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A FABULOUS young professional couple, Brook and Nick Hudson are acknowledged stars.

Since the former Brook Matthews won the MISS NEBRASKA crown in 2004, her resume has grown to include such additions as becoming a 2010 Creighton MBA graduate before launching her own marketing and strategy consultancy where clients include CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY and OMAHA FASHION WEEK.

In between, she worked as marketing director of Creighton’s business school. “I was the first person to be in that role at Creighton and had the opportunity to create something from scratch. I love working with a blank slate–the process of conceptualizing and bringing an idea to life is very exciting.”

In her nearly four years at the business school, Brook built a brand that positioned the school as the center of a number of innovative business programs, all supported by vibrant social media infrastructures to promote them.

LEADERSHIP CONVERSATIONS is a project I’m particularly proud of," she continued. "We built a brand around privileged conversations involving world-renowned business leaders.” More recently, Brook has worked with the Omaha Chamber’s Young Professional Council to develop a project called YP THINKTANK, which brings a group of 50 young professionals together to solve some of Omaha’s most challenging problems. The first session is slated for July 29.

In her spare time, she volunteers with the AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION, the OMAHA WCA, TED E. BEAR HOLLOW and the JUNIOR LEAGUE OF OMAHA. Her passion for etiquette and self-improvement led her to launch
LA FLEUR ACADEMY, a development program for empowering girls and young women to tap their potential and inner beauty through the social graces.

"I love to see the difference I can make when I work with girls to build their self-confidence," she said. "It really energizes me.”

Advising her is hubby Nick, a business development and strategic marketing veteran of numerous international beauty brand companies. He owns NOMAD LOUNGE in the OLD MARKET and founded OMAHA FASHION WEEK. OFW grew out of Nomad, the venue known both for cool entertainment and as a hub of creativity that each year hosts about 100 nonprofit and other events.

The native Brit's entrepreneurial instincts led him, in partnership with Creighton, to form the Halo Institute, a nonprofit incubator for nurturing start-up companies with a social entrepreneurship spirit. He's now pursuing a new for-profit venture, XUBA, which seeks to leverage social networking sites with commercial opportunities.

Brook is now bringing her marketing and organizational expertise to OFW, further developing it as a breeding ground for creative talent in the region’s most glamorous red carpet event. The growth of OMAHA FASHION WEEK, now in it's fourth year, has been dramatic. Over 6,000 attendees are expected in August to see 44 designers selected from the 91 who applied to show this year. The designers come from diverse backgrounds across the region.

“Their talent is truly amazing,” said Brook, “People used to be skeptical that Omaha could support a large-scale fashion show. It’s exciting to think we can surprise people that Omaha is not a fly-over town when it comes to style.”

Unlike fashion events in other markets, OFW doesn't charge designers for participating. “We want to provide young talent a professional, previously unobtainable showcase,” she said.

Teamwork is a defining characteristic of this couple's relationship.

"Our encouragement of each other in our endeavors really is what drives a lot of success," said Brook. "We rely on each other, and we spend a lot of time brainstorming about how we are going to tackle all of our dreams."

“We have really good complementary skill sets,” Nick said.

Their openness to being inspired by one another helped bring them together in the first place.

Said Nick, “Most people have different kinds of hobbies, but I think for me my hobby, my passion, is I just love helping people create things and achieve things. I think Brook and I are similar in that.”

As Brook puts it, “The whole idea is building other people up and helping them achieve their dreams.”

“I’m not the best at doing things myself, but I’m quite good at encouraging other people to do it and achieve their potential,” said Nick. “He’s a real instigator!” joked Brook.

“Paying it forward is a great reward,” said Brook, adding, “People have limitless opportunities–the only limits in life are the ones we place on ourselves–and I think Nick and I are all about helping people see past those self-imposed limits.” It’s no different than how they push each other.

“I’m learning so much from my best friend and my soul-mate because Brook is probably the best person at telling me where I need to improve and what I need to work on and do better,” said Nick.

“I appreciate him so much for encouraging me and my dreams–I don't think I could do it all without him,” said Brook. “Nick’s the dreamer and I’m the realist. When I need to think bigger I call Nick and when Nick needs to be brought down to reality, he calls me!”

A shared interest in social entrepreneurship helps.

“I think it’s [social entrepreneurship] just integral to the spirit of the young professional and what’s important to us as a community," she said. "We want to be connected to something greater than ourselves and we want to collaborate to solve problems. We’re all wondering, ‘Who is going to shape this city's future?’ Looking ­­­around, it could be any one of us. It’s a great time to be a young professional in Omaha.”

“It’s pretty amazing what groups of young professionals are doing around the city­–I’m impressed,” said Nick. “But there’s still so much more to do. I’m still learning what the potential is and how Brook and I can help it be realized.”

With Fashion Week, Halo, Nomad and a new consulting business, the couple have become instrumental in helping others
achieve their dreams.

SpiritofOmaha.com, Omaha's Finest Event Resource





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