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The Trip Was Worth It

September 19, 2017
By Deb Daley

She took two city buses to get Mercy but she found the trip worth the effort. In looking back Chris Zenk Rix ’73 felt that speech and debate at Mercy was the strongest influence in her career success. She had a career in the financial services industry for 26 years.

“ In speech and debate I was taught to think on my feet, how to organize my thoughts and how to summarize key points,” she said.

Although Chris did not grown up in Omaha, she came from the small town of Kewanee, Illinois, her parents wanted her to go to Catholic School. Omaha was a big city to the young girl and a bit of a culture shock.

After she graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln receiving a degree in nutrition she moved to Boston and worked in several hospitals on the East Coast. She eventually came back to Omaha and worked for the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, but decided to make a career change.

“ I went back to school at night and earned a Master’s in Business degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in 1984,” she said.

Chris went on to work in market research, product development and account management for Mutual of Omaha, First National Bank, TSYS Merchant Solutions and Nelnet. She retired in April 2017.

“ I was back at Mercy for the All-School Reunion and learned about the HVAC project. I felt compelled to donate because so often, aging infrastructure is out of sight, the last item on the fix-it list, and expensive,” she added.

She gives kudos to Ingrid Kalinowski Borghoff ’65 for her personal touches and credits her for making her a financial donor.

“ Every year, without fail, there was always a birthday card in my mailbox with a personal message from Ingrid. Her personal touch kept me connected to the school,” she said.