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Tyler Owen - Man of Maha

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“There seems to be an overwhelming sense of giving back in this community and of our being greater than the sum of our parts. There’s this kind of bonding together into making something bigger,” Owen said. “I think that comes back to an Omaha thing. I don’t think people in Omaha suffer a lot of grandiose, inflated egos, so there is this spirit of– let’s actually create something, rather than bluster about something.”

The Omaha work ethic of getting things done is one his family’s exemplified. Now that he’s in a position to lead, he finds few things as satisfying as giving back.

“I think any time you serve something outside of yourself it’s a satisfying experience. People may quibble with where donor dollars go, but in the end," he said, “it’s not important how you give, it’s only important that you give.”

An advantage Omaha offers, he said, is that it’s still small enough for an individual or an organization or a small group of philanthropists to make a big difference. “One person can change the world from here,” he said.

Social media is only helping Owen (and others like him who want to make a difference) in their efforts to communicate and collaborate. “People are more connected and more aware of what other people are doing,” he said, “and so that offers more opportunities for overlap.”



MAHA’s an example of a few kindred spirits joining forces to launch an event that depends on social media for its traction. Owen, together with Tre Brashear, Mike App and Mike Toohey, made MAHA happen after years of kicking around the idea.

Owen’s smart enough to pull in some veteran live music promoters, including Jeff Davis the first two years (and now Marc Leibowitz) to lend their expertise. “I’m surrounded by incredibly bright guys,” he said. A team of volunteers stages and manages the event, with sponsors underwriting and promoting it.

All that help and experience, he said, has helped MAHA go off without any major hitches. Attendance grew from year one to year two. The goal is to evolve it into a multi-day fest with various arts offerings. Festival planning goes on all year.



For Owen, there’s no conflict jumping from his music thing (he still writes, plays and releases his own music and he’s reunited with his band from high school) to his corporate thing.

“I’m pretty balanced between left and right brain, so I have this ability to switch back and forth. I don’t really see them separately.”

Whether rocking in his basement or strategizing a P & V campaign or designing MAHA T-shirts or playing with his kids, he’s feeding that same seeking spirit that drives him. “Life is about taking advantage of opportunity,” he said.

Tyler Owen may not follow his old mantra of “you’ve got to try everything once,” but he’s still burning to make his mark on the world.


-end- metroMAGAZINE



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