WSC alum Hruska asked to emcee Big Omaha conference

While WSC students are taking finals, WSC alum Chris Hruska will be emceeing one of the biggest events in Nebraska: Big Omaha 2016. The event is scheduled to take place May 4–6 this year, and it has an agenda packed with speakers, presentations and food.

If you’re like me, Big Omaha is an event you don’t know much about yet.

According to the Big Omaha official website, “Silicon Prairie News (SPN) co-founders, Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson, started the Big Omaha conference in 2009. The inaugural event brought together 400-plus entrepreneurs, to hear almost a dozen nationally-recognized speakers. The event began with straightforward goals—inspire attendees to follow their passions, build businesses they love, and strengthen their creative communities.”

Since being founded, Big Omaha has done just that. Hundreds of people have attended and grown intellectually.

In 2015 Big Omaha became more of a nonprofit through AIM.

According to AIM’s official website, “AIM is a community-based nonprofit that promotes technology to empower people, enhance organizations, and create brilliant communities.”

In general, AIM helped Big Omaha become more technologically developed.

Unfortunately, because an official schedule hasn’t been made, the list of speakers for this year’s event is not yet final. Visit to see an incomplete list.

A few of the big names on the list include Sol Orwell (cofounder of, Emily Becher (Head of Samsung Accelerator) and Matt Halpern (Drummer for Periphery, founder of The Entertainment Institute) among many others, including the previously mentioned WSC alum, Hruska.

Born and raised in Omaha, Hruska graduated from WSC in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management/ speech communication/ leadership.


He obtained his master’s degree in theology from Crown College in 2016.



He currently works as a pastor at Citylight Church.


When asked about his day job on the Big Omaha website he replied, “Just over three years ago a friend invited me to lunch and said, ‘What if we quit our jobs, raised money, recruited some people, and planted a church?’ I started to catch a vision for planting a new church that would work for the good of the city, not just gathering a crowd on Sunday’s, but creating a community that felt more like a family that loved each other.

“So I quit my job, gave up my salary, walked away from the security of benefits, and told my pregnant wife I was teaming up with my best friend to plant a church.


It was a crazy idea. We didn’t have any money, and I had never even worked at a church, but we took the plunge. Over the past three years our church planting idea has grown to 1,500 people, and we have seen incredible things happen in our city. So, to answer your question, I am a church planter and pastor at Citylight church.”

Being a person unafraid to start something new, Hruska is a strong supporter of entrepreneurs.

Having that background, and having attended Big Omaha before, Hruska is excited to be the Big Omaha 2016 emcee.

“It’s inspiring to see real people take risks and try and build things that matter. I couldn’t be more excited about what I’m witnessing in Omaha right now.” he said on the Big Omaha website.

He said he’s most excited for “meeting great people and having a few of those ‘ah-ha moments’. I want to see our community flourish, and for that to happen, we need to get behind what is happening with entrepreneurs.”

If any entrepreneurs are planning on attending Big Omaha this year, Mention Big Omaha for a discount at the Mongolia, Residence Inn Marriott, and Hyatt Place hotels.

Tickets for the event can be purchased easily through They cost $599 plus a $9.95 fee.

This ticket price might seem a little steep, but one of Big Omaha’s attendees, the CEO of Brulu Box, Paul Jarrett, said, “I encourage entrepreneurs to look at the cost of the ticket as an investment.



The actual event takes place in the Old Market District in Omaha at KANEKO (three historic warehouse buildings).