About Us

Dakota County Connections is a community collaborative in Dakota County, Nebraska. SHIP is the backbone agency and grant coordinator for the project. The collaborative formed out of the ashes of South Sioux City School’s Safe Schools Grant. Originally called “Cardinal Connections”, DCC changed its name to be reflective of the entire county, and be more inclusive of the 3 other School Districts. The collaborative through SHIP is funded by a Child Well Being Grant from Nebraska Children & Families Foundation, which helps build a community collaborative over 5 years and $340,000.

Project partners include Boys and Girls Home, NENCAP (Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership), Boys Town, South Sioux City Schools, Crittenton Center, Prairie Psychological Services, Jackson Recovery Centers, A Better Way Therapy, The Lodge Counseling Services, UNL Extension in Dakota County, ESU Service Unit #1, Dakota County Sheriff’s Department, Homer Community School District, Department of Health and Human Services, City of South Sioux City, South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, Cubby Care Campus Preschool, the Siouxland Family Center and many more.


Matt Ohman

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Matt Ohman is the Executive Director for Siouxland Human Investment Partnership. He is responsible for the management, guidance and direction for all programs and services provided by and authorized by SHIP.

Graduating from East High School, Matt is a lifelong Sioux City resident. He graduated from Morningside College in 2000 with a degree in mass communication and business. He worked as an account executive at Cable One Advertising for six years prior to coming to SHIP in 2006. His role at SHIP from 2006 – 2012 was as a contract coordinator and Early Childhood Iowa Director.

Matt has been coordinating the Social-Emotional grant from Nebraska Children & Families Foundation for Dakota County Connections since early 2012. As the SHIP representative, he helps to facilitate all DCC meetings and coordinates all of the work being done by SHIP on behalf of DCC.

Matt’s personal connection to Dakota County is that his mother, Jean Ohman, was a teacher and librarian in the South Sioux City School District for nearly twenty years before she retired in 1993.

JoAnn Gieselman – Dakota County Connections Coordinator

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JoAnn’s primary responsibility as the Dakota County Connections Coordinator is to support agencies and individuals in our community in ways that they can collectively work together to address our community’s needs.

JoAnn graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1980. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. Throughout her career JoAnn has taken additional graduate courses in Behavioral Disabilities and Social work from both the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa.

JoAnn has been an active part of Dakota County Connections since it conception and truly enjoys the wonderful opportunity she has to work with the many industrious and inspirational individuals and agencies in our area.