First & Last Name Deanna Walz
Company Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln
Title/Occupation Director of Development and Marketing
Phone 402-310-7884
Tell us about your family. I am a newly wed and proud mother of three almost adult children and two stepkids. We have one Boston Terrier and are adopting a new puppy in just a few weeks.
What would be the theme song of your life right now? “It’s About Damn Time” by Lizzo
What are you currently reading or listening to? I am currently reading the Slow Horse series by Mick Herron.
Name a recent movie you watched that blew you away? Bullet Train
What are you currently binge watching? Dead to Me
Best restaurant you’ve ever been to? Two answers: Muchachos for comfort food and Casa Bovina for upscale deliciousness
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Jambalaya
Favorite place you’ve traveled? New Orleans
What did you want to be when you grew up? An actress/performer
Where are you from? Where did you go to school? I am from Aurora, Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? I was in radio for over 20 years and have some great stories about different musicians but one of my favorite celebrity encounters was with Lindsay Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac when I was 20. I hung out and chatted with him for a half hour like we were friends. It was pretty cool and I got a great autograph.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done? I don’t know if it’s strange, but it’s pretty bold now that I look back on it. Right after college, I packed up my truck and moved from Illinois to Fargo, ND without knowing a soul for a radio job. I can’t believe I had that level of confidence back then to just take off and start a life all by myself.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? I do a mean version of Black Dog by Led Zeppelin for karaoke and I don’t get a chance to sing that much around the Habitat offices. Too bad/so sad for my co-workers to miss out on that.
If you could have a super power, what would it be? I would love to be able to clone myself to get more done throughout the day.
When you’re not working, how do you enjoy spending your time? I do quite a bit of acting with local theatre productions and also enjoy sitting on the couch with my knitting projects.
Who is someone who’s made a big impact on your life? Why? I’ve learned a lot from working with local acting/directing legend, Judy Hart. She’s taught me a lot about the importance of telling a good story, how to do it effectively, and how to really connect with an audience. Also, that bigger doesn’t always mean better.
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why? Oprah. I would love to be able to give people gifts and opportunities and do what I can to change their lives.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? I would love to have dinner with Jimmy Carter and talk about his passion for Habitat.
What do you/did you love the most about your job? I love that we are doing deep work to change communities. Homeownership not only helps the family who’s moving into their home, but their futures and the entire neighborhood.
What experiences and past roles have led you to where you are today? My 20-year career in radio helped me make a lot of connections which is important in fundraising and marketing. I’ve also gotten great experiences working with the Realtors Association of Lincoln, Scheels, Eleanor Creative and the Lincoln Journal Star. All have introduced me to some fantastic people who are dedicated to making the city of Lincoln a better place.
What career advice do you live by? Who gave it to you? Never turn down a chance to meet with someone. – Christine Weeks from Eleanor Creative. It’s great advice because you never know how a connection can develop further.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? Why? I would love to collaborate with Mike Smith from the Bay. Because he’s constantly doing such cool, innovative things that enrich the community, both at the individual level and for the entire community. And it’s a great way to introduce young people to the building industry.
What’s one skill you’d like to develop or sharpen this year? Time management is always on the list.
What are your future goals and aspirations for your career? I would like to continue to help Habitat grow and bring more people into our mission to build more homes for families in Lincoln.
How long have you been a member of HBAL? I’ve only been with Habitat for a little over a year, but Habitat has been an HBAL member for a long time.
How has your career benefited from being a member of HBAL? The connections you can make with others in the industry is tremendous.
What is your favorite HBAL event and why? Chili Competition! Because it’s a great way for everyone to socialize in a fun way. And I love chili and beer.
Any tips or advice for new HBAL members?
Meet as many fellow members as you can and when you have an opportunity to help out another business, do it. We’re stronger as a community when we can work together.

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