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ALLAN & dianne AND JOHN & wende... The Kotoucs, like the Loziers, are committed to supporting the community. Both have served on numerous community boards and organizations as a couple and independently, and under their leadership, the bank maintains a long history of nonprofit service and community involvement.
the loziers and the Kotoucs Know they’ve all been friends for decades and that the two men had become friends well before the couples were married. but they had to do a little calculating to figure out what year it was when allan lozier and John Kotouc were first introduced when serving together on the board of directors for bellevue college (now bellevue university). lozier finally guessed that 1976 or 1977 was probably that auspicious year.
a giving way of life Residents of the Omaha metro area would be hard-pressed to find any nonprofit or community organization that hasn’t benefited at some point by either couple personally or through their businesses or foundation. A very small sampling would include ABIDE Omaha, Bellevue University, College of Saint Mary, Creighton Prep High School, Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Heartland Family Service, Project Harmony, Empowerment Network, Family Housing Advisory Services, Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., Hope Center for Kids, , Make-A-Wish, Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Omaha Conservatory of Music, Omaha Gives!, Salvation Army, Stephen Center, STEP-UP Omaha!, University of Nebraska Foundation, various churches and faith-based organizations, the Women’s Center for Advancement, and the Women’s Fund.
“That goes back a long time,” Lozier said. “40 years ago?” said Wende Kotouc, John Kotouc’s wife. The two couples converse in the manner one would expect from an easy and longstanding friendship. But the Loziers and Kotoucs are not only good friends, they’re respected leaders who have collectively and individually made an impressive mark on the community.
allan and dianne lozier Allan Lozier began working at age 14 for his family’s small business that started out as a garage-based refrigerator repair service and eventually became Lozier Corporation, the largest manufacturer of store fixture systems in the U.S. The company is still headquartered in Omaha, and Lozier has served as president or chairman of the board since 1959, starting when he was only 26 years old. Dianne Seeman Lozier, who married Allan in 1991, is corporate counsel for the Lozier Corporation today and was formerly associate general counsel and vice president of quality and risk management for Health One Corporation in her native Minneapolis. The Loziers hail from different cities but with similar backgrounds, and their common interests are evident in their individual histories of community involvement and the shared work they do through the Lozier Foundation. Founded in 1986, the foundation they fund focuses on education, social services and issues involving women and children with an emphasis on the inner city and underrepresented populations. The Loziers have also supported a wide range of nonprofits and community organizations both together and separately.
Their giving activities range from overseeing or coordinating large corporate campaigns and supporting coalitions like United Way and Omaha Gives! to targeted efforts like contributing to causes close to an individual employee or customer. They’ve all given volunteer hours and served on boards and in advisory roles to various organizations. John Kotouc said that, just like banking is in his DNA, giving is in his blood. “It has been a way of life that has been part of my family; I’m following in the footsteps of some very generous people—my grandfather (Otto), my father and mother (Otto and Mildred)—and we always believed that it was important for others to benefit from any of our successes,” Kotouc said. “And Allan and Dianne have also been extraordinary mentors and partners in this regard.” For Allan Lozier, his family’s giving tradition also followed business success, but he was around to witness the slim earliest years.
John and wende Kotouc John and Wende Kotouc also are from different communities and career paths. Wende Kotouc’s work history includes management positions with McDonald’s Corporation and an executive officer role for a global nonprofit called Willow Creek Association; both companies are in Illinois. John Kotouc is a fourth-generation Nebraskan, originally from the Humboldt area, whose forefathers were among the founders of American National Bank. John and Wende Kotouc serve as the bank’s executive co-chairmen today, but the company’s origins date back to 1856 with family ties beginning in 1909. American National Bank now has 30 locations in Nebraska and Iowa along with seven locations operating under the Western Bank name in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, and services in Kansas and Texas. Allan Lozier and John Kotouc joined together in co-ownership of American National Bank in 1984.
“It began with survival. Everybody that I knew in my dad’s family was a small-business owner. They were always struggling, my granddad and both of my dad’s two brothers. Once you get past the struggle, then you can look at other things. But at the beginning, you pay the loans, pay the bills and so on,” he said. “We fairly quickly got by that, and then we started looking at what we owed the community. To my way of thinking, there were two things we owed the community. One was to leave it better than we found it. And two was to provide jobs. That’s a very hard balancing act.” The company had 25 workers when it began manufacturing store fixtures more than 60 years ago. Today, Lozier Corporation employs more than 2,200.
Published on Feb 14, 2018
Published on Feb 14, 2018
metroMAGAZINE/mQUARTERLY presents metroMAGAZINE/mQUARTERLY’s SPRING 2018 issue online now! metroMAGAZINE/mQUARTERLY is published quarterly b...