About Rita Sanders

Rita Gomez Sanders served 8 years as Mayor for the City of Bellevue, Nebraska, home of Offutt Air Force Base. She was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

Rita was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Her father is of Filipino descent and her mother is of German descent. As a teenager, Rita moved to Germany for 5 years, then to Livermore, California. In 1983 Rita moved to Bellevue, Nebraska, where she started a family (2 sons ages 36 and 35). Rita and her husband are commercial re-estate developers, they built and own Richmont Senior Living Retirement Campus in the heart of Bellevue.

Rita’s education interest is in Global Studies and she continues to make education part of her lifestyle. She continues to take classes at Bellevue University. “It is as a way to keep in touch with the next generation, their thoughts, desires, passion and how they see the world.”

Rita’s involvement in her community has been very active. She lives by the motto “if you’re going to complain, be part of the solution.”

Community Involvement:

  • Member of St. Mary’s Church
  • Past president and founder of the Bellevue Garden Club
  • Supported Habitat for Humanity projects
  • Braided River Quilters supporting the Sarpy County Museum Quilt Show and the Sarpy County Fair
  • Past Chairman of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce
  • Current member of the Offutt Advisory Council (OAC)
  • Gaduate of the Bellevue Police Citizen’s Academy
  • Past president of the Bellevue Senior Citizen Center
  • Former Nebraska Commissioner on the Status of Women
  • Member of the 57th National Security Forum, Air War College at Air University
  • Former Commissioner of the Nebraska Crime Commission
  • The Nebraska Commission on Military and Veterans affairs
  • Former Board Member of The Salvation Army, Omaha
  • A Nebraska Diplomat and past Chairman of the Metro Area Planning Agency for the Omaha metro area
  • Currently serving on the UNMC Board of Counselors
  • Past Chair of the American Heart Association annual Gala
  • Member of the STRATCOM Consultation Committee (SCC)
  • President-elect of the Kiwanis Club of Bellevue

 

Awards:

  • Inducted into the Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame
  • AKSARBEN Good Neighbor Citation, 1994
  • Bellevue Ambassador of the Year Award, 2005
  • Omaha World-Herald Worthy Women of Distinction, 2009
  • Bellevue Mayor’s Jewel of Bellevue Award for the Bellevue Garden Club, 2007
  • Status of Offutt AFB Wingman, 2005
  • Small Business of Excellence Award, 2005
  • Bellevue Chamber of Commerce
  • The Silver Arrow Award, 2007
  • Inducted in the Business Hall of Fame, 2019.
  • Filipino Asian Hall of Fame for Excellence in Public Service Award, 2017
  • Nebraska National Guard’s Distinguished Service Award for Civilians, 2018

 

Education:

  • Makaha, Hawaii K-5, Germany 6-9, California 10-12
  • Bryman College 1976-77, Dental Assistant
  • Bellevue University 2005-Present
  • Life-long learner

 

Hobbies:

  • Gardening
  • Quilting
  • Cooking
  • Marathon runner
  • Rock climber
  • Hiker
  • Paddler
  • All around outdoor enthusiast

 

Recent Activities:

  • Panelist at the ADC Conference (Association of Defense Communities)
    serving military communities. The discussion included:
    1. Rebuilding Offutt AFB for the future and community support
    2. Ensuring consistent and highly effective education capabilities in defense communities
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