Omaha Steaks

Lester Simon
Class of 1924

Alan D. Simon
Class of 1952

Frederick J. Simon
Class of 1955

Stephen H. Simon
Class of 1957

Omaha Steaks was founded in 1917 as Table Supply Meats by J.J. Simon and his son, B.A. Simon. Since then, the company has been a major cultural and economic force in Omaha with its 1,800 worker employment base and another temporary work force of 1,900 during the holiday season. The company also makes its telemarketing facility available to Central High groups such as the Alumni Association and P.E.P. for their annual telephone fundraising campaigns and supports numerous arts, health, and civic organizations, including Opera Omaha, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha Symphony, and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Lester Simon, B.A. Simon's son, joined the company in 1929, becoming president in 1946. He started the company's first mail-order venture in 1952, changed its name to Omaha Steaks, and moved the company to a new plant on South 96 Street in 1966.

Alan Simon, a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance, is the chairman of Omaha Steaks International. He has most recently received the Volunteer of the Year Award from President Bush.

Frederick J. Simon, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, serves on the boards of Joslyn Art Museum, Opera Omaha Foundation, the Santa Fe Opera and Chamber Music Festival, and many other civic organizations.

Stephen H. Simon, a graduate of the University of Indiana, is Vice President and General Manager of Omaha Steaks International, the Food Service division. His service includes being a board member of the Jewish Press, the Arizona Symphony, and the Arizona Center for Performing Arts.

Harold Cooperman

Class of 1933

Harold Cooperman came to Omaha from Poland at the age of five. After graduation from Central at age fifteen, he worked for his uncle, Al Wohlner, before opening the first Harold's Market in 1938. During World War II, Mr. Cooperman served in the U.S. Navy, managing the meat department of the base kitchen on Guam.

Mr. Cooperman returned to the grocery business after the war with his highly successful Locust Street establishment in Carter Lake, IA. In 1980, he revolutionized the local grocery store scene with a warehouse store called "No Frills". His innovative TV commercials, with his own costumed appearances as various historical and popular figures, have typified his hands-on approach to large business. The "No Frills" chain has recently expanded from ten stores to fourteen by taking over former Baker's and Albertson's sites. Mr. Cooperman's eleven-hour working days have characterized his work ethic, and his contributions to civic causes have demonstrated his devotion to the community.

Lee D. Seemann

Class of 1938

An outstanding athlete and member of the Crack Squad, Central's prestigious military drill team, Lee Seemann enrolled in Santa Clara University after high school. While in college, Mr. Seemann was elected President of his senior class, played football and participated in ROTC.

After his 1942 college graduation, Mr. Seemann went directly into the U.S. Air Force, where he became a B-17 pilot during WWII. Captain Seemann and his crew flew 33 combat missions over Europe. Capt. Seemann was awarded the Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals, the Purple Heart, the 96th Bomb Group Citation Medal and the Russian Citation Medal.

After the war, he returned home to Omaha and remained in the Air Force, attending the Army's prestigious Command and General Staff School. In 1947, he married Willa Davis (CHS Class of 1943). He began his career with the International Harvester Company and eventually began his own trucking business. Lee and Willa Seemann have supported many charities over the years, including a significant contribution to support Central's new stadium which will bear their name.

Alfred P. Pattavina

Class of 1942

A varsity wrestler at Central, Alfred "Al" Pattavina enlisted in the United States Army after graduation and served in the Pacific Theater during WWII until 1946. Active in the Army Reserves, Al was recalled to military duty during the Korean War. He left the service in 1952 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Mr. Pattavina received a degree in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska/Omaha and began a career noted for its public service. Mr. Pattavina joined the Omaha Police Department from 1947 and stayed for 34 years, moving from patrolman to Deputy Chief and then to Acting Chief. Mayor Gene Leahy named Mr. Pattavina the City of Omaha Director of Public Safety, and he retained that position, as well as the serving as Police Community Relations Coordinator, throughout the terms of the next three mayors. Mr. Pattavina was a charter member of the VFW and the Omaha Police and Fire Post #9551, and also helped to establish the ROTC program at Boys Town.

After his retirement, Mr. Pattavina became the Chief of Security for Bluffs Run and later for Big Red Keno.

Throughout his life, Mr. Pattavina enjoyed participating in youth sports, serving as a baseball umpire, volunteer high school wrestling coach and college wrestling official, receiving numerous awards and recognitions for his volunteerism. Married for more than 34 years to Arletta, Mr. Pattavina died on October 15, 2020, in Waterloo, NE.

William M. Kizer

Class of 1943

After his 1943 graduation from Central, William Kizer attended Iowa Sate University and Creighton University, and went on to serve in the Naval Air Corps during WWII. In 1977, Mr. Kizer established Central States Indemnity Company of Omaha and is now its chairman. In 1982, he established the Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELCOM), an organization that encourages businesses to support healthy workplace programs and practices for their employees. In 1986, Mr. Kizer established Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA), an Omaha-based organization that has fostered healthy workplace initiatives for businesses nationwide. His book, The Healthy Workplace: A Blueprint for Corporate Action, explores the need for and benefits of employee wellness programs in corporations large and small. In recognition of his efforts, Mr. Kizer was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in 1985 he was named Omaha Health Citizen of the Year.

In 2001, Mr. Kizer received both the Omaha Medical Society's Community Service Award and the Nebraska Medical Association's Friend of Medicine Award. Creighton University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have conferred honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees on Mr. Kizer.

Albert B. Crum

Class of 1949

After graduating from Central, Albert B. Crum went on to become one of the nation's leaders in the study of mental health, stress, and substance abuse. With an undergraduate degree from Redlands University, Dr. Crum went on to receive his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1957, followed by a Psychiatric Residency with Columbia University in 1963. He later also received an M.S. in Neuroanatomy/Neurosciences from NYU in 1987. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Mensa. A Clinical Professor of Behavioral Sciences at NYU, Dr. Crum is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. The Founder/President of Stress Watchers, Inc., a franchise company focusing on stress management, Dr. Crum has developed and patented products to help combat the impact of stress on the body's immune system. He created The Percept Method for Stress Relief and he is President/Founder of The ProImmune Company which has plans to market immune-enhanced dietary supplements.

As a physician, scholar, psychiatrist and forensic expert, Dr. Crum also provides assessments for traumatic stress, court testimony, psychiatric consulting and medical/forensic evaluations. In addition to a lengthy list of community service accolades and awards, Dr. Crum has published books and numerous articles and has been a speaker at many academic meetings and seminars.

Dr. Crum has also served as a Captain in the United States Air Force and Chief, Neuropsychiatric Service at Continental Air Command HQ.

David P. Young

Class of 1954

David P. Young's Central High experience included Concert Band, Debate, Road Show, Central High Players, Hi-Y, Latin Club and Journalism. After graduating from CHS, Mr. Young went on to Carlton College, graduating with honors in English in 1958. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at Yale University in 1959 and 1965.

During his nearly half-century career, Mr. Young's published works have included ten volumes of poetry as well as eleven volumes of verse translated from Chinese, German, Spanish and Czech. Mr. Young's other works include creative nonfiction and critical studies of Shakespeare and Yeats. He has edited six anthologies and received fourteen major awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979 and the Pushcart Prize in 2002.

Mr. Young has taught at Oberlin College since 1961, including visiting professorships at Harvard, Bread Loaf School of English, Yeats International Summer School and University of California/Irvine.

Nathaniel R. Goldston III Class of 1956

Nathaniel R. Goldston founded Gourmet Services, Inc., the largest wholly black-owned food services management company. His 2,500 employees provide meals to 40,000 students attending universities and 360,000 students attending three urban school districts.

Mr. Goldston was an active student at CHS, participating in Student Council, ROTC, football and golf. After getting a start in the food service industry at Omaha's Blackstone Hotel, Mr. Goldston earned a business degree with specialization in hotel and restaurant management. He went on to work in the catering industry and advanced rapidly to senior vice president.

Mr. Goldston has received numerous awards, including the "Catalyst Award," which recognizes Atlanta's most promising businesses, and Turner Broadcasting's "Trumpet Award." Mr. Goldston founded the 100 Black Men of Atlanta and went on to become one of five founders of the 100 Black Men of America. He also serves on several national boards including the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, the University of Denver.

Rudolph Smith, Sr.

Class of 1963

When photojournalist Rudolph "Rudy" Smith joined the staff of The Omaha World-Herald in 1964, he became the first African American to work in the News Department. Since then, his photographs have reached national and international audiences through the pages of Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Newsday, Life, Time, Ebony, among others. The winner of more than 50 awards for excellence in photography, Mr. Smith is widely known as a "community catalyst" for his efforts on behalf of North Omaha and the metropolitan Omaha community. As a student leader at the University of Nebraska/Omaha, Mr. Smith helped establish UNO's Department of Black Studies and introduced legislation to remove discriminatory housing practices near campus. He later became the first African American faculty member in the UNO Department of Communications and served as an instructor there for many years.

Mr. Smith helped develop scholarship programs for minority students as well as a training program to improve business opportunities for women and minorities across Nebraska. Mr. Smith served as chair of the State Affirmative Action Committee throughout the terms of four Nebraska governors. In partnership with the NAACP, Mr. Smith developed initiatives to support youth and university students, to improve police-and-community relations and to increase jobs for minorities in trade unions and restaurants. In collaboration with the Great Plains Black Museum, Mr. Smith published Visions of the Great Plains, History of Blacks in Nebraska from1865. He is a co-creator of Discover Omaha, a board game used in Omaha schools.

Mr. Smith has been honored with the UNO Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and was the only photojournalist ever inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Howard Rosenberg

Class of 1969

Howard Rosenberg is currently a Washington, D.C.-based producer for ABC's "Prime Time Live." While a student at Central, Mr. Rosenberg served as a photographer for the Register and O-Book, and went on to graduate with honors from George Washington University and to serve in the U.S. Navy. His Atomic Soldiers (Beacom, 1980) documented abuses in the nuclear testing program of the 1950s and established his credentials nationally, especially when his book served as a basis for the 1989 TNT show "Nightbreaker" starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez and then went on to win the Writer's Guild Award for Best Teleplay.

An award winning investigative reporter, Mr. Rosenberg worked for "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" from 1884 to 1990 before becoming a producer for "60 Minutes" from 1991 to 1997. Recent television credits include "Rumsfield's Rules of War" and "9/11: Moment of Crisis." A prolific writer, his articles have been featured in dozens national publications.

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Last Updated: Monday, August 07, 2020