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John Fulwider

Barb Tyler

Emily Ruwe

Matt Clare

Andy Palmquist

Teresa Hodgen


Union Bank & Trust

The Woodlands at Hillcrest

Aqua Systems

Kenl Inn

360 Clean, LLC

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


Z.A.A. Inc./Strictly Business Magazine PO BOX 57397 Lincoln, NE 68505



Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business



PAIGE ZUTAVERN - President 402-730-0096 |

Great Brands That Compete On Value: Evaluate Marketing Opportunities Wisely I’ve been following the Freeport Press blog for years, and recently I came across a post I thought fitting to share with my readers who are determining the best avenues for promotion of their businesses/organizations in the coming year. “TV, Print Still Most Influential Advertising” Author: David Pilcher When your customers are making a buying decision, what factors into their choice? If they’re like most people, trust in your brand is a huge part of the deal. So how can brands build more trust, especially during this time of fake news and ad fraud? If you go by the findings of a recent survey from Clutch, you do it by advertising in traditional media like TV and print. “TV continues to be the single most influential advertising medium for US adults, details Clutch in recent survey results,” notes [this post in] Marketing Charts (an article entitled “People Still Say Traditional Media Ads Influence Them the Most”). “Six in 10 respondents to Clutch’s survey said that TV ads influence them to make purchases, with print (45%) ads next on the list.” “Advertising through traditional mediums is seen as the most trustworthy: 61% of consumers trust TV, [followed by] print (58%), radio/podcast (45%), and out-of-home (42%),” notes Kristen Herhold of Clutch. “The least trustworthy advertising mediums are online (41%) and social media (38%),” Herhold continues. This comes on top of a ton of recent research showing the power of print in the customer funnel, and the critical role trust plays in advertising. “...traditional media has a Try as they might, digital ads big edge over digital in ROI face an uphill battle in the trust and building brand metrics.” and acceptance area. Not all ads are created equal, and digital ads just aren’t as accepted or welcome as those in print. Think about your own experience. How much do you love the video ads or the in-line shopping spots on your social feed? Judging by the explosion of ad blocking usage, I think we know that answer. Research aside, think about your own experience with television and print ads. Do you engage in them even a little bit more than you do the ads

CONTENTS NEWS 4 Business 27 Personnel

38 Non-Profit 45 Health


20 Star City Six 53 Client Spotlight: Choices Treatment Center 56 Client Spotlight: No Coast Business Advisors


58 64 71 72 4

Building Maintenance Wedding Planning Celebrating Valentine’s Day Senior Living Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

on your news feed? Do you pay attention a little bit longer, with a little more of your awareness? Most likely you do, and that’s why traditional media has a big edge over digital in ROI and building brand metrics. Never before have there been so many options to consider for marketing, which makes for tough decisions given budget constraints. There’s always going to be that new, shiny thing that seems to be attracting all of the attention – innovation is the very nature of my industry, just the same as yours and all others. Despite the fact that there’s plenty of data to support the claims that traditional media remains relevant and impactful, we too have capitalized on new opportunities for growth, thus diversifying and evolving with the times. For instance, many traditional media companies such as TV, print, and radio also have a strong online presence and have been quite smart at leveraging their websites, social media, etc. for further reach. You might be surprised how much you stand to benefit from their offerings aside from the obvious. In the case of Strictly Business, since our clients’ editorial is not only published in the print magazine but also posted on our website and shared on our Facebook page, we’re seeing incredible results with our search engine results page (SERP) rankings. Our Lincoln website alone delivered over 5.4 million Google search impressions for our clients in 2017. If you’re looking to build your online credibility, it doesn’t get much better. Sure, it’s exciting to try something new in hopes that it delivers results far surpassing what you’ve experienced with your past efforts. And it might just do that. Yet, when modifying your marketing strategy, foregoing consistency in other areas would be much to your detriment. The proverb “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” meaning don’t risk everything on the success of one venture, aptly applies to many things in business, including marketing. Your strategy must be multi-faceted in order to be effective. Instead of going all in on one form of advertising, especially something relatively new, spread your bets and moderate the odds. Take calculated risks that allow you to explore a different approach while still allocating resources to methods with proven outcomes. After all, they have stood the test of time while others have come and gone, something that doesn’t just happen by chance in a highly competitive environment. 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)

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Introducing Professional Realty Group of Woods Bros Realty! Last year was another big year for Woods Bros Realty agent Ben Bleicher; in fact, it was the most successful one yet. Looking to the future, he was interested in the possibility of teaming up with other agents like himself – experienced professionals on an upward trajectory who were invested in taking their careers to the next level, who were in constant pursuit of the knowledge and connections that could be of the most benefit to their clients in the Lincoln market surrounding areas. While actively growing his network, he had established close relationships with several fellow real estate professionals who met those criteria to a T plus some. As time went on, everything fell into place and ultimately they officially made the decision to combine forces. Professional Realty Group was formed, and with the talent pool that constitutes this collective, they’re already off to a strong start in 2018. Pictured on the cover are Ben Bleicher, who has assumed the role of team lead, along with current team members Andrea Bleicher, his wife, and Scott Albers. Two more team members will be joining Professional Realty Group later this month, and they plan to continue onboarding more going into this spring when the real estate industry is in full swing. The agents at Professional Realty “...our customers know Group help their clients buy and sell the following types of real estate: Residential, they’re our number one Commercial, New Construction, Land priority.” – Ben Bleicher Development, and Industrial. They also do some leasing selectively. They’ve sold apartment complexes, commercial buildings/land, and as for current projects, are working on a development in Eagle, NE called Foxtail Ridge. Now in the very early stages, there will be many residential phases as well as plenty of commercial ground with O St frontage available. Those who want more info on that can visit for updates.

Professional Realty Group is also excited to represent Don Johnson Homes and will be expanding their builder base in 2018. Specifically regarding Don Johnson Homes, a locally owned and operated company that has been building homes in Lincoln and surrounding communities since 1994, ultimately experience, track record, and similar practices on how clients are treated throughout the building process are what influenced Professional Realty Group’s decision to work with them. “Our team offers impeccable customer service and we do it because our clients deserve nothing less. We don’t have set hours, so we can accommodate showings at all times that work for our clients’ schedules. We have vast knowledge that gives us the tools to accurately estimate property values for people selling, and for our clients who are buying. Quality over quantity holds very true with our team’s values; no buyer should ever be pressured into buying a house. If someone finds their ‘right one,’ it is our job to make sure the price is right, that there aren’t any identifiable major defects, and that the transaction goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible. We absolutely aim to please, and our goal isn’t merely satisfaction, it’s to set a whole new standard where our customers know they’re our number one priority.” – Ben Bleicher Professional Realty Group looks forward to serving you and intends to make 2018 an amazing year for all of their clients!

Contact one of your Professional Realty Group agents today! Ben Bleicher: (402) 419-6309, | Andrea Bleicher: (402) 570-6265, | Scott Albers: (402) 417-6415,

PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor Amanda Wilson - Art Director Holly Ryan - Graphic Designer Kristin White - SALES TEAM: President/Sales Paige Zutavern - Executive Assistant Jenna Broulette - Publisher/Founder/Accounting Shayne Zutavern - TO SUBSCRIBE:





Celebrating 25 Years




FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS ALLO Communications Expands Into Colorado The City of Fort Morgan has announced a unique p a r t n e r s h i p w i t h A L LO Communications, a Nelnet Company, to offer gigabit internet service to every home and business in the community by leasing an all-fiber optic network owned by the city. “This will give the citizens and businesses in our community a choice and a very fast and dependable internet service,” said Fort Morgan Mayor Ron Shaver. “The economic development potential from this project is also something that could be very beneficial for the city’s business sector.” “ALLO was the best choice because they were willing to work with the city to develop an agreement that is a partnership, which fits in with the city’s long-term goals for the fiber network and also allows ALLO to be successful,” Mayor Shaver said. “We are excited to partner with Fort Morgan, our first Colorado city, to fulfill its vision of becoming a gigabit community and offering gamechanging communication services to families and businesses,” said Brad Moline, president of ALLO. “Exceptionally fast fiber internet enhances how we live and work locally and connect with the rest of the world. Not only will it help Fort Morgan create jobs, enhance educational opportunities, and improve the delivery of medical care, families will enjoy the fastest speeds for streaming music and movies, video chatting, sharing photos, and playing online games.”

Homestead Rehabilitation Center Earns National Quality Award Homestead Rehabilitation Center has been recognized as a 2017 “Silver Achievement in Quality Award” recipient by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The AHCA/ NCAL National Quality Award Program spotlights providers across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality of care for residents in longterm and post-acute care centers. “Homestead is one of four skilled nursing facilities in Nebraska to achieve this prestigious recognition,” said Administrator Matt Romshek. “This honor demonstrates Homestead’s commitment to high quality resident care which our team strives for every day. The application process and the quality improvements a facility must achieve to receive this award are strenuous. This award is granted from a national organization, not the city, the county, or even the state. We look forward to the journey for the Gold Award.” AHCA/NCAL challenges members to achieve excellence through three progressive levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. At the Silver level, members develop and demonstrate effective approaches that improve performance and healthcare outcomes. Homestead Rehabilitation Center can now advance in developing approaches for the “Gold Excellence in Quality Award.” Homestead Rehabilitation Center—offering rehabilitation, longterm living, memory support, respite and end-of-life care—is open for admissions and therapy seven days a week and accepts Medicare, Medicaid, VA, managed care and insurance. Visit www. 6 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

32nd Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy: Chocolate, CHOCOLATE, Chocolate! On Friday, February 9th, The Historic Haymarket will be filled with the sweet smell of chocolate! The 32nd Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy fundraising event brings professional and local c hefs together with chocolate connoisseurs to raise money for The Historic Haymarket District! It will take place from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. at Embassy SuitesDowntown. In addition to serving delectable chocolate delights, entertainment will be provided by Harris Academy of the Arts and a Silent Auction will be featured. Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy event tickets are only $35 each. Tickets can be purchased online at, at the door or at these Haymarket businesses: Burlington Antiques, From Nebraska Gift Shop, Ten Thousand Villages, KD Designs and The Mill. Follow Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy Haymarket on Facebook! The Lincoln Haymarket Development Corporation, a non-profit board, is committed to continuing the economic development, revitalization, preservation, and growth of Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket District. Proceeds from the 32nd Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy event will help the Historic Haymarket continue to provide community events such as the Haymarket Farmers’ Market and to preserve and protect the historic nature of the district while promoting such educational tools like the Haymarket Walking Tour.

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Held for Bryan’s New 5055 Building The 5055 Building at Bryan East Campus is set to open to the public this spring. With the project nearing completion, an official ribboncutting ceremony was conducted by representatives of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Bryan Health, and Doctors Outpatient Surgery Center on Thursday, January 18. The 5055 Building is an outpatient surgery center and medical office building at Bryan East Campus. The four-story, $25 million facility is approximately 100,000 square feet in total. The first floor of the building is the Doctors Outpatient Surgery Center. The Center, a joint venture between Bryan Health and 76 area physicians, is 17,000 square feet and features six surgical suites with room for expansion. General and specialty surgeries will be performed, along with orthopedic, gynecology, podiatry, plastics and dental procedures. Floors two through four of the 5055 Building will be home to physician offices. Bryan Health ( is a Nebraska-governed, nonprofit health system that cares for patients, educates tomorrow’s health care providers and motivates communities with fitness and health programs. With an award-winning network of doctors, hospitals and medical providers, Bryan Health offers effective care, works with industry leaders to introduce leading-edge, proven treatments, and serves rural communities in four states through outreach clinics, mobile services and telehealth care.

BUSINESS NEWS Eakes Office Solutions Acquires Latsch’s

Screamers Dining & Cabaret Now Open

Eakes Office Solutions is excited to announce the acquisition of Latsch’s in Lincoln, Nebraska. Latsch’s has been locally owned and operated since 1916, serving the office product needs of businesses in Lincoln and surrounding areas. “We are thankful to everyone that helped us grow over the years. We are excited to join Pictured (L-R): John Costin, Paul Eakes Office Solutions, and McKinney, Mike Decker, Mark Miller to be able to expand our products and services to all of our loyal customers,” said John Costin, Vice President of Latsch’s. John Costin will be joining Eakes Office Solutions of Lincoln as the Sales Manager for Office Products. Latsch’s President, Mike Decker, will assist with the integration of the two companies, and once completed is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement from the office products industry. “Mike Decker, John Costin and the people at Latsch’s who are joining us at Eakes have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the office products industry. Working together, we believe we can provide an even higher level of service to our customers in Lincoln and surrounding areas,” said Mark Miller, President of Eakes.

The wait is over Lincolnites Screamers Dining & Cabaret is officially open! Upon completion of extensive renovations to the space it now occupies at 803 Q Street in the Historic Haymarket, Screamers owner Kevin Witcher invited the community to enjoy a dining experience unlike any other for the very first time on Monday, January 22nd. The much-anticipated opening comes after the original announcement made last fall that generated a lot of buzz, particularly because of the restaurant’s unique concept.

West Gate Bank® Announces Gift to Lincoln Community Foundation West Gate Bank® announced a gift donation to The Lincoln Community Foundation that will provide Give To Lincoln Day the largest match fund in its seven year history. Lincoln’s annual giving day is scheduled for Thursday, May 31. Every par ticipating nonprofit organization will receive a proportional share of the record $400,000 match fund, based upon its percentage of total dollars raised. “West Gate Bank is proud to be celebrating 50 years of serving the Lincoln community,” said Carl Sjulin, President of West Gate Bank. “As a locally-owned, community bank, giving back to Lincoln is such an important part of our mission. Our commitment of $25,000 per year for three years to Give to Lincoln Day is one of the many ways we are investing back into the community in order to keep Lincoln growing and thriving.” “We are so grateful for West Gate Bank’s generous donation to Give To Lincoln Day, allowing us to grow the match fund,” said Barbara Bartle, President of Lincoln Community Foundation. “This event, which many local nonprofits depend upon, will accomplish so much more thanks to this increased match.” All local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that have an office in the community and serve the Lincoln or Lancaster County may participate in Give to Lincoln Day. Last year, Give To Lincoln Day raised a record $3,693,307 for 365 local nonprofits. Give To Lincoln Day aims to promote philanthropy in the city. By helping nonprofits raise funds, the daylong event helps them carry out their important work and supplements budgets which are challenged to meet current demands. Individuals may make their charitable donation to local nonprofits during this 24-hour day of giving at

Screamers is inspired by the former UNL show choir, The Scarlet & Cream Singers (a.k.a. Screamers). With a sultry jazz/cabaret/ nightclub feel combined with high-energy live performances, guests are whisked back to a bygone era. At the same time, Screamers pays homage to its setting in the heart of Nebraska’s capitol city just minutes from Memorial Stadium, home of the Cornhuskers. Screamers Dining & Cabaret is a full-service, family-friendly restaurant and bar with live entertainment performed daily by the staff. Lunch will feature the most popular music of a different decade daily, there will be a piano bar happy hour each weekday afternoon, and nightly, the servers will be singing a variety of music from all genres and time periods. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner, and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for buffet brunch with special music. For more information about Screamers, please visit www.

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Control Depot Now Offering Lutron Lighting Lincoln SCORE Kicks Off Membership Drive Control Systems Lincoln SCORE’s annual membership Control Depot has partnered w i t h L u t ro n E l e c t ro n i c s Company to offer their entire line of commercial lighting control systems. Control Depot c hose to partner with Lutron as they are a recognized leader in the lighting control industry with over 50 years of proven experience. Lutron lighting control systems are ideal for both new and existing commercial buildings and are scalable from single room to entire building solutions. Lutron lighting control will provide the customer with an energy-efficient workplace for years to come. Control Depot is a building automation and controls distributor serving Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. Control Depot sells and supports a wide selection of residential and commercial controls and components including everything from a simple thermostat to a complete web-based building automation system. All operations are conducted with the goal of building strong and lasting relationships with Control Depot’s client base of contractors and building owners by providing value and experience that is unparalleled in the industry. When working with Control Depot, you can expect quality services delivered in a timely manner at affordable rates. Control Depot is located at 9304 G Ct. in Omaha and more information about the company can be found online at Stop in or call (402) 934-0078 today to learn more about how Control Depot and Lutron can help your business!

drive kicked off in January and will be going strong throughout the next few months. This year, there are two different roles SCORE is looking to fill. First and foremost, SCORE is seeking volunteers who are business owners or seasoned professionals to help educate and mentor small business owners in and around Lincoln. Second, SCORE is also seeking volunteers to help with administrative duties. For either, it’s a commitment of as little as four hours per month up to as much as you wish to contribute. SCORE volunteers provide confidential one to one business mentoring services, both in person and online. Some mentors also lead seminars and workshops to help small business owners meet their goals and achieve success. Additionally, they help expand the outreach capabilities of SCORE through marketing and alliance-building in our local communities. Every year, Lincoln SCORE mentors help thousands of entrepreneurs start small businesses and achieve new levels of success in their existing businesses. Volunteering at SCORE is a way for you to give back to your community, connect with fellow business owners, and pass on your knowledge and expertise to the next generation of entrepreneurs in Lincoln. For more information please contact Lincoln SCORE ( at (402) 437-2409 or via email at

Graceful In Home Healthcare Broadens Core Services Provided Graceful In Home Healthcare, LLC is excited to announce that the company has expanded its offerings. Originally focused on providing in-home care for seniors and post-surgery recovery, owner Grace Kats and her team discovered other scenarios where individuals and families would benefit from the assistance of a caregiver. To meet this need, Graceful In Home Healthcare is now accepting the following clients: expecting mothers, new mothers/infants, and respite care for special needs children/ adults and families who are the primary caregiver for elderly relatives. The skilled and compassionate team of professionals at Graceful In Home Healthcare are focused on proving exceptional care for patients of all ages and varying needs. Services are provided on an hourly basis all the way up to 24-hour care seven days a week. Whether you simply require assistance with a few tasks around the house or a caregiver who can provide non-medical services, Graceful In Home Healthcare will make all of the necessary arrangements to meet your specific needs. The ultimate goal is to make the lives of clients easier, safer, and more enjoyable while keeping them healthy and happy. Graceful In Home Care is locally owned and operated by Grace Kats, RN-BSN, who has over 15 years of experience in nursing and was recently ranked as a Top Registered Nurse in the State of Nebraska and featured in the 2017 edition of Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

For more information about Graceful In Home Healthcare, LLC, please call (402) 387-7933. You can also find out more about the company online at or by connecting on Facebook.

BUSINESS NEWS Star City Heating & Cooling Extends Hours Star City Heating & Cooling is pleased to announce their new office hours, effective immediately. To meet the needs of the growing customer base, regular hours of operation have been extended in the morning and the evening. Office hours are now 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday- Friday. Serving residential and commercial customers, Star City Heating & Cooling offers a full range of quality products and services performed by a team of industry professionals who are experts in their trade. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (402) 464-7827 (STAR) or visit

WISB to Host Monthly Luncheon on Feb. 14th The Women in Sales and Business (WISB) monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 14th at The Venue in the NE/ Lancaster Room at 4111 Pioneer Woods Drive, Lincoln, NE. The speaker this month will be Kris Thaller, a Certified Life Coach with Coaching Dimensions. Kris will be speaking on “How to Win On the Playing Field of Life and Business.” They say life is a journey...but do you ever feel like it’s more of a race? This presentation will give you tools you can use immediately to make things happen that are truly important to you without running yourself ragged and driving everyone around you crazy. The meeting starts with lunch at 11:30 a.m., with the meeting following from 11:55 a.m. until 1 p.m. 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

LIBA Launches New Website The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) launched a new website,, on January 10, 2018. The new website was a major collaborative effort. Much of the design work was performed by Red Thread, while coding and construction were done by Schrock Innovations, Inc. The new website focuses on featuring current members, making information about the organization available to the community, and it also allows new members to join with ease. “I am very excited about our new website! It will now be much easier for LIBA members, as well as the community in general to stay better informed with how LIBA is making an important difference for Lincoln,” said Coby Mach the CEO and President of LIBA. Head to to see the new website today.

Blush Bridal Boutique Named Winner in The Knot Best of Weddings for 2018 Blush Bridal Boutique is pleased to announce that they have been selected as a 2018 winner ­­ in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award representing the highestrated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot, the leading online wedding brand and app. This is the fourth year Blush Bridal has been selected for The Knot Best of Weddings. In 2018, only 3% of the approximately 300,000 local wedding professionals listed on have received this distinguished accolade. To determine the winners, The Knot assessed almost 3.6 million reviews across the various vendor categories—venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more. These winners represent the best of the best wedding professionals that a bride or groom would want to consider booking for their own unique wedding. Blush Bridal is a fresh and trendy bridal boutique for Nebraska brides and their wedding parties. Blush offers gorgeous, exclusive bridal gowns, as well as delicate handmade veils, textured hairpieces, ornate accessories, and a large selection of hand crafted jewelry. Blush’s personal stylists are passionate about bridal fashion and giving you unparalleled personal attention. Whether you have a vision for your bridal look or need some advice, Blush stylists are here for you. Blush Bridal also acquired the wholesale bridal jewelry company: Lovebird Jewelry Collective in December of 2017. FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business 9

BUSINESS NEWS Swing Under the Wings With Your Sweetheart First National Bank Assembles “Cookies From This Valentine’s Day Home” Care Packages for Military Overseas The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace M u s e u m announces its annual Swing Under the Wings Valentine’s dinner and dance event. Swing Under the Wings, an event that is full of fun and nostalgia, is set for Saturday, February 10. Guests are transported back to a time when swing music filled the airwaves and World War II consumed the nation. Swing Under the Wings is an opportunity to relive the best of the 1940s as guests dine and dance in the museum’s Hangar B with historic aircraft such as the Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Gooch and The Guys will set the mood for this USO-themed party with their big band swing sounds and guests are encouraged to dress in their 1940s best. Prizes are given throughout the night including a prize awarded for the best dressed. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner followed by the dance from 7 – 11 p.m. Tickets are available for $75 per person for the 6 p.m. dinner, drinks, dessert and dance ticket or $60 per person for the 7 p.m. timeframe which includes drinks, dessert and dance. Discounts apply for members. Space is limited and reservations are requested. Ticket options are available online at or call the Museum’s event coordinator at (402) 944-3100 x 253.


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

First National Bank is proud to salute all military veterans who served or are serving in the United States Armed Forces. To show the bank’s support and appreciation for their honorable service and patriotism, First National Bank invited the public to nominate service members to receive cookies to ring in the New Year. As a result of this effort, First National employee volunteers packaged and sent over 10,000 cookies overseas. Each Cookies from Home care package also included candy and notes of thanks, many of these written by students in the community. The Cookies from Home program gives First National Bank the opportunity to make an impact in our communities while sharing the joy of the holidays with our service members overseas. It’s also a way for employees to get involved, from helping package the cookies to making nominations themselves. The care packages were delivered in late January to help our service men and women start their New Year with Cookies from Home.

BUSINESS NEWS Panology Tech Solutions Kicks Off 2018 Season of AWS Users Group Lincoln In 2017, Panology Tech Solutions launched Amazon Web Services Users Group Lincoln (AWSUGLnk), and due to the success in its first year, it has returned for a second season! The 2018 season began on January 17th and currently the focus is on expanding community organizers. Local Amazon personnel have been brought on to serve as resources and are now also helping to organize and run the group. It is open to 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. With offerings such as the AWS Users Group and Network LNK, a free networking subscription service also founded and managed by Panology, their goal is to bring together those in our community in order to share experiences, build knowledge, develop skills, and establish relationships that will help with growing and enhancing their businesses. 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) 9379137, email, or visit

HBAL Presents Home Show and More For 46 years, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln has produced the Nebraska Builders Home & Garden Show. It’s the perfect “one-stop shop” to start your home building or remodeling project. This year approximately 250 exhibitors will be featured in Pavilions 1 and 4 at the Lancaster Event Center the weekend of February 9-11. You can find a directory of exhibitors and a schedule of events at In addition to the Home Show, HBAL also promotes home building and remodeling through its annual Spring and Fall Parade of Homes and the Tour of Remodeled Homes. Did you know HBAL has also given over $138,000 to the Lincoln community as well as to communities devastated by Mother Nature? In 2014, $16,000 was given to Beaver Crossing and Pilger to help them rebuild after tornados leveled homes and businesses in their communities. Last year, $5,000 was sent to Houston for hurricane relief efforts. Almost one-third of HBAL’s financial contributions go towards scholarships for students entering a residential construction field. Applications are currently being accepted for three scholarships valued at up to $750 each. These scholarships are awarded to high school seniors attending The Career Academy in the building pathway who plan to continue their education at SCC-Milford. There is also a $1,000 President’s Scholarship offered, which is awarded to a high school senior who has a parent, grandparent or other relative who owns or works for an HBAL member company. For more information about these scholarship opportunities or the Lincoln Home Builders Care Foundation, please contact the HBAL office at (402) 423-4225 /

“My Special Aflac Duck” Takes Home Best of CES 2018 Award Aflac capped off a busy week at the Consumer Electronics Show by accepting the Best of CES 2018 Award for Best Unexpected Product for “My Special Aflac Duck,” the new social robot designed to help children coping with cancer. The smart companion was created by Sproutel, a research and development workshop focused on making health care playful, based on a year of child-centered research conducted by Sproutel at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. “Understandably, many people were surprised to see an insurance company and a duck at CES – the global stage for innovation. Aflac is grateful that attendees took the time to learn about My Special Aflac Duck and recognize not only the impressive technology built into the social robot, but the important impact that we believe it will have on the children and families facing cancer across the country,” Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. “Receiving this award confirms our core belief that investing in creating tangible ways to improve our world is good for our communities and our business, and we invite others to support this worthy cause.” Butzke Insurance, Inc., a locally owned and operated supplemental insurance agency, offers Aflac as well as a wide range of other plans, providing excellent products that help policyholders protect their finances in the event of an unexpected injury or illness. For more information, please contact Kerry Butzke at (402) 413-9108 / FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business 11


Nebraska Business Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Announced


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

A distinguished group of business leaders and entrepreneurs are being inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame, according to Barry Kennedy, president of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The inductions take place Thursday, February 1 at The Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln as part of the Nebraska Chamber’s Annual Meeting and evening banquet. Established in 1992 by the State Chamber and the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration, the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame recognizes the state’s most accomplished business leaders and their contributions to our free enterprise system. Candidates are nominated by individuals from the business community, business associations and academia. The 2018 Nebraska Business Hall of Fame class members are: THOMAS C. SMITH – D.A. Davidson & Co., Lincoln Tom Smith started his career in the financial services industry in 1968. He and partner Tom Hayes started Smith Hayes Financial Services in 1985. Starting with just three employees, they grew to over 100 staff with offices in Lincoln, Omaha and Columbus. They became involved in public finance and started their own mutual fund. In 2016, the business merged with D.A. Davidson & Co. and manages more than $40 billion in investments, including about $10 billion from the Nebraska offices. Tom was appointed vice chairman of the Davidson Wealth Management Division and serves on the board of directors of Davidson Companies. JOE RICKETTS – TD Ameritrade, Omaha Joe Ricketts spent more than 35 years helping build and run the company that has evolved into TD Ameritrade, the world’s largest online brokerage and a recognized leader in securities trading and clearing. In 1975, Ricketts co-founded First Omaha Securities, among the first companies in the world to recognize the potential of the discount securities market. Under his leadership, the company grew quickly and evolved into TD Ameritrade, which has pioneered technology to revolutionize the financial services sector – today managing hundreds of billions of dollars in client assets. Ricketts is currently focusing on a variety of entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures. JOHN L. HUGHES – Hughes Brothers, Inc., Seward John Hughes is president of Hughes Brothers, Inc., a leader in the electric transmission and distribution industry. Formed in 1921, the business has earned a reputation for quality products that last. The company’s early production was primarily wood products for the electric utility industry. By the early 1940s, pole line hardware and custom manufactured metal fittings and parts were added. During World War II, the federal government commandeered Hughes Brothers to make products for the war effort. Today, the factory houses a complete wood, metal and fiberglass manufacturing operation as the Seward-based company does business throughout the world. J. PAUL MCINTOSH (deceased) – Entrepreneur, Norfolk Paul McIntosh started teaching in the early 1940s and became a vocational agriculture instructor in 1950. Along with his teaching duties, he was also starting a commercial painting company and several agrelated enterprises focused on livestock and fertilizer. In 1952, Paul entered the farm management, apartment and land development business, all of which continue to this day. McIntosh developed numerous housing developments while growing his agricultural business interests in Nebraska and several other states. He served on many local, state and national boards and received the Norfolk Betterment Award from the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce in 1993.


CarePatrol Receives 2018 Franchisee Satisfaction Award for 8th Consecutive Year CarePatrol, the largest no-cost s e n i o r placement a ge n c y i n the U.S., has been honored with a 2018 Franchisee Satisfaction Award. For this year’s top franchise list, Franchise Business Review surveyed approximately 30,000 actual franchise owners, representing 334 franchise brands, to identify the Top 50 Franchises in four franchise size classes - Small (under 65 locations), Medium (65 - 120 locations), Large (120 - 299 locations) and Enterprise (300+ locations). It is the eighth year in a row that CarePatrol has ranked highly as one of the top franchise opportunities, a testament to its successful business model and the strong support network provided to franchises across the nation. CarePatrol was founded in 1994 but only franchising since 2009. In that time, the company has grown to over 150 locations nationwide. CarePatrol of Nebraska, which is locally owned and operated by Theron Ahlman, was established in January of 2016. CarePatrol of Nebraska assisting clients in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding areas with the selection of Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care communities at no cost to the family or senior and connects them with other local resources as needed. For more information about CarePatrol of Nebraska, visit www. or contact Theron Ahlman directly at (402) 580-2116 /

Fox Fertilizer Grows Team, Inventory to Accommodate Growth in 2018 With the explosion o f g row t h l a s t season and in anticipation of the 2018 season being the best one yet, Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service of Lincoln, NE has prepared accordingly. With the recent addition of new equipment and two new team members, Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service is pleased to announce that they are currently accepting new clients for the 2018 season! “By increasing both our staff and equipment this year, we are better equipped than ever to serve the Lincoln area,” says owner, Jordan Nun. He adds, “When prospective customers reach out to us, and inquire about services for their lawn, we don’t push for ‘add-on services’ or lots of applications; in fact we usually only recommend three applications per season for a beautiful, healthy and weed-free lawn! We are results-oriented and don’t go cheap on the materials we use on your lawn. Our applications are more effective than the competition’s and are able to save our customers a lot of money, and if it’s not right we will always make it right!” Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service partners with home and business owners to provide fertilizer, weed-control, grub-control, fungicide and other specialty services exclusively for turf grass. For more information or to inquire services offered by Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service, contact Jordan Nun (402) 413-0020 or go to

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Changing Spaces SRS Celebrates 10 Years Local senior move management company Changing Spaces SRS celebrates 10 years in business this year. The company was founded in 2008 by sisters and co-founders, Linda Cotter and Kelley See, after moving their parents out of their large home near Auburn. They saw the need for a service to help others in this situation, and thus the business was born. Current owner Jeannine Bryant entered into the partnership with Cotter and See in 2010 as part-owner. Buying out her partners in 2014, Bryant is now the sole owner of the business, and the staff has grown to 21 remarkable individuals with a heart for helping seniors through a difficult transition. Changing Spaces SRS provides assistance with sorting, packing, managing move day, unpacking and liquidating what is left of the estate after the move. They run 50+ estate sales each year and have helped hundreds of clients through the downsizing and moving process. “It is such an honor to be invited into our clients’ homes and into their lives during a very vulnerable time. Downsizing late in life is unlike any other move we make; it requires special attention and skills to be able to navigate smoothly. We are thrilled to be able to offer that expertise and compassion to our clients and their families when they need it most,” says Bryant. For more information about Changing Spaces SRS, call (402) 4830555 or visit

Benefit Professionals, Inc. Gives Back in 2017


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

B e n e f i t Professionals, Inc. has a long history of service to the Omaha Metro and Lincoln communities and an important part of the company culture is giving back. In 2017, Benefit Professionals, Inc. was proud to support local causes. The firm took part in the 2017 McCallie Associates, Inc. Golf Outing that raised $12,500 to support the UNO Office of Military and Veteran Services (OMVS). These scholarships support active duty and veteran service members, along with their families. This organization ensures the military and veteran students have the necessary resources and help critical to their success. The UNO OMVS is a one-stop education advocate, committed to successful recruitment, transition, academic progress, and graduation at UNO. Benefit Professionals, Inc. also contributed to the overwhelming success of Power of the Purse, an annual fundraiser to benefit CEDARS, a foster care organization. The mission of CEDARS is to help children who have been abused, neglected and homeless achieve safety, stability, and enduring family relationships. Last year, 2,750 children and youth, and their families, were served through programs offered by CEDARS. This event collectively raised $96,000. The 11th Annual DJ’s Dugout Golf tournament was another cause that Benefit Professionals was honored to be a part of. The proceeds of this tournament benefit the American GI Forum. Established in 1989, Benefit Professionals, Inc., a Bearence Management Group Company, is a group benefits brokerage firm. The professionals at Benefit Professionals, Inc. work with clients in Nebraska and Iowa, finding solutions to meet the individual needs of each when it comes to employee benefits. For more information, please call (402) 592-7777 or visit

BUSINESS NEWS Bluestem Fiber Plans for Growth With Help From John Fulwider and gear80 Bluestem Fiber just completed its first EOS® Annual Planning session. In two days, the company’s leadership team increased team health; clarified the vision; made a clear plan to achieve the vision; got traction with that plan by setting clear priorities for the next quarter; and resolved key issues standing in the way of achieving the vision. “Our work with gear80 has helped us clarify Bluestem Fiber’s purpose while putting the right people in the right seats as we assimilated three organizations into one in the past 12 months,” Bluestem CEO Greg Dynek said. Bluestem Fiber provides faster internet for everyone. Bluestem believes broadband internet connectivity delivered via fiber, at a reasonable price and available to the entire community, is no longer a luxury but a quality of life standard that communities large and small must have to attract and grow their population. gear80 helps entrepreneurial leadership teams get everything they want from their businesses. All gear80 does is help growth-oriented companies like EyeCare Specialties, ComPro, and Bulu Box implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System, also known as Traction. It’s a proven set of practical tools that get your people rowing in the same direction; executing your vision with accountability and discipline; and working together as a healthy and cohesive team. If you want to grow your business, contact Professional EOS® Implementer John Fulwider at (402) 202-2820 or

Honor Health & Wellness to Host Diabetes Management Class Honor Health & Wellness has announced its first educational event, “Living Your Best Life With Diabetes,” will be held on February 21. Kristina Saunders, APRN, NP-C, CDE, owner and primary care provider at Honor Health & Wellness, will cover the fundamentals of diabetes management, one of her specialty areas of focus. The presentation will include an overview of self-care behaviors recommended for optimal diabetes control. A discussion will follow to allow an opportunity for participants to ask questions and discuss their challenges with diabetes self-management. Open to all members of the Lincoln community and free to attend, it will take place from 6-8 p.m. Space is limited; reservations are required and can be placed by calling the office at (402) 802-0402. Honor Health & Wellness also recently announced the addition of new services, now offering influenza vaccines and walk-in appointments for minor illness Monday through Friday from 8-10 a.m. Located at 1620 S. 70th Street, Suite 104, Honor Health & Wellness provides comprehensive medical services including preventative health care and chronic disease management for individuals and families throughout the lifespan. The family practice clinic opened in October and is currently accepting new patients, with same-day appointments available. Those interested in learning more about Honor Health & Wellness are welcome to contact Kris Saunders directly at (402) 802-0402 or may visit the website at

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Sculpture Created by SCC Students Unveiled Nebraska Enterprise Fund Becomes State’s at New Culinary Space First SBA Community Advantage Lender In five short weeks, students in the Welding Technology program at Southeast Comm unity College created a distinct sculpture with a Midwest essence that has become part of the new Great Plains Culinary Institute. Six welding students did Pictured (L-R): Zach Bohlmeyer, Josh Waters, the majority of the work on Cole Andersen, Lebari Abiikor, Curtis the bronze sculpture, which Hartshorn, Alex Salzman, Mark Hawkins. involved creating computer designs and then trying to emulate the wheat stalks and seeds. The bronze “wheat” creation consists of donated scrap materials. The students designed and created it in the Fabrication and Repair class. It is now part of the exterior wall of the new Great Plains Culinary Institute, which opened in January and is located at SCC’s Lincoln Campus. SCC President Dr. Paul Illich came up with the idea for the College’s welding program to create something decorative for the front of the new culinary space as a way of bringing the programs together. “They went well beyond what was asked,” Illich said. “That in itself is very inspiring. They wanted to make something special. Every faculty, staff and student who walks by will be inspired by it.” The Great Plains Culinary Institute features state-of the art kitchen areas for students to train, as well as a new restaurant that is open to the public. SCC’s Welding Technology program, also located on SCC’s Lincoln Campus, has approximately 135 students.


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

The Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF) has become Nebraska’s first Community Advantage Lender of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) in Nebraska. Community Advantage is a pilot loan program introduced by the SBA to meet the credit, management, and technical assistance needs of small businesses in underserved markets. The program’s goals are to increase access to credit for small businesses located in underserved areas, expand points of access to the SBA 7(a) loan program by allowing non-traditional, mission-oriented lenders to participate, to provide management and technical assistance to small businesses as needed, and to manage portfolio risk. Community Advantage loans provide financing up to $250,000 and follow the same guaranty and terms as a 7(a) loan. The Community Advantage program is currently scheduled to last through March 31st, 2020. The Nebraska Enterprise Fund is the premier Nebraska small business Community Development Finance Institution providing business development services and financing to micro and small businesses across the state. NEF is also a network partner of the SBA’s Microloan Program which enables NEF to make loans (loans of $50,000 or less) to small business borrowers. NEF has over $11M in assets and focuses statewide both in urban and local areas. In addition to SBA, NEF partners with USDA, CDFI and banking institutions. NEF envisions a Nebraska where every small and micro business owner has the opportunity and resources to realize their potential. They reach viable entrepreneurs in collaboration with the banking sector or when a business is feasible, but not yet fully bankable. For more information about the Nebraska Enterprise Fund and their services, go to

BUSINESS NEWS American Ethanol to Sponsor 2018 Lincoln National Guard Marathon/Half Marathon American Ethanol will be the platinum sponsor of the 2018 Lincoln National Guard Marathon/Half Marathon, which will take place on May 6th. This is the first year the group has contributed to the event with funding coming from the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board and Green Plains Inc. With runners and spectators participating in the event from across the country, the three organizations understood the outreach and educational potential to reach consumers who are seeing increased choices at the pumps. May is typically designated as Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska, and the 2018 Lincoln National Guard Marathon/ Half Marathon is one of the signature events that will help kickoff the month-long campaign. The 2018 Lincoln National Guard Marathon/Half Marathon is capped at 13,500 runners and registration opened January 6. The race begins on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s downtown campus in Lincoln. The event is organized by the Lincoln Track Club. To register, or for more information, visit

Two Hardworking Individuals Receive the Gift of Transportation Two individuals served t h ro u g h C o m m u n i t y Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties have begun the new year with reliable transportation thanks to the generosity of Tracy’s Collision Center and their partners. This year marks the 12th year that the team at Tracy’s has donated their time and talents to restore and refurbish two vehicles for two local individuals served through Community Action who are working hard to get out of poverty and reach economic stability. The first step in making this effort possible is to identify vehicles that – with a bit of repair work – would be good, safe vehicles for two individuals. Tracy’s turned to Farm Bureau Financial Services for help in donating the cars. In addition to restoring the vehicles back to road-ready status, Tracy’s also partners with local businesses to pay the title and licensing fees for the vehicles. They even purchase gifts for individuals receiving the vehicles – often filling the trunks with clothing, toys, and other items that always bring joy to recipients. This effort signifies not only Tracy’s passion, but their thanks to the Lincoln community. “Tracy’s Collision Center and its employees are grateful for the thousands of customers in the Lincoln community who have trusted us with their collision repair needs over the past year,” said Tom Tracy, Owner of Tracy’s Collision Center. “As an extension of that gratitude it is with great pleasure that we give back to the community by providing the gift of transportation for two deserving families this year.” Community Action is thankful for Tracy’s and their partners for continuing to embody the spirit of its mission to empower people living in poverty to reach economic stability through this effort. To learn more about Community Action, or to donate, visit or call (402) 471-4515.

BBB’s 2018 Student of Integrity Awards for High School Seniors BBB Foundation is pleased to announce that in 2018 it will be awarding $2,000 Student of Integrity Award Scholarships to three high school seniors from metro Lincoln and greater Nebraska. Home-schooled students may also apply. These scholarships were created to recognize and nurture future ethical business leaders. Independent panels of judges from the academic and business communities in Lincoln select the scholarship recipients who best demonstrate their commitment to honesty and accountability inside and outside of the classroom. These scholarships are made possible by BBB’s Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This Foundation exists to educate consumers about marketplace issues and charitable giving practices, and it seeks to reinforce BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust. “Each year we are inspired by the hard work, community involvement and integrity of our applicants,” said BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty. “We are looking forward to learning about our applicants and announcing the winners.” Applicants have to be nominated by a high school teacher, principal, guidance counselor, community or religious leader. The application materials, including an essay and letters of recommendation, must be sent to a BBB office by March 9, 2018. The application guide with full details and required forms can be downloaded by going to and clicking on the “Student Awards” icon. The winners will be announced in April. For more information or questions please call (800) 649-6814 #8526. FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business 17

BUSINESS NEWS Roper & Sons Announces February Events This month’s Topic Breakfast, being held at 7:30 a . m . T h u r s d ay, Febr uary 15th, f e a t u r e s Rya n Stothern of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, who will share tips and information about internet safety. Topic Breakfast, held on the third Thursday each month, is free and open to the public. To reserve your seat for Topic Breakfast, please call (402) 476-1225 or email 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.

Living in the Yellow Announces March 24th Basic Pistol Class for Women Patty Nun, an NRA Trained Pistol Instructor, has announced the next Basic Pistol Course for Women being offered Saturday, March 24, 2018. This full-day class is for women who have little or no previous experience handling a pistol. Registration is limited to 12 participants. “More than ever, women are concerned for their safety. We all know there is no substitute for being prepared and aware of our surroundings to insure the safety of ourselves and our family members. That is the common theme of the training we do at Living in the Yellow,” says Nun. “We take our name from the Cooper Code for Self Defense Awareness, that identifies yellow as the color representing those people who are relaxed but alert and aware of their surroundings, and aware of any possible threats. They know where the exits are.” Patty clarifies, “This is a course for someone who has never held or fired a pistol and does not currently know the difference between a single-action or double-action revolver, or even between a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol. We provide a relaxed setting where women can learn in a safe environment with a trained, professional team that always have safety as the priority.” She adds, “This does not qualify as a conceal carry course for women, but we plan to offer that in the very near future.”


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

To find out more information or to register, go to www.LivingInTheYellow. org or call Patty Nun at (402) 432-6470.

BUSINESS NEWS Omaha Fashion Week Kicks Off New Season Omaha Fashion Week is thrilled to kick off another season in 2018! Last year marked their 10 Year Anniversary, and they have proudly grown into the nation’s fifth largest fashion event, supporting more independent fashion designers than any other organization in the region. Omaha Fashion Week is a glamorous red carpet event for a good cause, showcasing the work of 65 designers each year on the OFW Runway. Each designer is selected into the shows on a merit basis and pays no fees to participate. OFW nurtures the youngest of fashion designers by providing mentoring, education opportunities, and a professional platform to showcase their work. On the inside, Omaha Fashion Week is a talent incubator that seamlessly connects designers, stylists, photographers, artists and models through nurturing platforms and engaging opportunities. On the outside, Omaha Fashion Week is Midwest’s premier fashion event, spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence. Join them for the next season February 27-March 3, 2018! Learn more at

Feya Candle Co. Packs, Donates 10K Meals for Local Distribution Feya Candle Co. is a benefit corporation that donates a meal to someone in need for every candle sold started right here in Lincoln, Nebraska. On January 14th, Feya customers, employees, and supporters packed 10,000 meals to donate back to people in need in Lincoln. Feya Candle has partnered with Omaha Against Hunger, a satellite for Kids Against Hunger. The meals will be given to Fresh Start (, Matt Talbot (, OpeN Shelf (, and the Lincoln Food Bank ( This packing party took place at The BAY, another organization giving back in Lincoln, which is located at 2005 Y Street. To date, Feya Candle Co. has donated 18,962 meals and was thrilled to donate an additional 10,000 to kick off the new year. Find out more about Feya Candle Co. online at

Yield Champions Promotes Upcoming PROAG® I Training Program Dennis Nun, President of Yield Champions, has announced the final Nebraska PRO-AG® I Program will be offered in Lincoln, Nebraska on February 15-16, 2018. This program is designed for crop producers, agronomists, seed, chemical and fertilizer dealers and landlords looking for ways to be profitable even at current commodity price levels. Nun says, “We show growers how to lower production costs on a per acre and per bushel basis and that remains the key to profitability for farmers.” At this event two new products INTENSIFY™ and SYNTOSE-FA will be discussed for use in the coming crop year to significantly increase yields in corn and soybeans. Yield Champions exclusively markets the Conklin Company’s AgroVantage™ products for crop production used by more state and national NCGA corn yield champions than any other. For more information or to register for this event, contact Dennis Nun at (402) 430-7727 or go to

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS CBMC Presents “Vital Questions for Leaders” We ’ r e a l l ex p e r i e n c i n g a n increasingly challenging business environment. As a result, leaders experience both thrills and obstacles. Want to be equipped to better meet these challenges and opportunities? Do you want to grow as a leader or team member? Healthy teams consistently develop leaders and grow as a team. Growth requires time and resources. “Vital Questions for Leaders,” a four-week after hours series, can help you. You’ll learn, interact with other like-minded business people, enjoy an engaging discussion, and be able to share your own experience. The format includes a brief video from a well-known, experienced leader, followed by questions and discussion. “25 Vital Questions” is a series from Willow Creek Association, sponsor of the annual Global Leadership Summit, which reaches over 400,000 in the US and around the world at over 700 locations. The four topics are: Work-Life Balance, Servant Leadership, Encouragement, and Initiating Change. Sessions will take place at 4:305:30 p.m. on Thursday’s February 15th, 22nd, March 1st, and 8th at the Lincoln CBMC Office, 5625 O Street, Suite #5. Cost is $20 (includes all 4 sessions). Register by February 10th at Space is limited and will go fast, so sign up today! Questions? Contact Larry Middendorf at or (402) 540-1093, or Dean O’Bryan at or (402) 440-6816. Visit CBMC Lincoln on Facebook too!


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

Registration Open for 2018 Cornhusker State Games Registration is open for the 34th annual Cornhusker State Games, featuring competition in 68 sports at venues in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities. Most sports take place July 20-29, and officials expect more than 11,000 participants. Rowing, which will take place at Carter Lake, joins the Games as a joint venture between the Iowa Games and Cornhusker State Games. CSG competitions are open to Nebraska athletes of all ages and abilities. Registration and information are available at A new tiered entry fee schedule allows registration through February 14 at below-2017 costs in most sports. The final deadline to register for most sports is July 6. Opening Ceremonies are set for Friday, July 20 at Seacrest Field with parade-of-athletes, skydivers, fireworks, patriotic tribute, mascot showcase and torch-lighting. All registered athletes will receive a shirt, free meal, admission to the Opening Ceremonies and a chance to win one of 5,000 customcast gold, silver and bronze medals. Finishers in several events will receive commemorative medallions. The Cornhusker State Games is a qualifying event for the 2019 State Games of America (SGA), which takes place in Lynchburg, VA. The Cornhusker State Games is conducted by the Nebraska Sports Council, which also conducts the NE150 Challenge, the Mud Run and the Pumpkin Run. Platinum partners include Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. of Nebraska, LinPepCo and Nebraska Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine. Learn more at


by Chris McPike, Vice President ComPro Insurance

2018 Medicare Update In 2015, Forbes reported that 10,000 Americans are enrolling in Medicare each day. The statistics from show that Medicare enrollment totaled 58.9 million people in November 2017. The US population is approximately 325 million. Over 18% of the population is enrolled in Medicare, and the number will continue to climb as the Baby Boomers reach age 65. We all have parents, family members, friends, and co-workers that use Medicare as their primary source of health insurance. The original Medicare law was passed in 1965. The concept was simple - Medicare would provide health insurance to those age 65 and older. Most of that law remains in force today. Medicare Part A provides benefits for inpatient services at hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Part B includes out-patient services such as doctors, lab work, imaging, physical therapy, outpatient procedures, and durable medical equipment. Medicare Parts C & D were added to the law and provide 2 insurance products for Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Part C is known as a Medicare Advantage Plan and Medicare Part D is for Prescription Drug Plans. Medicare Supplement plans are insurance policies sold by insurance companies that offer benefits that pay most of the portion of costs that are not covered by Medicare. Those born in 1953 will be Medicare eligible on the first of the month in 2018 in which their 65th birthday occurs. We recommend that you meet with your insurance agent to review your Medicare coverage choices about 90 days before you will be eligible. This is true even if you plan to continue working and will have the option to continue your employer-provided health insurance benefits. It may be in your best interest to discontinue the employer plan and transition to Medicare. The premium for Medicare Part A is generally $0. The standard Part B monthly premium in 2018 is $134. Those with higher incomes pay a higher premium. The upcharge is referred to as IRMMA (Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount) and is based on the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) that was reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago. IRMMA impacts those with MAGI over $85,000 filing an individual tax return and over $170,000 for a joint tax return. If your MAGI is between $170,000 and $214,000 on a joint tax return, the IRMMA upcharge is $53.50 per month. The maximum upcharge for 2018 applies to MAGI over $160,000 individual / $320,000 joint and is $294.60 per month additional premium. The IRMMA upcharge is also applied to Part D Prescription Drug Plans; however, it is a much smaller amount. The first question that most people want to know is how much it will cost for Medicare coverage. This estimate assumes that a Medicare Supplement and Prescription Drug Plan are used. Monthly Premium Medicare Part A Medicare Part B Medicare Supplement Prescription Drug Plan (varies based on medication costs) Total for average 65-year-old who chooses a Medicare Supplement & Part D plan

$0 $134 $115 $30 - $150 $280 - $400

The agents at ComPro can answer your Medicare questions. Please call (402) 488-5100 or email your questions to chrismcpike@ FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business




John Fulwider GEAR80


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

gear80 helps entrepreneurial leadership teams in Lincoln get everything they want from their businesses. John Fulwider is a Professional EOS® Implementer and the founder of gear80. Tell us a little about your business. - I help clients like EyeCare Specialties, ComPro, Bulu Box, Bluestem Fiber, and Berry Law Firm implement a proven, complete system with a set of simple tools that get them vision, traction, and healthy. We get to the point where everyone’s rowing in the same direction, gaining consistent traction to execute on the vision, and moving forward together shoulder-toshoulder as a healthy and cohesive team. How did you get started in the business? - gear80 is the fourth business I’ve founded in Lincoln. Before this, two of my executive coaching clients said the same thing to me in the same week: “John, I need tools.” For both clients, their visions were clear. Their teams were healthy and cohesive. But the accountability, discipline, and execution that were supposed to link the two were absent. They were frustrated. So I went looking for tools and found Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. The book described a complete solution to the problems my clients were facing, in fact to every problem all my clients nationwide over seven years had faced. The solution was called the Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS. At that same time, my older daughter was getting old enough to notice how often I was traveling and her crying broke my heart every time I left. So I committed to EOS and decided I’d only do it within an hour of Lincoln. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Struggling with the effects of anxiety and depression on my performance as a business owner, husband, father, and friend. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Joining the EOS Implementer community. I’m one of 187 business owners worldwide professionally trained to help other business owners implement EOS. Like our clients, we’re all on a path to EOS mastery, so we meet for a full day each quarter, and up to two hours each week, for continuing professional development. This is important for two reasons: 1) If a client issue stumps me, I can get an answer, confidentially, from among 186 other people doing exactly the same kind of work; and 2) It’s not (as) lonely at the top of my business. Tell us a little about your family. - My wonderful wife of 19 years, Jami Lynn Kirkvold Fulwider, is a nurse and teaches nursing for the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing’s Lincoln campus. We have three rambunctious kids: Lillian, 6; Lucille, 3 2/3; and Lucas, 10 months. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - The day Jesus Christ saved me. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - MilkWorks, Lincoln’s breastfeeding support center. My wife and I are infertile. So when we finally got pregnant after four long years of soul-crushing struggle, we were perhaps more nervous than your average parents about our newborn daughter’s health. Breastfeeding was not going well at the hospital and we were terrified. Our doula called Ann Seacrest, executive director of MilkWorks, and arranged an afterhours, weekend consult for us. Ann and her staff are our heroes. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Sebastian’s Table, which is reopening this year! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Text/call (402) 202-2820; email; subscribe to my newsletter, “EOS, Entrepreneurship, Events, and Eating in Lincoln” at



Barb Tyler

THE WOODLANDS AT HILLCREST Set to open this spring, The Woodlands at Hillcrest will soon be the newest assisted living and memory care community in Lincoln. Barb Tyler is the Director of Community Relations for The Woodlands at Hillcrest. Tell us a little about your business. - The Woodlands at Hillcrest will be the first in the state to be managed by Life Care Services, which is the 3rd largest senior care company in the U.S. Besides the excellent care and being staffed 24/7 by nurses, The Woodlands will offer exceptional hospitality, amenities, and security for the residents and their families. With over 12 floor plans to choose from, spectacular views of Hillcrest Country Club and a welcoming Town Center, The Woodlands is an ideal location for the growing aging population who want safety, medical care, and ambiance within their home. How did you get started in the business? - I became interested in senior care when my mother had a stroke. I have a real estate license so I knew enough about housing availability, but not nearly enough as to what an aging parent needs. While researching options I saw an opening for a position in sales at an independent/assisted living community, applied, and was hired. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - It’s always starting over in a new position with a new company, but it is also a blessing. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Three come to mind right away; 1) Reimagining the Star City Holiday Parade into a festival weekend; 2) Moving the Lancaster County Relay for Life to Haymarket Park for the first time and going over the $100K mark for the first time; 3) Raising the occupancy in my first senior living community from 72% to 100% and then having a wait list. Tell us a little about your family. - I have three fabulous grown sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and five grandkids, and have been married to Julian for almost 20 years. He works with HOAs at McCombs Realty along with holding a real estate license. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Moving back to Lincoln from Falls City changed everything for me, and most of it was for the better from the job opportunities to the friends I’ve met. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I love to putz around the yard or just hang out with the husband. I read a book a week, so I probably would be sitting outside if the weather was nice, but now that it’s colder, sitting by the fire. What are you the most proud of? - My sons, hands down! They are all great at what they do, have made wonderful life choices and have terrific families and friends. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - As a Rotarian, I volunteer at The Gathering Place. What is your favorite local restaurant? - I love the Piedmont Bistro, MoMo’s, Hacienda Real, Venue, Carmela’s…too many to name just one! If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Not that he was famous, but it would be my dad. People have told me I am a lot like him. He was killed in a car accident when I was 10 so I have the “kid” perspective; I would like to have known him as an adult. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Email:; Phone: (402) 261-0261. FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business




Emily Ruwe KENL INN

Kenl Inn is a full-service pet care facility on 40 acres that offers boarding, training, daycare and grooming. Emily Ruwe is the Manager, Customer Service and Grooming Salon at Kenl Inn. Tell us a little about your business. - At Kenl Inn, we have a great staff of highly competent people who are dedicated to making the stay with us an experience that’s as amazing as possible for your pet. We have many options for activities and seven play yards to group the dogs by size and temperament. We also offer individual activities for pets that are shy or prefer more one-on-one attention like cats. Our staff is trained to cater to and assess the needs of each pet and keep everyone safe. We are proud to be coming up on our 30th anniversary this year in April! How did you get started in the business? - I started as a customer service rep. making appointments, helping and educating clients, and selling food, shampoos, and toys. It was a big change from the vet clinic I worked at in college, but I really enjoy the fast pace and fun culture. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Being promoted to my current position. Tell us a little about your family. - My husband of nine years, Nathan, and I live with our two Shetland Sheepdogs, Brie and Colby. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - I had to re-evaluate my path after not getting into veterinary school. It was disappointing, but I had a degree and a desire to work with animals. I’d been working in a lab with one of my professors, but it was not fulfilling. When I interviewed with Kenl Inn, I knew I’d found my place. The people were passionate and caring. I was amazed by the size and cleanliness of the facility. I could see myself there long-term, and it’s been almost 11 years now. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - One of my hobbies is brewing beer. I love all styles especially Double IPAs and sours. I help my husband design recipes and we brew in our garage. Joining the Lincoln Lagers has introduced me to some amazing people in the community and helped us become better brewers. What are you the most proud of? - Swimming is what brought me to Nebraska. It was my goal to swim at the college level, but injuries in high school affected my recruiting process. UNL gave me a chance and I was able to persevere with those injuries and compete for three years with the Huskers. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Be true. I have it tattooed as a reminder to always follow my instincts and go my own way. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - My favorite author is David Sedaris. I own all his books and I just finished Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002). He has such a unique way of looking at the world. He takes the most mundane things and makes them hilarious. What is your favorite movie? - It’s a toss-up between Garden State and Good Will Hunting. I was also really moved by Lady Bird. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Phat Jack’s for BBQ, Honest Abe’s for a burger and fries, Yia Yia’s for pizza and a beer.


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If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 488-8190; Email:; Website:



Matt Clare

UNION BANK & TRUST Union Bank & Trust is the third largest privately-owned bank in Nebraska, offering complete banking, lending, investment and trust services. The bank has 38 full service and loan production offices in Nebraska and Kansas. Matt Clare is a Commercial Loan Officer at Union Bank & Trust. Tell us a little about your role at Union Bank & Trust. - As a commercial lender, I work with existing and prospective commercial clients and help them reach their short- and long-term financial goals by assisting with their credit and depository banking needs. How did you get started in the business? - A college professor of mine, Professor Luthans, told our class, “If you want a good resumebuilding job, go work for a bank.” I started working at Union Bank when I was 19 and have never looked back. I’ve since worked in multiple different areas of the bank. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Education has always been important to me, so I applied to the MBA program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned my degree while simultaneously working full-time. While completing my master’s program, I participated in several business case competitions and explored a wide variety of topics that have ultimately helped me in my career. Tell us a little about your family. - With the exception of my aunt and uncle in Tampa and sister in New York, I’m very fortunate to have the majority of my family residing in Lincoln, including my parents and siblings, both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - If it’s just one day, I enjoy working on house and yard projects while listening to podcasts. If it’s more than one day, I like to travel. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I once accidentally swallowed a nail while working on a home improvement project (Note to others: DON’T hold nails in your mouth). One trip to the ER later, I was as good as new. What are you the most proud of? - I am incredibly proud of my family. As of May 2018, all four of my siblings will have graduated from college, and two are in the process of obtaining master’s degrees. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Teleportation; it takes too long to get from point A to point B! If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I’m a huge sports fan, but unfortunately never possessed the athletic ability to make it professionally in sports. However, I’d like to own a sports team someday. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I am on the Leadership Council for Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group, am a part of the MBA Advisory Board at UNL, and serve on the Board of Directors for Heartland’s Big Brothers Big Sisters. What is your favorite TV show? - I’m a big fan of Shark Tank. I love seeing new business ideas and really enjoy hearing the sharks’ perspectives on business deals. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Piedmont Bistro. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Mark Cuban. I’d love to learn about how he thinks and views opportunities. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Office: (402) 323-1303; Email:

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business




Andy Palmquist AQUA SYSTEMS

Aqua Systems has been helping people improve their water since 1959, based out of Lincoln, NE and servicing clients statewide as part of a national company with over 300 dealers nationwide. Andy Palmquist is the Director of Business Development for Aqua Systems in Nebraska. Tell us a little about your business. - Aqua Systems has been providing water solutions to the Lincoln and Omaha communities and surrounding areas for over 16 years. We are locally owned and provide a variety of services to handle soft water and drinking water solutions to residential, commercial, and industrial clients. Although we can provide bottled water when necessary, a primary focus of our company is to show how point of use water can drastically reduce and even eliminate the need for plastic containers and bottles. Through reverse osmosis and filtering systems, pure and healthy drinking water can be achieved in homes and businesses throughout the region. How did you get started in the business? - I recently joined the Aqua Systems team working in business development. I worked for ten years for a local water company, delivering water and salt and working with clients around southeast Nebraska, and two years for a local safety company, providing service and sales throughout Nebraska and northern Kansas. I began working for Aqua Systems in September. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I enjoy golf. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to play as much as I would like, golf affords me the ability to challenge myself to think through difficult situations. Good shots and bad shots are part of my golf game, but there is always a clean slate waiting for me at the next tee box. My son now has his own clubs, so I plan to spend time with him on the course. What are you the most proud of? - My son Hayden. As a father, my life away from work revolves around my seven-year-old son. From baseball to soccer to football to basketball and beyond, my greatest joys are plugging him into programs that provide teamwork, comradery, respect, and relationships with kids his age. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” (For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, 1940). If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Trustworthy. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - My new position also allows me to invest in others, especially youth programs. I have recently applied to volunteer with TeamMates mentoring program in the Lincoln Public School system, and I’m looking forward to the rewarding experience that will provide for both the mentee and myself. What is your favorite movie? - Pulp Fiction. What is your favorite TV show? - Parks and Recreation. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Copal Progressive Mexican Cuisine.


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If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Stop in, give me a call, or send me an email. Andy Palmquist, Aqua Systems, 5501 N. 58th Street, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE, 68507; Office: (402) 466.6800; Cell: (402) 310-4584; Email: andy@



Teresa Hodgen 360 CLEAN

360 Clean, LLC recently began offering professional cleaning services to Lincoln and surrounding areas within a 40-mile radius. Teresa Hodgen is the owner of 360 Clean. Tell us a little about your business. - 360 Clean was started with the vision of providing high-end customer service. We clean homes, buildings, apartments, new construction, move outs, and offer a la carte services such as window cleaning, carpet cleaning, floor care, and more. We aren’t like other cleaning companies; our service is personal. How did you get started in the business? - In April of 1990 I started Hire-A-Maid. I wanted a flexible schedule so I could be at home when I needed to be for my 5-year-old daughter, who was starting Kindergarten. Last year I sold that company, but decided to start another to meet the need I saw with clients who were hiring separate companies to perform the different tasks that they needed to have done. While Hire-A-Maid was mostly residential, with this company I hope to do more commercial work. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I’m naturally a risk-taker, but five years after starting my first company my husband decided he needed a divorce and the fear, panic, and stress of now being single, self-employed, and the sole provider for my kids set in. Fortunately I’m a survivor and made it through with a lot of hard work, sweat, and tears. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Similarly, being able to support myself and three kids on my own. During that time I was also able to invest in real estate and bought nine homes, eight of which are rental properties. I credit my success to being able to budget wisely and serious determination. Tell us a little about your family. - I have three amazing kids, Allisyn, Geralyn, and Nick. I remarried 10 years ago and my husband, Scott, has four kids. I have seven grandkids and get to watch them regularly, which I absolutely love being able to do. I have a great life. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Well, let’s just say I’ve been through a lot of trials personally and professionally. I’m always learning as I go and excited for what the future holds. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Enjoy silence! Don’t ask me any hard questions; well, actually don’t even talk to me unless it’s very important. I use that time to regroup and destress. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I have a nagging pull to escape into the wilderness and live like a Neanderthal. About as close as I can get to that is outdoor excursions; I’m walking the Appalachian Trail this coming July. What are you the most proud of? - My kids. They’re such loving and good people. All three have a work ethic that I don’t see in many young people these days. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Family first, money second. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - 360 Clean donates a portion of our earnings on each job to Royal Family Kids. I chose this organization because I can’t stand to see children not being taken care of or getting hurt. They are so precious. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Any place that will serve me food and a beer without me moving a muscle. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 460-0883; Email:; Website:

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


ASK THE EXPERT: GEAR80 402-202-2820

by John Fulwider, Founder gear80

Losing Business Traction Isn’t Like Losing Bicycle Traction

Biking along 48th Street in Lincoln after a nice rain, I hit a mud patch on the sidewalk and lost traction. And then it hit me (a thought, not a tree): Losing traction on my bike is a sudden “Yikes!” event. It’s scary, but then it’s done. Losing traction in business is a long-term, drawn-out “Ugh.” It’s a series of frustrating events, day in and day out. Without traction in your business, you spin your wheels for a long time and get nowhere. You run mentally into one or more of these five frustrations: • Your people. You’re not all on the same page, and certainly not rowing in the same direction. • Your profit. There’s not enough of it—though it seems you’re pushing harder than you ever have before! • Your control. It seems like your business owns you. • Your growth. Your business has hit a ceiling, and so (seemingly) have you, no matter what you’ve tried. • Your solutions. Your people roll their eyes these days at change initiatives because strategy shifts and quick fixes haven’t worked. Getting my bicycle traction back involved a simple, quick steering correction. You can get traction in your business with a simple steering correction as well. It won’t be as quick; it typically takes 24 months. But when you’ve got it, you’ll have: • Brought discipline and accountability into your company • Become great at execution • Taken your vision down to the ground level and made it real (where the rubber meets the road, you might say, if you were as given to humorously referencing clichés as I am) The Entrepreneurial Operating System is the simple, complete and proven way thousands of business owners in every industry have stopped spinning their wheels. They’ve realized they’re: • Pushing harder on the gas pedal (or the bicycle pedals, as it were) • Working longer hours • And not seeing the business results they want, all while ... • Spending too much time at work • Spending too little time with their families • And not enjoying the work itself And then, the ones who are growth-oriented and willing to be open and honest get help from a Professional EOS Implementer, and they get traction. So, look at the orange wheel on this page. Which portion seems missing, bald, or flat? That’s where you need to work, and where I can help. Text or call me anytime—just use a headset if you’re calling from the bike trail!


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PERSONNEL NEWS Access Family Medicine Welcomes Dr. Stephanie Peterson Access Family Medicine is excited to introduce Dr. Stephanie Peterson, who has joined the practice as its second primary care physician. She officially began seeing patients on January 1st. Dr. Peterson is a Nebraska native who, after graduating from Lincoln East High School, attended University of Texas where she earned her BA in the Plan II Honors program, BS in Nursing, and MS in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. She subsequently received her MD at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Upon returning home to Lincoln, Dr. Peterson completed her residency at the Lincoln Medical Education Partnership in 2007 and has been in private practice since. Her special areas of interest are women’s health, psychiatry, pediatrics, and medical acupuncture. Dr. Peterson enjoys family medicine because it allows her to integrate her diverse experiences and holistic approach towards health care and believes the doctor-patient relationship is key to bringing about positive outcomes in prevention, treatment, and management of our health. Please join Access Family Medicine in welcoming Dr. Stephanie Peterson! Feel free to stop by the office at 8101 O Street, Suite 302 in Legacy Square to meet Dr. Peterson, check out the new space, and learn more about what Access Family Medicine has to offer! For more information, call (402) 858-1510 or visit www.

HomeServices of Nebraska Announces Leadership Change HomeServices of Nebraska, comprised of Lincoln’s leading residential real estate brands HOME Real Estate and Woods Bros Realty and the full-service title and escrow company Nebraska Land Title & Abstract, announced that Shannon Harner, general manager and chief legal officer, has assumed the role of president and chief executive officer. Gene Brake, former president and CEO of HomeServices of Nebraska has been named chairman emeritus where he will continue to play an active role supporting Harner and her leadership team. As president and CEO, Harner will shape the companies’ strategy and direct operations with a focus on driving future growth while preserving their legacy of exceeding expectations known to generations of buyers and sellers. Harner began her career with predecessors of HomeServices of Nebraska in 1993 when she served as outside general counsel to Woods Bros Realty. In 2007, Harner became in-house counsel and then moved into the general manager position in 2014 where she has been actively engaged in brokerage operations and has provided guidance and direction to the company’s 370 licensed Realtors®. With nearly 40 years of real estate experience, including almost ten years as president and CEO, Brake is a leader with impeccable business ethics and personal sincerity. Under his leadership, HOME Real Estate and Woods Bros Realty have grown to become leading real estate companies in Nebraska. Brake, a long-time resident of the area, is widely recognized for his community involvement and leadership and is active in the real estate industry on both the state and national levels.

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


PERSONNEL NEWS Jason Korn Selected as General Manager of Tabitha Welcomes Michaela Johanns-Young 48 Bowl, Inc. as Director of Program Development 48 Bowl, Inc. is excited to welcome Jason Korn, who recently joined the company as General Manager. Jason has been an avid bowler since the age of four and started working in bowling centers at the age of 17. He has experience in every aspect of the bowling business including: lane & machine maintenance, food & beverage, customer service, pro shop, and coaching. Jason also operated his own real estate business for 11 years. During his time in real estate, he learned the biggest key to small business success is relationships. Building genuine relationships with customers is what he enjoys most about operating a business. Jason has a passion for bowling and understands how important it is for local businesses and families to be able to come to the bowling center to have a great experience as well as forget about their daily stress and challenges for a few hours. Jason plans to continue to build a team of staff focused on providing a great customer experience at both bowling centers, while also providing 48 Bowl team members with a safe and fun place to work. Jason can be contacted at (402) 466-1911 or via email at 48 Bowl, Inc. is locally owned and consists of Parkway Lanes and Hollywood Bowl. For more information, please visit


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Tabitha, Nebraska’s industry-leading Senior Care provider, welcomes Michaela JohannsYoung as director of program development for the Tabitha Foundation. Johanns-Young comes to Tabitha with over 10 years of experience in program development and management, including event promotions, grant reporting and compliance. She was instrumental in developing strategic recruitment and budget plans as well as staff training for one of Lincoln’s most widely known foster care programs. She serves on several boards of organizations that provide family-centered services. “Michaela comes to Tabitha with an impressive background and a demonstrated ability to enhance programs that support the community,” said Heath Stukenholtz, chief development officer of the Tabitha Foundation. “Her expertise will help guide us to attain our fundraising and program goals and we are very grateful to have her as part of the Tabitha team.” As a for-purpose, nonprofit organization, Tabitha relies on the friendship and generosity of donors to help deliver Nebraska’s first and most comprehensive line of Senior Care services including advanced in-home support, innovative living communities, exceptional rehabilitation, skilled nursing care and compassionate hospice support. Contact the Tabitha Foundation at (402) 486-8509 to discover how donors can leave a compassionate legacy. For answers to all your aging questions, visit

PERSONNEL NEWS Justine Petsch Named Public Policy Specialist With Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Lincoln Chamber of Commerce President, Wendy Birdsall, has announced the hiring of Justine Petsch to serve in the role of Public Policy Specialist. This completes the Public Policy Division of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, which is integral and committed to serving as the primary advocate for business at the local, state and federal level. Justine is a natural fit for partnering with businesses as she previously served as the Southeast Regional Director of Membership for the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation and in the marketing and banking industries. Petsch is an alumnus of Nebraska Wesleyan University and has been very involved in the community serving in Kiwanis, Leadership Nebraska Class V, Heartland 2050 Board and a board member for the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries.

West Gate Bank® Welcomes Dana Bashear, Promotes Stacy Romero The West Gate Bank® Board of Directors has elected Dana Brashear to the title of Vice President, TPO Customer Management & Mortgage Project Management and Stacy Romero to the title of Mortgage Banking Officer for the West Gate Bank Correspondent Mortgage division. Originally from Oklahoma, Brashear holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Arts from Northeastern State University. With 15+ years in the banking industry, she will Dana Bashear manage the day-to-day responsibilities of the mortgage department, project fulfillment and TPO Channel customer management. In addition, she will aid the department in achieving sales and customer service goals, oversee product development and assist in the development of client policies. Brashear has served as a Past President for her local Rotary Club, is a member of the Kiwanis Club, Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women. Stacy Romero Dana Brashear can be reached at (918) 8592750 or via email at Romero joined Correspondent Mortgage Services department at West Gate Bank in 2016 with nearly 20 years of experience in the banking industry. She will continue to establish and maintain Correspondent Mortgage relationships with new and existing clients, identify prospective new clients and facilitate the new application process. In addition, she will provide training to Correspondents regarding West Gate Bank’s policies, procedures, programs and technology as it relates to Correspondent Mortgage. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Romero is a member of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association. She previously served as Vice President for the Tulsa chapter of the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women. Stacy Romero can be reached at (402) 853-7318 or sromero@

FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business



Nebraska Cultural Endowment Hires Kyle Cartwright as New Executive Director

Strictly Business Editor Amanda Wilson Celebrates 5 Years

The Board of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment recently announced that Kyle Cartwright has been named Executive Director. Cartwright will carry out NCE’s mission and play a vital role in fundraising activities. The new role went into effect on January 1, 2018. Cartwright has an extensive background in the arts and in administration. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nebraska– Lincoln, during which time he interned with the Nebraska Arts Council. Following graduation, he worked in administration at both the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and also taught music for a brief time within Lincoln Public Schools. Most recently, Cartwright served as the Development Manager at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. This year marks 20 years of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment creating sustainability funding for our state’s cultural resources. Cartwright is eager to oversee the Endowment as it impacts future generations, stating, “When young people grow up with robust experiences, they gain a more well-rounded and comprehensive perspective on the world around them, which allows them to interact more maturely with others and their surroundings. This has a compounding impact on our community as people grow to consume and support more cultural offerings, lending not only to better quality of life, but to an economic boost through cultural investment.” For additional information, contact: or (402) 595-2722.

Amanda Wilson, Editor of the Strictly Business Lincoln and Omaha publications, is celebrating five years with the company this month!


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Beginning her career as Strictly Business celebrated its 20th anniversary, she reaches this milestone simultaneous with its silver anniversary. Wilson has much to be proud of with the body of work that has been produced each year over the course of the past five, as she composes much of the content on behalf of her clients along with her duties as managing editor. With two magazines each month that reach a collective 25,000+ offices and business locations in Lincoln and the Omaha Metro, she has been responsible for the editorial content in 120 magazines in the time she has been with Strictly Business and her work has been read by hundreds of thousands of readers. Regarding this career accomplishment, Wilson warmly states that it has been an honor to have this opportunity and to promote a wide variety of clients who all contribute to making our business community one that continues to thrive. She also credits the other members of her team for being tremendously dedicated to the quality of the magazines and the success of the clients that Strictly Business is fortunate to promote. Please join us in congratulating Amanda Wilson on her 5th anniversary with Strictly Business!


Thomas P. McCarty a New Shareholder at Keating O’Gara Law Firm The Keating O’Gara law firm in Lincoln, Nebraska is pleased to announce Thomas P. McCarty has been made shareholder in the firm. McCarty joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2012 and since that time has concentrated his practice on employment and labor law, and on civil litigation. He is an outstanding lawyer and colleague, and a tremendous asset to our firm. McCarty will continue to serve our clients in both the public and private sectors with careful and thorough consideration, top-notch legal advice, and impassioned advocacy. Keating O’Gara Law has provided exceptional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Nebraska for over 70 years. The firm focuses on serious personal injury, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, complex civil litigation, business formation, labor law and family law, offering the same excellence and passion to every client. For more information, please call (402) 475-8230 or visit

Stephanie Tietjen Joins Keller Williams Derek J Kats, Realtor and co-owner of Keller Williams Lincoln (www.kellerwilliamslincoln. com), along with his entire staff, welcome the newest addition to their mentorship program and sales force, Stephanie Tietjen. Stephanie is a Nebraska native with ties to Central and Eastern Nebraska has been a resident of the Lincoln community for over 10 years. After buying her first home with her husband and working in real estate law, Stephanie discovered her passion for real estate and her desire to serve and advocate for others in the home buying and selling process. Through prior experience in law, sales and project management, she has developed a keen aptitude for the subtle art of negotiation and brings an unmatched attention to detail and resourcefulness to every transaction. Stephanie will be joining Derek J Kats’ mentorship program working directly with Derek in a dual role of both coordinator and sales agent. Stephanie was drawn to Keller Williams Lincoln by the company’s innovative technology, proven track record and like-minded agents that embody the same values of trust and honesty that she lives her life by. Stephanie states, “It is my goal to provide the highest level of client service and form lasting relationships in the process.” Derek and his staff look forward to watching her future growth and successes. Located at Keller Williams Plaza, 301 S. 70th Street, Suite 200, Keller Williams Lincoln is part of the largest real estate franchise by agent count in the world. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Stephanie Tietjen can be contacted directly at (402) 432-2723.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know & Who Knows You! At Strictly Business Magazine we strive to recognize local businessmen and women for their significant awards, promotions, ac hievements, and/or efforts in partnership with other organizations and the Lincoln community. If you know of someone who meets these criteria and wish to include their news in our publication, please call (402) 466-3330 or submit your news via our website at

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PERSONNEL NEWS NBDC Welcomes Umeda Islamova as New Director of Lincoln Service Center The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) announces the selection of Umeda Islamova as new Director of the NBDC Lincoln Service Center. Umeda received her MBA and BBA degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and grew up in a family of small business owners. She has extensive management and advising experience in the startup and small business community in Lincoln, having held positions at Presage Analytics, ISoft Data Systems, and NUTech. She’s also the founder of The Dua Journal. Umeda’s experience includes successful grant funding applications, marketing skills, financial analysis, and a proven enthusiasm for building relationships that aid in the growth and success of local businesses. The NBDC Lincoln Center is supported by the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business. It is now overseen by Dr. Sam Nelson, Center Director. From 2012 to 2017, the NBDC Lincoln Center was located at Southeast Community College. NBDC is extremely grateful to the support that Southeast Community College provided to host NBDC and for their continued business coaching. The Lincoln Center serves small business owners across southeast Nebraska. Providing business planning, loan packaging and financial analysis, the Center receives most of its client referrals from area lenders. Due to federal and state funding, it charges no fees for basic services. Learn more about NBDC at For more information, contact the NBDC Lincoln Center at (402) 472-4092 /


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Bryan Welcomes New Board Members Bryan Medi cal Center has welcomed four new members to the Bryan Medical Center Board of Tr u s t e e s . T h ey are: Kenneth P. Gross, M.D., anesthesiologist with Associated Anesthesiologists, Dr. Kenneth P. Gross Jack J. Huck P C ; Ja c k J. Huck, executive director, Southeast Community College Educational Foundation; Angela L. Muhleisen, president & CEO of Union Bank & Trust; and Patricia Pansing Brooks, Nebraska state s e n a t o r a n d Angela L. Muhleisen Patricia Pansing Brooks a t t o r n e y, c o founder and vice president of Brooks, Pansing Brooks, PC, LLO. Bryan Medical Center is part of Bryan Health, a Nebraska governed, non-profit health system with a mission to advance the health of individuals in our region through collaboration with physicians and communities.

PERSONNEL NEWS Five Nines Introduces Director of Human Resources Taleena Stanbrough Five Nines is pleased to announce the hiring of Taleena Stanbrough as the Director of Human Resources. Stanbrough has over 11 years of experience in human resources roles. She looks forward to helping the company continue to be successful, and hopes to create a culture of engagement that allows Five Nines teams to continue accomplishing their goals. “We are thrilled to have Taleena join our team,” said Jennie Scheel, Chief Financial Officer at Five Nines. “Her expertise in the field of human resources, as well as her strong work ethic and positive attitude will help Five Nines continue to put the right people in the right seats to reach success.” Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. With offices in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney, Five Nines advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska based businesses, offering Managed IT Services. Through its unique service model, Five Nines’ clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. Learn more at:

Introducing SP Group’s Tax Season Interns SP Group, P.C., a growing entrepreneurial accounting firm, is pleased to introduce its tax season interns: Erica Yound, Clayton Peterson, and Ben Danielson. They are currently attending the University of NebraskaLincoln and majoring in Accounting. Erica Yound, a secondyear intern, will graduate Pictured (L-R): Ben Danielson, in May and start the Clayton Peterson, and Erica Yound. Master’s Program of Professional Accountancy this summer. In her free time, Erica attends different Husker sporting events, goes on concert trips with friends, and spends time with her nephew. Her favorite part about SP Group is her coworkers, but she doesn’t mind when their family members bring in cookies or cinnamon rolls. Clayton Peterson, a second-year intern and a senior graduating in August, is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He has lived in Lincoln his whole life and is a graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School. Clayton has played collegiate golf at both Southeast Community College and UNL. Some who play the game would be happy to get a hole in one just once in a lifetime, but Clayton has already had three! Ben Danielson, a junior and first year intern, is from David City, Nebraska. As a Teammates mentor for a middle school student, Ben meets weekly with him to build trust and promote academic growth and achievement. Ben is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and a Regents Scholar. His interests include intramurals, golf, skiing, and watching Husker athletics. With a strong belief in the power of positive relationships, SP Group is composed of uniquely talented individuals who combine into one strong and cohesive team. They work as a team and win as a team. Erica, Clayton, and Ben: Welcome to the SP Group team! For more information about SP Group, PC, please call (402) 420-7758 or visit

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PERSONNEL NEWS Michele Carlson of Legacy Arbors Earns NAAPCC Certification Michele Carlson became a credentialed professional by the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAPCC). The NAAPCC evaluated activity programs that Carlson designed and educational in-services she has delivered throughout the community. Carlson also had to pass a 500-question exam. “Michele is a creative thinker who isn’t afraid to think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to helping our residents live a fulfilled life at the Legacy Arbors,” stated Stacie Conner, Director of Nursing at the Legacy Retirement Communities’ memory care community. “She follows our founder’s advice in always finding the ‘Slight Edge’ that continues to make us leaders in our industry. She treats our residents with compassion and respect to the individuals they are and where they are at in their disease process.” The Legacy Arbors Memory Care Community shares a campus with the Legacy Terrace in the Havelock area. Legacy Retirement Communities also provides seniors 55+ in Lincoln with Independent and Assisted Living with a multitude of floor plans to choose from. For more information or to schedule a visit, please visit legacyretirement. com or call (402) 436-3000. To contact the Legacy Arbors directly, please call (402) 466-3777. Additionally, find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Brandon Smith Earns RICP® Designation Brandon Smith, AIF, senior vice president, Investments, at Raymond James has earned the designation of retirement income certified professional (RICP ®) from The American College of Financial Services. The RICP® program has the broadest curriculum of any retirement income designation, spread out among 18 competencies over three courses. The curriculum is both practical and comprehensive and looks at various withdrawal planning approaches and Social Security claiming strategies, as well as long term care, healthcare, income tax planning, and legacies. The RICP® program offers relevant solutions to modern retirement income planning scenarios ranging from the common to complex. Smith is employed by Raymond James & Associates, 8700 Executive Woods Dr., Ste. 300, Lincoln, NE 68512. Find him online at www. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/ SIPC, which has built a national reputation for more than 50 years as a leader in financial planning for individuals, corporations and municipalities, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE-RJF), a leading diversified financial services company with approximately 7,300 financial advisors in 3,000 locations throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. Total client assets are $704 billion.

PERSONNEL NEWS American Institute of Architects Nebraska Chapter Elects 2018 Board The American Institute of Arc hitects, Nebraska Chapter, announces the election of their 2018 Board of Directors. President, Jeff Monzu, AIA, Leo A Daly; President-Elect, Vanessa Schutte, AIA, DLR Group; Secretary, Michael Sinclair, AIA, Schemmer; Treasurer, Dan Grasso, AIA, Sinclair Hille Architects; Directors: Matthew DeBoer, AIA, HDR; Michael Alley, AIA, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture; Associate Directors: Lisa Bell, Associate AIA, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture; Codah Gatewood, Associate AIA, Studio 951 and Past President Dave Johnson, AIA, Studio 951. The American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society. Resources at

Nebraska Bank of Commerce Promotes Four NBC is pleased to announce the following promotions: Danielle Smith, senior vice president of compliance, human resources, security & training. Smith has been with the NBC team since Danielle Smith Whitney Wittstruck August 2012. Over the past five years, she has guided the bank’s compliance efforts and has also assumed expanded roles with NBC’s sister companies, Mountain View Bank of Commerce and NBC Tr ust Company. Nate Keller Miles Anderson Whitney Wittstruck, assistant vice president of deposit operations. Wittstruck has been with NBC since January 2012. She started at NBC as the downtown manager but then took on an expanded role in managing all of the electronic banking channels that NBC offers. In addition, Wittstruck assumed the role of BSA officer for the bank. Nate Keller, assistant vice president of commercial banking. Keller has been with NBC since January 2014. Over the past three years, Keller has worked both in the credit analysis and commercial banking areas. Miles Anderson, senior credit analyst. Anderson began his career with NBC in May 2015 as a teller and then moved to a credit analyst intern. Upon graduation, he started full time in the credit analysis department. Nebraska Bank of Commerce was formed December 3, 2007. Today, the bank has 40 employees and has grown to over $128 million in assets. The bank’s continued focus is on partnering with customers and the community, community involvement and local decision making. For more information about NBC, please call (402) 423-2111 or visit www.

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PERSONNEL NEWS Dr. Michael Myers Joins Holmes Lake Family Medicine & Internal Medicine Bryan Physician Networ k welcomes Michael Myers, MD to Holmes Lake Family Medicine & Internal Medicine. Dr. Myers joined the practice on January 2 and cares for patients of all ages. He has special interest in ongoing wellness care and helping patients with chronic (ongoing) medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and others. Holmes Lake Family Medicine & Internal Medicine offers excellent health care in a pleasant, professional environment focused on you, with a full range of health services for children, teens, men and women from routine health screenings and exams to comprehensive ongoing care. The practice is located at 6900 Van Dorn, Suite 24. Dr. Myers is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call (402) 489-3200. Online:

Nebraska Community Foundation Welcomes Two to Growing Team


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Nebraska Community Foundation has welcomed two new members to its staff – Denise Garey of McCook and Katie Kinsella of Lincoln. Garey and Kinsella are among six new employees the foundation has welcomed in the past two years, the majority of whom are occupying newly created positions, just one indicator of NCF’s dramatic growth in recent years. Denise Garey will serve NCF as an affiliated fund development coordinator focused on southwest Nebraska, including her hometown Denise Garey of McCook. As affiliated fund development coordinator, she provides training, education and resources to local volunteers as they strengthen and enhance their community impact. Prior to the Foundation, she served as fund coordinator for McCook Community Foundation Fund, housing director at McCook Economic Development Corporation and director of community relations for Northeast Community College. Katie Kinsella also joins the Nebraska Community Foundation team as executive Katie Kinsella assistant to the CEO. She provides support to the CEO, performing a variety of organizational, logistical and administrative duties. Prior to joining the NCF team, she worked as an executive assistant at Nebraska Heart Institute. Nebraska Community Foundation empowers community leaders, builds nonprofit capacity, and links charitable giving to the creation of greater economic opportunity and prosperity. Headquartered in Lincoln, the Foundation serves communities, donors and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education and training to a statewide network of 1,500 volunteers serving 250 communities. In the last five years, 39,142 contributions have been made to Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds. Since 1993, Nebraska Community Foundation has reinvested $291.6 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit

PERSONNEL NEWS Radio Talking Book Service Announces New Staff in 2018 Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) saw the retirement of three key employees in 2017-- Paul Stebbins, Station Manager, retired after 11 years; Ann Pelikan, Weekend Board Operator, retired after 8 years; and longtime Volunteer Coordinator Sybil Mahan retired after 23 years. Thus, 2018 begins with new team members—congratulations to new hires Ryan Osentowski, Station Manager; Michael Halula, Weekend Board Operator; and Betty Deepe, Volunteer Coordinator! Radio Talking Book Service has served as Nebraska’s audio companion for 43 years, bringing the printed word to life for the blind and visually impaired. Volunteers read newspapers, magazines and books providing human-voiced print information for individuals with visual or physical disabilities which prevent them from reading printed material. For more information or to arrange a tour of the studio, visit the website at or call (402) 572-3003.

Nebraska Recycling Council Announces Election of New Board Members Nebraska Recycling Council (NRC), a statewide nonprofit dedicated to maximizing the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska, is pleased to announce the election of three new board members at its annual meeting in October. Beginning 2-year terms in January 2018 are Brittney Albin, Sustainability Director, Lincoln Public Schools (Lincoln, NE); Kim Burge, Fundraising Coach (Valentine, NE); and Larissa Binod, Environmental Educator (Kimball, NE). Officers elected for 2018 are Danielle Easdale, President; Craig Gubbels, Vice President and Secretary; and Marty Hager, Treasurer. Three existing board members were reelected for 2-year terms: Anna Baum, Upper Loup NRD, (Mullen, NE), Craig Gubbels, Integrated Recycling (Mead, NE), and Frank Uhlarik, City of Lincoln (Lincoln, NE). They will join Matt Ashmore, Eagle Printing (Lincoln, NE), Danielle Easdale, Firstar Fiber (Omaha, NE), Cliff Fleener, Valmont Industries (Valley, NE), Marty Hager (Lincoln, NE), Gene Hanlon, City of Lincoln (Lincoln, NE), and Dan Warren, Aqua Systems (Lincoln, NE). Nebraska Recycling Council is a statewide, member-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska. Our goal is to re-energize recycling in Nebraska through innovation, education, training, and the power of collaboration. Visit for more information.

Brittney Albin

Kim Burge

Larissa Binod

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NON-PROFIT NEWS Camp Summergold Gears Up for Summer 2018 Season There are exciting things going on at Camp Summergold in preparation for the upcoming Summer 2018 session, which will take place June 3-10! Camp Summergold is currently hiring female counselors and those interested must be 19 years old. Apply online at, where you’ll also find all things Summergold. Registration is also currently underway, with an early bird registration discount being offered until February 15. Scholarship applications are also available online at and must be completed by March 15. The 2018 programming includes Engineering, Painting, Acting and Paleontology. Camp Summergold is a unique resident summer camping experience where girls explore science and arts learning mixed with the campfires and swimming of a traditional camp. It is located at The Leadership Center in Aurora, Nebraska, a beautiful 27-acre property with an indoor pool, volleyball courts, and air conditioned bunk houses. The mission of Camp Summergold is to bring a diverse group of adolescent girls together to explore creativity, knowledge and stewardship through arts and science based mentor-centered workshops and collective girl power.

Subaru Donates New Wheels to Tabitha Meals on Wheels Program Tabitha Meals on Wheels’ longstanding program has ser ved up door-todoor compassion with hot nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to the Lincoln community for over 50 years. In recognition of this lifeline ser vice, Tabitha has been honored with a generous donation of a 2018 Subaru Outback Experiencing firsthand the difference a meal from Subaru of America makes, the Duteau team - Mike Minnick, in partnership with Meals Lynn Sunderman and Eric Klein - along with on Wheels America, both Tabitha Foundation’s Heath Stukenholtz also celebrating their 50th and Gina Cotton get ready to take the car out for its first round of meal deliveries. anniversaries. “Delivering food to 500-plus friends and neighbors throughout Lincoln who count on us each and every day is no small task,” shared Tabitha Chief Development Officer Heath Stukenholtz. “The donation of this Subaru means we have a safe vehicle to rely on as we make our rounds across the city. So much more than a meal, this program delivers independence and peace of mind. Tabitha Meals on Wheels is extremely grateful for this kind gift from Subaru of America, along with more than 1,000 devoted Tabitha Meals on Wheels volunteers who power this program.” Subaru donated 50 new 2018 Subaru Outback vehicles to select Meals on Wheels programs throughout the country, to be used in the delivery of meals across 39 states. Subaru has supported the Meals on Wheels America network for the last nine years through its annual philanthropic event, Share the Love campaign.


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The Subaru and Meals on Wheels partnership is part of Subaru Loves to Help, a pillar of the automaker’s larger Subaru Love Promise Community Commitment effort dedicated to making a positive impact on local communities across the country.

NON-PROFIT NEWS CEDARS Expanding Services to Bellevue A long-standing Nebraskabased nonprofit is expanding its services for children, youth and families into the Bellevue and Omaha, Nebraska area. CEDARS, a c hild-caring organization already provides one-on-one advocacy and mentoring to youth in the Bellevue area to help them get back on track before they get deeper involved with law enforcement. With this expansion, additional services, including CEDARS Foster Care and Family Support programs will be in place to serve the community. Because CEDARS foster parents are equipped with exceptional training, have access to the staff team 24/7, support groups, and quarterly gatherings for foster families, CEDARS is one of the most trusted foster care teams in the state. CEDARS passion for helping kids in crisis and building strong families has been fueled by community involvement and support for over 70 years. Since its founding in Lincoln in 1947 by a loving couple who sought to provide a loving home for 22 children in need, the organization has been on a mission to provide safe refuge to children and youth who have no other safe place to spend the night. Anyone wishing to join the growing CEDARS team as an employee, foster parent, or volunteer is encouraged to visit For more information about how CEDARS cares for children and their families, call (402) 434-KIDS (5437) or visit

Bright Lights Need-Based Scholarships Available Bright Lights is pleased to announce that needbased scholarships will be available again this year for kindergarten-8th grade students interested in their summer classes and camps. These scholarships are made possible through the generous donations of committed community organizations and individuals with the goal to make Bright Lights classes and camps available to all students, regardless of financial status. Students may apply for a scholarship at starting March 24. All scholarship applications are then reviewed and awards are based on financial need until funds are depleted. A student is eligible for one partial scholarship that can be used for either a half-day class or a full-day camp during Summer 2018. Applications will be accepted until April 15. Once a student’s application has been reviewed, they will be notified of their scholarship award amount. A student’s spot in the class/camp they chose is reserved during this review process. Full information on the scholarship program can be found at https:// . Bright Lights classes are an ideal way for elementary and middle school students to maximize the fun of summer vacation while secretly allowing parents to know their children are avoiding learning loss. The program weeks for Summer 2018 are June 4-8; June 11-15; June 18-22; June 25-29 and July 9-13.

Nebraska Corn Board Celebrates 40 Years The Nebraska Corn Board is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018. Throughout its 40-year history, the state’s corn checkoff has remained committed to its mission of promoting the value of corn by creating opportunities. To kick off its 40th year, the Nebraska Corn Board is releasing a special edition of its CornsTalk newsletter, which highlights significant accomplishments, and looks to the future in areas like research, news uses, biofuels, policy, education and consumer engagement. The 16-page publication will first be released as an insert included in the February edition of the Nebraska Farmer magazine and will then be distributed to weekly and daily newspapers in the state. A redesigned website will also be released in 2018. Over 60 farmer-directors have served on the nine-member board since the Nebraska Corn Board’s inception in 1978. Board members represent eight districts across the state and one director serves as an at-large member.

JDRF Presents Roaring 20th Anniversary Dream Gala The Roaring 20th G a l a i s yo u r c hance to be johnny-on-thespot! Join JDRF and other Good Time Charlie’s on Saturday, April 7th at Embassy Suites-Lincoln to raise some serious moola and tell Type 1 diabetes (T1D) to take a powder! Enjoy a fun-filled, inspiring evening with cocktails, dinner and entertainment. Then, raise your paddle for fabulous silent and premier auction items and one-of-a-kind live auction packages. Throughout the past twenty years, the impact of the Lincoln and Greater Nebraska community has not only brought us closer to a world without T1D, but has helped bring life-changing advances in disease treatment and detection to fruition, keeping those living with the disease healthier and safer until we achieve the ultimate goal of a cure. Your local involvement also allows our staff and volunteers to continue servicing the approximate 6,500 Nebraskans living with T1D, providing support, education and connection. From the youngest patients who receive a diagnosis, to those who have known the burden of life with T1D for decades, your support continues to change lives. Reserve your spot for the 20th Anniversary Dream Gala on Saturday, April 7th - tickets and sponsorships are available today! For more information, please contact Jayne Ullstrom at (402) 484-8300 or Together, we will create a world without T1D! FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business 41

NON-PROFIT NEWS Child Guidance Center Announces February Fundraising Initiative

Call for Entries: Anne Lowe Scholarship Details Announced

Do you have a heart for children’s mental health? Child Guidance Center (CGC) inspires healthy futures for children and families through comprehensive behavioral and mental health services. During the last year, CSG served nearly 1,700 children and families through a variety of programs including three main program areas, which include: Outpatient Services and Outpatient Services-Schools, the Therapeutic Group Home, and the Extended Day Treatment program. During February, Child Guidance Center is trying to raise $10,000 in gifts to help ensure that all children and families who need mental health treatment and services are able to receive them regardless of their ability to pay for services. Did you know that a gift of $111 will provide one hour of outpatient treatment for a child or adult who is uninsured? Did you know that even when there is a funding source, normally there is a gap of what the service costs to provide and the reimbursement that is received? Will you help with a gift of any size today? For more information about Child Guidance Center programs or to make an online donation today, go to or call (402) 475-7666. Please contact Jenny Cardwell, CFRE, Development Director, for more information. Thank you.

Do you know a young adult who is preparing for college or is a returning college student? The Anne Lowe Scholarship, offered by Christian Record Services for the Blind, is awarded annually to further the educational pursuits of people who are legally blind who meet the following criteria: United States citizen engaged full-time in undergraduate studies at an accredited U.S. college or university with a minimum 2.0 GPA.


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Thomas Woodyard, Applicants must supply a financial budget; a 2017 Anne Lowe physician’s note, dated within the past 12 months, verifying the applicant’s legal Scholarship recipient. blindness; an essay, detailing the applicant’s background, achievements, and educational and life goals; a recent photo with a release for publication; proof of U.S. citizenship; and three letters of recommendation.

“Learning, and the desire to achieve greatness while learning, is something that I hold dear to my heart,” says Thomas Woodyard, one of four 2017 scholarship recipients. For more information regarding the application process and to access the online form, visit scholarship. Christian Record Services will accept applications through Sunday, April 15, and scholarship winners will receive notification of their awards in August.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Nebraska Recycling Council Relocates Office The Nebraska Recycling Council team is busy preparing to settle into their new office on February 8th. Remaining headquartered in Lincoln, upon completing the move the Nebraska Recycling Council will be located at 3800 VerMaas Place, Suite 102. The new office will provide a more functional space for the organization, which is very exciting! Nebraska Recycling Council ( is a statewide, member-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska. The goal of the Nebraska Recycling Council is to re-energize recycling in Nebraska through innovation, education, training, and the power of collaboration.

TeamMates Working to Warm Up Lincoln In January of 2018 TeamMates mentors and mentees set out with the goal to make over 100 fleece scarves for Lincoln agencies that provide services to support the homeless and near-homeless in our community. With wind chills as low as -20 degrees so far this year, staying warm is a constant battle. By collaborating with other agencies serving Lincoln including CEDARS, The HUB, People’s City Mission, and Community Action, TeamMates has successfully helped to warm-up Lincoln by spreading scarves and the spirit of giving across our city. TeamMates mentors make a difference. By just showing up, these mentors demonstrate to students the importance of community involvement, but projects like TeamMates’ no-sew scarves for the homeless allow mentors to engage students in a real-world way. Mentors model integrity and stewardship to their mentees. To learn more about how TeamMates is transforming lives, go to www. or call (402) 436-1990.

Show Your Love to Fresh Start, Donate Winter Supplies The month of February, Fresh Start is requesting donation of winter supplies, focusing on items such as liquid caps cold medicine (alcohol free), Kleenexes, sanitizer wipes, hand sanitizer and ChapStick. These items will help residents stay healthy during cold and flu season. Fresh Start is currently offering donation times on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. During these times, there will be staff onsite available to help unload your vehicle. Fresh Start’s mission is to empower homeless women to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency by recognizing and utilizing their strengths. It’s more than a shelter; Fresh Start is a goal-oriented program designed to support women who are working diligently to improve their lives. Call Audrey at Fresh Start at (402) 475-7777 for more information, visit, or find Fresh Start on Facebook (search Fresh Start Home Lincoln).

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NON-PROFIT NEWS Grant to Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska a “WIN” for Domestic Violence Victims In the summer of 2016, Friendship Home along with three other Nebraska Domestic V i o l e n c e P ro g ra m s were trained by the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska (BIA) on aspects of brain injury. Those trained then asked victims being served if they would respond to a brief screening tool to identify victims of domestic violence who might have a possible traumatic brain injury (TBI). A total of 93 victims were screened with 60% screening positive for a potential brain injury. Clearly victims of domestic violence are receiving injuries that seriously impact their health and wellbeing. Friendship Home is proud to announce that as a result of this work, the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska received a generous award from Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) to continue through 2018. The goals moving forward are to improve the capacity of programs such as Friendship Home to identify and accommodate those who may have a possible TBI, improving treatment opportunities for them, and improving their quality of life. Friendship Home and Voices of Hope are partners with the Brain Injury Alliance on this important project. To learn more about Friendship Home, visit To access services, call (402) 437-9302.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available for 2018 Run for Hope The Hope Venture is seeking corporate/private sponsors for its annual Run for Hope event! The Run for Hope is a 5k/10k run at Pioneers Park in support of the backpack program at The Hope Venture. All of the proceeds raised will fund backpacks filled with a year’s worth of school supplies for children living in poverty in India. Without these supplies they are not able to attend school. This year’s Run for Hope will take place on April 7th. There are several different sponsorship levels available. Inquiries can be directed to Jackie Hinrichsen at (402) 430-1228. Additionally, each year runners are able to join in the fundraising efforts by asking friends and family to sponsor them. This year you can create your own fundraising webpage and direct people there! Anyone interested in participating is invited to join as a runner, challenge friends/coworkers to enter as a team, volunteer at the event, or encourage your employer to sign on as a sponsor! Please visit for more information or contact with any questions. The Hope Venture is a non-profit organization on an adventure to give those in need tangible hope. By linking arms with partners in India, Kenya, and Uganda, The Hope Venture determines local solutions to their local needs.


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Learn more about The Hope Venture at Together, our small acts of great love can change the world.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Vision Maker Media Sets the Stage for Upcoming Film Festival Vision Maker Media is bringing Native storytelling and film to life at the seventh biennial Vision Maker Film Festival. More than 30 new films by diverse filmmakers will showcase at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln, April 20-26. Working with filmmakers of color on all levels is a key focus of this weeklong event, from inspiring future filmmakers to polishing fine skills and knowledge of professional resources. Our partners in the National Minority Consortia (NMC) will each share their feature documentary films and bring filmmakers of color to Lincoln to work with emerging filmmakers. Local Native youth will learn from professional documentary producers during workshops open to the public, April 21-23. Teachers, students and the public are encouraged to attend and learn about a variety of cultures. Vision Maker Media will be screening stories of social justice, hope and overcoming adversity throughout this powerful event. For more information, visit visionmakermedia. org/festival.

Matt Talbot Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator (charitynavigator. org). This is the fourth consecutive time that Matt Talbot has earned this top distinction. “Matt Talbot’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Matt Talbot.” Annual statistics show significant increases in services provided in 2017 compared to 2016. There were 106,722 meals provided in 2017 (an increase of more than 6,000), 35,689 instances of outreach (an increase of more than 12,000), 3757 unduplicated clients served (an increase of nearly 300), and 12,506 instances of volunteerism (an increase of nearly 2400). “It’s important our donors trust that we’re using their donations wisely to defeat hunger and homelessness and restore hope,” said Susanne Blue, Executive Director. “We are proud to report that, with the help of a generous community, we have been able to expand our reach and help more people.” Learn more about Matt Talbot at

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NON-PROFIT NEWS Theatre Arts For Kids Sets Stage for Summer Join Theatre Ar ts For Kids this summer! TAFK just announced its exciting upcoming season, and registration is now open for a host of great classes/ performances. An abundance of educational opportunities in the performing arts will be offered for different age groups, including the following: Total Theatre Experience (Ages 8-12) Date/Time: June 4-8 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Location: Kloefkorn Elementary. Cost: $200. Playwriting Workshop (Ages 10+) Date/Time: June 25-29 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Location: Christ Lutheran Church. Cost: $75. Musical Theatre Training (Ages 8+) Time: 11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.; (Ages 10+) Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Dates: June 11-15 (Voice), June 18-22 (Dance), June 25-29 (Acting). Location: Christ Lutheran Church. Cost: $125. Rising Stars (Ages 3-8) Time: 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Dates: June 1115 (Nursery Rhyme Time); June 18-22 (A Musical Castle); June 25-29 (Animal Fair). Location: Christ Lutheran Church. Cost: $100. Director’s Training: (Ages 12-18) Date/Time: May 29-June 1 & June 4-8 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Cost: $150. Also, auditions will be held for Little Shop of Horrors on May 5th. Seeking performers of all ages – kids, teens, adults – for the show! Rehearsals will be on Monday/Thursday evenings. Performances will be on July 27 and 28. To register or learn more about Theatre Arts For Kids, visit!

Read Aloud Lincoln Efforts Encourage Early Childhood Education


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On behalf of the Prosper Lincoln community agenda, Lincoln Community Foundation recently launched Read Aloud Lincoln. This two-year initiative will spread the word to parents and caregivers that 15 minutes of reading aloud daily from birth to age 8 can profoundly impact success for all Lincoln’s children, both in school and in life. Read Aloud Lincoln’s primary goal is to have every child ready to read when entering kindergarten. “Reading aloud 15 minutes a day, every day, is the single most important thing caregivers can do to prepare their child for school,” said Nancy Larimer, co-director of Read Aloud Lincoln. Read Aloud Lincoln promotes the collaboration and expansion of current early childhood reading opportunities of the Lincoln City Libraries, Lincoln Children’s Museum, Nebraska History Museum, Midwestern African Museum of Art, and the University of Nebraska State Museum. “These libraries and museums will provide fun, educational programming and events to promote reading aloud in a variety of community spaces, while enhancing their exhibits with early readingoriented resources and events,” said Mary Reiman, co-director with Larimer. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to visit to find reading tips, upcoming events and reading recommendations. Read Aloud Lincoln is made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services.

HEALTH NEWS Registration Open for Diabetes Education of the Midlands’ Annual Conference Diabetes Education of the Midlands is hosting their annual conference: Beyond Blood Sugars: Total Body Diabetes Management on April 7, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Embassy Suites La Vista Conference Center, 12520 Westport Parkway, La Vista, NE 68128. This one-day conference addresses new technologies, diabetes facts, and much more, with the goal of providing attendees with the information needed to look beyond blood sugars and manage their health. This program is designed for individuals with diabetes, family members, and those interested in learning more about diabetes. The keynote speaker is Gary Scheiner, author of six books including: Think Like A Pancreas - A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin. Gary has been a Certified Diabetes Educator for 22 years and has had Type 1 diabetes for 33 years. He was named 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and serves on the National Board of Directors for JDRF. Other experts will include endocrinologists, diabetes educators, dentists, sleep specialists, and otolaryngologists. For more information or to register, visit or call (402) 399-0777. Register before February 28th to take advantage of the early bird pricing!

Nebraska Community Blod Bank: It Takes a Village to Save Lives Through Blood Donation When Lisa Bockman started coordinating blood drives at Aksarben Village in 2017, she had no idea she’d be sitting in the donor chair next to her mom, Betty, for her first time donation. What brought her mom out to donate blood? Lisa asked her to do it. The number one reason why people don’t donate blood is because they’ve never been asked. It’s coordinators like Lisa, Special Events Coordinator at Noddle Companies, who are changing that. “Coordinators need to be someone who wants to rally together to help others and build unity in a community, whether it’s various businesses like here at Aksarben or to build community among coworkers elsewhere,” she said. As Lisa works to expand the number of regular donors, she is focusing on educating those who might be afraid. “I’ve been donating regularly since we’ve started hosting and I always have a great experience. The collections team puts me at ease and the process is quick. For those who are apprehensive, I ask them to just stop by, walk through the process with me, see how easy and painless it is and then maybe consider helping save a life themselves.” To schedule a donation, visit NCBB.ORG. Nebraska Community Blood Bank works with more than 150 businesses and organizations to host blood drives in Nebraska. If you are interested in coordinating a blood drive, please email or call (402) 486-9427.

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University of Nebraska Online Nursing Program Moves Up in National Rankings The UNMC College of Nursing is ranked as one of the nation’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by U.S. News & World Report. In its 2018 Best Online Programs rankings released the first week of January, the college’s graduate online nursing program is tied for 58th out of 147 schools, moving up from 61 in 2017 and 73rd in 2016. “This recognition that our graduate advanced practice and nurse leader programs offer such high quality online learning opportunities is important for today’s students and planning ahead for tomorrow’s lifelong learners,” said Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing. “Online strategies provide an array of ways to use technology to support development of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and innovative thinking.” Gathering the information for the rankings required compiling a list of nursing schools offering master’s degree programs online and collecting data from the schools. Five categories were used to rank the programs: student engagement, 30 percent; faculty credentials and training, 20 percent; peer reputation, 20 percent; admissions selectivity, 15 percent; and student services and technology, 15 percent. The college offers a variety of master’s and doctoral of nursing practice degree specialties that use online and other teaching formats. The programs prepare nurse practitioners or executives in specialty tracks of women’s health, adult gerontology, pediatric, pediatric and acute care, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health, and administration.


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NSSA Announces New Stroke Support Groups Two new stroke support groups, run by members of the Nebraska State Stroke Association’s Stroke Advisory Council, will begin in 2018! “Nebraska’s Hope for a Better Tomorrow Stroke Support Groups” will provide dinner, a speaker and sharing time on the 2nd Tuesday of each month in Omaha from 6-7:30 p.m. The 2018 meeting dates are: Feb. 13, Mar. 13, Apr. 10, May 8, Jun. 12, Jul. 10, Aug 14, Sep 11, Oct 9, Nov 13, and Dec 11. The groups meet in two locations: 1. Nebraska Medicine Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Room 121-02, 505 S. 45th Street, Omaha, NE 68198. To learn more, contact: Sarina McNeel at or call (402) 699-2666. 2. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals - Omaha Campus Dodge Room, 17500 Burke Street, Omaha, NE 68118. To learn more, contact: Amy Goldman at or call (402) 413-3184. Did you know there are more than 25 stroke support groups in Nebraska? To search by day, visit More than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. The mission of the Nebraska State Stroke Association is to serve Nebraskans through stroke prevention, education, advocacy, and support services. Since 1985, NSSA has been providing education and outreach on the signs of stroke and serving as a resource for those affected by stroke in Nebraska. To donate to NSSA, find a speaker or learn more, visit www. or contact Linda Stephen at (402) 484-8131 /


Nebraska Workplace Health Symposium Coming this February The American Heart Association is proudly hosting the inaugural Workplace Health Symposium on Thursday, February 22 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center. The Symposium is an innovative opportunity for companies to come together and learn from industry leaders about creating a culture of health and wellness for their employees. “We are expecting attendees ranging from HR and benefits, to company health and wellness leaders. Everyone can do their part to make their workplace healthier,” said Michelle Nielson, Senior Community Health Director for the American Heart Association – Nebraska. Attendance is free of charge. A light breakfast and lunch will be served. Don’t miss this great opportunity to gain valuable information about continuous quality improvement for employee health in the workplace! To register, visit Questions? Contact Michelle Nielson at

Area Companies Recognized for Excellence in Worksite Health and Wellbeing WELLCOM recently recognized more than 30 of the Midlands’ healthiest companies at its annual Excellence in Worksite Wellness Awards Luncheon on November 7 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in La Vista. The 2017 awards recipients include: Governor’s Wellness Award - Large Grower: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska; C&A Industries, Inc.; Gallup; RDG Planning & Design; University of Nebraska Foundation. Small Grower: Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands. Large Sower: Bennington Public Schools; CHI Health; Dial Retirement Communities – Nebraska; Hyatt Global Contact Center – Omaha; Nebraska Organ Recovery; Omaha Performing Arts; Streck; Tenaska. Trek up the Tower Awards - Large Business Corporate Team Award: 1st Place: Berk Up – Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies/National Indemnity Company; 2nd Place: Mutual of Omaha; 3rd Place: Kiewit Corporation. Small Business Corporate Team Award: 1st Place: UNMC College of Allied Health Professions; 2nd Place: RTG Medical – Team RTG; 3rd Place: Interpublic Group. Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces - First Place – Small and MediumSized Category: Lincoln Industries. American Diabetes Association Health Champion Designation - Des Moines University; Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands; Fusion Medical Staffing; Lincoln Industries; National Information Solutions Cooperative; Nelnet; Midland University/Dodge County Head Start; Streck; University of Iowa; University of Nebraska Foundation; University of Nebraska at Omaha; WoodmenLife. American Heart Association Workplace Health Solution Award - Gold: Meredith Corporation. Silver: Creighton University; HDR; Omaha Steaks; Streck. Bronze: Hubbell Realty Company; Nelnet; University of Iowa; University of Nebraska at Omaha; Woodmen Life; Zoetis, Lincoln, NE. Early Adopter: Omaha Performing Arts; Signature Performance, Inc. American Heart Association’s Workplace Healthy Food and Beverage Golden Apple Award - Amphibious Medics; Clinton High School; Creighton University; Fusion Medical Staffing; Kearney County Health Services; Pharmacists Mutual Companies; Scranton Manufacturing Co.; Telligen; Union Pacific Railroad; Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa and South Dakota.

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FRIENDS4LUNCH Last Month: Raising Cane’s Raising Cane’s has ONE LOVE—quality chicken finger meals. Since the first Lincoln location opened in 2006, Raising Cane’s has set out to not just be another restaurant in the community. Raising Cane’s focuses its menu on offering ALWAYS FRESH, NEVER EVER FROZEN® made-to-order chicken fingers paired with their homemade Cane’s sauce, grilled Texas toast brushed with garlic butter, creamy coleslaw and crinkle-cut french fries. At Raising Cane’s you get an exceptionally high quality product served quickly and conveniently in a fun environment. Thank you to all of our friends who joined us this month!

This Month: Cowboy Chicken Cowboy Chicken has been cooking all-natural chicken over a woodburning fire all around the nation for over 30 years. Today, guests can still enjoy the same delicious, wood-fired rotisserie chicken, along with an impressive selection of homemade sides and seasonal menu items. Other dishes include signature sour cream tomatillo c hic ken enc hiladas, scratc hmade sides such as Twice Baked Potaters™, Baked Mac & Cheese, Ranchero Beans and seasonal cobblers baked in-house daily. Offering an authentic, welcoming dining experience, Cowboy Chicken’s Lincoln restaurant is located at 2801 Pine Lake Rd., Suite J. On behalf of our entire Strictly Business team, we would like to invite you to our next Friends4Lunch event we are holding at Cowboy Chicken, February 9th at 11:30 a.m. (Lunch prices range approx. $6-$10). Space is limited and RSVP is requested. 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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402-466-3419 •

LIBA’s Legislative Update The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) has been reviewing bills up for consideration during the 2018 Legislative Session. LIBA’s Board of Directors has approved several LIBA positions so far. These positions include support of three legislative bills and review of two tax plans. LIBA is supporting the bills below: LB510 from Senator Ebke provides a cap on installment contracts. During the past 10 years, Lincoln has gone from $1 million in debt to $40 million in debt using these contracts. The amendment for this bill should be public by the time this article is available. The bill as amended would reduce the amount of nonvoter-approved debt in Lincoln by limiting installment contracts. LB850 from Senator Linehan requires disclosure of costs to pay off bonds put to a vote. This would require disclosure of interest to be paid on the bond. You may recall the $369 million SCC bond that failed in 2017. The additional $105 million in interest was not promoted. LB887 from Senator Murante requires 75% of all members of the governing body to vote in favor of an additional 1 percent increase in budget authority. This bill provides a higher standard for voting on increases in local budget authority. LIBA is reviewing the bills below: LB829 from Senator Erdman is the 50/50 plan. This plan is a tax plan that would return 50 percent of property taxes paid to schools to the property taxpayer. LIBA is reviewing this bill because it could lead to higher taxes just to pay for the plan. LB947 from Senator Smith is the Governor’s tax plan. This plan provides a refundable credit against your income taxes. LIBA is concerned because this bill removes the exemption in state law for the first $10,000 of tangible personal property in each tax district. Additionally, due to the $230 lid on residential property tax relief, anyone with a home valued at over $260,000 is unlikely to see property tax relief. LIBA wants to see property tax relief for everyone. To that end, LIBA has met with the Governor’s staff to discuss potential changes to LB947. On the city side of things, LIBA is also following the possibility of the city adding a ½ cent sale tax to fund roads. During the citizen committee meetings, LIBA asked several people to consider the following: • Consider a ¼ cent instead of a ½ cent • No bonding • Use funds for roads and streets only • Restrict the money from being used to pay city salaries • Lower the wheel tax across all classes As of press time, the city does not seem inclined to accept our recommendations. Why would LIBA oppose bonding the money? The state law requires that the sales tax end after 10 years, unless the money is bonded. If the city bonds the funds, then the tax can go on forever. We also oppose the continued diversion of street funds to pay city salaries and for sidewalks. 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) 466-3419. LIBA membership is not restricted to just businesses. We also have “individual” memberships for those who want to help influence our local government decisions.


Flicker Promotions

Flicker Promotions is a premier concierge promotional products distributor headquartered in Lincoln, NE. With the mission to provide the highest standard of personal service, Flicker Promotions relieves the stress of promotional marketing, applying their expertise along with the requirements provided to curate a collection of options specific to each client. Their job is to ensure a brand is promoted in a way that brings value to the client and the client’s customers. Flicker Promotions works with businesses, educational institutions and non-profit organizations of all sizes across the country. As your promotional partner, Flicker Promotions aims to arm you with promotional material that will stir your target audience to activity and keep you ahead of the competition. Contact Amy Doele with Flicker Promotions at (402) 540-3077 or visit the company’s website at to spark inspiration!

Rob-See-Co Rob-See-Co is a new seed company with roots that go back more than 125 years and five generations of the Robinson family. Inspired in response to the mergers and acquisitions that dramatically changed the seed business, the company has brought back everything that makes working with a regional seed company great – with local people who have a passion for the seed business. That means combining today’s technology with producer-friendly relationships. It also means simplifying the process, so it’s easier for growers to know what products are going to work best on their farms and what they’re going to pay. And at the same time, provide Rob-See-Co Business Associates a unique and profitable direct-selling business model. You’ll work with the best people in the business at Rob-See-Co, who understand the value relationship plays in delivering an unforgettable customer experience. Get in touch with Rob-See-Co at (402) 218-1356 or learn more at

Smile Out Loud Foundation Starting February 1st, scholarship applications are available for download on the Smile Out Loud website! Students with a Dyslexia diagnosis are welcome to apply. To spread the word or download an application, visit The Smile Out Loud Foundation was founded by Executive Director David Staenberg. Growing up in Lincoln, Staenberg is known as the “Free Smile Guy” around Lincoln. Staenberg was diagnosed with Dyslexia and his positive mindset led him to becoming an author and life coach in conjunction with the foundation to raise money for college scholarships for Dyslexic youth. Throughout his life, Staenberg has often come across people who assign limitations to him due to his learning disability. His experiences have motivated him to increase awareness and scholarship funding for college students with Dyslexia. Staenberg is always more than happy to speak to organizations about learning disabilities and Dyslexia. To learn more about his story, the Smile Out Loud Foundation and how you can participate in spreading the word about Dyslexia and to donate, please visit www. FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business 53


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LINCOLN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE by Wendy Birdsall, President

402-436-2350 •

U.S. Women Head Back to Lincoln for Volleyball Nations League The state of Nebraska is building a great reputation as a go-to host for large-scale sporting events. Teams, players and organizations continue to choose Lincoln as the location for their championship contests because of our central location and enthusiasm for participants. We are excited to welcome back to Lincoln the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball team in May. The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will return to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 2018 as it hosts a four-team round-robin pod May 15-17 in the opening week of the new FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL). Team USA, ranked No. 2 in the world by the FIVB, will host No. 7 Italy, No. 12 Turkey and No. 22 Poland at the 7,900-seat Bob Devaney Sports Center in the first scheduled international matches of the 2018 season. Match tickets are on sale now through or 800-8-BIGRED. All session ticket prices are $36, $66 and $96. Single session tickets, which will go on sale at a later date, will be $15, $25 and $35. “Any time we get to host any part of an international competition on American soil, we’re pumped because we love playing in front of American volleyball fans,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “But getting to play a preliminary week of Volleyball Nations League in Lincoln, Nebraska, with the amazing support and love that community has for our sport, leaves us ecstatic - Lincoln, we can’t wait to see you!” The U.S. Women are familiar with the Lincoln community. The Americans hosted and won the 2016 NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament, an event played at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. The U.S. defeated Dominican Republic on the final night of the event with over 10,000 fans in attendance on a frigid, snowy evening in early January 2016. With that victory, the U.S. qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games where it went on to win the bronze medal with a 7-1 record. The Team USA roster could have multiple University of Nebraska players returning to their Lincoln roots for the Volleyball Nations League matches. Two-time Olympic Games medalist Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska), 2016 Olympian Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California), libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) and middle Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska) are all possible players to suit up for Team USA in Lincoln. This group is composed of former stars for Nebraska who played in front of the legendary Husker fans in their scarlet and cream uniforms. The U.S. Women finished the 2017 season with an 18-8 record and the bronze medal at the season-ending FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. Italy finished the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix in second place but did not qualify for the World Grand Champions Cup. Turkey finished in 11th place in last year’s World Grand Prix. Poland, one of four challenger teams in this year’s VNL, won the second tier of the World Grand Prix in 2017. I also want to recognize our Convention and Visitors Bureau staff for their work in bringing these matches to Lincoln. We have worked hard as an organization to develop strong relationships with the USAV and other sports governing bodies around the country. That hard work is paying off, and I know 2018 will be another huge year for sports in Lincoln. 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 •

Oddities, Vintage Treasures Collected and Rehomed at Oddballs Vintage

For frequent thrifters, there’s a thrill to finding a good pair of jeans. The type of jeans that hug you in all the right places while providing ample room to move around. The ones made from real denim that age gracefully. The kind they just don’t make anymore. Cody Kaufman and Vincent Martinez have chased the thrill of thrifting for years, with their collection of goods steadily growing. The two joined their vintage clothing and knick-knack collection together to create Oddballs Vintage, a new store located in Parrish Studios which opened in November. Prior to Oddballs, both Kaufman and Martinez previously ran Voufalou, a clothing shop and artists’ collective also located in Parrish. After running Voufalou for a few years, Kaufman said the store became all over the place and they decided to focus on vintage, a niche they both enjoyed. “We just found ourselves gravitating more toward our vintage collection,” Martinez said. “We rebranded for easier brand recognition and store recognition as to what we are.” Kaufman and Martinez’s thrift finds come from across the United States. Martinez, a Texas native, said he first fell in love with collecting vintage while in his home state. “My uncles were like, ‘Why are you spending $30 on a pair of jeans when you could buy three or four jeans for that price?’” Martinez said. “Then they took me thrifting back in Texas for the first time and showed me these amazing jeans and started teaching me on denim, and how denim can actually be gold.” The Goodwill stores in Texas remain some of Martinez’s favorite places to pick through. Kaufman said his favorite place to thrift can be found in Los Angeles. “The warehouse I’ve been to [in LA] is just pure vintage heaven,” he said. “It’s three stories big and just massive. The Southwest also has a lot of great stuff.” Like any clothing industry, there are trends to the type of vintage people are interested in. Martinez said he’s noticed gravitation toward basics in vintage--solid colors, white t-shirts and basic crew necks to name a few. Kaufman said he’s noticed a resurgence of fur coats and bell bottoms. “We’ve got over 200 bell bottoms styles to choose from, 100 percent polyester,” Martinez said. “We’ve got some pretty funky bell bottoms we just got in. People seem to really be digging on those.” Since its opening, Oddballs has begun to attract regular clientele and seen an increasing amount of foot traffic. Martinez creates the latter to the store’s unique mannequin placed outside the building. “With the brand recognition, people been able to recognize it’s a vintage store,” he said. “Especially when we put our sign downstairs, what draws a lot of people in is our mannequin with the deer skull head.” In addition to in-store sales, Oddballs sells select clothing and vintage finds on eBay and Instagram. Both Kaufman and Martinez said they take pride in their finds and don’t buy anything they wouldn’t keep themselves. The duo plan to bring in new items each week, with an emphasis on what they’re calling “Fresh Finds Fridays.” Starting this year, Oddballs will purchase vintage from customers in addition to selling it, for either cash or in-store credit. “We’re happy to bring our weirdness to Lincoln,” Martinez said. 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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Building Maintenance There’s little more important for a commercial property owner as well as for the occupants of a building, or tenants when applicable, than the proper building maintenance being performed on a regular basis. Ideally, if this is done correctly, business is conducted as usual and it goes without notice for the most part. However, on the other hand, if not kept up with as it should be, there are things that you will surely notice that are less than desirable, even dangerous and disastrous, for any number of reasons. This also translates into being more costly to repair or replace as opposed to protecting your investment and ensuring longevity by maintaining. There are a number of variables to consider that have an impact on the building environment and operations within it. A maintenance schedule is a must, whether you’re performing the tasks or outsourcing the work. For property owners, some will have a full team of professionals dedicated to building maintenance while others will do some of the items themselves and contract out the others to trusted professionals with whom they have developed a working relationship. For tenants, while there are some things you may be responsible for based on your lease, generally the majority of the items will be performed by property management. “We employ several individuals who provide routine maintenance for our tenants,” says Rick Krueger with Krueger Development. “These services include changing lights and furnace filters, plumbing calls, and other miscellaneous items. However, it is most important to be available for tenant emergencies, such as when the premises and/or equipment on site are damaged, which is most commonly as a result of bad weather. Tenants are likely to stay with you if they know you will provide timely servicing of their maintenance and repair Rick Krueger needs. Especially in emergency situations Krueger Development getting a tenant back up and running is key.” Along the same lines, Michael Holroyd with HIP Realty (Holroyd Investment Properties) notes, “By investing in maintenance on the front end, businesses can save money in the long run. Besides the financial benefit, there is also the peace of mind that comes with knowing maintenance solutions are in place. HIP Realty Property Management division is a full-service property management firm, offering personalized services to property investor/owners and their tenants. HIP Realty prides itself on providing star quality service.

Michael Holroyd HIP Realty

HIP Realty’s property management team is able to provide a customized maintenance package for our owners or tenants to fit their business needs. Our property maintenance technicians not only deal with day-to-day issues, but also complete a scheduled preventative maintenance visit to avoid bigger maintenance issues. In particular, HVAC units are a large financial investment. By completing routine preventative maintenance, we are able to extend the life and efficiency of these units. A preventative maintenance schedule can save money on utility bills over the course of the year. We also focus on outdoor lighting and entry doors. The security of our tenants, and their employees and clients, is important. Regular preventative maintenance of the lighting, locks, and alarm systems can reduce security issues. HIP Realty’s Property Management Team is on-call 24 hours a day. When issues arise in these areas, we are able to secure the building quickly any time of day or night.


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When a problem does arise, from a broken water pipe to a burnt out light bulb, our HIP Realty Property Management Team knows how to get the issue addressed quickly.”

Pertaining to HVAC, Keith McRoberts with Star City Heating & Cooling advises, “As many of you are well aware, your heating and cooling system is a major contributor to the wellbeing of your building and the overall comfort of your customers and employees. It’s what keeps pipes from freezing in the winter, the building from overheating in the summer, and the air clean year-round. Maintenance is so important to avoid issues that come along with extreme weather, which is when you rely on the heating and cooling equipment to Keith McRoberts function properly the most. Star City Heating & Cooling We conduct routine maintenance based on building requirements for heating, cooling, and ventilation systems which includes equipment, ductwork, air quality, and controls. Each building is unique in its requirements, so we inspect a building and develop a plan based on the needs of the building and the occupant. Some of the things would include filter replacement, system cleanings, and ensuring occupants have adequate temperature control throughout the space, along with many more that are evaluated on an individual basis. Tenants, you should be aware of where the heating and cooling systems are located, which can be on the roof or inside, and where the thermostats and access points are located. This will help when relaying information for a service call or detecting if the sound is possibly coming from the HVAC system. Also, keep in mind that it’s better to call sooner than later with a service repair need. A service repair may be needed if there are loud noises coming from the heating and cooling equipment, the air temperature is off by more than a few degrees of what is set on the thermostat, utility bills are abnormally high, or there are air quality concerns. Another issue to be aware of is any types of water leaks throughout the building. Water leaks can cause major damage if left unresolved. It’s important to be clear on things such as: • Are you responsible for scheduling maintenance or will the property owner/manager be in charge of setting up the maintenance appointment? • If you are responsible for setting up maintenance appointments, what is needed to prove this was done? • Is there a commercial maintenance plan already set up? • If heating and cooling equipment replacement is needed, will you be responsible for sharing this cost? • What is the protocol for requesting a service call when the building is too hot or cold? Is there a designated company to contact or should you call the property manager? • If you’re responsible for making the service call, who is the point of contact with whom the technician can explain the diagnosis and estimate of repair costs? Finally, if you’re purchasing a building, knowing the condition of the heating and cooling system, such as the year it was installed, how well it’s been maintained, and having a copy of the service history report will help with making the right realty deal.” Based on his experience with commercial real estate transactions, Derek J Kats with Keller Williams Lincoln offers the following scenario he’s encountered and helpful tips to consider: “As previously mentioned, building maintenance is one area that being proactive can save you from major mechanical breakdowns or excessive depreciation. In one of my recent building purchases, the building had a substantial amount of deferred maintenance. In particular, the elevator had not been serviced as routinely as it should have. Shortly Derek J Kats after the purchase, the elevator went out. The Keller Williams Lincoln initial concern was obviously the cost of the repair/replacement, but ultimately the loss of income for the building owners and occupants due to not being able to utilize the elevator took much more of a toll than the cost of the actual repair...which could have

been prevented with proper building maintenance. To save you from similar issues, here is a basic list of items that should be checked or performed on a regular basis in order to keep your building functioning at all times. • Fire Alarm and Sprinkler System Testing • Sump Pump – Check Connections, Winding Motors, and Lubrication • Water Pump – Domestic Water Circulating Pumps, Checks and Lubrication • Dry Pipes – Air Compressor, Fire Compressor, Check for Leaks • Garage Doors and Parking Gates – Lubrication, Adjustments of Beams, Pressure System Testing • Exhaust, Supply and Return Fans – Motor, Belts and Barometer Testing, Air Flow Testing in Supply and Return Vents • Elevator – Belt and Pulley Checks and Load Testing • Winterization of Pipes • HVAC: Coil Cleaning, Filter Replacement, Evaporator/Condenser Changing, Belts, Line Clearing, Amp and Ohm Motor Testing, Condensate Pipe Checks, Air Flow Testing, and Water Flow Testing • Emergency Management Systems Operation and Testing Should you have the need to buy or sell a commercial building, I offer services as a Realtor (and fellow property investor), from property acquisition and evaluation to leasing and sales, that can dramatically increase your chances of maximizing your business goals. For a free consultation, please call me at (402) HOMES-4-U or (402) 466-3748.” To reiterate and expand, there are several instances where communication regarding building maintenance is important. Per what’s already been referenced, understanding the history of maintenance is imperative when a property changes hands. It’s also important for property owners and their employees and professionals contracted to perform maintenance to be on the same page. For property owners and tenants, it’s more about clearly defining who is responsible for what and bringing attention to any concerns as soon as possible.

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“Each lease is different in the provision of tenant repairs and maintenance obligations,” explains Scott Bahm with NAI FMA Realty. “It’s common practice that a landlord maintains or repairs the building’s structure and mechanical systems while tenants take care of general interior maintenance. Tenants should bring attention to the building manager any structural, mechanical, or interior repairs or recurring maintenance issues. These can potentially cause extensive damage if left unattended. Building owners should Scott Bahm periodically check any unoccupied or vacant NAI FMA Realty spaces for leaks or other issues. NAI FMA Realty is a full-service commercial real estate firm providing property management and facility maintenance for close to 4 million square feet of properties in Lincoln. We assist clients in every aspect of the property ownership life cycle and on any size of property. Our building engineers create efficiencies and cost savings while maintaining the asset to the highest standards. The building’s systems and equipment are one of the most important aspects of a property to check. The heating and air systems in a building, in particular, are critical to the comfort and health of the occupants/ tenants. By maintaining these properly, we are able to attract and retain quality tenants and maintain higher levels of tenant satisfaction. Every building or structure should institute a preventive maintenance program to not only maximize equipment value and prolong the life of the building and its systems, but help detect potential future issues and minimize the risk of damage. Prioritizing maintenance, and repairs when needed, is key. Sometimes it’s easy to budget for aesthetic improvements; however, typically more dollars are spent on repairs you don’t anticipate through the year, so it’s wise to plan accordingly and invest in maintenance.” When it comes to leveraging technology and related trends, he also notes,


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“Building managers having the ability to perform key actions remotely using web-based programs has been in use for some time now, and this technology continues to improve. The use of wireless technology, where systems communicate directly and automatically with other mechanical equipment to make adjustments and improve efficiencies, is on the rise. For example, a temperature sensor inside an HVAC system automatically adjusts for temperature and comfort as more people enter a space. As the industry rapidly evolves towards wireless operations, the biggest challenge is that controls are still predominantly hardwired. Upgrading the building mechanical systems to incorporate a building management system or energy management system into the control and operation of equipment is very beneficial. In addition to regulating energy usage, it preserves the integrity of the building’s systems so they are operating as they were engineered and designed to perform.” In agreement and expanding on this recommendation, Pat Killeen with Engineered Controls further advises, “Since Engineered Controls provides our customers with products for their buildings that serve the purpose of maintaining comfort, improving energy consumption, and providing a secure environment. Simply put, when it comes to our role in building maintenance, it is our job to make sure that the building’s mechanical and electrical control systems are functioning properly, as designed, and that everything is Pat Killeen in good working order. Engineered Controls Building owners invest significant resources in environmental and building control systems. These systems can be costly to operate, yet essential for occupant comfort, productivity, and safety. Keeping systems operating at peak performance also reduces energy use and lowers utility costs, a growing concern for building owners worldwide. Maintenance constitutes a significant percentage of expenses in most facilities and is therefore worth optimizing. Maintenance costs consume

nearly as much of a typical building’s operating budget as utility costs and amount to more than one-third the total operating expenses. Despite the importance and expense of maintaining building efficiency, most building owners, some 55% in the US alone, rely on reactive maintenance programs to care for their equipment. This means thy wait until equipment fails completely before initiating corrective action. Realistically, reactive maintenance is not maintenance at all and should be called repair work. This leaves approximately 45% of building owners who take the traditional preventative maintenance approach, which means performing regular, prescheduled maintenance checks and minor repairs. This approach yields the best results. When building owners ignore routine preventative maintenance, building occupants’ comfort can be negatively impacted whereby this can lead to employee absenteeism, low productivity, or even worse, becoming sick. Furthermore, building owners could also see energy efficiency degraded by as much as 10% to 30% over a one- to three-year period. Beyond its impact on energy efficiency, lack of maintenance can lead to equipment failures where equipment replacements can drive up the unbudgeted cost of capital expenses. This can also disrupt employee or tenant comfort and lead to equipment issues that pose a safety risk in a building. Besides equipment failures, the lack of building maintenance can compromise indoor air quality and unnecessarily increase energy usage. These kinds of problems can get more expensive the longer building maintenance is ignored. A more efficient way to incur minimal costs and achieve maximum availability is to implement a service plan that uses proactive and predictive maintenance based on the actual condition of the equipment rather than a predetermined schedule. With this approach, equipment is maintained at a continuously high level of performance rather than waiting for something to fail. In addition, a predictive approach can be used to prioritize repairs and maintenance so that the most important systems, as judged by the building owner, are repaired first, ensuring the most effective return on investment. The most efficient approach is to include progressive analytics to leverage the big data generated by today’s advanced Building Management Systems (BMS). This data provides accurate, timely, and actionable information that can be leveraged to refine service programs even further and achieve optimal building performance. Building owners can make data-driven decisions based on the impact that the recommended maintenance will have on the efficiency of a building’s performance. For example, in a predictive maintenance program, key operating parameters of equipment are checked regularly by staff or monitored automatically by BMS sensors. The readings are then analyzed and used to evaluate the condition of the equipment and predict the future performance or likelihood of failure. This means that repairs are performed at the ideal time, resources are not wasted on unnecessary work, and the equipment is maintained at a higher level of performance.” While on the topic of improving the indoor environment, as well as enhanced energy efficiency, you might also consider installation of window films to help minimize the costs of future building maintenance. According to Keith May with The Tint Shop, some of the greatest features and benefits are: Glare and Heat Reduction: “This increases the comfort of the building for all employees while reducing energy consumption and costs,” explains May. “3M Solar Control Films can cut the glare coming through the glass by over 85%; sometimes around 95% with the right kind of glass and film combination. They can be virtually clear, are safe for all glass, and also have the potential to reduce the heat coming through the glass by almost 70% while not changing the exterior or interior appearance of the glass at all. With these benefits, you’ll also reduce the strain on your building’s equipment, which protects your investment and extends longevity of its life cycle. UV Protection: “All 3M films block 99% of UV light entering through the glass, which will keep flooring, woodwork, decorations, drapes, blinds and other interior furnishings from fading. Also, blocking UV rays can make an employee working in front of a window much more comfortable, and therefore more happy and productive,” May notes.

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Improved Aesthetics: “You always want your building to look wellmaintained, both inside and out,” May emphasizes. “When an exterior facelift becomes necessary, adding 3M Window Film is a relatively simple way to improve the appearance of the entire building. As far as interior decorating, 3M Fasara Frost Decorative Films are used in commercial spaces and offices to obscure vision into a certain room or area of the building, while still allowing natural light to come through the glass. Architects are on a big trend of adding a lot of glass in offices presently, and will be doing so for years to come. All of the glass helps open up an office environment immensely, as opposed to cubicles or walls. However, then privacy tends to become an issue, as well as concealing all the cords and wires from computers, phones, etc. These 3M Frost Decorative Films provide the cover needed to ‘clean-up’ those ugly areas under and behind desks, and in conference rooms, where privacy is sometimes needed. You won’t lose light in an area like you would with a dark black privacy film, and they do add a bit of décor and distinction to clear glass, which is a really nice touch.” Safety & Security: On this topic, May expands on the importance of maintaining a safe and secure building. “We offer a full line 3M Safety and Security Films, the strongest on the market. The need for security films is not always an obvious one, but in certain situations, they are the perfect add-on. Whether it’s a retail store hoping to prevent ‘smash and grab’ thefts, a government building needing bomb-blast level protection from flying glass, or a school wanting to protect children and staff from possible violence, The Tint Shop has a vast amount of experience providing solutions for these concerns and many more. There are even a few 3M films in what’s called the Solar-Security line, which combine the heat and glare reduction of their Solar Control line with the unmatched strength and performance of their Safety/Security films. These films can be a bit pricey, but if you want to get the best out of one film, these films will fit the bill every time.” 3M Window Films also come highly recommended by The Skin Cancer Association, ASID, and are Energy Star Rated. If you think 3M Solar Control or Decorative Window Films may be right for your building


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or office, May suggests doing a little research online first. On The Tint Shop’s website,, you can find out more information, request an estimate, and even ask questions, which will be answered in a timely manner by a 3M certified professional. Or, check out The Tine Shop on social media: Facebook (search The Tint Shop), Twitter (@ TheTintShopLNK), and Instagram (thetintshoplnk) to view past projects and see what’s new or being installed in other buildings across town and nationwide. With much of building maintenance and repair being quite technical, even more so than one might think, it’s critical to carefully evaluate your options, and to involve a professional in that process. Their take on things and guidance when you’re making decisions about how best to handle it is invaluable. To illustrate yet another excellent example of this, Steve Van Gorp with McGill Restoration discloses, “We specialize in restoration, which goes hand in hand with preservation. As such, we do a lot of work in buildings specific to structural integrity. With my extensive experience in the coating industry, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. As such, I can fully attest to the importance of investing in the use of the proper methods and materials to maintain your building. Specifically with anything that’s composed of Steve Van Gorp structural steel, coating serves the purpose of McGill Restoration protecting from corrosion. Parking garages, for example, are especially prone to accelerated corrosion given frequent traffic and along with it, heightened exposure to the deicing agents used on our roads. Given that it’s no longer just salt that is used, that’s only become more of a concern. The same holds true for any building components that are exposed to the elements and also equipment, and to protect other types of materials aside from structural steel. Building maintenance plays a huge factor in the integrity of your building.

If you’re not watching for areas of corrosion or using the proper types of paint to protect against that, you could be in trouble. Once there is noticeable bubbling, whether it’s on steel, concrete, or another surface, there’s a reason why the paint is letting go, and that reason can vary. Furthermore, it’s a little more technical than just slapping a coat of paint on it and calling it a day. Sure, it may look good for the time being, but it’s not fixing any underlying issues that could be getting worse. If allowed to compound into something major, you’ll eventually have to deal with it, at which point it will be much more complex of a project and more costly to have done. When people think of painting, they tend to think it’s as simple as going to the store, picking some up, and taking a few hours to get the job done. However, there’s science behind the coatings that should be used in certain circumstances. We work with many specialty manufacturers that have developed unique products for very specific conditions, such as coatings that hold up against 98% sulfuric acid, antimicrobial coatings, coatings that when applied with a professional sprayer dry in 10-15 seconds for ideal use on high-traffic buildings, and so on. Contractors make an investment in equipment and materials for a reason. We always want to provide the best options to our clients, and look into many different aspects from the testing behind it to its performance in the lab setting and in real life use. Whatever the case, be wise with your maintenance decisions and hesitant about letting cost be the only factor that influences those. What’s least expensive now may prove to be more costly in the long run. In this case, a new coat of paint always looks nice, but oftentimes aesthetics is only one of multiple concerns that need to be addressed. I strongly encourage taking advantage of consulting with a professional when you notice something suspicious.” Maintaining a clean and presentable place of business and work environment is equally as important as everything else we’ve covered thus far. It’s a simple and straightforward aspect of building maintenance that should be performed on a regular basis. “Cleanliness matters,” emphasizes Teresa Hodgen with 360 Clean. “Your customers will notice how clean your building is, guaranteed. When it smells clean and looks clean it positively influences people’s decision-making. From the bathrooms and entries to the water fountain and baseboards--it all matters to your customers. When people visit your building or office and they don’t have a pleasant experience, that will be the first thing they tell their friends and it will spread quickly. Hodgen advises, “Hire a good cleaning Teresa Hodgen company that is reasonably priced and does 360 Clean quality work. As the owner of 360 Clean, it is my job, not yours, to make sure everything is done to my satisfaction and yours. It is my job to make any corrections before you even know about it. Your reputation and growth depend on how your customers rate their experience with you. If they walk in the door and it smells good and looks good it will affect their mood. But if it looks dirty, they may turn around and walk out, opting to do business with your competitor. Whoever you hire to clean for you, make sure they represent themselves well as that’s a good indicator of the quality you can expect from them in other areas. Attention to detail is necessary. While they are cleaning they should have a uniform on, have good hygiene, proper clothing on and be able to speak correctly. It makes a difference. This is true especially if they are going to be in your building while you conduct business.” Also a matter of cleanliness and maintaining hygienic facilities, but also extending into utility usage with respect to water, there will be different requirements if your building is in the city versus a remote location outside of it. “Septic systems are put in place when city sewer can’t be utilized,” says Jason Kubik with Southwick Liquid Waste. “As far as routine maintenance, septic tanks need to be Jason Kubik pumped regularly. Some people choose to Southwick Liquid Waste

keep track of when it needs to be done and set those appointments accordingly, but many of our clients prefer to be on a maintenance contract. We come out every six months and check the laterals and tank and then pump it every three years. The hard part about septic maintenance is that tanks don’t need to be pumped but more than every 3-5 years based on activity level. This is very easy to forget or allow too much time to pass without realizing it. When you have a new tenant in a building that has a septic system, remind them to be careful of water usage, to be careful with your toilet paper type (no wet wipes or quilted toilet paper products), and no flushing of any other product other than cheap, single ply toilet paper. Most toilet paper companies say they are septic safe, but the cheaper, lesser ply brands are the ones that work the best. Most people don’t like to think about wastewater or toilets. I get it, it isn’t a pleasant subject. However, it is something that if not considered, can lead to expensive and disgusting issues. No one likes wastewater covering their floors or dealing with the mess a system that is not maintained can cause. Along with regular maintenance, upgrades such as water-saving toilets are easier on your system, keeping it functioning longer.” Also, especially in the case of restaurants, there is regular liquid waste disposal needs in the form of grease. Kubik summarizes, “For restaurants, we typically pump grease traps every 3-6 months depending on the restaurant and their volume of grease production. Grease isn’t something that should get out into the city sewer lines; therefore, ‘traps’ are placed in most kitchens to stop this. However, these traps need to be cleaned regularly or they can clog sinks and drainage lines for the restaurants too.”

There you have it, plenty of useful information to consider with respect to your current building maintenance and how it is well in hand versus how it could be improved. Take it from the experts and be sure to take your building maintenance seriously and stay on top of it. FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


Wedding Planning A new year is upon us, and for many who will be getting engaged or married in 2018 or who will be a part of a couple’s special day, it will be one to remember. Right about now, future brides and grooms are at various points in their wedding journey, from newly engaged and getting started with planning to gearing up for a spring wedding that’s right around the corner. With everything that goes into wedding planning, at any given time there will be something (or a multitude of things) that needs your attention. As such, putting together a team of experienced professionals to help guide you through the process will ensure that getting hitched goes off without a hitch. *Symbolic Gestures* Getting down on one knee, presenting the ring, the rings themselves, meaningful tokens of appreciation to those who are with you on your special day and your journey up until the wedding and in life as man and wife – these are all time-honored traditions of matrimony, among many others. Finding the perfect engagement ring precedes the vast majority of proposals – best not to risk it with the empty box routine unless you’re sure you can pull off one of the most memorable moments of your life with the promise of going shopping together to pick it out. Past that, wedding rings and even bridal gifts can fall within specialty areas of a fine jeweler. Sartor Hamann Jewelers is home to Nebraska’s premier diamond selection and offers bridal customers their choice of popular brand names such as Hearts on Fire, A JAFFE, Beverley K., Parade, Sylvie, True Romance, Benchmark and more. They also offer custom design services, and you can check out all of the options that are available at Making the right choice can involve a lot of pressure, but with the help of the experienced staff at Sartor Hamann and a large selection of high-quality fine jewelry at your fingertips, you can be assured that you’ll find the perfect piece that’s on the cutting edge of style, fashion, and technology. *Time & Place* Booking your venue(s) is one of the very first things that should be done to ensure your date is available and secure it. This primarily goes for the ceremony and reception site(s), but also could apply to where you’ll host other wedding-related events if you’re selective and not just any place will do or you’re hoping to coordinate an optimal location based on other factors involved. No two venues are alike, and the number of guests, as well as the space, amenities, and services offered, will factor into whether it will work for your event. That being said, some would be an ideal venue for more than one, or even all, of the aforementioned events. “From start to finish, we take your vision of the perfect wedding and bring it from conception to reality,” says Matthew Rogge with Talon Room. “The Talon Room is the perfect venue for a rehearsal


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dinner, ceremony, wedding reception and gift opening brunch. We’ve had great results with bundling the entire wedding into the perfect weekend for couples and their families and friends.

Matthew Rogge Talon Room

Moreover, we can work with any budget. The biggest trend that I have noticed lately is brides and grooms footing the bill without the help of family. With a little bit of flexibility, we can plan the perfect budgetfriendly wedding that won’t break the bank.

As the owner, sales representative, event coordinator, set-up coordinator and operations specialists, I’m the one you’ll work with from start to finish to ensure every detail is met with utmost care. By working with one person throughout your entire wedding experience, nothing will be lost in translation. In closing, Rogge emphasizes, “Remember, it is your day! You may want to impress all of your friends and family with your big elegant wedding, but it is about the love that you and your significant other share that will be remembered for years to come. Weddings can be difficult and stressful to plan and execute. Let the wedding professionals take on your big day and relieve a little tension in your busy life. If you are looking for a one-stop wedding shopping experience, the Talon Room is perfect for you. Book your free tour today at www. or via email at”

Addie Vallier Nebraska Club

Similarly, Addie Vallier with the Nebraska Club explains, “As the events coordinator at the Nebraska Club, I do more than just book weddings. I really enjoy handling all of the details for our clients and being able to serve basically as their wedding planner. I can contact whomever you’d like – the florist, the photographer, the deejay, etc. - and incorporate them into the entire package of your wedding. We do the setup and the invoices, handling all of the details so your wedding planning experience is as stress-free as possible.

We have the perfect space for your reception, but we have also been seeing a lot of prenuptial dinners, bridal showers, gift openings, and even the actual ceremonies at the Nebraska Club. We recently had a bride put together her wedding in five days and had both the ceremony and light reception in our Capitol room with a stunning view of the Capitol Building. Located on the 20th floor of the US Bank building, we are able to offer an unmatched view of the entire city of Lincoln.” More toward style and tying that into distinctive aspects of the venue, she also notes, “Because the view offers such a breathtaking atmosphere, many of our brides like to keep decorations uncomplicated to enhance the sophisticated ambiance. We have been noticing a trend towards natural and unstructured floral arrangements. The shabby/chic trend of the past few years is giving way to a more natural, fresh atmosphere.” Especially with respect to venues in the downtown area, including the Haymarket and Railyard districts, there is high demand mostly due to convenience with lodging as well as plenty of dining and entertainment options. Not to mention most of the options you’ll find here are absolutely stunning and perfect spaces for wedding events. Hotels or venues within close proximity to them are desirable for many reasons, most notably lodging for out-of-town guests and partygoers who plan to fully indulge in the festivities. Hotels are also particularly useful as a staging point. FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


Selena Kugler Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown/ Haymarket

“Brides have become way more involved in their wedding blocks than in the past,” notes Selena Kugler with Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket. “We offer assistance in blocking off rooms for their guests and family, which is important, but one of the biggest things brides worry about is having a space for everyone to get ready. If we determine this is needed, we make it a point to get them into a suite and block their bridesmaids’ rooms close if they are staying.

The last thing we want brides to worry about is the hotel side of things. I make sure to ask details about their wedding day so that we can provide the best service for the bride, but also so we are ready to welcome their guests as well. Key details we provide are our check in and out times, room types, and what additional services we may be able to offer to make it easier on the bride and so everything is in one location. For example, if a bride is planning on getting ready at the hotel, we steer them toward our one-bedroom suite so they have extra space and a counter. We will also offer to bring up more chairs so that everyone has a seat. Being aware of check in and out times is especially important so you don’t plan on having the room the entire time and then find out the reservation doesn’t correspond.” She also points out, “We have space available for rehearsal dinners and gift openings too. For the rehearsal dinner or gift opening, we remind our clients that we have a full catering kitchen so all food and beverage has to go through us. When planning a lot of couples ask to bring in their own food and unfortunately, we can’t do that. When meeting and planning, we’ll discuss options and thoroughly cover the need-to-know items, so it’s a great opportunity to brainstorm


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and you’ll want to be prepared with plenty of questions and ideas. Above all, this is supposed to be a fun time! Let us take care of the easy stuff so you can enjoy the big day.” With the majority of event spaces, when booking the venue you’ll also be receiving the services of an event coordinator. With plenty of experience specific to that particular venue to offer, you’ll want to tap into all of their knowledge, talents, capabilities, and wisdom based on lessons learned over time. While you’ve either never planned a wedding before or have a limited amount of experience, this is what they do for a living, day in and day out. “The Jasmine Room is a sought-after destination for engaged couples looking for an all-encompassing wedding experience,” says Lisa Petersen with Venue Catering & Events. “As a one-stop shop, your Jasmine Room rental comes with a dedicated event supervisor who ensures your event runs smoothly from beginning to end. The Jasmine Room coordinators have a combined total of 60+ years of experience within the industry. Their knowledge of classic customs and upto-the-minute trends is an integral part of Lisa Petersen the service you receive. Our staff walk you Venue Catering & Events through the entire process as you navigate the intricate details of planning your big day. Personalization has been a big trend recently and we expect it to remain that way in 2018. We are excited about couples making bold decisions as they personalize their wedding day events, filling their wedding with all of their favorite things. Venue Catering and Events offers you service that brings your unique vision to life. The Venue team is skilled at planning everything from bridal showers and gift opening brunches to wedding rehearsal

dinners and receptions. Each dining experience is crafted especially for you and provides quality, chef-inspired fare with unmatched presentation and the highest quality ingredients. As for the venue itself, she offers the following overview: “The Jasmine Room by Venue is where vintage elegance, modern sophistication, and chef-inspired cuisine meet. It boasts unique characteristics such as an ornate 110-year-old solid walnut bar, an original hardwood dance floor, stunning chandeliers set within soaring ceilings lit by a state-of-the-art LED lighting system and French doors leading to a spacious outdoor patio area. The Jasmine Room also includes 3 large, wall mounted screens accompanied by Hi-Def projectors and a full audio system all within the historic Grand Manse. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there is no other ballroom in Lincoln like The Jasmine Room.” In closing, when it comes to planning essentials, she advises, “A budget is a must. Book the big items first: Get your ceremony and reception locations, caterer, photographer, and florist confirmed as soon as you can.” There are, of course, other locations that could prove to be ideal based on logistics as well as offerings. Peterson notes, “In addition to The Jasmine Room, Venue Restaurant & Lounge and Piedmont Bistro by Venue offer private dining spaces, each with their own, distinct atmosphere and characteristics catering to all events associated with your special day.” If a destination wedding isn’t on the agenda, for those who are born and raised in Lincoln or who have established roots here for any given amount of time, the venue will likely be in town or reasonably close nearby. Yet, having options is never a bad thing, so perhaps you might even consider extending your search to locations outside of Lincoln. “Our convenient location just off I-80 and within close proximity to lodging makes it easy for those coming from out of town to find where they are going,” says Terri Carlson with Holthus Convention Center, located in York, NE. “It also makes us a hot destination for weddings that have family all across the state--we are the perfect inbetween point! The location of our facility is one of our key offerings, with our size being another. Terri Carlson Our venue is able to accommodate large Holthus Convention Center parties of 650 or more, but we can create smaller spaces for those celebrations that are a bit more intimate. We can meet the venue needs for your rehearsal, ceremony, and reception all in one location. No need to race between venues! Furthermore, Holthus can fulfill all the venue needs of your prewedding events too. With so much flexibility, there’s an abundance of options. Our lobby is the perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon bridal shower and can even be transformed into a beautiful space to hold your wedding ceremony. The Grand Ballroom can easily accommodate large weddings of up to 650 or more, but can be converted to create an intimate reception for 200 or fewer guests as well. Don’t forget about your rehearsal! We have plenty of options to consider for the night before celebration as well.” With respect to timing and trends, she notes, “The traditional wedding season seems to be fading away and couples are becoming more willing to look at spring, fall, and even winter weddings. Winter weddings are quickly becoming my favorite! The décor is very warm and inviting and I love the use of traditional holiday greens to dress the tables. If you are lucky enough to have some snow on the ground it can provide a beautiful backdrop for your wedding day photos as well! That said, I encourage couples to be flexible. Saturdays are a hot commodity during the traditional wedding season, but if you are

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willing to be flexible on certain aspects of your reception, you just may be able to land that perfect wedding date! Alternatively, if you’re flexible on date and time, you might get everything else you want. Often compromise is necessary, so it’s helpful for couples to know what’s most important to them versus what’s negotiable. Finally, the process of planning a wedding can seem very overwhelming at first, but take your time researching different ideas, themes, etc. The better idea you have of what you want, the better you’ll be able to communicate that to the professionals you’re working with, which will lead to the best outcome.” *Whisked Away* Once the place(s) are booked and the time(s) are decided, you’ll have a good idea of your transportation needs. “Don’t forget to book your transportation reservations as early in the planning process as possible,” advises Lori Hiebner with Leisure Limousine & Sedan. “You usually get exactly what you want if you book early enough. She also provides a few of the most common scenarios where transportation comes into play. “Our limo bus is perfectly suited for weddings. It’s beautiful inside and out and it holds 34-passengers, has a state-of-the-art stereo system, two 42” TVs, wrap-around Lori Hiebner leather seating and laminate flooring. Leisure Limousine & Sedan We provide champagne for the wedding party too! Our 14-passenger and 12-passenger limos are perfect for smaller wedding parties. We also offer transportation service for the bride and groom at the end of the night from the reception as well as airport car and shuttle service for the wedding guests.” *Hosting Musts* Any time you’re entertaining, serving great food and drinks is proper hosting etiquette. Wedding celebrations take this to a whole new level, and it will leave a lasting impression on your guests, for better or for worse. While most commonly incorporated into the rehearsal dinner and reception, the engagement party, bachelor and bachelorette party, bridal shower, and gift opening gathering are also occasions that call for such provisions. “With catering options designed to fit any need, we can create a menu that is perfect for your event,” says Joe Armstrong with Cowboy Chicken. “Whether it’s our classic chicken, potatoes, and green beans or you’d like us to design a more elaborate menu including enchiladas, ranchero beans, and Spanish rice, we’ll be happy to accommodate. We do catering for small gatherings like showers and parties but can also Joe Armstrong accommodate larger functions like the Cowboy Chicken rehearsal dinner or the big day. As it’s important to stay within a budget for weddings, our clients benefit from the value we are able to provide with our offerings.”


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He also notes, “While the satisfaction of your guests is our priority, the most important thing about planning food for your wedding is to ensure that when all is said and done, you’ll be serving what makes you happy! Find someone to work with who is interested in putting your meals together with that in mind. Also, your catering company of choice should be able to help you get the important details in place so that there aren’t any balls dropped. This includes the amount of food appropriate for your event, what’s all necessary to complete the meal, and timing--who is responsible for delivery, set-up, table settings, service, and clean-up.”

*“Cake Table” Confections* The fare and beverages are generally a big part of any weddingrelated event you’ll be hosting, but for many of them, particularly the reception, the dessert shares a starring role. As is customary with weddings, what’s a wedding reception without a cake? Or, more specifically, the cutting of it (and smashing it lovingly into each other’s faces) at least. In modern times, however, this has evolved quite a bit towards incorporating the sweet treat(s) of the bride and groom’s choosing, which might not be cake at all. Or, if it is indeed cake that you’re after, which still remains commonplace, there are also different variations of cakes to consider if you’re looking to get creative. Just as every wedding is unique, so are the bride and groom’s choices in this area. Ultimately, there are unlimited variations, with no right or wrong. Do whatever you like! “One of the most popular ways couples are incorporating our cakes is placing our 8” decorated cake on each table as a centerpiece as well as dessert,” says Sharon Hansen with Nothing Bundt Cakes. “It is always a hit at the reception to have dessert right there at the table and the guests get to enjoy how pretty they are too. We can set up an initial consultation to give couples an idea of the different options we have to offer to make their wedding day special. Sharon Hansen Nothing Bundt Cakes

We see that many brides favor a vintage or simple design for their reception. The nostalgic look of our product fits into that style very well. Our cakes can be dressed up easily with a different frosting style too! At Nothing Bundt Cakes we have a lot of experience with helping to come up with options that fit the design aesthetic couples have in mind as well as their budget. We’re happy to work through the details with the bride and groom, the wedding coordinator, or even the florist to come up with the perfect cake.” She adds, “We also offer a number of terrific and reasonably priced gifts that are perfect for bridal showers, party gifts and out-of-town guests!” *Floral Fantasy* Fresh flowers are a staple at any wedding, from the bouquets and boutonnières to arrangements donning the aisle and tables at the reception. From simple to lavish, with varying color palettes and flower arrangements, you’ll probably never see the same combination twice. Looking at the big picture, there are plenty of other instances when fresh flowers would be a nice touch or gesture too.

Sara Reyes Sudman Fields Floral

“One of our specialties is weddings!” says Sara Reyes Sudman with Fields Floral. “In 2017, we saw a lot of outdoor weddings with a rustic chic feel. This year, we’re seeing more intimate and unique venues like museums, lofts, etc. As for floral trends, we’re seeing more darker, textured arrangements, like beautiful dark roses with lots of greenery. At Fields Floral, we provide floral arrangements for every budget and work with you to incorporate flowers throughout your journey, from the proposal to the bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and the reception.

We design for indoor and outdoor weddings, as well as small intimate ceremonies. In fact, what makes us unique with weddings is our customization and attention to detail. Every aspect – making sure we have the right color ribbon for your bouquets, the freshest flowers, and even beautiful gifts for the wedding party – is taken into consideration. For outdoor weddings, one of our most popular items is the overhead trellis or wooden arch. We have decor items on hand that can be rented and utilized for any venue in the Lincoln area.

With over 20 years of experience and plenty of fresh ideas to share with each and every bride, we’ll make sure that their big day is unique and special to them.” When it comes to planning, she offers the following words of advice, “Set a budget and have some wiggle room. People come in asking for expensive flowers and they don’t realize how much things can add up. Flowers are expensive and one way to save on this is to incorporate blooms that are in season. The most practical approach is to start with letting us know what you absolutely want to have in your arrangements, including one or two flowers in particular and your colors. Then give your designers some room to do what they do best, design. You will get more for your money that way. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead and start early. Great vendors get booked up fast, so you want to make sure you are getting your date solidified and all the attention is going to you and your big day.” *Bridal Beautification* Who doesn’t want to look their very best on their wedding day? Chances are, you’ve got a goal to reach that’s related to getting in shape, whether it’s losing weight or targeting an area that would make you look and feel better in a strapless dress or slim-fit suit style. None are magically going to happen overnight, so the sooner you get to work, the better. Physician’s WEIGHT LOSS Centers Lincoln is a great local resource to utilize so that there is no doubt that you will be a sight to behold on your wedding day. With 32 years of development having gone into perfecting their six specialized diet programs, Physician’s WEIGHT LOSS Centers assists clients in maximizing weight loss results through proper nutrition, the application of advanced technology, and continued support. With the help of their counselors, they will match you up with the program that works best for you. As many of us are all-too-familiar, stubborn fat in awkward places FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business


leads to being self-conscious. That is definitely not what you want to be focused on throughout your wedding day, or every time you look at your photos for the rest of your life. If you are not comfortable with how you look, taking action now is so much better than regretting it later. As part of a comprehensive weight loss program or utilized independently for those seeking a last-minute miracle of sorts, LipoGenics is a laser body contouring system that provides excellent results that oftentimes can be seen immediately after the treatment. According to Nancy Hopkins with Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers, “This procedure only lasts 30 minutes, every other day, and you are able to lose up to 10 inches off of your waist. That 10 inches is equivalent to three to five dress sizes or Nancy Hopkins up to five pant sizes! It is permanent as long Physicians WEIGHT as you keep up a healthy diet and regular LOSS Centers physical activity. If you take the weight off of your core, it will come back at the same rate as the rest of your body. So, once it is off, it will stay off as long as you take care of yourself. Utilizing LipoGenics is really a great way to target any problem areas so that your wedding day attire fits perfectly.” In the areas where the weight is lost, the lasers are also tightening to the skin. This existing stretch marks and scarring while also helping you to avoid areas of saggy, floppy skin that are common with significant weight loss. Hopkins also suggests that the best way to go about losing weight and getting fit in general is to approach it with partners. “Continued motivation and support are critical factors that will influence your overall success in a big way. However, it needs to be someone who

will hold you accountable through the difficult times just as much as they praise you during the high points. Sometimes friends, family, and others do not necessarily say the right things because they do not want to hurt your feelings, or will not call you out if you are not following your plan. We are honest with our clients because we want them to be healthy, happy, and reach their goals. Our programs are designed with a built-in support system and guaranteed results if followed as directed because we believe strongly in what we have to offer.” Aside from the ultimate wedding bod, you’ll be selecting attire and accessories, booking your trip to the salon and spa or appointments for any of your other beauty/grooming needs, etc. These are all things that will need to be planned well in advance. There are lead times for ordering to ensure your dresses and suits arrive in time as well as being on the safe side when accounting for alterations that may be needed. Then there’s the fact that professionals such as hair stylists, makeup artists, nail technicians, estheticians, etc. book up well in advance, and you don’t want to take your chances there either. “At Ovation Salon, we have plenty of experience working with wedding clientele, offering services for brides, grooms, and members of the bridal party,” says John Aguirre with Ovation Salon. “You may not think of your hair as a part of wedding planning outside of just setting the dates ahead of time, but there’s more that goes into the final wedding day look. It’s a creative, collaborative process. We take your direction and inspiration while applying our expertise by making John Aguirre suggestions based on your hair type, face Ovation Salon shape, and other things that might affect your desired outcome. Everyone has a signature style, and to achieve that goal, remaining true to that is important. However, exploring different options is the fun part! Don’t be afraid to deviate a little bit from your comfort zone. Doing a trial run allows you the opportunity to exchange ideas with your stylist and try things out. You can even schedule it on the same day as another big event since you’ll leave with great hair! When planning, while most of the focus will be on your wedding day look, also be thinking about other times you’d want to have your hair done. As I just mentioned with the trial run scenario, there are occasions leading up to the wedding such as your engagement photos, bachelorette/bachelor party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner where having a professional do your hair is a plus—or for some, a must. I can’t stress enough the importance of scheduling proactively as opposed to reactively. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to scramble for recommendations and take your chances with someone you’ve never worked with before because your stylist is completely booked and can’t fit you in. As professionals who take great pride in our work, we want nothing more than for you to be a vision of perfection and look absolutely stunning on your wedding day. That ‘glow’ comes from feeling good about yourself, because then you are able to fully focus on being in the moment on your special day.” With so many exciting possibilities, planning a wedding is what you make it. A surefire way to put together the wedding of your dreams is to enlist a team of professionals who know their stuff, who you can count on as reliable resources, and who are passionate about what they do. Likewise, keep in mind you’ll be working together over a period of several months to over a year in some cases. Give yourself the opportunity and leeway to be selective. Use your initial communication over the phone or in person to judge how well you’ve been able to build rapport in a short time as well as how satisfied you are with the answers to your questions. With such amazing wedding vendors locally, there’s little need to worry because the perfect ones are out there, it’s more a matter of getting organized and planning ahead. Now that you’re engaged, get to dreaming AND doing!


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Valentine’s Day

As Charles M. Schulz, most famous for his endearing comic strip Peanuts, famously said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, when we will be celebrating the love we share with the most important people in our lives, treating them with something special is a must! If you haven’t yet found the perfect gift or date idea, which let’s be honest is a lot of us (unless you’re reading this after February 14th of course), we’ve put together a few quick and easy yet thoughtful and enjoyable ideas to consider. To complement the customary sweets, a nice meal shared with the one you love is a popular way to enjoy one another’s company on Valentine’s Day. As we all know, restaurants are a hot spot on this day of the year, and there are plenty of wonderful ones in Lincoln to consider. However, if you can’t get a reservation at your favorite place and you’re looking for a great alternative to dealing with the crowds, consider a night in. You could opt to pick up a nice bottle of wine to pair with the necessities for a dinner you’ll be cooking yourself or together, or even with something as simple as a nice nosh board to enjoy while you cozy up to one another. Aside from that, a few special touches to set the mood go a long way. Whether your style is extravagant or minimalist, making the person you love feel special is what counts. Next up after planning the date is snagging the gift! With so many unique items to choose from, local boutiques, gift shops, and specialty retailers are all excellent places to find a special gift for that special someone. Whether it’s a “treat yourself” gift card or you’re dedicated to finding the perfect gift, you can’t go wrong! Since the majority of us are proud of our Nebraska roots and avid Husker fans, you might find that a gift basket courtesy of From Nebraska Gift Shop does the trick nicely. These can be customized or are also ready for you to pick up and gift. Since just like back in grade school it’s common to have multiple Valentines who aren’t people with whom you share a romantic relationship - your parents, grandparents, children, or friends - you may be looking for cute, fun gifts as opposed to anything of a sexy or lovey-dovey nature. If you really want to go the extra mile, consider putting together an outfit for your partner to wear out on your Valentine’s Day date. It’s hard to beat that paired with a surprise note to get dressed and be ready for an amazing evening. Or, go all out and treat them to a beauty day, with a trip to the salon and spa beforehand. Odds are in your favor that you’ll win Valentine’s Day with such a swoon-worthy gesture. Finally, a gift could also be a date. Is there something this person has always wanted to do or is his or her absolute favorite thing to do? Why not share that moment together and surprise them with the arrangements already made. It’s the ultimate “two-fer.” This could be anything, from adventure to relaxation. You could take a trip to a far-off destination or plan a day trip such as heading out to James Arthur Vineyards for a cozy wine-tasting with a winter backdrop or once spring fever arrives. From skydiving to couples massage, there’s quite the range with this option. Valentine’s Day calls for gifts from the heart, so no matter what you pick for your sweetheart or how you celebrate together, as long as it’s thoughtful you’ve already nailed it! However, if you’re not feeling very creative this year or if life is just too crazy at the moment, put your local resources to work for you because they always have fantastic recommendations to offer.

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Senior Living We’ve all heard the saying “age is just a number.” For each number past 65, the age that defines one’s status as a “senior,” there’s great variance as to what that looks like for each individual. Sure, everyone can count on getting to enjoy those great discounts, but other than that you could find yourself anywhere on a wide spectrum. As life expectancies continue to rise, aging as gracefully as Jane Fonda or Warren Buffett (or Charlie Munger for that matter!) isn’t as much of an anomaly anymore. Alternatively, we are faced with serious health conditions such as the epidemic of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis at an earlier age or the prevalence of cancer. Fortunately here in Lincoln, the resources that are available for seniors in our community are just as diverse as the population they serve. Future Projections for the Senior Population What You’ll Need to Know to Help You Plan Accordingly The noticeable growth of the senior care industry is for good reason, supported by the growing need for services that meet very specific needs. With Baby Boomers entering into their senior years en masse, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates there will be 83.7 million people over the age of 65 in the nation by the year 2050. In comparison, that is almost double the population of people that age in 2012. “As Baby Boomers enter retirement in droves, the senior living industry is continually changing to meet their demands,” says Jennifer Knecht with Immanuel. “The change is a good thing - providing more choices for seniors. The options are vast for senior living and with these additional choices comes complexity and confusion for seniors. The best first step is to start the planning process early. Do your parents have plans or goals for their retirement? Are they currently meeting those goals? Start the conversation Jennifer Knecht early. If you’re not sure how, or need help Immanuel sorting through the array of senior health and lifestyle choices, reach out to the experts. Immanuel’s senior living consultants have been there, helping families for decades sort through the confusion and develop a plan. So when the time is right, there’s a plan. No crisis, no panic, just a plan. Still, it’s never easy when you notice Mom or Dad may need additional help. And most people aren’t sure what to do about it - it’s not the kind of decisions you make often in your life, and no one is prepared for it. The issues you notice aren’t going to go away; in fact, they’re probably only going to worsen. Talk to your loved one about your concerns. Then, reach out to the experts. Being open to additional help is only the tip of the iceberg—health concerns, emotional aspects, and logistics can all be overwhelming. At Immanuel, our senior living consultants are the experts. They’ve helped thousands of families create plans. Sometimes the answer is a move, yet sometimes other resources are the right choice. Whether it’s with us or with someone else, we’ll help you create a plan that fits your unique family and situation. That’s our non-profit, Christ-centered mission, helping families is our first priority. If you’re thinking a move could be right, you’ll want to explore all the options, make sure every box is checked. There’s no better way to do that than touring senior communities. Spring is a great time to get out there and explore the options. If you need help knowing what questions to ask, download Immanuel’s Non-Profit vs. For-Profit Comparison Guide at It contains all the tough questions you want to ask on a tour. We’re coming up on an ideal time for rightsizing too, which is the process of ensuring your loved one’s home is meeting their goals for retirement. Spring is also a great time to assess whether the home is working towards the goals for the future or against them. Was snow removal difficult this winter? Does the furnace have another year? Have household chores become more difficult? What yard maintenance is needed this spring and summer


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and do they even want to do it anymore? Answering these questions can be great conversation starters with aging loved ones. The answers may signal additional support is needed, or perhaps a move. For many families, making a move to senior living is tough. It’s complex, there are emotions involved, it’s a decision people often put off until an injury or health crisis occurs. But, for many of the families who make the move, they tell us they wish they had made the decision sooner. Mom’s happier, Dad doesn’t have to deal with snow or ice removal, they both have found meaningful social connections and are more fulfilled—and healthier—than they ever were on their own. There are a lot of misconceptions about senior living; that it’s only for the old, the frail. But senior living today has changed. We’ve seen a huge response from younger retirees looking for a change - excited to move to a place where there’s no maintenance, where there are wellness and social opportunities, a place where they can accomplish their retirement goals. For these families, there’s no better time to explore senior living.” Look no further than Lincoln for evidence of the impact that the dramatic growth of the senior population already made, as there will be a number of new facilities opening in 2018, following the same trend that was evident in 2017 and the years prior. “Lincoln will have several new communities opening in 2018,” says Mary Ann Stallings with Bridge to Better Living. “Independent, Assisted and Memory Assisted Care will be offered in various continuum settings. Seniors and their families will be able to broaden their choices for a transition to Senior Living with several hundred additional apartments available. The Baby Boomers have asked for more amenities, and residents will see new additions such as Bistros, fitness centers, chapels, new technology, theaters and Mary Ann Stallings restaurant style dining. Bridge to Better Living Bridge to Better Living already has toured or visited with the new communities and is able to share available information with clients about the possibility of viewing floor plans, touring after construction is finished, choosing an apartment and moving as the communities open their doors. BBL has been working with clients and current communities since 2010 and looks forward to growing the options for Senior Living.” Stallings explains how one would benefit from utilizing the services offered by a senior placement agency, stating, “Seniors and families often begin their own search for Senior Living options by using questions they have read on the internet or heard from others. When they realize the difficulty and stress associated with the navigation of retirement communities and then connect with Bridge to Better Living, they often wonder why they didn’t start with BBL. It is important for us to know our clients’ needs and history to have their journey be stress-free. Bridge to Better Living has the knowledge, contacts and resources needed for a successful research resulting in quality of life. Why would anyone want to have the confusion, anxiety and exhaustion of touring several communities in a limited time, with budget constraints or a non-understanding of professional terms used, when an expert could do everything at NO COST to the client?” Other seasonal changes impact seniors, Stallings advises. “Families must first realize who the key player is in this journey and recognize their needs. Visit with them, their therapists, physicians, neighbors and clergy. Will this be a short-term change or a lifestyle transition? If needing to move to an Independent, Assisted, Memory Care Assisted or Skilled Care community, contact a Transition Consultant such as those at Bridge to Better Living. BBL’s consultants listen and work with families to identify available resources to help in each situation. No two families or loved ones are the same and no two communities are identical. We address those differences for a successful transition and quality of life.” As for other things that will likely impact seniors, Stallings advises, “Social engagement is important all year round and in all types of weather. Remain active and in contact with friends and family. Transportation is sometimes risky during the winter and others may provide transportation for you to events or group activities. Winter is a wonderful time to look into the contents of closets and cabinets to see what needs to be discarded, donated, given to family and friends or sold. If you are

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thinking about moving to a community, consider only what is needed. If receiving 2-3 meals a day is there a reason to keep multiple sets of dishes and cookware? Will you need an ironing board? A vacuum? Washer and dryer? Moving means changes and now is the time to identify the possessions you value. You may be surprised at how little is needed to be happy. Bridge to Better Living has resources to assist you reorganize, downsize or pre-stage and move to your new apartment.” Barb Tyler with The Woodlands at Hillcrest also touches on a few things to anticipate in the coming year and beyond, particularly as it applies to planning for a move to a senior living community. She states, “2018 will have many positive things going for it, namely more choices in senior care as well as senior living. The demographics support the building of new senior living communities, so the need for senior care continues to rise as well. Having said that, though, financial planning is often the number one factor influencing the Barb Tyler decision to move. Those who have pre-planned The Woodlands at Hillcrest for a rainy day are certainly sitting more comfortably than those who didn’t. However, planning for retirement/ golden years has changed somewhat in that people are living longer than what was expected. As such, some of the original planning should be updated to reflect today’s cost of living increase for expenses. While you may have plans in place, reviewing them periodically is wise to avoid anything that could set you back. Looking into long-term care insurance is also advised.” With the growing number of options for senior communities and services, there will be a wider range of offerings. Budget is a big factor, but there are other important things to evaluate as well. Tyler advises, “When families inquire for any type of move, they should become aware of what is offered to their loved one. Two-person assistance, housing and care up to end of life, and diet accommodations are several things that The Woodlands will offer, but not every community has the staffing to do this. An assisted living community that can provide these services can save families a lot of money by not having to transition into a skilled care facility. If you have the luxury of planning for a move, as opposed to having to move quickly, take time to do the homework to know what is out there in the way of resources.” Again, when preparing for a move, downsizing can be a major undertaking. As such, it’s important to do it in phases over time as opposed to all at once. Tyler explains, “As previously mentioned, another aspect of preparing to move is downsizing, which may be the one thing that the entire family can help that person do to make things easier. Talking about what a particular item means to them, and offering to keep it for that person so it will stay in the family if his/her new home will not accommodate the treasure, relieves much of the worry associated with parting with items that hold sentimental value. Getting the person to focus on where he/she really lives in the home, which is often the sitting area, bedroom, and perhaps a kitchen area, will help them realize those extra bedrooms and basement storage are not really needed anymore. Having the person who will be moving be a part of the process is generally advised but does depend on the individual. They may want to be included in any decision that will affect them or they may not. Seniors, as they downsize, may have a particular cause that they like to support, such as Habitat for Humanity or Friendship Home. By donating some of their treasures to a cause, they know they are helping others and the items are not being thrown away. Also, inquire at our local museums; perhaps they would be interested in acquiring certain items and the entire community could enjoy visiting these treasures! But just starting a conversation with family members about certain items and explaining the items’ historical, emotional, and/or traditional value raises the awareness of the item and why it is treasured. It can put an entirely new perspective on the item and it will become treasured by its new caretaker!” She concludes, “There are many choices out there for seniors, whether it be home health care or a move to a community that will keep them engaged socially and mentally. If a family does not have the resources for a full-time move to a senior community, consider a day service within a community so that a loved one can participate in activities and meals with other seniors. Assisting seniors to stay active keeps them engaged,

whether it be as simple as working puzzles and timing themselves as they complete it, to taking a class or a day trip especially for seniors. Anything to look forward to and stay socially connected will lead to better quality of life and health outcomes. Socialization should not be overlooked, as isolation can lead to depression and cause other problems. Seniors need to continue living a meaningful life!” The Benefits of Proactive Health Assessment and Care Good Health is the Key to Quality of Life for Seniors Health issues are often behind increased isolation, resulting in depression. When left unaddressed, conditions that could be easily treatable or corrected gradually worsen over time. What started out as a minor issue can snowball into a much larger problem before you know it. An example of this that’s all too common with seniors is hearing loss. Leslie Frank with Nebraska Hearing Center offers the following advice: “For those who have noticed signs of hearing loss themselves or with their loved ones we recommend you address the problem as soon as possible. Unaddressed hearing loss is frequently associated with other physical, emotional, and mental health conditions. It can lead to cognitive decline, social withdrawal, depression, anxiety, and can be very frustrating. Hearing loss can affect the quality of life more than you may know. Leslie Frank These effects can be reversible with the help Nebraska Hearing Center of hearing aids. Hearing aids can greatly enhance communication skills. At Nebraska Hearing Center, our hearing evaluations are free so you have nothing to lose! It is always nice to know for certain what kind of loss you are dealing with or even to get a baseline for future reference. Many people still have reservations about using hearing aids. Hearing aids are far more versatile than ever before. They are now made with the ability to work with smartphones, televisions, and sound systems. Hearing aids are not a one type fits all and that is why it is so important to have an evaluation to find out what is right for each individuals hearing loss. There are certain hearing aids recommended for different lifestyles. At Nebraska Hearing Center we take pride in getting to know each of our clients to best fit them with the perfect aid and then following up to make sure they are completely satisfied with the fit and sound. We have locations in Lincoln, Beatrice, and Seward. Call us today at (402) 486-3737 for your complimentary hearing evaluation.” Admittedly, with busy schedules and so much going on in our personal lives, we aren’t able to check up on our senior loved ones as much as we wish we could. Enlisting the help of a caregiver for the times when you know you can’t be there to help out is a great option to consider. These professionals are also able to alert you of any issues they notice in their time spent with your loved one, such as decline in health, things that are out of place around the house, etc. In-home care has become another popular resource in the community, allowing seniors who are able to remain living in their homes longer. There is diversity within the companies locally as well, with services ranging from non-medical assistance with housecleaning, meal preparation, pet care, errands and transportation, companionship etc. to providing medical care that’s needed on a regular basis. That being the case, you’ll want to look into what is offered to be sure it matches your specific needs. As time goes on, these needs will change, and you’ll need to make adjustments accordingly. Communication between all parties involved will help you react in a timely manner. Natalie Leon with Visiting Angels offers the following advice on when to adjust your loved one’s home care services: “Picture the following scenario…An elderly loved one in your life is starting to struggle with living on his/her own. You are asked to help hire a home care service. You choose a trustworthy care company, find a great care provider, and create a service plan that Natalie Leon works perfectly for your loved one. Suddenly, Visiting Angels

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your loved one’s comfort, happiness, and quality of life have improved. Fantastic! But then fast forward a year. Even though your loved one’s home care services are still in place, your loved one seems to be struggling again. What happened? Simply put, a lot can change in a year. In the span of a few months, an elderly person can start having new, unforeseen difficulties. Because of this, it’s important to evaluate your loved one’s home care services regularly, and update those services if need be. It is a good idea to plan ahead when it comes to evaluating home care services. For instance, you might plan to have an in-depth talk with your loved one and their caregiver every six months. For some seniors—such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s— more frequent conversations may be better. Some of the questions you’ll want to touch on when evaluating your loved one’s home care services include: • Have you, your loved one, or your loved one’s caregiver noticed any recent changes in your loved one’s overall wellbeing? • Is your loved one suffering from any added difficulties in terms of strength or mobility? • Does your loved one feel comfortable (or as comfortable as possible)? • Is your loved one’s current home care services schedule meeting his or her needs? • Are there additional areas that your loved one’s home care plan could help with? The good news is that a qualified caregiver will likely be able to spot these issues as they arise. At Visiting Angels, our caregivers often observe changes that they bring to the attention of their clients and their families.” Specialized Care wand Increased Options Making a Big Difference Finding The Right Fit is Worth the Time and Effort In general, with more specialized services becoming available, there are more people out there who are able to benefit from them. We’re seeing senior care diversifying based on meeting specific needs at different stages of life and in response to health epidemics. This is not only evidenced by more options for in-home care, independent living, and assisted living but also for specialized memory care. As we continue to


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learn more about dementia and Alzheimer’s, everything from approaches to caring for those who are suffering from any of these conditions to the living environment has been modified accordingly. Coupled with the growing population affected, now there are entire facilities and wings dedicated to memory care. “There has definitely been a shift in the age of individuals who are seeking memory care for their loved ones,” says Christy Merritt with The Waterford Communities. “Our experience is that we are seeing an increased number of people in their 60s and 70s asking for our services. If you or someone you love is exhibiting signs of dementia, now is the time to gain an understanding of what resources are available and decide who you’ll assign to help make critical decisions in the future. Things tend to progress quickly and families are left Christy Merritt scrambling to make decisions.” The Waterford Similarly, she also notes, “Many families wish Communities they had sought out assistance for their loved ones sooner. There is a prevailing misconception regarding assisted living; although it has been around for quite some time, people, especially seniors, still think of assisted living as a nursing home. In reality, assisted living communities allow seniors to function at the level of independence they are comfortable with. Assisted living communities offer a wide variety of help that is offered on an individual basis.” In closing, for anyone seeking guidance with finding the right level of care, service, or community, she advises, “There are a number of local groups who can help navigate through the process. This industry is all about service; don’t be afraid to call communities and home health agencies directly to get some of your initial questions answered. You may be going through this for the first time, but many in the industry see similar situations every day and can help get you pointed in the right direction.” Reiterating that there will be new options to consider on the horizon, Theron Ahlman with CarePatrol of Nebraska advises, “In 2018 we will see a lot of changes in the Lincoln market and at CarePatrol, with the services we’re able to offer, we’re prepared to help in whatever way we can. At the present time, there will be three new independent, assisted and memory care communities that will be opening their doors in the spring/summer. With these additions, we will be gaining more choices for seniors as to which community is the best for Theron Ahlman them. CarePatrol is a free service that helps seniors and their families navigate through CarePatrol of Nebraska that process and already has information on the three opening up. With the preliminary research we’ve done on the communities, we can already tell you about offerings, costs, levels of care provided, and billing information such if private pay will be required the entire time you are in the community or if Medicaid waivers will be accepted at a certain point. We would never want a senior to have to move out of a community due to running out of money, so we make sure finances are a top priority when looking at options as well as level of care. Seniors will also start to hear more and learn more about the two new rehab-only communities that recently opened up in Lincoln, and CarePatrol can help answer questions on those as well. He too emphasizes the importance of knowing what’s out there and taking advantage of the resources that are available. Ahlman points out, “A lot of seniors and families wish they had known about services like ours, as many have gone through the process of finding a community by themselves. We can save the family a lot of time and energy as we know the communities, eliminating the need to run around to a bunch of them trying to figure out the right fit. We also hear a lot of seniors wish they had made the move to a community many years sooner. They realize life can be much more enjoyable in a community and the socialization along with food is what they were lacking while living at home. The smoothest transition can be made by asking questions, being pointed in the right direction, and getting connected to the right resources. Although CarePatrol specializes in finding the right community, we have

vetted many different resources and help recommend the right people based on certain needs. It is more than just giving families the names of a couple of communities and leaving it at that. We truly help walk the family and senior through the process. Please feel free to call me directly at (402) 580-2116 to schedule a time to sit down and visit about your current situation and plans.” Shift in Approach Seen Across Modern Senior Care Continuum Rehabilitation Also Changing With the Times So far we’ve touched on in-home care, independent living, assisted living, memory care, and placement agencies/transition consultants. Within the senior care continuum, rehabilitation is another core offering. There are some rehabilitation facilities that are post-acute or short-stay, helping patients to get well and transition back to their homes or to a community that offers the appropriate level of care moving forward. Others offer rehabilitation with the option to transition back to wherever the person calls home or to reside there short-term or long-term. Therefore, again it’s important to understand the differences between each. “The post-acute rehabilitation landscape has changed dramatically in Lincoln over the past few months with the opening of two brand new facilities that exclusively provide rehab services,” says Jim Janicki with Hillcrest Health Services. “Compared to nursing homes that also provide short-term rehab, Hillcrest Firethorn is exclusively focused on short-term, post-acute rehab for those recovering from injury, illness or hospital stay.” In addition to offering spacious modern private suites with private bathrooms, Hillcrest Firethorn Jim Janicki offers the area’s only made-to-order culinary Hillcrest Health Services program overseen by an executive chef, Janicki explains. “Rehab guests can choose entrees from a large menu and their visiting family members can even enjoy our Firethorn Bistro, which proudly serves Starbucks hot and iced beverages and quick meals and snacks.” “Hillcrest has re-invented short-term rehab for Lincoln’s aging adults,” Janicki states. Hillcrest Firethorn has been open since December and is certified to accept Medicare. “Prospective guests can contact us to preplan their stay and reserve their choice room before an upcoming joint replacement surgery,” Janicki concludes. “Pre-planning is becoming more popular than ever for those scheduling elective surgeries.” Remaining on the topic of planning, Stephanie Witt with Old Cheney Rehabilitation, the other new rehab facility referenced, adds, “It is a good idea to plan for the worst and hope for the best. You may anticipate a smooth procedure with a quick recovery time. However, if for any reason something should go wrong and you need rehabilitation before getting back home, having that decision made ahead of time is advantageous, especially for an affordable short-stay option with allprivate rooms. Stephanie Witt It is important to know the differences between Old Cheney Rehabilitation rehabilitation facilities. As was noted, some are intermingled with the option of long-term skilled care, which is more of a ‘nursing home’ environment. We offer a model that is truly for people who are motivated to get well and get home. Everyone who comes to get well will get out of here! Offering a healing environment with therapy sessions 7 days a week and up to 3 times a day along with 5 meals sounds like a great place to heal! If we can’t get you back to your home, we will work with you and get you set up with a great place to live. Come tour before the procedure and know your options. Also, know what your insurance covers. Just as you’d check with your preferred healthcare providers, check with the place you’d choose to get your rehabilitation just to be on the safe side. Some insurances are notorious for not paying their claims or pay very low rates. If you have poor insurance, you may not get the best options for healthcare or will have to prepare to pay more out of pocket.” Along the same lines of planning for the worst, she also notes, “Most

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healthcare providers will require Advanced Directives including Durable Power of Attorney and Living Wills. It is important to let your loved ones and providers know your wishes so they can speak on your behalf if something unfortunate happens and you cannot speak for yourself. Have the legal documentation available showing you have given them permission to speak on your behalf if you are unable. It does not have to be expensive. You can print these forms online and follow instructions or seek a lawyer. Anything can happen at any age so please, do not wait! Likewise, the sooner you can have conversations about the aging process and what may happen, the easier it is to help people get through these changes. Do not hesitate to ask the ‘hard’ and ‘uncomfortable’ questions when trying to find out your loved ones wishes for the future. Talking about finances, health concerns, and even funerals are much easier when you have that peace of mind and they do too. Planning can never come too soon. Reminiscing about the good times and pointing out that people are cherished should be done at any age. Catastrophic events happen anytime at any age. Do your loved ones a favor and plan. Let them know it is because you are being an advocate for them. I recommend doing these things together and planning for your future as well.” Making End-of-Life Arrangements Brings Comfort, Peace of Mind to All Fewer Stigmas Surrounding Planning Thoughtfully for Death With wonderful resources to help make all of the necessary arrangements for when one’s time comes to pass on and what might be needed for day-to-day life leading up to that point, people are more apt to talk about death well before it’s on their doorstep. Rhonda Saunders with Hospice Community Care of Nebraska offers the following insight into aspects of planning specific to end-oflife matters: “When planning for our futures, Rhonda Saunders however far out that may go, a couple of things Hospice Community come to mind: Care of Nebraska


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Educate and Investigate: Individuals and families need to know what their options are in order to make informed decisions on what is best for their situation. This holds true for a lot of areas in life. Unfortunately, most people when thinking about end-of-life look away until it’s right up close and personal. During a crisis, we aren’t always at the top of our game. I’ve heard over and over again from people in the healthcare field and who even work in hospice that when they are in an end-of-life situation with a loved one, they too find themselves at a lack of decisionmaking ability. When we are walking in the shoes of crisis the landscape becomes unfamiliar. So education and discussing your choices with your loved ones BEFORE a crisis strikes is key to planning for the unplanned. There are choices to make when identifying those who will care for you or your loved one. Don’t you want to be in control at this delicate time when life’s timeline has gone out of control? So look into hospice, interview companies, and know what they have to offer. A few things to consider asking: • How many nursing visits will I receive per week, is that ever increased? What if I need/want more? • How many aide visits will I receive per week, does that increase if I need it? What does an aide do for me? How long do they spend with me? • What other visits are offered and how often? • Will I always have the same primary nurse and aide? • Will I be taken off all of my medications even if I don’t want to stop taking them? • Will I be given anxiety and pain medications even if I don’t want them or feel I need them? Will I be given pain and anxiety medication when I am in pain and want it? This list is just to get you started. Write down your own questions before calling or meeting with a hospice provider. You do have a choice regardless of what your physician, senior living community or others may tell you. So be sure to find the right fit for you. Fear: All of us fear death on some level. Whether it’s the process of dying or wondering what happens after death. Fear is real and fear can stop us from making decisions and doing what’s best for ourselves or loved ones. The word hospice strikes a chord of fear within people,

which makes them decide it’s not needed yet. All too often a family will say they wished they’d started hospice sooner. Unfortunately, hospice has gained a negative stigma and means death to those who hear it. But the reality is hospice means … living, living life until we die, living life with dignity, respect, support, in comfort and with quality of life. We need to remember that not always is quantity a desirable choice, but quality should be at the top of our list. Again, talk to a hospice provider and openly discuss your fears, concerns and learn when it is appropriate to start hospice. As our senior population rises in the coming years so will our choices, whether it be for living communities, home health and care or hospice. Be a good consumer and a strong advocate for yourself or your loved ones. Hospice Community Care of Nebraska will quickly respond to any request for information, assessment or just to talk and hear your story of your situation. We believe you have the right to choose the right choice of care for you and your loved ones. “End of life planning is not something that any of us like to think about, but having those plans in place is truly a gift for your loved ones,” further emphasizes Jodi Freeman with Roper & Sons. “There are over 100 pieces of information needed at the time of death – some within the first few hours, like your social security number, and most within no more than 24 hours. While I won’t list the entire 100+ items you will need, some key pieces of information that you will need when making arrangements, whether at the time of Jodi Freeman need or when planning ahead, include: the Roper & Sons deceased’s full name (including maiden name if it applies), spouse’s name if married, date of birth, social security number, birthplace, marital status, date and place of marriage, military branch and enlistment/separation dates, discharge papers, and any life insurance policy information. When your loved ones are experiencing the shock and grief of your death – whether it was anticipated or not – providing all of this information can be very difficult emotionally and even logistically. Planning ahead and pre-paying for your funeral services are important for many reasons, including the fact that it can lock in prices that tend to increase each year. Whether or not you choose to pre-pay for your funeral services, we strongly recommend letting your loved ones know how you want to be remembered. The less they have to plan, the less likely it is that there will be misunderstandings or hard feelings. To learn more about how you can ease your loved ones the burden of planning for your end of life services, you can contact us at either (402) 476-1225 or (402) 261-5907.” Rick Carney with Butherus, Maser & Love adds, “There are many questions that could be answered and specific wishes put in a file so when the time arrives, all concerned know exactly what the person wanted and how they wanted their funeral plans to go. That is all well and good and I would certainly encourage people to do just that. However, it all boils down to simply communicating your wishes to the person in charge of your arrangements. Talk to your family. Talk to your funeral home. Gather information about options and Rick Carney processes. Like anything else you may not be Butherus, Maser & Love familiar with or may not deal with on a regular basis, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. There is an education process involved to assure you make the decisions and choices that are best for you and your family. So many delay having a discussion about funeral planning because it may seem uncomfortable or a child may think it will be too hard for their parent to discuss. Our experience is that the parents have no problem talking about their funeral plans - it usually is the kids who have the problem with the discussion. So often we hear children leaving our facility after making funeral arrangements for a deceased parent saying ‘I hope that’s what they would have wanted.’ Eliminate that indecision and doubt and have a conversation with your loved ones, then talk to us so we have your wishes

on file and we can make sure these plans take place the way you want.” Future Projections for the Senior Care Industry Demand vs. Supply Fuels Current Speculation of Labor Shortage on the Horizon Now that we’ve covered a range of information pertaining to seniors, highlighting the various resources available in our community now and coming soon, let’s switch gears and discuss the future of the job market. As with many professions in healthcare fields, those in the senior care industry will be in high demand to meet the growing need. Opportunities will grow exponentially, proportionate to the growth of the senior population and longer life expectancies. While there will be more interest in degree programs, there is still expected to be a labor shortage to some extent. In this type of environment, hiring and retaining the best care providers is critical for any business serving seniors. “As Baby Boomers age between now and 2030, the need for senior care – and for senior care workers – will increase to unprecedented heights,” says Dr. Kim Turnage with Talent Plus, Inc. “The competition for workers will become even more fierce than it already is and organizations that focus on selecting the right talent and retention strategies to keep that talent engaged will have an edge on their competitors. Across all sectors of the long-term care industry, workers are exiting the industry faster Dr. Kim Turnage than they are entering it. At the same time, Talent Plus, Inc. competition for workers within the industry is increasing due to expanding options for how and where people receive support and services. Hiring the right people is one strategy to increase retention. Putting the right people in the right jobs increases their job satisfaction, becoming contagious because having the right people in the right jobs makes things

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better for the people who work with them. With turnover rates as high as 75%, recruitment and selection alone will not stop the bleeding. Leaders and managers must get intentional about other retention strategies. Enabling naturally caring people to see a pathway for a career in senior living is a start. Then once you have selected people talented for the roles, allowing them to create their own plans for development within the senior care industry will ensure the very best people stay in jobs they are naturally wired to perform. Where do you start to hire great people? Ask candidates these questions: • Do you love helping people? • Can you naturally pick up on what people need even if they do not tell you? • Do you have a gift for staying calm and composed, even in trying circumstances? • Are you quick to notice even small changes in people? • Are you a natural smiler? • Are you more interested in hearing other people’s stories than in telling your own? • Can you keep track of a lot of detailed responsibilities while also making each person you encounter feel significant? While these questions will assist in eliciting caring behaviors from candidates, a scientifically-validated selection instrument can help you do an even better job of finding the right people who will provide the best care – hire after hire. Focus more on potential than experience. You can teach people what they need to know about the specifics of working in senior care. You cannot teach them to care about people and you cannot install a heart for service. Scout and recruit continuously. Look for people who provide great service in restaurants, retail stores, libraries and community centers. Keep a keen eye out for those who seem to work especially well with older people. Ask those people to come work for your organization. And, if you do not have a role for them immediately, add them to your talent bench – individuals you can call upon in the community who you know will be a fit for the role and the culture. Get creative. Connect with people who are caring for family members through offering support groups for caregivers or tapping into places in which unpaid caregiving happens, such as churches, synagogues and community centers. Develop the leaders of your future. Now is the time for senior care leaders to begin planning and implementing strategies to help them win the war for talent that has already begun and promises to persist. People are the key. Winning this war starts with selecting the right talent and continues with strategies for retaining top performers. Providing opportunities for learning and development is one of those strategies, and may be the key to unlocking your organization’s best future. Millennials and the generation that follows them (Generation Z, born 2002 and after) will make up a significant portion of the individuals to fill the growing need for workers in senior care. Opportunity for growth and development is the number one factor influencing both the attractiveness of an organization to Millennials and their willingness to accept a job offer.1 In conclusion, talent development should be a priority for your organization for three reasons: 1. It helps you attract and hire top talent; 2. It helps you retain top performers; and 3. It helps you prepare your organization for the challenges of the future.” 1National Workforce Crisis Facing Long-Term Services and Supports. (September, 2017). Leading Age. Retrieved October, 2017 from pdf. 2 Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace. PricewaterhouseCooper. Retrieved October, 2017 from

In conclusion, there are many things on the horizon that will have an impact on all of us as we age, affecting society as a whole spanning from a community level to a global level. For seniors, while there are good “rules of thumb” that apply to most or to keep in mind for when the time comes, there are also certain things to pay attention to depending on one’s needs and circumstances. Regardless, the more you know, whether you’re a senior or have a loved one who is, the better prepared you’ll be!


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FEBRUARY 2018 Strictly Business



Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2018

Strictly Business Lincoln February 2018  
Strictly Business Lincoln February 2018