2017 FACES of Omaha

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ACES OF OMAHA is an annual sponsored publication that we created in 2016 to introduce the “faces” of local industry leaders and experts. These profiles span across the community—from movie theater owners to marketing mavens. What makes FACES of Omaha (now in its second edition) exclusive is that only one person and company per business category is invited to participate. In the publishing industry, this sort of publication is known as “native advertising.” Native advertising is a unique form of sponsored content produced by editorial staff in conjunction with advertisers. The end result is this enjoyable and readable book that highlights Omaha’s legitimate business leaders. Everyone featured in the book is truly the “face” of their field. Our sales team spent considerable time cultivating this list to ensure that we showcase only the most prominent leaders in their fields.

These are the faces of people who have made Omaha the thriving metropolis that it is today. They are a big part of the reason why U.S. News & World Report ranked Omaha among its “25 Best Places to Live” in 2017. In 2015, Omaha was also ranked No. 6 out of 25 “Cities Worth Moving to if You Want to Start a Business” by Entrepreneur Magazine. The following pages introduce more than 60 people and companies that are the best in the area for their respective areas of expertise. These people stand ready to serve their community.

Todd Lemke, publisher Omaha Publications

CONTENTS 88 Tactical Group Aksarben Cinema Balanced Body Acupuncture & Chiropractic 7 Balanced Body Acupuncture & Chiropractic 8 Bark Avenue Omaha 9 Big Brain Productions 10 BUNGALOW/8 Hairdressing 11 Burton A/C, Heating, Plumbing, and More 12 Burton A/C, Heating, Plumbing, and More 13 Carlson & Burnett 14 Catering Creations 15 CBSHOME Real Estate 16 CKF 17 CKF 4 5 6

18 Ciaccio Roofing Corp. 19 Crescendo

Home Theater 20 Curt Hofer & Associates 21 Cut Spike Distillery 22 Dante 23 Darland Construction Co. 24 The Dentists 25 Dino’s Storage 26 Empowerment Network 27 Enchanted Honeymoons 28 Fashion Cleaners 29 FireGuard 30 The Firm Business Brokerage 31 FirstLight Home Care 32 Harrison Financial Services 33 Hotel Deco XV 34 Husker Hammer Siding, Windows & Roofing

35 Igel Orthodontics 36 InfiNet Solutions 37 AIM and Interface

Web School 38 James Martin Davis Law Office 39 Jani-King 40 Jones Bros. Cupcakes 41 Kugler Vision 42 Lanoha Nurseries 43 Legacy Eyecare 44 Lindley Clothing 45 Luke Direct Marketing 46 Maple 85 47 Marco 48 McKean’s Floor to Ceiling 49 Montessori Education Centers 50 O’Malley Financial Services 51 The Olson Group

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52 Oral Surgery Associates 53 Palm Beach Tan 54 The Paw Spa

Pet Resort

55 PIP Marketing,

Signs & Print Profit Advantage Direct QLI RDQLUS CREATIVE Safari Cigars & Lounge SilverStone Group Todd Smith Fitness Ted & Wally’s Upstream Brewing Company 64 The Volleyball Academy 65 YMCA of Greater Omaha 62 Zaiss & Company 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63


88 Tactical Group


TACTICAL IS AN elite training organi-

zation that helps prepare individuals, families, EMS workers and law enforcement and military personnel to handle any situation or crisis. The company offers a broad range of instruction in firearms, self-defense, bushcraft and survival, tactical medicine, home defense, active threat, and other tactical disciplines. Open to the public, people of all ages and ability levels are welcome to enroll in training classes at 88 Tactical’s state-of-the-art Range & Readiness Center. The 27,000-square-foot facility has three classrooms, 20 indoor shooting lanes, a 70-foot rappelling tower, a dedicated combat

and self-defense area, a 3,000 square-foot simulation area, private Founders Club lounge and range, pro-shop, café, and much more. 88 Tactical also owns and operates a 160-acre training complex in Tekamah, Nebraska, that includes a 3,000 square-foot lodge, cabins, bunkhouse, bushcraft camp, and multiple outdoor ranges. 88 Tactical’s highly credentialed executive team and instructor cadre are comprised of law enforcement officers, military special operations veterans, fire and rescue, and emergency medical personnel  15350 SHEPARD STREET, OMAHA, NE 68138 402-933-7171 • 88TACTICAL.COM

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Aksarben Cinema


HO BETTER TO ask than the locals what

types of movies Omaha wants? This is where Aksarben Cinema’s status as a locally-owned movie theater truly shines. The owners are involved in daily operations at the theater, ensuring moviegoers enjoy a real entertainment event with each visit. A wide variety of movies are shown at Aksarben Cinema, ranging from the latest blockbuster to criti­ cally acclaimed films on a limited run. With 10 screens featuring Dolby Digital technology and approximately 1200 seats available, the theater has become a local staple for a night out. Moviegoers enjoy the full-ser­ vice bar and concession counter serving movie-snack classics alongside eCreamery Ice Cream and a variety of small plates. Available party rooms allow for

anything from birthday parties to business meetings and everything in between, making it the perfect place for a celebration. Aksarben Cinema’s Fathom Events allow attendees to view screenings of events including concerts, opera, sports, and more. It’s one of the many ways they bring the world’s culture to a local venue.  2110 67TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68106 402.502.1914 • AKSARBENCINEMA.COM

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Balanced Body Acupuncture & Chiropractic


R. TRAVIS BAKER has a mission to empower individu-

als with their overall health and well-being. As an avid learner and researcher, he is always looking for ways to further assist in a patient’s recovery. Recently, he completed post-graduate certification in Medical Acupuncture and completed his fellowship through the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture (IAMA). In addition, he is trained and certified in Facial Enhancement & Cosmetic Acupuncture. His current endeavor is completing diplomat status through the IAMA. Acupuncture is a neurological phenomenon that works by signaling the brain and the nervous system to release various chemical messengers in the body, including painkillers

called endorphins. These innate, morphine-like chemicals influence the body’s awareness of pain, relieve it, and promote a feeling of well-being. The human body has an instinctive intelligence to heal itself and acupuncture is used to stimulate this innate response. Once people have experienced the benefits of acupuncture they become more in tune with their own bodies and realize they need to listen to the little warning signals, which may have been ignored for so long.  1817 N. 169TH PLAZA, OMAHA, NE 68118 402.932.8108 • BALANCEDBODYOMAHA.COM

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Balanced Body Acupuncture & Chiropractic


R. TRAVIS BAKER graduated with a bachelor’s

degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was a member of four Big XII championship teams, and continued his doctorate degree to graduate cum laude from Cleveland Chiropractic in 2011. His passion is to make people aware of how amazing their bodies are and true healing begins from within. Flexion-Distraction is the adjusting technique used at Balanced Body. He uses a precisely engineered table which decompresses the disc space and mobilizes the joints by providing a slow movement similar to a wave in the ocean. Therefore, it creates an opening and stretching effect to the vertebrae in your spine, no twisting. Flexion-Distraction is a safe, gentle technique with federally funded research and documentation.

Nerve function and communication is critical in your body’s ability to heal, repair, and preserve good health. In addition to his education in chiropractic and acupuncture, Dr. Baker also holds post-graduate certifications: • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) • Active Release Technique (ART) – FULL BODY • Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehab (FAKTR) • Flexion-Distraction  1817 N. 169TH PLAZA, OMAHA, NE 68118 402.932.8108 • BALANCEDBODYOMAHA.COM

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Bark Avenue Omaha


FAMILY’S PETS ARE as much a part of your

family as any person. They provide companionship, protection and unconditional love.

Why not give them the grooming experience they ask for by name … Bark! Bark Avenue Omaha features certified groomer and owner Suzanne Wilke, who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that date back to her teenage years working in her aunt’s pet store. Wilke brings more than 46 years of experience, and each grooming appointment is done with a pet’s utmost care and comfort in mind. Continuously keeping her skills sharp through continuing education, Wilke’s knowledge

about skin care and grooming techniques keep every dog looking his/her best. A customer’s pet will leave looking beautiful and feeling pampered. Everyone at Bark Avenue Omaha has chosen this as their profession, and the company hopes they will be working with your dogs their whole live. The employees want to enjoy our time with them, which means they will be working with dog owners to ensure a great experience for their beloved four-legged family members.  13706 C. ST., OMAHA, NE 68144 402.933.4007 • BARKAVENUEOMAHA.COM

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Big Brain Productions


IG BRAIN PRODUCTIONS owner Joseph Smith,

known as “Smitty,” says he was enthralled by tattoos even as a child. That fundamental fascination, which still thrives in him today, led to a career in the tattoo industry and ultimately gave life to Big Brain Productions, Smith’s award-winning tattoo and piercing establishment. Since Big Brain opened in 2000, it’s expanded to occupy a 4,000-square-foot space in the Old Market and grown in volume, too, with a reputation for innovative artistry anchored by conscientious practices. Smith himself has made the Guinness Book of World Records, advocated for state legislation governing the tattoo industry, developed

industry software, had his work featured in dozens of industry magazines and even published a book, “Marked & Mended—A Tattoo Anthology.” Despite all of his personal accomplishments, Smith says he never loses perspective and maintains that his biggest source of pride is his crew at Big Brain. “I truly appreciate the opportunity to lead such a talented group of artists and I am very grateful for the support of my friends and clients.”  1123 JACKSON ST., OMAHA, NE 68102 402.342.2885 • BIGBRAINOMAHA.COM

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BUNGALOW/8 Hairdressing



mier boutique salon offering personalized hairdressing, eyebrow shaping, and makeup services. Beyond their cultivated service offerings, the culture of BUNGALOW/8 is one of hospitality, exceptional guest experiences, and a reverence to creativity and diversity in all forms. Eric Burden and his team of artisans continually set the benchmark for “the science, technology, and artistry of professional hairdressing©.” As a whole, they bring over 125 years of combined behind-thechair experience paired with thousands of hours of master-level continuing education at prestigious academies and institutes across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Paired with their dedication to offering worldclass hospitality and a myriad of expert services, BUNGALOW/8 Hairdressing perseveres to create beautiful, healthy hair for each guest by using the best haircare brands in the world including Kerastase and Bumble and bumble. To compliment their bespoke eyebrow shaping services, BUNGALOW/8 Hairdressing offers the exclusive line of brow powders, gels, highlighters, and pencils from Damone Roberts, “Brow Guru” to Hollywood celebrities, fashionistas, and starlets alike.  1120 S. 105TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68124 402.934.8727 • BUNGALOW8OMAHA.COM

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Burton A/C, Heating, Plumbing, and More


URNACES AND AIR conditioners need to be

cleaned and inspected annually to make sure they are operating efficiently and safely. If this type of preventive maintenance is neglected, a family could end up inhaling carbon monoxide in January or sweltering in August. What company should someone call to schedule your preventive maintenance checks? Homeowners throughout the Omaha metro area rely on Burton A/C, Heating, Plumbing, and More because of the high level of service provided by the company’s employees. Burton’s licensed heating and air technicians undergo a 50-state background check as well as drug screening before

being hired, and they receive continuing education to keep pace with changing technology. Mark Evans, Burton’s president and owner, places a high priority on exceeding expectations. Their service partner plans are a great investment in maintaining a customer’s furnace and A/C. Appointments are scheduled by their customer service representatives so people have one less thing to worry about and can keep their families’ safety first. 5010 F ST., OMAHA NE 68117 402.934.7003 • JUSTCALLBURTON.COM

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Burton A/C, Heating, Plumbing, and More


HEN A FLOOR DRAIN backs up or a pipe

bursts, people need help right away— not tomorrow or next week. Who to call? Homeowners throughout the Omaha metro area rely on Burton A/C, Heating, Plumbing, and More because they know that Burton’s licensed technicians are available to handle plumbing emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No matter when someone calls, the phone will always be answered by a Burton employee, and a technician will be sent to the house. The technician will identify the problem and quote a guaranteed upfront price before doing the work. Each

of the company’s plumbing vans is stocked with more than 4,000 parts so repairs can be made immediately. Mark Evans, Burton’s president and owner, places a high priority on exceeding homeowners’ expectations. Shortly after the problem is fixed, customers receive a “happy” call from a Burton employee to ensure that they’re 100 percent satisfied with the service provided. Employees receive continuing education in their specialty areas and in customer service.  5010 F ST., OMAHA NE 68117 402.934.7003 • JUSTCALLBURTON.COM

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Carlson & Burnett


LETE BLAKEMAN OF Carlson & Burnett is an

Omaha trial lawyer whose work focuses exclusively on serious personal injury and wrongful death cases in Nebraska and Iowa. With more than 25 years of experience in the courtroom and and in complex settlement negotiations, Clete devotes 100% of his law practice to helping severely injured victims and families grieving the loss of loved ones from events involving automobile, truck and motorcycle collisions, boating and jetski accidents, hazardous conditions on commercial or private property, fires, and head injuries.

Undeniably, Clete is dedicated to providing the absolute highest level of personal legal representation to each and every one of his injured clients. For a free initial consultation, call Clete Blakeman or email him at clete@carlsonburnett.com.  17525 ARBOR ST., OMAHA, NE 68130 402.415.6977 • CARLSONBURNETT.COM

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Catering Creations


REPARING GRAND DINNER productions for hun-

dreds of hungry guests may seem overwhelming. But it depends on whom you ask.

“Cooking can be easy,” says Executive Chef Jeff Snow, co-founder of Catering Creations. The graduate of the Culinary Institute of America has been working in the kitchen since the counters were taller than he was. Jeff’s wife, co-founder Jennifer Snow, says clients tell her they are thrilled with innovative menus, but also the unique and sleek presentations, plus detailed event planning from start to finish. One client wrote:

“I heard so many people say this was the best food they’ve ever had at a wedding … Catering Creations went above and beyond what other caterers do in planning and service.” Nice to hear. For seven years in a row, Catering Creations was voted “Best Caterer—First Place” in Best of Omaha. The catering company has won so many awards that they direct you to the company’s website to read them all.  1915 JACKSON ST., OMAHA, NE 68102 402.558.3202 • CATERINGCREATIONS.COM

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CBSHOME Real Estate


N HIS SECOND year as president and CEO of

CBSHOME Real Estate, a Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate, Scott Vogt has made it his mission to have an agent first philosophy. He aims to make CBSHOME the easiest, most service-orientated company in the Omaha metro for agents to work. This year, the focus includes launching new technology to easier connect agents and clients during the transaction process. Vogt makes a point to be approachable and easygoing with all agents and employees. His open door policy and high energy are traits that everyone

admires about Vogt. When it comes to having fun or conducting business, Vogt has a magic touch of bringing people together. His priority is to ensure this honored company has qualified agents and excellent customer service, and continues its long-standing tradition of success.

15950 WEST DODGE ROAD, NO. 300, OMAHA, NE 68118 402.-934.1590 • CBSHOME.COM

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S ONE OF the largest and most trusted names

in countertops in Omaha, CKF provides their customers with the best brand name products and the latest in countertop designs. They hold an exclusive partnership with Cambria® quartz and are able to bring the newest designs and innovations in quartz countertops to Nebraska and Iowa. In addition to quartz, they continue to fabricate and install other natural stone, Corian®, wood, and laminate countertops. They fabricate natural stone countertops in their state-of-the-art fabrication facilities to bring custom designs to life in homes and businesses.

Producing such a high volume of countertops means they are left with small pieces of beautiful quartz and other stone materials, perfect for DIY projects. In CKF’s newest Omaha endeavor, the Countertop Outlet, customers can find stellar deals for their homes without spending full retail price. The Countertop Outlet is located just a few buildings from CKF’s Omaha showroom.  10325 J. ST., OMAHA, NE 68127 402.331.0500 • CKFCO.COM

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NNOVATIVE DESIGN and exceptional prod-

ucts are the backbone of CKF. Since 1923, the company has grown and evolved with Omaha’s ever-changing kitchen and bath design trends. In 1986, Sam and Connie Marchese purchased the company, which was originally a wholesale distributor of lumberyard products. Today, CKF remains a wholesale distributor, as well as a dealer and retailer of multiple cabinet lines, countertops, and other top-of-the-line building materials. They provide home builders, interior designers, contractors, remodelers, and homeowners in Nebraska and Iowa the best products in the industry.

As the face of custom cabinetry, CKF’s team of talented designers work persistently to create kitchen, bathroom, garage, office, pantry, and closet designs for various residential and commercial projects. Their wide selection of cabinet lines fit their customers’ tastes and budgets. CKF brings these designs to life in their Omaha, Lincoln, and Des Moines showrooms so that customers can experience first-hand what they install in homes.  10325 J. ST., OMAHA, NE 68127 402.331.0500 • CKFCO.COM

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Ciaccio Roofing Corp.


HROUGHOUT HIS 30-PLUS years in the roofing

business, Pete Ciaccio has kept abreast of new developments in the industry. But some things never change. “We’ve been around a long time as a family operated organization and strive to keep the integrity we’re based on,” he says, adding that much of his work comes from referrals and repeat business. “They have confidence in us and peace of mind with us.” Ciaccio Roofing has the experience and manpower to handle projects of all sizes and specifications while demonstrating professionalism, so it’s no wonder Ciaccio Roofing has been voted Best of B2B 11 years in a row.

Ciaccio has grown steadily; its current 16,000-squarefoot facility quadruples its original quarters. The company is known for commercial and industrial roofing, and specializes in flat roofs. Ciaccio is also a long-time certified Duro-Last contractor and the largest in the state. The roofing specialists have expertise in re-roofs, new constructions, and service repairs for business and residential clients.  4420 IZARD ST., OMAHA, NE 68131 402.293.8707 • CIACCIOROOFING.COM

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Crescendo Home Theater



pull into your driveway after work, you disarm the alarm system, turn on the lights, unlock the doors, adjust the temperature, and activate the sound system in your family room—all without getting out of your car. Crescendo specializes in designing sophisticated audio-video, security, and home automation systems that integrate technology seamlessly to meet the specific needs and desires of each client. “With each project, we put the needs of the client and the requirements for performance and service ahead of everything else,” explains owner Daniel Karen. “We want to bring value that goes beyond the price point, and that’s why we’ve selected

the products, manufacturers, and local businesses (like Clark International) we partner with.” As an example, Crescendo can install an electrostatic system that delivers jaw-dropping sound quality for clients who want the ultimate audio experience. “Electrostatic speakers lift an audio veil from your ears that you didn’t know was there,” Karen says. “We use technology to bring people closer to the experience of listening to a live performance. This philosophy is applied across all our home and business technology solutions.”  402.502.4502 • CRESCENDOHOMETHEATER.COM

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Curt Hofer & Associates



Associates to design and build their custom homes get a group of accomplished professionals who take a team approach to projects. Each home is truly personalized, reflecting the customers’ needs and preferences. President Steve Huber meets all of those requests with the contributions and expertise of his team, including Vice President of Construction Craig Linnenbrink, Vice President of Design Marshall Wallman, and a crew of service professionals—the hallmark of the company.

Since its founding in 1993, the company’s mission has been to listen to their customers’ visions and develop a deep

understanding of how they want their homes to function. Factors such as lifestyle, how customers like to entertain and relax, and the specific characteristics of the lot will be taken into account. As a design-build firm, Curt Hofer & Associates provides a seamless home-building experience that is as stress-free as possible. From the beginning, the firm has established a stellar reputation in the Omaha area for its skillful handling of high-end custom homes, additions, renovations and home remodeling projects.  16820 FRANCES ST. #102, OMAHA, NE 68130 402.758.0440 • CURTHOFER.COM

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Cut Spike Distillery


GED. RICH. FLAVORFUL. Local. These words

describe of Cut Spike Distillery’s offerings— and this year, the company is unveiling a new single-malt whiskey. According to owner Jason Payne, what makes it particularly unique is the traditionally Scottish copper stills in which it’s made, but it is truly rooted in the American-style bourbon category. Cut Spike also makes vodka described as “smooth, clean, and finishing with a hint of sweetness,” and rum that is “proofed from limestone-filtered spring water and aged in whole barrels.” It pours golden in color, is light in body, and full of complex caramel and vanilla flavors.

Payne, along with Tyler Thompson, Alex Freed, and Mike and Adam Cunningham, have a mission to deliver artisanal, hand-crafted spirits—including the single malt whiskey which won double gold at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits competition—that take a lot of time and care to get just right. Because they want you to have the perfect drink, whether it be for those special occasions, paired with dinner, or just for a night in.  11941 CENTENNIAL ROAD, LA VISTA, NE 68128 402.763.8868 • CUTSPIKE.COM

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ANTE IS OMAHA’S first restaurant specializing in

authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and rustic Italian cuisine featuring ingredient-driven dishes with fresh produce from local farmers. “We are the pioneers in authentic wood-fired pizza in Nebraska and have been doing it since 2009,” says chef and owner Nick Strawhecker. Chef Strawhecker has a passion for hyper-local, seasonal dishes. Since the restaurant opened in 2009, Dante has partnered with Branched Oak Farm, in Raymond, Nebraska, (cows pictured) who supplies all the mozzarella for the pizzas at Dante. “I want to know where our food comes from, who grows our produce or raises the animals and how—it’s what our

fantastic guests deserve. We are fortunate to work with extremely talented, conscientious, and environmentally aware farmers who provide us with some of the most responsibly cultivated products in the country,” chef explains. The Omaha community agrees, as Dante has been voted Best of Omaha, Brick Oven Pizza, since 2011. Dante also brings the kitchen to their customers with the Inferno, the only wood-fired, Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana-certified (VPN-certified) mobile pizza oven in the entire Midwest.  16901 WRIGHT PLAZA, SUITE 173, OMAHA, NE 68130 402.932.3078 • DANTEPIZZERIA.COM

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Darland Construction Co.


UILDING TO A Higher Standard” is an apt tagline

for Darland Construction, a company that strives for ongoing improvement in construction quality, relationships with clients and vendors, and responsiveness to changing times. According to Duke Matz, the company’s president, Darland’s quest for excellence has paid off. “We’re in a significant growth mode right now,” he said. “Over the last year, we’ve increased our volume by more than 30 percent.” Darland was founded in 1953 as an industrial construction firm but has expanded to encompass full-service retail establishments, healthcare facilities, offices, schools, and multifamily dwellings. Along the Dodge Street corridor, Darland has completed projects from downtown to UNMC, the Westroads area, Bank of the West

Business Park, and Village Pointe. Recent accomplishments include the new Pinnacle Bank headquarters at 180th and West Dodge Road and the four-story, 100-unit Jones 13 apartments near the Old Market. Slated for completion in the fall 2017 is a massive 180,000-square-feet Truck Center Companies corporate headquarters and dealership on a 26-acre site at the corner of Interstate 80 and Highway 50. Pictured from the left are Alan Walters (VP of Preconstruction Services), Jerry Kelley (CEO), Jay Matz (VP of Business Development), Duke Matz (President) and Pete Knapp (VP of Construction Operations).  4115 S. 133RD ST., OMAHA NE 68137 402.330.1440 • DARLAND.COM

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The Dentists


OR 20 YEARS the motto “what is best for the

patient” has guided the team of The Dentists and enabled them to grow into their current six doctor, four location practice. This includes (pictured l-r) Dr. Chad Snow, Dr. Amy Ruf, Dr. J.R. Demman, Dr. Jay Samuelson, Dr. Jeffrey Garvey and Dr. Brian Pendley. The company has maintained a “neighborhood dentist” feel and the doctors enjoy getting to know each of their patients. The locally owned practice values the Omaha community and is proud to be voted first place for Family Dentists in the Best of Omaha contest for 10 years in a row.

Patients visiting one of their locations, can be assured that they will be treated like family. Through the years The Dentists have worked hard to offer a broad range of services for any dental issue. This wide range skill-set allows them to complete just about any dental service under one roof. They know their patients appreciate that they have the ability to remain in the same office with familiar faces.  13808 WEST MAPLE ROAD, NO. 112, OMAHA, NE 68164 402.445.4647 • THEDENTISTSOMAHA.COM

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Dino’s Storage


HEN STUFF STARTS to pile up and space

Omaha-area locations provide a variety of storage opportunities for special keepsakes, from outdoor storage to well-lit, climate- and humidity-controlled indoor storage. They offer free truck usage and indoor loading docks.

Dino’s can offer you a place to safely store your beloved belongings. A staff member is available onsite to help customers at least five days a week, and they provide gated facilities with security cameras. The company specializes in providing modern self-storage facilities to customers in their service areas. Their nine

Not sure how long you will need to store your items? No problem. The company offers short term and long term storage options. Dino’s Storage—where your stuff’s in our doghouse so you’re not!

gets crammed, it’s common to hear a loved one say, “get rid of this!” But how can you? Each item in a collection contains special memories, special meaning.

402-916-4015 • DINOSSTORAGE.COM

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Empowerment Network


VERYBODY SAYS THAT it takes a village to raise

a child, but what happens when the village needs to be rebuilt?” asks Willie Barney, founder and president of the Empowerment Network. The “village” concept is integral to the Empowerment Network’s philosophy, and the organization has been a key voice in shaping the North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan. Barney was born in Mississippi, went to college in Iowa, and rose in the ranks of Lee Enterprises. He moved to Omaha with his wife in 2000 for a World-Herald marketing manager job.

Six years later, he and a small group discussed starting the Empowerment Network. It formally launched in April 2007 with the involvement of 400 local residents and stakeholders. Today, the collaborative involves more than 3,000 participants with over 7,000 providing input into a community-based plan. They host several initiatives: Christmas in the Village; Monthly Village Community Meeting; Omaha 360 (violence prevention); the African American Leadership Conference; Step-Up Omaha! (the state’s largest youth employment initiative); Entrepreneurship Collaborative; and the North Omaha Cradle to Career Education Strategy.  105 N. 31ST AVE., NO. 101, OMAHA, NE 68131 402.502.5153 ·  EMPOWEROMAHA.COM

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Enchanted Honeymoons


AYING “I DO” on a tropical beach in the

company of family and friends is a dream come true for a growing number of couples. Lori and Ken Matthews, owners of Enchanted Honeymoons Travel, say the most popular locations for destination weddings are Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. When Lori opened the business 24 years ago, her passion for travel helped her discover a need in the market for a company who could make destination weddings and honeymoons effortless for the bride and groom. The first step is a free consultation, at which the couple fills out a profile with details about their ideal day to help the Enchanted

Honeymoons staff plan a wedding that’s perfect for them. The Matthews and their staff have stayed at all of the resorts they recommend, which is what sets Enchanted Honeymoons apart. “Online they all look beautiful, but we have our own personal pictures so you can see what they really look like,” Lori says. Along with destination weddings and honeymoons, Enchanted Honeymoons Travel also specializes in all kinds of leisure travel, from Disney trips to group getaways.  17650 WRIGHT ST., OMAHA NE 68130 402.390.9291 • ENCHANTEDHONEYMOONS.COM

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Fashion Cleaners


RUST AN AWARD-WINNING dry cleaner to treat

a customer’s clothes as they would treat their own. Trust the same dry cleaner used by the Omaha Community Playhouse, the Orpheum Theater, and the Omaha Symphony—a dry cleaner awarded the Sustainability Award for Textile Cleaning at the Global Best Practices Awards for the Professional Textile Care Industry, along with a Best Dry Cleaner in Omaha distinction for nearly 11 years in a row. With these credentials, it’s no wonder Fashion Cleaners leads the pack among dry cleaners in Omaha. Fashion Cleaners’ professionals use the latest trends and best practices in the industry. As members of the

Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute, the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, and Leading Cleaners Internationale, Fashion Cleaners knows about the latest dry cleaning technology from around the globe. Pick-up and delivery services are complimentary for customers and the MyDryCleaner smartphone app makes checking on clothes’ cleaning progress incredibly easy. As Omaha’s first 100 percent eco-friendly cleaner, Fashion Cleaners uses cleaning methods their customers can feel good about.  SIX CONVENIENT LOCATIONS 402.342.3491 • FASHIONCLEANERS.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 28 | omahamagazine.com




IRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS are essential for

businesses of all sizes, from neighborhood restaurants to large corporations. Not only are these systems required by law, but they save lives, money, and property. Bob Sorensen began installing fire systems as a teenager during the 1960s and found he enjoyed it. He worked for three fire protection companies before starting FireGuard in 1993, and over the years his company has grown from Sorensen and a couple of part-timers to 50 employees, 30 service trucks, and an 18,000-square-feet building. Sorensen attributes FireGuard’s success to “Working hard, working honestly, and taking care of people.” This type of work

involves being available to clients 24-7 throughout the year, including holidays. Sorensen recalls leaving home on Christmas Day to fix a sprinkler line. Like the company’s founder, FireGuard’s technicians take pride in helping clients. Sorensen treats his technicians with respect, and invests part of the company’s profits in training programs. FireGuard also gives back to the community by partnering with nonprofits such as Project Harmony and the Food Bank.  4406 S. 76TH CIRCLE, OMAHA NE 68127 402.699.7983 • FIREGUARD.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 29 | omahamagazine.com


The Firm Business Brokerage


THICS. GRIT. BOLDNESS. Three key characteris-

tics all good business owners need, three essential values Business Brokers should practice. That’s exactly what happens at The Firm Business Brokerage, with the highest closing volume in the Midwest, where Cortney Sells proves that buying an existing business is far more advantageous than starting from scratch. As president and senior broker, Sells advocates that banks are more likely to provide financing toward an existing business. In the age of startups, time is a valuable commodity, and the ability to provide detailed financials to prove a company’s profitability is a huge leg up. The Firm Business Brokerage specializes

in the sale and purchase of cash-flowing, successful businesses—exactly what buyers and lenders prefer. Anyone thinking about buying or selling a business should work with the brokerage that facilitated ore than 150 closings in 18 industries. Sells and her team of professional experts offer complimentary valuations to business owners, and have forged strategic partnerships with banks, law practices, accounting firms, and private equity groups.  210 N. 78TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68114 402.998.5288 • THEFIRMBUSINESSBROKERAGE.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 30 | omahamagazine.com


FirstLight Home Care



PARENT can be challenging. When an adult child needs a hand, it’s essential to find trustworthy and reliable in-home caregivers. Taking care of her own parents motivated Jaye Firmature McCoy to purchase the Omaha franchise of FirstLight Home Care in March 2014. Born and raised in Omaha, McCoy learned lifelong lessons about the importance of building strong customer relationships through her involvement in the Firmature family businesses: the Gas Lamp restaurant at 30th and Leavenworth and the Sidewalk Café at Regency Court. Today McCoy takes a hands-on approach in operating her own company,

explaining, “I’m a phone call away from any client or employee.” FirstLight Home Care holds an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau and received the 2016 BBB Integrity Awards’ “Silver Award of Distinction.” For three years in a row, Omaha’s FirstLight Home Care has received the “Provider of Choice” award from Home Care Pulse based on the results of monthly client satisfaction surveys. McCoy emphasizes, “Accountability and integrity are a deep seated way I live my life and conduct my business.”  2717 S. 88TH ST., OMAHA NE 68124 402.614.0413 • WESTOMAHA.FIRSTLIGHTHOMECARE.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 31 | omahamagazine.com


Harrison Financial Services



ness of helping clients build a financial legacy perpetuating success for generations to come.

It’s one of the reasons many local, successful families, business owners and private foundations look to Harrison Financial Services for guidance. With over 20 cumulative post-graduate designations among the 13 team members and a real propensity toward teamwork and active community involvement, Harrison Financial Services offers a talented group of professionals to help people unravel their financial puzzle and build the roadmap for financial success. Using a holistic approach to finance means a client’s entire lifestyle and goals are taken into account; it is this unique process that results in financial security and reached goals.

Financial planning can seem daunting but Harrison Financial Services focuses on providing an innovative approach while developing deep interpersonal relationships. Clients are active partners in co-creating the very best financial plan, allowing them to fully understand all aspects of the necessary steps leading to a desired financial future. The team at Harrison Financial Services often takes the complexity of wealth management and even helps the most sophisticated clients consolidate and simplify their financial affairs into a cohesive written plan.  9300 UNDERWOOD AVE., NO. 500, OMAHA, NE 68114 402.891.2302 • HFS.NM.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 32 | omahamagazine.com


Hotel Deco XV



environment with a team dedicated to service is at the heart of Hotel Deco XV’s mission. Since being acquired by Aparium Hotel Group, the historic 11-story Hotel Deco XV has been renovated and furnished in a neoclassical style reminiscent of its 1930 Art Deco origin. Hotel Deco XV is both listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the only Historic Hotels of America property in Nebraska. The 89-room hotel is also an exclusive AAA Four Diamond luxury boutique property, due in part to its dynamic leadership team. General Manager Matt Korsos along with Assistant General Manager Brian Wenninghoff, Director of

Sales and Marketing Laurie Czyz, and Nebraska-born Executive Chef Patrick Micheels bring their combined years of experience within the hospitality industry and a shared passion for creating unparalleled guest experiences to the Hotel Deco XV. Hotel Deco XV and Aparium Hotel Group work to provide both locals and travelers alike unique experiences and distinctively tailored service through their philosophies of translocal hospitality, intuitive service and owner collaboration.  1504 HARNEY ST., OMAHA, NE 68102 402.991.4981 • HOTELDECOOMAHA.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 33 | omahamagazine.com


Husker Hammer Siding, Windows & Roofing


USKER HAMMER Siding, Windows & Roofing

offers a unique perspective in exterior home remodeling in Omaha. The roofing, siding, and window company was founded with the goal of empowering homeowners to make informed decisions for their properties. The company’s goal is to be a progressive flagship in the industry, while remaining faithful to our mission of excellence in workmanship and service. In 1998, this company began with one man selling and installing siding and windows, and has grown to include more than 15 employees working from a 11,000 square foot facility and interactive showroom. Their passion for selling and installing exceptional quality windows, siding, and roofing materials has grown with the company, and

they now offer a large selection of products that provide style, durability, low maintenance, advanced technology, and sustainability. Husker Hammer Siding, Windows & Roofing employees focus on the relationship rather than the sale. Because of this, they are regularly recognized by the community with honors like a Better Business Bureau Integrity Award, a Best of Omaha win, an Angie’s List Super Service Award, a Greater Omaha Chamber Small Business of the Month Award and a Western Douglas County Chamber Business of the Year designation.  1406 VETERANS DRIVE, ELKHORN, NE 68022 402.894.9525 • HUSKERHAMMER.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 34 | omahamagazine.com


Igel Orthodontics


BEAUTIFUL SMILE MAKES a great first impres-

sion and is one of your best features. Dr. Igel and his team have been providing orthodontic excellence and beautiful smiles for over 25 years. They focus on each patient’s overall health by ensuring an airway-conscious treatment plan. Misaligned teeth and jaws can limit the airway preventing optimal breathing. Sleep apnea is a medical problem with a preventative orthodontic solution in growing children, and Igel Orthodontics can help.

They offer the most advanced technology available, including digital photos, impressionless scans, accelerated treatment, clear braces, Invisalign, and 3D iCAT technology. This allows for the most effective, least invasive treatment plan for their patients. Let them provide you with a beautiful, healthy smile.  10801 PACIFIC ST., NO. 200, OMAHA, NE 68154 402.330.1152 • IGELORTHODONTICS.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 35 | omahamagazine.com


InfiNet Solutions


HEN HIRING EXPERTS to manage a com-

pany’s information technology, bosses need to find people who will be easy to reach if something goes wrong. Clients of InfiNet Solutions can count on being able to talk with a staff member quickly. “Having strong relationships with our clients is important. We work hard to team up with them for aligned success,” says Michael Johnson, co-owner with business partner Steve Johnson. Michael has 13 years of experience in the IT field and Steve has 23. “You never have to fight to get someone to come on site,” he adds. “We’re extremely responsive and very pro-active—we meet with customers regularly

so there are no surprises.” Founded in 1998, InfiNet Solutions serves small-to-medium-sized companies. The firm’s specialized experience includes assisted living facilities and architectural design firms. Best of all, the experts at InfiNet are able to discuss highly technical subjects in everyday language. “The ‘geek speak’ is only for talking to other geeks,” Johnson notes. “When we talk to clients, we break it down into terms that they understand.”  6430 S. 84TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68127 402.895.5777 • OMAHAIT.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 36 | omahamagazine.com


AIM and Interface Web School


HONNA DORSEY WAS co-founder and managing

director for Interface Web School, a web developer training school founded in 2014 to build and retain tech talent in the Midwest. The company operates in the same downtown building as AIM, a 25-year nonprofit aspiring to attract and support tech talent for a world-class regional tech workforce. It seemed natural for the two like-minded entities to come together, which happened in January when AIM acquired the assets of Interface Web School and appointed Dorsey as Vice President of Tech Education. An Omaha native, Dorsey is especially motivated to see the local tech sector grow. Her impressive

background includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees in management information systems from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a resume boasting training facilitation, project management, and application development, along with multiple professional certifications. She even coordinates networking events for local tech professionals and is active in numerous nonprofit and community efforts, including leading web developer training for youth as young as age 7.


Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 37 | omahamagazine.com


James Martin Davis Law Office


IRING AN ATTORNEY is a decision that can

have lifelong impact, and clients turn to James Martin Davis because he is one of the Midwest’s pre-eminent criminal and civil trial lawyers over an exceptional career of more than 35 years. He’s received numerous honors and recognition from his peers including being named among the American Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, the National Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and as a Great Plains Super Lawyer. Clients facing criminal charges trust his experience and ability to provide them with the best counsel and representation possible. His extensive trial experience includes over 150 jury trials to date. Davis also has special expertise representing clients

who have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another, such as medical malpractice or auto accident cases. In addition to his law career, Davis has been the attorney in charge of an organized crime and anti-corruption strike force, and has served as a special agent in the U.S. Secret Service. Davis is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran.  1623 FARNAM ST., SUITE 500, OMAHA, NE 68102 402.341.9900 • JAMESMARTINDAVIS.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 38 | omahamagazine.com




ELEBRATING 10 YEARS in business is quite an

impressive feat, but becoming an industry pioneer is even more remarkable.

Jani-King is the pioneer of the commercial cleaning business, providing individuals with the opportunity to be in business for themselves—yet not all by themselves. Jani-King provides the roadmap of success to entrepreneurs to help them build a business. Omaha’s Jani-King is also an advocate for several causes, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society and the Special Olympics.

Other commercial cleaning businesses have tried to mirror the Jani-King way of doing things, but there is only one original, which is why Jani-King serves thousands of satisfied clients. Excellent commercial cleaning paired with extraordinary customer service is par for the course for this pioneer in the commercial cleaning business. Customers enjoy the clean, healthy results provided by Jani-King. As an industry leader, Jani-King sets the stage for community-minded businesses and successful entrepreneurs who enjoy an enriching work/life balance.  5885 S. 118TH CIRCLE, OMAHA, NE 68137 402.932.0514 • JANIKING.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 39 | omahamagazine.com


Jones Bros. Cupcakes


ONES BROS. CUPCAKES started out as a casual

Jones family kitchen-table conversation, but it quickly blossomed into a dessert restaurant featuring made-from-scratch baked goods created from the finest ingredients. And it’s still very much a family business; even with two busy locations, visitors are still likely to see the namesake brothers, Bill and Brad, or parents Jerry and Elizabeth Jones, onsite at either shop. Although Jones Bros. is also a cafe with a “comfortable and upscale environment” and offers catering services, cupcakes, ice cream, macarons and treats are still the mainstay of the business. Owner Bill Jones, who represented the business on 3 occasions on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” says

that’s because cupcakes are remarkably versatile: customers can order custom batches for special occasions like weddings and birthday celebrations or choose a single treat from the ample variety of cupcakes on display. Traditional flavors like red velvet, vanilla, and strawberry cream are available side-by-side with newer options like sweet & salty, crème brûlée, or cookie dough, and some occasional surprises. Several varieties are even gluten-free.  2121 S. 67TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68106 2615 S. 180TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68130 402.884.2253 • JONESBROSCUPCAKES.COM FACEBOOK.COM/JONESBROSCUPCAKES

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 40 | omahamagazine.com


Kugler Vision


EOPLE WHO WISH they could have 20/20 vision

without glasses or contacts have options. There are seven safe, effective laser vision procedures that can enable most people to see clearly without corrective lenses, and Kugler Vision is the only medical practice in Omaha that specializes in them all: LASIK, ASA, SMILE, ICLs, Corneal Inlays for near vision, Refractive Lens Exchange, and Corneal Crosslinking. Kugler Vision also offers Refractive Laser Cataract Surgery. The primary focus is on finding a customized solution for each patient based on his or her unique vision challenges and lifestyle. All eligible staff members have had a refractive procedure themselves, so

they understand the freedom and confidence that comes from seeing the world in a new way. “It’s so much more than just not wearing contacts or glasses,” explains Dr. Lance Kugler. “It’s deeper than that. It’s a transformational experience that changes how you interact with the world. It’s such an incredible honor to be doing what I do.” As director of refractive surgery at UNMC, Dr. Kugler is in charge of resident education and research programs that advance the field of refractive surgery.  KUGLERVISION.COM • 402.558.2211

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 41 | omahamagazine.com


Lanoha Nurseries


ANOHA NURSERIES CAME into being in the mid-

1970s, not long before Chris Lanoha himself came into being, so the family business has been part of the now-vice president’s life since day one. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is in knowing that our team gets to advise you in everything from the smallest planting decisions to being the professionals you count on to design and execute your most ambitious landscaping dreams,” he says. Lanoha has seen the company grow to be one of the largest nursery and garden centers in the Midwest with a full range of live trees, shrubs, plants, and related

supplies as well as landscape design and construction services for residential and commercial projects. The staff includes a second generation of Lanohas along with experienced horticulturists, gardeners, certified arborists, and landscape designers respected for their know-how and creativity. With such a wide selection and knowledgeable staff, Lanoha Nurseries has what it takes to expertly execute any size project, from individual plants to a custom backyard to large commercial landscaping.  19111 WEST CENTER ROAD, OMAHA, NE 68130 402.289.4103 • LANOHANURSERIES.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 42 | omahamagazine.com


Legacy Eyecare


T’S NOT JUST about finding sunglasses that look

good and feel comfortable, says Jeff Brewer O.D. of Legacy Eyecare. Proper lens treatments are needed to protect long-term eye health. Also, the right lens color helps with outdoor tasks and can even boost athletic performances. A brown lens highlights objects on green surfaces. A grey lens cuts glare off of water. Brewer cautions that, “not all sunglass lenses can be trusted to adequately protect against UV and blue light damage from sun exposure.” Legacy Eyecare serves clients of all ages, he adds. Because a child’s eyes are most vulnerable to UV

and blue light damage, parents should encourage children to wear sunglasses purchased from a trusted eye care source. Protecting eye health early in life can help avoid later development of cataracts or macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss in people over 55. Legacy Eyecare’s staff has the expertise to ensure clients get matched with reliable sun wear—from the largest single location selection in the city—that best meets their needs!  16949 LAKESIDE HILLS PLAZA, SUITE 101, OMAHA NE 68130 402.614.3200 • LEGACYEYECARE.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 43 | omahamagazine.com


Lindley Clothing


ERVICE IS OUR top priority, and we do it very

well,” says John Lindley, owner of Lindley Clothing. “We know our clients by name, and we know what they like.” This first-hand knowledge is irreplaceable when a client’s spouse walks into the store looking for the perfect gift. Since John’s grandfather, Jack, opened the store in 1935, multiple generations of men throughout the Omaha metro area have relied on Lindley Clothing to provide them with high-quality business suits and great-looking, well-made sportswear from top brands. The store’s customer list of nearly

5,000 includes a growing number of young men who understand the importance of dressing well in the business world. John, who purchased the business from his uncle in 1988, credits Lindley’s many dedicated employees for contributing to the company’s success. Lindley’s tailor has been with the company for 35 years, and his expertise ensures that each suit looks as if it was custom-made for the wearer.  707 N. 132ND ST., OMAHA NE 68154 402.491.4000 • LINDLEYCLOTHING.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 44 | omahamagazine.com


Luke Direct Marketing



involves respecting the demands and special challenges of a quirky, powerful medium still in its infancy.

Tom Luke’s been a successful part of marketing long enough to know what works and what doesn’t—and he’s used his acumen to develop Facebook plans that have been successful for many businesses in a variety of industries.

Luke and his creative team are fresh experts in content selection, posting strategy and savvy targeting that attracts attention, drives business and grows a company’s customer base in this dynamic new marketing force.  2626 HARNEY ST., SUITE E, OMAHA, NE 68131 402.650.2917 • LUKEDIRECTMARKETING.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 45 | omahamagazine.com


Maple 85


EOPLE SEARCHING FOR landscape mulch that

suits the color of their houses should know that Maple 85 Premium Landscape Mulch Center offers the best selection in the area. “Our competitors only have two or three colors of mulch, but we have eight,” says owner Todd Metzler. In addition to mulch, Maple 85 offers a wide variety of soil, rock, and landscaping accessories at its clean, well-organized facility at 85th and Maple streets. Todd and co-owner Kris Metzler can calculate the correct amount of mulch, rock, or soil, a customer needs based on the dimensions of the area to be covered.

Customers can also arrange for delivery of their purchase or rent one of Maple 85’s trailers to transport it themselves. “We’re the only ones in town that offer the trailers,” Kris notes. Maple 85 is a family-owned business that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and they have won Best of Omaha for the past two years. Photos of the company’s products can be viewed online.  8415 MAPLE ST., OMAHA, NE 68134 402.397.8278 • MAPLE85.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 46 | omahamagazine.com




HETHER IT’S MANAGED print and IT, copi-

ers and printers, or cloud services, Marco will break things down to simple terms for clients so they can focus on building their business— securely—for the future. The people at Marco take the time to know their customers’ businesses and their people, and provide solutions that enhance the company’s ability to thrive. Marco’s business is technology, but more importantly, Marco is focused on strengthening communities and providing opportunities to grow together.

With 30-year veterans and community members like Scott Weschcke providing service to the heart of Nebraska, it’s no wonder Marco’s track record includes winning the Best of B2B Award in Copier Service for 11 consecutive years. The Omaha partners say, “It’s been an honor to serve the community for more than 43 years, and we look forward to many more in this ever-changing world of technology.”  7929 WEST CENTER ROAD, OMAHA, NE 68124 402.339.3006 • MARCONET.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 47 | omahamagazine.com


McKean’s Floor to Ceiling


CKEAN’S WAS FOUNDED in 1962 by Dennis

McKean and is still owned and operated by the McKean family—now in the third generation—today under the same values of honesty and outstanding service that were put in place more than 50 years ago. President Darren McKean grew up in the business and is one of eight family members involved today, leading a friendly and knowledgeable team of design consultants, sales representatives, and installers whose goal is to help customers select flooring, countertops, cabinets, and fixtures they will be happy with for many years.

McKean says that the family atmosphere extends beyond DNA; most of the company’s employees have been with the company for over 10 years. He also pointed out that the company’s installation crews are employees, not subcontractors, so everyone takes pride in living up to the business’ good name and excellent reputation. It’s a reputation that has grown to extend far beyond Omaha not just for personal service, but also competitive prices and the latest in flooring, cabinetry, and interior products.  10811 HARRISON ST., OMAHA, NE 68128 402.331.4062 • MCKEANS.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 48 | omahamagazine.com


Montessori Education Centers


HE FIRST MONTESSORI Educational Center

opened in 1968 under the guidance of Dr. LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck. When she retired last year, the schools were purchased by Julie Roy, who, as an owner of six Montessori schools in Canada with more than 22 years’ experience, brings a visionary history and approach to raise Omaha’s Montessori schools to the next level of excellence.

“I’m excited to work with our families, and grow our schools, to achieve the highest level of preschool education in Omaha,” says Roy. “I see great things for our children and families in Montessori now and in the future.”

Independent learning is a hallmark of the Montessori approach to education, making it an ideal choice for parents who want their children to reach their full potential. Children in Montessori classrooms initiate their own learning based upon their interests, and their exploration is supported by teachers who provide optimal learning environments. Montessori has a network of seven Educational Centers throughout the Omaha area, serving children from 6 weeks through 12 years old.  2111 S. 67TH ST., SUITE 300, OMAHA, NE 68106 402.393.1311 • OMAHAMONTESSORI.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 49 | omahamagazine.com


O’Malley Financial Services “


E’RE OPEN YEAR-ROUND, so our clients

can call us when they have a question,” says Bridget Tynan, co-owner of Tax Help | O’Malley Financial Services. “We are financial advisers as well as tax preparers, so we work comprehensively with our clients.” Tynan and her sister, Erin Anderson, purchased the company in 2007 from their father, Patrick O’Malley, who began preparing tax returns as a sideline to his teaching career in 1969. “We pride ourselves on long-term relationships,” Tynan says. “A lot of clients have been with us since 1969.” Today, the company is the largest

independently owned tax preparation firm in Omaha. Services include tax planning and preparation as well as investments, budgeting, retirement and college savings plans, payroll/bookkeeping, and insurance. “We want to make sure our clients are getting the information they need to make the financial decisions that are right for them,” Anderson adds.  254 N. 114TH ST., OMAHA NE 68154 402.334.6708 • TAXHELPOMAHA.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 50 | omahamagazine.com


The Olson Group


ESPITE TRIPLING IN size over the past three

years, The Olson Group has made it imperative that they maintain and support a strong, personable approach with clients. A family business with local roots and Midwest values, this benefits consulting firm puts an emphasis on employee education and engagement. They believe a company’s greatest asset is its employees and understand the importance of attracting and retaining top talent. The Olson Group is responsible for more than 500 employee benefit programs, covering more than 20,000 employees in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and

Kansas. Employers who understand the importance of providing quality benefit plans to their employees know their staff is the lifeblood of their organization. At the same time, they need to make sure that policies and procedures comply with federal regulations. Founded in 2003 by Tim Olson, the firm has established a reputation for outstanding customer service and industry knowledge. The consultants at The Olson Group work hard to ensure that clients are 100 percent compliant and help employees make the best benefits decisions for themselves and their families.  16820 FRANCES ST. NO. 202, OMAHA, NE 68130 402.289.1046 • THEOLSONGROUP.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 51 | omahamagazine.com


Oral Surgery Associates


OR ALMOST HALF a century, providing exem-

plary patient care has been the primary focus of Oral Surgery Associates. When the group was founded in 1968, it was the first oral/maxillofacial surgery practice in the region. Today, Oral Surgery Associates has nine board-certified oral surgeons who perform a wide range of procedures, including wisdom teeth removal, tooth extractions, placement of dental implants, facial trauma repair, bone grafting, and corrective jaw surgery. The group (pictured l-r, Dr. Adam Stanley, Dr. Steve Coffey, Dr. John Andersen, Dr. John Engel, Dr. David Marshall, Dr. Robert Pfeifle, Dr. Corey Auch, Dr. Steve Wendt, and Dr. Jim Heit) ensures the patient’s needs come first by abiding to the highest standards of care. They are one of the few

practices that include registered nurses and highly trained dental assistants caring for patients before, during, and after surgery. The doctors of OSA meet monthly to review cases, discuss treatment planning, and stay current on technology to assure their patients “The Best Care in Oral Surgery.”  13215 BIRCH DRIVE, NO. 100, OMAHA NE 68164 402.397.1205 201 RIDGE ST., NO. 308, COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA 51503 712.328.8892 1437 E. 23RD ST., FREMONT, NE 68025 402.721.3600 1502 S. WASHINGTON ST., NO. 200, PAPILLION, NE 68046 402.964.2727 OMFACIALSURGERY.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 52 | omahamagazine.com


Palm Beach Tan


HEN TANNING SALON chain Ashley Lynn’s

joined the national Palm Beach Tan franchise in 2013, Executive Vice President Heather Almond saw a perfect alignment of mission and professional goals, including high standards of cleanliness and outstanding customer service for the regional company’s 15 facilities. Also appealing were Palm Beach Tan’s “Tan Wisely” initiatives to educate tanning clients on responsible and moderate UV exposure from both the sun and sun beds, skin care products, and eye protection. It was a seamless transition, and now the 10 Palm Beach Tan locations in the Omaha area carry

the power of a leading national brand along with expanded offerings. Almond is proud of how her stores have performed, and it’s not just because Palm Beach Tan is the largest local tanning chain but also because it’s highly reputable and has remained locally managed; Almond joined the business in 2003 with a retail and social services background and earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Bellevue University as she advanced toward her current position.  10 OMAHA-AREA LOCATIONS MAIN: 4202 DODGE ST., OMAHA, NE 68131 402.502.0470 • PALMBEACHTAN.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 53 | omahamagazine.com


The Paw Spa Pet Resort


ET CARE WITH panache.

That’s how owner Kevin Irish describes the new 18,000-square-feet second location for The Paw Spa Pet Resort that opens in summer 2017. The largest indoor play area in Nebraska for four-legged family members, the new facility at 168th and Blondo streets offers yearround play even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Kevin, his wife Sheila Irish, and their staff of energetic employees make sure pets enjoy their stay. Dogs are grouped with others of similar size, breed, and temperament for at least three supervised play times each day.

The original 12,000-square-feet facility at 169th and Audrey streets is clean and includes individual suites, Kuranda beds, TVs, a 6,000-square-feet outdoor play area, and an indoor swimming pool. Five Petcams on The Paw Spa website allow customers to watch their pets during play times from any web-accessible device. There are no additional charges for administering medications, and a vet is on call. The Paw Spa Pet Resort also provides day care and grooming services.


Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 54 | omahamagazine.com


PIP Marketing, Signs & Print


HE WORK OF PIP Marketing, Signs & Print is

everywhere, from enormous signs and banners on and in local businesses, to full-color commercial publications, to school yearbooks, to business cards tucked in wallets. Although the company is historically known for its high-quality printing, PIP also offers start-to-finish marketing services including web design, email broadcasting, and graphic design—just to name a few. As the industry has grown, PIP in Omaha has also expanded. Owner Debbie Bremer, who’s been at the helm since 2001, moved the business into much larger quarters last year, the same year she received a Top 25 Sales Volume award recognizing PIP in Omaha’s

outstanding performance within the national PIP franchise network. Bremer was specifically called out by the president and COO of PIP’s parent company for her commitment to the company’s values of quality, integrity, and leadership. PIP has been responsive to the fast evolution of marketing and its many channels. Whether the need is website design, strategic marketing campaign development, brochures printed, postcards mailed, or a promotion launched, PIP will get it done.  11067 WEST MAPLE ROAD, OMAHA, NE 68164 402.334.5093 • PIPWESTO.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 55 | omahamagazine.com


Profit Advantage Direct


OMPANIES THAT WANT to experience growth realize

that managing human resources, payroll, workers’ compensation, and employee benefits can quickly turn into a full-time job. Keeping up with ever-changing rules and regulations can make it difficult to focus on products or services offered to custom­ers and open a company up to costly litigation and fines. That’s why companies in Nebraska rely on Mike Roseland to navigate the minefield of human resources and employ­ment compliance. Active in the industry since 1989, Roseland is ded­icated to helping companies in the Omaha metro area (and throughout Nebraska) grow and prosper by expertly managing their human resource func­tions. Instead of using several separate sources for payroll management, retirement services, employee handbooks, workers’ safety and other HR

needs, companies turn to Roseland and his expertly-trained, certified profes­sional colleagues at Profit Advantage Direct. Hundreds of companies have worked with Roseland throughout the last 28 years as their businesses have grown. “We help you focus on what you’re good at,” said Roseland. “If you make pizzas, we get you back to making pizzas instead of dealing with complicated employment regulations.” Owners, managers, and employees appreciate having Roseland and the rest of the Profit Advantage Direct team as an expert resource and one-stop H.R. shop. Now a business owner can focus on doing what they do best: Growing their business!  9826 GILES ROAD, SUITE A, LA VISTA, NE 68128 402.592.8334 • PROFIT-ADVANTAGE.COM

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strophic motor vehicle accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. But her relentlessly sunny outlook and unflagging willpower characterizes a story of recovery beyond immense hardship. After her rehabilitation at QLI, Johnson returned to her pursuits of a college degree, a successful career, and an inspiring and purposeful life. A leading national resource for brain and spinal cord injury, QLI’s unique clinical model has helped transform Omaha into the pre-eminent destination for men, women, and families in need

across the country. Using a specialized program tailored to each individual, QLI leverages important passions to build critical real-world skills—the skills necessary to achieve independence after injury. At QLI, rehabilitation is more than the science of treating a clinical diagnosis. It is the art of rebuilding a life.  6404 N. 70TH PLAZA, OMAHA, NE 68104 402.573.3700 • QLIOMAHA.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 57 | omahamagazine.com




TEVE GORDON, JR. is creative not just in the

artistic sense—he’s a graphic designer, creative director and author—he’s also a creative solution finder. As the founder of RDQLUS CREATIVE, a design and brand strategy consultancy, Gordon works with clients from small businesses to major Fortune 500 companies to develop and execute branding, creative direction, marketing and strategy. Gordon, an Omaha native with a graphic design degree from the University of South Dakota, started out in the corporate world. Striking out on his own, has given him greater freedom to explore fashion, style

and subculture throughout the creative process (his motto is “The Art of Storytelling”). “It’s the sum of all parts that communicate a message, tell the story and reveal the brand,” he says. And colleagues have taken notice: Gordon published 100 Habits for Successful Freelance Designers in 2009 with an expanded follow-up in 2011, RDQLUS CREATIVE work has been featured in many design publications and annuals, and Gordon is an in-demand speaker for national conferences and local industry events.  7701 PIERCE ST., NO. 3, OMAHA, NE 68124 402.212.0108 • RDQLUS.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 58 | omahamagazine.com


Safari Cigars & Lounge


EFF DOLL HAS become known to Nebraskans as

a passionate advocate for legislation, exempting licensed cigar lounges from the 2009 statewide ban on indoor smoking. But it wasn’t until 2012 that he made the leap from cigar enthusiast to cigar lounge owner, leaving behind a comfortable retirement from his first career in beverage wholesaling and distribution to purchase the storefront of a failing cigar lounge. Doll soon transformed the space into a premier cigar lounge in partnership with fellow cigar aficionado John VanMeeteren. Today, Safari Cigars & Lounge features a state-ofthe-art walk-in humidor and boasts a great selection of world-class cigars from the finest suppliers. The

establishment provides an array of humidors and other quality cigar accessories, and a posh lounge— perfect for private events as well as the regular walk-in crowd—compliments the cigar lifestyle with a full bar, including an exceptional selection of spirits that has become a second chief draw. Doll also hosts special monthly vendor events that feature new cigar releases, and, in partnership with liquor distributors, showcase creative pairing opportunities.  13110 BIRCH DRIVE, OMAHA, NE 68164 402.965.1460 · SAFARICIGARSANDLOUNGE.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 59 | omahamagazine.com


SilverStone Group


OR MORE THAN 30 years, Mark Weber, JD,

MSFS, CLU, ChFC, CAP®, has worked as a financial consultant to business owners and executives. He is widely recognized for his experience in business succession planning and estate planning. The sudden death of a business owner cannot only be devastating to the owner’s family but can jeopardize the future success of the business. This can be detrimental to all those depending on the business for their financial well-being, including employees, creditors and customers.

Properly structured life insurance is an integral part of most business succession plans. Weber understands the financial, tax and emotional issues business owners face when dealing with their own mortality. He and the SilverStone Group team work with many of Omaha’s most prominent businesses and their professional advisers. As a result of his proven track record and industry recognition, Weber has the respect of his clients and peers.  11516 MIRACLE HILLS DRIVE, NO. 100, OMAHA, NE 68154 402.939.6757 • SILVERSTONEGROUP.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 60 | omahamagazine.com


Todd Smith Fitness


VER THE LAST 32 years, Todd Smith has been

a fixture in the fitness industry both locally and nationally. Recently, Todd Smith Fitness has been a perennial first place winner in the Best of Omaha personal training center category. Smith also won first place in the Best of Omaha with his two Nutri-Shop locations. So what makes Todd Smith so much better than everyone else? “We love our customers.We understand that the consumer has so many choices, and the fact that they chose me, is humbling. We treat each person with a great amount of gratitude. We know who we are, and we know who our customer is.”

Todd Smith Fitness focuses exclusively on the mature adult who wants to feel and look their very best. Their focus is to deliver a healthy metabolic rate, and, ultimately, great health. Smith accomplishes this by carefully teaching perfect exercise mechanics to safely stimulate the muscles. Smith also develops a personalized meal plan to create the proper environment internally to lose body fat and achieve optimal health.  434 N. 76TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68114 402.932.5841 • TODDSMITHFITNESS.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 61 | omahamagazine.com


Ted & Wally’s


CE CREAM IS the perfect treat for those hot summer

days or after-game snacks, and Ted & Wally’s isn’t just an ice cream parlor, it’s an Omaha tradition. Since its inception in 1984, Ted & Wally’s has maintained its stellar reputation by producing endless barrels of high-quality homemade ice cream made from scratch with fresh ingredients. The company takes pride in their super-premium, 18 percent butterfat product. Their base is made from scratch, using a family recipe with all-natural ingredients. The creaminess comes from real butterfat and eggs. Feeling vanilla? Customers can add some spice to

their lives by trying one of Ted & Wally’s house-made specialty flavors, which could be anything from chai tea to jalapeño raspberry. Don’t want something so creative? Don’t worry, they also have vanilla. If real ice cream isn’t a customer’s dish, there are other options, from vegan sorbets to frozen yogurt. Come taste a non-traditional tradition.  1120 JACKSON ST., OMAHA, NE 68102 • 402-341-5827 6023 MAPLE ST., OMAHA, NE 68104 • 402-551-4420 TEDANDWALLYS.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 62 | omahamagazine.com


Upstream Brewing Company


EFORE OPENING HIS brewpub in Omaha’s Old

Market District in 1996, Brian Magee discovered that the city’s name “Omaha” translated to “upstream” in the language of the Native Americans. The Omaha Indian tribe had lived in what is now Missouri before traveling “upstream” to settle here. Knowing that one needs water to make beer, it made sense to name his brewpub as he did. When people talk with Brian, it becomes obvious that everything about Upstream Brewing Company is as well thought out as its name. Brian learned about the benefits of preparing food from scratch while working for 14 years in the food & beverage and catering departments at Lincoln’s renowned Cornhusker Hotel. His brewing mentor and first partner was current

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who opened the first brewpub in Colorado. Throughout the past two decades Upstream Brewing Company, located in 112 year-old firehouse, has acquired a reputation for fine craft beers and delicious, made-from-scratch food. Several thousand employees have worked at the iconic brewpub since its opening, resulting in several marriages and children. Meanwhile, Magee is planning for the next 20 years.

OLD MARKET: 514 S. 11TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68102 402.344.0200 • UPSTREAMBREWING.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 63 | omahamagazine.com


The Volleyball Academy


EB GRAFENTIN AND Krista Barr opened The

Volleyball Academy in 2006. They say the organization’s new 50,000-square-foot facility in La Vista is the best of its kind in the region. It’s not just the freestanding design with no poles to obstruct play for eight wood-surface courts, or the many amenities like retail space and conference rooms; it’s the expanded programming available to a wider group of players. The facility hosts a broad spectrum of lessons, classes, leagues, tournaments, and camps. Kids can participate starting as young as kindergarten-age. Competitive and recreational programs are available for teens and

adults year-round. Programs are led by experienced coaches, some of who have advanced from the playing courts through the academy’s Junior Coaches program that provides leadership opportunities beginning in high school. Grafentin’s own coaching experience includes college-level volleyball and spans nearly four decades. In 2015, she was honored as one of the top 75 coaches in American youth sports when she received the Double-Goal Coach Award from the Positive Coaches Alliance.  11924 PORTAL ROAD, LA VISTA, NE 68128 402-213-4644 • THEVOLLEYBALLACADEMY.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 64 | omahamagazine.com


YMCA of Greater Omaha


OUNCIL BLUFFS NATIVE Leo McIntosh’s first encounter with the YMCA of Greater Omaha was through its recreational youth sports leagues, a common experience for area young people. But following his flag-football days, McIntosh served in many roles at various branches—even finding his way back after college and military service—from parttime coordinator of teen programs to youth sports director to group vice president of Iowa operations. In the fall, he will become executive director of the Charles E. Lakin (Council Bluffs) YMCA, now under construction. “It brings the mission of the YMCA full circle for me in terms of getting kids and families involved,” he says. “The YMCA has given me the opportunity to give back.”

For over 150 years, the YMCA of Greater Omaha has been listening and responding to our community. The Y is so much more than a gym. It’s a cause, dedicated to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Y is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure adults, children, families and communities. Open to all regardless to pay, the Y supported the community in 2016 with $1.7 million in financial support.  430 S. 20TH ST., OMAHA, NE 68102 402.341.1600 • METROYMCA.ORG

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 65 | omahamagazine.com


Zaiss & Company


AISS & COMPANY is known for driving really

smart, customer-driven strategies through remarkable, breakthrough creative that stimulates action. The company embraces their clients’ business goals, and dives deep into the knowledge of how those businesses work, what makes them unique and valuable, and what prospects need to know, think and feel about the brands to engage now—and loyally for life. These challenges inspire Zaiss & Company strategies and the creative implementation that brings those strategies to life via super-talented and dedicated producers.

As Creative Director Scott Bargenquast puts it, “It’s one thing to produce work you’re proud of. It’s something altogether different—and far more rewarding— to produce work that works.” More than 30 years of success, and a footprint that spans the Greater Omaha area, the nation, and the globe, is proof that Zaiss & Company’s relentless commitment to threading key strategies through creative is what makes the difference.  11626 NICHOLAS ST. • OMAHA, NE 68154 402.964.9293 • ZAISSCO.COM

Faces of Omaha • 2017 | 66 | omahamagazine.com

the faces of omaha MAKE OUR CITY UNIQUE

Beyond the FACES of Omaha—the experts and business professionals featured in these pages—Omaha Magazine specializes in articulating the voices of the community: the people, the trends, the styles, the untold stories. Each issue of Omaha Magazine contains compelling stories about Omahans at home and abroad, with cover stories that showcase the likes of Sebastian Lane (a blues-playing medical student descended from musical legends), the role of Nebraska’s state fossil in ivory black markets, and Father Flanagan’s path to sainthood. We also produce an annual “Best of Omaha” issue, a resource guide determined by public voting. This year was the 25th anniversary of “Best of Omaha,” and 2017 was also the 35th anniversary of Omaha Magazine. Omaha Magazine is a celebration of our city in words and photos. It’s about all of us. Subscribe at: omahamagazine.com/subscribe






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Volume 2 of Faces of Omaha save and display for one year

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Selections for Faces 2018 begins now.

The selection process for next year’s FACES of Omaha is starting now. Please follow the link below to be considered for next year’s guide. Omaha Magazine is proud to bring you FACES of Omaha, those who capture the essence of our city in their respective areas of expertise. We have highlighted those innovative entrepreneurs and professionals whose creative spark lights the flame of what makes Omaha…well…OMAHA! In this book, you find faces for places where you eat, drink, and play, faces for the companies that fix your car, invest your money, and advise you.

Visit omamag.com/faces to tell us who you think should be a Face of Omaha.