Pete Ricketts understands the value of hard work, giving back to our communities, and working together to find common sense solutions. Born in Nebraska City and raised in Omaha, Pete is the son of an entrepreneur and a public school teacher. Pete and his wife Susanne have been married for 17 years and live in Omaha with their three children, sophomores Roscoe and Margot and 8th grader Eleanor.
Growing up, Pete’s first job was running a paper route during junior high and he later worked at Burger King in high school. He graduated from Westside High School before attending the University of Chicago where he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and an MBA in marketing and finance. After college, Pete returned to Omaha and worked for Union Pacific before working as a customer services representative in his family’s business, a company that would eventually become known as Ameritrade, Inc. He went on to hold leadership roles in the company including Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Senior Vice President of Product Development, Senior Vice President of Marketing, President, and Chief Operating Officer (COO).
In August 2005, Pete left his position as COO to become the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate against Ben Nelson. He won the three-person 2006 primary election with nearly fifty percent of the vote. In the fall of 2007, the Nebraska Republican Party selected Pete as their national committeeman to serve on the Republican National Committee, a position he held until the fall of 2012.
Pete is the founder of Drakon, LLC that supports local entrepreneurs and startup companies. He also serves on the TD Ameritrade Board of Directors and is a director for the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
Driven by a desire to give back to his community and create education and job opportunities, Pete has taken on leadership roles in local and state associations and organizations. Currently, he serves as a board member and treasurer for Bellevue University, a board member of the Christian Urban Education Service Foundation (CUES) and a member of the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he serves as a director for the Children’s Scholarship Fund Foundation, a director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of Opportunity Education Foundation, a member of the Archbishop’s Committee for Development, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. Previously, Pete has served on the boards of the Metro Board of the YMCA and Community Health Charities and as a chairman of the Children’s Scholarship Fund. Pete and his family attend St. Margaret Mary’s parish.