Broadcast veteran and Bellevue University alumnus Andy Ruback is the CEO of Flood Communications, one of Nebraska’s largest and fastest-growing media operations, with a focus on radio, television, and online channels, and general and Hispanic audiences. Ruback is a 1999 graduate with a degree in Communications. Since graduating, Ruback has become well-recognized as a community and industry leader, and was named one of Radio Ink magazine’s “Best Managers” in addition to other recognitions.
What did you know about Bellevue University that prompted you to pursue your degree here?
Bellevue University has a stellar reputation and is well-known for investing in the success of their students. Part of the reason that this is possible is because of the smaller, more intimate classroom setting.
What did you enjoy the most about your Bellevue University experience?
Over the years, I have learned that while some would call my college experience non-traditional, it was certainly not uncommon. Like so many people I know, and many of them extremely successful individuals, I started at a large out-of-state university where I quickly became just another number. With lectures having 300 or 400 students, it was easy to get a bit lost in the system. In my experience, professors didn’t know their students by name, let alone take the time to invest in their success.
To me, people matter and you need to know people to empower them and help them achieve their goals. At Bellevue University, every professor knew every student and they truly cared about seeing their students excel.
What was one of your biggest takeaways from your educational experience at Bellevue University?
A cultural fit can be difficult to explain, but everyone knows when they feel a sense of inclusion. Bellevue University was a great fit for me. Not only did my classes offer value to my education and life, but I felt like I was valued in the classroom, as well. Being empowered to succeed is something that I have taken forward with me to my own employees. It’s important to both offer value and to be valued in life and working to empower others to achieve life goals is very fulfilling.
Tell us a little about the work and culture of Flood Communications.
Flood Communications is Nebraska’s premier, forward-leaning media operation with eight radio stations and two television networks. We have leading brands throughout the entire state. And, we stand by our reputation, our clients, our employees and our communities. With dedicated news, television, radio and social media teams, everything we do is to serve our audiences.
What do you enjoy most about your job as the CEO at Flood Communications?
There are innumerable reasons why I enjoy serving as the CEO of Flood Communications, but top amongst them is our dedicated employees. In my role, I’m ultimately responsible for the overall success of Flood Communication’s talented team of professionals and extensive network of Television, Radio, Hispanic, and Digital products.
And that is only possible because we have an amazing team. With more than 130 professionals throughout Nebraska, I’m thankful to be part of a team that is at the forefront of the industry evolution and creating new models for user and advertiser success every day.
What are some of the biggest challenges in your position?
Flood Communications is committed to communities throughout our state and for engaging our diverse populations. This diversity is represented in all ways – age, language, geography, political philosophy, urban and rural… And we represent our communities authentically and try to provide the best most relevant content. It’s a definite challenge, but very rewarding when you are able to help keep Nebraskans informed, entertained and engaged.
What are your interests outside of work and school?
First and foremost, I love spending time with my family and creating positive memories and experiences with my awesome wife and kids. Beyond that? The usual…fishing, bourbon, and playing the drums.
Who have been your biggest supporters in your academic and career endeavors?
That one is hard to narrow down. I’ve had the opportunities to work with incredible people at incredible companies over the years. Mentors are important. I’ve had the privilege to be mentored by some truly great people. They have set a gold standard in my life and I can only hope to be a mentor in a similar way to others in the future. It’s important to pay it forward in life and continue to be grateful.
Any major takeaways for our readers?
Life isn’t about just the finish line; it’s also about the journey. There is power and value in the process