Restoring Dignity Board

Mary Blaney, President and Treasurer

Mary Blaney serves as Controller of Burlington Capital and oversees the day-to-day activities of the Finance department.  She is also responsible for internal controls over financial reporting.  In addition to her financial duties, Mary is also a member of the Investment Committee for Burlington’s Ag-Venture Fund.  Prior to joining Burlington Capital in 2017, she was an auditor with a national accounting firm, focused on financial service clients.  Mary graduated from University of Nebraska at Omaha with a BSBA with a concentration in Accounting and a BA with a concentration in Spanish and has an active CPA license in Nebraska.  Mary’s free time is spent with her active family enjoying the outdoors and playing sports.

Pamela Finn, Vice President

Pamela Finn serves as President of Business Development for Burlington Capital. Her focus is working on current business holdings of and for Burlington Capital, in addition to investor relations for FundVI. Ms. Finn works to create business strategies to facilitate company growth and develop strategic relationships with our business partners and potential customers. She is a successful entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience as a business owner of a design and manufacturing company, and has extensive experience overseeing financial, leadership and operational aspects of companies and organizations. Ms. Finn has been active in the investment management of a global portfolio of real estate and also served as a consultant, leveraging business knowledge to assist not-for-profit organizations, small businesses and international sourcing clients succeed.

Leah Sawyer Baker, Secretary

Leah Sawyer Baker has worked with refugees in various capacities for eleven years. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work from Boise State in Boise, Idaho, and has worked with refugees in Idaho, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Leah was the Refugee Resettlement Program Manager at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota from 2014 – 2018 and oversaw the Reception and Placement Program for all refugee arrivals in both the Minneapolis and Saint Cloud offices welcoming an average of 700 refugees in the state each year. Leah completed an internship with the State Department, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in Washington, D.C. working in refugee admissions and spent five months living outside of Karenni Camp One along the Thailand and Burma border. Leah is currently the school social worker at Bancroft Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. Outside of work, Leah is a fan of women’s soccer, going for walks, taking Zumba classes, and learning new plant based recipes to prepare on the weekends!

Claire Herzog, Voting Member

Claire Herzog has been working with refugees in various capacities for almost 20 years, including resettlement, early childhood, and mental health.  She graduated from UNO with a Master in Social Work and Public Administration.  She is currently the refugee specialist social worker with Omaha Public Schools.  Claire has been involved with Restoring Dignity since shortly after its inception and has thoroughly enjoyed being part of its growth and progress.

Abdi Hussein, Voting Member

Abdi Hussein serves as a program manager at the International Council for Refugees and Immigrants (ICRI). Mr. Hussein has years of experience working with refugees and immigrant populations, as he worked with both national and international organizations in Kenya in different capacities. Abdi has also worked for Omaha Public Schools, the largest school district in Nebraska, as a community liaison serving over 8,500 EL students. Abdi received OPS Outstanding Educator Award in 2018 and Outstanding Community Leader Award in 2021.  He completed two associate degrees in community health and nutrition and dietetics in 2012 and 2013, respectively. He has also completed a Bachelor of Art degree with a concentration in natural sciences/mathematics in 2021. He is currently pursuing another bachelor’s degree in arts and Sciences at UNO leading him to become a physician assistant. Abdi is also pursuing an MPH in Epidemiology at UNMC.


Cory Nelson, Voting Member

Cory Nelson serves as the Director of Impact Ministries at Relevant Community Church. He has been working with Karen refugees since 2009 both locally in Omaha and overseas along the
Thai/Burma border. He has been involved with Restoring Dignity since shortly after its inception and served in various capacities over the years. Cory’s free time is spent with his family
traveling and staying active outdoors.

Refugee Community Advisory Committee

We are in the process of gathering members for our Refugee Community Advisory Committee. Check back soon for updates!