Terry Hejny Photo

Terry Hejny, Director of the Nebraska LEAD Program since September 2007, has a multitude of responsibilities that include Chief Operating Officer and President of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council.

An alumnus of LEAD XX, Terry has been a supporter of Nebraska agriculture and the educational opportunities that LEAD provides. A native Nebraskan, Terry grew up near Milford on his family's farm. Terry earned a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College. In December 2010, Terry was awarded a Ph.D. in Human Sciences/Leadership Studies.

Terry worked seventeen years as an Agricultural Education Instructor/FFA Advisor for the Geneva Public Schools. In 1998, he began his career with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an Extension Educator in Fillmore County specializing in grain marketing and risk management. In 2005, he went to work for the Extension office in Cass County.

Terry and his wife Pam have two daughters and are the proud grandparents of three boys. Terry can be reached at 402-472-6810 or via email at thejny1@unl.edu


 Gerdes Photo

 Shana Gerdes has been a member of the Nebraska LEAD Program office since 2008. She started out working half-time as the administrative assistant and was subsequently promoted to the position of administrative associate.  In this position, she manages the office, coordinates the seminars held throughout the year, publishes the annual report, and assists in the work to secure program funding.

Shana grew up on a farm near Kilkenny, Minnesota. She has a B.A. in social work from Dana College and previously used her degree in hospital, mental health, and school settings. Prior to leaving the workforce in 2000 to be an at-home mom, Shana worked at NC+ Hybrids in the sales department.

With her husband, Mike, Shana has two children.  Their daughter recently earned her degree in chemical engineering from UNL and is now working for Hexagon Agility in Lincoln.  Their son is a student at UNL studying math and secondary education and is a rank leader playing alto sax in The Cornhusker Marching Band.  Attendance at home Husker games is a must! As hobbies, Shana enjoys cycling, walking the family schnauzer Lucy, reading, music, and planting things.

Shana can be reached at 402-472-6810 or via email at sgerdes2@unl.edu

Irene Malzer

Irene Malzer 

Irene started at the Nebraska LEAD Program in September of 2021.  She has been at UNL almost 10 years working at the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Irene was born and raised in Upstate New York and moved to Nebraska after marrying her husband, Chuck.  They have 2 children both graduates of UNL.  Phillip is a projection supervisor at the Ross Theatre on campus and recently completed his masters degree.  Jordan is in her third year at the College of Law here on East Campus.

Irene is an avid Boston Red Sox fan, so Fenway Park is one of her favorite travel destinations.  She also likes to listen to various podcasts while walking her little dog, Toby around the neighborhood. 

Irene can be reached at 402-472-6810 or via email at imalzer2@unl.edu