Kristine Gerber was named Restoration Exchange Omaha’s first executive director in 2012. She oversees an 11-member board of directors and is responsible for administration, fundraising, marketing, project execution, volunteer management and strategic planning.
Gerber developed her love of old buildings early, growing up in an 1880s American Foursquare home in Fairbury, Neb. She is married to Jared Gerber, an architect from Williamsburg, Virginia, who fueled her knowledge and appreciation for historic properties.
For the past 25 years, Gerber has parlayed her skills in project management, history, architecture and photography into a career. In 2003, after working on consumer shows and book projects for the Omaha World-Herald and leading volunteers and fund-raising projects at the American Heart Association, Gerber launched Eventive Marketing LLC to help Midwest organizations with their publishing and event planning needs.
She has produced and published 23 award-winning and top selling nonfiction books, including:
- Building for the Ages, Omaha’s Architectural Landmarks (2003), a historic and visual tour of 155 of Omaha’s significant residential, commercial and governmental structures from the 1850s through the 1940s; and
- The Nebraska State Capitol, Restoring a Landmark (2013), which documents the 14-year effort to preserve and restore the exterior of the venerable structure.
Gerber has also produced a series of iconic Omaha events, including Restore Omaha, a weekend conference, exhibition and tour focused on teaching people how to restore, revive and preserve older properties; and Discover Omaha Bike Tours, a series of free bike rides highlighting Omaha’s history, architecture and culture.
She is a recognized expert on Omaha history, local photo collections (she has a personal collection of more than 3,000 Omaha images) and researching the history of individuals, companies and buildings.
Empty nesters, Gerber and her husband spent 18 months searching for a historic home and purchased a 1929 Tudor Revival near Omaha’s Metcalfe Park in the fall of 2015.
Brian Whetstone is Restoration Exchange’s 2017 summer intern. Whetstone began his duties June 5. During the summer months, he will be updating the organization’s online directory, researching properties for the fall neighborhood tour, and writing both National Register and local landmark nominations.
“We are thrilled to have someone with Brian’s experience and enthusiasm for historic preservation join the Restoration Exchange staff, even if it’s only for the summer,” said Kristine Gerber, executive director of Restoration Exchange.
Whetstone will be a senior at Hastings College in the fall. He is a history major with a minor in women’s and gender studies. A native of Kearney, Neb., Whetstone and his family moved to Omaha three years ago. He has interned at the Stuhr Museum, done archival work for Hastings College and took part in an intensive, five-week historic preservation program in Williamsburg.
In May, Whetstone presented a nomination he researched and wrote to make 11 contributing buildings on Hasting College’s campus a historic district. It passed and is now awaiting final approval from the National Park Service.