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Sunday, June 13, 2010 4B

Schnitkers on stage at Chanticleer MIKE BROWNLEE Staff Writer mike.brownlee@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5732

They’re the Barrymores of the Bluffs, the Redgraves of southwest Iowa. Or just a family that enjoys community theater. The Schnitker family of Council Bluffs boasts six children involved in productions at the Chanticleer Theater in one way or another, along with parents who help out where needed. Rachael Schnitker, 18, the daughter of Kim and Roger Schnitker, got the family started, garnering a small role in the Chanticleer’s 2007 production of “The King and I.” “A friend of mine had been doing Chanticleer and suggested I audition,” Rachael said. “I love to sing and dance and perform and I try to do it as much as I can. I did everything I could to get into more shows.” From there big sister roped in her siblings, with brothers Kyle, 15, and Zach, 13, along with sisters Audrey, 11, and Molly, 9, joining in on the production of “The Music Man.” Austin, 16, was also roped into the fray, but he’s a behindthe-scenes type, his mother said, working on the tech, lighting and sound side. The siblings attend the children’s workshop each year. At least one Schnitker child has been a part of more than seven Chanticleer productions. Kim said the original impetus for encouraging her kids to get involved was because she homeschools her children. “We saw this initially as a way to incorporate theater and drama like you would have in a traditional school setting into our home-schooling. That was initially why we got involved,”

Staff photo/Cindy Christensen

Jimmy Tang, left, and Bill Gao, along with Gao’s sister Jean Gao and brother Randy Gao own Taste of China and China Wok in Council Bluffs as well as Wasabi Sushi in Omaha.

Submitted photo

Members of the cast of “Annie” at the Chanticleer Theater include, from left to right, front row, Molly Schnitker and Jacob Umphreys. Middle row, Caroline Morse, Audrey Schnitker and Emily Umphreys. Back row, Tim Umphreys, Rachael Schnitker and Zach Schnitker.

TIM ROHWER Staff Writer

Kim said. “Then you catch the bug when you get into theater.” Kim said the experience has been great for her children. “It’s been wonderful. They’re working not just with other children but also with adults in these plays – some very professional actors,” she said. “There’s a lot of mentoring going on. It has become like a family. We miss it when we have a break. They’ve gained so much confidence from this and also we’ve gained a lot of friends.” Rachael has progressed in the Chanticleer community, including doing choreography work for the children’s theater workshop and plans to assist in the choreography of the upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Rachael has also begun to garner accolades for her work. She won an Omaha Theater

Arts Guild award for outstanding performance by a young actress for her role as Peggy in “The Taffetas.” The aspiring performer said she’s sure the future holds more performances but isn’t sure where they will take her. Rachael plans to continue taking voice, guitar and piano lessons. She also will compete in talent shows, including plans to audition for American Idol. Her ideal role at the moment, she said, is to be a Disney princess in the shows they do at Disney World. “That’s my big goal right now, but I’d be perfectly content doing shows around here,” Rachael said. “As long as I’m out there performing for people.” Mom and Dad get in on the act as well. Roger’s work at the theater includes working the concession stand, ushering

and working in the green room with children during performances. “He’s also a chauffer,” Kim said with a laugh. “He’s in the background but very involved.” Kim helps out where needed, including playing a bit role in the theater’s production of “Annie Warbucks.” The togetherness aspect of the theater is another thing Kim said she enjoys. Not only is the whole Schnitker clan involved, but they’ve also joined the Chanticleer family. “We love community theater because it is just that – a community. We see people we act with at the grocery store, around town. It’s great,” Kim said. “And everyone is so friendly, helpful and supportive at the Chanticleer. It’s so much fun and it gives so much back to the community.”

McGinns: A history of practicing law in C.B. CHAD NATION Staff Writer cnation@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5738

For almost 100 years, the law offices of McGinn, McGinn, Springer and Noethe have called downtown Council Bluffs home. While that will change later this year, the McGinn family said the service the law office has provided since 1914 will remain the same. Brothers Ed and Joe McGinn are the second generation of McGinn attorneys in Council Bluffs and Joe McGinn’s son, Bill, represents the third generation. Albert McGinn started the firm in 1914 after graduating from Georgetown University. Joe said the first office stood in the Merriam block, where City Hall is now located. “He had two rooms, one for the office, and the other he lived in,” Ed McGinn said. “Our feet have been planted here ever since.” Albert was joined in the firm by his wife, Kathleen, in 1938, after she passed the Iowa Bar exam without attending law school. “My father saw how intelligent she was, and he instructed her on how to take the bar exam,” Joe McGinn said. Not only did Kathleen not attend law school, but she was also raising nine children at the same time she was studying to become an attorney, and a 10th

Family brings taste of China to Bluffs

Staff photo/Chad Nation

Bill McGinn, Ed McGinn and Joe McGinn look over “the green book,” a history of their family. A member of the McGinn family has practiced law in Council Bluffs since 1914. child was on the way. While she wasn’t the first female attorney in the city, Bill McGinn said she was the first to make partner at a law firm. Ed joined the firm in 1952 and Joe in 1957 after serving in the Korean War. Joe’s son, Dan McGinn, who now works in the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office, joined the business in 1986, and Bill McGinn joined in 1987. Over the years, Ed said the firm has been in a number of locations, from South Main to

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the Council Bluffs Savings Bank to People’s National Bank and their current location at 25 Main Place. Another move will take place later this year, and for the first time, the McGinn firm will not be downtown. “We have moved seven times and it has never been more than a couple of blocks,” Bill McGinn said. “But around Sept. 1, we will move to 20 N. 16th St.” While the location of the firm will change, the service will not.

“When I first started working at the office, before I went to law school, the first people I was introduced to at the courthouse were a judge and a janitor,” Bill said. “I was told, ‘treat these people the same and you’ll be alright.’ “We treat everyone the way we want to be treated, and that’s part of the reason clients walk away satisfied.” While technology improves, Joe said the basics still apply, and nothing can beat a face-toface conversation. “Returning telephone calls is a critical part of the process,” he added. Working with family members can be difficult for some, but the McGinns said it has never been a problem for them. “To everyone’s credit, there has never been any serious disputes ever,” Ed McGinn said. “We have discussion, and if you are out voted, you move on.” Ed said the ability to adapt to a variety of opinions could come from the fact that he and Joe were two in a family of 10 children. “We were very fortunate,” Ed said. “With 10 kids you learn to share and accept responsibility, and I think that just carried on through.”

timothy.rohwer@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5752

Folks in Council Bluffs are enjoying an ever-growing taste of China. There’s the Taste of China, 30 Pearl St. Also on the selective menu are China Buffet, 1702 W. Broadway and the recently opened China Wok, 2412 W. Broadway. And, they’re all run by the same family. Jean Gao and her husband, Jimmy Tang, own Taste of China, while her brother, Bill Gao, owns China Buffet and brother, Randy Gao, owns China Wok. Recently, Jean and Bill sat down for a chat at Randy’s establishment. They were there working. “Randy is in New York City ordering new equipment,” Bill said. “We help each other.” Jean said her husband and his sister came to Council Bluffs in 1994 from New York City. “There were not too many (Chinese) restaurants here,” she said. They opened Taste of China in January 1995. “We’re 15 years old, and it has been good,” Jean said. Her husband’s sister, Lisa Tang, has since moved to Kansas City, Mo. where she has opened a Taste of China restaurant. China Buffet opened in 2001, Bill said, and has achieved a loyal following. “About 90 percent of our business is mostly regular customers.” The newest dining option this family is providing is China Wok, which opened late last December along West Broadway near Thomas Jefferson High School. Randy leases the site from Bill, who bought it in 2008. It had once been the home of Kentucky Fried Chicken. “It took three months to redo the kitchen, and we put on a new roof, new paint on the outside, new ceiling, a lot of updates,” Randy said earlier this year. Like the two other restaurants, China Wok features a wide variety of appetizers, soups, fried rice, chow mein or chop suey, egg foo young, noodles, pork, chicken, beef, seafood and much more. “My staff is very friendly and makes sure our food is fresh,” said Randy, who came to Council Bluffs from New York City in 1997. “This is going to be a busy section of the city.” Randy is also planning to start a Japanese restaurant in Omaha, according to Bill. A Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce official expressed pleasure that the Gao family is helping to continue redevelopment on that portion of Broadway. “The signs are pointing positive, the ball is rolling,” said Greg Halverson, vice president for economic development. The Gaos feel they have a much bigger family than just themselves. “We’ve made lots of friends,” Jean said. “They are kind of our family.” “I call Council Bluffs home,” Bill added.

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5B Sunday, June 13, 2010

Powells are business partners TIM JOHNSON Staff Writer tjohnson@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5750

Staff photo/Cindy Christensen

Robert Gutha performs a micro current, which is similar to acupuncture, on Arnee Shannon, a patient of more than 10 years, as Dr. Deanna Rogge looks on.

When guys set career goals, they usually don’t imagine themselves being in business with their moms; but Ryan Powell has found that his mother, Deb Powell, makes a good business partner. The Powells work as a team at NP Dodge Real Estate. They talk at least weekly about who’s going to follow up on leads and who’s responsible for each client, Deb said. “Some appointments we go on together, some appointments we go separately,� she said. Each member of the team has contacts and acquaintances in the community, Ryan said. “She’s got people she’s known for years that help our business, and I’ve got people I’ve known for years that bring us business,� he said. “We work strictly as a team. It’s nice for us because, if one of us is tied up, the other person can go.� “I really respect Ryan,� Deb said, “and I believe he respects what I do – or he wouldn’t be here. People have said they can rely on the same level of service from either one of us, so that tells me� he is doing a good job. “He’s a great partner to have.� Said Ryan, “I think we’re both pretty well-rounded, but I’m more technology and she’s more vocal, I guess. Coming from IT helped. I do a lot of the stuff that has to do with the technology. She gives out nice handwritten letters and phone calls and putting letters together. I like to think, after six years, I’m pretty good at what I do; but I always feel I’m learning something from her every day.� People have commented on Ryan calling his mother “Deb� during work, Ryan said. “I never call her ‘Mom’ in the office,� he said. “I never call her ‘Mom’ with a client. We try to separate (their personal and professional relationships) and keep it professional at the office.�

Staff photo/Tim Johnson

Deb and Ryan Powell are a mother-son team at NP Dodge Real Estate. Both Powells have lived in Council Bluffs most of their lives and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. Deb’s first career was as a nurse. She was an RN from 1974 to 1989, working stints in the emergency department and psychiatric area. After attending training classes, she became a licensed, active broker in 1989. She started at NP Dodge, then managed branch offices in Council Bluffs and Omaha’s Old Market for CBS Home for five-and-a-half years before returning to NP Dodge last year. “I chose nursing right out of high school; and, as I matured, I decided I wanted to try something different,� she said. “I still wanted to interact and work with people. The transition to real estate felt real natural, because it was still taking care of people. I was in my early 30s and, if I was going to change, it was a good time to do it. Because this is a relational business, it fits really well with our personalities.� Ryan was an information technology manager for about five years before joining her in the business in 2004, he said. “I got into it because I ate, breathed

and slept real estate,� he said. “Since the time I was 15 or 13 or so, I helped her with mailings and – that was just something we did was to help her with her business. Eventually, I just saw it was a good time to put those skills to work, so I went to work with her. Then I got into selling part-time and realized you can’t do this part time, you have to jump into it full-time. So I went full time. “It was a business that suited me because of our personalities. I’ve always enjoyed working with people, and being the IT guy sitting at a desk all day wasn’t really using my full potential. This was something where I could set my own hours and work with people and work with Deb. “I really enjoy getting out in the public and helping people meet their needs,� Ryan said. “Our whole business philosophy is helping people to succeed in realizing their dreams.� The team’s stated mission, said Deb, is “To impact and improve the lives of others.� “If you base every day on those goals, every day is rewarding,� she said.

Good health a family affair for Rogge, Gutha Sandau Brothers sign on for long term TIM JOHNSON

DENNIS FRIEND Staff Writer dennis.friend@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5746

Deanna Rogge and Robert Gutha have been at Broadway Chiropractic since the fall of 2004. She’s a chiropractor who also performs acupuncture. He’s a massage therapist and, he jokes, “chief cook and bottle washer.� “We were working together and we found we had a lot in common. It evolved,� she said. They were married in 2007, and continue to work together. As far as they’re concerned, the combination of business relationship and personal relationship has enhanced what they do. A chiropractor works on the skeletal structure, adjusting the spine and extremities, and tries to identify and correct misalignments of the vertebrae, since physical problems and symptoms may appear because of spinal misalignment. A massage therapist works with the muscles attached to the skeletal structure. “We do complementary things, but not the same things,� Rogge said. They see a lot of advantages to working together, and admit to only a few issues. “Robert’s very prompt, and I’m not a morning person,� Rogge said, prompting Gutha to joke that “our clocks don’t quite jive.� They both agree that Rogge is more detail-oriented, while Gutha might be more inclined to skip details for later while trying to resolve immediate issues. “I get fired about three times a week,� he joked, and she added, “If I’m upset, he can’t get away. I’m a picky person.� All kidding aside, they said, they function well together. “We both want the best for the patient,� Gutha said, and their different approaches offer the client advantages. “She may get technical dur-

ing explanations. I like to break it down for a patient so even I can understand it,� he said, and she concurred. “He helps with spinal screening at Ladies’ Night Out or during shows at the MidAmerica Center or the Qwest Center. I originally was leery about having a massage therapist in the office, but I’ve seen the benefits,� she said. Rogge has been the owner of Broadway Chiropractic Clinic, 103 North Ave., No. 4, since 1983, and Gutha is the first male massage therapist she had ever hired. Working together does not mean they are constantly bumping into each other, however. “Often, we’re too busy to spend much time together. Actually, we have very little time to sit and chat. After work, we can talk,� Rogge said. “If a day slows down, we might talk about what we’ll do afterwards,� Gutha said, and they may brainstorm on client cases. Besides massage therapy, Gutha is trained in electro acupressure, a form of acupuncture that uses electrical current instead of needles. He also may do physiotherapy. Rogge, besides chiropractic adjustments, offers nutritional analysis and can do bloodwork. Chiropractors can do many of the things medical doctors can, Rogge said. “We can order MRIs for patients. We can order all the tests medical doctors can order. We have comparable training to a medical doctor, except we don’t do the drugs and the surgery, because we emphasize the drug-free healing. We’re very good in diagnosis. We’re not going to get results unless we find the cause of the problem.� Broadway Chiropractic Clinic has become even more family-centric in recent years. Rogge said her 16-year-old son will man the front desk from time to time and “the 10-yearold son shreds paper and empties trash.�

Staff Writer tjohnson@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5750

Sandau Brothers Sign Co. is celebrating its 25th anniversary in July. The business at 1627 Ninth Ave. was founded July 16, 1985, by Roger Sandau and his brother, Jake, and is now operated by Sandau and his wife, Chris. “My husband worked for a sign company in South Carolina and worked there four or five years and decided he wanted to get out on his own,� Chris said. “He decided to move back home, and his brother was living in Omaha.� “We started out small,� Roger Sandau said. “I was turned down for a $500 loan when I started this.� The business was quite different then, Sandau said. “Everything was hand lettering,� he said. “There were no computers. Everything I did was in paint. Even the indoor lit signs, you sprayed them.� The community – most notably, the city of Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs Community Schools and local Realtors – became regular customers and have helped support the business, Sandau said. “It’s just amazing that the people of Council Bluffs have supported us for so long,� he said. Sandau says he got into the sign business by accident when he was living in South Carolina. “I owned a bar, and one of the salesmen from Avery Bros. Sign Co., was a regular customer,� he said. “I sold the bar, and he called me up and asked

Staff photo/Cindy Christensen

Roger Sandau originally opened Sandau Bros. Sign Co., 1627 Ninth Ave., 25 years ago with his brother Jake but now operates the company with his wife, Chris. if I wanted to do signs for a couple days. Two days turned into four years.â€? During that time, Sandau learned what he needed to know about the sign business. “When I went to work at Avery Bros., it was just like a four-year college,â€? he said. “They taught me to hand letter, they taught me layout ‌â€? Sandau’s brother, Jake, cofounded the business in Council Bluffs but bowed out once it got going, Sandau said. “After the first year, there wasn’t enough – the phone wasn’t ringing enough to support two families; so he went back to what he was doing, and I decided to stick with it,â€? he said. “It was really tough the first five years.â€? Now, Sandau relies mostly on expensive, computerized equipment that works more quickly so he can produce more

signs. “I kind of miss the old hand lettering, but this is – you’ve got more time,� he said. “I get some calls yet for hand lettering, but it’s very rare. We do a lot of personal stuff for vehicles, everything from a garage sale sign to a billboard. Everything that comes out of here is custom.� Sandau also does a lot of

construction, heating and air. “The real estate people have really, really been good to us,� he said. Sandau enjoys working with people and likes being his own boss. “You meet a lot of new people,� he said. “You see a lot of new businesses start, and you know you had a hand in it,� if it is successful.

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Family Journal 2010