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Corporate Board

Executive Council

Corporate Board

Corporate Board is the governing body of NLS. They meet every other month.

Allison Sperry

Corporate Board President

Hey, Scary Sperry here!  My formal name is Allison Sperry, but most people of NLS call me Alli or Sperry.  I'm currently living in Omaha, NE, and I am a Histology Technical Coordinator at Methodist Hospital.  I did my undergrad at Doane College where I played softball.  I was part of the first team to ever make a regionals.  I did my Masters of Healthcare Administration at Bellevue University. 

I became involved with NLS in 2006 as a Senior Counselor.  I had just graduated college and not yet hired at my first job.  I was asked to be a counselor and told it would look impressive on my job applications.  I arrived at staff training the night before seminar started and seriously thought I lost my mind.  Needless to say, I fell in love and haven't missed a seminar since I first staffed.

I stay involved in NLS because I love being given a dose of hope for the future.  I love watching young minds explore their potential and feel empowered.  I also find myself learning something new with each activity, speaker, and reflection.  I am thankful NLS uses the Strengths Finder, because I have used my strengths as talking points in cover letters and interviews.  It also helps me find ways to keep motivated professionally. 


I hope everyone sees NLS as the blessing that I do.  I'm very thankful to Buck who brought me in all those years ago.

Contact Allison at or

Tracy Manning

Executive Director| Seminar Chair

Hello, my dears and my lovelies!

I’m Tracy (Sudbeck) Manning. I graduated from Hartington Cedar Catholic in 2005. I teach freshmen Physical Science and sophomore Biology at Benson High School in Omaha, NE. Go Bunnies!

I got involved with NLS by attending a one-day SLATE workshop in November of 2002 (Service, Leading, and Teamwork Education). This made me honorary alumni, and some friends drug me along to an NLS reunion that spring. From then on, I was hooked! NLS gave me a place where I could truly be myself. I was the Norfolk Club president, and I held various exec council positions such as special events coordinator, fundraising chair, and for a short while I was president, until I succumbed to the pressures of attending college out of state. I currently am a member of our corporate board, and have served as the Curriculum Chair for seminar!

I believe NLS is different from other leadership organizations for several reasons. One is our continuing education and professional development opportunities. Our quarterly reunions offer ways to try our hand at many different types of community service projects. We also integrate leadership, teambuilding, and networking activities at reunions. Another reason NLS is different is our emphasis on finding one’s authentic self. This is done through the Gallup’s Strength Finder assessment. We find out what our “superpowers” are and work to maximize our potential. We also practice the “Theory of the Dipper and the Bucket;” we celebrate each person’s unique talents, skills, abilities, and individuality every step of the way through seminar and beyond. Lastly, we emphasize involvement in communities of purpose. Our alumni have created and/or grown organizations to new heights, largely due to what they had learned at seminar.

I can safely say that I would not be who I am today if I had not gotten involved in NLS. I am forever grateful that I had the chance to find my true self at just the right time in my life.

NLS is not just a workshop; NLS is an open door. 

AJ Benker

Corporate Board Member

Greetings NLS!

I’m Andrew Benker.  I joined NLS after seeing how energized the students were after returning from their summer seminar.  

I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and completed my bachelors in Astrophysics from UNL as well as a Masters in Science Education.  I have been teaching high school sciences for nine years.  My time outside the classroom is spent reading science fiction, playing board games with old friends, and learning new skills like sailing or scuba. 


I enjoy being involved in an organization dedicated to strengthening our students' grasp of their authentic selves.

Josh Garcia

Corporate Board Member

Hey NLS!


I’m Joshua Garcia and I attended seminar in Fremont in 2014. I graduated from Shelby-Rising City High School in 2016, received my Bachelor’s degree in Math 7-12 Education from UNK in 2020, and currently teach High School Math at Fullerton Public Schools in Fullerton, Nebraska. 


My first year staffing was in 2019 and I have been loving it since! I always knew I wanted to come back and get involved and finally in 2019 something told me this was the year to do it. My only regret was not getting involved sooner! After five years without NLS, I still hadn’t experienced a place that showed me more love and acceptance! 


I am passionate about NLS because of how welcoming and accepting they are to ALL! Being your Authentic Self is something I hold true to my soul and I LOVE giving people the opportunity to do just that. I love seeing people be HAPPY by just simply being themselves! As a staff member, we can provide guidance but the delegates put in the work to embrace their strengths and become some amazing leaders! NLS is my favorite place to be!

Katy Walker.jpg

Katy Walker

Corporate Board Member | Recruitment Director

Hello my fellow Nebraskan Leaders,


I’m Katy Walker, and I have been involved with NLS for almost a decade. I graduated from Maxwell Public Schools in 2015, and I currently am a dispatcher for the Nebraska State Patrol. I live in North Platte with my partner and our very naughty cats. I’m an amateur artist, and always like to keep myself busy. I am a huge advocate for Western Nebraska, and feel that I bring a unique point of view to the NLS team. From working in my local community, through both my job and my voluntary work, to working through NLS, I am extremely proud of my state and what our future generations have to offer.


I love NLS because it helped me find my voice and passion for helping in my community. It has always amazed me that NLS is consistently there to welcomes you back with open arms, from our reunions, to the opportunities to stay involved as a staffer and council members. The people I met through this organization have been some of my biggest supporters and I would have never come this far without them. The home that you can find in NLS is like no other, and I am so excited to meet every new generation!

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