If Omaha has a “Bright Eyes,” an individual whose eyes literally twinkled with laughter, care and curiosity, it was Kali Baker. Born in Wakefield, NE, Kali attended UNL before starting a marketing career in Omaha that led to strong, new leadership in Omaha’s philanthropic community, culminating in her role as VP of Community Investment at the Omaha Community Foundation. Among countless of other initiatives, large and small, she launched the annual Omaha Gives! campaign and The Landscape, a comprehensive interactive guide to policy, data and community outcomes that stands as a fact-based, stirring reminder it’s not about what we want to support, it’s about what the community needs.
“Kali used her power to advocate for people and organizations that may otherwise have not gotten attention. When traditional grant programs weren’t able to fund something because it didn’t quite fit parameters, she would often start working on other ways to meet those needs. She didn’t just give up and move on. She was open and accessible to everyone.” (Julie DeWitt, DeWitt Marketing and Consulting)
“Anyone that knows her, knows the incredible “HA!” that she would have, the burst from the soul that was her laughter and her joy, it was magic and contagious, even if it was made at your expense.” (Matt Darling, Omaha Community Foundation)
“Kali’s curiosity meant she went deep, always hungry to learn and be more. With her, you always felt seen, you always felt heard, supported, encouraged and loved.” (DeWitt)