Todd Sears, former President and Publisher of the Omaha World-Herald, has been named President of the First Responders Foundation. Sears is the third president of the Foundation taking over for Al Batschelet, former President/CEO, who will now act solely as the CEO.
Todd Sears Named President of the First Responders Foundation
Under the leadership of Batschelet, U.S. Army Major General (retired), the Foundation has seen tremendous growth. Al joined the FRF in 2017 and subsequently, the Foundation has hired a full-time VP of Operations & Development, as well as a full-time and part-time Behavioral Health Therapist. In 2020 the Foundation relocated to an 8000 square foot wellness facility offering Behavioral, Physical, Spiritual, and Financial Health services, and programs and workshops for first responders, veterans, and their families. Also under his leadership, the Foundation began giving Awards of Excellence to high school seniors whose parents are first responders, which includes $500, and created the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael that recognizes outstanding First Responders. Batschelet welcomed Foundation the JAVELIN program that supports service dogs for first responders and veterans and initiated Chapters of the First Responders Foundation in both NE and Iowa.
The strategic plan under Batschelet is to continue to grow regionally and ultimately nationally.
With this growth and continued success, current and new donors, companies, and other foundations have increased support and sponsorship of the Foundation. This support created the opportunity to add Todd Sears to the team.
Sears retired from the Omaha World-Herald in February, completing a 33-year career in the newspaper business. Prior to joining the Omaha World-Herald, he was President and Publisher of the State Journal-Register and Lincoln Courier in Illinois.
Al Batschelet shared, “Todd’s experience will be beneficial to continue the growth of the Foundation. He is goal-oriented and works hard to see ideas come to fruition. He is successful in leading operations and organizations forward while remaining people-centered, which makes it a pleasure working with him.”
Sears stated, “I am excited and humbled to be joining such an incredible and impactful organization. The First Responders Foundation was created with the mission to honor and serve our first responders. It has seen tremendous growth in both geographical and programmatic services the last few years and I look forward to building on that so we can provide support to even more communities and first responders in the future.”
Todd grew up in Crete, NE, and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He and his wife Brenna live in Papillion and are proud parents of two adult sons, Joey and Jack.