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Dean Donde Plowman University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration

It all


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Understanding The Buyer’s Journey As I’ve touched upon in past months, there are certain ways to capture the attention of your target audience that are more successful than others depending on what your goals are for promotion. We live in the time of the informed consumer, which means that how we promote our businesses has become increasingly complex as there is much more of a focus on providing value through education. When deciding how to approach this task, gaining a better understanding of how best to meet the needs of your specific target audience is paramount. Thus, for any business owner who wants to market his or her business effectively, a basic understanding of the Buyer’s Journey is critical. Even if you have someone else who handles your marketing, your contribution of ideas will be the driving force of your campaign and should be formed based upon the best ways to reach your ideal customer along with the corresponding messaging, content and platform as a means of delivery. The “Buyer’s Journey” is a term marketers use when referring to the active research process a buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. There are three stages of the Buyer’s Journey: 1. Awareness: Learning about a topic or solution. 2. Consideration: Evaluating a select few businesses to fulfill a specific need. 3. Decision: Seeking validation that the choice is and continues to be the right one. (Note: Some opt towards modern versions that posit a four-step or six-step approach in a cyclical flow chart, and I’ll introduce those after we’ve covered the well-established three-step model.) These will dictate a potential customer’s frame of mind; people in each stage have their own distinct behaviors, information needs, and knowledge consumption preferences. So, when it comes to making the critical decisions as to how you’ll shape and situate your unique promotional content, where your prospects are likely at in the Buyer’s Journey is an important part of the equation to consider.

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For example, those in the awareness stage would be grazing, skimming the surface of many different sources (and likely paying attention to different types of media) and filing away everything they’ve come across for future reference. As a part of the natural progression through the stages, those at the consideration stage will have begun narrowing down the field to just a few targeted businesses and has adjusted their approach more towards in-depth comparisons. They are also identifying themselves by making direct contact to ask questions, request an estimate or demonstration, etc. As such, they’ll likely be looking for a specific representative of your company that gives them the impression of being a trusted expert in their field along with more specific details that they’ve determined to be relevant. Finally, for those in the decision stage, it’s not just about compelling characteristics of your company and brand that ultimately seals the deal. While that’s one side of the coin, the other is consistently providing value so that your existing clients continue to choose you over all other options that can and will present themselves over time. As your knowledge has great value to others, continuing to share it in a way that’s beneficial to your current clients as well as potential ones is the key here. In fact, according to a recent report from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it’s 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer (there are plenty of other documented statistics where the ratio varies from 3-30 times more costly; at any rate, there’s a significant difference). So while it seems like there isn’t much to this stage, I can assure you it’s just as important as the other two—if not more so depending on your growth strategy and retention rates. Over the next few months I’ll be examining each of the three stages in depth and providing corresponding examples of how to deliver impactful content depending on where your target audience is likely at in the Buyer’s Journey, so make sure to stay tuned and enjoy our August issue!

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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It all starts Dean Plowman Leads Transformational Building Project at UNL College of Business Administration

Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the University of Nebraska– Lincoln College of Business Administration, arrived at Nebraska in 2010 to the news that UNL would be joining the Big Ten Conference, home to some of the most prestigious business schools in the country. She knew the move was an academic game changer for CBA, and there was a lot of work ahead. “I saw a huge opportunity, and I also knew to be competitive in the Big Ten our facilities would need a major upgrade,” said Plowman. “We began planning to transform the outside of our college to match the awesome work being done inside.” Plowman’s vision and leadership resulted in the approval of a new $84 million, 240,000-square-foot building that is the largest academic project in recent history at UNL. Set for completion in 2017 at the corner of 14th and Vine streets, the building will become the east bookend for Memorial Mall looking west toward Memorial Stadium. In May, the construction project reached its halfway point.


In total, the building will be composed of more than 60,000 square feet of glass and nearly 70,000 square feet of limestone pre-cast, which makes up the primary exterior appearance of the building. The lower level of the building is the first level set for completion in March of 2017, and the first floor will be the last of the five-story building finished in July 2017.

During her tenure, Plowman has led efforts to raise more than $130 million in private funds, including about $81 million so far toward the new building. First-time freshman enrollment has increased by 66 percent, and more than 70 new faculty members have joined the college to support the increasing student population. The main mantra around Plowman during her time at CBA has been “Start Something,” and the slogan is exemplified through many new programs including the CBA Honors Academy, Career Services at CBA, Clifton Strengths Institute, Center for Sales Excellence, Executive Education, a new masters of arts in business with a specialization in intercollegiate athletics administration (MAIAA) program and a new Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics opening in 2016. “Our new building is the biggest manifestation of our ‘Start Something’ message, but it wouldn’t mean anything without the people who make us great. This building gives us the opportunity to compete with the best in the 21st century business world,” said Plowman.

“This building is being funded entirely by private donations from our alumni for future alumni. It really means the building belongs to all of us. We all have a stake now in the success of this college. What I hope it symbolizes to everyone is we are serious about becoming a world-class college of business,” she said. Along with faculty and staff, Plowman worked with Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York and Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture of Omaha to design the facility being built by Hausmann Construction of Lincoln. She recently toured the construction site and was awestruck at what she saw. “My heart was racing like never before when I saw the new developments happening inside the building site,” said Plowman. “Just taking the tour you begin to feel differently about yourself, and I believe everyone at the college is going to feel that when they experience the new environment. This is a transformational project, and is an extension of every one who contributes to our college.”



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Herbs & More Celebrates 20th Anniversary, Pinot’s Palette Lincoln Studio Now Open Hosts Ribbon Cutting Pinot’s Herbs & More is delighted to announce the h u ge s u c c e s s of their recent Customer Appreciation Day celebration in honor of the store’s 20th anniversary. An official ribbon cutting with the Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) was held to commemorate this milestone on July 12. The celebration included food, drinks, discounts and door prizes, along with free chair massages and complimentary consultations with the in-house esthetician.   A huge thank you to everyone who came out to show their support! Herbs & More has been committed to being a trusted local resource for 20 years and is incredibly thankful for the continued support of the Lincoln community. Herbs & More carries a wealth of products that support health and happiness. The locally owned and operated store’s offerings include natural vitamins and supplements, homeopathic remedies, massage therapy supplies, aromatherapy (essential oils) and accessories, natural beauty care products, herbal teas, natural household and cleaning products, a seasonal selection of plants including a wide variety of herbs…and More! Herbs & More also offers services from its in-house massage therapist and esthetician, which can be booked online or by calling the store. For more information about Herbs & More, visit www.herbsandmorene. com, call (402) 423-7733, or stop by the store at 5740 Old Cheney Road, Suite 8.

HOME Real Estate Consolidated Office Now Open T h e n e w consolidated HOME Real Estate building at 5322 O Street is now open and ready for business. To c e l e b r a t e, HOME Real Estate held a ribbon cutting with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce on July 13. A Grand Opening event for the public followed with various prizes from HOME Real Estate, its affiliated companies and the local neighboring businesses, plus a live radio remote with KFRX 106.3. HOME Real Estate and Realty Trust Group contracted with New Generation Construction (NGC), who started building the office in October 2015. The signature building in Lincoln’s Midtown area is a 20,000-square-foot office, designed to accommodate HOME’s clients and about 200 agents—both those who work more in the office and those who are more mobile. The modern design is filled with natural light through the building’s windows and interior glass walls. The move is an extension of HOME Real Estate’s longtime support of growth and revitalization in Lincoln. Realty Trust Group developed the entire area at the corner of 52nd and O Streets, which housed the Villager Hotel until its deconstruction in 2009 and now is home to a number of businesses. HOME Real Estate ( will maintain three smaller, unstaffed satellite locations around Lincoln to accommodate agents and clients in the surrounding neighborhoods. They are located at 5609 S. 27th St., Ste. A2; 5901 N. 27th St.; and 4501 S. 86th St. in Lincoln. 6 Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

Pa l e t t e, the rapidly growing paint and sip sensation, is excited to announce the opening of its Lincoln studio at 3900 Yankee Hill Road, Unit 127 on the southeast corner of the Super Target parking lot. As part of the nationwide network of over 100 franchises, the grand opening on August 3rd marked the first Pinot’s Palette location in Lincoln. The Pinot’s Palette family is dedicated to providing an upscale experience, with exceptional quality and care during an entertaining yet relaxing, fun and social night out. Featuring a very cool purposebuilt studio, fine wines (and great beers too), a treasure trove of copyrighted paintings to choose from that have been designed by its national network of artists, and of course, lots and lots of paint, the artist instructors at Pinot’s Palette will guide you through the creation process. At the end of the evening, you will take home your very own masterpiece. In addition to a selection of classes to choose from, booking the space for private painting parties and corporate events is also part of Pinot’s Palette’s offerings at the Lincoln studio. Make sure to visit the website at Lincoln to check out upcoming paintings and schedules—it’s easy to sign-up and join the party! To find out more about the new Pinot’s Palette studio in Lincoln, call (402) 476-0360 or email

Local Business Owner Awarded $50,000 Springo Water, an affiliated company of Aqua Systems, beat out nationwide competition to win $50,000 in the “This Is My Edge” contest sponsored by U.S. Bank and MasterCard®. From the desire to eliminate waste as a good steward of the environment, Springo Springo associates with the $50,000 MasterCard, L-R: Dan Spaulding, Eric Water developed Schnakenberg, Dan Warren, Tonya Elekes, the Aqua Trailer, a Jeff White, Brian Dirkschneider. mobile hydration station for large groups, and partners with companies and outdoor events who share the same concern. “Not only do we want to reduce the environmental footprint, but we also want to reduce your event’s clean-up time,” said owner Jeff White.  “A small event may need 640 gallons of drinking water, which means we keep 5,000 plastic bottles away from the landfill.  So that’s a lot of trash you don’t have to worry about!” Deborah Kreuer, Vice President of U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions, said small business should be acknowledged:  “We wanted to hear from small business owners across the country about what gives their business an edge, and we’re proud to recognize Springo Water and all the small business owners who participated.” The contest required small business owners to share their business edge story via a short video. Ten semi-finalists were selected and each received a $1,000 MasterCard Prepaid Card. An online public vote then determined which of the 10 semi-finalists would win the $50,000 grand prize. For more information on how a business can be involved with Springo Water, visit


J-Tech Solar Announces Completion of Major Install in Bennet J-Tech Solar is excited to announce the successful completion of a roofmounted 20 Kilowatt Solar panel system at the Country Swim School in Bennet. The system was completely operational as of July 8th. Normally this type of job would take over a week to complete, but was flawlessly executed by the company’s expert installers within an accelerated timeline of just three days in order to meet the client’s needs. As another company first, a drone was on location filming the entire installation process. Stay tuned, the footage will be aired in J-Tech’s commercials later this month! This particular project is great news for our community as it signifies that Nebraska residents and businesses are finally realizing the investment opportunities that solar presents. Not to mention the positive impact we can have on the environment by going solar! A division of J-Tech Construction, a locally owned and operated company providing a host of related services, J-Tech Solar is proud to offer Nebraska residents and business owners the power to choose affordable, sustainable energy. J-Tech Solar has over 30 years of experience in renewable energy and always offers free consultations. For more information about J-Tech, or to schedule a free consultation and estimate for your upcoming project, please contact Julie Parker at (402) 261-3682, via email at, or visit

Larsen & Larsen Auction Co. to Host Teriyaki Madness Celebrates Grand Opening Complimentary Sessions for Local Non-Profit Te r i ya k i Event Planners Madness officially opened its doors for business in April and has already been a we l c o m e addition to the diverse Lincoln dining scene. A ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) was held on June 17th in conjunction with its official grand opening celebration. Owner Matt Skibicki extends a huge thank you to the Lincoln community for showing so much support already and to those who were in attendance for the grand opening. The future is bright, and the team at Teriyaki Madness looks forward to learning new ways to make the customer experience even better. Teriyaki Madness is conveniently located at 2801 Pine Lake Road, Suite B. Guests can expect a unique, healthy dining experience, as Teriyaki Madness offers a great selection of the highest quality rice, veggies, and proteins, all grilled to perfection! Each dish is cookedto-order and is customized based on preference, with tons of fresh ingredients to choose from and fantastic portion sizes. Veggies and meat are prepared on-site daily, all sauces are made from scratch in-house, and all meat is never frozen and is weighed after it is cooked to ensure the best prices are offered to customers along with the enjoyment of the most delicious meal possible. The Teriyaki Madness experience is fresh, fulfilling, and fits your life! For more information about Teriyaki Madness, please visit www. or contact Matt Skibicki at (513) 739-5001.

A t t e n t i o n n o n - pro f i t organizations! Due to the overwhelming success of its interactive workshops last month, Larsen & Larsen Auction Co. will now be offering personalized oneon-one table discussions. This opportunity will be available to those in the Lincoln area on August 18th and to those in the Omaha area on August 19th, as well as on August 23rd at the Holiday Inn at Ameristar in Council Bluffs. For those planning upcoming events, this is your chance to talk with an industry leader about your ideas and implement new concepts that will help create an engaging experience and profitable outcome.  As auction season is quickly approaching, this will be one of the last opportunities for a free coaching session.  Call to reserve your spot today or visit the website for more details to come! Larsen & Larsen Auction Co. specializes in fundraising auctions and offers premier consulting for non-profit organizations.   The firm works with groups to take their fundraisers to the next level by increasing their revenue so they can maximize their mission of saving and impacting lives.  Based in Sioux Falls, SD, Jonathan Larsen has traveled throughout the country to help organizations achieve and exceed their fundraising goals. He is a certified Benefit Auctioneer Specialist, which is a designation that only 1% of all auctioneers have earned, along with having extensive experience in event planning and management.Those interested in learning more about Larsen & Larsen Auction Co. can visit or are welcome to contact Jonathan Larsen at (605) 376-7102 or AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business 7


Geist Commemorates Opening of New Lincoln Location Geist -- the wo r l d ’s third largest manufacturer o f p o w e r, cooling and monitoring equipment for data centers -celebrated the construction of a new 87,000-square-foot, $12.5 million headquarters. The week leading up to the ribbon cutting was filled with much excitement at the new location, including a one-hour private tour with Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. The ribbon-cutting event with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce was attended by over 100 Lincoln dignitaries and business owners, including Geist family members from one of the founders, Alex Geist, as well as Lt. Governor Mike Foley and Mayor Chris Beutler. Mayor Beutler proclaimed June 17, 2016, as Data Center Manufacturing Day to recognize Geist’s community and global contributions since 1948. Geist employs more than 110 people in the Lincoln headquarters. Its parent company, PCE, employs nearly 275 people in Lincoln and another 145 in offices across the world, including in China and England. The company sees nearly $75 million in revenue per year. For more information about Geist, please visit the company’s website at or contact Tracy Munoz at (402) 474-3400 Ext. 1188 or

Forgelight Creative Celebrates Opening of New Haymarket Location Forgelight Creative held a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce on June 9th to celebrate the opening of their new location on the fourth floor of The Apothecary Building in the Haymarket. Guests from the Chamber of Commerce, the startup community, and Forgelight Creative clients enjoyed food and craft beer while learning about the vision cofounders Tyler Sprunk and Derek Maze have for their business. Forgelight Creative is a marketing agency that began building brands and websites for startups and small businesses roughly two years ago. Recently, the agency has begun to offer a more focused line of services to help startups and mid-sized companies grow through better branding and smarter online strategies. Their current range of services includes brand development, website development, social media management, online advertising, content marketing, and related services. “We’ve seen great growth so far this year, both in terms of the number of clients we serve and the size of our team. We’re extremely excited to leverage our amazing team and renewed focus to continue to grow and create even better marketing results for our clients,” said Sprunk. To find out more about Forgelight Creative and to get in touch with their team, visit 8 Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

Stylz Salon & Boutique Now Open Stylz Salon & Boutique recently opened for business at 1075 N. 33rd Street in June. An industry veteran with over 26 years o f ex p e r i e n c e, owner Paula Von Busch is excited to open this new joint spa and boutique concept and looks forward to continuing to serve clients in the Lincoln community. Stylz Salon & Boutique is a full-service salon and boutique that blends both atmospheres, providing a welcoming and vibrant yet relaxing environment for clients with an emphasis on excellent customer service and offering the highest quality products and services. In addition to women and men’s cuts, color, and facial waxing services, Stylz Salon & Boutique offers a variety of merchandise such as clothing, jewelry and accessories.  Shoes and cosmetics will be available soon.  Watch for the newest styles arriving at Stylz Salon & Boutique weekly and make sure to mention the Stylz ad in Strictly Business Magazine to receive $10 off any $50 boutique purchase! To schedule an appointment at Stylz Salon & Boutique, or to find out more about Lincoln’s newest salon and boutique, please call or text (402) 643-1452 or email  Connect with Stylz on Facebook too!

New State Branding Announced G o v e r n o r Pe t e Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) unveiled the new State of Nebraska brand: “Good Life. Great Opportunity.” at the Governor’s Summit on Economic Development held on July 12. “‘Good Life. Great Opportunity.’ is a phrase Nebraskans can embrace. From Sandhills ranches to Omaha high-rises, this brand is inspired by the men and women who grew Nebraska for our first 150 years,” Governor Ricketts said. Nebraska-based marketing and communications agency Firespring developed the brand during a process that included gathering input from diverse groups of Nebraskans across the state through meetings and online surveys. The project began as a rebranding effort for DED and expanded to encompass all state agencies. “It builds an image for the state that encourages growth,” DED Director Courtney Dentlinger said of the new brand. Governor Ricketts encourages Nebraska businesses to claim the Nebraska brand and establish their “Great.” Following are the taglines for state agencies who have adopted the new branding, with more agencies to follow: Economic Development: Good Life. Great Opportunity. Labor: Good Life. Great Connections. Roads: Good Life. Great Journey. State Patrol: Good Life. Great Tradition. Motor Vehicles: Good Life. Great Future. Banking and Finance: Good Life: Great Opportunity Background on the branding process, including a video telling the brand story, is available at


Save The Date: Lincoln Chamber Presents 2016 Lincoln Business Expo The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is proud to again host one of the region’s largest FREE business trade shows. This year’s Lincoln Business Expo will be held on October 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The event is free and open to the public! Why attend? Make new connections, exchange ideas and meet with potential business partners at this power-packed event. Mix, mingle and meet with 100+ exhibitors and 1000+ attendees in all business sectors, all in one day!  What’s new for vendors? Due to popular demand, more booths have been added to the show, which means more selection and more companies to meet. Also, direct selling is now allowed on the show floor! (Some restrictions may apply.) Additionally, enter to win many great prizes and sample craft beer from local breweries. Vendor registration for the 2016 Lincoln Business Expo is now open. For more details, please contact Nichole Kaiser at nkaiser@lcoc. com or (402) 436-2355, or visit

DE Guns Announces August Promo Event, New Top-of-the-Line Subcompact Handgun Model DON’T MISS THIS EVENT! DE Guns will be hosting an FN America, Inc. representative for an in-store sale/promotional event August 11-13 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at its current location, 3101 O Street. FN (www.fnamerica. com) is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high quality, reliable firearms that’s committed to providing a portfolio of products, training and support services to enhance the performance and safeguard the lives of clients worldwide. DE Guns has also added onto its offerings in the area of subcompact handguns that are ideal for concealed carry with its newest model, the Taurus PT111 Millennium G2. This is not only the brand’s topselling firearm, but based on its impressive overall value, is also currently one of the best-selling subcompact 9mm handguns in the U.S. It features an innovative new design with a lightweight polymer frame and thin profile while also including an accessory rail, highprofile sights, textured grip, and melted edges for added comfort and easy concealment. Furthermore, the entire Taurus family of semi-automatic pistols now features the Taurus Security System, which provides instant-ready defense with built-in ability to secure your pistol and make it inoperable at the turn of a key. When the Security System is engaged, the pistol cannot be fired or cocked and the gun’s manual safety cannot be disengaged. Taurus also provides a loaded chamber indicator. As with all Taurus safety and security innovations, the indicator in no way interferes with the operation of your pistol and is provided at no extra cost. To find out if additional rebates, promotions or coupon codes are available for this item or any others offered, contact the DE Guns Sales Team at (402) 875-6500 or visit the mobile-friendly website at Also, make sure to watch for this item discounted as the Deal of the Day online!

Jani-King of Omaha Expands Focus to Lincoln Jani-King of Omaha recently made the decision to expand its focus to servicing clients in the Lincoln area and has officially become a member of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. Jani-King’s local franchise owners hope to reach business professionals in the community who are looking to receive the best commercial cleaning services for their facilities! Wondering who to call for the best commercial cleaning services in Nebraska? Named the best of janitorial companies in Omaha for two years in a row, call Jani-King to handle any of your commercial cleaning needs. With over 120 regional support offices worldwide, Jani-King is the global leader in commercial cleaning and stops at nothing to deliver unrivaled janitorial services to the people who matter most in your business. They work with facilities big and small and will work with you to create a custom solution that fits your specific needs. Jani-King provides commercial cleaning and janitorial services to tens of thousands of clients in a variety of industries including: Office and Building, Bank, Healthcare Environmental Services, Government Building, Restaurant, Hotel and Resort Housekeeping, Stadium and Event, Retail Store and School and University Cleaning. Every Jani-King franchise is locally owned and operated by someone who genuinely cares about their community. The Omaha regional office is located at 5885 S. 118th Circle. For more information on Jani-King, please visit, call (402) 932-0514 or email clandrie@ AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business 9

BUSINESS NEWS The Body Shoppe Expands to New Location The Body Shoppe is now located at 4740 A Street, Suite 200 on the lower level of the Lincoln Surgical Doctors office building. The move to the new space was complete as of August 1st. The Body Shoppe will now be better able to accommodate its growing clientele in its much larger new location, which features a comfortable reception area as well as three separate rooms. The rooms are all equipped with the necessary amenities for all modalities, allowing for a more flexible schedule of appointment times available. The couples massage room is also larger; now with the option of accommodating up to four people, booking options include one couple, tandem couples or group appointments for spa parties. The Body Shoppe’s new space was chosen for its more central, convenient location in a high-traffic area, but also with a flexible floorplan the will allow The Body Shoppe to further expand in the future. With expansion efforts already underway, The Body Shoppe is looking to add another massage therapist as well as the services of an in-house esthetician. Those interested in this opportunity may contact owner Dennis Varley at (402) 440-5852 or varleymassage@ With balance of the mind, body and spirit as the ultimate goal, The Body Shoppe offers a wide variety of massage techniques that promote relaxation and healing. The Body Shoppe is open seven days a week by appointment only. For more information, visit


Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

Oasis Senior Advisors and Capriotti’s Join Together for The Longest Day Benefit Held every year on the Summer Solstice, The Longest Day is a day to bring attention to the long days of those suffering with Alzheimer’s and the long days caregivers face when they love someone with the disease. This year, Oasis Senior Advisors teamed up with Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, who generously pledged 25% of the entire day’s proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Association! A check was presented to the Alzheimer’s Association later in the week. Capriotti’s Operations Manager Chad Klein’s grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s and Oasis Senior Advisors owner Beth Friesen’s mother also died from the disease, which currently affects more than 5 million Americans. Oasis Senior Advisors is a FREE service to help people find assisted living and memory support among other types of senior living communities. Please contact Beth Friesen, RN at (402) 429-8891 or visit to learn more. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop has two locations in Lincoln; 27th and Old Cheney and downtown in the Latitude Building at 11th and N Streets. To join the fight against Alzheimer’s, visit

BUSINESS NEWS Living in the Yellow Announces Next Basic Pistol Class for Women Patty Nun, an NRA Trained Pistol Instructor with Living in the Yellow, has announced their next course being offered Saturday, September 24 in Lincoln, Nebraska for women who have little or no previous experience handling a pistol. “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 ensure 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, which 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 has 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 future.” To find out more information or to register, go to www.LivingInTheYellow. org or call Patty Nun at (402) 432-6470.

Save The Date: Omaha Advertising X! Set for September 22nd The Greater Omaha Po s t a l C u s t o m e r Council is gearing up for a fourth year of collaboration with the American Advertising Federation Omaha and the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) for Omaha’s Premier marketing and advertising event.  This year’s event will take place on September 22th at the Ralston Arena.  OAX! has been designed to promote growth of businesses through advertising concepts, exposing businesses to the best of traditional and new media promotions and to provide valuable networking opportunities within the greater Omaha marketing community. OAX! is an opportunity to learn how to grow to your business as there will be valuable educational opportunities to the advertising and marketing community with technology, innovation and cutting-edge techniques!  Some of the biggest names both in Omaha and nationally in advertising and marketing have been confirmed for this event!  OAX! will offer attendees a full Exhibit Area to visit and features keynote speakers: Dave Nelson, Founder and Creative Director for Secret Penguin and Gary Reblin, Vice President for New Products and Innovation for the United States Postal Service.  Also included will be two workshops, 12 educational classes, a business panel and more. Interested in showcasing your company? Contact Roger Humphries at (402) 930-4394 or by email at  If you want to attend or know more about Omaha Advertising X!, visit www.  You can also find OAX! on Facebook.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Ironhide Construction Tops List of Chief Building Jobs Booked in May Ironhide Construction, Inc. recently reached a company milestone, earning the #1 spot on Chief Building’s Top 10 Bookings for May 2016. The list compares the jobs booked by all independent, authorized builders throughout its nationwide networ k for the installation of Chief’s preengineered metal buildings. Ironhide Construction has designated as an Authorized Builder for Chief Buildings, a division of Chief Industries, Inc., since 2015 and has since grown one of the top producing firms nationwide as evidenced by its recent spot atop the Top 10 Bookings list. Ironhide Construction was founded in 2008, and specializes in commercial and industrial construction. With a reputation throughout the Midwest for providing quality buildings and genuine service at a reasonable price, the locally owned and operated company prides itself on providing expert advice, skilled craftsmanship and top-notch construction management. If you are interested in having a new space built for your business or want more information about what products are available, please call (402) 420-4961 or check out the company’s website at

Artist in Residence Gallery & Studio Opens at Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, majority owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, successfully unveiled its Artistin-Residence studio and gallery with support of Lincoln’s mayor, the Lincoln Susan Madsen, general manager of The Lincoln Art Council, the Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, cuts the ribbon with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce to the hotel’s Lincoln Chamber new Artist in Residence Studio & Gallery. of Commerce and the first artist in residence, Margaret Berry, on June 10. The Cornhusker hotel hosted the event outside the new gallery space, located on the main floor of the hotel’s office plaza. The art studio is designed to provide Lincoln travelers and guests with a memorable, unique experience by interacting with the artist and her work, while also providing support to Lincoln’s local art community. Many city leaders attended the event, including elected officials, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce ambassadors and members of the City Council. Attendees heard speeches from Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, Deb Weber, director of the Lincoln Arts Council, Susan Madsen, general manager and resident artist Margaret Berry, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. Guests were treated to food and beverages from the hotel’s awardwinning culinary team while viewing the new space and artwork of its resident artist.


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Margaret resides on property throughout the week, creating work, interacting with guests and offering hands-on workshop experiences for visitors wanting to experience the process themselves. Her weekly studio hours are posted to her website, The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel is located at 333 South 13th Street in Lincoln, NE. For more information or to reserve accommodations, please call (800) 228-9290 or visit


Omaha Fashion Week Set For August 22-27 Omaha Fashion Week is celebrating nine years in 2016! During that time, Omaha Fashion Week has grown into the nation’s fifth largest fashion event, supporting more independent fashion designers than any other organization in the region. Omaha Fashion Week presented by the SAC Federal Credit Union is being held August 22-27 at the Omaha Design Center located at 1502 Cuming Street. Tickets can be purchased online at omahafashionweek. com/tickets. Omaha Fashion Week is a glamorous red carpet event for a good cause, showcasing the work of 55 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. Don’t miss your chance to attend this August! Learn more at www.

Manpower Introduces MyPath Resources Manpower is on a mission to keep its associates and candidates employable. In order to do this, Manpower is introducing MyPath – a collection of resource tools built to give associates a chance to obtain better and new opportunities in the future as the work environment changes and new skills are needed. Effective in May of 2016, My Path is completely FREE! All of the MyPath resources are available at NO COST and accessible on the website: www. This includes: • Full College Tuition Coverage Program – Manpower is partnering with Western International University to offer its eligible, actively-assigned associates who apply for a Pell grant the opportunity to pursue a firsttime associate’s or bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs. • PowerYou – Providing associates with the courses to fill any knowledge or skill gaps is easy through this online classroom. • Assessment Tool – Beyond Manpower’s strength and skills assessments, a preference evaluation is now being offered that allows candidates and associates to align their likes and natural drives to jobs that match those preferences. This gives them the guidance they need to accelerate their career. As noted above, eligibility to take online skill courses or pursue a degree through Manpower does require being registered as an active Manpower associate. For more information, contact the MyPath support team by emailing or calling (844) 301-­6158 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Realty Works Relocates Office Realty Works has officially moved into its new office and is now headquartered at 1205 High Street. The relocation from its former office at 847 S. 48th Street was effective as of July 18th. The new office provides more space for its growing team of professionals. Realty Works is a local, independent real estate brokerage originally founded in 1957 and is now operated by Jennifer and Matt Kirkland. Key areas of focus for Realty Works include real estate sales, residential property management and working with clients interested in learning about real estate investing. The Realty Works team can be reached at the new office at (402) 483-1214 or online via the website at

Nesco Resource Celebrates 60 Years Nesco Resource, a leading human resources firm, is proudly celebrating its 60th year of business in 2016. In 1956 Robert Tomsich, founder of Nesco Inc., started a company that provided engineering and design services which grew through diversified acquisitions and organic growth.  He continues to serve as the company’s chairman. Nesco Resource, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nesco Inc., has grown its’ national presence with over 100 branch offices in 22 states. In Nebraska, Nesco Resource has an established branch in Omaha and recently opened up a branch in Lincoln, located at 620 N. 40th Street, Suite 104, in June. Nesco Resource currently ranks in the top 25 USA Staffing Agencies according to Staffing Industry Analysts, and is also recognized by SIA as one of America’s fastest growing firms. Nesco has earned the coveted Best of Staffing Award for 5 years running by Inavero, an award earned by fewer than 2% of Staffing Firms throughout the U.S. and Canada. Through its branch office network, Nesco Resource and its affiliated companies offer clients and employees human resource services ranging from Temporary Staffing, Permanent Placement, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Onsite Management Services and more. For more information, please contact Paul Herman, Business Development Manager, at (531) 289-1116, email, or visit the company’s website at

Nebraska Hearing Center Offers Super Fair Special in August


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In honor of the Lancaster County Super Fair taking place August 4-13, Nebraska Hearing Center is offering free h e a r i n g e va l u a t i o n s during the entire month of August. “Protecting and monitoring your hearing is important to the quality of life,” states Audiologist Leslie Frank MS, CCC-A.  “We encourage annual monitoring of your hearing which is why we offer free evaluations.” Along with free hearing evaluations, Nebraska Hearing Center services and cleans all models and brands of hearing aids.  Nebraska Hearing Center is centrally located at 5625 O Street, Suite 104.  Call (402) 486-3737 today to schedule your free hearing evaluation.


3 Daughters Boutique Now Open in Historic Haymarket 3 Daughters Boutique, located in the History Haymarket at 311 N 8th St #102, is excited to announce they are now open! The stylish boutique carries a variety of unique clothing, accessories, shoes and gifts.  3 Daughters Boutique is passionate about helping women see the good in themselves, one fabulous outfit at a time. As one of three daughters herself, and also a mother of three daughters, owner Stephanie Johnson hopes to connect mothers and daughters through shopping together. With the motto “Sassy but Classy”, 3 Daughters Boutique offers the latest fashion trends at affordable prices, all with outstanding quality. At 3 Daughters Boutique you’ll find a great selection of styles and sizes for women of all body types. Make sure to stop by 3 Daughters Boutique, where Fashion is a Feeling!  Store Hours are Monday - Wednesday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sundays Noon- 4 p.m.  After Hours parties are available upon appointment. For more information about 3 Daughters Boutique, please call (513) 289-1411 or email  To check out all of the latest arrivals connect with them on Facebook and Instagram!

TRUSTED Makes Its Debut In July, the Council of Better Business Bureau (CBBB), the umbrella organization of Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) in the U.S., Canada and Mexico launched a new publication, TRUSTED. It is the first in a series of issues created to support and inspire our marketplace to reach for new heights and continue to redefine what it means to be a better business. “TRUSTED is an invitation for companies to join us in thinking beyond typical boundaries, to discover what makes a better business,” said CBBB President and CEO Mary Power. In its inaugural issue, what makes a better business is explored in two feature stories, “Good, Better, Best” and “Do Your Customers Trust Your Business?” Both of these research-based articles examine from different angles the relationship consumers have with businesses, their expectations and what businesses can do to maintain consumer loyalty and trust. “We also talk to small businesses about best practices. We look at significant trends and what is driving innovative changes in the marketplace, as well as how we can humanize the business to consumer experience. Truly, our goal with TRUSTED is to help lead this dialogue as the marketplace continues to innovate and evolve,” explained Powers. The companies whose services rely on peer-to-peer sharing of goods such as Turo and DogVacy to subscription box businesses that are changing the way the marketplace does business on a daily basis and doing so with great success are those highlighted in TRUSTED. You can find TRUSTED at

K & M Services Recognized as Newly Qualified Conklin Roofing Systems Contractor Heartland International, Inc., a nationwide distributor of Conklin Roofing Systems since 1978, has added Ken & Mary Miller and their company K & M Services to its list of Nebraskabased factory-trained and qualified commercial roofing contractors for installing the MR Roofing System™ to metal buildings. K & M Services provide commercial roofing, general construction and remodeling to clients in southeast Nebraska. Jordan Nun of Lincoln, NE who serves as the V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Heartland International, Inc. recognized that the extensive experience that Ken and Mary have in construction and remodeling make them the perfect fit as Conklin Roofing System Applicators.  They have officially added these systems, which have been successfully protecting buildings for over 35 years, to their tool chest of building construction and maintenance solutions. For specific advice on construction or roofing projects, contact K & M Services at (402) 540-0452 or via email at Heartland International, Inc. is based in Lincoln, Nebraska and is responsible for screening and training contractors to install the Conklin Roofing Systems.  For more information or to apply for one of the current openings, e-mail or call (402) 540-1545. AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business 15


Good Times Grow at 2016 Lancaster County Super Fair The 2016 Lancaster County Super Fair will r u n f ro m T h u r s d ay, August 4 through Saturday, August 13. The Super Fair is proud to offer 10 nights of free entertainment on the Pepsi Main Stage including opening night with MWA Pro Wrestling, followed by 9 days of live bands with genres ranging from country, rock, reggae and blues, and your chance for fame with karaoke on the big stage. Make sure to check out the brand new Bud Light Beer Garden Experience too! The Free Concert Series ends on August 13 with nine hours of fun from three bands at the Cornhusker Country Bash. There will also be a Double Headliner Show starring multi-platinum selling groups, Blackhawk and the Outlaws on Thursday, August 11. The 2016 Celebrity Concert will be held for the second straight year in Pavilion 4 of the Lancaster Event Center on 84th and Havelock where attendees will enjoy a comfortable, relaxed environment and great acoustics along with homestyle BBQ, fair-favorite foods, and beverages from the new Good Times Grill. Tickets can be purchased for $20 online until the time of the show. Coupons for $5 off online tickets for the Celebrity Concert are available at The Fort locations in Columbus, Lincoln and Nebraska City. No coupons will be accepted at the gate. See the full list of attractions and more event details at

NDOL Urges Nebraskans to Be Cautious When Hiring Contractors As the agency enforcing Nebraska’s Contractor Registration Act, the Nebraska Department of Labor reminds N eb r a s k a n s t o u s e caution when hiring contractors to repair or remodel their homes and businesses. • Make sure all contractors you speak with are registered with the Nebraska Department of Labor and are in compliance with local licensing and building permit requirements. A searchable listing of registered contractors is available at • Consumers can minimize the chances of being scammed by an unscrupulous contractor by following these recommendations: • Beware of a contractor who makes you an unsolicited offer by showing up at your doorstep with a great deal.  They’ll give you “a special deal,” but only if you decide to have the work done today.  This type of “repair” contractor usually demands a big payment up front, may want to be paid in cash, and may try to talk you into unnecessary repairs. • Check references.  Get at least three to four references from previous customers.  Verify the contractor’s business phone and address, and do a search on the Internet for any complaints. • Get written estimates, a written contract, proof of insurance, and a written warranty. Never agree to an oral estimate or a verbal contract. Consumers following the above recommendations can greatly increase their chances of having a positive experience when using the services of a construction contractor.  For more information, go to the Nebraska Department of Labor website at or call (402) 471-2239. 16

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Get a Taste of Legacy Living at Upcoming Events Legacy Retirement Communities has two more great opportunities yet this summer to get a taste of Legacy Living. First, you won’t want to miss the food event of the year, Chef Showcase, which will be held on Wednesday, August 3rd from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Legacy Estates!  Chef Showcase will treat guests to delicious food and samplings from Legacy’s finest chefs. From grilling trips and gift card giveaways, to ice sculptures and cheese carvers, the culinary team is going all out.  Want a guaranteed spot for the Delicious Bisque or Grill Masters showcase cooking demonstrations? Call (402) 484-8888 to reserve your seat, but no RSVP is required to attend the event at 7200 Van Dorn Street. Next, plan ahead to celebrate Grandparents Day at the Terrace Town Carnival on Sunday, September 11th from 1-4 p.m. Bring the whole family to enjoy the carnival games, pony rides, face painting, clowns, a bounce house and magic.  And what’s a carnival without the tasty fair fare to enjoy during the fun?  Get ready to chomp on some corn dogs, cotton candy, sno-cones, Indian fry bread and more!  Call (402) 464-5700 for more information about the Terrace Town Carnival at 5700 Fremont Street. For more information about the Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care, please contact Legacy Retirement Communities at (402) 436-3000 or visit

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Marks New Valvoline Instant Oil Change Location Valvoline Instant Oil Change hosted a ribbon cutting event with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce on June 29th in honor of the location at 8500 Amber Hill Ct. recently opening its doors for business in March. Situated near the hightraffic area at 84th & Hwy. 2 in southeast Lincoln, the new location is conveniently located in a prominent area of development that’s also in proximity to many established local businesses and several nearby neighborhoods. At the newest location in Lincoln, you can expect friendly professionals providing excellent customer service and focused on efficiently taking care of your vehicle to ensure you stay on the road. For more than 25 years Valvoline Instant Oil Change has provided quick, convenient vehicle maintenance services for busy people. Their skilled technicians are rigorously trained in an ASE-certified program. Just pull into your neighborhood location and get a quality oil change with a complimentary detailed maintenance check in 15-20 minutes, and for most other services, you won’t even have to leave your car! Servicing all makes and models of vehicles as well as providing fleet maintenance, the Lincoln Valvoline location at Amber Hill Ct. is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Stop by today, call (402) 904-3626 for any inquiries, or find them online at store.

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Rachel’s Boutique to Host Joseph Ribkoff Trunk Show Rachel’s Boutique will be hosting a Jo s e p h R i b ko f f tr unk show on August 18th. Joseph Ribkoff, the designer of his internationally recognized clothing line, offers a unique style with his dresses and separates. His collections are available at Rachel’s Boutique in sizes 2-16 and up to 18 in select pieces. Stop by from 2-6 p.m. to check out all of the new styles from the popular line as well as what’s ontrend for the upcoming Fall 2016 season! Rachel’s Boutique is located at 7121 Pioneers Blvd. The boutique carries a variety of designers including Brighton, Blue Willi’s, Joseph Ribkoff, Cartise, Coobie, Blo Whistle, and features clothing, handbags, jewelry and other accessories. For more information, please call (402) 420-3040 or find Rachel’s Boutique on Facebook!

Midwest Door & Hardware Celebrates 24 Years in Business, Opening of New Office Midwest Door & H a r d wa r e celebrated their 24th anniversary and the recent opening of new office space. The company began as a simple fourperson startup and has grown into a dual-location business with 22 employees. The newly renovated office space provides an additional 11,000 square feet to accommodate the growing staff. A ribbon cutting with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce on June 23rd was held in the new office building where guests were also able to view the new showroom. A celebration was held later that day with customers, suppliers, and staff. With offices in Lincoln and North Platte, Midwest Door & Hardware has supplied contractors, architects, and facility managers with commercial doors and hardware for nearly a quarter of a century. “We believe in the value of providing extraordinary, personalized customer service,” said co-founder Dick Selig. “On-site fabrication, as well as on-site assistance, installation and expedited special orders are just some of the perks our customers can expect when working with our company.” To find out more about Midwest Door & Hardware please visit www., call at (402) 464-6348, or email

Leisure Limousine & Sedan Adds Limo Bus to Fleet Leisure Limousine & Sedan is excited to announce the recent expansion of its fleet with the addition of a limo bus! Seating up to 34 passengers, the limo bus provides the ultimate experience—upscale features include stunning interior design elements, leather seating, a great sound system, and even two 42” televisions! This is the perfect vehicle for large wedding parties. Leisure Limousine & Sedan is your premier transportation service, offering a wide array of vehicles to ensure the best fit for each client. From dependable corporate car service and airport transportation to having the time of your life on special occasions, you can count on Leisure Limousine & Sedan for a safe and professional experience. To find out more or book your next reservation, please call (402) 476-8132 or visit 18

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Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers Lincoln Location Hosts Ribbon Cutting Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers, a local resource providing a wide range of weight loss programs to fit any lifestyle, recently announced new ownership effective March of 2016. To officially commemorate the new ownership, an official ribbon cutting with the Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) was held on July 8th.  Owner Jethro Hopkins and Facility Manager Nancy Hopkins welcomed guests to join them for tours of the facility, complimentary beverages and healthy treats, free chair massages, and a free Body Composition Analysis was given to all those who attended.  A raffle drawing also took place with a 4-session Laser Lipo package grand prize given away.  The Lincoln Center is still conveniently located at 5377 S. 34th St., Suite 200. Over 32 years of development has gone into perfecting the programs offered by Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers across the country, so you can be sure that if you follow the program, you’ll get the results. In fact, it’s even guaranteed! If you follow the plan and all recommendations made by the physician-supervised team of professional counselors, you’ll lose a minimum of 2lbs a week until you reach your ultimate goal. Most lose more! Let the expert counselors at Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers in Lincoln match you up with the program that will work best for you! Call today to speak with a counselor or to schedule a convenient free consultation. Find out more about Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Center by visiting, calling (402) 483-7952 or emailing info@

Deep Sky Wealth Relocates Lincoln Office Deep Sky Wealth recently moved its Lincoln office to a new location, which was introduced with an open house event that included a ribbon-cutting with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce on June 21st. Deep Sky Wealth’s Lincoln office is now located at 7011 Kentwell Lane, Ste. 100. The firm also has an office in Omaha at 1111 N. 102nd Ct., Ste. 320. Deep Sky Wealth is a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. The practice was formed in 2015 by the merging of two Ameriprise franchise practices with over 80 years of combined experience. Deep Sky Wealth serves individuals and families who have a strong desire to be financially independent, helping them feel more confident about their futures. Its diverse team of specialists focus on various areas that affect your future significantly, such as retirement planning, wealth preservation, family finances, tax planning strategies, health care, estate and legacy planning, and building an investment portfolio intended to create the income you need to support your lifestyle. Through an ongoing relationship, the professionals at Deep Sky Wealth help clients make financial decisions throughout all phases of life, providing customized solutions and integrative advice through comprehensive financial planning. The Lincoln office can be reached at (402) 323-6550 and the Omaha office can be reached at (402) 334-7265. Find Deep Sky Wealth online at or

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Cornhusker Bank Provides Blue Ribbon Support of Law Enforcement Cornhusker Bank and its associates value the work our police officers do. Inspired by the story of Vicki Lamb wanting to show her support for law enforcement personnel by tying blue ribbons to tree trunks which was reported in the Lincoln Journal Star on July 20th, Cornhusker Bank has followed her lead. All Cornhusker Bank locations have placed blue ribbons on trees around the branches.  Anyone in the community who wishes to place a ribbon around their trees may stop by and pick one up at any Cornhusker Bank location. Cornhusker Bank remains Lincoln’s oldest locally owned bank, demonstrating hometown heart, stability, soundness and continued commitment to the success of its valued customers and associates. For more information, please visit

Sandler Sales Training to Host Effective Communication That Wins Sales Seminar Registration is open for Sandler Sales Training’s upcoming seminar on September 21st, which will focus Effective Communication that Wins Sales. How you communicate a message rather than the message itself can make or break a sales call. One advantage you have is that people are predictable and much has been learned about how communication can be used to establish rapport and trust with your prospects. In this seminar you will learn how to leverage the power of communication, both conscious and subconscious, to give you the advantage to win over your competitors. The seminar will be held at the Sandler Training Center, located at 3828 Dodge Street in Omaha, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost to attend is $500 or $250 for President’s Club members, which includes lunch and all materials. Those interested in signing up for this seminar may do so via For more information, contact Michelle Halpenny at

WISB to Host Monthly Luncheon on Aug. 10th The Women in Sales and Business (WISB) monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 10th at The Hillcrest Country Club at 9401 O Street, Lincoln, NE. The speaker this month will be Angie Muhleisen, President and CEO of Union Bank and Trust Company. Angie will talk with the group about being a dynamic female leader in business and how to maintain a company’s culture in a large, growing organization.


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The meeting starts with lunch at 11:30 a.m., with 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 or to RSVP. More information can also be found on the website or by contacting WISB via email.


Proactive Solutions, Inc. Partners With Johnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson, a household name in medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer dating back to 1886, recently approached Proactive Solutions, Inc. to assist with streamlining their new acquisition of Depuy Synthes and to help facilitate the initiation of an injury prevention/ ergonomic program to keep their workforce productive and healthy. Moving forward, Proactive Solutions, Inc. will be an integral part in assisting the company’s “LEAN” team with changing processes and staying on track so that productivity is maximized. Proactive Solutions, Inc. works directly with employers nationwide to consult and develop on-site, customized programs that meet specific objectives along with attracting and retaining top employees, keeping their workforce healthy-safe-well, and saving the business money. Proactive Solutions, Inc.’s Lincoln office is locally staffed, with the ability to develop a program and assist your team in running it all the way up to fully staffing and managing the program for you. For more information or to schedule an appointment for a free consultation, please contact Katie Tiedeman, Midwest Regional Manager, at (402) 480-4266 or via email at k.tiedeman@pashaw. com. You may also contact Rudy Haberzettl, CEO of Proactive Solutions, Inc. for more information at (719) 310-1741, via email at, or visit the company’s website at www.

HIP OffiCenters to Host Back to School Drive for Local Children in Need This month, HIP OffiCenters will be hosting a Back to School Drive for children in need in our community. From August 8-19, new and gently used school supplies will be collected and then donated to the People’s City Mission. HIP OffiCenters Executive Office Suite located at 5000 Central Park Drive, Suite 204 is the official dropoff site. HIP OffiCenters is also proud to have recently participated in the Lincoln Food Bank’s Campaign Against Hunger food drive.  A huge thank you is extended to those in the community who provided generous donations to help feed the people of Lincoln, as well as those who will help to meet a critical need in our community, ensuring that local kids who are going back to school this month have what they need to succeed! HIP OffiCenters is a full-service company offering the tools needed to help a business grow and be successful, beginning with an ideal office environment that’s a productive, inviting and professional space to conduct business. To find out more about HIP OffiCenters Executive Office Suites in Lincoln, including space available, amenities included for tenants, and additional services offered, please call (402) 466-3932, email, or visit AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


DENNIS Dennis Nun


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HEARTLAND INTERNATIONAL, INC. Heartland International, Inc. has acted as an independent manufacturer’s representative for the Conklin Company, Inc. since 1974. Dennis Nun is the President of Heartland International, Inc. Tell us a little about your business. - We screen, select, train and support a network of over 600 field managers nationwide for Conklin that generate 20% of the company’s annual sales. Our two major product divisions are AgroVantage™ and Conklin Building Products. AgroVantage™ products make up a reduced-cost/high-yield crop production system for corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Conklin Building Products consists primarily of 12 commercial roofing systems. How did you get started in the business? - In 1973, one of Conklin’s first representatives in Nebraska, Ben Welch, showed their products to my father who operated a farming and livestock operation in Fillmore County. He was so impressed by the products that he encouraged me to get involved with the company. So, while completing my master’s degree in Ag Economics at UNL my wife Patty and I began developing a business with Conklin as an independent distributor. That was 42 years ago. We took our initial training and have enjoyed the benefits of having a business that has continued to grow thanks to our staff, customers, and great support from the Conklin Company. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Balancing my responsibilities as a husband, father (to six) and business professional. I could easily work 80-100 hours a week, but being a husband and father (and now a grandfather) is more important to me, and my family. Finding a balance has been challenging at times but having the support of an excellent staff and our son, Jordan, taking a lead role in our business has allowed it to continue to grow. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I’ve had the opportunity to author four books, three of which are specifically designed to train our Conklin network of independent distributors and managers. In addition, I regularly have the opportunity to participate in the training of new Conklin Wholesale Distributors and Managers. It’s rewarding to see entrepreneurial couples dramatically increase their income and gain the freedom and independence we’ve enjoyed by becoming a part of our organization. I’ve also authored DAD’S CLASS, a book for young dads who are striving, as I have, to invest quality time with their kids. Tell us a little about your family. - Patty and I were married in 1973 and we have six children--Sarah, Adam, Jordan, Chelsea, Brianna and Lauren--ranging in age from 34 to 23. They’ve scattered around the country with Sarah and Brianna in Chicago, Adam in Phoenix, Jordan working with us here in Lincoln, Chelsea in Huntsville, AL and our daughter Lauren (a recent grad of Creighton University) now in Honduras for a year working at an orphanage there. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I love to travel, read, study, and teach. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I’m a member of the International Mensa Society. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I served for 28 years on the board of Campus Life, on the board of Lincoln Christian School and currently on the Lincoln Christian Foundation Board, because I believe that sharing eternal truth with the next generation is our greatest responsibility. What is your favorite local restaurant? - The Oven, although there are dozens we frequent in Lincoln. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - At (402) 430-7727 or

ERIN Erin Lange

5 ELEMENTS MASSAGE Located at 5221 S 48th St inside Envy Hair Salon, 5 Elements Massage offers a wealth of services including the ever-popular Swedish and deep-tissue massages, prenatal, heated bamboo, sports, hot stone, reflexology, fire cupping, salt or sugar scrubs, chocolate wraps, and more. 5 Elements Massage is owned and operated by resident LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) Erin Lange. Tell us a little about your business. - I started my business in hopes to expand the power that massages have on people. Either dealing with simple aches and pains to pain management, everyone can use a massage. How did you get started in the business? - Massage has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  I attended the Omaha School of Massage and Healthcare from 2011-12 for my Associate degree in therapeutic massage. Being in the field for 2-3 years, I needed to find a balance between family life and work.  So I started my own company and couldn’t be happier. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Learning how to market myself! My ultimate goal is to educate people about the incredible benefits of massage so they can take advantage of all of the different types out there. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Proving to myself that I am capable of running a business.  If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would be the owner of my own company, I would not have believed you.  But I’ve always been dedicated to furthering my career in massage therapy so it’s been quite the rewarding journey so far, and I feel like I’m learning more about what it takes to be a successful business owner every day. Tell us a little about your family. - My driving force is my 10 year old daughter, and I’m very close to my mother and sister. Without them, I would be kind of lost. I also have a great aunt in Lincoln, an uncle in Walton and one more aunt in San Francisco. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I love 8-bit, old fashioned video games. I collect many styles of console games but I am a huge fan of 8-bit. I even have a few tattooed on my hip to show my love. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Don’t assume anything.  I have learned that if you assume without having all of the details, this causes many problems.  I would prefer to hear someone tell me things than guess. Which talent would you most like to have? - Well, it’s more like which of my talents would I like to apply to myself, as I can’t benefit from my own massages! I do of course love giving them to others, but unfortunately I’ll never know what it’s like to receive a massage from myself, so I ask my friends in the industry to help me with this. What is your favorite movie? - The Fifth Element, hands down. I love it.  Now for those who’ve never seen it before, don’t let the name fool you, it’s a must-watch movie. There is certainly enough action to prove why I enjoy it so much along with plenty of one-liners in the movie that make me giggle as well.  And if you ever pull up behind me in my car, my license plate even says “MULTIPASS”! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Call (402) 202-9516, email me at, or visit my website at  For those who would like to book an appointment online, you can also utilize this direct link: vagaro. com/5elementsmassage.

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NATE Nate Bahm



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Nate’s Custom Renovations, Inc. is a locally owned remodeling contractor specializing in residential, interior design/remodels – primarily kitchens, baths and basement finishes. Nate Bahm owns and operates Nate’s Custom Renovations, Inc. Tell us a little about your business. - Nate’s Custom Renovations, Inc. was founded with the mission of going above and beyond the expectations of our clients. Our 9-point promise is at the center of our customer service philosophy and explains the level of service our clients can expect from us, from the first phone call to project completion and beyond. Readers can see all 9 points on our website, but the very first promise is our ‘One Project Scheduling’. Each of our crews is dedicated to only one project at a time, which prevents job-hopping, reduces communication errors and shortens timelines. Anyone who’s done a major remodeling project before can really appreciate that idea. We also utilize cutting-edge 3D software in our design process, so our clients can see exactly what their finished project will look like, and make changes, before we even swing the first hammer. How did you get started in the business? - I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and using the building process as my creative outlet. I’ve worked for a few folks within the construction industry in Lincoln and even bought and flipped a few houses over the years. After college, I started working in the engineering field, but after being laid off, I decided to follow my true passion and started an interior remodeling company. In the beginning, I quickly noticed that consumers have a deep mistrust of contractors. My overall goal is to change those preconceived notions one ecstatic client at a time. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Making the transition from working in the field to running a growing business. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Honestly, every time my team and I complete another successful project with a homeowner who has fell back in love with their home. That’s the best accomplishment I could ask for. Also, we recently made the Remodeling magazine Big50 list. It’s an annual award presented to national leaders in the remodeling industry. Tell us a little about your family. - I’ve been married to my wonderful wife, Susan, for 16 years. We have 3 awesome kids: Mya (16), Madison (13) and Mason (8). My wife has a much harder job than I do – running our extremely busy household! What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Meeting my business coach at a remodeling trade show in Chicago five years ago. Hiring him was one of the best business decisions I’ve made. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I love going to watch my kids’ sporting events, and there’s never a shortage of those in our household. In the small amount of remaining time, I enjoy tinkering around in the garage and doing yardwork. What are you the most proud of? - My children; they amaze me every day! What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. What is your favorite local restaurant? - La Paz! If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Dave Ramsey. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - You can call the office at (402) 617-6240 or visit

NIC Nic Fett

REAL ESTATE AVENUES: THE BROKERAGE Nic Fett, a Realtor at Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, has always had a passion for helping people as well as an interest in real estate. Tell us a little about your business. - As a Realtor, finding the perfect house for your client is an art and a skill. The most rewarding aspect of my job is finding that property, and getting to experience the excitement and emotional high of helping my clients achieve their dream of becoming a homeowner. My goal is to exceed each client’s expectations and to earn their business in the future, as well as help the friends and family reach their real estate goals. How did you get started in the business? - Growing up, my parents were constantly making improvements to the houses we lived in. My father was a highly skilled contractor and following him around gave me a natural interest in houses at a young age. My first career choice was becoming a firefighter, but after completing fire school I quickly recognized that I didn’t have the passion that I was sure I would have. My mother suggested I shadow her Realtor for a day to see if I had any interest. I took her advice and was hooked! I earned my real estate license shortly thereafter, and it has been the best decision I’ve ever made. What is the biggest challenge you have faced professionally? - Finding my niche. In order to find it in real estate, you have to be honest with yourself and figure out what makes you tick. Once you answer that question, you have to decide how to infuse that into your business. (Easier said than done!) Given my interest in becoming a firefighter, I decided to specialize in helping our local every day heroes such as first responders, military, and teachers. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Being awarded the 2015 “Newcomer of the Year” award at my previous brokerage, which housed nearly 200 Realtors. Real estate is not the easiest career to begin, and even more difficult while working early mornings as a part-time supervisor at UPS. It was my goal to win the award, not only for recognition of my efforts, but as a mental victory. When I won that, I knew I could truly do this! What do you see as the biggest turning point in your life? - February 21st, 2016, the day I signed on with Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, LLC as well as my last day working for UPS. This was when I decided to pursue real estate full time, and it was a great decision. While Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage is a newer company, “The Brokerage” is comprised of only top-tier agents that have been hand-picked, so being recruited means much more than a joining a brokerage with a revolving door. Some of the top producing agents in Lincoln hang their licenses at this company. I was thrilled to get the opportunity and am honored to be a part of it! If you could be successful in another profession, what would it be? - Real estate development. I admire the fact that they get to develop communities, as well as being able to see the change that they create. I also think it would be exciting to leave your mark on the community that creates a legacy of sorts. What is the best way to get in contact with you? - At (402) 326-5632 or Please contact me with any questions you may have, even if you’re not quite ready to buy or sell. I am happy to help you find the starting line! AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


JUSTIN Justin Wozny

ROPER & SONS Roper & Sons Funeral Home is now in its 115th year of serving Lincoln, NE families with honor, integrity, and dignity. From pre-planning and funeral services to providing outreach services such as grief support groups and monthly educational topic breakfasts, Roper & Sons is a trusted resource that remains dedicated to those in our community. Justin Wozny is a Funeral Director at Roper & Sons Funeral Home. Tell us a little about your role at Roper & Sons. - I work in all aspects of the business from the first time we meet with a family until well after services have concluded, which may be weeks, months and even years down the road. How did you get started in the business? - I grew up in Lexington, NE and before high school I started working at the local funeral home, doing odd jobs; mowing, washing cars, etc. As I got older I would be involved in the more day to day aspects and found a deep interest in the ability to help others through the most difficult times in their lives. Sixteen years later, I still have that interest and the more I age, the more rewarding it becomes to assist any and every family in their time of need. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I would say the biggest challenge for me is working with all types of family dynamics and situations. It will always be a challenge because most often this is the first time you have met these people, and two families are never the same. So the ability to adjust and go sometimes from one end of the spectrum to the other can be difficult. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Relax, play golf, or work on spontaneous projects. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - “Life always has a funny way of working itself out” -- My mom would and still tells me this to this day. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Pediatrics. I enjoy working with children because they remind me and show us the most honest view of life; something we seem to get away from as we grow older. What is your favorite movie? - Patch Adams. What is your favorite TV show? - I don’t really have a favorite, but I do find myself watching (or having it on in the background) the Discovery Channel and Food Network often. I guess one of the actual shows I watch more than others is Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and I have no reason why. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - There would be two: Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) or Theodore Suess Geisel, better known as Dr. Suess. Their viewpoints on life and timeless wisdom are entirely different; however, one in the same. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – Feel free to call me at (402) 476-1225 or email me at All are also welcome to visit our website,, or stop by and see us at 4300 O Street. 26

Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

JENNIFER Jennifer Kampfe

FANTASTICALLY FOCUSED Fantastically Focused is the first practice in the state of Nebraska to offer ADHD Coaching, which is provided by owner Jennifer Kampfe. Tell us a little about your business. - I help clients and their families learn about their own ADHD challenges and how those challenges impact their daily lives. I also help clients discover their strengths and how we can use what they do well to create systems, routines and strategies to help in the areas they struggle. I want my clients and their families to have a clear understanding of ADHD in general because I believe education brings understanding which leads to compassion, and these three combined will lead to change. How did you get started in the business? - My son, who is now 15 years old, was diagnosed with ADHD in the 2nd grade. I spent years learning about ADHD and advocating for my son, and found myself lonely and frustrated on many occasions. In January of 2015, I learned about the ADD Coach Academy and signed up for their class “Simply ADD.” After two classes, I knew helping others impacted by ADHD was what I was called to do. I completed ADDCA’s Basic Coaching Program in May of 2015 and continued to their Advanced Coaching Program which I finished in May of 2016. I am currently enrolled in their Family Coaching Program. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I am challenged by each and every session with a client. There are no cookiecutter solutions with ADHD. Each person is unique and I partner with every client to develop customized, individualized solutions that work for them. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Opening my own practice and helping individuals and families in Lincoln to learn about and understand ADHD. Tell us a little about your family. - I am married to Dr. Paul Kampfe, a general surgeon with Nebraska Surgical Specialists. We have three older children (Sarah, Nathan and Laura) and two younger children (Carlton and Madelyn) who are in 8th and 9th grade at Lincoln Christian School. We also have one granddaughter with another one on the way! What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - As a mom, it was when I gained a true understanding of my son and his ADHD. I was able to put my fear of him not being like other kids his age and not accomplishing anything in life aside. I stopped trying to make him into who I wanted him to be or who I thought he should be, and accept him for the unique, creative, loving and awesome person that he is. That’s what I want for all parents who are raising an ADDer. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Being a North Carolina girl living in the Midwest, I think my theme song should be “Carolina Girls” by Chairmen of the Board. But I also claim “Walking on Sunshine,” because I love to smile and be happy. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - Singing. I have my Master’s Degree in Music Therapy and my Bachelor’s in Vocal Music. I love to sing. I am fortunate and grateful to use my gift each Sunday on the Praise Team at Capital City Christian Church. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I am a huge fan of the People’s City Mission ( If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Via email at, by phone at (402) 613-6646, or visit my website

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



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by Brian McPike, President ComPro Insurance

What’s An SPD and Does It Apply To My Business? SPD stands for Summary Plan Description. It is an important document that is required for all ERISA-covered health benefit plans. The SPD provides information on when an employee can begin to participate in the plan, what coverage is offered, how the plan operates, and the rights and responsibilities of participants and beneficiaries. The document is customized to describe the benefit plan offered by your company. The responsibility to provide a Summary Plan Description rests with the employer. Employers who provide their employees with health benefit programs (whether fully insured or self-insured) are subject to ERISA. The requirement to have an SPD applies to plans of any size; even those with only 2 employees. The contract that you signed or the benefit booklet provided by the insurance company is not the equivalent of the Summary Plan Description. It is a separate document. Other provisions of ERISA, such as filing a Form 5500, may be limited to plans that have fewer than 100 participants. That does not apply to the SPD. SBC is a similar term. It means Summary of Benefits and Coverage. The SBC is a document that was established by the Affordable Care Act for the purpose of providing similar information about health insurance benefits that will allow a consumer to compare plans. It can be provided by the insurance company or the employer. The SBC can be incorporated into the Summary Plan Description, but does not replace the SPD. There are specific requirements regarding when and to whom the Summary Plan Description must be distributed as well as guidelines for paper or electronic delivery methods. The Employee Benefits Security Administration is an agency of the US Department of Labor and is responsible for enforcement of ERISA. If your company is audited by EBSA and you do not have all of the documents required by ERISA or have not complied with the distribution standards, you can be fined. The penalty for failing to furnish an SPD within 30 days to a participant that requested it is $110 per day per participant. We recommend that you review the documentation that you have for your health benefit plans to determine whether it meets the ERISA requirements. You should also review your company’s practices in terms of when employees are provided information about these plans. If you are not ERISA compliant or if you’re not sure where you stand, contact your employee benefits broker for guidance. If you are not represented by an agent or broker that can help you with these issues, then contact ComPro. We’ll be glad to help.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



HomeServices of Nebraska Congratulates Leadership Academy Graduates HomeServices of Nebraska recently completed its first full program of the HomeServices of America Leadership Academy. Graduates of the Leadership Academy include: HOME Real Estate agents Leighun Brabec, Dan Mlnarik, Mary Ryan, and Alison Wick. Woods Bros Realty agents Miranda Watson and Matt Hardesty.

Leighun Brabec

Dan Mlnarik

Mary Ryan

Alison Wick

Miranda Watson

Matt Hardesty

Andie Young

Larabee School of Real Estate Director Andie Young. The HomeServices of America Leadership Academy is a program designed to enhance general leadership abilities and strengthen skills of selected, high-performing individuals at the local level. This multi-session program was developed by leaders across the HomeServices network and has been successfully implemented in a variety of markets. For more information about HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, visit


Strictly Business AUGUST 2016


HoriSun Hospice Welcomes Kelli Klopfenstein HoriSun Hospice is pleased to announce the addition of Kelli Klopfenstein, RN, BSN, MSN as Hospice Case Manager to its team. Kelli received her Associate’s Degree in nursing in 1999 from Southeast Community College, her bachelor’s degree from UNMC in 2005, and her Master of Science in nursing in 2014. Prior to joining the HoriSun team, Kelli worked at Bryan Medical Center West Intensive Care as a staff nurse, and most recently as a nurse manager. HoriSun Hospice believes that hospice care affirms life. Their mission and promise to our community is simple – to provide the best care possible, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for all whose lives are affected by a life limiting illness or condition. Comfort, compassion, and caring are HoriSun Hospice’s guiding principles. For more information, please call (402) 484-6464 or visit

Union Bank’s Kelly Novotny Ranks Among Top U.S. Loan Originators Kelly Novotny, Vice President of Mortgage Loans for Union Bank & Trust (www.ubt. com), was recently recognized by Scotsman Guide as the top mortgage loan producer in Lincoln, and second in the state of Nebraska in number of loans. Her 2015 efforts rank her as the 260th most productive loan officer in the United States based on the total number of closings. This marks the 10th consecutive year that Novotny has earned national recognition from Scotsman Guide, formerly Mortgage Originator. Located at the 70th & Pioneers office in Lincoln, Novotny can be reached at (402) 323-1617. Union Bank Mortgage Loans specializes in conventional, FHA/VA, and NIFA loans and has been a leader in the Lincoln mortgage market since 1997.

Familiar Voice Returns to Radio on KLINAM Drive Time Lincoln Starting Monday, August 1st, 1400 KLIN-AM will have a familiar voice returning to their popular “live and local” Drive Time Lincoln program. Coby Mach will be the new Drive Time Lincoln host! Coby will continue his full-time position as President and CEO of Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA), providing leadership in the business community and communicating the concerns of the business community to elected and appointed officials at all levels of local government. Drive Time Lincoln will be live from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. each weekday night. Sean Hannity, whose program previously aired from 2-4:30 p.m., will now be extended to 5 p.m., effective August 1st. In other KLIN news, Kevin Thomas will join Jack Mitchell on the Morning Show starting Monday, July 25th from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. For the past 4 years, Kevin has been the host of Drive Time Lincoln and will now bring his extensive knowledge of local issues and passion for Husker sports to the morning show.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



West Gate Bank® Welcomes Jen MorandAckerman

Tabitha Employee Shirley Smith Honored With Illuminating Excellence Award

The West Gate Bank® Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Jennifer MorandAckerman as Director of Marketing/ Assistant Vice President. Morand-Ackerman brings over 15 years of marketing and sales experience to her new role at West Gate Bank®. Prior to joining West Gate Bank®, she was the Marketing Director at a regional shopping center. As Director of Marketing, Jennifer will manage all marketing services for the bank.

Tabitha, Your Answer for Elder Care, is proud to honor Shirley Smith, director of food and nutrition for her standing among the top 10 nominees for the Premier, Inc. Illuminating Excellence Award. At its annual Breakthroughs Conference, Premier (a division of U.S. Foods) recognizes select individuals nominated by their peers, nationwide, for excellence and integrity in food service and leadership. Smith attended the June convention in Washington, D.C., where her achievements were celebrated at the company’s Culinary Creations dinner.

Morand-Ackerman has served on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Other activities include volunteering at Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society and the Nebraska Community Blood Bank. Jennifer Morand-Ackerman is located at West Gate Bank® Center at 6003 Old Cheney Road and can be reached at (402) 323-8903 or West Gate Bank® is a full-service community bank focused on Lincoln. Stop by any of our seven branches to experience the local community bank difference and see how Lincoln’s Bank can serve you. Free Checking, Free Gifts and a Buy Back program for your unused checks and debit cards. Visit for more information.

Madonna Fit for Work Announces Promotion, New Hire Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to announce the promotion of Karen Rehm as manager of Madonna Fit for Work. Rehm has more than 26 years of experience in corporate wellness, employee engagement and work-related safety. She has served as president of WorkWell, Inc. and was a member of the WorkWell board of directors. Rehm has worked for Madonna eight years. Madonna FFW specializes in occupational health, corporate wellness services and resultsbased programming. Madonna FFW also welcomes Megan Ksionzek as the new corporate wellness coordinator. Ksionzek was born and raised in Lincoln, Neb., and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2012. Ksionzek completed her undergraduate wellness internship with Lincoln Industries. She is a NASM certified personal trainer, NSHC certified health coach and Life Fitness certified small group trainer. Ksionzek will coordinate FFW wellness and occupational health client wellness events and risk reduction programs.

Smith joined the Tabitha team 18 years ago following foodservice roles inside other high-profile, local health care organizations. She currently oversees dietary planning, purchasing and preparation for Tabitha’s Meals on Wheels operations, Lincoln living communities, Adult Day program, Lincoln campus gift shop and catered events, altogether serving more than 700 Elders, employees and visitors daily. PROUDLY CELEBRATING 130 YEARS OF SERVICE IN 2016! As a non-profit organization serving 28 Nebraska counties, Tabitha’s love embraces a society where everyone is valued and empowered to live life to the fullest, with compassionate at-home support, innovative living communities, exceptional rehabilitation, health care and hospice services. For answers to all your aging questions, tune in to Tabitha’s Answers on Aging, airing each Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. on KFOR (1240 AM or 103.3 FM), or subscribe to Tabitha’s quarterly magazine, The Answer, at

Alzheimer’s Association Welcomes Erinn Drouin as Walk Director

Karen Rehm

Megan Ksionzek

Madonna Fit for Work is a continuum of corporate services focused on health and wellness, injury prevention and injury management. The multifaceted Fit for Work program combines occupational health, wellness, safety and coordination of workers compensation with the expert services conveniently available from Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Madonna TherapyPlus outpatient clinics and Madonna ProActive. To find out more about Madonna Fit for Work, please call the Corporate Services Hotline at (402) 420-0002 or visit outpatient/fit. 32 Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

The Alzheimer’s Association, Nebraska Chapter is excited to announce that Erinn Drouin has joined the team as the new Walk Director. “We are excited to have Erinn join our team. Her experience and enthusiasm will be a tremendous asset to the Association,” said Lisa Sypal, Regional Director of Development. This position will oversee the Nebraska Chapter’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s program and serve as the lead staff for the Omaha walk. Erinn comes to the Alzheimer’s Association from the American Cancer Society in Omaha, where she spent the last year working as a Community Manager for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Events.  Erinn relocated to Omaha from New Hampshire in 2015, where she was successfully managing a $900k Making Strides Against Breast Cancer portfolio.  Since taking on her role with ACS in Nebraska, she has had year-over-year event growth in sponsorship, revenue, and teams.  Erinn lives in Omaha with her husband and two children. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. There are 11 Walks across the state of Nebraska from August to October. Learn more or register your team today at To join the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, contact Erinn at or call (402) 502-4300.


Michelle Benes Named to REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents Michelle Benes of RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts was named one of America’s most productive sales associates as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents, the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends and sponsored by Zillow Group which can be found online at www.americasbestre. com. She is now a member of the “America’s Best Real Estate Agents,” and ranked number #1 for the state of Nebraska. REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents ranks over 12,000 residential real estate professionals solely based on their excellence in real estate sales during calendar year 2015. All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party in order to ensure accuracy and report integrity. This group of highly successful real estate sales agents represents less than 1 percent of all real estate practitioners in the United States. To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume in 2015. “The average residential real estate agent in the United States closed fewer than eight transactions in 2015 and had less than $1.5 million in sales,” says Steve Murray, publisher of REAL Trends’ America’s Best Real Estate Agents and president of REAL Trends. “To say that Michelle Benes is an exceptional sales professional is an understatement. To attain this level of sales is truly outstanding.” Michelle Benes can be contacted at (402) 432-7125 or Michelle.

Thunderbolt Basketball Coach Ray Forycki Announces Retirement, Brian Spicka Named as Replacement Ray Forycki, Lincoln Pius X boys’ head basketball coach, met with his players to officially announce his retirement. Athletic Director Tim Aylward took the opportunity to name Forycki’s replacement, Pius X assistant coach Brian Spicka. During the last game of regular play this past season Forycki reached the milestone Pictured L-R: Ray Forycki, Athletic Director Tim Aylward, Brian Spicka. mark of 300 wins. Forycki became the head basketball coach at Pius X in 1994 after serving for 8 years as an assistant coach for the Thunderbolts. Earlier this spring Forycki announced his retirement from his post as a history teacher, a position he held for 30 years. The Thunderbolt basketball program had great success under Forycki’s leadership. The longtime coach retires with a career record of 301 wins and 164 losses, and earned 11 state tournament appearances, coached in four state title games, won two State Championships, and claimed the respect and admiration of hundreds of young men who played for him. Spicka began coaching at Pius X in 1999 as the assistant JV coach, and was named the freshman boys’ basketball coach the following year. He joined the Pius X faculty in 2002 to teach World History, and in 2008 was named the assistant varsity coach. Learn more about Pius X High School and the Pius X Foundation at or follow at and @ PiusXLincoln.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Jeff Killeen Joins Engineered Controls

MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante Promotes Two

Engineered Controls, Inc. is proud to announce the recent addition of Jeff Killeen as Manager of Business Development.

MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante is excited to announce the recent promotions of Eric Bevans to General Manager and Tara Schroeder to Assistant Manager.

Based out of their Corporate Headquarters in Omaha, Killeen’s role will be to help develop and implement growth opportunities throughout all areas of the organization with the goal of creating long-term value for both the customer and the organization alike. Jeff comes to ECI with 10+ years of experience in the healthcare technology field where he managed a wide variety of technologies across a complex healthcare system. He graduated from Missouri State University and later received his Phar.D. from University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE. Jeff brings with him significant experience in project management, executive leadership, technology integration, and team development to his new role. He believes in a customer-focused approach based on communications, quality and overall value. Engineered Controls is a leading building control technology contractor whose goal is to provide customers with products and services that create efficient, safe and comfortable building environments. ECI has been honored multiple times as the “National Contractor of the Year” by Honeywell, one of their national partners. Engineered Controls, Inc. has more than 85 employees with offices in Omaha, Lincoln and Des Moines. To contact Jeff, please call him directly at (402) 990-2126 or you can reach him at Learn more about Engineered Controls online at


Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

Eric has been in the food service industry for over 15 years, with 10 years of management experience. Having worked at Lazlo’s, Fireworks, and Toast, he is well-positioned to take the helm of another local, elevated dining concept with signature offerings. Tara also comes to MōMō with an extensive background in the food service industry, spanning over 20 years. Her experience ranges from family-based, locally owned and operated restaurants such as Alice’s, 4 Friends Restaurant & Lounge, Red Fox Steakhouse and F.O.X. Bar & Grill in Lincoln to a considerably more upscale venue at Broussard’s, an iconic fine dining establishment in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Both Eric and Tara are dedicated to upholding the high standard of quality and service that MōMō has already established since opening at the beginning of 2014. Located in the Preserve Development at Pioneers Boulevard and Lucille Drive in south Lincoln, MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante is a must-try experience for lunch, dinner, or drinks. All items offered on the menu, which varies seasonally, are made in-house from scratch by MōMō’s talented chefs with locally sourced, quality ingredients. For more information about MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante, please call (402) 261-5966 or visit


Midwest Bank Announces Promotion of Cam Shelton and Bruce Brester Doug Johnson, President & CEO of Midwest Bank, has announced the promotions of Cam Shelton and Bruce Brester. Cam Shelton has been named Corporate Vice President of Ag Relations. In his new role, Cam will work closely with ag lenders at all Midwest Bank locations, providing leadership and training to assist in their career development.  While continuing to serve his clients and develop new relationships, Cam will also carry administrative responsibilities in the bank’s credit department.  He has been with Midwest Bank for 12 years, serving as Market President in Pierce since 2010.

Cam Shelton

Bruce Brester, who has served as Vice President since 2009, has been promoted to Market President in Pierce. As Market President, Bruce will provide leadership to the Pierce location and will continue to provide considerable experience in serving the farmers and businessmen of the area. Midwest Bank, with assets of $650 million, serves 9 communities across Eastern Nebraska:  Bruce Brester Pierce, Pilger, Deshler, Plainview, Creighton, York, Norfolk, Lincoln and Wisner. For more information, visit www. or contact the Lincoln office at (402) 420-0560.

Nebraska Community Foundation Welcomes Janny Crotty Nebraska Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Janny Crotty to its team of affiliated fund development coordinators. Crotty will provide training and technical assistance to NCF’s community-based affiliated funds to build community awareness and engagement, conduct successful fundraising efforts and increase community impact through grantmaking and convening. Crotty most recently served as certification officer at Peru State College where she administered education certification programs, taught and developed curriculum for orientation courses, and served as a student academic advisor. While earning her master’s degree from Syracuse University she assisted with numerous educational and technical programs, including the Urban Video Project and the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. Crotty was the University of Nebraska Foundation development officer for the 2015 Vision – a three-pronged partnership between UNL, the City of Lincoln and the private sector – managing communications and campaign strategies among numerous public and private sector partners. These efforts led to several of the City’s recent major developments, including Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Railyard, Innovation Campus and more. When she is not helping volunteers in communities across southeast Nebraska, Janny Crotty works from her home office in Auburn, where she lives with her husband, Ryan, and two children, Liston and Nash. Nebraska Community Foundation is a statewide 501(c)(3) organization using charitable giving to build prosperous communities. Visit to find out more.

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PERSONNEL NEWS Midlands Financial Professionals Qualify for MDRT Three members of the Midlands Financial team have qualified for inclusion in the Million Dollar Round Table. Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 42,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 470 companies in 71 countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct, and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of professionalism in the life insurance and financial services business.

LeaAnn M. Moore

Top of the Table and Court of the Table are MDRT’s top membership levels comprised of the world’s most successful life insurance and financial service professionals. Achieving membership in MDRT is a career milestone. LeaAnn M. Moore* has qualified for MDRT’s Top of the Table for her fifth consecutive year and was part of Court of the Table her first year of membership.

Stephen D. Andersen

Stephen D. Andersen* is a 44-year Qualifying and Life member of MDRT with ten Top of the Table and 14 Court of the Table qualifications. Tony J. Ojeda* has seven years on Court of the Table while being a Qualifying and Life member of MDRT for 15 years. Founded in 1969, Midlands Financial offers financial services, including individual Tony J. Ojeda investment and retirement ser vices, succession planning and retirement plans. In 2014 Midlands Financial merged with UNICO Group. This merger formed a regional leader for insurance and financial growth. With clients ranging from Fortune 500 giants to local retail shops, UNICO’s risk advisors have extensive experience in custom strategies that generate long-term value. For more information about retirement services provided through Midlands Financial, call (402) 434-8050 or visit the website at *Securities and investment advisory services are offered solely through Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC).   Member FINRA/SIPC.   AIC, UNICO Group and Midlands Financial are not affiliated.  Additional products and services may be available through Midlands Financial that are not offered through AIC.

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, achievements, 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

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Beth Friesen of Oasis Senior Advisors Achieves SCSA Certification

Dr. Zach Kassebaum Named Superintendent of Lincoln Christian

On June 27, 2015, Beth Friesen successfully completed and passed the examination to become a Certified Senior Advisor through the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA). According to the official mission of the SCSA: “The Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) ® credential applies to professionals who are able to demonstrate their competence and knowledge of working with older adults into their professional practices. By creating a network of qualified professionals, SCSA strives to create a strong and safe environment for seniors and those working with them. Accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the CSA certification and education programs are developed through a rigorous practice analysis/research study involving hundreds of professionals who work with the older adults from the academic community, industry practitioners, regulators, business and nongovernmental organizations. In order to maintain the CSA certification, individuals are required to demonstrate a commitment to high standards, continuing education, professional ethics, and trust.” Beth is thrilled to have earned this certification as it will enhance her knowledge base as she continues to work with seniors to meet their senior living needs in Lincoln and throughout Nebraska. Beth is also a Registered Nurse and has achieved certification through the Certified Case Manager Commission as a Certified Case Manager making her uniquely qualified for her role with Oasis Senior Advisors. For more information, contact Beth at (402) 429-8891 or visit www.Lincoln.

Dr. Zach Kassebaum has been recently selected by the Lincoln Christian School Board as the school’s full-time Superintendent for the 2016-17 school year, beginning July 1, 2016. Dr. Kassebaum joins Lincoln Christian School from Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools where he has served as the Superintendent since 2011. Zach was the Superintendent at Parkview Christian Schools for two years before moving to Ashland-Greenwood.  Before he was extended the position at Lincoln Christian, Dr. Kassebaum was interviewed by the school board, the school’s leadership team and school families. “He demonstrated a passion for Christ, a vision for Christian education, proven effectiveness as a leader of a larger school district, and expertise in professional development.  He also has extensive experience in education finance, all of which complement our existing leadership team,” stated Mark Wilson, retired LCS Superintendent. Zach is married to Kami and they have three daughters, MaKaylee (11), Mattea (9), and Kallyn (4 ½). All three girls will be attending Lincoln Christian School beginning in August.  His family currently attends Riverview Community Church in Ashland but will be moving to Lincoln and attending a new church.


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Lincoln Christian School is an independent PK-12 Christian school that has provided quality Christian education to Lincoln and the surrounding communities since 1951. With over 650 students, the school is fully accredited by the State of Nebraska and the North Central Association (NCA) as well as certified by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).


Child Guidance Center Welcomes New Executive Director Katie McLeese Stephenson Ms. Katie McLeese Stephenson started her new position as Executive Director at the Child Guidance Center ( on July 19, 2016. Katie has worked with children and families in the Lincoln community and across the state for over 30 years in the non-profit sector and in both the judicial and executive branches of state government. Most recently she served as the Director of the Nebraska Court Improvement Project working with judges and stakeholders across the state to improve practices for children and youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Additionally she has served as Chief Operating Officer at CEDARS and as a Child Welfare Administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. McLeese Stephenson holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She is a member of Leadership Lincoln Fellows XXX, Mayor’s Commission on Women and the University of Nebraska’s President’s Advisory Council. “For three decades, Katie has shown a tireless commitment to children and families in the Lincoln area and surrounding communities. Her wealth of knowledge and experience will be a blessing to the Child Guidance Center staff and clients, and on behalf of the Board, we welcome her,” shared Susan K. Sapp, Board Personnel Committee Chair.

UNICO Group Advisors Qualify for MDRT Two advisors with UNICO Group have qualified for inclusion in the Million Dollar Round Table. Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 42,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 470 companies in 71 countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct, and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of professionalism in the life insurance and financial services business. Achieving membership in MDRT is a career milestone.

Mick Sibbel

Mick Sibbel has qualified for his first year on Court of the Table of MDRT. He provides life, disability and long term care solutions to clients on both a group and individual policy level. Kevin Harrington has qualified for his first year of MDRT. He provides life, disability and supplemental worksite policy solutions to clients throughout Nebraska and surrounding states.

Kevin Harrington

UNICO Group, Inc. is a full-service insurance and financial services agency. Services at UNICO range from commercial insurance, workers’ comp and employee benefits to personal insurance, financial planning, human resource solutions and wellness solutions. With four locations and more than 100 team members across seven states, UNICO is an industry leader in the Midwest. More information about UNICO Group can be found at

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by Karl Schaphorst, President •

Professional Saleswomen: Equal Business Stature

So, if all things are equal: equal opportunity, equal time, equal obstacles to overcome and so on, who would win the sales contest? Would it be the male sales professional or the female sales professional? Certainly you can find success in both ranks, but the market does not treat the man/ woman professional the same, which I suppose can be considered unfair. Nevertheless, understanding the challenges and how to overcome them make this a non-issue. In this article, we will focus on the professional saleswoman. Almost all sales engagements have the prospect taking the position of authority and the salesperson taking the position of submission. However, this posture is unfavorable for the sales professional since this often results in servicing prospects that do not purchase in the end. High performance comes when the sales professional can tactfully establish equal-business stature between themselves and the prospect. For the woman sales professional, establishing equal-business stature can be more challenging mainly because of traditional belief systems that encourage even more the authority role of the prospect and the servant role of the salesperson. If this sounds politically incorrect and upsets you some, allow me to apologize. Remember what was mentioned earlier in that the sales professional, man or woman, needs to understand the challenges in their market and thus overcome them, because they can be overcome. I introduce you to Nancy, a professional mortgage loan officer who is an expert in her field and can find solutions to mortgage challenges when many other loan officers cannot. She works very hard, puts in a lot of hours, but earns a wage that is less than what she wants. Over and over Nancy would demonstrate her expertise by pulling together information, doing the research, bringing in the right partners and delivering a workable solution even on the most difficult of circumstances. Then she learns that her prospect has auctioned off her intellectual property to a lower rate mortgage provider and the opportunity is gone. The prospect was in control (authority) and Nancy became a servant (submission). The engagement often started with the prospect calling Nancy and saying “What are your rates?” For weeks, I instructed Nancy to demand equal-business stature by responding with “We have the highest rates in town.” Nancy was not comfortable with such an assertive stance since for years, she was playing the role of servant, but she got out of her comfort zone and started to push back. Something remarkable started to happen. Prospects didn’t hang up on her. They didn’t pursue the lower rate mortgage companies. Instead, they wanted to know why her rates were so high which then began a sales conversation where Nancy was in control. The prospects that were not interested in Nancy’s high rates moved on without consuming any of Nancy’s time. Those were the same prospects that would have put her to work (servant), consumed her time, and still would have auction off her information to the low rate provider. But her new posture has funneled the rate shoppers to her competitors and funneled the prospects that wanted her expertise into an equal-business stature sales conversation that more often than not resulted in business. Just last month with her newfound selling posture, Nancy earned commissions that are three-times larger than her historical averages. Another thing that helped Nancy was a change in her mindset when it came to sales. While it wasn’t completely true, Nancy started to believe that she was financially independent and that she didn’t need the business. This shift in mindset allowed her not to be fearful of losing business she didn’t have and to be more assertive when talking with prospects thus avoiding falling into the submissive role of servant. She found herself working only on deals that closed and those that were shoppers were quickly dismissed. High performance sales is available to all selling professionals. If you play the submissive servant role in the sales dance, you will sell, but it will take a lot of time and energy and high performance is difficult to achieve. If you tactfully demand equal-business stature in your sales conversation, you will see how easy it is to become the high performance saleswoman (or salesman) that you always wanted to be. Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to mediumsized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at You can also follow his blog at


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Husker Fans Unite for Heartland Cancer Foundation Raffle The Heartland Cancer Foundation’s Nebraska Football Season Tickets Raffle is drawing near, but there’s still time to get your ticket! West balcony clublevel season tickets for two, donated by the Sizemore family in loving memory of Dianne Sizemore, will be raffled off this month. The drawing will be held on August 4, 2016 and you do not need to be present to win. Tickets are $100 each. All proceeds benefit cancer patients in our community. A big thank you to the Sizemore family for their generosity! Purchase tickets via the HCF website: www.HeartlandCancerFoundation. org/HCF-Raffle or by phone: (402) 261-9974.

Safe Quarters Volunteers Needed Safe quarters save lives. On October 9, 2016, over a thousand Friendship Home volunteers will canvass the city knocking on the door of each and every Lincoln household collecting financial contributions for victims of domestic violence. $90,000 was raised last year and as a result, Friendship Home was able to change 1,611 lives. Teams of volunteers are needed to walk Lincoln neighborhoods on Sunday, October 9th. A team generally consists of 8-12 members and all ages are encouraged to participate. Volunteers will receive t-shirts and collection buckets for the drive. You can help provide “safe quarters” to someone in crisis. To register a volunteer team, visit www. For questions and/or more information about Safe Quarters, contact Lauren at or (402) 434-0167. Funds collected during Safe Quarters provide safe confidential shelter, crisis services and ongoing support for families who are rebuilding their lives because of domestic violence. To access safe shelter and services, call (402) 437-9302.

WasteCap Nebraska Presents Community Education 101 Webinar Series Wa s t e C a p N e b r a s k a ( has announced an upcoming Community Education 101 webinar set to take place on Wednesday, August 10 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST. Every successful recycling program starts with education. Education both increases participation and revenues, and reduces contamination and costs. But it’s far more than just publishing your recycling guidelines. You need to sell the community on why recycling matters, how to do it right, and most importantly, how to see their discards not as trash, but as valuable resources for your local economy. We’ll focus on the best channels to get your word out and the key messages to motivate your community, and provide effective strategies and tools. To register, please visit https://

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Lincoln Haymarket Association Presents 2nd Annual Haymarket in White Dinner & Dance O n F r i d a y, August 5, 2016, the Lincoln Haymarket Development Corporation proudly presents its 2nd Annual “Haymarket in White Dinner & Dance” at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Guests will dress all in white, dine on gourmet picnic fare and dance the night away. Attendees will spend an extraordinary night at an event that encourages the community to come together to celebrate Lincoln and the Haymarket. Cocktail hour will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7:00 p.m.  Live music will be provided by The 402. Two gourmet picnic dinners will be offered with one free signature cocktail during happy hour. Tickets are $45 and $50 per person, depending on dinner selection (Napa or Champagne). Tickets can be purchased at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Firestone Farm Tires Ticket Office, online at, or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. For more details, please call the Haymarket Office at (402) 435-7496.

Theatre Arts For Kids Reveals New Season Theatre Arts for Kids is proud to present a host of educational opportunities for youth interested i n p e r fo r m i n g arts. Their new season for the upcoming 2016-17 school year will showcase Decades of Broadway, featuring the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s in the show curriculum!  The local organization works to create unique learning experiences for a broad range of age groups and ability levels in our community. Learn more about the different programs offered by Theatre Arts For Kids online at

Lincoln South Rotary Transitions Leadership Lincoln South Rotary Club is celebrating the beginning of its new 2016-17 year, which began July 1. Incoming President Dr. C.L. Wayne Moore (left) is pictured congratulating Outgoing President Clay Ehlers. President Ehlers led the Club during the 2015-16 Rotary Year with the theme “Be A Gift To the World”. Those gifts included dynamic speakers at the weekly meetings and service opportunities such as delivering Meals on Wheels, Food Drive, Dictionary Delivery to 4th Grade Students, partnering with Rotaract College Students, and supporting the development of the Southern Heights Food Forest. Moore also introduced the leadership for the 2016-17 Rotary Year, which in addition to himself and Ehlers will include Kay Wunderlich, Brad Carter, Matt Horak, Dave Hilsabeck, Kiley Wiechman, Joe Roberts, John Herdman, Corey Vandewege, and Nicolette Klein. Want to make a difference in your community through service? Visit and contact the Lincoln South Rotary Club for more information. 42

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Aiding Angels to Host 9th Annual Golfing for a Reason Tournament Join Aiding Angels on Saturday, August 27th for their annual Golfing for a Reason Tournament. The event will be held at Highlands Golf Course with a four-person scramble shotgun start at 1:00 p.m.  Cost is $80/person or $320/team, which includes green fees, cart, gift, dinner and giveaway entry.  Registration deadline is August 17th.  Attendees who send payment with registration by this deadline also receive a free raffle ticket for each golfer on the team.  100% of the money contributed to the Aiding Angels Foundation will stay in Lincoln and be used to directly benefit local residents during their courageous battle against cancer. Please consider being a sponsor or putting a team together. Team spots are filling fast so send in your registration today!  Both golfers and non-golfers are welcome to attend the dinner after the tournament. For more information on the event, please visit www.aidingangels. com or contact Brenda at (402) 434-2472 or by email at brenda@ Aiding Angels is a local, 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing FREE, professional housecleaning to the cancer heroes in our community during one of the most stressful times of their lives. A clean home and environment contributes to the welfare and recovery of patients.

Nebraska National Guard Museum Announces Concordia University Learning Center Thanks to a generous gift from The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces, working in partnership with Concordia University, Nebraska (, the Nebraska National Guard Museum, supported by the Nebraska National Guard Museum Historical Society, has created the Concordia University Learning Center in its new location in Concordia President Brian Friedrich visits Learning Center at Seward, Nebraska. The the Concordia University the Nebraska National Guard Museum. museum, including the learning center, was dedicated on July 4th. “The LCMS is a leader in providing chaplains for those serving and defending our country, and LCMS pastors in Nebraska, including alumni of Concordia University, Nebraska, have served members of the Nebraska National Guard with God’s love and mercy for many years. We pray that the LCMS’ generous funding and our ongoing partnership with the museum will bring many benefits to our community and state,” said Concordia President Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich. The Concordia University Learning Center will provide the space and functionality required to inform the public and facilitate educational opportunities that complement structured classroom learning for students. The Concordia University Learning Center is a high-traffic area in between the exhibit area and the theater. It is designed to hold a classroom of up to 30 students for a pre-determined presentation. The room has audio-visual monitors, computer access and dry erase boards. Seating, a podium and a sound system can be configured to the size of the classroom.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Lincoln Parks Foundation to Host 24th Annual Golf Tournament The Lincoln Parks Foundation is excited to announce the 24th Annual Lincoln Parks Foundation Golf Tournament will be Friday, September 9th at Highlands Golf Course, 5501 NW 12th Street. The format will be 4-person teams playing an 18-hole scramble. An 11:30 a.m. check-in will be followed by a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Players will receive a brown bag lunch, pin prizes, awards and a cookout dinner. Team registration is $600 and individual fee is $100. The Lincoln Parks Foundation is seeking sponsorships and pin prize donations. Proceeds from this tournament will support the Lincoln Parks Foundation’s mission to sustain and improve public parks and recreation program and facilities. To date, this event has raised $245,000 for park projects and improvements. For registration forms and more information, contact the Lincoln Parks Foundation office at (402) 441-8258 or Entry deadline is September 2. To learn more about the Lincoln Parks Foundation please visit

Calling All Volunteers: Big Brothers Needed Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters needs more Big Brothers. Three out of 10 new volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters are men, which means boys and young men in Lincoln are waiting for male volunteers to step forward.  While summer break is coming to a close, it’s not too late for you to become that meaningful person that could change a child’s life forever. The agency has set a goal of recruiting 10 new volunteers, so that 10 youth can start the school year with a Big Brother. Becoming a “Big Brother” requires no experience, just a couple of hours a week. Being a Big Brother is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do--grabbing a pizza, shooting hoops or just hanging out.  Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters staff help volunteers through the process and provide on-going support.  To volunteer or donate, please visit Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters at 6201 Havelock Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68507 or visit

ServeNebraska Accepting Nominations to Honor Outstanding Volunteers Organizations, businesses, civic clubs, and schools are encouraged to submit nominations for the annual ServeNebraska Step Forward Awards, which recognizes outstanding individuals and groups for significant contributions made through volunteerism. ServeNebraska is honored to have Governor Pete Ricketts personally involved in this program. Once the nomination period closes on September 1, 2016, Governor Ricketts will thoughtfully review submissions and select those deserving of recognition.  The award winners will be announced during a luncheon banquet on Friday, October 28, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Quarry Oaks Golf Club in Ashland, Nebraska.


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Nominations will be accepted in the following categories: Adult Volunteer, Youth Volunteer, Volunteer Group, Corporate Community Volunteer, National Service Volunteer (AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, or VISTA), Veteran Volunteer, Disaster Volunteer (person or group), Community Media Partner and Lifetime Achievement. For more information about ServeNebraska and the Step Forward Awards, or to submit a nomination or make reservations for the award event, visit  The website includes information about the 2015 Step Forward Award recipients.


“Colors of Hope: Cancer Research Fundraiser” Tickets on Sale Now Tic kets are now available for the 3rd Annual “Colors of Hope: Cancer Research Fundraiser” benefitting the Nebraska Cancer Re s e a r c h C e n t e r, brought to you by Southeast Nebraska Cancer Center. This year’s event will be held at Chez Hay in Downtown Lincoln on Thursday, August 25, 2016.  The event will begin with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by a delicious meal catered by Chez Hay, a silent auction of desserts and other donated items as well as a live auction of larger items, including a Royal Caribbean 4- or 5-night Bermuda, Bahamas or Caribbean cruise and a 2-night stay at the St. Julien in Boulder, Colorado. Attendees will be asked to wear colored ribbons signifying the type of cancer that has touched their lives. The fundraiser will benefit Nebraska Cancer Research Center (NCRC), a program of Lincoln Medical Education Partnership (LMEP). NCRC works with both Lincoln oncology clinics and hospitals to provide cancer patients local access to cutting-edge clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Tickets are $55 and are available online now at www. Alternately, tickets may be purchased in person at LMEP, 4600 Valley Rd, Entrance 1, or by calling the NCRC office at (402) 483-2827. Purchasing tickets in advance is encouraged. Southeast Nebraska Cancer Center is the title sponsor for the event. Other sponsors include Bryan Health, Nebraska Hematology Oncology, P.C., and the Southeast Nebraska Chapter, Oncology Nursing Society.

Lincoln TeamMates “Exceeding Expectations” in 2016-17 Lincoln TeamMates Me nto ri ng Program (www. lincolnteammates. org) has chosen “Exceeding Expectations” as the theme and focus for 20162017 academic year. In the 25 years since TeamMates was founded in Lincoln by Nancy and Dr. Tom Osborne, the growth of the program has exceeded expectations. It has grown from a single chapter that began with 22 middle school students matched with 22 football players to a national program comprising more than 135 chapters across Nebraska and Iowa that serves more than 7,500 children. However there is still much to do. The Lincoln Chapter plans to continue exceeding expectations by striving to recruit mentors to serve the 725 Lincoln school children who would like a caring adult in their lives. New mentors, along with the 1,200 adults currently matched, will build a bond with their mentee and help students navigate their academic journey to reach high school graduation. Mentors affirm strengths and encourage their mentees to envision a successful future both in school and in their chosen career path. Many of those mentored will exceed expectations by being the first in their family to graduate and pursue a post-secondary education. Through all the growth, TeamMates has enjoyed great support from community individuals, businesses and organizations. Many lend financial support and encourage individuals to mentor. By helping young people create a vision for their future, TeamMates will continue to help develop future community leaders who will continue Exceeding Expectations.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


NON-PROFIT NEWS Matt Talbot Receives Charity Navigator’s Top Rating for Second Consecutive Year Matt Talbot Kitc hen & Outreach is one of only four charities in Lincoln and twenty in Nebraska to receive Charity Navigator’s highest rating of four stars. “Matt Talbot Kitc hen & Outreach is proud to be recognized again as a 4-star charity,” said Susanne Blue, Executive Director. “We have a long history in the community of treating those who come to us for help with honesty, respect and dignity. This recognition from Charity Navigator shows that we also have financial integrity. Donors and community members can be assured that we will use our resources to achieve the best possible results for the most vulnerable residents of community.” Charity Navigator is America’s premier independent charity evaluator. They help charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by providing in-depth, objective ratings and analysis of the financial health and accountability & transparency of America’s largest charities. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that Matt Talbot adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Learn more at and

Northeast Sertomans Support OVER House Lincoln Northeast Ser toma Club donated $500 to Operation V e t e r a n s Encouraging Recovery (OVER) in support of the organization’s efforts to prevent homelessness among veterans.

L to R: OVER representatives Eric Berges, Ryan

Sedlacek and Fred Mack, far right, receive Run by veterans, check from Sertoma president Harry Wimer. the organization operates the OVER House in central Lincoln for veterans needing a place to live as they cope with addictions. OVER, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, is supported by private sector donations but works closely with the Veterans Administration to help clients progress in recovery efforts.  Rent is modest and clients work with each other in purchasing and preparing meals including clean up.

LINCOLN NORTHEAST SERTOMA CLUB celebrates its 46th year of improving the quality of life for those impacted by hearing loss and supporting worthy human need causes. Members work event concessions to annually raise and have donated $247,000 since 2000.


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The Club meets weekly from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. Thursdays at the HyVee community room, 5010 “O” Street. Program speakers are public/ private sector leaders making a difference in our community. Guests are welcome. For more information, call/email club president Sharon Cunning--(402) 540-1515, visit www.

NON-PROFIT NEWS NeighborWorks Lincoln Announces New “Community Build” Project to Celebrate 30th Anniversary NeighborWorks Lincoln ( N W L ) i s exc i t e d t o announce a new initiative – the 2016 Community Build Project, whic h will commemorate the organization’s 30th Anniversary of making an impact in the City of Lincoln. Through the Community Build Project, a new single-family home located at around 23rd and Q Streets will be built and sold to one of NWL’s first-time homebuyer clients. This project will be made possible through the support of a number of community sponsors, including the following: Bison Inc.; Ernie’s in Ceresco; Hampton Commercial Construction, Inc.; Kidwell, Inc.; Lennox Industries; Paul Sayer Drafting Design; and, Wells Fargo. The public is invited to attend the celebratory groundbreaking event for the home which is scheduled for September 8th.   Work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017.  This collaborative project is a fitting tribute to NWL’s 30-year history of making a significant impact in the City of Lincoln. NeighborWorks Lincoln would like to say a special thank you to Kidwell, Inc., who has been instrumental in the development of this initiative.  For more information about the project or how to become a sponsor, contact Shawn Ryba at (402) 477-7181 Ext. 102.

Lincoln SCORE Launches Next RECIPE FOR YOUR SUCCESS Workshop Are you thinking of starting a business? Do you need a refresher on the basics of running a business? Lincoln’s SCORE Chapter is here to help with an information-packed workshop series, led by experts in topics relating to starting and managing a small business. Don’t miss this opportunity to create a mock business plan and experience the steps it takes to begin a successful business with the guidance of professionals! Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop Workshop location: SCC Jack J. Huck Continuing Education Center – Room 406 (301 S. 68th Street Place, Lincoln, NE) The next 2016 SCORE workshop series breaks it down into five Thursday night interactive sessions from 6:30-9:30 p.m. will be starting again in September. • Startup basics (Sept. 15) • Business concepts (Sept. 29) •Marketing plan (Oct. 13) • Financial projections (Oct. 27) • Funding sources (Nov. 10) In cooperation with Southeast Community College and the Small Business Administration, this workshop series will be supplemented with individual one-on-one mentoring to provide help bringing you the utmost benefit for your business idea. Course materials will be provided in class. Individual mentoring sessions will be scheduled at the end of each class so bring your calendar!  Course fee is $120.   It is NOT too early to reserve your space now! To register, call Southeast Community College at (402) 437-2700.

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Freewill Donation Sale at Bridges to Hope Because of the generosity of the Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities, Bridges to Hope’s warehouse is BURSTING AT THE SEAMS! As a result, the organization plans to open its warehouse to the rest of the community by sharing this overflow, asking only for FREEWILL DONATIONS. Pick out as much as you would like and pay as much as you feel you can. There will be clothing, furniture, office chairs and other miscellaneous household items to choose from. The sale will take place at Bridges to Hope’s warehouse, located at 3107 S. 6th Street in Lincoln, on Thursday, September 8th from 2-7 p.m. and Friday, September 9th from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Money raised will be used to cover overhead costs of maintaining Bridges to Hope’s warehouse, a non-profit agency serving men and women soon to be or recently released from correctional institutions throughout Nebraska. To learn more, call (402) 420-5696 or visit

Woods Charitable Fund Announces New Breakthrough Initiative Grants Woods Charitable Fund, a private foundation that seeks to improve opportunities and life outcomes for all people living in Lincoln, is announcing a new grant program. Breakthrough Initiative Grants will be offered beginning in 2017 and will support promising and groundbreaking new programs, collaborations and/or organizational best practices in Lincoln. These highly competitive grants ranging from $150,000 to $500,000 per year will be awarded one time per year to one or more selected projects, with multi-year funding possible. Applying for a Breakthrough grant will not exclude a nonprofit organization from also applying for WCF’s traditional funding awards during its regular grant cycles in May and November. Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) status located in Lincoln, or with a proposal directly benefiting Lincoln, are eligible to apply. The proposed project must fit within WCF’s traditional funding interest areas: Arts & Culture, Civic & Community, Education and Human Services. Nonprofits interested in applying for a Breakthrough grant must first complete an electronic Letter of Intent by September 15. Organizations receiving these grants will be notified in May 2017. To learn more about WCF’s new Breakthrough grants, please visit woodscharitable. org/breakthrough-grants/. For further details or to request to submit a Letter of Intent, call Woods Charitable Fund at (402) 436-5971.

Join Us for the 4th Annual Garden Party


Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

The 4th Annual Garden Party, with all proceeds to again benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, is set for September 15th, from 5:30 8:30 p.m. at a private residence. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a garden education and demonstration program, including the opportunity to build your own Fairy Garden (addition cost of $10; guests bring their own flower pot). Hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails will be served from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., along with live music, a silent and live auction and rustic outdoor furnishings for sale!  Tickets are only $25, reserved/sponsor tables for 8 are $225--make sure to get yours today as this is an event you won’t want to miss!  Please contact Alyssa for tickets or to discuss sponsorship opportunities at (402) 328-2350. In the United States, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and that number is growing. Please join Hospice Community Care of Nebraska, Strictly Business Magazine and Earl May Garden Center and Nursery, along with other local businesses and organization’s as we envision and work towards a world without Alzheimer’s!

AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



Eye Run Seeks Corporate Teams and Sponsors Free Educational Series Targets Caregivers Early bird registration is open of Dementia Patients for the 4th annual EYE RUN, an eye health education and fun run event hosted by Christian Record Services, Inc. Walk or run the one miler or 5K or run the 10K at Holmes Lake Park on Sunday, October 2. Virtual participation is encouraged for individuals who cannot attend the Lincoln event. In addition to the walk/run, local businesses will be on hand with information, activities, and giveaways about eye health and healthy lifestyle choices. EYE RUN planners are currently seeking local business sponsor partners and corporate teams. For more information about corporate sponsorships, contact Josh at (402) 488-0981, Option 3. Now in its fourth year, the EYE RUN has enjoyed steady participant growth since its beginning in 2013. This year’s goal is 300 walk/run participants. Early bird pricing, open through Sunday, September 1, offers 40% off standard pricing for teams of 4 to 9 participants. Complimentary registration is available for people who are blind and their sighted guides. To receive a comp code, individuals who are blind may contact Jeri Lyn at (402) 488-0981, Extension 213. Funds raised by the EYE RUN fund free programs and services for people who are blind. To register, visit #EYERUN4HEALTH


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Registration is underway for a free educational series that will help caregivers understand how to provide the best possible care for their loved ones with dementia. “Learning to Live with Dementia” focuses on the various types of dementia and how to manage symptoms. The workshops will be held on the second Saturday morning of the month in September and October at the Servite Center of Compassion. The four components of the program are: Dementia Basics – Focuses on four types of dementia; Mystery and Reality of Living with Different Dementias – Covers the symptoms, behaviors and preserved skills of the four types of dementia; Person-Centered Care – Discusses the importance of short-term and long-term individual planning for both the caregiver and the care receiver; Compassionate Care - Outlines resources available for support and talks about the “Compassionate Journey.” Nancy Flaherty, MS, a certified dementia practitioner (CDP), is presenter for the series. She has extensive experience working with family caregivers and facilitating caregiver groups. Monthly Solutions groups provide opportunities for caregivers who have completed the Learning to Live with Dementia series to discuss topics related to caregiving. Fall Series: Sept. 10 and Oct. 8 at the Servite Center of Compassion, 7400 Military Ave in Omaha. To register, contact Sister Margaret Stratman at (402) 951-3026 or Registration is limited, and those who sign up are asked to attend both sessions. Visit www. for more information.


Your Ticket to Saving Lives With Nebraska Community Blood Bank Summer is in full swing and Nebraska Community Blood Bank wants to remind you to donate blood. Maintaining a stable blood supply during the summer months can be especially difficult as schools are out of session and employees take vacations; but the need for blood remains constant. With your help as a volunteer blood donor you can make a life-saving difference to someone in need. Nebraska Community Blood Bank invites eligible blood donors to donate blood this August. All presenting donors August 1 – 31, 2016 will have 10 chances to win tickets to one of the four events: Keith Urban Ripcord Tour, Nebraska Football, Capital City Ribfest, or Marcus Theatres. Visit NCBB.ORG to schedule your blood donation appointment today at one of the three donor centers or at a community blood drive. To learn more about the August 2016 promotion visit NCBB.ORG/tickets. All types are needed—especially O negative (O-) and O positive (O+). Only volunteer blood donors can make a life-saving difference to someone in need.

American Heart Association Wants YOU to Go Red For Women in November One in three women die each year from cardiovascular disease and stroke, making it the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. But you can make a difference for women everywhere by attending the 2016 Go Red For Women on Nov. 10 at The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel. The event’s top sponsors are BKD, Firespring, Madonna ProActive, Nelnet, Olsson Associates. Sutton Ryan Aesthetic Center, Union Bank & Trust and Wells Fargo. Other sponsors are Assurity Life Insurance, Bryan Health, Cabela’s, Celebrity Staff, Creative Landscaping, HomeServices of Nebraska, Kutak Rock and Wilderness Ridge. 10/11 News and 106.3 KFRX return as the media sponsors for Lincoln Go Red For Women. Matt McKay and Lindsey from KFRX will host the event. The event begins at 5 p.m. After information booths and an electronic silent auction, the night continues with a plated dinner, an inspiring survivor story and recognition of the BetterU Makeover Challenge participants. Individual tickets and tables are available now at Event sponsorships are also available. Proceeds benefit the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Last year, the Association invested nearly $2.4 million in 14 new and continuing studies in Nebraska alone. Heart disease kills more women than all types of cancer combined. Go Red For Women is a part of the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. The event aims to raise awareness and change the startling statistics.

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Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

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The Mill’s 40th Anniversary For 27 years, The Mill has been a staple in the Haymarket. This year, the coffee and tea shop is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Lincoln. Tamara Sloan, The Mill’s Director of Operations, took some time out to answer questions via e-mail regarding The Mill’s anniversary and Downtown location. Downtown Lincoln Association: How has The Mill changed since it opened 40 years ago? Tamara Sloan: It got bigger. We started as a coffee, tea and spice shop for customers to [buy] and use at home. Over the years we evolved into a full-blown espresso bar and specialty craft roaster. In fact, [we’re] one of the first and oldest in the Midwest. We have grown from one employee in one location to about 40 employees in two locations, of which either could fit the first location in it about 6 times over. DLA: Is The Mill doing anything special to celebrate the anniversary? Sloan: We are trying to keep up with how busy we are, and that is giving us very little time to celebrate! We have some thoughts for some “special treats” for our customers this fall. DLA: Any plans for the near future? Sloan: Actually, we are opening an expansion to our Prescott Street location! We have struggled with a couple of things, primarily customers coming in and not being able to sit and enjoy their beverage, but also being asked if we have a space people can reserve for events. The new space will hopefully allow us to accommodate exactly this. We always keep an eye out if a great opportunity should present itself! DLA: Why is it important for The Mill to be located Downtown? Sloan: Downtown is a vital hub. We have been in the Haymarket since the beginning of its revitalization and we are happy to be a core anchor for other businesses to open and thrive around us. Lincoln has long done a terrific job of building a vibrant hub downtown. Being part of that is good for us and very important to us. DLA: Anything else you’d like to add? Sloan: We would like to say thank you to all of the friends we have made from both sides of the counter. We try to be a business that people want to be a part of. We love to hear the stories of how people connect through The Mill and the memories those connections have created. It is very special to us and makes all of the hard work worthwhile. The Mill Coffee & Tea is located at 800 P St. and is open Monday Sunday from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. Follow them online at: Facebook: /themillcoffee | Twitter: @themillcoffee | Instagram: @themillcoffeeandtea | Website:


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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 downtownlincoln. org. ‘Like’ us on Facebook at

LINCOLN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE by Wendy Birdsall, President

New Marketing Materials Boost Community Awareness One of the issues you have repeatedly heard about over the past year is our need to attract and retain talent to our workforce. The issue was highlighted as part of the Angelou Report and has been a top item among elected officials and community leaders in cities and states across the country. At the Chamber and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, we’ve been working on different ways to address the issue in both the short and long term. One of our first steps was to hire an additional staff person at the Partnership to focus exclusively on coordinating the efforts to grow our workforce. A second step we’ve undertaken in the past year is to work on ways to better market Lincoln to anyone and everyone considering building a career in our city. Each week, the Chamber fields dozens of requests for information on what life is like in Lincoln. We’ve always had a standard relocation guide that was mailed out to prospective residents. This year, we’ve upped our game and redesigned our approach to those requests. I want to introduce you to the new COMMUNITY PROFILE & RELOCATION GUIDE. The guide is electronic, modern, and fits the mobile marketing need of today’s prospective audience. Inside, readers will find all of the standard demographic information they need to consider - plus an added emphasis on capturing the essence of what makes Lincoln great. Download the guide at or, check it out and share it with anyone who might be thinking of relocating to Lincoln. With your help, we can get the word out on what makes Lincoln the best place to live, work, start a career or start a family. In addition to better marketing Lincoln, matching the right skills with the right people will be key to growing our workforce in the coming decade and beyond. Southeast Community College plays a major role in effort. Worker shortages in welding, building trades, and health care fields can be filled through programs offered at all three of SCC’s campuses. The College will ask voters to approve bonding authority in excess of 300M for renovating and expanding their campuses across Southeast Nebraska. Our September Face the Chamber luncheon will feature Dr. Paul Illich, Southeast Community College President, as the keynote speaker to talk about the College’s plans. I would encourage all of our members to attend learn more about the project prior to casting their vote in November. Registration is open on our website or through a number of our electronic communication pieces. 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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LPS Should Lower Its Levy

The following statement was presented to the Lincoln Public Schools Board of Education by the LIBA School Liaison Committee. This year’s proposed LPS Budget contemplates an increase in spending of $22.6 million -- an increase equal to about 6%. LPS officials attribute this increase in spending, at least in part, to an estimated growth in enrollment of almost 950 students across all grade levels. Accounting for that growth in student enrollment plus inflation would suggest a budget increase of only 3.25%. Instead, the proposed total general fund budget spends $402.4 million, much of the funding for which is derived through property taxes. And while school staff and elected officials may tout the fact that the overall tax levy will remain relatively flat, the fact is that Lincolnites pay more money every year as property values rise, with no hope for tax relief. Lincoln residents and members of the Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) are very supportive of their public schools. Bond issue after bond issue for construction and renovation of our schools has been approved and each has been supported by LIBA. Each bond issue that passes represents an affirmative decision by taxpayers to pay more so that we can expand the reach of our public schools. Lincoln taxpayers and LIBA have not balked at the district’s willingness to pay our teachers good salaries. As reported by the Nebraska State Education Association in a publication from November of 2015, starting salaries for public school teachers in Lincoln are higher than in any other school district in the state of Nebraska at almost $42,000 per year, plus benefits. The same publication reported that Lincoln Public Schools also pays the highest maximum salaries for teachers in the state. And the district has committed to giving our teachers raises year in and year out, including a 3.18% increase this year. This year’s raise alone results in an additional $7.8 million cost to taxpayers. By nearly every measure, Lincoln is a community that supports its public schools, both financially and otherwise. By the same measures, the members of the Lincoln Independent Business Association have been supportive at nearly every turn. And yet year after year our elected school board members refuse to work to find ways to give back to taxpayers. Five years ago, LPS collected a little more than $160 million in property taxes from Lincoln residents. This year, the district plans to collect more than $201 million -- an increase in taxes collected of more than 25% over that five year period. Even as property values throughout the city rise, the LPS tax levy remains at its absolute maximum level. This means Lincoln taxpayers pay more of their hard-earned dollars to the district, regardless of whether their household incomes improve. With school district property taxes comprising more than 60% of our property tax burden, the fact that LPS cannot find even the slightest reduction in its general fund levy has left taxpayers wondering who’s looking out for them. On behalf of its 1,350 members and all Lincoln taxpayers, LIBA asks that very question: Who’s willing to look out for Lincoln taxpayers? Where are the elected officials with the courage and candor to push school staff to strive for new efficiencies, and to make the right choices to control spending and reduce the general fund levy for the benefit of our larger community? With this year’s proposed budget, the total spending by the Lincoln Public Schools District will exceed $1 billion. There is little doubt that school board members have a duty to represent the best interests of our students. But as elected officials you also have a duty to look out for the taxpayers and the families who fund our education system. LIBA studies and promotes these types of issues that are important to businesses and our community. If you have an interest in joining LIBA, please call me at (402) 4663419. LIBA membership is not restricted to just businesses.  We also have “individual” memberships for those who want to help influence our local government decisions.


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l o o h c S o t Back It’s time to go back to school for a lot of those of all ages in our community. There’s always plenty to prepare for beforehand, making this month a busy time full of errands and getting everything lined up accordingly. You may have yet to check a few things off the list, whether it’s getting yourself enrolled in a postsecondary education program or preparing for one, registering your kids in extra-curricular activities, or simply going back to school shopping and finding solutions to keep everything running smoothly, there’s still time yet this month to pack it all in! In the fall, our local college campuses start bustling with activity when students return and it’s an exciting time for many. As preparation is the key to success, it makes sense to do everything you can to put yourself in the position to excel. There are also many who are considering going back to school, and there’s no better time than the present to take the first step towards reaching this major career and life goal! As for the first-time students, Casey Holsing, an Admissions Representative at Southeast Community College offers the following advice: “Any first-time college student, traditional or nontraditional, needs to learn about what resources their school has to offer. When we speak with prospective students many of them are surprised to learn that our school offers free tutoring, career and academic advising, and computer labs. These are just a few examples of 100% Casey Holsing free resources that every student can Southeast Community utilize at Southeast Community College. College Preparing to succeed is about learning your resources. Success happens when you properly employ those resources.” For any student, she adds, “Another important factor, when going to school or going back to school, is having a strong support system behind you.  There will be days when you will want to give up, but having that strong support system behind you will help keep you focused and motivated to achieve your goal.” Jamie Keller, also an Admissions Repr esenta tives a t Southeast Community College, offers a few tips for those in the latter group who are making decisions about their future schooling: Jamie Keller Southeast Community College

“Students need to compare the program at several institutions that they are interested in attending. Make sure that AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


the institution has the program that you want. Then, look at the classroom size, instructor to student ratio, lab spaces…make sure that you feel comfortable in the space in which you will be learning. Does it go along with your personal learning style? Southeast Community College places a great focus on small class sizes and depending on the class, hands-on learning methods.  This assists the students in learning material that will better prepare them for the career field of their choosing.  With the small class sizes, it also assists the students in getting to know their instructor, making it more comfortable for them to come ask for help.  Another highlight of Southeast Community College is the placement rate overall.  It is amazing to us how there are students who haven’t even graduated yet and already have had multiple offers for once they do graduate. He further advises, “Above all, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.  Go on several campus visits.  Talk with admissions, instructors, and current students in and out of the program you are looking at going into.  Get a real feel for the college. Finally, let the quote “If you are willing to fail, you are ready to succeed” digest for a moment. Returning to sc hool or starting college for the first time can feel overwhelming. But people won’t succeed unless they take that first step. And the people who take that first step are the people who are ready to be successful.” Good health is also an important part of the puzzle in terms of optimal conditions required to succeed in school. It can be hard with such busy schedules during the school year to keep up with eating healthy and exercising regularly, but it’s a necessity. Thus, finding ways to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices are key. A great example in this area is Eat Fit Go, a new restaurant concept that provides healthy meals that are made fresh daily, quick and simple to prepare, and can be custom ordered according

to an established meal plan or picked up on-the-go. Speaking to the importance of good nutrition and establishing good eating habits, as well as offering a few tips, Natasha Plooster of Eat Fit Go advises, “The human body runs on the food that you give it. When you are growing and developing your body and brain, the highest quality ingredients are needed to reach your full potential. If you want to keep your body and brain healthy, strong, focused, and able to grow then you need the proper nutrients to help train, build, and recover.

Natasha Plooster Eat Fit Go

Our food is perfect for the younger generation because it will actually teach you what to eat and maybe even more importantly HOW MUCH you should be eating. Our meals are always fresh and perfectly portioned. If you continually eat at Eat Fit Go, your habits will be formed to live the healthiest life possible. In between meals, try to keep lots of fruit, veggies, and peanuts around you. Overall, the most important thing anyone can focus on when eating is simply eating real food. The more you can stick to fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts, eggs, and legumes the better your health will be in the long run. And, you can’t do wrong with a nice PB&J before practice!” She adds, “Forming proper nutritional habits is the most important thing a parent can do for their kids. The habits they form when they are kids are exactly what they will do when they get to college, get into their professional lives, and start to have families of their own. Teach your family how to eat early in their life to ensure future success for generations to come.” It’s not only about establishing good habits but also about balance when it comes to choosing activities outside of the traditional classroom curriculum. Regular physical activity is another component of a healthy lifestyle that can fall to the wayside when life gets crazy, so any time you can incorporate that is a plus. Sports and dance lessons are great examples, and popular activities at any age. Their wide-ranging benefits go well past simply staying fit though. “For youth, extra-curriculars are important because often those activities are where they find and connect to their passion,” emphasizes Sarah Brown of Lincoln DanceCentre. “Finding and feeding a passion creates balance in life between school, family, and fun. Even though trying to be successful in something one is passionate about can still require a great deal of hard work and self-motivation, particularly for a child but that also holds true for adults, if it’s something they Sarah Brown genuinely find personal enjoyment in then they are learning an important lesson: Lincoln DanceCentre working hard at something you love will always make you feel successful.  It boosts self-confidence too. School-aged children can enroll in any of our dance classes: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and contemporary.  Taking one, or a combination, of those techniques positively builds movement skills whether you are a beginning, intermediate or advanced in your dance experience.  Lincoln DanceCentre’s program stands apart in Lincoln because every class is taught by highly experienced instructors who are as talented at teaching as they are/were at dancing. Adults always enjoy our ballet class that is specifically geared toward their more mature learning patterns.  What they like is that they don’t just get a class when they come to us.  They get real training, corrections, and things to challenge them so that they see and feel progress.  And it’s just a great social environment too!”


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She continues, “As far as advice I’d offer, less is more. I think all parents will agree with me when I say that it is actually in the best interests of both students and families to limit the number of activities on a weekly basis.  Lincoln has so much to offer kids in sports to be a part of, theater programs, music lessons, church activities, etc.  It’s easy to be so excited by it all that pretty soon you find yourself trying to do it all, and then you’re overscheduled, over-committed and not enjoying any of it as much as you thought you would.  It’s a good lesson in decision-making skills for kids to have to choose.  Children are more inclined to value and take greater responsibility for the things they have personally decided to invest themselves in.  Choosing an extracurricular activity that promotes physical fitness is actually a necessity in the age we live in.  The human body was not actually made to sit for 6-8 hours per day.  So parents need to make sure their kids are moving— and moving often, to counteract the sedentary lifestyle which is the outcome of our now irreversible reliance on technology and modern conveniences. If you focus on the quality of your child’s activities instead of the quantity of their activities, your child may just find their passion.  We see a lot of that every day in our students at Lincoln DanceCentre.  Parents fee so fulfilled just simply seeing their kid ‘light up’ over what they’re doing, regardless of whether or not they’re ‘good at it.’  As a society we’ve become so programmed to make an immediate decision about whether or not an activity for our child is resulting in measurable merit.  Just remember that especially for kids, the journey is always more important than the destination.” Indeed, everyone’s journey in life is different, learning opportunities and abilities included. Pursuing an education is full of struggles and triumphs, with minimizing the struggles the goal as then we are able to enjoy more positive experiences. A perfect example of this is those who have ADHD, as the classroom presents many obstacles that must be overcome to succeed. When it comes to the act itself of returning back to school and the schedule adjustments that follow, transitions can be very difficult for those with ADHD. “The transition from summer back to school is quite an adjustment for the ADHD student,” says Jennifer Kampfe of Fantastically Focused.  “Moving from the lax routine of summer to the strict schedule of school along with increased demands of focus, organization and work can take weeks, even months for Jennifer Kampfe the ADHD student to become settled Fantastically Focused and adjusted.  This means teachers and parents need to be prepared with patience and compassion. As an ADHD coach, I work one on one with students and their families to develop individualized routines, systems and strategies to improve life at school and home.  Because the ADHD brain struggles with internal structure, it is very important to create consistent routines and structure. I help families develop a morning routine for getting out the door and to school on time, organizational systems to get homework complete and returned to school, homework routines and much more. Wherever they are challenged and however they are struggling, I come alongside them on their journey.  As a coach, I help students and parents understand ADHD and the ways it is impacting their lives. Accountability is a large part of coaching. Parents are grateful to know their student has someone checking in, supporting and holding their child accountable for their action plans and goals in between sessions. That one piece can take a lot of pressure off the parent-child relationship and improve the home environment.  Students like having someone who ‘gets them’; who sees their strengths and challenges while supporting their goals. They begin

to see their successes, which motivates them to try harder and feel better about themselves. I also help students learn to use a planner consistently. I have a planner that I recommend students purchase. Every student I have worked with has loved its simplicity. Of course, there are apps that can be used for homework as well. Whatever is used has to fit the unique needs and learning styles of the individual. I also help students with after school and homework routines. I have a notebook system I recommend as well that students appreciate. The simpler the system, the more likely the student will use it.  We work on systems for organizing in the home and room too, like a launch pad where everything is set out for the next day the night before--a grab-and-go system for the morning.  Whatever the challenges a family or student are facing, we work together and experiment with different tools, routines, systems and strategies until we find what works for the individual and family. There are in fact many ways to accommodate the ADHD student. Once the student, parents and teachers understand how the child learns, how their brain is unique and different and why he/she may need to do things differently, everyone involved in the student’s education can make accommodations that best meet the individual student’s needs. Armed with knowledge and understanding, students can begin to advocate for their needs.  Many students with ADHD need to move about, fidget or doodle to focus. Movement actually stimulates the ADHD brain, allowing more focus and attention.  It is also important that teachers give ample time for ADHD students to transition from one subject to another. Writing assignments on the board and checking that the homework has been written down are extremely helpful. Consistency, support, patience and compassion play a large role in the success or failure of students. It is also easy to label an ADHD student as lazy and unmotivated.  You may see the student do well in one subject and be involved in AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


the classroom, but when he/she goes to another, less interesting subject, focus, attention and motivation seem to disappear. This leads us to assume the student needs to try harder or is lazy and unmotivated.  If they can do it in this class then they should be able to do the same in all classes, right? Not for the ADHD student.  ADHD is interest-based. The more interesting a student finds a subject or topic, the easier it is to focus. ADHD is also situationally-based. The environment plays an important role in the success or failure of the ADHD student.  Distractions, lack of support, pressure to try harder all make symptoms worse. In fact, the individual with ADHD shuts down under pressure and can’t perform. My key recommendation is for students and parents to advocate for what they need to be successful. This begins by understanding your challenges, learning styles and what accommodations or tools drive the student toward success.  Open, respectful communication between teachers, other school staff and parents is crucial.  I always explain to my son’s teachers that my goal is to help them know what he needs to succeed and for all of us to work as a team.  I’m not in any way telling them how to run their classroom, but communicating to each other on a regular basis will make the school year more enjoyable and successful everyone.” Finally, the fun part of preparing for school, aside from picking your classes for some, is back to school shopping! This generally centers on essentials such as supplies and wardrobe, but could even be things like buying a new car or equipment for a sport your child is playing. Focusing on busy college student who needs a good mix of casual, professional and dressy outfits, it’s most important to have staples and build your wardrobe in preparation for many different scenarios. Our local boutiques are a great place to find unique items that fit your personal sense of style.


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Cherie Travis, owner of Rachel’s Boutique, offers a few tips and trends for those doing some last-minute shopping before the school year officially starts. “Leggings with boots and a long sweater or jacket is a look that’s easy to put together and transitions well. Leggings are still a staple for fall, and because they are usually black or darker colors, are susceptible to fading. I advise refreshing your wardrobe by investing in at least one new pair. You’ll also want Cherie Travis to make sure you have staple pieces Rachel’s Boutique for function as well as fashion, such as a warm vest and jacket for running between classes, as well as lightweight and heavy scarves or even a poncho. Fall is always a great time to purchase a new handbag, shoes and boots as well as new accessories to go with items already in your closet that will be making an appearance again this season.  And, of course, don’t forget your Husker apparel because game days will be here soon! We have a large selection and more styles arriving this month, as well as a great selection of Husker jewelry.”

As you can see, there are many different things that can be done in order to be ready for your return to the classroom this fall. It’s time to get going on all of those so you continue to stay ahead of the game!

Buying/Selling a Business The most interaction many of us have with buying and selling a business is simply seeing a “now open” sign in a store-front window. However, there’s a lot more than meets the eye on both the buying and selling side of business transactions. This is why the advice and services of our industry professionals are greatly sought after for these proceedings, both during the process and for the new owner while in transition. In Lincoln, there are many different types of resources available for both buyers and sellers seizing the wealth of opportunities in our diverse commercial landscape. Often the initial step, once a business opportunity presented by a seller is identified by a potential buyer, a review of the books ensues. Therefore, multiple years of documented financial information should be readily available to get the ball rolling. A matter of importance to both buyers and sellers is the financial status of the business. It can of course be a selling point, but it can also be a cautionary detail that lets a buyer know what to expect if they are willing to take the chance. A buyer needs to make sure that they understand all of the costs associated with taking over and operating the business. As for the seller, it is important to have this information compiled in a way that is easy to read and understand with key documents, such as a profit and loss statement, ready for presentation. Using a software system, such as Quickbooks, and having an experienced accountant conduct a regular audit are highly recommended. In addition to keeping accurate records, Mary Jo Cassner of Transworld Business Advisors advises, “Pay yourself so that you are able to take out the essentials, such as Social Security and Medicare, and pay your taxes. But, make sure you reduce your expenses and keep all of your cash in your business. That is the key to making your business strong financially. Pay yourself a minimal amount and maximize that bottom net profit. Keeping your money in the business also helps with selling your business because you want to look as profitable as Mary Jo Cassner possible to a potential buyer. When it comes Transworld Business time to sell, opting to work with a transactional Advisors broker will ensure that everything is valuated properly to yield the best results. It is imperative to work with somebody whose specialty is matching buyers and sellers and controlling the flow through the close of a business purchase.” Keep in mind that it is wise to keep your credit in check if you are looking to buy or sell a business. Cassner also suggests having at least $15,000 down on a business when buying. You should also have a sufficient amount of start-up capital for unforeseen expenses in the first six months. Transworld Business Advisors is a great local source for those both buying and selling a business in the area. If buying, give them a call and they are sure to be able to find you one that fits your criteria and standards. They have connections to businesses of all sizes and types. On the selling side, connecting sellers with qualified buyers is their forte. Whether buying or selling a business, your financial institution is definitely going to be a key resource for that transaction. Particularly for local businesses, it is advised to work with a locally owned and operated bank if at all possible.

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The buyer in particular must make sure that they have a full understanding of the business financials; your lender can be of assistance in thoroughly reviewing the financial information with that in mind as well. There are times they may question certain items that may not be identified by someone who does not review financial statements on a regular basis.

Darcie Ross West Gate Bank®

Darcie Ross of West Gate Bank® directs those in the market to buy to analyze the economic conditions that may impact the business that they are buying too. She explains, “Depending on the business type, it is of great importance to understand the economic conditions that come in to play. Seasonality of the business, possible rising interest rates, market competition, life cycle of the business, necessary capital expenditures, and government regulations are a few things that may have an impact on the success of the business.”

She adds, “The best advice I have for both a buyer and the seller is to have a good team of experts, such as a broker, accountant, attorney, banker, and insurance agent.” In truth, similar to buying a home, representing yourself is discouraged because there are so many moving parts and critical details to evaluate. A professional business brokerage is very familiar with the process of buying and selling a business as they do these activities for a living. This expertise will save you a lot of money and issues in the long run, guaranteed. No Coast Business Advisors offers buyer representation in addition to helping parties who want to sell their business find a qualified buyer and get the deal done. “Before actually pulling the trigger on buying a business, I’d offer anyone three tips towards having a seamless exchange; require proof of any key details that would affect the transaction, at closing before you sign, confirm that all of the equipment works (you have


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already done your walk-through, but once you sign you are purchasing it as it is represented), and lastly, talk to the bank early and often-especially if you are buying something you are not paying cash for!” advises Jethro Hopkins of No Coast Business Advisors. “Buyers should always do their due diligence. For example, you can pull a previous year’s tax returns on a business to make sure that they match up with the returns that the seller is giving to you. You would be surprised how easy it is to change these with a computer. Or, if they are only giving you profit and loss reports you Jethro Hopkins can pull the tax returns yourself once you have No Coast Business a signed offer. The takeaway here is to make Advisors sure that everything is as it should be before you go through with such a major transaction. These are things that are second-nature for a professional to check. When it comes to selling a business, there are many things that a professional business brokerage will handle. This might include establishing a market value, knowing which business a bank will loan on and what dollar amounts are available for loans, protecting the confidentiality of the seller, conducting background checks to confirm that the buyers are qualified before proceeding so nobody’s time is wasted, utilizing lenders and alternative forms of financing, and more. Additionally, these professionals are the ones who tend to catch the mistakes as they comb through the details with a fine-tooth comb. As the seller’s representative, everything goes through the broker, which helps to eliminate any number of hassles from fielding incoming phone calls to get all of the necessary items in order and meeting with the other parties who are a part of the transaction. Here’s what it looks like for a business owner who is actively trying to sell his/her business without any outside assistance: you are not only fulfilling your role as owner and performing any other jobs as you would normally, but you are putting

yourself in a position where you will also be fielding all of the random inquiries and putting together the promotional items as well as figuring out legal paperwork, accounting, and responsible for addressing anything that comes up in a timely manner…and so on. Direct representation also ensures the necessary confidentiality is upheld, which is important with financial information being disclosed, as well as the potential impact of the sale on employees and customers. When people find out a business may be for sale, any number of things can definitely go awry. A good broker’s primary duty is to protect you, and then to sell your business. Regardless of whether you’re on the buying or selling end, it never hurts to have a professional review the deal that you are going to be potentially making. You do not necessarily have to hire one to work for you from start to finish, but at minimum, most competent brokers will sit down, and for a small fee, review and discuss everything.” Not all business brokerages are created equal: As with any evaluating anyone you are choosing to do business with, it is important to know all costs you may incur in order to avoid the hidden ones. Particularly with respect to sellers, Hopkins further advises, “If we can’t sell it, we do not get paid. Advertising is one area in particular that can be murky as to who is responsible for payment. At No Coast Business Advisors, marketing the business through the appropriate channels is complimentary to those who are utilizing our services as a part of the package.” Timing is also an important factor. “Small businesses are selling and this is the time of the year when the most buyers come out, but yet there are the least amount of sellers,” Hopkins explains. “If you are looking to sell, June, July, and August are the optimal months to get your businesses listed. If your paperwork is in order and I have what I need—the past three year’s tax returns, current year and previous year profit and loss, inventory, and asset reports/lists-- then after a meeting with an owner, I can list the business within 48 hours, so there’s still time to hit that window.” Franchises in particular present an excellent opportunity for potential buyers because they already come complete with infrastructure that has been proven to be successful for many other business owners as well as offering continued support long after the sale is completed. It remains of the best ways to live out the “American Dream”-- operating your own business with the support of a brand or business model that fits your strengths and goals. Investing in a business is exciting, but it can also be a little intimidating. A great way to easy your mind and get all of the answers that you need is to talk to a franchise company, such as JaniKing, that interests you and complete the disclosure process with them. A business broker will be able to set this up for you or you can also do so as an independent party. Corey Landrie of Jani-King assures that in the disclosure process, you do not have to be 100 percent committed as it is merely just a consultation. “There is no obligation with the disclosure process; this is simply the time when the full program is presented to you so that you can gather the necessary information to make a decision when you are ready. JaniKing always suggests and follows the guidelines that are put in place by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which mandates that a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is provided and signed as proof, so that each prospective business owner has a chance to do their due diligence before actually investing in a business. Also, when purchasing or even selling a business, make sure that both parties know of all of the policies and procedures in regards to what business fees and expenses may exist.” While what happens during the transaction is of great importance, what happens afterwards is significant too as far as the buyer is concerned. When assuming ownership of an existing business, a time of transition is to be expected and with that, changes are almost always inevitable. One of the most pivotal aspects of a functioning business is its staff. A great team is required for day-to-day business and its success overall. When a business changes hands, while the current employees may choose or be offered the opportunity to stay, they may also opt to leave to pursue other opportunities for any number of reasons or the buyer may choose to let them go in favor of assembling their own team. As the sale of a business marks a time of transition, no matter the conditions of the sale, you will likely be addressing turnover. If your need are few, then many times it is much easier to locate those key people that share your

vision through networking, friends, and family. However, sometimes there are instances when more expertise is required to find the right people and that is where a professional employment agency can be of great assistance. Recruiters get to know you and your business and then apply their resources and connections to find those who will be the best fit for the workplace. On the topic of buying and selling a business, Sue Ellen Stutzman of Nesco Resource contributes, “When looking to buy or sell a business, there are many different factors that we look at, including: knowledge and expertise, market and demand, total project costs, competition, location, laws, rules, regulations, staff and manpower, and technology. It is also of great importance that you do not settle for any less that the ideal fit when it comes to your future employees. Hiring a qualified staff Sue Ellen Stutzman that delivers outstanding customer service and Nesco Resource make your customers want to come back and repeat their experience again and again is the ultimate goal.” As with staffing, promotion is of particular importance to those who have just purchased a business. Many times rebranding is a goal, but most often initially it is just getting the word out that the business will remain open under new ownership and then building upon that. Online presence is another thing that often needs to be assessed, as well as addressing any critical gaps or existing campaigns that are running and may need to be adjusted accordingly. With the mission of loving what you do, Evol Empire Creative, newly expanded into Lincoln, is an end-to-end digital agency and covers the whole spectrum of digital media once hired on by a business. Altogether, Evol Empire Creative handles brand development, brand content, all front-end web development (the visual side), search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing, targeting specific demographics, social media marketing, among many other relevant services. AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business 63


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Andrew Tuzson Evol Empire Creative

Andrew Tuzson of Evol Empire Creative provides a more detailed explanation of media applications for a new business owner. “Once you have actually purchased a business, it is very important at the beginning to approach that new marketing task head on and make a face for this new business. Addressing critical items like your website and an online presence along with promoting that the business is still open is very significant. In addition, it can also prove to be a positive move to consider rebranding the business as a whole. Since it is under new ownership, it is only appropriate that the brand reflects the new owner, the business, and the culture behind it.”

Tuzson reminds anyone who is acquiring a business that the key to successful branding is consistency. A big disconnect in digital marketing is that business owners are commonly seeking multiple companies to fill different but related roles, which can result in branding and messaging confusion. As such, when evaluating the key players you will need to bring on, it is best to look at the bigger picture and then find a company to partner with that is experienced and can meet most if not all of your requirements. As a result, you will also gain a better understanding of your objectives for the future, including which outlets and approaches are advisable, all the while ensuring that the same consistent strategy and message is applied across all domains. Another big part of establishing your new brand, as well as effectively communicating your message, is the creative advertising production side of promotion. Utilizing the services of a local agency such as Red Thread will allow you to tap into the expertise of the professionals when crafting your unique message, which is what will set your business apart along with getting your name out there.

Adam Kroft Red Thread Creative

Generally speaking, Adam Kroft of Red Thread Creative explains that having an understanding of the business and your goals is a great place to start. “If your messaging is in place and your team is in place and ready to rock as a cohesive unit, no matter what you’ll be taking on in the beginning stages of assuming ownership, that backbone you’ve created will be there to support you throughout the whole process. Just make sure that everything aligns with your vision. Lincoln is an awesome place, especially lately, for up-and-coming businesses, so now is your time to get involved!”

room, copy center, kitchen facilities, janitorial services, all utilities paid and free parking are all available on-site and included in your rent. HIP OffiCenters also offers virtual offices allowing companies to expand their business into new areas without taking on more space. The purpose of our business is to make work life easier, so companies can focus on growing and managing their business.” If you’re staying in the existing location, the furnishings will either stay with the business as a part of the sale or will leave with the Michael Holroyd previous owner. For the latter, you’ll need to HIP OffiCenters move quickly on getting everything in place so that the environment is functional and inviting. While you might have the budget to buy new items, keep in mind that finding quality items at auction is a great way to save money that you could be investing in other parts of the business. As for sellers, liquidating assets at auction is often a necessary part of the exit process. Tom Rine of Rine Auctioneers explains, “Depending on the situation of course, we are able to assist with liquidation and turning assets into cash. Most of our experience has been with liquidating items commonly found in commercial settings, industrial equipment, and office equipment. If you just bought a business and still need to furnish it, or even advice as to what would look nice in the space or best fit your business’s needs, feel free to contact us for a consultation and we will help you find high-end furniture at a good price.” Once your location has been established and you’re all set up, you’ll also want to focus on promoting where you are at now so that people know that you are still open for business and where they can find you when they need you. Returning back to staffing considerations, there are certain instances when it may be favorable to partner with a company who can handle

With new branding comes the need for updated signage and promotional materials too. While it’s pretty hard to forget the prominent signs outside of your business, there are many other things to take into consideration here such as business cards, rate cards, pamphlets, banners and displays, vehicle wraps, company swag with a prominent logo, and more. Along with staff and branding, location is yet another signature component of a business that could be subject to change under new ownership. A new business owner is going to make the decision to either keep the business in its current location and eventually expand, or alternatively, move or down size depending on the company’s needs and direction for the future. Whether a business is downsizing or expanding, HIP OffiCenters is there to help. HIP OffiCenters Executive Office Suite is centrally located and provides office space for rent with multiple services available to help business owners grow and prosper. Their services, including a receptionist and personalized phone answering, all can be customized and tailored to meet any company’s wants or needs. “HIP OffiCenters is full-service office environment,” says Michael Holroyd of HIP OffiCenters. “We’ve designed the space and offerings based on what would be ideal for a business owner. While renting from us, there are no upfront costs that one finds with build outs and adding infrastructure. High-speed fiber optic internet, an executive conference

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specific tasks, outsourcing them as opposed to adding to your team. For example, utilizing an answering service is a helpful way for a new business owner to ensure that excellent customer service is maintained during transition and that no balls are dropped or critical calls are missed. Executive Answering Service offers friendly telephone receptionists who can answer your phones whenever you cannot - whether you are on the other line, out of the office, with a client or spending treasured time with your family/friends. Many callers will hang up and call someone else when they receive a voice mail or busy signal, resulting in what could be hundreds of dollars of lost business! “Hiring, training and then the overhead cost for a friendly and customer service oriented telephone receptionist - including salary, benefits, etc. - is expensive!” says Megan Lipert-Murphy of Executive Answering Service. “Our operators can obtain messages and/or seamlessly transfer calls to you or your staff, just as if they are working directly in your office.  They are trained to be the best virtual receptionists in the industry. We don’t want to be just your answering service, our goal is to be a part of your team and your customers are our number one priority. Executive Answering Megan Lipert-Murphy Service is able to offer the quality of service Executive Answering Service that is aligned with your reputation and the communication technology that your business requires.” Bookkeeping and payroll for employees is another area where you could choose to add to your staff, or alternatively, hire a company to handle it for you. The same is true for accounts receivable and collections. When it comes to first, managing, and then growing your new business, one of the pivotal factors of making sure your recently purchased business thrives is ensuring that it is both viable and sustainable, and most importantly profitable. The business world is ever-changing and something that is profitable today is not guaranteed to be in 20 years. For all of the decisions you’ll make down the line that will have an impact on your business, Aaron Newell of AR Solutions advises towards using the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to help you arrive at a solution that best addresses the issue at hand. “Using the SWOT analysis can help you weigh where you are at business-wise and decision-wise. This, for many, ends up being an eye-opener because in business it is often easy to overlook potential threats, in addition to weighing all of these factors. When making these decisions, Aaron Newell whether they are towards buying or selling AR Solutions a business, having a partner in place always helps to speed up a process that can often become arduous. When a plan is in place, your chances of failing or making a bad decision are more slim than not having one.”

As you can see, there are so many things to be considered and that would be of value to those buying or selling a business, just as much during the process as after the transaction has concluded. Bottom line: When the opportunity comes about to either buy or sell, don’t go it alone. There are many experienced professionals in Lincoln that can offer help on either side, and who want to see you succeed in your efforts!


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Wedding Planning

Getting married is a pillar life moment, which is what makes the wedding celebration so exciting and memorable. Whether you are the person who has been wishfully planning all of the details since a young age or you are the person who is newly engaged and about to embark on the wedding planning journey with little to nothing in mind aside from the “I Do’s”, there are experienced professionals in all areas of the wedding industry right here in Lincoln that are able to provide or connect you with the necessary resources, help you to evaluate the wide variety of options that are available to find what best represents you as a couple, and guide you through all of the decisions (and deadlines) involved in making that special day perfect. For any future bride looking for inspiration, Pinterest is a great social media outlet that is well-known as an online hub for sharing all sorts of wedding ideas. According to a recent poll citing Pinterest, the key components of the wedding festivities are food, venue, attire and most importantly, the experience for both the wedding party and the guests. These factors are pivotal to the ceremony, as well as shaping it with the events leading up to and after the actual wedding itself. Preparing for the Big Day While the couple and their guests will likely remember the wedding day events as absolute perfection, it is not without some hard work and preparation beforehand to get to that point. Weddings are special in and of themselves, but as are proposals, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and engagement parties. For contemporary weddings and related events, it’s become common to blend timeless and traditional elements with trends and touches of originality. In fact, many are looking to incorporate things that they have never seen done before--or at least something that has not been overdone to the point of being cliché. There are many attractions in town that you might not think of when it comes to wedding, but might be just the thing to incorporate for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For example, while you might not initially consider an entertainment venue such as an escape room to be in any way related to nuptials, the element of surprise is definitely romantic and it is perfect for couples who are all about the challenge, having fun together, and the excitement of the unknown. In fact, Escape Lincoln offers a unique bachelorette and/or bachelor party experience. Abby Bartholomew of Escape Lincoln explains, “We’ve hosted all types of groups since opening, including those doing wedding-related events, and can block off a time that works best with the rest of the itinerary to ensure your group participates together. Past parties have had so much fun! It is a great way to encourage bonding between party members or as an icebreaker for those who do not know Abby Bartholomew each other well, along with a test run as Escape Lincoln AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


to how your wedding party communicates and handles unforeseen challenges. We are conveniently located in the Apothecary Building, which has lofts on the highest floor that can be rented for rehearsals and events.” In addition to being the host of an awesome party, Escape Lincoln has also the setting for some great proposals. For an individual who is looking to make it official with their significant other and get the wedding “ball” rolling, the team at Escape Lincoln has experience in merging an escape game into a proposal. “Earlier this year, someone reached out to us with a great idea of doing an escape game as part of his proposal,” she tells. “At the time, we had a room that had a secret room (you opened a cabinet and it went into a second room), so we helped to set up a surprise with dessert, wine, and memories from their past in this room. She was very surprised! They enjoyed their time, finished their escape, and went on to the next step of their big night.” When planning a proposal, Bartholomew also expressed Escape Lincoln’s openness to creating custom clues for each step of the room that involve the couple, and even possibly hiding the ring in the final box. There are many ways that Escape Lincoln is able to help make a proposal special and they are more than happy to make it perfect and cater it towards your relationship. Another part of the wedding day experience that’s a big part of the itinerary is group transportation, but it’s also commonly utilized for bachelor and bachelorette parties--even for popping the question! Lori Hiebner “We’ve had lots of gentlemen propose using Leisure Limousine & Sedan our 6-passenger limo,” says Lori Hiebner of

Leisure Limousine & Sedan. “One of the most unique proposals we participated in was a six-hour scavenger hunt, where the groom had highlighted places of interest in their relationship and then proposed at the end of the hunt. Later, they arrived at a designated destination to celebrate with family and friends. It took a lot of planning on his part, but she was thrilled!” Having recently added a 34-passenger limo bus to their fleet, which includes a wide array of sedans, SUVs, and several different sizes of limousines, Leisure Limousine & Sedan can now accommodate both small and large groups! After the proposal, you are then able to begin planning for the wedding and this is the exact point when you have to get down to business--especially with your appearance! Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers in south Lincoln is a great local resource to utilize so that there is no doubt that you will be looking sharp on your wedding day. With 32 years of development having gone into perfecting their six specialized diet programs, Physicians 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 leads to being selfconscious. As 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 Nancy Hopkins system that provides excellent results that Physicians WEIGHT oftentimes can be seen immediately after LOSS Centers the treatment. According to Nancy Hopkins of 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 up to five pant sizes! It is permanent as long as you keep up a healthy diet and regular 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 your 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.” As previously mentioned, each of the key events leading up to the big day presents its own special opportunity, and as such, you can incorporate any number of special touches.


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Paint and Sip concepts like Pinot’s Palette, the newest in town, are perfect for hosting a private party. Any bride and her entourage are sure to have a blast at her bachelorette party while painting and sipping wine! What’s more, everyone leaves with a keepsake in the form of an original piece of art that they’ve created.

J. Christopher Cook Pinot’s Palette

As yet another benefit to add to the list, J. Christopher Cook of Pinot’s Palette also mentions that it’s neutral setting for all to meet. “This is an easy place where people who might not necessarily be acquainted can meet and be actively entertained while getting to know one another, which naturally makes for a great icebreaker. You’re able to chat with one another, but aren’t in a position where you have to keep the conversation going the whole time. It’s also a great activity for out-of-towners to do while here for a wedding. It is social, relaxing, and most importantly fun!”

Yet, if painting and sipping does not necessarily sound like your thing, peddling and sipping might be! Group Therapy Bike Tours create a social atmosphere that’s perfect for relaxed, casual interaction, and while the route can be planned to cover any area in town, the most popular are in the Haymarket, Railyard, and downtown Lincoln as local entertainment hot spots. “Group Therapy Bike Tours can be incorporated for a unique, memorable event that will make your bachelor/bachelorette party or wedding unforgettable!” says Katie Philippi of Group Therapy Bike Tours. “Bachelor and bachelorette parties are super fun on the bike with music, dancing and laughter, while booking for the wedding party creates your own little wedding parade celebration. Now that we offer a Conference Bike that fits groups of six or less, we can rent it in tandem with the Katie Philippi Trolley Bike to accommodate even larger Group Therapy Bike Tours groups than before!” Of course, you could also go straight to the source and host your pre-nuptial event at an award-winning local winery, James Arthur Vineyards. With a picturesque setting and the ability to accommodate groups of any size for private events, this would be the perfect place to host an engagement party, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner. Alternatively, you could even take a quick road trip with your bridal party to talk wedding plans over a glass of wine, unless you need a break, in which case it’s a prime opportunity to get away from it all for an afternoon or evening to just relax and enjoy yourself! Wedding Day Essentials Speaking from the perspective of wedding guests, the venue, fare and bar offerings are the major aspects of entertaining that ensure a pleasant and memorable time is had by all in attendance. With Lincoln being full of culinary talent, anticipating which caterer and food the bride and groom choose is always exciting. The surprises of the cake design and flavor and any other desserts definitely do not hurt either, along with any number of special touches with the presentation. The venue sets the stage for all of these and more, particularly when it comes to enjoying the beauty of your surroundings while you are dining and dancing the night away. While some venues provide catering and bar services for those who book the space, others may not, so it is important to secure your venue first in order to find out what is offered and/or allowed. Each caterer and venue is unique from the next, so you will want to make sure to meet and check everything out on-site before making the final decision, if at all possible. AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


Cherie Anderson Venue Restaurant & Lounge

Guests will be paying special attention to the quality of the food, but the presentation is what will take it to the next level. “Guests eat with their eyes and how you present the food is crucial for overall guest satisfaction,” says Cherie Anderson of Venue Restaurant & Lounge. “Our team at Venue spends a lot of time and energy making sure guests’ first impressions are positive from the time they set eyes on either passed appetizers, a plated dinner, or a spread of food in a buffet set-up.”

Venue’s services do not simply stop at catering for wedding receptions; there are four private dining rooms on-site that are used frequently for bridal showers and wedding rehearsal dinners. Anderson shares feedback that guests’ favorite part of their experience at Venue is the personal service and attention to detail. “Our goal is to make planning an event stress-free from the beginning to the end of the process. We’ll work with your budget and ideas to create a memorable day for all involved.” If you are looking for a bigger, unique space to share your special day with others, the Jasmine Room in downtown Lincoln, which is newly managed by Venue, is a great option. “Previously we’ve had many guests who want the Venue experience for their special day, but run into limited access to locations that can handle 300+ guests. We now have that ability with the addition of the Jasmine Room to our offerings. The space is exceptional for weddings, but also can be reserved for business conferences, tailgates, wine dinners, and even unique date night opportunities for couples.” A newer trend in wedding catering, particularly for the backyard weddings or alternatively, weddings held in locations without kitchen


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facilities, is the food truck. Attitude on Food Catering offers its clients the option of this service style, which is a very convenient way to feed large groups and a fun treat for guests. Being that Attitude on Food’s first food truck event was a wedding reception, the food truck is sure to be popular for many weddings to come. For any wedding-related event, the established catering professionals at Attitude on Food take great pride in delivering an experience that is both creative and professional. Caitlin Knopik of Attitude on Food Catering shares, “Our whole team is committed to executing a flawless and stress-free event for our clients and their guests. Attitude on Food has many years of experience coordinating a variety of events and service styles. People love our champagne chicken and short ribs! Our interactive macaroni and cheese station is Caitlin Knopik another crowd pleaser, and on the lighter Attitude on Food Catering side, our hors d’oeuvres combine flavors both familiar and unique. We are a full-service catering company, and with the recent addition of our food truck, we have access to a mobile kitchen if needed. While catering is our passion, we are also event planners by nature. We are here to help you coordinate everything from rentals to service style and menu planning, and are dedicated to ensuring your event runs smoothly. As with any professional in the wedding industry, it’s important to work with an event planner you can trust. With years of experience, this is a person who will know what works, what doesn’t work, and what has the potential to be disastrous. By letting them guide you through all of the details and remaining open to suggestions, you’ll not only have the best possible results but will likely come across things that you hadn’t even considered.”

Planning and successful execution of weddings and wedding receptions can be stressful for brides, grooms, and even their families and friends. Choosing experienced vendors can help relieve so much of that stress, so everyone is able to relax and enjoy the festivities. When evaluating venues for your wedding, you’ll want to be clear on the availability of your preferred date as well as the policy on catering for each. This will vary from those that require you utilize their in-house catering services to those where you are responsible for hiring an independent catering company, and then the middle ground, those that allow clients to decide between the two. You’ll also want to be aware of the other services provided in-house and the cost associated with each if it’s not included in a package; this will help you limit the supporting cast you’ll have to bring on for the event, saving you a lot of time and money. “Often people aren’t aware of how far in advance our local venues are booking,” advises Julie Medina of Lincoln Firefighters’ Reception Hall. “For the popular months like May and June, we start booking as far as 18 months out!

Julie Medina Lincoln Firefighters’ Reception Hall

Another thing I always stress to couples when they are comparing reception halls is to make sure they are asking about all of the additional (sometimes hidden) costs. Make sure to go over exactly what is included and what isn’t; common items that could potentially fall into either category are add-on services, taxes or gratuity.

With our venue, pricing is simple and straightforward—it’s clearly stated on the information sheet given to all potential renters. All tax and gratuity is included and there are only three things we charge extra for so it makes it very easy for people to figure out what they will spend with us without any surprises. We allow people to bring in their own caterer and also give them access to our large commercial kitchen, both at no additional charge. With many affordable caterers in Lincoln, and more people opting to do their own food, it’s a great way to save and put some money back into your wedding budget! Another feature that can make a big difference in terms of budget is our in-house decorating. About three years ago we started to offer affordable decorating options for our couples including ceiling décor, backdrops, and up lights. We have a great package deal or the option to pick and choose what features you want!”

involved. As an event planner and venue salesperson, I never feel pestered in regards to speaking with my brides.” Many would say the factor of the utmost importance to consider on your wedding day is the overall experience. There are many ways to ensure a great experience for yourselves as the bride and groom, but also the wedding party and wedding guests. Luckily for those in Lincoln, there are many professionals in the area that have made countless dreams come true by applying their talents and expertise to deliver fantastic, unforgettable experiences for all in attendance. Aside from the venue and fare, there are plenty of other special touches that when incorporated are sure to have you, your wedding party, and your guests leaving your wedding and reception thinking that it is one of the best yet. One of these that is a staple yet varies for each wedding is the live entertainment, whether it is a band, a select group of musicians, or a deejay. Harris Academy of the Arts is a perfect example of a local resource that provides a number of options when it comes to live music, all performed by professional musicians with years of experience. The professionals at the Harris Academy of the Arts can provide music for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. They even have a wedding coordinator on staff that will meet with you for a free wedding music consultation. This is the time where you are able to discuss which ensemble type and music style would be perfect for your event. As this decision is ultimately based on a number of factors, the coordinator will guide you through picking music for the different parts of the ceremony and will also get a sense of your musical taste and preferences. This might also include music for events outside of the big day, such as the rehearsal dinner, bridal showers, or a big proposal. Vicki Harris of Harris Academy of the Arts says that their personal favorites and most popular ensembles are the string quartet and

Many approaching the wedding planning process believe that finding a “one-stop shop” is a myth; however, these places do exist in Lincoln! Deborah Carroll of Country Inn & Suites explains, “As a hotel and banquet center, we can provide many services that your guest will need all in one place. This includes a private room and meal for your rehearsal dinner, a ballroom for your reception, hotel rooms for out-of-town guests, and much more. Our facilities, on-site restaurant/caterer, and Deborah Carroll complimentary planning services allow us Country Inn & Suites to provide assistance with so many details, from lighting packages, chair covers, linens and centerpieces to parking, and video display. The more of the details your venue can assist with, the less you have to be concerned during the actual day of your wedding ceremony and reception. We also offer discount packages for booking multiple wedding-related events and services. When working with the professionals to plan for the wedding, Carroll urges brides to be assertive in order to get exactly what they want. “When working with your venue planner, never think you are being a pest and do not be afraid to ask questions, stay in touch, or be AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business



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violin/piano duets. “Both of these ensembles are able to perform a wide variety of genres, from classical music like ‘Canon in D’ to the music that you hear on the radio today. Some of our favorite pop songs performed by string quartet are ‘Best Day of My Life’, ‘Royals’, ‘Pompeii’, ‘Every Breath You Take’, and ‘Counting Stars’. Both ensemble types are elegant, fun, and affordable.” If pop is not necessarily your genre of choice, the Harris Academy of the Arts also caters to other generations by incorporating favorites like “Moon River”, “Over the Rainbow”, and “All You Need is Love”. Couples truly are able to customize their ceremony music to express their musical tastes. The Harris Academy of the Arts loves working with couples to find just the right music for their ceremony, with the goal of providing them with the ambience that they desire. Vicki Harris Harris Academy of the Arts

Harris further advices, “I would recommend working with your music wedding coordinator to determine what songs are possible for the ensemble of your choice. For example, the song ‘At Last’ would not work very well with a violin and violin duet, but it sounds absolutely beautiful with a violin and piano duet.” As far as dates to have in mind for planning purposes, Harris Academy of the Arts asks that the pair have their music set in stone at least two months prior to the wedding itself. This way, there is adequate time to relay the music to the musicians playing for the event, giving them plenty of time to prepare. Practice makes perfect holds true here-- the more time they have to practice, the better the music will be. Furthermore, it is no secret that outdoor weddings have been a big trend for quite some time now, and while they can be very beautiful, there are many factors that could potentially affect the musicians. The Harris Academy of the Arts requires that the musicians have a tent or a comparable shelter (they do have a tent that couples are able to use too), and that the temperature be between 65 and 90 degrees. Musicians will not play in the rain because instruments cost a few thousand dollars and rain damage could ruin a whole instrument. However, high humidity is also harmful towards instruments. High humidity causes the horsehair of stringed instrument bows to become so loose that they are not even playable. High winds are problematic as well, affecting the sheet music and the standing tent over the musicians. It is important to keep in mind that bad weather conditions not only affect musicians and their instruments, but also your guests, so having a plan in place for those “what if” situation definitely does not hurt. Having an alternate location secured in the event of inclement weather has proved to be very beneficial, and a venue that can accommodate either is a big plus. This ensures the comfort of your guests, wedding party, family, and vendors no matter what the weather does on your wedding day. After The Big Day While the main focus of planning will be on the wedding and the reception, there are a few key things that will happen right after the fact that should also be at the forefront, and of course, the honeymoon! A honeymoon, for many, is just as important as the wedding itself, so planning and packing in advance is pivotal and something you will not regret adding to your list of wedding to-do’s. Many people have bucket lists and things that they want to get the chance to do that they have never done before. A wonderful and adventurous honeymoon is a great chance to experience that with your significant other. The world of travel has become so much easier; you pick the destination, anywhere is within reach. For many AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


Americans, global travel is at the top of the list. You’ll want to set a travel budget in conjunction with your wedding budget, and then once you have that number, a travel agent can advise you in regards to your options based on everything that you outline regarding to what you want out of the trip. A travel agent can also put you on the list to alert you when deals come up for trips that fit your prerequisites, as many specials regularly come across their radar that aren’t necessarily made accessible to the public. With everything happening so quickly and a lot to take in, it is to be expected that there are a few things that can fall to the wayside if you are not careful. Seeing as how the bride’s gown is one of the most memorable garments that she will wear in her lifetime, it is important to ensure it remains as beautiful as it was on the wedding day. Starcrest Cleaners offers professional cleaning and preservation services, making it easy to check this off the list. As purchasing a nice suit as an investment to wear in the future has become just as popular as a suit or tuxedo rental for the gentlemen, Starcrest’s dependable dry cleaning services are also recommended for a much-needed post-wedding cleaning and pressing. Specifically regarding wedding gown preservation, Quintin Yallaly of Starcrest Cleaners elaborates, “Many people aren’t aware that certain items can also be included in the preservation box in addition to the gown and veil. Some examples include: the program, an invitation, photos, shoes, jewelry, letters, or a family heirloom. With your wedding gown, or any garment that is especially important to you, expect to receive special attention at the professional cleaners, whether in Lincoln or elsewhere. Quintin Yallaly Emphasize that the garment is important to Starcrest Cleaners you and ask to speak to the owner, manager, or an individual that will be working with the garment. Once you have made contact with a knowledgeable person, they should be able to explain how the garment will be cleaned, anticipated outcomes of soiled areas, and possible risks associated with cleaning. When working with a local company, as opposed to boxing up the gown and sending it off to an unknown destination, you’re able to draw attention to any issues and address any concerns before the process begins as opposed to afterwards when it may be too late to correct.” It’s important to note that Starcrest Cleaners also caters to the brides who are not as prepared, so if you’ve forgotten to make these arrangements, they are generally able to accommodate short notice and rush requests when needed.

Much like beauty, the perfect wedding is in the eye of the beholder. While there are set guidelines to follow throughout the planning process to ensure everything is booked and in line as it should be, many of the decisions are made based on the vision of the two people getting married, and that is generally going to be different for each couple. It is common to stress about the details, but too much worrying will make the planning process and execution far less enjoyable. Utilizing our local professionals for guidance as well as their services will ensure that your wedding is the happiest day of your life, but also that your engagement period and months spent wedding planning feel more like a dream as opposed to a nightmare. No matter where the help is needed-- preparing is happily given to those who ask the professionals who specialize in the key components of weddings. 74

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Buying a Home

Buying a home, no matter whether it’s your very first or you’ve gone through the process multiple times, is an exciting journey and among the most fulfilling milestones to be reached in life. While the process is complicated, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be stressful and certainly shouldn’t be feared. Rather, working with the amazing professionals we have right here in Lincoln will allow you to have the best possible experience while also avoiding any pitfalls that may present themselves along the way. First Step: Financing Indeed, as many of our local real estate agents will agree, securing financing is a major part of the buying process. As another area that’s complicated to anyone not actively involved in the industry, you’ll want to be sure you’re working with a knowledgeable lending professional that has plenty of experience with the mortgage process. Andrew Essay of Cornhusker Bank offers helpful insight to those who are considering becoming a home buyer in the near future: “In the current housing market homes are moving extremely fast. The housing inventory is at an all-time low and buyers need to act fast in order to get the home they want.  My best advice to help navigate the current market would be to talk to your loan officer before going out house shopping.   It is more important than ever before to have your pre-qualification letter in hand when you are Andrew Essay shopping for a home.   You need to be able Cornhusker Bank to act fast when you find the house of your dreams. The pre-qualified process will benefit the potential home buyer in multiple ways.  The home buyer will be educated on the different mortgage products the bank offers.  Cornhusker Bank’s lenders will assist in matching up the right type mortgage with each customer’s situation.  Home buyers will also find out the amount of house payment they can afford and the price range in which they should be looking. We will also inform the home buyer of any potential setbacks which could take place during the process.  This helps ensure that no surprises will come up at the last minute.  The entire home buying process can move seamlessly when the buyer has all the necessary information upfront. Cornhusker Bank has an experienced team of loan officers.  We pride ourselves in customer service and helping the customers through every step of the process.  The loan officers are involved with the customer from the prequalification process through closing, educating and guiding the customers through the entire process.  Even after a loan closes, lenders are still there to assist every customer.  Cornhusker Bank offers local servicing, an aspect that really sets us apart from the competition and gives each customer great piece of mind.” “I encourage anyone considering a mortgage loan to first visit with a mortgage lender,” agrees Travis Gunderson of Midwest Bank. “It is important to explore your options and determine what size home you can afford to buy before you start looking. Midwest Bank offers a full range of mortgage products including conventional, VA, NIFA (firsttime home buyers) and USDA guaranteed Travis Gunderson loans (terms include 10, 15, 20 and 30 year Midwest Bank

fixed-rate mortgages with no pre-payment penalties). Additional related products we offer include construction loans, bridge loans, home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Our team of experienced bankers work closely with our customers to tailor a mortgage loan that meets their individual needs. We also offer free pre-qualification for mortgage loans. By becoming pre-qualified, you know what you can afford before you begin your search and it may give you an advantage over a buyer who is not pre-qualified.  Your banker will explain all of our loan products and give you guidance as to the best loan option for your individual needs. Buying a home can indeed be a very exciting and stressful experience. We work hard to ensure that our customers understand what is taking place during the entire home buying process.   At Midwest Bank, we value our tradition of exceptional personal service--a tradition respected in the markets we serve and reflected in the relationships we build. Midwest Bank has nine locations in eight communities in Nebraska. In Lincoln we are located at 2655 Jamie Lane (one block north of 27th and Yankee Hill Rd.)—feel free to stop by our give us a call to discuss your options and get the ball rolling.” As previously emphasized, understanding your budget is critical to the rest of the home buying process and in terms of timeline, should be the first step. “Anyone who wants to enter the home buying market they

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should be aware of what their limitations are as far as budget is concerned,” further advises Matt Swanson of the Nebraska Bank of Commerce (NBC). “It often comes as a surprise when the amount that an individual or couple qualifies for doesn’t always align with their personal desires, both good and bad.  Furthermore, understanding a monthly budget going into the home buying process is a must. With that in mind we can better assist customers on finding a loan product and structure to fit their needs. Matt Swanson It is also important to understand that getting approved for a loan and closing on a house NBC Bank isn’t something that happens in just a couple of weeks.  There have been some very large industry changes that have lengthened the process from start to finish, so once you’ve established when you’d like or need to be moved in and settled, it’s best to start the process sooner rather than later.  Home buyers should also keep in mind that underwriting guidelines are continually changing; just because they were qualified for a loan 6 months ago doesn’t mean they are automatically qualified today.” He adds, “At NBC Bank, we can offer an individualized and tailored look at your entire financial position, not just a mortgage.  Even though as a loan officer my focus is on helping with a mortgage loan, we can’t simply ignore everything else that is going on in peoples’ lives financially.  This perspective, along with a high level of analysis helps the customer feel more confident in their decision to go with a particular type of mortgage or term. It never hurts to do research ahead of time, however take into account that what you may find online these days may have been posted yesterday or 6 months ago and may not be accurate information.  Talk to friends, co-workers and family members as it never hurts to start the process with someone who has helped people you know.” Second Step: Shopping After you’ve met with your lender, worked out the numbers, and have your pre-qualification letter in-hand, next comes the fun part—house shopping! During this phase, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with the local market and can offer plenty of expertise and guidance, ensuring you ultimately make an educated decision that’s in your best interest. Sandra Larsen, a real estate agent with BancWise Realty, also emphasizes that the most important factor to consider when getting ready to buy a home is the financing. She explains, “Buyers will put themselves in the most favorable position if they can be connected with a great local lender who can get them pre-approved.  To mitigate risk, this is one thing buyers can proactively do ahead of time that will make a big difference.  There are many good local lenders but it’s best to know the person who’s helping you Sandra Larsen with the most important purchase in your life.  BancWise Realty Choose to work with someone you’ve met with in person and who can explain all of the different loan products and find one that’s best for you. Your lender will probably share with you Rule # 1 once you’re in serious house-buying mode, and especially once you’re under contract to buy a house:  Don’t use your credit or do anything out of the ordinary financially without talking to your lender to make sure it won’t affect the loan process. Don’t go buy a new car, new furniture or run up a $7,500 vacation on your Visa. Instead, wait until the house closes. It is also better when the loan underwriting process is local, accessible, reasonable, and can adapt quickly because the federal regulations lenders have to abide by now are very cumbersome and time-consuming. Furthermore, funny little unexpected requirements just pop up at the last minute, so be prepared to respond to your lender quickly when they request information.  Unfortunately, most of us are not carrying around $100,000 - $1,000,000 in cash so taking out a mortgage is the other option – be prepared to breath deep and be patient with the process.

If you don’t already have a go-to financial professional or institution, seek a reliable, trustworthy lender referral from your Realtor®. Most experienced Realtors® will ask the buyer to complete the first step of pre-qualification before looking at homes. Here’s why: Let’s say you go shopping for a home and you fall in love…now what? Now you’ve put yourself on an emotional roller coaster of loving the home but not being able to offer on it because you’re not pre-approved and you have a house to sell.  Home after home comes on the market and then sells and in the meantime, you tour more homes, fall in love, then it sells and this keeps happening over and over.  We as Realtors® care about our clients and this is not good for you to experience.  We want the process to be as smooth and as simple as possible for you so that you are able enjoy what is supposed to be a good thing!  It is so much fun when it’s done in the right order.  In the current market conditions, most sellers won’t sign off on your offer without a pre-approval letter.  It’s a reasonable expectation to demonstrate to a seller how you’re going to pay for the home, right?  Currently most sellers in this market don’t need to accept an offer that is contingent upon your house selling because there’s likely another buyer for that home that doesn’t have a house to sell. As it’s a seller’s market for the most part in all areas of Lincoln these days, there are a few other things to consider aside from promptly obtaining pre-qualification. Making low-ball offers and asking for closing costs is, most of the time, not the best strategy to get the result you want, which is to buy the home you love.  If you love it, other people probably do too.  It is competitive out there but now is still a great time to buy a home.  Rates continue to stay low and relatively speaking, Lincoln’s home prices are reasonable compared to national averages.  Please discuss your particular scenario with a caring and competent Realtor® who can guide you through the entire process.  We are here to help you make smart, educated decisions and navigate through inevitable setbacks and problems that will probably arise.  We’ll do it with a calm demeanor and sound advice for solving problems along the way. A key advantage of trusting a Realtor® when buying a home is simply experience.  As an experienced Realtor®, I am involved in buying and selling homes everyday while most folks will do it two or three times AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business 77


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in a lifetime. Every endeavor has a standard process or professional protocol that takes place whether it’s planning a vacation, lighting a stage for a performance, catching a fish or painting a house.  Experienced practitioners in any profession complete the needed tasks to get from Point A to Point B better than someone who does not practice that profession daily.  Realtors® have had hours and hours of training, practice and sheer repetition.  Your Realtor® has toured hundreds and hundreds of homes in different price ranges and with different condition issues.  We’ve processed many, many transactions.  We’ve seen what happens when it’s not done right and what the sad consequences are as a result.  When you place your trust and loyalty with a good Realtor®, they will in turn bend over backwards to help you find the right home and oversee all of the contractual details, not because they’ll make a commission, but because we are people people.  I love people, and I love helping people--People First, Real Estate Second is my motto.  In most situations, the buyer will not incur a cost to have a professional advocate looking out for them except for a small broker fee.  You’ll be glad you took the step to trust a professional who will be with you from start to finish.” In agreement, Nic Fett of Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage adds, “Understanding the different types of financing options available is of great importance. Having a good understanding of the loan options available will help you to make an informed decision on which lending institution and loan type to select. Once the best financing option is selected, then you’ll have a better idea of what price point to look at. It is always best to get pre-approved by your lender prior to starting your home search. Lincoln has an incredibly competitive housing market, and in Nic Fett order to land that perfect house, you first have Real Estate Avenues: to know how you plan to pay for it! The Brokerage Next, it’s equally important to work with a qualified, experienced real estate professional. As a Licensed Realtor I provide you with accurate information as well as extensive knowledge of the local housing market and its recent trends and activity. I will be there to educate you in order to make an informed decision to achieve the best possible outcome in each situation. As a home buyer, there are a few key advantages I will provide as your Buyer’s Agent. I am able to show you any house listed for sale in Lincoln and its surrounding communities regardless of being listed with a different company, or by the owner. I am your independent advocate and represent your best interest through the course of the transaction. I also provide you exclusive access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) by setting up a home search tailored to your request. This provides the competitive advantage needed to find ‘The One’ before the competition does! He also notes, “The most common misconception when it comes to real estate is that buyers have to pay a commission in order to be represented. This is completely false; Buyer’s Agents are compensated through the proceeds of the sale. In other words, the seller typically contracts with a Listing Agent for a specific percentage, and upon closing the sale, the Listing Agent pays the Buyer’s Agent a portion of the percentage contracted with the seller. As a home buyer you have a right to representation, so you might as well take advantage! If you have any further questions regarding buying (or selling) a home, you may reach me by phone at (402) 326-5632 or by email at Nic.Fett@” Dennis Slama, a real estate agent with HOME Real Estate, also points to the importance of financing as well as understanding the inspection process. “When it comes to mortgages, how much you will ultimately be paying for the house when all is said and done is a practical piece of knowledge that you’ll want to know before you commit because it’s what you’ll be dealing with for years down the line. Just because the loan officer tells you that you can be approved for X amount does not always mean you should go that high.  You should go with a payment that you are comfortable with and look for a house in that price range. Along the same lines of knowing what to expect in the future, towards the end of the home buying process, you’ll want to ensure that a whole house inspection is performed so that you’re alerted of any potential issues. As far as the current market and things on the horizon that may affect

home buyers, I believe that the housing prices are going up at too fast a rate for this part of the country and we may see a mini 2008 in the next 5 to 7 years. In light of this, my advice is not to get caught up in a bidding war on a property.  Stick to what you and your Realtor® believe is a reasonable price regardless of your emotional attachment to a potential home. Ultimately, the job of a good Buyer’s Agent is to be there for their clients, from the time they are pre-approved to moving day and all of the steps in between.” As a recurring theme, certain details about the market like inventory and interest rates will be critical to the decisions you’ll make down the line, from what you can afford to putting in an offer. “With the ongoing low housing inventory in Lincoln right now it makes the market hot for sellers,” advises Matt Kirkland of Realty Works.  “Right now with the market a little crazy due to low inventory, research and knowledge of the market is key to not overpaying.  Your Realtor, who is representing you as a buyer, should be doing their homework to ensure you don’t find yourself in an unfavorable position.  This includes research on the neighborhood and the history of sale prices in the area, not just asking price. Matt Kirkland In fact, I recently had a client who stopped Realty Works bidding on a house that was a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) at $16,000 over asking price. Someone overpaid for the house by thousands and will have a very tough time ever getting their money back out of it.  Without that knowledge of the market that Realtors have, an unrepresented buyer could make a poor decision and overpay or get into a house with problems. Interest rates remain very low and it is a great time to purchase a home if you can find one at the right price.  Make sure you consult with a reputable local lender, shop around and talk to your Realtor to make sure you get the service you deserve. Also, you wouldn’t buy a car without test driving a couple, so keep that in mind when you are looking for a Realtor, interview more than one Realtor and see which one might be the best fit for you.” Third Step: Closing After shopping around and finding the home that’s perfect for you, the buying process isn’t just a simple transaction of money and then both parties call it a day. There are certain steps such as putting in an offer, the home inspection, getting all details confirmed and paperwork in line, and then closing to make it official. There are many things that could potentially affect your decision to buy a home, and a home inspection is a critical part of full disclosure so that you can evaluate the positives along with any negatives. Randy King of King’s Home Inspections, an InterNACHI Certified Master Inspector with over 18 years in business who has inspected over 7,000 homes of all shapes and sizes in southeast Nebraska, lends his expertise on the topic: “One important part of buying a home is having a professional home inspection done prior to purchase. This is usually done as part of the negotiation phase during the purchase process. Schedule your home inspection as soon as Randy King possible after getting your offer accepted; King’s Home Inspections usually home inspectors are in high demand and booked out several weeks. Most home inspection companies offer something called a ‘Whole House Inspection’, which is a comprehensive review of all aspects of your home. This includes electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, structural components, interior and exterior finishes, roofing, grounds and landscaping. These range from $350 to $550 depending on size of house, price, number of home systems and type of equipment, etc. and it varies company to company.

A home inspector is a generalist by nature, and a home inspection is a thorough review of all these areas. An inspection can uncover defects or issues with a home that the buyer (and many times the seller) is not aware of so that these issues can be dealt with prior to purchase. Additionally, other inspections such as termite, radon testing, mold, lead paint, and asbestos may be asked for as the need arises. When choosing a home inspector, look for one who has years of experience and credentialing with a national association, such as International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), or National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). Also, look at the education and experience of the inspector; if possible, select one who is certified or a Master Inspector (meaning years of education and experience). Remember, while a home inspection is comprehensive, it is not invasive. This means your inspector will review readily accessible areas of a home, but will not dismantle water pipes to look at the insides, video scope a sewer line, water test a furnace heat exchanger, or any other invasive, exhaustive analysis of parts of the home. Those types of inspections are specialized and far beyond what a home inspector does. The home inspector often will refer you to a specialist for further evaluation if a component is suspect. Also, a home inspection is not a guarantee that nothing will go wrong with your house; you can purchase a home warranty to help cover things that may break or go bad. These are usually for one year and can be renewed. Ask your Realtor or representative at your title company for more information on home warranties. On older homes or ones with equipment over 20 years old, they are often a very wise investment. Components in a house have a lifespan, and your home inspector can identify the age of components and help you formulate a game plan on when to plan to remodel, replace, or upgrade components such as shingles, a water heater, or an HVAC system. This is important, especially if major systems have to be upgraded in the first few years of ownership as it helps the buyers to know what major expenses they may be facing on a particular house.” AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business 79


Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

While many homes share the same characteristics as far as critical systems, there are a few outliers found in certain circumstances. A major one would be septic and lagoon systems for properties outside of the city. “If someone is looking to move into the country for the first time, I would recommend these new homeowners educate themselves about septic and lagoon systems,” advises Jaime Kubik of Southwick Liquid Waste. “I understand the last thing someone wants to think about when moving is learning where their waste water goes, as it’s much more exciting to consider new window treatments or floor plan designs. However, living on a property with a septic or lagoon system requires homeowners to understand that disposal of wastewater is different than when living in Jaime Kubik town.  It isn’t rocket science, but it is different. Southwick Liquid Waste Not understanding how they function can really ruin aspects of your new home if not maintained appropriately. After learning a bit about maintaining a septic or lagoon system, you’ll want to make sure your system is sized appropriately for the home.  When buying an existing home, a septic or lagoon inspection can be quite helpful prior to purchase.  This will tell the new owner if the system meets the required code, the approximate age of the system, and if there are any signs of possible problems in the past.  Keep in mind that a septic or lagoon system doesn’t last forever. They have a life expectancy of about 25-30 years.  So if you’re purchasing an older home, the system will also have replacement date associated with it as well.  I would also recommend that any inspections for the lagoon or septic system be done by an inspector who works in the septic industry. These professionals will have a better knowledge base of what to look for since this is what they deal with every day. More than likely your inspection will bring to light issues that might need to be addressed. One thing I would definitely make sure your septic system has, no matter what your inspection report says, is a riser to the surface from the tank.  It is now required that all septic tanks have a riser; however, for many years it was not and there were many contractors who didn’t opt to add this when the septic system was installed.  Knowing where your septic tank is located is HUGE, especially when an issue arises.  If you know where your septic tank is located and have a surface access point (riser), when you have a problem, your contractor can locate the tank and potentially fix it within a matter of minutes.  If you do not have a riser to the surface or do not know where the tank is located, this problem will take much longer to resolve and fix; all the while you have septic water filling in your basement. Not only that, but the longer you have people searching and digging the more costly this will become. Homeowners also need to understand that both lagoon and septic systems are always at the mercy of Mother Nature and may not always behave the way they want them to.  Because all of the water that is dispersed from the house has to be absorbed or contained by the soil outside, rainy seasons can be problematic if the homeowner is not aware of their water usage.  Even during non-rainy seasons, the amount of water used in the house should be monitored.  No one wants wastewater coming back up into their house and that is exactly what can happen if too much water is being used in the house in a short amount of time. A common myth in the septic industry is that you never need to have your septic tank pumped.  Not maintaining your system can decrease its life expectancy drastically. You know, for example, that changing the oil on your car keeps it well maintained…the same is true for your septic tank. Another myth is that you can treat your septic or lagoon system just like you did when you lived in town.  Water usage needs to be monitored as using too much all at once can cause waste water to back up in the basement.  Again, this isn’t something you have to be crazy about, but if you have family visiting for Christmas, just make sure two people aren’t showering at the same time the washing machine and the dishwasher are running.  All that water will have to drain at the same time and it will be like trying to put 20 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket. Probably the biggest myth out there is that all toilet paper is septicsafe.  Most toilet papers claim they can be used on septic systems but the thicker, more quilted papers can cause blockage in the line much easier than the cheaper, lesser ply papers.  Those that are thick can

maintain their integrity in the line, get stuck and cause a clog where the cheaper stuff breaks into tiny pieces immediately and doesn’t run the same risk of clogging. Again, as stated above, many people assume (especially when building a new home in the country) that everything is the same as living in town. It is not.  Water usage needs to be monitored, the correct toilet paper needs to be used, and the tank needs to be pumped regularly. There could also be certain times of the year when a ‘septic smell’ could present itself.  If the septic system is a bit older this could be more common or if your area is going through a bit of a rainy time.  Remember that all your wastewater is being distributed into the ground so smells outside aren’t unusual.” To review, here are Kubik’s top tips regarding septic and lagoon systems: #1. Keep your septic tank pumped every 3-5 years, which is largely based on activity level. The more people you have living in your home, the more frequently you need to have your septic tank pumped.  When we come pump your tank, we are after the solid matter that collects at the bottom of the tank.  The more people living in the house, the faster the solid matter collects.  When too much of this builds up, it slowly makes its way out to the lateral field, clogs it up and decreases the life of your septic system. #2. Be aware of your water usage.  Too much water sent to your system at one time can cause wastewater to back up in your house. #3.  Use cheap, lesser ply toilet paper.  Basically, the better it feels the worse it is on your septic system.  Quilted, several ply toilet paper maintains its integrity in the line longer and can create clogs causing waste water to back up in to the house.  Cheaper toilet paper breaks down into small pieces quickly and drastically reduces your chances of backups. #4. Protect your lateral field.  Make sure you always know exactly where your laterals are located.  Nothing heavier than a lawn mower should ever be driven over this area and nothing with any substantial root system should be planted into this area either.  Roots can ruin a lateral field.  You also need to make sure that drain water or sprinkler water stays away from this area. Each major step one will take in the home buying process can be a little intimidating, and that continues on into closing with title, escrow, etc. A new partner will come into the picture here that will work closely with your Realtor and financial institution—your title company. “Typically after the purchase agreement has been signed, you then select your title company,” explains Tanya Angell of Union Title Company. “Many homebuyers don’t realize that they are able to choose their own title company just as they have the other professionals they’ve trusted with such a major purchase and life event. Your Realtor and lender will have a great working relationship with a title company so they’ll certainly be able to make a recommendation, but it also never hurts to check out a few prospective title companies to see if there’s one more than the Tanya Angell others that you’re more comfortable with or Union Title Company like best for any number of reasons. Even if there’s a prominent affiliation, ultimately it’s up to the buyer to choose. We find that our clients have chosen us because we are a smaller, locally owned and operated company, which allows the same representative to remain with the client throughout the entire process, including closing with you at the end. A client is also able to call us directly, which many find favorable over the service center/call center for obvious reasons. Basically, you’ll know my name and how to get a hold of me at any time, and I’ll know your file intimately. That’s important because of the variance from transaction to transaction; each situation is unique and has its own specific requirements that must be met within a relatively short time frame. Along the same lines, there are absolutely no stupid questions; no matter how many questions you have or if you have the perception that it’s something you should already know and feel a little embarrassed about asking—ask anyway! Right after the purchase of a new home, many will opt to buy new AUGUST 2016 Strictly Business


furniture, appliances, and may even get started on improvements, whether indicated by the home inspection or areas that the homeowner wants to update based on their taste and preferences. There are also the less obvious things that you’ll notice once you actually live in your home; water quality is a prime example. “Buying a new home is a huge investment alone, and then oftentimes the new owner will also be investing in new appliances on top of that,” says Eric Schnakenberg of Aqua Systems. “An easy way to protect your investment is to have a water softener installed. Hard water causes mineral build-up inside the appliances, so with a water softener that issue will be eliminated, extending the life of major appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator if it has a water dispenser and ice machine, and even your water heater. Eric Schnakenberg Aqua Systems A water softener system will actually provide a monetary return on investment because you’ll use less cleaning products. This will not only save you money but will also decrease your family’s exposure to chemicals and save you time on cleaning because you’ll be doing less scrubbing! He adds, “If there is an existing water softener system in the house, it’s important to have it checked over to make sure the settings are correct. A lot of times they are set up for the number of people in the house, so we’ll come in and reprogram them based on your family size and usage. Older systems are designed as “timer systems”, meaning they clean every so often regardless of usage, while newer systems are “on-demand systems”, which go by usage and only clean as needed. Furthermore, most homes built from 2005 on are set up for soft water by default. So if you have an older system, you may benefit from a more updated, efficient system and if you’re buying an older home, it’s likely something that’s not been incorporated and well worth addressing.” Finally, as a result of newer legislation that’s just now begun to impact the process, the preparation timetable has changed a bit which is leading to the need for earlier preparation. The earlier you prepare, the easier the transaction will be overall, from bringing in your chosen title company to getting everything in order accordingly.”

As evidenced by all of the helpful information our local professionals have provided, there are a lot of things that should be taken into consideration when buying a home. With the right guidance and team put together to help you make your dream of home ownership a reality, or to help you find a better fit as your needs change, you can be sure that everything will go as smoothly as possible. Buying a home is one of, if not the biggest, purchase a person will make in his or her lifetime when it comes to the price tag. As such, it only makes sense to do everything possible to ensure that the decision you make on a home is a result of the proper knowledge being applied and the necessary steps being completed. There are plenty of great homes on the market in Lincoln and we not only hope you find the perfect one for you and your family, but that the process of buying a home is something that you’ll thoroughly enjoy and a memory of an important experience in life that you’ll look back on fondly. Lincoln is indeed a wonderful place to call home, so best of luck to all of you home buyers out there—but of course, you won’t need much luck if you have skill and experience on your side! 82

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$40 per Power Lunch event, lunch and parking included Adaptive Leadership for Managers and Teams

The Key to Great Project Leadership

August 10 | 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.

August 17 | 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Doubletree by Hilton 1616 Dodge St., Omaha

Doubletree by Hilton 1616 Dodge St., Omaha

Led by Dr. Jake Messersmith

Led by Rodney Verhoeff, PMP, CSM

Strategies for Effective Board Management

The Power of Positive Leadership

August 24 | 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.

August 31 | 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Wilderness Ridge Golf Club, 1800 Wilderness Woods, Lincoln

Wilderness Ridge Golf Club, 1800 Wilderness Woods, Lincoln

Led by Dr. Kathy Farrell

Led by Dr. Fred Luthans


The Modern-Day Sales Manager Executive Certificate

Strategic Growth and Marketing Executive Certificate

September 28-30 | 8:30 a.m. - 4 :30 p.m. Wilderness Ridge Golf Club, 1800 Wilderness Woods, Lincoln

October 10-12| 8:30 a.m. - 4 :30 p.m. Noah’s Event Venue, 17121 Marcy St., Omaha

» Led by Dr. Ravi Sohi and Laura McLeod » Gain insight on leading sales teams, understand your market and how customers buy, explore motivation and incentive techniques for your salesforce and learn how to drive and track performance


» Led by Dr. Amit Saini and Dr. Ravi Sohi » Learn how to develop new market opportunities while cultivating growth in existing markets, gain insight on customer needs and segmenting markets, and explore how to assess and manage competition

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Strictly Business AUGUST 2016

Strictly Business Lincoln August 2016  

This month, we have none other than Dean Donde Plowman of UNL - College of Business gracing our cover! Check it out here!

Strictly Business Lincoln August 2016  

This month, we have none other than Dean Donde Plowman of UNL - College of Business gracing our cover! Check it out here!