National President (Volunteer)
John Gottschalk is chairman of Omaha World-Herald Company, the company he has grown over his 33-year newspaper career from a single enterprise to 62 newspapers and 27 other publications. He served as chief executive officer until his retirement from that position in December 2007. He is also a director of Cabela’s Inc., McCarthy Group, Pacific Mutual Holding Company, and Pacific LifeCorp.
His civic and professional leadership is shared through his volunteering on numerous local, regional, and national boards. He has been honored by state and national educational, youth, charitable, and military organizations. He has also been a key figure with Omaha’s $3 billion downtown growth and redevelopment. He is chairman of the Holland Performing Arts Center and recently concluded eight years as chairman of the USO World Board of Governors. He now chairs the USO World Foundation.
He was the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Medal, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation National Distinguished Public Service Award, and his state’s highest award, the Distinguished Nebraskalander Award. John is an inductee in the Omaha Business Hall of Fame and has received the Master Publisher Award from the Nebraska Press Association. He also holds five honorary doctorates from midwestern universities.
A Life Scout as a youth, he holds the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope, and Silver Buffalo awards from the Boy Scouts of America for distinguished service to youth at local, regional, and national levels. He is a member of the 1910 Society and Founders Circle. He has served as chairman of his council and as the Central Region president when it became the only region in Scouting history to have every council achieve quality status. He chaired the 2001 National Jamboree. In May 2008, John became the national president of the Boy Scouts of America leading it into its 100th year in 2010.
Youth education and celebrating the character of his nation are the priorities of John and his wife, Carmen, who have two daughters and two grandchildren. In addition, they have served as volunteer foster parents for more than 100 infants awaiting adoption.