John Gottschalk

In high school John Gottschalk received an “A+” on an English paper with a note from his teacher: “You can do better.” Confused by the message, John asked his father for advice. He responded, “Son, she wants everything you’ve got. If there is an opportunity or a responsibility to do well, give it everything you’ve got.”

Since then, John’s commitment to making a difference with everything he’s got has been evident in his professional career as a 4th-generation newspaper publisher and owner along with his visionary community leadership, quiet philanthropy, and outdoor advocacy. His extensive servant leadership with Scouting, includes a term as the 2008-2010 BSA National President, where he led the BSA National Executive Board to commit to the historic establishment of the world-class Summit Bechtel Reserve.  

Professionally, John is the retired president, chairman, publisher, and CEO of Omaha World-Herald Company, Inc.

Why I give...

“I want my legacy to my children and grandchildren to be a continuation of our national engagement in outdoor activities and preservation of wildlife throughout the United States.”
‒ John Gottschalk

“You cannot have a self-governing nation unless you have people who engage fully in their responsibilities. Scouting experiences develop a young person’s ownership and understanding of the  importance of being an involved citizen, servant leader, and a person of integrity who makes a difference for others.”
‒ John Gottschalk

Scouting Affiliation and Honors

  • BSA National President (2008-2010)
  • BSA National Executive Board Member (1994-present)
  • BSA Executive Vice President, National Council (2006-2008)
  • BSA Vice President, Administration, National Council (2002-2006)
  • 2001 National Scout Jamboree Chairman
  • Silver Buffalo Award (2002)
  • BSA Central Region Past President (1996-1999)
  • Silver Antelope Award (1998)
  • Mid-America Council Chairman (1994-1995)
  • Mid-America Council Trustee (1987-present)
  • Mid-America Council Endowment Chair (2000)
  • Mid-America Council Citizen of the Year (1998)
  • Silver Beaver Award (1995)
  • James E. West Fellowship Award
  • BSA Founders Circle Award

Venues at Summit Bechtel Reserve