Staff spotlight: Casey O’Brien finds his next adventure at the Center

Small Business

From touring central Europe as a high school exchange student to doing contract farm work throughout parts of the Midwest, Casey O’Brien loves trying new things and seeing new places.

His most recent adventure brought him to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he’s taken on the role of a loan specialist with the Center for Rural Affairs.

“After graduating from the University of Wyoming with a degree in the field of agriculture business management, I saw an ad for a position at the Center and felt like it’d be the perfect fit for me, and an exciting new adventure,” Casey said.

Casey works with new and existing small business owners to help them develop business plans, obtain funding, and receive training. He also assists entrepreneurs with technical assistance and business counseling, as well as guides potential homeowners through the process of obtaining housing loans.

Kim Preston, lending services director with the Center, says Casey makes an excellent addition to the Center team.

“We are excited to see Casey grow and develop the southeast corner of the state as he brings a strong background in rural communities and has the skills necessary to analyze and assist businesses as they start and grow stronger in rural Nebraska,” said Kim. “Casey has firsthand experience with the agricultural economy that will serve him well in the 28 counties he serves.”

So far, Casey has been enjoying his role.

“The people I get to work with are great,” he said. “Getting the opportunity to interact with people and communities, and really getting out among people is one of my favorite aspects of this job.”

Whether through work, travel, or his personal life, rural America has always been a part of Casey’s story.

“Growing up in rural Idaho gave me an appreciation for rural America,” said Casey. “Both sides of my family have farmed and ranched as long as I can remember, and I’ve spent time doing farming contract work in the Dakotas, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.”

He then transitioned into the world of business and insurance, which took Casey to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Fort Collins, Colorado, before finding his role with the Center.

“Being part of the Center team sounded like an interesting opportunity that would allow me to be truly proud of the work I do and give me the opportunity to give back to the people I work with,” he said. “I’m learning so much as I go, and I’m excited to find new goals to work toward every day.”

When Casey isn’t working, he spends as much time as he can with his wife and daughter. He also loves to try new cuisines and drinks while he’s traveling.

Casey can be reached at the Center's Lincoln office at 402.580.1007 or caseyo@cfra.org. Or, on Facebook.