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October 2020 Alumni Spotlight

Jason L. Hansen

BIO: Jason has served as President of American National Bank since 2019 and is also a member of American National Bank’s Board of Directors.  With $4.5 billion in assets and greater than 535 employees, American National Bank operates 37 offices across NE, IA, and MN.

Jason’s banking career began in 2000 and has primarily developed within American National Bank.  He started as a Teller while he was attending UNO, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in 2003 with Cum Laude distinction in Business Administration, Finance and Banking.  He completed coursework in 2014 from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado – Boulder.

Jason is an active community leader and advocate in many roles. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) as Vice Chairman. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Board for the Urban League of Nebraska, Finance Chair for the Goodrich Scholarship Program and as a mentor for Sacred Heart Elementary School.  He is a past recipient of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Service from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Jason and his wife, Kayla, have two young boys, Knox (4) and Axl (1).

How did your education here at Bergan prepare you for your career? What values, lessons did you learn while at Bergan that you use still today?

The most valuable experience I acquired from my time at Bergan was the significance of building meaningful, transparent, and lasting relationships.  I am incredibly privileged and fortunate that I have remained close to several of the friendships that I first formed while at Bergan.  That is certainly something I have long cherished.  The educational environment at Bergan provided for – and encouraged – engagement in building impactful relationships amongst classmates, teachers, and coaches. 

Because of the value of relationship building that I developed while at Bergan, I have integrated that into my professional career, whether it be with my peers, my team members, or my clients.  In an increasingly commoditized corporate marketplace, it is often the strength of the relationship shared amongst individuals that becomes the primary differentiator.

Do you remember anyone specific (coach or teacher) that helped shape the person you are today?

The teacher that had the most profound impact was Joe Wojtkiewicz.  He was such an enthusiastic educator, who understood the importance of maintaining genuine engagement with his students.  He also encouraged dialogue and competing viewpoints while never sacrificing his empathetic demeanor.  I always found his passion for service and volunteerism extremely honorable.

Larry Martin’s influence in how I developed as a competitor, worker, and teammate were all essential traits that were advantageous for my personal and professional progression.  After I graduated from Bergan, I spent some time with Larry assisting in coaching his football program at Omaha North; that experience provided me an invaluable opportunity to familiarize myself with the North Omaha community and see firsthand the need for greater commitment from both public and private entities to support our underserved and minority communities.  Both my wife, Kayla, and I remain incredibly passionate about community advocacy, volunteerism, and philanthropy – Joe’s approach to teaching the importance of service and Larry providing me exposure to North Omaha were unquestionably essential in developing that passion.