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Spanning The Globe

Kate Dodge NEI Global Relocation Diversity Built A Railroad

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How I Roll, Bruce Simon’s

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UNMC ranked No.6, primarily speaking Primary care is the foundation for all health care in the United States. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, our novel approaches to primary care medicine are recognized nationally. The US News & World Report ranks UNMC’s primary care graduate program sixth, among other prestigious universities. At UNMC, we believe that educating students and residents to work as teams — with physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, public health workers and others — ensures that future patients will receive the best and most innovative care possible. We continually explore how to best educate the next generation of health care professionals, ensuring a healthier future for patients in Nebraska and across the nation. UNMC. Breakthroughs for life.®

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Todd Lemke Omaha publication Editor

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Intern graphic designer

Scott McIntyre photography

MinorWhite Studios, Inc. Bill Sitzmann • Philip S. Drickey Jess Ewald Contributing Writers

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to subscribe: Send $12.95 for a one-year (four issues) to: B2B Omaha • PO Box 461208 Omaha, NE 68046-1208 www.b2boma.com a publication of Omaha Magazine B2B Omaha is published four times annually by Omaha Magazine, LTD, P.O. Box 461208, Omaha NE 68046-1208. Telephone: (402) 884-2000; fax (402) 884-2001. Subscription rates: $12.95 for 4 issues (one year), $19.95 for 8 issues (two years). Multiple subscriptions at different rates are available. No whole or part of the contents herein may be reproduced without prior written permission of B2B Omaha, excepting individually copyrighted articles and photographs. Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted, however no responsibility will be assumed for such solicitations.

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  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

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OMAHA’S BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2012 • VOLUME 12 • NUMBER 2 Now check out B2B Omaha Magazine online. Using flipbook technology to give you a whole new magazine reading experience.

inside

on the web: www.b2boma.com

FE AT URES special section: B2B Omaha Buy Omaha Profiles Kitchens & Baths by Briggs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Farm Bureau Financial Services, Ken Kramer, Agent. . . . . . . . . . . . 22 C.Stanosheck, D.D.S.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Diversity Built a Railroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Chinese Immigrants Played a Key Role. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 cover feature: Spanning the Globe, Kate Dodge, NEI Global Relocation. . . . . . . 28 Grow Omaha, Economic Development on the Airwaves. . . . . . . 34 ConAgra Foods Sets Bar High for Corporate Citizenship . . . . . . . . 37

omAHA!: Beercade, Craft Beers & Arcade Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Arts & Entertainment: Four-Star Facelift, Hilton Omaha. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 In the Office: Parsow’s, Stylish Décor Tailor-Made . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 How I Roll: Bruce Simon, 2012 Fisker Karma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Social Media: Facebook Timeline Good for Your Brand. . . . . . . . 27 omAHA!: Nebraska at the Market, ‘Home-Grown’ Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 cover feature

Know-It-All: Lessons Learned from the American Airlines Bankruptcy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

columns

Omaha CVB Importing Cash, The Business of Omaha Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Page 28

Office Furniture Make the Most of a Small Workspace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Business Ethics Summertime and Moral Super Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Check us Out on Facebook and Find Out How to Subscribe and get a 50% discount. Search for Omaha Magazine. www.ReadOnlineNow.com

B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    5


B e e r c a d e co - ow n e r J o h n L a r k i n

  omAHA! S tory By Ton y Endel m an • Photos by m inorwhitest u dios .co m

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heading to the video arcade, then spending hours upon hours eagerly dropping quarters into the games that our now etched into our memories. As adults, many of us enjoy heading to the bar, spending hours upon hours, well…drinking beer with friends. Beercade, the newest watering hole in Benson, successfully amalgamates both activities, giving us (and our inner children) the perfect place to play. Open since mid-April, Beercade sits cozily at 61st and Maple streets in the heart of Benson. Owners and Salt Lake City natives John Larkin and Alex Roskelley, who are also responsible for Jake’s Cigars and Spirits, developed the concept for Beercade while looking for a change, after running a nightclub in Lincoln. “We wanted to do a place with stuff to do,” explains Larkin. “Arcades seemed to make sense. We saw a cool, kind of old-school bar with video games in Denver, and everyone was just having an absolute blast.” Beercade stands out not just because of what’s inside, but also because of what’s outside. The entire east side of the building is covered by a stunning and meticulously hand-painted mural, done by Kier, a renown graffiti artist who Larkin and Roskelley flew in from Salt Lake City. Roskelley, also an artist, assisted with the mural design and painted the wall encompassing Beercade’s back patio, designated mainly as a hangout for smokers. “One of the first things we focused on was the mural,” says Larkin. “We had it painted back in November to create buzz about the bar. For months, people would walk by and see it and wonder what was happening inside. We get a ton of comments on the mural. Everybody loves it.” Inside, Beercade offers a warm, intimate atmosphere, all at the hands of Larkin and Roskelley. “We do all of our own carpentry and construction,” explains Larkin. “We had a lot of knowledge, and Beercade is a culmination of all our past efforts.” The finely crafted oak bar, original tin ceiling, and exposed brick evoke feelings >>

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omAHA!

THANKS FOR VOTING BETTER BUSINESS EQUIPMENT

THE BEST COPIER AND SUPPLY COMPANY IN OMAHA FOR THE SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

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<< of walking into a familiar neighborhood pub. But it’s the classic and vaguely addictive arcade machines like Galaga and Ms. PacMan, which line the bar’s west wall, that are turning Beercade into an increasingly popular destination. “I love when people walk in and their faces just light up,” shares Ash Preheim, who manages Beercade. “It’s like all the memories of playing these games as a kid come rushing back. Eventually, we’re going to start putting together tournaments. Most people have their game; they know the patterns, they know the levels, and they’re trying to set the high score.” “It’s been really great so far,” affirms Larkin. “The crowds have been very diverse. A lot of older guys come in and play pinball and Asteroids. And, it’s nice to see the nerds coming out. Our clientele is certainly male-dominated, but the girls are here on the weekends.” Though Beercade is, undoubtedly, a place for adults, parents can bring in their kids until 7 p.m. Beercade is open seven nights a week and features an impressive selection of spirits and craft beers on tap. “There is a game for everyone,” says Larkin. “And we’re so excited about this concept.” For more information on Beercade, visit www.thebeercade.com. 8 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

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Businesses Are Buying Smarter

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B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    9


arts  entertainment

S tory by Jasm ine Maharisi •  Photos by m inorwhitest u dios .co m

Four-Star Facelift Inside Hilton Omaha’s $37M Renovation Project

Guest baths feature the LaSource bath collection by Crabtree and Evelyn, and high-end finishes.

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  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

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t’s no secret that Omaha’s North

Downtown has become a hotbed of development and revitalization activity. And with the cultural, dining, and mixed-retail options—not to mention TD Ameritrade Park Omaha and the CenturyLink Center Omaha—the area is now a prime location for locals and travelers alike. Hilton Worldwide quickly saw the potential that comes with being in the midst of such enormous growth. Connected to the CenturyLink Center by an enclosed sky bridge and within a stone’s throw to the new ballpark, Hilton Omaha recently underwent $37 million in renovations to meet the demands of Omaha’s emerging identity as a top destination. Hilton Omaha’s General Manager Roger Watson says the demand generators contributing to the renovations were key 2012 citywide www.OmahaPublications.com


Hilton’s signature Serenity Bed by Serta, designer furniture, and contemporary lighting are featured in each of its new guest rooms.

events, including the Olympic Swim Trials in June, the U.S. Masters Swimming Summer Nationals in July, and, of course, the College World Series. Offering additional rooms, as well as more comfortable surroundings and attractive amenities, make Hilton a more viable competitor for the influx of people attending these events, he says. “2011 we knew was going to be a soft year for us and that we’d be able to go in and do the renovations without a lot of interruption to our guests,” Watson says. “But [in 2012] we knew we’d have several citywide events and that we’d be able to come out right on the cusp of the events.” As a result of the renovations, the AAA Four Diamond hotel has added 50 new jobs, Watson says. The across-the-board jobs include everything from sales management positions to service positions. >> www.ReadOnlineNow.com

B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    11


arts  entertainment

Hilton Omaha’s renovation included the expansion of the hotel’s barroom space (above). At right, another view of the hotel’s updated guest suite and bath.

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  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

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<< “With the 150 rooms and the additional barroom space, we’ve already started that process,” he says. “We will have jobs happening.” Those 150 new rooms are in addition to the pre-existing 450 rooms, bringing the hotel’s total to 600. The pre-existing 450 rooms were updated to look like the new rooms and include designer furniture, Hilton’s signature Serenity Bed by Serta, a newly decorated bath area complete with La Source bath collection by Crabtree and Evelyn, and additional lighting. “Hotels should feel like home,” says Brian Thomas, Director of Sales and Marketing. “When you’re traveling all day, you don’t want to go into a dark room.” By far the most expensive part of the project, the room renovations also include the addition of a refrigerator, a newly designed workspace featuring wireless high-speed internet, and an in-room safe. Those amenities, Thomas says, have been guest favorites. “These were items that were direct reflections on client responses and feedback that we had been receiving over the years,” he says. “We took this as an opportunity to enhance the guest experience as a response to some of the conversations we’ve had with people in the past.” The hotel also added the Blackstone Ballroom, a 7,000-square-foot room with 3,500 square feet of pre-event space ideal for business gatherings, receptions, and social events. The room features 20-foot ceilings and pendant-style chandeliers. The ballroom can be divided into two rooms, perfect for breakout sessions. Although all the renovations are impressive, Thomas says the enclosed walkway from the parking garage to the hotel lobby is his favorite addition. “Not everyone is going to use the Presidential Suite or the Executive Lounge,” he says. “The walkway is a simple feature that many guests can benefit from and they have, and the feedback has been very positive.”

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in the office

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S tory by Caro l Crisse y N igrel l i • Photo by m inorwhitest u dios .co m

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

www.OmahaPublications.com


Dav i d Pa r sow, t h e s e co n d - g e n e r at i o n ow n e r of t h e r e g e n c y cou r t c l ot h i e r .

Parsow’s Stylish décor tailor-made to suit all tastes

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ou could say Parsow’s has its ducks in

a row. Dozens upon dozens of hand-carved duck decoys obediently line up single-file high atop the thick wooden beams that trim the walls of the upscale men’s and women’s clothier. “My dad was an avid collector, and not just of fine clothes,” explained David Parsow, referring to his late father, Sol, who founded the Regency Court clothing store 60 years ago this year. “The decoys are the first things he collected.” Somewhere above the sweater table the wooden decoys meet up with their flesh-and-feathered brethren: ducks and pheasants forever preserved, trophies of a successful hunt. “My dad loved to hunt small birds and game. And he loved to fish. You see a lot of the fish he caught mounted on the walls.” David points to a crappie and, above a dressing room, a smallmouth bass. A painting of the Parsow family’s first www.ReadOnlineNow.com

Brittany Spaniel rests on a display case. “That’s Freckles number one. We had four Brittany Spaniels growing up. They were all named Freckles,” said David with a grin. “I have a Brittany Spaniel now, but it’s not named Freckles.” Where did a young man from New York City learn to love the outdoors? “Dad actually grew up near Cleveland, which is where he probably learned to fish and hunt,” said David. “He moved to New York later. That’s where he fell in love with clothes.” And Omaha is where Sol fell in love with Lee Jane Greenberg, whom he met while stationed here during World War II. He returned to Omaha after the war, married the love of his life, started his family, and opened up his first store in March of 1952 at 16th and Farnam, next door to the Orpheum Theater. A black-and-white photo of the original Parsow’s, strictly a men’s store at that time, hangs near the front counter. “Dad met all the acts that appeared at the Orpheum—singers, dancers, bands. They’d come in and shop. He always had the best quality menswear.” By 1963, Sol followed the migration west and built a new, bigger store at 36th and Farnam, across from the Blackstone Hotel. Comedian Shecky Green, one of many celebrities who stayed at the Blackstone, became a lifelong friend of the Parsow family. Liberace also left his mark. “Liberace came into the shop and drew the most beautiful, elaborate picture of a piano with a candelabra on it right on the dressing room wall,” related David, smiling. “When Dad moved to Regency Court in 1975, he cut out the wall and brought the drawing here.” But don’t ask David if you can see the flamboyant pianist’s artwork. “You can’t. I don’t know where it is,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “I know it’s here somewhere, but there’s so much stuff stored here I can’t find it.” The success of Sol’s clothing enterprise enabled him to travel and see the world. And he brought much of the world back with him. When you walk into Parsow’s and look up, it’s hard to tell if you’ve entered a hunting lodge, a Viking’s lair, or a woodcarver’s shop. A caribou head hangs over a custom-built fireplace. Huge chandeliers made of antlers >> B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    15


in the office

<< and electric candles dominate the ceiling. Pictures of hunting dogs, their quarry, and guns dot the walls. Then, abruptly, the hunting motif shifts gears. “As clothing changed frequently, so did Dad’s collections,” said David, the president of Parsow’s. “He went from the decoys to the antique weapons.” Sol’s weapon collection, mounted onto the wood beams throughout the store’s “seven and a half” rooms, as Sol was fond of saying, includes swords, sabres, epees, and rapiers with their complex and ornate hilts. An ancient metal shield, forged from iron and posed beside a huge, mean-looking pick axe, adds contrast to the smaller and more delicate knives and daggers, some protected in goldplated sheaths. Delicate knives and steady hands created the impressive array of wooden figurines placed close together along the ceiling toward the back of the store. Acquired during Sol’s many travels to all corners of the earth, they add a touch of whimsy to the eclectic décor, though Sol never bought anything on a whim. He found beauty in many different forms and had the means to share them with his family and his cherished customers. Two framed European tapestries, a counter made of stained glass, a large antique hutch in every room, antique straight chairs with embossed leather, and a collection of walking sticks with ornately carved handles make Parsow’s an experience that transcends buying a custom-tailored suit. “Everything in here is like a house. That was his idea,” said David. “He didn’t want just one big, open store with racks and racks and racks.” That may explain why David’s personal collection is hidden behind several cabinets high off the floor. He has amassed about 90,000 comic books. Marvel comic books. One in particular he keeps protected in a plastic case. “August of 1962. This is the first appearance of Spider-Man. I bought it for a dime at the Salvation Army on 24th Street when I was 8 years old. It’s worth about $14,000 now.” And, like his father, David’s joy comes from sharing his passion with a loyal customer base that remembers the past and appreciates what Parsow’s means to the Omaha community. 16 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

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how i roll S tory by K . J. M cK er cher • Photos by m inorwhitest u dios .co m

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Bruce Simon 2012 Fisker Karma

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B

ruce Simon calls it his Batmobile. The sleek lines and gleaming black paint job are similar to the Dark Knight’s iconic vehicle, but Bruce Wayne’s armor-plated, rocket-launching gasguzzler has nothing on Bruce Simon’s >> B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    19


how i roll

<< 2012 Fisker Karma. Simon, President and Chief Operating Officer of Omaha Steaks, is part of an emerging breed of everyday superheroes: people who are choosing alternative energy vehicles. Built to be eco-friendly from top to bottom, the Karma has reclaimed wood trim, soybased bio fiber seat cushions, and alternative energy to spare. The battery, which gets about 50 miles to the charge, takes a scant few hours to recharge and costs barely a dollar a day. The roof is even equipped with a solar panel—the largest, in fact, ever designed for a production vehicle—to supplement the battery and extend driving range. Simon says he can drive all day “without ever using a drop of gasoline.” Since getting the car in mid-March, he’s only used a few gallons. Some consider driving an electric car a compromise, but with the Karma, Simon has the best of both worlds. The vehicle, one of only about 1,500 manufactured to date, switches easily from the all-electric mode to the fuel-assisted “sport mode.” The 403horsepower engine can go from 0 to 60 mph in six seconds. “Just driving it is a trip,” quips Simon. The Karma’s only “compromise” is the noise Fisker built into the vehicle to warn pedestrians who might otherwise walk out in front of it, because the electric mode—appropriately referred to as the “stealth mode”—is so quiet. According to Simon, it’s a “whirling noise like a spaceship,” and some people’s reactions can be amusing. A true luxury vehicle, the Karma defies the common, unflattering expectations of electric vehicles. “People don’t realize it’s an electric car until I tell them,” Simon chuckles. When he does tell, though, Simon says, “the fact that it’s electric always draws a crowd.” As the head of Omaha Steaks, Simon understands quality. The fifth-generation family-owned company is widely acclaimed as a producer of premium steaks, beef, and other gourmet products, and Simon is the guardian of that legacy. His choice of vehicle reflects his ability to recognize excellence. Bruce Simon is driving his way into the future in a car that the Caped Crusader can only envy. 20 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

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Omaha profiles

H

omeowners looking for innovative kitchen and bath ideas or in need of

quality replacement faucets and fixtures can find the largest decorative plumbing showroom in the Heartland right here in Omaha at Kitchens & Baths by Briggs. The showroom, opened in June 2008, is housed in the House & Home Improvement Center at 138th & Industrial Road. “[At Kitchens & Baths by Briggs], customers will find everything from the most basic replacement faucet from Moen or Delta to the finest collections, such as Grohe, Brizo, Rohl, Hansgrohe, and more,” said Brigg’s showroom manager, Barb Ganey. “As a Kohler registered showroom, we feature the most current and innovative designs for the kitchen and bathroom, including sinks, toilets, tubs, and accessories. We also offer some exclusive offerings, such as BainUltra, the original airjet tub, and Waterstone, a unique American-made faucet line.” While many plumbing products can be viewed and purchased online, customers are often unaware of the quality differences that exist with parts inside the faucets.  Ganey said most people prefer the in-store buying experience, where they can see, touch and learn about the choices they have before buying. “Having actual products in various colors and finishes to work with makes the selection process so much easier,” Ganey said. “Whether building a new home or remodeling a bathroom, the homeowner is making an investment that they want to feel confident about.” A subsidiary of Briggs, Inc., Kitchens and

Baths by Briggs is a locally owned plumbing supply company that has served Nebraska and Iowa since 1906. The company also operates a second showroom in Lenexa, Kan. With 85 years of combined experience in the Omaha showroom, Kitchens & Baths by Briggs’ staff offers customer service that’s second to none, Ganey said. “Frequent training sessions, attending trade shows, and trips to our vendors keep consultants aware of all of the latest plumbing products available. Customers appreciate that they can stop in the showroom without an appointment and received unsurpassed service. “We also find that customers like to support local businesses. They feel more comfortable about warranties and other service-related issues with a person and place to return to.” Stop by the Kitchens & Baths by Briggs showroom for a tour and visit with consultants about your project needs.

Kitchens & Baths by Briggs

13827 Industrial Road Omaha, NE 68137 (402) 330-3400 www.briggsinc.com www.ReadOnlineNow.com

B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    21


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Omaha profiles

A

great friend and mentor once told Ken Kramer, “If you

are not doing what you love to do, there is really no point in doing it at all.” It was that wise observation by Eric Long that led Kramer, a big-box furniture store manager at the time, to eventually leave his job and follow his dream to start his own business. Today, he manages his own Farm Bureau Financial Services agency, licensed in Nebraska and Iowa. “I recognized that my passion is relating to people—not sales,” Kramer said. “So much of what I do [now] is relationship-based. My agency focuses on getting to know clients long-term, becoming familiar with their personal needs and goals, and then helping them chart the best paths toward making their goals realities.” As a representative with FBFS, Kramer helps craft insurance policies for auto, home, business, life, health, and investments. “Our ideal clients are those who wish to protect the things that matter most to them,” he said. “We’re able to manage all of these insurance needs within a single agency. We offer each client a single policy, premium, and deductible on all personal property…whether each client has one home or five, one car or a fleet.” Kramer has assembled a team of in-house professionals at his agency who are involved in all aspects of the business. “Each has his or her own niche and expertise, and collaborates with others, seeking guidance from various experts at our corporate headquarters; thus ensuring each crafts the best possible coverage for each client served. I believe my employees love what they do as much as I do.” And unlike agents as some other firms, who lose touch with their client base, Kramer says he tells customers, “You will hear from me…I frequently meet individuals who tell me they cannot remember the last time they actually had a conversation with their agent. I will never be that guy.” Putting clients’ interests first and not focusing solely on maximizing profits or growth has been Kramer’s key to success. Kramer also garners great satisfaction from mentoring his employees. “Providing a career opportunity helps the surrounding economies while simultaneously changing an associate’s future for the better. I welcome the opportunity to give back to the next generation of upcoming professionals.” A native of Gretna, Neb., Kramer spent many years in management while living in Texas, where he met and married his wife, Ann, before the couple moved back to Omaha. He credits his father, a rancher in western Nebraska and former insurance agent himself, for providing him a great example Ken Kramer of a strong work ethic and a passion to serve others. As the father of five, his goal is to provide his children the same solid example he had. Farm Bureau Financial Services In his leisure time, Kramer enjoys horseback and motor222 S. 15th St, Suite 506S cycle riding, taking his children sledding and ice fishing Omaha, NE 68102 in the winter, and spending time with friends and family. 402-885-8558 www.fbfs.com

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Omaha profiles

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C. Stanosheck, D.D.S. Cosmetic and Restor ative Dentistry

ince beginning his full-service dental practice seven years ago,

Dr. Christopher Stanosheck has served nearly 4,500 patients at his Smile Design Studio at 9202 W. Dodge Rd. With expertise in cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign orthodontics, TMD/TMJ treatment, and comprehensive dentistry, his practice has attracted patients from as far away as Dallas, Phoenix, Naples, Fla., and Jackson Hole, Wyo. “Our clients typically include those interested in the latest that dentistry has to offer for both beauty and function,” Stanosheck said. “We utilize the latest technology and techniques based on current research…Because of this, we can deliver state-of-the-art dentistry with predictable results. When you offer a straight forward, no-nonsense approach to dentistry with great results, people take notice.” One example: Stanosheck is one of the few dentists in the region utilizing the I-Tero digital impression system to treat Invisalign patients, delivering better-fitting aligners and faster turnaround time for clients. The I-Tero technology is also used to help deliver better-fitting crowns, bridges, and veneers for patients. Stanosheck has also had considerable success treating patients who suffer from migraine headaches and TMJ, a painful jaw alignment disorder. “These patients usually have been to every doctor possible and continue to get the same results—pain and discouragement,” he said. “We���ve been successful in the ability to give someone their life back and not make them a slave to Imitrex or another headache medication.” Stanosheck, who comes from a medical family, sought out dentistry as a career because “medicine does not offer as much entrepreneurial independence as a small business owner. [As a dentist], I have the best of both worlds,” he said. He began his dental residency program at UNMC in 2001. The training included hospital dentistry, such as treatment of special needs patients and those with complex medical histories, advanced treatment planning, and anesthesia. “Because of the skill and confidence I received at UNMC, [my practice] has filled a niche that so many patients need and many dentists are unwilling to deliver,” he said. “For example, we’re one of the few offices providing general sedation for special needs patients in Omaha.” In 2004, he began taking post-graduate classes at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), which he continues today. LVI classes have enabled Stanosheck to stay on the leading edge of dental techniques, procedures and material concepts based on the most current research, especially concerning TMJ. “LVI gives good dentists the tools to be great,” praised Stanosheck. The doctor also praised his Smile Design Studio staff, all of whom are committed to personalized client service and educated to deliver the best care available. “Our team members take more continuing education hours in one year than most dentists receive in five years.” Stanosheck said right now is an exciting time for dentistry. “Digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras, virtual outcome patient education, and integration software allow our patients to actively participate in treatment,” he said. “Our patients are smart…they appreciate the technology, and know that we are striving to deliver the best [outcome]. Stanosheck and his wife, Amanda Mueller, welcomed a baby daughter, Lily, in November. In his spare time, he enjoys running, skiing, boating, and the outdoors.

Dr. Christopher Stanosheck www.ReadOnlineNow.com

C. Stanosheck, D.D.S.

9202 W. Dodge Rd. Omaha, NE 68144 402-884-1607 www.ClearBracesOmaha.com B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    23


feature S tory by J u dy H oran • Photo by m inorwhitest u dios .co m & Prov ided by U PR R Museum L-R: UP Museum Outreach Coordinator Patricia LaBounty, LEAD President Michelle Clark, and UP Director of Diversity, Yvonne Method-Walker

Diversity Built a Railroad During its anniversary year, Union Pacific is looking back at 150 years of railroading—and forward to a continuing goal as a role model of inclusiveness.

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  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

Y

vonne Method-Walker arrived at her new job at Union

Pacific 32 years ago. It was lonely at first as she looked around and saw a workforce that was predominantly white and male. “There weren’t a lot of people that looked like me who were management employees for the railroad,” said Method-Walker, who now is Union Pacific’s director of diversity. Then she learned about BEN (Black Employee Network). One year before she arrived, four employees had formed the employee resource group because they weren’t seeing a lot of African-American employees in management and few opportunities to connect and share common experiences. Meaningful discussions began to take place between those employees and Union Pacific senior management, focusing on hiring and recruiting practices that would address the company‘s goals of diversity and inclusion. With the backing of Union Pacific senior management, BEN set out to make changes so all employees felt included. First they made sure everyone knew about jobs that were open in order to level the playing field for all employees. Openings were posted publicly to increase the chances of the best qualified employee receiving promotions. BEN then looked at recruiting. Were schools and cities where AfricanAmerican candidates could be found included in the recruiting search? The collaboration between BEN leaders and Union Pacific senior management opened doors to increasing the numbers of qualified African-Americans in viable careers at the railroad, said Method-Walker. >> Continued on page 26 www.OmahaPublications.com


S tory by J u dy H oran • Photo Prov ided by U PR R Museum April 28, 1869. Because of their great achievement laying 10 miles of track in one day for Central Pacific, Chinese workers were given the honor of laying the last rail at Promontory Summit, Utah, creating a transcontinental railroad.

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ou might picture large, brawny men building America’s first transcontinental railroad in the 1860s. But the Chinese men who did most of the work were generally less than five feet in height. They were seen as hard-working, competent, and tireless. The governor of California, Leland Stanford, wrote to President Andrew Johnson: “Without the Chinese, it would have been impossible to complete the western portion of this great National highway.” At one time one of the greatest critics of the Chinese, Stanford later sent recruiters to bring more Chinese men to the United States. Many had emigrated from the poverty of China, lured by the gold fields of America. They faced grim discrimination upon arriving; they paid taxes but could not vote, attend school, or be citizens. But Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads hired them and paid them $28 a month to start. Most of the Chinese worked for the Central Pacific Railroad, which started building east from Sacramento, Calif. Union Pacific’s starting point was Omaha. The two met at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, creating the first transcontinental railroad. They were wanted, said Patricia LaBounty, collections and outreach manager for the Union Pacific Museum. “Five thousand workers were needed to build the railroad through the Sierra Nevada.” “They tried 50, then 50 more, then 50 more until Central Pacific was employing over 12,000 Chinese.” While some leaders were initially skeptical of their ability, railroad executive Charley Crocker pointed out that the Chinese had built the Great Wall of China, one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. The railroad gave them a chance to prove themselves.

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feature

A Union Pacific freight train hauls coal, 1996.

<< Union Pacific’s BEN also wanted to make sure recent and potential employees were comfortable in their new environment. Mentoring programs were put in place to help new and relocating employees find their way around the community. “BEN can give that person a sense of belonging, a sense of comfort. They say, ‘Oh, there are people in Omaha who look like me,’” said Method-Walker. “Diversity benefits not only the company, but enhances the community.” And Union Pacific’s group has more to brag about. “BEN is the longest standing employee resource group in the country, especially in the railroad industry,” she said. Method-Walker can hardly contain her excitement about the latest step forward for a BEN member. In March, Eric Butler was named executive vice president of marketing and sales. “He will be the first African-American at that level at Union Pacific and, we believe, in the railroad industry.” “I’ve heard him say that, if it had not been for the BEN organization, which helped and supported him when he came to Omaha 26 years ago, he may not have had the kind of success that he has experienced,” she said. Fortune magazine named Union Pacific the most admired among trucking, transportation, and logistics companies for the second consecutive year in its “World’s Most Admired” list. Perhaps leadership committed to diversity and inclusion as well as the number of employee resource groups are reasons the Omaha-based railroad ranked No. 1 in people management and social responsibility, Method-Walker speculated. “BEN has aligned with the business objective of the company so we are quite in ‘lock step’ and true partnership with the UP leadership team,” she said. BEN chapters in 10 26 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

and Develop, a women’s initiative

LEAD the Way

cities have 700 members. There are 44,800 employees in Union Pacific‘s 23-state area.

BEN is one of seven resource employee groups at Union Pacific: • • • • • • •

BEN, Black Employee Network CONAH, Council on Native American Heritage LEN, Latino Employee Network AERO, Asian Employee Resource Organization. UP VETS, military support initiative UP TIES, emerging professionals LEAD, Lead, Educate, Achieve

LEAD provides professional development, education, mentoring, and community involvement for more than 500 women members who work at Union Pacific. They also volunteer in their community. “We wanted to be able to position UP as an employer of choice and to make UP a better place for women and to focus on issues involving women,” said Michelle Clark, who will become the group’s president in June. She said Union Pacific’s LEAD has served as an role model for other companies in Omaha. “It drives you to want to be the best you can be to serve customers, overall as an employee and provides excellent opportunities to grow and develop, and I have had many opportunities in that area.” As general director of Information Technology Services, Clark has a special interest in mentoring girls in the IT field. LEAD offers an outreach event “Girls on Board” for eighth-grade girls focusing on engineering and technology. More than 1,700 Union Pacific employees showed up for “Race for the Cure” at CenturyLink Center Omaha. LEAD celebrated Women’s History Month in March with a 150-year anniversary celebration highlighting women from the past and present who have made a difference at the railroad. Of Union Pacific’s 13 top executives, three are women at this time. Clark sees a future with more women at the top. “I don’t believe there are any limitations.” To view events planned for Union Pacific’s 150th celebration, go online to www.up150.com

www.OmahaPublications.com


social media S tory by joan Lu kas

Facebook Timeline Good For Your Brand

T

here are more than 800 million users on Facebook. No doubt many of your

customers are on Facebook. If you have a business Facebook page, below are some tips to help you manage the new Timeline page layout, which offers some great new features for brands. The most noticeable new attribute of timeline is its emphasis on visuals—the large cover photo, images in the tabs just below the cover photo, and larger photos throughout the Timeline updates. A picture is worth a thousand words, and these new visuals provide the opportunity to tell your company’s story beyond the text details in your “About” section. While your profile picture is still the best place to prominently display your logo, choose a cover photo that sums up what your company does. Be aware of Facebook’s strict guidelines about what you can’t put in your cover photo, such as price information, company contact information, and calls to action like, “Get it now.” There are other areas on your Facebook page for those types of information. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Find a photo or create an attractive image that represents your brand. These Facebook pages are good examples on how to manage Facebook Timeline: CocaCola (http://www.facebook.com/cocacola); PB Teen (http://www.facebook.com/pbteen); and Cabela’s (http://www.facebook.com/Cabelas). Timeline also brings several other great features for brands such as pinning, highlighting, and creating milestones. Pinning allows you to keep a post at the top of the page for seven days. Highlighting allows you to stretch the post across both columns to emphasize its importance. www.ReadOnlineNow.com

Milestones allow you to share a big moment in your organization’s history. If you have questions on the new Facebook features—or on other social media for that matter—the Hubspot Blog, blog.hubspot. com, is a great resource for social media beginners and veterans alike. If you are looking to take your social media knowledge to the next level, consider joining the Social Media Club Omaha led by Heather Tweedy (@heathertweedy), Director of Interactive Strategy at Bright Sky Interactive. The club is having a re-launch party at the Recovery Room, 4016 Leavenworth St., on June 7 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit socialmediaclub.org/chapter/ Omaha, call 402301-7320 or email heather@brightskyinteractive.com. Joan Lukas owns Lukas Partners, a PR and Fund Development firm based in Omaha. B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    27


cover feature 28 

Spanning The Globe

Kate Dodge’s company, NEI Global Relocation, is headquarted in Omaha. But her customers are in 87 countries. Her frequent flyer miles are impressive.

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

K

ate Dodge carefully scrutinizes her calendar,

looking for a time when she can sit down for an interview along with two top executives. But her calendar shows she’s needed in California; she recently returned from the United Kingdom. CEO Randy Wilson and CFO Michelle Moore are headed for London, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Texas. Other colleagues are in Hong Kong and Singapore. Kate finally finds a time the three can get together. If they meet over lunch. If they have sandwiches delivered. If it won’t take long. So over an avocado and cheese sandwich, I get to spend more than an hour with the peripatetic Kate Dodge, Chairman and President of NEI Global Relocation.

K ate Dodge’s Story When N.P. “Sandy” Dodge, President and Chairman of NP Dodge Company, launched a global relocation management company in 1985, he found a perfect candidate to lead >> www.OmahaPublications.com


S tory by J u dy H oran • Photos by m inorwhitest u dios .co m

L to R: CFO Michelle Moore, President Kate Dodge, CEO Randy Wilson www.ReadOnlineNow.com

B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    29


cover feature

<< it—his wife. Concerned about a perception of nepotism, he turned to his board of directors. They unanimously agreed Kate was the person to head up the new company. At the time working as a school psychologist, Kate had experience helping children whose families had relocated, especially during her time at the Bellevue schools with their many military families. The couple met at Harvard University, where their fathers were attending a 25th class reunion. Sandy was a Harvard student, and Kate Cloney attended Mount Holyoke College. Her father was director of the Boston Marathon for nearly 40 years. They dated and were headed for marriage. But some people wondered if, with their diverse backgrounds, they were a good match. Sandy was from the Midwest. Kate was from Boston. Sandy is Unitarian. Kate is Catholic. Sandy is tall. Kate is short. Okay, I made that last one up. They did marry in 1960 while Sandy served in the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio. That was five decades, three children, and nine grandchildren ago. The question of compatibility has been settled. The couple moved to Omaha when Sandy entered the family business, NP Dodge Real Estate. He is the fourth man in his family to bear the N.P. Dodge name over the last 155 years. Kate and Sandy’s son, Nate, is the fifth N.P. Dodge at the real estate company. Kate believes their daughters, Laura Luther of Omaha and Jennifer Altenau of California, learned to value independent thinking while observing their mother’s

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  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

career. “I hope they learned to follow their passions in whatever they do.” She shares her husband’s viewpoint that children should have business experience elsewhere before joining the family business. “We want it to be a positive choice, not an expectation,” she said. Currently, Kate serves on the governing board of Business Ethics Alliance, the boards of Methodist Health System, Methodist Foundation, the College of Saint Mary, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She and her husband are honorary chairs of Rebuilding Together’s capital campaign. She has been president of several local charities.

NEI Global Relocation’s Story Twenty-one Fortune 500 companies are included among the 160 corporations that turn to NEI for help in relocating more than 10,000 employees each year in 87 countries. Kate presides over a staff of 270 employees who are available to clients around the clock. An NEI account executive received a

midnight call from a young transferee who lost his money while playing pool. She found a hotel and a ride for him. But before going back to bed, the sleepy-eyed account executive asked why he didn’t call his mother. He responded, “I knew my mother would kill me, and you would help me.” When it’s 2 p.m. in Singapore or China, it’s the middle of the night in Omaha, where NEI employees are holding a meeting by Skype with vendors. A phone meeting with partners in India may take place at 4 a.m., Omaha time. “That’s what I mean by 24/7,” Kate said. “The business of relocation is also complicated by different languages, cultures, currencies.” NEI has staff members who were born in or have lived in 19 countries and speak 14 languages, including Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, German, and French. Since 1985, NEI has expanded services from buying and selling homes to include expense management, spousal counseling, and helping employees learn the culture, language, and getting around in a new country. NEI also assists companies with recruitment by explaining the financial aspects of relocating, so employees can make informed decisions about a move. Kate has no immediate plans to retire. But she believes having a succession plan in place is vital to the health of a company. “You want to develop a company where the management team is in place to keep the company successful. Randy and Michelle are two members of a strong team that wouldn’t miss a beat if I wasn’t here.”

www.OmahaPublications.com


By J u dy H oran

Women Leading the Way

D

uring the early years

of her business, Kate Dodge gave little thought to being a woman running a large company like NEI Global Relocation. But some clients saw the company’s female leadership as a plus. “Several of our clients were telling us they have diversity goals to meet,” said CFO Michelle Moore. As a result, Kate embarked on becoming a nationally Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, a three-year process. Her company is recertified every year. Among the women helping lead the company is CEO Randy Wilson. In 1985, she and her mother, Wanda Hike, approached Sandy Dodge with an idea of starting a relocation company that would serve markets outside Omaha. “We approached NP Dodge, because we felt they had business ethics and integrity that would make this work,” said Wilson. Sandy Dodge saw the new division as a way of becoming less dependent on the Midwest economy, where his business is focused. “If there is a recession in the Midwest, then somewhere else it’s better,” said Wilson. She hesitates to call NEI recession-proof, but she says it’s close. “We did see a little pullback during recession, but nowhere near other businesses.” “One of the things that makes NEI unique, we’ve grown organically through our own effort. We have not merged nor bought other companies,” said Wilson, who has five children and five grandchildren with husband, Allen Wilson. Moore assists employees with the financial side of relocating, including tax and insurance implications. She travels frequently, but manages to have breakfast with husband, John, and their two daughters even when it’s dinnertime where she is. She uses Skype. The computer sits on top of their table so she can dine with them. Wilson sees global relocation services becoming more in demand over the next 10 years: “Our world will be fully integrated into a global community. Although there will be more self-help, more self-guidance, more done by computer, you still need somebody to talk to.” www.ReadOnlineNow.com

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omAHA! S tory by S tacie O rt m eier • Photo by m inorwhitest u dios .co m

MARKET PARTNERS JIM LAGUZZA AT LEFT WITH JESSE ROBERTS

W

hen considering a mid-career change, a

dream for many is starting a business. For Jim Laguzza, a heating contractor, deciding to open a store that exclusively sells Nebraska-made and produced products came to fruition four years ago. Tapping on the shoulder of a childhood friend to partner with him, and him saying yes, was a dream come true. Laguzza recalls meeting Jesse Roberts in the second grade at St. Peter and Paul Catholic grade school in South Omaha. He knew that Roberts would be the perfect partner with solid experience in sales and marketing. The successful partnership, grounded in 20 years of friendship, is evidenced by the end result— Nebraska at the Market, at the western edge of the Old Market. Nebraska at the Market, at the corner of 13th and Leavenworth is the brainchild of Laguzza and Roberts, and sells Nebraskamade products from handcrafted gifts, jewelry, bath and body items, gift baskets, and animal products. “One of the reasons I opened the store is that we need to shop local,” Laguzza said. “When you buy something in the store, that money is staying in the state.” As a member of GROW Nebraska, a non-profit organization designed to create 32 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

Nebraska at the Market ‘Home-Grown’ Products

www.OmahaPublications.com


sustainable economic development by supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, Nebraska at the Market showcases the talent of these businesses by offering them an opportunity to sell their products to in-store and online shoppers. Nebraska at the Market is proud of the partnerships made with 90 vendors from across the state. Nearly half of those partnerships are from small communities and span the entire state. One vendor, Laguzza reports, even resides six miles from the Wyoming border. The duo is very proud of the store and how far they’ve come since opening in March 2011. “The number one thing I love about the business is working with the vendors and the customers,” Roberts said. “It really takes me back to an earlier time. There’s a small town community feel.” With over 2,500 Nebraska-made products, Nebraska at the Market boasts the ability to give small business owners the opportunity to reach a large customer base through the store and online business. One such partner, Big Mama’s Kitchen, at 40th and Hamilton streets, sells popular items from its menu. Chow Chow Relish and Marinara Sauce are two top items sold in the store as well as online at www.nebraskaatthemarket.com. www.ReadOnlineNow.com

These items are in such demand at the store that Laguzza thinks the future may require producing more than the restaurant is able handle. The Lithuanian Bakery, at 33rd and Q, sells a popular torte. Purple Cane Road Root Beer, bottled in La Vista, is named after a small town in Nebraska where only a cemetery remains today. “I Survived South Omaha” t-shirts are purchased nationally. Artwork, specialty foods, jewelry, and clothing are displayed in the store’s spacious area. Laguzza and Roberts assure that the store continues to evolve. Products are changing and improving, as well as vendors. “Our next step is that we’re going to have Nebraska beers and wines,” Roberts said. “We’ll do wine tastings with vendors supplying the food.” It is the vision and camaraderie that makes this business flourish. Laguzza added that approaching Roberts to guide the sales aspect of the venture offered one assurance. “I knew that if Jesse did it, it would be successful.” Roberts added that the location also gives great access to tourists that stay in the Old Market area. “We’re excited to be on the corner of the gateway to the Old Market.”

B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    33


feature S tory by Mike Watkins • Photo by m inorwhitest u dios .co m

Hosts of Grow Omaha, Trenton Magid (left) and Jeff Beals (right).

J

eff Beals realizes Omaha has

its share of natural limitations when it comes to attracting new business, conventions, and tourists to the area. “We don’t have any oceans or mountains to attract people here, but we do have a great work ethic and many jobs to attract people to the area,” said Beals, co-owner of World Group commercial real estate and co-host of Grow Omaha, a weekly economic development talk show. It airs every Saturday morning from 8 to 9 a.m. on KFAB 1110 AM. “There is a tremendous civic pride in Omaha, greater than in most other places, that encourages people to want to work together for the betterment of the city. I’m 34 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

Grow Omaha

Talking up Economic Development on the Airwaves

www.OmahaPublications.com


not sure a show like ours would work in other locations, but it works here.” Beals and World Group partner Trenton Magid started broadcasting Grow Omaha in 2003 and largely discuss what’s happening in the Omaha commercial market and how Omaha continues to grow and thrive. Despite the economic downturn that began in 2008 and continues to a degree today, Omaha’s economic growth has remained strong—a lure to the area as people throughout the country look for work. The show remains a reflection of that continued growth and development. “We have had an amazing number of stories from an economic development perspective because there really is no other outlet around town,” said Magid, who has known Beals since seventh grade at Valley View Junior High School. “We know what’s going on before anybody else, and we have some very loyal listeners.” double tree BB0311.pdf 1 6/7/11 Guests to the show have included Lou

Dobbs, editor and host of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and billionaire entrepreneur Ted Turner; and once a quarter, Omaha Chamber of Commerce CEO and President David Brown visits. The Chamber also assists with securing guests for the show. All the recent positive publicity for Omaha and the metro from a plethora of magazines and websites—being named among the best places to live and work, among others—has definitely brought more attention and focus to the area. “I was in Tampa, Fla., last year, and was taking a shuttle to the airport, and the shuttle driver asked me where I was from,” Beals said. “When I told him Omaha, he told me he was thinking about moving here because he’d been reading about it in the magazines and thought it would be a place to get a better job. People are definitely aware and noticing us more and more.” Beals admits that the metro isn’t without its 3:54 PM challenges, but just as businesses and leaders

within the city have forged partnerships to move the city forward in the past, so will they continue to do so in the future no matter the circumstances. “There are a few things we can work toward improving and increasing, like the number of direct flights to more major markets and the state doing a lot with its personal tax rate,” Beals said. “Sometimes the CEO or president of a company looks at his or her own tax liability and loses sight of what their company adds to the local economy in terms of jobs, etc., so we need to work on taking those blinders off. “We also need to work on the misperception that Nebraska is smaller and flatter than it is, but we’re breaking down those barriers with the coverage we get from the College World Series and Swim Trials and other sporting events. It’s a process, but it’s obviously working for us.”

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feature S tory by T raci Osu na • Photo Prov ided By Sand I n T he Cit y

Local corporations and businesses, including ConAgra, participate in Sand IN The City’s sand sculpture contest to support Nebraska Children’s Home Society.

ConAgra Foods Sets Bar High for Corporate Citizenship

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s much as ConAgra Foods’ many product lines are staples in kitchens across

the country, the company’s dedication to community and social responsibility is almost as recognizable. For over 20 years, ConAgra Foods and The ConAgra Foods Foundation have worked diligently toward their goal of ending child hunger in the United States. While it’s a lofty and admirable ambition, the strides that the company and its community-minded employees have made in the last two decades have been just as admirable. In keeping with their goal of feeding families, ConAgra recently kicked off their third year of the highly successful and nationally recognized “Child Hunger Ends Here” campaign. The motivation behind the campaign, shares Kori Reed, is “to raise awareness, funds, and meals for the 16 million children right here in the United States that go hungry at some point during the year.” By partnering with Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest) in 1993, ConAgra Foods formed the largest corporate initiative among the charity’s donors dedicated solely to fighting childhood hunger, donating more than $36 million. According to the foundation’s website, “ConAgra Foods is the first corporate partner to comprehensively fund child hunger programs nationwide.” Such programs include Kids Café, with more than 250 locations across the country, providing children with a safe place to stay after school and receive a free meal, and funding for the national Simplified Summer Foodservice Program, ensuring that school-age children who rely on federally funded school meals won’t go hungry over the summer months. “As a leading consumer food company, supporting non-profits with the goal of helping www.ReadOnlineNow.com

end child hunger is a natural fit for ConAgra Foods and The ConAgra Foods Foundation,” says Reed, Vice President, Foundation and Cause, at ConAgra Foods. “Giving back to the communities where we live and work is a cornerstone of our corporate commitment to social responsibility.” Reed explains that the extent of the company’s goodwill goes beyond the donation of food and funds. “We also lend our expertise in logistics to help get food from where it is abundant to where it is most needed.” Locally, ConAgra works closely with such organizations as the Food Bank for the Heartland and Hunger-Free Heartland, finding ways to combat child hunger locally as well as nationally. This year’s “Child Hunger Ends Here” campaign, which launched in March, sheds light on the issue of hunger by introducing the original song, “Here’s Hope.” The song has been recorded by platinum-selling recording artists Jewel, Jay Sean, and Owl City. “We selected [these] artists to record three unique versions of ‘Here’s Hope’ because their styles appeal to unique audiences,” explains Reed. “The idea behind the song is to harness the power of music to inspire action, touch hearts, and raise awareness for the issue of child hunger in America while motivating consumers to learn how they can help end child hunger in the United States.” As more and more ConAgra consumers expressed an interest in helping the cause, ConAgra responded by creating a program that made it easy to help the needy and added a little perk for the consumers as well. By logging on to www.ChildHungerEndsHere. com and entering an 8-digit product code on products specially marked with the “Child Hunger Ends Here” push-pin logo, consumers will actually be able to donate food toward the cause. Each code entered through August 31, 2012, is equivalent to one meal. Up to 3 million meals will be donated through this campaign alone. As for that promised perk, consumers will be allowed to download their favorite version of “Here’s Hope,” as well as view exclusive interviews with the artists. They can also enter their zip code in a chance to earn food donations for their local food bank. >> B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    37


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  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

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<< “[The] on-pack code entry initiative is in addition to our school and retailer programs, bringing the total meal donation from ConAgra Foods during the 2011/2012 school year to 5 million meals,” says Reed. “This is in addition to the millions of tons of food donated to Feeding America, plus the work our employees and foundation do every year, including millions of dollars in financial support and thousands of hours of volunteer time.” Locally, ConAgra’s Omaha employees enjoy getting out in the community and helping; but they do make time to fit in the fun and sun. Since 2009, ConAgra has sponsored and participated in “Sand in the City,” which benefits the Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS). The annual event, to be held in the weekend of June 1st – 3rd in the CenturyLink Center parking lot, involves 350 tons of sand and a lot of creative energy. “We have 21 teams [from local businesses] committed to participate in the sand sculpting competition this year, which is the largest number of teams ever!” says Tracy Fisher, Special Events Manager of NCHS. Brian Osborne, Development Director of NCHS, says that the non-profit truly values all the support from its community partners, including ConAgra. “ConAgra is a shining example of local corporations giving back to their communities by supporting human service organizations like NCHS,” says Osborne. “Helping to improve the quality of life for children and families in Nebraska is just another example of ConAgra’s social responsibility and their connection to our community.” Reed says that ConAgra sees their participation in Sand in the City as a great opportunity to support local non-profits. She adds that this year’s team consists of 20 employees who have been carefully devising their plans for this year’s competition. “Their sculpture is a closely guarded secret.” Events like Sand in the City, and campaigns such as “Child Hunger Ends Here,” offer ways for not only ConAgra, but the Omaha community as a whole, to help needy children in our own hometown. “Summer should be a time when kids [should] be having fun, not worrying about whether they’ll have lunch that day,” says Reed. “Our work won’t stop until every child in America has the food they need.” www.OmahaPublications.com


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B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    39


Omaha CVB by dana m arkel

Visitor Spending in Douglas County

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Recreation - $119 M

Transportation - $143 M

Hotels - $182 M

Food/Bev - $251 M

Retail - $209 M

Total - $904 Million

Importing Cash The Business of Omaha Tourism

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  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

F

or many in Omaha, tourism is easily associated with cities like

Orlando and Las Vegas but tourism is an economic engine in Omaha and has the potential to rev up the local economy.

www.OmahaPublications.com


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Dana Markel Executive Director
Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau 1001 Farnam Omaha, NE 68102 402-444-4660 www.visitomaha.com

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Questions or comments? Email us at info@ visitomaha.com

Thank You Omaha! Om

Recent research, conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, concluded that approximately 11 million people visit Omaha each year; about 6 million are day visitors and five million visit Omaha for an overnight stay. These people are spending the night in hotels, eating in restaurants, shopping in stores and visiting Omaha attractions. In other words, they are here spending money and a lot of it. In 2010, overnight visitors spent more than half a billion dollars, a cash import that helps our local economy and provides tax relief to local residents. Tourism Economics found that visitor spending generates about $123 million a year in state and local taxes. The research revealed that because of the tax revenues generated by visitor spending, every Douglas County household saves $630 per year in taxes. Visitors are contributing to our way of life and inviting them into our city helps our bottom line. The tourism story in Omaha is encouraging, and the most encouraging part is that there is room to grow. Last year hotel occupancy averaged 54 percent, which means 46 percent of all hotel rooms in the city were available. Think about that, the city actually has room for another 5 million visitors and all the cash that comes with them. The question becomes, how do we convince them to visit? More about that in the next column.

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B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    41


office furniture S tory by A l l m akes o ffi ce e q u ipm ent

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Make the Most of a Small Workspace hether you’re working for a Fortune 500 company or out of your home, most

Americans would prefer to have a larger workspace. According to IFMA (International Facility Management Association), the average American’s workspace has shrunk 15 square feet since 1994. In 1994, the average worker had 90 square feet of workspace; now that has been reduced to 75 square feet. Here are five tips to make the most out of any small workspace: 1. Effective Stor age Whether you need to store file folders, records, paper, or other documents, a good file cabinet is a must for small workspaces. Proper storage, such as lateral or vertical files, maximize personal organization and productivity. 2. Monitor Matters Flat-panel monitors provide almost effortless adjustments and create significant space savings. By elevating the monitor up off the work surface, a monitor arm frees up the valuable space directly in front of the user, leaving notes, documents, and other work materials within easy reach. Plus, the monitor can be easily pushed out of the way to create extra workspace if needed. 3. Declutter Limit the amount of items on your desktop. With a small space, just a few items on your desk may cause it to look cluttered. Learn how to purge all the “stuff” you don’t need. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” Recycle it or pass it along to a co-worker. 4. Seeing the Light Tone down harsh overhead lights. Add an energy-efficient task light to your workstation to provide light where you need it. This will also reduce energy costs. 5. Choose the Right Chair Employees who sit six to eight hours a day performing multiple tasks should have high-performance chairs with ergonomic controls that let the user adjust the chair to suit his or her body size and work style. With the right interiors and good quality furniture, you can make the most out of any small workspace. Stop by All Makes Office Equipment Co. at 25th & Farnam to see what’s new in the office. The All Makes team is trained to help you make design and furniture purchases that fit your office atmosphere, your work style, and your budget. 42 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

www.OmahaPublications.com


know-it-all a lways the sm artest m an in the roo m

Lessons Learned

from the American Airlines Bankruptcy

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ith all the focus on labor costs in American companies forced to declare bankruptcy, I would like to shine a bit of sunshine on the hard reality. It isn’t labor costs.

Let’s take American Airlines and the long-delayed bankruptcy. What single cost has dramatically risen in the last decade? Wages? No, there have been plenty of labor concessions. It was jet fuel costs.
The rising cost of jet fuel has seriously affected the profitability of all industry carriers. A one-cent increase in the price of a gallon of fuel translates into an additional $25 million annual cost for American Airlines. Although the price of fuel has fluctuated during recent years, average annual prices have been trending upward since 2003, making conserving fuel more important than ever before. Year Jet Fuel Cost
2003 $0.85 per gallon,
2004 $1.16 per gallon,
2005 $1.66 per gallon,
2006 $1.97 per gallon,
2007 $2.10 per gallon,
2008 $3.03 per gallon,
2009 $2.01 per gallon
2010, $2.32 per gallon,
2011 $3.30 per gallon (estimate). What about >> www.ReadOnlineNow.com

B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    43


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<< the balance sheet debt for unfunded pension liability?

Well, we can all thank General Electric’s lobbying effort during the Clinton administration and the labor department’s allowing companies to no longer fully fund pension funds and allow the obligation to be carried as a debt. In addition, the unfunded portion got to be considered as profit, which benefited executive bonuses.

Indeed, 1999 was a pivotal year in the United States. A year when the restraints on proprietary trading were removed, allowing the commingling of banking deposits (federally insured) with speculative trading. The change in many accounting rules (e.g., the pension funding identified above). It was the year that Bill Clinton signed into law the Enron-crafted “modernization act,” which allowed the Wall Street fox to take control of the hen house.
Do I blame Wall Street for doing that which they do best? Would I blame a fox for eating the chickens? No. I blame Congress and the Executive Branch. The useful idiots participating in the Occupy Movement don’t have a clue. So, what does the above fuel price chart indicate? It demonstrates all too well the result of unrestrained speculation in energy. When 80+ percent of all trades are by those who are unable to take delivery of the oil, and trades that are leveraged at rates of greater than 30 to 1, Americans and American businesses suffer. I recall all that crap about “peak oil” and world shortages being the reason for sky-high oil prices. The reality then, and now, is that Cushing, Okla., has a glut of oil. So much so that they have dramatically increased the storage capacity at this physical clearing point for domestic oil. If only people would research for themselves. If only reporters would investigate and not believe what the Wall Street PR-types say. We desperately need the sun to shine on what’s occurring. The cost to the American middle class is staggering. A situation which can so easily be remedied with simple futures trading rule modifications. Congress has held hearings on this matter a number of times, and what needs to be done is clearly understood. Yet nothing changes. That “giant sucking sound” is the speculator’s tax on the middle class. A tax that is causing the bankruptcy of solid American businesses which would otherwise be thriving if oil sold for a real market price, and not the contrived speculator-driven price we see today. www.OmahaPublications.com


Thank You From All of us at Malibu!

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B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012    45


business ethics By B e v er ly J. K racher , PH . D.

Summertime and Moral Superheroes

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f you could be a superhero, which one would you be?

Batman? He’s a super detective. Spiderman? He has super senses. Superman? He’s superfast, superstrong, and he can fly. And he’s nigh invulnerable—except around kryptonite. Wonder Woman? Why is she our only female option? It’s not fair… I don’t know about you, but I still read comic books (and watch the campy Batman reruns on TV). Every comic book issue is about fighting evil, standing up for justice, and learning what’s really important in life. As I was growing up, I learned as much from superheroes as I did from my parents about how to be a good person and serve my community. So when I think about how the Omaha Business Ethics Alliance can impact youth—our future Omaha business leaders—I can’t help but think of using superheroes. Every superhero has the same strong moral code. They are honest, trustworthy and compassionate. They are noble, kind, and true. I think we should create some Omaha superheroes that have a special moral code based on the core values of the Omaha business community. 46 

  B2B Omaha Magazine  •  Summer 2012

Perhaps a team of Moral Superheroes—one for Accountability, a second for Community Responsibility, a third for Financial Vitality, a fourth for Integrity, and a fifth for Moral Courage. What would our Moral Superheroes look like? Would they have secret identities? On the street, they look like current Omaha business leaders, but with the twist of a ring they turn into costumed crusaders? How would their moral superpowers be exemplified? Perhaps Accountability would be able to stop a run-away sales team from taking its business off-track and Moral Courage could have the strength to stand up for honest accounting practices. Does this all sound far-fetched? Lindy Hoyer, Executive Director of the Omaha Children’s Museum, sees a “super powerful opportunity” in it. And if you have been to the Children’s Museum recently, you know that Lindy knows what excites learning in our kids. I think that summertime is the perfect time to start this Moral Superhero project. Summertime is meant for playful learning and creativity that is way out of the box. I challenge all adults tasked with childcare in any way, shape or form this summer to get your kids to create Moral Superheroes based on Omaha’s core values. Here’s to truth, justice, and the Omaha way… Beverly Kracher, Ph.D. Executive Director, Business Ethics Alliance chair of Business Ethics & Society College of Business, Creighton University

www.OmahaPublications.com


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June/July/August 2012 B2B Omaha Magazine