Platte Institute names new chair who will help guide Blueprint Nebraska growth plan

By: - April 27, 2022 12:13 pm
Nebraska State Capitol Building

The Nebraska State Capitol Building in Lincoln. (Rebecca S. Gratz for the Nebraska Examiner)

North Platte, Nebraska, businessman Pat Keenan, whose career began in the soft drink industry, has been elected chairman of the nonprofit Platte Institute board of directors.

Pat Keenan, chairman of the Platte Institute and

Among the organization’s responsibilities is helping to activate economic initiatives in Blueprint Nebraska, a plan led by business and civic leaders to stimulate economic development and to make the state more alluring to job seekers.

The resulting 15 high-priority initiatives were to transform the state by 2030.

Other Blueprint partners are the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Aksarben Foundation.

Keenan, whose family owned and operated Great Plains Bottlers and Canners, an independent Coca-Cola bottling operation, was president of the Nebraska Soft Drink Association and also served as chief financial officer at Great Plains Bottlers and Canners. 

He now manages Keenan Management LLC, which owns and operates hotels and develops commercial properties.

Keenan said in a news release that the nonpartisan Platte Institute, whose overall goal is to advance policies that remove barriers to state growth, will not let the Blueprint Nebraska plan “just sit on the shelf.” 

“Thousands of Nebraskans were involved in developing Blueprint Nebraska economic initiatives on issues from agriculture, to the workforce, to finally bringing Nebraska’s tax system into the 21st century,” Keenan said.

He said other states are taking major steps to be welcoming and added, “We’ll continue building momentum for thinking big and acting boldly to advance opportunity in communities across Nebraska.”

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.

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