Kolterman seeks to build on public service
Above: Sen. Mark Kolterman guides grandsons Elliott (left) and Graham in the art of marshmallow roasting.
Seward Sen. Mark Kolterman’s face lights up as he describes the tree house he is currently building for his four grandchildren to enjoy. Although he has spent almost his entire career in the insurance business, Kolterman holds a degree in building construction and calls woodworking a passion.
“The tree house is going to be big,” he laughed. “Bigger than I originally intended.”
Kolterman said that after raising daughters Jessica and Jennifer, he enjoys having grandsons to spoil—even if they use the tree house only a few times a year.
His wife Suzanne enjoys his handyman skills as well, he said.
“She likes that I’m able to tackle the ‘honey do’ list,” he said, adding that he has been married to his “high school sweetheart” for 43 years. Both grew up in Seward and their ties to the community run deep.
Kolterman was a volunteer firefighter for 14 years and has been involved in various forms of community service since high school. He said it runs in the family, noting that his twin brother Clark started the town’s famous Fourth of July celebration back in 1969.
“He’s been chairman of the celebration ever since,” he said. “Our whole family grew up in public service.”
Kolterman currently operates an insurance agency with his wife, which he says works well because they have an agreement. “I’m the boss at the office; she’s the boss at home,” he joked. “But everybody knows that she’s really the boss, period.”
The couple enjoys traveling both within Nebraska and beyond, he said, adding that it’s important for people to make time to see different parts of the country.
An annual winter trip has been a highlight for the last 12 years, he said, although the demands of being a state senator might interfere this year.
Kolterman said it will be difficult to balance an outside career and serving his district at the Capitol, but he is up for the challenge. Kolterman said he is not ready to retire and sees the Legislature as a chance to expand his public service while still maintaining his business.
“I think that people know that I’m here to serve them and I’m ready to get started,” he said.