Chris Hochstetler

Chris Hochstetler

Hastings College

Chris Hochstetler, MPA is the Dean of Innovation and Creativity for Hastings College. He is married to Kelly Bates Hochstetler and they have two children, Hayley (24) and Tanner (21). Hochstetler was born to a single mother in Grand Island and he and his siblings were homeless for much of his childhood. After extended years in foster care, he graduated from Grand Island Senior High. He enlisted in the Army and had a 20-year decorated career, serving in various assignments including Europe and Iraq. He is a combat veteran and his last assignment in the Army was the Acting Battalion Sergeant Major of the Army’s only Special Operations Recruiting Battalion, a unit with a critical world-wide mission that he helped to create. During his service, Hochstetler was awarded the Legion of Merit, our nation’s seventh highest military award, the Meritorious Service Medal, five Army Commendation Medals, nine Army Achievement Medals and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for superior unit action in combat operations. 

He holds a B.S. in Legal Studies with a History minor from the University of Maryland and a Master of Public Administration, specializing in nonprofit management leadership from Walden University. Hochstetler’s career has included being the Chief Executive Officer of the KANEKO, a nonprofit center for creative exploration, the Director of Fund Development for the Missionary Society of St. Columban and the Senior Vice President of Resource Development for the American Lung Association.
He has dedicated the past 25 years to examining and implementing nontraditional creative approaches to encouraging and fostering interorganizational partnerships and employing innovation and the discovery of multi-disciplinary solutions for complex problems.

He serves on the Board of Directors for Christian Children’s Home Foundation in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Nebraskans for the Arts, Bridges out of Poverty, the Nebraska Writer’s Collective and the Grand Island Children’s Museum Steering Committee.

Turning Passion into Purpose.