Staff & Leadership


Bryan Venable

Executive Director

Previously serving as the Business Resources and Social Enterprise Fund Manager since 2016, Bryan Venable now serves as the Executive Director of PADD after a promotion in September 2020. Bryan holds a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Upon completion of his education Bryan spent many years working in the Building Materials industry including five years as manager of Century Lumber in Scottsbluff. Bryan also worked with the PALS program serving disadvantaged youth in the Panhandle.

In his free time Bryan enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife, Crystal, and five children. Bryan’s hobbies include photography, cooking, and traveling.

Derrik Conard

Grant Writing Specialist

As a Wyomingite, Derrik Conard came to the Panhandle Area Development District right out of college in 2021. Derrik received his Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science including an emphasis in Public Law with a minor in Pre-Law. Derrik has a diverse background in Economic Development and Grant Writing with his experience working for the Wyoming State House of Representatives as well as being Chairman of the University’s Appropriations Committee. In his free time, Derrik enjoys ranching, spending time with his family, and traveling. Derrik hopes that through his experience he will be able to better the surrounding Panhandle communities.

Julia Hertaus

Community Planner

(308) 633-6829

Julia Hertaus joined the PADD team shortly after completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning and Leadership Studies certificate from Iowa State University in May 2020. During her collegiate career she served on the APA Iowa Board, fulfilled various executive roles for academic clubs, and worked as an outreach intern for her program. Julia hopes this experience as well as her love of small communities will make her a great asset to PADD and the Panhandle.

While Julia will miss Minnesota, she is excited to spend time traveling the area and making Nebraska her new home.

Joyce Mick

Administrative Assistant

Joyce serves as the administrative assistant and book keeper for PADD and Panhandle Resource Conservation and Development. Joyce has years of accounting and administrative experience through her time as the Bayard City Clerk and her service to numerous agencies and irrigation districts throughout the Panhandle.

Upcoming Meetings

PADD board meetings take place via teleconference the second Thursday of the month at noon. The meetings are open to the public.

Board Officers

Janine Schmidt

President, Village Clerk at Village of Morrill & Village of Henry

Jeni Mattern

Vice President, City Clerk at City of Terrytown

Pat Comfort

Treasurer, Nebraska Department of Labor