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Background & History

Mission Statement:  To regulate and control the alcoholic beverage industry and beverages within and into the State of Nebraska in an efficient, effective manner in order to promote the public health, safety and welfare.


Director Background

Director:  Hobert B. Rupe

Hobie Rupe was appointed Executive Director by the Commission in December 2003 and began his duties on January 15, 2004.

Prior to serving as Executive Director he was an Assistant Attorney General for the State from May 1994 until January 2004. As an Assistant Attorney General he served as legal counsel/administrative prosecutor from September 2001 until January 2004.

He is admitted to practice before the Nebraska Supreme Court, The Federal District Court for Nebraska, The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and The United States Supreme Court.

He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law and a 1989 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in History and Government.

Commissioners Background

Chairman:  Bruce Bailey
Term Expires: 5/24/2029

Bruce Bailey is Founder and Partner of Design Associates, Architectural & Engineering firm, doing work throughout the United States. He has experiences from past work on many Boards including Lincoln Electric Board, Lancaster County Planning Commission, City of Lincoln Board of Zoning Appeals, The Great Plains Alzheimer’s Board, Lancaster County Family Services Board, Lincoln Children’s Museum Board, Past President of Lincoln Independent Business Association and currently active with LIBA Foundation, LIBA Advisory, Autumn House Foundation, and Emerald Communities board which specialize in Assisted Living Facilities for Memory Care.


Commissioner:  Harry Hoch Jr
Term Expires: 5/24/2025

Harry Hoch was appointed by Governor Pete Ricketts in January of 2019 and voted to the commission by the legislature in March of 2019.

Harry was born in St. Louis, MO.  His family moved to Omaha in 1964.  He attended Creighton Preparatory School graduating in 1972.  Harry attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1976 and graduated from the College of Business with a degree in Marketing.

Harry’s business experience took him to Grand Island where he was President of H & H Distributing.  He was a respected business leader and and very involved in the community; serving  on many Non-Profit Boards including Stuhr Museum Foundation, Hope Harbor and Central Catholic Foundation.  He also served on the National Beer Wholesalers Board for two different terms.

He and his wife moved back to Omaha in 2015 and are involved in the Omaha community.  He represents the Second Congressional District.


Commissioner:  Kim Lowe
Term Expires: 5/24/2027

Kim Lowe from Kearney graduated from Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska Kearney).  Kim has partnered with her family and husband's family in their families real estate holdings, focusing on collections and maintenance.  Ms Lowe has also been involved with many businesses that she and her husband have been involved in which have included O'Mallys Irish Pub, Einsteins Nightclub, Nebraska Imaging, Nebraska Bevinco, Toppers Frozen Yogurt and Platte Valley Brewery.  Kim has volunteered for many organizations in the Kearney community.  Kearney Catholic GOLD Fundraiser, Healthcare Clinic, Central Nebraska LOSS Team Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors, Prince of Peace Catholic Church.

History of Directors

1935 - 1947: Max Adams

1948 - 1951: Oril A. Barber

1952 - 1967: Walter C. Hasse

1968 - 1975: Georgia D. Kuebler

1976 - 1982: Terrance D. Micek

1983 - 1984: Larry Wewal

1985 - 2003: Forrest D. Chapman

2004 - Present: Hobert B. Rupe

(From 1935 - 1980, the Directors were called Secretaries.)

History of Commissioners

Year Commission #1 Year Commissioner #2 Year Commissioner #3
1935-36 Thos. Gass 1935-38 W.W. Carmichael 1935-46 J.A. MC Eachen
1937-48 Theo M. Osterman 1939-44 Jackson B. Chase 1947-50 Blaine Young
1949-60 Nathon B. Pont 1945-46 John F. Mericle 1951-52 G.H. Rydman
1961-62 Vernon Taylor 1946-46 Jackson B. Chase 1953-56 Tal Coonrad
1963-68 Alma W. Stephens 1947-50 Marcus L. Poteet 1957-58 Victor Bremer
1969-72 Ivan A. Armstrong 1951-52 Gus Prestegaard 1959-60 Frank Sorrell
1973-78 Lowell Shaffer 1953-56 Carl E. Linn 1961-64 Francis Robinson
1979-84 Herbert J. Duis 1957-74 Ray Osborn 1965-70 Thomas J. Cheslak
1985-91 Donald N. Dworak 1975-80 Phil Weaver 1971-76 Edward Robinson
1992-99 John 'Jack' Crowley 1981-86 William H. Palmer 1977-80 Catherine Dahlquist
1999-2009 Rhonda Flower 1987-92 Fred 'Bob' Sikyta 1981-82 Thomas Fitzgerald
2009-2021 Janice Wiebusch 1993-99 Nancy J. McGinley 1983-88 John P. Miller
2021-2026 Kim Lowe 1999-2011 Robert 'Bob' Logsdon 1989-95 William R. Skarda
    2011-2014 William Austin 1996-2007 Richard L. Coyne
    2014-2017 Bruce Bailey 2008-2019 Robert 'Bob' Batt
    2018-2023 Bruce Bailey 2019-2025 Harry A Hoch Jr

Each Commissioner serves a six year fixed term, and must represent one of the three congressional districts within Nebraska. Their powers and duties include:

  1. Final administrative approval of all retail liquor licenses.
  2. Conducting citation hearings, which include deciding innocence or guilt and imposing sanctions on licensees ranging from a letter of reprimand to revocation of the license.
  3. Establishment of rules and regulations.