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WINNER of the People's Choice Award!

Last Year's People's Choice Winner Jacki Ochoa

  • Mary Ann Borgeson:
    2014 metroMAGAZINE's DWTOS
    SpiritofOmaha.com Community Vote Award


    See Mary Ann's Bio below

     

Read each bio:

Damon Benning

 

Damon Benning

NRG Media
Morning Co-Host

 

What would you try if you had no fear and why? I have zero fear, and I’d like to dive with sharks.

What would you most like to do for someone else if you have the money and time? Provide full time tutorial services and family support for those that are less fortunate

Who has inspired you as a mentor and why? My father. He’s my best friend.

Which moment from your life would you choose to relieve if you could? Too many to list. I’m not one of those people that say they wouldn’t change a thing due to the fact it made them who they are today. I’d change a lot.

If you only had 5 more years to live what would you change about your life? What would you like to accomplish? I’d probably apologize personally to anyone I’d hurt along the course of my life.

 


Brittany Benson

 

Brittany Benson

Legends Football League
Defensive Back


Favorite Quotation: "There are two things in life that you can control, your attitude and your effort."
~ Lou Holtz

What do you dream your life will be like in 10 years?  In ten years I hope to be making an impact in others lives. Working in a profession that is rewarding and that I'm excited to go to everyday. I want to be active in my city, church and community while raising a happy, healthy family.  

What would you most like to do for someone else if you have the money and time? I would love to give back to all of the educators and care givers that make far less than they deserve. It takes a patient, selfless heart to educate our youth and take care of the elderly and ill. They deserve to be fairly compensated for all they do day to day.

What makes you laugh the hardest? Self humility is key to leading a happy, humor filled life. Being able to laugh at myself and the crazy things that occur during my day keeps me going and hopefully puts a smile on those around me.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? When I was a child I made a goal to never curse, smoke, or drink alcohol. I'm 25 and have kept that goal, and plan to the rest of my life. I hope to be a positive influence for my younger family members, children that I've coached in sports teams and the young girls I teach Bible studies to.

 

We presented each contestant with 20 questions and asked them to answer 5. Here are the answers they chose, unedited  – exactly as they provided them to us.

Mary Ann Borgeson

 

Mary Ann Borgeson

Douglas County Commisioner
 


Favorite Quotation: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Teresa


When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why? In kindergarten one of my dear friends and I started to collect horse statutes and we dreamed of owning a horse ranch.  Horses are beautiful, but they are carefree creatures, yet sturdy and strong.  It was so intriguing to think we could live out in the wide open spaces with these beautiful creatures and nature.  When I got to the 8th grade, I realized that was not an achievable goal -so I set out to become a doctor. Helping and caring for people was at the core of that desire.         

Who has inspired you as a mentor and why? Princess Di.  She was strong woman.  Princess Di didn't cave under the pressure.  She kept her chin held high and stayed determined to be a good mom, good role model, and good human being. Her strength of character and grace has always been awe-inspiring.  Princess Di had a heart of gold and was a very kind woman. She gave her heart and soul to help several humanitarian causes around the world. I admire her dedication, hard work and love for her family and for those less fortunate or in need.  “I’d like people to think of me as someone who cares about them” Princess Di.

What do you complain about more than anything else?  Seeing individuals who wear their pants showing their underwear.  Pull ‘em up!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Watch my husband go through 2 surgeries and chemo after he was diagnosed with bi-lateral lung cancer. On September 11, 2010, Bob shot off our mini cannon at one of my campaign parades and the cannon backfired spraying asphalt that embedded in his legs and causing a small cut on the rib.  We went to the ER and at that last minute the doctor decided to have a chest x-ray done to make sure the ribs were okay.  The next morning we received “the call” from the doctor - he told us that the radiologist had read the x-rays and found a spot on his lung.  A number of tests were take and results were in bi-lateral lung cancer.  He had his left upper lobe removed and 6 weeks after that his right upper lobe removed and then chemo treatments. 
If you didn’t have to worry about money what would you do with your life? I would do exactly what I am doing now- enjoying my work as a County Commissioner and sharing and loving my life with my husband and family. 

If you didn’t have to worry about money what would you do with your life? I would do exactly what I am doing now- enjoying my work as a County Commissioner and sharing and loving my life with my husband and family.
 

 


Brooke Delano

 

Brooke Delano

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Ambassador Real Estate
Husker Volleyball
 

Favorite Quotation: “20 years from now people will forget about your accomplishments and awards – but they will never forget about the impact you left on their life.”
 
When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why? When I was young I would tell everyone if I didn't make it into the NBA then I was going to be a storm chaser.  Little did I know I would NEVER make it into the NBA, and my storm chasing dreams were crunched a year ago when I had to pull over on the side of the interstate because of a tornado.  I have never been so scared in my entire life!!
 
Who would you like to trade places with for one month and why? I really wanted to answer this question! I wanted to name someone who is really famous, smart and has a lot of money.   But I have been thinking about it for the last couple days, and I  wouldn’t  trade a month with anyone.  I love my life just the way it is!
 
Who has inspired you as a mentor and why? My father and mother have been the greatest mentor’s and the most inspirational people in my life.  They have helped me recognize that no one is perfect  and anything that happens in life - good or bad - is an amazing lesson to learn from. They have taught me hard work, and nothing in life comes free.  They have proven an unbelievable amount of selflessness, the extra things they did and even some times gave up doing just to be able to give my brother and I an opportunity.  I can’t imagine life without them!
 
In which activity would you like a lesson from an expert and why? I know this would take way more than a couple lessons, but I would LOVE to learn how to fly an airplane! I can't even imagine the feeling of having the sky as your playground!!
 
What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year? One goal I want to accomplish this year is the status as a successful business woman.  I have learned so many great skills from sports and being apart of  teams, I want to be able to apply that to the business world. Giving up playing sports competitively was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but at the same time I was so excited to get started with another chapter of my life.  At the end of this year, I want to bring my competitive, fun loving, energized spirit I had on the volleyball court and be a great leader in the business world. 

 

Your Vote Counts! One contestant will receive a Community Favorite Trophy based entirely on who obtains the most Community Votes!

WIllie Garrett

 

WIllie Garrett

Journal Broadcast Group

KMTV-TV Marketing Director


Who would you like to trade places with for one month and why? I would like to trade places with a Powerball lottery winner.  Uh... duh... :-) 

When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why? My parents use to plop me down and force me to watch Chicago's WLS-TV Eyewitness News. I sat there one day and said "somebody" has to be pointing the camera at those anchors... I want to be that person when I grow up... seems like an easy gig that pays great money.  Then I saw people doing "that job" while interning in college at 10-11 in Lincoln, and saw how boring it could be for "my personality".  Boy was I disappointed. 

What would you try if you had no fear and why? I would honestly try to hold a tarantula.  I HATE spiders and that thing is the king of all hairy-ugly-mean-fangfilled-creepy things of creation.

What do you dream your life will be like in 10 years?  That I don't know... I know what I want it to be.  Basking at my backyard pool.

Who do you think is the most important person alive today and why? "I'm" the most important person... because I have to be responsible for my own actions and decisions.  I can't rely on others to survive.  You have to make the best choice for you.  Isn't that important? 

 


Heidi Henry

 

Heidi Henry

Evolve Marketing
Owner

When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why? Famous Singer because I'm in love with music!! 

What would you try if you had no fear and why? Try Out for the voice because I haven't grown up and I want to be a famous singer 

What makes you laugh the hardest? Hands down my best friend Lori!! She's the funniest person I know 

If you didn’t have to worry about money what would you do with your life? Live in a log house on the ocean and make yearly mission trips to places in the US that need help and hope. 

If you only had 5 more years to live what would you change about your life? What would you like to accomplish? I'd stop working and start lobbying for my children's future. 

 


Gina Melton

 

Gina Melton

Kat 103.7 Radio Station
Morning Show Co-host

Favorite Quotation: "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I'm possible." ~ Audrey Hepburn



When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why? 
I have wanted to be on the radio ever since I was in the 4th grade. I would listen to WLS when I lived in Chicago and thought the people inside the radio had the coolest job in the entire universe. I figured the bands actually came in and played the songs live instead of the d.j's playing albums. And I imagined those disc jockeys were payed millions of dollars! My best friend Krissy and I would tape record ourselves (yes, I'm dating myself) pretending to be d.j's on the radio. Today, I am living out my dream. 



What would you try if you had no fear and why? 
If I had no fear I would try out for "So You Think You Can Dance." I love to dance, but I am nowhere near that level. I'm more on the Carlton level (remember "Fresh Prince of Bel Air?"), which is why I was so pleased that Elizabeth from Omaha Ballroom asked me to do "Dancing with the Omaha Stars." It's totally out of my comfort zone, but I need more of that in my life. 



What one fear would you like to conquer and why? 
Don't laugh, but I'm terrified of escalators. I have been ever since my now 7-year-old-son was 2 and got on the escalator by himself. I almost fell trying to grab him. I want to ride that big escalator at the Centurylink Center to overcome my fear. 

What do you complain about more than anything else?
Technical issues. I hate computer problems and I will crab about them to everyone I know. Computers, smartphones, tablets, etc, hate me. And don't get me going about when someone says to turn your computer off and back on to solve a tech problem. Ugghhh!!!



If you could donate one million dollars to charity which would you choose and why? 
I would donate the money to Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha to aid in cancer research. During our Kat 103.7 Radio-thon for the hospital,  I have seen first-hand what research dollars can do to help kids who have cancer battle and win the fight. I know many of the Sunshine kids have been served by Children's. 

 


Leia Mendoza

 

Leia Mendoza

Omaha World Herald
 

Favorite Quotation: "Shoot for the moon, even if you fall short, you'll land among the stars."

Who would you like to trade places with for one month and why? My husband. I think seeing the world through his eyes for a month would help me to be a more understanding wife and less of a pain ;)

What would you most like to do for someone else if you have the money and time? I would like to build my parents a new home, pay off their bills so they wouldn't have to work anymore and send them on a vacation. They have been the most supportive people in my life and such great role models. They are the greatest grandparents and are always willing to help others even when they work so hard themselves. There's really no way to ever pay them back for all the wonderful things they have done for my family.

Who has inspired you as a mentor and why? My brother, Victor Baez, has been the greatest mentor for me. Even though he is seven years older than me, we have always had a close relationship. Whether I needed advice in my career or with relationships, he has always had the perfect advice. He knows my potential and always pushes me to keep dreaming. He is a big believer in chasing your dreams and never giving up and I am thankful he instilled that in me, too.

What makes you laugh the hardest? My 2-year-old daughter Estella is hilarious. She is so smart and witty. I burst into laughter every time I see her singing in the mirror or mocking the cartoons on TV. She has the best dance moves and can make me laugh even when I've had the worst day.

What did you get into the most trouble for when you were young? I was always a good student but every teacher would always complain that I was too talkative. Not much has changed. I still talk too much. I also got in trouble for making up stories a lot. I don't know why or even how I would come up with these stories but I once told my mother's co-worker that a gorilla escaped at the zoo and she believed every word and was completely frightened.

 


Dr. David Mercer

 

Dr. David Mercer

UNMC
Liver Transplant Surgeon


Favorite Quotation:  “Chance favors the prepared mind” ~ Louis Pasteur
 
Who would you like to trade places with for one month and why? I’d love to pick something meaningful and uplifting, but the true answer is probably Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion), for what I would say are pretty much obvious reasons. . .  He happens to be my music of choice when I’m doing a liver transplant, and as near as I can tell, his day-to-day life is about the exact OPPOSITE of mine, so it would be totally fun to try that out.  Jay-Z would be a close second, in large part because of Beyonce.
 
What did you get into the most trouble for when you were young? There was an episode at a bachelor party (not my own) that involved consumption of alcohol, intravenous fluid resuscitation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and my Surgical Program Director, in about that order.  No charges were laid, and all turned out well.  Other than that, I plead the fifth.
 
What makes you laugh the hardest? There’s quite a few things in this list, but if I have to pick one, I’d say Will Farrell, most notably in Anchorman and Old School, but really in any role he’s ever done, and even when he’s not actually in a movie.  Also, the first 15 minutes of Southpark The Movie made me cry I laughed so hard.
 
If you didn’t have to worry about money what would you do with your life? Honestly, I’d do exactly what I do right now, as I really love doing it. I would just wear better clothes.
 
Which moment in your life would you choose to relive if you could? My wedding day, because the weather was great, I got to drink and dance all night with all of my closest friends and family, and I got to have sex with a really hot 25 year old when it was all over.

 


Heath Murray

 

Heath Murray

IThink Fit

 

Who would you like to trade places with for one month and why? I'd love to trade places with Mark Cuban. I think it'd be a great opportunity to learn some valuable insights in operating business's. It would also be a heck of a lot of fun owning an NBA team for a month!

What would you most like to do for someone else if you have the money and time? I think it's so amazing what they do on Extreme Makeover home edition.  If if had the money and time I'd find a family that faces an ongoing hardship and is low on resources and I'd build them a wonderful place to live and then help set them up in a way that they could support their family and new household. 

If you could donate one million dollars to charity which would you choose and why?  I'd have to chose the International Rescue Committee  They help so many people in a wide variety of areas such as health care, drinking water, sanitation, vaccination, baby deliveries, sexual violence victims, victims of human trafficking and more.   They are also one of the more transparent charities so I'd know that my one million dollars was going to work or a good cause.

What do you complain about more than anything else? No comparison, Husker Football.

If you got a tattoo what would you get and where would you put it? I'd get the Rock Solid Nutrition logo on my right bicep and the iThinkFit Gym logo on my left! 


Jenny Olive

 

Jenny Olive

Q92

 

What would you most like to do for someone else if you have the money and time?  I would have tons of fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  Nothing better than saving babies and having a big party!
 
What makes you laugh the hardest?  When I’m hanging out with my best friend and my sister.  Any and all conversations are so funny!
 
What do you complain about more than anything else? All the idiots that can’t drive at all!
 
Which vice would you indulge in if it had no negative side effects and why?  I would eat everything on the planet twice!!
 
If you were cremated where would you like to have your ashes spread and why? I would have my ashes spread across the infield at Busch Stadium so I will always be with my St. Louis Cardinals.

 


Rebecka Rae

 

Rebecka Rae

KMTV Action 3 News
Reporter


Favorite Quotation: "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." ~ Albert Einstein

When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why? I wanted to be a nun, yes, I wanted to live in a convent. My other career choice was a ballerina. Neither one came remotely close to coming true.

What would you try if you had no fear and why? Wing suit flying. It's like skydiving without a chute. Anyone can jump out of a plane with a parachute, but when you can see the edges if the earth, you better live life on the edge as well.

What do you complain about more than anything else? Paying rent and walking the dog, I'd rather cuddle my pup and let my boyfriend walk him.

Where would you most like to travel and why? Croatia, my grandmother escaped communism from (at the time) Yugoslavia.  She always talks about a brick house her father built that was taken away from her family during the war. I'd like to bring her home at least once to see her country.

If you were cremated where would you like to have your ashes spread and why? A garden. That way life could grow from my death.

 


Ryan Roberts

 

Ryan Roberts

 
MMA Fighter

When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why?  I wanted to be a Husker Football player. I though that would be the best thing ever

What would you most like to do for someone else if you have the money and time? I would like to provide a service similar to Extreme Home Makeover. I would love to do that locally in the Omaha metro to deserving families.

What makes you laugh the hardest? People getting scared is very funny to me, I love watching TV showing that.

If you didn’t have to worry about money what would you do with your life?  I would love to be a professional hunter, traveling the world hunting dangerous game.

What do you complain about more than anything else? Other people driving.

Which vice would you indulge in if it had no negative side effects and why? Eating... I love to eat, and being a fighter I do not have that luxury.

 


Rebecka Rae

 

Thor Tripp

KETV
Weekend Sports Anchor


Favorite Quotation: "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' makes it great." ~ Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own"

What makes you laugh the hardest? Old stories or memories. Doesn't get much better than talking with old teammates about stories from a certain road trip, or with friends & family about past experiences - most of which include me as the punch line!

What did you get into the most trouble for when you were young? Lying, definitely. So naturally, I ended up going into journalism! I made stuff up for no reason whatsoever back in elementary school. I still remember telling my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Fox, about how my family had tickets to the Super Bowl that year. My dad came to pick me up later that day & she told him how excited I was... let's just say any "Very reliable" comments on my report card that year... I also told another teacher that I met the entire Arizona Wildcats basketball team on vacation in Phoenix, even though they were playing in the NCAA Tournament in California. Genius.

If you didn't have to worry about money, what would you do with your life? Coaching high school or college baseball. There really isn't anything more gratifying than helping someone achieve success through hard work. That's why I love my job at KETV - I get to experience that journey by covering kids throughout their careers, watching them grow & telling those stories.

What's the hardest thing you've ever done? Moving away from everyone I love, to take a sports job in Lincoln a little over five years ago. I didn't know a soul here when I left Minnesota. Now, I'm proud to say I've met some of my best friends and biggest inspirations here. And of course, my beautiful fiancé, and our spoiled Pomeranian, Gigi. Manly, I know.

What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year? Spending more time with family & close friends. It's tough to find a balance in my profession between working harder than everyone else, and having a life outside of the office. Sports don't stop just because I'm off that day, so I always have to be somewhat connected. If you don't see me tweeting score updates for a couple of days, then I'm accomplishing this goal!

 


Leah Uko

 

Leah Uko

FOX42 News
Reporter

 

Favorite quotation:“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success,” ~ James Cameron

When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and why? I wanted to be (and will be) a news anchor.
Every night after The Simpsons went off, the local FOX news came on. My brothers and I would, by default, watch it with our parents. Growing up in Hollywood, it is okay to just be beautiful—you don’t need to be smart to make it. With that said, I was immediately fascinated with how beautiful these journalists were and the fact that they were SMART! And smart about everything. I was fascinated with the important information they would tell my parents (viewers) and took note to how closely my parents would watch, listen and then discuss with our neighbors. I learned as a child the impact of news and no matter how much hate there is out there towards the profession, I’ll never forget that. The glamour, education along with the death of Princess Diana, murder case of JonBenet Ramsey, O.J. Simpson trial and the 2000 election scandal with George W. Bush all peaked my interest in working in journalism.
And at age 8, my mother bought me a red, children’s business suit for Christmas and it was official! I would be a journalist! Ha!

Who has inspired you as a mentor and why? Michaela Pereira with CNN’s “New Day”. I watched Michaela every morning on the KTLA news. When I grew up and went to college, the first internship that I accepted, ironically, was at KTLA in the Community Affairs Department. Although this was not in news, my supervisor allowed me to meet with Michaela often when there was downtime. Michaela is just as nice in person as she is through the camera. When I read the announcement that she would be anchoring CNN’s new morning show I was both thrilled and inspired. I get homesick often when I see Los Angeles anchors and reporters online, but at least now I have one who I can watch every morning. What makes it exceptionally special to me is that I know Michaela, I followed part of her career, she is my mentor and she is now working for the network I aspire to work with in the future. She puts reality and a face to my dreams.

Which vice would you indulge in if it had no negative side effects and why? SWEETS! Pop Tarts, Oreos, German chocolate cake, Funfetti cake, coffee cakes, yogurt pie, Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, chocolate chip cookies, Oatmeal Cream Pies and Oreo milkshakes—you name it, I’d eat it everyday if I could. I read an eCard that stated something like “they say every woman’s dream is to find the perfect husband. Bull! Every woman’s dream is to eat whatever she wants without getting fat!” I could not agree more!

If you got a tattoo what would you get and where would you put it? The Egyptian sign for “Family” on the inside of my right wrist. I choose my right wrist, because my family is my right-hand man. I choose “family” because no matter how successful I become, where I relocate, whom I marry and no matter how many new friends I make, my family is most essential to my staying grounded in life. My family members, and my Lord, are the reasons I am awesome. I strive to always remember that.

What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year? To place in the Heartland Classic Figure Competition on May 17, 2014. Losing weight has been the hardest challenge I have ever had. This diet and workout regime is, to some, vigorous, but somehow I’ve made it this far. I want to show people that they don’t need a lot of money to be fit—just focus, determination and discipline.

Which temptation do you try the hardest to resist and why? Talking. Since I was able to talk, it has been my biggest strength, weakness and distraction. In elementary my teachers would sit me next to people they thought I wouldn’t care to talk with. I’d just make new friends! I make friends everywhere—gas stations, grocery stores, nail shops, hair shops and definitely on the job. While this is great for my network and makes me diverse, it holds me back from getting things done the way I intend to. As I’ve gotten older I have learned to control my motor mouth . But it is an everyday progress because my natural instinct is to talk and have good conversation.

 


Marty Wolfe

 

Marty Wolff

Biggest Loser
 

What one fear would you like to conquer and why?  My fear of flying, I hate air planes.

Which moment from your life would you choose to relieve if you could?  The moment I met my wife on the Biggest Loser.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?  The first day of the Biggest Loser.

In which activity would you like a lesson from an expert and why? A piano lesson. People who play the piano amaze me. 

Where would you most like to travel and why?  Ireland.  I am part Irish and love the culture.

 

 


 

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