OMA H A : WE D ON ’ T C OAST
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THE BEST PLACE FOR KIDS.
Jack, age 4 Scoliosis
Visit ChildrensOmaha.org for more information on how we can help your child. For a pediatrician, family physician or pediatric specialist, call 1.800.833.3100.
Celebrating Our Can Do Spirit Welcome to our literary and photographic celebration of our vibrant region. This year, we introduce a bold new brand and image that reflects our community’s strong work ethic, deep pride and “can do” spirit. Nimble in its application, this authentic We Don’t Coast brand – developed through an energetic, collaborative process – is being used across the region to communicate our character and quality of life; and to grow, retain and attract business and talent. We Don’t Coast speaks to: Our enviable central location, a key regional selling point along with a skilled labor pool; solid infrastructure; strong financial institutions; low power rates and generous business incentives. Our economic progress in the last decade has resulted in nearly 500 projects, representing nearly 24,500 jobs and more than $4.6 billion in capital investment. We’re not coasting – we’re working 2
diligently to attract more projects every day. Our quality of life is generous and family focused, benefitting from award-winning schools, affordable housing and a wealth of options for activity. Our philanthropic community is robust, and our cultural scene is a masterpiece in its own right. We thrive on attracting bold, national events such as the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in 2008, 2012 and again in 2016, and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in 2015. And the heavy hitter that is the NCAA Men’s College World Series, a national treasure that has called Omaha home for more than 60 years, and will continue to do so for the next 21! This issue is packed with stories about
businesses, organizations, institutions and neighbors that refuse to coast. Together, we’re achieving success and positively impacting our thriving metropolitan area. If you are thinking about expanding your business, moving your family or coming on your own, we welcome you – and we look forward to working with you. And remember: We don’t coast. We create extraordinary opportunities. David G. Brown President and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber Steve Seline 2014 Chairman, Greater Omaha Chamber Board of Directors President, Walnut Private Equity Partners
Delivering Comfort and Reliability
@ mudomahane facebook/mudomahane
we introduce “Omaha: We Don’t Coast” is a Greater Omaha Chamber publication produced in collaboration with the Omaha World-Herald to showcase the 30+ communities that make Omaha – Greater Omaha.
Table of Contents Chapter 1: We don’t Coast | page 6
David G. Brown, President and CEO 1301 Harney St., Omaha, NE 68102 402-346-5000 info@OmahaChamber.org OmahaChamber.org SelectGreaterOmaha.com WeDontCoast.com Greater Omaha Chamber Project Team Project Director: Alissa Nehe Creative Director: Kim Sellmeyer Project Coordinator: Kayti Rachwalik Project Contributor: Karla Ewert Project Contributor: Anne Branigan World-Herald Project Team Project Coordinator & Editor: Chris Christen Assistant Editor: Amy LaMar Designer: Quentin Lueninghoener Writer: Dan McCann Copy Editor: Kurt A. Keeler Contributors: Heidi Thorson, Josh Corrigan, Dave Croy, Matt Haney Imaging Specialist: Patricia “Murphy” Benoit Print Manager: Wayne Harty Advertising Sales Manager: Carrie Kentch View this publication digitally at issuu.com/2014 Greater Omaha Chamber Book Copyright 2014 Omaha World-Herald, 1314 Douglas St., Suite 600, Omaha, NE 68102 402-444-1094; omaha.com Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The Greater Omaha Chamber and the Omaha World-Herald assume no responsibility for misinformation. No part of this publication may be reproduced without joint permission of the Greater Omaha Chamber and The World-Herald. Printed by Jacob North Printing, Lincoln, Nebraska. 4
Brad J. Williams
BOB KERREY PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE Chapter 2: We entertain | page 12
Chapter 7: We inspire | page 74
Chapter 3: We toast | page 36
Chapter 8: We Contribute | page 90
Chapter 4: We win | page 46
Chapter 9: We care | page 100
Chapter 5: We Explore | page 50
Chapter 10: We launch | page 112
Chapter 6: We Welcome | page 58
Chapter 11: We Build | page 124
On The Cover “We Don’t Coast” Creative Task Force members: Dana Altman, North Sea Films; Damon Andersen, Creative Reservoir Interactive + Design; Daryl Anderson, Clark Creative Group; Ben Drickey, Torchwerks; Jason Fischer, Surreal Media Lab; Jason Fox, Webster; Steve Gordon, RDQLUS Creative; Bruce Hartford, Bozell; Michael Johnson, Bozell; Katie Kemerling, Ervin & Smith; Dan McCann, DMC Freelance; Esther Mejia, E Creative; Dave Nelson, SecretPenguin; Jeff Reiner, Turnpost Creative Group; Ed Salem, Swanson Russell; Lynn Schneider, Emspace Group. Photographed by Brad Iwen/Admiral District
GROWTH GUIDANCE INSIGHT VISION PROFESSIONALS INTEGRITY SUCCESS VALUE EXPERTISE COMMITTED INVOLVED ALERT ANSWERS STRATEGIC VISION RELATIONSHIP COMMUNITY DEDICATION HIGH STANDARDS SKILLED NAVIGATORS ENGAGED ANTICIPATE THE NEXT MOVE GET TO THE ISSUE DO THE HOMEWORK BE THE BEST TRUST UNDERSTANDING EXPERIENCE PROACTIVE LISTEN ADVOCATES APPROACHABLE CONFIDENT FOCUS COLLABORATIVE RESPONSIVE ETHICAL INNOVATIVE FORWARD THINKING NIMBLE ENERGETIC GUIDANCE GROWTH GUIDANCE INSIGHT VISION PROFESSIONALS INTEGRITY SUCCESS VALUE EXPERTISE COMMITTED INVOLVED ALERT ANSWERS STRATEGIC VISION RELATIONSHIP COMMUNITY DEDICATION HIGH STANDARDS SKILLED NAVIGATORS ENGAGED ANTICIPATE THE NEXT MOVE GET TO THE ISSUE DO THE HOMEWORK BE THE BEST TRUST UNDERSTANDING EXPERIENCE PROACTIVE LISTEN ADVOCATES APPROACHABLE CONFIDENT FOCUS COLLABORATIVE RESPONSIVE ETHICAL INNOVATIVE FORWARD THINKING NIMBLE ENERGETIC GUIDANCE PROUD COUNSEL TO GREAT NEBRASKA COMPANIES GROWTH GUIDANCE INSIGHT VISION
OUR CLIENTS SAY IT BEST.
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Koley Jessen P.C., LLO 1125 South 103rd Street Suite 800 Omaha, NE 68124 402.390.9500 5 koleyjessen.com
we don t coast Here, you earn everything you get. There is no standstill. No off switch. Only momentum, fueled by a drive to let go and do what we love. We are passionate about this community. Here in the heartland, we are more than a cozy place to live. We are a great place to be alive. Maybe not for everyone. Just anyone who wants to be someone. This is our story. We donâ€™t coast. OLD MARKET
7 Brad J. Williams
we don t coast
Bragging Rights Arm yourself with 10 things only an insider would know …
We’re 1,600 miles away from Hollywood – but closer than you might think.
• Omaha native and acclaimed filmmaker Alexander Payne collected Oscars for “Sideways” and “The Descendants” and was nominated for “Nebraska.” Other Oscar winners with Omaha ties include Mike Hill (film editing, “Apollo 13”) and Mauro Fiore (cinematography, “Avatar”). • George Clooney, Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson and Wesley Snipes have all starred in movies filmed, to some degree, in Omaha.
We dream – and achieve – big. At age 11, Warren Buffett announced plans to be a millionaire by age 35. He achieved his goal in 1962, three years ahead of schedule.
We help feed your family.
• Brands produced by locally headquartered ConAgra Foods can be found in 99 percent of America’s households. • Almost 50 years after the founding of the Table Supply Meat Company, the firm adopted its iconic name, Omaha Steaks. • Fremont’s Hormel Foods is one of the top two SPAM exporters nationwide. • Oh yeah, we also invented the Reuben sandwich and the classic TV dinner.
We make it happen. Two temporary 50-meter, 10-lane pools were installed at the CenturyLink Center Omaha for the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. Each pool held 800,000 gallons of water and weighed about 8 million pounds when filled. We’ll go aquatic again when the sport’s elite compete here in 2016. 8
We persevere. The NCAA Men’s College World Series lost money for 10 of the first 12 years it was in Omaha. An underdog no more, it has matured into a profitable, world-class event. And it’s staying here, at least until 2035.
We rock. We ranked No. 2 on MTV Iggy’s 2013 list of the world’s most up-and-coming cities for music, alongside Santiago, Chile, Athens and Barcelona. Our indie music scene is gaining national acclaim, and our CenturyLink Center attracts the world’s biggest entertainers, including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2, Billy Joel and Elton John.
We have colossal companies.
• Omaha is home to five Fortune 500s. • Nebraska Furniture Mart is the nation’s largest home furniture store – and Borsheims is one of the nation’s largest jewelry stores.
We connect. Our Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge over the Missouri River is the first pedestrian bridge ever to link two states – in this case, Nebraska and Iowa.
We grow legends. Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, President Gerald Ford and Malcolm X were all born in Omaha. Ditto for Nick Nolte, Andy Roddick, author Nicholas Sparks and Gabrielle Union.
We don’t coast – but we have our share of shark encounters. It has been well over 58,000 days without a single shark attack (Omaha was founded in 1854). And while we’re confident that streak will continue, it doesn’t mean we don’t interact. Visitors from far and near safely view sharks every day at our zoo – ranked No. 1 in the world.
Bob KerrEy Pedestrian Bridge
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
we don t coast Where we call home
How We Stack Up Median home price
Compared to $197,400 in the United States
(2013 Applied Geographic Solutions)
(2013 National Association of Realtors report)
Median household income
Compared to $51,929 in the United States (2013 Applied Geographic Solutions)
Cost of living
11 percent Below national average (Council for Community & Economic Research Cost of Living Index for second quarter 2014)
Percentage of residents with a bachelorâ€™s degree or higher
Compared to 27.9 percent nationally (2013 Applied Geographic Solutions)
we entertain Sit back. Enjoy yourselves. We’ll take care of the rest. We are home to a vibrant mix of artful entertainment and entertaining arts – world-renowned for our indie music scene, a favorite stop for big-name entertainers and fertile ground for local artists. We don’t go to Broadway – Broadway comes to us. STIR COVE
Music With all due respect to our Midwestern humility, we’ll just say it … We rock. Ours is a thriving live music scene. Big and small venues attract acts (and attention) from across the street, across the nation and across the world. Maha Music Festival Homegrown, volunteer-run and notfor-profit since its 2009 debut, the Maha Music Festival is all about community and music with its daylong mix of national, regional and local indie and rock artists. 2014 headliner: Death Cab for Cutie Also of note • Country on the River • Hullabaloo Music and Camping Festival Slowdown An energetic indie music venue in the north downtown Omaha district, its name is actually a tribute to Slowdown Virginia, which was one of the early bands on Omaha-based Lumberjack Records (precursor to Saddle Creek Records). According to theslowdown.com, “We thought it was a cool homage to that band, the early Omaha music scene and where we come from. Additionally, we liked the dual meaning of the word and the more literal definition.”
The 9 Best Up-and-Coming Cities for Music (MTV Iggy – 2013)
Jazz on the Green
Other hot venues • CenturyLink Center Omaha • Sokol Auditorium/Sokol Underground • Stir Concert Cove • The Waiting Room • Westfair Amphitheater Noted artists with local ties • Bright Eyes • Conor Oberst • 311 • Terry Lewis • Wynonie Harris bono
proud to be a part of a community committed to impacting young lives. We also believe in the future of our youthâ€”a lot. Thatâ€™s why many of our associates are investing their time with young peopleâ€”educating, mentoring and inspiring. It benefits the youth, our people and the communities we serve. Learn more at ameritas.com/givingback. To see a video of this belief in action, download Layar from the App Store or Android Market and activate it over this ad. AD429 10-14
15 insurance | employee benefits | financial services
TASTE OF OMAHA CARNIVAL
Family fun It’s a Sunday afternoon and the possible destinations enthrall: “Narnia?” The rainforest? Military aircraft? We thrive on offering world-class ways to bring families together – where the price of admission includes lasting memories. The Rose Theater Season after season, our historic Rose Theater provides a majestic escape for
children and adults. Marquee productions in 2014 included “Tarzan,” “Narnia,” “Big Nate” and “Knuffle Bunny.” The Strategic Air & Space Museum Eyes widen – and then come the oohs and aahs – as guests young and older survey one powerful collection of military aircraft and artifacts, several of which have been restored on-site. With more than
The 10 Best Cities to Raise a Family in America (Movoto Blog – 2014)
300,000 square feet of exhibit, education and event space, the museum delights in serving its mission: “To ignite the thrill of innovation and discovery.” Looking for more family fun? Follow the crowd to the Omaha Children’s Museum; visit native species at the Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium near Gretna; or take a hike on the boardwalk at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue.
FOR R AM
“Hospitality” GUESTROOM AMENITIES: • Complimentary High Speed Internet • Coffeemaker • Microwave and refrigerator • Iron and Ironing Board • Hair Dryer and Bath Amenities • Alarm Clock and Radio • Work Desk with Lamp • 100% Non-smoking • Same day Guest Laundry • Cable TV • Individually controlled air conditioning • Free Parking
OUR UNIQUE FEATURES:
OMAHA 3321 South 72nd Street Omaha, NE 68124 402-393-3950 www.RamadaPlazaOmaha.com
• Multi-million dollar renovaton including lobby, plaza areas and guestrooms with all new carpet, wall vinyl, bathroom fixtures and furniture. • Relaxing new plaza atrium featuring Brewed Awakenings coffee chop. Perfect for a “Grab & Go” breakfast before your morning meeting. • Bluestem Lounge: a great place for networking with colleagues. • The Claim House: serving food and drink 7 days a week
• 75,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space perfect for any group • CoCo Key: 60,000 square feet of water park fun • Free wireless internet access in all guestrooms, public areas and meeting space • 24/7 business center • 24/7 fitness center • Convenient location just off I-80 17 • Free Parking • Wyndham Rewards Loyalty Program
No. 1 zoo in the world Each year, thousands of families pour into our renowned and ever-evolving Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest and indoor desert. Named best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor in 2014, the state’s top paid attraction is embarking on its largest project to date – more than 28 acres of African grasslands alive with African wildlife.
18 Courtesy of Henry Doorly Zoo AND Aquarium
Find it here. Books, movies, music & more.
Omaha Public Library 19
Open your world omahalibrary.org.
cinco de mayo
Cultural Celebrations When we say we celebrate our diversity – we mean we celebrate our diversity.
Our Latino community has been hosting a vibrant Cinco de Mayo festival since 1985. Energized by an infectious community spirit, the annual celebration now spans five days and includes a carnival and grand parade, delicious food and lively music. At a glance A taste of our melting pot of cultural celebrations: • La Festa Italiana, an annual extravaganza offering a menu you can’t refuse with at least 30 varieties of authentic Italian dishes. • An “opa!”-inspiring Greek Festival delights thousands each year with Greek music, food and authentic folk dancing. • Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, complete with troll face painting for the kids and lefse (Norwegian flat bread) for Viking strength. • A multi-day Juneteenth celebration, featuring a flag raising, youth art festival, dances and a parade – all marking the end of slavery in the United States.
Rail is just one of the services we provide. Union Pacific also supports communities where we live and work, including Omaha, our hometown. We fuel the local economy with a payroll of more than 4,600 employees and charitable giving of more than $3.7 million.
holland performing arts CENTER
Raise the curtain
‘Wicked’ Casts a Spell Broadway’s biggest blockbuster, “Wicked,” cast another spell on our audiences in May 2014 – and did great and powerful things to the local economy. Returning to the majestic Orpheum Theater after record-breaking runs in 2009 and 2011, the musical phenomenon’s latest staging generated $15.5 million in economic benefits. The Orpheum also hosted Broadway favorites “War Horse” and “Sister Act” in 2014 and “The Book of Mormon” in late 2013. Omaha Performing Arts manages the Orpheum (home, as well, to Opera Omaha) and the acoustically acclaimed Holland Performing Arts Center. The Holland showcases world-class performing artists and the celebrated Omaha Symphony in the 2,000-seat Kiewit Hall.
Whether it is day or night, inside or out, Joslyn has so much to offer. FREE GENERAL ADMISSION* SCULPTURE GARDENS THURSDAYS: Open ‘til 8 pm!
OCTOBER 11, 2014–JANUARY 11, 2015
IN LIVING COLOR: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation Andy Warhol employed a seemingly endless palette to challenge our perceptions of popular culture, politics, and consumerism. In Living Color creates a dialogue between Warhol and other postwar artists who use color to shape how we read and respond to images.
FEBRUARY 8–MAY 17, 2015
AMERICAN MODERNS, 1910–1960: FROM O’KEEFFE TO ROCKWELL Between 1910 and 1960, the United States emerged as an international power, while also experiencing two world wars and the Great Depression. New technologies changed all aspects of life, while the art world witnessed dramatic transformations of its own. This exhibition explores the ways American artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Rockwell Kent, and Norman Rockwell engaged the modern world.
JOSLYN ART MUSEUM in Omaha has served as a premier center for visual art since opening in 1931. Joslyn’s collection features work from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and American art. HOURS: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–4 pm, and open late ‘til 8 pm on Thursday. Closed Mondays and major holidays. JUNE 21–OCTOBER 11, 2015
ART SEEN: A Juried Exhibition of Artists from Omaha to Lincoln Selected by a jury including Karin Campbell, Joslyn Art Museum’s Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art, and Bill Arning, Director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Art Seen uncovers the most compelling and challenging creative impulses driving working artists in the metro area.
NOVEMBER 15, 2015–APRIL 17, 2016 GO WEST! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West This exhibition considers evolving notions of the American West through more than 90 paintings, sculptures, and American Indian artifacts created between the 1830s and the 1920s, from the West’s earliest visual history to the creation of its powerful romantic legacy. *Exhibitions listed are by paid ticket ($10 general public adults; free for Joslyn members, youth ages 17 and younger, & college students with ID).
2200 Dodge St. | Omaha, NE | (402) 342-3300 | www.joslyn.org
omaha community playhouse Big on the Bard … Shakespeare on the Green, presented by Nebraska Shakespeare, brings iambic pentameter to Elmwood Park every summer. Audiences in 2014 were enthralled by “The Tempest” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” the bard’s entire collection performed in just over two hilarious hours. … and Ballet Elegantly classical and dazzlingly athletic, Ballet Nebraska is the only arts organization of its kind in our region. In its fifth season, the professional dance company performs a mixed-repertory season. But its holiday classic, “The
Courtesy of Omaha Community Playhouse
Nutcracker” at the Orpheum Theater, is a community favorite.
Take a Bow The venerable Omaha Community Playhouse marked a major milestone in the fall of 2014 – 90 years of entertaining audiences and acting out its original purpose: “To raise drama from a purely amusement enterprise into an educational, cultural force.” The year also brought a reason for the innovative Blue Barn Theatre to celebrate: Its 25th season of “boundary-breaking plays.” Dedicated to provoking thought, emotion, action and change, it will raise the curtain in a new theater opening in the fall of 2015.
Courtesy of Ballet Nebraska
Omaha Performing Arts Presents
Extraordinary Arts & Entertainment at Affordable Prices
RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Starring THE ROCKETTES November 13-30, 2014 Orpheum Theater | Slosburg Hall
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
March 25-29, 2015 Orpheum Theater | Slosburg Hall
Dinosaur Train LIVE!
Friday, January 23, 2015 | 7:00 PM Orpheum Theater | Slosburg Hall
Pilobolus Dance Theatre
Thursday, April 23, 2015 | 7:30 PM Orpheum Theater | Slosburg Hall
Friday, February 6, 2015 | 8:00 PM Holland Center | Kiewit Hall
Thursday, May 7, 2015 | 7:30 PM Holland Center | Kiewit Hall
Experience extraordinary performances at the majestic Orpheum Theater and modern Holland Performing Arts Center for as little as $10 for many shows. Whether you want to laugh out loud at Sinbad or be dazzled by the RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Starring THE ROCKETTES, Omaha Performing Arts’ season of world-class shows offers something for all tastes. There’s a seat waiting for you—at an affordable price.
Tickets start at $10 | TicketOmaha.com | 402.345.0606 All productions, performers, prices, dates and times are subject to change.
Museums A World-Class Collection When it comes to museums, we couldn’t be more proud of our collection. It’s an eclectic mix that pays tribute to history, culture and the arts. Not only are the venues themselves visually stunning, they are accessible, interactive – and family friendly. Joslyn Art Museum Our pink marble masterpiece initiated a bold new change in spring 2013: Free general admission year-round. Since opening to the public in 1931, the museum’s collection has grown to include more than 11,000 works representing artists and cultures from antiquity to the present. The Durham Museum Housed in the historic and magnificent Union Station, The Durham Museum celebrates Omaha’s history with permanent exhibits. It also continually brings in the new with impressive traveling exhibitions from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives and Records Administration and other national partners. The Union Pacific Railroad Museum Free to the public, the museum houses artifacts, photographs and documents that trace the development of the transcontinental railroad and the American West. Located in downtown Council Bluffs, the museum is designed to leave you with a sense of the past, present and future of America’s largest railroad and the railroad industry. 26
The Durham Museum
louis E. May Museum Extend your tour • El Museo Latino, one of only 11 Latino museums in the United States. • Love’s Jazz and Arts Center, where north Omaha jazz and jazz in American history come to life. • The Historic General Dodge House, the home of Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, “the greatest railroad builder of all time” – and the sole registered National Historic Landmark in Council Bluffs. 28
KURT A. Keeler
• The General Crook House Museum, the authentically restored home of Civil War hero Gen. George Crook, which includes the adjoining Crook House Victorian Heirloom Garden. Located on Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus. • The Henry & Dorothy Riekes Museum, the first permanent Jewish museum in Nebraska. • Louis E. May Museum, home of the Dodge County Historical Society and the Society’s collection of antiques and artifacts.
A FLOWERING TREE
OCT. 17 & 19, 2014
FEB. 13 & 15, 2015
BY GIUSEPPE VERDI
BY JOHN ADAMS
BY LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
TICKETS START AT ONLY $19
APRIL 17 & 19, 2015
CALL TICKET OMAHA AT 402 3450606 OR BUY ONLINE AT OPERAOMAHA.ORG
PROMO CODE CHAMBER
It’s good business to back the arts. A vibrant cultural scene is key to Omaha’s reputation among cosmopolitan, tech-savvy professionals. As the region’s only professional dance company, we’re proud to lend our backing.
Things to do When it comes to that hot commodity known as “downtime,” what’s your preferred speed? Do you like to relax in idle – or in overdrive? Prepare to chart your course. Given our wealth of things to do – both year-round and throughout our region – we’re confident you’ll be able to shift into just the right gear. Idle The Stars Under the Stars Pack a picnic and a blanket, and enjoy the biggest of screens: • Monday Night at the Movies, Midtown Crossing • Starlight Movie Series, Sumtur Amphitheater • Cox Music & Movies, Holland Performing Arts Center • Movies in the Park, Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park and Bayliss Park Overdrive Let It Ride Bike riding: A great way to maintain one’s balance. • Omaha Patio Ride: Tour downtown by pedal power on a “party bike” that can hold up to 16 passengers. • Taco Ride: Soak up the journey and the destination. A Thursday night ritual, the wildly popular Taco Ride takes cyclists along the scenic Wabash Trace Nature Trail in Iowa from Council Bluffs to Mineola and the Mineola Steak House – where taco and beer specials await. • Owl Ride: A late-night charity ride that brings out wild and wacky glow-in-thedark clothing and bike accessories. The more flair you and your bike have, the better. Continued on page 32 30
wabash trace nature trail
KENT SIEVERS/The World-Herald
Continued from page 30 Idle Warm Grooves We love all of our summer concert series options. North, south, east or west, you’re never too far from a laid-back listen: • Playing With Fire, Jazz on the Green, Midtown Crossing • Vibes at Village Pointe, Village Pointe • Saturdays @ Stinson Concert Series, Aksarben Village • Cass County Summer Concert Series, Slattery Vintage Estates • Loessfest, Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park • Bridge Beats, Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Plaza • Annual Concerts in the Park Series, John C. Fremont Park 32
Overdrive Runs for Fun How did Dr. Seuss phrase it? “We run for fun in the hot, hot sun.” And we might add, the warm of spring and the cool of fall and winter … We do like to lace up our shoes, pin on our numbers and hit the streets or trails. Races of varying distances supporting an array of charities abound year-round – from the vibrant Color Run in July and Glow Run in August to the perennially packed Corporate Cup 10K in September and Cupid’s Undie Run in February. For those looking to up the endurance ante, the Omaha Marathon offers a 26.2mile “tour” of the city in late September.
Idle Seasonal Community Celebrations Year-round, we come together to celebrate a holiday, a season or a community itself. There is something very time-honored and reassuring about that. Should a funnel cake find its way into our hands – all the better … • Taste of Omaha: Fast approaching its 20th birthday, this event on the riverfront is a three-day showcase of food, live entertainment and family activities. • Omaha Summer Arts Festival: A threeday June tradition, held downtown. A vibrant spin-off, ARTsarben takes place at Aksarben Village in September. Continued on page 34
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Aug. 15 â€“ Sept. 14, 2014
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Sept. 12 â€“ Oct. 12, 2014
THE WHIPPING MAN Oct. 17 â€“ Nov. 16, 2014
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Nov. 21 â€“ Dec. 23, 2014
YESTERDAY AND TODAY Dec. 5â€“31, 2014
Jan. 23 â€“ Feb. 22, 2015
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HANDS ON A HARDBODY Feb. 13 â€“March 22, 2015
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
March 6 â€“ April 4, 2015
I HATE HAMLET April 17 â€“ May 10, 2015
WHOâ€™S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? May 8 â€“ June 7, 2015
MAY 29 â€“ JUNE 28, 2015
LATE NITE CATECHISM
June 12 â€“ July 19, 2015
Washington County Fair Continued from page 32 • Bank of the West Celebrates America: A jam-packed free concert and fireworks tradition in Omaha’s Memorial Park the Friday before the Fourth of July holiday. • Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival: It’s two days of stunning visuals (hot air balloon glows and launches) and vintages (award-winning locally produced wines) enhanced with live music, activities for the kids and some of the area’s best barbecue. • John C. Fremont Days: A summertime blend of rodeo action and a car show, pony rides and living history events. 34
• Gretna Days: A three-day celebration packed with parades, picnics, tractor pulls and inner tube races. • County fairs throughout our region during the summer offer tractor pulls, demolition derbies, carnival rides, 4-H competitions, and – hold on to your hat, partner – extreme bull riding. • Holiday Lights Festival: An Omaha tradition that crackles with a Thanksgiving lighting ceremony at the Gene Leahy Mall, “Sounds of the Season” concerts, ice skating, a family festival and a New Year’s Eve fireworks spectacular.
• Holiday Poinsettia Show: Adding to the year-round allure of Lauritzen Gardens, our botanical center features a gorgeous display of more than 5,000 poinsettias. Overdrive In a League of Its Own Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting: The annual “Woodstock of Capitalism” draws tens of thousands of shareholders worldwide each May for a weekend of shopping, mingling and shop talk with the Oracle of Omaha himself.
The Journey Continues COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE
Together We Are Going Places. For 68 years, Travel and Transport and Omaha have been going places. Travel is our only business and we look forward to continuing to provide our customers with innovative corporate travel solutions, unique event planning services and unforgettable vacation experiences. Thank you for your support and watch for new things to come from Travel and Transport.
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CORPORATE TRAVEL | EVENTS | LOYALTY | VACATIONS
We don’t believe in the same old night out. From international fare to downhome cooking, we are a foodie’s delight. And when dessert is done, gather your strength and get ready to get with it. From secret holein-the-wall treasures to trips inside the velvet rope, you’re in for an adventure that’s eminently Instagrammable. the boiler room
37 THE WORLD-HERALD
the grey plume
we can say without reservation that our dynamic restaurant scene covers the gastronomic gamut.
Top 10 Foodie Cities (Livability – 2014)
Inventive chefs command their respective kitchens – whether it’s the celebrated Chef Clayton Chapman creating seasonally driven contemporary cuisine at The Grey Plume … “When a guest joins us at the restaurant, we want them to feel at home. The menu reflects the best of what is in season locally. The dining room is designed to be elegant, but comfortable. We strive to create an experience that leaves guests inspired and looking forward
to their next visit,” Chapman said. … or Le Bouillon’s Chef Paul Kulik transporting the tastes of rural France to our Old Market warehouse district. Focused on French comfort food, Kulik and his chef de cuisine, Ben Jordan, invite diners to explore beyond the traditional appetizer-entree-dessert triumvirate into sections named “toasts,” “fruits de mer” and “petits plats.” It's unusual. It's also intentional. Continued on page 40
Itâ€™s the way we do business...
the American Way. At American National Bank we incorporate the values that made this country great â€“ hard work, dedication, character and community support â€“ into everything we do. We believe that the people we serve are more than just customers; they are our friends and neighbors, the very fabric of the communities we serve. And we take great pride in helping them reach their dreams. Itâ€™s the way weâ€™ve been doing business for more than a century. Itâ€™s the American way.
Omaha I Council Bluffs I Lincoln
Dixie Quicks Continued from page 38 “I want to break out of those rigid traditional courses,” Kulik said. “You can eat the appetizer and the entree and the dessert, or you can just order the items that sound good.” The atmosphere is a bit more laid-back at Dixie Quicks, but the food is equally fused. It’s Southern cooking amplified with Cajun, Tex-Mex and Southwestern flair – or, as they like to say, just “darn good flavors.” 40
“Word-of-mouth is the best advertisement, but being on the Food Network didn’t hurt either,” said Robert Gilmer, owner of Dixie Quicks. “‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ has made us nationally and internationally known.” At 7M Grill, “comfort fusion” is on the menu as Chef Aron Mackevicius and his team satisfy guests with an order of Thai chicken ravioli here and sriracha-barbecued pork belly there. Flavorful – and fast. That describes
the style at Pana 88, a hip, fast-casual Pan-Asian eatery owned by Charlie Yin. His uncle owns a family of restaurants: Salt 88 (Italian-influenced) and Hiro 88 (sushi and Asian fusion). Eighty-eight is a lucky number in the Chinese culture – and our local dining circles as well. Not sure what to choose? Take your time. You could try a different restaurant for dinner every night, and it would still take you about three years to start the rotation over again!
Proudly born and raised here, we've been the bank Omaha trusts for nearly 160 years. In that time we've built relationships with people and businesses passionate about making Omaha a better place to live, and we will always put our customers and community first. If you're ready for a better banking experience, stop into one of our 38 convenient branch locations today.
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On Tap: Original Pours It’s been “brewing” in our region for years. We’re talking about carefully fermented batches of barley and hops. Not only do we raise our glasses, but we make their contents – and we do them both in style. Served Here Like the rest of the nation, we’re crazy for craft and imported beer. You’ll find a multitude of taps at establishments that specialize in the perfect pour. Head for 36th and Farnam Streets – “Beer Corner USA” – and quench your thirst at the Crescent Moon, “Omaha’s original alehouse” and a Draft Magazine Top 100 Beer Bar in America four years in a row; Huber-Haus, a German bier hall; Max & Joe’s, a Belgian beer tavern; and Beertopia, a craft beer store with a wide selection. The Benson neighborhood wins the draw for “craft beer capital” with popular establishments such as Beercade – a fusion of classic arcade games, pinball and craft beer – and Krug Park. 42
the crescent moon Made Here Benson Brewery takes pride in serving up its own homemade brews – but it’s not our only homegrown operation. The list includes Nebraska Brewing Company, Upstream Brewing Company and Lucky Bucket Brewing Co., which has a whiskey-making sister company, Cut Spike Distillery.
Celebrated Here Beer festivals and tours? We have those, too. In foamy abundance. With or without bacon. • Omaha Craft Beer Tour (February) • Benson Beer Festival (June) • Omaha Beer Fest (June) • Beer and Bacon Festival (August)
“Bare-bulbed and old-timey, Krug Park’s wood-and-brick décor gets a shot of life from a cool crowd and a chalkboard tap menu announcing rarer pours from well-known craft breweries.”
— DraftMagazine.com, America’s 100 Best Beer Bars (2013)
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. and Cut Spike Distillery
Nightlife We don’t have a problem gathering at any one of our national chain dynamos for an after-work unwind or happy hour meet-up. But if you want a relaxing night out that’s homegrown and all our own, allow us to play tour guide and direct you to some of our stand-alone treasures. The Boiler Room: A menu that changes daily complements an extensive cocktail list that mixes the classics with unique creations. The Berry & Rye: Inspired by pre-prohibition-era drinks, this craft cocktail room still manages to pull off the
Slattery Vintage Estates
experimental and contemporary. Nosh Restaurant and Wine Lounge: Diversity is always on the menu at Nosh, a laid-back yet sophisticated urban destination that pairs an extensive wine list with a varied selection of cocktails, casual bites and entrees. Grane: A globally unprecedented concept that blends a growing affinity for whiskey and craft cocktails with the most modern, small-portion whiskey dispensing/sampling technology. “When you take a look at what’s going on in the craft cocktail and whiskey categories – not only here but throughout the United
Uncork and Unwind Amid the Vines If sipping wine is more your style, we have a growing portfolio of award-winning vineyards. Napa Valley? Nope, it’s the Platte River Valley – and beyond. Soaring Wings Vineyard: The winemakers here have won so many medals that they’ve started storing them in paper bags. In addition to a wide variety of wines, the vineyard also serves up a robust calendar of events, including the Annual Spring Wine, Beer, Blues and Balloon Festival; year-round Acoustic Sundays; and a Harvest Festival in September.
KURT A. KEELER
States and globally – the timing was right for someone to create a new, innovative brand around it,” said Grane founder Dan Matuszek, who also founded Brix, an Omaha original. LIV Lounge: No gimmicks. No theme nights. Just a focus on excellent service and classic cocktails (108 varieties) in a comfortable setting (complete with a cabana) where people can connect, converse and relax. “The bar is a great slice of life because it is reflective of our citizenry – open to all, easygoing and excellent at its core,” said owner Sam Hohman.
Slattery Vintage Estates Vineyard & Tasting Room: Pairing award-winning Nebraska-made wines with a beautiful setting, Slattery Vintage Estates hosts tastings, weddings, concerts and – wait
for it – glamping (glamour camping) with bungalow tents, antique furniture, electricity and a coffeepot. Rise and shine to a gourmet breakfast, too! The Western Iowa Wine Trail: One of five in the state, it promotes agri-tourism by the glass, enticing wine lovers to visit seven member wineries. • Breezy Hills Vineyard • Danish Countryside Vines & Wines • King's Crossing Vineyard & Winery • Loess Hills Vineyard & Winery • Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery • Sugar Clay Winery & Vineyards • Vine Street Cellars
Trusted Service. Sound Advice.
Thatâ€™s Why Omaha Business Banks On Us.
When you need solutions to the challenges you face, turn to Great Western Bank because we take the time to get to know you and your business. From simple business checking accounts to flexible lines of credit, cash management services, and security and convenience-enhancing technologies, you can always count on the people of Great Western Bank. Come in and visit with your business banker. After all, we enjoy Making Life Great for businesses, too.
402.952.6000 For more information, visit www.GreatWesternBank.com
45 ÂŠ2014, Great Western Bank
we Win The College World Series, the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, the U.S. Senior Open â€“ we welcome sports fans from around the world and impress them season after season. (Practice does, after all, make perfect.) TD Ameritrade Park, CenturyLink Center Omaha and Werner Park are all testaments to our dedication to the ultimate fan experience. TD Ameritrade PARK OMAHA
THE WORLD-HERALD 47
Spectator Sports A boy on a baseball diamond in Texas. A girl swimming laps before dawn in Florida. A basketball team rallying in overtime in North Carolina. They all dream of coming to Omaha. NCAA MEN’s College World Series The CWS debuted in Omaha in 1950 before a cumulative crowd of 17,805. Single games beat that figure these days, averaging more than 20,000 fans per game. Total attendance in 2014 – a 16-game series – set a new high mark of 347,740 attendees. U.S. Olympic Swim Trials Before they can earn gold in Rio, they’ll have to excel here. We’ll host the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials for the third consecutive time in 2016. Our “aqua-fied” CenturyLink Center Omaha attracted more than 100,000 fans for the event in both 2008 and 2012.
“Bud” Crawford 48
Volleyball World Grand Prix CenturyLink Center Omaha has become a mecca for top volleyball in the United States. In July 2015, it will host the final round of the FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Grand Prix – the first major International Volleyball Federation event outside of the Olympics that the United States has ever hosted. “This is huge for USA volleyball and Team USA,” said U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly. Bump, set, spike, Omaha!
NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament In March 2015, we’ll help tip off the madness by hosting the second- and third-round men’s tournament games, marking the third time that the NCAA has selected us since 2008. Omaha’s Creighton Bluejays, led by Big East Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Doug McDermott, had a solid run in the 2014 tournament, advancing to the third round. World Lightweight Title Fight An Omaha-born boxing champ makes a hometown crowd very proud. Terence “Bud” Crawford defended his lightweight title in June 2014 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, knocking out Yuriorkis Gamboa in the ninth round. The bout, which aired live on HBO and drew 1.2 million viewers, marked the first major title fight here since 1972. Crawford is the first Omahan – and the first Nebraskan – to win a major boxing title in a century. Wait! There’s More! When we’re not hosting marquee national events, we’re cheering on an array of local athletic talent, from the Omaha Storm Chasers at Werner Park to the Omaha Lancers on the ice.
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From CURB APPEAL to creating your PRIVATE OASIS 6009 Center Street / Omaha NE 68106 / 402.553.3055 www.atlasawning.com
402.827.5547 Âˇ 1055 N. 115th Street, Omaha, NE 68154 www.financialvisionsllc.com Dale Percival â€“ Registered Principal, Ben Koley â€“ Registered Representative, Securities offered through Centaurus Financial, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC. Ben Koley â€“ Advisory Associate, Avisory services offered through Centaurus Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Visions, LLC and Centaurus Financial, Inc. are not affiliated companies.
Big-time attractions. Outdoor recreation. An energy that flows easily between stimulation and relaxation. This place is yours to discover – a region that excels at exceeding expectations. Come once and you’ll be amazed; we’ll surprise you again and again. BOTNA BEND PARK
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Recreation Fresh Water, Classic Fun Botna Bend: Situated next to the Nishnabotna River, this soothing escape beckons visitors to bring at least two items: a fishing pole for the flathead catfish and carp, and a camera for bison and elk grazing in the park pasture. Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area: Visited by almost one million people each year, this is one of eastern Nebraska's hottest spots for camping, picnicking and water sports such as boating, fishing and jet skiing. Lake Manawa State Park: Another popular recreation area that welcomes campers, hikers and boats of all sizes on a 660-acre lake. Louisville State Recreation Area: Offers prime camping and outdoor recreation on the Platte River. Hiking, Horseback Riding & History Fort Atkinson State Historical Park: Every spring, this park draws a crowd for its Living History Weekend, for which reenactors portray life at Fort Atkinson in the 1820s. Schramm Park State Recreation Area: A scenic escape features nature trails, picnic areas, the Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium and the Gretna State Fish Hatchery. Mahoney State Park: This ultra-modern state park offers a spectacular array of lodging and activities, including a family water park/water slides in the summer and a toboggan run in the winter.
COURTESY OF SCHRAMM STATE PARK
SChramm State Park Two Rivers State Recreation Area: Sleep in an authentic retired caboose, fish for trout in one of the many sandpit lakes or rent a bike and ride. Waubonsie State Park: A site on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, the park offers cabins and camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Feeling Adventurous? Bryson’s Airboat Tours: A longtime hobby turned professional enterprise, Bryson’s Airboat Tours has earned a “must do” reputation. “Once people come out and do a tour with us, they’re hooked,” said owner Tim Bryson. Mt. Crescent: Our mecca for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and soon, zip-lining, Mt. Crescent is also gaining a reputation for hosting unique (and messy) fun runs. These include the Mini Me Family Mud Run, MudZilla Run and the Beer Run.
Top States for Well-Being [Nebraska] (Gallup – 2014)
MAHONEY State Park
Playing a round — around the region Our patch of green in the center of the United States is a golfer’s paradise populated with more than four dozen courses.
53 BY LINDSAY
shopping Do you shop for sport – or strictly out of necessity? Either way, you can’t beat our selection. From high-end retail to one-of-a-kind boutiques, plus dining and diversions that make our shopping centers authentic one-stop destinations, we have what you’re SHOPPing for.
paperdoll vintage boutique 54
LUXURY, VALUE, UE,,
AN AND BORSHEIMS
how something so small can elicit such huge kisses. MIDWEST’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT JEWELRY & GIFT DESTINATION
for over 100 years.
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Nebraska Crossing OUTLETS • Aksarben Village: A mixed-use community built on property that used to be a horse racing track and coliseum. • Metro Crossing: Outdoor mall featuring major retailers and large national chains, along with a mix of smaller shops and restaurants. • Midtown Crossing: A pedestrianfriendly “city within a city” – and a $325 million catalyst for renewal in historic midtown Omaha. • Nebraska Crossing Outlets: A new high-tech, fully wired shopping experience with luxury brands. • Oak View Mall: A classic mall offering something for everyone.
COURTESY OF NEBRASKA CROSSING OUTLETS
• One Pacific Place: A shopping and dining mainstay. • Regency Court: A unique blend of shopping and fine dining in the heart of the metro. • Shadow Lake Towne Center: Big name national retailers, restaurants and specialty stores combined with homegrown offerings. • Shops of Legacy: One of Nebraska's largest upscale outdoor shopping centers and a showcase of non-chain, one-of-a-kind establishments. • Village Pointe: An open-air lifestyle development that is said to replicate a nostalgic Main Street shopping district.
• Westroads Mall: Shop, eat, catch a movie and let the kids burn off some energy at “Camp Westroads” — all without moving the car. Within several of these shopping destinations – and beyond – specialty boutiques are settling into their niche. They include Ensemble: A Men’s Collection at Countryside Village; The Ugly Sister Boutique: quirky gifts, “wow” accessories and trendy fashions at Midtown Crossing; Paperdoll Vintage Boutique: vintage clothing, accessories and home décor in Benson; and Togs: contemporary women’s clothing at Shops of Legacy and Aksarben Village.
we welcome Creatives. Entrepreneurs. Young professionals. Families. Retirees. More than a place to be, we’re a place where people want to be – the right choice for so many reasons. ELMWOOD PARK
AMY MARSH CUNNINGHAM
Embassy Suites #1 Ranked Hotel 2009, 2010 & 2011 Embassy Suites Make a Difference Award 2012 & 2013 Courtyard by Marriott Community Service Award 2013 Alice S. Marriott Community Service Hall of Honor 2013 Meetings Focus Best of Mid America Award 2013 NE Career Education Distinguished Business Partner 2014 The Embassy Suites and Courtyard by Marriott in La Vista are proud to be award- winning hotels for their Project SEARCH host site â€“ a school-to-work program for students with special needs in partnership with the Papillion La Vista School District and Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation. Their classroom is onsite, where their learning experience includes three rotations of 10 weeks each in a range of hotel and conference departments that include housekeeping, engineering, restaurants, kitchens and banquets. Guests and staff alike appreciate their integration, and soon discover their unique skills are a valuable asset. Embassy Suites and Courtyard by Marriott also host a Business Advisory Council to assist the students in finding meaningful employment following graduation. Having hired 9 students from their 2013 and 2014 classes, the staff is looking forward to working with our class of 2015! Call 402-408-5470 to become involved with Project SEARCH, or to book your corporate meeting, group or social event.
Voted Make a Difference Award winner by the staff of all Embassy Suites properties around the world. Ranked #1 Embassy Suites worldwide in quality, service and guest satisfaction
Right Choice: jason fischer JEFFREY BEBEE
What he does: Owner and creative entrepreneur, Surreal Media Lab. Passions: Art, personal fashion. Born: Washington, D.C., raised in Omaha. Worked in: Houston, returned to Omaha.
On Opportunities Here: “I like Omaha because of the pace, the people and the opportunity here, the heart and the culture. You can write your own ticket here. If I go to New York or LA, there are so many layers that I have to carve through to get to the heart of opportunity. Here there’s easy access to the chamber, the mayor, even the governor.” On Living Here: “You have the best of both worlds. There’s a relaxed family atmosphere, but if you want to go look for the clubs, the bars, the nightlife, the concerts – it’s really there.”
A Winning Combination Combining quality people, a unique culture and a passion for innovation and growth: West Corporation and Omaha share many traits that create a successful partnership. West Corporation is a global provider of technology-enabled communication services that help clients connect with customers every day, in many ways. West offers a broad range of communications and network infrastructure solutions that help manage and support critical communications. West’s customer contact solutions and conferencing services are designed to improve its clients’ cost structures and provide reliable, high-quality services. West also provides mission-critical services, such as public safety and emergency communications. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Omaha, West serves Fortune 1000 companies and other clients in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, retail, financial services, public safety, technology and healthcare. West has sales and operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America. For more information about West Corporation, please call 800-841- 9000 or visit us at west.com.
11808 Miracle Hills Drive Omaha, Nebraska 68154 61 Copyright © 2014 West Corporation. All rights reserved. EOE/AA Employer
Right Choice: Hilary Adams
What she does: Artistic director, Omaha Community Playhouse (since July 2014). Grew up: In theater as an actor, director and artist-teacher in northern Virginia. Omaha by way of the East Coast: Spent 20 years as a professional (and award-winning) theater director in New York City.
First Impressions: “Omaha is an amazing place for creative professionals. You can have a high quality of life in a community that is supportive of the arts and of creating artistic opportunities for everyone. … Our work at the Omaha Community Playhouse is community-centered. Everything we do is about giving back to the community.” On Living Here: “The arts and culture scene is thriving and expanding. It’s a big surprise when you arrive here that there is so much going on: exciting new ideas, collaborations and a willingness to experiment.”
Right Choice: Cassandra Janousek JEFFREY BEBEE
What she does: Customer service manager, Werner Enterprises. Her start: Former intern, Werner Enterprises. Born: Omaha; raised and residing in nearby Gretna.
Have a plan. Work hard to execute the plan. Enjoy the benefits. That’s Cassandra Janousek’s secret to personal and professional success. On Opportunities Here: “I like to think my opportunities are endless here, and I can continue to strive to better myself. I completed my professional goal, built a house and am married now, so I would say we’re off to a good start!” On Living Here: “I enjoy having all four seasons and the fact that there is so much to do – from fishing, boating and camping, to concerts, nightlife, weekly events and volunteer opportunities.”
Ideas transform communities The greatest accomplishments start with the smallest details, like handshakes that become friendships and ideas that transform communities. This is where great begins.
Midtown Master Plan
MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD
Right Choice: the McDermotts Residents since: 2010 when Greg began coaching the Creighton University men’s basketball team. Previous head coaching assignments: Wayne State (Wayne, Nebraska), North Dakota State (Fargo), Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) and Iowa State (Ames). Parents to: Nick, Sydney and Doug, the celebrated Creighton University AllAmerican recruited in 2014 to the NBA.
On Living Here: “Omaha is the biggest city we’ve ever lived in – but it still has a small-town feel. It’s the people that make us feel that way. We love that Midwest personality.” On Things to Do: “We love the restaurants and the shopping. It’s the best shopping and restaurant atmosphere we’ve ever been in – one of the best in the country.” On Making Their Mark: “We’ve had a good run. We’ve been successful, and that has helped us love it here even more.”
OMAHA. THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE TO THRIVE.
Gavilon is proud to call Omaha home. It’s not just in the middle of America’s heartland. It’s at the heart of the commodities markets around the world—from grain to feed ingredients to fertilizer. Our business goes around the globe, but it all starts here. www.gavilon.com
Our Neighborhoods: A Snapshot Tour our diverse blend of neighborhoods and districts – urban, suburban and rural – and you’ll find an expansive list of reasons why we love where we live. “The downtown atmosphere provides opportunities for my upstart business to thrive, and for my social life to thrive as well, with a plethora of events and activities all conveniently located within walking distance.” – Jenna Nielsen
“I love where I live because of the community. Neighbors in Dundee are frequently outside walking, gardening, biking or just enjoying the day. Feeling a part of something bigger than your property is wonderful in a semi-urban environment. An abundance of green space also adds to the charm.” – Craig Coffman “The Benson neighborhood loves craft! So if your craft is music, art, beer, food or even Skee ball, this neighborhood has enough love to share.” – Andy Elliott “My husband enjoys walking or riding his bike to work at Creighton and the Veterans Hospital. We love having the city view and the pavilion outside our window at Midtown Crossing. We are in heaven with all of the restaurants, cleaners, a grocery store, concierge service and entertainment right at our doorstep!” – Michele Silberstein 68
KURT A. KEELER
KURT A. KEELER
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we welcome “I love where I live because it’s an incredibly diverse and culturally rich community that’s ripe with moxie and possibilities. With its 100-year-old homes tucked onto tree-lined streets and neighbors who still invite you over for a glass of tea and a chat on the porch, north Omaha is more than where I live, it’s the place I’m proud to call home.” – Brigitte McQueen Shew “I love it here because, through the armed forces at Offutt Air Force Base, citizens of the entire United States come to live together in Bellevue. It is not unusual to see a license plate from Alaska or even Hawaii right here in Nebraska! The community of Bellevue graciously welcomes all, and there is a true spirit of patriotism among the residents.” – Judy Mansisidor
THE WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE
“I love living in Council Bluffs because people take pride in our community. There’s a genuine willingness to help each other in times of need and to celebrate in times of joy.” – Melissa Head “I enjoy living in Elkhorn because it is able to maintain its small-town atmosphere even as it grows. Many of Elkhorn’s longtime residents are determined to keep those small-town values. Although the school system has grown tremendously, it still knows its students and families, meets their needs and maintains its high educational standards.” – Carol Obenauer “I love where I live because Fremont is a good, safe community to raise a family. It is just the right size, and it provides opportunities to really get to know the people with whom you live, work and serve your neighbors.” – Doug Watson 70
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Pat, ru Growth Gu
Just like Pat, we want our communities to grow and thrive.
• Community information from our expert agents
So, we’re active in economic development and our local chambers to make our hometowns even better places to live.
• Easier home search by location and school district • Larger property photos • Redesigned mobile site at m.cbshome.com • Current news and happenings in the Omaha area • A special section featuring kids’ “home” artwork
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people in the U.S. belong to a Credit Union.
Why don’t you? 7148 Towne Center Parkway, Papillion, NE 68046 Federally Insured by NCUA Equal Housing Lender
SAC Federal Credit Union is Nebraska’s locally owned credit union.
Call today to become a member.
402.292.8000 www.sacfcu.com 71
One-on-one investment help Visit your local Fidelity Investor Center.
Omaha Investor Center 10345 Pacific Street One Pacific Place 800.544.6563 Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC. ÂŠ 2014 FMR LLC. All rights reserved. 579510.3.11
ITâ€™S TIME TO
Paparazzo? No, just an Omaha teen â€“ with a little help from his friends.
Call today for your pre-planning guide.
years we have helped generations pre-plan for funeral expenses. Itâ€™s a simple process that lets your family know your wishes. 72
7805 W. CENTER RD. â€˘ 402-391-3900 BELLEVUE CHAPEL â€˘ 402-291-5000 â€˘ BELLEVUE DWORAK CHAPEL â€˘ 402-346-1144 â€˘ 16TH & VINTON www.heafeyheafey.com
It probably wasnâ€™t the first time Tom White tweeted â€œChillinâ€™ with my homiesâ€? â€“ but he had never tweeted about these homies before. Hereâ€™s how it all went down: Tomâ€™s friend, Jacob Murray, was scrolling through his social media feeds that Sunday in July when he learned Paul McCartney was in the Dundee neighborhood. Jacob rallied his friends â€“ Tom, Drew Tvrdy and Luke Koesters â€“ and sure enough, they came upon the former Beatle and billionaire Warren Buffett sitting outside local ice cream shop, eCreamery. Thatâ€™s when Jacob snapped the now-viral image of Sir Paul, the Oracle of Omaha â€“ and Tom. Tomâ€™s tweet linked to a copy of the image (above) on Instagram, which was re-tweeted the following afternoon by Paul McCartneyâ€™s Twitter handle. â€œJust hanging out with friends,â€™â€™ @PaulMcCartney wrote.
we inspire A world of opportunity awaits. We are home to award-winning schools and nationally recognized universities. Innovation and experience work in collaboration, improving education for students of all ages. To them we say: Study hard, engage your brain, dream big and go for it â€“ no coasting allowed. Benson West Elementary
REBECCA S. GRATZ/THE WORLD-HERALD
Study hard. Engage your brain. Dream big. More than 90 percent of adults ages 25 and older in GREAter Omaha are high school graduates compared to 85 percent nationally. Parents want quality choices for education, and we pass the test. More than 139,000 children are enrolled in our award-winning system of public and private schools, which adds up to more than 300 facilities spanning nine counties. What’s your child’s passion? The arts? Science and technology? Sports? And if we nurture it today, where will it lead to tomorrow? We’re as eager as you are to find out.
Our college-prep curriculum prepares students for the challenges of post-secondary education. While over 60% of our students earn college scholarships, all are ready for success in their undergraduate and graduate studies. To find out more about how your daughter can become a Woman of Mercy, call 402.553.9424.
Exploring Science Brimming with potential, we know today’s students are tomorrow’s innovators. That’s why our schools – both established and new – focus on equipping our youth with the skills they need to fill a soaring demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professionals and educators. North High School’s Project Lead the Way is a rigorous, four-year progression of courses that gives students an introduction to the discipline of engineering before they enter college. Omaha’s Collective for Youth is working to infuse and support a STEM focus in our after-school programs, while organizations including Gallup, SkyVu and AIM all offer technology-focused internships for our high school students. Guided by its new STEM strategic plan, the University of Nebraska at Omaha is working to expand and improve the local STEM pipeline by collaborating with preschool through 12th-grade educators, STEM professionals and other community partners.
we inspire omaha code school
Technology Beyond our established institutions, we’re seeing the emergence of a new breed of tech schooling in our area that’s very focused on cultivating Web development talent very, very quickly. Omaha Code School • A 12-week “coding boot camp” • Launched spring 2014 “The only prerequisite is the willingness to work very hard for that whole time,” said co-founder Sumeet Jain. “We want to help develop talent here, but we also would be excited to bring talent here. We really do feel like this is an opportunity for the region, not just for our city.”
Ad is provided by the Omaha Schools Foundation
Interface Web School • “Building people who build the Web” • Transform students who don’t have a computer science background into junior Web developers in just 10 weeks • Launched spring 2014 In addition to working with older students, Interface offers summer programs for the younger set. It partners with Avenue Scholars Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha and the Hope Center for Kids to introduce them to Interface and, perhaps, generate an interest in coding.
Celebrating the Arts A number of innovative, collaborative programs in our schools and community offer the creative embrace an artist needs to flourish, from early childhood to adulthood.
Central High School’s 100th Annual Road Show Central High School celebrated an artistic milestone in 2014 – the 100th anniversary of its Road Show showcasing vocal, instrumental, comedy and dance talent. The three-day extravaganza included an opening night alumni show that featured former actress Lindsay Bloom-Nutter (“Dallas,” “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Mike Hammer”); musician Peter Buffett; TV writer Sam Johnson; and Greg Combs from Disney Imagineering. Bloom-Nutter said her career was launched by the Road Show: “I learned I loved performing in front of an audience. It was addictive.”
Mary Joy and Tal Anderson Performing Arts Center, Marian High School Now just over a year old, Marian High School’s Mary Joy and Tal Anderson Performing Arts Center is drawing rave reviews for its physical attributes (stunning acoustics and spectacular audio and visual effects) – and the impact it’s having on the student experience. “The performing arts center provides unique opportunities for students to discover their talents, find their voices and prepare for the future as confident, independent-thinking leaders,” said Mary Higgins, school president. Students, to date, have performed “The King And I” and “Romeo & Juliet: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Tragedy.”
Learn, Pray, Grow We pride ourselves on encouraging our students to develop Intellectually, Spiritually, and Socially.
3131 South 156th Street | Omaha, NE 68130 | 402.333.0818 | www.skuttcatholic.com 80
COMMUNITY CLASSROOMS KANEKO: Conceived as a gift to the community, this “open space for your mind” was founded by international artist Jun Kaneko, and his wife, Ree, and encourages creative experiences in the arts, science and philosophy. The Kanekos were also instrumental in launching the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, a leading artist-in-residence program. The Union for Contemporary Art: The three-year-old non-profit organization’s mission is to strengthen our creative culture and provide direct support to local artists through a fellowship program; exhibitions; access to equipment and studio space; and
professional development. In return, artists give their time and talent to help connect youth in north Omaha to the arts. Other fountains of creativity Artists’ Cooperative Gallery: An artistrun fine art gallery in the Old Market. The co-op balances its prime focus on the professional artist with an embrace of tomorrow’s talent. Its Emerging Artist Program allows gifted up-and-comers the chance to show works in a gallery setting. Hot Shops Art Center: A unique offering of more than 50 art studios, four art galleries and several exhibition spaces in our bustling north downtown district. Bruning Sculpture, Hot Shops Pottery and Crystal Forge anchor the creative space.
the union FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
KURT A. KEELER
SERVING THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF ALL LEARNERS | www.westside66.org 81
children 6 weeks through 6th grade.
Inspiring BeYond the Classroom Our commitment to educational opportunities that excite, engage and inspire extends beyond the classroom – and graduation. We are continually expanding our community-wide “curriculum,” offering new ways to cultivate and sharpen our young professional workforce.
Call today to arrange a tour! 402-393-1311 www.OmahaMontessori.com A tradition of excellence since 1967.
Enroll today in Peru State’s online Master of Science in Organizational Management or Masters of Science in Education degree. Personalized, flexible, innovative and relevant – we will help you take on the world.
Number of hours you will spend on campus. Our program is 100% online.
Ranked second on GetEducated. com’s Best Buy List for our Online Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and eighth for our online Masters in Organizational Management. Total cost for the 36-credit-hour program, compared to $19,000 for a 30-credithour program at a private institution.* *Tuition is subject to change.
800-742-4412 www.peru.edu/graduate Nebraska’s First College • Established in 1867 • Peru, Nebraska • 1-800-742-4412 Member Institution of the Nebraska State College System Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1915 • Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) • A member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Intern Omaha The Chamber’s Intern Omaha program is immersion learning at its interactive best – all with the goal of educating and attracting our next generation of talent. During their summer internships, college students are plugged into the local experience through social outings, neighborhood tours and a community volunteering day. “It’s a fun turnkey opportunity for visiting interns to explore our area and learn why they should come back after graduation,” said Sarah Wernimont, the Chamber’s manager of talent and workforce. Young Professionals Summit The YP Summit is another way in which we’re fostering enlightenment, energy and engagement by rallying around subjects such as leadership, community and civic responsibility and inclusivity. “We can sit around and be semi-satisfied with the way things are, or we can become truly impatient and do something about it,” said 2014 keynote speaker Majora Carter, a widely known urban revitalization strategist. The largest young professional event in the area, the summit drew 1,360 young professionals, business and community leaders for a day of learning and sharing. Mike Smith, Nebraska-grown skateboarder, motivational speaker and community builder, gave the opening talk. He frequenty speaks with youth and professionals about bullying, substance abuse, leadership and pursuing your personal passions. Smith is the founder of The Bay in Lincoln, Nebraska, one of a few non-profit skate parks in the country; and Skate For Change, a non-profit that empowers skateboarders to give back to the homeless in their communities.
Itâ€™s about jobs. Fort Omaha ExpansioN Coming spring 2018 Training for today
Construction Education Center
One of the best ways to build work skills is by working in an applied-learning setting. From the moment students walk through the doors of the CEC, they will be immersed in a learning-in-action environment. Most important, the comprehensive, IT-infused coursework comes straight from industry needs because it has been developed in tandem with industry.
Training for tomorrow Through CAET, MCC will bring together the talents of industry, faculty and students to innovate, problem solve and build skills with new and emerging technologies. Working collaboratively with industry, CAET will ensure that area businesses are equipped with the technologies and talent they need to succeed.
The right tools for learning Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology
Academic Skills Center
Students come to MCC from all walks of life and levels of learning. How does MCC give students all the tools they need for the jobs they fill? We begin with the end in mind. Through the ASC, students will set education and career goals, ensuring they have the right tools and opportunities to build the right skills.
university of Nebraska at Omaha
Higher Education From business and education to science, medicine, technology and the liberal arts, we are home to some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities. We are also home to two internationally recognized medical schools: the University of Nebraska Medical Center and CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center. And they are all within easy access. • Bellevue University • Clarkson College • College of Saint Mary • The Creative Center • Creighton University • Doane College • Grace University • Iowa Western Community College • ITT Technical Institute • Kaplan University – Omaha/ Council Bluffs Campuses
• The Peter Kiewit Institute • Metropolitan Community College • Midland University • Nebraska Christian College • Nebraska Methodist College • Nebraska Wesleyan University • University of Nebraska at Omaha • Vatterott College • Wright Career College COURTESY OF MIDLAND UNIVERSITY
Top 10 Best Cities for College Graduates (MSN – 2013)
mav -er -ick noun
1. An independent thinker
Define yourself. | www.unomaha.edu
85 COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT OMAHA
Creighton university Whether it’s on campus or online, undergraduate, graduate or professional schools, Creighton offers programs to help you reach your highest potential both in the classroom and in the real world. Creighton University is well-known for its comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs and its professional schools in the areas of healthcare and law. Creighton’s reputation for quality, valuesbased education also extends to online learning. Preparing students for in-demand careers, Creighton’s strengths and expertise are evident in its online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in leadership, business, education and healthcare fields. Creighton’s popular online MBA program will be joined by several new online programs in 2015, including a bachelor’s degree in Healthy Lifestyle Management and graduate certificates in Lifestyle Medicine for Healthcare Professionals and Data Analysis. “The expansion of online program
COURTESY OF CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY
offerings allows Creighton to reach out and provide a Jesuit education to those beyond the Creighton campus,” said Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., president of Creighton University. “More than 50 percent of our graduate students are now enrolled in online programs. Our online bachelor’s degree completion programs also provide flexibility for our adult students.” Having nine schools and colleges on one campus provides Creighton with a distinct advantage – the ability to create programming that combines expertise from multiple fields. Graduates with this interdisciplinary view of the world bring sought-after skill sets to the workplace. For example, Creighton’s online Interdisciplinary Doctorate in Leadership attracts senior leaders from a variety of public and private service sectors.
Launched in 2011 with 20 students, today enrollment is nearing 300 students, making it one of the largest doctoral programs in leadership in the country. Creighton’s perennial top ranking among Midwestern regional universities by U.S. News & World Report makes it attractive for undergraduates, adult learners wishing to complete their college degrees and graduate and professional students. Providing the same type of quality education through an online platform makes a Creighton education more accessible to students regardless of where they live. “Creighton has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence,” said Fr. Lannon. “We’ve stayed true to that tradition as we’ve moved into the online environment.”
We build leaders. At Bellevue University, we build the leaders that are helping build Omaha. With over half of our alumni located in the metro area, our graduates are living, working, and making a difference right here at home. As students, they learned from seasoned experts, getting prepared with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a constantly evolving workforce. As graduates, they are confident leaders, equipped and eager to advance and grow our communities. We are proud that our 88 graduates call Omaha home. And weâ€™re proud to say that at Bellevue University, we donâ€™t coast. We build leaders.
Bellevue University leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. What do they have in common? Determination and a degree from Bellevue University. We’re committed to helping you gain the momentum you need to achieve your dreams, whether you’re working hard to get ahead; a military veteran looking to increase your marketability; a parent trying to set a good example for your kids; a student fresh out of high school; or just about anyone in between. Bellevue University graduates occupy leadership positions throughout the Greater Omaha area, including leaders like Elizabeth Barton, director of customer relations at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Barton earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business analysis and management in January 2013 – 19 years after taking her first class at the University. “I have a 12-year-old daughter. I realized that if I expect her to get an education, I probably should too,” Barton explained. As the former director of the Airborne Command Post at Offutt Air Force Base, John Witzel’s leadership credentials were
well established when he added two Bellevue University degrees to his résumé – one in accounting and another in computer information systems. “Earning both degrees certainly has paid off for me following retirement,” said Witzel, now a member of the Nebraska Board of Education. “I like to say, ‘old dog, new tricks.’” Chet Fortune already had some college credit to his name when he enrolled at the University, but finishing up helped fire his entrepreneurial engine. He’s now the proud owner of Warrior Fitness Center in La Vista. “I had already started to get that feeling. I had that entrepreneurial spirit,” Fortune said. “But I needed to gain the knowledge about some of the things that needed to be done to put that plan into action.” There are also leaders like Kim Sellmeyer, creative director for the Greater Omaha Chamber – who spearheaded the communities’ new We Don’t Coast campaign. “I had a great Bellevue experience,” Sellmeyer said. “Having a degree has opened doors for me that I don’t believe would have been opened otherwise.” Our students come to the University from different avenues with different goals, and leave with the tools necessary to achieve their dreams. We don’t coast at Bellevue University. We build leaders.
we contribute We don’t give because we have to – or even because we’re supposed to. We give because generosity and compassion are in our Midwestern DNA. Ours is a community that works and celebrates together, and when hardship happens – we pull together. Philanthropy and volunteerism are the lifeblood of countless businesses and organizations striving to make a difference in our region. habitat for humanity
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Above and Beyond: Omaha Gives More than an online challenge, the Omaha Community Foundationâ€™s Omaha Gives! Event was a 24-hour fund-raising frenzy. 92
Launched in 2013 to showcase our spirit of giving and bolster local non-profits, Omaha Gives! 2014 more than doubled its inaugural burst of fund-raising. It pulled in more than $6.3 million to benefit almost 570 non-profit organizations, including the Nebraska Humane Society, the Siena/Francis House, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha and Food Bank for the Heartland.
Growth is almost certain with participating non-profits reporting an average of one-third of their donations coming from new donors. Since 1982, the Omaha Community Foundation, on behalf of its donors, has granted more than $1 billion to 3,000-plus local non-profits, initiatives and funds. The organization is a fixture in the Chronicle of Philanthropyâ€™s annual Philanthropy 400.
GIVE . . . Donate to the health cause of your choice
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HELP . . . Get involved in your community and volunteer Sponsored by:
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eâ€™re between getting out of the
hospital and getting back to life. For more information on post-acute rehab therapy at Good Samaritan Society â€“ Millard, visit www.good-sam.com.
Chuck and Pam NelsoN and elijah ‘Giving back has been good for our souls!’ Chuck and Pam Nelson are living proof that you can make a big impact with a “Little.” Drawn here by Chuck’s job with First National Bank, the Nelsons moved here from Atlanta in 2008 – away from their grown children and extended family. “I had a very difficult time adjusting,” Pam admitted. So they got involved – first by enrolling in Omaha Executive Institute (OEI), a Chamber program for executives and their 94
spouses who are new to the area. Then, inspired by OEI’s exploration of volunteer opportunities, they got involved as a Big Couple through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. “Building a relationship with a Little has helped us to give back to the community – and to fill a void in our lives. Having a Little is like having a little bit of family here,” Pam said. “It took my mind off what I lost, and opened my mind to the positive aspects of living here.”
The Nelsons have been paired with two Littles so far: Delon and Elijah. “We do activities we probably would not do on our own.” They include running from monsters at haunted houses; riding go-karts; going to the zoo; and seeing “Mary Poppins” at the Orpheum Theater and the Omaha Symphony’s “Symphony Spooktacular.” “Giving back has been good for our souls,” Pam said. And good for our community.
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Guiding Youth in the Community for 94 Years
TOUCHING THE LIVES OF ONE IN ONE IN EVERY EVERY 50 50 NEBRASKANS NEBRASKANS EBRASKANS
Charity Growers Silly mustaches, serious bucks. For real? They raised $251,000 In one month By growing mustaches?
Attorney Kris Covi, his brother, Kevin (above), and a mutual friend, Adam Perez, were on to something when they launched the local chapter of Mustaches for Kids. Sure, it may have started as “kind of a joke,” but the effort has raised $750,000-plus for children’s charities over the past six years. “Mustaches for Kids is what happens when absurdity meets philanthropy,” Kris said. “The first year we had 30 guys and raised $23,000, and it just took off after that. Two years ago we beat the New York chapter for the top spot, and now our totals are the all-time highest for any chapter. It’s just one more thing
where Omaha is No. 1.” The premise is simple: A group of guys volunteers to grow sweet ’staches (no goatees or beards – just mustaches) and finds sponsors during the month of May. “The reason the Omaha chapter has become the flagship chapter is simply because we’re in Omaha,” Kris said. “Our ‘growers’ benefit from the Midwestern generosity of their friends, families and co-workers.” A host of charities has benefitted by extension, including Camp CoHoLo and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year’s designated charity, Heartland Therapeutic Riding Academy, received $251,000.
Top down generositY Wellness, citizenship, scholarship. Henry Davis, a third-generation meat packer, said he learned from his father that people make a company successful. So to attract and maintain a quality workforce, Greater Omaha Packing Company maintains an unyielding focus on the health, safety and betterment of its employees and their families. The country’s sixth-largest beef producer provides low-cost healthcare coverage for more than 1,000 employees, and for years has maintained a free bilingual health clinic. In addition, the company is aligned with the Nebraska Medical Center’s SimplyWell Program. An “on-and-off-the-job” wellness initiative, it has led to improved employee health, wellness awards and increased productivity. The almost 100-year-old company provides scholarships and free English and citizenship classes and citizenship ceremonies
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for its workers, about 85 percent of whom are Hispanic. The goals, said Davis, are to cultivate the best workplace – and to continue attracting the best employees in the industry.
Let us help you run your business your way with our wide range of banking products and services. We strive to understand the challenges your business faces – so we can deliver solutions for the way you work. Our experienced business bankers are ready to provide you financial solutions with the service and attention you deserve. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
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we we contribute contribute
We honor At a grassroots level, our giving nature, coupled with our patriotism, have instigated stunning acts of appreciation. In spring 2014, local volunteer organizers Bill and Evonne Williams spearheaded the largest single-day Honor Flight in history. Three charter airplanes carried more than 460 Korean War veterans to the nation's capital, where they paid visits to the Korean War Veterans Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. 98
“The old saying that Korea is the forgotten war – not in Nebraska,” Bill said. Private donations ranging from $5 to $200,000 covered the $500,000 cost of the flight. The veterans capped their 20-hour day with a rousing (and surprise) hero’s homecoming: a color guard, patriotic music and a throng of thousands packing the Eppley Airfield terminal. In 2008 and 2009, the Williamses organized seven Heartland Honor Flights. Those flights took 1,500 Nebraska World War II veterans to see the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.
Omaha PeysBack Manning gets his due – a heartfelt thank you! NFL notable Peyton Manning knows how to rally an offense – and an Omaha crowd. The Broncos quarterback visited the city in May 2014 to collect a check for his PeyBack Foundation – and a heartfelt thank you for the Omaha PR blitz he unintentionally triggered on Jan. 12, 2014. On-field microphones caught him shouting “Omaha!” before at least 40 snaps, unleashing a torrent of print,
broadcast and Internet mentions. “We thoroughly enjoyed the attention and the fun we were able to have, and we took great pride in launching Omaha Peysback to benefit the PeyBack Foundation,” said Chamber President and CEO David G. Brown. Seventeen companies donated money each time Manning shouted “Omaha!” during the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl. The end result? A $68,850 check for Manning’s foundation. “I can't tell you how many suggestions I get on what word I should use next year – cities, states, businesses … a lot of websites,” the quarterback relayed. “I am here to tell you I am sticking with ‘Omaha!’”
We care for the whole family! South Omaha 4920 S. 30th St. 402.734.4110
Businesses ‘Pey-ing’ back • Bank of the West • Brix – A Wine and Spirits Experience • CenturyLink • ConAgra Foods • Cox Communications • DJ’s Dugout • First National Bank of Omaha • HDR, Inc. • Mutual of Omaha • NorthStar Financial • Omaha Area Board of REALTORS • Omaha Box Company • Omaha Steaks • Omaha Storm Chasers • One Transcription Services • Oriental Trading Company • Union Pacific
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Populated by skilled clinicians and determined researchers, our health care environment encompasses more than a dozen hospitals and nationally acclaimed medical centers, including the University of Nebraska Medical Center, CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. We’re never more than minutes away from optimal care – whether it’s setting a broken arm or transplanting a heart. 100
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When life happens. When events like a new arrival, a new job, or a move change your life, you may also be able to lower your health insurance costs. Let Blue help you navigate the landmarks, now and down the road. Weâ€™ll be there when life happens. For every event, planned or unexpected.
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we care “She is what we call a ‘triple threat,’ someone who excels in all three areas of academic medicine: education, research and clinical practice.”
– Dr. Bradley Britigan, dean, UNMC College of Medicine
COURTESY OF UNMC
Dr. Sarah Thayer Raising our ‘commitment to excellence.’ One of our nation’s top cancer researchers is now innovating and operating here. Dr. Sarah Thayer, an internationally recognized physician-scientist, serves dual leadership roles at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (chief of surgical oncology) and the Fred & Pamela Buffett 102
Cancer Center (associate director for clinical affairs and physician-in-chief). An active surgeon, Dr. Thayer came to UNMC in May 2014 after spending 13 years at Harvard Medical School and its teaching hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to realize what the very best of cancer care can be,” she said of her new post. “It speaks to our commitment to excellence that we would recruit someone of Dr. Thayer’s caliber,” said Dr. Ken Cowan, director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. “It also speaks to our rising profile that she would choose to
be part of what is happening here.” Dr. Thayer arrived on the national scene when she was published in a 2003 issue of the journal, Nature. Her work revealed the role of a developmental gene (Shh) as an early initiator of pancreatic cancer. Continuously funded since, she has been part of five National Institutes of Health research grants – three as overall principal investigator. “There’s a great synergy between clinical care and scientific progress that works really well at UNMC. We believe that translation between the two is where our next inventions and innovations in patient care will come from,” she said.
Methodist makes Omaha healthier.
Dr. Dittrick and Jeff, RN Surgery
Methodist’s impact on the health and well-being of families reaches far and wide. Regionally, we perform more surgeries and offer the only medical campus dedicated to women. But our impact goes beyond medical expertise. Because Methodist is where innovation meets compassion, working together to advance health and save lives. That’s the meaning of care. bestcare.org
©2014 Methodist Health System
COURTESY OF THE GOLDHAMMER FAMILY
Unbreakable spirit Family ‘thanks God every day’ for specialized care. His name is reminiscent of a fairy tale character – and rightly so. Conner Goldhammer’s story has the necessary elements: A beaming young hero, a daunting challenge and lessons that, in the end, we can all learn from. “He loves playing with his cars 104
and trucks,” said his mom, Denise Goldhammer. “In many ways, Conner is your typical 3-year-old.” And, in many ways, he is not typical. Conner was born in July 2010 with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Type III, a severe genetic disorder known as “brittle bone disease.” He has had more than 80 breaks so far. “Conner was so fragile that we would have to hold him on a pillow,” recalled Denise, who lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina, with her husband and their five children. “We felt lost in the beginning, and we didn’t feel like we were getting
the care in Fort Mill that Conner needed.” Through their connection to a Facebook OI parents group, the Goldhammers learned about the Metabolic Bone and Osteogenesis Imperfecta Clinic at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha – 1,150 miles away. “Flying to Children’s and meeting the team of OI specialists was the best decision we ever made,” Denise said. Six months after that initial visit, Dr. Paul Esposito performed surgery on 17-month-old Conner to place bilateral femur and tibia rods. “We thank God every day for Dr. ‘E,’” Denise shared.
TRAUMA IS 24/7. But, all trauma centers are not alike.
Throughout Nebraska and the region, there is only ONE certified, level one trauma center prepared to care for any injury, at any time, for any age. Only The Nebraska Medical Center has EIGHT fellowship-trained trauma surgeons based right here in Nebraska. They are backed by the unmatched comprehensive care of highly specialized teams, who work together to save lives and restore hope. These include Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Ophthalmology, Vascular Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery, Otolaryngology, Anesthesiology, Radiology, Pediatrics and Rehabilitative Services. NebraskaMed.com/TRAUMA
Only The Nebraska Medical Centerâ€™s trauma center has the serious medicine and extraordinary care it takes to handle trauma 24/7.
Healing mind, body, spirit. ‘Everyone is right here.’ On a sunny morning in August 2012, Catherine and Rick Bernt stepped onto the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and into the rest of their lives. But within an hour of their intimate wedding, a phone call cast a pall over their special day. Catherine, they learned, had cervical cancer and was being referred to Dr. Niyati Nadkarni, a gynecologic oncologist with Midwest GYN Oncology at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. Each year, nearly 2,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients turn to Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center for multidisciplinary care, state-of-the-art technology, cutting-edge clinical trials and comprehensive support services. Here, a holistic approach to healing the body, mind and spirit is coupled with the best treatments that medicine has to offer, Dr. Nadkarni said. A patient-centered team approach is at the heart of every treatment. Each week, teams of specialists in their respective tumor site-specific fields spend hours analyzing patient care from their unique perspectives. “I think patients appreciate the fact that we all talk about pathology and come up with a game plan for their treatment,” Dr. Nadkarni said. “It’s a well-oiled machine. Everyone is right here.” Today, Catherine’s cancer is in remission, and her ongoing care at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center has her feeling confident about the future. “I’m so thankful that I went to Methodist,” she said. “I am really lucky.” 106
TAMI RUDDER/MADONNA REHABILITATION HOSPITAL
Along with expansion comes hope Our healthcare environment is continually expanding, supporting a collective goal of becoming a regional referral center for the most sophisticated and innovative treatments. Lincoln-based Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital is one of the newest additions to the healthcare landscape. Its 110-bed facility near 175th Street and West Dodge Road is set to open in 2016. Until then, Madonna has established a 32-bed hospital and a rehab presence within the Bellevue Medical Center. Among the largest independent
rehab hospitals in the country, Madonna is recognized as one of the nation’s most advanced, comprehensive facilities for brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke and pediatric rehabilitation programs. Four-year-old Huxley Roza (pictured) is one of thousands of success stories. Therapists at Madonna are using games to help Huxley learn to use her voice and left hand following brain stem surgery. Huxley’s dexterity and fine motor skills are improving, too, thanks to therapy involving finger painting and other simple art projects.
Alegent Creighton Health is now CHI Health. Alegent Creighton Health is now CHI Health, part of Catholic Health Initiatives, providing you with some of the best care our nation has to offer.
Learn more at CHIhealth.com.
Aligning ourselves with the best means youâ€™ll receive an even stronger degree of excellence at our network of hospitals and clinics close to where you live and work in Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
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Queen of Triumphs Former patient, now staffer, makes others stronger, braveR.
In the wake of a horrific accident, she found an opportunity to inspire. Now, as part of a rehabilitation team that champions willpower and forward-thinking, 20-year-old Rachael Johnson helps lead others beyond their injuries and adversity. “When I think of QLI, I think of Rachael Johnson,” said Patricia Kearns, president and CEO. “She is the embodiment of our rehabilitation culture – the ultimate team player. She's the kind of person who sees every obstacle for its potential for triumph.” Rachael arrived at QLI in September 2013 unable to walk or enjoy the full use of her arms due to a midsummer motor vehicle crash and resulting spinal cord injury. QLI crafted a program around Rachael’s interests, incorporating industry-leading post-injury physical/ occupational therapy, life skills coaching
and life path training. Rachael, impassioned and resilient, transcended her program. Supported and encouraged by the QLI staff, she began mentoring other injury survivors through the tangled, emotional hardships of their own circumstances. Rachael, who lives independently and attends college classes once again, has since graduated from her rehabilitation program at QLI, where she is also an employee. A spinal cord injury mentor, she uses her positivity to empower current clients of QLI’s rehabilitation services. She is a motivator, a guide, a teacher and a friend. She leads by experience, making the people around her stronger and braver. “QLI is simply the perfect fit,” Rachael said. “It’s more than rehab here. It’s a way of living.”
Stronger Every Day The CHI Health team keeps her counting her blessings.
COURTESY OF CHI HEALTH
Kim Rolf spent that morning like she spent many mornings – running. Just a few hours later, a violent car crash … “After the initial shock was over, I just remember thinking how glad I was that I had just dropped off the kids at day care,” she said. “If it had been just five minutes earlier, they would have been with me.” Rolf suffered multiple injuries in the 2009 accident, including deep gashes on her left leg. She was rushed to CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center, where the trauma team stabilized her and prepped her for surgery. The injury eventually proved to be too much. Two years and 25 surgeries later,
Rolf, a nurse herself, made the choice to have her leg amputated. “I’ve had to learn to let others care for me,” she said. “My team of doctors, nurses and therapists has been there for me every step of the way.” As an inpatient at the CHI Rehabilitation Center at Immanuel, Rolf learned how to operate in her new reality. Her team even found her a high-tech prosthesis so she could keep up with her kids – and someday, go running again. “My team is the best,” she said. “They helped me back up when I was down, and I’m getting stronger every day.”
Therapy staff partners in AMBitious recovery Goals After a motorcycle accident left 54-year-old Michael Phelps paralyzed, therapists at Fremont Health Rehabilitation Center helped their patient turn his ambitious goals into reality. “When we developed Michael’s therapy plan, we talked about how his life had changed,” said physical therapist Kate Kuester. “We discussed his daily care and the tasks he needed to do at home, and how we could help him regain his independence.” Working closely with Kuester and her colleagues over the course of eight months, Phelps strengthened his upper body using a hand-pedaled bike, weights and bands. He learned how to use a manual wheelchair and a slide board device to transfer out of his electric wheelchair. He developed his balance until he could sit on the edge of his bed without assistance – and he developed a strong bond with the rehabilitation center’s staff. “My experience with the physical therapy team has been extremely special,” he said.
COURTESY OF FREMONT HEALTH REHABILITATION CENTER
THEY COME TO OMAHA FROM ALL OVER, AS IF DRAWN BY SOME POWERFUL FORCE. The brightest minds in science and medicine are streaming in to join up with equally talented counterparts already here at UNMC. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, we’ve bolstered our internationally renowned faculty with an influx of recent hires from the likes of Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. Why are so many of academic medicine’s rising stars coming here? Education programs ranked in the top 10 by U.S.News & World Report. Strong, strategic partnerships in China and beyond. The state-of-the-art Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, going up as we speak. And, all of this, in one of America’s most livable cities. Omaha. UNMC. Breakthroughs for Life.®
UNMC builds on its legacy of excellence Nebraskans appreciate the power of a strong recruiting class. HERE IS why a few of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s recent top catches chose to sign on with the team at UNMC. Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. Chancellor, the University of Nebraska Medical Center Background: A nationally recognized leader and an advocate for transforming academic medical education. At the helm since February 2014; responsible for an annual operating budget of more than $640 million, a staff of about 5,000 and a student body of nearly 3,700. Also board chairman of a clinical enterprise with 6,500 employees and an operating budget of more than $1 billion. The draw here: “Nebraskans expect and deserve the best. My goal is to build upon UNMC's legacy, and to elevate it even higher as a very top-tier academic medical center. We will lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future. It’s attainable through extraordinary care, remarkable discovery and relevant learning.” Ali Khan, M.D., M.P.H. Dean, College of Public Health Background: Joined UNMC in July 2014 upon retiring as assistant surgeon general with oversight of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The draw here: “Exciting opportunities. We have the perfect combination of dynamic talent, collaborative spirit and a culture of excellence. It’s fertile ground for developing global models of extraordinary public health practice and research, nurturing the next generation of public health innovators and leaders and creating new public health solutions. Together we can make Nebraska the healthiest state in the nation.” Janet Guthmiller, D.D.S. Dean, College of Dentistry Background: Formerly with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. Joined UNMC in September 2013. The draw here: “UNMC is the right choice for me because of the opportunities we have in terms of strong educational programs, sustained research programs and significant service contributions. I see the college as very strong in the advancement of this tripartite mission – education, research and service – and I look forward to helping the college expand its healthcare impact throughout the State of Nebraska.”
we launch Roll up your sleeves. Pour in your passion. Reap your rewards. If you’re ready to ignite your career – if you’re determined to make a mark instead of just making due – you’ll find a place. Here, we embrace entrepreneurs, cultivate innovation and let imagination run free. OMAHA FASHION WEEK
“We have a thriving and very diverse fashion scene here. Everything from high-fashion couture, day wear, evening wear, kids’ fashions and fashions for the plus-sized market. The reality of the situation is Omaha should not be ignored!”
— Aubrey Sookram, founder/designer, MarKoos Modern Design
Fashion Ecosystem Necessity is the mother of invention. Just ask mother of three, Aubrey Sookram. “Working in fashion was always intentional. But as a young mother, when I couldn’t find clothing I wanted for my daughter, I began dabbling in designing for kids,” she said. That dabbling evolved into MarKoos Modern Design, a children’s clothing brand that is “just a little bit quirky. I love to mix color and pattern, and there is always just a touch of ‘hipster chic’ thrown in.” Sookram, whose educational background is in marketing, merchandising and fashion design, said she always intended to move to the West Coast to start her career. But when life happened (she met her husband and had a child), she decided the best place for her is right here: “Near my family, with good neighborhoods, schools and a good moral backbone.” She added, “Growing a business here is made easier due to the level of community support. This year in particular, I am feeling the love from local clients. There is nothing quite like Omaha taking care of its own.”
Omaha Fashion Week Aubrey Sookram was one of 32 independent designers feeling the love from the fashion community at Omaha Fashion Week in August 2014. The biannual showcase has grown into the Midwest’s largest fashion event, surpassing Minneapolis, Denver, Kansas City and St. Louis in terms of audience size and the number of designers served. OFW is much more than a fashion extravaganza and string of glamorous nights out. It’s a “talent incubator” that helps designers produce and market their designs and participate in a professional production at no cost.
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InnovationI Acceleration As our entrepreneurial ecosystem evolves, breakout success stories emerge, and a new crop of entrepreneurs feels emboldened to launch their ventures here – a place that values collaboration, innovation and acceleration. Want to grow your idea into something tangible? Welcome to fertile ground. Straight Shot E-commerce and software-as-a-service startup (SaaS) accelerator. Mission: Encourage the success of select startups by providing $20,000 in funding and 90 days of networking, mentoring and curriculum. Inaugural Class 2013 CardioSys (Omaha) Crateful (Omaha) BuyNow (Omaha) HuntForce (Omaha) Cosmic Cart (Durham, North Carolina) Cympel (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Business Exchange (San Francisco, California) 2014 Class Borrow For Your Bump (Omaha) CallOnTheGo (Chicago, Illinois) Kitchin (Chicago, Illinois) LocalLux (Chicago, Illinois) Quest (Omaha) SitStay (Lincoln, Nebraska) Viirt (Portland, Oregon) 114
Straight Shot Snapshots HuntForce Revolutionizing the Way Hunters Hunt Father-and-son team Jim and Ryan White have set their sights on the elusive “big game” known as success – and the hunt brought them here. “It’s been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had,” Ryan said. “We’re really living the dream right now.” In early January 2014, the Whites formally launched HuntForce, a tech startup that promises to revolutionize the way deer hunters manage trail camera photos, identify their targets and strategize. Just seven months earlier, the Whites (Jim, Ryan and their spouses) uprooted from Louisville, Kentucky, and moved to Omaha to work with Straight Shot. “Straight Shot was invaluable. We were immediately plugged into this network of influential people,” Ryan said. “I was in Louisville for 10 years, and I didn’t have anywhere near the network that I gained in Omaha within a couple of months.”
“We’ve found Omaha to be a place with an amazing business culture and a great number of success stories. From day one, we’ve gotten a lot of love and support in this city,” Turkalj shared.
Business Exchange Born in Croatia, Succeeding in Omaha Stamina, skill, spirit – and a fair bit of sweat. Croatian native and Straight Shot alum Zlatko Turkalj knows all about the “S’s” of sports success. He is, after all, a former Croatian national rowing champion. Now, he’s applying those same S’s to the tech startup he helped launch in 2013. Business Exchange is an online match-making platform where companies can easily recommend their most valued business partners to – and collect recommendations and referrals from – other companies.
Beyond Straight Shot Additional Acceleration • The Year of the Startup: An entrepreneurs’ residency program in which four young entrepreneurs (“startup fellows”) live and learn together for a year, an immersion designed to foster collaboration, experimentation and innovation. • The Garage: An incubation effort launched by Aviture, a national software development firm. It includes numerous strategic partnerships, community involvement and funding from local investors.
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A Global Manufacturing Leader in your backyard 10102 F St. Omaha, NE (800) 521 4888 (402) 339 9300 email@example.com www.conductix.us
Plenty of Room to Grow, Stretch. Collaborate. Collaboration is more than a buzzword here. It is an active reality that thrives in a number of innovative spaces – from the Wareham Building and the Scott Technology Center to the sprawling “creative habitat” known as The Mastercraft Building. The Mastercraft, a former furniture factory, spans three blocks and is home to more than 25 creative and tech companies. A recent multi-million-dollar renovation freed up room for growth. The Wareham Building is newly refurbished and houses the Straight Shot accelerator and coding/web school Interface on the Creighton University campus. The Scott Technology Center in Aksarben Village was developed by the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation to foster partnerships in the areas of engineering and information technology. It provides practical experiences for students and achieve the Scotts’ vision of a “technologically growing Omaha.” Innovation/Collaboration 13 businesses – some seasoned, some startup – sharing the same work space. Chaos? No, Co-Lab. Collaborative work environments with office- and amenitysharing is a growing trend nationwide – and right here at home. At Co-Lab, the brainchild of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, no walls separate tenant businesses. It’s a design that encourages organic interactions, strong relationships and the serendipitous, intellectual collisions that occur when innovative people are in close proximity. “We love the people, the surrounding businesses and the space,” said Dave Nelson of SecretPenguin, a branding agency and tenant. “When you surround yourself with like-minded, good people, great things will naturally happen.” 116
Co-Lab Partners An eclectic mix of tenants with one common denominator – a creative edge. • Mary Zicafoose Textiles • Alley Poyner Macchietto • Nebraska Enterprise Fund Architecture • Omaha Creative Institute • Bright Sky Interactive • Revolve LLC • Field Day Development • SecretPenguin • FuturePay • Steve Jensen Consulting • Live Well Omaha • Verdis Group • Lyn Wallin Ziegenbein Big Omaha Bringing the entrepreneurial community together to “build community, start conversation and provide inspiration” – that’s the goal of Big Omaha. The growing annual event produced by Silicon Prairie News bubbles with founders, investors and designers from across the country. Guest lecturers in 2014 included Evan Williams, co-founder and chairman of Twitter, and Chase Jarvis, founder of creativeLIVE.com, the world’s largest live-streaming education platform.
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At PayPal, People Rule! We are in search of friendly people who look forward to helping our customers every day. As an employee at our Omaha location, you will have the opportunity to transform the way people pay and get paid using PayPal. Are you ready to play a role in driving what we like to call the People Economy? Then PayPal is the company for you! At PayPal, we were voted as one of the best employers to work for in Omaha because we care about our employees. We want you to have a work/life balance that includes on-site basketball hoops and volleyball courts, an on-site cafeteria, and many benefits that include tuition reimbursement and health benefits that start on your FIRST DAY! Join us at PayPal in Omaha and help make a difference.
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Targeting Technology Affordable and reliable power, bandwidth and infrastructure, a skilled workforce, affordable real estate, disaster avoidance, state and local incentives … Just some of the reasons why so many technologyreliant companies are sprouting up here. Our data center population is robust – and filled with industry giants: • ACI Worldwide • Cabela’s • ConAgra Foods • First Data • Fidelity Investments • First National Technology Solutions • Google
• Infocrossing • PayPal • CenturyLink • TD Ameritrade • Travelers Insurance Co. • Union Pacific • Verizon • Yahoo!
Adding to our appeal: Cox and CenturyLink, our leading communications providers, are focused on serving both business and residential Internet customers with lightning-fast speeds – up to 1 gigabit per second. 120
Tech Focus Valvora A 152-year-old transportation icon may seem the unlikely patriarch of an innovative new tech startup. Then again, Union Pacific is all about progress. Cue James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” Valvora is a solution-focused software company that sprung naturally from existing infrastructure at Union Pacific. UP staffs its own expansive IT department – 1,400 employees producing software for in-house use. “UP’s CIO recognized that if this is the way we’re going to do business, let’s do something like Valvora to release some of that software to the broader market,” said Luke Christiansen, a nine-year veteran of UP’s IT department. Christiansen and Manish Gupta were tapped to launch Valvora. Its first product, Valvora App Station, was set for a full-scale launch in fall 2014. An administrator selects and uploads the public and private in-house apps that employees need to a convenient location, and then users download the apps on their mobile devices. Next in the product pipeline is Valvora’s Innovation Station, a social platform for sharing, improving and rapidly executing worthy ideas; and the Valvora Recruit Station, a place to promote your company and its open jobs.
“Our vision is for Valvora to become a trusted e-commerce marketplace with many solutions for everyday business challenges,” Christiansen said. “We are very excited for our future,” Gupta added. other leaders Over the last 10 years, Omahabased Aviture has steadily grown into a national software development firm. Serving a diverse client base, Aviture has project locations in Washington, D.C., Huntsville, Alabama, Vienna, Virginia, Bowie, Maryland, Dallas and Phoenix. Lincoln-based Hudl, a leading sportsfocused software company, expanded into our area in August 2014, bringing tech jobs and an office near the Old Market. The company’s Omaha team – more than 20 workers initially – is charged with software development. Hudl co-founder David Graff said expanding here was all about recruitment, citing our talent pool, universities and established businesses. Launched in 2006, Hudl offers online tools to help high school, college and professional coaches edit and share game film, study related diagrams and create highlight reels. Hudl currently “huddles” with nearly 600,000 unique users and more than 30,000 active teams, including the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
“We stand out as one of a few select cities that can promote a number of high-speed realities, not just high-speed possibilities.”
– David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber
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Going Viral Entrepreneurship starts young in a big way here. Our homegrown Vine celebrities, Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson of Omaha Westside High School, began posting comical, six-second videos to their “Jack and Jack” Vine account in summer 2013. Today, they have more than 4.2 million followers – and bragging rights as 2014 “Choice Viner” Teen Choice Award nominees. (They, unfortunately, did not win.) vine.co/JackAndJackOfficial
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Green Plains Futures grow here. Green Plains Inc. is in the business of harvesting energy – a specialty that has led to dramatic growth and diversification, creation of jobs and aiding the reduction of our country’s dependence on foreign oil. Founded in 2004, the Omaha-based Fortune 1000 has mushroomed into the fourth-largest ethanol producer in the world – and the largest in its home state. Its 12 plants, located in Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Tennessee, produce about one billion gallons of ethanol per year from 10 million tons of corn. In conjunction with – and as a coproduct of – its ethanol production 122
operations, Green Plains has developed a host of “synergistic businesses.” It produces more than 2.9 million tons of distillers’ grains (livestock feed) and 250 million pounds of corn oil annually. The sale, marketing and distribution of its product line is handled in-house by Green Plains Trade, a subsidiary that also offers ethanol marketing for other producers. Green Plains Grain provides bulk grain storage at four facilities across Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. As the company looks to next-generation science, it’s part of a joint venture called BioProcess Algae to commercialize algae production technology. Green Plains reports revenues of more than $3 billion per year. It has been recognized by Fortune as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. In May 2014, to reflect its continued diversification
of operations, the former Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. announced its name change to Green Plains Inc. “Over the last six years, we have built a diversified platform that provides a variety of products and services beyond renewable fuel,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO. “Green Plains Inc. more accurately reflects who we are today and our broader focus for future growth.” Supporting that future focus, Green plains prides itself on investing in its 820 employees, expanding its Omaha headquarters to include a gym to promote wellness and a training center for continuing education. It has a message for those seeking a fulfilling career in a dynamic industry: It has openings to fill – from commodity trading positions to financial analysts, programmers and project engineers.
Andrea Linberg Ethanol Trader “I work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment that challenges me to grow as an employee. It has been exciting to see our company pinpoint new opportunities and seamlessly expand our platform over the past five years. The future looks just as exciting. And as long as I’m still learning, I know I’m in the right place.”
John Melvin Ethanol Trader “At Green Plains, I have a consistent string of learning opportunities and new challenges. The expectation here is to both generate ideas and execute them. Our industry is dynamic and competitive, and constantly provides new opportunities and challenges. Our flat management structure provides consistent support and feedback that spurs learning and growth.”
Suchir Saraf Quantitative Analyst “I love the ability to learn and interact with co-workers who have years of experience in a variety of markets. The company’s commitment to growth and diversification provides invaluable insight for someone starting their career.”
we build Companies, from tiny to titan, flourish here â€“ from the neighborhood mom and pop to the Fortune 500s known around the world. We work hard to keep the business climate friendly and taxes moderate. Our cost of living is low, our quality of life is high â€“ and our steady economic growth is the envy of the nation. Limelight Apartments, DOWNTOWN
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BerkShire hathaway shareholders meeting
Fortune thrives here Sure, we’re proud of the fact that some of the world’s most recognizable companies are based here. We’re even more proud of the impact they’re having around the nation – and the globe.
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Fortune 500s Berkshire Hathaway (No. 4) Union Pacific (No. 135) ConAgra Foods (No. 184) Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc. (No. 236) Mutual of Omaha (No. 392) Fortune 1000s Valmont Industries (No. 682) Green Plains Inc. (No. 721) TD Ameritrade (No. 772) West Corporation (No. 787) Werner Enterprises (No. 963)
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Of all the homes we’re found in, we’re especially proud of this one. At ConAgra Foods, we’re proud to be found in 99 percent of America’s households and at the world’s most popular restaurants. Our brands are in just about every aisle of the grocery store and on just about every shopping list. But we’re especially proud to be on your shopping list. We’re grateful for the support you’ve given us right here in the Omaha area. At ConAgra Foods, we love to make the food you love. And we love to make it here. www.conagrafoods.com
Financial Services It’s a wonderful example of symbiosis. Financial services companies, banks and insurance operations remain, expand or move here because of our low cost of doing business. In return, those institutions – from First National Bank and Mutual of Omaha to PayPal and Berkshire Hathaway – help keep our area on solid footing and development dreams moving forward.
First National BANK BRAD J. WILLIAMS
ACI Worldwide More acquisitions a certainty. Founded in Omaha in 1975, payments solutions provider ACI Worldwide processes $13 trillion each day in payments and securities transactions for more than 250 of the leading global retailers and 21 of the world’s 25 largest banks. Those clients are served by more than 4,500 employees across the globe, with more than 500 of them located where it all began. “Omaha has been and is still at the heart of the company,” said Dan Ring, director of global communications. In 2013, the firm doubled the floor space of its local data center to 5,200 square feet, and grew its workforce here from approximately 475 employees to more than 540 – all to help integrate a round of acquisitions. The firm expects its presence here to grow even more as it consolidates its data center operations from numerous locations to two: Omaha and Norcross, Georgia. Ring said this region is “a great source of high-quality talent” – one of “a load of strategic reasons” to expand here.
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CONNECT GLOBALLY. THRIVE LOCALLY. OSCA is celebrating 50 years of enhancing our community’s global awareness through cultural, educational, humanitarian, and economic development opportunities.
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SAC Federal Credit Union Locally owned, steadily growing. Growth: A hallmark of SAC Federal Credit Union punctuated in spring 2014 by the opening of an impressive $25 million, four-story headquarters. Over the last five years, SAC Federal’s membership has jumped by 30,000 to 130
almost 80,000. Assets, now approaching $700 million, have almost doubled. “We had to ask ourselves what we will look like at $1 billion in assets,” said SAC Federal President Gail DeBoer. “That is what we needed to plan for.” Four years in the making, the 94,000-square-foot headquarters, complete with a first-floor branch office,
fitness center and community meeting room, centralizes 140 employees previously spread among three locations. The change of address does not change core values. DeBoer said the institution has been rooted in trust, honesty and integrity since the beginning. “A solid bottom line will follow if you’re running a solid corporate entity.”
Manufacturing A winning trifecta Low utility costs, a central location and prime transportation access all contribute to a thriving manufacturing sector. In Council Bluffs, pro-expansion state tax incentives helped attract 150 new jobs and $14 million in new investments in 2014. Leveraging the state’s Enterprise Zone Program, Tyson Fresh Meats, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc., had a $9.5 million equipment upgrade and the addition of 139 jobs at its Council Bluffs pork and beef packing plant. Gavilon subsidiary, Gavilon Ingredients, announced plans to build a $4.5 million animal feed handling facility and hire 11 workers in a project approved under Iowa's High Quality Jobs Program. Several other local manufacturing companies are growing, too. They include ConAgra Foods, truck equipment manufacturer Omaha Standard and advanced machining manufacturer Ellison Technologies. At a glance • Manufacturing areas include agriculturerelated hardware, food products, chemicals/fuels and finished goods. • Our manufacturing industry employs more than 41,000 people, and the productivity level of our workforce is consistently above the national average. • State tax incentives – including Nebraska and Iowa sales tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment – specifically benefit manufacturing activities.
KURT A. KEELER
Independent Technologies After Independent Technologies outgrew its Omaha headquarters, owner Tim O’Dell decided it was time for the communications technology research and development company to come home. “I’ve lived in Washington County since 1990, and a lot of our employees live in Washington County,” he said. Today, Independent Technologies is thriving – with the room it needs for future expansion. “The City of Blair has been great to us,” O’Dell shared. One of Nebraska’s fastest-growing areas, Washington County and Blair, the county seat, have seen a significant spike in population, business investment and high-quality jobs over the past two decades. Economic developers credit the arrival of Cargill in 1992. Independent Technologies joined Blair’s corporate community in 2013, 28 years
after launching in Omaha. The company designs and manufactures innovative products for telecommunications, petroleum, power utility and other markets. “We’re on the cutting edge of a lot of technology,” O’Dell said. “We’re always inventing new products that help our customer base provide a higher level of service for their customers.” A series of acquisitions has also fueled expansion. Holdings include Metrotel, a telecommunications test equipment provider; Sheyenne Dakota, a wire and cable harness manufacturer; and Wintel, a company that makes inmate telephones and visitation kits for prisons. O’Dell sees more growth – in a growing county – ahead. “When we see a market niche, we go after it – and that requires growth not only in revenue and sales, but also in the employee head count.”
we build “Fab Labs are making manufacturing and entrepreneurship accessible to nearly everyone.”
– Hugh Schuett, Metropolitan Community College
COURTESY OF MCC
ManufacturinG Fab Lab technology lives up to its name. Metropolitan Community College’s students and business partners are using 3D technology to reenvision the world. OK, that might be a stretch. But MCC’s new Fab Lab does allow you to dream up and make almost anything, from toys, guitars and jewelry to 3D architectural models, robots and mobility aids. “Your only limit is your imagination,” according to instructor Hugh Schuett. 134
The Fab Lab, introduced last spring, is part of a global network of digital fabrication laboratories from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. The lab is outfitted with a range of tools and equipment – from computercontrolled CNC milling machines and design software, to 3D scanners and printers and tools for soldering and welding. Training and support are also provided – and new avenues are continually being explored. “Budding entrepreneurs and established businesses can design, build, test and improve prototypes created through both subtractive and additive manufacturing processes,” Schuett explained. Fab Lab’s possibilities are limitless for
broader economic development, fostering the innovation and commercialization of new products, Schuett said. “We are working with community partners to provide experiences that range from very accessible entry-level training to very advanced design and production. We are incorporating the Fab Lab learning experience into a range of college programs, such as visual arts, interior design, architecture, information technology and a new degree in prototype design and development. “Fab Lab-based training extends innovation and STEM content throughout MCC programs – important additional contributions to area economic development,” he said.
A POWERFUL FORCE IN ENERGY In 1987, we started out to build a power plant. Today, Tenaska is one of the largest and most successful independent energy companies in the United States. Forbes magazine ranks Tenaska among the largest privately held U.S. companies, with 700 employees and gross operating revenues of $9.5 billion. Headquartered in Omaha, with regional offices in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Calgary and Vancouver, Canada, Tenaska is highly respected for its expertise, pursuit of opportunities and uncompromising values.
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BEYOND Agriculture Innovation, biofuels propel our future. Our agricultural heritage is a proud part of our legacy. But over the years, we’ve taken water, sun and seed and added another key element – innovation. • Our central location places us squarely in the middle of the food production pipeline. Companies including ConAgra Foods, Omaha Steaks and Kellogg’s all have large operations in the area. • Our region is a leader in deploying practical biotech solutions in various industries, including healthcare and livestock care/production. • More than 20 bioscience companies are headquartered here, including Streck Inc., Vireo Resources and Transgenomic Inc. In addition, our geography has helped us create a niche in biofuels. First National Bank is one of the largest biofuels lenders, while Tenaska is an emerging biofuels trader. But the real strength of our biofuels market is the number of producers with a significant presence here. They include Praj Energy, Prime BioSolutions and Cargill, which has a $1 billion biofuels operation in Washington County. The single biggest industrial complex in the state, the Washington County operation also houses Purac America Inc./PGLA-1, NatureWorks LLC, Evonik Degussa Corp., Novozymes and UGL Unicco.
Novozymes ‘Wealth of opportunity.’ Novozymes' $200 million production facility sits on 30 campus acres, allowing the company to meet current and future demands for enzymes in the bioethanol industry. Project manager Zack Tucker, who joined Novozymes in April 2011, has been at the Blair production facility since its opening in 2012. “I was initially drawn to the company because it was an opportunity to work in a ‘greenfield’ construction project,” Tucker said. “I had worked in other biotech facilities as a contract engineer (including ethanol and biodiesel refineries), and I was excited to be part of something from the ground up.” He enjoys the satisfaction that comes
with solving problems. “I take a lot of pride in knowing that the work I do directly impacts Novozymes’ ability to provide new products to biofuel producers, and ultimately impacts the efficiency of biofuel production industrywide,” he said. “Additionally, it is satisfying to know that the investment in new product manufacturing here in Blair signals growth and jobs for our region.” Tucker said the best opportunity for people looking for a career in biotech in the region is also one of the biggest challenges for the industry: The gap in highly skilled STEM employees. “There is a wealth of opportunity for people to find good jobs and make a tangible impact in the industry very quickly,” he said. “This is especially true for young professionals. There are opportunities in biotech and STEM here for young people that may not be available anywhere else in the country.”
Gavilon Plenty of room to grow.
Gavilon is a homegrown global commodities trading firm that debuted a new downtown Omaha headquarters in February 2014. The focal point of the sleek, $44 million building is its 35,000-square-foot trading floor with 340 employees working in clusters: Grain, ingredients and fertilizer trading, along with business development, risk management, hedging and operations. Twenty-two-foot ceilings and a carpeted
floor keep the sound level low – even with multiple conversations and phone calls taking place simultaneously. Formerly known as ConAgra Trade Group, Gavilon spun off from ConAgra in 2008, and in July 2013, was sold to Japanese general trading firm Marubeni for $2.8 billion. “Marubeni is counting on us to help them continue the fantastic growth they've had,” said Gavilon CEO Greg Heckman.
KURT A. KEELER
Vibrant Mexican food trucks in ‘center of it all’ Running a small business means sacrificing your time, your money and your social life in pursuit of success. Itzel Lopez doesn’t sugar coat it – homemade salsa is more her specialty. Lopez co-owns Maria Bonita, a family business that prides itself on serving up bright, fresh flavors from three “murals on wheels” – a brigade of the city’s most vibrant (and busy) food trucks. While customers are attracted to its
– Best Cities to Start a Business (Nerdwallet.com – 2014)
home-style cuisine, friendly customer service and authentic Mexican flavors, Omaha is the right place for Maria Bonita because of its “Midwest fun,” said Lopez. “Omaha is conveniently located in the center of it all. It’s a diversified community with a small-town, large-city feel.” In addition to its rolling service, Maria Bonita also caters off-site for a host of events, including business meetings, weddings and holiday parties. And the
word is getting around. Our growing food truck industry was accelerated in 2014 with the emergence of a food truck park. A lot in north downtown played host to an array of cleverly named trucks, including Scotty’s Go-Go Grill, the Mosaic Pickle, The Sandwich Shop and the 402BBQ. The trucks were on-site during the College World Series in June through the end of September.
Creative Enterprises Finds Niche with global Reach She took an entrepreneurial leap of faith that now spans three continents: North America, Asia and Europe. “I left a very high-paying job to start my own business,” said Pamela Finn, founder and CEO of Creative Enterprises, Inc. and Creative Hong Kong Limited. “My family and friends thought I was nuts.” Twenty-five years later, Creative Enterprises is a global leader in the design and manufacture of branded
sports bags, backpacks, athletic apparel and accessories. Notable clients include Adidas, Reebok, NFL, NBA and international artist Jun Kaneko. Creative Hong Kong Limited, in addition to handling factory relations, has expanded to real estate. It includes a partnership in a Hong Kong executive center where Finn and her team help develop up-and-coming businesses. The key to her success?
Perseverance. “You don’t give up. You hit a roadblock and you find a different way to move forward.” This from an executive who is accustomed to being on the go. Extensive overseas travel is a job requirement, but Finn said she is always happy to touch back down at Eppley Airfield. “This is home. This is my base.”
we build “There is an unmistakable sense of pride in our community that comes from our connection to Offutt Air Force Base.”
– Ken Stinson, business leader and chairman of the Nebraska Military Support Coalition
JOSH PLUEGER/U.S. AIR FORCE
We Serve. The feeling is pronounced – that lump in your throat triggered by a deep sense of patriotism. We are proud to support those who serve our nation and preserve our freedoms, and we are proud that our efforts have earned a national ranking as one of the country’s top military friendly cities. Offutt Air Force Base, our second largest employer, operates with a combined military and civilian workforce of approximately 10,000 people. Its profound
Top 50 Military Friendly Cities (G.I. Jobs – 2013)
impact on our economy has averaged more than $2 billion annually over the past decade. “We are blessed to enjoy a tremendous relationship with Bellevue and its surrounding communities,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Gregory Guillot, 55th Wing commander. “The support they show us throughout the year is known in the Air Force, and we are proud to return the favor as many of our members play an important role in giving back to those communities.” Crucial to U.S. national defense, Offutt houses the 55th Wing, the Air Combat Command’s largest wing; the headquarters
for United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM); the Air Force Weather Agency; and the new Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command CONUS Annex. USSTRATCOM broke ground in 2012 on a state-of-the-art command and control center. The estimated $1.1 billion project is expected to be completed in fall 2016. USSTRATCOM is responsible for the nation’s nuclear arsenal, global strike and deterrence, military satellites and information warfare. The new facility will provide USSTRATCOM with greater mission capability and flexibility over the next several decades.
COURTESY OF U.S. AIR FORCE
Community engagement is another key prong of Offutt’s partnership with the metro area. After a one-year federal budget-related hiatus, Offutt Air Force Base revived its Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show in summer 2014. The soaring, free admission event that typically attracts crowds of 150,000 to 200,000 featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels precision flying team. “We enjoy opening our gates and showing the local community what our airmen do on a daily basis,” said Col. Guillot. Offutt personnel also participate in cleanup days at Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, hold community concerts and march in Nebraska’s Official Veterans Parade. In addition, the base has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for its comprehensive urban forestry program.
We salute the dedicated men and women who serve at Offutt, and we work hard to ensure job and educational opportunities for all of our transitioning veterans and their families. Our top-tier status as a military-friendly city is boosted by the presence of several military-friendly schools, including Bellevue University, Creighton University, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. We are home to a number of defense industry contractors and employers, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Science Applications International Corporation. In addition, The Peter Kiewit Institute is certified by the National Security Agency, and its supercomputer attracts defense industry projects. 141
Advertising index AAA Nebraska 33 Allied Oil & Tire 143 American National Bank 39 Ameritas 15 Atlas Awning 49 Ballet Nebraska 29 Bank of the West 97 88-89 Bellevue University Black Hills Energy 71 Blue Cross Blue Shield 101 Borsheims 55 Brownell-Talbot 77 CBSHome 71 CHI Health 107 Children's Hospital & Medical Center 1 Community Health Charities of NE 93 ConAgra Foods 127 115 Conductix Wampfler COX Business IFC Creighton University 86-87 Embassy Suites 59 Fidelity Investments 72 49 Financial Visions, LLC First National Bank 41 First NE Educators & Employee 11 Groups Credit Union Fraser Stryker 115 Gallup 63 Gavilon 67 Good Samaritan Society 93 45 Great Western Bank Green Plains Inc. 122-123 Grunwald Mechanical 121 Contractors & Engineers HDR 65 Heafey Hoffman Dworak & Cutler 72 Hilton 31 Hyatt 73 Joslyn Art Museum 23 Koley Jessen, P.C. 5 Lied Lodge & Conference Center 49 Lindsay Corporation 53 142
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Lozier 143 Lutheran Family Services 95 Marian High School 79 Mercy High School 76 Methodist Health System 103 Metropolitan Community College 83 Metropolitan Utilities District 3 Midwest Woodworkers 121 Miller Electric 117 Montessori Educational Centers 82 The Nebraska Medical Center 105 Nebraska Crossing Outlets BC Omaha Community Playhouse 33 Omaha Home for Boys 95 Omaha Performing Arts 25 19 Omaha Public Library Omaha Public Schools 78 Omaha Sister Cities 129 One World Community Health Centers 99 Omaha World-Herald IBC 29 Opera Omaha Omaha Public Power District 135 PayPal 118-119 Peru State Graduate Program 82 Pinnacle Bank 117 57 Prochaska & Associates QLI 91 17 Ramada Plaza Omaha 71 SAC Credit Union Sioux Falls Seminary Omaha 85 80 Skutt High School Tenaska 135 33 Thirst-Tea Café Travel & Transport 35 Union Pacific 21 University of Nebraska 110-111 Medical Center University of Nebraska at Omaha 85 Valmont Industries 133 Werner 131 West Corporation 61 Westside Community Schools 81
BRAD J. WILLIAMS
ince 1958, we have taken pride in continually raising the bar on quality service. When other companies are simply trying to sell you on price, we are working hard to earn your trust and help your business grow. Allied Oil & Tire Company wants to do more than sell you lubricants and tires. We want to help you increase your profitability with our multiple divisions: Lubricants (Truck, Industrial, Passenger Car), Tires, Retreads, 24 hour truck service, DEF, Industrial Services, Equipment Services (ESCO) We’re a family-run business and it shows. Once we’ve earned your business, we will continue to foster and build our relationship.
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2209 S. 24th St. Omaha • 402-344-4343 www.AlliedOil.com 143
144 Brad J. Williams
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"We Don't Coast," a celebration of the 30+ communities that make Omaha - Greater Omaha. Produced by the Omaha World-Herald for the Greater O...
Published on Oct 16, 2014
"We Don't Coast," a celebration of the 30+ communities that make Omaha - Greater Omaha. Produced by the Omaha World-Herald for the Greater O...