Meet The President

Dr. Candace L. Gregory

Dr. Candace Gregory is President/CEO of Open Door Mission in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Gregory is a graduate of Grace University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. In 2004, she received an honorary doctorate from Clarkson College of Sciences in Humanitarian Services.

Dr. Gregory has more than 28 years of experience in leadership. She has become a noted national advocate for those experiencing homelessness and poverty and is sought out for her experience in implementing programs that help end the cycle of homelessness and poverty. She created and implemented the Individual Program Plan (IPP) for more effective case management for men, women, and children, as well as a long-term recovery program for the Mission to better serve men, women, and families ready to build lasting solution to the problems that placed them in crisis. She has also initiated several effective homeless preventive measures, events and ongoing programs alike, to better serve impoverished people in the greater Omaha/Council Bluffs area.

Currently, ensuring responsible fiscal oversight of an annual budget of 34 million with approximately 120 employees and 10,000+ volunteers. Dr. Gregory has become accustomed to, overseeing the 40+ programs the Mission offers. Over the years, she has launched and completed strategic and master plans, marketing strategies, capital campaigns and endless projects. The most notable $34 million Rebuilding Lives Capital  Campaign. As a seasoned community relations builder, Dr. Gregory has acquired partnerships with a growing number of businesses, churches and service organizations.

Dr.  Gregory has received numerous awards, accolades and accomplishments.  She is humbled by them, but she would rather people concentrate on the thoughts that inspire her daily, including that we are all neighbors; and the Bible verse Matthew 25:40 “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Dr. Gregory resides in Iowa with her husband, Steve and their chiweenie, Dolly.  They have four grown children and one grandchild.

The community has recognized Candace’s contributions through Open Door Mission through a variety of honors, including

  • Recognition by the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness in 2001 for her outstanding efforts in the area of homeless services and the Metro Area Continuing Care for the Homeless
  • The 2003 Nebraska Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives “Best Practices” Award
  • The 2004 Nebraska Health System Humanitarian Service Award
  • Honorary Doctorate, Clarkson College, May 2004
  • The 2005 Honored Citizen Award from Woodmen of the World Alpha Lodge 1
  • The 2007 Bridging the Gap Humanitarian Award
  • The 2007 Gershoms Award for promoting excellence and giving back to the community
  • The 2008 Omaha Public Schools A+ Advocate Award
  • The 2011 Great Leadership and Outstanding Witness (GLOW) Award
  • The 2011 WOWT Six Who Care Award
  • The 2015 West Omaha Cosmopolitan Club Community Service Award
  • The 2018 Association of Gospel Rescue Missions Marilyn Farmer Leadership Award
  • The 2020 Heartland United for Puerto Rico’s Community Partner Award
  • The 2021 50 Over 50 Nebraska Nonprofit Award
  • The 2022 Aksarben Contribution to Philanthropy and Community Service Award

Candace’s leadership has also brought recognition to Open Door Mission as an organization, recently including

  • Citygate Network (formerly Association of Gospel Rescue Missions) Phase One Program Certification for “commitment to a standard of excellence in all aspects of ministry.”
  • The 2018 Greater Omaha Chamber Business Excellence Award in Innovation for its Manna Pantry approach to the distribution of gifts-in-kind to individuals and families in need
  • One of Omaha’s “Best Places to Work,” 2018

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