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Make Your Lawn & Landscape What You Want It To Be!

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APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


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Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 Join us April 11 at 11:00 AM for a walk to the People’s City Mission and free lunch. Bring your new or used shoe donations to any Cornhusker Bank location or any business participating in the shoe drive April 3 –14. To partner with us and have a barrel or box placed at your business to collect shoes, call us at 402-434-2265 or email us at For more information, visit:

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


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Strictly Business APRIL 2017

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



PAIGE ZUTAVERN - President 402-730-0096 |

Great Brands That Compete On Value: Spread The Word

Last month I took business owners and professionals to task about being too focused on competing on price, rather than placing the emphasis on the value of their offerings. I’m pleased to report that based on the feedback we received, many of our fellow businesspeople here in Lincoln are willing to consider adjusting their approach, if they haven’t already been doing so to some extent. At the same time, I found it to be an area where there’s a need for more indepth education, as many are seeking direction. After contemplating how I wanted to go about this, I decided to start with using Strictly Business as an example because by design, it does exactly that (and of course after twenty-something years, it’s safe to say there’s no one more qualified to explain why). From here on out, each month I’ll present one of the ways the magazine - in print, online and via social media - can be utilized to support the goal of conveying value without even so much as mentioning price. So without further ado, let’s star t with spreading the word through press releases. If you’re familiar with Strictly Business, you know that our news is divided into four sections: Business News, Non-Profit News, Personnel News, and Health News. Any news will serve the purpose of increasing your visibility, establishing your credibility, increasing familiarity and topof-mind awareness, and generating interest in your business. However, since the desirable traits of a business depicted in each category aren’t necessarily the same, I’m going to address them separately, beginning with Business News. By regularly sharing the progress you’re making as a company/ organization, it shows that you are invested in concentrating your efforts on building your business. Development goes hand-in-hand with vision, commitment, and depth of expertise. Continuously striving to be better today than you were yesterday also speaks to strength of

“Press releases are by far the easiest and fastest way to create buzz…”

character. Likewise, where you choose to allocate your precious resources is very telling about what you value. Although not an exhaustive list by any means, consider the following examples of common announcements we’d classify as Business News, all of which convey value without explicitly stating it: Anniversary (Every business has one!), New Location, New Product/ Service, New Division/Sister Company, New Partnership, New Website/ Significant Upgrade (Side note: Consistent promotion of your news can increase your SEO ranking, leading more people directly to you! For those who aren’t familiar, here’s another tip: Backlinking is major, look into it if you haven’t already.), Award/Endorsement/Business Achievement/Industry Recognition, Continuing Education, New Logo/ Rebranding, Event Host/Participant (Don’t have anything on the books yet? Plan one, promote it, and then report on it!), Sponsoring Event/Team, Development of Proprietary Tools/Techniques, Contest/Sweepstakes/ Special Promotion—and you can find even more ideas on our website:! Among the most successful tactics to utilize as a part of your promotional efforts, press releases are by far the easiest and fastest way to create buzz of the bunch. Particularly when the news is coming from or involves a third party, such as when a franchise receives a top honor out of all located in the region/nation or with industry accolades, that validation is what people will take note of more than just you saying it’s so. Similarly, this is not the place to go into great detail with self-promotion. Rather, stick to what makes it newsworthy and let that do all of the talking for you. It’s far more impactful when you lead readers to arrive at their own conclusion as to why what you’re announcing has value to them. The secret behind all of this is much like self-confidence, if you see the value in what you have to offer and are able to successfully convey that to others, they are likely to follow suit. Take note of the things you are doing as a business to improve and to set yourself apart, and then make sure to spread the word! To learn more about how Strictly Business can help you, contact me directly at (402) 466-3330 or visit (You can also click on our Staff Letter tab online to view past articles)

CONTENTS NEWS 4 Business 26 Personnel

34 Non-Profit 44 Health





Strictly Business Magazine

54 56 63 73 77

47 49 51 53 8

Summer Activities for Kids Starting a Business Unplanned Life Changes Celebrating Graduation Spring Landscaping

Friends4Lunch Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Downtown Lincoln Association LIBA; LIBA New Members Strictly Business APRIL 2017

20 43 48 50 52

Star City Six Client Spotlight: J-Tech Solar Client Spotlight: Eyes On Lincoln Restaurant Exposé: Ichiban Sichuan Client Spotlight: HomeServices of Nebraska

PO BOX 57397, Lincoln, NE 68505 P 402.466.3330 • F 402.466.3476 STRICTLY BUSINESS is not responsible for unsolicited material. All rights to submission, including letters, will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to our unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially or creatively, unless otherwise negotiated with the author. Nothing may be printed in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. The publication of any advertisement in STRICTLY BUSINESS is not an endorsement of the advertiser or of the products or services advertised.

Printed in the U.S.A. Copyright ©2016 by PZAK, Inc. Third Class Postage Paid at Lincoln, NE 68505


Make Your Lawn & Landscape What You Want It To Be RAY’S LAWN & LANDSCAPE was founded as a lawn care company

in 1966, offering every service necessary to maintain a lush and healthy lawn for homeowners and commercial property managers. The company has grown from a handful of residential customers to maintaining nearly two million square feet of turf and landscape. Ray’s takes great pride in maintaining a tight schedule so homeowners and property managers can best schedule other services and family activities without the interference of mowers and other work. Ray’s also offers a complete array of landscape services including design and installation. Landscaping today is so much more than when the company first started offering landscape services nearly thirty-five years ago. Today’s landscapes include outdoor kitchens and living spaces, pergolas and gazebos, water features, fireplaces and firepits, retaining walls (both supportive and decorative), and of course live trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Ray’s is a family-owned operation with Mabel Svoboda, the matriarch of the family and company, and two of her sons, Ken and Larry Svoboda, running the day-to-day operations. Ray Svoboda, the founder of the company, passed away in 2010. With over fifty years in business, the owners of Ray’s have seen and been through strong economies with record profit margins and years when survival meant scaling back, taking less in salaries, and laying off valued employees. Ray’s has survived due to its strong


work ethic and hands-on management. Ray’s is also at the mercy of the weather. There have been years when drought was so bad that the city administration banned watering of lawns and landscapes, while in other years the city experienced frequent rains that nearly flooded out those same lawns and landscapes. All things considered, Ray’s, like most businesses, survives the unexpected and builds on the expected. Ray’s Lawn & Landscape is looking forward to a strong 2017. With the economy, both locally and nationally, on the rise and property owners feeling financially comfortable, Ray’s is anticipating a strong growth spurt. Active in the community, Ray’s takes great pride in supporting a wide variety of local charities and non-profits. Ray Svoboda instilled in his family a great civic pride and belief that it’s vital to give back to the community that has supported the family and business for many, many years. Ray’s Lawn & Landscape has never been the lowest-priced lawn and landscape company in Lincoln. We’re very competitive with the pricing of our professional services and offer a great value for every dollar spent. Our employees are uniformed and our vehicles and equipment are the most up-to-date and very well maintained. With Ray’s, every customer is our most important customer and their properties are treated as if they are part of the family, because they are.

Let RAY’S Lawn & Landscape be your lawn and landscape source helpful ideas, plans and attention to your budget are a phone call away!

402.476.8614 •



PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor Amanda Wilson - Art Director Tingleska Hallum - Graphic Designer Holly Ryan -

SALES TEAM: President/Sales Paige Zutavern - Executive Assistant Jenna Hubl - Publisher/Founder/Accounting Shayne Zutavern -







StrictlyBusinessMagazine APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



Eat Fit Go Opens 2nd Location at SouthPointe inMOTION Auto Care Named 2017 National Eat Fit Go has Repair Facility of the Year opened its second Lincoln location at S o u t h Po i n t e Pavillions. On March 8th, owner Natasha Plooster and her staff opened the doors for the very first time, welcoming guests for a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce to kick off the day. The newest Eat Fit Go is located on 28th & Pine Lake Road situated between Von Maur and Valentino’s, joining the original Lincoln location at 84th & Van Dorn. Eat Fit Go provides a simple solution to eating healthy on the go with fresh meals prepared daily that are never frozen, low in sodium, high in protein, allergy-friendly, and contain no preservatives. The refrigerators are stocked with a wide variety of pre-packaged, ready-to-consume meals and snacks. All have simple ingredients clearly listed on the package, and most with fewer than 600 calories. With options like breakfast tacos, fajita bowls, chicken pesto and citrus salmon, there’s something for everyone. There are microwaves provided for customers to heat up their meals if they choose to dine in. Or, with the Perfect Week meal plan, stock your refrigerator and you’ll have everything already cooked and portioned. It’s that easy! Eat Fit Go is a local, Nebraska-based company with a growing footprint around the nation. For more information, visit www.eatfitgo. com or find them on Facebook.


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

i n M OT I O N A u t o Care is proud to have recently been awarded the 2017 National Repair Facility of the Year by the Automotive Service Association (ASA). To be considered for this award, nominees must have a measurable customer satisfaction index and maintain an average of above 95%. Judges then review qualifying shops for outstanding business practices, industry involvement, community involvement, physical appearance of the facility, and performance of team members. The inMOTION team was recognized during the VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo in Kansas City. This exclusive industry event brings in leading automotive service professionals from across the nation for a weekend of management and technical training along with other trade-related activities. It is hosted annually by the ASA Midwest Chapter, and celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. inMOTION Auto Care owners Sherri Stock and Jared McPike credit this great honor to their amazing team and the customers, and thank everyone for their continued support. Located at 84th & O Street, inMOTION Auto Care is Lincoln’s premier automotive maintenance and repair facility, servicing all makes and models of vehicles. To find out more about inMOTION Auto Care, visit or call (402) 486-9880, and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.


Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage Finalizes Merger With Keller Williams Realty After an incredible first year of over 2 1 0 % growth in 2016, Real Estate Ave n u e s : The Brokerage caught the eye of numerous local and national real estate brokerages. Only one of those brokerages nationwide held the same core values and business systems successful enough to blend with the new age style of real estate being transacted at REA. With this synergy in mind, Derek Kats and his team would proudly like to announce that Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage and all of their agents have agreed to a merger with Keller Williams Realty, becoming Lincoln’s 4th largest real estate brokerage overnight! Many may ask why would REA, which already has a handful of Lincoln’s top agents, make that move? Well, feel free to ask any of the firm’s agents why, and they would be happy to enhance your career as well! To find out more, please contact the office directly at (402) HOMES – 4 – U, or head on over to the Keller Williams Realty website at

Appreciation Financial Establishes Scholarships, Supports Local Schools Appreciation Financial is proud to announce several recent initiatives in support of local education programs in Nebraska, including the funding of two new scholarships and a donation to help meet the needs of Omaha Public Schools students. To suppor t the students of the Native Indigenous Centered Education program, Appreciation Financial has created a $500 scholarship for a NICE program student. With students in several schools across the district, Appreciation felt it was important to help NICE have a scholarship that was specifically for a student involved with the program. The scholarship will be awarded at the NICE Honors Ceremony on April 13. In recognition of the amazing work done at the Blackburn Alternative Program by Jodi Pesek and her staff, Appreciation Financial has created a $500 scholarship for a Blackburn student. This scholarship will help a student that has shown great effort and achievement while at Blackburn to continue their education. Finally, Andrew Storz, a local agent representing Appreciation Financial, presented Principal Dana Barker of Sherman Elementary with $500 in gift cards to help provide students with needed items. The gift cards were given during a Teacher Appreciation Lunch held at the school. Appreciation Financial is a retirement consulting brokerage that works almost exclusively with public school employees offering education and safe retirement and insurance products. “Serving the people that serve us every day is both an honor and privilege that we are grateful for,” Storz noted. To find out more, call (402) 419-3426, email astorz@, or visit

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



ATD Lincoln Presents: “Making Your Passion Your Work” ATD Lincoln is pleased to offer an opportunity for you to learn about how a business owner turned his passion into his business AND sample beer and wine at the same time! All are welcome to join in enjoying the fruits and brews of SchillingBridge Cork and Tap House, while Brewer Dallas Schilling shares how he turned his passion into his career. The session will take place on Wednesday, April 19 from 5:30 - 7:00pm at SchillingBridge Cork and Tap House at 575 Fallbrook Blvd., Suite 109, Lincoln, Nebraska 68521. For more information and to register, visit the ATD Lincoln website (, scroll down to Upcoming Events and click on the April 19 event (or go directly to the URL The ATD Lincoln team looks forward to seeing you there! As a non-profit organization, ATD Lincoln’s mission is to achieve a better utilization of human ability and potential in business, industry, education, and government through promotion and understanding of talent development as a basic responsibility of management. ATD Lincoln offers professional development opportunities for training practitioners and those focused on developing talent, including educational events, workshops, a job bank, and more. For more information, please visit or contact Dana Meyers at (402) 323-3387 or

Local Cowboy Chicken Franchise Receives Inaugural Spirit Award


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Cowboy Chicken (Midwest) is proud to announce that the local franchise was recently selected as the recipient of the Cowboy Chicken Spirit Award. It’s presented to a franchisee who exemplifies the Cowboy Chicken culture in their operations and in the way they do business. Recently established, it was the first year for this award, now one of just two prestigious accolades across the entire franchise network. Owners Joe and Ronda Armstrong Pictured from L-R: Sean Kennedy, President Cowboy Chicken were recognized at Cowboy Chicken’s annual convention, CowCon. Corporate; Joe Armstrong, Owner; and James Lanoux, Director It took place Feb. 21-23 at the Hyatt of Franchise Operations. Regency hotel in Dallas, TX. The Armstrongs are truly honored and humbled by this award, which is a testament to the caliber of business they have built with the support of a great team and their wonderful customers in the Lincoln community. Responsible for establishing the very first franchise outside of Cowboy Chicken’s home state of Texas, where it originated in 1981, it was especially fitting for them to be the very first winners of the Cowboy Chicken Spirit Award. The restaurant opened for business in fall of 2015 Ronda and Joe Armstrong and has since become a staple in south Lincoln, offering signature wood-fired rotisserie chicken and homemade sides for dine-in, carry-out, city-wide delivery and catering, all with the convenient option of online ordering. For more information about Cowboy Chicken, located at 2801 Pine Lake Road, Suite J, please call (402) 420-0153 or visit


Brooke Ahlman of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement Attends Industry Training Event Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement i s exc i t e d t o announce that owner Brooke Ahlman recently took part in a hair replacement clinic in Fort Lauderdale, FL that brought in top industry professionals from across the U.S. and abroad. The two-and-a-half day event covered many new techniques and showcased new products that will help Brookelyn’sHair & Replacement take even better care of their clients and serve the next generation as their hair loss needs increase.Stylists and owners from all across the world were in attendance and it was truly an amazing collaborative learning experience. Brooke returned with a wealth of information and is excited to share all that she learned, experienced, and has to offer with current and potential clients. Located inside Design Edge at 75th& Pioneers, Brookelyn’sHair & Replacement performs non-surgical hair replacement along with haircuts and styling, perms, coloring, extensions, and special occasionupdos. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit, call (402) 649-0212 or email

moveBuddha names Lincoln 6th Best U.S. City for Young Professionals Selected from more than 100 cities and based on stats such as unemployment rates, rent costs, nightlife and age demographics, Lincoln stands out as the sixth best place for young professionals. “If you want to live in a city with lots of opportunity, where you can still have fun, and manage to save a little money each month, check out this list!” moveBuddha’s website said. The ranking can be found at: blog/best-cities-young-professionals/. Find out more about moving to Lincoln at

Tabitha Offers Grief Groups, Hospice Training Tabitha, your answer for Elder Care, has announced grief groups and hospice training taking place throughout the month of April. The following are open to anyone in the community: “Loss of a Loved One Drop-in Grief Group,” held every Monday, 10-11:30 a.m., at the Harbor Coffee Shop, 1265 S. Cotner Blvd. “Men’s Drop-in Grief Group,” held every other Friday, 1:30-3 p.m., at the Hy-Vee Deli, 7151 Stacy Ln. “Growing Through Grief Support Group,” held Wednesday evenings, May 10-June 14, 6-7:30 p.m., at Tabitha, 4720 Randolph St. (To register, please contact Lani Glaser at (402) 486-8546 / “Caregiver Drop-in Support Group,” held Apr. 19, 5-6:30 p.m., at Tabitha The Club-Adult Day Services, 4600 Valley Rd. (Care for loved one is provided at no charge; meals are available for $5.). For general questions, please contact Tabitha at (402) 486-8520. Tabitha also offers hospice volunteer training throughout Lancaster County. Volunteers can provide respite care, bereavement support, companionship, light housekeeping, office and clerical support while providing comfort and joy to Tabitha clients. Contact Jamie Scott at (402) 486-8577/ for more details.

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



Greater Omaha NAWIC Chapter to Host Midwest Region Forum The Greater Omaha Chapter of the National Association o f Wo m e n I n Constrution (NAWIC) will be hosting the Midwest Region Forum April 27-29th. The theme is “It’s a Zoo Out There: Tame It.” Highlights of the event will include a construction tour at the Henry Doorly Zoo on Thursday afternoon, four educational sessions with a wide array of construction topics to choose from on Friday, and keynote address given by Katie Loughmiller titled “Reclaim Time and Reconnect with Yourself” to conclude on Saturday. Additionally, as the Omaha NAWIC Chapter has been chosen to work with the City of Omaha educating contractors about new inspection options that are available, VuSpex training will be conducted in conjunction with the conference. The VuSpex training is open to all contractors at no charge and does not require registration or attendance to the rest of the conference. NAWIC members from the 429-member region will be in attendance and chapter awards will be presented along with voting for national officers. The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Old Market. Several options for registration are available to members and non-members, including one-day only and all access admission. Registration, Hotel Reservations, and Sponsorship/Advertising Opportunities are all available online at

Big Omaha Unveils 2017 Speaker Lineup


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Something “big” is happening in the p ra i r i e. O n M ay 17, the nation’s most passionate members of the entrepreneurial and innovation communities will converge for Big Omaha, a one-of-a-kind, two-day conference. Now in its eighth year, Big Omaha has connected more than 4,000 current and aspiring founders, investors, creatives, and tech talent; and it keeps getting bigger. This annual event is a hub for the innovation community and boasts a broad range of unique speakers and opportunities to share what’s happening on “Silicon Prairie” to the rest of the world. For investors, it’s a chance to get in on the ground floor. For startups, it’s an opportunity to be inspired, get connected, and collaborate. The thought-provoking and inspirational speakers are chosen from across the world to come to Big Omaha and share their insights. Some of this year’s lineup includes: Mitch Lowe, Co-Founder of Netflix, former President of Redbox, CEO of MoviePass; Daniel Burka , Design Partner at GV, formerly Google Ventures; Brandon Levey, Co-Founder and CEO at Stitch Labs; Diana Goodwin, Founder and CEO of AquaMobile; Vanessa Torrivilla, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Goldbely; Alex Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of Kano Computing; Shirley Chung, Chef Owner at Steamers Co and runner up on this year’s Top Chef; Nish Nadaraja, Brand and Community Consultant for Marine Layer (formerly at Yelp); Christina A. Brodbeck, Partner at Rivet Ventures (formerly at YouTube); and Matthew Zeiler, Founder of Clarifai. Tickets are available now for $499. After May 3rd, tickets will cost $599. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets. Big Omaha is part of the AIM Ventures initiative within the AIM Institute, a not-for-profit providing inspiration and support services for innovators and entrepreneurs.


HBAL Presents Tour of Remodeled Homes Eac h spring the Remodelers Council of Lincoln sponsors the Home Builder’s Association of Lincoln’s annual Tour of Remodeled Homes. For over 25 years, the public has toured everything from basic updates to incredible transformations of some of Lincoln’s finest homes. The 2017 Tour of Remodeled Homes will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 29th and 30th, from noon-5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and includes all 19 homes on the Tour; children 12 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased at any Tour home. Guidebooks will be available at each home or online at You can also find more information, including a complete list of the 2017 entries, on the website (under the Events tab).

Executive Travel Releases New ‘On the Go’ App for Corporate Travelers Leading global travel management c o m p a ny, Executive Travel, has launched a new version of its all-in-one ‘On the Go’ travel application, which is powered by Mantic Point. It now enables corporate travelers to consolidate all travel data into one single mobile app, removing the need for multiple apps and travel resources. Developed using Mantic Point’s mobile itinerary management platform, it places travel resources in one convenient app, which can be personalized by client. The new version includes the ability to share itineraries with contacts, make additional travel bookings via the app, plus synchronise calendar updates. Automatic itinerary updates, flight status notifications and useful guides are already available via the smartphone app. For more information regarding Executive Travel or the On the Go app, visit

Legacy Retirement Communities Gears Up for Signature Events Legacy Retirement Communities will soon be kicking off its 2017 season of signature events, which includes the Capital City Culinary Classics, Chef Showcase, Terrace Town Carnival, and Patio Parties. Mark your calendars now and join in the fun! Here’s a little preview: The Legacy will bring back Capital City Culinary Classics, an event that features the flavors of times gone by accompanied by live music reminiscent of what you’d hear on the jukebox. Legacy Estates will again host Chef Showcase, another fantastic event for foodies! Guests will be treated to delicious fare, sampling the work of Legacy’s finest chefs along with items prepared during live cooking demonstrations. From grilling tips and gift card giveaways, to ice sculptures and cheese carvers, the culinary team goes all out for this event. Finally, at Legacy’s Terrace Town Carnival, there will be loads of family fun, entertainment, and tasty treats for all to enjoy. Entertainers have been booked and new menus are being planned, so if you would like to receive a brochure detailing these events, please visit or call (402) 436-3000.

Concordia University Students Serve on Guatemala Medical Mission Trip Eleven students from Concordia University, Nebraska spent their spring break ser ving in Guatemala on a medical mission trip led by Concordia’s associate professor of health and human perfor mance, Dr. Jennifer Janousek, Dr. Sarah Matthias, a pediatrician at Complete Children’s Health in Lincoln, Nebraska and Jill Beisel, a physician assistant at Gastroenterology Specialties in Lincoln. The students stayed and worked in Amatitlan, Guatemala at Santa Cruz church and medical clinic. Additionally, they worked in two villages in the mountains called Jocotillo and Mastilla Bajas. Each day, the group hosted a medical clinic and conducted a health fair for students and families on topics such as handwashing, parasite prevention, dental hygiene, nutrition, first aid, poison prevention and spiritual health. The students prepared for the trip in Janousek’s global health undergraduate course this semester. Students attending the trip include: Austin Nelson, senior, Seward, Neb.; Kaylyn Beiermann, sophomore, Lincoln, Neb.; Samantha Boardman, senior, Seward, Neb.; Maria Carabantes, junior, Omaha, Neb.; Coleman Cogswell, senior, Seward, Neb.; Le’Dontrae Gooden, senior, Sacramento, Cali.; Brett James, senior, Kearney, Neb.; Kailey Bales, freshman, Elkhart, Kan.; Alayna Kavanaugh, senior, Roca, Neb.; Kelli Niemeier, senior, Beatrice, Neb.; Lisa Pope, sophomore, Lincoln, Neb. For more information about Concordia University, Nebraska, visit APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 15


One Day Without Shoes: Cornhusker Bank Collects Shoes for People’s City Mission For the 7th year r unning, Cornhusker Bank is gearing up for One D ay W i t h o u t Shoes to benefit t h e Pe o p l e ’ s City Mission. Cornhusker Bank partners with businesses and organizations throughout the community to collect shoes and/or monetary donations for the Mission from April 3rd through the 14th. New, used, adult and children’s shoes may be donated by dropping them off at any collection site listed on Cornhusker Bank’s website, www. On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 the bank hosts a walk from their 11th and Cornhusker Highway location to the People’s City Mission at 1st and Q Street, starting at 11:00 a.m. A free light lunch will be served that day for anyone participating in the walk or dropping off shoes from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone who is interested in raising awareness of the need the Mission has for shoes is invited to participate, regardless of their ability to donate. Also, on April 11, bank associates go shoeless to help bring attention to the need for footwear. In the first 6 years of the event, Cornhusker Bank and partners collected 67,882 pairs of shoes and over $50,000 in monetary donations. As Cornhusker Bank continues to grow with the bank’s new center at 8310 O Street, the bank has set a goal to increase awareness of the Mission’s need for shoes and increase shoe donations.

Panology Tech Solutions Partners With Cloudability, Launches Amazon Web Services Users Group Panology Tec h Solutions is excited to announce two key developments within the company that have happened recently. Panology Tech Solutions established a partnership with Cloudability at the end of 2016, beginning the new year with the ability to provide enhanced cloud offerings to its clients. Cloudability is the premier provider of cloud cost management solutions, allowing Panology’s team to deliver solutions that best fit the needs of SMBs. Following that up with adding another new offering, as of February 1, 2017, Panology Tech Solutions started an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Users group. Panology Tech Solutions started this group to bring together the AWS user community in and around Lincoln in order to share experiences, build knowledge, and develop skills. It’s a group for all those either currently using or interested in using Amazon Web Services (AWS); all levels of experience (or none at all) and skill levels are openly welcomed. The group can be found on Meetup at www. Panology Tech Solutions provides the assistance you need to improve how your business utilizes and incorporates technology. The locally owned and operated technology solutions firm provides comprehensive offerings that are customized to fit the client’s needs and budget, with emphasis on customer satisfaction and quality of service. For more information about Panology Tech Solutions, please call (402) 937-9137, email info@, or visit

MITA Presents In-Focus Country Series: Japan As one of Nebraska’s two largest trading partners in Asia, our relationship with Japan is high on our list of international interests! Japan is Nebraska’s third largest export market and our state’s largest direct foreign investor. We have completed ten state-led trade missions to Japan over the past 25 years; and opened the Nebraska Center Japan in 2006 to develop and support mutual trade between our two regions. While there are many questions regarding the direction of world trade without US engagement in the TPP, Nebraska’s efforts to pursue international trade continues. Governor Ricketts will lead a Nebraska trade delegation to Japan in September 2017 in conjunction with the Midwest U.S. – Japan Association Conference to be held in Tokyo. This is your opportunity to learn more about existing trade promotion activities, resources available for assistance and the future of trade with Japan. Speakers: Ambassador Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to U.S. (invited), Ichiro Sone, JETRO-Chicago and Courtney Dentlinger, NEDED. Also, Nebraska business panel consisting of Terry Tanaka, Henningsen Foods, Lance Kotschwar, The Gavilon Group and Jeremy Baker, Oxbow Animal Health. This event is April 20th, 8-11:30 a.m., Tiburon Clubhouse, 10302 South 168th Street, Omaha, NE.


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Information on how to register can be found at, office at (402) 596-1210, email


McGill Restoration’s New Training Center Up and Running The professionals at McGill Restoration learn something new every day! Even though McGill Restoration has been in business for over three decades, their focus on continually educating and training employees remains strong. As of February 2017, the company’s new training facility in Omaha, NE is completely operational. Safety and doing things correctly the first time is the company’s mantra, key objectives that could not be achieved without this critical piece. The leadership team at McGill Restoration values the knowledge that their team of skilled craftsmen bring to each job, but embrace the fact that there is always something more to learn. Employees are encouraged to learn from one another and implement ‘best practices’ on each and every job performed. With the opening of a designated training center specifically geared towards meeting the needs of its workforce, McGill Restoration has demonstrated further commitment to the development of the next generation of skilled craftsmen in our area. At McGill Restoration, learning is a fundamental aspect of the company culture. Aptly called The McGill Way, these are the rules they live by: “We make stuff happen. – We do the right thing. – We take chances. – We own it.” Find out more at

Star City BaconFest 2017 to Deliver Creative Bacon-Based Treats Again this year, chefs from several popular area restaurants will offer up their creative baconinfused samples of everything from sweet to savory --and about everything in between. Doors will open at 4:30, with bacon sampling continuing until 7:00 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults, with children 12 and under free. Ticket availability is limited, so purchasing early is strongly suggested. Tickets can be purchased online at The Lightning Bugs, will entertain throughout the evening. Blue Blood Brewing Company will be providing beer samples, while Pepsi will be offering free soft drink samples. Throughout the evening, BaconFest attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite bacon-inspired treats. Additionally, prizes will be given away, including such items as Bacon for a Year, Gourmet Bacon of the Month Club membership, bacon cookbooks and bacon coupons. The grand prize will be a Traeger Lil’ Tex Smoker Grill. Star City BaconFest is sponsored again this year by the Nebraska Restaurant Association (NRA) and the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA). Proceeds go toward scholarships for culinary students in Nebraska. Participating vendors include: 9 South Char Grill; Billy’s Restaurant; Brewsky’s; Cappy’s Hot Spot Bar and Grill; Coop’s Corner; Dino’s Eastside Grill; HiWay Diner; Hickory Road BBQ; Hormel Retail; Mozzarella Pizza, Smoking Gun Jerky; The Single Barrel; Traeger Grills; Venue; HopCat; Hy-Vee, 84th and Holdrege; Miller Time Pub; The Cornhusker; McKinney’s Irish Pub; Nebraska Pork Producers; Leadbelly/ Toast; That Place Steakhouse & Saloon (Ceresco); The Eatery; Super Saver; Blue Blood Brewing Co. Hormel Foods is providing products for the chefs to use during Star City BaconFest 2017. For more information, visit Star City BaconFest at

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



East Lincoln Business Association Relocates Monthly Luncheon East Lincoln Business Association (ELBA) wo u l d l i ke t o announce that the organization’s monthly luncheon, held on the third Thursday of each month, has moved to Firethorn Resort, 8855 Resort Drive in Lincoln. Networking starts at 11:30am followed by lunch and featured speaker at noon. Each luncheon includes a presentation given by a representative of a local organization or elected official with a direct impact on businesses, who provides timely information on upcoming issues in our growing community. Launched in 2010, East Lincoln Business Association (ELBA) is a collective group of business professionals dedicated to enhancing the business climate of East Lincoln. For more information, visit vabv.

First American Payment Systems Moves to New Location First American Payment Systems has moved! The new office is located in the Egan Building at 701 N. 48th Street, Suite 203. This is a temporary relocation effective April 1st as First American Payment Systems is currently in the process of acquiring the building, eventually remodeling the upper floor of the office space. First American Payment Systems is excited to now be able to serve customers from the heart of Lincoln, and to offer more convenient onsite parking. With quick and easy access to every part of town, you can still expect fast, reliable and FREE onsite support provided by your dedicated account representative. With a local team you can count on, First American Payment Systems provides credit card merchant processing, integrated payments, pointof-sale equipment, gift card and check processing, and more. For more information about First American Payment Systems, visit www. or contact Adam Roberts, Lincoln Regional Manager, at (402) 261-6700 or

LHRMA Announces April Meeting


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The Lincoln Human Resource Management Association (LHRMA) will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 11th at Wilderness Ridge at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon topic is Exploring Development and Business Opportunities in Lincoln’s Growing Community presented by a panel: Derek Hutchins, Costco, MW Regional Marketing Manager, Pat Haverty, Vice President – Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce and David Cary, Planning Director, Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department. All members of the community are invited to attend this event. Register online at with a deadline of April 7th. LHRMA’s mission is to be the go-to resource on people management for the community by connecting professionals to solve everyday problems, providing quality education, collaborating with community leaders, and leading change for our industry. The organization is comprised of 400 HR professionals from the greater Lincoln area and welcomes new members. For more information, please visit


Woods Bros Realty, HOME Real Estate Team Up for 8th Annual Chili Cookoff for Cancer HOME Real Estate and Woods Bros Realty teamed up for their 8th annual Soup or Chili Cook-off for Cancer on Mar. 8. The event Celebrity guest judge Matt McKay, General Manager featured a Shannon Harner and CEO Gene Brake with Judges’ variety of Choice winner Anna Spataro and celebrity guest judges Rod Fowler, Samantha Washington and Jay Jarvis. soup and chili entries, plus cinnamon rolls and other treats. HOME and Woods Bros agents and staff voted for their favorite soup or chili with $1 voting beans, with the winner receiving the People’s Choice Award. All proceeds go to the local American Cancer Society; the group has raised more than $16,000 in $1 voting “beans” to date. There’s also a Judges’ Choice Award given by guest judges. Celebrity judges this year were: KFRX Program Director and Morning Show Host Matt McKay, Channel 8 Eyewitness News Anchor Rod Fowler, and Lazlo’s and Fireworks Owner Jay Jarvis. The 2017 soup and chili participants were: Katy Manning and Ian Gilgallon of HOME Real Estate; Ty Potter, Woods Bros Realty Lincolnshire office; Anna Spataro, Woods Bros Realty Country Club office; Dede Mau, Woods Bros Realty Wilderness Hills office; and Chris Arnold, HomeServices of Nebraska Support Services office. Cinnamon Roll Contest entries include Woods Bros Realty agent Dave Boeckner and HOME agents Stacy Hartgerink and Karen Roeber. Celebrity guest judge Matt McKay, General Manager Shannon Harner and CEO Gene Brake with Judges’ Choice winner Anna Spataro and celebrity guest judges Rod Fowler, Samantha Washington and Jay Jarvis.

International Motivational Speaker Devon Harris to Host Conference in Nebraska On April 27th, Devon Harris, international motivational speaker and author who you might also recognize as a 3-time Olympian and member of the “Cool Runnings” Jamaica bobsled team, will be hosting a conference for professionals in Nebraska. “Keep On Pushing: Envision, Grow, Overcome” will cover key topics related to professional and personal growth. It will be an intense, interactive training experience for executives, mid- and lowlevel managers, and staff alike who: 1. Believe that the next level of success is possible and are ready to take the steps to get there; 2. Desire to maximize their full potential; and 3. Are interested in development in all aspects of their lives. This event will be held at the Harper Center on the University of Creighton Campus, located at 602 N. 20th Street in Omaha, NE. There will be two half-day sessions; attendees may choose to register for 8-11 a.m. or 1-4 p.m. Devon will be available after each session for meet and greets, and requests for autographs are welcome. Cost to attend is $99 for individuals, and a discounted $79 for Early Bird Registration completed by April 13th. There are also group rates available for those planning on ten or more attendees at a further discounted rate of $69 per person, and $59 for Early Bird Group Registration. For more information and to register, visit or contact Michelle Cotner, Event Coordinator, at (402) 552-8909 /

Roper & Sons Announces April Events Eac h month, Roper & Sons Funeral Care provides educational seminars/ events which are free and open to the public, as well as ongoing support through grief program events. This month’s Topic Breakfast, being held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 20th, is entitled Social Security: Its Impact and How to Plan for Your Future. Join Financial Advisor Tom Buescher, with Modern Woodmen, for a frank discussion regarding social security and its impact on your financial future. Topic Breakfast is held on the third Thursday each month. To reserve your seat, please call (402) 476-1225 or email info@ The Grief Program meets weekly on Sundays from 2 – 3:30 p.m. in the Reception Facility. Roper & Sons Grief Programs are open to the public, regardless of whether services were facilitated by Roper & Sons. 1st and 3rd Sundays: Guided Group with Facilitator Melissa Thorne, designed for those whose loss took place more than 18 months ago. 2nd and 4th Sundays: Structured Group with Facilitator Tiffany Eisenbraun, designed for those whose loss is more recent than 18 months, who may be addressing some more pressing first-time needs. 2nd Sunday: Art with Anna – a guided art program, considered “creative therapy”, allowing participants to address their grief through more creative outlets such as painting, ink designs, crafts, and other artistic mediums. Great for all ages, regardless of artistic abilities. Please visit to learn more. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



CarePatrol Ranked #1 Senior Placement Franchise in the Nation

Goldfinch Solutions Selected as Innovation Business of the Year

CarePatrol F r a n c h i s e Systems has been recognized for the 7thconsecutive year as the #1 Senior Placement Franchise in the nation by two prominent national ranking firms. Franchise Business Review, a national franchise market research firm, surveys thousands of franchise investment opportunities each year. The companies ranked on FBR’s annual Top Franchises are among the best of the best based on this annual review of award-winning franchises. Entrepreneur magazine has also recognized CarePatrol in its annual Franchise500 ranking. CarePatrol ranked in the top 5% of around 5,000 franchise systems in the nation, and 100 companies above their nearest franchise competitor. Achieving this level of franchisee satisfaction speaks volumes of the brand’s quality and strength overall. CarePatrol is the nation’s largest no-cost senior placement agency. The goal is to find the community that’s the safest and best fit for the client, which is matched by care needs, wants, location, and finances. The company thoroughly reviews the care and violation history of the communities recommended, and will then line up the tours and personally accompany the family to each one. This is all provided completely free of charge to seniors and their loved ones by a certified senior advisor. To find out more about your local CarePatrol agency, please visit or contact Theron Ahlman directly at (402) 580-2116 or

Goldfinch Solutions, a University of Nebraska faculty startup, has been named the 2016 Innovation Business of the Year by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC). The award was presented formally during a luncheon March 17 at the Capitol in Lincoln attended by 21 senators from the Unicameral, including Senator Kate Bolz representing District 29. Goldfinch Solutions is pioneering a multispectral imaging technology which identifies tender beef at the packing state of production. The technology is capable of predicting whether a piece of meat will be tender, intermediate or tough with very high accuracy. The company first worked with NBDC to apply for an SBIR Phase I grant from the USDA. Since 2008, they have received a total of $850,000 in funding. Learn more about NBDC and the 2016 Business Award winners at

CBMC Announces Upcoming Events Join CBMC on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at the Cor nhusker B a n k Community Room to hear from Joe Infranco, Senior Legal Counsel & Vice President of Alliance Coordination for the Alliance Defending Freedom. Mr. Infranco is an attorney, and a highly sought-after speaker who will talk about his work defending religious freedom. This Free Event begins at 6:30 p.m., at the new Cornhusker Bank Headquarters - 8310 ‘O’ Street. (Enter on the North Side). Also coming soon is the annual CBMC Golf Outing! Save the Date – July 25, 2017. Check-in begins at 10:00 a.m. at Wilderness Hills. You can visit to register, or find it on Eventbrite. CBMC Lincoln is a local organization of Christian business leaders and professionals who seek to encourage each other to conduct business in a way that glorifies God and serves the community on a daily basis. The Lincoln chapter offers business forums, team meetings, small-group studies and a variety of training, networking, and relationship building opportunities. When businesses operate according to Godly principles, everybody wins! For more information on CBMC, please visit or contact Ed Nix, Area Director, at (402) 730-8797 or

Swanson Russell Reaches New Heights


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Swanson Russell ( rose to new heights in 2016, reaching $120 million in capitalized billings while building an addition that elevates its Lincoln office on the corner of 12th and P streets. Capitalized billings are a standard used by the advertising industry as a uniform means of comparing agencies that offer a variety of services. Swanson Russell first hit the industry milestone of $100 million in 2012. The agency has achieved record billings in three of the past four years. “Attaining $120 million is another benchmark that indicates an agency’s status on a national level,” said Dave Hansen, partner and chief executive officer of Swanson Russell. “Thanks to our people and our clients, we have continued to reach new heights. This is literally true with the recent completion of our Lincoln office addition, which rises two stories above our existing parking lot.” Keys to Swanson Russell’s success include longterm relationships with a number of local, regional and national clients, as well as a productive new business program. In 2017, new business from JCB North America (construction and agricultural machinery) and RESCUE! Pest Control Products has sustained the momentum. A grand opening celebration for the Lincoln office addition will be held this spring.


EventLNK Announces April Meeting EventLNK brings together Lincoln’s event professionals by providing education and resources to enhance and support professional growth. The April EventLNK meeting - “Let’s Make it a Picture-Perfect Event!” will be held at Capitol View Winery & Vineyards, 2361 Wittstruck Rd., Roca, NE, on Thursday, April 27. Those in attendance will be hearing from Corey Rourke, professional photographer, on how to create a picture-perfect event. Following the presentation, a short tour of the production area and vineyard will be provided, including a sampling of Capitol View wine! Registration will begin at 3:15pm, with the program starting at 3:30 and the tour/tasting at 4. To register, visit www.eventlnk. org/meetings. To find out more information about EventLNK, visit their website www. or email Jill Smith at

Holthus Convention Center to Host Upcoming Crossroads Junk & Vintage Market Holthus Convention Center is excited to host their first annual Crossroads Junk & Vintage Market, to be held on April 29-30. The market will feature vintage items and antiques, re-purposed finds, wood and metal, architectural salvage and more! Hours: Saturday 9am – 6pm and Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Admission is $5, and free for children 12 and under! Vendors interested in showcasing their business/offerings are welcome to contact Terri at (402) 363-2675 or info@holthusconventioncenter. com for more information about the event and booth registration. More details about Holthus Convention Center can be found online at www.

WISB to Host Monthly Luncheon on April 12th The Women in Sales and Business (WISB) monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 12th at The Venue in the NE/Lancaster Room at 4111 Pioneer Woods Drive, Lincoln, NE. The featured speaker this month will be Traci Johns. She is the owner of Professional Reliable Organizing and a Certified Executive and Life Coach specializing in Productivity and Time Management. Traci is passionate about teaching people that the beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us can stop us from achieving our goals. If you can change these beliefs, then the possibilities are limitless. Are you holding back in some area of your life? Traci will talk about the “P” word - Procrastination. Learn about the different reasons why we drag our feet on things that are important to us, and pick up some tips for overcoming each type of procrastination. Discover what is holding you back from your possibilities! The meeting starts with lunch at 11:30 AM with meeting following from 11:55 AM until 1 PM. Cost is $18 which includes lunch (cost is $10 if you only attend the meeting). Please register online at www.wisblincoln. org on the events page to RSVP. More information can also be found on the website or by contacting WISB via email at

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



New Programs for Experienced Contractors Seeking to Expand Their Businesses Heartland International, Inc. is a nationwide distributor of Conklin Commercial Roofing Systems and Urethane Contracting Services of Lincoln, all of which have teamed up to schedule a program designed to help experienced contractors research the potential of expanding into commercial roofing. Dennis Nun, President of Heartland says, “There is a need for qualified contractors and general contractors as well as those with experience in remodeling, siding, insulation and even commercial painting that have the essential experience to be trained as commercial roofing contractors installing our proven Conklin Roofing Systems. Today we have 12 commercial roofing systems for all types of buildings.” In 2017 the Conklin Company is celebrating 40 years as a leading manufacturer and the first to introduce fluid applied elastomeric roof coatings systems. Dennis Allen of Urethane Contracting Services installed the first of these systems 40 years ago in Lincoln. He will be leading the training program scheduled for April 8th at the Urethane Contracting Services shop. Allen says, “Those attending from Nebraska and the surrounding states will get basic training on business set-up, bidding and application. The day will include hands-on work with the systems we install and we’ll share our experience with those willing to grow their businesses to help us take care of the demand for new construction and re-roofing in their areas.” For more information or to attend this program, e-mail TheSecureRoof@ or call (402) 430-7727.

Lincoln Rotary Clubs Name Speedway as 25th Anniversary Salute to Business Honoree


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

The combined Rotary Clubs of Lincoln have selected Speedway as their 2017 “Salute to Business” honoree—and 25th anniversary recipient—for its innovation and contributions as an employer in the Lincoln community. Speedway will be recognized during a luncheon at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel on Tuesday, April 4. Speedway Motors has been a trusted source for specialty automotive and racing parts for 65 years. Founded in Lincoln by “Speedy” Bill Smith, Speedway Motors is a worldwide multi-channel retailer and manufacturer. The company is now led by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith’s four sons – Carson, Clay, Craig and Jason. Speedway Properties is one of Lincoln’s premier commercial real estate companies. The Speedway campus in west Lincoln is also home to the Museum of American Speed, a showcase of racing and automotive performance history. Previous Salute to Business honorees include many other well-known Lincoln businesses. The 25 recipients currently employ more than 32,000 people. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders. Lincoln is home to four Rotary Clubs: Downtown Club 14, East, South and Sunrise. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for the luncheon. Individual tickets are $36; corporate tables are also available. For more information, visit


Donate Unwanted Cell Phones to Help Local Military Heroes Stay Connected Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is collecting unwanted cell phones at their Lincoln and G ra n d I s l a n d restaurants that will be recycled and turned in for calling cards. The calling cards will be given to Nebraska soldiers who are away on active duty. Through April 30, individuals will receive a free meal with purchase offer when a phone is donated in support of the cause. Additional support can also be given by adding any dollar amount to your ticket when ordering. The money raised will help support a fund for veterans and their families to assist with medical or other bills, groceries, and gas. The Raising Cane’s franchise is partnering with Cell Phones for Soldiers ( for its 9th straight year. Since 2009, the Lincoln and Grand Island restaurants have raised over 646,000 minutes for Nebraska troops and nearly $54,000 to support the needs of returning Nebraska veterans and their families. “We feel a social responsibility to give back to those who are putting our country and before themselves,” says Jennifer Jones, co-owner of the Lincoln and Grand Island Raising Cane’s franchise. “And though we know we can never repay them for what they’ve sacrificed, hopefully through our efforts, we can provide them a lifeline through calling cards or financial assistance when they may need it most.”

National Anthem Contest, Torch Run Sign-Up Open for Cornhusker State Games The Nebraska Sports Council has announced the 2017 Cornhusker State Games Torch Run route/schedule and opened the search for a national anthem performer for the Games’ Opening Ceremonies. The Torc h Run, whic h is sponsored by the Nebraska National Guard, will kick off on June 19 in a swing through Sarpy and Douglas counties via the Omaha Trails network before heading to the Panhandle to begin the west-to-east legs on June 21. Applicants for the Torch Run will be assigned one-mile segments, using highway mile markers in most cases. Runners will be scheduled on a first-come, firstserved basis. There is no fee for the Torch Run although donations are encouraged. Participants will each receive a T-shirt. The schedule, route map and entry information are available at CornhuskerStateGames. com/torch_run. Those wishing to audition to perform the national anthem may now upload one audition video to and email the video link to by April 9 at midnight. A judging panel will determine up to five finalists by April 14. Online voting on social media will determine the winner. This year’s contest is open to individual performers only; vocalists or instrumentalists are welcome. There is no cost to enter the anthem contest, which is sponsored by Amigos/Kings Classic. The Torch Run and Opening Ceremonies are precursors to the 33rd annual Cornhusker State Games, taking place July 21-30. For entry information and forms log onto, call (402) 471-2544, or email

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Piedmont Bistro by Venue Debuts in Lincoln Lincoln Chamber of Commerce to Host Now under the management Annual Women in Business Conference of Venue Restaurant & Lounge, Piedmont Bistro by Venue recently opened after the concept was reimagined to reflect the signature style, quality, and originality of its new owner. With the goal of bringing comfort, kindness, and local flavor to the café scene in Lincoln, the Venue team began the transformation process in December 2016, officially opening the doors in January. Focusing on a scratchbased culinary program like its sister restaurant, the house-crafted dishes on the menu incorporate locally-sourced ingredients, with amazing presentations that are fitting for the chic bistro setting. Carrying that focus to the bar, the new options include traditional cocktails with a mixology twist, exceptional wines, and a variety of craft beers with an emphasis on local vendors. Piedmont Bistro by Venue also offers a beautiful private dining room and an amazing bakery selection of cakes, pies, gluten free desserts, and more. At Piedmont Bistro by Venue, guests can expect a true local experience and exceptional hospitality at a unique neighborhood eatery. With everything from a hearty breakfast menu and delicious Sunday brunch to a full bistro lunch spread and dinner masterpieces, you’ll enjoy honest food and exceptional hospitality. Dine, sip expertly-crafted cocktails on the gorgeous patio, or grab a decadent cinnamon roll from their awardwinning pastry chef to get your day started – any of the possibilities are sure to delight. Piedmont Bistro by Venue is located at 1265 S. Cotner Blvd. Find out more at or call (402) 975-2816 for reservations.


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The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and the University of Nebraska– Lincoln College of Business Administration are proud to join forces once again to host the 13th annual Women in Business Conference. The conference, scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Country Club of Lincoln, draws hundreds of emerging leaders for Lincoln’s future. With today’s competitive job market, helping leaders discover tools for success will only help fuel our 21st century workforce and empower them to take action. The schedule includes: Women in the Workplace: More Engaged and Better Managers Mark Pogue, Executive Director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and Assistant Professor of Practice in Management, UNL CBA. Find out how to use your strengths at work and learn some proposed solutions to issues that can strengthen your engagement. Influence with Intention - Laura McLeod, Assistant Professor of Practice in Marketing, UNL CBA. Learn how to better understand your audience and more effectively sell your ideas and yourself. Telling Your Story - Jody Koenig Kellas, Professor of Communication Studies, UNL. Introduces concepts and practices to highlight the importance of storytelling and improve interpersonal communication. Cost is $65 - Register online at For more information, contact Kathryn Witte at (402) 436-2369 /


by Chris McPike, Vice President ComPro Insurance

American Health Care Act Summary

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was the legislation for healthcare reform that the House of Representatives considered, but opted not to bring to a vote on March 24th. We don’t know what will happen next. Many clients wanted a better understanding of the specific changes that were proposed. While it appears that the AHCA will not move forward in its present form, this summary provides insight into the provisions that could be included in new healthcare reform legislation. Key points of the American Health Care Act: 2017 • Mandates, penalties and taxes imposed by the original Affordable Care Act (ACA) are removed with some being retroactively applied to 2016. This includes both the Individual Mandate and the Employer Mandate. An individual that does not have qualifying health insurance in 2017 would not be subject to a penalty. In future years the penalty is replaced with a Late Enrollment Penalty 2018 • Premium Tax Credits are modified to increase the amount for younger people and reduce the amount for those who are 50 and older. • HSA contributions will be increased to match the maximum out-ofpocket (OOP) expense on your policy. In 2017, the maximum OOP is $14,300 for a family, but the maximum contribution to an HSA is limited to $6,750. • Impose a Late Enrollment Penalty that applies to anyone that is enrolling in individual health insurance that has not maintained continuous coverage for the preceding 12 months with no more than a 63 day gap in coverage. The penalty will begin in 2018 with those applying for coverage during a Special Enrollment Period and will expand in 2019 to include Open Enrollments. The penalty will apply for the current plan year and will be equal to 30% of the premium. 2020 • Repeal the Cost Share Reduction benefit • Replace the income based Premium Tax Credit with a Flat Tax Credit that is based on age: Through 29 - $2000 tax credit per person per year; Through 39 - $2500 tax credit per person per year; Through 49 - $3000 tax credit per person per year; Through 50 - $3500 tax credit per person per year; 60 and older - $4000 tax credit per person per year. • The tax credit will be phased out based on income levels. The phase out will begin at income levels of $75,000 single / $150,000 family and be reduced to $0 for income levels above $115,000 single / $230,000 family. There were no changes proposed for the following: • Policies will be “Guarantee Issue.” There will be no discrimination in premium or benefits for a pre-existing health condition. • Premiums will continue to be based on age, location (home address) and tobacco use. Dependent children can be covered to age 26. • Preventive care will be covered with no charge to the policyholder • Benefits will be provided for the 10 Essential Health Benefits that were established in the ACA. This includes maternity and mental health services. • Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Period guidelines will continue. Other provisions: • Federal funds will be available to the states to provide financial help to cover medical expenses of high risk individuals. • The exchanges will continue. Tax credits used through an exchange may be applied to monthly premiums. Tax credits may also be used “off exchange”, but can only be applied with your tax return. • There is no provision for the sale of health insurance across state lines. ComPro will continue to provide updates as other healthcare reform legislation is considered.

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Jeff Kempf

NESCO RESOURCE Nesco Resource is one of the leading national staffing and employment agencies, offering temporary staffing, permanent placement, contract-to-hire, or direct hire opportunities in a wide variety of industries as well as providing many other staffing, recruiting, and on-site management solutions. Jeff Kempf is the Business Development Manager at Nesco Resource. How did you get started in the business? - I began my career in staffing working as a recruiter and account manager for clients in the medical industry in the Omaha Metro, a position I held for almost a decade. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Reentering the ‘professional world of sales’ and getting back in the game after taking some personal time away with family. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Being recognized by an out-of-state staffing company entering the market here as the one who could help them become a truly successful startup in the medical sector. Tell us a little about your family. - I was born and went to school in the Hastings area. I have a twin brother who lives in Scottsdale, AZ, a sister who lives in Boise, ID, and another brother who still lives near our hometown. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? When I lost my father to cancer in 2003. It made me understand that I really need to step up and help take care of my family. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Hit the gym, spend time outdoors or watch movies. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - That I have an identical twin brother. What are you the most proud of? - I put myself through college 100% on my own. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - There are a couple that first come to mind: “Surround yourself with successful people” and “Time is your most valuable asset; you need to prioritize how you spend it.” If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Character. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Unlimited knowledge and focus so that I could always be two steps (or more) ahead of everyone else! Which talent would you most like to have? - Any talent that will make me rich and famous? If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Probably something more exciting but still where I could be of service to those in my community, like a firefighter. What is your favorite TV show? - Anything on The Discovery Channel. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Teriyaki Madness. It’s definitely a staple in my diet. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Jay Cutler. Yes, I’m a huge Bears fan.


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If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Check out our website at or they are welcome to contact me directly at (531) 289-1116.



Theron Ahlman

CAREPATROL CarePatrol is the nation’s largest senior care referral/placement network. With that level of support, each local franchise specializes in providing expert assistance to families within their territory who are searching for safe, quality care and housing options. Theron Ahlman is the owner of CarePatrol of Nebraska, serving Lincoln, Omaha, and surrounding communities. Tell us a little about your business. - At CarePatrol, we come alongside to guide our clients through the process of finding the resources that are needed. We help families find Assisted Living, Independent Living, In-Home Care and Memory Care. We review the state’s care and violation history before we ever recommend a community, and we personally tour with the families to our recommended facilities much like a realtor shows families to new homes. We’re able to provide all of this as a free community service because we are compensated by our thousands of providers in our network. How did you get started in the business? - After working for a couple small businesses, helping them grow, I was looking to take the next step in life. My goal was to own a business, and to make a difference in doing so. I came across CarePatrol and absolutely loved the concept and philosophy, so I took the leap, which included completing the extensive training process that’s required at the national level. I have now been working for myself for over a year and just took over the Omaha territory! What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Getting people to understand the concept of what CarePatrol does and that our services are always free to those we help. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Devoting my efforts to running my business full-time. I have owned a few other businesses, but they have never been my main income source and I absolutely love working for myself and being 100% responsible for the outcome. Tell us a little about your family. - I have been married to Brooke Ahlman for almost 10 years. We have two kids, Brystal (6) and Gage (3). What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - The day we opened Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement, my wife’s business. The plan was always to have our own separate ventures. We knew that as her business grew, we’d get to a point where I could then go and start my own business. If we wouldn’t have done that I would have had a much tougher go of it on my own. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I love to go boating with the family during the summer. We enjoy having friends and their kids come out as there is nothing better than a great day on the water. I also am a huge racing nut. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - We are each responsible for our own success, nobody else. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I am on the committee for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Blondes vs Brunettes football game fundraising event that will take place April 21st. I want to help advance Alzheimer’s research as my grandma and grandpa were both affected by it, as is my wife’s grandpa. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Ming’s House is always my choice; I love broccoli chicken. I’ve also gotten my kids hooked, so if I mention going for Chinese they are always on board! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Mobile: (402) 580-2116; Email:; Website: APRIL 2017 Strictly Business




Brian Pickering MADONNA

Established in 1958, Madonna is a national leader in specialized rehabilitation programs for adults and children, with campuses in Lincoln and Omaha. Brian Pickering, APR, is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. Tell us a little about your business. - Our areas of specialty include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, pulmonary conditions, stroke and neurological diseases. As a newcomer to Madonna, I continue to be amazed daily by the commitment of our team to offer hope and healing to the patients who entrust us with their care. How did you get started in the business? - I began my career in communications right out of college. There weren’t a lot of opportunities for public relations graduates in the early ‘90s where I lived. Fortunately, I landed a temporary internal communications role that grew into a full-time position at a large for-profit organization. From there, I had the opportunity to move on to other organizations – both large and small – which allowed me to further develop my marketing and communication skills. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Like many people over the course of their careers, finding myself without a job. Looking back, it was also a blessing to have the time to reevaluate what I wanted out of my career and where I wanted to focus my talents and energy. As a result, I’m happier now than ever before. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I was fortunate early in my career to have an outstanding mentor who helped guide me to be the professional I am today. I’ve relied on her example to build a number of successful teams throughout my career. There’s great satisfaction in knowing you’ve helped others grow both personally and professionally. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife, Amy, and I have three children ages 13, 16 and 19. Like all teenagers, they’re busy with school, sports, and friends. It’s a crazy time in our lives, but we love every minute of it! What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Go out to breakfast by myself and read the morning paper over several cups of coffee. After that I enjoy taking the day as it comes without anything scheduled. Which talent would you most like to have? - I’d like to be able to sit down and play the piano. I took lessons as a child but never wanted to practice. Needless to say, my parents weren’t fans of paying for lessons with nothing to show for it. I guess it’s never too late to try again! If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I’ve always had an interest in drawing. As a child I wanted to be an architect. Not sure what happed to that dream along the way, but if I were going to make a change now, I’d give it a shot. What is your favorite movie? - I’m dating myself here, but I’d have to say one of my favorite movies is The Breakfast Club. Whenever I’m flipping through channels and come across it, I have to stop and watch. What is your favorite TV show? - The Big Bang Theory, with The Blacklist as a close second. What is your favorite local restaurant? - I’m a pizza guy. Our oldest daughter got us all hooked on Mellow Mushroom when she was a freshman at UNL, and it’s become a go-to spot for the whole family.


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If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Email:; Website:



Rob Sorensen FIREGUARD

Serving clients across Nebraska from locations in Omaha and Lincoln, FireGuard, Inc. is focused on the ultimate goal of keeping buildings and the occupants inside safe and protected at all times. Rob Sorensen is the Vice President of Operations at FireGuard. Tell us a little about your business. - With the motto “One Call Does It All,” we provide commercial clients with access to a comprehensive line-up of products and services in the areas of fire protection and life safety. Our key offerings include fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems, and so much more. We also serve as a resource for inspections. How did you get started in the business? - My dad, who has been in the industry for 50+ years! Growing up, he worked for a company called Anderson Fire Equipment, and I technically got my start as a little guy washing fire extinguishers. From a young age it sparked my interest, and as luck (and plenty of hard work!) would have it, ended up turning into a family business. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? With the combination of family and business, working together can be very challenging at times. There are over 45 of us currently employed at FireGuard, including my dad, wife, brother, uncle, and brother-in-law. In turn, we end up discussing work at every family function, so it can also be hard to turn off the business mentality outside of the office. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - The immense growth of FireGuard in the last couple of years, including the acquisition of Jacobsen Fire Equipment Company here in Lincoln. During what’s been a time of significant transition for our company, I’ve been able to create a positive atmosphere where people want to come to work and feel comfortable there. I take great pride in both. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Jill is an absolutely amazing woman. I also gained two great kids, Tyler (12) and Morgan (10), when we got married. They both attend Catholic school in Omaha. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - When I relocated back to Omaha in 2011 to work for my dad. After moving to St. Louis to be closer to be with my mother, I ended up living there for quite some time. I’d forgotten how nice it was to have so many friends and family around, and also came back to a job that I enjoyed and gave me a sense of purpose. Plus I was able to reconnect with the lovely lady who became my wife. A lot of great things happened that year. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Doing absolutely nothing! I suppose it’s more accurate to say that I enjoy when I get the chance to do something that doesn’t revolve around work. Spending time with my family is a big one. Or whatever allows me the opportunity to shut down and reboot. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - One I consistently turn back to is ‘Life is short, don’t sweat the small stuff.’ There are so many things that go on each day that are out of our control. It’s important to be able to forget about it and move on. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 592-1999; Email: rob.sorensen@fireguardusa. com; Website:

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Linda Cox


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VENUE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE A favorite on the Lincoln dining and entertainment scene, Venue Restaurant & Lounge offers fine dining, private dining rooms, and event catering services. In recent years, Venue has expanded its portfolio with two unique concepts: The Jasmine Room by Venue inside of the Grand Manse, perfect for weddings, tailgates and large events, and Piedmont Bistro by Venue, a chic-casual eatery. Linda Cox is the Pastry Chef for Venue Restaurant & Lounge and the Piedmont Bistro by Venue. Tell us a little about your position. - I create menus for both restaurants and do desserts for catering events, as well as cakes and special request items. How did you get started in the business? - My mother was who first inspired me to delve into the world of pastry. As a child, she baked regularly with us at home. I attended culinary school in Denver right after high school, and pursued my first professional pastry job there in a small shop with a Master Pastry Chef from Poland. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Maintaining a successful small business, while being able to spend time with my growing family. Finding a work/life balance is very difficult. What has been your most important achievement professionally? My reputation as a creative and unique individual, because it follows me wherever I go. Tell us a little about your family. - I’ve been married to my husband, Mike, for almost 4 years now. We have two small children, August (22 mos.) and Norah (5 mos.), who keep us very busy. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - When my husband and I decided to have kids, we knew it would be difficult to keep up with the hours and commitment it took to run my own business; hence, the reason we recently sold Butterfly Bakery and I began my new path at Venue. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Rollerblade! What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I have LOTS of tattoos. What are you the most proud of? - Starting a successful business at the age of 26, with only the money in my pocket. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Always take the high road; you’ll never regret it. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Unique. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Teleportation. Which talent would you most like to have? - The ability to build/fix things for my home construction projects. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Probably something in the medical field. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I’ve done many fundraisers with local organizations, especially the Lincoln Animal Ambassadors because I’d love to see all our furry friends with a loving home. What is your favorite movie? - Spaceballs. What is your favorite TV show? - Will & Grace. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Venue Restaurant & Lounge… even before I joined the team here! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Via email at You can also check out what’s going on at the restaurants online at and, and connect with us on social media.



Tiffany Olson


The Spa and Med Spa at Bryan LifePointe provide a full menu of spa services as well as the latest in procedures and treatments in cosmetic dermatology. Tiffany Olson is the manager at The Spa and Med Spa at Bryan LifePointe. Tell us a little about your business. - We do everything from massages, manicures, pedicures, and spray tanning to facials, peels, injectables, and laser hair removal. Consultations are always free. How did you get started in the business? - I was looking for a change after working for IBM for 5 years. I wanted to stay with a local business. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Getting the word out about the wide range of services we have to offer between the Spa and Med Spa. We are open to the public and not just LifePointe members! What has been your most important achievement professionally? Starting my own business from the ground up and watching it become successful. Tell us a little about your family. - I have three boys and one fur ball, Bella. Adam is a sophomore at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Jacob is a senior at Pius X, and Will is a freshman at Pius X. They are extremely active in sports so I’m always attending a basketball game or tennis match (or five). What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - The day I became a mother. You view the whole world differently. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Either being with my boys or my friends seeking out a new adventure. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I grew up in a small town and attended a one-room schoolhouse from grades K-6. I also have 56 first cousins. You have to love a big Catholic family! What are you the most proud of? - My three boys of course! They are challenging at times but mean the world to me and always keep me laughing. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - My mother always seems to have plenty, but one that stands out is “When you walk through fire, keep walking.” What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I am an artist at heart. I love designing, drawing, calligraphy, or anything related to the arts. Which talent would you most like to have? - Apparently singing. I sing and dance frequently in morning around my boys and they cover their ears so I guess I need some extra talent in that area. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I am always going to be passionate about my alma mater Nebraska Wesleyan, I can’t say enough about how wonderful Pius has been for my kids, and the Lied Center for Performing Arts will always be close to my heart. What is your favorite TV show? - I hate to admit it but I watch The Bachelor. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Venue Restaurant & Lounge. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Pope Francis; I find him fascinating. It is so interesting to see his views and how he is handling the recent change in presidency and world conflict. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Via email at or they are welcome to come visit me at the Bryan LifePointe Campus.

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Corey Rourke Named Wedding Photographer Immanuel Welcomes September Stone of the Year Immanuel is honored to announce September For the second year in a row, Corey Rourke has been awarded the title of Wedding Photographer of the Year by Professional Photographers of Nebraska (PPN). A panel of jurors selected Corey’s wedding album for this honor as a result of a head-to-head competition between accomplished professionals statewide. Corey was recognized for his high-quality photography at PPN’s annual winter conference in Grand Island, Nebraska on February 19, 2017. To round out a very exciting event, he also received the following accolades based on his portfolio of work, industry involvement, and continuing education: Fellow of Photography and 4th place Non-Master. Professional Photographers of Nebraska is the leading resource of education in the state for photography professionals. Corey has a full service photography studio that has specialized in commercial, wedding and portrait photography in Lincoln, Nebraska for the past 16 years. “I’m honored to receive this award, a testament to the pride I take in providing quality imagery,” he said of the repeat recognition he’s received, crediting his success to the continued support of his clients. For more information or to book a session, contact Corey at (402) 466-4644 or visit, where you can view the gallery of his work.


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Stone RN, MSN has joined the organization as Vice President of Healthcare Services. In this role, she will oversee all aspects of senior healthcare services for the Immanuel organization.

Stone comes to Immanuel with extensive healthcare leadership experience in the areas of clinical, educational and regulatory support. She has a history of aligning effective operations with healthcare ensuring the highest level quality of service and care. Stone, author several publications, is affiliated with numerous organizations to include; American Health Care Association, American Assisted Living Nurse Association, American Red Cross Disaster and Center for People in Need. Immanuel is the parent company to Immanuel Communities, Immanuel Pathways and AgeWell by Immanuel. Immanuel owns and operates 10 independent and assisted living and long-term care retirement communities on six campuses in Omaha, Papillion and Lincoln, Nebraska and the Immanuel Pathways PACE® Centers in Council Bluffs, Des Moines Iowa and Omaha Nebraska. All built on a nearly 130-year legacy of Christ-centered service to seniors, each other and the community. For more information, visit


Susan Kirkpatrick Named to CRE Board HOME Real Estate Commercial Specialist Susan Kirkpatrick has been named to the Lincoln Board of Directors of the newly formed Midlands Regional Commercial Exchange (MRCIE). The new commercial real estate listing service is a partnership of the Realtors Association of Lincoln and the Omaha Area Board of Realtors. The board includes Kirkpatrick and seven others from the Lincoln and Omaha area. MRCIE will allow more commercial real estate collaboration throughout Nebraska and contiguous states. With it comes a new website scheduled to launch May 1 with a new provider, Catylist. “This will take commercial listing property listing access and statistics to a new level,” Kirkpatrick said. “We are very excited to bring this new membership opportunity to all real estate agents in Nebraska.” HOME Real Estate is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America. HOME is the area’s leading real estate company serving the Lincoln, Seward, and surrounding areas. For more information about HOME Real Estate’s Commercial Division, visit

Matt Talbot Hires David Klitzke Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach is pleased to welcome David Klitzke as the new Director of Business and Finance. David is a long-time Nebraska native and graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University with a BS in Economics and Minors in Business Administration and Math. He spent much of his career as the Business Manager at Lincoln Family Medical Group. He looks forward to using his talents and experience to further the vision of Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach to defeat hunger and homelessness and restore hope! David enjoys time with family and volunteers for his church and other nonprofits. He is excited to begin this role to advance the organizational growth and strategic initiatives at Matt Talbot. The Director of Business and Finance is a new position at Matt Talbot and was created to help with human resources, IT, and financial operations. Matt Talbot is grateful to Woods Charitable Fund Inc. and the Cooper Foundation for providing support for this critical mission position. Learn more about Matt Talbot at

Cornhusker Bank Promotes Adam Boyle Cornhusker Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Adam Boyle to Vice President/ Director of Information Services. Adam has been with Cornhusker Bank for seven years. As Vice President/Information Services Mr. Boyle will ensure the integrity, security, availability, redundancy and efficiency of the bank’s core data processing and ancillary banking software applications. Barry Lockard reports, “Adam is a respected leader who lives out our 360 culture. He is solutions oriented and a valuable teammate.” Adam noted, “Cornhusker Bank is committed to creating an excellent customer experience and digital channels play an increasingly vital role in the way our clients bank with us. I look forward to ensuring the bank’s technology platforms exceed customer expectations for convenience, flexibility and security.” Cornhusker Bank ( remains Lincoln’s oldest locally owned bank, demonstrating stability, soundness and investing in the future growth of the community, valued customers and associates.

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



Nebraska Mortgage Association Installs New Board

City Impact Seeking Qualified Professionals to Fill Key Positions

The Nebraska Mortgage Association (NMA) recently elected and installed its 2017 officers and directors. Mike Fecht of First National Bank of Omaha was installed as the NMA president for the 2017 year. Fecht is a Regional Sales Manager in the Mortgage Division and serves the Nebraska/Kansas/Iowa/Texas region. He has been with First National Bank since 1992 and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Other members of the 2017 Board include: Sara Kelley, Immediate Past President - Charter West Bank, Elkhorn; Justin Pinkerton, Vice President - Arbor Bank, Omaha; Michael Dames, Secretary - First State Bank Nebraska, Lincoln; Rob Denning, Treasurer - Guild Mortgage Company, Omaha; Lynette Arrasmith, Director - First National Bank of Omaha; Kent Hofferber, Director -Core Bank, Omaha; Shawn Lang, Director - Liberty First Credit Union, Lincoln; Cody Levinson, Director - SAC Federal Credit Union, Papillion; Alan Loos, Director - West Gate Bank, Lincoln; Mark McGregor, Director - United Guaranty Residential Insurance, Omaha; Kevin Ottman, Director - Home Federal Savings & Loan Assn., Grand Island; Michelle Sawicki, Director - Five Points Bank, Kearney; Danielle Swerczek, Director - Mortgage Guarantee Insurance Corp, Omaha. The Nebraska Mortgage Association (www.nebraskamortgageassociation. org) is a non-profit trade association that represents mortgage lending interests of banks, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, credit unions, and commercial lenders.

City Impact, a faith-based nonprofit ministering to vulnerable youth and families in the heart of Lincoln, is hiring and would love to have you (or someone you know) join the team! The following positions are currently available: Full-Time Events & Public Relations Director, Full-Time Office & Operations Director, Part-Time Storytelling (Journalism & Copywriting) Coordinator, and Part-Time Grant Writing Coordinator. For complete job descriptions and instructions on how to apply, visit City Impact empowers vulnerable communities through wholistic youth, family and neighborhood development. With the core values of relationship, faith, strengths-based leadership, empowerment, teaching/ learning and excellence, City Impact encourages life transformation from the inside out. To find out more about City Impact, visit or contact Todd Bowman at (402) 477-8080 /


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Lincoln First Realty Recognizes Top Agents Lincoln First Realty is proud to announce that the following agents were recognized for their 2016 sales achievements at the company’s recently held awards luncheon: To p P ro d u c i n g Agent and Gary Goranson Most Closed Tra n s a c t i o n s, Gary Goranson; Highest Average Closed Transaction A m o u n t , S t e ve Ta y l o r ; M o s t Improved Agent, Mary Pat Waite; and New Agent of the Year Award, Gary Greenwood. In addition, Karen Mary Pat Waite Karr was voted by her peer group as the inaugural recipient of the Founders Award of Excellence that was presented to her on the merit of her professionalism, interaction with fellow realtors, involvement in real estate related activities, and personal productivity.

Steve Taylor

Gary Greenwood

Lincoln First Realty congratulates these individual agents for their contributions to another record setting year which saw the company continue its impressive market Karen Karr share growth and a sales staff that now numbers 47 affiliated agents. LFR is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cornhusker Bank of Lincoln and is a full service professional real estate company offering services ranging from representation of buyers and sellers in real estate transactions to pricing opinions and marketing strategies that assist their clients in making business decisions. The main office phone number is (402) 434-2222 and the company website is


Donde Plowman Elected to Topeka Bank Board Donde Plowman has been elected to the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, a wholesale bank that serves as a source of credit for member financial institutions in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Plowman is executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She previously served as dean of UNL’s College of Business Administration. Plowman currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Bryan Health and previously served on the board of directors of Cornerstone Bank of York and Ballantyne Strong, a publicly traded company based in Omaha. As part of her FHLBank duties, Plowman will serve on the Risk Oversight and Housing & Governance committees.

Three From Midlands Financial Qualify for Million Dollar Round Table Three members of the Midlands Financial team have qualified for inclusion in the Million Dollar Round Table. Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 42,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 470 companies in 71 countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct, and outstanding client service. Top of the Table and Court of the Table are MDRT’s top membership levels comprised of the world’s most successful life insurance and financial service professionals. Achieving membership in MDRT is a career milestone. LeaAnn M. Moore* has qualified for MDRT’s Top of the Table for her sixth consecutive year and has been a part of Court of the Table since her first year of membership seven years ago. Stephen D. Andersen* is a 45-year Qualifying and Life member of MDRT with 11 Top of the Table and 8 Court of the Table qualifications. Tony J. Ojeda* has eight years on Court of the Table while being a Qualifying and Life member of MDRT for 16 years.

LeaAnn M. Moore

Stephen D. Andersen

Founded in 1969, Midlands Financial offers financial services, including individual investment and retirement services, succession planning and retirement plans. In 2014 Midlands Financial merged with UNICO Group. This merger formed a regional leader for insurance and financial growth. With clients Tony J. Ojeda ranging from Fortune 500 giants to local retail shops, UNICO’s risk advisors have extensive experience in custom strategies that generate long-term value. For more information about retirement services provided through Midlands Financial, call (402) 434-8050 or visit the website at *Securities and investment advisory services are offered solely through Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC). Member FINRA/SIPC. AIC, UNICO Group and Midlands Financial are not affiliated. Additional products and services may be available through Midlands Financial that are not offered through AIC.

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PERSONNEL NEWS Control Management Inc Welcomes Sharon Martin as VP of Business Development

Walker Dimon Promoted to General Manager of The Normandy

Control Management Inc (www.cmiomaha. com) recently welcomed Sharon Martin to the team. Martin joined CMI as the Vice President of Business Development. Martin brings over 20 years’ experience working with business and building owners to her position at CMI. “We are excited to expand the energy and the team in our Omaha office and are thrilled to have Sharon join our team,” said Frederick Lerouge, CEO of CMI. “CMI has been solving clients’ problems with custom building solutions for over 30 years from our Omaha, Lincoln and Columbus offices. With the addition of Sharon, we will be able to further partner with our clients to enhance our comprehensive problem solving approach.” Control Management Inc (CMI) is a local, full service building automation and control system company. CMI provides building owners easy to use building management systems that integrate with as many building systems as necessary (HVAC, lighting, access, security and more). Partnering to improve building efficiency while providing local, reliable, expert service, at CMI you’ll work with “People you know, a company you trust.” If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Frederick Lerouge at (402) 571-9454 or email at frederick@

The Normandy French Cuisine is pleased to formally announce the promotion of Walker Dimon to the position of General Manager. With The Normandy since its opening on February 14, 2014, Walker has been there every step of the way as the business has grown into what it is today. Because of this, Walker possesses a passionate understanding of the restaurant, and cares deeply about its success. These qualities, combined with his extensive experience and focused skill set, make him the perfect fit for the job! He has taken on the responsibility of ensuring that The Normandy’s reputation in the Lincoln dining scene is maintained, with the goal of meeting customers’ expectations for a uniquely intimate experience with exquisite, authentic fare and superb service each time they come to visit. The Normandy features an authentic French menu, staple wine list, and iconic atmosphere. With the recent debut of the new fine dining concept, The Normandy has taken this to the next level, while continuing to provide guests the premier dining experience they’ve come to expect. The Normandy is located at 17th & Van Dorn St. in Lincoln’s charming Indian Village neighborhood. For more information, visit them on Facebook at normandyrestaurant or contact the restaurant directly at (402) 4760606 or


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

PERSONNEL NEWS BB Roofing Welcomes Alissa Henry Alissa Henry joins BB Roofing LLC (BB Roofing) with an established career in sales in the Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities. Alissa is a licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Agent in the State of Nebraska and comes to the company with 12 years’ experience in sales and marketing. In her new role with BB Roofing, she will build and maintain professional relationships along with client relationships. She will also be responsible for building awareness of BB Roofing’s products and services. Alissa is an active member of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Independent Business Association, and is a graduate of Bellevue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management. Prior to the start with BB Roofing, Alissa has grown her sales career in the technology, office furniture and insurance industries. BB Roofing has been operating since 2011 and formed an LLC in 2013. They have locations in the Lincoln, Omaha, and surrounding areas. Contact BB Roofing today to schedule a free roof inspection or for a quote for your roofing and gutter needs at (402) 890-4469 or

Union Bank & Trust Promotes Vickie Weiss and Elizabeth Taylor Union Bank & Trust recently announced the promotions of Vickie Weiss to Credit Officer in its Credit Administration division and Elizabeth Taylor to Health Benefits Solutions Officer. Weiss joined Union Bank in 2004 as a Teller in the Customer Service Division. She has held several positions within the bank including Branch Supervisor in Omaha and most recently as the Senior Credit Analyst. In her expanded role as Credit Officer, Weiss will be responsible for the work flow of the credit Vickie Weiss analyst team, interviewing and training new analysts, managing the portfolio stress test, and underwriting the more complex credits. She graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and also studied Accounting at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Weiss is a member of The Risk Management Association and Union Bank’s Wellness Committee. Taylor joined Union Bank in 2007 as a Client Service Representative in the College Savings Plan Group. She held several positions within that division including Assistant Supervisor and Elizabeth Taylor most recently as Field Representative and Project Coordinator. In her new role, Taylor is responsible for the educational programs for the Health Benefit Solutions department while providing relationship management services to existing corporate clients. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Doane College. Union Bank & Trust ( is a privately owned, Nebraska bank that offers complete banking, lending, investment and trust services. In addition to Lincoln and Omaha, branches are located in twenty-one Nebraska communities.

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


PERSONNEL NEWS ​ ebraska Community Foundation Seeks N Affiliated Fund Development Coordinator

Joe Bolubasz Joins Midwest Bank as Vice President

The Nebraska Community Foundation is currently seeking an affiliated fund development coordinator to serve communities located in southwest Nebraska. The position will support NCF’s volunteer community leaders who are using philanthropy to make a long-term positive impact in their communities. This is an opportunity for someone with both passions for the future of rural Nebraska communities and the skills to help community leaders achieve ambitious goals. The Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) is a statewide organization using charitable giving to build prosperous communities. NCF works with volunteer leaders serving more than 250 communities by providing training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management for its affiliated funds throughout the state. You may be a good fit for this position if you have prior experience in community development or fundraising, bring a strengths/asset-based approach to your work, and thrive in a complex and highly-collaborative environment. This is a remote position with preference for a candidate based in Southwestern Nebraska. It requires some night and weekend work and regular travel within Nebraska. Applicants should send a cover letter, resume and three professional references to For more details on the position, visit

Midwest Bank is pleased to announce that Joe Bolubasz has joined their team as Vice President in their Lincoln location. Bolubasz will focus on business development in the Lincoln market. “We’re excited to add someone to our team who brings with them such a high level of involvement and familiarity with the business community in Lincoln,” said Brian Wolford, Lincoln Market President. Joe is originally from Omaha, Nebraska and started his career in banking in 1985 for a small community bank that was later acquired by Norwest in 1990. Joe took advantage of learning all facets of the bank but primarily spent a bulk of his time building and growing business and professional relationships in the Lincoln and surrounding communities. “Midwest Bank is a strong community bank built on exceptional personal service and lasting relationships. This culture is consistent with my values and career objectives,” added Bolubasz. Over the years, Joe has been involved with numerous community organizations and currently serves as a board member for the People City Mission and Lincoln Independent Business Association. Midwest Bank, headquartered in Pierce, Nebraska, has ten bank locations in nine communities across Eastern Nebraska: Pierce, Pilger, Plainview, Creighton, Wisner, Norfolk, York, Deshler and Lincoln. Midwest Bank’s core mission is to build strong relationships with their clients through honesty and flexibility. For more information about Midwest Bank, call (402) 420-0560 or visit


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PERSONNEL NEWS Sarah Baltensperger Joins Home Instead Senior Care Home Instead Senior Care of Lincoln is pleased to introduce Sarah Baltensperger as their General Manager. Sarah has a passion for working with seniors, and serving others. Prior to joining Home Instead, Sarah worked with a hospice agency for six years. She holds a psychology degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is involved in Make-AWish, End of Life Coalition, Coalition for Older Adult Health Promotion, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. Sarah and her husband Rob have three children, Sam, Reese and Addison. Home Instead CAREGivers can provide a variety of services, which include companionship, personal services, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, transitional care, and hospice support. The comprehensive, unique CAREGiver training program equips its CAREGivers to provide individualized care to every person served. To find out more about the services offered at Home Instead Senior Care, please call (402) 4238119 or visit

Cline Williams Announces New Partners Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P. is pleased to announce that Adam W. Barney and Gregory S. Frayser have become partners. Adam Bar ney graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (B.S., with high distinction) in 2007 and the University of Nebraska College of Law, J.D., with highest distinction, in 2010. Barney is a native of Kearney. He focuses his practice on commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration forums. Barney represents clients involved in franchising and securities-related matters as well as real and intellectual property disputes, including representation of both governmental entities and landowners in eminent domain proceedings. His practice has included significant experience advising clients on trade secret and non-competition matters. He is licensed to practice in both Nebraska and Iowa.

Adam W. Barney

Gregory Frayser is a graduate of Franciscan Gregory S. Frayser University, receiving a B.A. degree in 2007. He received his J.D., with high distinction, in 2010 from the University of Nebraska College of Law, earning admittance to the Order of the Coif, a recognition awarded to the top ten percent of the graduating class. Frayser, a native of Lincoln, is active in the community, serving on the board of directors of Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach and the March of Dimes. His practice is a mix of both transactional and litigation matters related to secured transactions. In litigation, Greg represents creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, fraudulent transfers, breach of contract and foreclosures. He also represents both creditors and borrowers in various commercial financing arrangements, including tax increment financing and new market tax credits. Established in 1857, Cline Williams ( celebrates its 160th anniversary this year. The firm has offices across Nebraska in Omaha, Lincoln, Aurora and Scottsbluff and Fort Collins, Colorado.

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Indigo Bridge Books & Cafe to Host Benefit for Fresh Start Indigo Bridge Books & Café will be hosting an in-store event on Saturday, April 29 from 5-8 pm to benefit Fresh Start. All are welcome to join! Or, round up the total of your sale anytime during the week of April 23-29. All funds raised will go towards support of the services provided by the Fresh Start to those in our community. To find out more about Fresh Start, visit or find them on Facebook (search Fresh Start Home Lincoln). Indigo Bridge Books & Café is located at 701 P Street #102 in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket. Call Audrey Back, Development Coordinator at Fresh Start, at (402) 475-7777 for more information about this upcoming event.

Fore The Force Golf Outing to Support Cameras for Cops Wilderness Ridge is proud to support the Lincoln Police Department and its efforts in protecting our community. Banding together this spring in support of Cameras for Cops, the first annual Fore the Force Golf Tournament & Auction will be held on Thursday, May 25th. All proceeds from this event will be used to purchase body cameras for the Lincoln Police Department. According to Chief of Police, Jeff Bliemeister, “We are transitioning to Watch Guard body worn cameras to sync with our in-car camera technology. Each camera is approximately $700 with a 3-year replacement schedule. LPD needs 242 body cameras to fully outfit our uniformed patrol officers. The hardware, infrastructure and employee to manage a large technology program like this, in addition to storage costs are estimated to cost $539,689 the first year and $209,128 each year after.” To register a team, or purchase tickets to the dinner and auction, please contact Chris Thomson at cthomson@ Join forces with Wilderness Ridge, KLIN, Sysco, Blue Blood Brewing Company, Whitehead Oil and other local businesses as a sponsor for this fun, fundraising event benefiting the Lincoln Police Department. To become a sponsor or donate to the auction, please contact Connie Hilligoss at

Registration Begins for Bright Lights Classes


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Bright Lights Summer 2017 class registration begins on April 1 at 8:00am. The new mobilefriendly registration system will greatly reduce the wait time people have experienced during registration in the past. Bright Lights provides five weeks of quality learning programs. The over 100 class options are an ideal way for elementary and middle school students to maximize the fun of summer vacation while allowing parents to know their children are avoiding summer learning loss. Registration is simple: Using the class schedule available at, students choose a class for their completed grade level on a topic that interests them. Then use your desktop, tablet or smartphone on April 1 at/after 8:00am to register. Need-based scholarships are also available. The main site for classes is Holmes Elementary, but classes also take place at various community sites around Lincoln. Before Care and Lunch Care services are available at select sites as is free bus service. Find more details online at


Lincoln Women Take to the Football Field to Tackle Alzheimer’s Who is your biggest RivALZ? For a group of young professional women, it’s Alzheimer’s disease. And they’re asking you to join the fight! These women will take part in the inaugural RivALZ Blondes vs. Brunettes women’s flag football game in Lincoln to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association. RivALZ Blondes vs. Brunettes is based on the age-old rivalry of hair color. The game is scheduled for Friday, April 21st at Speedway Sporting Village in Lincoln. Join the fun early for tailgating from 6-7 p.m., including hot dogs, chips, desserts donated by The Legacy, and beer. The four-quarter football game will follow from 7-9 p.m. Come cheer on your favorite team or player, and help end this devastating disease that is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the gate. Each player is tasked with raising $250 in order to play on game day. All of the proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association to provide free care and support, and advance Alzheimer’s research. If you are interested in playing, there is still time to sign up! Please contact Development Specialist, Megan Myers at mmyers@ To make a donation today, visit

Tommy Armstrong Jr. Visits With Students at Boys & Girls Club, Sponsored by First National Bank Tommy Armstrong Jr. partnered with First National Bank recently to speak with local students about the importance of leadership and overcoming adversity. The former Husker quarterback provided advice and words of inspiration to students at the Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/ Lancaster County on February 21 about how to be a leader within our community. First National Bank sponsored similar events with Armstrong at Boys Town and the Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands in Omaha. “All of us at First National Bank support the great work that Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County does. Their programs are excellent and the number of youth who benefit from these programs is amazing,” said Rich Herink, Lincoln market president. “We all recognize the importance of positive role models and mentorship and know that students respond very well when they have an opportunity to meet with people like Tommy Armstrong Jr.” Herink said the bank will continue to look for additional ways it can work with the Boys & Girls Club. First National Bank ( is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

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CEDARS Celebrates 70 Years

Radio Talking Book Service: Give New Ways

The community is invited to celebrate with CEDARS at their 70th birthday party, which will be held on May 2nd at 11:30 a.m. at the Lincoln Country Club. Tickets to the event are available for purchase at birthdayparty. Businesses are encouraged to secure a table for employees and clients.

Finding time to volunteer can be a challenge but there are many other ways to support Radio Talking Book Service, including a few new ones you may not know about yet! 1.) AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support RTBS and is the same as shopping on Amazon. com but a portion of your purchase goes to RTBS. Visit to learn more. 2.) Radio Talking Book Service maintains 70+ magazines and newspaper subscriptions to provide listeners with 24/7 programming. Please consider sponsoring one of these subscriptions. Contact Bekah at for more information. 3.) Also, support RTBS in the Omaha area with Proseeds ( and with a Baker’s Community Rewards Plus Shopper’s Card (NPO #40169). Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS), founded in 1974, brings the printed word to life for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or have physical disabilities that prevent them from reading. To volunteer, donate, or obtain a special receiver for broadcasts, visit or call (402) 572-3003.

At the event, CEDARS will debut a book which chronicles the founding of the much-needed child-caring organization, the compassionate adults and businesspeople who made CEDARS a Home by bringing love into the lives of the children, and the stories of the kids who came out of crisis situations and found safety, stability and an enduring family.It is a similar story for the over 1,000 children each day who rely on CEDARS support 70 years later. Just as they did in the 1940s, CEDARS relies heavily on the support of the community to provide for the children and youth who come into their care. In advance of the celebration event, CEDARS has released a birthday wish list: full size hygiene items, hair brushes, sunscreen, and bug spray. Anyone interested in learning more about CEDARS and how to change the life of a child is encouraged to visit www.cedarskids. org and follow along on Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram (www.instagram. com/cedarskids).

JCMF to Host 9th Annual Benefit Remembering one precious life with the hope and goal of saving many, please join Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation in their goal to eliminate childhood drowning at the 9th Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction on Saturday, April 29th. The event will be held at the Sesostris Shrine Center, 1050 Saltillo Road, Roca, NE. The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with cocktail and social hour followed by dinner, silent auction, live auction and program. Rotary International Board of Directors members Robert and Charlene Hall will be the keynote speakers. Those who wish to buy tickets, give financial donations or who can’t attend and just want to participate in the online auction can register at the Qtego website: For more information about tickets and table reservations, donations, or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kathy Collingsworth at (402) 730-3232/ or visit

Youth For Christ’s Campus Life Bowl-A-Thon to Raise Funds for Camp Scholarships


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Youth for Christ Lincoln Area is hosting their annual Bowl-AThon for their camp scholarship fund. You could be part of changing a local teen’s life by participating in this event. Camp week is the best week of the year for many teens. They’re cheered every time they come into a meal. They’re poured into by Campus Life leaders they know from their hometown and Campus Life leaders from around the nation. They laugh. They run around like hooligans. They experience the positive messages of truth, grace, and unconditional love over and over. All the money raised through YFC’s Bowl-a-thon will go directly to camp scholarships for kids who need it most. You can participate as a fundraising bowler with the chance to win free coffee from Scooters for a year and other great prizes or you can participate as a donor. The event is Thursday, April 27 from 5:30 - 8 PM at Parkway Lanes. For more information, visit their website:


Pius X Academic Decathlon Team Wins State ACA DECA wins again! Congratulations to the Pius X Academic Decathlon team and coaches for claiming first place in the large school division at the Nebraska State competition. The Thunderbolts will now The Pius X State Championship Academic represent Nebraska Decathlon team includes: (back, left to right): in the National Online Coach Ann Kotopka, Coach Margaret KaiserCompetition. Lear n Woodward, Charlie Hansen, Parker Dodson, more about Pius X High John Kilts, Gabriel Clark, Isaac Uttecht, Gage Andersen, Thomas Kotopka, Coach Alex School and the Pius X Hain, (front, left to right) Rodney Cruz, Lisa Foundation at www. Vu, Madeleine May, Michael Timmerman, or follow Isaac Kramer, and Coach Shiela Sievert. o n Fa c eb o o k . c o m / RestoreAllThings and @PiusXLincoln.

Junior Achievement Needs YOU This Spring Junior Achievement of Lincoln is seeking business professionals from the Lincoln community to serve as JA Classroom Volunteers during the months of April and May. There are 200 classrooms without a business volunteer those months, which requires a commitment of five total lessons, 30-45 minutes each. It takes LESS THAN five total hours to be a JA volunteer and you will be trained prior to going into the classroom. Volunteers are needed in Lincoln’s public and parochial schools. This is a record-setting year for JA, please join in helping empower youth to own their economic success! Junior Achievement of Lincoln will impact over 28,000 students in the 2016-17 school year. Junior Achievement’s cutting-edge curriculum is focused on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Sign up today and make a huge impact on the future success of the youth of Lincoln. Contact Jessica States at for more information about becoming a Junior Achievement classroom volunteer or go to for more information.

Save The Date: Aiding Angels to Host 10th Annual Golfing For a Reason Benefit Aiding Angels Foundation has announced that the 10th Annual Golfing For a Reason benefit tournament will be held on Saturday, August 26th. It will take place at Highlands Golf Course, with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The format is a four-person scramble, and golfers of all skill levels are welcome to participate. All proceeds will go to the Aiding Angels Foundation, which provides FREE professional housecleaning to mean, women, and children receiving cancer treatment. You can find out more about the organization at, with further event details located in the “Get Involved” tab. There, you can download the entry form to get registered, and there are also options for volunteering, sponsorship, and to make a donation if you’re unable to attend but would like to support. For more information, contact Brenda Schwery, President, at (402) 434-2472 or via email at

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Stuff the Bus for Friendship Home April 8-9 Friendship Home has once again partnered with StarTran, Alpha Media radio stations, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores for the 18th annual Stuff the Bus event. This event asks the Lincoln community to stuff four city buses full of new items needed by families staying at Friendship Home this year. Volunteers will be at all Lincoln Walmart and Sam’s Club stores April 8-9 from 9am to 4pm handing out needs lists to shoppers. Anyone is welcome to pick up a list, choose some items to purchase and help “stuff the bus” parked outside the store. Cash donations are also accepted. To learn more about this event, please visit Friendship Home is Lincoln’s only confidential shelter program for victims of domestic violence and their children. Friendship Home offers emergency and transitional shelter, as well as safety planning, support groups and mental health counseling. Friendship Home also provides a safe environment and emotional support to children. To access Friendship Home’s services, call the 24-hour helpline: (402) 437-9302.

Southwest Student Hunter Paxson Raises Autism Awareness in School, Community Hunter Paxson, a senior at Lincoln Southwest High School, has made it his mission to raise awareness for autism right here in his own community. With the support of his school, in honor of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, this year it will be observed by Southwest students and faculty on Tuesday, April 4. Paxson has spearheaded a Hat Day campaign to raise awareness and funds that will be donated to the Autism Society of Nebraska. Those who donate $1 will be able to wear a hat during the school day, and receive a sticker to wear to show their support for autism. He also put together an ongoing educational slideshow presentation that will be on monitors throughout the school all day. Learn more about Hunter’s story by reading the extended article at, and connect with him on social media to find out more about his work to raise critical awareness for autism in our community! You can also visit for more information provided by the Autism Society.

NFL Players Making a Difference in Lincoln


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This summer marks the third year of the Nebraska Football Leaders Camp. The camp, founded by former Husker and current Washington Redskins linebacker, Will Compton, is a fun, half-day camp offering instruction and inspiration. This year’s camp on June 26th, at the Cook Pavilion, will be led again by Compton and returning players, including Kenny Bell, Jason Ankrah, Ameer Abdullah and Jeremiah Sirles. Bell and Sirles have joined Compton every year the camp has been offered. The camp is open to all students from 3rd to 8th grade. Third through 5th graders will work with the former Huskers and current NFL players from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 5th through 8th graders will work from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Each session will include a meal and the day will end as families are invited to join campers at a Fan Zone event where campers receive autographs and have the opportunity to talk and take photos with the players. All proceeds from the camp will be donated to TeamMates. Register online today at


6th Annual Autumn House Foundation Golf Tournament Set for May 18 Everyone is welcome to play in the 6th Annual Autumn House Foundation Golf Tournament, whic h will be held Thursday, May 18 at Woodland Hills in Eagle, NE. All money that is raised goes towards providing respite and daycare relief for those caregivers who are charged with the care of anyone who suffers with dementia and other illnesses. By giving these caregivers a needed day or two of rest, who are often managing their care 24/7, stress is reduced, better care is given, and their own health is improved. The Autumn House Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation; a receipt for any tax deduction will be provided to you. Registration will open at 11:00 a.m., with a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. Besides a great day of playing 18 holes, participants will enjoy an afternoon of fun and a wonderful dinner along with many prizes and awards. All golfers are encouraged to join! Register and pay online at For more details, call (402) 475-7755.

The Cat House Presents: Catsino Night The Cat House (, a 501(c)(3) non-profit no-kill feline shelter and adoption facility in Lincoln, will be hosting Catsino Night on Friday, April 28. This year Catsino Night, which is one of The Cat House’s premiere fundraising events held in the spring, will include poker, blackjack, roulette, high-low, craps, and BINGO. Poker chips won will then be cashed in for raffle tickets equivalent to their winnings value. There will also be a silent auction for those individuals who may not have lady luck on their side and prefer to simply bid on a prize. Catsino Night will be held at Scottish Rite Temple located at 16th & K St. in Lincoln. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with games starting at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $25 and includes light hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages, and desserts.

Save The Date: Theatre Arts For Kids Issues Casting Call for James & The Giant Peach Each year, Theatre Arts For Kids does one show that is audition-only and tuition-free, much like a typical community theatre production. There are no age restrictions – kids, teens, and adults are all encouraged to audition. This year’s show will be James & The Giant Peach! From the writers of the music for La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen, and A Christmas Story, this charming musical is full of incredible music helping to tell Roald Dahl’s famous story. It’s the perfect show for families to do together; whether parents and children, siblings or other combinations, there’s plenty of variety between the starring roles and ensemble characters. Auditions will be held on June 15th from 7-9 p.m. Attendees can expect a high-energy, low-stress experience – no previous experience or preparation needed! Callbacks will be held June 16th from 7-9 p.m., and the cast list will be sent out that same evening with the first full cast rehearsal the next day from noon-4 p.m. Those who do not wish to perform can also participate on the backstage crew with lighting, sound, etc. Anyone interested in this opportunity must also attend auditions. To register for auditions, simply complete the online registration at www. Questions? Email Leah Kolar at

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Christian Record Services, Inc. Launches New Website Christian R e c o r d Services, Inc. is pleased to announce a new website. This new site was designed to offer donors improved access to information as well as continue to deliver content to clients in audio, large print, and refreshable braille. Additionally, the site includes the schedule for ten upcoming summer camp opportunities available through National Camps for Blind Children, a Christian Record program. In the coming months, the organization plans to add a new online audiobook library as well as college scholarship information. Christian Record’s website address remains Since 1899, Christian Record Services, Inc. has provided reading materials and services to people who are blind. In Lincoln since 1904, Christian Record distributes materials in braille, audio, large print, and digital download. Additionally, National Camps for Blind Children, a program of Christian Record, provides opportunities for summer and winter camping experiences in locations around the United States. The ministry also offers educational scholarships for people who are blind. For more information, visit or call (402) 488-0981.

“Be a FAN” of Seniors on May 18th The Coalition of Older Adult Health Promotion (COAHP) is sponsoring the sixth-annual “Be a FAN” of Seniors donation drive. COAHP will be collecting new electronic fans (in the box) from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 18 at the Pathways to Compassion Hospice office, 1401 Infinity Road, Suite A (near 14th and Yankee Hill Road) in Lincoln. The fans will be given to Aging Partners for distribution to older adults in Lincoln and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Kayla Schaf at (402) 436-3000 or For more information about Lincoln COAHP, visit

IABC Lincoln to Host Emmy-Winning Jeff Crilley at May Event


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Jeff Crilley, author of “Free Publicity” and a decorated TV news reporter, will share the secrets of getting good news stories without dropping a bundle at a special IABC Lincoln presentation. The event, which is open to the public, is set for 11:30 a.m. at NET on Wednesday, May 17. Crilley retired from the news business after 25 years to start an all-journalist PR firm. He uses his experience at CNN, CNN Headline News, FOX News, The Discovery Channel, Good Morning America and The CBS Early Show to show small business owners, non-profit agencies and PR pros how to market their message to the media, keep reporters coming back for more and how to time press releases, interviews and news conferences. Crilley also will address the challenges of negative news. Reservations for this event can be made online at Cost (which includes lunch) is $20 for members, $10 for full-time students and $30 for guests. Registration and networking begin at 11:30, with the one-hour presentation slated for noon. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Margo Young at (402) 472-7931 or


Sponsorship Opportunities Available for St. Monica’s Amazing Chase XII Sponsors are signing up! Join the FUN! For over 50 years, St. Monica’s has provided opportunities for women to transform their lives. Last year 288 women came to St. Monica’s to overcome addiction, improve their mental health, develop better parenting skills and become productive members of our community. You can help make those opportunities available to women in the coming year by becoming a sponsor of Amazing Chase XII. By becoming a sponsor of Amazing Chase XII, you’re also taking advantage of a great opportunity for business recognition. Your logo or name will be on hundreds of T-shirts worn by participants and volunteers, on promotional materials, on banners all over town on Chase day, and will be on both our website and social media. The Amazing Chase brings together competitors, volunteers, friends and families for a fast-paced scavenger hunt all across town with zany challenges at every stop. All summer the teams of four collect support for St. Monica’s, in fierce competition for the best starting time on Chase day. And they and their supporters will be seeing your name/logo all along the way. Please contact or call (402) 441-3768 Ext. 111 for more information.

BBB and AARP Nebraska Offer Free Programs for Seniors in Lincoln and Omaha Child Guidance Center to Recognize Bill Janike at Gourmet Comfort Classic Event According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), “Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered ‘the crime of the 21st century’.” Yet, these cons often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered low-risk crimes. However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them in very vulnerable positions with little time to recoup their losses. It’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted. Lowincome older adults are also at risk of financial abuse. The BBB Foundation is partnering with AARP Nebraska to present “Hoodlums to Hackers – Keeping Seniors Safe from Fraud.” This program that includes lunch will be held on Tuesday, April 18th from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Savannah Pines Retirement Community, 3900 Pine Lake Rd in Lincoln. It will be repeated in Omaha on April 18th at the Embassy Suites Omaha La Vista Conference Center, 12520 Westport Parkway from 6:30 - 8:00 pm and will be preceded by a light dinner at 6:00 pm. The featured speaker is retired FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza. He appears regularly as a fraud expert on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” Fox News, and MSNBC. The topics will include: protecting personal information from ID theft, how to avoid social engineering, spoofing and spam phone calls, preventing email hijacking, account takeovers and social networking fraud and how to be safe online. These programs are free to seniors, their family members, caregivers and other interested persons who live in the area, but reservations are required. To RSVP, go to and click on the “BBB Senior Program” image or call (800) 649-6814 #8550. The deadline for reservations is Tuesday, April 11th.

The Child Guidance Center will honor Bill Janike with the 2017 Leader in Children’s Mental Health Award for his tireless work with atrisk youth at the ninth annual Gourmet Comfort Classic. Bill has worked with countless young people during his career as a former Therapist at Child Guidance Center and a longtime leader in Lancaster County Juvenile Probation. He currently volunteers for the Child Guidance Center Therapeutic Group Home working with boys ages 12-18, helping them to learn healthy coping strategies to heal from trauma. The event is a chef competition featuring the area’s top chefs who donate food and their time as they compete to create the finest gourmet version of a classic comfort food. This year’s fiesta-themed event will be held on Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, at The Nebraska Club, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. The event includes a program, raffle, silent auction and live music. Sponsorships are available beginning at $1,000 and businesses may also donate auction baskets to help Child Guidance Center raise more than $30,000 for crucial mental health services for children and families. For questions, contact Jenny Cardwell at jcardwell@child-guidance. org or (402) 475-7666. More information can also be found online at APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 47


JDRF Presents Derby for a Cure Dust off your biggest hat and don your best seersucker suit for the 2nd Annual Derby For A Cure Kentucky Derby Viewing party on Saturday, May 6th from 3:00 – 7:00pm! Join in the fun at the Railyard to celebrate the two most exciting minutes in sports, enjoying mint juleps, bourbon, and hot browns, all while raising funds for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research! Tickets start at $50 and include admission, drinks tickets, food and access to fun-filled Derby Day activities. All proceeds benefit JDRF in their mission to create a world without T1D! For information on ticket sales or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jayne Ullstrom at (402) 484-8300 or Tickets can be reserved at

“Bowl for Kids’ Sake” in Support of Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters It’s not too late to help local youth f a c i n g adversity! On April 22nd and 29th, Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters will host their signature fundraising event, “Bowl for Kids’ Sake”. You can participate by forming a team of 4-6 people, selecting which day you would like to bowl, collecting donations for the agency and then celebrating at a bowling party. Participants receive 2 free games of bowling, shoe rentals, a BFKS shirt, food drinks and prizes! You can still register a team by visiting www. or calling (402) 464-2227. No time to bowl? You can make a donation to another team’s fundraising efforts and help them reach their goal by visiting Since 1970, HBBBS has made meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (Bigs) and children (Littles), ages 7 through 18, in Lincoln. Positive relationships are developed that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. To learn more about our programs and other ways to you can help this life-changing organization, visit www. or call (402) 464-2227.

Lead Up Presents Hope at 5: Why College Matters Networking Series Local non-profit Lead Up is excited to make its official debut in the Lincoln community and will be hosting an event this month to make a formal introduction. Hope at 5: Why College Matters presented by Lead Up is part of a yearlong networking series for those who are invested in developing the next generation of community leaders. It is open to professionals, parents, students, and youth advocates and will be held on April 19th from 5 - 7pm at the Nonprofit Hub, located at 211 N. 14th Street, Lincoln, NE. Featuring a panel discussion on how education strengthens our community, it will also mark the launch of Lead Up, a new, innovative non-profit organization that builds dynamic communities through professional and peer relationships. Panelists include: Bryan Seck, Prosper Lincoln; Margaret Reist, Lincoln Journal Star; DeMoine Adams, former Husker football player, TeamMates. Moderator will be Julie Allen, CEO of Lead Up.


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Formerly Hope College Center, Lead Up connects youth to college and career. Free tickets to Hope at 5: Why College Matters are available online at For more information about this event, contact Peggy at (402) 937-0658 / Peggy@

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Celebrate National Volunteer Month: Make “Hop, SCIP, Jump & Run”: Registration Open an Impact by Donating Blood Registration is now open for Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) takes pride in serving communities within the great state of Nebraska, which consistently ranks in the top 10 states for volunteering. This year, as we celebrate Nebraska’s 150th birthday, all are encouraged to consider NCBB when looking for ways to increase volunteer engagement as part of the Nebraska Impact initiative. NCBB volunteers provide vital support to the organization. It’s an honor to work alongside people who selflessly dedicate their time, talents and resources to making life better for everyone. Week after week, generous members of the community volunteer with NCBB by donating their blood, hosting blood donors at the donor center, and helping out at community events. If you are interested in joining the volunteer team at the Nebraska Community Blood Bank, visit NCBB.ORG/volunteer or email jsodeke@ Since 1968 Nebraska Community Blood Bank has been committed to connecting people and saving lives. Nebraska Community Blood Bank supplies lifesaving blood to healthcare facilities in six counties throughout Nebraska. For more information, call 1-877-486-9414, visit NCBB.ORG, or connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter (@NCBBLincoln).


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School Community Intervention & Prevention’s (SCIP) annual fundraiser, “Hop, SCIP, Jump and RUN,” brought to you by Nebraska Mental Health Centers. The event, set to take place on May 13, 2017 at Lincoln Southwest High School, will feature a 1-mile Fun Run and a 5K Race and is open to both children and adults. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit sponsor booths to become eligible for prizes. Proceeds will benefit SCIP, a program of Lincoln Medical Education Partnership. The 5K Race is $25.00 per person and the 1-mile Fun Run is $15.00 per person. Tickets purchased by April 28th include an event t-shirt. Children under the age of 9 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets for the event can be purchased through the SCIP website SCIP is a program designed to bring together families, schools and the community to support student behavioral and emotional health. SCIP’s mission is to provide an effective prevention and early intervention process for youth with behavioral health concerns, so they may achieve healthy, productive lives. SCIP works with schools by providing tools and resources to address behavioral and emotional health issues that impact children, adolescents and their families. Through this event, the hope is to encourage lifelong health and wellness, physically and mentally, of youth and beyond. For more information, contact Michaela Emmons at / (402) 327-6843 or visit


American Heart Association Kicks Off Healthy For Good Campaign On April 5, countless numbers of Nebraskans will take a step towards being Healthy For Good and walk to commemorate the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day. The Healthy For Good movement is designed to inspire all Americans to live healthier lives and create lasting change. It focuses on the simple idea that making small changes today can create a difference for generations to come. The month-long campaign is broken down into weekly themes. Week one focuses on walking and the basic tools you need to get started. Walking is one of the safest, least expensive, and most sustainable forms of exercise. Weeks two and three focus on recreational sports and outdoor activities the whole family can do together, and week four focuses on mindful movement and reducing stress by doing activities such as yoga, Pilates and tai chi. The American Heart Association recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity or a combination of both each week. Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Be part of the movement this month and commit to move more as an individual, family, community, school, or company! Register for your free toolkit of resources at Join the national movement at and contribute to the conversation on social media using #HealthyForGood.

Madonna Partners to Create Comprehensive Electronic Documentation Solution Madonna (madonna. org) is shaping how therapists and nursing staff in post-acute rehabilitation care facilities work together for the benefit of the patient with the development of a comprehensive electronic documentation solution. Sunrise™ Rehabilitation is a robust content solution specifically designed and created for postacute rehabilitation care providers. The solution is built on the Allscripts Healthcare Solution Sunrise platform with the foundation of evidencebased treatment research and enhanced documentation principles that meet post-acute regulatory compliance requirements. Sunrise Rehabilitation provides evidence-based inpatient and outpatient therapy evaluations. This content solution also offers automated Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Patient Assessment Instrument (IRF-PAI) scoring based on nursing and therapy documentation. A clinical therapy charging module enables efficient charge entry linked to documentation. Interdisciplinary care planning is accomplished by incorporating discipline specific content into an overall individualized Plan of Care. The nursing assessments and inpatient/outpatient therapy evaluations are designed to enable the clinician to assess and document efficiently. Standardized test administration guidelines are included with automated calculation of tests. This reporting, embedded clinical decision support and use of normative values allows for successful quality monitoring. The system promotes efficiency in that it allows access to multiple components of a medical record, such as orders, treatment documentation, charging, care plan and medication management within a single system. Sunrise Rehabilitation is being utilized in both Lincoln and Omaha Campuses. Madonna’s partnership with Allscripts Healthcare Solution, Inc., also allows Allscripts clients access to the comprehensive post-acute rehabilitation care patient evaluation and documentation solution via subscription.

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Nebraska Hearing Center Announces New Technology in Hearing Aids Nebraska Hearing Center continues to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring the latest and greatest technology in hearing aids is readily accessible locally. “Updates just became available,” states Leslie Frank MS, CCC-A, owner and Audiologist. “Technology has really changed the world of hearing aids to where they are wearables and do more than amplify sound. I feel that it is important that at Nebraska Hearing Center, we are knowledgeable on the latest advances.” Nebraska Hearing Center invites you to schedule your complimentary hearing evaluation and to experience the latest technology. Nebraska Hearing Center is centrally located at 5625 O Street #104. Call (402) 486-3737 now to schedule your appointment. Check them out online at

Dementia Caregiving Event Coming to SCC Did you just find out a loved one has Alzheimer’s and you’re not sure what to do next? Are you wondering if your spouse’s forgetfulness is more than just a senior moment? Join nationally renowned speaker, Jo Huey, as she helps people navigate through this challenging period. Those who have any questions about this life-changing diagnosis are encouraged to attend a workshop at Southeast Community College’s Jack J. Huck Continuing Education Center. The workshop will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 5. The Center is located at 301 S. 68th St. Place in Lincoln. Cost is $15 per person. It’s co-sponsored by Home Instead. Huey has helped caregivers for decades and even wrote two books about the subject, “Alzheimer’s Disease: Help and Home,” and “Don’t Leave Mama Home With the Dog.” In the latter book, she writes about her experiences caring for her mother and how she eventually made the decision to move her to a nursing home. Participants can register by calling (402) 437-2700 or online at using the keyword Mama.

Golf Tournament to Benefit Local Caregivers


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Sponsors and participants for the 6th Annual Autumn House Foundation Golf Tour nament provide a needed break for those caregivers who deliver daily care to people with health concerns. Caregivers, who are often not paid for their services, need a little time to get away for errands or a quick trip in order to relieve the daily stress of providing care. By providing a source of respite care or day services for the people they care for day in and day out, caregivers relax, knowing that their loved one is being personally cared for in a safe and secure community. This year’s tournament is May 18 at Woodland Hills in Eagle, NE, starting at 1 pm. Participants will enjoy 18 holes of golf with a cart, fun, prizes and dinner. The Autumn House Foundation is a 501©3 corporation. For more information call (402) 475-7755.


Last Month: MoMo Pizzeria & Ristorante Located in the Preserve Development at Pioneers Boulevard and Lucille Drive in south Lincoln, MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante is a must-try experience for lunc h, dinner, or drinks. All items offered on the menu, which varies seasonally, are made in-house from scratch by MōMō’s talented chefs with locally sourced, quality ingredients (when they don’t come straight from Italy). The impressive selection of authentic Italian dishes and pizza offers something for everyone, and with many intended for patrons to share, MoMo Pizzeria & Ristorante is the perfect place to gather togather with friends and family. Thank you to our friends for the most successful Friends4Lunch event yet! We welcome and love seeing all of the new and the familiar faces each month!

Next Month: Piedmont Bistro by Venue Recently opening its doors in January of 2017, the new Piedmont Bistro by Venue is a chic neighborhood eatery that brings comfort, kindness, and flavor to the local dining scene. With a menu full of housecrafted signature dishes featuring the perfect blend of locally-sourced ingredients, scratch-based cooking, and amazing presentation, here you’ll find honest food and exceptional hospitality. Combined with an amazing bakery selection and bar offerings that include traditional cocktails with a mixology twist, wine pairings, and local craft beers, to be enjoyed in the beautiful dining area indoors or while relaxing on the patio, Piedmont Bistro by Venue delivers a truly unique, thoroughly enjoyable local experience. On behalf of our entire Strictly Business team, we would like to invite you to our next Friends 4 Lunch event we are holding on April 10th at Piedmont Bistro by Venue at 11:30 a.m. (Lunch prices range approx. $6-$10) Space is limited and RSVP is required. Please email office@ or call (402) 466-3330 to attend.

Friends4Lunch is one of our continued monthly networking events held at one of our favorite local restaurants. The tradition was established in the hopes of offering a casual way to make valuable connections with friends and strangers alike in the area over lunch while supporting our clients and enjoying their amazing cuisine.

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LINCOLN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE by Wendy Birdsall, President

402-436-2350 •

South by Southwest: Attracting Talent to Lincoln

Members from our talent, innovation and entrepreneurship team traveled to Austin, Texas, for SXSW (South by Southwest) in March. Many recognize this event for its new and emerging music; however it’s grown to include an extensive focus on innovation, jobs and new technology. A social media campaign helped to identify former Nebraskans now living and working in the Austin area and invited them to come by to learn how Lincoln has grown and changed. Our goal, of course, is to have them return to Lincoln to continue their careers and raise their families. Several stopped by and let us know they’d received our invitation. Many SXSW attendees have heard rumblings about the “silicon prairie” and were excited to see representatives in person. Our staff members were able to speak with many diverse, tech-skilled people looking for new opportunities. The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development has workforce development as a major priority for Lincoln. Attracting professionals, young families, entrepreneurs and those with technology and health care skills are of particular importance … a really good match for attendees of SXSW. The SXSW Job Market Expo attracted more than 10,000 people; with the Partnership’s display at the Expo collecting several hundred leads. Those leads will be shared with our Human Resources Recruitment Forum. An all-new 360 virtual reality video tour of Lincoln (VR head-set and all) drew additional attention to the display as the 360 view is still unique enough to fascinate people. A staff member also attended the SXSW Startup Village to get content ideas from the Interactive Conference to help with strategy development for Lincoln. Nebraska Exposed, a daylong showcase for eight Lincoln and Omaha bands, amped up Nebraska’s presence on March 15, at Cheers, an iconic Sixth Street venue at the epicenter of SXSW. While SXSW is targeting the young, tech-skilled marketplace, the Partnership is also working a strategy to target markets where layoffs have occurred. MD Anderson in Houston recently had a significant layoff. We are targeting that area with workforce development messages with the goal of attracting health care workers to Lincoln. We’ll be evaluating the effectiveness of our attendance to SXSW and our social media strategies. So far, it’s looking good. Working together we can ensure that Lincoln continues to grow and prosper with a talented and vital workforce. The Partnership continues to do its part to help make that happen.

The Chamber’s mission is to improve the lives of Lincoln residents by providing increased economic opportunity and can only be accomplished together. For more information, please contact Jaime Henning at

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402-434-6900 •

History Museum Celebrates Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial

For the next three months, all 93 of Nebraska’s counties will find themselves together in one space. In celebration of 150 years of Nebraska’s statehood, the Nebraska History Museum will display over 120 paintings in an exhibition titled “The Legacy of Nebraska.” The paintings, done by Nebraskan artist Todd Williams, will represent each of Nebraska’s counties. The works vary in size and subject; from the state capitol building to portraits of Native American chiefs. Williams, a native of Central City, used various methods and inspirations to complete the paintings. “Some of them are plein air, [which means] he painted them out in the outdoors,” said Ann Billesbach, associate director of the Nebraska State Historical Society. “Some of them are painted from historic photographs. There are a few counties where he did more than one but there’s at least one from every Nebraska county.” “The Legacy of Nebraska” is an official part of Nebraska’s 150 celebration and has been in the making for years. Billesbach said the planning committee for the sesquicentennial also plans on making a book with all the paintings displayed in the exhibition. The paintings will be shown at the Lincoln museum through June 4th, and then the exhibit’s entirety travels to Omaha and Grand Island, with smaller curated exhibits being shown in smaller Nebraskan towns. At the Nebraska History Museum, much time was spent between the staff figuring out the best way to display and order the large amount of paintings. Billesbach said Amanda Mobley Guenther, the person in charge of managing and developing the exhibit, suggested alphabetizing the paintings by the county they represent. Billesbach said this proved to work aesthetically and will allow viewers to find paintings from their home county easily. In addition to “The Legacy of Nebraska” exhibition, quilts from the Nebraska State Quilt Guild’s sesquicentennial wall quilt competition were also among those displayed. The three winning quilts by Dorothy Heidemann-Nelson, Lynn Greer and Marilyn Rembolt were on display at the history museum through March 16th.

Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy. For a complete listing of downtown businesses, events and residences visit ‘Like’ us on Facebook at

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402-466-3419 •

City Returns The Windfall I recently appeared before the Lincoln City Council to talk about the upcoming windfall of property taxes. This was my message: On behalf of the Lincoln Independent Business Association I am here to support the resolution that would return the property tax reevaluation windfall to the taxpayers. Members of the city council, your two year budget is set. Your two year budget is done. Property taxes were increased in order to fund this year’s budget and to fund next year’s budget, so you have all the money you need.


On top of that, you have over $1 million dollars in extra money due to personnel savings. No one expected you would have an extra million, but you do, and now you are trying to decide how to spend it.

Frazee’s Stump Grinding

In short, you do not need a single dime of the property tax reevaluation windfall. There should be no debate about what to do with the reevaluation windfall. Return the windfall to the taxpayers. This windfall is not coming from commercial property, office property, retail or manufacturing. The windfall is coming from homeowners. As a community we need to stand up for families and their ability to afford a home. Certainly the City Council could find a hundred ways to spend this windfall. But we urge you to return it homeowners. The recent housing market conditions have played a part in the increased values throughout Lincoln. In January of 2014, there was close to 1,300 single-family residential listings in the Lincoln housing market. That number has dwindled to 743 as of December 2016. The low supply and high demand have caused the median house price in the Lincoln area to reach a new record high of $166,000. The valuation increase, however, should be a benefit to homeowners, not a windfall to local taxing authorities. We reject any notion that reinvesting the property tax revaluation revenue increase is an example of reinvesting the growth dividend. Such a notion assumes that the cause of the so-called “dividend” was the growth of Lincoln. Certainly, there was an increase in the overall value of property, but this was largely influenced by the high-demand, low-supply residential housing market of the past three years. I was asked by one council member if LIBA would send the same message to all taxing authorities. The answer is yes. And we encourage you to do the same. Your voice counts and I hope you will take the time and effort to contact your elected official. Finally, I would like to thank the following members of the City Council who voted for the resolution that would lower the property tax rate: Roy Christensen, Trent Fellers, Cyndi Lamm, Leirion Gaylor Baird, Jon Camp, and Carl Eskridge. LIBA studies and promotes these types of issues that are important to businesses and our community. If you have an interest in joining LIBA, please call me at (402) 4663419. LIBA membership is not restricted to just businesses. We also have “individual” memberships for those who want to help influence our local government decisions.

Locally owned and operated, Frazee’s Stump Grinding offers reasonable rates, efficient ser vice, and most importantly, safe and professional work. Cutting down and removing a tree is only half of a tree removal job – the remaining stump must be dealt with as well. Getting rid of tree stumps can be the most difficult part of tree removal. Renting stump grinders is an expensive option -- and inconvenient. What does that leave?  Well now you’ve found the solution! Frazee’s Stump Grinding is your resource. Let Frazee’s Stump Grinding help you clean up the mess left behind!  Once Frazee’s is done with the job, there is little sign that the equipment was ever there. For more information about Frazee’s Stump Grinding or for a free estimate, please visit or call Bill at (402) 617-0448.

GenR8 Marketing GenR8 Marketing is a comprehensive digital marketing consulting agency. We’re proud to be a small, familyow n e d b o u t i q u e agency. When you work with us, we take everything into account and ensure all marketing efforts leave a digital footprint we can track. If we aren’t able to show you ROI, GenR8 won’t recommend it. We exist to generate leads for you. GenR8 takes a one-on-one client approach to every project, big or small. With over 25 years of experience, GenR8specializes in social media, websites and lead generation through online search advertising, video and strategy. The digital marketing terrain is ever changing and it can be difficult to know what makes sense for your business or organization. This is Why GenR8 exists. We’re here to help you navigate the terrain for what’s relevant, what’s changing and how best to use these tools for your business. If you’d like to learn more or speak to us directly, please give us a call today at (402) 817-1224 or reach out through our online Contact form at and we’ll be in touch. We hope to hear from you! APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 59

Summer Activities for Kids! Now that spring break has passed, we’re in the homestretch of the 2016-17 school year. Parents everywhere know all too well that in what seems like a matter of a few weeks - but is actually more like a couple of months at this point - school’s out for summer. And just like the famous Alice Cooper tune, during that time it’s likely going to feel like “School’s out FOR-EVER.”

All joking aside, it’s incredibly beneficial for kids to be involved in a variety of summer activities, and it ends up working out well for parents too. Right about now is the time to get signed up for most of them though, so if you haven’t already, you’ll want to start checking out the options right away. Here are just a few ideas, all of which we’ve heard great things about and wanted to pass along! Although a fair amount of summer activities are outdoor-oriented (we’ll be pool/lakeside soon everyone!), with the summer scorchers we have here in Lincoln, you’ll want to keep a few fun indoor activities in mind so you can mix it up. The bowling alley, for one, is a great way to spend a few hours. “Based on its popularity in year’s past, we will again be offering our Kids Bowl Free program, which will run from May 22nd through August 13th,” says Brian Kleinknecht of Sun Valley Lanes. “Parents can sign their kids (ages 5 to 15) up for two free games of bowling per day. Registration is done online at sunvalley. Kids benefit from our Kids Bowl Free summer program because bowling is a fun activity Brian Kleinknecht that they can participate in alongside Sun Valley Lanes people of all ages, whether it be their friends, parents, or even grandparents. That’s not something that you get with some other youth activities, such as baseball or football.” He also notes, “If bowling isn’t your thing, Sun Valley Lanes also offers a state-of-the-art arcade and redemption center with over 20 games that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, as well as thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes that can be won!” In agreement, Jennifer Davis-Korn of 48Bowl also highlights the Kids Bowl Free program as an excellent summer activity for kids. “Summer opportunities for kids and families are abundant at 48 Bowl, Inc. centers, Parkway Lanes and Hollywood Bowl. The best parts about bowling as a family in the summer are that it never gets rained out, you don’t need to lather the kids in sunscreen or bug spray to play, and it adds about 1 mile to your fitness tracker for every three games bowled! To help you enjoy your time and maintain your budget, our most popular program, Kids Bowl Free, is back. Kids Bowl Free allows for all Lincoln area children between the ages of 5-15 to receive two


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free games of bowling each day from May - August when lanes are available. The pass is over $700 in open bowling value and all families can get one per child, free, by just registering! Families who want to join in the bowling fun with older kids, parents, a sitter, grandparents, etc. can add a 4-Person Family Pass for a one-time fee of $36.95. And yes, everyone on the family pass also receives two free games each day of the summer. Shoe rental is not included in the program, but unlimited shoe passes and punch cards are available for purchase at the centers. Families who use the Family Pass even two times during the summer will have already saved money. For more information about Kids Bowl Free please visit” Kids not only benefit from regular activity but from continued interaction with friends and others their age. Without summer activities planned over the next few months, it can be easy for kids to bum around the house and experience both boredom and loneliness.

Diane Hesson Play It Again Sports

“There are a lot of opportunities out there for kids to stay active and continue some type of routine, so no matter what it may be, make sure to get them involved in something,” emphasizes Diane Hesson of Play It Again Sports. “Sports, in particular, can be so important for their overall health, providing them with physical challenges and helping with mental acuity, all while they’re developing positive social skills. Children have so many opportunities to participate at various levels of competition here in Lincoln, and really should take advantage of that luxury.

At Play It Again Sports, we offer everything you should need to keep active this summer. Whether it’s for baseball, softball, football, soccer, golf, or another sport or fitness-related activity, we’ve got the items to outfit you and/or your young athletes. We have knowledgeable staff who truly enjoy applying their knowledge to help our customers find the right items and the right fit. For me, it is so rewarding to watch these kids transition from one sport to another throughout the year and to watch them grow. We get to be involved in that process - more so than I ever thought. To outfit them with their first pair of cleats or bat and then help keep them in equipment as they grow and mature on the court or in the field, that’s a neat thing to be involved in and that is what the Play it Again Sports model is all about.” Along with regular activity, it’s important to challenge your kids to try something new or to learn new things – keeping the brain fit is just as important as the body. Learning shouldn’t stop when the school day or year ends — just like after-school programs, summer learning programs can also help children grow and succeed in a fun environment. World of Knowledge Child Development Center is dedicated to helping youngsters develop a love of learning in their earliest years. Here are three ways children benefit from summer learning programs: Build Social Skills: It gives children the opportunity to form positive connections with other kids their age. Through activities like educational games, creative projects, and free play, children will learn how to be open-minded and a good team player. They’ll meet children from all walks of life and learn what it takes to be a good friend. Develop Healthy Habits: When children don’t have structure in their environment, they’re more likely to plop down in front of the TV and eat junk food all day. Staying involved in activities prevent children from forming those bad habits by instead piquing their interest in physical activity and serving them healthy snacks. Explore Extracurricular Interests: Most of the time spent at school during the year is focused on core subjects. But children’s growing minds are naturally curious about a variety of other topics and

activities. Just the same as after-school programs, summer activities present the chance to explore those interests in-depth, through dance classes, music lessons, and sports. For the best of both worlds, there are summer learning programs in our community that incorporate regular activity as well as exposing kids to new experiences. “We continue with learning through our school-age summer program, which still incorporates fun as well as education throughout the entire summer,” says Dawn Robinson of World of Knowledge Child Development Center. “During the summer we also offer soccer, dance and cheer clinics, music classes, and Jump Bunch. There are several ways parents can help their children through the summer to help maintain routine and learning that I highly recommend. Help your child continue or gain the love of books/reading by visiting the library weekly. Have your child keep a journal throughout the summer about their day or what their day is going to be like, as this will help with building language skills and organizational skills to put their thoughts together on paper. For younger children, they can draw pictures and dictate what their picture is all about while having someone write down what they are saying. Finally, help your child become or stay independent by giving them chores to do around the house, which will help responsibility as well as with routine when transitioning back to school.” You’ll find that there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the arts here in Lincoln too -- dance, theater, music, book clubs, arts and crafts, etc. are among the most popular youth activities over the summer months. Yet another way kids can stay active and engaged, while also learning the many valuable lessons that come along with community involvement and giving back, is volunteering. Similar to adults choosing to donate their time and talents to a cause that they feel strongly about, kids can be active in the decision as to where they volunteer. Once you’ve come up with ideas, it’s usually as simple as contacting a few places to see what opportunities they have and moving forward with the best fit logistically. Most volunteer opportunities will offer flexible scheduling, which allows for kids to get involved as much or as little as they like. A couple good ideas for youth volunteers where there is a need include local animal shelters and senior living facilities.

Although commonly referred to as the “lazy days of summer,” it’s a good rule of thumb to keep some sort of activity on the agenda, and to simply encourage kids to get outside and experience the world around them. Just don’t go too crazy with jam-packing the schedule, because it is still a time for children to relax, play, and just be kids. But in the right combination, summer activities will be the memories that they’ll look back on fondly as adults, while also being important for continued development and a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle right now. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 61

Starting a Business


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Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying “The value of an idea lies in using it.” Those who are bold enough to start their own businesses are doing exactly that, and for every idea out there that’s been capitalized upon, there are many more that have yet to be acted upon but have the potential to be wildly successful. For many entrepreneurs, taking a leap to start a business has resulted from a strong belief that they have an exceptional, marketable, and theoretically profitable idea that needs to be shared with the world, or alternatively, it’s been a longtime calling. For other savvy businesspeople, it comes about from an opportunity presenting itself that’s too hard to pass up, or finally finding the right fit. No matter how you’ve arrived at the point where you’re considering starting a business, it’s important to understand, at the very least, the basic steps necessary to make it happen. The 10 Steps to Starting a Business, provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration, outline this very nicely. We’ll explore each, and consult with the local experts, many of whom have started their own successful enterprises, to provide insight on what we consider to be the fundamentals. (Source: Step 1: Write a Business Plan (This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.) Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training (Take advantage of free training and counseling services.) Those in Lincoln have access to these resources through several organizations that are also supported by volunteers from the community who are experienced business owners. While in training and experience lies the bulk of how you’ll learn the ropes, mentorship and involvement in activities where you’re in the company of established business owners are also invaluable to a new business owner. For those without any prior experience with running a business, or who have never been in a leadership position, it’s important to seek guidance from a professional who has in order to ensure you’re moving in the right direction. Alternatively, even for seasoned businesspeople starting a new venture, it helps to have an outside perspective, especially in the early stages. You’ll also want to surround yourself with a healthy mix of like-minded individuals who are currently doing what you’re doing, and the more experienced folks so that you can absorb their knowledge, and benefit from their wisdom. Where to find these people, you ask? Start with your local Chamber of Commerce, which also will serve as an advocate for your business and its interests. “A Lincoln Chamber membership can jumpstart your business by helping with brand recognition Jaime Henning in the community and growing your network,” Lincoln Chamber explains Jaime Henning with the Lincoln of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber has been the leading voice for business in Lincoln for over 100 years and has over 1,700 business members. Taking care of our members is our top priority. We are here to help businesses every step of the way; from being an advocate at the local, state and federal level and helping you announce your business to the community through ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings and other events that connect you to new faces. Businesses often want to know what the Chamber can do for them. Beyond what I’ve mentioned above, we offer gatherings and forums where our members, especially small business members, can learn how to navigate Lincoln’s business issues, engage fully in the community and take their place in what’s next for Lincoln. Events like Chamber Coffee and Face the Chamber enable elected leaders to transfer knowledge to our members to give them a front seat and leadership role in Lincoln’s future. Joining the Lincoln Chamber is a business necessity that pays big dividends. We are dedicated to promoting the local business community. We want to help businesses learn, collaborate and grow. We offer B2B relationships and referrals that help your business in the ways you need it.” There’s also a way to have immediate and unrestricted access to these services – purchase a franchise. In addition to this key benefit, MJ Cassner with Transworld Business Advisors details the other advantages and things you’d need to know to decide whether it’s right for you. “It’s been estimated that less than 12% of businesses in the United States are classified as a franchise, but they account for approximately 50% of all retail sales nationwide. This equals out to roughly four times their share of the dollars. That’s very telling of why franchises have become quite popular as far as business investments, and MJ Cassner there are many benefits associated with Transworld Business them too. I’ve bought three franchises myself, Advisors I strongly believe in them, and here’s why: • Brand recognition right out of the gate. • Existing systems and processes in place that are proven. • Training and support - Franchise representatives will come out and assist you with finding a place to locate, show you how to operate the computer systems, etc. There’s always someone to call for help. • Buying power – Help with financing items that are needed but that you might not be able to afford at the time. • Advertising assistance – There are materials and promotional items all ready to go. Some will even handle all of the marketing for you, and may already be doing so in the area. • Camaraderie – go to conventions and meet with like-minded people who know the same products, encourage each other build friendships and teams. So who is an ideal candidate? You’ll need to be goal-driven, enthusiastic, sales-oriented, have strong communication skills, a strong support system, and financial stability. As for the final quality, it’s important to note that franchises are more affordable than most think – approximately 28% of all franchises cost under 50K, although the majority will cost between 100-250K. For those buying an existing business, what to look for is similar to a franchise. Here are the musts: *It’s profitable *Books are in order *Good reputation *Good location *Growing industry *Well-established *Equipment in good working condition. For those who are considering business ownership, I highly recommend either a franchise or an established business as opposed to starting from scratch.” Step 3: Choose a Business Location (Seek advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.) This might be a storefront, office, warehouse or manufacturing facility;

many a great business has begun in a basement or garage too. It may require construction of a new building, but for those starting out with limited resources, renting space is generally the most popular option. Today, there are more options than ever before, particularly for SMBs with office suites, coworking spaces, incubators, virtual office capabilities, and more. “When you decide to start a business, it seems that way more money is leaving your bank account than going in,” says Michael Holroyd of Holroyd Investment Properties. “There is an endless list of startup costs that just can’t be avoided. Some of these costs require longterm commitments that a new business owner just isn’t ready for quite yet. Taking advantage of office space with HIP OffiCenters is a very low-risk way of getting your business started. There are a wide range Michael Holroyd of lease terms to meet your commitment level. We offer a variety of office sizes and styles, Holroyd Investment Properties and can even furnish it for you. Our clients are provided with a full-time receptionist, conference room, and modern office equipment. HIP OffiCenters is a great way to convey a professional image to your clients, from your very first day in business on, without the financial struggle of staffing an office.” Holroyd goes on to say, “The advice I give to new business owners is simple. Look at companies that you like to work with - what draws you to them? Why do you think they are successful? The most common answers are customer service, convenience, and appearance. New business owners need to be sure anyone representing their company is providing excellent customer service. They need to be sure their office is convenient to find and that sufficient parking is available. And first impressions matter. Be sure your office appears professional to portray confidence and success to your customers. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


Clients of HIP OffiCenters have a professional receptionist in a comfortable lobby greeting all of their customers. The Executive Office Suites are easy to find and offers free parking next to the building. Our large, spacious offices give the professional atmosphere our clients are looking for, with a host of amenities that further enhance the experience for both tenants and their clients. Finally, set clear goals. Most individuals who are ready to start a business are ready to work hard and sacrifice to get the business running. Unfortunately, it is very easy to find yourself running in circles and getting nowhere. Write down the goals of your business. Then, write down what will need to happen to achieve those goals. HIP OffiCenters is in the business of helping new businesses grow. We make the first step easy so that new companies can focus on reaching their goals.” After the location is decided and those details are finalized, then comes what will need to be done to get up and running in your new space. This might include renovations, furnishings, outfitting it with the systems and technology needed to perform business duties, getting signage in place, and more. There’s even the little things here and there, and for troubleshooting anything with the lights (as far as bulbs) or equipment (that’s battery-operated), keep in mind that Batteries Plus Bulbs has got you covered. Step 4: Finance Your Business (Find government-backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started. Meet with your commercial banker to see what options are available to you there and work closely with them to get everything in place, and set in motion accordingly.) Side Note: Along with financing the business to get it up and running in the first place, there are other items involving your monetary resources that will need to be handled to support those efforts. This includes, but is of course not limited to, payroll and taxes, HR, benefits, accounting and management of finances, etc. For all new business owners across the board, establishing strategic partnerships in areas that are outside of their expertise is well advised, particularly when these things are


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complex and affect the bottom line. Any errors with finances for a new business could prove to be too much of a blow to bear. Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business (Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.) “An LLC or S corporation is structured so that your personal assets are protected, which can be major for small business owners,” says Jethro Hopkins of No Coast Business Advisors. “Using these two types of corporate entities for a new business venture is advised because of the risk involved with so many unknowns at play. There’s no guarantee of success, so instead of going into it with everything to lose, this is a way to mitigate that risk. Starting any business, there’s going to be a level of uncertainty about what the Jethro Hopkins future holds, but more so when there are No Coast Business no projections to go off of based on past Advisors performance or outcomes. In light of that, don’t put the entirety of your personal life at risk at the same time more than need be to get your business operational. If you’re setting up a sole proprietorship, you’ll be responsible all of the groundwork, as there won’t be any established systems in place or access to support and resources like you’d have if you were purchasing a franchise, and to a lesser-but-still-significant extent with an established business. There’s also no valuable lessons learned from trial and error… yet. Those can be costly. For those with a truly unique offering, it might be worth it. But for the most part, it’s very selectively recommended these days, especially with the prominence of the franchise system where the opportunities are abundant to purchase a business with systems in place that have already proven to be successful. With partnerships, proceed with caution as well. From the very beginning, you’ll want to put your partnership agreement paperwork together assuming the worst, which can be a tricky way to start off a business relationship. Partnerships are just like marriages, there’s a high rate of failure involved, added to an already high rate of failure for just going into business period. Everything should be outlined in details and the agreement should be legally binding. Just consider this: If your business partner died, would you be comfortable going into business with their spouse, kids, parents, etc.? Or for added perspective, using the correlation to marriage again, if your spouse died, would you then just partner up with his or her sibling, or parents, and keep on keepin’ on? Probably not, which is where a buyout option built into a contract is important, and on a larger scale, why you need to have this part in place before all else. If you’re considering starting your own business, again with the failure rate being as high as it is, structure will be a determining factor, as will simply understanding the commitment and the work it will require, along with the financial burden. Taking over of an existing business that’s well-established and reasonably priced is really a great way to go into business for yourself, and if you’re interested in the opportunities that are available locally, feel free to contact me to learn more.” Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As” or DBA) (Register your business name with your state government. Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.) Step 7: Register for State and Local Taxes (Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.) Ok, so you’ve accomplished Step 6 followed by 7, check. Perfect. While we’re still on the topic of taxes, though, Matthew Westenburg, CPA with SP Group, P.C. offers the following advice: “Ask your CPA about tax credits that may be available for your business. Both federal and state governments have a variety of programs to

help people starting or growing a business. In 2016 the Research & Development tax credit was expanded to allow small companies to use the credit to pay their payroll taxes. It doesn’t just apply to NASA anymore. Small business owners who make or develop their products have a real opportunity to claim the R&D tax credit.” As for the other steps where an accounting firm such as SP Group, PC would be of assistance, Westenberg notes, “SP Group, PC is filled with accounting professionals who have all Matthew Westenburg started our own businesses. We know the little SP Group, P.C. things that one should look at when starting a business. Spending a little time with your CPA before you start or buy a business can save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run. We can work with you to select the right type of business entity that will minimize your tax liability or provide flexibility for financing purposes. Our professional team can help you prepare financial statements for SBA and bank financing, or we can help evaluate the financial operations of a company you are looking to purchase. Payroll seems to be a sticky topic today, so I recommend enlisting the service of professionals. It does cost real money to have a payroll service pay your employees, file your tax returns, and pay your payroll taxes in a timely manner. But it can also be a life saver. I have seen too many companies fall behind on paying payroll taxes or filing payroll tax returns. The penalties for such a mix-up are often 3 to 4 times the cost of the payroll service…and just think about all the time you’ll save. Early in a business’s life, pay yourself just enough and put the rest of the money back into the company. This will allow you to build a strong company and spend money building your brand and acquiring customers. As many of my fellow professionals have noted, finding the right team to help you through your journey is important. Find the friends and advisors that you trust who can talk you off the ledge one minute and then celebrate your successes the next. Good luck, it’s an awesome ride.” Step 8: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits (Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.) Step 9: Understand Employer Responsibilities (Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.) Once that’s handled, along with the prior steps as they relate to your role as a new employer, you’ll move on to the hiring process, which can be arduous. Nonetheless, getting the right team in place is critical (unless that’s just you for the time being, in which case this will be revisited down the line at some point). “When starting a business you may or may not need staff,” notes Sue Ellen Stutzman of Nesco Resource. “We can assist with the selection and hiring process by handling the recruiting, screening, and initial hiring of the needed staff. If you decide to utilize our other services, say a temp-to-hire, we also assume the immediate burden of insurance as well as worker’s comp and unemployment. It is a win-win-win for all involved. You’ll want to keep in mind that the unemployment rate plays a huge factor when Sue Ellen Stutzman trying to recruit and retain quality talent. It’s Nesco Resource historically low right now, which has made for very competitive conditions. Also, beware of the unseen costs when hiring your own staff. It takes time to put together the ads, screen resumes, schedule the interviews, and so on. Not to mention all of the new hire paperwork, insurance, payroll and payroll taxes, workers comp, and unemployment. All of these things can be very costly to a small business owner. Nesco Resource can help to defray some of those initial costs and provide you with weekly invoicing for those new employees. You are starting a business, which is no easy undertaking. Our team will come alongside and assist you in any way we can. Even though you may not need someone right now, you will if all goes APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


according to plan with the growth and success of your business, so it is always best to be prepared. Don’t wait until the need is so overwhelming and you feel as though you are drowning. Plan ahead have your lifeboat in the water and waiting. This will also allow you to be selective in partnering with those who hold your same core values and want to see you succeed.” Step 10: Find Local Assistance (For all of the previous steps, and for anything you encounter moving forward.) That final step will come as no surprise to Strictly Business readers, because it’s exactly what we emphasize every month as we highlight resources in the area. For those who are looking to start a business of their own, within the outlined steps, here are more of our recommendations for finding local assistance! Marketing: Get The Word Out Early & Often! New businesses have their own distinct requirements and challenges, and as was just mentioned, one shared by all is that people don’t yet know about them! So when you’re getting started, you’ll want to go heavy on promotion, canvassing a wide audience. However, since there will be budget constraints involved, and your attention will be in a million different places at once, making a smart investment in someone to partner with to ensure you’re taking full advantage of every opportunity that’s available to you is key. Then, once you’ve accomplished the task of establishing your business and brand as a recognizable entity in your marketplace, you can move into more targeted promotion from there. Technology: Find Trusted Providers & Build a Team Infrastructure & IT Support How you utilize technology will be a major contributor to the success of your efforts moving forward, so establishing a solid foundation is important. Right out of the gate you’ll be making important decisions about what to implement based on your outlined objectives, and how best to do so. “We enjoy working with entrepreneurs, helping select the right


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technologies to give them an upper hand,” explains Darren Lichty of Panology Tech Solutions. “It is such a pleasure to also provide guidance, through our own experiences, to help them succeed – and to make technical support and cloud services accessible to all. We educate professionals on the options available to them so that they are in the position to make an informed decision. Technology is continuously evolving, offering new and more efficient ways to conduct business. Many of the options are available at Darren Lichty little to no cost. By being open to implementing Panology Tech Solutions the right tools, and leveraging innovative new approaches, you can greatly increase your chances of success. One of Panology Tech Solutions’ core values, and the most important, is client and community obsession. It is our sincere desire to help as many small businesses in our community as possible. A piece of advice I’d offer to all entrepreneurs is to take the many great workshops offered by Lincoln SCORE. I found these extremely helpful when I started. There are a few open coffee sessions held each week. These are great places to meet and talk with other entrepreneurs, learn about the tools they found helpful, and bounce ideas off of them. Listen and learn from the experiences of others in the business community.” Digital Marketing Digital marketing isn’t just the wave of the future happening in select niche marketplaces; it’s everywhere, and it’s here to stay. Establishing a strong online presence is an important part of marketing a new business, and it’s not a matter of if a strategy should be implemented, but when and how. Again, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got the experts hard at work for you, because it’s not something that the average person would be able to accomplish without the help of a professional. “Conducting market analysis is the first step to determining whether digital marketing is a good fit, and that process begins with analysis of the search volume within your geographic target region,” advises Tyler Horsley of Nuclear Networking. “Let’s just say that’s Lincoln, NE. We’ll find out how many people are searching for specific terms that are applicable to your business locally, and then we move on to competitive analysis. This covers how many people are already providing similar offerings, and of those, how many Tyler Horsley are currently engaging in effective digital Nuclear Networking marketing campaigns. We can even use our intelligence tools to tell our clients everything that their competition is doing in the digital space, and what they are paying to have it done. At that point, we can definitively say whether digital marketing is a good fit or not, and if it is, we’ll put together a custom strategy. Our goal with this is to outperform the others and win you the coveted top spot on search engines and any other areas you’d need to dominate online to be successful. You might find this hard to believe, but everything we’ve done up to this point is free for our clients. We need to do the research to understand the key factors that would determine success, and that’s a benefit we extend as a part of the consultative process when we’re establishing a working relationship. We find that many of our clients are curious about digital marketing but don’t feel confident enough to pursue it without fear of the results justifying the investment. When dealing with intangibles, there’s a level of uncertainty that’s to be expected. The questions we are most often asked right out of the gate are as follows: “How much will it cost?” “What will be my return on investment?” “Will it work?” “What are my competitors doing?” As you can see, we’ve taken these into consideration with our process, which satisfies all three. Through the free inbound analysis and marketing audit, we’re able to present viable options backed by what we’ve uncovered during the research process.

Education is a priority for us, so we’re always finding out as much as we can from what’s out there, and from our clients personally. Our goal with this is to deliver hard facts, putting our findings in front of the client so that they learn how it works and feel confident in their decisions moving forward. We also have a vertical called Angel Insurance, and that network allows us to tap into unlimited amounts of funds and resources, which is especially advantageous for SMBs. For new businesses, it’s important not to wait to get the ball rolling. Everything we present to you is free, so there’s no risk and very little time involved to learn, and to fully understand the possibilities.” Payment Processing As far as how you’ll accept payment for your goods or services rendered, this also falls within the realm of technology, as it’s utilized for transactions by the vast majority of merchants. “We help with setup of payment processing for new businesses, which isn’t necessarily as simple and straightforward as it sounds,” advises Adam Roberts of First American Payment Systems. “There are actually many pitfalls that can cost you literally thousands of dollars, so we spend a lot of time educating professionals about the industry. Here’s the short list: Avoid leases on machines. Avoid anyone who tries to sell you on something using scare tactics. Avoid signing up with a company out of state that sends you Adam Roberts something to sign without the full terms and First American conditions pages. Make sure you get rates in Payment Systems writing. And finally, avoid anyone who says they can process all your payments with just a simple flat fee, because the VS/MC/DC/AMEX interchange rates aren’t flat at all. There are literally hundreds of cards on the interchange sheets and every single card has a different rate. So if they promise a flat rate, either the salesperson doesn’t understand the way VS/MC/DC/AMEX works or they aren’t being honest - which is a big problem in our industry. All that being said, go with someone local that you can trust. If you get setup with the wrong processor, you could easily get stuck in a lease for a terminal costing you upwards of $3,000 over 4 years. We don’t do that. We give away hi-speed chip-enabled swiping terminals that also process ApplePay and Googlepay all in a fast, secure platform for $170 or less. As far as rates, we can get most debit cards at less than 1%, which crushes the large providers like Square, Paypal and First Data who can be well over 2.75 - 3% or more. Don’t sign up with some 800 number in New York or California; instead, go with someone LOCAL for your payment processing needs. Personally, when it comes to my money, I like to look someone in the eye, shake their hand, and know I can trust them. That’s why we only service Nebraska-based businesses. Recently we’ve seen a major shift in the payment processing world due to chip cards and Smartcards, also known as EMV payments (Europay, Mastercard, Visa). Many processors will feed you misinformation about the regulations on these cards - see my January Strictly Business article warning people about this. This is yet another pitfall. If I can help businesses avoid the pitfalls, scams and dishonest sales tactics then I feel I’ve done my job. We’ll help with that and make the setup easy, fast, and secure for your business. Even just a phone call to discuss your processing will help you navigate these waters, and we welcome those too. We can steer you through and point you to ways you can process payments easily, quickly, and securely with someone local that you can trust.” Signage The means by which to prominently display and promote your business location through signage has also progressed quite a bit with the times as far as technology is concerned. “The technology in LED scrolling message displays is constantly improving,” notes Tony Persons of Nebraska Sign Company. “The Watchfire displays that we carry today make it easy to create high definition, full color advertisements that can be scheduled months in advance, and APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


can be transferred to the display through a wireless controller in seconds by the push of a button. In a high-traffic area, there is no better way to advertise in my opinion. The cost of a 5-year lease on a message display will pay for itself many times over.” Signage is yet another example of a fundamental start-up item to consider earlier on in the process rather than later. Persons further advises, “Over the last 20 years of being in the sign industry, I’ve noticed that sign displays are often the last thing people Tony Persons Nebraska Sign Company consider when planning a business. They’ve trademarked the name, designed a logo, rented the space and spent a lot of time and money on the interior design, and then realize they need something on the exterior that is going to attract attention. Many seem to think that word of mouth alone will be enough to get people through the door, but in my experience, catching lighting in a bottle like that is rare. If you have a retail space that depends on walk-in traffic, you need to be thinking about your sign from the get-go. It’s the first impression people have of your business, and the exterior should be a reflection of the interior. When there are 20 restaurants or salons in a 4-square-mile radius, you need to find ways to set yourself apart. New business owners also need to be aware of sign ordinances enforced by both the city and their property managers. Lincoln has a well-written sign code and an online geographic information system that allows everyone to look up their zoning and what those zones allow for signs, yet so many feel blindsided when the sign they envisioned is not permitted by the City or their rental agreement. Our company has the experience and knowledge to analyze your options to make sure you are in compliance with those ordinances as well as the property requirements. We absolutely want our clients to succeed, and we believe that starts with good design and planning. At Nebraska Sign Company, we have


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an amazing design team and what I think are the best sign craftsmen in the business. We can generate new ideas to assist with the initial branding your business, or work with the branding you already have in place to create a dimensional sign display that will be highly visible and attractive.” In addition to display, the technology used to produce printed materials has advanced quite a bit with the times. “Digital printing has revolutionized our business,” says Matt Ashmore of Eagle Printing & Sign. “Sharp, consistent, and affordable digital printing allows for personalization in quantities that fit any job. There are a number of different printing processes, so we’ll take into consideration your budget, quantity, and most importantly, your goals, then recommend the process that’s right for your job. In partnership Matt Ashmore with the printing method, design is the other Eagle Printing & Sign critical component. Design is more than beauty; it must be functional and goal-oriented, always keeping in mind who will use and interact with your product and service. Come with your ideas and we’ll fully develop those into layout options that are presented for comparison. Signage, logos, brochures, folders, books, product packaging, menus, promotional items and so much more – we can handle it all. For those who are just getting started, if you have any questions or need guidance with a project, our experienced team is here to help, no matter what stage you’re at in the process.” If you’re starting a business, we applaud you and welcome you to the club! It will be an intense journey of ups and downs, and will require a lot of work, tenacity, and sacrifice. There will be many lessons learned, and some the hard way. However, if it’s your passion and you find this to be your calling, there are few things in life that are as amazing an accomplishment as being the owner of a successful business that you started. Connecting with the people who want you to succeed and will help you do just that will make all the difference.

Unplanned Life Changes “Stuff happens.” This is the G-rated version of a term we’re all familiar with; such is life, indeed. Although there are many things that are impossible to predict with certainty, there are ways to be prepared for just about anything that may unexpectedly arise along the way. Across the spectrum of unplanned life circumstances – health issues, accidents, divorce, death, etc. – there are professionals who are ready and willing to help you with getting everything in place, too. Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best Just as the saying goes, it’s smart to be proactive in addressing the expected and unexpected alike, and more often than not, accomplishing that is simpler than it seems. Unfortunately, there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t run the risk of experiencing a health issue, whether injury or illness, that presents with little-to-no warning. For the normal run-of-the-mill cold or flu bug, most know the steps they would take to address the issue – contact the primary physician’s office, go in for a visit, and follow doctor’s orders. That’s the plan in place, even while the thing that’s being planned for remains completely hypothetical. Since there are a substantial number of possibilities out there that could strike at any time, it can seem overwhelming to devise a plan to address all of the potential ‘what-ifs.’ Yet, just as in the example provided, most of the preparation simply lies in being educated so that when it’s time to react, you know exactly what’s next. As it applies to seniors, this approach is quite fitting. “At Immanuel, we serve seniors, and very often we are helping someone whose spouse or parent has recently experienced an unexpected illness or something that’s caused a rapid decline in health,” says Connie Chisholm of Immanuel. “As a result, many find themselves in a position where they need to find a community that can provide additional care and services immediately. This can be one of the hardest unplanned life changes one can have. We are here to be a Connie Chisholm resource and help navigate senior living, care, Immanuel and services. When faced with an immediate move to a senior living community, individuals are often met with a whole host of emotions and stressors. They may have to downsize a larger home to move into a smaller, more manageable location. The thought of having to part with cherished items that hold significant memories is daunting. Enlisting the help of a moving company specialized in the needs of seniors can be very helpful. Such organizations are expert in sorting, packing and moving precious belongings. Another added stressor can be family dynamics if some members are more supportive than others. While difficult to imagine, we all have to face unexpected life events at some point. But, when you are a senior or an adult child of an aging parent, the impact tends to be more severe in nature. We often hear from our residents and families that they wish they would have made the move sooner. My recommendation is to begin envisioning what your lifestyle looks like in your senior years, prior to retirement and well

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before an immediate health crisis. Being proactive allows the time to look for a community that suits the individual versus fitting the person into the community.” Ka tie Hammer of The Wa terford Communities also points out, “An unplanned life change is just that, something that unexpectedly happens to you or your family. This change can be a difficult one, or it can be something that is good. At The Waterford Communities, our residents and their families deal with unplanned changes more often than not. A few of these changes that we see are a sudden decline in a resident’s health, falling at home or in public, or death of a spouse or caregiver. Katie Hammer Often we find the most difficult thing for The Waterford Communities individuals is deciding what the next step should be, or how they should handle the change that just happened. In truth, knowing what the right thing to do as a result of change is always difficult for anyone, not just the elderly. What we try to do in these situations is present the individual and their family with all of the different options that are open to them. This includes in-home health care, day or respite care, and going over the various long-term care services. If we aren’t able to provide proper and safe care then we will do our best to offer guidance on what is going to be in their best interests moving forward. Making sure you and your loved ones are happy and completely satisfied is our number one goal. At The Waterford Communities, we urge families to make the necessary calls and ask questions when unplanned life changes take place, if not beforehand to be prepared when the time comes. We are always willing to sit down and discuss any questions or concerns you may have about any unplanned changes you are experiencing. We understand this is never an easy process, and we do our best to make it as easy and comfortable as possible for all involved.” “So, what happens next?” This is a question that will come up frequently at different times during a person’s life when faced with something that was unexpected to a certain degree. “In emergency situations, I often find that seniors and their families truly have no idea which way to turn, what to ask, or where to start,” says Theron Ahlman of CarePatrol of Nebraska. “Many are also facing major issues as a result of the incident, such as selling a house, getting insurance policies handled, and putting legal documents in place. We have a list of vetted companies that we recommend to help the families navigate those issues, and have found that this makes the situation much easier. Since we’ve done most of the legwork, Theron Ahlman it allows people to move forward quickly and CarePatrol of Nebraska confidently. At CarePatrol we help a lot of seniors and families who have experienced a fall or some type of medical issue and then aren’t able to go back home. This can be a very challenging time, and even more so if they weren’t prepared to transition to a community and have no idea where to start. Typically people can recall a few names of local communities, perhaps they’ve driven by on their way to work or have heard them in conversation, or are given an exhaustive list based on the area they live. Neither really helps much with isolating the communities that would best fit their wants and needs from the bunch. Our process helps to ensure all items of importance are taken into consideration. We meet with the senior and their family to learn their wants, needs, finances and personality. We then find the best matches based on that care discovery, followed by reviewing the state’s care and violation history to make sure it’s a safe community, and one that’s able to meet their needs. Next, we schedule the tours, personally escorting whoever would like to attend. This allows us to help them ask the right questions and look past the fancy chandeliers and grand pianos to truly understand the care they will receive. Furthermore, we stay in contact with the senior


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and the family after moving in to make sure they are happy and that everything is being done for them as promised. For those being discharged shortly or in emergency situations, there’s a need to act quickly. We also know which communities work in a timely fashion to get a senior moved in and can make it happen that day, whereas some communities can take a week or more to get everything handled, which wouldn’t work in these particular instances. While the reason for the move may have come as a surprise, we want to take any other unexpected issues out of the equation. For instance, once you get your loved one all settled in, what happens if they are in a wheelchair and need help getting back and forth from their room, but the staff at that facility isn’t authorized to do so? Or similarly, what if transitioning to a higher level of care as it’s needed isn’t a possibility within the community you’ve chosen? In either case, another move will be necessary, and you’re right back where you started in the first place. I always suggest to seniors that it’s never too early for us to go out and tour communities. It costs nothing for us to go check them out together. Of course, a change in health condition may alter the decision to go with the community that they previously liked, but it may also help them choose to make the move sooner and in doing so, avoid a fall or injury. Many people wait too long while living in an unsafe situation, or at the point where they aren’t taking medication’s as directed or getting the proper nutrition. To look at a community and get the process going before something happens or to be prepared, call CarePatrol anytime at (402) 785-2262 to speak with a Certified Senior Advisor who will walk with you hand in hand through the challenging process at absolutely no cost to you or your loved one.” As previously mentioned, a move may be required as a result of an unexpected life event. Working with experienced professionals in this specific area, you’ll also benefit from guidance as to logistics and their ability to mobilize quickly to accommodate the constraints you’re under. For seniors, a move from their house to independent or assisted living will require downsizing, which can be difficult. Utilizing a storage facility, like Kingery Construction’s newly-constructed Store.It.All. facility in north Lincoln, might also help minimize stress during an unplanned move, allowing for the more pressing matters to be handled with the assurance that possessions will be safe and sound in the meantime. “It’s common for those entering their senior years and beyond to make the move from a house to an apartment setting or facility where they receive a higher level of care,” says Rod Berens of Store.It.All. “The kids are oftentimes actively involved throughout the process, helping to make the necessary arrangements and get their parents settled in their new home. Many individuals, regardless of age, have no idea what size of unit will be required or for how long they’ll need it when they first make Rod Berens contact with us. Furthermore, there are many Store.It.All. things that can come up unexpectedly before, during, or after a move that can impact storage arrangements. A good starting place is to call and talk to a professional at the storage facility you plan to use. At Store.It.All., we understand that circumstances can be complicated, and apply our expertise to help guide our clients through the decision-making process. Before we offer specific recommendations, we start with questions that help us understand the key details. This, in turn, helps get people thinking about what’s needed and the information they’ll still need to gather, and they learn more about the options that are available at the same time. We also make it a point to be very accommodating of our clients’ needs, offering the option of changing unit size once everything is in place and ready to go as well as holding units at our discretion or arranging for multiple units together.” Berens offers a final recommendation: “For those who are downsizing or moving an elderly person to a smaller home, put thought into what you or your loved one is holding onto and why. Many items can be donated or discarded before everything goes into storage, making it much easier when going through everything later on down the line.” APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


Building Your Support System In the best and the worst of times, no matter what you go through in life, having a strong support system in place is vital. In combination with an established plan that takes into account the unknowns, you’ll be in good shape no matter what may come your way. Along with family and friends at the core of your support system, there are likely many others who will be on your team. As evidenced by the diversity of sources consulted on this topic, there are a host of local professionals across a wide variety of industries that will be there to offer support in some capacity, and be honored to do so. For those who experience loss, grief support groups or counseling can be very helpful. For family members who also act as caregivers, this might include taking advantage of respite care. For those seeking to maintain independence while they manage a health issue, in-home care would be an option to consider. Kris Beckenbach of Guardian Angels explains in detail how home care can be utilized in the event of an unplanned life change: “Guardian Angels is called upon to assist an elder when there is an injury or diagnosis that impacts their ability to live independently. Take a fall or hip fracture that lands you in the hospital, for example. Sooner than expected, you’re told it’s time to go home. But now what? How will you get around to the routine places you need to go? How will you prepare meals Kris Beckenbach and keep up with chores around the house? Guardian Angels Family members and friends may be able to help for a few days but the time needed for the recovery process varies, potentially stretching on for months. A service like Guardian Angels can help fill the gaps by making the meals, providing transportation to follow-up appointments, performing light housekeeping and helping with personal hygiene. Individuals heal in their familiar, comfortable


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surroundings, family members provide loving care when they can, and Guardian Angels takes the pressure off of everyone. For example, here’s an instance where one of our caregivers was able to help a client incorporate an urgent lifestyle change due to an unanticipated health issue: ‘I met with a gentleman recently who was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. He had been cooking for himself since his wife passed away a few years ago. Suddenly he was being told to limit his sodium and fluid intake. The hospital dietitian gave him plenty of counsel and printed resources to help after he got home. But here he sat in his kitchen totally overwhelmed by having to think about reading labels on every item he was used to buying at the grocery store. I was able to offer a listening ear, encouragement to make good choices, and support with follow-through as he eased into his new reality.’ We at Guardian Angels know that when people are faced with a new reality, they can’t wait weeks for help. We will meet with a family, usually within a few hours of their first call, to discuss how home care services can lift their burden. Our team members provide a calm voice to help think through needs and services. Trained caregivers are assigned right away for days, weeks, or ongoing as needed. Caregivers can be scheduled for one hour to help with a meal or shower, or for 24 hours a day. Our services are tailored to what the client needs. In fact, Guardian Angels began in 2003 and are honored to have a few original clients still part of our family. Services for elders are abundant in Lincoln and continuing to grow as the demographics change. Home care of all types, medical and nonmedical, along with all sorts of residential living options are available. Get informed before there’s a need. Ask for a consultation with several home care companies to see which one is a good fit before a need arises. Tour residential living communities and learn the difference between independent, assisted, memory care and skilled care. What resources, if any, might you have available in long-term care insurance? Will your insurance cover non-medical home care like Guardian Angels? Gather information and share it with those who will come along side when life takes an unexpected turn.

Our years of experience and connections in the community make Guardian Angels not just a service provider, but a resource for information. Our aim is to guide people to the best solution for whatever challenges they face.” Your physician and their staff will also be a part of your team as far as supporting your continued health and wellbeing are concerned. Serving in this role for her patients, Dr. Jenna Van Pelt of Women’s Clinic of Lincoln, PC explains, “As OB/GYN’s, we have the special privilege of taking care of women throughout their lives. We get to be there with them when they experience many events in their lives. One of those that will vary for everyone is pregnancy. It might be an unexpected pregnancy, or a planned Dr. Jenna Van Pelt pregnancy that unexpectedly happens to be Women’s Clinic of twins, or an unexpected complication with Lincoln, PC pregnancy – life is full of surprises, that’s for sure. We also help to take care of people who are going through a wide spectrum of health-related problems, from infertility and obstetrical issues to surgery for gynecologic issues, and unfortunately in some cases, a cancer diagnosis. All events affect a woman’s life, and we help guide the patient based on what will best fit her needs, and also provide recommendations based on what she is going through as a result of unexpected circumstances. These types of things can show themselves in a variety of ways, and patients will need different things, so we offer our support and care based on the individual. We have a variety of services available at our office, including counseling, infertility services, obstetrical and gynecological services.” Having The Tough Conversations When establishing a solid plan for what’s to come in life, and in preparing for the difficulties that one might face, it is imperative is to have a conversation with your loved ones to get on the same page. “No one ever plans a life-changing event, but they do happen,” says Tracy Haefele of Legacy Retirement Communities. “Whether it’s a serious illness, a fall or an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, any of these would be life changing. We recommend that you surround yourself with people who can help you navigate through the changes in order to find the best care for your loved one, to keep them as safe, happy, and fulfilled as possible. While it’s not always easy to talk about, Advance Care Planning is incredibly important and should Tracy Haefele be discussed with family members. Legacy Retirement For memory care, in particular, people Communities struggle with the amount of information that they suddenly need to understand to make informed decisions for a loved one. But regardless of the situation, a caregiver support group can be helpful and make your situation seem less overwhelming. Additionally, families may want to reach out to friends within their own community or social group. Odds are they or someone they know has dealt with a similar situation and they may have sound advice to offer. No matter your age, Advance Care Planning is key to being in control of your life and making your own decisions through the end of your life. It may seem odd that a Life Enrichment Director encourages residents to think about end of life, but one of my roles is to help our residents stay independent and make their own decisions for as long as possible. Incorporating Advance Care Planning helps them do so. When residents’ directives are in place they can live life knowing that their wishes will be granted whenever necessary. Advance Care Planning (also commonly referred to as Advance Directive) includes things like: • Do you want to be resuscitated if your heart stops beating or would you prefer to go peacefully? • What type of life-sustaining actions do you want to have done for you if you can no longer speak for yourself? • Who do you want to speak on your behalf when you can no longer do so?

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The medical community in Lincoln wants to follow your wishes, but if you don’t have them written down, you make their job far more difficult. Not to mention that if you make those decisions, your family will not have to make those difficult, emotionally charged decisions either. Then your family’s responsibility is to make sure your wishes are followed. I suggest you use either the Advance Directive form or the Five Wishes form, which are readily available online or can be picked up at any of our locations. We would also be happy to send those forms out in the mail.” Rick Carney of Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home adds, “So many people leave our offices saying ‘I hope that’s what mom would have wanted,’ or ‘I hope dad isn’t mad at us for doing this.’ The indecision and simply not knowing what a loved one’s wishes were is often the most difficult thing to deal with. We all want to do the right thing for our loved ones but if there has been no discussion or direction given, it can leave many unanswered questions. Therefore, communication is critical. It can be difficult, it can be awkward. But Rick Carney please have a discussion with family about Butherus, Maser & the type of service arrangements you would Love Funeral Home prefer and have that information on file at the funeral home of your choice. I would recommend pre-payment as well to avoid the money issues among survivors, but that is secondary. Put your wishes in writing first. One key way we often help families is when they are dealing with Medicaid spend-downs. Nobody wants to think this will be something they have to deal with, but changes in health and situations frequently will mean we assist families with this process. If we can assist a family in setting aside and protecting those assets for funeral and burial expenses, we would be happy to do so. While we don’t deal with every need involving end-of-life, we are well


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connected with many businesses and organizations and would be happy to assist in getting a family in front of the right people to help them with the issues they are facing. Lincoln is a great city with a great network to help people through these difficult transitions.” Likewise, Amy Fish of Lancaster Rehabilitation Center issues a similar callto-action, emphasizing the importance of familiarizing yourself with the various resources that are available here in our community: “We help those who are experiencing unplanned life changes all the time at Lancaster Rehabilitation Center. The most difficult aspect of an unplanned life change is the fact that it is unplanned. As such, my advice is to start the conversation early Amy Fish before an unexpected event occurs. Knowing Lancaster Rehabilitation Center that the unexpected could always happen, it’s important to take the time to plan for what might be needed in the future. Adult children should take the time to engage in conversation regarding the future care needs of their parents. Often, when something unexpected happens, we’ll find that those now making decisions on behalf of their loved ones are unaware of things like insurance policies, care directives, or how to manage their affairs in the interim of their recovery. Research the many options for care in advance. Know and understand what is important regarding their preferences for social, spiritual, and clinical care. This will help alleviate some of the anxiety and stress that occurs when managing the unexpected. There are many resources and checklists available on about every subject you might have a question as it relates to services for seniors. The guiding information I would share with seniors and their adult children is to identify and define their priorities when evaluating skilled care nursing settings. Beyond the checklists that Medicare or others may provide, tour the facilities in advance, and listen to your gut. Evaluate the environment, gather a better understanding of the services provided, and then decide if it fits your personal preference. I always suggest to adult children to know in advance the insurance coverage benefits their parents may be participating in, and how to access those benefits should they become incapacitated. Know and understand the limitations based on the provider’s participation in programs such as Medicaid, VA, and/ or Medicare. That information will help narrow decision making. Furthermore, when something unexpected occurs, rely on the expertise of others to help guide the decision-making process. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions in order to ensure you have all the facts. Some health care providers have limitations on Medicare, Medicaid, VA, or insurance policy participation. You always want to ensure you’re taking full advantage of the benefits or programs you qualify for. And remember to take it one step at a time. Let others help in whatever way they can. Focus on the most critical decisions first, knowing that there is plenty of help available.” She concludes, “The Lincoln community is resource rich! Use these many experts to your advantage. Call upon trusted physicians, outreach programs, and the many health care facilities to help guide your decision making. As part of that network, our team at Lancaster Rehabilitation feels it’s important to serve as a resource to those in need of skilled care services and other outpatient needs. Community members are welcome to call us anytime with questions. We’re glad to help!” Dealing With Loss Loss is a part of life that we’ll all experience at some point. The one that comes to mind first is the passing of a loved one, but there are a number of others that also have a profound impact, such as loss of limb or senses, loss of memory or loss of independence as one ages, loss of hair from chemo, and so on. In any of these instances, though moving forward has its distinct difficulties, you can be sure that support for anything you’ll encounter is out there. “Adjusting to the losses associated with catastrophic injuries/illnesses can be extremely difficult for patients/families,” expresses Tracy Broussard, LCSW, ACM-SW of Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. “Our interdisciplinary team supports our patients/families throughout

this grieving process by validating concerns, utilizing the strengths of the patients/families, anticipating needs and offering creative solutions to any barriers to independence. They use collective clinical expertise to guide our patients/families to attain what may have originally been thought to be impossible. We all work together to promote hope via medical and rehabilitative interventions that help our patients/families recognize that they can improve and experience high-quality lives despite these unplanned life changes. Tracy Broussard Madonna Rehabilitation Our Case Management team, consisting of nurse case managers and social workers, help Hospitals our patients/families navigate the impacts of catastrophic and devastating illness and injuries. Their role includes connecting patients/families to supportive services and resources that allow for the highest level of independence. This also involves working closely with external payor sources to help meet financial, social, and health care needs. Our team advocates for patients/families in times of crisis and vulnerability to ensure as much independence is restored or maintained as possible. As previously mentioned, but important enough to repeat many times over, it is imperative that people are aware of the need for Advance Directives and Advance Care Planning, as any of us could experience a medical crisis that would leave us too ill to make our own healthcare decisions. We need to let our loved ones and medical providers know what care we would want if we were faced with a medical crisis while we are able to clearly state our wishes. Having these conversations is a great start. However, our requests may not be followed if we have not shared them in writing in the form of Advance Directives. Many healthcare organizations offer Advance Directive resources free of charge. Legal Aid of Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services State Unit on Aging, the Nebraska Area Agencies on Aging, and local attorneys are also great resources for Advance Directives. Our team is very knowledgeable in ways to assist during these times of crisis. We are able to provide emotional and psychological support, anticipate needs and offer solutions. We are able to make connections with supportive services and community resources to promote independence. Our team fosters hope and confidence to help patients and families recognize all that they can do.” With the decline in health comes a loss of independence, which can be a challenge to cope with in and of itself. “It is difficult for almost anyone to feel like they are giving up their independence,” says Melissa Smith of Care Consultants for the Aging. “Accepting help is not easy, especially when people find themselves in emergency situations. Actually, many seniors find it helpful to have a caregiver assist them in their homes with little tasks before an unplanned life change occurs. This way if an emergency situation does come up, they are already accustomed to having a caregiver they know in the home, and it can make that change a Melissa Smith little less stressful. Care Consultants for the Aging That being said, people usually turn to Care Consultants when an event occurs in their life that changes their ability to live unassisted. This can be a gradual change in which they begin to need assistance with meals, light housekeeping, and personal cares in order to stay in their homes. It can also be a more sudden change such as a fall or a hospital stay in which they all of sudden find themselves needing more care, possibly up to around-theclock care. Care Consultants refers caregivers who are CNA’s and can assist clients from companionship to personal cares to hospice assistance. We have caregivers available from 1 up to 24 hours a day and on an ongoing, consistent basis or for short-term assistance in an emergency. Regardless of the circumstances, it is always beneficial to decide what

kind of care you may want and to communicate your wishes to your loved ones before a crisis occurs. Get your legal matters in order and determine who will be helping you make medical and financial decisions. It is also important to research home care and facilities to decide how you would like to spend your time if you come to a point where you need assistance with your daily routine. Care Consultants produces the ElderCare Resource Handbook, a complete listing of services for seniors in the Omaha/Council Bluffs and Lincoln areas. Divided into five tabbed sections including “Government, Financial & Legal”, “Medical Support”, “Home Health Care & Support Services”, “Living Options” and “Senior Services,” the Handbook is a go-to resource for seniors and professionals in the community. The ElderCare Resource Handbook can be purchased for $8 or $12 with shipping. Call (402) 398-1848 in Omaha or (402) 488-3771 in Lincoln to get your copy or go online at to view the Handbook for free.” Indeed, the loss of something that has previously defined one’s identity can be a crushing blow, but with the power of a positive outlook and a little help from those with whom you choose to surround yourself, one that you can bounce back from in time. “For those who have lost their hair, it can be difficult to look in the mirror and see a reflection of a person they don’t recognize,” says Brooke Ahlman, stylist and owner of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement. “It’s a constant reminder of something difficult they are facing. The best solution is to restore that image of themselves prior to whatever has happened in their lives, and we can help do just that. At Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement we can help anyone who has experienced an Brooke Ahlman unplanned life change that has affected the Brookelyn’s Hair growth or wellbeing of their hair. We offer & Replacement

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non-surgical hair replacement and have worked with many clients who needed to get their confidence back and restore some semblance of normalcy in their lives. It is amazing how hair loss can affect a person even as a part of the normal aging process, let alone if it’s lost during the chemotherapy process or it’s necessary for the head to be shaved for surgery. Our systems are made with real hair, so nobody will know you are being challenged in life. They let you enjoy life just like you did when you had a full head of hair. You can shower, go on roller coasters, and live life as you want without feeling depressed or like everyone is looking at you. Starting the process is as simple as coming in for a free consultation, which provides the opportunity to discuss what you are experiencing and how everything will work moving forward. After going over the options, if a hair system is the best for you, the next step is finding the closest match to your current hair. Custom systems take a little longer to get in than an off-the-shelf system, but this way we can get as close to the look you desire as possible. At Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement, we will be honest with you, don’t ever pressure you, and if we don’t offer the right or best solution for you and your needs, we will help guide you in the right direction as we understand that not everyone is the right fit for what we offer. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me directly at (402) 649-0212.” All things considered, “There are many events in life that can impact us in ways we were not expecting,” explains Janet Johnson of Choices Treatment Center Inc. “Unplanned life events can be particularly difficult to navigate -- a fire that destroys a home, a business partner moving, divorce, illness, addiction, or the death of a loved Janet Johnson one. Sometimes we ask ourselves, ‘How can I Choices Treatment address my emotional stability while still trying


Center Inc.

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to juggle my day to day responsibilities?’ It’s usually not until we take the time to pause that we feel the impact of our situation. Often individuals who present for counseling feel they have exhausted all of their problem-solving skills or have no further resources to explore. By building on one’s strengths, tweaking or adding new tools or options, and adjusting perspective, individuals can often feel successful when they readdress their personal obstacles. Whenever an individual gains a healthy view of their situation, they often find the support they need to make the next step. Any event can create a need to address emotional wellbeing and Choices, Inc. can be there to help. Whether in a crisis, a family needing to explore options for a loved one, planning for the future, or a past hurt that has never been resolved, Choices has a licensed mental health counselor to meet your need.” She further emphasizes, “Any time a challenging life event occurs, an overwhelming feeling we share is ‘alone.’ We feel alone in the incident that is happening, alone in our feelings of hurt, scared or ashamed. Alone in our desire to ask for help and alone in our pressure to make the right decision. We acknowledge how busy others are and feel as if we are burdens to our friends and family. We fear weakness when others need us to be strong and we fear this current event will change our lives forever. For those living in fear, Choices would like you to know you are not alone. Through individual and/or family counseling, we can help you find solutions, support, and renewal in feeling good again.” The Earlier, The Better Just as with anything that requires planning, although seemingly contrary to their very nature, the unexpected things that may happen in life can, and should, also be taken into account well in advance. Take life insurance and retirement plans for starters. “At Appreciation Financial, our focus lies in the areas of pension education, safe retirement strategies, and living benefit life insurance,” says Andy Storz, a local agent with Appreciation Financial. “All that we offer serves to ensure the financial security of our clients and their families, which can be compromised as a result of life’s major unplanned life events – death, disability, chronic illness, critical disease, or any reason someone might need to step away from their career earlier than expected. Andy Storz Through a product called Indexed Universal Appreciation Financial Life, in addition to a traditional death benefit, there are living benefits that cover any of these occurrences. It also offers a cash benefit that can be used for emergencies or retirement. The future is uncertain for us all. There are ways to safeguard your future that you may not have considered, so it’s important to be informed in order to take advantage of what’s out there. Also, there’s no minimum age a person needs to be to have coverage, and to benefit from it. For example, my 3-month-old son has a policy. It gives my wife and I peace of mind and support in the event something terrible should happen, yes, but it’s also an investment in his future that provides a respectable return. If we don’t have to use any of the benefits, the entire cost of the policy and then some is available when he turns 18. He can use it then, for college perhaps, or if he chose to continue it, those additional payments would also gain interest for the life of the policy. He’s covered in the event of an emergency and earning future income on that investment all the while. The most heartbreaking appointments are those when something has already happened and the options are more limited. It doesn’t take much to have some sort of safety net in place. A lot of people don’t realize that even if they have group policies at work that cover death and disability, that those may not necessarily help with everything they might come across, or help as much as they might think. And, sadly, the benefits may not be there after they leave their job. Getting out ahead of what may happen is important, and the younger

you are, the easier it is to get protection at the lowest rate possible. My advice is to take the time to review what you already have established to ensure you’re maximizing your resources, and to find out what’s out there, and if anything is projected to change that would affect your future.” Much like retirement planning and investments, funeral planning can also be conducted regardless of whether a person knows the time is near when it will be needed. “It almost goes without saying that death is one of the biggest unplanned life changes we as humans face,” says Jodi Freeman of Roper & Sons Funeral Care. “Of course, we all know that death is certain at some point – but we are usually not very well prepared for that eventuality. While many people think of a funeral home being available to assist only at the time of death, Jodi Freeman in reality, planning ahead saves everyone a Roper & Sons Funeral Care lot of time, energy, and resources. Oftentimes, families are confronted with the question of how their loved one wanted to be remembered, particularly when death is unexpected. One thing that can help address some of the loss and confusion is to plan ahead. Most people in their 40s and 50s are beginning to think about retirement – and many in their 30s are even starting to plan ahead. One big piece of those plans should be to have your funeral arrangements in place, and a plan for pre-paying the expenses. At Roper & Sons, our Family Service Counselors are well trained to help you begin to put those plans in place, and to arrange your payment options. Death is so often a shock to our system, even when it is anticipated, as it can be with age or illness. Everyone reacts differently when faced with the death of a loved one. Some people are all business, figuratively putting their heads down and planning the details of a funeral seemingly without emotion, only to break down later. Others are almost so emotional that planning feels impossible. Our funeral directors and other staff are trained to assist everyone, regardless of their emotional state. We are called upon to be counselors, ministers, event planners, and a compassionate friend in time of need. In any case, one of the best ways to address the “unplanned change” of the eventuality of death is to plan for it. That may seem like a bit of an oxymoron, but just as you plan for your education, your wedding, your family’s financial security, and retirement, you should also plan for your end of life living, and for your eventual death. Have your end of life health care wishes in place – in writing and reviewed by your attorney. Name a Power of Attorney for healthcare and for finances, have a will and estate plan in place, and plan for (and preferably fund) your funeral. All of these things save your loved one’s time, money, and emotional strain during the first few days following your death. Also important for anyone who has experienced a profound loss, we offer a grief program to help loved ones learn their ‘new normal’ in life. Our program meets on Sunday afternoons and includes two different group sessions with grief counselors, and an art therapy program once a month. We also have plans in place to help with some life skills such as cooking for one, laundry, and even financial tasks like balancing a checkbook if necessary. You can learn more about our grief program on our website, including upcoming sessions, at, under Upcoming Workshops. If you are interested in learning more about planning for your final wishes, contact a Family Service Counselor at the funeral home.” Similarly, you might also think of hospice as something that happens near a person’s death, and you’d technically be right, but more often than not, the end-of-life journey isn’t an abrupt one. “Denial is the biggest obstacle we face from individuals and their families when it comes to terminal illness and end of life,” says Tasha Schueth, RN of Hospice Community Care of Nebraska. “Most people hear the word hospice and immediately think, ‘I’m dying?’ or ‘I’m going to die tomorrow.’ Unfortunately, a large percentage of people delay going on hospice until they have reached that transitional phase at the end of life, so by the time they start on hospice, they live on average less than two weeks. By starting hospice services sooner, our team quickly responds APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



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and wraps our services around our patients. Hospice Community Care of Nebraska serves individuals in the Lincoln and the surrounding communities as they face end of life themselves, or of a loved one. We embark on the journey together. Our goal is to help those we serve to be comfortable, retain their dignity, and experience a good death, and we go wherever a person calls home. Each patient is assigned their own case manager nurse who will visit two times a week, an aide three times a week, and Tasha Schueth our chaplain and social worker monthly. The Hospice Community team then gradually increases the number of Care of Nebraska visits as the patient transitions closer to death. In addition, volunteers, vigil attendants, pet therapy, dietary aid, our nurse practitioner and Medical Director round out the team of caring individuals. Hospice is truly a benefit for our patients and their families; it’s a resource that provides the best quality of life possible for those facing the end of their life.” She also notes, “As far as other misconceptions, there are a few others that are common. Hospice is for those who have a life-limiting illness or disease with a prognosis of six months or less to live and is not just for those with cancer. In fact, the number one hospice diagnosis is dementia. Hospice is not just for the patient; we are there for the family as well. We are there before and after the loss of a loved one and remain so for 13 months. Finally, it’s affordable, as Medicare/Medicaid pays 100%, as does VA benefits and a lot of private pay insurance policies.” In many of the scenarios mentioned, but also as it applies to seniors in a number of other ways, by planning ahead you’ll be ready to act at the point when ‘What if?’ turns into ‘What now?’, a valuable advantage indeed. Once a challenging unplanned situation presents itself, anything that prolongs action could be making matters worse. “I have found that there is a ‘window’ that too many people miss because they tried to stay in their homes too long,” underscores Beth Friesen of Oasis Senior Advisors. “It is better to plan ahead and make the needed changes before the critical stage occurs. Better decisions are generally made under less stressful situations, and waiting until an injury or serious illness occurs can make it that much more difficult. The same applies to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Often people think their loved one has to ‘get worse’ before Beth Friesen moving to memory care. However, if done Oasis Senior Advisors sooner, they are able to make the adjustment much easier and are used to the environment before progressing into the later stages of the disease, thus lessening the stress on both the patient and the caregiver. While it sounds counterintuitive, I have seen his scenario played out many times. I strive to empower the senior in order to give them as much control over the situation as possible in order for them to feel that they were able to participate in the selection of the next best place to call home. I sit down with the senior (or their family) and learn as much as I can about them; everything from their medical history to their likes, dislikes, and interests. If possible, we tour the facilities together, and I present them with clear information in order to help them make the best decision based on their circumstances. My services are FREE to seniors, their families, and loved ones. Don’t wait until your options become more limited. Call me at (402) 429-8891 to schedule your initial consultation or learn more via my website at” Life is full of unknowns, but our community is full of professionals who can help take the guesswork out of how you move forward in the face of uncertainty. In fact, get connected to the ones you might need in the future right now. It doesn’t hurt a thing to be prepared; on the contrary, it could make all the difference in how you react and the outcome of your situation.

Celebrating Graduation

Graduation, a major life milestone and crowning achievement, is a momentous occasion that signals the end of one’s journey in pursuit of a degree that will greatly impact the direction of that individual’s life moving forward. Along with the well-deserved festivities, it’s also a time for preparation to begin a new chapter, whether moving on to pursue a higher level of education or entering the workforce and embarking on your chosen career path. Party Prep (The Main Event!) The time has come to celebrate the accomplishments of high school and college graduates, with all of the ceremonies and parties to attend likely to dominate the weekend schedules for many of us very soon. For those on the hosting end, if you haven’t already begun preparations, you’d better get to it! Keeping in mind that many of the vendors for graduation parties cross over into weddings, with that season beginning full-force at the same time, it can present quite the challenge to get on the books with those you prefer. If you’re seeking inspiration, look no further – here are a few suggestions that can still be nailed down for the grad’s big day. The Place: While hosting a party at someone’s home remains popular, there are also many who will opt to host their guests at another venue depending on the logistics and how they prefer to celebrate with everyone. “One of the major benefits of having your party at venue besides your home is the staff will do a lot of the work for you, like the cooking, cleaning, setting up and providing seating,” advises Michele Ehresman of Greenfield’s Café. “When planning a party there are many details to keep in mind, including when and where it should take place, the theme, what food to serve, and who to invite. If you decide to book a local venue, make sure you get quotes that include room rental, food costs, set-up, etc. and book early to avoid not getting the place you want. At Greenfield’s, we offer a lot of options for party fare, which allows us to work within your budget. Depending on your invitation list, Greenfield’s offers a party room or weather permitting, our beautiful patio. For those who want to celebrate in their homes, Greenfield’s will deliver. When deciding on what food you’ll be serving, convenience is important. Food should be something fresh and fast they can eat sitting down, walking around, or something quick to grab as they move to the next graduate’s party. One idea to consider is hosting a brunch. Most graduation parties take place in the evenings, so why not change it up to make sure more of your invited guests are free to attend? Greenfield’s offers some of the best brunch fare in town. The graduation party is the time in a person’s life to pause and commemorate the educational milestone he/she has achieved with a celebration. It also may be the last time for a long while that the graduates gather together with all of their friends and family in one place. There are plenty of ways to celebrate this achievement; just make sure you do it in a way that is right for you.” For college graduation events, where the majority of attendees are of age to celebrate with adult beverages, venues with bar settings remain atop the list of popular places to host a graduation party. Similarly, but with the added bonus of the beautiful scenery, James Arthur Vineyards is a very nice choice. “Guests are able to enjoy the natural beauty of the estate along with our award-winning signature wines, and our facilities on-site offer a warm and relaxed atmosphere ideal for gatherings of all sizes,” says James Ballard of James James Ballard Arthur Vineyards. “For the party fare, you James Arthur Vineyards could opt for a spread of hors d’oeuvres or a sit-down meal, or alternatively, we can set APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



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up tasting stations. This approach allows guests to travel from station to station where a wine has been paired with a specific appetizer. We also offer personalized wine bottle labels with the graduate’s photo or a custom design, which are a great special touch for graduation parties as well as the perfect keepsake item.” The Food: Speaking of party fare, it’s an entertaining staple, no doubt. You can put together a great spread yourself, or alternatively, let the professionals handle it for you so that you too can join in on the celebration without having to worry about a thing! Joe Armstrong of Cowboy Chicken offers the following advice: “When it comes to planning, preparing, and executing the ultimate graduation party, the majority of that effort tends to fall solely on Mom (no offense, dads). This can be a very overwhelming time for parents, and especially the mother of the graduate. Not only is there stress from seeing our children reach this first major accomplishment going into their adult lives, but there is a lot of work that goes into making sure the event itself goes off without a hitch. Joe Armstrong Cowboy Chicken to the rescue. Let us do all Cowboy Chicken the heavy lifting for you. We can put together a great menu for your graduate and their partygoers that will rival any other party in town. Pulled pork has been a staple at many graduation parties in the past. Let us put a different spin on the food selection with our all-natural wood fire chicken, signature sour-cream-tomatillo enchiladas, and made-from-scratch sides. We will supply all the necessary items for your meal, deliver it to your home or specific venue, and set it up for you. No hassle, that’s a promise. If there is something specific you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to ask. With 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry now, I’m happy to help guide you through putting together the menu, and we can create something that’s customized specifically for your event. Just let us know how many people you have in mind, give us at least a week’s notice, and we can take this burden off your plate. Feel free to call me at (402) 420-0153 with any questions. Make this graduation time, a time to celebrate!” If you’re thinking more along the lines of food that you’d find at a sports bar, or alternatively, if your graduate’s an avid hunter, Yowie’s Lodge would be the perfect fit. That being said, any of the fare that Yowie’s Lodge is able to provide for catering events is delicious, and there’s something for everyone, so it’s sure to be a big hit regardless. If you’re thinking about the options and don’t really have an idea of what you want yet, give them a try! Finally, the ever-popular finger-food party staple that never gets old – gourmet sandwiches. They’re easy, SO fresh and tasty, and mess-free, meeting all of the necessary requirements for events where everyone is mingling. You really can’t go wrong with a party tray from Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. Just provide a variety of options for guests to grab and go as they please, it’s as simple as that! The Cake: Just like birthdays or weddings, there must be cake at a graduation party! That being said, just as we noted with the drinks, the trend with party desserts is to get creative. That also holds true with the variations of the graduation cake that have emerged as popular options. Nothing Bundt Cakes has options for those who are traditional or who want to get a little creative. Sharon Hansen of Nothing Bundt Cakes shares, “Our most popular items used to celebrate graduations would be our 8” or 10” decorated cakes and our Bundtinis. Our larger cakes can be decorated with a custom graduation design that shows off school colors and our Bundtinis can be decorated especially for the occasion as well. The Bundtinis do work quite well; they are generally very easy to display as well as serve. We rent small Bundtini stands that will hold up to 3 dozen Bundtinis each, and are happy to provide Sharon Hansen delivery and set-up of your order if needed. Nothing Bundt Cakes

Our featured flavor for April and May will be Strawberries & Cream, a great spring flavor made with whole strawberry fruit filling and creamy white chocolate, in addition to our standard nine flavors.” She also advises, “While planning for a graduation celebration, timing is everything! We’re happy to accommodate small and large orders, and encourage you to place them as soon as possible, although we’ve been known to work some last-minute magic too. It is especially helpful in planning if you contact us in advance with any questions you have regarding flavor options, decorations, and pricing.” Or, since temperatures are expected to be unseasonably warm this spring, if you want something fun but also refreshing, how about treating your guests to Italian ice or even custard? “Rita’s Italian Ice is a hit at parties and special events - the party doesn’t start until “Ice” walks in!” says Mike Malone of Rita’s Italian Ice. “We also recently introduced ‘hand-crafted custard’ in a variety of delicious flavors that would be perfect to go with any graduation cake. Ice, Custard, Happiness! It’s a simple, straightforward promise. And one Mike Malone we work hard to make good on. Every day. In Rita’s Italian Ice every location. With every guest. Rita’s makes people happy and our signature Italian Ice or Custard is the perfect complement to any graduation celebration. There’s also our Frozen Custard Cakes and Custard Cookie Sandwiches if you are looking for something beyond traditional graduation treats.” As far as logistics, Malone advises, “We offer full-service, drop-off, and pick-up catering options to meet your graduation party needs. Place your full-service catering order as soon as possible as time slots are limited. For drop-off or pick-up catering, call at least two days in advance.” The Gift: This final item actually doesn’t have to do with planning on the part of the graduate, but rather, party prep on the part of the attendees. Of the many different options that would be fitting depending on the graduate, jewelry is an excellent option (isn’t it always?) that fits the bill because you’ll always remember this moment in time when you wear it. It will become a treasured part of that person’s memories surrounding the momentous occasion that’s graduation. If you’re in search of something really special, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at Sartor Hamann Jewelers. A nice watch or an elegant necklace will not only have special meaning, but are also items that make excellent additions to a professional wardrobe. They have an incredible inventory of items available in-store, and if you need a little help, you can count on the guidance of a seasoned expert. Alternatively, there are special finds throughout Lincoln at our local boutiques that would fall into the category of treasured graduation gifts. “A Brighton charm bracelet can be filled with memories and future plans, starting with a charm to commemorate this special moment,” says Cherie Travis of Rachel’s Boutique. “Or, put a gift card in a Brighton card holder, an essential for business professionals. Another one that I think would be perfect for this occasion is a necklace from our Blo Vintage line. They are really pretty vintage-style Cherie Travis pieces, but with a built-in safety feature, Rachel’s Boutique because they’re actually functioning whistles! You can also provide words of encouragement and inspiration by way of bracelets from Good Works, and it’s a gift that gives back, as 25% of the net profits are donated to worthy causes.” Pre-Grad Prep (Everything Else!) Aside from all of the particulars of the celebration, and the planning that goes into it, there are plenty of other preparations as far as the culmination of high school or college on the whole. Well before the excitement of a graduation party sets in, there are the much-anticipated senior portraits. A hallmark of one’s senior year, it holds special meaning presently and long into the future. Then, fast APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


forward to graduation time, when these will be displayed prominently at events honoring commencement. “Right now, we’re offering Second Chance Senior sessions for those who will graduate this May,” says Gina Zabloudil of Zabloudil Photography. “We’ve found that providing one more opportunity to create portraits of the graduate is something to take advantage of in the spring. You may want to add more variation to your existing portfolio with a different combination of outfit and backdrop, or you may not have Gina Zabloudil been absolutely in love with the first round of Zabloudil Photography portraits, created by another photographer. Even over the course of the school year, seniors can change, so having a ‘before-and–after’ collection is a fun way to memorialize this transformation. This is also a fantastic opportunity


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to have a studio portrait created for designing custom graduation invitations. We’ll be scheduling fun and easy, 30-minute sessions for just $39 through the month of April. The client places their order immediately following the session, allowing us to deliver the finished portrait products in time to display at the graduation party!” For high school juniors entering their senior year, the summer months are prime time to get senior photos taken. Zabloudil explains, “Once senior year starts, life tends to get very busy. Also, you’ll find the best specials are offered during the summer. There will be more freedom with scheduling, and you’ll be well ahead of the game. Prior to the scheduled Senior Portrait session, we’ll meet for a consultation. This is an opportunity to brainstorm, view samples to get inspiration, decide on a location(s), and go over all of the important details with respect to attire, hair, and makeup, etc. We have processes in place to help guide clients, because these decisions can be tough! Our goal is to ensure our clients are prepared, and to make a positive, memorable experience, and not be overwhelmed. It’s never really too early to book your Senior Portrait Session. We’re offering an Early Bird Special for Class of 2018, who schedule through the end of May. You’ll get a double session for the price of the single session! We also offer a Senior Family Session, because having a child graduate high school is an excellent time to update your family portrait, especially if it’s your first or last child to graduate.” Getting the right tools in place to support what’s to come in the next chapter is also something that requires forethought. Technology plays a major part in both our careers and personal lives today, and it pays to stay ahead of the curve. “As the last of my four children graduates from college in May, it’s a very exciting and proud time for my wife and I, as I’m sure it is for so many others here in our community,” says Kevin Knudson of QTEQ Computers. “The youth of today who are graduating have the power of technology Kevin Knudson behind them more than ever before. We are QTEQ Computers reaching a point where the smartphone can replace most of the other devices that were necessary in the past, even just a few years ago. Technology continues to change very quickly, and graduates who stay ahead of the curve have a distinct advantage. This includes kids who are entering high school, college, and the workforce. The more knowledgeable you are about technology, and the higher your proficiency with it, the better off you’ll be. Going back to phones, it’s a new world out there and it’s moving faster than ever. One of the first decisions you need to make remains, for the most part, Apple or Android. However, with Google now selling phones the race is on. That being said, the cloud has changed everything, which means your device isn’t quite so critical, particularly in terms of storage. Most newer computers have excellent speed and graphics capabilities, and QTEQ Computers also has affordable options available to update older computers including Solid State Drives. Other factors to consider are size of screen and keyboards, internet processor and RAM. It’s all about the internet today, and the ability to access and use it from your phone is critical. As far as tablets and laptops, there are so many great options today at all different price points. For example, I just demoed a 14-inch Google Chromebook for $250 that was equal to a $1,200 laptop in performance a year earlier. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a really nice option as well. You will need to spend a little time online researching the latest and greatest, because it’s changing monthly. Decide on your price point, then have fun learning about some of the features. Stop by QTEQ’s showroom and talk with our TEQnicians too; they are personally testing lots of devices and can offer insight that will help guide your decision.”

Congratulations Class of 2017 graduates! We honor you for your great accomplishments and wish you much success and prosperity in the years to come. It’s almost time to party, which we’re sure you’re all aware, so don’t waste any time getting down to business and planning the event of the season!

Spring Landscaping The temperatures are climbing, the grass is returning to green, the trees are budding, the flowers are blooming – must be spring! What does that mean for anyone responsible for the landscaping of their home or business? Well, that depends – there are many rules of thumb, and about just as many things that will vary based on the property and its owner’s preferences. We’ve consulted the experts to brush you up on all of the basics so that you don’t miss any of the important steps! “A thorough spring cleaning of the property will be the first step for anyone, regardless of their goals for their lawn and landscape this year,” says Ken Svoboda of Ray’s Lawn & Landscape. “Clear your lawn of all leaves and debris by raking heavy and matted grass areas. A light spring rake is best for this chore. It may cause a few sore muscles but it will be well worth it in the long run, and your lawn will love it. Once you’ve cleaned the lawn, it’s time for the first mowing of the season. Set your lawn mower to approximately 2”, which Ken Svoboda is generally the second lowest setting on the Ray’s Lawn & Landscape wheels. It’s always best to bag the first couple mowings of the season to pick up any leftover debris. Now do the same in your landscaped areas, clearing all leaves and winter debris. Be careful of any perennials and bulbs that are hiding below the leaves; this being a somewhat early spring, many plants are already making their appearance. Aerification of your lawn is also highly recommended in the spring, which allows fertilizers and moisture to reach the lawn’s root

system. Finally, apply a spring fertilizer with a pre-emergent herbicide to best control crabgrass. Then, water your lawn, as this has been an unusually dry winter and there’s little moisture in the soil to feed your lawn and plants. As they are waking up from winter dormancy, they’ll need moisture to begin growing, turning green, activating fertilizer, and absorbing other natural nutrients and foods. Now, enjoy - after all your hard work, don’t forget to take some time for yourself and your family to reap the rewards of the great outdoors.” As far as the possibilities for landscaping projects, Svoboda also notes, “The most recent trend has been the ever-increasing use of indoor appliances adapted for outdoor use - pizza ovens, grills, extra burners, granite countertops, refrigerators, wine chillers and flat panel TVs. Also, with the increased availability of LED lighting choices the sky, and of course budget, are the limits when highlighting your landscape. With over 50 years of design and installation experience, Ray’s Lawn & Landscape is one of Lincoln’s finest and most innovative landscape design specialists.” He concludes, “Be sure to plan and schedule work early if you’re needing the help of professionals. If not, take advantage of the short window of time with mild temperatures and do your spring cleaning!” While we’re on the topic of the latest and greatest in outdoor living and entertaining spaces, you’ll want fashion as well as function. Overall, it should be a comfortable space where you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. “At Nebraska Outdoor Living Center, our specialty is all of the things that help transform your space into a comfortable outdoor living oasis,” says Bill Budler of Nebraska Outdoor Living Center. This might include proper shading or a pergola, extremely comfortable furniture, or a warm Bill Budler and charming fire pit, all of which will add that Nebraska Outdoor special touch to your backyard. No matter the Living Center product, quality always matters. When spring

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slips by and summer is just around the corner, it’s easy to get anxious and run down to one of those big discount box stores to buy furniture or other outdoor living products. As a wise old wine vendor once told me, ‘Cheap wine is seldom good, and good wine is never cheap.’ For example, our outdoor gas firepits are made in the USA. They feature stainless steel burners with a lifetime warranty, electronic ignition, and are designed to hide a propane tank inside the base or can be plumbed into the natural gas supply. Just with this one item, there are dozens of designs and a wide range of options that allow you to customize it. Since it’s likely to be a central part of your outdoor living area, it should be suited to your exact taste. And unlike messy wood burners, when you’re done, simply turn it off. With anything that’s an important component of your outdoor living space, you will want it to be a quality product.” Going back to lawn care essentials, and specifically aeration, Lee Schumacher of TDK Lawn Care adds, “Aerating your lawn is a great way to help loosen compacted soils, allowing for adequate penetration of water, sun, nutrients, fertilizer – all of the things your lawn will need to grow and thrive. Particularly with the herd of contractors many property owners had all over their lawn for siding and roof repair due to the hail storm last year, lawn aeration will do wonders to help it come back to life as healthy as it was before the Lee Schumacher onset of winter. Along the same lines, if you TDK Lawn Care find there are bare spots or your lawn looks thinner than usual, after aerating it’s a good idea to overseed your lawn with drought- and fungus-resistant seed. You will need about 5-8lbs.per 1000 sq. ft., which can be purchased for around $3.00 per lb. If you are doing this, you’ll need to use starter fertilizer and wait on crabgrass preventer until the new grass has emerged and been mowed at least two times. With that in mind, at TDK we usually like to start our fertilizer schedule on or around April 1st with a crabgrass preventer included. For the most part, timing of application is where the majority of homeowners meet most of their challenges. By utilizing a professional for these treatments, since all lawn care specialists applying fertilizer must be state certified, you’ll benefit from the knowledge of what works best in our climate and a program specifically tailored to meet your lawn’s needs. Count on our team at TDK Lawn Care to help you create the best lawn possible.” This will go hand in hand with establishing a watering schedule, but first thing’s first – required seasonal maintenance of your sprinkler system if applicable. “There is no better time than springtime to make sure your automatic sprinkler system is ready for another season of efficient lawn and garden watering,” says Jeremy Hunt of Hunt Irrigation. “Just a few simple steps will go a long way towards saving water, money, and preventing a mid-summer landscape catastrophe at home. Get the warm watering Jeremy Hunt season off to a great start with the following Hunt Irrigation tips: *Inspect your backflow device for any possible damage, prior to pressurizing the system. *Slowly begin to fill the system with water and make sure to never open the water too quickly as this may damage the mainline or valves. *Turn each individual zone on and inspect for damage and normal wear and tear. *Inspect each fixed spray nozzle for obstructions and clear with a small screwdriver or if obstruction is severe enough, replace the nozzle. *Inspect each rotary head to make sure that they are not only oscillating, but that they are not over rotating or watering sidewalks and driveways. *If you have a drip system, be sure to clean the filter and inspect the landscape beds for leaks. *Lastly, check the programming in the controller and make sure that you are watering at the proper times of the day and that the run times for each zone do not exceed the absorption rate of the soil. Of course, the staff at Hunt Irrigation is always here to lend you a hand; we offer trained irrigation techs that can perform this service for you. Feel free to call the office at (402) 438-8151 to get a spot on the books yet this month.” APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


With the turbulent weather and strange storm patterns we’ve been experiencing, there have been sightings of tree casualties all across town. While removal of the fallen tree happens right away, the stump usually remains indefinitely, or at least until the ground thaws. Now that this has happened, it’s advised to get the stump removed professionally (aka “stump grinding”) so you can go about the business of lawn care and landscaping. Why not just leave it, you might ask yourself? “The tree stump needs to be ground down using special machinery that homeowners don’t have sitting around in their garage or shed, so it tends to get put off,” explains Bill Frazee of Frazee’s Stump Grinding. “Aside from aesthetics, which is important if you’re considering selling your home or if it’s in a prominent place, it can be a hazard if you have children running around in the yard and it could end up being a haven for harmful insect infestation, which could eventually spread to your home depending on its proximity. It’s best to just get it taken care of, and we’re happy to help.” Once that’s out of the way, if you’ll be planting a new one in its place, make sure to consult a professional to get the green light before doing anything you might regret. Speaking of planting, it’s definitely that time of year too! “In spring you will find the best selection of trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers to add to your existing flower beds or to create new beds,” says Jessica Jasnoch of Earl May Seed & Nursery. “With plant deliveries almost daily here at Earl May, there are always fresh plants to choose from. Now is a good Jessica Jasnoch time to freshen up mulch areas and to apply Earl May a preemergence to keep weed seeds from growing. Don’t forget to fertilize all plants to help give them a boost this spring while you’re at it. It’s also a good time to apply Annual Tree and Shrub Care to your trees and shrubs. This is a 12-month control insecticide that keeps bores and other insects from harming your trees and shrubs. Particularly with respect to shrubs, we’re commonly asked about when the right time is to cut them back. A good rule of thumb to follow is if it blooms in the spring, cut it back as soon as it is done blooming. If blooms in the fall, cut it back in the spring.” She also notes, “Container gardening seems to be a growing trend, whether it is adding colorful pottery full of annual flowers to the landscape or growing vegetables in containers for ease of maintenance. Ask an Earl May associate for advice on the right plant for the right container.” “With respect to current or future maintenance, one needs to know the proper time and technique to prune or trim planted items so they’ll be able to continue performing their main functions,” agrees Dave Hastreiter of Pro-Scapes Landscape Development & Maintenance. “Here are a few examples spanning the wide variety of instances when this is necessary. One should trim a lilac after it blooms to avoid cutting off the flowing buds, which results in reduction or elimination of fragrant blossoms to enjoy. Dave Hastreiter Trimming evergreens should occur during Pro-Scapes the growing season, which is generally May through August, to avoid fall growth spurts and desiccation burn. Some perennial plants will rebloom with the removal of old flowers (deadheading), but in most cases (99%), the practice of shearing plants is a not recommended. Above all, when planning for your plantings, consider the plant’s mature size and the intent or function, which results in the level of maintenance needed.” Even with a well-established landscape and areas of interest already in place, any property owner will find that there’s work to do once spring rolls around. There’s always room for improvement, and each new year provides a fresh, new start with plenty of possibilities to explore. With the help of the professionals, your property will be the envy of the neighborhood, but most importantly, the place you’re proud to call your own where you can simply enjoy life outdoors.


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402-435-5555 • APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Expand Omaha! Your Business Into

The Omaha metro area is 4x the size of Lincoln.

Shouldn’t you be there too?




IN THIS ISSUE • Father’s Day • Growing You r Bu • Company Ret siness rea • Senior Health ts • Commercial Remodeling CLIENT SPOTLIGH TS • Dingman’s Co llision Cente



Strictly Business Magazine Omaha Edition




DAN RHEDIN Heartland Wood Floors


MATT SVOBOD Care Consultan A ts for the Aging

LEAH DICKERSO Platteview Golf N Club

ROBERT MEJIAS Liber ty Tax Serv M&M Insurance ice/ Associates

Strictly Busin PO BOX 5739ess Magazine 7, Lincoln, NE




Get Introduced To Omaha!

To find out more, including special rates that are available for a limited time, call Paige today! 402-466-3330 APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



Strictly Business APRIL 2017

EST. 2003


APRIL 2017






Just Arrived! NEW Nokian zLINE All-Season Tyre Safety and performance come together with comfort and luxury in the all-new Nokian Tyres zLine A/S, a performance all-season tire designed for spirited driving throughout the year.

















830 M St. 402.476.3388


5535 Arbor Rd 402.464.3500


615 N Chestnut 402.443.3309


Leadership Excellence Executive Certificate Program

May 10-12 | 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Dr., Lincoln This engaging three-day program equips managers in leadership positions, or those seeking greater leadership roles, with key skills and tools to effectively lead and manage in today’s environment. Participants will learn adaptive leadership tools, how to use positive leadership and psychological capital to develop strong teams, and the importance of stakeholder buy-in for creating change.

Program Faculty

Dr. Tammy Beck

Dr. Fred Luthans

Dr. Jake Messersmith Dr. Sam Nelson

Associate Dean and Associate Professor

Professor Emeritus

Executive Director of Graduate Programs


Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship

Upcoming Programs and Events

Lean Management and Decision Making Executive Certificate Certificate program is fully online and self-paced. Participants must complete program by May 12.

Summer Power Lunch Series

Wednesdays, May 17 through June 7, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Lincoln and Omaha. Topics include: innovation, managing diversity, talent management and positive leadership. Register online.

@unlexeced #UNLCBA

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on any protected status. Please see Š 2017.

Strictly Business Lincoln April 2017  

Springing onto our cover this month are Ken & Larry Svoboda of Ray's Lawn & Landscape. Ray's offer every service necessary to maintain the l...

Strictly Business Lincoln April 2017  

Springing onto our cover this month are Ken & Larry Svoboda of Ray's Lawn & Landscape. Ray's offer every service necessary to maintain the l...