After over twenty-two years working for Prairie Public Broadcasting, and an additional twenty-four years at Allegiance Software, Lois O’Meara retired at the end of March 2020.
Lois graduated from Minnesota West Community and Technical College in 1973, and shortly after she joined the staff of Prairie Public Broadcasting as Membership Coordinator. In 1982, she was promoted to Membership Manager growing individual donor count from 800 to over 25,000. Responsible for managing a staff of ten and raising over $2M annually, she led the membership department to win major PBS and NPR national awards for Excellence in Over-All Development Customer Service, Additional Gift Campaigns, and New Donor Acquisition. Beginning in 1977 she worked alongside software developer Sonja Jensen on a membership management solution, which became the foundation of the Allegiance Fundraising System marketed by Allegiance Software.
In 1996, Lois joined the growing Allegiance Software team. She was a major player in building the client base from 20 to over 200, conducting on-site and conference demos, installations and training workshops nationwide. She served as Senior Lead Trainer for the Fundraising, Auction, and Volunteer Management Systems. She managed both the Support and Services teams during her tenure and served on the Fundraising Software Development Team committee. The company became part of Allegiance Fundraising Group in November 2017, and through several company acquisitions, the staff has grown to over 140 team members.
Commenting on Lois’ legacy, Allegiance Fundraising Group CEO, Rich Aukland said, “Lois has been an integral part of the team at Allegiance since the start. She is passionate about the organizations we serve and has been committed to their success for more than three decades. She has trained and mentored our team members over the years and been a great coach to many of us. We will miss her and are wishing her a very enjoyable and well deserved retirement.“
When recently asked about working for Allegiance, Lois talked about the software industry and her colleagues: “Software is never done. It’s always changing. It is very satisfying to see something that I’ve been a part of since the beginning blossom into such a wonderful product. I get great satisfaction in seeing clients buy our products and watch their organizations grow and progress using our products. The people I work with are all top-notch. They’re good at their jobs and have excellent work ethic. I appreciate their talents and what they bring to our products. Everyone is a team player. My years working in public broadcasting and fundraising software has been so rewarding. I have been blessed in my professional career.”
Lois plans to enjoy retirement at her home in northern Minnesota, spending time with her spouse of 45 years, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.