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Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

27

Ethics Under Pressure Moral Courage in the Face of Ethics Adversity

Register today at EthicSpace.org

October 13th, 2020

1 Day 3 Speakers Breakout sessions ethicspace.org

Business Ethics Alliance lands on 'Ethics Under Pressure' theme for EthicSpace by Gabby Christensen

Focusing on a timely theme for its annual EthicSpace conference, the Business Ethics Alliance has landed on the topic of moral courage for the 2020 event. According to Eve McLain, director of education at Business Ethics Alliance, moral courage is defined as having consistent ethical behavior even when it is difficult, unpopular or comes at a cost. “We felt this was a great conversation to have as a community,” McLain said. “We wanted to raise awareness of what it was and also to provide practical tips and advice on how to muster it when needed.” She noted planning takes a lot of people power and figuring out how the event was going to be held was the first step. “We have been known for over a decade of bringing the Greater Omaha business

community together to have these important moral and ethical discussions and here we are in the midst of a pandemic,” she said. “Our old way of doing it wasn’t going to work this year. We, like almost all other conferences, are going remote and virtual.” McLain said the Business Ethics Alliance also searched and secured the tools that would allow the conference to take place in a space that is safe. “The speaker lineup is great,” she said. “We have SecondCity to learn techniques to speak up, especially in uncomfortable situations. We have Don Eckles, the co-founder of Scooter's Coffee, to share a lifetime of wisdom and what mustering moral courage in the workplace looks like in action. And we have Dr. Jill Brown, professor of Management at Bentley University to discuss how moral courage is necessary to make it to the

top of one’s field ... and stay there. We also have three breakout sessions to go deeper into the conversation, including Mustering Moral Courage, When Compliance Doesn’t Quite Cover It…You Need Ethics and You’ve Seen Something Wrong…Now What?” When COVID-19 hit, McLain said businesses faced many ethical dilemmas — or situations that had two right answers but choosing either comes at a cost. “They had to choose if they were going to close their businesses down or keep them open and there were risks associated with both,” McLain said. “They had to choose how they were going to distribute work between overworked and stressed employees, how they were going to support their employees who were trying to balance new home responsibilities and risks, how they were going to manage their account receivables and pay-

ables to be fair to the vendors they work with but still try to cover their operating expenses and so much more. They had to take moral stances even if they disagreed with others whose opinions they valued.” And then, she noted race relations came to the forefront and social justice demanded attention. “Conversations we may have avoided in the past became required as we explored the concept of systemic racism and what role companies play in the dismantling of such systems,” McLain said. “This year has been full of moral and ethical situations that require our attention. Moral courage, having consistent ethical behavior even when it is difficult, unpopular or comes at a cost is a conversation begging to be had and we’re pleased to offer the space and resources for that conversation as businesses traverse these trying times.”

Conference’s virtual format to provide space for ethics conversations without boundaries by Michelle Leach

The Business Ethics Alliance quite responsibly began planning for this year’s EthicSpace Conference as soon as the last, inaugural event was in the books in late October 2019. A year ago, the organization anticipated 550 attendees at CHI Health Center Omaha. The world had other plans. “We held out hope that the pandemic would run its course by the time October 2020 came around,” said Patrick Leahy, director, resources and development. “In early summer of this year, we foresaw that was not going to be the case.” Cancelation was out of the question after the Alliance spoke with its partners and 2019 attendees. “It was clear the value EthicSpace Conference provides in helping bring individual organizations and the entire community together,” Leahy said. “Making space for ethics conversations was needed during these turbulent times.” The organization pivoted; speakers that no longer “made sense,” given new challenges and the latest business headlines, were replaced with a more relevant lineup. “In conversations with our sponsor-partners, it was agreed that this topic of ‘moral courage’ is needed in today’s business environment and a beneficial conversation for the community to take part in,” he said. It is challenging to facilitate interaction

between presenters and audience, offline conversations, and a sense of community, but there are silver linings. “We are no longer confined to our geographic region,” he said. “For a half-day, in-person conference, it was unreasonable to expect attendees to come to Omaha from Grand Island, Scottsbluff or even Kansas City.” Within reach online, employees at locales across the country can take part. “We have been able to get speakers we may not have otherwise been able to, as their calendars have opened up,” he said, adding the nonprofit hasn’t incurred associated travel expenses. Last but not least: “There is no cap on the number of people we can accommodate,” he said. If Habitat for Humanity of Omaha Engagement and Experience Officer Kenneth Mar was asked eight months ago about virtual events, he would have said “No” to that format, decrying the lack of the relational aspect of not being there in person. “Today, apart from distancing and doing the right thing, maybe the mind set needs to change to ‘go big, go virtual or go home,” Mar said. “The maximizer in me always says, ‘How scalable can we make this?’ or ‘What is our capacity? Can we fill this place?’ You don’t have limits now. It can be as big as you can dream by going virtual — an incredible opportunity

to educate without boundaries.” Business Ethics Alliance and its programming have, by Mar’s account, expanded the boundaries of Habitat’s culture — within its actual workspace and in terms of how each team member is positioned personally. “It causes one to think of who you are as a person and how your team defines you,” he said. In fact, other than key functions such as hiring and budget, Mar said there is no more important workplace discussion than ethics. “It is how our employees identify within the neighborhoods and community that we serve,” he said. “There is nothing more important than how Habitat for Humanity of Omaha transacts our business and serves the community.” Similarly, Leahy noted how business ethics deals with how to treat others. “Many of the issues businesses are dealing with today require an acknowledgement of being part of something bigger than just ourselves or our organization’s specific mission,” he said. “This requires that we think about how our actions impact and affect others in the short and long term.” Businesses understand markets and communities, and how the actions of one have an impact on many. To this year’s most-pertinent theme,

Leahy said this: “To address tough problems requires tough decisions. Moral courage helps us muster the will to take the stand we feel called to, endure the hardship and face the danger associated with not making all sides happy.” Determine values — take internal and external stances aligned with what you aspire to be. “To do that consistently, you need to strengthen your own and your organization’s ‘moral courage muscles,’” Leahy said. Tools acquired at EthicSpace, he added, support attendees’ work the next day, week, and year — moral courage represents a lifelong skill. “Businesses who send their people to attend are investing in their workforce in ways that will create a ‘speak-up culture’ and contribute to the company’s long-term vitality,” Leahy said. When Habitat employees and supporters are posed the question of moral courage, Mar said the notion of selling hope — not just building homes — rings true. “There is nothing more important than what a home offers a family,” he said. “The opportunity, the future, all the dreams a parent has for the family, that is hope.” Moral courage, he noted, is the mindset that what Habitat does is right for the families and neighborhoods they serve — not just the organization.

EthicSpace — inside OCTOBER 9, 2020

THE BUSINESS NEWSPAPER OF GREATER OMAHA, LINCOLN AND COUNCIL BLUFFS

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inCOMMON invests in historic neighborhoods

THIS WEEK 'S ISSUE:

by Michelle Leach

AnswerPro adds Omaha location, uses latest tech to provide clients with creative solutions. – Page 2

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Industrial firms aim to carve out niches, elevate diversity initiatives. – Page 6

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In 10 years, inCOMMON Community Development’s holistic approach to investing in neighborhoods has had a transformative effect on the Park Avenue neighborhood with its $14 million affordable housing project, a now seven-year-old community center and amenities ranging from a community garden to playground. The nonprofit’s team is setting out to have the same positive effect on another historic north Omaha neighborhood: Walnut Hill. “We went through a pretty extensive process of looking for a neighborhood to replicate in … one that has an opportunity for redevelopment,” said Director Christian Gray. “We want to see people benefit, not be displaced, forgotten or disinvested.” Founded in 2001 as Mosaic Community Development, the organization based out of 1340 Park Ave. is built on four pillars of workforce development, relationship development, leadership develContinued on page 4.

Director Christian Gray at 40th and Hamilton streets, the site of the future community center in the Walnut Hill neighborhood … The nonprofit has made investments in affordable housing in Park Avenue that retain, but don’t replace residents. (Photo by MBJ / Becky McCarville)

Omaha’s Rockbrook Camera shifts to single location, expands store and online offerings by Becky McCarville

When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, Rockbrook Camera took advantage of the unexpected down time to consolidate its two Omaha stores, a plan that was put in place a year before but scheduled for May. The Legacy location, near 168th Street and West Center Road in the Shops of Legacy, opened in 2006, also underwent a light

remodel and expansion of its classroom space. Rockbrook Camera now occupies 13,000 square feet of its 18,000-square-foot Legacy building. “We knew long term it wasn’t a good play to have two full line camera stores with all the inventory and everything else required five miles apart,” said Chuck Fortina, Continued on page 4. Director of Community Engagement Tony Veland speaking at the Heartland Developers Conference … Engagement at the conference remained high after moving to a virtual format. (photo courtesy of AIM Institute)

Virtual format can’t dull enthusiasm for Heartland Developers Conference by Dwain Hebda

Co-owners Chuck Fortina, left, and Tony Fortina … Planned consolidation of the two Omaha locations and a light remodel of the Legacy location, sped up by the pandemic, turned out to be a “blessing in disguise.” (photo courtesy of Rockbrook Camera)

Organizers at the AIM Institute didn’t know what to expect out of their annual Heartland Developers Conference after switching to a virtual format. What they discovered was the event was more relevant than ever. The 2020 conference, held Sept. 24, attracted 1,500 registrants and 1,000 participants, 200 more than last year’s event. Tony Veland, AIM Institute’s director of

community engagement, couldn’t have been happier. “We were ecstatic with the turnout at the event,” he said. “With this being our first virtual conference, we didn’t really know what to expect. We thought we would still have some pretty good excitement, and fortunately for us I think we marketed it well. We had a really good platform that people were able to Continued on page 10.


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

AnswerPro adds Omaha location, uses latest tech to provide clients with creative solutions by Gabby Christensen

In the future, the company is prepared to frequently implement the newest technology and continue to see managed growth. For now, Zindel is grateful to be back in Omaha.  “We have over 500 clients in Omaha and we’re so happy to serve each one of them,� he said. “I have been doing business in Omaha for 30 years, and the community continues to be a great place for small businesses to thrive.�

AnswerPro, a 24-hour telephone answering service company based out of Kansas, has expanded to the Omaha market, bringing over 60 years of experience to the scene. President Jeff Zindel, who previously owned Omaha-based Accurate Communications before acquiring AnswerPro in 2018, has three decades of experience in

AnswerPro Phone: 877-573-6981 Located: 702 North 129th Street, Omaha 68154 Service: 24-hour telephone answering service company Founded: 1956 Employees: 55 Goal: Apply new tech as it becomes available, obtain steady growth. Website: https://www.helloanswerpro.com

the call center industry. AnswerPro serves a range of long-time clients including both large companies and small family-owned businesses. In fact, many of the company’s clients date back to the company’s founding in 1956. With 45 telephone agents and 10 support staff — all U.S. based — on hand, the company offers answering services, customized call center solutions and virtual receptionist services to businesses throughout the country. “Our experienced agents are a rare asset in an industry that has a history of non-tenured agents,� he said. “Our average call agent has been with AnswerPro for over 20 years. Our agents know what they're doing and don't make mistakes, as many of the calls we take are of emergent nature. Even more importantly, our agents care about the work they're doing.� The company can accommodate any type of project and offers creative solutions for each individual client. 

Midlands Business Journal Established in 1975

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President Jeff Zindel ‌ The company has expanded to Omaha as it has embraced new tech for growth. (photo courtesy of Maggie Mellema/C41 Photography) Recently, AnswerPro has been selected both exciting and rewarding. by Current Health as a strategic partner to “Every decision a business owner provide patient monitoring services for makes is critical,â€? he said. “People depend one of the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine on you to lead them. While there are some trials. days that are more challenging than others, Additionally, during the pandemic, the I have been very fortunate to love what I company has seen a significant push for do every day.â€? remote patient monitoring and telehealth.  Furthermore, Zindel said the ability “COVID-19 has really exposed how to develop a team and help them grow as important it is to have 24/7 coverage,â€? individuals is priceless. Zindel said.  Recently, the company has increased Prior to the pandemic, AnswerPro had revenues by over 30% through acquisibeen operating as a “hybridâ€? call center, in tions, organic growth and capitalizing on which 90% of its agents work from home. technology. Thus, the team didn't encounter much “Technology is always changing in this change to its current model. industry and we’re continually utilizing the For Zindel, an entrepreneur at heart, the latest tools in order to provide our clients daily challenges of running a company are with the best solutions,â€? he said. 

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in the future,� said With each firm boasting a Agency Prinreported 60-plus cipal Carly Thomas, year 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, carriers and cultures indicated the companies Thomas to worked Partners Insurancecreate Dodge together to align LLC. which are now basedtheir teams, “We both were at the point of out of 8701 deciding where we wanted to be West Dodge Road in Omaha Continued on page — 24.

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Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

Forward

to a return to work

Sometimes, there’s only one way to go COVID-19 set us back. At UnitedHealthcare, we’re dedicated to providing new initiatives that begin the way forward. For you, your business, your employees. And for the community that makes us who we are. Working together, we’re helping small businesses stabilize with programs that are: • Supporting our current customers by funding premium credits and offering premium deferral options in their times of need ¹ • Launching new services like ProtectWell™ to help employers bring people back to work in a safe environment² • Offering a free playbook for small businesses titled: 7 priorities for a safer and healthier return to the worksite With more than $1.5 billion invested by UnitedHealth Group in support of our members, partners and the community overall – we are with you as one on the way forward.

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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Omaha’s Rockbrook Camera shifts to single location, expands store and online offerings Continued from page 1. co-owner of the 45-year-old family-run business, along with brothers Dave and Joe Fortina and son Tony. “So, we decided a year ago that we would consolidate the two stores and our plan was to do it on May 1 — have kind of a big spring sale, kind of a last hurrah, move everything out here and get everybody under one roof.”

Rockbrook Camera Phone: 402-691-0003 (Omaha); 402488-4200 (Lincoln) Address: 2909 S. 169th Plaza, Omaha 68130; 4333 S. 70th St., Lincoln 68516 Services: retail camera showroom, photofinishing, gear rentals, pre-owned, repairs and education Founded: Oct. 1, 1975 by Carl Fortina Employees: about 25 Goals: Reboot photography classes when it’s safe and get equipment rental department online. Industry trends: Succession planning for smaller shops is vital to building a long-term, successful future. Website: rockbrookcamera.com

The pandemic sped up the move and closure of the Rockbrook location at 108th and Center streets, built by founder Carl Fortina in 1990 after 15 years at Rockbrook Village. The Legacy showroom closed in April to complete most of the remodel but continued operating with online, telephone and curbside services. While Fortina wouldn’t want the changes to happen this way again, he said that it “turned out to be a blessing in disguise.” Another plan working in Rockbrook Camera’s favor was the completion of its new online platform in May/June, allowing customers to order photofinishing and lab services from home. While lab services had been migrating online over the past five to six years, the new platform makes transactions easier, he said. The photofinishing department has kept busy with printing (metal, large scale, canvas, cards, etc.), along with scanning, video transfers, restoration and archiving. “That went crazy during the long winter months, the early part of spring and summer because everyone was stuck at home going through … closets with all those photos. The next thing you know, people are coming in with laundry baskets full of video tapes they want transferred,” he said. “It was nice. It kept everybody busy.” The rental department is another growth area for the business and will soon be online as well. “We do a lot of rentals — somebody who wants to rent another camera for a shoot that they’re doing — but mainly what we rent are lenses,” he said, noting that lenses can be expensive and renting them is a popular option for photographers. “That’s a real busy part of our operation.” With classroom space expanded into one of the building’s bays, Fortina is excited to start up classes again, a popular offering that “got sidelined this year.” The store offers workshops, outings and photoshoots, among other classes. A few classes have resumed with limited capacity.

“Our big thing all along has been — if we can get a customer to use their camera properly, understand how to use it so they use it and enjoy it, they’ll be a better customer in the long run,” he said. “So, we have always been about not just selling you a camera or a box and never seeing you again — it’s very important to us that you know what you’re doing and enjoying it and getting the most out of it.” Camera sales is the biggest part of the business (photofinishing has the largest share on the services side) — from point and shoot to mirrorless to high-end DSLRs and used equipment. The store was one of the first in the area to adapt to digital in the 1990s, an investment that’s continued to pay off. “We knew that the future of our business and the success of our business depended on people replacing their cameras every once-in-a-while and technology evolving, and so we always embraced everything new that came along,” Fortina

said. “I think that’s one of the reasons we made it through some of those rapid paradigm shifts and changes that any industry can throw at you. We’ve always felt we’ve got to embrace it — you can’t live in the past. You’ve got to look to the next thing to make sure you understand it and figure out how to market and sell it.” At the time, many small shops clung to film, which was at its peak, and digital didn’t yet have the quality it has evolved to today, he said. Owners also faced major investments in digital lab equipment and couldn’t always justify the cost. Further, many didn’t have a succession plan and chose to close their stores or retire. With small shops consolidating across the industry, the stores that remain typically offer a full range of services and camera sales to every level of customer. For example, Fortina said that most larger cities like Houston, Texas and Minneapolis, Minnesota have just one camera store. “It’s all about having a plan and a vision — you can’t let that sneak up on you,”

he said, regarding succession planning. “Even with a plan, even if it’s part of a vision, which was our case, the process from when you start to talk about it to the time you get done can take years.” The family is planning for the future and is in the process of transitioning ownership from the second to the third generation. “I think anybody who’s been in business that long has obviously done a few things right, but for us it’s been that family approach and it goes beyond the Fortina family,” he said. “We have employees who have been with us 10, 15, 20 years and they’re very much like family. We like what we’re doing, and we love our customers. “We still have the store in Lincoln; we figure one store per market is enough. We’ve been on a good run since the first of June and looking for a good holiday season so long as we get enough inventory — roll into 2021 with a little leaner, meaner approach to things but with a little momentum.”

inCOMMON invests in historic neighborhoods

Continued from page 1. opment and neighborhood development. Not just any neighborhoods are on the receiving end of such multifaceted development; inCommon is described as uniting and strengthening vulnerable neighborhoods plagued by poverty, crime and a lack of quality affordable housing. “We take a holistic approach to neighborhood development,” Gray said. “We’re not just providing a particular program. It’s really about reestablishing the vibrancy of communities.” In addition to the neighborhood parks, green and play spaces in areas such as formerly empty lots, Gray referred to projects centered on access to community health care, reliable transportation, one-on-one tutoring, and jobs and skills training. “Our main thing is people development and building individual capacities,” he said. “So, people are self-sufficient. And we’re developing community capacity. So, people work together for a stronger neighborhood, and they can be thriving places for future neighborhoods of kids.” Gray noted how, when speaking of buildings, the question arises of, “How does it serve the people in the community?” “Whenever we get a win-win, where it’s both serving real people and adding quality architecture, that’s a double bonus,” he said. Gray is speaking specifically to the $14 million renovation of what will be branded as the Hanscom Apartments (formerly, Bristol Apartments) at 1029 Park Ave. and the Georgia Row Apartments at 1040 S. 29th St. “Georgia Row sits directly behind the alley of the Bristol, and they’re both historic properties that stand out in terms of their architectural integrity,” Gray explained. “The Bristol Apartments is one of a few apartment buildings around town that were built as a Maltese Cross where there is a lot of garden space … and the Georgia Row looks like

a castle.” He said you can see the “castle’s” turret from Interstate 480. “This was originally a triplex and we’re converting it into housing with less square footage,” Gray said. “So, it is more affordable for families.” In fact, Georgia Row’s 11 or 12 units will each accommodate two or three bedrooms, while the Hanscom/Bristol will span 65, one-bedroom and efficiency spaces, for individuals and families that fall within income guidelines. Tax credits associated with these properties could be received as early as October, and the construction timeline is estimated at 18 months. “The impetus for us was, as we reflected on all the changes that happened in Park Avenue over the last four years, it wasn’t as easy to afford a property and rent as it once was,” Gray said of the project. “We need to have residents be able to remain stably housed. “The reality is previous disinvested neighborhoods have attracted middle- to upper-income people to certain pockets or neighborhoods of our community. We see it every day. And that leads directly to our acquisition.” Bristol was acquired in 2015, with Georgia Row to follow a year later. The lesson the inCOMMON team has learned from its work in the Park Avenue neighborhood, which borders Pacific to Woolworth streets, South 29th to South 33rd streets, and Park Avenue from Leavenworth Avenue to Creighton Avenue, is informing its work in another neighborhood: Walnut Hill. “We’ve taken 10 years of work in Park Avenue and put together a model for replication,” he said. “We’re looking to do a similar methodology, but it’s not just a cookie-cutter framework. We’re working in a new context.” He indicated that, based off of its experience with Park Avenue, the organization and its partners are conscious of the new dollars that might be infused

into the area, and the need to assure residents won’t be displaced, forgotten or disinvested. “One of the things we hear often about Park Avenue is, ‘It’s really better,’” Gray said. “But it’s better for who? It really matters just who is it’s better for.” That said, Gray noted: “There is a belief in the power of the market to do good, and to redevelop communities in a way that actually makes a transformative difference in the lives of people … We don’t have any interest in fighting the market or diverting the market.” In fact, the organization is working with businesses such as SL Jensen Construction, a family-owned new construction and custom remodel firm (with a track record of projects in Park Avenue), on discussions around the planned community center in Walnut Hill. “We’re in the process of identifying and securing a building in the neighborhood for a community center,” Gray said. Walnut Hill, which is bordered by North 40th Street to Saddle Creek Road and Cuming to Hamilton streets, is on the receiving end of a comprehensive neighborhood plan that engages residents and civic stakeholders. Gray described a plan that is built and articulated by neighbors. “We are tackling that at an earlier stage with Walnut Hill,” Gray said. “So, it’s not just random acts of kindness. You now have intentional, strategic efforts.”

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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Industrial Market A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

October 9, 2020

Industrial firms aim to carve out niches, elevate diversity initiatives “When things pick back up, we will finish by Michelle Leach The current environment is presenting that project,” Klahn said. “We are also working opportunities for manufacturers to streamline on streamlining more of our process. We are processes, invest in equipment that provides planning on upgrading our computer system a competitive edge, and for the industry as a in the year 2020.” North American Marketing Coordinator whole to put a spotlight on issues that weren’t made in a day and won’t be solved in a day, John Schofield said the CLAAS combine plant increased production numbers over such as diversity and representalast year, in spite of the down econtion. omy and production challenges. “Brand continues to make “Through the pandemic and improvements in all areas,” said depressed ag economy, CLAAS Charlie Klahn, executive vice has been able to gain market share president of Brand Hydraulics Co. on our competitors due to interest “In 2019, we made two large equipin our new combine and our ability ment purchases to increase quality to keep our production line workand capacity and several other ing,” he said. improvements and will continue As an “essential” industry, when possible.” CLAAS was expected to work In all, its sales have dropped by Schofield through the crisis. about 20%. “But sick workers shut down production “Just because it is a vast, unknown factor,” at many plants,” Schofield said. “CLAAS Klahn said. At the time of this writing, Brand Hydrau- was fortunate to be able to work through the lics continued to test employee temperatures pandemic with low infection rates, thanks to critical policies designed to limit transmission in the morning. “If they are not feeling well, we ask of the virus.” It was grain prices, as well as a depressed them to not come in,” Klahn said. “Due to the pandemic, we are holding off on capital global grain market and the volume of grain in reserve, that Schofield had noted presented improvements.” It was noted that last year half of its ma- a down environment for manufacturers going chine shop relocated. The plan was to move into the spring (pre-pandemic). The Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Nethe other half in 2020.

Charlie Klahn, executive vice president at Brand Hydraulics. braska Chapter is on the upswing; according development opportunities expand one’s to information provided by Chapter Events network, elevate leadership and commuDirector Juli Thelen, WiM started 10 years nication skills, provide valuable industry ago as a national association dedicated to insight and education, and allow for access supporting, promoting and inspiring women to partner programs and local and national in, or pursuing, a manufacturing career. WiM events. WiM spans 4,600 members and almost According to chapter information, women 1,000 companies. Personal and professional represent 49% of the U.S. labor force, but only 29% of the manufacturing workforce. Initiatives such as those championed by WiM are focused on increasing the number of women in STEM and manufacturing careers. Additionally, WiM Nebraska advocates for young students via collaborations such as its Beyond School Bells – Million Girls Moonshot mentorship program. Thelen also highlighted its upcoming virtual event at the Nebraska Chamber Manufacturing Summit Oct. 15, “Inclusion and Innovation: The Secret Sauce to Unlocking the Benefits of D&I [Diversity and Inclusion].” Chapter Vice Chair and Community Outreach Tammy Carlson affirmed that women’s roles make up a large part of the workforce. “The chapter is a great way for women to connect, grow and learn,” she said. “It’s also an opportunity for us to reach out to young girls dreaming about their future and women looking for new or different careers, to show all the opportunities that are available in manufacturing.” Thelen and Carlson are joined on the chapter committee by Chair Emily Williams, Secretary and Membership Anne Morgan, and Treasurer Michelle Luett.


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Manufacturers adjust to new safety protocols amid COVID-19 by Gabby Christensen

Implementing — and communicating — COVID-19 safety protocols has been critical for local manufacturers. Pat Keenan, vice president of client relations at CapStone Technologies, said print mail companies are deemed as essential per federal guidelines and have used various tactics to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Some steps include taking temperature checks upon entry, mandating masks, allowing staff to work remotely with only true operational staff present on site, limiting outside vendors allowed into facilities and making hand sanitizers available in multiple locations. Kevin Herrmann, CFO at REI, said the key has been incorporating COVID-19 protocols seamlessly into normal safety protocols.  When the pandemic was first declared, time was of the essence and the company implemented several protocols based on U.S Centers for Disease Control, local and state guidelines including, but not limited to: social distancing, requiring the wearing of masks if within 6 feet of one another, installing clear barriers between employees on assembly lines and in other areas where social distancing was more challenging, providing PPE resources, purchasing special sanitizing equipment and cleaning frequently. To the extent possible, Herrmann said doors were also left open to limit the touching of door handles. “We’re offering more video confer-

encing opportunities to everyone in the organization, and we’re providing flexible work schedules to those employees that could work from home,” he said. Herrmann said it’s also important to provide regular updates on COVID-19 Keenan to the workforce. “Manufacturers such as REI have many employees who need to be at the plant to perform their duties, so it was of critical

importance to provide a safe environment for them,” he said. “Not only is it very important for manufacturers such as REI to have safety protocols for COVID-19 but also to effectively communicate them to the employees and to communicate why Herrmann we are implementing them. We strive for an environment where the employee is safe, feels safe and comfortable enough to be able to provide assurance to

their families that they are working in a safe environment. Based on the lack of downtime and positive feedback from employees, we are confident that our communication and implementation of these new protocols have provided a positive outcome.” Herrmann said it has been inspiring to see the workforce pull together to keep each other safe while continuing to work every day to provide products and service to customers. “I think the key factors in dealing with issues like COVID-19 is to plan, communicate and implement, and then subsequently keep the lines of communication open with your employees,” he said.

Demand for skilled labor has never been higher by Dwain Hebda

Skilled workers are in extremely short supply, providing a stiff challenge to development and industrial industries. That’s the assessment of local experts, many of whom say the situation is at historic proportions. “In my 25 years in this industry, this is one of the tightest markets I’ve seen for labor, particularly manufacturing, production, assembly-type labor,” said Greg Sulentic, Lincoln franchise owner and regional franchise developer for Express Employment Professionals. “The current situation we’re facing was brought on by the situation with COVID, in particular by the additional unemployment that was paid out. It was very difficult to get candidates to

Sulentic Malik come to work when they were able to stay home with a higher level of unemployment. Even now, we face some of that.” Sulentic said companies are finding they

have to pay more for skilled workers in the highly competitive market and given the potential risk of coronavirus exposure. “There’s a concern, still, of coming out and taking a position in a facility where there’s a lot Montgomery of other people,” he said. “In the last three weeks we’ve seen that continue to loosen just a bit. But those are typically in jobs where we’re paying Continued on page 9.


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

• Industrial Market

Industrial real estate market remains strong by David Kubicek

The industrial market in 2020 remains strong with vacancy hovering around 3.3%, according to Sara Hanke, an associate broker at The Learner Co. Although COVID-19 brought a halt to second quarter deals in commercial real estate, industrial remained mostly unscathed. Construction continued throughout, and all

sales continue to be steady. While the numbers aren’t out for the third quarter, Omaha’s commercial market overall has seemed to be edging its way back, and there has been an uptick in leasing.  “Omaha is a natural distribution hub, with the confluence of several major freeways positioned in middle America,” Hanke said. “While the growth we are seeing to the

west and south has been the focus of service providers, I [expect] the distribution and corporate segments to see continued growth, especially in Sarpy County.” Alex Epstein, OMNE Partners executive vice president, said that industrial is one of the most fluid sectors right now due to the demand of e-commerce. With products being shipped directly from Hanke the warehouse to the consumer ’s door, and with same day delivery becoming more common, more warehouse space is absorbed by the big retailers to satisfy consumer demand. “The uncertainty of COVID-19 definitely put things on pause in quarter two because CEOs need McNeil confidence and certainty about the future to make decisions based on product and space needs,” Epstein said. “Fortunately, we are starting to see quarter three activity pick up as businesses are forward-looking and starting to realize the needs for 2021 and beyond. “I think we will see a very strong cycle

in 2021 due to the low interest rate environment and pent-up demand. Industrial is as strong of sector post-COVID as any of them because while retail can be interrupted from e-commerce, industrial is the beneficiary of the changed consumer behavior.” Charles McNeil, a senior associate in Omaha for Colliers International, said the vacancy rate has been lower than 4% for 24 straight quarters. “ We ’ r e s e e ing a trend of flex space moving up as a bunch of it came on the market in the Epstein past two quarters,” McNeil said. “A lot of local industrial users are building 20,000-square-foot buildings, occupying half, and trying to lease out the rest.” Precautions due to COVID-19 have boosted industrial because many users just need space for storage.  Kobes “It’s better to have industrial real estate right now,” McNeil said. “I don’t know if we’ll see any more spec developments. There are some coming in the pipeline but nothing crazy that will move the needle a lot. We don’t have big massive warehouses [such as] half a million square feet that we can plug users into. That’s a limiting factor that Omaha has to work though.” NAI NP Dodge Associate Grant Kobes said construction on projects underway before COVID are mostly continuing as scheduled, but he expects to see a significant drop in new space completed in 2021.  Vacancy increased slightly but is still below 4%, compared to the 5% national average. Rental rates have flattened this year, after steady increases over the last 10 years, and overall leasing activity is down.  “Most industrial operations were considered essential [during the pandemic] and did not have to shut down, which is the main factor as to why the industrial market is holding steady as compared to office and retail properties,” Kobes said. Asking rents dropped slightly, but Kobes expects an increase in leasing activity toward the end of the year and into next year.  “I believe many users that paused moves this year due to COVID will reconsider and go forward with new plans next year,” he said. “Lack of new construction starting now will drive vacancy back below 3%, and in turn push rents higher again.”


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Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

Pandemic, hurricanes and wildfires strain supply chains by David Kubicek

Although the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be the biggest disruptor of industrial supply chains, climate disasters like hurricanes and wildfires have also had an impact. Custom equipment manufacturer Fremont Automation has seen an uptick in business, according to CEO Amanda Benes. She attributed the boost in business to the firm’s many customers in the food and beverage industry. “[When firms] have to worry about so-

Demand for skilled labor

Continued from page 7. a little bit more than we have in the last couple of years.” Bob Malik, Omaha branch manager at AurStaff, agreed this extra pay and incentives can be substantial. “We’ve seen sign-on bonuses for a number of different positions,” he said. “The part that stands out is the movement in salary to bring aboard the right candidate. We’ve seen companies move an annual salary as much as 20% over what they were initially entertaining for the role. “We’ve also seen instances where companies are willing to move $2 to $3 an hour for hourly temp and other candidates that fit the bill. These incentives are worthwhile; candidates are aware of what the market is paying, and they know their current value.” Malik said the pandemic has done little to slow demand for the companies most in need of skilled and other labor. “Many clients in our sector didn’t slow or slowed minimally during the pandemic, and in the past quarter ramped back up again,” he said. “Things are still being made, still being shipped, new home sales are still on the rise. Here in Omaha, you wouldn’t necessarily guess there was a pandemic except for a lighter morning and evening rush.” Construction is also hurting when it comes to finding enough trained help, although as Kris Montgomery of McCarthy Building Companies noted, efforts to produce more skilled employees are paying dividends. “Omaha is taking a lot of steps in the right direction,” he said. “Specifically, organizations like Metro Community College and their construction trades program is helping attract folks to the industry and then giving them opportunities to get some education, which is great. “But as they’re filling up their classes, I don’t know that they can really shore up the market as much as we would like to or much as we need to. That baby boomer generation is really in the peak of their mass exodus out of the trades.” As time goes on, Montgomery said, the labor situation is likely to worsen before it gets better. “I’m just going through the Rolodex in my head on the project we just finished up here recently for the V.A. and really there just wasn’t a trade out there that we couldn’t have used more folks educated on that skillset,” he said. “I can’t think of one trade out there that it wasn’t just a function of everybody trying to find people right now.”

cial distancing in manufacturing facilities, automation is the most efficient way to increase your throughput while reducing the close contact within your facility,” Benes said. Some of the firm’s customers, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, who outsourced from around the world had their supply chains hit severely. Benes “Some people had no choice but to look in their own backyards for companies that could respond quickly and build what they needed,” Benes said. “I believe this [trend] will continue for the rest of this year and into next. I hope it has created more interest in finding local sources in the manufacturing community who can respond more quickly and the support’s there.”  COVID-19 has led Palleton, Inc., to create new planning and protocols, according to Vice President of Sales Lacy Arteaga. “We needed to establish a list of critical product components, determine their supply origins, and come up with Tier-2 sources of those supplies in case our Tier1 supplier had to shut down or decrease capacity,” she said.  Some customers lowered their order volume while other customers drastically increased product purchasing. Overall, purchasing volume increased by 20% to 30% as many of the firm’s customers were deemed critical infrastructure food suppliers. As the economy started opening back up, the pressure eased because of many unknowns have become knowns.  “We don’t have to forecast as far out as we had to in March or April, but we still keep our same protocols in place in case of a resurgence of outbreaks or if one of our suppliers has to close or decrease productivity due to infection-risk levels,”Arteaga said. “We are

now better prepared for issues with supply chain viability and managing Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers and alternative supply chain plans.” Palleton is also having issues with its wood supply because of the northwest wildfires and hurricanes. These climate-related issues are impacting soft wood prices and supply across the country and has creArteaga ated a much greater demand for hardwood and less availability of soft wood.  The number of operational lumber mills in Montana alone has decreased from more than 40 to approximately four. Justman Brush was prepared for the pandemic and managed to avoid serious issues with its supply chain, owner John Matthews said.

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“We saw how China was closing down their exporting activities, and they are an important component to the U.S. market,” he said. “Many of my raw materials come from China, either directly or indirectly. When they started closing down I increased my purchasing of raw materials. I went out for a six- to ninemonth buffer, and by doing so I bypassed a lot of the problems other manufacturers in my industry were having getting raw materials.” For the most part the supply chain in this segment stayed intact because for the most part brush companies were declared essential businesses because they supply hospitals and other medical facilities. “The ones that were still open were operating pretty much as normal,” Matthews said. “Recently we’ve run into some supply issues. When companies shut down, even if it’s only for a week around Christmas, it generally puts a company two to three months behind. So, when they shut down for two to three months, that means their components today are scarce.”


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Residential real estate process altered by pandemic by Gabby Christensen

Like many industries, the residential real estate sector has had to make changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cory Harter, owner/investor at Harter Investments, said it’s definitely impacted the way people are buying and selling homes at this time.  “Now, most potential buyers will view homes online through pictures, a virtual tour or drone footage,” Harter said. “Real estate agents are doing virtual walkthroughs with their clients so they do not have to go into a house until they are relatively sure they are interested in writing an offer.” While open houses are still being held, Harter said there are several safety measures in place. 

“Some include having only one interested party enter at a time, allowing decision-makers only, practicing social

Harter Morrissey distancing and wearing masks,” he said. “Doors to enter bedrooms, closets and entryways remain open to reduce touch

points making it easier to clean after the open house and to protect the seller.” Additionally, Harter said technology is playing a large role in getting people through this unusual time. “Applying for a loan with a mortgage lender, writing offers, negotiations, acceptance and working with the title company to the final close Gehring is all done online,” he said. “Electronic signatures now are accepted for most documents. Many of the new processes being implemented have in

Virtual format can’t dull enthusiasm for Heartland Developers Conference Continued from page 1. connect on. “We are still in the midst of getting the results as far as feedback on experiences and surveys, but all of the initial conversations that we have had have all been good. If there is one really big takeaway, I think it’s the realization that connecting virtually is actually pretty effective. You don’t lose out quite as much as people think just because you’re not in person.” Presented by Microsoft, the Developers Conference is the region’s longest-running software design and development event, annually attracting the Silicon Prairie’s leading technology experts discussing the latest knowledge and new techniques, as well as workshops that appeal to tech professionals at all stages of their careers. Veland said the increased attendance is proof positive of companies’ understanding of the need to maintain the highest in technical proficiency among employees, especially in the era of COVID-19. Even

if it took some companies a little time to warm up to a digital version. “Having to go back to some of the clients who were sponsors and partners and really sell the event was a little difficult. I don’t think initially a lot of the companies saw the value in connecting virtually,” he said. “Obviously they still liked our mission, they still liked the thought of the conference, but with it not being in person, initially I don’t think they were on board. “But I think as time went on and the more Zoom calls that people had, they realized it is a way that people can connect. Technology has allowed us to continue all types of business, whether it’s business development, business work calls, whether it’s connecting, technology has allowed us to be able to do that and this is no different. I think one other thing to think about is none of us know when COVID is going to be done. It could be going on another half-year or a year and if that’s the case, companies still need to do business and they still need to network and they

still need to do business development. If people are able to get on board with it and learn how to maneuver around and manage it, all the better.” Program highlights included keynote speaker Jessica Deen, senior cloud developer advocate for Microsoft, a former four-year Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Windows and Devices for IT. Her talk, “DevOps, Waffles, and Superheroes – Oh My!” gave a deep-dive into going from “zero to DevOps superhero” by selecting container tooling specifically built for simplifying the process. Breakout sessions included presentations on .NET, Frameworks, artificial intelligence, containers, JAVA/JS, IT culture, design and development best practices. “We had some really good sessions there and people really engaged well with chat and live stream and questions,” Veland said. “We were very happy with the participation there and we hope to see the same or more with InfoTech on Nov. 13.”

some ways improved the buyer and seller experience and will be around for the foreseeable future. Having a streamlined, efficient process helps everyone manage their everyday lives.” Roger Morrissey, vice president at Realcorp, said the pandemic has changed the routine on how Realcorp staff appraises homes. “Our goal is the health and safety of not only our professional appraisal staff, but also the homeowners and clients we serve,” Morrissey said. “As an office we have developed safety best practices. When we call to set up a home inspection, we now ask the homeowner a series of COVID-19 related questions.” The questions pertain to the health of the individuals and whether or not they’ve possibly been exposed to the virus.  “Realcorp also lets homeowners know that we are concerned about their protection and that our appraiser will use personal protective equipment such as a mask, gloves and shoe coverings,” he said. “For the inspection, we ask the homeowner to turn on all the lights in the home, open all doors including closet doors to limit contact with surfaces. Realcorp will continue to adapt and innovate in this ever-changing world to meet and exceed the expectations of our clients and homeowners.” At Mercury Builders, following U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines like wearing a mask, enforcing six foot separation and frequent hand sanitizer usage have been very important, according to co-owner Jeff Gehring. Yet, Gehring said the biggest impact has been that people are afraid to go outside of their homes and visit models.  Recently, however, he noted a new resurgence of people looking at model homes. “Some buyers seem very nervous about venturing out towards the models, but we are seeing a lot more people who have become weary of the same four walls that they live in and are ready for a change,” Gehring said. “When you couple that with low interest rates, we are seeing our home building sales go at a record high.” Regarding sales, he noted interest rates are expected to remain the same for some time, therefore there will continue to be increased numbers. “I think one of the biggest things we are seeing is an increase in lumber costs, delivery turnaround times and inventory issues,” Gehring said. “In particular, fixtures and appliances are very backed up overseas and are causing delays in the construction process.”


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GoFundMe a go-to for struggling businesses, families, pet owners by Gary Warth

Some are to help laid-off restaurant workers or struggling breweries. Others are to keep dance studios open. Several are for smaller, personal expenses such as veterinarian bills. But the online fundTrends raisers all have one thing in common. Each of the GoFundMe posts are from a person, business or organization hurting financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of local relief efforts related to COVID-19 can be found on GoFundMe SUPER CROSSWORD

Answers on page 12.

by searching “San Diego COVID” or “San Diego coronavirus,” and most appear to be aimed at helping small businesses such as restaurants and shops struggling during the pandemic. The same is true nationwide, according to a report released Thursday by GoFundMe, which found 60% of its COVID-related fundraisers in the U.S. were for small businesses. Worldwide, COVID-related fundraisers on the site have generated about $625 million, according to the report. A Small Business Relief Initiative creONE TOO MANY

ated by GoFundMe in March showed many fundraisers going beyond their goals. A drive to keep San Francisco’s historic City Lights Books in business surpassed its $300,000 goal and raised $495,000, while in Los Angeles, supporters of the beloved Amoeba Music have raised $293,600 toward a goal of $400,000. The fundraisers have been more modest locally, but do show patrons want to keep their favorite taverns and restaurants in business. In June, supporters of the Black Cat Bar in City Heights launched a fundraiser to help owner Matt Parker keep his business afloat after it was closed by a public health order in March. So far, more than $8,000 has been raised toward a $10,000 goal. Park & Rec in University Heights, Dobson’s Bar and Restaurant in downtown San Diego and Chiquita’s Mexican Restaurant in Fairmont Park are among the other restaurants and bars that were quick to organize fundraisers following the shutdown. Chiquita’s raised $6,400 toward its $10,000 goal, but is temporarily closed. In Bankers Hill, Parc Bistro-Brasserie general manager Samantha Scholl created a “virtual tip jar” to help her 27 employees in March and raised about $11,000. “It was amazing,” Scholl said about the fundraiser. “The community support was overwhelming.” As a fine-dining French restaurant, Parc Bistro-Brasserie was not prepared to switch to takeout-only service when the shutdown was ordered, and the four-year old business closed for about two weeks while Scholl and the chef reworked their menu. Scholl said about 80% of her customers are regulars, and many chipped in to help her staff. They also bought about $17,000 in gift cards to use when the restaurant reopened, which Scholl said helped keep the business afloat. “I’ve been in this industry 27 years, and I have never in my life been so blessed with a community like I have right now,” she said. The GoFundMe report released Thursday showed more than 9 million donations to 150,000 fundraisers globally have generated $625 million for causes related to COVID-19. Locally, the pages show both the plight of people affected by the pandemic and the generosity of others who want to help them. Some are heart-breaking, such as the post from Priscilla Ortega, who wrote that she was raising money for the funeral of her grandfather, Eduardo Lopez, who died of COVID-19 in June. The money was needed to transport his body to a burial plot in Baja, she wrote. Others are inspiring. Fuel the Frontline has used GoFundMe to raise $77,000 to buy meals for local health care workers, supporting both the workers and area restaurants. It’s just one of several local fundraisers aimed at showing thanks to health care workers. In another successful fundraiser, $110,000 has been raised to benefit San Diego’s arts and culture community. “Everybody who is an artist is unemployed right now,” organizer Lee Ann Kim said. Local artists were invited to apply for $1,000 grants between Aug. 26 and Sept. 15, and 214 submissions were received. The applications will be reviewed by the end of September, with funds distributed in October

through a partnership with the nonprofit Pacific Arts Movement. Kim said an earlier fundraiser had raised $250,000 with donations from large donors, private foundations and other sources, with the money going to small arts organizations. The latest round, which includes $60,000 from a fundraiser launched on another site and $25,000 from the San Diego Foundation, will go directly to artists. Kim said Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities have been disproportionately affected by the outbreak, so the fundraiser will focus on helping artists in those groups. Because GoFundMe pages are easy to share, Kim said the fundraiser also is helping to raise awareness of those artists. “This is one of the first times greater San Diego has been asked to support BIPOC artists,” she said. “This was as much an awareness campaign as a relief fund.” In July, the San Diego Brewers Guild launched a fundraiser that so far has netted $16,000 toward an original goal of $10,000. Guild Executive Director Paige McWey Acres said San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate and county Supervisor Jim Desmond have partnered with them to create a Breweries Experiencing Economic Roadblocks (BEER) Fund. McWey Acres said two local breweries, Escondido Brewing Company and Iron Fist in Vista, have permanently closed because of the shutdown. Others are trying to survive with reduced capacity because of health restrictions, and money from the fundraiser will help them stay afloat. Guild board members recently met to discuss how to best use the funds to help their 125 members, and donations are still coming in. “We’ll work with our members to see the best way we can support them,” she said. “We want to make sure the money is the most-helpful to their businesses at this time.” Some fundraisers have much smaller goals, but still show the toll the pandemic has taken on individuals. Among pet owners who turned to GoFundMe for help, Finn Paige of San Diego raised about $900 for medical care for her Chihuahua, Stella. She also wrote that she had lost a major contract job because of the pandemic. “She’s my best friend who goes with me everywhere,” Paige wrote. “I lost my dad this past November and I can’t imagine losing my best friend right now,” she wrote, adding that any money not used for vet bills would be donated to San Diego families affected by COVID-19. Chris Mok had been working as a Lyft driver and was making payments on a car he had just bought when the coronavirus hit. “I am searching for alternative ways to earn money, but I am at a point where I am asking for help,” he wrote. So far, he’s raised about $1,300. Aspiring director Teija Purvis of San Diego was preparing to start shooting the short film “Maraschino Cherry” when the coronavirus hit. Purvis lost a paid internship that would have funded the shoot, but made up the $600 lost through GoFundMe. Unfortunately, the GoFundMe pages also show that sometimes the efforts are not enough to keep a business or organization Continued on next page.


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Housing boom in US threatened by shortage of available homes by Prashant Gopal

The U.S. housing market, which has been a bright spot in the pandemic-battered economy, is running out of fuel. With buyers eager to take advantage of low mortgage rates, the inventory of homes to buy is scarce. That’s driving up prices and threatening to derail the boom by pushing homeownership out of reach for many Americans. For homebuilders, the huge demand for housing is an opportunity to crank up construction and solve the inReal estate ventory crisis. Instead, some are deliberately slowing things down as they grapple with supply shortages, surging lumber costs and intense competition for labor and land. “It’s smart business,” said Gene Myers, chief executive officer of Thrive Home Builders in Denver. “But that means continued shortages and higher prices.” After the Covid-19 lockdowns in March brought sky-high unemployment, most builders expected a crash. What they got was a brief pause followed by a crush of buyers armed with the lowest interest rates on record and a burning desire for more space in the suburbs. Inventory Shortage

GoFundMe a go-to

Continued from preceding page. going. Troy’s Family Restaurant in Clairemont launched a GoFundMe page, but closed in April after 46 years because it could not pay its bills during the shutdown. Another fundraiser was launched to reopen Ballet Folklorico Real de San Diego, which closed because the family-owned school could not pay rent after losing its student fees during the pandemic. So far, the fundraiser has fallen short of its $20,000 goal and has only generated about $1,700. Culture Shock Dance resumed its dance classes with fewer students Aug. 31, but still is raising money. So far, it has raised $56,358 toward its $150,000 goal. “While we would love nothing more than to offer you another 17 years of our dance programs, we have approached the final weeks of operating your ‘Second Home,’” its fundraising page read in a plea to help the studio make it through another month. “Funding is needed as soon as possible so we can plan appropriately for October.” The new GoFundMe report showed California had the nation’s fifth-highest number of GoFundMe pages for COVID-relief. March showed the greatest number of fundraisers launched, but new ones have continued daily for months. The fundraisers dwarf other fundraisers held for Australian Wildfire and Hurricane Harvey relief in both size and length of time. About 60% in the U.S. were to support small businesses such as restaurants and shops, and 19% were for art, daycare and school supplies. Fundraisers to provide frontline workers with personal protection equipment accounted for 9% of the fundraisers, and 7% were aimed at providing food and monetary relief. Another 3% were launched to pay for medical expenses, and 2% raised money for funerals and to support bereaved families left behind by a victim of COVID-19. ©2020 The San Diego Union-Tribune Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

There was pent-up demand for housing when the pandemic hit, after a decade when builders mostly focused on the higher-end of the market, constructing fewer, more expensive homes. Recently, they’d shifted focus to cheaper properties for the massive millennial generation now aging into homeownership. But with higher costs eating into profit margins, builders may once again chase the wealthy who want bigger homes with backyards and home offices. That comes as the inventory shortage has gotten even more acute. The supply of existing homes, shrinking for years, is at an all-time low. At August’s sales pace, it would take a little more than three months to run out of new homes for sale, the lowest level on record, according to government data dating back to 1963. That’s down from almost six months in February. New home construction this year will hold steady at just under 900,000, about the same pace as in 2019, according to a projection by the National Association of Home Builders. For 2021, the industry group forecasts that starts will increase slightly but will be held back by the cost and availability of building materials. Lumber Spike The trouble for builders is that vacant land takes about two years to be developed, a process slowed by local government regulations. Meanwhile, lumber prices are expected to add $16,000 to the cost of a typical house, according to the NAHB. They’ve risen because producers idled saw mills in the U.S. and Canada in March and still face timber shortages resulting from a beetle infestation and wildfires, said Joshua Zaret, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. Homebuilders aren’t the only ones bidding up the price of wood. Quarantined families have been especially busy remodeling during the pandemic. This summer’s hurricanes and wildfires will also add to demand once the insurance checks start coming in. Slowing Sales Builders can keep raising prices to stay ahead of costs, to a point, said John Burns, an Irvine-based real estate consultant. But some are raising them by as much as 2% a month, he said. “If that went on for two or three years, we’d be very concerned about affordability,” Burns said. “Every time prices go up, it’s great for homeowners and bad for the renter who aspires to be a homeowner.” Stocks of homebuilders have climbed in recent months as orders for new homes surge. The looming issue is that the demand for housing is outstripping supply at a time when construction has gotten more expensive. Lennar Corp., the biggest builder by revenue, said it’s intentionally limiting sales to homes already under construction to avoid buying lumber at today’s high prices. The company says it’s trying to be patient, betting it can continue to hike prices to help offset the higher costs. “Sales could have been stronger with a singular focus on volume,” Stuart Miller, the company’s chairman, said on an Sept. 15 earnings call. “It is challenging at best to materially ramp production in this labor-constrained market, and it’s even more challenging to replace entitled land.” Wood Shortage Alan Gerbus, a second-generation Cincinnati custom builder, is already in the hole on a house before he’s even started. He submitted a contract to his buyer in late June for an $800,000 house but his costs just for wood products

jumped $25,000 by the time it was signed 40 days later. “The lumber supplier said he can’t honor that price,” Gerbus said. “I’m praying for the lumber prices to start falling by the time I’m ready for delivery.” Even if builders wanted to plow ahead, it’s hard to get wood these days. Robert Pool, co-owner of Main Street Lumber, a family business in Denison, Texas that sells products to builders, said he had to turn down some new

customers early in the lumber supply crisis because he wanted to be sure he’d have wood for his existing customers. His price for oriented strand board, widely used for roofs and siding, more than doubled to $24 a sheet in March, he said. “It hurts when you have to tell somebody no,” he said. ©2020 Bloomberg News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

US office market will take years to recover from pandemic by Steve Brown

The U.S. office building market will take years to recover from the impact of the pandemic, a new report warns. Office building occupancies across the country are forecast to drop by more than 120 million square feet in 2020 and 2021 as COVID-19 puts the economy in recession and eliminates millions of jobs, according to a new report by Cushman & Wakefield. The commercial Real estate real estate firm’s new forecast of worldwide office sector conditions warns that a rebound from the pandemic won’t happen overnight. The report predicts that the U.S. office sector will lose about 145 million square feet of office occupancy in 2020 and 2021 as the result of the economy losing a net 1.7 million office jobs. As of the second quarter, the office sector has already lost 23.1 million square feet of occupied space nationwide, with negative absorption continuing for at least another 18 months. “The hit to demand for office space — measured by the level of net absorption — is approximately 20% more severe than what

occurred during the global financial crisis period of 2008 and 2009,” Cushman & Wakefield analysts say. “Office leasing fundamentals will be significantly damaged in the near term.” Nationwide net office leasing won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023, the forecast concludes. And building rents aren’t expected to fully recover until 2024 or later. Along with the reduced demand from the current recession, office landlords are concerned about a greater shift toward remote working. “Over the 2022-2030 period, under the base-line scenario, we expect office demand to be 15.8% lower than it otherwise would be due to a structural increase in work from home, despite holding density at pre-COVID-19 levels,” forecasters say. “We conclude that the structural impacts of work-from-home trends will be offset by factors such as economic growth, population growth and office-using penetration, which means demand for office will continue to grow over the 10-year forecast horizon.” ©2020 The Dallas Morning News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

SUPER CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS

Puzzle on page 11.


Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 • 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 the Legal Department 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). As a publisher and not a legal advisor we print notices exactly as they are submitted and therefor only comp reruns when the notice was rejected or messed up due to a MBJ error. All companies submitting notices are responsible for ensuring the content fits with the State’s requirements and are responsible for the cost of republishing the notice if it is rejected due to misinformation or missing information 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 noon 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 the first week it runs and a copy of the affidavit filed with the courts the last week.

DVORAK LAW GROUP LLC 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF WICKERSHAM FAMILIES, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Wickersham Families, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office address of the Company is 10580 South 147th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68138. The name and address of the registered agent of the Company is DDLG Business Services, Inc., 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

Notice of Organization QSR Store 15, LLC Notice is hereby given that QSR Store 15, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its registered office at 16379 Cheyenne Road Omaha, Nebraska 68136, and its registered agent is Bryce Bares. Its designated office is located at 16379 Cheyenne Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68136. The general nature of the business will be to engage in the transaction of any or all lawful business, for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The LLC was filed with the State of Nebraska on January 23, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

Notice of Organization Galaxy Ventures VI, LLC Notice is hereby given that Galaxy Ventures VI, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its registered office at 16379 Cheyenne Road Omaha, Nebraska 68136, and its registered agent is Bryce Bares. Its designated office is located at 16379 Cheyenne Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68136. The general nature of the business will be to engage in the transaction of any or all lawful business, for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The LLC was filed with the State of Nebraska on January 23, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

Notice of Organization QSR Store 14, LLC Notice is hereby given that QSR Store 14, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its registered office at 16379 Cheyenne Road Omaha, Nebraska 68136, and its registered agent is Bryce Bares. Its designated office is located at 16379 Cheyenne Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68136. The general nature of the business will be to engage in the transaction of any or all lawful business, for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The LLC was filed with the State of Nebraska on May 19, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

Notice of Organization QSR Store 13, LLC Notice is hereby given that QSR Store 13, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its registered office at 16379 Cheyenne Road Omaha, Nebraska 68136, and its registered agent is Bryce Bares. Its designated office is located at 16379 Cheyenne Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68136. The general nature of the business will be to engage in the transaction of any or all lawful business, for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The LLC was filed with the State of Nebraska on May 12, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

BENJAMIN J. PICK, Attorney PANSING HOGAN ERNST & BACHMAN LLP 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3728 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF SANDRA ANN, LLC Notice is hereby given of the organization of Sandra Ann, LLC: 1. The name of the limited liability company is Sandra Ann, 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 September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

HOWARD KASLOW, Attorney ABRAHAMS KASLOW & CASSMAN LLP 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION Kleinberg Family Foundation has been incorporated under the Nebraska Nonprofit Corporation Act. The corporation is a public benefit corporation. The street address of the corporation’s initial registered office is 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114; and the name of the initial registered agent of the corporation at that office is Howard J. Kaslow. The corporation is organized for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes. The name and street address of the incorporator of the corporation are Cindy H. Levy, Zechariah 24, Efrat, Israel 90435. The corporation will not have members. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

KARINE E. SOKPOH, Attorney SOKPOH LAW GROUP 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 247 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF ELEVATE OMAHA, INC. Notice is hereby given that Elevate Omaha, Inc. has been incorporated as a public benefit non- profit corporation under Nebraska laws, with its registered office at 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 247, Omaha, NE 68114. Its agent at that office is Karine E. Sokpoh. The corporation shall have members and its incorporator is Karine E. Sokpoh and her address is 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 247, Omaha, NE 68114. The corporation’s principal place of business is 2921 South 102nd Street, Omaha, NE 68124. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 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 METAL PETAL ART, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Metal Petal Art, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 618 South 184th 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 limited liability company commenced business on August 10, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 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 BLUE POMEGRANATE, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Blue Pomegranate, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 618 South 184th 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 limited liability company commenced business on August 5, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

MATTHEW WURSTNER, Attorney CARLSON & BURNETT, LLP, Attorneys 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, Nebraska 68130 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF FIBRAFIL USA, LLC Notice is hereby given that FIBRAFIL USA, 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 September 18, 2020 and shall have a perpetual period of duration. The Company is to be managed by the Manager of the Company. The initial Manager is Awad Qumseya 15606 Elm Street, Suite 105, Omaha, NE 68130. The initial Member of the Company is Awad Qumseya, 15606 Elm Street, Suite 105, Omaha, NE 68130. Matthew Wurstner, Organizer First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

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KARINE E. SOKPOH, Attorney SOKPOH LAW GROUP 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 247 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF DOKS HOLDINGS, LLC Notice is hereby given that DOCKS HOLDINGS, LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under Nebraska laws, with its designated office at 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 247, Omaha, NE 68114. It is organized to transact any lawful business for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized under Nebraska laws and its duration is perpetual commencing from September 8 , 2020. Its affairs are to be conducted by the managers Karine E. Sokpoh and Damilola J. Oluyole. Its registered agent is Karine E. Sokpoh and her office is located at 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 247, Omaha, NE 68114. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF MERGER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Articles of Merger of Pacific Springs Assembly of God, a Nebraska nonprofit corporation, with and into Flatland Group, a Nebraska nonprofit corporation, were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on September 16, 2020, in accordance with the Nebraska Nonprofit Corporation Act. The merger was effective upon the filing date. The surviving entity in the merger was Flatland Group, a Nebraska nonprofit corporation. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

BROWN & WOLFF, P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys and Counselors at Law 1925 North 120th Street, One Bennington Place Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF CUBBY’S-BELLEVUE, LLC NOTICE is hereby given that Cubby’s-Bellevue, LLC is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The address of its registered office is 9229 Mormon Bridge Road, Suite 6, Omaha, Nebraska 68152. The purpose of the Company shall be to have such purposes and to engage in such activities with the exception of banking and insurance 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 the 17th day of September, 2020, and shall have perpetual existence. The Company shall be managed by one (1) manager, PHILLIP E. MORRISON, whose address is 9229 Mormon Bridge Road, Suite 6, Omaha, Nebraska 68152. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

RODNEY G. GNUSE, Attorney GNUSE & GREEN LAW OFFICES, P.C., Attorneys 11311 Chicago Circle Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF PURPOSE REAL ESTATE, L.L.C. A Nebraska Limited Liability Company Notice is hereby given that Purpose Real Estate, L.L.C., a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 3173 Meredith Avenue, Omaha, NE 68111. The general nature of its business is to engage in and do any lawful act concerning 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 in the office of the Nebraska Secretary of State on September 18, 2020. The Company commenced business thereon and shall have perpetual existence. The affairs of the Company are to be conducted by the Members. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

DANA ROCHE, Attorney RINGENBERG & RATTNER LAW 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204 Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF 3833 VILLAGE DRIVE CARWASH RE, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that 3833 Village Drive Carwash RE, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 222 S. 15th Street, Suite 1404S, Omaha, Nebraska, 68102. The Registered Agent of the Company is Kendra Ringenberg, 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020 FITZGERALD, SCHORR, BARMETTLER & BRENNAN, P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 10050 Regency Circle, 200 Regency One Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3794 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION MDC ENTERPRISES, 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 6614 N. 105th Avenue, Omaha, NE 68122. The name, street address and mailing address of the initial agent for service of process of the Company are Michael D. Coughlin, 6614 N. 105th Avenue, Omaha, NE 68122. Dated this 21st of September, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

LEGAL NOTICES DVORAK LAW GROUP LLC 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF AMENDMENT TO THE CERTIFICATE OF ORGANIZATION OF AFFILIATED FARM MANAGEMENT, LLC Notice is hereby given that the Certificate of Organization of Affiliated Farm Management, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company, has been amended to reflect that the company renders professional services. The Amended Certificate of Organization was filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on July 27, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

ALTON E. MITCHELL, Attorney at Law, LLC 1905 Harney Street, Suite 711 Omaha, Nebraska, 68102 Notice of Organization of Wisdom Sales, LLC Notice is hereby given that a Limited Liability Company has been formed under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The initial Registered Agent is: Alton E. Mitchell. The address of the initial Designated Office is: Wisdom Sales, LLC, 2107 South 214th Avenue, Elkhorn, NE 68022. The Certificate of Organization was filed with the Secretary of State on September 17, 2020. The Company has perpetual existence; the general nature of its business is operation of convenience store(s). Company business will be conducted by its Manager as described in the Company’s Operating Agreement. Alton E. Mitchell, Authorized Representative. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

DENNIS P. LEE, Attorney JAKE T. HOULIHAN, Attorney LEE LAW OFFICE 2433 South 130th Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68144 NOTICE OF SUIT TO: RANDY NEELON, 3719 N 43rd St, Omaha NE 68111, you are hereby notified that on July 14, 2020, American Family Mutual Ins. filed a suit against you in the Douglas County Court at docket CI20-12621, the object in prayer of which was to secure a judgment against you in the amount of $3,563.74, together with court costs, interest and attorney's fees as allowed by law. Unless you file your Answer with the Douglas County Court on or before the 16 day of November, 2020, the Petition against you will be considered as true and judgment will be entered against you accordingly. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 16, 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 DIVENTURES COLUMBIA, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that DiVentures Columbia, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 4303 South 121st Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68137. 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 limited liability company commenced business on September 21, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

MATTHEW T. PAYNE, Attorney PANSING HOGAN ERNST & BACHMAN LLP 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3728 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF BUSINESS ETHICS, LLC Notice is hereby given of the organization of Business Ethics, LLC 1. The name of the limited liability company is Business Ethics, LLC 2. The street and mailing address of the initial designated office is 13716 Corby Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68164, and the name and street address of the initial agent for service of process is Matthew T. Payne, 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

MICHAEL S. MOSTEK, Attorney MOSTEK LAW LLC 1111 North 13th Street, Suite 305 Omaha, Nebraska 68102 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF Travel Spotts LLC Notice is hereby given that Travel Spotts LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The address of the initial designated office of the Company is 13952 Arbor Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68144, and the name of the initial designated agent at that address is Sharon Potts. The Company is organized to engage in any and all business, other than banking and insurance, for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The Company commenced its existence on September 8, 2020, and its duration shall be perpetual. The affairs of the Company are to be conducted by the Managing Member and/or Members as authorized by the Company’s Operating Agreement. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF STEINKEMPER INVESTMENTS, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Steinkemper Investments, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska with the following initial designated office, registered agent and registered office: Molly Steinkemper, 1517 S. 152nd Cir., Omaha, NE 68144. Business to be transacted is any lawful business, excluding professional services. The business commenced on December 30, 2019, and is perpetual. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION Corporate Name: Eesley, 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: Charles V. Sederstrom, Jr. Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C., L.L.O. 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, NE 68114 First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION OF LANGDON & LEE, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Langdon & Lee, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”), filed a Statement of Dissolution with the Nebraska Secretary of State on September 23, 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 October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

WHITMORE LAW OFFICE LLC 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Notice is hereby given that True North 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 5814 South 142nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68137. The registered agent of the Company is Sally E. Hansen, 15248 W Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68137. 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 September 22, 2020. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

CATHERINE E. FRENCH, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF 18TH & PIERCE, 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 18TH & PIERCE, LLC. The address of the company’s initial designated office is 13324 Chandler Road, Omaha, NE 68138. The name and address of the registered agent is LDM Business Services, Inc., 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, NE 68114. The general nature of the business to be transacted is all lawful business. The company commenced existence on September 21, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. The affairs of the company shall be conducted by the managers as prescribed by the Operating Agreement. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

The Law Office of Robert E. Burns 11330 Q Street, Suite 220 Omaha, Nebraska 68137 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF OMAHA ONLINE BONDS, Inc. Notice is hereby given that Omaha Online Bonds, Inc. has incorporated under the Nebraska Model Business Corporation Act. The general nature of the business is to conduct any lawful business including but not limited to the business of the marketing and sale of surety bonds. Capital is 10,000 shares with a par value of $1.00 per share. The registered agent and Incorporator is: Robert E. Burns, Jr. and the Incorporator's office and corporation's registered office is located at 11330 Q Street, #220, Omaha, NE 68137. The affairs of the corporation are to be conducted by the Board of Directors and such officers as it may elect. The corporation commenced existence on July 30, 2020 with the filing and recording of its articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State, and will have perpetual duration. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

McGILL, GOTSDINER, WORKMAN & LEPP, P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 11404 West Dodge Road, Suite 500, First National Plaza Omaha, Nebraska 68154-2584 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF KAREN AND DAVID, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that KAREN AND DAVID, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company, is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with a registered office at 5101 Grover Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68106, and the registered agent is Natan Schwalb. Its initial designated office is 5101 Grover Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68106. The general nature of the business is to engage in any lawful business for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The limited liability company was formed on September 22, 2020, and its duration is perpetual. Management of the Company shall be vested in its Managers. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

T. GEOFFREY LIEBEN, Attorney SLOWIACZEK ALBERS, PC, LLO 2027 Dodge Str., Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68102 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that dHALLOCK. LLC a Nebraska limited liability compaby, is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office at 1510 South 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska, 68124. The name and address of the initial registered agent for service of process is Dale D. Hallock, 1510 South 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The general nature of its business is to engage in and to do lawful act concerning any and all lawful business, other than banking or insurance, for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of Nebraska. The limited liability company was formed on September 16, 2020. The period of existence shall be perpetual unless earlier terminated pursuant to its Operating Agreement or as otherwise provided by the law. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

JAMIE M. HURST, Attorney MICHAEL F. KIVETT, Attorney WALENTINE O'TOOLE, Attorneys at Law 11240 Davenport Street P.O. Box 540125 Omaha, Nebraska 68154-0125 NOTICE OF AMENDED AND RESTATED ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION FOR GRETNA ELITE ACADEMY F/K/A GRETNA SOCCER CLUB Notice is hereby given that Gretna Soccer Club, a Nebraska non-profit public benefit corporation, filed its Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation changing the name of the company to Gretna Elite Academy. The Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation was filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on September 18, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020 ABRAHAMS KASLOW & CASSMAN LLP, Attorneys 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Seymour Property, LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The street and mailing addresses of the initial designated office of the company are 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. The name and street and mailing addresses of the initial registered agent of the company for service of process are Andrew P. Deaver, Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP, 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

NOTICE OF INCORPORATION OF THE BT RISE FUND Notice is hereby given that The BT Rise Fund has been incorporated as a public benefit non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its registered office at 11818 I Street, Omaha, NE 68137. Its registered agent at that office is Nicholas Knihnisky. The corporation shall not have members. Its incorporator is Nicholas Knihnisky and his address is 11818 I Street, Omaha, NE 68137. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

BENJAMIN J. PICK, Attorney PANSING HOGAN ERNST & BACHMAN LLP 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3728 NOTICE OF AMENDMENT TO THE CERTIFICATE OF ORGANIZATION OF THRIVING FUTURES, LLC Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, the Certificate of Organization of THRIVING FUTURES, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company (the “Company”) has been amended (i) to designate the Company as a professional limited liability company and that the professional services to be performed are mental health therapy services, and (ii) to change the street and mailing of address of the designated office to 105 S. 126th Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. The Amended Certificate of Organization was filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Nebraska on September 18, 2020. In all other respects, the Certificate of Organization remains unchanged. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020


Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 • LEGAL NOTICES HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP, Attorneys 13330 California Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF MINDMIXER, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that MindMixer, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska on September 18, 2020 (the “Company”). The Company has designated its registered agent as Nathan Preheim, with registered office at 2012 N 55th Street, Omaha, NE 68104. The Company’s initial designated office is at 2012 N 55th Street, Omaha, NE 68104. The Company shall be governed by one or more mangers. The general nature of business is any lawful purpose. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

ABRAHAMS KASLOW & CASSMAN LLP, Attorneys 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION Crumb Roller, Inc. has been incorporated under the Nebraska Model Business Corporation Act. The street address of the corporation's initial registered office is 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114, and the name of the initial registered agent of the corporation at that office is Andrew P. Deaver. The corporation is authorized to issue 10,000 shares of Common Stock. The name and street address of the incorporator of the corporation are Chase P. Chartier, 2623 South 166th Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68130. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF TCB PROPERTIES, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that TCB Properties, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company has been duly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office located at 16258 Monroe Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68135 and designating its registered agent as Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C. a limited liability company with its registered office at 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 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 1. The name of the Corporation is Champions of Aging. 2. The Corporation is a public benefit corporation. 3. The Registered Office of the Corporation is: 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124, and the Registered Agent at such address is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O. 4. The name and address of the Incorporator is as follows: Nicholas W. O’Brien, 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. 5. The Corporation shall have no members. 6. The corporate existence began on September 25, 2020, when Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

NICK R. TAYLOR, Attorney FITZGERALD, SCHORR, BARMETTLER & BRENNAN, P.C., L.L.O. 200 Regency One, 10050 Regency Circle Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3794 LEGAL NOTICE In the County Court of Douglas County, Nebraska. PR 20-1463 Estate of MARCELLA H. SYKORA, Deceased Notice is hereby given that on September 22, 2020, in the County Court of Douglas County, Nebraska, the Registrar issued a written statement of Informal Probate of the Will of said Decedent and that MATTHEW G. SYKORA, whose address is 630 South 90 Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68114, has been appointed by the Registrar as Personal Representative of this estate. Creditors of this estate must file their claims with this Court, located at Courtroom No. 30, Third Floor, Probate Division, Douglas County Hall of Justice, 17th & Farnam Streets, Omaha, NE 68183, on or before December 2, 2020 or be forever barred. CARROL L. MILLS Registrar First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 LINDSEY A. SCHULER, 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 South 72nd Street, Suite 1200 Omaha, Nebraska 68124 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF AUTOMOTO OMAHA, LLC The name of the limited liability company is Automoto Omaha, LLC. The address of the initial designated office is 2001 North 24th Street, Omaha, NE 68110. The name and address of the initial agent for service of process is Lindsey A. Schuler, 2120 South 72nd Street, Suite 1200, Omaha, NE 68124. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

SCOTT A. MEYERSON, Esq. LIKES MEYERSON HATCH LLC 444 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF SHMILY WOODS LLC Notice is hereby given that Shmily Woods LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The street and mailing address of the Company’s initial designated office is 14918 Burt Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. The street and mailing address of the Company’s initial agent for service of process is 14918 Burt Drive, Omaha, Nebraska 68154 and the Company’s initial agent for service of process at such address is Pam Hagge. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF THE BEDINGERS, LLC Notice is hereby given that The Bedingers, LLC, has been organized as a limited liability company under Nebraska laws, with its designated office at 2566 Farnam St, Ste. 301, Omaha, NE 68131. The initial agent of The Bedingers, LLC is Northwest Registered Agent Services Inc., 530 S. 13th St, Ste. 100, Lincoln, NE 68508. The limited liability company commenced business on July 02, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF THE BEDINGERS, LLC Notice is hereby given that The Bedingers, LLC, has been organized as a limited liability company under Nebraska laws, with its designated office at 2566 Farnam St, Ste. 301, Omaha, NE 68131. The initial agent of The Bedingers, LLC is Northwest Registered Agent Services Inc., 530 S. 13th St, Ste. 100, Lincoln, NE 68508. The limited liability company commenced business on July 02, 2020. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

Notice of LLC Dissolution Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 21-150 (RULLCA 704), please be advised that Good is Wood, LLC, doing business at 166625 Jackson Street, Omaha, NE 68118 has been dissolved by mutual consent of the members as of September 30, 2020. 1. All claims against the assets of the limited liability company must be made in writing and include the claim amount, basis and origination date. 2. All claims must be sent to the Registered Agent: Matthew J. Bock, 9802 Nicholas Street, #115, Omaha, NE 68114. 3. All claims against the company are barred unless an action to enforce the claim is commenced within five years after the publication date of the third required notice. Dated: September 28, 2020. By: Matthew J. Bock, Registered Agent First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 NOTICE OF PUBLICATION TO: SHARLAY THOMPSON You are hereby notified that on, 06/15/20, the Plaintiff, Credit Management Services, Inc., filed a Complaint in the COUNTY Court of DOUGLAS County, Nebraska against you shown as Case Number CI20 -10570. The object and prayer of which is a judgment in the amount of $500.00, plus court costs and prejudgment interest and attorney fees, if applicable. The Complaint prays that judgment be entered against you. You are hereby notified that you must answer the petition on or before November 15, 2020, at the COUNTY Court of DOUGLAS County, OMAHA, Nebraska. BY: MEGAN L BISCHOFF, #25206 P.O. Box 1512 Grand Island, Nebraska 68802 308 398-3801 Attorney for the Plaintiff First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF GCP III PRESTON TRAIL GP, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that GCP III Preston Trail GP, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. The Registered Agent of the Company is Zachary A. Wiegert, 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 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 KJF HOLDINGS, INC. 1. The name of the Corporation is KJF Holdings, 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, Douglas County, Nebraska 68124, and the Registered Agent at such address is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O. 4. The corporate existence began on September 28, 2020, when Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State. 5. The name and address of the Incorporator is: Teresa Beaufait, 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska 68124. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

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JODIE HAFERBIER MCGILL, Attorney MCGILL LAW, P.C., L.L.O. 1411 N. 72nd St. Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the undersigned has formed a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, as follows: The name of the company is Offroad Fiasco, LLC. The address of the initial designated office is 7915 Harney Street, Omaha, NE 68144 and the initial registered agent is Jodie Haferbier McGill of McGill Law, 1411 N. 72 St, Omaha, NE 68114. The company is organized to engage in and do any lawful act concerning any and all lawful business, other than banking and insurance, for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of Nebraska. The limited liability company commenced existence on the filing and recording of its Statement of Qualification with the Secretary of State on August 14, 2020 and shall have a perpetual period of duration from the date the Certificate was filed with the Secretary of State. Management of the Company shall be vested in its members in proportion to their contribution to the capital of the company, as adjusted from time to time, to reflect additional contributions or withdrawals by the members. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF PRESTON TRAIL GP, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Preston Trail GP, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. The Registered Agent of the Company is Zachary A. Wiegert, 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

DIANE B. METZ, Attorney 1823 Harney Street, ES 1005 Omaha, Nebraska 68102 LEGAL NOTICE In the County Court of Douglas County, Nebraska. PR20-1440 Estate of Helen Goings, Deceased Notice is hereby given that a Petition of Adjudication of Intestacy of said Decedent, Determination of Heirs, and Appointment of Harold Durman Goings, Jr. II, a.k.a. H.D. Goings as personal representative has been filed herein and is set for hearing in the County Court of Douglas County, Nebraska on October 16th, 2020 at 10:00 o'clock a.m. in room CR30. CARROL L. MILLS Registrar First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

ERICKSON l SEDERSTROM, P.C., Attorneys 10330 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION On September 18, 2020, Service Corps of Lutheran Business Executives, a Nebraska nonprofit corporation (“Corporation”) filed Articles of Dissolution with the Nebraska Secretary of State. The terms of the dissolution provide for the payment of all liabilities of the Corporation and the distribution of all remaining assets to the Lutheran Church MissouriSynod Nebraska District. A. William Kernen as Chairman is to wind up and liquidate the corporate affairs and distribute its assets. The Corporation has assets totaling $34,410.11 and no liabilities. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 THOMAS H. PENKE, Attorney THOMAS H. PENKE, P.C., L.L.O 12020 Shamrock Plaza, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68154 LEGAL NOTICE In the County Court of Douglas County, Nebraska. PR20-1459 Estate of DEREK K. GESCHWENDER, Deceased Notice is hereby given that on September 24, 2020, in the County Court of Douglas County, Nebraska, SUSAN G. GESCHWENDER, whose address is 1625 Crawford Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68144, has been appointed Personal Representative of the estate. Creditors of this estate must file their claims with this Court, located at Courtroom No. 30, Third Floor, Probate Division, Douglas County Hall of Justice, 17th & Farnam Streets, Omaha, NE 68183, on or before November 30, 2020 or be forever barred. CARROL L. MILLS Registrar First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 Extra Mile Holdings LLC 314 S 68th AVE Omaha, NE 68132 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Notice is hereby given that Extra Mile Holdings LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Limited Liability Act. The address of the registered office is 314 S 68th Ave, Omaha, Nebraska 68132 and shall be managed by member Chris Whirrett. The general nature of the business to be transacted by the company is any lawful business which may be carried on in Nebraska as an LLC. The company commenced business as an LLC on September 11, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF GCP III PRESTON TRAIL LP, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that GCP III Preston Trail LP, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. The Registered Agent of the Company is Zachary A. Wiegert, 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF PRESTON TRAIL LP, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Preston Trail LP, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. The Registered Agent of the Company is Zachary A. Wiegert, 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF Partners Bid, LLC Notice is hereby given that Partners Bid, LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under Nebraska laws, with its designated office at 11204 William Plaza, Omaha, NE 68144. It is organized to transact any lawful business for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized pursuant to Nebraska statute and its duration is perpetual commencing on July 9, 2020. Its registered agent is Daniel J Goaley 11204 William Plaza, Omaha, NE 68144. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

CATHERINE E. FRENCH, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF OMAHA HUSTLE, 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 Omaha Hustle, LLC. The address of the company’s initial designated office is 2719 North 141 Avenue, Omaha, NE 68164. The name and address of the registered agent is LDM Business Services, Inc., 10306 Regency Parkway Drive, Omaha, NE 68114. The general nature of the business to be transacted is all lawful business. The company commenced existence on September 25, 2020 and shall have perpetual duration. The affairs of the company shall be conducted by the manager as prescribed by the Operating Agreement. LDM Business Services, Inc., Organizer First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

JENNIFER RATTNER, Attorney RINGENBERG & RATTNER LAW 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204 Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF TREATMENT QUALITY INSTITUTE, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Treatment Quality Institute, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204, Omaha, Nebraska, 68154. The Registered Agent of the Company is Jennifer L. Rattner, Ringenberg & Rattner Law, LLC, 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF SEAL TEAM, LLC. Notice is hereby given that SEAL TEAM, LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The address of the designated and registered office of the company is 2609 Victoria Ave, PO Box 907, Bellevue, NE 68005. The general nature of the business to be transacted by the company is any lawful business which may be carried on by limited liability companies organized under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The company commenced on August 20th, 2020, and has perpetual duration. The manager and registered agent of the company is Jason McGee. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

AMANDA M. BARRON, Attorney P.O. Box 597 Fremont, Nebraska 68026 LEGAL NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT(s), JUSTIN R JULIAN You are hereby notified that Credit Bureau Services, Inc., a corporation, filed its complaint in the County Court of DOUGLAS County, Nebraska on 07/23/2020 on Case Number CI20-13706, the object and prayer of which is to recover the sum of $163.22, plus interest, attorney fees and court costs. You are required to answer the complaint of the Plaintiff on or before 11/16/2020 or the allegations in said complaint will be taken as true and judgment entered accordingly. CREDIT BUREAU SERVICES, INC., A CORPORATION First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Alyceum, LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company, filed its Statement of Dissolution with the Nebraska Secretary of State on September 28, 2020, and the company is in the process of voluntary dissolution. The terms and conditions of such dissolution are, in general, that all debts and obligations of the company are to be fully paid and satisfied or adequate provision is to be made therefore, and that the balance of any remaining assets are to be distributed to its Member. The Member of the company will wind up and liquidate the company’s business and affairs. If you have a claim against Alyceum, LLC, please provide the following information with respect to your claim: (1) your name 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. All claims shall be mailed to 13030 Pierce Street, 3rd Floor, Omaha, Nebraska 68144. A claim against Alyceum, LLC is barred unless an action to enforce the claim is commenced within five (5) years after the publication date of the third required notice. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 WHITMORE LAW OFFICE LLC 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION Vapes & Tobacco 2, Inc., whose registered agent is Dennis Guinn and registered office is 9341 Davenport Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68114, was formed on September 29, 2020 to engage in any lawful business. The corporation has authorized 10,000 shares of capital stock. The name and address of the incorporator is Thomas E. Whitmore, 7602 Pacific St., Ste. 200, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

MATTHEW WURSTNER, Attorney CARLSON & BURNETT, LLP 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, Nebraska 68130 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF SEELHOFF & ASSOCIATES, LLC Notice is hereby given that SEELHOFF & ASSOCIATES, LLC is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The initial designated office is 17525 Arbor Street, Omaha, NE 68130. The Company’s initial registered agent in the State of Nebraska is: Darren R. Carlson, whose address is 17525 Arbor Street, Omaha, NE 68130. The purpose of the Company is 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 September 30, 2020, and shall have a perpetual period of duration. The Company is a Manager Managed Limited Liability Company. The initial Manager of the Company is Janet K. Seelhoff whose address is 450 Regency Parkway, Ste. 340, Omaha, NE 68114. Darren R. Carlson, Organizer First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF REKSUH DISMAL, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Reksuh Sandy Pointe, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. The Registered Agent of the Company is Zachary A. Wiegert, 10340 North 84th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68122. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 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 CAP 1151, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that CAP 1151, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 20740 Rawhide Road, 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 limited liability company commenced business on September 24, 2020. First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 CAMERON M. RIECKE, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF KSM HOME RENTALS, 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 KSM Home Rentals, LLC. The address of the initial designated office is 1311 South 185th Cir., Omaha, NE 68130. 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 September 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 October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020

KOLEY JESSEN P.C., L.L.O., Attorneys 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, One Pacific Place Omaha, Nebraska 68124-1079 NOTICE OF CONVERSION OF JAMAICA INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIPAND ORGANIZATION OF JAMAICA INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Jamaica Investment Partnership has been converted into Jamaica Investment Partnership, LLC under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office of the company is 11030 O Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68137. The Registered Office of the company is 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124, and the Registered Agent at such address is Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O. The conversion of the general partnership into the limited liability company was accomplished by the filing of Articles of Conversion and Certificate of Organization with the Nebraska Secretary of State on September 30, 2020. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

SCOTT A. MEYERSON, Esq. LIKES MEYERSON HATCH LLC 444 Regency Parkway Drive, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF TJ HOLDINGS LLC Notice is hereby given that TJ Holdings LLC, a Nebraska limited liability company, has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The street and mailing address of the Company’s initial designated office is 5237 S. 24th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68107. The street and mailing address of the Company’s initial agent for service of process is 5601 S. 59th Street, Suite C, Lincoln, Nebraska 68516 and the Company’s initial agent for service of process at such address is Registered Agent Solutions, Inc First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 DARREN R. CARLSON, Attorney CARLSON & BURNETT, LLP, Attorneys 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, Nebraska 68130 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF ESCAPE NETWORK CARAVAN, LLC Notice is hereby given that ESCAPE NETWORK - CARAVAN, LLC is organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The initial designated office is 2002 Douglas Street, Ste. 102, Omaha, NE 68102. The initial registered agent is Darren R. Carlson, 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 September 25, 2020 and shall have a perpetual period of duration. The Company is to be managed by the Manager, Joel Jacobs 2002 Douglas Street, Ste. 102, Omaha, NE 68102. Darren R. Carlson, Organizer First publication October 2, 2020, final October 16, 2020 ABRAHAMS KASLOW & CASSMAN LLP, Attorneys 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF INCORPORATION Opportunities, Inc. has been incorporated under the Nebraska Model Business Corporation Act. The street address of the corporation's initial registered office is 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114, and the name of the initial registered agent of the corporation at that office is Andrew P. Deaver. The corporation is authorized to issue 10,000 shares of Common Stock. The name and street address of the incorporator of the corporation are Andrew P. Deaver, 8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300, Omaha, Nebraska 68114. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020 DVORAK LAW GROUP LLC 9500 West Dodge Road, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF MERGER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Articles of Merger merging ZOMD, Inc., a Nebraska corporation into ZO Skin Health, Inc., a California corporation were filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State on September 30, 2020, in accordance with the Nebraska New Model Business Corporation Act. The surviving entity in the merger is ZO Skin Health, Inc. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

CAMERON M. RIECKE, Attorney LAMSON, DUGAN and MURRAY, LLP 10306 Regency Parkway Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3743 NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF FREEBIRD FLOCK, 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 Freebird Flock, LLC. The address of the initial designated office is 3443 Pershing Road, Lincoln, NE 68502. 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 October 2, 2020 and shall have a perpetual duration. The affairs of the company shall be conducted by the Members, as prescribed by the Operating Agreement. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020


Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 • LEGAL NOTICES APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: Cecilia Losee Insurance and Financial Services Name of Applicant: Cecilia Losee Address: 6634 Lafayette Ave. Omaha, NE 68132 Applicant is an Individual If other than an Individual, state under whose laws entity was formed: Nebraska Date of first use of name in Nebraska: 2-16-2018 General nature of business: Insurance and Financial Services CECILIA LOSEE Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative October 9, 2020 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: Vacation Superstore Name of Applicant: Corporate and Leisure Travel, INC Address: 5316 South 132nd Street, Omaha, NE, 68137 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: 9/2/2020 General nature of business: Travel Agency Services, namely making reservations and bookings for temporary lodging. JENNIFER J THURMAN Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative October 9, 2020 MATTHEW G. DUNNING, Attorney VANDENACK WEAVER LLC 17007 Marcy Street, Suite 3 Omaha, Nebraska 68118 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF RESTORATION STATION LLC Notice is hereby given that RESTORATION STATION 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 9663 "V" Plaza, Apt 43, Omaha, NE 68127. 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 October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF LHZ HOLDING, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that LHZ Holdings, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 3105 N 84th Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68134. The Registered Agent of the Company is Kyle Schaefer, 3105 N 84th Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68134. First publication September 25, 2020, final October 9, 2020

NOTICE OF THE ORGANIZATION The Nebraska limited liability company’s name is BLT Trucking, LLC. The name of its initial agent for service of process is Brian Hoffman. The street and mailing address of its initial designated office and of its initial agent for service of process is 84956 565th Avenue, Winside, Nebraska 68790. The Company is not organized to render a professional service. /s/ Joseph J. Skudlarek, Organizer First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION of Conquer Fitness LLC Notice of organization is hereby given that Conquer Fitness LLC has been organized in accordance with the laws of the state of Nebraska, commencing September 3, 2020. The designated office address is 2324 N. 113th St Omaha, NE 68164. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

NOTICE OF INCORPORATION Notice is hereby given that the undersigned has formed a corporation under the laws of the State of Nebraska. 1. The name of the corporation is DR. SWIRCZEK DDS, PC. 2. The address of the registered office is 4879 S 132nd Ave, Omaha NE 68137, and the initial registered agent at the address is Cynthia Breasch. 3. The general nature of business is to provide dentistry services, and, in general, any type of service ancillary thereto, and to do business which is not forbidden by the laws of the State of Nebraska. 4. The authorized capital stock of the corporation is 10,000 shares of common stock with a par value of $1.00 per share, each of which may be issued for any medium permissible under the laws of the State of Nebraska and as is determined from time-to-time by the Board of Directors. 5. The corporation commenced existence on August 20, 2020 and shall have perpetual existence. 6. The affairs of the corporation shall be conducted by a Board of Directors, President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and such other officers as may be chosen by the Board of Directors. Holly Swirczek Incorporator First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

DANA ROCHE, Attorney RINGENBERG & RATTNER LAW 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204 Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF 201 S. 16TH STREET, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that 201 S. 16th Street, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 222 S. 15th Street, Suite 1404S, Omaha, Nebraska, 68102. The Registered Agent of the Company is Kendra Ringenberg, Ringenberg & Rattner Law, LLC, 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

MATTHEW WURSTNER, Attorney CARLSON & BURNETT, LLP 17525 Arbor Street Omaha, Nebraska 68130 Notice of Amendment – WRP ENTERPRISES, LLC Notice is given that on October 2, 2020, WRP ENTERPRISES, LLC, filed an amendment to its certificate of organization. The amendment stated the Company is to be managed by the Manager of the Company. The Manager is Teresa A. Pfeiffer, 2904 B Road, Avoca, NE 68307. In all other respects the original certificate of organization remains unchanged. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020 SCHMIT LAW FIRM, LLC 1246 Golden Gate Drive, Suite 3 Papillion, Nebraska 68046 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF MAINE EVENTS CO., LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that MAINE EVENTS CO., LLC has been organized as a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office at 1246 Golden Gate Dr., Ste. 3, Papillion, Nebraska 68046. It is organized to transact any lawful business for which a limited liability company may be organized, including but not limited to event planning. Its duration is perpetual commencing September 9, 2020. Its Registered Agent is Angela Schmit, Schmit Law Firm, LLC, 1246 Golden Gate Dr., Ste. 3, Papillion, Nebraska 68046. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

SCHMIT LAW FIRM, LLC 1246 Golden Gate Drive, Suite 3 Papillion, Nebraska 68046 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF ABBY’S CORNER, INC. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that ABBY’S CORNER, INC. has been organized as a public benefit corporation under the laws of the State of Nebraska, with its designated office at 134 N. Washington Street, Papillion, Nebraska 68046. It is organized to transact any lawful business for which a public benefit corporation may be organized, including but not limited to a faith-based thrift shop. Its duration is perpetual commencing from August 27, 2020. Its Registered Agent is Angela Schmit, Schmit Law Firm, LLC, 1246 Golden Gate Dr., Ste. 3, Papillion, NE 68046. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

DANA ROCHE, Attorney RINGENBERG & RATTNER LAW 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204 Omaha, Nebraska 68154 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF 222 S. 15TH STREET, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that 222 S. 15th Street, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The Designated Office Address of the Company is 222 S. 15th Street, Suite 1404S, Omaha, Nebraska, 68102. The Registered Agent of the Company is Kendra Ringenberg, Ringenberg & Rattner Law, LLC, 14301 FNB Parkway, Suite 204, Omaha, Nebraska 68154. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

WHITMORE LAW OFFICE LLC 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Notice is hereby given that LEHOME RENTAL, L.L.C. (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the Company is 11579 Rambleridge Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68164. The registered agent of the Company is Hannah Le, 11581 Rambleridge Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68164. The Company was formed on October 5, 2020. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

WHITMORE LAW OFFICE LLC 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 Omaha, Nebraska 68114 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION Notice is hereby given that KiSS Transport, L.L.C. (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the Company is 10130 Grand Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68134. The registered agent of the Company is Kyle Sheppard, 10130 Grand Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68134. The Company was formed on October 2, 2020. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

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AMANDA M. BARRON, Attorney P.O. Box 597 Fremont, Nebraska 68026 LEGAL NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT(s), KELVIN E TOLSTON You are hereby notified that Credit Bureau Services, Inc., a corporation, filed its complaint in the County Court of DOUGLAS County, Nebraska on 05/18/2020 on Case Number CI20-9471, the object and prayer of which is to recover the sum of $ 211.61, plus interest, attorney fees and court costs. You are required to answer the complaint of the Plaintiff on or before 11/23/2020 or the allegations in said complaint will be taken as true and judgment entered accordingly. CREDIT BUREAU SERVICES, INC., A CORPORATION First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

DENNIS P. LEE, Attorney JAKE T. HOULIHAN, Attorney LEE LAW OFFICE 2433 South 130th Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68144 NOTICE OF SUIT TO: ISSAK HUSSEIN aka Hussein Issak, 3306 Madison St, Omaha NE 68107, you are hereby notified that on August 5, 2020, Allstate Insurance Company filed a suit against you in the Douglas County Court at docket CI20-14012, the object in prayer of which was to secure a judgment against you in the amount of $13,579.69, together with court costs, interest and attorney's fees as allowed by law. Unless you file your Answer with the Douglas County Court on or before the 30th day of November, 2020, the Petition against you will be considered as true and judgment will be entered against you accordingly. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 30, 2020

KATHRYN J. DERR, Attorney BERKSHIRE & BURMEISTER 1301 South 75th Street, Suite 100 Omaha, Nebraska 68124 NOTICE OF ORGANIZATION OF JA BARRETT LAND COMPANY, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that JA BARRETT LAND COMPANY, 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 1301 s 75th Street, Ste. 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The registered office of the Company is 1301 S 75th St. Ste. 100, Omaha, Nebraska 68124, and the agent at such office is Kathryn J. Derr. The general nature of the business to be transacted by the company is any lawful business which may be carried on by a limited liability company organized under the Nebraska Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The company commenced operations on September 29, 2020, and shall have a perpetual duration. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020 MATTHEW G. DUNNING, Attorney VANDENACK WEAVER LLC 17007 Marcy Street, Suite 3 Omaha, Nebraska 68118 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE NAME Trade Name to be registered is: Restoration Station Name of Applicant: Restoration Station LLC Address: 9663 "V" Plaza, Apt. 43 Omaha, NE 68127 Applicant is a Limited Liability Company If other than an Individual, state under whose laws entity was formed: Nebraska Date of first use of name in Nebraska: 9/29/2020 General nature of business: Restoration and Custom Welding Services MATTHEW G. DUNNING Signature of Applicant or Legal Representative First publication October 9, 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 KOS ROOTS TWO, LLC The name of the Company is Kos Roots Two, LLC. The Designated Office of the Company is: 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. 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. This limited liability company commenced business on October 1, 2020. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020 MATTHEW T. PAYNE, Attorney PANSING HOGAN ERNST & BACHMAN LLP 10250 Regency Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68114-3728 NOTICE OF MERGER Notice is hereby given that Rogers Construction, Inc., a Nebraska corporation, has merged with Rogers Development, Inc., a Nebraska corporation. Effective October 2, 2020, Rogers Development, Inc. succeeded to all rights and interests, and all debts and liabilities of Rogers Construction, Inc. in accordance with the Articles of Merger which have been filed with the Secretary of State of Nebraska. The surviving corporation is Rogers Development, Inc. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

LEGAL NOTICES 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 FAB PROPERTIES, LLC The name of the Company is FAB Properties, LLC. The Designated Office of the Company is: 11826 North 178th Circle, Bennington, Nebraska 68007. 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. This limited liability company commenced business on October 6, 2020. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 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 ARBOR CARE REALTY - ORD, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Arbor Care Realty – Ord, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 18807 Sahler Street, Elkhorn, Nebraska 68022. The registered agent and office of the limited liability company is Kenneth W. Klaasmeyer, 18807 Sahler Street, Elkhorn, Nebraska 68022. The limited liability company commenced business on October 5, 2020. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 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 ARBOR CARE CENTERS ORD, LLC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Arbor Care Centers – Ord, LLC has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office of the limited liability company is 18807 Sahler Street, Elkhorn, Nebraska 68022. The registered agent and office of the limited liability company is Kenneth W. Klaasmeyer, 18807 Sahler Street, Elkhorn, Nebraska 68022. The limited liability company commenced business on October 5, 2020. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020

DENNIS P. LEE, Attorney JAKE T HOULIHAN, Attorney LEE LAW OFFICE 2433 South 130th Circle, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68144 NOTICE OF SUIT TO: ADOLFO A LOZANO, 7910 Blondo St. Apt 20, Omaha NE 68134, you are hereby notified that on July 21, 2020, American Family Mutual Ins. Co., S.I. filed a suit against you in the Douglas County Court at docket CI20-13075, the object in prayer of which was to secure a judgment against you in the amount of $7,070.03, together with court costs, interest and attorney's fees as allowed by law. Unless you file your Answer with the Douglas County Court on or before the 30th day of November, 2020, the Petition against you will be considered as true and judgment will be entered against you accordingly. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 30, 2020

Notice Of Organization Of Axe Building Services, LLC Notice is hereby given that Axe Building Services, LLC (the “Company”) has been organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska. The designated office address of the Company is 1125 S. 119th St, Omaha, NE 68144. The registered agent of the Company is Philip S. Murante, whose mailing address is 1125 S. 119th St, Omaha, NE 68144. First publication October 9, 2020, final October 23, 2020 STATE OF NEBRASKA PAROLE BOARD HEARINGS NOTICE A total of 152 cases will be heard by the Board in October, 2020. The following case(s) sentenced in Douglas County will be seen by the Board of Parole. October 21, 2020 – 9:30 a.m. Nebraska Correctional Center for Women, York, Nebraska Stuart, Tammie 392108 Burglary Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop October 22, 2020 – 8:30 a.m. Community Correctional Center – Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska Bissell, Lonnie 59388 Manslaughter Use Deadly Weap to Commit Fel Tatum, Rodger 82177 Burglary Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop Graham, Corey 84012 Robbery Peters, Justin 88046 Motor Vehicle Homicide Cooper, Tavarus 88813 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I (2 counts) Tax Violation Houston, Shakur 210070 Burglary Battles, Tasheem 210476 Child Abuse Haywood, Kabir 210807 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I Unlawful Discharge of Firearm Green, Phalen 211048 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I Tax Violation October 23, 2020 – 8:30 a.m. Community Correctional Center - Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska Collins, Leslie 50049 Sexual Assault 1st Degree Sexual Assault of Child 1st Deg

Lloyd, Mitchell 89044 Assault 2nd Degree (2 counts) Moten, Lisa 99100 Assault 1st Degree Driving While Intoxicated Poss Deadly Weap by Felon/Fug Dortch, James 210426 Driving Under Revoked License Keo, Soleummy 210809 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I (2 counts) Tax Violation McWilliams, Daniel 211558 Pos Cntrl Sub Except Marijuana Glover, Yolanda 392343 Theft by Shoplifting (2 counts) Charon, Trina 392328 Burglary October 26, 2020–9:30 a.m. Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, Tecumseh, Nebraska Cunningham, Alfuntize 54713 Assault 2nd Degree Poss Deadly Weap by Felon/Fug Terroristic Threats Use Deadly Weap to Commit Fel Williams, Quintin 78572 Poss Deadly Weap by Felon/Fug Camacho, Jorge 86780 Poss Deadly Weap by Felon/Fug Garcia, Gabriel 87066 Pos Cntrl Sub Except Marijuana Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop Rush, KShawn 82024 Robbery (4 counts) October 27, 2020 – 8:30 a.m. Lincoln Correctional Center, Lincoln, Nebraska Dvarro, James 66033 Sexual Assult of Child 1st Deg Williams, Brandon 76771 Robbery (2 counts) Lankster, Dustin 83180 Criminal Mischief Escape, Theft By Unlwlfl Taking or Disp Mack, Abram 88902 Driving While Intoxicated Tut, Immanuel 210318 Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop October 28, 2020 – 8:30 a.m. Community Correctional Center - Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska Perry, Dontrell 73997 Robbery, Use Deadly Weap to Commit Fel Spellman, Kevin 74946 Poss Deadly Weap by Felon/Fug Terroristic Threats Use Deadly Weap to Commit Fel Gardner, Timothy 76846 Pos Cntrl Sub Except Maarijuana Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop (4 counts) Howard, Jeff 81471 Child Abuse Helms, Cory 83127 Assault 1st Degree Nemeth, Robert 83128 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I (2 counts), Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop Scruggs, Bailey 86344 Burglary Tampering Coleman, Jerry 88406 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I Spencer, Roykeyvius 89777 Assault 2nd Degree Raefleng, Jessica 99274 Forgery 2nd Degree Weibel, Tiffany 392415 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I October 29, 2020 – 8:30 a.m. Nebraska State Penitentiary, Lincoln, Nebraska Osler, Dennis 46216 Kidnapping, Robbery Flores, Brandon 70768 Burglary (13 counts) Lindsey, Islands 75098 Robbery Use Deadly Weap to Commit Fel Vogel, Dustin 82415 Poss Deadly Weap by Felon/Fug Stec, Liam 89748 Burglary Jones, Wilbert 87549 Assault 1st Degree Howell, Anthony 87710 Burglary Penny, Zachary 211525 Robbery October 30, 2020 – 8:30 a.m. Omaha Correctional Center, Omaha, Nebraska Johnson, Morgan 57181 Aslt Peac Ofcr/DCS Emp 3rd Dgr Robbery (3 counts) Dasher, Randall 69583 Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop Williams, Antwon 78187 Forgery 1st Degree (2 counts) Richter, Nicholas 79911 Sexual Assult of Child 3rd Deg (3 counts) Priester, Wesly 84194 Manu/Dist/Del/Disp or Poss W/I (2 counts) Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop Green, Terrence 84768 Poss Deadly Weap by Felon/Fug Gatluak, Ran 210273 Robbery Theft by Receiving Stolen Prop ROSALYN COTTON, CHAIR NEBRASKA BOARD OF PAROLE First publication October 9, 2020

Midwest farmland prices holding steady, maybe even ticking upward by Adam Belz

Despite trade wars, a pandemic and what’s still a fiveyear slump in corn and soybean prices, farmland in the Upper Midwest has mostly kept its value and one broker says he’s seen a marked uptick in west-central Minnesota in the past month. “Although we are seeing major swings in the commodity markets, the agricultural land market is still surprisingly stable,” said Wendong Zhang, an extension economist at Iowa State University. A survey of ag lenders, farm managers, realtors and appraisers conducted by Zhang earlier in the summer showed some of the people most interested in farmland prices expected a slight decline before Agriculture November, but for the cost of an acre of ground to start rising again in 2021. A more recent report from ag realtors in Iowa shows prices have been steady in 2020 amid another difficult year for farmers. In Minnesota, farm real estate brokerage and auction house Fladeboe Land sold two farms in the past couple weeks at more than $8,700 per tillable acre. “Whether it lasts is yet to be determined, but we’ve seen particular strength in the farmland market in the fall of 2020,” said Glen Fladeboe, one of the firm’s second-generation owners. The firm sells land mostly in west-central Minnesota, and Fladeboe said a recent rise in corn soybean prices, low interest rates, good yields, strong sugar beet prices and generous government assistance for farmers in the pandemic are goosing the land market. “There’s a sense of optimism right now,” Fladeboe said, and that’s bidding up the price of land. Zhang, the economist at Iowa State, said the role of the Federal Reserve in lowering interest rates can’t be underestimated in the land market. A Purdue University survey of farmers in the summer showed a majority are optimistic that trade conditions will improve over the long-term. Investors keen to diversify their holdings are also keeping farmland prices high, more in other states than in Iowa, Zhang said. “There is more interest in buying farmland as part of the portfolio,” he said. Underpinning these land values, which for years have been the most stable part of the farm economy, is the farm safety net. Farmers not only have received tens of billions of dollars in coronavirus and trade war relief, but their crop insurance is about 60% taxpayer-subsidized and farmers participate in all sorts of government programs. Larry Aanenson, a real estate broker in Fulda in southwest Minnesota, said not too much land is for sale, but land prices there are holding steady. “We’ve got a good crop coming, so we may see prices come up a little bit,” Aanenson said. “The good land is in that $8,000 range.” Iowa land prices, a good proxy for southern Minnesota, ticked upward in 2019 after dropping slightly in 2018, according to Iowa State University. Data for the full year 2020 won’t be available for several months, but rents for next year are unchanged, Aanenson said. “I’m doing leases for next year and the leases are the same as they are for this year,” he said. ©2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

REGIONAL LANDSCAPES

Briefs…

Electronic Contracting Company restructured Complete Care Support. Complete Care is a comprehensive support program designed specifically to maximize and support each technology system, allowing you to focus on your overall business goals. The program provides: unlimited support coverage (during business hours), semi-annual recertification and testing, comprehensive checklist reports, unlimited system training and reorientation, guaranteed call and onsite response times, software and firmware upgrades (as required), priority in support request queue, semi-annual support check-in calls, and shipping. Sunridge Apartments — a 39-unit, four building multi-family project — is under construction at 3041 East Dawn Dr. in Fremont. The community will have three- and four-bedroom units, all of which have two bathrooms. The project is a mixed-unit development, with market-rate and income-qualified units. Apartment feature large living areas, lofty ceilings, walk-in closets, appliances including full-sized washer-dryers, and oversized patios or balconies. Sunridge Apartments also includes

an on-site community center for the residents. The community features a large central garden, including an area for residents to plant their favorite vegetables or flowers. Retail Aware has raised a $1.1 million oversubscribed seed round, led by Chicago-based New Stack Ventures, with additional participation from Network Ventures, Lofty Ventures and existing investors such as Invest Nebraska. Retail Aware manufactures sensors that help measure in-store product interaction, dwell time and impressions of shoppers in order for our clients to better understand when and how often merchandise is purchased. An updated and refreshed “Reaching the Age of Majority” resource for high school and college-age students is now available online at the Nebraska State Bar Foundation website. The information was reviewed and edited by 20 Nebraska lawyers. The 39-page resource includes chapters on subjects ranging from alcohol to wills. Among the topics addressed are banking, consumer protection, contracts, immigration, insurance, jury duty, landlord/ tenant law, pets, voting and weapons. The resource is not intended to serve as legal advice;

however, it is designed to inform young people of their rights as they reach adulthood. Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, LLP attorneys have been recognized by Chambers USA as the 2020 Top Lawyers in their area of practice in the state of Nebraska: Mark A. Christensen (Litigation: Mediators), Susan K. Sapp (Insurance), Rochelle A. Mullen (Corporate/Commercial), Trenten P. Bausch (Litigation: General Commercial), Michael C. Pallesen (Corporate/Commercial), Andre R. Barry (Litigation: General Commercial), Keith T. Peters (Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation), Tara A. Stingley (Labor & Employment), Stephen E. Gehring (Corporate/Commercial) and Tom C. Huston (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use). All have been recognized for their professional excellence by extensive interviews with their clients and peers. Great Plains Communications has completed its acquisition of Enhanced Telecommunications Corporation, a Southeastern Indiana-based provider. Serving communities in Southeastern Indiana for more than 85 years, ETC offers a suite of products and services to over 14,000 business, wholesale and residential customers that include high-speed internet, ethernet, voice, video and transport. With the backing of partner Grain Management, LLC, ETC is the second acquisition completed by GPC, within the last year. The company acquired InterCarrier Networks  in August 2019. 

Education notes…

Moxie Mentoring, LLC released an online training product for travel nursing firms. The online program directly addresses the training needs of compliance and credentialing professionals in the travel nursing industry. Prior to stepping foot in a health care facility each travel nurse must be fully vetted by the staffing firm. To assist these firms, Moxie Mentoring developed an online training program aimed specifically at those individuals within the firm responsible for compliance and credentialing, a process that includes items such as verification and validation of immunization records, criminal background checks, and drug screening, among many others. Travel nursing firms can now utilize Moxie’s compliance and credentialing program on a monthly subscription basis. Nebraska University’s National Strategic Research Institute has been awarded a new five-year, $92 million contract through the U.S. Strategic Command to continue its leading research in national security and defense. This is the third contract awarded to NSRI since the system-wide institute was established in 2012 to perform exclusive research to meet the needs of USSTRATCOM and the Department of Defense. Midland University opened a new residence hall on campus. Miller Hall welcomed 96 students as Midland University made its return to on-campus learning. Construction on the $10 million, 37,177-square-foot building began in April 2019 and concluded on Aug. 20, 2020. The residence hall features suite-style living including a private bedroom and shared bathroom, kitchenette, and furnished living room, depending on the floor plan. Floor plans include two bed suites and four bed suites. Amenities feature student lounges, study rooms, a student-centered multipurpose room and workout area, and laundry facilities on each floor. Miller Hall is replacing Men’s Memorial Hall that had served the university since 1947.

Health care notes…

A new in-home care company has opened in Omaha. Owned and operated by Omaha natives Ryan and Juli Gray, the HomeCare Advocacy Network franchise provides area seniors with non-medical, in-home care needed to age safely and happily in the comfort of their own homes or assisted living communities. Over the next 1218 months, the Grays expect to add 30 new jobs and are actively recruiting qualified caregivers. The University of Nebraska Medical Center signed a master clinical trial agreement with COVAXX, a subsidiary of United Biomedical, an antibody diagnostics and vaccine development company. The agreement provides a framework for UNMC to conduct clinical trials, using COVAXX-created therapeutics. With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNMC trials will focus preliminarily on conducting Phase I/II human trials in the United States of COVAXX’s UB-612 vaccine. The vaccine clinical trial agreement between UNMC and COVAXX is the second COVID-19 related partnership in 2020 between the two organizations. In May, UNMC and COVAXX signed a memorandum of understanding that allowed for large-scale, high-quality COVID-19 antibody diagnostic testing and processing.  Immanuel announced changes to Pacific Springs. Pacific Springs is located adjacent to the Pacific Springs Golf Club at 805 S. 173rd Plaza. The renovations will connect Pacific Springs Village’s assisted living neighborhood to its independent living neighborhood while adding comprehensive memory support to the campus. Renovation plans also include a new Thrive by Immanuel fitness center and wellness studio, onsite restaurant and lounge featuring a golf simulator, outdoor areas and walking paths, and a chapel with a locally designed stained glass window.  The Hyundai Hope On Wheels Foundation has given $200,000 to support childhood cancer research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center with a grant to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The Hyundai Hope On Wheels Young Investigator Award was presented to James Ford, D.O., an associate professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at UNMC. Ford also holds professional appointments at Nebraska Medicine and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. Ford will use the funding to test a novel therapy for treating osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer in children and young adults. The goal is to understand how the therapy works in OS to improve the lives of children. The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy has named Amber Specialty Pharmacy — a subsidiary of Hy-Vee, Inc. — 2020 Specialty Pharmacy of the Year. NASP is the only nonprofit national association representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The Specialty Pharmacy of the Year award is a peer-nominated and peer-reviewed award honoring a specialty pharmacy that demonstrates exceptional service, performance and quality in the areas of community involvement, patient satisfaction, cost management, quality/performance improvement initiatives and innovation in the field of specialty pharmacy.

Activities of nonprofits…

The Ryan Foundation, set up by the late Dr. Wayne and Eileen Ryan, has committed over $4 million to organizations and institutions the couple were passionate about during their lives. Since January 2020, The Ryan Foundation Continued on next page.


Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

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REGIONAL LANDSCAPES Continued from preceding page. has committed funds to these organizations: $2.6 million to Boys Town National Research Hospital of Omaha; $500,000 to the New Cassel Foundation; $120,000 to St. Vincent De Paul Society; $36,000 to Spirit Catholic Radio Network; and $29,428 to CRCC. Midlands Community Foundation is bringing back its MCF Matching Charitable Program beginning on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, and ending Jan. 5, 2021. Under the Matching Charitable Program, MCF will provide matching funds for new contributions made to existing and newly created affiliated general, designated, donor advised, field of interest, and scholarship funds. Matching donations will be made on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a limit of $5,000 per individual donor, and subject to a maximum of $100,000 of matching dollars being available in the aggregate for all funds. If more than $100,000 is contributed on an aggregate basis to all Funds, the matching dollars will be pro-rated among such donors based on the total contributions made. Due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19 and keeping the health and well-being of our community in mind, Midlands Community Foundation’s board of directors has made the decision to postpone the organization’s 2021 Reflection Ball from Jan. 16, 2021, to March 27, 2021, at Embassy Suites in La Vista. The Reflection Ball is a fundraising event for the communities of Cass and Sarpy counties. After months of remodeling work, Heart Ministry Center’s new addition is now open to serve those in need. The remodel includes a full-service laundromat, which includes 20 washers and 16 dryers. With the addition of the laundromat, Heart Ministry Center is now a one stop for pantry, medical care and now laundry services. The remodel will also allow the center to provide expanded medical services. Medical exam rooms have increased from three rooms to four, dental chairs have doubled from two to four and HMC will now offer vision care to its clients.

Arts and events…

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Nebraska Chapter will host its annual Light The Night walk on Oct. 17 at Stinson Park. Light The Night funds lifesaving research and

support for patients battling blood cancers. Cory Shaw is the 2020 corporate walk chairman. Shaw serves as the executive vice president, chief operating officer for Nebraska Medicine. The Omaha walk is supported by presenting sponsor Nebraska Medicine and supporting sponsor DLR Group. Local area nonprofit Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy will hold a 5K Run/2K Walk on Oct. 17 at their campus in Gretna. The charity event features an all-terrain route across HETRA’s 25-acre property, or an alternative, shorter, more accessible route around the HETRA Barn. The 5K Run kicks off at 7:30 a.m., with the 2K Walk and Festivities

starting at 9 a.m. Following the walk, participants are encouraged to enjoy family-friendly games with adult and child prizes available. The funds raised will benefit the families of Drive to Ride. Registration is online. Coldwell Banker NHS Real Estate, Nebraska Animal Loving Advocates and Dolly’s Legacy Animal Rescue are joining hundreds of Coldwell Banker offices and animal shelters around the country for the annual Coldwell Banker “Homes for Dogs” National Adoption day. Dogs and cats from the rescue organizations will be available for adoption during this outdoor event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the Coldwell Banker NHS Real Estate

office located at 4230 Pioneer Woods Drive in Lincoln. In addition, Coldwell Banker NHS Real Estate will be collecting food and toys throughout the month of October at its office. The Anti-Defamation League’s Plains States Region is joining ADL’s National Walk Against Hate for the first time, and, due to the circumstances created by the pandemic, are transforming the traditional “walk” into a real-world, online hybrid event. Leading up to Oct. 18, ADL-CRC will unveil 24 local locations on their event website: www.adlplains. com, that reflect the historic, diverse journey through which our civil rights and civil liberties have evolved. Registration is available online.

virtual event is free thanks to FNBO. Register in advance at prsanebraska.org. Wednesday, Oct. 14 EmpowHER is hosting its second, virtual event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nicole Bianchi will lead a panel discussion on “Success & Failures: Lessons Learned in the Business World.” Panelists include Chatterkick CEO and founder Beth Trejo, author and speaker April Kelly and Dolores Silkworth, principal at Confluence. Registration is available online. Thursday, Oct. 15 The Greater Omaha Chamber is hosting the first day of The Conference On Opportunity, Diversity and Equity virtually. The opening session will feature a keynote by high school football coach Rob Mendez, who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome — a rare disorder that caused him to be born without arms or legs. The conference will have three tracks for attendees to follow focusing on DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion): workplace DEI; community DEI; and workplace DEI. Topics include: Translating your diversity efforts into bottom line ROI impact; race equity in state policymaking; championing diversity as a board and more. Friday, Oct. 16 The Greater Omaha Chamber is hosting the second day of The Conference On Opportunity, Diversity and Equity virtually at 10 a.m. The start of the session will feature a warm-up with Aaron Derell Gregory of Love to Groove Movement School. Topics for the second day

include: Merging virtual reality & DEO strategy; disrupting health equity; LGBTQ+ Employee Alliance: Leading people-centered initiatives; and creating a grassroots corporate diversity and inclusion program. The closing keynote session will feature Caroline A. Wanga, interim chief executive officer of Essence Communications, Inc. The Association of Internet Technology Professionals Lincoln is hosting its monthly, virtual meeting at 6 p.m. The keynote will be given by Diane Siefkes, owner of dkSolutions who specializes in demystifying social media and email marketing for small business owners. She teaches LinkedIn for business and online marketing strategy classes throughout the state. She will be focusing on LinkedIn for this session. Saturday, Oct. 17 The National Association of Women in Construction will host its annual Midwest Region Fall Conference this year by virtual means. The Midwest Region, known as the Heart of NAWIC, includes 17 chapters and spans nine states. The kickoff session includes guest speaker Laura Seitz Danielsen, author of children’s book “Build It.” Throughout the day, several NAWIC experts will be providing breakout sessions on topics like networking and technical tips. The closing keynote panel discussion will focus on “Me Too.” In this discussion Husch Blackwell attorneys Julianne Story and Robert Sanders, Chief People Officer of JE Dunn Lesley Elwell, and Kyle Kitson, in-house counsel, MMC Corp.

MEETINGS AND SEMINARS Tuesday, Oct. 13 The annual EthicSpace Conference is taking place virtually this year from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference will bring together business professionals and leaders to discuss “moral courage — having consistent ethical behavior even when it is difficult, unpopular or comes at a cost.” Featured speakers include: Performers from Second City Works; Scooter’s Coffee Founder and Chair Don Eckles; and more. Tickets are available online until Oct. 9. The Nebraska Recycling Council is hosting its 2020 Fall Conference virtually this year from Oct. 13 through Oct. 16. The conference will include the recognizing the 2020 award winners, networking sessions and a variety of workshops on strengthening local and regional recycling systems. Kate Bailey, policy & research director at Eco-Cycle, will give the keynote. Topics covered during the conference include: rural recycling infrastructure; how to conduct internal waste audits; battling contamination and more. Full access to the event is $55 and registration is available online. At noon, PRSA Nebraska will host a virtual event on the topic of engaging C-Suite leaders to adopt new communication strategies and ideas. During this presentation, Regina DeMars, First National Bank of Omaha’s director of content marketing & social strategy will share tactics on how to gain your executive leadership’s approval and trust, and have them singing your praises on the hour. This PRSA Nebraska


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Investing in Home Nebraska Health Care A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

Topics may include:

Topics may include:

Investing market • Real estate investments - tips from professionals New to investing? How start on the right foot • Investing in entrepreneurs Wealth management • Investing tips to retire comfortably Where to invest right now - experts discuss best stocks to invest in and how much

Home health care outlooks • Careers in home health care Telehealth and equipment

Issue Date: October 23 • Ad Deadline: October 15

Issue Date: October 23 • Ad Deadline: October 15

Professionals Philanthropy

in Health Care A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

& Charity

A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

Topics may include:

Topics may include:

Health care professionals adapting to current climate • Hiring health care works during the pandemic Health care degree programs at local universities Saying thanks to health care workers: What the Omaha community can do to support front line workers

The state of philanthropy & charity in the metro today Catering to younger generation of donors Fundraising during the pandemic • Grant making and charities

Issue Date: October 30 • Ad Deadline: October 22

Issue Date: October 30 • Ad Deadline: October 22

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 addresse below. Karla Steele - karla@mbj.com


Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

23

Technology A section prepared by the staff of the Midlands Business Journal

October 9, 2020

Technology industry remains robust through changing times by Gabby Christensen

Technology for remote work has been at the forefront for businesses across all sectors recently, which has kept the industry strong. Before the pandemic, Alex Lutz, service manager at Lutz Tech, said many businesses had the tools in place for staff to work remotely, but were reluctant to really embrace it.  “Now that the cat’s out of the bag, and employees have experienced working from home full time I believe the added flexibility of working from home is becoming an expectation,” Lutz said. “That said, many companies Lutz seem to be pulling back a bit, and are looking to balance this new flexibility with things like company culture and a collaborative workplace. You can even see this when you look at reports coming from the tech giants like Google, Netflix and Facebook. Google recently announced that they’re working on a ‘hybrid’ work from home model, because they still see the need to have people working together in person.” Additionally, more businesses are expressing interest in cloud technologies.  “The pandemic created a huge demand for the hardware and software needed to communicate, and work collaboratively from outside the office,” he said. “We’re still regularly getting questions about technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We’ve started doing training sessions with clients to help them use these tools more effectively.” Dr. Jack Baldwin, chairman at BHMI, said the company is active in the technical digital payments space, and right now the industry’s focus is on realtime payments — that is, payments that are transmitted from a payer to a recipient within seconds.  “Recently, the Federal Reserve has confirmed that it is creating a real-time payments network that will be available to any bank that is part of the Federal Reserve system,” Baldwin said. “This creates a brand-new payments channel that enables anyone to transmit funds to others instantly.” He noted this capability will be especially useful during the pandemic since many people are isolated and ordering goods and services online.   “Having a payment option that provides guaranteed transfers of funds and does not in-

Dr. Jack Baldwin, chairman at BHMI. volve credit or debit cards could be truly useful and resilient in the long term,” Barrett said. to many people,” he said. “Companies are focusing their budgets on Karie Barrett, creative development and technology, as it is at the heart of solutions for marketing director at QAT Global, said the them to make their way through these times need for speed is a driving force throughout the as quickly as possible. Much of their budget technology sector. focus is on digital transformation aimed at “We’re seeing many businesses focusing ensuring they are ready and able to work in an on being proactive about taking the steps they uncertain future.” need to make their organizations more agile She said geographic hiring restraints are

disappearing, opening up access to a large talent pool made up of work across the country, versus the traditional boundary around a physical office location. “There is an overall positive attitude shift towards remote work for existing staff in the U.S. and towards utilizing outsourcing and nearshoring software development to get projects done quickly at a high-value,” Barrett said. “As many companies have put a freeze on hiring and reduced employee numbers, outsourcing has become an essential strategy for getting things done.” Barrett With the cancelation of key training events worldwide, she said many companies within the industry are looking to fill the unmet need with internally developed training programs. “As we look forward to the future, a few things are becoming abundantly clear — speed is critical to both growth and daily operations, the momentum to change is at an all-time high, so now if the time to act on it, and the next ‘normal’ is uncertainty,” Barrett said. “Speed needs to become part of every company’s culture to ensure long term success.”


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

• Technology

Challenging times call for innovative solutions by Michelle Leach

Diverse technologists are transforming everything from health care to hiring, mobile payments to morale. Employee benefit management app Maxwell, which helps employees manage a work/life balance, provides a unique solution to employers. “It functions akin to a cafeteria plan,” said Adriana Cisneros Basulto, founder and CEO of work/life management benefit firm Maxwell. “Employees receive company-subsidized hours of Maxwell, which they can use on the services they choose.” For instance, employee ‘A’ might use it on errands for senior parents; employee ‘B’ might select pet transportation, and employee ‘C’ could opt for administrative virtual support. Since women are reportedly five times more likely than men to do most or all household management, Basulto said, Maxwell disproportionately and positively affects working women. The pandemic has demonstrated how deeply intertwined employee well-being and business results are, she added. “The physical, mental, emotional, financial and social well-being of employees has a deep impact on their ability to contribute at work and impact the bottom line,” she said. Until now, efforts to support employees have mostly been a “disjointed collection of benefits and perks,” Basulto said, noting Maxwell brings a customer/employee-centric, simple-to-use, whole-person experience to benefits. “Moreover, Maxwell is enabling employers to have a deeper understanding of well-being benefits usage, employee stress levels, and a clearer ROI picture,” she said. “The cherry on the top, and really the genesis

of the company, is we are helping level the playing field at work for women.” Maxwell partners with firms like Swish-

Mikuls Safranek boom, a mobile app that connects families with their network to get child care and remote learning jobs claimed. “We are a consumer app that serves families and sitter-age users,” said Swishboom co-founder Kellee Mikuls. “We have mimicked the natural process of finding a sitter, by using referrals from people you trust. We have seen the speed in which jobs are claimed get faster and faster. We are excited to create greater access to child care and shape the way employers can solve this problem for their employees.” Apps provide a “beautiful way” to connect with solutions that are niche to one’s lifestyles and needs, she noted. “We’re helping working families finding care, employers looking to provide a benefit to their employees, and give parents the grace to have a much-deserved break,” she said. “We are also giving high school- and college-aged sitters leverage their network to make money and control their schedules.”

Child care, Mikuls reinforced, is the No. 1 reason people drop out of the workforce. “As a working mom of three, it has been a constant calculation of my career versus my family,” she said. “One of the positive effects of COVID is that family life and its needs are front and center for families, and that means solutions like Swishboom will continue to be presented.” V2Verify presents Van Deun a way for clients in any space that uses the likes of PINs and challenge questions to authenticate at every point of customer interaction, be it face-to-face, web, or mobile, according to Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Development Roxana Safranek. “In the fintech space, our most prominent use case is adding a voice biometric to mobile banking apps to replace the need for passwords and double authentication texts/emails,” she said. “With the uptick in ransomware and data hacks, we’re seeing tremendous interest in businesses looking for tighter security.” COVID-19 has changed the biometric playing field. “V2verify’s voice biometrics works seamlessly when a user is wearing a mask, it’s a touchless biometric, so there’s no threat of spreading germs, and there are no privacy or profiling concerns with the technology,” she said. “Voice biometrics is emerging as the

most useable and practical solution.” Pre-pandemic, Safranek said, companies struggled to balance effective user security and a positive user experience — improving one degraded the other objective. “To complicate the problem, users are now demanding a safe germ-free authentication process that protects their privacy,” she said. “The two-headed beast just became a three-headed monster.” As the world has reimagined how to purchase goods and services without physical contact, said Simplified Payment Solutions President/owner Tyler M. Marts, new challenges have confronted the payments industry. “Although contactless payments have been around for five or six years, it is only now that it has been lifted to the forefront of our society,” Marts said. “Near Field Communication (NFC), what the consumer identifies as ‘tap to pay,’ is a very exciting development.” At present, Marts said Simplified Payment Solutions primarily serves small-to-mid-sized businesses. “Since 2015, we have been implementing a program called the Cash Discount Program, or some refer to it as ‘surcharging,’” Marts said. “This system provides business owners virtually 100% savings on their merchant processing fees.” Techtonic presents a new cost-effective way to hire that reduces risk and increases employee loyalty, according to President Heather Terenzio. “Tech companies are always talking about disruption,” she said. “The hiring process has been the same since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Source candidates, interview many of them, hire them and then hope for the best.” Techtonic is poised to expand to new cities Continued on next page.


Technology •

Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

Remote workers face additional cybersecurity threats by David Kubicek

Investing in a good firewall infrastructure helps firms protect against cyber threats when employees are working on the premises, but working remotely creates additional cybersecurity challenges. “With remote workers, since IT departments can’t control the internet connections their team members are using, they need to ensure all of their devices —

Innovative solution Continued from preceding page. and disciplines. “We currently apprentice software developers, QA engineers and DevOps in Denver and, very soon, Omaha,” she said. Techtonic is a member of the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, an Aksarben Workforce Initiative that serves companies statewide who are seeking tech workers and tech entrepreneurs. “With over 100 partners and growing, we are working to increase the number of tech workers, improve diversity, increase the number of tech startups across the state and increase social awareness around Nebraska’s technology landscape,” said President Jona Van Deun. “The most pivotal advancements in technology are currently happening around agriculture, finance and investment, health care and advanced manufacturing. While 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for most businesses, Nebraska’s tech space has shown incredible innovation with no slowdown in sight.”

including smartphones, tablets and laptops — are securely accessing only the company resources they should access,” said Todd Gengenbach, technology consulting infrastructure manager at RSM US. From a systems perspective, using multi-factor authentication (MFA), smartphone authentication apps, onetime texts and/or biometric scanners have proven over 99.9% Gengenbach effective against account compromise attacks.   IT departments should use conditional access policies to limit the number of MFA prompts to cases when a user is attempting to sign in outside of corporate provided/ approved devices or from locations off the company premises.   “From an end user perspective, they should be educated to understand the effectiveness of MFA far outweighs the inconvenience it causes,” Gengenbach said. Employees are always the first line of defense against a cyberattack. The difference when working remotely is that they need to understand the importance of technologies like virtual private networks (VPN), which essentially extend many of the firewall protections on the premise to their remote environment.   Remote workers should also not browse to links or open attachments or doc-

uments they wouldn’t access if they were on premise, and they should not access wireless networks that don’t use secure encryption or, if they do, they should use their corporate VPN. “Many organizations we help are likely to retain remote work policies even after the COVID-19 pandemic has run its course,” Gengenbach said. The pandemic has shown organizations Pohlmeier that remote workers can actually be more productive and engaged employees when they don’t have to commute to the office every day.” “One of the main challenges of cybersecurity with a remote workforce is ensuring data privacy while employees are offsite, using their home or public wi-fi instead of the company’s network,” said Brock J. Pohlmeier, an attorney with Jackson Lewis. “In addition, to the extent employers seek to implement a VPN to provide employees access to the company’s network, employers face challenges ensuring their IT infrastructure is capable of handling remote work for an entire workforce.” Employers should implement a workfrom-home arrangement consistent with their written security program to ensure that the access, transmission, and storage of confidential business and personal in-

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formation is safeguarded. Some key safeguards include permitting access only through VPN or similar connection, requiring two-factor authentication, and supplying employees with secure laptops or tablets. Employers should also provide training to help employees understand the importance of maintaining cybersecurity and the risks presented by remote work. “Employees should strictly follow their employer’s written information security program and take all proper precautions to avoid unauthorized access to confidential information, which includes avoiding public wi-fi networks and keeping screens out of the view of any unauthorized individuals,” Pohlmeier said. Employers should train employees on access, transmission and storage of confidential business and personal information while working remotely. While this training is similar to the training provided to employees working onsite, additional steps are necessary when working offsite because individuals outside of an employee’s worksite may have access to the employee’s devices while working remotely just by being in proximity to the device. Those concerns are typically not present onsite, where employees can secure their devices in locked offices or desks and outsider access to the facility is limited. “Remote work raises new cybersecurity challenges for employers, which should be carefully assessed; however, with proper policies, infrastructure, and training, employers can take steps to mitigate these risks and ensure data privacy and security is maintained,” Pohlmeier said.


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

As the pandemic drags on, companies paying for work-from-home perks beyond the basics by Ally Marotti

When Ben Meeder bought a new ride from a bicycle shop earlier this summer, his employer footed the bill. The purchase was part of a $700 stipend software company ServiceNow gave its employees to improve their well-being during the Workplace isolating and seemingly unending pandemic. ServiceNow’s stipend increased from $500 in July, right around the time it became clear to many companies that employees would remain remote until at least 2021. ServiceNow is not alone. Six months into the coronavirus pandemic and with no return to the office in sight, employers are realizing that working remotely through a global health crisis requires more than helping employees pay for a comfy office chair. They are investing in intangibles that can help with mental wellness, like exercise, online tutoring for kids, or sessions with a life coach. Not every company is pouring money into their employees’ remote work setups. In the midst of an economic downturn and an ongoing unemployment crisis, the investments are a luxury not all can afford. T-Mobile, which merged with Sprint earlier this year to create an 80,000-employee telecommunications company, offers employees five free sessions each with life coaches, personal counselors and money experts, as well as access to tutoring referrals and child care options. Use of virtual counseling sessions in 2020 increased 21 times

over 2019. “I know we have not even hit the bulk of the iceberg of what our people actually really need,” said Deeanne King, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at T-Mobile. “We learn more every day.” The perks have been part of job offer discussions for some time, said Junaid Karim, director of talent acquisition. But Karim said that during the pandemic, he’s been recommending the free counseling during conversations with his employees. “I can just tell the wear and tear of the environment that we’re in is really getting to people,” he said. “Especially since it (the pandemic) has been extended.” If any semblance of novelty around working from home remained for Payton Campbell, a performance marketing manager at Chicago-based GoHealth, it wore off when he started thinking about the year’s end. The busiest time for employees at the online health insurance marketplace is the end of year, when everyone is signing up for coverage. Campbell knew his own remote work situation just would not do. “I had set up kind of a standing desk on my girlfriend’s dresser with a stack of books. I’m 6-foot-5,” he said. “I had just kind of succumbed to the fact that this was going to be my new normal.” In June, the 3,000-employee company gave employees varying amounts of money to spend on an online shop that offered hundreds of home office equipment options. Stipend amounts were based on the employees’ tenure, with $250 going to employees who had

been there less than 18 months and $400 for those there longer. “If you wanted to go out and spend all of your money on a really high-end chair, you could do so,” said Mark Monitello, chief human resources officer. “If you wanted to get a nice chair but also get a headset and a heated floor mat because your feet are cold all day, you could do that also.” Campbell bought a desk, a standing desk riser and a chair. Now when he’s done working, he leaves his second bedroom-turned-office — filled with equipment paid for by GoHealth — and goes into his living space. “That was really big for me mentally,” Campbell said. “It allowed me to get back to that feeling of, ‘I’m waking up, I’m eating breakfast and I’m going to work,’ versus everything being one fluid motion of living and working.” To find out what perks will help employees the most, Chicago-based Maestro Health frequently surveys its roughly 400 workers, said CEO Craig Maloney. The health and benefits company has invested more than $500,000 into employee benefits during the pandemic, focusing on mental wellness. It gave employees extra days off, increased the number of personal days they can roll over to next year, and enhanced medical benefits to include an expanded mental health element. “Trust me, they’re not easy decisions, and they’re give and take,” Maloney said. “We want to understand what’s most impactful and most important to our employees, so it’s some pretty hardcore listening.”

Three big lessons parents need to teach kids about finance by Carla Fried

A recent Schwab survey reports that parents consider money management the most important skill their kids should learn — outranking the topic of drugs and alcohol abuse, healthy eating and exercise habits and safe driving. And yet many families never get around to the Financial topic in a meaningful way. T. Rowe Price reports that four in 10 parents are reluctant to discuss financial planning — even though the kids of those same surveyed parents say they are looking to their parents for guidance. Part of the problem may be imposter syndrome. Only around one in four parents say they are extremely knowledgeable about basic planning (managing expenses). No wonder 85% of parents said they would be interested in enrolling their kid in a class that teaches personal finance 101. Alas, that’s rarely on the curriculum in middle school or high school. It’s up to the parents. Drop the ball on this, and you are guiding your child into learning the hard way: from costly mistakes young adults make in their 20s, because no one took the time to teach them. Allowances can be earned for chores. Not for good behavior or good grades. Those are expected behaviors. Allowances are earned for effort beyond basic family expectations. Eventually, stretching out a teen’s allowance to once a month offers a real-world budgeting lab, where they learn how to make the money last for more than a week. Your attitude throughout every age is crucial. Upbeat and encouraging is how you motivate. Mistakes will happen. That’s called learning. If you scold or judge you are failing

your kid. Perhaps you have some money mistakes you could share? That’s going to be heard a lot more intently. Books such as “The Opposite of Spoiled” provide a smart mix of why and how to talk about money. At a minimum, these three concepts need to be imparted well before your kid heads out into the real world: 1. Opportunity cost. Every dollar spent today is a dollar you are deciding to not use for something else. Taking a moment to consider opportunity cost can be a useful pause button that deters unnecessary spending on unnecessary things: https://www.rate.com/research/news/ manage-small-spending As an adult it becomes the process that helps you spend the least amount on big-ticket items: https://www.rate.com/research/news/ boost-retirement-funds Right now it can be applied to any teen’s world. For example, a $100 pair of jeans that is on sale for $80 is not necessarily a good deal. If you don’t need the jeans, what else could you do with that $80? Save it? Invest it? Another scenario: Hold onto your smart phone for a few more years, rather than shell out more money today to upgrade. That concept might eventually help today’s 15-year-old grow into the 30-yearold who holds onto a car as long as possible to save tens of thousands of dollars: https://www. rate.com/research/news/keeping-car-years 2. What you can borrow is irrelevant. What you should borrow is all that matters. The reality of our financial ecosystem is that lenders are motivated to tell you the maximum amount you can borrow for a car or a house. But those lenders don’t have a clue (or vested interest) in helping you juggle all your financial goals. Buying the three-year-old used car will always be the

financially smart move, rather than paying up for a new car. Buying a smaller house that meets your needs, but doesn’t stretch your budget, can free up cash flow that will give you hundreds of thousands more for retirement: https://www.rate. com/research/news/richer-retirement 3. Your 20s are the best time to save for retirement. Talk about counterintuitive. This is a hard one, no doubt. But if you ever want to give your kids a huge assist on financial security, teaching the math of compound interest is the most important lesson. Every dollar tucked away in your 20s will have more time to grow than money you save in your 30s, 40s and 50s. Invest $500 a month from 22 to 32 and you will have more than $77,000 assuming a conservative 5% annualized rate of return. At that point, even if you stop saving more, but leave that nest egg growing for another 40 years it will be worth nearly $550,000 at age 72. To be clear: Over just one decade of savings, from age 22 to 32, the young adult invests $60,000 of their own money. Then at age 72 they have more than half a million dollars. Now let’s say you instead wait until age 40 to get serious about retirement, but want to land in your early 70s with the same $550,000. To pull that off you will need to save around $580 a month, for the next 32 years. Not 10 years. That works out to a total of more than $220,000 of your own money you will have to shovel into savings to land at the same end goal of $550,000. Simply because of compound interest: https://www.rate.com/research/news/ advantage-young-compound-growth ©2020 Rate.com News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

It’s paying off, Maloney said. Employee performance, productivity and retention are up. “There are little mini business cases tied to these,” he said. “A lot of our investments are repaying benefits on retention. That saves us quite a bit of money annually.” The cost of investing in employees’ well-being can add up, said John Dooney, an adviser at the Society for Human Resource Management. “Companies are also laying people off, and they may have had people on furloughs,” he said. “Though they may have employees left, as survivors, they’re not in a position to really provide extra.” Still, some third-party platforms that offer virtual services to consumers — be it online tutoring or workout classes — say they are being inundated by companies that want to buy those perks for their employees. Before the pandemic, online tutoring platform Wyzant catered mostly to individual consumers who needed a tutor for their school-aged child, or extra help prepping for the LSAT or SAT. But recently, corporations started reaching out, wanting to subsidize the online tutoring services for their employees’ families, CEO Andrew Geant said. “It’s not even historically a real part of our business,” Geant said. “Now it’s like we’re getting several (companies) a day that are reaching out.” Companies in other industries have pivoted to focus on the work-from-home crowd too. LulaFit, which manages workout centers and other amenities in commercial buildings, shifted most of its wellness programming online by late March, said founder and CEO Colleen Werner. The virtual workout classes quenched Devon Strand’s thirst for normalcy. The senior meetings and event planner for the American Hospital Association was an avid gymgoer pre-pandemic. She loved the trainers at her work gym, which LulaFit ran, and now works out with them virtually from her apartment in the Lakeview neighborhood. “It just reminds me of being in the gym before the world broke,” Strand said. “You get those similar feelings and it’s just nice to have something comforting right now.” Whether it’s virtual workout classes, new office equipment or access to counseling, workers are in vital need of employer support during the pandemic, said Alexa James, CEO of the Chicago chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. There is additional stress, and people have been thrown off their routines. “People whose identities are rooted in work — and having that distinction and that separation — I think are really lost and confused,” she said. Business leaders have an opportunity to build resilience among that population, and it can be as simple as checking in with an employee to see how they’re doing, mentally and emotionally. “Empathy allows people to get in that dark hole with you, but if you’ve never had a shared experience, it’s hard for you to find that empathy,” James said. “Now everyone is in that same place, so it’s much easier to check in.” ©2020 Chicago Tribune Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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Ethics Under Pressure Moral Courage in the Face of Ethics Adversity

Register today at EthicSpace.org

October 13th, 2020

1 Day 3 Speakers Breakout sessions ethicspace.org

Business Ethics Alliance lands on 'Ethics Under Pressure' theme for EthicSpace by Gabby Christensen

Focusing on a timely theme for its annual EthicSpace conference, the Business Ethics Alliance has landed on the topic of moral courage for the 2020 event. According to Eve McLain, director of education at Business Ethics Alliance, moral courage is defined as having consistent ethical behavior even when it is difficult, unpopular or comes at a cost. “We felt this was a great conversation to have as a community,” McLain said. “We wanted to raise awareness of what it was and also to provide practical tips and advice on how to muster it when needed.” She noted planning takes a lot of people power and figuring out how the event was going to be held was the first step.  “We have been known for over a decade of bringing the Greater Omaha business

community together to have these important moral and ethical discussions and here we are in the midst of a pandemic,” she said. “Our old way of doing it wasn’t going to work this year. We, like almost all other conferences, are going remote and virtual.” McLain said the Business Ethics Alliance also searched and secured the tools that would allow the conference to take place in a space that is safe. “The speaker lineup is great,” she said. “We have SecondCity to learn techniques to speak up, especially in uncomfortable situations. We have Don Eckles, the co-founder of Scooter's Coffee, to share a lifetime of wisdom and what mustering moral courage in the workplace looks like in action. And we have Dr. Jill Brown, professor of Management at Bentley University to discuss how moral courage is necessary to make it to the

top of one’s field ... and stay there. We also have three breakout sessions to go deeper into the conversation, including Mustering Moral Courage, When Compliance Doesn’t Quite Cover It…You Need Ethics and You’ve Seen Something Wrong…Now What?” When COVID-19 hit, McLain said businesses faced many ethical dilemmas — or situations that had two right answers but choosing either comes at a cost.  “They had to choose if they were going to close their businesses down or keep them open and there were risks associated with both,” McLain said. “They had to choose how they were going to distribute work between overworked and stressed employees, how they were going to support their employees who were trying to balance new home responsibilities and risks, how they were going to manage their account receivables and pay-

ables to be fair to the vendors they work with but still try to cover their operating expenses and so much more. They had to take moral stances even if they disagreed with others whose opinions they valued.” And then, she noted race relations came to the forefront and social justice demanded attention. “Conversations we may have avoided in the past became required as we explored the concept of systemic racism and what role companies play in the dismantling of such systems,” McLain said. “This year has been full of moral and ethical situations that require our attention. Moral courage, having consistent ethical behavior even when it is difficult, unpopular or comes at a cost is a conversation begging to be had and we’re pleased to offer the space and resources for that conversation as businesses traverse these trying times.”

Conference’s virtual format to provide space for ethics conversations without boundaries by Michelle Leach

The Business Ethics Alliance quite responsibly began planning for this year’s EthicSpace Conference as soon as the last, inaugural event was in the books in late October 2019. A year ago, the organization anticipated 550 attendees at CHI Health Center Omaha. The world had other plans. “We held out hope that the pandemic would run its course by the time October 2020 came around,” said Patrick Leahy, director, resources and development. “In early summer of this year, we foresaw that was not going to be the case.” Cancelation was out of the question after the Alliance spoke with its partners and 2019 attendees. “It was clear the value EthicSpace Conference provides in helping bring individual organizations and the entire community together,” Leahy said. “Making space for ethics conversations was needed during these turbulent times.” The organization pivoted; speakers that no longer “made sense,” given new challenges and the latest business headlines, were replaced with a more relevant lineup. “In conversations with our sponsor-partners, it was agreed that this topic of ‘moral courage’ is needed in today’s business environment and a beneficial conversation for the community to take part in,” he said. It is challenging to facilitate interaction

between presenters and audience, offline conversations, and a sense of community, but there are silver linings. “We are no longer confined to our geographic region,” he said. “For a half-day, in-person conference, it was unreasonable to expect attendees to come to Omaha from Grand Island, Scottsbluff or even Kansas City.” Within reach online, employees at locales across the country can take part. “We have been able to get speakers we may not have otherwise been able to, as their calendars have opened up,” he said, adding the nonprofit hasn’t incurred associated travel expenses. Last but not least: “There is no cap on the number of people we can accommodate,” he said. If Habitat for Humanity of Omaha Engagement and Experience Officer Kenneth Mar was asked eight months ago about virtual events, he would have said “No” to that format, decrying the lack of the relational aspect of not being there in person. “Today, apart from distancing and doing the right thing, maybe the mind set needs to change to ‘go big, go virtual or go home,” Mar said. “The maximizer in me always says, ‘How scalable can we make this?’ or ‘What is our capacity? Can we fill this place?’ You don’t have limits now. It can be as big as you can dream by going virtual — an incredible opportunity

to educate without boundaries.” Business Ethics Alliance and its programming have, by Mar’s account, expanded the boundaries of Habitat’s culture — within its actual workspace and in terms of how each team member is positioned personally. “It causes one to think of who you are as a person and how your team defines you,” he said. In fact, other than key functions such as hiring and budget, Mar said there is no more important workplace discussion than ethics. “It is how our employees identify within the neighborhoods and community that we serve,” he said. “There is nothing more important than how Habitat for Humanity of Omaha transacts our business and serves the community.” Similarly, Leahy noted how business ethics deals with how to treat others. “Many of the issues businesses are dealing with today require an acknowledgement of being part of something bigger than just ourselves or our organization’s specific mission,” he said. “This requires that we think about how our actions impact and affect others in the short and long term.” Businesses understand markets and communities, and how the actions of one have an impact on many. To this year’s most-pertinent theme,

Leahy said this: “To address tough problems requires tough decisions. Moral courage helps us muster the will to take the stand we feel called to, endure the hardship and face the danger associated with not making all sides happy.” Determine values — take internal and external stances aligned with what you aspire to be. “To do that consistently, you need to strengthen your own and your organization’s ‘moral courage muscles,’” Leahy said. Tools acquired at EthicSpace, he added, support attendees’ work the next day, week, and year — moral courage represents a lifelong skill. “Businesses who send their people to attend are investing in their workforce in ways that will create a ‘speak-up culture’ and contribute to the company’s long-term vitality,” Leahy said. When Habitat employees and supporters are posed the question of moral courage, Mar said the notion of selling hope — not just building homes — rings true. “There is nothing more important than what a home offers a family,” he said. “The opportunity, the future, all the dreams a parent has for the family, that is hope.” Moral courage, he noted, is the mindset that what Habitat does is right for the families and neighborhoods they serve — not just the organization.


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal • EthicSpace

Moral courage plays important role in the workplace by David Kubicek

In his keynote speech, Don Eckles — who co-founded Scooter’s Coffee with his wife Linda — will talk about moral courage, which he defined as doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, regardless of financial or social consequences. “You’re setting an example to lots of other folks that maybe you don’t think are even watching,” he said. “Right now, the world needs moral leadership, and I’m not just talking about political leadership. I’m talking about how we’ve got to stand up as leaders. We’ve got to be able to work things out. We’re not going about it the right Eckles way. Right now we’re living in a society of cancel culture where anyone who doesn’t see things your way is your enemy. We’ve got to get away from that. Moral leadership has to step up and say we’re not going to cave to whatever is the thought of the day. Right is right and wrong is wrong, and we’ve got to find a way to work together on things.” Speaker/sponsor Edson “Ted” Bridges III, chief executive officer and chief investment officer at Bridges Trust, will introduce Eckles. The firm will also have a three-minute transition video in which Bridges and four vice presidents at the company — Nick Wilwerding, Megan McMurry, Jenny Strako and Mike App — will speak about what moral courage means at Bridges Trust. “Moral courage in leadership is under-

standing your values and having the courage of your convictions to employ those every day — whether it’s easy to do, but more significantly when it’s challenging to do,” Bridges said. “In business, moral courage isn’t just important; it’s imperative. In business, we’re often faced with difficult decisions. If we don’t adhere to our values’ discipline by always utilizing moral courage in our decision-making process, we’ll lose our stakeholders’ trust. Employing moral courage in business is foundational to developing successful relationships and growing and maintaining trust.”  In the investment management business, the application Bridges of moral courage has a strongly positive long-term financial impact, according to Bridges. “It is imperative that we, as fiduciaries, have the courage to take what we know to be the correct long-term stand and make decisions on behalf of our clients with confidence and clearly communicate the rationale underlying those decisions to our clients,” he said.  Sometimes the correct long-term approach may not be clearly evident to Bridges Trust’s clients even though it’s clearly evident to clients, advisers. “Occasionally we have to have difficult conversations with our clients and lead them in a direction that may not be comfortable for them, but if we know that it is the right direction, from a values-based standpoint, from an ethical perspective, and from an analytical

standpoint, then it is our responsibility to lead our clients in an appropriate direction,” Bridges said. In his keynote address, Eckles will give some examples of times in his business life when he was a little slower to react and the consequences that ensued.  “Sometimes you suspect something but you don’t know for sure,” he said. “Sometimes I’ve found that hesitating in making a decision has cost me something, not always

nancial officer for Methodist Health System, said while companies cannot take emotion out of decision-making during stressful times, but should take steps to minimize its effect in order to reach a sound decision. “I don’t think a person can completely disassociate from the emotions of a decision,”

ment the algorithm, either clergy or social workers would be involved during the discussion and serve as support for the team after a decision was made,” he said. David Mayer, executive vice president of Dvorak Law Group, said ethical decision-makers are made, not born. He said individual companies have a big role to play in the ethical savvy, or lack thereof, of their workforce. “I think it takes a mentoring strategy,” he said. “A lot of times, what we do is make sure that young, inexperienced attorneys are included on phone calls where it might be Mayer a very challenging sort of situation; where the client and the senior attorney are having difficult discussions about coming up with a decision and how we get there.” Mayer said in mentoring employees, don’t overlook the power of collective thought and influence on eliminating individual bias and ethical blind spots. “Diversity of thought usually gets you to a better decision,” he said. “If it’s a big problem, have more than one person in the meeting. The more diversity of thought you have, the more likely you’re going to get to the right answer, not only from an ethical perspective but also the right answer for the client from a practical, pragmatic perspective.”

Practicing moral courage can mean reading between the lines to make the right decision by Gabby Christensen

Local business leaders say moral courage should be used in every situation, even when there are already rules and regulations in place. Samantha Mosser, president at Access Bank, said moral courage during times of uncertainty is especially crucial.  “We are all living in a unique environment that none of us has navigated before; it’s critical Mosser to make decisions to keep moving forward even though you might have to change course along the way as new information becomes available,” Mosser said. “Business leaders across industries have had to make tough decisions about how to operate their business and serve clients while keeping everyone safe and healthy.”

Periods of stress, like COVID, can blur ethical thinking by Dwain Hebda

Experts say periods of turmoil and stress, such as with coronavirus, can take a toll on a company’s ethical decision-making. Company execs must therefore implement specific strategies to evaluate issues dispassionately. “During times of stress, ethical issues become more murky, because emotion can be overwhelming,” said Dan Rehal, president of Vision2Voice Healthcare Communications. “That can affect our judgement, which is why it’s important to practice scenarios when we’re clear-headed and less passionate about a topic. The more we can remove emotion from any dilemma, the better our outcome will be.” Rehal said as the pandemic continues to affect every part of a business, from employee wellness to day-to-day operations, thorny questions have arisen in many companies. “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented time for ethical questions in business,” he said. “The biggest question for us has been around employee engagement. There’s no doubt our business moves forward more effectively when teams are aligned in the same office space. After months of supporting our employees from home, some still have concerns over returning, due to a perceived risk or need to manage family. “Ultimately, as the science has unfolded and the economy has opened back up, do we continue to make exceptions for some when others are making an outstanding effort to get back to business? At what point will this hurt the business more than deliver aid to the individual?” Jeff Francis, vice president and chief fi-

Rehal Francis he said. “However, those emotions can be held in check by thoughtfully assessing all of the alternatives, discussing with others and allowing time between discussion and action. “We were fortunate to avoid the most challenging question that could occur during a pandemic, that being, should someone not receive the optimal care due to resource constraints. A group of clinicians and non-clinicians worked through the tough discussion to develop an algorithm for just a scenario.” Francis said a key element of this process comes on the back end, providing strategic, specialized expertise to help manage the emotional consequences of making the tough call. “If such a meeting had to occur to imple-

financially, but more likely in terms of losing people who were watching to see if [I] really live by these core values that [I] talk about.” Eckles will also talk about times when he noticed some really good things that have happened because of making the right decision or because someone exhibited moral courage. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to speak to people about core values and business ethics, and to remind folks that that’s always the way to go, no matter what,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to do the right thing and work together.”

According to Mosser, moral courage can be seen daily, if one looks for it. “It’s the landlord forgiving rent for tenants who desperately need help to stay in business, it’s bankers providing PPP loans and payment deferrals on loans, it’s those donating money they cannot afford to help those who are even more helpless,” she said. “COVID has created trying times, but it’s also shown the strength of people.” Rohe C o n n i e Ry a n , CEO at Streck, said leading a company that has people from all walks of life who have had diverse experiences that have shaped who they are and what they bring with them to work every day doesn’t come with a rule book.  “There are many times when what is right isn’t always obvious,” Ryan said. “Rules and processes are black and white. Judgment, doing the right thing, putting your customers first, believing in your employees and trusting them do what is right are all part of the fabric of moral courage. We continue to live in a world where people are not treated equally or fairly based on the color of their skin, their sex, or their income and many other biases. It takes moral courage to read between the lines and let that guide how we behave toward others. Rules and regulations are easy to write and follow. Doing what is right by everyone we come in contact with isn’t always so obvious.” She said individuals need to evaluate their own behavior, biases and agendas and make an honest effort to remove whatever clouds how they see and treat others. Nick Rohe, vice president at Thrasher Group, said there are too many individuals and companies who may not show moral courage because they are concerned with the repercussions that may come with it.  “Some rules and regulations can be complicated, resulting in individuals and companies not understanding them,” Rohe said. “As a result, this can lead to no action at times.” At Thrasher Group, he said a simplistic approach is taken.  “We teach our employees to keep our company values at the forefront of their minds when making decisions and taking action,” Rohe said. “Taking this simple approach makes it easier for our employees to show moral courage through their everyday activities in how they carry themselves and acting if necessary when they see something Continued on next page.


EthicSpace •

Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

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Conference helps set young professionals on ethical path for career, life success by Jasmine Heimgartner

At some point in time, everyone will face an ethical dilemma in their professional and personal lives. The ability to make the right choice, even when it is the more difficult one, isn’t always easy. While people of all ages and stages of their career benefit from the conference, young professionals in the early stages of their careers can gain the insight needed to set them on the right path for success. “It is especially important for young people as we are creating the next generation of the workforce,” said Katie Wilson, account manager at Firespring. “Ethics goes beyond being nice. It plays a big part in building relationships. Nebraska and the Midwest are small, so always displaying that ethical leadership sets you up down the road for a good reputation. You never know who is going to be connected to who. Doing everything you can to make those ethical decisions and knowing that you are representing the brand that hired you enables you to make good connections, helping you to elevate your business and reputation.” Ethics plays an underlying role in people’s lives, but it often goes under the radar. This conference and other similar opportunities bring it to light, providing guidance as to what goes into making decisions and the long-term effects of them. “The things we learn in ethics programs are viable for use in both personal life and careers,” said John DeBoer, retired former exec at Midwest Laboratories and leader of The Omaha Way’s Seasoned Leaders. “It is such a broad area that virtually anything could come up. There are so many things in your personal life as you interact with other individuals and organizations. Theoretically, many things you make decisions on could become an ethical problem depending on how you make your decision.” With a new generation of emerging leaders waiting in the wings, having those dialogues now is essential for the continued success of any company. “When emerging leaders take the helm, we want them to be comfortable with making tough decisions,” said Joe Woster, strategic insights analyst at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska, and chair of The Omaha Way Emerging Leaders. “Dialogue is very important. A lot of us probably go through fairly similar experiences, even if they look different on the face. These types of events and programs provide a safe space to discuss and learn from each other. The world can throw you a lot of curves, so you want to

The right decision Continued from preceding page. that goes against these values.” He emphasized that leading with moral courage is owed to employees. “We owe it to them to create a culture based around our company values but, more importantly, act if they are not being lived out,” Rohe said. “Also, as leaders, we can set an example for our employees, and if we show moral courage, they will as well. This creates a ripple effect in creating the type of company culture we want and has an impact outside of work.  If we lead with moral courage at work, we will do this outside of work, which will positively affect our families, neighborhoods and communities.”

be an environment in which you are used to talking about that stuff. You want to be proud of your actions, but there aren’t always clear answers.” This year’s theme of moral courage is especially beneficial in times of change and facing new challenges. “You don’t really know that you need moral courage until DeBoer you are in a situation where you need it,” Wilson said. “There are ethical situations all around us. The easiest thing to do isn’t always the right thing. This conference is great for anyone who has faced

these situations and wants to better be able to handle it. They will be giving real-life examples to put it into a framework along with tools and techniques that makes it easier to take back to life and work.” Attending the event also has a networking component. “We ultimately want to attract people who care about doing Woster the right thing and learn about other people’s values, the world and how it works,” Woster said. “This event allows to meet with other emerging leaders with shared interests. This year, there will

be a more casual event later this month for emerging leaders to come together on their own for discussions with trustees.” Ultimately, any training and learning opportunity from top-notch speakers and leaders provides great takeaways for many life experiences. “It is a worthwhile situation to have the knowledge and tools to face an ethical situation as you hit the ground running as a new worker or even during an interview when asked how you would handle situations,” DeBoer said. “The idea is to instill in the people involved the ability to discuss the different options so as a group they can come up with the best ethical solutions — teaching people to share thoughts openly without criticism so everyone can evaluate those thoughts and come up with an answer to a problem.”

AGENDA 11:00 AM

Event begins

11:30 AM

Second City Works

12:45 PM

Moral Courage in Leadership: Dr. Jill Brown

1:45 PM

Breakout Sessions

2:45 PM

Ethics & Coffee: A Conversation with Don Eckles & Dr. Bev Kracher

4:00 PM

Event concludes

Join us for mindful and informative conversations about ethics under pressure! Register by Oct. 9 at EthicSpace.org.


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal • EthicSpace

BUSINESS ETHICS

ALLIANCE ®

ETHICS UNDER PRESSURE:

Jill Brown Professor of Management at Bentley University

Moral Courage in the Face of Ethical Adversity

Tuesday, October 13

C

M

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

The Business Ethics Alliance knows the costs of having moral courage. Your actions and decisions impact your employees, community, customers, vendors,

Don Eckles Scooter’s Coffee Founder

shareholders…We understand there is so much to balance and so much at stake.

Join the Alliance for the virtual annual conference exploring Ethics Under Pressuring.

Purchase your ticket at

EthicSpace.org Speaker Sponsors

The Second City Works

Trust Sponsors


Midlands Business Journal • OCTOBER 9, 2020 •

31

In the Spotlight Paid Content

MANUFACTURING

FINANCE

LEGAL SERVICES

TECHNOLOGY

Named

Added

Hired

Recognized

Stephen G. Kaniewski

Brad Starken

Jonathon H. Latka

Zach Potter

Board Member

Financial Advisor

Associate Attorney

The National Association of Manufacturers

Miller Financial Group

Fraser Stryker

40 Influencers Under Forty

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced that Stephen G. Kaniewski, President and Chief Executive Office, Valmont Industries Inc. has been named to the NAM Board of Directors. Kaniewski will join the NAM Board to bolster the association’s leadership in policy advocacy, workforce solutions, legal action, operational excellence and news and insights. He will help the industry advance an agenda that promotes growth and prosperity for all Americans. Founded in 1895, NAM is the largest industrial trade association in the U.S. with more than 14,000 members. NAM has become a “one-stop shop” for manufacturers, telling the story of manufacturers and equipping manufacturers with invaluable resources through news and insight channels and partnerships with the Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Institute. “I am honored to be a part of the NAM Board and continue to advocate for policies that will ensure our continued growth and success as manufactures,” said Kaniewski. “We have a strong platform to help Washington, D.C. understand how their policies affect the more than 12 million men and women employed in manufacturing. I look forward to sharing my experience and advancing the strong efforts of NAM to benefit all manufactures who are keeping the promise to deliver for our people as manufacturing leads out country out of this pandemic.” Valmont is a global leader, designing and manufacturing engineered products that support global infrastructure development and agricultural productivity.

Brad Starken has joined Miller Financial Group as a financial advisor in their Bellevue office. Brad brings over nine years of experience in the financial field, with emphasis in banking, financial planning, and annuities. He graduated from Wayne State, where he obtained a Finance Degree. He carries his Series 7, Series 66 securities registrations, along with his life and health licenses.

ENGINEERING Appointed

David Carey, PE, LC Principal DLR Group

DLR Group has appointed David Carey, PE, to Principal. He is an electrical engineer specializing in lighting design. David’s experience includes K-12 education, sports, and workplace facilities. Some of his most notable projects are the Madonna Rehabilitation Center, John Breslow Ice Hockey Arena, and Beveridge Magnet Middle School.

Submit your company’s employee announcements to Spotlight@mbj.com

Jonathon H. Latka has joined Fraser Stryker as an associate attorney in their litigation, labor and employment, and business/corporate law practice areas. Mr. Latka holds a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law and received a B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Jonathon received the CALI Excellence for the Future award in six law school classes. He is admitted to practice in Nebraska.

Commercial Integrator Magazine

Zach Potter, Director of Sales at CCS Presentation Systems, was recognized by Commercial Integrator Magazine in their Class of 2020 “40 Influencers Under Forty.” Commercial Integrator recognized Zach in their collection of young superstars in Audio Video and Internet Technology who are making a difference for their companies and across the integration industry. Ed Pullen, President of CCS, states: “This is a great honor bestowed upon Zach. Zach is recognized in a group of individuals that represent the “best of the best” across the audio video integration industry. We are very proud of Zach and his contributions to not only CCS Presentation Systems, but to our entire industry.”


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• OCTOBER 9, 2020 • Midlands Business Journal

Profile for Midlands Business Journal

Midlands Business Journal October 9, 2020 Vol. 46 No. 41 issue  

The Midlands Business Journal is a weekly news publication based in Omaha, Nebraska featuring in-depth business coverage of the Greater Omah...

Midlands Business Journal October 9, 2020 Vol. 46 No. 41 issue  

The Midlands Business Journal is a weekly news publication based in Omaha, Nebraska featuring in-depth business coverage of the Greater Omah...

Profile for mbj1