, Toni. Jeffery officially started her new role in May of 2022.
Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools
We welcome Veta to this extraordinary community. The promise of Omaha is fundamental to the success of our students and we look forward to supporting her and the vision of the Omaha Chamber for all who call Omaha home.
President of Omaha City Council
Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen met Jeffery during her first chamber of commerce board of directors meeting and was very impressed.
“We discussed the huge opportunity that exists right now to address economic development in North and South Omaha. She has a lot of experience with diversity, inclusion and ARPA fund distribution and I am excited to work with her on those issues. Great things happen when business, government and philanthropy work together.”
CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands
“I am excited about Veta Jeffery’s leadership she will bring to the Omaha community. I am looking forward to her leveraging her local, statewide, and federal relationships and experience with internships and recruitment of diverse talent to continue the Omaha community on a path towards success.”
President of North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance
“Extending a heartfelt welcome to CEO/President Veta Jeffery and her family to Omaha. I am excited to see the ideas and programs Mrs. Jeffery’s will bring to the Omaha market and look forward to working with her to ensure there is an intentional focus on economic and business development in North Omaha.”
Dr. Viv Ewing
President & CEO Childrens Square
“Veta Jeffery is a brilliant business and community leader with deep experience in economic development. She will be a tremendous asset to the OMAHA community. I look forward to her leading a transformation for the city in economic development and engaging young professionals.”
Deputy Chief, Diversity and Inclusion, City of Omaha
“Veta Jeffery is exactly what Omaha needs right now; an accomplished, visionary, strategic woman to continue the unprecedented economic development growth of our region. I’m ecstatic that she is a DEI subject-matter-expert, and I look forward to helping her and the family to get acclimated to the City of Omaha!”
Special Projects and VEC Manager, Empowerment Network
“I would say that with the announcement of the new CEO it shows that Omaha is moving in the right direction. Circling back to the brain drain it shows that Omaha is being intentional about seeking out talent and diversity. I am excited about what is happening in my city.”
Thomas Warren, Sr.,
Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office
“The appointment of Veta Jeffery as President/CEO of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is historic and monumental. The OCC serves as a catalyst for business development and economic growth in the City of Omaha and the metropolitan area. Ms Jeffrey’s background and experience are aligned with the area’s priorities and needs, talent recruitment and retention, workforce development and increasing diversity through hiring and training initiatives.”
“The City of Omaha and OCC benefit from having the support of a very generous donor/philanthropic community. Ms Jeffery’s skills as a convener will enable her to facilitate public/private partnerships and continue the positive trajectory of our local economy.”
Douglas County Commissioner
“I grew up in the St. Louis metro area and her tenure there prepares her to step in and build a business climate that inclusively creates jobs and develop small and big businesses.”
“It’s refreshing to see that the chamber has hired a black woman to take its organization into the future, bringing her years of experience to Omaha from St. Louis. I look forward to meeting and working with her in the near future.”
Manager of Community Relations, Metropolitan Community College
This is a serious step towards creating a business community that will become even more intentional when it comes to diversify and inclusion…the Greater Omaha Chamber is key in leading the business community to help strengthen minority and small businesses for start up and escalation. We welcome the new CEO Veta Jeffery Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce to this place we call the “Good Life”! We look forward to having the conversations around the alignment Skill training and Associates Degrees that will support Businesses in the Greater Omaha area.
In my opinion strength of a progressive City is how it uses culture and diversity as a strength when it comes to creating vibrant places to live work and place, it becomes very important and I believe right thing to do…The future of the Greater Omaha area is full of Hope and Opportunities!
I was excited when I heard Veta Jeffery was selected to serve as the next President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. She is the first woman and first person of color to serve in this role.
It’s inspiring to see Black women getting opportunities to serve in leadership roles. I am sure she will do an amazing job taking the chamber to the next level.
Deputy Chief, Omaha Police Department
“I was excited when I heard Veta Jeffery was selected to serve as the next President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. She is the first woman and first person of color to serve in this role.”
“It’s inspiring to see Black women getting opportunities to serve in leadership roles. I am sure she will do an amazing job taking the chamber to the next level.”
CEO of North End Teleservices
Veta Jefferey from a leadership perspective is best characterized by strategic development, broad consensus building and convening public and private stakeholders to achieve business, economic and community outcomes. Her approach and achievements in city government, the financial sector and economic development transfer and align with the innovative, impactful and collaborator leader we sought to be the CEO and President of the Greater Omaha Chamber.
Notable of her many achievements Ms. Jeffrey was appointed by the Governor of Missouri to help bring back and rebuild Ferguson and the business community after the riots.
Ms. Jeffrey brought together public and private partnerships to work together on creating plans and bringing about outcomes. Her ability to do that in a divided community is impressive.
The committee consisted of diverse leaders and was chaired by Leslie Andersen, CEO of i3 Bank, and includes Carmen Tapio, CEO of North End Teleservices, LLC, Mindy Simon, CIO of ConAgra, Clark Lauritzen, Chairman and President of First National Bank of Omaha and Mogens Bay, retired CEO of Valmont. The selection committee was assisted by Korn Ferry, a worldwide leader in executive search.
We worked tirelessly, vetting all candidates and coming to a unanimous and enthusiastic conclusion that Veta Jeffery is the best choice and person to lead the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and to bring further transformational change.
Welcome to Omaha Veta Jeffery and family.
Stable Gray, award-winning business open at 24th & Lake
Stable Gray, award-winning, black-owned branding and tech firm, opens at 24th & Lake
Stable Gray was founded in 2015 by CharDale Barnes and Teddy Young to help small businesses build strong brands at affordable prices. The efforts of Stable Gray have evolved from providing a few simple media services, to pioneering some of the most innovative branding solutions in the industry.
“We want to create 8-10 six figure jobs right here in our community,” said Barnes at their grand opening held in July 2022.
The Stable Gray mission is: “to help businesses build the brand of their dreams. We strive to blur the lines between large companies with unlimited marketing budgets, and local small businesses. We help businesses of all sizes develop their brand into ones that look just like the companies we see on tv every day.”
The store front at 24th and Lake is their second location. They have a production studio located on the Better Together campus.
Revive Omaha would like to congratulate CharDale Barnes, Teddy Young and the entire Stable Gray team on their grand opening at 24th and Lake.
“Stable Gray does outstanding work with branding, marketing, social media and website development,” said Willie Barney, co-publisher of Revive Omaha Magazine. “They were recognized as small business of the year by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Teddy and CharDale are committed to supporting and investing in the North Omaha community.”
Learn more about Stable Gray