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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

June 12, 2020

Firms, clients take advantage of work-from-home environments to expedite updates, renovations by Michelle Leach

Architects and client-partners are using the current public health crisis as an opportunity to take on renovation and other projects that under normal circumstances would have been operationally disruptive, and to consider the ways “lessons learned” can be integrated into improved building designs. “Very few projects have come to a complete stop,” said Robert Franco, Jr., vice president of business development and marketing at Prochaska and Associates. “The obvious ones are city and local government projects Franco because they’re in a deficit now.” The firm is seeing a “change in scope;” for example, Franco said distribution centers with essential workers are taking a step back to see how they should operate. “We see this down to office environments, people are reassessing the changes they need to make for the future based on COVID,” he said. Franco anticipates a shift back to the “closed office system” and higher-walled cubicles to facilitate separation.

Reaanddit

picked up the slack for a lot of people who couldn’t afford groceries. They turned into food banks.” As of last week, CEO Jack Jackson said Jackson-Jackson and Associates hadn’t seen any clients request design modifications driven by the pandemic. “At this time, our clients are still trying to determine operating policy for the next

Jack Jackson, CEO at Jackson-Jackson & Associates. The firm is also jumping ahead and and vendors going in and out. He also sees schools as becoming more researching all of the different ways health care and educational institutions can be of a “community hub.” “Schools can be an anchor to educate flexible with their spaces; for instance, how to address the issue of assessing pa- and accept diversity throughout the comtients before they are allowed to enter the munity, with everything that is going on hospital, or managing movement at schools in our society now,” Franco said, citing an — with mass numbers of students, faculty example during COVID-19: “The schools

Monzu Froschheiser few months to stay in or get back into operation before a vaccine can be developed,” he said. “We think most are looking at this as a temporary setback and it does not seem to be driving permanent design trend changes that we have seen.” Jackson’s team was able to work from the offices to meet deadlines, while also meeting guidelines. “We were prepared to work remotely if need be, but we needed full engagement from our staff to meet required deadlines and working remotely would have diminished our efficiencies,” he said. “We only had one project start date moved back about four months due to enrollment uncertainties … client-directed trends for our firm have changed very little.” Leo A Daly Senior Project Manager (and health care design specialist) Jeff Monzu said that pre-pandemic, most architectural offices were very busy with several active projects. “The abrupt impact of COVID-19 is that there are clients that took an opportunity to accelerate projects because of the slowdown, like schools without students,” he said. “But there were also many that put a halt to early planning projects because they needed to evaluate the impact this pandemic would have on future projects.” For instance, Monzu referenced questions, such as how medical clinics handled patient registration, or how office spaces might downsize. A lot of trends are also being tested during the re-opening stage: Fewer waiting areas (physician offices, salons, ticket lines), facilitating circulation Continued on next page.

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Architecture — inside JUNE 12, 2020

THE BUSINESS NEWSPAPER OF GREATER OMAHA, LINCOLN AND COUNCIL BLUFFS

THIS WEEK 'S ISSUE:

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VOL. 46 NO. 24

Mosaic expands autism programs and at-home senior services by Richard. D. Brown

Lincoln’s Pour Craft Beer & Spirits taps into creativity of craft beer community. – Page 2

40 er d Un 40

Walls works to improve inclusiveness in design industry, organizations. – Page 3

e urc so ent e n R em ma nag u H Ma

Onslaught of challenges to managing employees call for best practices, present job stability for HR. – Page 22

Mosaic, a consolidation of two Nebraska-born Lutheran ministries with roots going back 107 years, is undertaking a five-year strategic objective to double its size in terms of the numbers of persons served and the size of its budget. President and CEO Linda Timmons said the current thrust — as well as many others through the years — is what keeps the Omaha-based nonprofit both proud of its past and focused on the future. Timmons, who began her employment with the organization as a high school student in 1987, has headed Mosaic since 2008. Over the years Mosaic has evolved into a whole person health care organization providing empowerment to more than 3,700 persons in 10 states who have intellectual and behavioral disabilities. Mosaic has about 4,200 employees over its service area of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut and Delaware. About 500 workers are assigned Continued on page 9.

President and CEO Linda Timmons … Providing empowerment to over 3,700 people in 10 states. (Photo by MBJ / Becky McCarville)

ILC tackles the legal system to reduce barriers, improve access for immigrants by Savannah Behrends

Established in 1999, the Immigrant Legal Center has helped thousands of immigrants in Nebraska and Southwest Iowa understand and navigate the legal system. Last year the team of 43 handled 4,297 cases, a 158% increase from 2014 when it handled 1,664 cases. While the need has always

been prevelant, it has been exacerbated by the current pandemic as many low-income immigrant families grapple with lay-offs and the health care system. Sixty-six percent of food processing employees in Nebraska are immigrants, and as of May 21, at least 25% of COVID-19 cases statewide were related to operaContinued on page 9.

Brooke and Dan Loutzenhiser, owners, Stories Coffee Co.

Organizations deepen their commitment to community; social and environmental causes by Michelle Leach

Executive Director Erik Omar … Helping immigrants during a pandemic keeps team of 43 busy while working from home.

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series sharing firsthand experiences from local organizations on how their respective industries are adapting to COVID-19. Organizations are playing bigger roles in their communities, and those rooted in social consciousness are branching out, amid an environment whereby resolutions to society’s biggest ills are being sought.

“Our real purpose is to give back,” said Dan Loutzenhiser, co-owner of Stories Coffee Co. “We don’t want to be the ‘next Starbucks.’ We want to use the power of our business and give back to the people that couldn’t afford a $4 latte. Right now, we’re [supporting] the Hope Center for Kids.” That said, fellow owner and wife Brooke Loutzenhiser, noted they don’t want 114th and DavenContinued on page 11.


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Lincoln’s Pour Craft Beer & Spirits taps into creativity of craft beer community by Becky McCarville

Pour Craft Beer & Spirits co-owners Tim Oehlerking and Josh Fiedler wanted to create a welcoming craft beer hangout featuring quality crafted brews from breweries near and far for the southeast Lincoln bar’s lineup of 24 taps. Highend spirits, cocktails, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are also on the menu. This combination has proven to be popular

Pour Craft Beer & Spirits Phone: 402-904-4771 Address: 4400 S. 70th St., Suite 100, Lincoln 68516 Services: 24 craft beer tap handles, high-end spirits, wines, cocktails, cider and sodas Founded: Dec. 2018 by Tim Oehlerking and Josh Fiedler Employees: 8 including the two owners Industry outlook: Evolution of the industry and the creativity of craft brewers results in new trends, flavors. Website: pourcbs.com

and in its first year of opening, Pour Craft Beer & Spirits took top honors as the best beer bar in Nebraska for 2020 by the Brewers Association. “We take great pride in getting beers on tap that are unique and have a story behind them and are approachable to everybody — not only the craft beer aficionado but also somebody that might walk into our place that didn’t know that we were a craft beer bar and maybe come up and

Co-owner Tim Oehlerking … Creating a welcoming space in southeast Lincoln for beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. order a macrobrew,” Oehlerking said. “Obvious- or is not readily available in the state and has a ly we don’t have those on tap, but we will have good story behind it.” something that will appeal to pretty much every Educating customers about the art of craft beer drinker out there. We also knew that we beer and spirits is a passion of both Oehlerkwanted to do for spirits and cocktails the same ing and Fiedler. To engage customers, the thing that we do for craft beer. In other words, bar hosts events like tap takeovers, talks by we wanted to provide a high-quality product that brewery owners or reps, beer and food pairings maybe people didn’t necessarily know about and more.

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HR Business Partner, CQuence Health Group. Associations/Titles: President Elect on the HRAM Board. Hometown: Springfield, SD. Education: BS from Wayne State College and an MBA from Bellevue University. I also have my PHR certification and my SHRM-CP.

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Underwriters as a Payroll Clerk. Biggest career break: The best career decision I have made is accepting the job I have now. I have gained so much additional experience in several areas of HR and have had the opportunity to create processes and implement new technologies. I’m also lucky enough to work with a great team. The toughest part of the job: It’s always difficult to tell a really good candidate that we selected someone else. About my family: I’ve been married to my husband for 10 years and we have two great children. Harper is 8 and Bennett is 4. Book I finished reading recently: Jamie Ivey’s book “If You Only Knew”. She also has a really great podcast called “The Happy Hour” with Jamie Ivey. Something about me not everyone knows: I’m an ordained minister and had the privilege of marrying my best friend and her husband.

How my business will change in the next decade: I think we will see a dramatic shift in where, when and how our work is done in the next 10 years. More technology will develop that will continue to advance this trend. HR leaders need to be prepared for this and even drive it if they want to recruit top talent, drive productivity, and maintain a positive employee experience. Outside interests: I enjoy traveling and the arts. I love live theater. Seeing a show on Broadway is on my bucket list. Pet peeves: When people are not accountable to doing what they say they are going to do! Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere warm and on the beach. Favorite cause or charity: Abide. They have wonderful programs and partnerships with a mission to revitalize north Omaha, one neighborhood at a time. Favorite app: Instagram

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“Distributors also know that we promote the product very well and that we treat it with the respect that it deserves,” Oehlerking said. “It’s not just throwing on a craft beer. If this is a beer that hasn’t been in town before or has a unique story behind it, we will promote that on social media and then have a tasting.” For instance, Pour hosted a “tap takeover” featuring a variety of beers from Toppling Goliath, a brewery out of Decorah, Iowa. Kolby Wood, brewmaster and chef at Lincoln’s White Elm Brewing, made a gourmet multicourse meal and Pour pared each course with a beer from the brewery. Last year, the bar’s Old Fashioned Day event featured Pour bartenders’ various concoctions of the best-selling cocktail. The bar’s signature Old Fashioned is made with premium whiskey or rye, house-made simple syrup, a combination of bitters and garnished with house made bourbon-soaked cherries, served over filtered ice. Oehlerking and Fiedler have been involved in Lincoln’s craft beer scene for years, meeting while tending bar in a small taproom at Moran’s Liquor Works. Oehlerking is a homebrewer and is a certified judge in the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) organization, judging beer at brewing competitions. Fiedler was the photographer for Zipline Brewery for a time and has long been involved in the beer trading scene. “We were sitting talking one day and we were both looking to get involved professionally in the craft beer scene,” Oehlerking said. “Neither one of us had the desire to open up a brewery and we were just talking about what we could do and opening a craft beer bar came up … and we looked into it and that’s how the business came to be.” The thirst for different types of craft beer styles come in waves, he said. Right now, pasContinued on next page.

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Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

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Walls works to improve inclusiveness in design industry, organizations by Dwain Hebda

In the three years since Meaghan Walls founded Assistology, the company has given a jolt to the process of designing spaces that are not only Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, but also inclusive. “When I first came into the space, it was a really big shakeup and a big disruption of process and approach for the design industry in a lot of ways,” she said. “It took probably a solid year of education and conversations to really get some teams to understand that just being compliant isn’t good enough.” It’s been 30 years since the ADA was enacted, changing the professional landscape for people with disabilities. Walls said what makes her services unique is they push the concept of accessibility far past what ADA demands to meet people’s actual needs. “There are laws for certain aspects of environments inside and outside of our communities, but they haven’t really been updated much,” she said. “The last time was 2010 and there’s a lot that it doesn’t consider or cover. There’s a lot of disability groups that it doesn’t take into account. It

lacks attention to what the experience is like for individuals. “I think people are becoming more aware that there are things that can be improved, but there really isn’t anyone else in the space, besides me, who are helping figure out how to make it happen.” Technically an accessibility and assistive technology universal design consultant, Walls works mainly with organizations to enhance their offerings to their clients, in terms of accessibility. This includes providing training to the staff, enhancing physical structures and incorporating assistive technology. She also performs architectural consulting work for the design industry, helping teams integrate accessibility and inclusive design into built environments that go beyond the minimum of what code requires. “So, a lot of times in this industry people have gotten into a rut in terms of thought innovation and they’ll say, ‘Well, we’ve checked the boxes for compliance. That makes us accessible.’And that’s just not the case in many situations,” she said. “Once they wrap their head around that, then it is truly like a light bulb moment. Their thinking and their language around design starts to change a little bit, which is really awesome to see.” Assistology currently serves a segment of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, but Walls has visions of growing regionally. “With all of the stuff that can be done remotely, I would love to be able to work on projects around the country,” she said. “I think there’s definitely a need and there’s going to be opportunity. I think it’s just a matter of making those connections.” In addition to her growing business, Walls has also been an inclusion activist in the community, as co-founder and executive director of

2019

Pour Craft Beer & Spirits Continued from preceding page. try stouts — typically a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) stout with different adjuncts like cinnamon and cocoa nibs — are popular, along with New England/hazy IPAs. “We at Pour work really hard to have a selection that is creative and has a wide variety,” he said. “It’s nice that the craft beer industry allows you to do that. Back in the beginning of craft beer there was an IPA and a pale ale and maybe a lager and a brown ale and a stout. But now, the way that craft brewers differentiate themselves is really bringing the art side of things into the beer.” Brewers are adding uncommon ingredients during the brewing process, like grapes and wine musk, bacon, hemp/cannabis, beard yeast, oysters (“sea faring and rocky mountain”), doughnuts — you name it, it’s most likely in a beer. “It’s the creativity of the craft brewer that really keeps it popular,” he said. “They make good basic beers but they’re constantly trying to push the envelope and create new styles for people to try. That’s one of the real interesting things about being a craft beer bar is the new styles that come out and the great versions of them from various brewers.” To continue to serve customers and survive during the pandemic, Pour started offering drink “bundles” for pick up. “We would provide you with enough single servings of our mix to make six drinks and then we gave you a recipe card and a fruit for garnish depending on the drink, and then we would give you a bag of our ice,” he said. “So, everything that you needed to create our cocktail at home we provide. Then after the governor relaxed the liquor to go laws, in addition to our full bundles, we made mini bundles” — individual mixed cocktails to go, served in a mason jar. With an eye on how other establishments fare as they reopen, Pour will start “Phase 1” of its reopening to the public on Tuesday, June 16 (barring a major spike of coronavirus cases in Lincoln), with reduced capacity and hours. The bar is upgrading its HVAC filtration system to remove viruses and allergens.

President and CEO Meaghan Walls … Helping organizations go beyond just checking the boxes to be ADA compliant. Imagine Inclusion. for that; this is a small organization taking on “It’s an all-volunteer organization focused big projects.” on supporting projects and programs for greater A native of Omaha, Walls graduated in 2004 accessibility and inclusion in our community,” from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indishe said. “[Imagine Inclusion] came about, ana, with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics initially, because we identified a need for better and a minor in chemistry. She holds a Master of accessible outdoor recreational spaces. It’s been Science from the University of Chicago, earned a lot of education around disability awareness in 2006, in bioengineering with an emphasis inclusion and acceptance, as well. on rehabilitation and assistive technology. In “It’s really about creating space that’s addition to her other roles, Walls is an adjunct usable for everybody. We know there’s a need professor at UNO.

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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

June 12, 2020

Firms, clients take advantage of work-from-home environments to expedite updates, renovations by Michelle Leach

Architects and client-partners are using the current public health crisis as an opportunity to take on renovation and other projects that under normal circumstances would have been operationally disruptive, and to consider the ways “lessons learned” can be integrated into improved building designs. “Very few projects have come to a complete stop,” said Robert Franco, Jr., vice president of business develo p m e n t a n d m a rketing at Prochaska and Associates. “The obvious ones are city and local government projects Franco because they’re in a deficit now.” The firm is seeing a “change in scope;” for example, Franco said distribution centers with essential workers are taking a step back to see how they should operate. “We see this down to office environments, people are reassessing the changes they need to make for the future based on COVID,” he said. Franco anticipates a shift back to the “closed office system” and higher-walled cubicles to facilitate separation.

picked up the slack for a lot of people who couldn’t afford groceries. They turned into food banks.” As of last week, CEO Jack Jackson said Jackson-Jackson and Associates hadn’t seen any clients request design modifications driven by the pandemic. “At this time, our clients are still trying to determine operating policy for the next

Jack Jackson, CEO at Jackson-Jackson & Associates. The firm is also jumping ahead and and vendors going in and out. He also sees schools as becoming more researching all of the different ways health care and educational institutions can be of a “community hub.” “Schools can be an anchor to educate flexible with their spaces; for instance, how to address the issue of assessing pa- and accept diversity throughout the comtients before they are allowed to enter the munity, with everything that is going on hospital, or managing movement at schools in our society now,” Franco said, citing an — with mass numbers of students, faculty example during COVID-19: “The schools

Monzu Froschheiser few months to stay in or get back into operation before a vaccine can be developed,” he said. “We think most are looking at this as a temporary setback and it does not seem to be driving permanent design trend changes that we have seen.” Jackson’s team was able to work from the offices to meet deadlines, while also meeting guidelines. “We were prepared to work remotely if need be, but we needed full engagement from our staff to meet required deadlines and working remotely would have diminished our efficiencies,” he said. “We only had one project start date moved back about four months due to enrollment uncertainties … client-directed trends for our firm have changed very little.” Leo A Daly Senior Project Manager (and health care design specialist) Jeff Monzu said that pre-pandemic, most architectural offices were very busy with several active projects. “The abrupt impact of COVID-19 is that there are clients that took an opportunity to accelerate projects because of the slowdown, like schools without students,” he said. “But there were also many that put a halt to early planning projects because they needed to evaluate the impact this pandemic would have on future projects.” For instance, Monzu referenced questions, such as how medical clinics handled patient registration, or how office spaces might downsize. A lot of trends are also being tested during the re-opening stage: Fewer waiting areas (physician offices, salons, ticket lines), facilitating circulation Continued on next page.


Architecture •

Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

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Architects easily share designs, communicate with clients via software by Gabby Christenen

The latest innovations in design software and controls have come to the forefront during current world events, local architects say. Matt Neaderhiser, associate/director of innovation at Holland Basham Architects (HBA), said technology has played an integral role in remotely connecting employees and clients, especially those that have a national and international presence. “Design software has become a me-

Work-from-home environments

Continued from preceding page. while limiting congregation, and methods to separate people — after several years of designing for team collaboration and interaction. Leo A Daly Project Manager Erin Froschheiser said that with employees working from home, many types of business and education clients are updating facilities (modifications to entrances, circulation paths, Robbins flex technology integration) to alleviate staff and student health concerns upon reopening. She also referenced partnering with Turner Construction to develop WorkWell, a “prefab modular building system that can be sited near entrances to buildings and public spaces and offers a safe and welcoming setting for health screenings.” Senior Interior Designer Heather Robbins also noted some companies are completing renovation work in a more efficient timeline — avoiding afterhours work and partitioning of construction from occupied spaces. In fact, its workplace and hospitality markets, Robbins said, “have seen owners accelerate renovation work while being closed to the public.”

dium to communicate, even more so than used in the past, where design charrettes have evolved into shared drawing sessions hosted on a screen,” he said. “With

riencing innovations like LED mapping software, OLED technology and kinetic lighting. “Lighting technology creates spatial

Neaderhiser Curry new virtual meeting technologies that allow multiple users to point and share information, we can share a presentation with our clients as though we are in the same room.” Warren Curry, architect at HBA, said the firm is committed to being at the forefront of design technology, developing methods to utilize holographic displays for presenting 3D content while maintaining social distancing. “Cloud collaboration has enabled real-time, team-based practice from anywhere while organizing project information, deadlines, and schedules,” he said. Sean Gibbons, project architect at HBA, said technology in lighting is expe-

Gibbons Dolezal awareness and brings comfort to our environments,” Gibbons said. “Lighting can be temporary or permanent, monumental or small, and sophisticated or playful to communicate emotion and ambiance.” Jeffrey Dolezal, principal of TACKarchitects, said the architectural industry has experienced dramatic advancements in the utilization of modeling software, rendering software and production software. “At TACKarchitects, we have researched and experimented with different software platforms in order to advance our productivity and workflow to better serve our clients,” he said. “We’re using a software called Rhino for 3D modeling our designs, which we can then export

for renderings to communicate the design intent to our clients.” Dolezal said these advancements in technology allow the client to understand in real-time the scale, materiality and lighting of both an interior space and exterior aesthetics. “Plug-ins such as Grasshopper and Lands Design have allowed us to create more complex geometries and green space in our work Kerns that can be exported to subcontractors for direct fabrication,” he said. “There are also programs on the horizon that will allow us to have live updates from our Rhino models directly within Revit, which is the architectural software we use for producing construction documents.” He said another game changer in the industry has been the development of the software Enscape, a virtual reality plug-in that allows real-time rendered views of design work. Dan Kerns, architecture manager at Schemmer, said building information modeling (BIM) is continuously expanding and becoming a more powerful tool for design Continued on page 7.


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

• Architecture

Interest in custom-built homes is growing by David Kubicek

Although modifying standard house plans is still popular, there has been a rising interest over the past few years in custom-built homes designed from scratch. “We analyze the scale, proportion, daylight and textural qualities of each indoor and outdoor space,” said Paul E. Nelson, who created PEN Architect in 2011 as a way to fulfill his interest in smaller cus-

Balancing function and form in this living/workspace. (Photo credit: Dana Damewood/PEN Architect)

tom residential and commercial projects. “These details contribute added character not normally developed on a standard set of builder drawings.” The vast majority of the firm’s projects involve upgrading and adapting existing properties to meet changing lifestyles. With rising expectations and aspirations for good design, this often involves returning a place back to its original style and condition. “There are great mid-century properties in our central neighborhoods, and we spend much of our time erasing ‘updated’ and inapNelson propriate elements that have been added to them over time,” Nelson said. Being involved in a project from beginning to end is important for the outcome of a successful design. Without that involvement, important details tend to get lost along the way. “Extra effort is always needed to do something the right way instead of the easy way,” Nelson said. “Working as an independent architect allows me to take on projects that fit my skills, interests and abilities.” Steven Ginn, founding principal of Steven Ginn Architects, said there are more players in the residential design market today than in the past. The market, as well as the idea of people building more homes

on speculation, challenges the traditional norms. Residential design has been in a state of flux recently. More and more the homebuilder controls the lot, the design and the construction, while the homeowner is responsible for fewer decisions. “Rather than homes being truly designed, they’re more often stock plans that are just slightly modified,” Ginn said. “We

Ginn Cuozzo start from scratch and generate something original for the client. The client comes to us with a lot in hand, and we design and build a home for them, and together we determine the contractor.” The process of designing a home begins by meeting with the clients to establish a budget, according to Carl Cuozzo, senior designer at Design Basics. “Most custom houses are going for $175 to $200 a foot,” he said. “Finishing above the grade is that price, and if you decide to finish the lower level it’s typically a little less.” From there the clients decide if they want a one-, one-and-a-half-, or two-story home. In a two-story all bedrooms are on the second level, and in a one-

and-a-half-story the master is on the main floor and the second bedroom is upstairs. Next, clients decide if they want an open floor plan concept and if they need any flexible space, how many bathrooms they want, and the orientation of the bedrooms. For instance, do they want the master and secondary bedrooms on opposite sides of the house? Do they want a front porch or a stoop? Do they want a gable Continued on page 8.

The Bell Hilltop Residence located in Tennessee blends rustic and modern design, inspired by the area’s history. (Photo credit: Assassi Productions/Steven Ginn Architects)


Architecture •

Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

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Heartland 2050 Vision preaches smarter community design, utility by Dwain Hebda

The Heartland 2050 Vision, a sweeping, regional plan released in 2014, is the model by which the Omaha metro can grow intelligently into the future. Six years into the plan the report card is mixed, say experts. One central tenet to the plan, housing, is particularly problematic, said Greg Youell, executive director at Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA). “ O n t h e h o u sing side the problem’s actually getting worse,” he said. “The need for middle housing, or ‘missing Youell middle’ as some people call it, are smaller lot, single-family townhomes and row houses in that middle housing price range of $140,000 to $225,000, up to $250,000. The market’s not really able to deliver a lot of that. “Even back in 2014 we were saying we’ve got a shortage in this area. But we’re

still building most housing for families like mine with kids and a yard. There’s a huge market of people that don’t necessarily need that or want that and that’s a real opportunity.” Youell said not only is inventory of such housing low, but rising costs across the board have resulted in challenges for buyers in certain income brackets. “The advantage we’ve had in the Omaha region, of lower housing costs, has always been one of our competitive advantages, but we’re slipping in that,” he said. Conversely, the Dobbe transportation pillar of Heartland 2050 has seen some fresh thinking come to pass, particularly pertaining to alternate modes of getting around. Fiona Kennedy, community manager with Heartland B-cycle, said the area’s demand for bicycle transportation is one Continued on next page.

Architects easily share designs, communicate with clients via software

Continued from page 5. and construction. “Whether it’s used for cost estimating purposes, clash detection, or energy modeling, the models we create provide us the opportunity to enhance our deliverables,” he said. “Additionally, we use software to provide our clients with augmented reality (AR) and/or virtual reality (VR) representations of their buildings. This allows our clients to see and interact with the end product before construction begins.” In the current COVID-19 environment, Kerns said 3D scanning allows minimum human interaction and a limited physical presence of people inside of a building, accommodating acceptable social distancing guidelines and recommendations.

He said the use of composite building materials is continuously evolving, especially in wood products. And in terms of design concepts, culture creation in built environments continues to be a topic of discussion. “Companies continue to realize that having workplaces that enhance work culture provides more productivity in their workforce,” he said. “Every workplace culture is different therefore we are forced to be creative, innovative and pragmatic in our designs.” Due to the pandemic, Kerns said the workplace is being remade and additional products and innovative solutions will become more commonplace in future buildings.

Community Manager Fiona Kennedy at a Heartland B-cycle bike sharing station at Council Bluff’s River’s Edge Park at the foot of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

• Architecture

Custom homes

Continued from page 6. roof? What style of house? “Once we get the plans done, [the clients] can take them to the builder, get the bids and permits needed to get into the construction phase,” Cuozzo said. Some of the designs that are hot right now include one-story living, split bedroom layout and open floor concepts with a dining room that’s open with the kitchen and the family room. Pocket offices are also popular — a small room just big enough for a desk for paying bills and doing other household business. Rear foyers, sometimes called “drop zones,” are also popular. “You come in and can set down your keys, papers, shoes and coats without going through the laundry room,” Cuozzo said.

Heartland 2050

Continued from preceding page. tangible example. “We’ve seen a real shift in Omaha [toward bicycling], even though Omaha is really tricky in that we have grown so much and we’ve moved so far west,” she said. “I think a good example of that is the Bike Share program, started with five stations inside Aksarben and 35 bikes. Now, here we are nine years later with 72 stations, about 300 bikes, some electric pedal assist bikes, and it’s growing across Omaha into Council Bluffs, down to Papillion and hopefully beyond.” Kennedy said several infrastructural projects will only accelerate the momentum of bicycling as a primary mode of transportation. “There are some incredible projects being moved through the system pretty quickly,” she said. “I’m definitely excited to see what happens with protected bike lanes being built in Omaha and the numbers that come from that. That will allow people to become more active and to feel safer commuting to work.” Like all long-range planning measures, Heartland 2050 is subject to the unforeseen, such as the coronavirus. Scott Dobbe, executive director at Omaha by Design, said how well the plan adapts to these new challenges without sacrificing its central mission is critical. “Circumstances of the moment are undoubtedly going to upset things. We’ve all experienced that in the last few months,” he said. “No question, our world has changed and no question, it’s changed how we develop. But I truly believe the underlying assertions in the desire of folks to socialize, to congregate, to be living in the sort of communities that Heartland 2050 projects, absolutely still survives this virus and the challenges that it presents.” Dobbe said the coronavirus is also playing a role in the plan, having revealed certain aspects to community leaders that may not have been considered previously. “You can’t design a pandemic-proof city, but I think we can make changes,” he said. “Certainly, in health care, but also in how folks go to stadiums, how folks go to concert venues, how folks even just go to the grocery store. All of that is going to take [community design] adjustments.”


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Mosaic expands autism programs and at-home senior services Continued from page 1. to its support office at 4980 S. 118th St., in southwest Omaha. The square footage of the firm’s administrative headquarters was last significantly expanded with a 21,000-square-foot addition in 1992, at a time when its annual budget was

Mosaic Phone: 877-366-7242 Address: 4980 S. 118th St., Omaha 68137 (national support office) Services: Whole person health care organization providing support to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, behavioral health and autism, and in-home needs of senior citizens. Founded: 1913 by Rev. K.G. William Dahl in Axtell, Nebraska Employees: 4,200 in 10 states; 500 in Omaha One-year goal: initiating strategic plan to double size of revenues and number of people served by 2025 Industry outlook: Opportunities exist for growth into more services for those on the autism spectrum as well as in-home services for senior citizens. Website: www.mosaicinfo.org

$45 million. A Lincoln office is located at 221 Sun Valley Blvd. “Our success comes from remaining true to who we are but also being pragmatic about the need to change with the times,” Timmons said. This year Mosaic is operating on a $260 million budget, one that Timmons said is reflective of the broadening of programming being undertaken. She heads a six-member leadership team. “Over the past 10 years we've developed new programs addressing the needs of those with autism and senior care in the home,” she added. Twelve group homes in Omaha now serve more than 100 people through the Mosaic at Home program. Timmons, who holds an undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a master’s degree in human services from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, said intellectual and developmental disabilities programs overall represent the largest share of Mosaic’s work. The programs are partially reimbursed by Medicaid, part of a massive 1965 legislative program of the Lyndon Johnson administration. An important component of the Mosaic initiative, which provides residential services for participants of an age range of 30 to 40, is a partnership with metro businesses such as Julio’s, PepperJax Grill and Baker’s, among others, that offers job coaching for employment opportunities. In a much broader perspective, Timmons said about 20,000 members of the business and professional community over the past few years have participated in engagement opportunities — often breakfasts and luncheons — offered by Mosaic. The corporate community also donates inkind services such as bowling and movie tickets to program participants being served. Timmons said Mosaic’s senior care program, for which about 90% of the expenses are paid by Medicaid, received a shot-in-the-arm with the firm’s acquisition of an Arizona-based provider of in-home senior citizen services. Regarding autism, she said Mosaic operates an autism school in Axtell, a town south of Kearney, which is one of only four such ventures nationally certified.

“There's a skyrocketing number of children and adults being diagnosed in rural areas,” she said. IPads are among the instructional tools used. Another of Mosaic’s newer programs is Rejoicing Spirits, a five-year-old initiative now being hosted at Omaha’s St. Timothy's Lutheran Church and Campus Lutheran in Kearney — among about 40 other congregations nationally — that encourages people with disabilities to attend worship services without having to worry about a “shush policy” due to perhaps having difficulty sitting still. Timmons said congregants embrace respect for those with disabilities and, among other tools, assist them in participating in rituals and more

effectively integrate them into the congregational community. In one congregation, “rejoicers” helped with greeting congregants in the parking lot, served as ushers, collected the offering, played a special song on the saxophone, sang and used shaker instruments, and said the table prayer. After a taco lunch, a variety of games were played. Earlier this year, Rev. Dr. Dave deFreese, former Bishop of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, offered an unusual blessing: “May God grant you the gift of holy discontent in the year ahead.” He noted that discontent, which was important in the founding of two Nebraska-born Lutheran ministries — Bethphage, in Axtell in 1913 and

Martin Luther Homes, in Sterling in 1925 — came out of disenchantment experiences of previous generations. “These (the present) are days of increasing apathy and unprecedented complacency that has given rise to a dangerous mean spiritedness in our society,” deFreese said. “The church is not immune.” Bethphage and Martin Luther Homes were merged in 2003 to form Mosaic which means “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Timmons said Mosaic is in the fourth year of a $60 million fundraising campaign that has achieved about 70% of its goal. The effort is being headed by Deryl & Ramona Hamann.

ILC tackles the legal system to reduce barriers, improve access for immigrants Continued from page 1. tions at meat packing plants. ILC Executive Director Erik Omar said that most work-authorized immigrants are not eligible for unemployment insurance. Immigrants or mixed-status families with a member who does not have Social Security numbers and taxpayer ID numbers to file taxes are also not eligible for CARES relief deposits. “Many immigrant families are struggling to pay rent or purchase food,” he said. ILC’s staff facilitates the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline on behalf of nine partner agencies to help these families, not just during COVID-19 but year-round. Omar recently made the jump to the nonprofit world after several years in the corporate arena. His first order of business was putting a policy in place for staff to work from home. Prior to the pandemic the majority of ILC’s staff worked from its headquarters in Omaha at 4223 Center St., as well as offices in Columbus, Crete, Grand Island, Lexington, Nebraska City, Scottsbluff, and Sioux City in Nebraska as well as an office in Council Bluffs, Iowa. ILC is affiliated with Justice for Our Neighbors, a network of 15 state chapters offering more than 40 legal clinics for immigration services. Up until 2018 ILC was known as Justice for Our Neighbors – Nebraska, but underwent a name change to better communicate its mission to “welcome immigrants into the community through high quality legal services, education and advocacy.” “ILC is the last resort for immigrant families who have come to the U.S. to escape poverty and extreme violence and who need legal assistance,” Omar said. Case types include everything from asylum seekers, to Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), to human trafficking, to domestic violence. Omar said 92% of their clients live below the 125% poverty line. Those 125% under the poverty line make less than $12,760 annually. What does that look like for a family of four? $26,200. In 2017 ILC began partnering with local hospitals in Omaha to provide services for immigrants seeking medical treatment. “We work with Nebraska Medicine, OneWorld Community Health Centers, and Children’s Hospital and Medical Center to provide immigration consultations and services with the express purpose of identifying relief for patients that will increase their access to health care benefits,” Omar said. From July 2017 to April 2018 the Immigrant-Focused Medical Legal Partnership team reported 88 legal consultations to OneWorld patients and family members regarding eligibility

for immigration relief, public benefits and other Omar said donations are greatly needed, not just health-harming legal issues. for ILC, but all nonprofits. ILC provided extended legal representation “To be honest, and it’s not something everyfor 61 OneWorld cases, where patients needed one wants to hear, but at a time where people help applying for immican’t leave their homes, gration relief and safety Immigrant Legal Center there’s a lot of nonPhone: 402-898-1349 planning assistance. profits who are hurting ILC has been a Address: 4223 Center St., Omaha so making a donation registered nonprofit or- 68105 to help them continue ganization since 2006, Services: Immigrant legal services, doing important work is and as such depends on including child and family, domestic also important,” he said. grants, donations and violence, immigrant-focused medical If donating money fundraising events like legal partnership, immigrant worker legal isn’t an option, volunOmaha Gives and its partnership, Iowa services, and rural teering your time or annual Food Truck Tour community inclusion. starting a conversation Founded: Established in 1999 as Jusfundraising event. with an immigrant, or Cailan Franz, di- tice for Our Neighbors — Nebraska about immigration, is rector of development Employees: 43 also equally helpful. and communications at Goals: Partner with organizations in the Lack of education and ILC, said that in previ- community to increase awareness of misinformation about ous years the Fall Food services. immigration is one of Truck Tour has wel- Website: www.immigrantlc.org the biggest hurdles. comed over 500 guests “Messaging is imto Metropolitan Community College’s Fort portant because a lot of the time people fear what Campus. This year’s Food Truck Tour will likely they don’t know,” Omar said. “A lot of people be much different due to COVID-19. don’t know that many immigrants that live in In light of potential fundraising cancelations Nebraska and that are undocumented pay taxes and adjustments that may affect an event success, and contribute to the state and federal economy.”

Technology

A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

Topics may include: Overview • Greater emphasis on cloud and IoT for remote work • Telehealth Choosing the right digital services for your company • 3D printing gets more attention Payment processing trends in the midst of social distancing

Issue Date: June 19

• Ad Deadline: June 11

To advertise your company’s products or services in one of our upcoming sections, contact one of our MBJ advertising representatives at (402) 330-1760 or at the email addresses below. Julie Whitehead - julie@mbj.com • Karla Steele - karla@mbj.com


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

The elevator arises as the latest logjam in getting back to work by Lauren Weber

When the American Medical Association moved its headquarters to a famous Chicago skyscraper in 2013, the floor-toceiling views from the 47th-floor conference space were a spectacular selling point. But now, those glimpses of the Chicago River at the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed landmark, now Trends known as AMA Plaza, come with a trade-off: navigating the elevator in the time of COVID-19. Once the epitome of efficiency for moving masses of people quickly to where they needed to go, the elevator is the antithesis of social distancing and a risk-multiplying bottleneck. As America begins to open up, the newest conundrum for employers in cities is how to safely transport people in elevators and manage the crowd of people waiting for them. If office tower workers want to stay safe, elevator experts think they have advice, some practical, some not: Stay in your corner, face the walls and carry toothpicks (for pushing the buttons). Not only have those experts gone back to studying mathematical models for moving people, but they are also creating technology like ultraviolet-light disinfection tools and voice-activated panels. “When there is risk of disease spreading from human to human, continuing to maintain a clean and safe vertical transportation system is critical to help people return to work and safe living,” said Jon Clarine, head of digital services at Thyssenkrupp Elevator, in an email. After all, most elevators are inherently cramped, enclosed spaces that can barely fit two people safely spaced 6 feet apart, much less the dozen or more that elevators in commercial and residential buildings were designed to hold. They’re a minefield of buttons and surfaces tempting to touch. Air circulation is limited to what a few vents and the opening doors can manage. Plus, they’re usually mobbed during the morning, lunchtime and evening rushes. The good news is, while infection transmission is possible if people leave behind respiratory droplets of virus in the elevator, the time spent on a ride is short, said infectious disease expert Dr. Ste-

ven Lawrence of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Still, he said, “you’re in a small box.” To mitigate those risks, elevator experts stress, those riding elevators should wear masks, resist touching surfaces as much as possible and use items such as disposable tissues or, indeed, those toothpicks to touch the buttons. Also, use hand sanitizer frequently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting time in elevators and taking one-directional stairs instead, when possible, as well as maintaining 6 feet of distance. Karen Penafiel, executive director for the National Elevator Industry Inc. trade association, also recommends people face the elevator walls and not talk to minimize the spread of respiratory droplets that could carry the coronavirus. “It makes sense when you think about it, but it’s so contrary to every social protocol we have been raised with,” Penafiel said. “It’s not comfortable.” But the biggest hang-up across city skylines for offices and residences may be the recommendation by Penafiel and other elevator experts to limit the number of riders to four to accommodate social

distancing for most elevator rides — one in each corner. That creates a logistical challenge for building managers and employers who have thousands of people to move within a single building. AMA Plaza owner Beacon Capital Partners plans to limit its elevator riders to four at a time, according to an email from company spokesperson Maureen Richardson. The same goes for the more than 90-floor One World Trade Center in New York City and the roughly 8,000 people who report to work there, said Jordan Barowitz, spokesperson for the Durst Organization, which oversees the management of the iconic skyscraper. Cutting the number of people moving up a building per ride — in some places by as much as two-thirds — means people wait and wait, huddling in the lobby, coughing, sneezing and talking loudly. “That’s where you’re going to get the queuing,” said Chris Smith, vice president of marketing and product strategy for elevator manufacturer Otis Elevator Co., optimistically using a word suggesting orderly standing in line. It’s no wonder Smith’s customers have been calling nonstop about the elevator bottleneck. So Otis staffers have been

simulating for customers how staggered times for starting the workday and different employee spacing could help slow the flow of traffic. It all comes down to hard math. On a normal day, over 3,000 people work in the 52-story AMA building. With only four passengers at a time, which is about half of a typically crowded elevator, that translates to about 750 elevator rides each morning launching from 24 elevator cabs (and that’s not counting the trips made by separate freight cabs). The Langham, a luxury hotel occupying the building’s first 13 floors, will place a sign with graphics in the elevator foyer to encourage social distancing, emailed spokesperson Deepika Sarma. Hotel staffers are looking into possible decals for the floors of the elevators indicating where to stand, and requiring riders to wear masks. Another tenant of AMA Plaza, WeWork, whose business model depends on people renting its office space, will be placing signage denoting safe distances in the elevator lobbies of its buildings, as well as touch-free hand sanitizer dispensers. WeWork CEO Sandeep MathContinued on page 12.

Huge inventory of unsold cars — deals for the well-informed buyer by Carla Fried

In May 2019, the 13 largest global car manufacturers sold nearly 1.6 million vehicles in the U.S. A year later, as dealerships began to reopen from the coronavirus shutdown and fewer consumers were in a position to buy a car, TrueCar forecasted a 32% decline in monthly sales. And that’s actually an improvement: Auto April sales were 52% lower than a year earlier. With a glut of cars, here’s how to carshop smart: —Gotta have new? Focus on 2019 models clogging lots. With automakers shutting down production during the eye of the coronavirus storm, there may not be a huge backlog of unsold 2020 models. But excess inventory of 2019 models that would have typically been worked down early in 2020 is still sitting on lots. That suggests your negotiating lever-

age may be strongest with 2019 models. The consumer car-buying website Iseecars. com recently took a spin through the marketplace and identified models with the highest inventory: 66% of 2019 Dodge Grand Caravans remain unsold (in part due to the model being phased out after the 2020 model year). The average unsold inventory for 2019 models is 10.8%. More than half of 2019 Chrysler 300s remain on the lot. Other 2019 models where more than 40% of inventory remains unsold include the Dodge Journey, Nissan Titan, Ford Ranger and Audi Q7. More than 30% of 2019 inventory remains unsold for the Ram Pickup 1500 Classic, Volkswagen Atlas, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Chevrolet Impala and Dodge Challenger. If any of those models are on your radar, you’re likely going to find a dealer more eager than usual to negotiate. Not a

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born negotiator? Lean on websites such as Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book or TrueCar to arm yourself with negotiating power. Being willing to walk away never hurts. Invite the dealer to call you when they come up with a better offer. A lot full of cars, especially as the month wears on, is a powerful motivation for dealers to budge. —Don’t let a zero-rate deal cause you to overborrow. Dealers are dangling an alluring deal for qualified new-car buyers: no interest loans. According to Edmunds, more than 25% of new-car sales made in April that involved a loan had a permanent rate of 0%. Some also offered to waive payments for a few months. Paying no interest is obviously a great opportunity, but if it entices you to spend more on upgrades, then you’re not really gaining much. Edmunds also notes that in April, more than four in 10 new-car sales involved a trade-in where the buyer still owed money on the loan for the car being traded in. If you are essentially rolling the money into a zero-rate loan, that can be a nice move. Or not. If you are a serial new-car buyer, you’re setting yourself up for having more unpaid debt on your next trade-in. —Consider the smarter move: Buy used. As good as the deals for new cars look, they are collectively a lousy financial move. One of the most expensive blind spots that can hold back your household’s security is insisting on buying new cars. It’s not uncommon for a new car to lose 40% or so of its value within the first three years. Buy a used car that’s a few years old, and you won’t pay for all the depreciation. Paying less for a used car frees up valuable dollars to stuff in retirement accounts. ©2020 Rate.com News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

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Community ‘shows up’ to support stressed families, nonprofit needs Continued from page 1. port store to be “one-and-done;” locations might be replicated in Elkhorn, Midtown or other areas. The 3,500-square-foot store opened (as a drive-through) 10 days after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. “It was a small circus,” Brooke Loutzenhiser said. “We had hired everybody to fully open … there was a lot of shuffling and strategic moving of employees.” The couple got creative; they offered SUPER CROSSWORD

Answers on page 12.

curbside pickup, a virtual “date night” with live music, and delivery of wine and charcuterie boards. They also benefited from the brand’s recognition — Stories’ history goes back 15 years, under different ownership. There have been unexpected upsides; whereas small coffeehouses weren’t positioned to socially-distance, Stories was, and opened fully in early May. Staff has been hired to assure health precautions are followed. “HOW ABOUT HAT!”

Stories was open when nearby coffee giants weren’t, and the couple is encouraged by patrons’ interest in supporting local businesses. Conference rooms are available for business meetings, bridal showers, pop-up shops and — something they never anticipated pre-outbreak — wedding receptions, driven by social gathering restrictions. Pincurl Girls is using technology to make social distancing a little less isolating. “ R i g h t n o w, teens are having a hard time with isolation — they’re facing a lot of letdowns,” said Founder Jen Landis. “Graduations, proms, sports, college visits and Landis vacations aren’t happening.” Her target, teenaged girls, are connecting and getting news of the world, including the Black Lives Matter movement, through social media. “They’re using it more to communicate and to share their experiences than before all this happened, rather than just putting up their best selfies,” she said. Pincurl Girls spreads positivity through motivational products, including text messages personally crafted by Landis. During her research, she found it wasn’t uncommon for girls to have a social media account that everyone follows, and an alternative, private account where they can be more vulnerable. Landis sends out encouraging messages at different times each day. So, it can be a pleasant surprise for the recipient. “I just got a response that said, ‘You’re really making a difference. Thank you. I’ve been having trouble with self-love lately. This really helps,’” Landis said. Her GIRLBRAVE Podcast features girls’ stories about overcoming challenging situations, from the loss of a parent at a young age, to what drives an African American college student to protest. The goal isn’t an unrealistic transformation, she said, it’s to take people from “where they’re at” and improve upon it. So, someone who’s in the dumps will feel

better, or someone who’s feeling good will feel great. One-in-five adolescents reportedly has anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges. With 95% of teens accessing smartphones, “digital therapy” represents a new frontier for teens. Director of Partnerships Brent Crampton said Hillside Solutions is considering the pandemic’s second- and third-order effects. “A big theme that’s emerging is resiliency models,” he said. “There’s a reason why the World War II concept of the Victory Garden has returned.” People want to have food if the supply chain disrupts, Crampton Crampton said, and they need safe quarantine distractions. “But once you dive into the world of gardening, you're in the company of composting,” he said. “And if you’re composting, you’re probably recycling.” So, through resiliency lens, recycling “isn’t just a nice office amenity for employee retention.” “It’s a patriotic duty of preserving our precious domestic commodities so we can transform them into the next roll of toilet paper,” he said. Following a “frightening wave” of temporary commercial cancelations, had Hillside Solutions been in the commercial hauling business, Crampton said he might be looking for work. Diversification was the saving grace. “A large chunk of our revenue is in the residential sector,” he said. “As people left the office and went home, the increase in domestic life is creating opportunities we’ve been spending time with.” For instance, as gardening trends upwards, soil and mulch have been in demand. “While you’d think recycling and composting services would be the first thing to be put on the business budget chopping block, we’ve had very few long-term cancelations,” Crampton said in late May. “We’ve slowly been getting back into the sales process, mostly for new construction projects.”


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Environmental law trending toward more niche attorneys and less enforcement by David Kubicek

The legal profession is seeing the influx of many more niche attorneys who have robust experience in the environmental industry, said Benjamin E. Busboom, a Husch Blackwell attorney who began his career as an environmental scientist. “We’re seeing lawyers now who have road experience in one or two areas, and I think clients are requesting that,” Busboom said. He said that a common misconception is that large companies are the biggest polluters. “I believe what we’re seeing from both the industrial and legal professions is a drop in enforcement, not necessarily due to administration changes but because we’re seeing these past environmental impactors establish and maintain robust regulatory programs,” he said. “They’re not only complying with [current regulations] but are anticipating stricter regulations. In some instances, it pushes the ball toward more stringent regulations, and some smaller less sophisticated companies can’t

keep up. Most of the violations in the past three-to-five years have come from less sophisticated operations.” Busboom believes there is much misinformation about environmental law — how it works, how it applies in certain situations and how it’s enforced. “I hear things from both sides of the aisle on a lot of hot button issues Case like pipelines and hydraulic fracturing that are incorrect, not from an opinion or political perspective, but from a technical perspective,” he said. “The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.” Steve Case, an attorney in McGrath North’s environmental practice group, said that because of social distancing in the COVID-19 pandemic, both federal and state government officials are now working from their offices.

“This hasn’t necessarily slowed things down but there may be some additional steps to go through for permit applications or to get in touch with someone,” he said. On the federal level over the past few years there has been some decrease in enforcement. “There are fewer inspections, fewer enforcement actions, and part of that may Bargen be a reflection of fewer resources available in terms of personnel and other things,” he said. Although no major legislation has been passed recently, some actions have resulted from regulatory changes or court cases. “In the requirements being proposed [for the Clean Water Act] in 2020, all facilities subject to permits are subject to benchmarks, which aren’t limits for discharge, but are tools that help agencies determine whether additional actions should be taken

The elevator arises as the latest logjam in getting back to work Continued from page 10. rani told CNBC that 40% of its sites occupy office space low enough within buildings that people could take the stairs instead. But climbing, say, 36 flights of stairs isn’t an option for most people. (Top stair racers take five minutes to cover that many floors. It takes a person of average fitness up to 25 minutes.) And stairs aren’t viable in buildings of any height for those with physical disabilities or mobility issues or those carrying heavy loads. To be sure, those who live in high-rises have already been navigating these questions — whether in luxury buildings with resources or public housing units without. But as more offices look at reopening, Otis and Thyssenkrupp have been swamped with calls from customers asking for new technology to help them manage these new challenges sparked by the coronavirus. Destination dispatching, in which employees can swipe a key card at a turnstile that notifies the elevator where they need to go, has seen a surge of interest due to its touchless control — and during the pandemic, elevators have been reprogrammed to limit the weight load to a smaller number of passengers. Other product offerings in the works include calling the elevator via cellphone, antiviral stickers for elevator buttons, lobby concierge-run elevators, express service for each elevator ride, ultraviolet-light HVAC purification systems and even elevator buttons that riders can activate with their feet, their voice or hand gestures. To reduce the need to touch buttons, Otis’ Smith said, elevators could be placed into “Sabbath service” mode, where they automatically go to each and every floor — a service offered for decades for those whose religion dictates they not operate electrical devices on certain days. Brand-new businesses designed to

make elevators safer are emerging. Over two months ago, Philip Rentzis helped found Ashla Systems, which sells ultraviolet-light systems designed for elevators that are similar to those used to kill viruses for hospital instruments. At least 100 buildings have already signed up to install the technology, he said, in part because building owners are terrified about the long-term costs of keeping up their new rigorous cleaning regimens. Michael Rogoff, president of the New York City and South Florida residential management firm Akam Living Services Inc., said some of his building staffs are cleaning the elevators more than once per hour — or even after every use. When residents complain that they shouldn’t have to pay for communal amenities they’re not able to use, he points to the new cleaning costs. “The elevator cleaning and disinfecting is just on a whole new level than it was previously,” Rogoff said. But even as companies evaluate their suite of elevator options, harsh realities are emerging of how challenging it will be to move the workforce where it needs to be, Thyssenkrupp’s Clarine said. “Look, you’re going to disrupt the flow of traffic in your building, but how long are you willing for that to be an inconvenience before it becomes a disruption?” Clarine said. “It’s all about helping customers manage risk, and some want to manage more so than others.” For now, the American Medical Association said it plans to allow its roughly 1,000 employees to return to the offices approximately 30 days after city and state leaders lift their stay-at-home orders. City orders were loosened June 3. The association’s initial return-to-work phase will begin with “approximately 10% of employees on a voluntary basis,” according to a statement issued by association media manager Robert Mills. It’s not yet clear when — or how — it will be able to get the rest of its staffers up to their

offices in the sky. Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. ©2020 Kaiser Health News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

if the benchmarks are exceeded,” Case said. The current overall national trend has been a reduction in environmental regulation from approaches that were taken in recent years past, according to Rembolt Ludke Attorney David J. A. Bargen. “Some of this has been accelerated by recent events due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. For instance, the White House recently directed the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and other agencies to apply regulatory relief as the economy begins to reopen. That relief can take the form of enforcement discretion, extensions of time and greater use of pre-enforcement decisions. On the state level, the Legislature’s suspension of the session due to the pandemic has slowed progress on this year’s bills regarding water and the environment. “I anticipate there may be changes over time in environmental laws that grow out of the current pandemic,” Bargen said. “We’re already seeing short-term changes that deal with temporarily relaxing regulations to help streamline economic activity. Longterm, there may be changes reflecting overall societal shifts as a result of the pandemic that impact pollution, water use and waste disposal. “As in many other arenas, I believe the current pandemic may prove to be a catalyst for various changes in environmental regulation and enforcement, be it through the various financial stimulus legislative packages approved or yet to be approved, through future planning for such calamitous events, or otherwise.”

SUPER CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS

Puzzle on page 11.


Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

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May jobless rate falls to 13.3%, likely marking the bottom of coronavirus-related economic slump by Don Lee

The government’s surprising report recently that unemployment dropped last month suggests that the pandemic-induced recession may have hit bottom, marking what could be the shortest recession in U.S. history but also one that will likely take years to recover from. The jobless rate fell to 13.3% in May after soaring to 14.7% Economy in April, despite analysts’ expectations that it would rise to as high as 20%. Employers added 2.5 million jobs in May after shedding a record-smashing 20.7 million positions the prior month. “The bounce-back started earlier than most expected, but don’t get too excited about this one month of data,” said Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed Hiring Lab, a global research firm. “Job growth rising by 2.5 million and the unemployment rate dropping by over a percentage point are positive developments. But it’s not clear how enduring this will be.” Some of the improvement in jobs may have been overstated by temporary government support programs, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the actual unemployment rate in May may have been 3 percentage points higher were it not for certain issues related to survey collection. President Donald Trump nonetheless hailed the report, saying in a hastily arranged appearance in the White House Rose Garden: “We’re going to be back and we’re opening our country.” He urged states to continue loosening coronavirus restrictions. Democrats noted that the nation is still suffering from the biggest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. “And Trump says he is joyous?” said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “Families are struggling. Hospitals are overwhelmed. Businesses have shut down for good. And Americans are dying every day — all of this was preventable.” Some of the job gains nationally were due to the reopening of businesses in the South and other parts of the country. The jobs report was based on surveys conducted during the second full week of May, when 1,100 counties were still on lockdown, compared to 2,600 counties during the April employment survey week, according to Moody’s Analytics. Moody’s labor economist Sophia Koropeckyj noted that the collection rates for both the household and payroll jobs surveys — from which the unemployment and job numbers are derived — were lower than normal. And government statisticians said many people may have misclassified themselves in surveys by saying they were absent from work, even though they may have been furloughed and should have been counted as unemployed. The government’s Paycheck Protection Program also likely has inflated job gains. The $660 billion program, part of Congress’ pandemic relief package, provides business loans that can be forgiven for maintaining or rehiring employees. But some people receiving paychecks under the program are not actually working, and many participating businesses will have used up the funds by July. Economists on average were expecting another loss of about 7.5 million jobs in

May. Instead, payrolls turned up nicely at restaurants, retailers and health care services. David Shulman, a senior economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast, said if employment numbers hold up, “it now looks like April was the bottom,” not May as he had projected. It also means the pandemic-induced downturn may have lasted fewer than six months, which would be the shortest recession since at least the end of the Civil War in the 1860s, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which dates the peaks and troughs of business cycles. The latest data on auto sales, consumer confidence and manufacturing activity have shown small improvements since their clifflike drop in late March and April. The stock market has roared back to recover most of its losses and surged on the jobs report recently, although financial analysts say values look overdone. Even as overall unemployment dropped last month, jobless rates edged higher for blacks, to 16.8%, and for Asian Americans, to 15%. Unemployment was 12.4% for whites and 17.6% for Latinos, both down more than a percentage point. There was no snapback of jobs in the transportation sector or information services. And state and local governments lost more than half a million jobs for the second straight month, reflecting school shutdowns and rising pressures from shrinking tax revenues. As of May, total payroll jobs were 19.6 million below the peak of 152.5 million in February, when the jobless rate was 3.5%. No matter how quickly or completely America opens the doors for business again, many analysts said full recovery is expected to take at least three to five years. If a second large wave of infections occurs in the fall, as epidemiologists say it could in at least some parts of the country, the outlook could be even darker. “It’s going to be a much more long and arduous recovery of the labor markets” especially in California, said Mark Schniepp, director of the California Economic Forecast, a private research and consulting firm. Although the San Francisco Bay Area

has weathered the downturn notably better, thanks to its strong technology sector, he said: “We simply have more tourism, more public-gathering types of events, we have more recreation, more sports, more everything that has been shut tight and will not be allowed to open” for some time. What’s more, the past week’s nationwide protests only complicated matters, with economic uncertainties created by damage to businesses and the potential increase in COVID-19 infections as a result of people abandoning social distancing in mass demonstrations. “These riots put a new twist on everything. It’s bad from an economic perspective,” said Stephen Moore, a member of Trump’s economic task force. “Just at a time when businesses were starting to reopen and we’re starting to make a little progress — then boom! — we get hit with this.” William Spriggs, chief economist at the AFL-CIO, viewed the protests as an outflow of the economic disparity and the need to address long-running systemic issues: “The conversations that are flowing are exceedingly important because the share of the workforce that is not white is huge now,” at about 40%. How quickly the economy and employment recover will depend in large part on policy. Moore contends that more fiscal spending isn’t needed, with the nation’s already massive buildup of debt after roughly $3 trillion of earlier coronavirus relief measures. Instead, Moore supported Trump’s call for a payroll tax cut, which the president renewed recently. A payroll tax cut would allow workers to keep more of their paycheck, which could help boost spending and demand, but it doesn’t help those without jobs and would benefit higher-wage earners more. House Democrats want the next aid package to include additional money for states, another round of direct payments to households and enhanced jobless benefits. Nothing is expected from Congress until July, at the earliest. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “the May jobs report shows that decisive action by Congress to support small businesses

and workers can make a strong difference in our economy.” But the better-than-expected report may further tamp down GOP support for another recovery package. “The jobs report underscores why Congress should take a thoughtful approach and not rush to pass expensive legislation paid for with more debt before gaining a better understanding of the economic condition of the country,” said Michael J. Zona, spokesman for Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. Erica Groshen, a labor economist and former head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sees important structural changes that could slow the recovery further. They include the shift to more online shopping, telemedicine and remote work. And then there’s the rethinking underway of global manufacturing supply chains, she said, and the way many services operate, including nursing homes, child care and public transportation. Thanks to the Federal Reserve and large fiscal spending, Groshen said, “we could have a fairly rapid recovery for a period of time. And then after that, I think we face a very long, slow slog for another eight or nine years.” For Tyler Smith, 51, who with his brother operates two John Deere equipment dealerships in Maine, business has turned out better than expected after an initial 30% drop in sales in March. To bolster sales, he has been offering curbside pickup and doing more online business. Smith added hard plastic shields in front of store sales desks, social distancing markers on floors and new delivery methods. He said the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses helped him hold on to his 40 employees, and Smith plans to keep everyone on board. Yet he worries about looming inventory shortages as manufacturers have been down, and whether Maine’s economy, driven by tourism, can get back on its feet. “I don’t know if we’re out of the woods yet,” he said. ©2020 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Child care is still the missing ingredient for a fast economic recovery by Sarah D. Wire

After weeks at home, Ana Arroyo, 28, is ready get out of the house and back to work. Her employer, Merced County Community Action Agency, has reopened and her job is just waiting for her. But she can’t return — because there’s no one to watch her 6-yearEconomy old son, Javier. Child care businesses were among the hardest hit by the COVID-19-related shutdown, with a third of child care workers nationwide laid off or furloughed. Only the hotel and restaurant industries fared worse. And because child care providers operate on such thin margins, many have shuttered their doors forever, or will have to shortly, surveys show. As states and businesses begin to reopen, the missing link may be a lack of child care options for parents returning to the workplace, experts say. “Child care could be the next big headwind to hit the U.S.,” former Obama Treasury economist Ernie Tedeschi said. “Child care is

the lynchpin of so much else in the economy.” Though the industry got $3.5 billion in the last big coronavirus relief package, that money was earmarked to ensure day care facilities remained open to care for children of essential workers. Members of Congress have proposed setting aside as much as another $100 billion for the industry in the next economic stimulus package. Industry advocates are asking for $50 billion, which they say would be enough to continue paying facilities to provide care for the children of essential workers, and also provide direct grants to providers to ensure they’ll be able to resume caring for children as more nonessential businesses reopen. But with Senate Republicans signaling they won’t approve another rescue plan for five weeks at least, the shortage of child care options for workers could prove to be a major stumbling block to hopes of a quick and smooth reopening of the U.S. economy. Employers report in multiple federal surveys that along with fears of contracting the coronavirus, a lack of child care is one

of the top reasons employees cite for not returning to work. “I really don’t want to expose him to anything,” said Arroyo, an office assistant who lives in Winton. Her previous babysitter is no longer an option because the woman lost her home amid the pandemic. Arroyo fears large-facility child care options aren’t safe. Now she’s waiting for a family member who has offered to step in to watch Javier. A survey released by the National Association for the Education of Young Children in April estimated more than 100,000 providers have closed. And those that are open were operating at 50% capacity or less as they try to comply with social distancing and other safety guidelines. In the survey, 63% of providers said they’d be unable to survive a closure of one month or less. In California, 34% of providers responding to the survey said they would not survive closing for more than two weeks without significant public support that would allow them to pay staff, rent and other Continued on page 19.


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

LEGAL NOTICES MBJ legal notice instructions The following are some guidelines to consider when posting legal notices with the Midlands Business Journal: 1. Submit a written notice in either Microsoft Word or as a PDF document to Beth Grube at legals@mbj.com, fax to 402-758-9315 or mail: 1324 S. 119th St. Omaha, NE 68144. For trade names, submit a copy of approved (bar code in upper right hand corner) Application For Registration of Trade Name from the Secretary of State to the same email address. Please include your billing address and the desired duration you’d like your notice to run (trade names run for only one week). 2. You will receive a confirmation and price quote. Legal notices, except for trade names, are charged per line. The flat fee for a trade name is $50. Payment options are cash or check. 3. Deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday for a notice to start publishing that Friday. 4. All costs include fees to file the notice with the Secretary of State and/or any appropriate courts. 5. You will receive a paid invoice copy and a courtesy proof of the notice the first week it runs and a copy of the affidavit filed with the courts the last week. ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF 4TBIZ, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that 4TBiz, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has been duly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 13410 Blondo Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68164 and designating its registered agent as Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C. a limited liability organization with its registered office at 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF AFTERIFY, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Afterify, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has been duly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 15113 Elmwood Drive, Bennington, Nebraska 68007 and designating its registered agent as Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C. a limited liability organization with its registered office at 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF ALD PROPERTIES, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that ALD Properties, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 1328 S. 208th Street, Elkhorn, Nebraska 68022. The registered agent and office of the limited liability company is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O., 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The Certificate of Organization was filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on May 21, 2020. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 AMANDA M. BARRON, Attorney P.O. Box 597 Fremont, Nebraska 68026 LEGAL NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT(s), GREGORY A FIRESTIEN & MARY R FIRESTIEN You are hereby notified that Credit Bureau Services, Inc., a corporation, filed its complaint in the County Court of DOUGLAS County, Nebraska on 12/22/2019 on Case Number CI19-28259, the object and prayer of which is to recover the sum of $1,666.88, plus interest, attorney fees and court costs. You are required to answer the complaint of the Plaintiff on or before 07/12/2020 or the allegations in said complaint will be taken as true and judgment entered accordingly. CREDIT BUREAU SERVICES, INC., A CORPORATION First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF KING BENEFIT SOLUTIONS, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that King Benefit Solutions, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has been duly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 9507 South 28th Avenue, Bellevue, Nebraska 68147 and designating its registered agent as Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C. a limited liability organization with its registered office at 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 NOTICE OF AMENDMENT Notice is hereby given that Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of Thrasher, Inc., were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State to change the amount of authorized stock of the corporation and voting power of the stock classes. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020

DVORAK LAW GROUP LLC 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF RAGAN PROPERTIES, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Ragan Properties, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 101 S. 108th Avenue, Suite 101, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. The Registered Agent of the Company is DDLG Business Services, Inc., 9500 W. Dodge Road, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 BENJAMIN J. PICK, Attorney PANSING HOGAN ERNST & BACHMAN LLP 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3728 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF WPK CONSULTING, LLC Notice is hereby given of the organization of WPK Consulting, LLC: 1. The name of the limited liability company is WPK Consulting, LLC; and 2. The street and mailing address of the initial designated office is 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114, and the name and street address of the initial agent for service of process is Benjamin J. Pick, 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 DAVID M. HOHMAN, Attorney FITZGERALD, SCHORR, BARMETTLER & BRENNAN, P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 10050 Regency Circle, 200 Regency One Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3794 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION LNCLN WRKS LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The street and mailing address of the initial designated office of the Company is 9902 Harney Parkway North, Omaha, NE 68114. The name, street address and mailing address of the initial agent for service of process of the Company are Lincoln M. Wong, 9902 Harney Parkway North, Omaha, NE 68114. Dated this 28th day of May, 2020. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 MATTHEW WURSTNER, Attorney CARLSON & BURNETT, LLP 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, NE 68130 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF ALPHA NAIL BAR, LLC Notice is hereby given that ALPHA NAIL BAR, LLC is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The initial designated office is 14601 Hartman Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska 68116. The initial registered agent is Jenny Nguyen, whose address is 14601 Hartman Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska 68116. The purpose of the Company shall be to engage in any lawful business and such activity, as may be mutually agreed upon by the Members from time to time, and which are not prohibited by the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The Company commenced on March 2, 2020 and shall have a perpetual period of duration. The Company is to be managed by its initial Members of the Company who are Jenny Nguyen, 14601 Hartman Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska 68116. Jenny Nguyen, Organizer First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 BARBARA MEDBERY-PRCHAL, P.C., L.L.O., Attorney 10305 Joseph Circle La Vista, Nebraska 68128 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION OF UNBOXED MINDS, LLC Notice is hereby given that a Statement of Dissolution has been filed by UNBOXED MINDS, LLC, Papillion, Nebraska, a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. Nick Krecklow, President, is the person designated to wind up the company and liquidate its business and affairs. There are no assets or liabilities of the company. Parties with claims against UNBOXED MINDS, LLC are directed to provide the following information in writing: (1) your name and/or the name of your entity; (2) the nature of your claim; (3) the amount of your claim; and (4) the date your claim arose. Please send the information to Nick Krecklow, 2080 Stillwater Drive, Papillion, NE 68046. All claims against the company will be barred unless a proceeding to enforce such claims is commenced within five (5) years after the publication date of the third required notice. Nick Krecklow, President First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 JAMES D. BUSER, Attorney PANSING HOGAN ERNST & BACHMAN LLP 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3728 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION OF CHASE ROYCE, LLC CHASE ROYCE, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the "Company"), filed its STATEMENT OF DISSOLUTION with the Nebraska Secretary of State on June 3, 2020. Persons with claims against the Company must present such claim to: Chase Royce, LLC c/o Lawrence R. James, II, 12910 Pierce Street, Suite 110, Omaha, Nebraska 68144. Claims against the Company must include the following information: (i) claimant's name, address and telephone number during business hours; (ii) any facts which may support the claim; and (iii) any amounts allegedly owed by the Company under the claim. Claims not including this information will not be reviewed. Any claims against this Company will be barred unless a proceeding to enforce such claims is commenced within five (5) years after the date of this publication. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020

ANDREW J. HUBER, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF VX, LLC Notice is hereby given of the formation of a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Nebraska, and that the name of the limited liability company is VX, LLC. The initial designated office is 1011 North 128th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. The name and address of the registered agent and office is LDM Business Services, Inc, 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The general nature of the business to be transacted is all lawful business. The company commenced existence on May 22, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. The affairs of the company shall be conducted by the Members, as prescribed by the Operating Agreement. LDM Business Services, Inc., Organizer First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 ANDREW J. HUBER, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF VK, LLC Notice is hereby given of the formation of a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Nebraska, and that the name of the limited liability company is VK, LLC. The initial designated office is 1011 North 128th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. The name and address of the registered agent and office is LDM Business Services, Inc, 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The general nature of the business to be transacted is all lawful business. The company commenced existence on May 22, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. The affairs of the company shall be conducted by the Members, as prescribed by the Operating Agreement. LDM Business Services, Inc., Organizer First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 ANDREW J. HUBER, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF VGW, LLC Notice is hereby given of the formation of a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Nebraska, and that the name of the limited liability company is VGW, LLC. The initial designated office is 1011 North 128th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. The name and address of the registered agent and office is LDM Business Services, Inc, 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The general nature of the business to be transacted is all lawful business. The company commenced existence on May 26, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. The affairs of the company shall be conducted by the Members, as prescribed by the Operating Agreement. LDM Business Services, Inc., Organizer First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 MATTHEW WURSTNER, Attorney CARLSON & BURNETT, LLP 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, NE 68130 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF HOPE CARE SERVICES, LLC Notice is hereby given that HOPE CARE SERVICES, LLC is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The initial designated office is 17525 Arbor Street, Omaha, NE 68130. The initial registered agent is Matthew Wurstner, whose address is 17525 Arbor Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68130. The purpose of the Company shall be to engage in any lawful business and activity, as may be mutually agreed upon by the Members from time to time, and which are not prohibited by the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The Company commenced with filing its Certificate of Organization on May 22, 2020 and shall have a perpetual period of duration. The Company is to be managed by the Manager of the Company. The initial Manager and sole member is Kathryn Roberts 5115 N. 138th Street Omaha, Nebraska 68164. Matthew Wurstner, Organizer First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 COLIN KASTRICK LEGACY DESIGN STRATEGIES 9859 South 168th Avenue Omaha, NE 68136 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION 4SA Notice is hereby given that 4SA, a Nebraska Nonprofit Corporation, has been incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its initial registered office at 9859 S 168th Avenue, Omaha, NE 68136, and with its initial agent for service of process and incorporator as Colin Kastrick at 9859 S 168th Avenue, Omaha, NE 68136. 4SA is a mutual benefit corporation and shall have members. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF STANDLOK, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Standlok, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 20274 Jeannie Lane, Gretna, Nebraska 68028. The registered agent and office of the limited liability company is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O., 1125 S 103rd Street Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The limited liability company commenced business on May 26, 2020. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020


Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 • LEGAL NOTICES BARBARA MEDBERY-PRCHAL, P.C., L.L.O., Attorney 10305 Joseph Circle La Vista, Nebraska 68128 JOINT WRITTEN ACTION OF DIRECTOR(S) AND MEMBER(S) OF UNBOXED MINDS, LLC Pursuant to the Statutes of the State of Nebraska, as amended, and all other applicable provisions of the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, as amended, the undersigned, being the only Member and Director of UNBOXED MINDS, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, do, by written action in place of and without a special meeting of either the Board of Directors or the Members of said Company, unanimously act and consent to such action effective on May 1, 2020, as herein noted and recorded: RESOLVED, that all proceedings of the Board of Directors and all acts taken by members of the Board of Directors or by officers of the company, including but not limited to, the payment of salaries and bonuses, borrowing funds and any and all other actions taken by the Directors and officers in carrying on the business of the company since the last meeting of Directors and Members, are hereby ratified and approved in all respects as if all such acts had been duly recorded in minutes subscribed by the Secretary and approved by the Members and Directors. BE IT RESOLVED, that the sole member, Nick Krecklow, desires to wind up and dissolve the Limited Liability Company. The members hereby unanimously agree to wind up and dissolve UNBOXED MINDS, LLC BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the officers and directors be, and hereby are, directed to approve of said dissolution, and that the officers of the company be, and they hereby are, generally authorized and directed forthwith to enter into such documentation as may be required for the dissolution and winding up. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the officers and directors be, and hereby are, authorized and directed to take any and all actions necessary to carry out the intents and purposes of these resolutions; and that all actions heretofore taken in this regard be, and they hereby are, ratified, approved and adopted in all respects. Nick Krecklow Director, Secretary and Member First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 N O T I C E O F A M E N D M E N T T O T H E A RT I C L E S O F INCORPORATION OF ADULT & PEDIATRIC UROLOGY, P.C. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Articles of Incorporation of Adult & Pediatric Urology, P.C., a Nebraska professional corporation, have been amended to show that the Corporation shall have the authority to issue 10,000 shares of voting common stock and 90,000 shares of nonvoting common stock each with a par value of $0.10. The Articles of Amendment were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on May 22, 2020. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 MARY E. VANDENACK, Attorney VANDENACK WEAVER LLC 17007 Marcy Street, Suite 3 Omaha, Nebraska 68118 NOTICE OFAMENDMENT TO CERTIFICATE OF ORGANIZATION OF PATRIOT HEALTH WELLNESS COMPANY, LLC Notice is hereby given that Patriot Health Wellness Company, LLC has amended its Certificate of Organization as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The amended notice of organization reflects the name change from Patriot Wellness Company, LLC to 602 Merrill Enterprises, LLC. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF Charred SP LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Charred SP LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 2910 Pine Lake Rd Suite N, Lincoln , NE 68516. The Registered Agent of the Company is Jason Kuhr, 2132 S 181st Circle Omaha, NE 68130. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF EMH Studios LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that EMH Studios LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 2323 S 144th ST STE. 12. The Registered Agent of the Company is Erica Hord, 14602 Gilder Ave., Bennington, NE 68007. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF SKOUT MEDIA, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Skout Media, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, has been organized under the laws of the state of Nebraska, commencing business on April 29, 2020, with its initial designated office at 5806 S. 113th Street, Omaha, NE 68137. The initial agent for service of process of the Company is Ryan Pramberg, 5806 S. 113th Street, Omaha, NE 68137. First publication May 29, 2020, final June 12, 2020 NOTICE OF AMENDMENT Notice is hereby given that Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of Foundation Supportworks Supply, Inc., were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State to change the amount of authorized stock and voting power of the stock classes. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020

MATTHEW WURSTNER, Attorney Carlson & Burnett, LLP 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, Nebraska 68130 NOTICE OF AMENDMENT of Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc. Weston, Nebraska Notice is given that on June 1, 2020 the Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc. Weston, Nebraska, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, filed Articles of Amendment of its Articles of Incorporation. The substance of said amendment changed the name of the corporation to Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc. In all other respects the Articles of Incorporation filed on April 29, 2019 remain unchanged. The corporation also changed its registered agent to Darren Carlson, Carlson & Burnett, LLP, whose address is 17525 Arbor Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68130. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 KELLOGG & PALZER, P.C. 10828 Old Mill Road, Suite 6 Omaha, Nebraska 68154-2647 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION 1. The name of the Company is BUGEATERS BACKYARD DEFENSE, LLC. 2. The street address of the initial designated office is 8054 Wirt Circle, Omaha, NE 68134. The registered agent is Julia K. Palzer and the Register Agent's address is 10828 Old Mill Road, Suite 6, Omaha, NE 68154. 3. The general nature of the Company is general pest control, applying pesticides to lawns to control pest bugs. 4. The Company commenced on May 29, 2020, and shall have perpetual existence. 5. The affairs of the Company are to be conducted by Members, the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and such other officers as the Members shall determine. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 CAMERON M. RIECKE, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF OMBRA TECHNOLOGIES, LLC Notice is hereby given of the formation of a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Nebraska, and that the name of the limited liability company is Ombra Technologies, LLC. The address of the initial designated office is 1436 N. 143rd Ave, Omaha, NE 68156. The name and address of the registered agent and office is LDM Business Services, Inc, 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The general nature of the business is any or all lawful business. The company commenced existence on May 29, 2020 and shall have a perpetual duration. The affairs of the company shall be conducted by the Members, as prescribed by the Operating Agreement. LDM Business Services, Inc., Organizer First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 ENTERPRISE LEGAL STUDIO 700 R St. #83204 Lincoln, NE 68501 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Interactive Parenting Technology, LLC has organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The initial designated office of the Company is 356 N. 76th St., Omaha, NE 68114. The initial registered office of the Company is 1125 S. 103rd St., Ste. 800, Omaha, NE 68124, and the name of the initial registered agent of the Company at such address is Capitol Services, Inc. The purpose for which the Company is organized is to engage in any and all lawful business for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Certificate of Organization was filed on the 27th day of May 2020. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 MARK S. DICKHUTE Attorney at Law 955 No. Adams St., #1 Papillion, Nebraska 68046 NOTICE OF MASTER COMMISSIONER’S SALE By virtue of an Order of Sale issued by the District Court for Douglas County, Nebraska and pursuant to a Decree of said Court in an action therein indexed at CI20-1637, wherein Total Construction Services, Inc., is the Plaintiff, and Merry C. Thompson, a/k/a Cathy Thompson , and Danny E. Thompson were joined as Defendants, I will sell at public auction to the highest bidder, for cash, the following property at 1:00 o’clock p.m. on the 27th day of July, 2020 outside the Legislative Chambers, 1819 Farnam St., City of Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska: Lots 13 and 14, Block 25, Minne Lusa, an Addition to the City of Omaha, as surveyed, platted and recorded in Douglas County, Nebraska and its appurtenances, and otherwise known as 2747 Bauman Ave., Omaha, Nebraska (“the Property”), To satisfy the liens and encumbrances set forth therein; and to satisfy the accruing court costs, all as provided by said Order and Decree. The purchaser is responsible for all fees and taxes, including the documentary revenue stamp tax. Except where the purchaser is the Plaintiff, the purchaser will deposit with the Master Commissioner at the time of sale a non-refundable cashiers or certified check in the amount of $3,000.00, with the balance of the purchase price in certified funds to be received by Plaintiff’s attorney immediately upon confirmation of the sale by the Court. The sale is made without any warranties as to title or condition of the Property Dated this 2nd day of June, 2020. Nancy Lawler Dickhute Master Commissioner First publication June 5, 2020, final June 26, 2020

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ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF NESLER FAMILYAUTOMOTIVE, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Nesler Family Automotive, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has been duly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 18454 Adams Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68135 and designating its registered agent as Erickson & Sederstrom P.C. a limited liability organization with its registered office at 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 SCOTT D. JOCHIM, Attorney C R O K E R , H U C K , K A S H E R , D E W I T T, A N D E R S O N & GONDERINGER, L.L.C. 2120 S. 72ND STREET, SUITE 1200 OMAHA, NEBRASKA 68124 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF ENERGI SALON & SPA, LLC The name of the limited liability company is Energi Salon & Spa, LLC. The address of the initial designated office is 518 South 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68102. The name and address of the initial agent for service of process is Troy Davis, 518 South 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68102. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 RYAN COUFAL, Attorney VANDENACK WEAVER LLC 17007 Marcy Street, Suite 3 Omaha, Nebraska 68118 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF ARROWHEAD ESTATES LLC Notice is hereby given that ARROWHEAD ESTATES LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The address of the initial designated office of the company is 1267 280th, Seward, NE 68434. The agent for service of process for the Company is VW Agents LLC located at 17007 Marcy Street, Suite 3, Omaha, NE 68118. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 ABRAHAMS KASLOW & CASSMAN LLP, Attorneys 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Tolliver Tree Service, LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The street and mailing address of the initial designated office of the company is 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The name and street and mailing address of the initial registered agent of the company for service of process are Andrew P. Deaver and 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF TOBO, INC. 1. The name of the Corporation is ToBo, Inc. 2. The Corporation is authorized to issue 10,000 Shares having a par value of $1.00 each. 3. The Registered Office of the Corporation is: 1125 S 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124, and the Registered Agent at such address is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O. 4. The corporate existence began on June 3, 2020, when Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State. 5. The name and address of the Incorporator is: Michael M. Hupp, 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 KATHRYN J. DERR, Attorney BERKSHIRE & BURMEISTER 1301 South 75th Street, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68124 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF REVELATION HEALTH MD, PLLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that REVELATION HEALTH MD, PLLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The address of the initial designated office of the company is 917 Rawhide Road, Papillion, Nebraska 68146. The registered office of the Company is 917 Rawhide Road, Papillion, Nebraska 68146, and the agent at such office is Steven Lapke MD. The general nature of the business to be transacted by the company is to render to the public the practice of medicine, and in addition to engaging in such profession, can also engage in any other business or activities as to which a limited liability company may be formed. The company commenced operations on April 15, 2020, and shall have a perpetual duration. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 WHITMORE LAW OFFICE LLC 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Notice is hereby given that JGH Trucking, L.L.C. (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the Company is 6126 Oak Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68106. The registered agent of the Company is Jose Gonzalez, 6126 Oak Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68106. The Company was formed on June 4, 2020. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF Artist Dany Reyes, L.L.C. Notice is hereby given that Artist Dany Reyes, L.L.C., a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its initial designated office at 1714 Vinton St., Omaha, Nebraska 68108. The initial agent for service of process of the Company is Dany M. Reyes-Lopez, 1714 Vinton St., Omaha, NE 68108. Artist Danny Reyes, LLC. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF AUFENKAMP REAL ESTATE, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that AUFENKAMP REAL ESTATE, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 6717 S 148 cir Omaha, NE 68137 The Registered Agent of the Company is Mandy Aufenkamp at 6717 S 148 Cir Omaha, NE 68137. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF ACTIVE NIGHTLIFE, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Active Nightlife, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 7763 Lakeview Street, Ralston, Nebraska 68127. The Registered Agent of the Company is Deanna Albertson, 15713 Berry Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68135. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 WHITMORE LAW OFFICE LLC 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Notice is hereby given that Juice Express, L.L.C. (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the Company is 2574 Jayne Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68111. The registered agent of the Company is Justin Beck, 2574 Jayne Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68111. The Company was formed on May 27, 2020. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 WHITMORE LAW OFFICE LLC 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Notice is hereby given that Mindful and Behavioral Connection, Compassion, and Counseling, L.L.C., has been organized as a professional limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The designated office of the Company is 13906 Gold Circle, Ste. 202, Omaha, Nebraska 68144. The registered agent of the Company is Mitchell Berry, 2556 Marcy Street,, #20, Omaha, Nebraska 68105. The Company's members, managers, professional employees and agents are licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render services related to the providing of mental health services in this state. The Company was formed on May 29, 2020. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 MARTIN P. PELSTER, Attorney C R O K E R , H U C K , K A S H E R , D E W I T T, A N D E R S O N & GONDERINGER, L.L.C. 2120 S. 72ND STREET, SUITE 1200 OMAHA, NEBRASKA 68124 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF DJSW ENTERPRISES, LLC The name of the limited liability company is DJSW Enterprises, LLC. The address of the initial designated office is 2120 South 72nd Street, Suite 1200, Omaha, NE 68124. The name and address of the initial agent for service of process is Martin P. Pelster, 2120 South 72nd Street, Suite 1200, Omaha, NE 68124. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 LEGACY DESIGN STRATEGIES 9859 South 168th Avenue Omaha, NE 68136 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION OF EASE PET SITTING, LLC. EASE PET SITTING, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has filed a Statement of Dissolution with the Nebraska Secretary of State. Robert P. Fritz will manage the winding down of the Company’s affairs and distribute its assets. Persons with claims against the Company must present such claim(s) to: EASE PET SITTING, LLC, c/o Robert P. Fritz, 21286 N 96th Ave, Peoria, AZ 85382. Claims against the Company must include the following information: (i) claimant’s name, address and telephone number during business hours; (ii) any facts which may support the claim(s); and (iii) any amounts allegedly owed by the Company under the claim. Robert P. Fritz, Registered Agent First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020 DVORAK LAW GROUP LLC 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF STUECKRATH FAMILY FARMS, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Stueckrath Family Farms, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 4410 S. 163rd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68135. The Registered Agent of the Company is DDLG Business Services, Inc., 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 5, 2020, final June 19, 2020

ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION OF ACCELERATED SUCCESS, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Accelerated Success, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), filed a Statement of Dissolution with the Nebraska Secretary of State on June 4, 2020. The terms of the dissolution provide for the payment of liabilities of the Company and distribution of any remaining assets. The Company requests that persons with claims against it present them in accordance with this notice. Any claimant shall describe the claim and the date on which the claim arose and mail the claim to the above address. A claim against the company will be barred unless a proceeding to enforce the claim is commenced within five years after the publication of this notice. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION BRDA, Inc., a Nebraska corporation, filed Articles of Dissolution on June 2, 2020, with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office. The terms of the dissolution provide for the payment of liabilities of the corporation and the distribution of any remaining assets. Kellie M. Chevalier, as President, is to manage the corporate affairs relating to the dissolution of the Corporation. Any Corporation assets will be distributed in accordance with the Corporation’s plan of dissolution and it has no known liabilities. The Corporation requests that persons with claims against it present them in accordance with this notice. Any claimant shall send notice of a claim to the Corporation to the above address. A claim against BRDA, Inc. will be barred unless a proceeding to enforce the claim is commenced within three (3) years after the publication of this notice. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION Corporate Name: Caring for People Home HealthCare, Inc. Registered Agent: Erickson & Sederstrom P.C. a limited liability organization Registered Office: 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 Authorized Number of Shares: 10,000 Incorporator: John Walker, 210 North 78th Street, Suite 100, Omaha, NE 68114 First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Know Your Neighbor, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has been duly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 23615 Berry Street, Elkhorn, Nebraska 68022 and designating its registered agent as Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C. a limited liability organization with its registered office at 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF GRO HOLDINGS, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Gro Holdings, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has been duly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 16138 Burt Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68118 and designating its registered agent as Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C. a limited liability organization with its registered office at 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION of a Limited Liability Company Notice is hereby given the registration with the Nebraska Secretary of state’s office of Torres Landscaping & Irrigation, LLC under the laws of the State of Nebraska as follows: The name of the company is Torres Landscaping & Irrigation, LLC. Registered agent and office of Torres Landscaping & Irrigation, LLC is Ana Dalila Torres Abarca at 1206 S 43rd Street, Omaha, NE 68105. The designated address is 1206 S 43rd Street, Omaha, NE 68105. Initial members: Ana Dalila Torres Abarca. General nature of the business is to transact any and all lawful business for which limited liability companies are allowed by statute. The LLC was organized on May 2020 for the perpetual duration and is managed by its members. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ALLAN M. ZIEBARTH, Attorney 1702 South 10 Street, Suite 2 Omaha, Nebraska 68108 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF GOT IT AUTO, LLC Designated Office: 1702 S. 10 St., Suite 2, Omaha, NE 68108 Initial Agent/Address For Service: Allan M. Ziebarth/1702 S. 10 St., Suite 2, Omaha, NE 68108 First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020

AMANDA M. FORKER, Attorney PANSING HOGAN ERNST & BACHMAN LLP 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3728 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF GABLES INVESTMENT 1, LLC Notice is hereby given of the organization of Gables Investment 1, LLC. 1. The name of the limited liability company is Gables Investment 1, LLC. 2. The street and mailing address of the initial designated office is 7510 Cass Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. 3. The name and street address of the initial agent for service of process is Amanda M. Forker 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 DVORAK LAW GROUP LLC 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF KYLE J. HASCALL FAMILY DENTISTRY P.C. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Kyle J. Hascall Family Dentistry P.C. (the “Corporation”) has been incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Corporation is authorized to issue 10,000 shares of common stock at a par value of $1.00 each. The initial registered agent and office of the Corporation is DDLG Business Services, Inc., 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The name and street address of the incorporator of the Corporation is Kyle J. Hascall, 17725 Welch Plaza, Suite B, Omaha, Nebraska 68135. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ANDREW J. HUBER, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF SUNSHINE DAYDREAM, INC. Notice is hereby given that a corporation has been formed under the laws of the State of Nebraska, and that the name of the corporation is Sunshine Daydream, Inc. The corporation is authorized to issue 1,000 shares of common stock. The general nature of the business to be transacted is all lawful business. The company commenced existence on June 4, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. The name and street address of the corporation’s initial registered agent and office is LDM Business Services, Inc., 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The name and address of the incorporator is LDM Business Services, Inc., 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, NE 68114. LDM Business Services, Inc., Incorporator First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ANDREW J. HUBER, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF ANESTHESIA BY M.D. KRUEGER, INC. Notice is hereby given that a corporation has been formed under the laws of the State of Nebraska, and that the name of the corporation is Anesthesia by M.D. Krueger, Inc. The corporation is authorized to issue 1,000 shares of common stock. The general nature of the business to be transacted is all lawful business. The company commenced existence on June 4, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. The name and street address of the corporation’s initial registered agent and office is LDM Business Services, Inc., 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The name and address of the incorporator is LDM Business Services, Inc., 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, NE 68114. LDM Business Services, Inc., Incorporator First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF CM SEAMLESS GUTTERS, INC. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that CM SEAMLESS GUTTERS, INC., is incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with a registered office at 4203 South 147th Street, #303, Omaha, Nebraska 68137. The registered agent is CHRISTOPHER B. MARSH. The general nature of the business is to operate a general gutter installation and construction business, to own, operate and perform services of every kind and nature whatsoever, which are not inconsistent with law, which are necessary, suitable, proper, convenient or expedient to the operation of a general gutter installation and construction business. The authorized capital stock is $10,000.00, consisting of 10,000 shares of stock having a par value of $1.00 each, which stock shall be paid for wholly or partly by cash, by labor, by personal property and by real property. The corporation became a corporate body on March 23, 2020, and shall have perpetual existence. The affairs of the corporation are to be conducted by a Board of Directors, the number of directors to be provided in the By-Laws, and the officers shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, and such other officers as shall be designated in the By-Laws. ANTHONY L. GROSS, Incorporator CATHERINE L. WHITE, Incorporator 3018 South 87th Street, Omaha, NE 68124 First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 NOTICE OF AMENDMENT Notice is hereby given that Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of Foundation Supportworks, Inc., were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State to change the amount of authorized stock and voting power of the stock classes. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020


Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 • LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF GRIZZLY EXTERIORS, INC. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that GRIZZLY EXTERIORS, INC., is incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with a registered office at 4314 South 22nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68107. The registered agent is JAMES S. MORGAN. The general nature of the business is to operate a general construction business, to own, operate and perform services of every kind and nature whatsoever, which are not inconsistent with law, which are necessary, suitable, proper, convenient or expedient to the operation of a general construction business. The authorized capital stock is $10,000.00, consisting of 10,000 shares of stock having a par value of $1.00 each, which stock shall be paid for wholly or partly by cash, by labor, by personal property and by real property. The corporation became a corporate body on March 12, 2020, and shall have perpetual existence. The affairs of the corporation are to be conducted by a Board of Directors, the number of directors to be provided in the By-Laws, and the officers shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, and such other officers as shall be designated in the By-Laws. ANTHONY L. GROSS, Incorporator CATHERINE L. WHITE, Incorporator 3018 South 87th Street, Omaha, NE 68124 First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF AMENDMENT NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Certificate of Organization of Nuceaux LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), has been amended and restated as follows: The name of the Company is Nuceaux LLC. The Designated Office of the Company is 14747 California Street, Suite 1, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. The Registered Agent and Office of the Company is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O., 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The Amended and Restated Certificate of Organization was filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on June 5, 2020. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF DAVENPORT SURGICAL, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Davenport Surgical, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 17838 Burke Street, Suite 101, Omaha, Nebraska 68118. The registered agent and office of the limited liability company is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O., 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The Certificate of Organization was filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on June 5, 2020. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF 334 LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that 334 LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 200 North 62nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68132. The registered agent and office of the limited liability company is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O., 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The Certificate of Organization was filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on June 8, 2020. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 DANA ROCHE, Attorney RINGENBERG & RATTNER LAW 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204 Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF SALES SOLUTIONS, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Sales Solutions, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 3345 North 107th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68134. The Registered Agent of the Company is Jennifer L. Rattner, Ringenberg & Rattner Law, LLC, 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 DARREN R. CARLSON, Attorney CARLSON & BURNETT, LLP 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, NE 68130 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF J. JACOBS HOLDINGS, LLC Notice is hereby given that J. JACOBS HOLDINGS, LLC is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The initial designated office is 14301 FNB Pkwy, Ste. 204, Omaha, NE 68154. The initial registered agent is Joel Jacobs, whose address is 14301 FNB Pkwy, Ste. 204, Omaha, NE 68154. The purpose of the Company shall be to engage in any lawful business and activity, as may be mutually agreed upon by the Members from time to time, and which are not prohibited by the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The Company commenced with filing its Certificate of Organization on October 3, 2016 and shall have a perpetual period of duration. The Company is to be managed by the Manager of the Company. The initial Manager is Joel Jacobs, 14301 FNB Pkwy, Ste. 204, Omaha, NE 68154 Joel Jacobs, Organizer First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020

ABRAHAMS KASLOW & CASSMAN LLP, Attorneys 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Sommelier Insurance Group LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The street and mailing address of the initial designated office of the company is 3225 California Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68131. The name and street and mailing address of the initial registered agent of the company for service of process are Christopher O. Estwick and 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 NATE STREHLE 7512 N 143rd St Omaha, NE 68142 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF CORE HEALTH CLUB LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that CORE HEALTH CLUB LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska on June 1, 2020 (the “Company”). The Company has designated its registered agent as Nate Strehle, with registered office at 7512 N 143rd St, Omaha, NE 68142. The Company’s initial designated office is at 7512 N 143rd St, Omaha, NE 68142. The Company is governed by one or more managers. The general nature of business is any lawful purpose. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF a Limited Liability Company NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that CANO CONSTRUCTION, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The registered agent of CANO CONSTRUCTION, LLC and office is Alfredo Cruz Cano 4916 Robin Dr apt 2 Bellevue, NE 68157. First publication June 12, 2020, final June 26, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: Safe Surface Technologies Name of Applicant: CABB, Inc. Address: 6303 South 172nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68135 Applicant is a Corporation If other than an Individual, state under whose laws entity was formed: Nebraska Date of first use of name in Nebraska: upon filing General nature of business: Commercial cleaning ANDREW COLLINS Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative June 12, 2020 ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: Safe Surface Technology Name of Applicant: CABB, Inc. Address: 6303 South 172nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68135 Applicant is a Corporation If other than an Individual, state under whose laws entity was formed: Nebraska Date of first use of name in Nebraska: upon filing General nature of business: commercial cleaning ANDREW COLLINS Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative June 12, 2020 MARY E. VANDENACK, Attorney VANDENACK WEAVER LLC 17007 Marcy Street, Suite 3 Omaha, Nebraska 68118 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: IExcel Name of Applicant: IExcel, LLC Address: 7901 4th Street Suite 300 St. Petersburg FL 33702 Applicant is a Limited Liability Company If other than an Individual, state under whose laws entity was formed: Florida Date of first use of name in Nebraska: March 23 2005 General nature of business: Information Technology/Learning Center KERRI ALLENDER Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative June 12, 2020 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: NODDLE CARES Name of Applicant: NODDLE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY Address: 2285 S. 67TH ST., STE. 250, OMAHA, NE 68106 Applicant is a Corporation If other than an Individual, state under whose laws entity was formed: NEBRASKA Date of first use of name in Nebraska: MAY 1, 2020 General nature of business: ANY AND ALL BUSINESS JAY B. NODDLE Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative June 12, 2020

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SCHMIT LAW FIRM, LLC 1246 Golden Gate Drive, Suite 3 Papillion, Nebraska 68046 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: Senior Legacy Partners Name of Applicant: Grzywa, Inc. Address: 922 S. Madison St. Papillion NE 68046 Applicant is a Corporation If other than an Individual, state under whose laws entity was formed: NE Date of first use of name in Nebraska: April 20, 2020 General nature of business: Insurance Sales ANGELA SCHMIT Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative June 12, 2020


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Bye-bye buffets, hello plexiglass: How coronavirus is changing hotels by Hugo Martín

If you decide to break away from your coronavirus lockdown to hit the road this summer, expect some changes at your hotel, such as no more valet parking, a sheet of plexiglass between you and the concierge and a capacity limit at the pool. And forget about using the gym. It will be closed. Hospitality The breakfast buffet? Gone. With many states giving the green light for leisure travel to resume, the hotel industry has adopted a set of protocols that are changing the look of the country’s hotels and the way they operate. The goal is to make guests feel safe, or relatively safe, from the coronavirus. In addition to having hotel workers clean and wipe most surfaces much more often, hotel operators are installing stickers on floors to remind people to keep their distance from one another. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout buildings. At least one hotel moved its lobby to a less crowded location; others have spaced pool furniture far apart to discourage guests who don’t know each other from cavorting together. In most hotels, staff will be wearing masks. Some hotels will offer masks and hand sanitizer to guests when they check in. One hotel cleaning company is pushing for a greater use of robot vacuums to free up staffers to more thoroughly clean rooms. Many other hotels are turning to devices that spray a fog of disinfectant to kill germs that may be hiding in nooks and crannies.

“Most people can live with those kind of changes,” said Janet Zaldua, chief executive of the Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau and a member of a Los Angeles County task force working on ways to safely reopen businesses. “I think there is so much pent-up demand.” Growing numbers of people are gearing up for vacations. A survey by Deloitte in mid-May of 1,000 Americans found that 31% were planning to stay in a hotel during a leisure trip in the following three months, up from 24% in mid-April. As hotels reopen, they face hot competition. Airbnb and similar companies have reported a recent surge in home rentals, touting the properties’ relative lack of crowds and guests’ ability to cook their own meals and control who enters the space. And as early as March, recreational-vehicle companies were seeing some success pitching trips in RVs and campers as a way to travel in a bubble. The California Hotel and Lodging Assn. has developed a 34-point checklist to fight the spread of COVID-19. Hotels that abide by the checklist, including washing bed linen in the hottest water possible and eliminating valet parking services, will get a window decal saying the property meets the group’s “Clean + Safe” standards. The pandemic pushed demand for hotels — and all travel — to record lows. U.S. hotels have lost an estimated $31 billion in room revenue and have laid off or furloughed as many as 70% of their workers since the pandemic hit, according to data published by the American Hotel

and Lodging Assn. Hotel operators are hoping to attract more guests by promoting new ways they’re trying to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. At the 70-room BLVD Hotel & Spa in Studio City, plexiglass partitions separate guests from workers at the front desks and at the bar. The gym, spa and pool have been closed. A shop in the hotel lobby that previously sold freshly made sandwiches, bagels, coffee and other breakfast and lunch items has been converted to sell premade, individually wrapped snacks. In the rooms, the housekeepers wipe down the hard surfaces before switching on a hand-held device that resembles a small leaf blower that emits a fog made of a solution of hydrogen peroxide and ethanol. After the room has been cleaned and fogged, a sticker on the hotel room doors signifies no one has entered since the room has been disinfected. “It’s going to become the new norm,” said Sagar Kumar, the owner of the chain of three BVLD Hotels. “It’s something that every hotel should be doing.” It’s unclear whether disinfectant fog is especially helpful against the coronavirus. Fogging was used on airplanes during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, said Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. But he said fogging hotel rooms is not necessary for the coronavirus as long as a housekeeper wipes down high-touch surfaces such as toilets and door handles.

disease, and it’s no surprise that nearly 49% U.S. workers in a survey last year said they hated their daily commute. If you’re planning a move, consider spending more on housing to spend less on commuting. Trimming your 13-mile commute down to five miles could save you $2,300 a year, or almost $200 a month. Accepting a longer commute of 30 miles, meanwhile, carries with it a total cost of more than $11,000. To calculate the full cost of your commute yourself, begin by working out your annual mileage. A 20-mile round-trip commute works out at 100 miles a week or roughly 5,000 miles a year, assuming two weeks’ vacation. If you drive a midsize car, with gas mileage of 29 mpg, that’s 172 gallons of gas a year, for a total cost of $344 in most metropolitan areas. Next, add your parking. Over 50 weeks, a charge of $10 a day works out at $2,500 a year. (The University of California at Santa Barbara’s online commuter calculator does all this handily. Visit https://www.tps. ucsb.edu/commuter-cost-calculator.) Finally, multiply your original mileage by 0.608 — the cost in dollars per mile for car ownership, according to AAA data, which includes maintenance, insurance and depreciation. Five thousand miles, for instance, has a total cost of about $3,000. (Depreciation depends on the original cost of the car and other factors, so you can check your model at iseecars.com.) Add the three together — fuel, parking and car ownership costs — to get a total annual estimate for your commute. Altogether, our example of a 10-mile commute costs $5,700 a year. Taking the time to do the math could save

you thousands of dollars. Suppose you’re looking for a place to live in Phoenix. The family-friendly neighborhood of Deer Valley has a median home value of about $275,500. But the 17-mile commute to downtown Phoenix adds on an extra $7,400 each year — a surcharge of sorts of nearly $620 a month — onto your rent or mortgage. Living more centrally might cost you more upfront but less in the long run. Situated three miles from downtown Phoenix, Encanto has a median home price of about $40,000 more than Deer Valley, at $315,000. But its central location and good transit links make it somewhat of a bargain. Tackling this commute by car costs $3,400 a year — a savings of $4,000 compared to Deer Valley. You’ll save even more if you opt to leave the car at home (or sell it) and take the train. A monthly light-rail pass costs $64 a month, ultimately saving you $6,800 a year, compared to the cost of driving from Deer Valley. A mortgage with an additional $60,000 principal, at 3.75%, would add about $278 to your monthly payment. There’s another still cheaper alternative, of course. The 872,000 Americans who cycle to work, per the 2018 Census, pay no real costs beyond the initial price of buying a bike. Perhaps more interesting, cyclists seem to love the journey. A recent survey of more than 1,000 workers, carried out during coronavirus lockdowns, found that 91% of bike commuters said they missed at least some element of their commute, compared to 45% of car commuters. ©2020 Rate.com News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

One key to affording more house — a shorter commute by Natasha Frost

Living far from work because housing close-in is too costly? There’s a very good chance you could actually save money and live closer — if you scrupulously calculate your commuting costs. Real Estate L e t ’s a s s u m e you’re bang-on average, according to data from the American Community Survey: You drive alone, for 27 minutes each way, five days a week, over a distance of about 13 miles. If you’re paying $2.00 a gallon for gas, plus $10 a day in parking, you’ll spend about $2,800 each year on fuel and parking alone. But the greatest costs slip by unseen. The price of that same “average commute” more than doubles to nearly $6,200 a year when you include the costs of keeping and maintaining a car, according to AAA estimates. With the U.S. median household income currently sitting at about $60,000 a year, that’s more than 10% of pre-tax income eaten up by commuting. For the past 40 years, American commutes have grown steadily longer and more expensive, due to a combination of rising housing prices and more severe congestion in most metropolitan areas. It hurts more than just our wallets. A 54-minute round-trip journey equates to more than nine days in a car per year, assuming two weeks’ vacation and the occasional federal holiday. On a biweekly basis, that’s nine hours of travel time — a whole extra work day that you aren’t being paid for. Factor in psychic wear-and-tear and the well-documented health impact of prolonged sitting on blood pressure, stress and heart

“I don’t think there is any reason you have to disinfect the walls and ceilings,” he said, adding that the virus usually doesn’t live on surfaces for more than several hours. To disinfect rooms, Marriott International, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, is testing the use of electrostatic fogging devices, which charge the droplets of solution that are being sprayed to make them cling to the surfaces. It is a process that Delta Air Lines is using to disinfect its cabins between flights. The hotel giant is also evaluating whether to eliminate or modify valet parking. Marriott is also recommending that its brand hotels space furniture apart in common areas and install plexiglass barriers, hand sanitizer dispensers and signage to encourage physical distancing. “Now, more than ever, travelers need to believe in the places where they stay,” said Scott McCoy, Marriott’s vice president of market operations and guest experience in the Americas. The pandemic, according to hotel industry experts, is likely to make smaller hotels more popular among travelers over large chain hotels where guests may feel they are at greater risk of being infected by being exposed to large crowds of people attending conferences or weddings. “Almost overnight we’ve gone from a hotel product that was functionally obsolete to highly desirable,” Alan X. Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Group, said of small hotels. But even boutique hotels are making changes. At the 22-room Hotel Joaquin in Laguna Beach, the check-in desk was moved from a cramped lobby to a larger living room area so guests are not crowded together. Around the pool, the deck chairs have been spaced apart to promote physical distancing and the furniture is wiped down with disinfectant after each use, hotel owner Paul Makarechian said. The hotel has also closed its restaurant and instead encourages guests to order togo food from nearby eateries to eat in their rooms or in the patios and outdoor areas. The hotel provides guests with disposable dishes, cups and utensils. “We are not doing the traditional sitdown dining anymore,” Makarechian said. “What we are trying to do is give the sophistication with a little less interaction.” Once demand begins to rise, hotels probably will hire more workers to clean more often and more thoroughly, said Kelvis Quaynor, vice president of Ganir & Co., a company that provides cleaning services to some of the nation’s largest hotel chains. But he believes overall labor costs can be controlled by introducing more automation, including devices such as the Whiz, an automated vacuum to clean hallways and large convention spaces.Quaynor said the “industrial-size Roomba,” built by Softbank Robotics Group Corp., will free up staffers to focus on disinfecting rooms. The Whiz is already in use at a hotel in Park City, Utah, Quaynor said, and he expects similar automation to be used nationwide within a year or two. “COVID-19 is going to make this much more rapid than we thought,” he said. ©2020 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

There’s a black jobs crisis. Coronavirus is making it worse by Margot Roosevelt and Taylor Avery

After weeks of catastrophic job loss across the country, May’s labor report held out a glimmer of hope: the nation’s overall unemployment rate ticked down to 13.3%, from 14.2% in April. But for black Americans it was more bad news: a staggering 16.8% Jobs of the African American labor force was out of work, up a notch from 16.7% in April. In California and nationwide, the coronavirus is widening the racial divide between haves and have-nots. And the pandemic-driven economic meltdown has helped to inflame the black community’s deep sense of injustice as uprisings over police brutality spread across the country. Minneapolis may be some 1,500 miles from Los Angeles, but protests across California over the killing of yet another unarmed black man erupted with equal ferocity. Beneath the fury over George Floyd’s death lie longstanding economic inequities that have plagued the 2.6 million African Americans who account for 6.5% of California’s population. “Nearly half the black community has had either no job or a poverty, dead-end job that doesn’t pay basic needs of housing and food,” said Lola Smallwood Cuevas, the founder of the Black Worker Center in South Los Angeles. “The financial instability has been tearing at the social fabric of black communities,” she said. “It is fueling a lot of what

we are seeing in this recent uprising. Many black residents have to stitch together two or three jobs to survive.” Three years ago, Cuevas helped research a UCLA Labor Center study on conditions in Los Angeles’ black neighborhoods. Black workers with a high school degree or less were twice as likely to be unemployed as whites with the same education, the report found. It highlighted the decline of stable, well-paid blue-collar jobs in Los Angeles’ black neighborhoods as industries moved to the suburbs, to Southern states with lower wages and fewer unions or to foreign nations. Between 1980 and 2014, the percentage of L.A. County’s black workers in manufacturing jobs shrank from 19% to 5%. “As a result of widening inequality, rising housing costs, and a glaring lack of economic opportunities, Los Angeles is in the throes of a black jobs crisis,” the researchers wrote. The remaining jobs “declined in quality, and as black employment cratered, these communities — especially their men — were increasingly criminalized and ensnared in California’s historic expansion of incarceration.” And now the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting California’s African Americans. Since COVID-19 began claiming lives, black Americans have died at twice the rate of white residents. In Los Angeles County, African Americans have suffered 26 deaths per 100,000 residents, as compared with 22 for Latinos, 16 for Asian Americans

and 13 for whites. “At no time in recent history have deep racial disparities in well-being appeared as obvious as they do today,” the Public Policy Institute of California wrote in a post last week. Underlying health conditions, less access to medical care and insurance, and more exposure to the virus due to employment and housing conditions contributed to the higher toll of the pandemic on African Americans, researchers found. State-level job data by race won’t be compiled for months, but an analysis of Californians’ unemployment benefit claims by the state Employment Development Department and the nonprofit California Policy Lab shows the virus’ unequal impact. From mid-March to mid-May, more than a quarter of California’s black workers, along with more than a quarter of its Asian workers, filed jobless insurance claims. For whites and Latinos, the proportion was also dire but somewhat less so: 21%. On March 23, Trusion Daniels was laid off from his $15-an-hour job as a cook for a KFC outlet at Los Angeles International Airport. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Before the pandemic, the 29-year-old had lined up a job in Las Vegas, where he planned to attend culinary school. The coronavirus outbreak “threw a wrench in our whole plan,” he said. He used his last paycheck to help his mother rent a U-Haul and pay for storage

Child care is still the missing ingredient for a fast economic recovery Continued from page 13. fixed costs. Another 17% said they would not survive any closure without public support. And 21% did not know how long they would be able to close their doors and be able to reopen without support. “This will have devastating consequences for parents who need to work and their children who will be left with no safe option as states reopen,” said Hannah Matthews, deputy executive director for policy for the Center for Law and Social Policy, an anti-poverty nonprofit. Westchester in-home child care provider Mary De La Rosa, 35, laid off her employees in mid-March, sending home the 14 children in their care. She applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration, but hasn’t been approved. Now she’s weighing whether it’s worth taking the health risks — to her own family as well as the children she cares for — to reopen. “That’s something I ask myself every day,” De La Rosa said. “There’s just way too much uncertainty now, so we just keep postponing (a decision) to see what ends up happening.” Many providers are also waiting to see what new safety protocols they’ll have to meet. Cheryl Lekousi, 61, of Needham, Mass., who has temporarily shut down the child care business she operates out of her home, is using some of the $2,135 Paycheck Protection Program loan she re-

ceived for cleaning and medical equipment she expects to need when she reopens — she hopes — in late June. Among other changes, the day care area will be separated from the rest of her house with clear plastic across a doorway. She’ll take the children’s temperature and oxygen levels at the start of each day. Parents will have to drop off and pick up at the door rather than come inside. Each day after cleaning and disinfecting all toys and linens, she will wash her clothes and take a shower before crossing the threshold back into the rest of her home. Her husband is considered high risk. “When I start working, it means there will be a number of people in my life who I will not be able to see,” including her grandchildren, she said, An April study by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress estimated that the country could see 4.5 million fewer child care slots available once governments and businesses reopen, a 50% drop nationwide. That’s going to amplify existing problems with the child care system, including high costs driven by high demand and little availability, sad Nina Perez, senior campaign director of MomsRising, a grassroots advocacy group. “It’s such a fragile system already and now we’re seeing how it doesn’t hold up in a crisis,” Perez said. “This is going to impact employers if a core part of their workforce can’t go back to work … . There is no economic recovery without

child care.” Diana Limongi, 38, of Queens, N.Y. got the call in early May that the day care her three-year-old Sofia attended had decided to close permanently. She hasn’t been able to stomach looking for a new day care yet, and she’s considering holding off until Sofia is old enough to enter prekindergarten. “I cried, literally,” Limongi said. “It’s really hard to find a good provider. Congress seems to grasp that something has to be done, but disagrees on what to do. The $3-trillion economic relief package passed by the House in May, the HEROES Act, included $7 billion for child care. But Republican Senate leaders have called that bill a Democratic wishlist and say it will not be considered. A $50 billion proposal to stabilize child care providers and ensure child care slots will exist for parents returning to work is being debated by congressional leaders. Senate Republican Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia have proposed $25 billion for the industry. A group of House Democrats led by Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts proposed a $100 billion fund, an amount Clark said would “begin to treat child care as the key piece of our economic infrastructure that it is.” ©2020 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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when her landlord sold the Hawthorne building where he lived with her and 12 other family members. After a short hotel stay, the family moved to South Los Angeles, but Daniels “didn’t want to crowd up space,” he said, so he couch surfs at a friend’s. Unemployment benefits are cushioning the blow, although how long they will last has yet to be determined as Congress debates future relief. Daniels is no stranger to violence. He recalls watching a video of a friend’s nephew who was shot by police as he lay on his stomach. “A lot of people are angry and scared,” he said. “I’m 6’2”. I’m a dark-skinned man. When I walk down the street, I’m on guard.” When he told his family he planned to attend the protests with his younger brother, his mother “was blowing my phone up,” Daniels said. “My grandma was blowing my phone up. They was, like, ‘Come back home.’” Nationwide, median income for white households was $65,902 in 2018, compared with $41,511 for black households. In California, the gap was similar: $77,904 versus $53,565. But unemployment and low wages are not the only measures of racial inequity. From 17th century slavery to 20th century redlining and housing discrimination, black residents have long been thwarted in accumulating wealth, so they have less to fall back on when a disaster such as the pandemic hits. State-level data on assets by race are limited, but nationwide the cumulative effect of inequality and discrimination “can be traced back to this nation’s inception,” according to a February study by the Brookings Institution, which detailed how inherited wealth has buoyed white families over generations. At $171,000, the net worth of a typical white family in 2016 was nearly 10 times that of a black family, at $17,150, the study reported. And during the Great Recession, median net worth declined more for black families (44.3%) than for white families (26.1%). “The ratio of white family wealth to black family wealth is higher today than at the start of the century,” Brookings researchers wrote. With COVID-19 killing African Americans at a higher rate than other races, attention is increasingly focused on the kinds of jobs they hold. A UC Berkeley Labor Center study last month analyzed the racial makeup of jobs that California officials designated as essential, including those in hospitals, home care, nursing homes, grocery stores, warehouses, meat processing plants, trucking and public transit agencies. “Overall, Latinx workers have the highest rate of employment in these jobs (55%), followed by black workers (48%),” the report says. “As a result, both groups likely face greater risk of exposure to the coronavirus in the workplace than other race/ethnic groups.” Among white workers, just 35% held jobs in industries labeled as essential, along with 37% of Asian workers. ©2020 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal REGIONAL LANDSCAPES

Briefs…

News Talk 1290-KOIL has launched a daily two-hour program focusing on the local community as friends, neighbors and businesses begin to face the “new normal.” The program will be live and local, hosted by broadcaster Neil Nelkin. Each day the two-hour program will focus on everything “local” in Omaha and Council Bluffs as businesses start to re-open and figure out how to go forward. The program will be co-hosted by other NRG Media on-air talent and radio personalities on a daily basis.

The National Safety Council, Nebraska Chapter, in collaboration with the Greater Omaha Chamber, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, has launched an initiative focused on the safety of all Nebraska companies, their employees and their customers. The voluntary process, called Be Safe Nebraska, will allow companies to pledge to adopt best safety practices focused on keeping their employees, customers and partners safe during the COVID-19 epidemic. NSCN has established a public website in which companies taking the pledge will be listed (SafeNebraska.org/WePledge).

MEETINGS AND SEMINARS

2020

We are now accepting nominations! Deadline to submit: July 31, 2020

The 19th annual 40 Under 40 Awards will take place Nov. 20 at Embassy Suites La-Vista. Midlands Business Journal is currently seeking nominations for professionals in the Greater Omaha and Council Bluffs area under the age of 40 who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and career accomplishments. Our judges will seek out individuals that have made impacts within their organizations and our community. We want to hear about the entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners in your lives. Involvement in nonprofits and community organizations will show judges how much candidates care about the Greater Omaha area. Nominees must be under the age of 40 as of Dec. 31, 2020 for consideration and cannot nominate themselves. Bottom line, we want to honor young professionals that are making a difference. Visit MBJ.com to fill out the nomination form now!

Key information to include in the nomination: • • • • • • • •

Current company Current position Age Company address Company phone Email address Degrees earned Business accomplishments (promotions, projects, company initiatives) • Community involvement (volunteer work, seats on boards, local and national organizations) • Achievements (awards, recognitions, accreditations) • Supplemental materials such as articles on the nominee, written works, videos, photos, etc.

Sponsorship opportunities are available today!

What better way to get your company’s name in front of some of the most influential business leaders in the Greater Omaha area than sponsoring the 40 Under 40 Awards. Your company will receive recognition in the popular 40 Under 40 special section and at the award banquet that is anticipated to draw 600 attendees. Contact us at karla@mbj.com or call 402-330-1760 to learn more.

Monday, June 15 In the face of prolonged disruption and uncertainty, how can nonprofits ask donors for support in ways that are highly compelling yet incredibly sensitive? This webinar from the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands offers an “espresso shot” collection of ideas and practices to help nonprofit leaders ask for — and secure — the contributions upon which their organizations depend. Following the presentation, there will be time for a Q&A. This webinar starts at 1 p.m. and registration is online. In partnership with the IWCC Small Business Development Center, Food Startup 101 is the first step toward starting a food business. This program is designed to help pre-launch food entrepreneurs — or anyone who has ever thought about starting a food business — understand the steps from idea to business. Topics include: Startup costs and what to expect, setting up the business, health department and licensing, business planning and marketing. After this class an entrepreneur will be ready to take the next steps to starting their business. This Zoom event will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registration is online. Tuesday, June 16 The Heartland Women’s Network is hosting a Zoom meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will feature Beth Ostdiek Smith, founder, CEO and president of Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue. Starting Saving Grace in 2013 to address food waste and hunger, Ostdiek Smith has received several awards, including The Greater Omaha Chamber 2016 Excellence Award for Innovation. The event is free, and registration is available online. Wednesday, June 17 Ingrid Kirst Consulting is hosting a webinar on Succession Planning: Going Beyond the Crisis via Zoom from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The virtual workshop will include: How a succession plan will benefit your organization and whether or not you have a leadership change on the horizon; how the current situation can help you with succession planning; the key parts of a comprehensive succession plan and what parts you should focus on; differences between board and staff succession planning; and succession planning sample documents. Registration is online. The American Marketing Association Omaha Chapter is hosting an online workshop with Stan Phelps, founder of PurpleGoldfish.com. The biggest myth of communication is the illusion that it took place. This webinar will share the 10 keys to presenting in a way that maximizes

engagement and understanding. Attendees will learn the six steps of how to organize and deliver content. Registration is online and the cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Thursday, June 18 The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands and Vic Gutman & Associates will present, “COVID-19: Experts, Events & Ethics,” a series of virtual panel discussions on COVID-19 and the challenges it’s creating for nonprofits. At 9:30 a.m. they will discuss “Fundraising Events in the Time of COVID-19.” Nonprofit leaders will tell the stories behind their successful online fundraising events, with plenty of lessons learned and nuts-and-bolts advice for those planning their own virtual events. Sessions will be free for NAM members, $10 for non-members. Each session will last 1.25 hours. Attendees are asked to submit their questions in advance. Registration is online. The Sarpy County Chamber is hosting the 2020 State of the County from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. This year’s State of the County will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on communities, current county projects update, update on federal legislation and unemployment numbers from the following speakers: Congressman Don Bacon; Sarah Schram, director of the Sarpy/Cass Health Department; Don Kelly, county commissioner chairman; Anthony Goins, director of Nebraska Economic Development, and more. Registration is online. Inclusive Communities and the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands are hosting a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. These interactive sessions will bring us together in a virtual format to: Explore and understand implicit bias; understand what’s missing by not having more diverse perspectives; understand the barriers that prevent people of color from accessing services; learn to be systematically inclusive of the voices of the people we serve; and include and value diverse voices in decision-making. Registration is online. AITP’s Lincoln Chapter is hosting its June Meeting virtually starting at 6 p.m. Stacy Eldridge will discuss social engineering. Eldridge brings nearly 20 years of cybersecurity and digital investigative experience to her new business, Silicon Prairie Cyber Services LLC, where she focuses on breaking the code on data protection for businesses, their information, and their customers through consulting and education services. Registration is online and due by June 16.


Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

In the Spotlight Paid Content

AGRICULTURE

HEALTH CARE

Promoted

Named

Matt Gunderson

Paula Pittman

Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Vice President, Human Resources

Farmers National Company

Methodist Health System

Farmers National Company, the nation’s leading agricultural landowner services company, has announced that Matt Gunderson, Omaha, Neb., has been promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing. Gunderson has been with Farmers National Company since 2014 when he began his career as client relations manager, then later was promoted to vice president of farm and ranch management. In his new role as senior vice president of sales and marketing, Gunderson is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of sales, marketing and advertising initiatives. Gunderson will lead the company’s long-range plan growth goals for company business lines through strong relationships with potential clients and other decision makers.

Paula Pittman has been named the vice president of human resources for Methodist Health System. She has been with Methodist since 2014 and previously served as the director of employee relations. Pittman has an extensive background in human resources with proven strategic leadership experiences. Prior to joining Methodist, she worked in the transportation and public utility industries in various labor relations and legal roles. Her many years of experience afforded her the opportunity to effect change by aligning talent strategies with business plans, developing leaders and building organizational cultures marked by accountability. Pittman received her bachelor’s from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Juris Doctorate from the Creighton University School of Law. She’s involved with the American Society for Health Care Human Resources Administration, the Society for Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Association of the Midlands.

21

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Graphite Lock startup takes modern approach, targets real estate market. – Page 26

FireSprint diversifies with investments in equipment to acco mmodate growth by Michelle Leach

the winter.â€? If not for FireSpri nt’s $5,500 LQVXUDQFH FKHFN WK It was around this H UHVXOW RI LWV ÂżUVW screen-printer getting period that FireSpri same time freight, the trade-onl damaged in Hamzhie had originallnt was born; y started the probably wouldn’t y sign printer shop as TargetOm have go on, roughly eight survived to 2007 and brought aha Marketing in on brother, Direcbe named among years later, to tor of Custome r Experien Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing compani Hamzhie, and longtime ce James friend and according to CEO es in America, fellow owner/C OO, Mark Kistler, Gene Hamzhie. as partners a year “We ran out of later. he said. “That check cash in 2011,â€? “Prior to 2007, got us through I had an eBay Continued on page 14.

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Interest in new, internatio and entrepreneurship nal markets drives demand for programs. – Page 26

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in the future,� said With each firm boasting a reported 60-plus cipal Carly ThomasAgency Prinyear , formerly a the metro, NP Dodge heritage in Peterson Bros. Insurance princiInsurance Agency Inc. and Peterson Bros. pal. “Ultimately, we decided we Insurance Inc. have were stronger together joined their complementary Over the past year,.� clientele, carriThomas ers and cultures to create Dodge indicated the companies worked Partners Insuranc together to align e LLC. which are now basedtheir teams, “We both were at the out point of 8701 of deciding where we wanted to be West Dodge Road in Omaha Continued on page — 24.

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HDM Corp adds new cloud-based, health products to enhance services by Michelle Leach

+,3$$ WUDLQLQJ New General Manage DQG WKRVH W\SHV r Chris of things,â€? Woodhouse expects Woodhouse said. a 50 percent there “But boost to just one [is not] a lot of of compliance ÂżYH GLYLVLRQV E\ HDM Corp.’s management. We likes of product UHYLHZLQJ WKH QHZ FORXG EDVHG saw a need for a ion schedul es, V\VWHP WR PDQand ramping up and making good DJH HYHU\WKLQJ RQOLQH ´ adjustm ents to Headquartered product s, when at 10828 Old DVNHG DERXW KRZ WKH \HDU ROG Mill Road, HDM Corp. has been 2PDKD EDVHG KH DOWK GDWD ÂżUP LV LQQRYDWLQJ VROXWLRQV IRU WKH KHDOWK EHLQJ UHMXYHQDWH FDUH LQGXVWU\ VLQ G FH “Quite a few people “Our mission stateme nt are doing Continued on page is 22.

Veteran Omaha firms join forces to form Dodge Part ners Insurance by Michelle Leach

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From the Centerli along South 72nd ne complex the Rise mixed-u Street, to se building in Council apartme nt Bluffs, to KLVWRULF SUHVHUY DWLRQ SURMHFWV LQ GRZQWRZQ 6LR X[ &LW\ WR WKH Sheltering Tree near 72nd and $PHV VWUHHWV - 'HYHORS PHQW is expanding its portfolio to include more commer cial projects and market rate housing. While past projects focused

RQ KHOSLQJ QRQSURÂż WV EXLOG DIfordable housing and completing KLVWRULF UHQRYDWL RQV 3ULQFLSDOV -XOLH 6WDYQHDN DQG -LP 5R\HU set their sights on commercial projectsadding more rate housing in Omahaand market and Sioux &LW\ ,RZD “One of our goals was to ramp up and do RZQ SURMHFWV ´ more of our 6WDYQHD N VDLG Âł7KDW UHDOO\ JRW XV PRWLYDWHG WR Continued on page 31.

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• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Human Resource

Management

A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

June 12, 2020

Onslaught of challenges to managing employees call for best practices, present job stability for HR professionals all across the metro are being by Michelle Leach An industry designed to manage the asked to provide the resources and/or lead by example.” “people element” is being chalThe rules and work environlenged by an epic confluence of ment, she said, are changing. factors — a global health cri“We have an opportunity to sis and ensuing Depression-era bring out positive change and jobs numbers, and protesters create better, healthier, inclusive nationwide demanding justice workplaces, where our differencin the wake of exposed racial es are embraced and celebrated,” disparities. Svendsen said. “As HR professionals, we Svendsen said HRAM’s virtusee this as our opportunity to al meetings address the pandemic shine and highlight our place at (including workforce mental the table,” said Human Resource Durham health) and, over the past 90 days, Association of the Midlands (HRAM) President Carrie Svendsen. “All the organization has offered an all-access organizations are looking to their HR depart- pass to its membership, which helps memments to help navigate the new normal. HR bers maintain their certifications.

Carrie Svendsen, president at HRAM. “We have also created and added re- fessional in Human Resources (aPHR) from sources pages to our website that address Human Resource Certification Institute COVID-19 concerns,” she said. “This week (HRCI),” said Business Instructor Tammy our diversity and inclusion committee start- Madsen. ed to pull together a list of community and Designed with “strong industry input,” national resources.” the program fills an employment gap for Upcoming events will explore best skilled HR employees in the local workpractices for a structured interview process, force, according to Madsen. a positive workplace culture, effective “HR is one of the fastest-growing proworkplace culture, financial wellness and fessional fields in the United States,” she immigration updates. said. “Projected employment growth is With Omaha’s current high unemploy- well above other career fields where it is ment rate, a dramatic departure from the forecasted that several thousand jobs will be past few years, Durham Staffing Solutions added annually. Currently, HR professional President Machael Durham said that there opportunities emerge in training, managing, is stronger competition for various job op- developing and acquiring talent during reportunities. cord-high unemployment.” “However, job seekers with niche During discussions with stakeholders, talent and solid work history continue to Madsen noted the primary challenge that possess the ability to obtain opportunities,” was identified involves breaking into the she said. field. Several firms now offer remote working “Without knowledge and a professional options, and she said there may be a higher credential, entry as an HR professional is percentage of temp workers needed as the difficult,” she said. “Given the challenges workforce returns to pre-COVID-19 levels. we are encountering today, the world of She continues to encourage owners to work has changed. HR is adapting to this engage in transparent conversations, involve change by supporting employees who are employees, and collaborate with colleagues working and may continue to work remoteand other businesses to share concepts and ly.” processes that may assist others. Madsen also emphasized that in many The need for HR professionals has organizations, HR will be the “front-line” resulted in Metropolitan Community Col- professionals tasked with maintaining comlege’s specialization in human resources, pliance with health and safety standards as available this fall. employees return to the workplace. “Students can enroll in HR-related “This fall, we will pilot a ‘Lunch and courses that prepare them to work in HR Learn’ format to enhance online learning exwhile pursuing a nationally recognized periences with virtual lunch hour meetings,” professional credential, the Associate ProContinued on next page.


Human Resource Management •

Midlands Business Journal • JUNE 12, 2020 •

23

Leaders look to technology tools to guide team remotely by Gabby Christensen

To successfully guide a team remotely, HR professionals say managers must take a look at a few key components. Andie Gordman, senior consultant at SilverStone Group, a HUB International company, said managers must set clear expectations and communicate on a regular basis. “Keeping track of communication channels can be overwhelming; therefore, it’s a good idea to select and limit the mediums your employees need to monitor,” she said. “With all of the available technology, in many ways managing remotely does not have to be different than managing your team in the office.” Gordman said the workplace has changed in many ways. Organizations had to quickly ensure employees could be successful working remotely by making sure the right technology and equipment were available. “Now that employees have worked from home for several months, we expect more requests to work from home at least a few days per week,” she said. “Leadership will need to decide how to set policies to manage more team members working remotely.” As offices have found themselves suddenly working remotely, Mary Vandenack, managing member at Vandenack Weaver, said leaders have had new challenges. “It can be very beneficial to utilize a program such as [Microsoft] Teams for staying connected as if you are in the office,” she said. Vandenack said it’s also important to note that while some work effectively in a remote setting, others do not. “Team members working at home may be more readily distracted by laundry, family members and pets,” she said. “The team leader should pay close attention to who is effective and prioritize office returns for those who are struggling with performance working remotely. Additionally, to the extent remote work remains necessary, the leader should consider strategies to help the remote worker be productive.” Doug Pedersen, president at HR Systems, Inc., said a clear and consistent communication system is key to working remotely. “Phone, email, text, Zoom or whatever tool is most effective should be used on a schedule,” he said. “Having regular meetings and making sure all team members understand what’s going on is a basic first step.” Pedersen said the biggest change presented by working remotely is the lack of personal contact. “I have a home office and could work from there every day, however the in-person contact and connection is so much more meaningful,” he said. Additionally, Pedersen encourages a work

Managing employees Continued from preceding page. she said. “Students can work in a cohort of learners to complete an HR specialization in less than a year. Courses will continue to be offered in an online format for students who need more flexibility. “Given the current challenges faced in the workforce today, this is an important time for Metropolitan Community College to launch a human resources program. Addressing both current and future employment opportunities, the HR educational program at MCC exemplifies our mission of delivering relevant, student-centered education to a diverse community of learners.”

from home policy. “Setting up parameters, expectations, computer and data security and working hours are

for remote work. It’s also imperative for employers and management to avoid the blame game. “Encourage your employees to take owner-

Gordman Vandenack all key to making the remote work successful,” he said. Roxy Kolev, director of human resources at The Olson Group, said trusting staff is essential

Pedersen Kolev ship when they complete a task or assignment incorrectly or late,” she said. “These moments are excellent opportunities to show your staff that taking ownership can lead to better overall

by David Kubicek

“Much of it is built on trust, on HR professionals being willing to have these conversations and pointing people in the direction of resources and experts in the field,” she said. “It’s important for HR professionals to become

results.” In addition, it’s critical for employees to stay connected via video conferencing and instant messaging. “Plus, you can use these tools to host fun events for your staff, such as a virtual happy hour or coffee break,” she said. According to Kolev, employers must also pay close attention to the quiet employee. “There are always those employees who are too afraid or uncomfortable to speak up during a meeting but may have great ideas,” she said. “In a teleconference, it’s difficult for these employees to express their thoughts. So, provide a side channel, such as a private chat, during meetings to ensure you don’t lose these great ideas.” Overall, Kolev said managers need to make sure that all employees feel both included and important.

HR professionals must build trust when addressing mental health issues

One-in-five Americans report experiencing a mental illness in any given year, so the conversation about the impact of mental health in the workplace is essential, according to Mary O’Neill, chief program officer of Heartland Family Service. “Employers may not be aware of an employee’s mental health needs until noticeable changes in their performance are noted, such as missed deadlines, decreased quality of work and missing or coming late to work,” she said. Stress in the workplace is common. Symptoms may include headaches, feeling overwhelmed, being anxious, being withdrawn, difficulty concentrating, or being irritable with others. Employers can create a work culture that encourages employee self-care, empowers employees to balance work-life expectations and offers stress reduction tools such as mindfulness, yoga and an employee assistance program (EAP). Factors that can help create a mental health-friendly workplace include providing time off for a therapy or doctor appointment, promoting wellness initiatives, establishing employee resource groups focusing on mental health, offering robust mental health benefit coverage for employees and their family members, offering EAP services, allowing employees to use the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if applicable and necessary, ensuring one-on-one time between manager and employees to build trust, and mental health awareness training. “Each employer should do their own research, but we pay special attention to ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act],” O’Neill said. “If someone is experiencing a mental health impairment, how can we make a reasonable accommodation to assist that individual in being successful in their job?” Robyn Burnett, manager of account and education services at Best Care EAP — a Methodist Health System Affiliate — and her colleagues work with business owners and HR professionals on how to have conversations about mental health with their employees. Many don’t feel comfortable discussing mental health, don’t feel knowledgeable enough about it, or are concerned about the legal ramifications. In May, Burnett did a three-part mental health workshop series explaining what mental health is, how it impacts the workplace and how to have a mental health-friendly working environment.

O’Neill Burnett familiar with mental health. Regardless of what profession you’re in, you’ll come in contact with someone who is struggling with a mental health issue, so you need to be well versed not specifically in what those mental health issues are but how to handle them when someone’s in need. Sometimes as an HR professional, you need to hold those employees’ hands and say, ‘let’s call together.’ It can be very scary for people to initiate those calls because there are a lot of stereotypes and stigmas surrounding mental health.”

Currently, working remotely in the COVID-19 environment is creating a variety of emotional responses, according to Maureen O’Donnell, owner of Arbor Family Counseling. Many are very happy about some of the “positives” this brings, yet anxiety also seems to be at the top of those responses. Anxiety and depression are increasingly present in the workplace, as are alcohol, drug abuse and domestic violence. “The best way that I have seen HR proO’Donnell fessionals as well as managers respond to these issues is to listen, to give nonjudgmental space to the employees who are struggling with these issues,” O’Donnell said. “Employees need to know they care, are taking the issues seriously and are ready to bring resources to their concerns. [Employers should] create a culture where employees not only have permission to speak about their mental health, but also are being invited to be honest and candid about emotional struggles that are interfering with good mental health and their performance on the job.”


24

• JUNE 12, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal