Get to Know Our Emcee
Mar. 23, 2016 / By: Melanie Phelan
We are thrilled to have Chris Hruska, born and raised Omaha local, as our Big Omaha 2016 emcee. We caught up with him to ask a few questions on his role in this year’s Big Omaha.
So Chris, what do you do for your day job?
Just over three years ago a friend invited me to lunch and said, “What if we quit our jobs, raised money, recruited some people, and planted a church?” I didn’t grow up going to church but in that conversation, I started to catch a vision for planting a new church that would be located in the heart of the city and work for the good of the city, not just gathering a crowd on Sunday’s but creating a community that felt more like a family that loved each other.
So I quit my job, gave up my salary, walked away from the security of benefits, and told my pregnant wife I was teaming up with my best friend to plant a church. It was a crazy idea. We didn’t have any money, and I had never even worked at a church, but we took the plunge. Over the past 3 three years our church planting idea has grown to 1,500 people, and we have seen incredible things happen in our city. So, to answer your question, I am a church planter and pastor at Citylight church.
Why are you so passionate about Big Omaha?
A few years ago Jeff Slobotski invited me to the conference. Jeff is a friend who I could tell was passionate about the community that Big Omaha fostered, and I wanted to be apart of it. The real inspiration for me comes from the culture of this event and the people who, regardless of where they work, are all in and are grinding to make their vision a reality. It’s inspiring to see real people take risks and try and build things that matter.
I couldn’t be more excited about what I’m witnessing in Omaha right now! RaceNote is on fire. Flywheel is blowing up. Travefy is growing, now with offices in Omaha and Lincoln, and I love their leadership. You can feel the momentum building, and it is easy to want to be apart of it.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?
Being in the same room with people, rooting for each other, who are excited to learn and are trying to grow as leaders! Every year there is an idea that gets “dropped” and brings perspective as it helps re-focus what you’re doing. I am anticipating meeting great people and having a few of those “ah-ha moments”.
I care about Omaha. I want to see our community flourish, and for that to happen, we need to foster leaders and get behind what is happening with entrepreneurs.
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