Joseph Heieck – Class of 2001

Joseph Heieck graduated from Burke High School in 2001, and he currently serves as the President & CEO of gWorks, a software technology company providing a proprietary suite of software to run small local governments. Before leading gWorks, Joseph was U.S. Naval Officer specializing in Special Warfare Intelligence. He holds a BA in History from the University of Notre Dame (2005) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (2014).

While a student at Burke, Joseph was active in academics, sports, and extracurricular activities. Of note, he was a four-year varsity letter member of the Boys’ Tennis Team and served as team captain during his Junior and Senior Years. Joseph was also a member of the Academic Decathlon team that won State during his Senior Year and competed in the Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska. His most important memories of Burke are dating his wife, Jennifer (Petersen) Heieck (2001). They began dating their Junior Year when they were 16 and have been together ever since.

While attending the University of Notre Dame, September 11th occurred. This tragedy had a profound impact on Joseph’s life as he pivoted his conviction and aspirations to serving our country. He entered the Naval service in 2004 and was commissioned as a Naval Intelligence Officer. Joseph specialized in Special Warfare Intelligence and spent most of his career executing intelligence operations in conjunction with and in support of the Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other Special Operations elements. He served at SEAL Team THREE and completed deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. While deployed, Joseph and his team developed and delivered over 500 special operations to his SEALs and other Spec Ops teams. He is grateful for his experience, but he carries the names of his brothers-in-arms who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and he thinks of them often. By the time of his honorable discharge, Joseph had received numerous awards, including the Bronze Star, multiple commendation and achievement medals from the Navy and the Army, and various campaign and coalition medals.

Upon completing his MBA from Harvard Business School, Joseph began his entrepreneurial journey when he returned to Omaha to search for a small company to acquire, which would be GIS Workshop out of Lincoln, Nebraska, in January 2015. This small technology company was providing digital mapping (called “GIS”) software and services to 120 counties across Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota with 15 employees. Under Joseph’s leadership and vision, GIS Workshop became gWorks, and it has grown to provide a broad suite of mission-critical software that cities and counties need to run their governments. gWorks is now headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, and it serves nearly 2,500 small local governments across the United States with nearly 100 employees. The industry media company, e.Republic has recognized gWorks as one of the top GovTech companies in the United States for the past two years.

Grateful for the mentors he has had throughout his life, Joseph devotes time to mentoring veterans transitioning from active service into private life. He also mentors and invests in aspiring entrepreneurs. Joseph is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Young Presidents Organization.

Joseph and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Omaha, Nebraska—near Burke—and have three young children.