New Holdrege Director Glad to Be in Community-Minded Leadership Role

WOW!!! The last four months have flown by as the new director at Your Y in Holdrege…and I have loved EVERY minute of it!

Hi Everyone,

My name is Brett Bebensee and I am so fortunate to be your new director at our Y in Holdrege. I have been here for a little bit, but I wanted to take this opportunity of our monthly blog and let you know about my experiences, my family and myself. So let us get this started…

On a dark and stormy night…Ok, that is a little cliché. Maybe we should jump forward a little bit and not start at the very beginning. I am the youngest son to Rolf and Dana Bebensee and the youngest brother to Matt and Todd Bebensee. I also have three older half-sisters, Carrie, Sara and Stacey who all live in Colorado. There have been references made to us as the “Brady Bunch” from time to time. My family and I lived in town my entire childhood, and I loved being a town boy. Why? Because I could walk to school, the town pool and friends’ houses any time I wanted.

I went to Hildreth Elementary and Junior High School, but before I started my first year of high school, we combined with Wilcox Public Schools. As if starting high school for the first time was not enough, I was starting with a brand new school and classmates. During my time in Wilcox-Hildreth Public School, I wrestled for a couple of years, played football and basketball my senior year and golfed all four years. High school was great, but it was not until college that I finally figured out what I really enjoyed.

I attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and my time in college was very interesting. I switched my major more times than I care to share, but the only thing that mattered is that I landed on a major that I had a passion for, English. I love film, TV shows, books, graphic novels, and video games. In the English department, they accepted all of these modern forms of literature and this allowed me to pursue my passion for studying film as literature.
In one of my Shakespeare classes, for our final, we had the option to act out one of the plays we read in class. My group chose an act out of “Macbeth.” In our group, we had to assign all the roles, and I got the position of director. This was a dream come true to be able to be the creative hand behind a production, even if it was for a class. Our group worked really hard and practiced multiple times a week to make sure we could get a good grade. If you are curious, we ended up getting an A on our final and a good applause at the end of our act. Finding a major I loved was amazing, but the best thing to happen to me in college was my wife, Ashley Bebensee. The story of how we met is interesting but too long for this blog, but I can say that we met in a film class and locked eyes across the room.

At the age of 16, I held a job at Target in Kearney. I loved working at Target because they always made sure that the team came first and it was a priority to put the team first. In my first few years at Target, I had a great leader who took me under his wing and helped me develop into a leader. This experience and development lead to my first leadership position as the Security Manager. After I graduated from college, I moved to the next level and took an assistant manager position at the Kearney Target. After a year in this position, Ashley and I moved to Casper, Wyo., for Target and for my next management assignment.

In Casper, Ashley and I had our first child, Oliver Nolan Bebensee, and we decided to get back to Nebraska, the Good Life. We missed the small towns we grew up in and were looking to give that experience to Oliver. This was when I came across the store manager position for ShopKo in Holdrege. I applied, interviewed and got the job. It was a dream come true to get back to Nebraska, in a small town, and close to family.

My time spent at ShopKo was great and I learned a lot, but about a month before they announced bankruptcy, Marshalls in Kearney contacted me to be their store manager. I took this position and started to commute. Ashley and I talked, very little, about moving to Kearney because Holdrege could offer the big town experience in a small-town package. In addition, the Holdrege community is something that we knew we could not find anywhere else. After a few years at Marshalls, Samuel Thomas Bebensee was born in December 2019, right before the lockdown. We survived the lockdown with a newborn and come out the other side ready to jump back into the world. Once my team and I got Marshalls back up and running from COVID lockdown, I saw that the YMCA was looking for a new director. I had to apply for this because I was ready to get back to working in Holdrege, being around the community and closer to my family. When I got the job, I was so excited to be able to be back in Holdrege and have a job that provided for our community.

Thanks for listening to me blog about myself. I am extremely excited to be on this new adventure and back in the Phelps County Community. There is a lot more I can talk about, but I did not want to write more than I already did for the sake of time. If you do want to chat more about my experiences, my family or myself come down to your Y. My door is always open, and I love talking to community members and getting to know you and your stories.

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