Connecting with…

Phyllis Choat

Tell us about your family: 

Norm and I have been married 45 years. He is a retired Spanish teacher. We are so fortunate that our children Laurie and Eric live in Omaha. Our daughter Laurie Webb and her husband Andy have two children, Bella (8) and Drew (6). Eric is single and works at TD Ameritrade. We love to babysit!

Hometown: Omaha

College: University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Sorority: Gamma Phi Beta

Job/Business:
I have a “checkered” work history. I taught Spanish on and off until the kids started school. Then I worked part time for Prevent Blindness Nebraska. I retired from Westside Community Schools where I was Community Activities Coordinator, doing event planning and fundraising, and working with parent volunteers

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Why did you join the Junior League?
I was intrigued with the idea of meeting and working with like-minded women and to receive training to improve our community and to help people, especially women and children.

What was your favorite placement and why?
I loved chairing Radio Talking Book, the radio reading service for the blind and print-handicapped. As a new JLO project, I learned how to interact with a community agency and how to understand and meet its needs. I learned so much from the visually impaired people I met and worked with. After my placement, RTB was the first community board on which I served.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
The leadership training I received! About the same time I joined the JLO, I became involved with my sorority on the international level. Both of those organizations provided me with leadership training, skills and confidence. They opened my eyes to abilities I didn’t know I had.

What is your favorite thing about living in Omaha?
People are so friendly and every one is welcome to volunteer and get involved no matter who you are or where you live. We also have a great arts and cultural community, a lot of which is free!

What are your favorite restaurant(s) in Omaha?
We like Mexican restaurants, especially Cilantros and Riveras.

What other organizations are you affiliated with?
On Track, JAMA, Lutheran Family Services Foundation, Munroe-Meyer Institute Operating Board, Hattiie B. Munroe Foundation, Douglas County Historical Society Board, Omaha Symphony Guild, “Foodies” (Food Bank Guild) Board, Lauritzen Gardens Antique and Garden Show, Westside Alumni Association Board, Holy Cross Lutheran Church (various committees), Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.

What is your strongest talent?
proof-reading

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Shop or go antiquing

What is your favorite season and why?
My favorite is fall, but I look forward to each new season, even the first snow!

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Cruise down the Amazon

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
I enjoyed “Georgia’s Secret” by Omahan Elaine Jabenis. Elaine is an inspiring friend.

What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you?
Slept 3 nights on the floor of an inland school while a hurricane swept over Cancun.

What are you most proud of?
Our children and grandchildren

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