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CALL (402) 934 -3891 OR VISIT COXBUSINESS.COM TO SWITCH TODAY *Offer ends 4/30/2017. Available to new commercial subscribers (excluding government agencies and schools) in Cox service areas. $89.99/month includes Cox Business InternetSM 25 (max. 25/5 Mbps) and VoiceManagerSM Essential with unlimited local and nationwide long distance calling. Monthly service fee increases to $99.99 in months 7–36. Additional voice lines that are purchased at the introductory price will increase to $19.99 per line on month seven and revert to standard rates at the conclusion of the agreement. Prices based on 3-year service term. Early termination fees may apply. Prices exclude equipment, installation, taxes, and fees, unless indicated. Unlimited plan is limited to direct-dialed domestic calling and is not available for use with non-switched circuit calling, auto-dialers, call center applications and certain switching applications. DOCSIS® 3.0 modem may be required for optimal performance. Speeds not guaranteed; actual speeds may vary. See for complete Internet Service Disclosures. Phone modem provided by Cox, requires electricity, and has battery backup. Access to E911 may not be available during extended power outage or if modem is moved or inoperable. † Cox Business Visa® Prepaid Card available with qualifying new services ordered and activated between 1/2/2017 and 4/30/2017 with minimum 3-year contract. Customer must mention promotion code “reward promo” when placing their order to receive card. Account must remain active, be in good standing, and retain all services for a minimum of 30 days after install. Online redemption required following instructions to be mailed to customer after service activation. Online information to be submitted no later than 5/31/2017. Void where prohibited. Limit one Prepaid Card per customer; total not to exceed $200. Allow 6–8 weeks after redemption for delivery. Cards issued by MetaBank,® member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Cardholders are subject to terms and conditions of the card as set forth by the issuing bank. Card does not have cash access and can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted within the U.S. only. Cards valid through expiration date shown on front of card. Valid in U.S., U.S. territories and Puerto Rico. Offer subject to modification or withdrawal at any time without notice. Other restrictions may apply. Cox received the highest numerical score among 7 providers evaluated in the very small businesses segment of the J.D. Power 2016 Business Wireline Satisfaction Study, based on 3,324 total responses, measuring customer perceptions of their current wireline provider, surveyed in April-June 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit © 2017 Cox Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017



FOCUSING ON YOUR BRAND 2017: It’s (Still) All in the Brand, Baby

By now, whether you’re at the pulse of marketing trends or not, if you’re a business owner or charged with the promotion of your organization, you’ve probably heard all of the hype about the evolution of the digital landscape, social media, analytics, SEO, apps, pop-up ads and click-through rates, and more. Let us also not forget the tried-and-true methods of television, radio, signage, and yes, print too (case in point, you’re reading this right now). These are all major players that are expected to remain impactful in 2017, and regardless of the business, finding the right combination that gets you in front of your target audience and compels them to act in a way that yields your desired results is the ongoing quest that all share in common. But what’s at the center, the single most important thing that will determine your success with any of these powerful promotional outlets, and what necessitates use of them to deliver a message in the first place? In a debate that now seems to be much like “Who came first, the chicken or the egg?” the brand itself is often overlooked in favor of winning the race to get out in front of people with a sales message. Without wings it cannot fly, absolutely, and the end goal of investing in any form of advertising is to increase profits, true as well. But it’s shortsighted not to take into consideration that your brand is among the top reasons for people to choose doing business with you, as most still opt to do business with those they know and like. In order to truly soar, all of the important attributes that together form your unique brand identity need to be present and cohesive in all that you do, from conducting business to the promotion of it. You see, branding remains as relevant as ever. We’re on this continuous soul-searching mission to find and hone in on the things that make our business/organization special in order to take it to the next level, and by sharing those very findings, we further differentiate ourselves from those occupying the same space in the marketplace. Regardless of what methods will best assist us in those pursuits, as the vehicles for delivery progress with the times, so must the engaging content that is being delivered to support our branding efforts. Once a strong core identity has been established, every single thing put out into the world will serve to further define the brand, much like scaffolding for those who are familiar with the process as it applies to education. Since I often find inspiration from the great minds in marketing, before I go any further, I’ll first pass along some brief-yet-wise words on exactly what “brand” means, what it should be to those you do business with and those within your company. As the next step is how to shape that


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accordingly while achieving consistency with your messaging, we’ll be covering key branding principles in the coming months based on the following quotes and others that are equally insightful. Most of these were selected from a list of “30 Branding Definitions” compiled by Heidi Cohen in her actionable marketing guide, sourced from marketers and visionary leaders who she refers to as “the original Mad Men.” (In her own right, Cohen has deep knowledge of cuttingedge marketing across diverse product categories and has helped to build brands such as Citibank and The Economist. Source: heidicohen. com/30-branding-definitions/) “…A good brand should deliver a clear message, provide credibility, connect with customers emotionally, motivate the buyer, and create user loyalty.” -Gini Dietrich (Spin Sucks) “Branding is the representation of your organization as a personality. Branding is who you are that differentiates you.” -Dave Kerpen (Likeable Media) “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.” -Seth Godin “Attention is a scarce resource. Branding is the experience marketers create to win that attention.” -Jeffrey Harmon (Orabrush) “Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa.” -Jay Baer (Convince & Convert) “Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.” –David Ogilvy

With all of that being said, likewise, although a brand wields great influence in its own right, it cannot stand alone and still fulfill its intended purpose. Once developed, it must be shared, and these are to be viewed as two distinct entities within an organization but planned and deployed in partnership. Cohen also offers the following advice, which I think is an important lens which to view our entire discussion on branding over the coming months: “By itself, a brand isn’t a marketing strategy.” Wherever you are at in the evolution of your brand, there’s always work to be done in sharpening it. As long as you keep it as the star of the show, you’ll continue to shine! 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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Empowering Residents & Providing Outstanding Results

While the 1930’s historic art-deco exterior of the Douglas County Health Center might be a bit deceiving to passersby, the only thing that’s old in the entire Midtown building is the bricks. It’s a state-ofthe-art facility, and Douglas County Health Center’s values - safety, quality and patient satisfaction – are timeless. ing Results Atop a long and quite impressive list s & Providing Outstand Empowering Resident of credentials and accolades, the Douglas County Health Center has been awarded a 5-Star rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a designation they’ve received for 8 consecutive years now. It’s truly a testament to the quality of care that’s provided and the caliber of professionals who provide it. The services provided by Douglas County Rehab, an arm of the Douglas County Health Center, meet a diverse set of needs for those in the Omaha Metro area. As the Skilled Unit’s Clinical Director, Dr. Rebecca Wester is charged with ensuring that all patients receive an enhanced level of personalized medical care that’s customized to their individual needs. Skilled nursing and rehabilitation services are necessary when a person needs experts in nursing and rehabilitation to manage their recovery after a hospital stay, decline in health or a surgery. As Dr. Wester explains it, “Rehabilitative therapy is given for a short period of time, typically for a few weeks; but can continue up to 100 days. At Douglas County Rehab, individuals stay in one of our 20 modern private rooms on the short-term unit. All short-term stay individuals at Douglas County Rehab enjoy complimentary transportation to medical appointments, customized meals, recreational services, rehabilitative services –such as speech, physical and occupational therapy, and individual’s care planning initiated within 24-hours of admission. Speech Therapy is much more than communication; it’s swallowing and complex problem-solving strategies. Physical Therapy is much more than strengthening; it promotes cardiac and respiratory wellness, pain modalities, balance training, and overcoming walking (gait) problems. Occupational Therapy is much more than adaptive equipment instruction; it’s grooming, dressing, toileting, bathing, range of motion, edema management, and everything else to get you functionally ready to get home safe and as quick as possible. At Douglas County Rehab, we assess an individual’s knowledge, skill, and confidence for managing one’s own health and healthcare. Every team member is proactive and fosters the skills required for the patient to OMAHA • FEBRUARY 2017




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successfully return home and helps build his or her confidence to do so. Douglas County Health Center focuses on the needs of our community, especially individuals who might fall through the cracks of today’s fragmented healthcare system. Often Douglas County Rehab is the only facility equipped to say ‘yes.’ As a Certified Medical Director and Geriatric-Palliative specialist, I strive to deliver interdisciplinary care in all areas of my practice. I go directly to where they live; whether in their home or in a skilled rehabilitation or long-term care facility. In caring for individuals with serious illness, I strive to effectively harmonize their care to align with their values, goals and preferences.” As for what the future will look like at Douglas County Rehab, Dr. Wester reflects on how far the specialized area of skilled care and rehabilitation services has already come. “Douglas County Rehab draws upon its strong history to build a bold future in today’s alwayschanging healthcare system. Hospital patients of yester-years are now the skilled nursing patients of today. With that said, Douglas County Rehab plans to expand on our current capabilities. Douglas County Rehab is posed to move forward and adapt to these challenges in order to maintain high quality of care provided. We will continue to surpass our patients’ and their family’s expectations and be a leader of excellence in skilled rehabilitation services.” In partnership with the Douglas County Health Center, Dr. Wester has also taken on a new project with Methodist Health System, which has a strong presence in the Omaha Metro as well. “It’s so exciting. Methodist Hospital is launching an innovative house calls program that will boost quality of life by adding an extra, personalized layer of support. This new partnership will provide individuals at Methodist Physicians Clinic who are facing serious illness like CHF, COPD, or advanced dementia access to specially trained clinicians who will visit individuals in their homes. I have the great honor of leading the program. The house calls team specializes in improving quality of life and measures to avoid unnecessary or unwanted emergency room and hospital visits. These professionals are experts in providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness. We are focused on providing an extra layer of support to these individuals so they can have the highest quality of care possible, including the ability to be seen in their home and have access 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Our clinicians guide patients and caregivers through difficult and complex treatment choices.”

For more information visit or call 402-444-7000


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Eat Fit Go Opens 10th Store in Omaha

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Nebraska Sports Council: Registration Open for 2017 Cornhusker State Games Registration is open for the 33rd annual Cornhusker State Games, featuring competition in 68 sports at 62 venues in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities. Most sports take place July 21-30, and officials expect more than 11,000 participants. Foot Golf makes its Cornhusker State Games debut on Saturday, July 22 at Jim Ager Memorial Junior Golf Course in Lincoln. Rules and format are essentially the same as golf, except participants kick a soccer ball rather than hitting golf balls with clubs. The hole is much larger of course, and instead of strokes, kicks are counted. Three-on-Three Basketball, set for July 29-30, returns to the Cornhusker State Games for the first time since 2004. Five-on-Five Basketball will still be held on the Games’ main weekend, July 22-23. CSG competitions are open to Nebraska athletes of all ages and abilities. Registration and information are available at The final deadline to register is July 5, but athletes can save $3-5 per person if entered by the June 21 discount deadline. Opening Ceremonies are set for Friday, July 21 at Seacrest Field with parade-of-athletes, skydivers, fireworks, patriotic tribute, mascot showcase and torch-lighting. A statewide search to determine the performer of the national anthem will begin in March. All registered athletes will receive a shirt, free meal, admission to the Opening Ceremonies and a chance to win one of 5,000 customcast gold, silver and bronze medals. Finishers in several events will receive commemorative medallions. The Cornhusker State Games is a qualifying event for both the 2017 and 2019 State Games of America (SGA). The 2017 SGA will be held Aug. 3-6 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The annual Cornhusker State Games Torch Run will be held June 19-29 over routes including Omaha, Scottsbluff, Bridgeport, Sidney, Ogallala, North Platte, Holdrege, Kearney, Hastings, Grand Island, Columbus, Norfolk, Seward and Lincoln. The Cornhusker State Games is conducted by the Nebraska Sports Council, which also conducts the NE150 Challenge, the Mud Run and the Pumpkin Run. Platinum partners include Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. of Nebraska, LinPepCo and Nebraska Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine. Learn more at 6 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

Eat Fit Go Healthy Foods opened its 10th store on Friday, December 30, 2016. The new store is located at 4909 S. 135th St., Suite 104, Omaha, NE, 68138. Eat Fit Go opened its first store in February of last year in Omaha. They’ve since opened 4 other stores in Omaha, and a store in Lincoln, Norfolk, Sioux City, IA, Overland Park and Prairie Village, KS, Springfield, MO, and have no plans of slowing down. There will be 12 more stores opening in early 2017 and approximately 75 Eat Fit Go stores nationwide by the end of the year. Beyond the rapidly increasing number of storefronts, Eat Fit Go has plans to expand into eCommerce, delivery and a health and wellness mobile app in early 2017. Healthy food should be affordable and accessible no matter where you are located, and Eat Fit Go’s goal is to get healthy food to your front door within 24 hours. Eat Fit Go Healthy Foods provides a simple solution to eating healthy on the go! Meals range in price from $4.75 to $11, with a refrigerated shelf life of 5-7 days. All ingredients are listed right on the label, so you know exactly what you’re eating. Eat Fit Go’s model of real food prepared fresh daily with no preservatives or added artificial ingredients has created more options for people to take control of their own health. Find out more at

Omaha’s First Veridian Credit Union Branch Opens, Second Set for Spring Veridian Credit Union opened its first Omaha branch on Dec. 26, 2016 at the intersection of West Maple Road and 150th Street. The Waterloo, Iowabased credit union is set to open its second Omaha-area branch at 10324 S. 71st Terrace in Papillion in spring 2017. “We’re excited to expand in the Omaha area,” said Branch Manager Drew Mickle. “We have a great team, and we’re looking forward to deepening our relationships with existing members, as well as creating new ones.” The 5,104-square-foot branch on West Maple Road is Veridian’s first outside of Iowa. It’s also the same blueprint for the branch that’s under construction in Papillion. Both include a family-sized office to accommodate members with children during longer visits, space for mortgage and commercial lenders, and biometric access to safe deposit boxes with a scan of the hand. Veridian’s Market President Jay Ferris confirmed that the new branches are in line with the credit union’s plans to open 10 Omaha-area branches in the next 10 to 15 years. “We’re a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by our members,” Ferris said. “With each branch that opens, we’re eager to show more Omaha-area residents and businesses what a difference that can make for their financial wellness.” Veridian Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative founded in 1934 in Waterloo, Iowa as John Deere Employees Credit Union. Earnings are returned to members through great rates, higher dividends, better services and low-to-no fees. The credit union offers a full range of business and consumer financial services, including accounts, loans, guidance, investments and insurance. Membership is open to anyone living or working in the credit union’s 70-county field of membership, including Council Bluffs, Omaha and surrounding communities. For more information, visit or call (800) 235-3228.


Nelnet Acquires Online Payment Processor PaymentSpring From Firespring Online payment processing company PaymentSpring is relaunching with improved features following its acquisition by Nelnet. PaymentSpring was founded in 2014 under the umbrella of Firespring, a Nebraska-based marketing communications company. Terms of the sale were not released. PaymentSpring President Mike Phelan said Nelnet and Firespring share similar values that made the acquisition a perfect fit. “Both companies have a passion for serving nonprofit organizations and for supporting the startup ecosystem,” said Phelan. “PaymentSpring was nurtured in a great environment at Firespring, and we’re looking forward to its future as a Nelnet company.” Firespring CEO Jay Wilkinson says the transition is a natural step. “PaymentSpring began as an idea to improve payment processing for our nonprofit clients,” said Wilkinson. “The company’s explosive growth made it evident that it was ready to take on established competitors throughout the entire payment processing sector.” Phelan says PaymentSpring is able to securely process payments made through personal computers, mobile devices and point-of-sale terminals. It can be used by most types of businesses or nonprofit organizations and is ideal for software developers. Phelan says the company is also developing technology that will give clients more control of the process and improve security. But he says a key part of PaymentSpring’s offering is providing individual consultation. PaymentSpring currently employs approximately 60 workers at its locations in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. Additional information and resources are available at

CarePatrol Expands Into Omaha Metro C a r e Pa t r o l of Nebraska took over the Omaha area in January to add to its current territory, which encompasses Lincoln, Fremont, Blair, Wahoo, Nebraska City, Seward and other small towns around the major cities covered. Now with access to the free services offered by CarePatrol, the expansion will make it even easier for families to find the safest and best care no matter where they would like their loved one to live. CarePatrol is the nation’s largest senior care referral/placement network, serving families who are searching for safe and quality care options. Theron Ahlman is the owner of the local CarePatrol franchise that helps clients find Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Memory Care communities at no cost to the seniors and families they are helping. A knowledgeable and experienced CarePatrol representative is with the family every step of the way, providing local insight and expert counsel, guidance and reassurance. Clients also benefit from access to a wealth of resources and support through the franchise. The company always reviews the care history of the communities before making any recommendations to ensure the safest options are presented, and will then line up the tours and personally accompany the family to each one. For more information on CarePatrol of Nebraska, please visit or contact Theron Ahlman directly at (402) 580-2116 or


Valentine’s Day!

Holiday Romance Package - Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lincoln South Includes: bottle of champagne & glasses, chocolate-covered strawberries

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Bellevue Microtel Inn & Suites Receives Three Honors The Bellevue, Nebraska Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, a Belford Hospitality L.L.C. franchise property, has recently been awarded three recognition honors. The hotel has been awarded “2016 Renovation of the Year” by the Microtel Inns & Suites, headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey. The Bellevue hotel, which is located at 3008 Samson Way, was also awarded the “Sarpy County Business of the Year” by the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. Finally, Gery Whalen, the hotel’s general manager, has accepted a position on the Board of Directors of the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. According to Ryan Belford, Partner, “We are very honored to be recognized by both Microtel and the Sarpy Chamber of Commerce. The undertaking of a renovation of this magnitude is not easy, but worthwhile to better accommodate the needs of our guests. We also believe that professional business practices, in all areas of operations, help us to successfully compete in a very competitive industry.” Microtel Inns & Suites has 300+ locations throughout North America and Asia. For more information, please contact Gery Whalen, General Manager, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham/Bellevue, NE at (402) 292-0191.

Northwest Bank Awarded SBA’s 2016 Top Lender of the Year Northwest Bank ( is proud to be recognized as SBA Top Lender for 2016. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Iowa District Office has announced the winners of its top lender awards in Iowa for Fiscal Year 2016. Northwest Bank was recognized as SBA’s Top 504 Third Party Lender for a total of $3.9 million in loans. The SBA approved 484 guaranteed loans totaling $197.3 million in FY 2016. This is a nine percent increase in loan volume from FY 2015 when the SBA approved 444 loans for $134.9 million. “Access to capital is vital to Iowa’s economy,” said Jayne Armstrong, director of the SBA’s Iowa District Office. “We appreciate all of our lender partners who make it possible for SBA to provide financial assistance to small businesses in Iowa. Our annual lender awards recognize those lenders who’ve helped us do so in some key demographic areas that have been traditionally underserved when it comes to access to capital.” Greg Post, President and CEO of Northwest Bank commented, “We are proud of our relationship with the SBA. The SBA and its many programs allow us the opportunity to take care of our customers and their credit needs. It is Northwest Bank’s commitment to have vested interest in the financial growth of the families and businesses we serve. We are helping businesses meet their financial goals and stimulating our local economies by being a stable resource for local businesses.” 8 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

Fleetmark Solutions is celebrating its one-year anniversary of serving clients in Omaha and surrounding areas! The launch of its new website in October,, benchmarked their first year in business with plenty of new features to enhance the online experience for clients and guests. The staff at Fleetmark Solutions would like to thank the Omaha community for their patronage over the past year and is looking forward what 2017 will hold! Fleetmark Solutions specializes in commercial fleet maintenance and repair. Gas, diesel, large or small–with their resources they can do it all! With the understanding that your business depends on your commercial vehicles, the dedicated team at Fleetmark Solutions is here to help you keep your business running with efficient and effective fleet maintenance and repair services. The company has been built on a strong foundation of honesty, with the highest level of integrity at the forefront of every job performed. For more information about Fleetmark Solutions, please visit www. or contact owner Mark Griger at (402) 7154487 /

Nuclear Networking Expands Into Nebraska Nuclear Networking, a bestin-class DMS firm setting the industry standard in digital marketing since 2010, is excited to announce its expansion into Nebraska, and is now serving clients predominantly in the Lincoln and Omaha Metro areas. Headquartered in Denver with satellite offices in Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA, Nuclear Networking plans to open a location in downtown Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket district, which is projected to happen by July of 2017. Catering to companies of all types and sizes seeking a dominant online presence, from SMBs to high-profile corporations, Nuclear Networking is a digital marketing solutions (DMS) firm focused on generating better conversions and proving measurable results that grow businesses. Harnessing tech and talent to achieve positive ROI, Nuclear Networking’s team of experts build proprietary efficiencies in search engine algorithms, digital marketing intelligence and inbound marketing to complete the digital ecosystem and take the client’s company to the next level. Specialties include: Marketing Intelligence, SEO Engineering, Inbound + CRO, Paid Ads, Search Engine Marketing, and Web Design. From local to international markets, Nuclear Networking’s reach is limitless, with flexible service packages that can be tailored to fit each client’s specific needs and goals. To find out more about Nuclear Networking, please visit www. You may also contact the firm directly at (800) 984-6248 or via email at for more information or to schedule a complimentary SEO Analysis & Inbound Marketing Consultation.


Sandler Training to Host Prospecting Seminar Registration is open for Sandler Sales Tra i n i n g ’s upcoming seminar on March 2nd, which will focus on prospecting for sales leads effectively. Are you anxious about making cold calls? Tired of not getting past the gatekeeper? Struggling to hit your numbers? Most sales professionals hate making cold calls for one of two reasons: They don’t have a system, or the system they have doesn’t work. If this sounds like you or your team this seminar may be for you. At this event, you’ll learn how to overcome call reluctance, get past the gate-keeper, get out of voicemail jail, make your first 30 seconds on the phone count, engage prospects in a real conversation, and get invited in as opposed to begging for time. 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 online via this link: Sandler Sales 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 medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training. For more information, contact Michelle Halpenny at

Holthus Convention Center Announces Upcoming Events Holthus Convention Center is excited to host two popular trade shows this month! The Nebraska Bridal Show will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 1-5 p.m. Admission is $5, and this is a fantastic opportunity to connect with area vendors, check out all of the top trends and new offerings in the bridal industry, and also a convenient time to evaluate the Holthus Convention Center as a potential location for wedding-related events. For more details, please call (402) 363-2675 or email info@ The 2017 Home & Garden Show will be held on Friday and Saturday, February 17-18. Presented by the York Chamber of Commerce, this annual event also boasts a great selection of area vendors with booths, exhibits, demonstrations and more! Admission is free and complimentary parking lot shuttle is available. Find out more at Also, make sure to save the date for the Crossroads Junk & Vintage Market to be held on April 29-30! Vendors interested in showcasing their business/offerings are welcome to contact Terri at (402) 3632675/ for more information about the event and booth registration. Conveniently located on Highway 81 just north of the I-80 York interchange, the Holthus Convention Center offers 40,000 square feet of beautiful, versatile indoor/outdoor event space. From weddings, meetings and banquets to trade shows and conferences, the staff at the Holthus Convention Center can help you plan your next event. For more information, please call (402) 363-2675 or visit www. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business



The Club at Indian Creek to Host Special Valentine’s Day Dinner

Nebraska Restaurant Association Recognizes Restaurants That Give Back

This year on February 14th, plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with that special someone at The Club at Indian Creek! Guests that evening will enjoy a fo u r- c o u r s e f i n e d i n i n g experience, including live musical entertainment courtesy of vintage vocalist Michael Lyon. The culinary team at Abraham’s Catering, the exclusive caterer for The Club at Indian Creek, has put together an amazing menu, which features: Passed Canapes – Bruschetta and Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Herb Cream Cheese; Salad – Fresh Caesar; Dinner – Choice of Vegetarian or Meat & Cheese Lasagna, Green Beans, Breadsticks; and Dessert – Chocolate Ganache Torte with Coffee/Tea. A cash bar will be available. This special Valentine’s Day event will begin at 6:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:15. Cost is $50 per person for the four-course meal and $30 per person for those who opt for only the canapes and dessert. Reservations with advanced payment are required by February 10th. For more information or to book your reservation, please call (402) 289-0900 Ext. 25 or email For those seeking an elegant and private atmosphere, The Club at Indian Creek provides a one-of-a-kind venue for your special event. Located at 3825 N. 202nd St. in Elkhorn, NE, The Club at Indian Creek features a charming setting amidst natural splendor along with a full spectrum of services that can be tailored to your specific requests. To find out more about The Club at Indian Creek, visit

The Nebraska Restaurant Association r e c e n t l y announced its 2017 Restaurant Neighbor award state winners. These individuals and restaurant groups have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to serving their communities through outstanding c haritable ser vice and philanthropy and will advance to the national level to compete for the grand prize of $10,000 to support their favorite charity or non-profit. The Nebraska winners are: daVinci’s (Lincoln, NE): With a strong commitment to families and to the Lincoln community, the Knudson family chose Easter as one day to give thanks for the support they have received. Since 1984, daVinci’s has served a free Easter dinner to the low income and lonely - or anyone for that matter. Up to 34,000 free meals have been served since that first Easter dinner in 1984. Salt 88 (Omaha, NE): Salt owner, John Horvatinovich knows that it takes a community to staff his restaurant, and a community to dine at his restaurant. Salt focuses on giving back to the everyday needs of the community and being involved in as many projects as possible including: The Autism Center of Nebraska, local schools, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen and many others. Southern Hospitality Ventures (Lincoln, NE): When Justin and Jennifer Jones opened the doors of Raising Cane’s in July of 2006 it was their goal to not just be another restaurant in the community. They wanted to be THE community’s restaurant. Southern Hospitality Ventures has given over $1.25 million back to their restaurants communities and on average, help 3.3 events per day. They are most proud of their three annual community based campaigns: Raising Coats with Raising Cane’s, Cell Phones For Soldiers, and Stuff the Bus. Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs (Lincoln, NE): The team at Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs thrives on helping the community and strives to say “yes” in some way, to every request received. They have done 16 Dine to Donate nights in the last 2 years donating 10-20% of sales back to local high schools, sports teams and booster clubs. Goodcents also sponsors many charity events, fun runs, and the Cornhusker State Games each year. Additionally, Goodcents supports Junior Achievement and helping the youth within the community get educated as well as staying active. LaCasa Pizzaria (Omaha, NE): Since 2007, LaCasa has provided about $3,500 in gift certificates to local high schools for their fundraising activities. Additionally, another $4,000 has been contributed to local churches. They are proud to be able to contribute to other local, state and national nonprofit organizations including United Way of the Midlands and Nebraska Aids Project. LaCasa also continues to support Omaha’s Food Bank for the Heartland. From all state winners, three national Restaurant Neighbor Award winners are chosen by a panel of industry professionals and receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. in March 2017 where they are honored at a gala awards dinner during the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affair Conference. Each national winner receives $10,000 to support their charitable giving efforts. Developed 18 years ago, the program is sponsored by American Express. Find more information and stories from all winning applicants at


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017


Omaha Accepted Into National TechHire Initiative, Among 20 Communities Chosen Omaha has been announced as one of 20 TechHire communities dedicated to creating pathways for more Americans to access wellpaying tech jobs and expanding local tech sectors in communities across the country. Omaha will be joining a national network of 71 TechHire communities in receiving support to spearhead efforts to help overlooked and underrepresented Americans start technology careers. Omaha’s designation as a national TechHire Community was made possible due to the collaborative efforts of AIM Institute, Interface Web School, Omaha Code School and the Greater Omaha Chamber. “Greater Omaha’s tech sector is experiencing unprecedented expansion, and we are driving hard to cultivate the necessary tech talent to increase our IT workforce by 4,000 workers,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. “Ten Greater Omaha area employers have already joined us in our TechHire initiative, but we’re looking for more to help accelerate our tech talent efforts, strengthen our local economy and build up our region’s Silicon Prairie.” All TechHire communities go through an intensive and competitive application process to demonstrate their level of commitment and readiness in expanding the technology sector. This TechHire designation shows that Omaha has the partners, employers, training providers, and the civil leadership support needed to implement and scale tech job opportunities for everyone. The TechHire Omaha launch party will be held on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at the AIM Exchange Building, 1905 Harney St. 7th Floor. All are welcome to attend and learn more about how to get involved. For additional information or join the TechHire Initiative, call (402) 591-5300, email, or visit

Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal Named Winner in The Knot Best of Weddings 2017 Cornhusker Beverage and Bridal is pleased to announce that they have been selected as a 2017 ­­winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award representing the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot, the leading wedding brand and marketplace. This is the 5th year Cornhusker Beverage and Bridal has been selected for The Knot Best of Weddings. In 2017, only 2% of the 300,000 local wedding professionals listed on have received this distinguished accolade. In its eleventh annual year, The Knot continues its longstanding tradition of supporting local wedding vendors with The Knot Best of Weddings 2017, an annual by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country. To determine the winners, The Knot assessed almost one million reviews across the various vendor categories—venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more. These winners represent the best of the best for wedding professionals that a bride or groom would want to consider in order to inspire, plan and book their own unique wedding. “We are thrilled to have received so many positive reviews from our customers. It is always our pleasure to help make your day perfect!” stated Nicole Bourquin, Invitation Department Manager, Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal. For more information about The Knot Best of Weddings and a complete list of winners, please visit Family owned for four generations, Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal (www. is proud to be one of the ten oldest businesses still serving Omaha and the surrounding area.

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Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement Introduces New Product Line Brooke Ahlman with Brookelyn’s H a i r & Replacement is pleased to announce a new product line that is now available to her clients: CES Cheveux Hair & Scalp Revitalizer. CES Cheveux Hair & Scalp Revitalizer promotes the growth of healthy hair and may help in the prevention of hair loss. It adds luster and sheen, strength and elasticity, thickens hair and may help stop hair loss when taking chemotherapy treatments. Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement offers non-surgical hair loss replacement services along with regular haircuts, perms, colors and extensions. If you are in need of a hair system, a fresh haircut, a trim, a new color, or retexturing, Brookelyn’s will help you find the hairstyle that fits your personal style as well as your lifestyle. For more information on Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement, please visit or contact owner Brooke Ahlman directly at (402) 649-0212 or via email at

Save The Date: Omaha Metro Rotary Business Networking Event Set for March 9th Grow your business network with Rotarians from across the Omaha metro area at the 4th Annual business networking event. Hosted by the Suburban Rotary Club of Omaha, it will take place on Thursday, March 3rd from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Champions Run, 13800 Eagle Run Drive. The purpose of this event is to encourage fellowship and collaboration among Rotarians and business leaders in the community. This is a free event open to Rotarians and guests. Join an expected 200 individuals from Omaha’s business communities and 10 area Rotary Clubs at this fun networking event. There will be complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and fun tablet giveaways throughout the evening. Omaha Suburban Rotary is one of 46 Rotary clubs in Rotary International District 5650, located in eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa in the USA. It is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, or political preference. There are more than 32,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. To learn more about this event or sign up for a company booth as a Rotarian, please email FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business 11


VK Events | Floral | Planning Celebrates Grand Opening

Notre Dame Housing Celebrates 20th Anniversary

VK Events | Floral | Planning recently hosted its grand opening, which included a ceremonial Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting held on Dec 1. Vernetta Kosalka (VK) Events | Floral | Planning is a full-service event planning and design company that provides complete meeting and event consulting and design services for fundraisers/development, corporate meetings/ events and weddings in the Greater Omaha area. The business was initially established in May of 2009 as The Wedding Planner Omaha, LLC. In 2013 The Florist of Omaha was added, expanding their offerings, and in 2016 the company realigned their services and branding. The celebration was in honor of the debut of VK Events | Floral | Planning. At VK Events | Floral | Planning, the planning is taken off your shoulders but not out of your hands. With a team of planners and designers who are experienced and dedicated professionals, clients receive undivided attention and have access to anything needed to create the event of their dreams. Services also include large social gatherings, budget planning, answers to etiquette questions, professional floral design, and full-service referrals to the best wedding and event professionals. Schedule your consultation today! For more information please visit www. or contact Vernetta Kosalka at 402-ENGAGED (364-2433) or by email at

Notre Dame Housing (NDH) is celebrating 20 years of providing affordable housing and supportive services to seniors in our community in 2017! Founded in 1997 by the Notre Dame Sisters, NDH goes beyond basic housing and address the health, social, spiritual and physical needs of residents, to give them the ability to live independently for as long as possible. The goal of ensuring that older adults have choices about how and where they age is met through four initiatives: Affordable Housing, Supportive Services, Health & Wellness and Life Enrichment. NDH serves adults 55+ regardless of race, color, religion, sex, marital or civil union status, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, place of birth, ancestry, citizenship, military or veteran status or disability. The organization is dedicated to providing the highest quality of service to elders in the Omaha area, with a staff, board, community partners, and volunteers who all believe each and every person is created equal and worthy of dignity and respect. Special thanks are extended to all who have made a difference in the lives of others over the past 20 years through their involvement with NDH. Notre Dame Housing will host events throughout the year to mark the 20th anniversary – make sure to watch for announcements in the coming months! For more information about Notre Dame Housing, please visit www. or call (402) 451-4477.

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EVEN Hotels Omaha Downtown Offering “EVEN More Romance” Package in February

Local Businesses: Help Up-And-Coming Talent Soar, Offer a CAREEROCKIT Experience

Especially for those who will be celebrating Valentine’s Day, EVEN Hotels Omaha Downtown has announced it will again be offering its popular holiday special. During the entire month of February, guests who book an overnight stay may opt for the “EVEN More Romance” package, which includes: • Breakfast for Two • $50 Credit to Dinner in the Old Market or Midtown Crossing • Bottle of Champagne & Glasses • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries For more details or to place a reservation, please call (402) 345-3836 and mention the “EVEN More Romance” package deal! As a member of the newest brand from IHG and one of the first EVEN Hotels in the world, the EVEN Hotels Omaha Downtown is located just moments from TD Ameritrade Park and the CenturyLink Convention Center. It’s also conveniently located near some of Omaha’s best social and professional attractions, including the Henry Doorly Zoo, Joslyn Art Museum, Durham Museum, Omaha Children’s Museum and Eppley Airport. The Hotel also sits “on the cusp” of Creighton University, Midtown Crossing and The Old Market District. All guests enjoy one gigabit free high-speed Wi-Fi, a King Bed Guarantee, all-natural Eucalyptus linens, spa-inspired showers and amenities plus complimentary shuttle service to Eppley Airport and the Omaha Downtown area.

A new effort to educate, excite and inspire tomorrow’s workforce has officially been launched! Is your business ready to get on board? CAREEROCKIT is a weeklong event aimed at offering 10,000 career experiences to area students (middle school through post-secondary) – a way to connect business and the educational community, help upand-coming talent soar to new heights and rock their careers right here at home. CAREEROCKIT experiences will be offered April 1 – 8, 2017. We want your business to participate! Experiences may include: Open houses for students | Job shadowing | Field trips | Demonstrations | Podcasts | Internships | After-school workshops. “Optimally, these student experiences will provide pathways into careers and allow students to build a portfolio of connections that propel them into further career achievement,” said Sarah Moylan, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s director of talent + workforce. “The more unique to your business and engaging, the better. Students should walk away from the experience with a clear understanding of the employer, types of jobs and skills, and be excited about the opportunities ahead of them right here in our community.” Visit and submit your career experience proposal by March 18, 2017. CAREEROCKIT is sponsored by Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD), organized by the Greater Omaha Chamber and supported by community partners.

Local FASTSIGNS® Receives National Award FASTSIGNS® of Omaha - 114th Street received n a t i o n a l recognition out of more than almost 650 locations worldwide at the 2017 FASTSIGNS Convention, which was recently held in Phoenix, Arizona. The locally owned and operated business received the Pinnacle Club Award, which is given to the centers ranked 26 to 125 for sales volume between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016. “We are truly honored to be recognized as a top performing center in the country,” said Bob Danielson, franchisee of FASTSIGNS of Omaha - 114th Street. “This award reflects our entire team’s dedication to helping businesses and organizations in the community tell their story, increase awareness and achieve their goals.” FASTSIGNS of Omaha - 114th Street has been serving the area for 27 years. The center is located at 751 N 114th St and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. “We thank our customers for their support and look forward to continue providing comprehensive visual communications solutions in Omaha and the surrounding areas for many years to come,” Danielson said. FASTSIGNS® of Omaha - 114th Street is a locally and independently owned and operated sign, graphics and visual communications company that provides comprehensive visual marketing solutions to customers of all sizes—across all industries—to help them attract more attention, communicate their message, sell more products, help visitors find their way and extend their branding across all of their customer touch points including décor, events, wearables, digital signage and marketing materials. To learn more, visit or call (402) 493-7960.

FirstScan™ Celebrates 1st Anniversary FirstScan™, the first and only clinic specializing in MRI screening for the early detection of p ro s t a t e c a n c e r based in Omaha, NE, has reached the final of many significant milestones in its first year, recently celebrating its one-year anniversary. Spearheaded by Dr. Randall Jones, the creator of the revolutionary device used in the innovative, 100% non-invasive procedure, along with an executive team of physicians and radiology service specialists, FirstScan was just introduced to the public in June of 2015 and made available to the public in November. Dr. Jones serves as Chief Technology Officer, and Dr. Brian Loggie, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Creighton University, serves as Medical Director. Accredited by the American College of Radiology in Body MRI, FirstScan is a locally owned and operated, independent radiology provider focused solely on the development and delivery of their new prostate cancer detection method, which costs $595. While in the midst of negotiations with insurance carriers, currently FirstScan is strictly fee for service, but also offers a payment plan option. However, this is a very affordable option given you could pay up to five times that amount out of pocket if your physician was going to refer you to a hospital system. It is also an option to use HSA’s or FSA’s to pay for the exam, and the team at FirstScan will guide you through the entire process. Anyone interested in this procedure is encouraged to discuss with a physician or call FirstScan directly at (402) 934-1999. You are also welcome to email to request more information, or visit, which has a wealth of information, research, and resources that are useful for making decisions regarding a possible prostate issue. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business 13

BUSINESS NEWS Two of Omaha’s Top Law Firms Join Forces The law firm of Govier and Milone is merging with the firm of Katskee, Suing and Maxell, PC, LLO (KSM) to form Govier, Katskee, Suing and Maxell, PC, LLO (GKSM). KSM is the recent predecessor of Katskee, Henatsch & Suing (KHS), formed over 30 years ago by Milton A. Katskee and Harry R. Henatsch. Dean F. Suing became a partner shortly thereafter. Benjamin E. Maxell bought the firm in 2015 and has since grown KSM into one of Omaha’s finest, most diverse, mid-size firms, serving individuals, families, and small businesses with an expanded array of legal services. Mr. Maxell’s experience spans all areas of civil and commercial litigation, and includes work at multiple trial court and appellate levels. When she began her family law career in the early 1980’s, Pamela Govier was one of the few female family law attorneys in the Midwest. Now, she’s one of the best. Ms. Govier is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – one of just a handful in the state of Nebraska. With a great, and growing, team of some of Omaha’s mostexperienced lawyers, GKSM can offer clients a vast range of legal services and expertise needed to tackle today’s complex legal challenges, including, but not necessarily limited to: business transactions and formations; real estate sales and acquisitions; divorce, modifications and family planning; estate planning and probate; insurance defense; commercial and civil litigation; and, personal injury and workers compensation. GKSM is located in the Regency area of Omaha at 10404 Essex Court, Suite 100. The transition became official as of January 1, 2017.

UNeTech: New Institute Ready to Help Start-Ups Succeed The University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha are partnering on a new institute designed to identify promising start-up companies and help them become successful. The institute – called UNeTech – is located at 3929 Harney St. in a building formerly occupied by the American Red Cross. Rod Markin, M.D., Ph.D., is serving as executive director of UNeTech. Holding 35 patents, Dr. Markin is one of the most prolific inventors at UNMC and has been on the faculty for 30 years. Joe Runge, who has been with UNeMed for the past 11 years, is serving as associate director. Scott Snyder, Ph.D. is serving as the lead administrator for UNO, assisted by Nick Stergiou, Ph.D. Dr. Markin said UNeTech’s mission will be to bridge the gap after UNeMed identifies promising technology and intellectual property and provide the support to allow these fledgling companies to become successful. “It’s called the ‘Valley of Death,’” Dr. Markin said. “It’s the most difficult hurdle for new businesses to clear – 50 percent of start-up companies fail in the first three years.” UNeTech hopes to make it easier for start-up companies to succeed by providing affordable space in its three-level, 5,000-sq.-ft. building. The top two levels will provide conventional office space, while the unfinished basement will serve as a laboratory/workshop area. Over time, the building could accommodate as many as 10-12 start-up companies. UNeTech was approved by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in 2015, and the Nebraska Legislature will allocate $1 million each year to cover UNeTech’s operating expenses. UNeTech will seek to raise between $7 million to $10 million in funding from individuals and outside agencies to invest in the potential technology and start-up companies.


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BUSINESS NEWS Omaha Fashion Week Set for February 21-26 Omaha Fashion Week is thrilled to celebrate ten years in 2017! Since the first show, they’ve grown into the nation’s fifth largest fashion event, supporting hundreds of independent fashion designers each year. Omaha Fashion Week presented by SAC Federal Credit Union is February 21-26 at Omaha Design Center located at 1502 Cuming Street. Tickets can be purchased online at tickets. The Lineup: Feb 21, Student Night featuring the work of students throughout Nebraska. Feb 22, Methodist Survivor Show with the spunkiest of models who have fought cancer and are dressed by local boutiques to raise funds for Inner Beauty Salon. Feb 23-25, Designer Showcases featuring 17 talented Midwest designers selected on merit basis and competing for cash prizes! Feb 26, Shop the Runway Sunday 11a.m. - 2 p.m., free shopping event and 6 p.m. Develop Model Management Beauty Show showcasing the creativity of local styling teams! Omaha Fashion Week is a glamorous red carpet event for a good cause! Omaha Fashion Week is Midwest’s premier fashion event, spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence. Don’t miss your chance to attend this February! Learn more at www.

Omaha Premiere of “Becoming Warren Buffett” a Red Carpet Affair The Omaha premiere of the HBO documentary film Becoming Warren Buffett took place on January 23rd at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Special guests Warren Buffett and producers George and Teddy Kunhardt were in attendance. Strictly Business Magazine’s news correspondents were invited to cover the distinguished red carpet event, and also had the opportunity to conduct a brief interview with Warren Buffett.

Kari Byron to Headline 2017 Nebraska Science Festival Kari Byron, best known as a host on Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” and “The White Rabbit Project” on Netflix, will headline the 2017 Nebraska Science Festival on April 21. For more than a decade Byron has been a strong presence in the world of reality-based science television, hosting and producing shows spanning several networks. “Kari Byron is a strong advocate of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) programming on television so we’re especially proud to spotlight her in this, our fifth year of the Nebraska Science Festival,” said SciFest coordinator Kacie Baum. The Nebraska Science Festival – scheduled for April 20-29 – will feature an array of science and technology-related activities in communities across the state with the goal of making science accessible, interactive, relevant and fun for all ages. On April 21 at 7:30 p.m., join Byron in a moderated discussion at Joslyn Museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall in Omaha. Tickets for the general admission seating to Byron’s presentation will be released on April 1 on a first-come, first-served basis. This will be online at Event Brite (four per person); please check for more information. Although the presentation is free, tickets are required for admittance when doors open at 6:30 p.m. In addition to, you will find SciFest updates and information on Twitter (@NESciFest) and Facebook (NE SciFest).

With unprecedented access to his day-to-day personal life, Becoming Warren Buffett tells the improbable story of how an ambitious, numbers-obsessed Nebraska boy became one of the richest, most respected men in the world. The definitive documentary sheds new light on a man who has helped shape how the world views capitalism and, more recently, philanthropy. Told primarily in Buffett’s own words, the film features never-before-released home videos, family photographs, archival footage and interviews with family and friends. As a prominent businessperson and philanthropist who was born, raised and built his hugely-successful career in Omaha, NE, Buffett has been largely responsible for keeping Nebraska’s largest city, and the state in general, in the public eye nationwide over the years. When asked, “What do you enjoy most about living in Omaha?” his response was, “I am the happiest when I am in Omaha. I like living here, I like working here, I like the people I know here. I like the whole background. It’s the perfect city to live in.” Becoming Warren Buffett made its televised debut on Monday, Jan. 30th exclusively on HBO. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business



Window Innovations Adds Andersen Lines Window Innovations has added Andersen Windows and Doors to their product offerings, becoming a Circle of Excellence (COE) Dealer on January 1, 2017. COE dealers have access to all of Andersen’s product lines at the most competitive prices. The retail home improvement business, specializing in windows and doors since 2001, continues to carry Marvin Windows and Integrity from Marvin brands. Window Innovations’ full-service showroom is located at 11941 Centennial Rd. in La Vista. “Andersen fit our model of selling only high-quality products manufactured by solid, reputable companies,” said WI president Steve Persigehl. “Adding this line rounds out our product selection so that we have something to offer virtually everyone that walks in our door – meeting any project need, any desired look, any budget.” Andersen has been in business for over 100 years and is the largest window and door manufacturer in North America. All of their windows are made in the U.S.A. “All Marvin products are manufactured here in the U.S. as well,” added Persigehl. “We believe in promoting American-made products and think that is something our customers are looking for and appreciate, too.” If you would like more information about this topic or Window Innovations’ history, products or showroom, please contact Steve Persigehl at (402) 905-9100/ or visit

Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales Opens Newly Remodeled Showroom Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales, a Utility Manufacturing semi-trailer dealership with four locations in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota, held the Grand Opening of their newly remodeled showroom on January 13th. The Grand Opening was launched by David Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the owners of MidStates Utility Trailer Sales, Shane Keizer and Stacy Bricker. The remodel work was completed on the parts shop and service departments, giving these areas a significantly more contemporary look but also making these spaces safer and more efficient. MidStates Utility Trailer Sales also launched a brand new website and plans to add an online parts shop this year. Founded in 2001 by Jim and Jackie Keizer, industry magnates and 30 year veterans of the trucking industry, the Keizer Companies quickly grew and are now the 6th largest Utility Manufacturing semi-trailer dealership in the United States, offering a wide range of new and used refrigerated trailers, dry vans and drop decks to support the U.S. transportation industry which moves 9.2 billion tons of freight annually and requires over 3 million truck drivers. Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales also provide heavy equipment servicing, including a 24hour emergency road assistance to keep transportation companies on the road delivering their freight. Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales, Inc. is located at 4550 South 96th Street in Omaha. For more information, please call (402) 331-4740 or visit 16 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

NAWIC Showcases City of Omaha’s New Video Inspection App The Greater Omaha Chapter of the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC; hosted an informational meeting on Jan. 12 for the City of Omaha to introduce a new inspection option powered by VuSpex to local contractors and interested parties. The City has expanded its electronic offerings for the Permits & Inspections department and is starting to allow live inspections via a smartphone app. NAWIC Chapter President, Karli Meisinger with Eyman, states, “When I was invited to attend an advance training session at the City, I had no idea what they would be presenting. I was very impressed with the VuSpex product. The developers were on hand and they and the City were very open to questions and ideas to make this a valuable tool for contractors. This cutting-edge technology is very exciting for the Omaha construction market. Eyman is a family business that is always trying to innovate, so we love that this idea was spawned by a contractor looking for a solution to a problem. I also like that the City is being proactive to reduce their role in construction delays. I knew that our NAWIC Chapter companies would be very interested in this technology and I also knew that the City would need contractor feedback to make this process work. I leapt at this opportunity to provide a platform for VuSpex and the City of Omaha to get the word out.” Eyman ( is currently using this technology in the field and would be happy to participate in a demonstration. Alternatively, Omaha will be hosting NAWIC’s Regional Forum in April of 2017 and VuSpex will be conducting contractor training at the conference.

North Omaha’s Newest Radio Station Hosts Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony There is a new radio sound pulsating the city of Omaha and throughout the world. In celebration, KXNB/KJSO – Mind & Soul 101.3 FM held an official ribbon cutting in partnership with the radio station hosts, the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation and Love’s Jazz & Arts Center. Currently housed on the birth site of the iconic Malcolm X at 3448 Evans Street, this ceremony was held on January 14. Event highlights also included tours, along with the opportunity to meet sponsors, program staff, radio show hosts, and learn more about the future of this community-operated, listener-supported radio station. Special guests in attendance included elected city officials and family members of the late Rowena Moore and Charles Park, Sr. This unique partnership has never been done before and aims to bridge the gap between the North Omaha’s grassroots efforts and the historic near Northside area. Radio content includes music covering soul, jazz and classic hip hop genres along with talk shows for the mind and soul, covering local and national news. Radio talents include Program Director Paul B. Allen IV, Michael Scott, Michelle Troxclair, Angel Martin and Reggie Clark. The featured radio shows currently on air include a news-centered daily morning show from 7-9 a.m., Monday-Friday. In addition, on Thursday nights from 6-10 p.m., listeners can tune in to Funky Thursdays, playing funk and soul music with local musician features live on air. Visit or call (402) 934-3740 to learn more.


Ribbon Cutting Held to Recognize Lou Zuccarello of Edward Jones in Bellevue

Just Good Meat Now Offering Hot Breakfast Fare, Open Earlier on Weekdays

Lou Zuccarello, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones in Bellevue, recently joined the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce. In celebration, an official ribbon cutting was held on December 15th in conjunction with the office’s annual open house. Lou and Branch Office Administrator MicKynsie Sutton look forward to serving individuals, families and businesses in the local community. The Edward Jones branch is located at 505 Cornhusker Road, Suite 101 in Bellevue, NE. Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 10 on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For 2016,” is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones. com, and its recruiting website is Member SIPC. You may also contact Financial Advisor Lou Zuccarello at (402) 292-0617 or

Just Good Meat is excited to announce a new addition to the store’s offerings – breakfast! A selection of items will be prepared in the store, hot and ready for customers to conveniently grab them and go. This includes breakfast burritos (regular and spicy chipotle versions, varying ingredients), ham & cheese croissants, and bacon, egg & cheese muffins. There will be more added to the line-up based on popularity of items and customer requests. All of the breakfast items are made with Just Good Meat’s notoriously high-quality ingredients, such as the house sausages in a variety of different flavors and farm-fresh eggs. To better accommodate the breakfast crowd, Just Good Meat will now be opening earlier at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. In addition to hot items available for pick-up in the morning, Just Good Meat plans to expand its selection of hot food items available throughout the day for lunch and dinner. Some new options are already available and others will be added in the coming months. All offerings are subject to change, and specials may vary, so feel free to call ahead to check out what’s available for the day or to place a custom order and it will be ready for fast and easy pick-up! Just Good Meat is located at 4422 S. 84th Street in Omaha. Store: (402) 339-7474 | Website:

American Payment Systems: Visa Eases EMV Liability, Adoption Procedures According to Jim Bar nes, owner of American Payment Systems, the restaurant industry is among those that have been impacted most by the shift to EMV-compliant payment processing systems. He is happy to report that key adjustments have been made which could potentially affect many businesses in the Omaha Metro. Visa recently announced that restaurant merchants lacking an approved EMV credit card processor will no longer have to pay fraudulent Visa or MasterCard charges under $25. It has also capped the number of chargebacks that could be levied on restaurants to ten per account, regardless of how large a tab was charged on an illegitimate card. “While it remains in your best interest to protect your business by upgrading to a system with the ability to process EMV chip cards across the board, these concessions are still beneficial for restaurant owners to factor into their decision-making process,” Barnes notes. “They are intended to help streamline the adoption of EMV cards in order to help business owners avoid incurring losses since the shift in liability to the merchant in the event that a fraudulent credit card transaction takes place.” Visa also reported that in an effort to help restaurants get faster approval to use a chip-reading terminal, it would change the process. Prior to this announcement, restaurants couldn’t begin using one of the devices until the system was certified as safe by Visa or a designated representative. Going forward, third parties such as American Payment Systems can “self-certify” that the system they installed is secure. For more information about this topic, or American Payment Systems, please call the office at (402) 502-9985 or visit the website at www.

Omaha Union Station Designated National Historic Landmark Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell recently announced the designation of Omaha’s Union Station as one of more than 20 new national designations. This is the first National Historic Landmark designated in Nebraska since 1993, bringing the number up to 21 for the state. The National Historic Landmarks Program, which is managed by the National Park Service, recognizes historic properties of exceptional national value and promotes the preservation of those places. All National Historic Landmarks are on the National Register of Historic Places. Few places on the National Register are eligible to be National Historic Landmarks in part because of requirements to be nationally significant with a high degree of historic integrity. “Omaha has served as Headquarters for the 13-state Midwest Region of the National Park Service since 1938,” said Cam Sholly, National Park Service Midwest Regional Director. “One of the main reasons Omaha was chosen for this important role was its strong rail connections to the West. Therefore, it is fitting that we are recognizing the significance of the Omaha Union Station as a National Historic Landmark.” Built in the late 1920s, Omaha Union Station in Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the most distinctive and complete examples of Art Deco architecture in the nation. The station outstandingly expresses the style’s innovative and diverse surface ornamentation inspired by the machine age. As one of the earliest Art Deco train stations designed by the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad, its ultra-modern appearance was a major departure from previous railroad station designs. Union Station was most used by travelers from 1929 to 1946, before the creation of the Interstate Highway System. The station was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who is best known for designing several iconic National Park lodges, including ones in Yellowstone, Zion, and Yosemite national parks. In 1973 Union Pacific Corporation donated Union Station to the City of Omaha. The National Park Service and The Durham Museum plan to host a community celebration later this spring. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business 17

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JONES AUTOMOTIVE Jones Automotive is a locally owned and operated shop that has been serving clients in the Omaha Metro since 1950. Scott Suter is a Sales Representative at Jones Automotive. Tell us a little about your business. - We are an emergency vehicle upfitter. In conversation with police, sheriff, or fire department officials we gather information on how they operate and do their jobs. We take that information and design a vehicle to provide them with the safest, most ergonomically correct, and tactically sound platform to work from. The men and women in law enforcement spend 8-12 hours a day in these vehicles. It is their office, safe haven, and sometimes lifeline. We do our best to ensure that these vehicles allow our first responders to go home to their families each day. We also have a vehicle repair department that does mechanical repairs on most makes and models, specializing in heating, air conditioning, and electrical troubleshooting. Our parts department handles air conditioner parts for most vehicles and emergency lighting for the safety industry. How did you get started in the business? - I worked for the Omaha Police Department as a mechanic and loved the fabrication side of the job. I started branching out into many special projects for the different divisions inside the OPD and got a reputation for being able to turn someone’s napkin drawing of a tool used in law enforcement into reality. I then became a department liaison, working with many outside vendors to develop specific items used in law enforcement. I retired after 27 years, and made the decision to go back to work for Jones Automotive 5 years ago. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Keeping up with the ever-changing technology in vehicles and the differences between each model year of car and truck. It sometimes seems that as soon as you get everything perfected the manufacturers change things around. At the same time this challenge is a big part of what I like about this job. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Being seen by the law enforcement community as someone that brings knowledge and expertise to the table that they use in making critical decisions. Tell us a little about your family. - I am married to my beautiful wife Joanie and have a 23-year-old daughter, Katti. My wife is a customer service manager for a gourmet food manufacturing company, Taste Traditions, and my daughter is a recent Creighton University grad who is a social worker for Completely KIDS, a local non-profit that specializes in helping children. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - My wife and I ride a touring motorcycle. Almost every weekend and during our vacation we take off and go somewhere. The bike we have now currently has 55,000 miles on it. We have travelled to 28 states so far and more are in the planning stages. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I love to cook, grill, and smoke all kinds of foods for friends and family. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I always wanted to be a professional race car driver. I tried for a few years but never got there. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Maria’s Mexican Restaurant in Ralston. Delicious food and we have a favorite waitress, Jen, who takes great care of us. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Call (402) 345-8383 or visit our website at


Daniel Cinotto is the Director of Facility Operations at FirstScan, the Omaha-based company that has introduced a revolutionary yet affordable non-invasive method for prostate cancer detection that’s now being sought out by men nationwide. Tell us a little about your business. - FirstScan is a new application of existing and proprietary MRI technology that is highly effective in the detection of most prostate cancers and is 100% non-invasive. This application is relatively new, so we are still in the process of sharing our research and the research of our peers. We are the first facility in the country to specialize exclusively on this application, and we are homegrown right here in Omaha!

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How did you get started in the business? - My background and education are in marketing and operations management. Early in my career I jumped around to different industries, including wholesale foodservice and office equipment, to see what I enjoyed the most. It seemed almost natural that I would be attracted to the healthcare space, so I interviewed with another local medical imaging facility, and I was off and running. I was lucky and was trained extremely well in that position which allowed me to continue on in the business. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? FirstScan has definitely been my biggest challenge. We have to change the standard of care when it comes to diagnosing prostate cancer, and that takes more than a smile and a handshake. This is also the first time I have started a medical imaging facility from the ground up. What has been your most important achievement professionally? I am one of just over 1,100 CRA’s (Certified Radiology Administrators) in the US, and have since been published in industry journals writing on topics such as marketing independent facilities and operations management. Opening and building FirstScan has been a career highlight as well. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - I remember working in office equipment sales early in my career, and a fellow salesperson and I were talking. I had been struggling with the job, the management, and the company we were working for. He had a friend who was in healthcare sales and said that he loved his job. My next job was in radiology! What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I have a huge soft spot for dogs, especially rescue dogs. I have three rescue dogs now, two pit bulls and some kind of small little thing (I am not quite sure what she is but she’s adorable). Owning dogs like this is quite the undertaking, and they require a LOT of training, but if you like spending time with dogs, training can be fun! What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - ‘A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.’ That got me through graduate school. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I like to think that I am a fairly decent guitar player. I’ve played since I was 7 or 8 years old. Most of my life outside of work revolves around music. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Via email at or they are also welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn ( dancinotto). Those who want to learn more about FirstScan and the procedure we offer may visit, call (402) 934-1999, or contact me directly. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business


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CENTRIS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Centris Federal Credit Union is a member owned financial institution providing a full array of loans and deposit products and services for consumers and businesses. Ann Helm is a Senior Vice President at Centris. Tell us a little about your business. - We are a full-service credit union with ten branches operating in the Omaha and Council Bluffs metro area, and one branch each in North Platte and Grand Island. We have been in operation since 1934 and pride ourselves on superior service, being member owned and that decisions are made locally. I oversee retail banking, marketing, facilities, human resources and our call center. How did you get started in the business? - Fifteen years ago I started my career in human resources at Centris. I’ve been fortunate to have been promoted to various positions within the credit union, allowing me to gain the knowledge needed to be in the role that I have today. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Balancing a growing career with expanding responsibilities, starting a family and now raising three very active young boys. Centris has been extraordinary as a family-friendly employer. I, like many other female executives, have experienced additional pressure to prove that a working mother can be supermom and a superstar employee. While this may be self-imposed, I want to show that I can do it all without skipping a beat. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - While it’s not measurable, I know I am having a positive impact on other women when they ask me how I get it all done. I love mentoring other females who are climbing the career ladder and showing them that it is possible to have a career and family. I pride myself on lending a hand up and mentoring other women so that they too can be successful in life. Tell us a little about your family. - I am married to a wonderful man I call my best friend and husband. We have three very active boys ages 7, 5, and 3. I have parents that love and adore their grandchildren and an older brother who used to torture me growing up but would now drop everything at a moment’s notice for my family and I. Family is important! What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - My dad had a couple different kinds of cancer when I was growing up. Be that as it may, he never chose a ‘woe is me’ attitude. Instead, he always believed that one’s destiny is within their control. I learned early to channel my energy on factors that I can control and to choose a positive attitude going through life. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - With or without kids? If it is without kids, I like to enjoy a warm meal, adult conversation and an adult beverage. If the day off is with kids then it would be attending a soccer, baseball, basketball or football game. What are you the most proud of? - Raising three boys who are kind to people. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Time travel! I would like to travel back into history and a little into the future, but not so far that I discover how I die. Which talent would you most like to have? - Patience with myself. I have superiorly high expectations of myself. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Happy by Pharrell Williams. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; Website:

JEFF Jeff White

AQUA SYSTEMS Aqua Systems has been helping people improve their water since 1959, servicing clients across Nebraska as part of a national company with over 300 dealers nationwide. Jeff White is the owner of Aqua Systems in Nebraska. Tell us a little about your business. - Aqua Systems is a water treatment company that specializes in water softeners, drinking water systems, water purification, problem water solutions and large scale water solutions for business and industry. In addition to water treatment solutions we provide bottle free water coolers and ice machines for homes and businesses. Our passion is to show people and businesses how to go bottle free and get rid of plastic water bottles. It is one thing to be passionate about recycling but we are passionate about waste elimination. How did you get started in the business? - I was a commercial loan officer for a local bank and one of my customers was in the water treatment business. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - The housing market crash. I will never forget August of 2008, the roughest month I have ever had in business. It was like someone disconnected our phone lines. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Likewise, having made it through the housing market crash. I had to make some difficult decisions about employees, overhead, etc. I even changed the way we were doing business by going to a format of having no commissioned sales people and putting our prices online. This has turned out to be one of the best business decisions I have ever made. The traditional way of doing business in the water industry is having inhome commissioned sales people. People feel much more comfortable with our approach. We encourage people to take our information and prices and shop the competition. There is no pressure to doing business with Aqua Systems. This has greatly increased our referral business. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Kris is a Guidance Counselor for Raymond Central Public Schools. My oldest son Ian is a senior at Raymond Central, Isaac is a freshman, Eli is a 7th grader, and our daughter Ellie is a 4th grader. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Leaving the 8-5 comfort zone of a banking career. I had a great job and worked with great people. However, I often worked with successful entrepreneurs and kept my eyes open for an opportunity to get out there and be an entrepreneur myself. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Coaching basketball. While I’ve coached my kids in a variety of sports, basketball is my favorite. What are you the most proud of? - Raising kids that have been taught to respect others and get involved. I have been involved in a lot of organizations and community events where I can give back. I see the same in my kids. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - ‘You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself to be.’ -Lou Holtz What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I am the Secretary/Treasurer of the Valparaiso Rural Fire Board. We just completed construction of a $1.6 million dollar fire hall and I’m proud I was able to contribute. This building will be a pillar to our small community for years to come. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 466-6800; Email:; Website:

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CARE CONSULTANTS FOR THE AGING Established in 1991, Care Consultants for the Aging is a home health registry with offices in Omaha and Lincoln, NE. Additionally, Care Consultants publishes its ElderCare Resource Handbook every two years, which is a valuable resource for seniors and their family members who live in each respective area. Lori Barrio is the Placement Coordinator at Care Consultants for the Aging’s Omaha office. Tell us a little about your business. - Care Consultants for the Aging recently celebrated its 25th year in business serving clients across Nebraska and Iowa. We connect seniors and those who are disabled in our community with the services and resources they need. How did you get started in the business? - I was previously employed as a medical assistant at a local facility with family practice and surgical offices. Six years ago I made a change to still work with seniors, but in a different capacity. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Leaving a position I held for 30 years. Change is hard. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Also staying at one job consistently for 30 straight years of my life. The younger generation might think I’m a dinosaur but I am proud of those three decades of service. Loyalty to employers seems to be something of the past now unfortunately. Tell us a little about your family. - I’m a ‘DINK,’ which as some of you might be familiar, is an old 80’s term for Double Income No Kids. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Loss of loved ones. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Gardening, baking, nesting. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I would have loved to have been a cop! What are you the most proud of? - Being married to a wonderful guy for 35 years and counting. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - ‘Not to sweat the small stuff,’ but I never seem to actually take it. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Loyal. If you could have one super power, what would it be? - To fly. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - Problem solving. Which talent would you most like to have? - Musical talent. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Again, I’d have to go with law enforcement, even in today’s troubled times. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I enjoy volunteering for my Neighborhood Association with group projects and meeting new people. It is always nice to be part of neighborhood improvements, plus it really helps keep me informed about what is going on in my little corner of the world. What is your favorite movie? - Out of Africa. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Dinker’s Bar, home of ‘Omaha’s Best Burger.’ I love bar food! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 398-1848 (Omaha office); Website:

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Jean Stothert is currently serving her first term as Mayor of the City of Omaha, and will campaign for re-election this year. Tell us a little about your career prior to being elected Mayor. - My background is in nursing. After I graduated from nursing school, I worked as a critical care nurse and later as head nurse and department head of cardiovascular surgery at St. Louis University Hospital. Working in the inner city, I took care of people in the worst possible situations you can imagine. When I became a head nurse, I managed about 40 nurses and seven surgeons. When my husband accepted a job in Omaha, our children were young and I decided not to return to work in a hospital. Instead, I volunteered in my children’s schools. I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Millard Board of Education, and then elected to subsequent terms. I served on the board for 11 years, including three as President. I then represented District 5 (southwest Omaha) on the Omaha City Council for one term before I was elected Mayor in 2013. What are your favorite aspects of this office/position? - Solving problems for our citizens, and I can do that every day. Whether I meet people at an event, a Town Hall, or interact on social media, they know I will listen and get an answer for them. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Running for Mayor and becoming the first women elected! I hope I am the first of many women to serve in this office. What do you consider to be your most important achievement as Mayor? - I am proud of many, but two stand out. First, we have increased the number of sworn police officers to a record high level, 860. In 2016, the number of homicides in Omaha fell to a 13-year low and the number of shootings fell to a 10-year low. Our police department works with our community partners every day to make Omaha a safe place to live. Second, a subject in the news right now is the preliminary increases in property valuations set by the Douglas County Assessor. Over the last two years, we have advocated for the taxpayer by reducing the property tax rate twice, once in 2015 and another cut that took effect this month. These are the first reductions in 14 years. I have pledged to push for a third reduction next year, in light of the large valuation increases many property owners will face. Citizens tell me every day that property taxes are too high, and I hear that. Tell us a little about your family. - My husband Joe is a trauma surgeon at Nebraska Medicine. We met in an intensive care unit in St. Louis and have been married 37 years with two children. Our daughter Elizabeth and her husband Tom live in Washington D.C. Elizabeth is a lobbyist for Union Pacific Railroad; Tom works for Amtrak. Our son, Dr. Andrew Stothert is also in D.C. doing a post-doctorate fellowship. His wife Alana is an elementary school teacher. Our pets are also part of the family. We have two dogs, Ozzy and Lily, and two cats, Charley and Ruby. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - A former superintendent of the Millard Public Schools always said we should talk less and listen more. I have always believed good leaders listen; they also hear what people are saying. Both are important. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Website:; Facebook: /jean.stothert; Twitter: @jean_stothert. Readers are welcome to view the extended version of this interview online at

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by Karl Schaphorst, President •

The Sales Manager: Ally or Enemy

Melinda knew that when the company hired her, it was instead of one of the salespeople, who had now become less than quiet about her displeasure. There was nothing that Cathy did that was negative or nasty, but the undercurrent of hostility was there. During the past three weeks, Cathy had done everything Melinda asked, but there was always an edge to it all. Actually, thought Melinda, Cathy turning in her prospecting report a day late, but completely filled out as no other salesperson had done, was an interesting way to zing me. How do I fault her? Tell her the report was a day late to hear how it took an extra day to fill it out properly, unlike anyone else? Do I praise her for handing in a complete report and then ask her to get it in on time next time? Then there was the sales meeting. During the salesperson-prospect role playing, she took the role of the salesperson and came up with a really unique way of uncovering the prospect’s pain. Everyone started using it, and the reports of success followed. One of the salespeople actually said to me, “Good thing Cathy wasn’t made manager; that technique she shared with us is terrific.” Like, what did that have to do with being sales manager? Does that mean I couldn’t come up with a good technique? I’ve got to do something about this now, before this gets worse. “Cathy,” said Melinda, as Cathy came back in the office from a sales call, “if we could talk for a few minutes, I’d appreciate it greatly.” “Sure,” responded Cathy, “let me drop this stuff off. Where do you want to talk?” Melinda replied, “Outside, it’s nice. We’ll take a walk around the building.” Ten minutes later, Melinda and Cathy met up outside. “Cathy, this isn’t easy for me; I realize you were the other finalist for this job. How do you suggest we go about working together now that the decision has been made? Tell me.” Cathy and Melinda walked for a minute or so before Cathy began talking. Later Melinda would come to think of this minute as one of her best management decisions. The RESULT: Melinda has made the first step in turning a hostile salesperson into an ally. Hostility in the office can take many forms. Fortunately, in most instances, it doesn’t become life-threatening. Unfortunately, it can become very destructive not only to the hostile person, but to everyone else. The trite phrase that “one bad apple can ruin a barrel” is true. Melinda could have reacted to Cathy’s perfect prospecting report by asking her to get it in on time. Cathy’s probable response would have been, “What’s more important, accurate information on which to base company resources or slipshod information?” Yes, that is a snappy retort, but that is not the point. Simply calling Cathy to task worsens the underlying resentment. Cathy gets to say what she is thinking. Now Melinda has to respond. Back and forth, back and forth. Cathy’s contribution to the sales meeting, though useful to the salespeople, is her way of getting them to choose whether they line up behind her or Melinda. The sales technique is valuable; the motivation for communicating that sales technique is hostility. If this situation is allowed to continue, Melinda, regardless of how good she might have been to the company, will be much less effective, even if she remains. She will spend more and more time dealing with hostility and resentment instead of doing her job—motivating increased sales. Engaging a hostile person in a fight never works. The war will go on for as long as either of you are there. Yes, you can win a battle, but then you know about the war. Who wins the next skirmish? This is precisely what everyone in the office is waiting to see. If they are waiting for the outcome, that is time and mental energy not being used to make sales. You don’t have to become the hostile person’s friend. You need to engage her energy in what you are both there to do; make sales, not war. Simply ask “How do you suggest we do that?” 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


Downtown YMCA Announces New Executive Director Brandon Brugger

Five Nines Introduces Newest Engineer Prince Gupta

The YMCA of Greater Omaha is pleased to announce and introduce Brandon Brugger as Executive Director of the Downtown YMCA.

Five Nines is pleased to announce the hiring of Prince Gupta to the Tier 2 team in its Omaha office. Gupta recently graduated from Bellevue University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Gupta brings with him extensive knowledge and background on servers and cybersecurity functions, and his experience will help to strengthen the Tier 2 central team.

An Omaha native, Brandon is returning to his hometown after most recently serving as senior program director at the Fort Wayne YMCA in Indiana, where he oversaw membership and wellness. He has also worked for the YMCA in Wichita, Kansas as fitness director. “Omaha has always been home to me, even after being away for almost 10 years. It’s nice to be back and have the chance to work in the community and have a positive impact on it,” Brugger stated. “The Downtown YMCA has a bright future and the staff is amazing. It’s amazing to see the wide range of cultures that are inside our walls here at the YMCA. You can’t find that anywhere else, and that’s what sets us apart from other facilities.” Brugger received his BS in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and MS in Exercise Science from Western Kentucky University. Established in 1866, the YMCA of Greater Omaha provides a variety of programs that support educational achievement, health/wellness, chronic disease intervention, early childhood education, summer day camp, water safety, refugee assimilation, special needs integration and family programs. Its geographic scope covers four counties in a twostate area: Douglas and Sarpy Counties in Nebraska; and Mills and Pottawattamie Counties in Iowa, with 10 total locations. Learn more at

Nebraska Home Sales Expands to Omaha, Welcomes Camilla Knapp and Kiley Hansen Nebraska Home Sales is pleased to welcome Camilla Knapp and Kiley Hansen to the Omaha team. Knapp’s business foundation is based on a few very simple principles. Passion for what she does, accountability to whom she does it for, excellence in service and result driven. She practices Real Estate in the greater Omaha area with everything from condos to acreages. When asked what her specialty is she always answers: Relationships! Connecting with her clients is what she loves.

Camilla Knapp

Growing up in Omaha Hansen learned firsthand how great this community is, and why we love to call it home. She is excited to be a part of the wonderful group at Nebraska Home Sales and to help people find the special property that is perfect for them. Nebraska Home Sales is a locally owned and operated full service real estate company. Nebraska Home Sales is Lincoln’s Kiley Hansen top producing agent owned real estate company and is excited to announce their expansion to the Omaha market. Nebraska Home Sales carefully selects its agents, who have achieved some of the Lincoln’s highest real estate volumes and have established a reputation as individuals of dedication, integrity, and personalized service. Full service and expert agents are what sets the company apart.

“To say that we’re excited to have Prince on our team would be an understatement. Not only does Prince bring a wealth of technical experience, he has this drive to him that’s so difficult to find sometimes,” said Michael Swyers, Operations Team Manager at Five Nines. “We’re lucky to have Prince and I’m excited to see where he goes within our organization.” Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. With offices in Lincoln, Omaha & Kearney, Five Nines advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska based businesses, offering Managed IT Services. Through its unique service model, Five Nines’ clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. Learn more at:

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Announces Two New Board Members Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS; is pleased to welcome two new members to its all-volunteer Board of Directors. Raphael Maldonado III serves as Talent Acquisition Manager for Omaha Steaks where he directs company-wide recruiting activities for all positions. Maldonado is both a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Maldonado is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he completed his military Raphael Maldonado III career as a First Sergeant providing general supervision for 325 personnel. Rosemary Ohles grew up in Malaysia and earned a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree, with a major in accounting and economics from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She recently completed a seven-year term on the board of trustees of Augsburg Fortress, the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Ohles is a member of First Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. In prior years she worked for Riggs Bank in Rosemary Ohles Washington, D.C. and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Rockville, Maryland. Both Maldonado and Ohles were elected to three-year terms ending December 31, 2019. Current slate of board members: Susan Lewis, Chair; Debbie Fraser, Vice Chair; Kim Sucha, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair; Andy Massey, Chair, Governance Committee; Christopher Tonniges, Chair, Program Committee; Dr. Mary Reckmeyer, Executive Committee Member-at-Large; Bishop Brian D. Maas; Rev. Richard Snow; Anthony Anderson; Linda Daugherty; Stuart J. Dornan; Connie Duncan; Gwendolynn F. Edwards; Alicia Hoffman; Bradley D. Holtorf; Rafael Maldonado III; Christina Marroquin; Rosemary Ohles. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business 25

PERSONNEL NEWS The Lerner Company Announces New Associate Broker Sara Hanke Sara Hanke has joined The Lerner Company team as Associate Broker. Her background in commercial real estate, management and financial services allows her to connect with clients to determine their needs and effectively execute strategies. Hanke will fit seamlessly into the Lerner team with her customer-first attitude and work ethic. She diligently advocates for her clients and is a trusted professional throughout each real estate transaction. Originally from the Midwest, Hanke received her Bachelors in English from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She holds a Real Estate License in Nebraska and is a member of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, Nebraska Realtors Association, and National Association of Realtors. Hankealso enjoys giving back to the community and is actively involved in the Junior League of Omaha. The Lerner Company is a full service real estate company located in Omaha, Nebraska. Its services include development, leasing and sales, management, investment sales, and tenant representation. Latest development projects include Settlers Creek Shopping Center and West Village Pointe mixed use development. Brokerage services specializes in retail real estate and provides tenant representation for more than 50 prominent national and regional retailers. For more information, visit or call (402) 330-5480.

Deanna Strable-Soethout Named Chief Financial Officer of Principal Financial Group® As part of the planned succession process, Principal Financial Group® has announced that, in preparation for the retirement of current chief financial officer and executive vice president Terry J. Lillis in April 2017, Deanna D. Strable-Soethout will assume the role of chief financial officer effective February 14, 2017. In addition, she is promoted to executive vice president of Principal® effective immediately. She will retain her current position as president of United States Insurance Solutions until her successor is named. In addition to her role within Principal, Strable-Soethout currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors for LIMRA LOMA Global (LL Global, Inc) and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Simpson College. She also serves on various committees for United Way of Central Iowa and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). A native of Iowa, Strable-Soethout received her Bachelor’s degree with a double major in mathematics and economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She joined the United States Insurance Solutions in 1990 as an actuarial assistant, and was subsequently promoted to hold several prominent positions with the company before being named president in 2015. Strable-Soethout is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Principal helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset management solutions that fit their lives. To find out more, visit Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.


Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

Leland Rupp Joins Thiele Geotech, Inc. Thiele Geotech, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska is pleased to announce that Leland Rupp, P.E. has joined the firm as their Environmental Department Manager based in Omaha. Rupp brings over 23 years of experience to Thiele Geotec h, Inc. that includes environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, geophysical engineering, instrumentation, and materials testing. He is primarily responsible for managing and growing the environmental department along with other sectors of the company’s business. Thiele Geotech, Inc. is a consulting engineering firm specializing in geotechnical, material, and environmental engineering. The firm serves a diverse set of clients that include architects, engineers, public agencies, developers, contractors, and material suppliers. The company delivers engineering services throughout the Midwest and U. S. from its offices in Omaha, Nebraska and Des Moines, Iowa. For more information, visit or call (402) 556-2171.

American Institute of Architects Nebraska Board Elected The American Institute of Architects, Nebraska Chapter (www.aiane. org), announces the election of its 2017 Board of Directors. President, Dave Johnson, AIA, Studio 951; President-Elect, Jeff Monzu, AIA, Leo A Daly; Secretary, Vanessa Schutte, AIA, DLR Group; Treasurer, Gregory Galbreath, AIA, RDG Planning and Design. Directors: Kate Hier, AIA, The Clark Enersen Partners; Dan Grass, AIA, Sinclair Hille Architects. Associate directors: Brenda Nelson, associate AIA, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture; Lisa Bell, associate AIA, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture and Past President Barb Gay, AIA, NPPD. The American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society.

Berry Law Firm Welcomes Andrew Strotman Andrew Strotman – a former judge advocate of the Marine Corps – has joined the Berry Law Firm, adding his years of white-collar advocacy to the firm’s repertoire. Berry Law Firm of Nebraska welcomes its latest addition, Andrew Strotman, to the firm, a lawyer with a military background and a strong reputation for handling white-collar criminal cases and civil litigation involving the government. Strotman served ten years in the Marine Corps, first as an infantry officer and later as a judge advocate. He graduated summa cum laude from the Creighton University School of Law. As a trial defense counsel at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Strotman participated in the defense of several high-profile cases involving charges ranging from homicide to capital espionage. Following his Marine Corps service, he practiced 26 years at a large Nebraska firm as a criminal and civil litigator, as well as the firm’s general counsel. Today, Strotman focuses heavily on white-collar criminal cases and parallel civil or administrative proceedings. His clients are typically businesses, their owners or officers, government officials, or medical or legal professionals. “I am excited to be a part of the Berry Law Firm tradition and to continue to serve those who serve,” Strotman says. To learn more about Andrew Strotman and Berry Law Firm, inquiring parties are encouraged to visit the firm’s website (

PERSONNEL NEWS Steven Wolf of JEO Consulting Group Elected to Association’s National Board of Directors

INSPRO Insurance Hires Additional Account Executives

JEO Consulting Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that Steven Wolf, MCP3, has been elected to serve on the board of directors for the USA affiliate of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).

INSPRO Insurance is proud to announce the hiring of four new account executives in 2016.

Steven is the director of JEO’s community engagement department, which provides public outreach and involvement services, facilitation, organizational communication strategy, training, and public advocacy campaign support. He holds a master of public administration, has been in the public participation profession for more than 36 years, and was first of three in North America to receive the IAP2 Master Certified Public Participation Professional (MCP3) designation. IAP2 USA has nearly 1,000 members, and the IAP2 federation has over 4,500 members worldwide. As part of his three-year term on the IAP2 USA board of directors, Steven will focus on expanding awareness of this professional industry practice within the broader marketplace, expanding the certification program, and routine organizational governance. JEO Consulting Group primarily serves municipal, county, state agencies, and natural resource district clients from its eight offices throughout Nebraska and two offices in Iowa. For more information about JEO Consulting Group, visit

Julie Sigmon Appointed to Lead Development of Omaha STEM Ecosystem Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and the University of Nebraska at Omaha have hired Julie Sigmon to fulfill the newly created role of Omaha STEM Ecosystem director. The Omaha STEM Ecosystem is a citywide partnership to maximize science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based learning initiatives in the Greater Omaha area. Its mission is to encompass a rich array of STEM learning opportunities that ensure our community is meeting the future goals for STEM talent in the workplace. The ecosystem, with support from local businesses, academic and sciencebased cultural institutions, will provide schools and youth organizations with increased or expanded learning opportunities for students to be successful in the areas of scientific thinking, examining potential career paths and extend their educational achievements based on their STEM interests or those of a related field. Sigmon’s responsibilities as director include providing ongoing leadership for the Omaha STEM Ecosystem, increase STEM activities and events across the city, engage new partners to grow the ecosystem, build community support, as well as build closer relationships between schools and the community. More than 30 organizations have already come together to assist in the growth of this effort, including Omaha Public Schools, Gallup, Union Pacific Railroad, Collective for Youth, United Way of the Midlands, AIM Institute, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. More information about the Omaha STEM Ecosystem can be found on Facebook at

All have the responsibilities of sales production and service for all lines of insurance for current and new clients.

Travis Stingley

Mitchell Walker

Tr a v i s S t i n g l ey joined the INSPRO Omaha office as an account executive in May of 2016. Stingley has 13 years of experience in the Drew Wimer James Boesen insurance industry. This experience includes four years in claims, three years in operations training, and six years in sales. Stingley is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in 2002 and Master of Arts in 2004. A new addition to INSPRO’s Fremont location is Mitchell Walker. Walker started interning for INSPRO in January of 2016. After graduating from Midland University, Fremont, in the spring with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, he was promoted to the account executive position. Before joining INSPRO, Walker gained experience at First National Bank as a capital markets/wealth management intern as well as at Lutz as an auditing/tax intern. Walker is originally from Omaha. While attending Midland University in Fremont, he was a member of the Midland Golf Team. Drew Wimer began working at INSPRO in 2004 as a customer service representative while attending college. After graduating from Wayne State College in 2009, he began working for Rain & Hail Insurance Company as a claims auditor in crop claims. He rejoined INSPRO in September and is now an account executive in INSPRO’s West Point office. Wimer is originally from West Point and a 2005 graduate of West Point Central Catholic. He is a member of West Point Rescue, Knights of Columbus, St. Mary’s Church and West Point Sportsman Club. James Boesen joined the INSPRO Omaha office as an account executive in November of 2016. Boesen graduated from the University of Nebraska - College of Law in 2011 where he specialized in Civil Litigation. Boesen has previous insurance experience as a litigation attorney. Boesen is an Omaha native, graduate of Millard South High School in 2004 and Creighton University in 2008. He is also a member of the Omaha Bar Association. INSPRO is an independently owned insurance agency providing commercial and personal insurance, group benefits and bonds. INSPRO has offices in Fremont, Lincoln, Omaha, Wahoo, West Point and West Des Moines, Iowa. Visit for more information. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business



NP Dodge Real Estate Welcomes Eight NP Dodge Real Estate (npdodge. com) is proud to announce their newest sales associates: Jodie Weaver has joined the Fremont sales team at 1037 E. 23rd St. in Fremont, NE. Brittni Edgell has rejoined the Iowa sales team at 1032 Woodbury Ave, Council Bluffs, IA. Rebecca Maw has joined the 204Dodge sales team at 613 N . 2 0 4 t h Ave . C r. , O m a h a , NE. Rebecca has wor ked in real estate for over 19 years. She is a new member of Completely Kids Guild. J e a n M a h o n ey, a member of the Omaha Real Estate Shop, joined the Sarpy County office at 4912 Shannon Drive, Papillion, NE. Jean has worked in real estate for over 17 years. She has a Seniors Real Estate Specialists® or SRES® designation.

C&A Industries, Inc. Hires Fred Froehlich as Chief Financial Officer C&A Industries, a national leader in staffing and recruitment and parent company to a portfolio of specialized staffing firms - Aureus Group, Aureus Medical Group, AurStaff, and Celebrity Staff - announces the hiring of Fred Froehlich as chief financial officer.

Jodie Weaver

Brittni Edgell

In his role, he will be responsible for financial management of the organization, including direct oversight of financial planning and analysis, risk management, accounting, and tax reporting. Froehlich began his career in public accounting with Ernst & Young. Prior to joining C&A, he held various senior leadership positions with global companies, leveraging his expertise in finance, accounting, project management, risk management, and corporate governance. Froehlich earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Internal Auditor, and holds an Associate in Risk Management designation.

Rebecca Maw

Jean Mahoney

C&A Industries is headquartered in Omaha, NE. For more information, please call (402) 891-0009 or visit

Officers Elected for Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska

Rachael Dvorak

Pepper Wunch

Rachael Dvorak, a member of The Jacobsen Group, has joined the Judy Varner Rebecca Hillmer 108Dodge office at 601 N. 108th Cr., Omaha, NE. Rachael was the marketing and transaction coordinator for The Jacobsen Group and has obtained her Nebraska real estate license. Pepper Wunch, a member of the Omaha Home Equity Group, has joined the 108Dodge office at 601 N. 108th Cr., Omaha, NE.

The Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska (IIAN) elected new officers at the association’s 109th Annual Convention on Oct. 26 in Kearney. K ra e E . D u t o i t , executive director Krae E. Dutoit and principal with Gary Thompson Agency in Grand Island, was elected as IIAN’s president. Prior to joining the agency, he was an underwriter for Principal Financial Group. Dutoit earned his bachelor’s degree from Hastings College majoring in business administration. He has served as IIAN’s vice president and secretary-treasurer, and as chairman of the association’s Finance committee.

J. Greg Zimmer, Jr.

Rebecca Hillmer, a member of the Omaha Real Estate Shop, joined the Sarpy County office at 4912 Shannon Drive, Papillion, NE.

J. Greg Zimmer, Jr., principal and producer Sandra E. Ryks with Zimmer Insurance Group in Lincoln, is IIAN’s new vice president. Zimmer is a past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Lincoln.

Judy Varner has joined the 108Dodge sales team at 601 N. 108th Cr., Omaha, NE. She has teamed up with fellow agent Deanne Fairfield. Judy was past president and CEO of the Nebraska Humane Society. In the past she has been a part of the Honors Court-Aksarben and Woman of the Year from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

Sandra E. Ryks was elected IIAN’s secretary-treasurer. Ryks has been a producer and account executive with UNICO Group in La Vista since 2004. Ryks is a past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Omaha, and was named IIAN’s Young Agent of the Year in 2006.

All Nebraska agents are members of the Omaha Area Board of REALTORS® and Great Plains REALTORS® MLS.. 28 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

For more information about the Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska, please visit or call (402) 476-2951.


Omaha Attorney Allison Hardy Elected Partner at Stinson Leonard Street

Jennifer Serkiz Appointed to Lead Cass County Nebraska Economic Development Council

Stinson Leonard Street LLP is proud to announce that Allison Hardy has been elected partner, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Hardy practices in the firm’s Omaha office.

The Cass County Nebraska Economic Development Council (CCNEDC), part of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s economic development partnership, has appointed Jennifer Serkiz as its next executive director. She is responsible for the promotion of economic development activities in Cass County effective Jan. 3, 2017.

Allison Hardy practices in the in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities and general business law. She represents publicly- and privately-held companies and private equity and venture capital funds with respect to issuance of securities, mergers, acquisitions, joint venture and financing transactions. She also has experience in the areas of executive employment arrangements and general corporate, contracting work, periodic reporting and securities law compliance. Hardy is a member of the Junior League of Omaha. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Creighton University. Stinson Leonard Street LLP provides sophisticated transactional and litigation services to clients ranging from individuals and privately held enterprises to national companies and international public corporations. We blend a collaborative environment with deep legal knowledge to deliver premium value on each matter and a rewarding experience to each client. Stinson Leonard Street has offices in 13 U.S. locations. Learn more at

Young Professionals Assume Leadership Positions With Omaha Society of FSP Brandon Dirkschneider CFP, Chase Weaver AIF CFA, Josh Burnett CRPS, and Corby Mastalir CLU (pictured L to R) will now serve on the Omaha S o c i e t y o f F S P ’s Board of Directors and are among the Society’s 612 young professional members (age 40 and under). Other Chapter Board members include: Al Kerkhove JD, Immediate Past President; Tom Fridrich JD ChFC CLU, Vice President; Jay Killgore, Secretary/Treasurer; Rocky Bedi CFP ChFC CLU, Director; Adrian LapeBrinkman CPA, Director; Dewey Meyer CLU LUTCF RICP, Director; and Rob Wellendorf CLU CAP AEP Chapter Advisor. In making a concerted effort to expand its outreach to a younger generation, FSP has drastically reduced its annual membership dues rate for professionals aged 40 and younger. Founded in 1928, the Society of Financial Service Professionals is the standard bearer for excellence in professionalism, advanced continuing education, and ethical guidance for the nation’s top financial advisers. The Society has approximately 10,000 members, each of whom holds or is pursuing one or more of the following recognized financial service credentials: CASL®, CEBS®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC®, CIMA®, CLF®, CLU®, CPA, CPC, CPCU, CTFA, Enrolled Actuary, JD, MBA, MSFS/MSM, REBC, RHU®, Graduate Degrees in Financial Services. FSP can introduce young professionals to a community of credentialed advisors such as attorneys, CPAs, insurance professionals, financial planners and other professionals while providing access to timely education resources for lasting success. For more information about the Omaha Society of FSP, visit or call (402) 210-9446.

“Cass County is poised for growth,” said Serkiz. “I am looking forward to working in the place I call home to bring great new jobs to the community.” Prior to this appointment, Serkiz worked for the Greater Omaha Chamber as a business development specialist and was responsible, before that, for managing the Chamber’s workforce and talent development strategy. In her new position, Serkiz will focus on retaining existing businesses, attracting new businesses, creating new jobs and expanding current business and industry in Cass County. In addition to her work with the Greater Omaha Chamber, Serkiz worked as an administrative associate with the Plattsmouth Chamber of Commerce. A resident of Cass County, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Bellevue University.

University of Nebraska Foundation Appoints Troy Wilhelm as Chief Financial Officer The University of Nebraska Foundation has appointed Troy Wilhelm as its chief financial officer overseeing the nonprofit organization’s finance and accounting functions. Wilhelm most recently was chief financial officer at University of Minnesota Physicians. His professional experience includes a variety of executive leadership positions for public and private corporations, including accounting and finance, human resources, information technology and customer satisfaction. He has significant experience in the health care industry. Wilhelm has returned to Nebraska, where he previously spent more than 25 years, including 10 years as chief financial officer for UNMC Physicians in Omaha. Other positions he held include vice president for information technology and processes at Lozier Corporation and a variety of roles for Inacom Corporation. A graduate of Indiana University in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wilhelm is also a University of Nebraska parent, with one child who graduated from the university and one who’s currently attending it. The University of Nebraska Foundation ( is an independent, nonprofit organization that raises private gifts to support the University of Nebraska. During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, donors provided the university with $228.9 million for scholarships, academic programs, medical and other research, faculty support and facilities. Each year, more than 99 percent of gifts are designated by donors for a specific university purpose. Our Students, Our Future is the foundation’s current initiative to secure broad support for students. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business 29


Nebraska Community Foundation: New Resources for the New Year This past December was one for the record b o o k s fo r generous Nebraskans. D o n o r s made 1,901 contributions, the second highest in a single month ever, to Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds. Some major gifts boosted the overall total for a single month far past previous milestones. NCF received $7.4 million in December 2016. Thanks to all of the hardworking volunteers, generous donors, and everyone who is dreaming big for 2017! Now is the perfect time to check out NCF’s new resource for planning and protecting family financial wellbeing into the future. More than half of American adults don’t have a will or other estate plan in place. Visit to download or request a free wills guide. It’s full of useful information and templates to record your family’s information, accounts, assets, liabilities and charitable intentions. The new “Planning Your Legacy” guide is a tool to plan for providing for your family and supporting the community you care about. Nebraska Community Foundation ( is a statewide 501(c)(3) organization using charitable giving to build prosperous communities. NCF provides training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management to volunteer leaders of community-based, organizational and donor-advised funds serving more than 250 hometowns.

MLCDC Releases Strategic Plan, Brings Two on Full-Time Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation’s Board of Directors has approved its strategic plan for 2017-19. One of the strategic goals included in the plan is to develop and provide the best loan program to meet the needs of low-income minority businesses in Greater Omaha area that lack access to banks. To meet this goal, MLCDC has announced plans to become a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by September 2017 and an SBA lender by December 2017. In addition, MLCDC projects the start of lending in rural areas near Omaha by June 2018. Furthermore, MLCDC will capitalize its loan fund to $1,500,000, including the use of federal funds and other loan programs that support micro lending. MLCDC has also approved transitioning two current staff members from part-time to full-time positions. The expansion of their roles will support the escalation of lending activities, loans originations and servicing activity that is expected to result from the completion of Las Americas Global Market and the increased level of development services needed to help small businesses become established and grow. Marcela Morales, Business Development and Micro-Lending Coordinator and Maria Feijoo, Projects Development Director, started working full-time at MLCDC in January 2017. For more information about MLCDC and the work this local non-profit organization is doing in the Omaha Metro area, please call (402) 9334466 or visit 30 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc. Receives $50K Grant From First National Bank of Omaha Family Housing Advisory Services has been awarded a $50,000 grant from First National Bank of Omaha, which also operates as First National Bank Fremont and First National Bank North Platte. It was among 51 organizations to be awarded a Community Development grant. Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc.’s mission is to improve the quality of life and eliminate poverty by helping people achieve housing stability and financial security. This funding will help: Develop financially-wise consumers through education and coaching; Encourage residents to build wealth through financial incentives and matched savings; Prepare foster care youth to financially transition to adulthood; Promote the claiming of tax credits through quality volunteer tax return preparation with a goal of providing educational tools and community resources for family asset development; and alleviate poverty through tax credits. For information about the program and services offered by Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc., please visit Together we change lives!

The Hope Earns Four-Star Rating From Charity Navigator The Hope Center for Kids earned the highest rating of four out of four possible stars from Charity Navigator, the leading nonprofit corporation that evaluates charities in the United States. This coveted rating demonstrates strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Out of the thousands of organizations evaluated, only one quarter of charities have achieved this distinction. According to Charity Navigator, “The Hope’s rating demonstrates to its supporters that it takes fiduciary and governance responsibilities very seriously.” For nearly 20 years, The Hope Center for Kids has faithfully inspired hope in the lives of youth and children through education, employability, collaboration and faith. The Hope Center for Kids­­– Omaha provides strengths-based programming and nutrition, as well as a safe place for fun and relationship-building. The Hope–Fremont opened in 2014, with both locations serving more than 2,700 youth, children and families annually. The Hope–Omaha is currently seeking mentors for youth in 2017. Other volunteer opportunities are also available, as well as summer and fall event sponsorships for The Hope Golf Classic (June 12) and The Hope Gala (October 20). Learn more at or call (402) 341-4673.


Donations From Excel Physical Therapy Benefit Pink Bandana, Lydia House

Dance to the Beat Fundraiser to Support Jennie Edmundson Foundation

Excel Physical Therapy ( is pleased to announce the success of their Breast Cancer Month fundraiser to support Pink Bandana and record-setting donation from this year’s Channel 94.1 Diaper Drive benefitting Lydia House. In October, each Excel employee paid $10 for a pink Excel t-shirt and an additional $10 to wear jeans each Friday during the month. After collecting $1,530, Excel’s owners matched that amount for a total of $3,060 that was donated to Pink Bandana. Pink Bandana is a local breast cancer non-profit whose mission is to increase awareness and help young women affected by breast cancer financially. The organization sponsors several sporting events including its signature July mud volleyball tournament in Prague, Nebraska that attracts over 250 teams. Each year for the past 14 years, Excel’s clinics collect diapers from their patients and team members in November and December. After the collection, Excel’s owners match that amount. This year, the Excel team collected a record 26,609 diapers and after their owner’s match, a total of 53,218 diapers were donated to the Lydia House. They beat their previous record by over 20,000 diapers! Excel would like to thank all their patients and friends who helped make this life-changing collection possible for the Lydia House. For more information about Excel Physical Therapy’s community outreach efforts, contact: Lindsay Grove, (402) 330-8433 or lindsaygrove@

The Jennie Edmundson Foundation proudly presents Dance to the Beat, a concert fundraiser to benefit cardiovascular patients at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital.

Kwik Shop Raises More Than $30K for Heartland Family Service Programs Kwik Shop raised $30,173.41 as part of its seventh annual “Make a Difference with a Dollar” competitive fundraising campaign this past fall. From Oct. 6-Nov. 6, 2016, employees invited their customers to donate a dollar with their purchases to help support the clients of Heartland Family Service. Kwik Shop also held two car washes with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the campaign. In seven years, Kwik Shop’s “Make a Difference with a Dollar” campaign has raised a grand total of $229,091.29 for children and families in our community. “Our customers seem to enjoy giving to a good cause,” says David Guillory, Regional Operations for Kwik Shop, Inc. Kwik Shop customers are awesome!” Because Kwik Shop’s business is related to auto ownership, the fundraiser contributes to the Heartland Family Service Ways to Work program, which offers low-interest auto loans to working families with challenging credit in Omaha, Council Bluffs and the surrounding area. Proceeds from stores in Fremont will go toward supporting the Heartland Family Service Jefferson House Children’s Shelter and Group Home, which serves youth in and near Dodge County. “The work the Kwik Shop organization does makes it possible for Heartland Family Service to continue to assist families to become financially self-sufficient,” Ways to Work Program Director Lisa Picker says.

Hosted by the Heart Care Center and Dr. Tom and Becky Brandt, the event will be held on February 24th from 7:00-11:00 p.m. at Corpus Christi Parish Activity Center (formerly Queen of Apostles), located at 3304 4th Avenue in Council Bluffs. Featuring the band Taxi Driver, tickets are $30 per person, which includes the concert and light appetizers. Amazing raffle prizes included two roundtrip airfare vouchers, Disney Park Hopper passes, gift certificates and much more! For more information or to purchase your tickets, please call Rachel at (712) 396-6040. Tickets will be available at the door. The Jennie Edmundson Foundation is the fundraising arm of Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. By engaging philanthropic leaders, those with the organization are able to help make certain that the equipment, facilities, programs, services and educational initiatives at MJE continue to meet community needs. For more information about the JE Foundation and how you can get involved visit

Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha to Host Open House Visit Ronald McDonald H o u s e Charities in Omaha (RMHC) on T h u r s d ay, February 23 between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for their Open House! Take a guided tour of the House to get a closer look at everything they do for the families staying there. Be sure to stop by the fun photo booth, too! Appetizers will be provided. RMHC in Omaha provides a home away from home for families who travel to Omaha so their children can receive life-saving medical care at area hospitals. RMHC offers warm beds, hot showers, homecooked meals, laundry facilities, playrooms, and a playground – all the essentials of home. Additionally, they have a built-in support system where families are able to connect with each other, forming an interdependent network of resources and collaboration. When families stay with RMHC in Omaha, they have a community of supporters willing to rally around them, so they can fight and heal together. The cost to provide these services is approximately $120 per night, per family, and no family is ever turned away if they are unable to pay the $15 suggested donation. The Ronald McDonald House is located at 620 S. 38th Avenue. For more information on the Open House, contact Emily Mozer at or call (402) 346-9377. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business 31

NON-PROFIT NEWS Completely KIDS Announces New Board Members

BBB Expands Reach With “ReBUILD With TRUST” Initiative

Completely KIDS has announced its new board members for 2017:

Disasters can happen without war ning. Whether it’s a tornado, flood, fire or winter storm - all can wreak havoc physically, financially and emotionally, and the “Heartland” receives its share of trouble! BBB’s newest initiative, the “ReBUILD with TRUST” booklet, was developed in cooperation with the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas. It is a printed hand-out to help survivors of disasters rebuild their homes, businesses, towns and lives without the fear of being scammed. Now, disaster survivors can begin a safer recovery by using this booklet. In 2016, The American Red Cross serving Omaha and Council Bluffs selected this project for their Community Preparedness Award. It was also been chosen for this year’s “Citizen Corps Partner Program of the Year” award by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency for making strides in reaching out to other agencies, organizations and communities in order to foster resiliency after a disaster. This year, BBB plans to make “ReBUILD with TRUST” a national program that will be adopted and promoted by all BBBs across the U.S. and Canada. It is also posted on BBB’s website at, and it can be accessed on mobile devices, laptops and tablets. If you would like a printed copy of the booklet, contact BBB at (800) 649-6814. It can be used anytime, anywhere for a safer recovery!

Kate Brownrigg, Guild President; Laura Fender, Senior Vice President Enterprise Reporting & Analysis, Mutual of Omaha; Teddi Kennedy, Community Volunteer; Kacey Lempka, Community Volunteer; Jenny Mickeliunas, Senior Manager, Deloitte; Wendy Whalen, Assistant Vice President Supply Chain, Union Pacific. Completely KIDS ensures that its families have access to the knowledge and skills necessary to break the cycle of poverty. The agency’s mission is to educate and empower kids and families to create a safe, healthy, successful and connected community. In supporting this mission, Completely KIDS assists more than 2,000 children and families each year in overcoming barriers to their success. For more information about Completely KIDS, please call (402) 397-5809 or visit

Outlook Nebraska Names Ben Micek 2017 Associate of the Year, Nominates Alan Halverson for National Award Outlook Nebraska (, a nonprofit organization that empowers anyone in the community facing vision loss, is proud to announce that Ben Micek has been recognized as the 2017 Associate of the Year. The award honors individuals who excel in their position, while demonstrating the ONI core values of trust, collaboration, respect and growth. Micek joined the ONI team in 2005 and is among the group of ONI associates with the longest organizational tenure. He is part of the accounting team and handles all outgoing customer payments, accounting inquiries and assists with other financial projects. According to his peers, Micek is a very reliable individual with a perfect attendance record. He challenges himself each day to continue his personal and professional growth. Micek has earned the trust and respect of coworkers, customers and vendors because of his effort to go the extra mile to get the job done and help others.

Radio Talking Book Service Introduces New Programming for Nebraska’s 150th Year Ben Micek

Alan Halverson

Micek has demonstrated his leadership skills by mentoring another co-worker. He volunteers to help with tours, serves on the Outlook Nebraska Safety Committee and is a first responder. He also is a member of the Omaha Jaycees and is an advocate of the ONI mission. Outlook Nebraska has also announced the nomination of Alan Halverson for the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) Peter J. Salmon Award. This award honors employees who excel in their positions at NIB-associated agencies. Halverson has been with ONI since 2013 and is the organization’s janitorial maintenance associate. He always is willing to lend a helping hand to his fellow associates. Whether it is assisting ONI’s tissue converting department or volunteering at Enrichment Program events, Halverson goes above and beyond his job responsibilities and always wears a smile. According to his peers, Halverson is honest, kind and dependable. 32 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

To celebrate Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial, a new weekly program on Radio Ta l k i n g B o o k N e t w o r k features volunteers reading from the new book by David Hendee entitled Nebraska, 150 Years Told Through 93 Counties. Each installment is about the history, people and landmarks of one of Nebraska’s counties. RTBN vo l u n t e e r s w i l l a l s o b e reading excerpts from the Nebraska 150 list during the Bookshelf Hour: MondayFriday at 1 p.m. Then, tune in for Community Conversations each Friday at noon for live interviews, and The Veteran’s Hour Saturday at 2 p.m., which features stories about Nebraska and Iowa veterans. Radio Talking Book Service, Nebraska’s Audio Companion, was founded in 1974 and provides human-voiced print information for individuals with visual or physical disabilities that prevent them from reading printed material. 24/7 programming includes daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and books, and preprogramed radios are provided to individuals or care facilities at NO cost. Please call or visit the website if someone you know would enjoy listening to RTBN. You may apply to become a volunteer reader, check out the program guide, or listen to RTBN via the website. For more information, please visit or contact Jane Nielsen at (402) 572-3003 or

NON-PROFIT NEWS Nebraska Girl Scouts Giving Away New Car To celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, the Spirit of Nebraska council is giving away a 2017 Toyota RAV4 known as the Cookie Car. The prize was made possible through a donation by Baxter Toyota La Vista. The contest is designed to help girls reach their Cookie Program sales goals. Although no purchase is required to register for a chance to win the car, a special code is needed to enter. The way people acquire the code is from a Girl Scout during the cookie sale. To find a Cookie Booth near you, use the cookie locator at or call the Cookie Hotline: (877) 6364684. Register to win and see complete Girl Scout Cookie Car contest rules at The RAV4 will be awarded by random drawing at the conclusion of the Cookie Program. Purchasing Girl Scout Cookies is an important investment in Nebraska girls. All of the proceeds stay in the state to benefit the local Girl Scout council and its 21,000 girl and adult members. Girls use their funds for their many troop activities, including community service projects. Girl Scout Cookies go on sale February 3 with Cookie Booths opening statewide on February 10. Cookies will be sold through March 5. The 2017 Girl Scout Cookie line-up: S’mores, Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Shortbread, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Thanks-a-Lot, Lemonades (all still $4.00 per box/package) and gluten-free Trios ($5.00 per package).

Omaha Home for Boys Announces 2017 Board of Directors Omaha Home for Boys recently announced its 2017 Board of D i r e c t o r s. T h e officers are: Board Chair Nizar Wehbi of t h e U n i ve r s i t y of Nebraska Medical Center, Vice Chair Kirsten R. Case of the University of Nebraska Omaha Service Learning Community, Treasurer Brad D. Yoder of Hayes & Associates, LLC, Secretary Earl E. Redrick of the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development, Director Allen Straub of the Omaha Police Department, and Director Aileen Warren of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. New Directors and Trustees include: Victor Baez of Noddle Companies, Freddie Clopton of the Tangier Shriner Center, Dr. Joe Evans of the Munroe-Meyer Institute, Peter G. Larson of Gold Key Consulting Inc., Carolyn Rooker of Siemens Industry Inc., and Anthony Sanchez of The Office Cleaners. New members join the 31-member Omaha Home for Boys’ board supporting the mission of strengthening youth, young adults and families. For more information about Omaha Home for Boys, visit

Governor Leads Walk to Kick Off NE150 Challenge

#OmahaGoesRed for American Heart Month

The NE150Challenge, a year-long web-based wellness program, officially opened Monday, Jan. 23 at t h e N ebras k a S t at e Capitol with Governor Pete Ricketts leading the annual Governor’s Walk for wellness.

Did you know heart disease kills more Nebraskans than all forms of cancer combined? The designation of F ebr uary as American Hear t Month is aimed at increasing a wa r e n e s s t h a t heart disease is the No. 1 killer, although many cardiovascular diseases are preventable with simple lifestyle changes including more physical activity and a healthier diet.

Prior to walking the halls, the Governor held a brief news conference to encourage Nebraskans to exercise regularly, eat healthy and use available programs and events to stay on track. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Courtney Phillips shared remarks on the disease-prevention benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Nebraska Sports Council Executive Director Dave Mlnarik was also on hand and shared details of the NE150 Challenge, which is one of 13 official initiatives of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission. The NE150 Challenge allows Nebraskans to track physical activity miles and minutes. As they meet certain benchmarks, they earn virtual badges, many of which are themed after Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood. The program also helps users find trails and parks where they can walk, run, bike, or paddle. More than 1,450 Nebraskans are already registered and recording miles. The NE150 Challenge is free for individuals and groups, but a corporate membership program has been established to offer additional workplace wellness incentives and help fund the Challenge. For $500, member companies receive a kit with shirts, medals and posters to promote the Challenge and reward high achievers. They also become eligible for corporate awards based on employee numbers. Learn more at or

To mark American Heart Month, Omaha is going red with events throughout February, including: the Red Dress Dash sponsored by Union Pacific at Union Pacific on Feb. 9; National Wear Red Day on Feb. 3, and the Heart and Stroke Ball sponsored by NP Dodge and Danielle and Dana Bradford at the Embassy Suites Omaha - La Vista Hotel and Conference Center on Feb. 4. Buildings throughout Omaha are planning to make the sky red on National Wear Red Day by turning their buildings red, asking their staff to participate by wearing red and sharing photos on social with #OmahaGoesRed. As a part of their ongoing commitment to the Go Red for Women campaign, First National Bank also partnered with the American Heart Association for the “Banking on a Change” gallery, which will be displayed with the stories of cardiovascular event survivors at the Heart and Stroke Ball. For more information, visit FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business



Delta Dental of Nebraska Earns ‘A’ Rating in Financial Strength for 18th Time

Nebraska Community Blood Bank Establishes New Sickle Cell Donor Program

For the 18th consecutive year, insurance ratings organization A.M. Best Company ( has awarded Delta Dental of Nebraska an ‘A’ rating – a recognition it reserves for insurance companies that have “an excellent ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations.” This is among the highest financial strength ratings of any dental plan in the nation.

As we celebrate Black History Month, Nebraska Community Blood Bank recognizes the achievements of Yvette Fay Francis-McBarnette, a pioneer in treating sickle cell anemia. She devoted her career to treating children suffering from sickle cell disease and her many accomplishments were instrumental in the development of sickle cell treatment.

Through its extensive dentist network, innovative product diversity, competitive pricing, brand recognition and high business retention rate, Delta Dental of Nebraska has built a solid position in the dental insurance market. Among other accomplishments, Delta Dental of Nebraska maintains a solid risk-adjusted capital level for their insurance and investment risks derived their ability to generate favorable net earnings over the long term. Delta Dental of Nebraska has been a leading provider of dental benefits in Nebraska since 1985. Delta Dental of Nebraska is an independent nonprofit dental services company that serves the oral health needs of Nebraskans. It is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plan Association of Oak Brook, Illinois. For more information, visit

Donation Gives Parkinson’s Patients Improved Quality of Life at Douglas County Health Center Parkinson’s patients at the Douglas County Health Center now have increased independence thanks to a donation from Parkinson’s Nebraska. Last week, the local nonprofit that works to raise awareness and research funds for the neurological movement disorder, donated a U-Step II Walker with Laser Module to the Health Center, 4102 Woolworth Ave. in Omaha. It’s the only walker of its kind at the Health Center, and it helps Parkinson’s patients who deal with tremors and gait issues to find balance and stability while being safe. The walker’s features include a U-shaped base that helps decrease fall risk, a metronome that can be played faster or slower to help patients stay in rhythm while taking steps and a laser that shines a line on the ground to improve gait and encourage patients to take larger steps. “This is an opportunity to give our Parkinson’s patients an improved quality of life,” said Molly Motsinger, therapy program manager at the Douglas County Health Center. “Whether it’s being able to walk to their meal or just walking around instead of being bound to a wheelchair, this walker gives our patients some independence back while being safe.” Motsinger said she’s grateful for the donation and hopes to continue working with Parkinson’s Nebraska to benefit local patients. “Our mission at Parkinson’s Nebraska is to help those with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers lead a better life — so this was a very easy decision for our board to purchase the U-Step II Walker with Laser Module,” said Ted Wuebben, Parkinson’s Nebraska Chairman. 34 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

In the U.S., one in 500 African American children and one in 1,000 to 1,400 Latino children are born with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusions can often be the only relief from frequent episodes of pain and complications related to the disease. As we take time this February to recognize the African American leaders of yesterday and today, Nebraska Community Blood Bank asks businesses to empower their employees to step up and make a change in a child’s life through blood donations. Your blood type might be the right type if you are of African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian or Mediterranean descent. The Sickle Cell Donor Program uses an extensive blood typing process to screen donors and match their blood to patients in need. Nebraska Community Blood Bank supplies lifesaving blood to healthcare facilities in six counties throughout Nebraska and has been committed to connecting people and saving lives since 1968. If you are interested in learning more, please visit

Alzheimer’s Association Seeking Business Sponsors for 2017 Dementia Care Conference The annual Statewide Dementia C a r e Conference is quic kly approaching, and the Alzheimer’s Association would like to feature your business as a sponsor or vendor at the event. Sponsors are vital to the consistent, relevant delivery of best practice dementia education to health professionals, family care partners, individuals living with dementia, and the general public. Please join! Several sponsorship opportunities are available and each sponsorship level offers benefits back to the business. Interested in signing up as a sponsor or vendor? Contact Chris Cummings at (402) 440-3491 or chris.cummings@aplaceathome. com. Interested in attending the conference? Visit for more information. Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and the nation’s sixthleading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today’s more than 5 million Americans to as many as 16 million by 2050. In Nebraska, the 33,000 people living with the disease are cared for by more than 81,000 unpaid caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. With the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s, the organizations’ mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.


As a business owner, a unified team of employees can be crucial to your success. In most businesses, staff work closely together and wear many hats. Because teamwork is so significant to a business’s success, team-building activities are essential. In this way, company team building can improve staff retention. Having fun also stimulates creative thinking, which can lead to improved productivity, better communication and better relationships. Company outings are without a doubt a great way to rejuvenate your staff and build team camaraderie amongst employees. Creating a fun environment outside of the office where staff members can work on communication without the day-to-day business in the way is great way to build overall team morale. At Strictly Business we recognize team building and employee engagement is a key factor to retaining great employees. We are excited to introduce a new series in the publication where we’ll share our staff outings in hopes of educating our readers about fun activities to do with employees and co-workers. Among the best investments for small and large companies alike, without further adieu, we encourage you to “Enhance Your Team Culture” too!

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

12750 Westport Pkwy, La Vista | (402) 505-9979 | Who doesn’t love each able to put in an initial order before the movie got started. a good movie? We From the traditional bottomless popcorn and pop to wraps, sure do! Another sandwiches, and burgers, to yummy desserts and shakes, we were popular for m of overwhelmed (in a good way of course!) with all of the delicious entertainment that menu options. We were duly impressed with how fast the drinks is guaranteed to and food were brought out. The service is exceptionally quick and be enjoyable for first-rate. The theater is very spacious, with all moviegoers seated just about anyone in 26” leather rocking chairs, and the attached tables offer a large is a night out at enough space for two people to share comfortably. The menus the movies. There is are available once you’re seated, and there’s even a tiny lamp indeed something under the table so you are able to view them in the dark. Your to be said for bigserver comes right to you; all you have to do is write down your screen viewing. order on a piece of paper, put it right side up in the designated We were thrilled stand and your server will come grab it. You have access to order to finally attend throughout the movie until around the 40-minute mark, at which a movie at Alamo point your check is promptly delivered. The servers were also Drafthouse Cinema, which isn’t just your average movie theater. very good about going back and forth without disturbing anyone. Cold beer, fabulous movies, and delicious snacks and meals; Alamo Drafthouse is dinner, drinks, movies and events, all under one roof. Located at 12750 Westport Pkwy in La Vista, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema offers an experience that’s second-to-none. We were looking forward to seeing Hidden Figures, a Golden Globe-nominated film starring Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Costner and Janelle Monae. It certainly did not disappoint! We would strongly suggest it to anyone who enjoys a feel-good, heartfelt movie. Our group arrived at the theater at separate times, which allowed for a few of us to visit Liquid Sunshine Taproom, a full sports bar connected to the theater. It was quite convenient as a place to sit back and relax before the movie started and until the rest of our party arrived. With an extensive menu of freshly-prepared appetizers, salads, pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, as well as a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails, 48 craft beers, and great wines, there is definitely something for everyone! Before the movie began, our server, who was very professional, did a great job of explaining the concept. We liked that we were

Tickets can be purchased in advance, which includes reserving your preferred seating. The doors open 30 minutes before showing, and we do recommend going early to get settled into your designated seats. Another suggested option would be to share appetizers in the lounge before the showtime, which allows for face-to-face contact and sharing capability. Once you’re seated, it’s tough to pass down the line if you’re wanting to split with your crew. The service is so prompt they’ll have you taken care of inside the theater in no time! Thank you Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for an incredible well-rounded experience! Not only did we get to watch a spectacular movie, but the service, food, and drinks that accompanied the movie made it that much better! We very much look forward to coming back to visit soon as no other theater has the personality of Alamo Drafhouse.

If you are a business in the Omaha metro area that offers activities for staff outings and would like to be featured please contact us today! As for those who are considering planning a similar team-building activity or event, these are our recommendations for local businesses that can help you maximize your time while you treat your staff to a change of scenery and a chance to have some fun together outside of the office—whether it is just for a few hours or for the whole day. You’d be amazed at how much you will benefit personally and professionally from spending a little time together in a different environment! For more information on how to be featured please contact us at (402) 466-3330 or FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business 35

Auto Care

Method to the Maintenance

Full Vehicle Winterization

INSPECTIONS AND ANALYSIS All Day. Any Day. No Appointment Necessary.

49.95 DOT Inspections $

Complete Vehicle Maintenance Oil Service • Transmission Services Antifreeze/Cooling System Services Differential Services • Brake Services


207 N. Jackson Street Papillion, NE 68046

1st place twelve straight years!

Maintenance is one of the most important services a vehicle owner can do to allow for the maximum life of their engine, transmission, and suspension. Regular oil services provide maximum lubrication for the moving parts inside of the engine which allows it to run longer and more efficiently. Most oil services include a complete suspension inspection and full grease application to all greaseable joints that allows for longer life. Coolant/antifreeze services ensure protection from not only engine overheating but also from freezing in the winter which can lead to cracked blocks and other damages under the hood. There are many different types of coolant/antifreeze available for the many different shapes and sizes of engines we own. Which one is right for your engine? Your transmission/transaxle is what transfers your engine’s power to the road below you. It has many moving internal parts just like your engine. Why wouldn’t you get the oil changed on it? It is recommended at approximately every 50k miles. Just don’t wait; skipping one and doing it later “could” be detrimental to your machine. Here’s the problem: We have all dealt with that repair shop that scares you with an $800 estimate that most of the time has nothing to do with why you brought the car to them in the first place. A person walks into a shop with a coupon to save a few bucks on an oil change and is soon bombarded with recommendations and issues that while may be well-intentioned, are not an urgent need or of any interest to him or her at that point in time. You begin to avoid the repair shop like you avoid the dentist. This is NOT right and not fair. That is why here at Fleetmark Solutions, we treat everyone as if they are family. I know I make sure to take care of my family so they do not get taken advantage of, and I expect that to be the case with everyone else I encounter. If you cannot trust who you are dealing with, you will most likely never take advantage of “true and honest” recommendations that will truly help protect your 2nd most valuable investment. At Fleetmark Solutions nothing is ever recommended that is not necessary, nor is anything ever charged that wasn’t completed. Unfortunately, as we all have experienced, this is not always the case at some shops around town. Never hesitate to just call and ask some questions or to get a 2nd opinion. We are here to help.

402.558.3500 402.502.8757 402.502.5511 402.933.9400 Corner of SW Corner of SW Corner of Corner of 50th & South 144th & 120th & Maple Washington & Saddlecreek Industrial Rd Lincoln; Papillion

“We’d Rather Be The Best Than Apologize for Anything Less.” 36

Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

In closing, as a vehicle owner or as a fleet manager, maintenance can be your best friend and your biggest money saver. However, this is only if you have trust in your service and solutions provider, which is important with any relationship. Keep up with your oil changes, have that antifreeze tested, and service those transmissions and transaxles. Doing so will give you the best opportunity to have a worry-free, and most importantly, an incident-free trip every time you turn that key. Fleetmark Solutions - When you are here, you are family. Quarterly our experts in the automotive industry across the Omaha Metro weigh in on topics of interest to our readers. This column was provided by Mark Griger, owner of Fleetmark Solutions.

Senior Living

Another year has passed, and we now look towards another filled with possibilities, and likely change too. For seniors, there are a wide range of changes that could be happening. Those just entering their golden years are perhaps downsizing or preparing for their retirement, while other elders may experience loss or issues with their own health, be looking into making the move to an apartment or senior living facility, hoping to get more involved in community activities or any other number of life occurrences that come with aging. Young or young at heart, there’s a truth that unites us all in adulthood – it’s never too early to plan for the future. Although as we age there’s great variation in the lifestyle we are able to maintain, so the term ‘senior’ is certainly not a one-size-fits-all designation, there are common concerns and information that we can all benefit from understanding for the benefit of our loved ones, neighbors, friends, and of course, ourselves. Even in looking towards the more simple pleasures in life, such as planning for things to get out and do once milder weather arrives, it always helps to know what’s out there. When it comes to the big decisions, there’s little doubt that you’ll want to be in the know and in modern times with a growing aging population, well prepared. Staying healthy and happy, and fulfilled, is the key to all of the good things that life has in store for us in our later years. It only makes sense to plan for our future so that we can enjoy it.

Our nationally certified senior care advisors look beyond the chandeliers and fancy lobbies to review each communities care and violation history, so we only recommend the Safest and Best care options for your loved one.

You don’t have to look for care on your own

Meet with a Care Advisor Today!

Our Service is FREE to those we help! Theron Ahlman, Certified Senior Advisor®

(402) 785-2262 | Assisted Living | Memory Care | Independent Living

“Our Commitment to Our Community”

One of the more simple services to arrange, and one that can be invaluable to both the senior and their caregiver(s) to incorporate, is in-home care. “There are two stages of extra assistance, depending on the level of care needed,” says Jim Laughlin of Home Nursing With Heart. “The first is private duty care. This consists of assistance with personal cares, light duty housekeeping, meal preparation, etc. The second is having a skilled professional in the home such as a nurse and/or therapist. My suggestion here is to reach out to a skilled nursing company that can come to the home and provide an evaluation of your loved one, and in their Jim Laughlin normal living environment. For example, Home Nursing With Heart we are a locally-owned and highly-rated company that provides skilled nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy in the home, as well as social work assistance.

DOUGLAS COUNTY health center

Call today: 402-444-7000

4102 Woolworth Ave, Omaha Quality of Care Five Star Rating Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business


Don’t Pay Too Much For Assisted Living!

Celebrating 15 years of service! · 81 Assisted Living Apartments · 28 Memory Support Apartments · Family Owned and Operated

20332 Hackberry Drive Gretna, NE 68028



Visit for a complete overview of services provided, their quality of care, and more informational content relating to health insurances accepted and physician information. On past that, an in-home care provider can alert loved ones when a higher level of care is needed for that individual, or services that are available that would be beneficial for that person to utilize. We’re more than happy to make recommendations for other services and providers in the area depending on the situation.” It’s well worth mentioning that there are many other resources out there that are geared towards helping seniors age in place on the spectrum of care too. For example, Notre Dame Housing, Inc. is an organization with a rich history of meeting such needs of seniors in our community. “Since 1997 Notre Dame Housing (NDH) has provided affordable housing through enriched neighborhood living options and supportive services,” says Michael Robinson of Notre Dame Housing. “NDH goes beyond basic housing and address the health, social, spiritual and physical needs of our residents, and others in the community, to give these individuals the ability to live independently for as long as possible.

Metro to fill the gaps based on the needs of the aging population in our community. At Notre Dame Housing we are proud to serve a diverse population, and to advocate for all seniors to have access to the services and resources they need, as well as helping to meet those needs with our offerings.” With our baby boomers starting to age, which some call the oncoming ‘silver tsunami,’ the future feels a bit uncertain for us all. It is true, resources of all kinds that impact elders are going to be affected, although to what extent no one can be absolutely sure. Specifically as it relates to senior living communities, the fear is that there simply is not going to be enough spots available for everyone who needs them. Thus for our baby boomers, it’s going to be that much more critical to plan ahead accordingly, and to be aware of all of the different resources in their respective communities. We can take comfort in knowing that here in the Omaha Metro, there are so many professionals who are working towards ensuring all seniors have access to affordable living options, healthcare, and any other services that meet their specific needs and income level. Finding assistance with locating the necessary resources and getting everything in place is part of that process that can prove to be most helpful for seniors of all ages, and for their family members too. Michaela Williams of Care Consultants for the Aging speaks to the significant impact that the aging baby boomer population will have in the near future. “Senior care options are continuously changing and the look of senior care will evolve at a faster rate with the baby boomers needing long-term care. Assisted living specializing in Alzheimer’s/dementia care is the most common level in senior living options being built today. They offer a Michaela Williams more detailed approach to care for those Care Consultants who have memory problems, and they tend for the Aging to have a two-year private pay minimum to move in. Knowing the options and pricing for in-home care and senior living options will help families make wiser decisions as they find themselves in a caregiving role.

Although we remain a faith-based organization, NDH serves adults 55+ regardless of race, color, religion, sex, marital or civil union status, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, place of birth, ancestry, citizenship, military or veteran status or disability.

Many families are surprised with our complicated long-term care system and feel overwhelmed when they need to make decisions. Care Consultants produces the ElderCare Resource Handbook, which offers a complete listing of senior services in the Lincoln and Omaha Metro areas. Having an awareness of senior care options and the prices that are associated with them helps greatly when you need to make decisions fast. Families often find that starting home care or adult day care on a small scale early on can help their loved one adjust when the need becomes mandatory, and gives everyone a little respite too.

Notre Dame Housing provides seniors with a strong voice in decisions that affect them. Our goal is to make sure that the challenges our seniors face are adequately addressed at all levels of government, particularly when decisions are being made about housing, transportation, health, workforce, economic development, and poverty. Our programs and services are designed to help seniors remain independent, living in their own homes. We strive to ensure that older adults have choices about how and where they age.

Furthermore, when you have concerns for a loved one’s health and/or wellbeing, looking into what the government offers, what insurances and finances that your loved one has, and getting legal paperwork in order are good first steps. Determining these issues before a health crisis can help in the stress that can occur with being one’s caregiver. It is also important to research home care options or adult day care centers that can give them that little extra assistance they may need to stay in their home.”

For seniors, maintaining independence is very important. At Notre Dame Housing, we provide housing for seniors who want to live independent lifestyles where they can thrive and age in place. Our elders deserve the quality of life that they desire and our commitment to service-enriched housing offers them just that.

On another timely subject involving maintaining quality of life for seniors, Williams notes, “Life is short and, as many will agree right about now, winter can seem long. As spring starts to show itself, it’s fun to get out and explore. Sometimes this can be difficult as mobility and the ability to live independently changes. Care Consultants can find caregivers who help seniors remain as active and independent as possible. They can take them to senior centers and outdoor parks within the community or help them play games, clean out a closet or plant flowers in their own home. Caregivers can work as little or as often as you need them. Sometimes a little

Michael Robinson Notre Dame Housing

As far as finances, we can help make arrangements and offer guidance on sources of funding for which a senior may qualify. You can only go so far on social security income alone today, so we help by either suggesting or providing ways to stretch that budget. We partner with many different organizations across the Omaha 38 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

bit of help goes a long way!” While there may not be anything in the immediate future that’s cause for concern, be sure to not let the future sneak up on you. For seniors, it is very valuable to discuss your plans and desires for the future with a designated family member or desired representative. There are several key documents needed, and in truth, these can be very critical in emergency situations. For instance, if a family member cannot locate important documents like tax returns or bank account information, it could delay or even cause the senior to be denied critical benefits like Medicaid or VA benefits. Make sure you have important legal documents in place like durable health power-of-attorney or advanced healthcare directive so that if you do find yourself with declining health conditions, you have someone you trust making decisions that would be in your best interests. As a general rule no matter your age or health, it is always important to have your financial and healthcare affairs in order. We always seem to think that we are somehow invincible, and in turn we tend to put off things we don’t want to deal with, often saying “I’ll get to that tomorrow, or next week, or next year.” The hard truth is, we have no way of knowing whether tomorrow or next week or next year might be too late. Conversations about healthcare, long-term care, and even death are awkward and can be difficult to have, yet they are among the very most important things we can discuss. Some of those hard things to discuss including naming a Power of Attorney (POA) for finances and healthcare, having an asset management plan in place for finances and personal items, ensuring that your loved ones know your wishes for healthcare and end of life, and pre-arranging your funeral services, including payment. There are great tools available for planning, but it’s advised to review those plans with an attorney to ensure that they will hold up in a court should they ever be challenged. Ensure that your POAs are someone you trust implicitly to make the best decisions on your behalf, and that your loved ones know who that person is, especially if he or she is not a family member. Finally, maintain all of your documents in a secure place, but make sure loved ones know where to find them in an emergency. Communication with loved ones, while you are still able, is very important. All too often, major illness or death occurs unexpectedly, and loved ones are left at a complete loss emotionally and financially. Even in the closest of families, emotional turmoil can cause stress and anxiety. When plans are in place, turmoil is lessened to a great extent. As previously mentioned regarding finances, for seniors, the cost of living can be significant and income may not always be able to match that number. As such, it’s likely no surprise that planning ahead—saving, insurance, allocating funds to future needs now, etc.--remains the prevailing theme.

Theron Ahlman CarePatrol

Theron Ahlman of CarePatrol advises, “I would recommend that families look into long-term care insurance to help pay for care as they get older. There are many different policies available, so it’s worth taking your time to research the plans and make sure you are getting the best one for the money spent. I have helped some families whose policies don’t help pay for assisted living, and the family had expected it do so.

Also, finding the right fit within a person’s budget can be more complicated than it sounds. As others have mentioned, many families that I help say they wished they had known about us sooner. They have gone to a couple communities on their own only to find out they don’t offer what they need, don’t ever accept Medicaid, or are too expensive. They have wasted a lot of time getting nowhere and once they find us, the process goes smoothly and they are happy with the communities

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we tour as they are a fit to the senior’s needs, wants and finances.” He continues, “If you recently visited someone who isn’t safe in their home and they need to take the next step towards a community, I would recommend calling a senior placement company such as CarePatrol to help save time and make the process as easy as possible. We will come out and meet with the senior to do a care discovery, at which time we go over needs, wants, likes and finances to see what communities are the best fit. We then look up the communities care history to make sure it is a safe community, line up the tours, and personally take everyone on the tours of the communities that are safe options. We can help navigate long-term insurance policies, converting life insurance to money for assisted living, and if a bridge is needed to pay for care while a house is being sold, we can help thanks to our partnerships the many different companies. CarePatrol also has Certified Senior Advisors across the country, so no matter where the person you’re trying to help lives, or wants to live for that matter, we can help. Contacting your local advisor first is the best route as they can start the process and then work with the advisor in the state where residence will be to find the safest community. Typically in the spring, there are a few health fairs in the area that are beneficial for seniors and their family members to attend. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to many different businesses about the services offered in one place, as well as getting to visit with others from the community who can share their experiences and tips. Going to these events will help you to be prepared when different needs arise, and will make finding help easier as these are professionals that have access to a network of valuable contacts they’ve already established within the community.” It’s easy to worry about what might happen or change as one ages, or as a loved one grows old, but being proactive will alleviate the perceived stress of the many ‘what-ifs’. In life, we look for those who are experts to come alongside and help us with the things in which we have little expertise ourselves. While the guidance of those who are dedicated to serving the elders in our community is still underutilized to some extent, gradually that is changing with the times. Most now see the benefits of planning for this season of life and are in favor of the approach that knowledge is power—and it truly is, no doubt.

As awareness grows, the prevailing attitudes towards reaching out to get informed before help becomes a critical and immediate need are more optimistic in nature. Not only are people taking the initiative to seek out information from the various resources in our community, but there’s more of a willingness to accept the changes that come with aging. The ultimate goal is to age gracefully and enjoy life to the fullest, and while there’s a different path to get to that destination for everyone, all can benefit from being well-prepared for what’s to come on that amazing journey. FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business


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Hey all you sweethearts out there, your holiday has arrived! Valentine’s Day is the designated day of the year in which we all shower the special someones in our lives—partners, kids, family, friends--with our affection, which in modern times can be just about anything as long as it comes from the heart. For most, it’s still celebrated with a special date and of course the customary exchange of gifts. If you’re looking for ideas in either department, as usual, we’ve got you covered with ideas from our local businesses. Here are the lucky picks in honor of those who are lucky in love! Enjoy A Night In – Bring Your Inner Chef Out Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to dedicate to just enjoying the company of one another without any outside interruptions. Setting the mood tends to be much easier in familiar surroundings too. So, if you can arrange to spend the evening relaxing in the peace and comfort of your own home together, it’s an attractive proposition indeed. To some, often more so than getting to hit the

town, although the Omaha Metro has some pretty amazing date spots. Or, if you’re celebrating over the weekend, you can spend the day doing something fun and return home to cook a nice dinner together and unwind. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the meal you share at home can be just as incredible as the one you might enjoy at a restaurant (and you’ll avoid the crowds too). You’ll need a little bit of skill on the cooking end of things, yes, but you’ll also need to know where to pick up the food you’ll be preparing to ensure the quality is up to par. For the best selection of the finest meats—steak, chicken, ribs, seafood—and homemade sides to pair with your entrée of choice, Just Good Meat is the place to go. “If cooking an impressive dinner for the one you love is what’s on your agenda this year, we’re here to help you make it happen,” says Sean Fuller of Just Good Meat. “Our Sweetheart Package (also referred to as the Honeymoon Gift Pack for those ordering via the

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website) is a customer favorite every year, which includes two 5 oz. bacon-wrapped filets, two twice-baked potatoes, and two 7-8 oz. lobster tails for just $42.99. Stop by or call us to place an order for pick-up or delivery, we’re happy to help!” Sean’s Gift Ideas From Just Good Meat: “Our steak gift boxes are really nice on any occasion, Valentine’s Day included. Our team has personally curated our gift boxes; there are a number of different assortments Sean Fuller to choose from and at different price points Just Good Meat too. If none of these offer exactly what you’re looking for, we can also put together a custom gift box upon request. You can check out the options under the “Steak Gift Boxes” tab on our website: www.justgoodmeatomaha. com or call the store to inquire.” Dinner And A Movie - Level: Expert As for those amazing date spots around town, if you’re thinking about doing the classic “dinner and a movie,” how about a special twist for a special occasion? The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Liquid Sunshine Taproom combine perfectly as a place for drinks and conversation before or after, and then for the main event, a movie on the big screen complete with service to your seats! Order snacks, or even dinner, and continue to sip on your drink of choice if you please – and enjoy the show! “Sometimes the simplest idea is the best idea,” advises Derek Dillon of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “Just treating each other to a night out here at the theater, given our unique setting and offerings, is enough to make the night special. Of course, we’ve had our fair share of marriage proposals in the theater too! On the other hand, if you’re single looking to mingle and love movies, there really isn’t a better place in town to meet somebody with like-minded interests than the ‘movie haven for movie lovers.’ Derek Dillon Alamo Drafthouse Cinema While we will be opening 50 Shades Darker, which will be a huge hit, maybe a date night to see John Wick 2 for a different kind of action and adventure would be more your style, or Lego Batman, especially if your date(s) happen to be little ones. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day date that isn’t on the 14th, The Princess Bride Movie Party on February 9 is a guaranteed throwback winner. Or as a darker, but still very fitting, suggestion, try the famously titled horror romp My Bloody Valentine on February 11.” Derek’s Gift Ideas from Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Liquid Sunshine Taproom: “Among our many offerings, you could easily pick something to spice up a Valentine’s Day gift. Obviously we have the pairing of food and a movie to give as a special treat, but you might simply add a bottle of champagne for an unexpected, romantic touch to the evening. We also offer gift cards that would allow for your significant other take his or her friends or family for a night out at the Alamo Drafthouse at a later date, or if you have to be apart from one another on Valentine’s Day. Finally, while it may not be directly tied to Valentine’s Day, if you and a significant other are major fans of beer, then you’re probably aware of Omaha Beer Week Feb 17–26. This would also make for a great date idea if the 14th isn’t doable, as it conveniently begins the weekend after Valentine’s Day, and it could easily be incorporated creatively as a part of your day-of gift. We’ll be having some events of our own at the theater and the Liquid Sunshine Taproom so keep an eye on those announcements! Put together a gift of your sweetheart’s favorite beer along with nice glasses or barware, and then include an invitation to join you for a date at Liquid Sunshine Taproom, and even perhaps a gift card too.”

Learning With Your Love – Keep it Class(y) As far as date ideas go, taking a class together has become quite the popular trend. As a result, the options have become more plentiful, and have diversified overall. You could go for a cooking class, a guided art tutorial like those offered at paint and sip studios, a fitness or relaxation class (for couples, that might include yoga, cycling, boxing, etc.), and that’s just a few of the most well recognized. If you two will be out and about in the Omaha Metro area, how about a woodworking class? For many, it’s a unique way to get out there and try something new together. You’ll also get to keep your creation, which is a cute memento of how you spent Valentine’s Day 2017 together. Gerry Phelan of Midwest Woodworkers offers his take on this unique suggestion, which like the others we’ve already mentioned, is actually quite fitting as a gift for a future date too. “You might consider buying your Valentine a woodworking class. Our classes are fun, challenging, and rewarding. In other words, great gifts! Even better, make it a date to take a class with your Valentine. Ok, maybe it’s not as sexy as throwing a clay pot together, but it will be a fun bonding experience. Gerry Phelan We offer ‘hands-on’ classes that even folks Midwest Woodworkers who’ve never tried it before can excel in. In most classes, participants complete a project like a pen, a turned bowl, a carved figurine or even a nightstand right in class. And it’s not just for guys; we are seeing more and more women getting into woodworking. This year, find something special you can do together. Unfortunately we aren’t offering any classes on February 14th (our instructors have Valentines too), but since it falls in the middle of the week, you may be one who opts to celebrate with a date on the weekend anyhow.” Gerry’s Gift Ideas From Midwest Woodworkers: “Woodworking is a passion and Valentine’s Day is all about passion, so if your Valentine is a woodworker, we’re your gift spot. We realize that it can be hard to buy for a woodworker but we’ll be happy to help. We’re woodworkers ourselves, so we can offer gift suggestions and answer your questions. Just let us know what your favorite woodworker’s interests are and we’ll go to work for you. In any case, your time and attention are the best Valentine of all. When you’re able to make something special with your own hands, that gift has a much stronger personal connection. If you are thinking of giving a certificate for a class, consider taking the class with them. You can both enjoy learning and doing, while sharing some real quality time together. Give the gift of creativity – the benefits will last long after Valentine’s Day.” Staycation With Your Sweetheart – Less Packing, More Romance Finally, why not give yourself as a couple the gift of a getaway AS your date? While you might have already made plans to whisk your love away to a far off destination, an option that can be secured last-minute is a staycation right here in Omaha! EVEN Hotels Omaha Downtown is conveniently located right in the midst of the action should you choose to go out for the evening. In honor of Valentine’s Day, they’re offering an amazing package that you can take advantage of all month long, which provides the necessities to celebrate the holiday should you choose to stay in. Or, do both – it’s sure to be memorable no matter the itinerary! The “EVEN More Romance” package includes breakfast for two, a $50 gift card to dine out, bottle of champagne and glasses, and chocolate-covered strawberries. It’s the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, and of course, romance!

Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, it means more love will be spread around from the weekend prior to the weekend after. This bodes well for all of the last-minute planners and shoppers out there, and hopefully we’ve helped you out with some ideas to get you well on your way to enjoying the best one yet! FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business



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Another year, another wonderful wedding season! In fact, with the trend towards having the ceremony whenever and wherever a couple darn well pleases, it’s more to be expected for your year outlook to include ceremonies and related festivities in any or all of the twelve months in 2017. With so many engagements over the holidays, so many couples already counting down the days until the big day while busy planning it to perfection, and those gorgeous spring weddings quickly approaching, there’s no such thing as an uneventful moment for those in the wedding industry either. No matter where you’re at in the process, it’s wise to enlist the help of the experts whenever possible. As with all of the most important of life events, it takes a village to plan and executive a wedding, even for those who wish to have the events surrounding their nuptials simple and intimate. With so many moving parts, here’s what those who report having the best, most amazing, stress-free, and memorable (in a good way) experiences all around share in common—they utilized the expertise of local professionals every step of the way, leaving nothing to chance except the weather! Selecting Your Venue & Caterer There are many wonderful venues across the Omaha Metro that could be in the running for the special place you’ll be making memories celebrating your engagement or nuptials. The selection is particularly nice because of the uniqueness of each from the others, making it, much like everything else with a wedding, a matter of mainly preference and desired amenities. With a lot of variation in size as well, it’s generally not a problem to find one you love for all of those reasons but that also accommodates the number of guests you expect to be in attendance. Now more than ever before, couples are seeking out venues that can cover as many of the other aspects that come together for the perfect wedding as possible. This even includes the services of an in-house event planner. The professionals are a truly wonderful resource to utilize because there is so much involved that must all be coordinated, and they are the ones most familiar with their own venues along with having experience in working with many of the different vendors in the area. If you have access to one through the venue you book, which is a really nice perk. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, even for those who are detail-oriented and skilled at managing multiple tasks let alone for someone who doesn’t possess those attributes. “Here at Indian Creek we like to assist individuals who are planning a big event as much as we can,” says Katie Anderson, Event Coordinator at The Club at Indian Creek. “Something that I find to be convenient for our couples getting married is that we

Katie Anderson The Club at Indian Creek

provide almost all the essentials with our room rental. All of the linens, table skirting, flatware, stemware, china, bar glasses, the dance floor, A/V, and the services of a dedicated event coordinator are included in our room rental fee. Our event coordinators are also on-hand during the event, from the beginning of their night to well after it has ended. There’s an open line of communication at all times between our team of professionals and those planning their events here. As the event gets nearer we schedule what we call a ‘planning meeting.’ This is an opportunity for us to have a meeting of the minds, and we take detailed notes reflecting what the person planning envisions for their event. From those notes, we contact all vendors and coordinate set-up times as well as checking to make sure they have all of the information they need. This is a service that is utilized for all events hosted at our venue. Last year our outdoor ceremony area was very popular and those couples who are choosing to have a ceremony with us also have access to a bridal area reserved just for the women who are a part of the wedding party. Here they are able to get ready or bring in someone to do their hair and makeup as well as relax before it is time for all the festivities to begin!

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It’s these types of services and amenities that help to ensure everything goes smoothly.” She also shares some helpful tips as far as the planning goes. “I think it is important for couples to figure out what is most important to them in regards to their wedding. Whether it be the venue, food, or the decorations, they should make a list of priorities. It’s also important throughout the planning process to communicate with your vendors. If there’s something specific you really like tell them. Also, if there’s something specific you really don’t like, tell them that as well! Your vendors want your day to be exactly how you envision it and that starts with them knowing what you want.” If the style you’re going for with your wedding is rustic-chic and you’re looking for just the right barn-in-the-country setting to complete your Pinterest vision without actually directing everyone miles away to a remote rural location, there’s no better place to book than Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch. With indoor/outdoor mixed use space, complete with modern amenities while still possessing a unique charm all its own, there’s plenty of flexibility in the event that the weather doesn’t cooperate, and also for entertaining purposes—dance floor inside, firepit outside! “A lot of people enjoy staying onsite for both their ceremony and reception, and we have four different wedding lodges that all have a very nice outside area,” explains Tyson Schaefer, co-owner of Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch. “Each of them has great character and plenty of room for socializing and dancing. With the gorgeous landscape of the property, our western-chic atmosphere and tasteful Southwestern-style décor combined with our flexible catering options, we are able to offer a country flavor Tyson Schaefer that sets us apart from any other venue in Bellevue Berry & the Omaha area. Furthermore, our expertise Pumpkin Ranch with hosting weddings allows us to bring everything together seamlessly for a much less stressful experience both during the planning stages and on the big day. We offer a lot of services to our clients in-house, but can also recommend other vendors and resources we’ve worked with in the past, which really simplifies the planning process. As for catering, our wedding fare is prepared from house recipes that have been in our family for generations and continues to be raved about by our past guests, but we also welcome brides and grooms to share a recipe or idea with us and we will work our culinary magic to make it happen. We do set up the meal in a buffet style food line and we even keep it out for an extended period of time, which is perfect for guests who want seconds or those who show up later on. As appetizer

menus remain a popular trend for weddings, we have options for that as well. Generally for weddings, couples opt for two entrees and four side dishes in the appropriate amounts to accommodate the number of guests who will be attending—we guarantee that no one will leave hungry!” He adds, “My best advice is to choose a facility that fits your style. Also, make sure that it fits your guest list—if you’re in doubt, go for a bigger space instead of one that will barely accommodate a number of people you are planning for. A lot of people worry about what their guests will think, but I would say the happiest people are the ones who don’t get stuck in all of the details and simply consider it a fun experience. Most people come out to our ranch to kick back, relax, and enjoy; it’s just that type of environment. We realize that wedding planning can be stressful, but it’s second nature to us and we are always honored to be of service to our brides and grooms in whatever way we can.” Going glam while also having a wedding experience surrounded by the beauty of nature might sound like a paradox, but it is absolutely possible! Furthermore, along the lines of destination weddings, a trend has been to create an environment that transports guests to another place without requiring them to travel long distances, similar to the ‘staycation’ idea. “Our most recent weddings have found Lied Lodge to be a destination wedding venue,” says Patty Pierce, Wedding Manager at Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm. “We are now seeing our wedding couples, along with their families and friends, enjoying a whole ‘wedding weekend’ packed with spa treatments, golf, Patty Pierce hayrides, bonfires, rehearsal dinner, gift Lied Lodge & Conference openings and much more. There have also

Center at Arbor Day Farm

FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business


been increased instances of brides selecting Fridays and Sundays for their big day rather than the traditional Saturday afternoon. It works on a lot of levels, including greater availability of dates and perhaps even some savings for high-demand venues, while still delivering a seamless wedding experience. We offer an ‘all-inclusive’ experience for a memorable wedding event. With multiple venues located across our 260-acre property, it’s easy to take care of the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, reception, brunch and gift opening all in one central location. It’s a hassle-free way to keep your focus where it should be instead of worrying about logistics, parking, travel time, etc. This is convenient not only for the wedding party, but for their guests too. It really supports a relaxing experience with less stress involved. Also still going strong are nature-inspired settings and the use of outdoor spaces incorporated in both the ceremony and reception. In 2017, we’ll have an additional ceremony location, the meadow at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, just a short walk from Lied Lodge. Complete with a historic mansion as the perfect backdrop, this elegant location will be unlike any found in the area. Arbor Lodge State Historical Park is also a gorgeous setting in which to exchange vows. My advice to any couple seeking a wedding venue is to visit in person for a guided tour of the property. The perfect start is looking online but seeing it in person is a must. A personal tour of the venue allows them to meet the staff they’ll be working with on all the details for their big day. At Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm, our staff is with you every step of the way, offering experienced support and service. All across our 260-acre property, the beauty of nature provides the perfect setting for any ceremony or reception. Each setting is unique, from our rustic barn to a historic mansion. The options are truly endless.” If an actual destination wedding is what you have your heart set on, you’ll be working closely with a travel agent to put everything

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together. The same is, of course, true for the honeymoon as well! “Destination weddings continue to be the hot ticket,” says Kris Reddy, owner of The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. “Many brides and grooms are seeking a more unconventional wedding and ditching the church and reception hall for the beach! Couples are thinking even further outside the box and venturing beyond the typical Caribbean vacation too. Current hotspots include such places as Bora Bora, Aruba, The Maldives, and the Mediterranean. Many properties offer free wedding packages or a free stay for the bride and groom.

Kris Reddy The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company

We can assist with all aspects of a destination wedding or honeymoon. Or, how about planning a bachelorette/bachelor party getaway? We can arrange all of the details for you and your group, from getting you all to and from your destination to selecting the perfect destination and accommodations to fit your needs and desires. With over 100 years of combined experience, our Leisure Travel Specialists/Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists are experts in all corners of the globe and will work closely with our passengers to make it the getaway of their dreams! We can arrange anything from a wedding aboard a cruise ship or a large group affair to an intimate small beach wedding. Destination weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Some brides and grooms choose to bring a few special guests, while others wish to invite the whole neighborhood to come along, and we’ve handled arrangements for everything in between. For honeymoons, the options are endless here too! Plan a romantic getaway at a luxury resort or an African safari! We work with our clients to make their honeymoon a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Regardless of what you have in mind, let the experts sweat the details. Work with a professional who can coordinate between all parties involved to create a worry-free day. Also, as previously mentioned, we continue to find that many couples looking to plan and book a destination wedding don’t know we can get their trip costs for free! Yes, FREE. We work closely with resorts, cruise lines and travel suppliers on booking arrangements that include the bride and groom at no or very little cost as an added perk. Our services are 100% complimentary, so why not give us a try? It’s free and we have a price guarantee on every trip booked with us!” As far as the fare you’ll be treating guests to during any number of wedding-related events, it’s important to figure out the specifics. This includes how many you’ll be feeding, what date and time it will be served, the selection you plan to offer, whether you want to take advantage of in-house catering or make other arrangements (and if that’s even allowed), addressing any special dietary concerns. Hospitality is a major part of entertaining guests, and you want to ensure that everyone is taken care of so that they are able to enjoy themselves to the fullest. Also, the fare is one of the things that guests will comment on during the festivities and remember long after your wedding has passed, so there’s that too (no pressure!). A meal is actually what all of your wedding-related events will have in common. Whether it’s the reception, the rehearsal dinner, the engagement dinner, getting your bachelor or bachelorette party started, and even feeding your bridal party pre-ceremony (this one in particular can be easily forgotten but will set the tone for the rest of the day’s events because you’ll need plenty of energy to get through it all), there’s much in the way of plans to be made in this area. The best way to go about it is to find what’s best suited for each. For example, for feeding your bridal party while they’re being attended to by a full glam squad, a fast, easy meal that’s not likely to cause an unfortunate mess and requires minimal clean-up is ideal. Putting Together The Cake Table

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As is customary with weddings, the cake plays a starring role in the wedding reception. In modern times, this has evolved quite a

bit towards incorporating the sweet treat of the bride and groom’s choosing, which might not be cake at all. Or, if it is indeed cake that you’re after, which still remains commonplace, there are also different variations of cakes to consider if you’re looking to get creative. Just as every wedding is unique, so is the bride and groom’s choices in this area. At The Omaha Bakery, they can truly do it all. You might also give the gift of a sweet treat, such as when you ask the ladies to be bridesmaids, or serve something wonderful up at your bridal shower. Special requests are always welcome! Entertaining Your Guests

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With everything we’ve covered so far, there is still something big missing from the equation that you’ll want to plan for, and that’s the drinks! You can approach this in any number of ways, but if you’re responsible for purchasing the liquor and refreshments to stock the bar, Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is the place to go. The best part? It’s a complete wedding and party center, so you can work with them for any of the events leading up to your wedding, as well as for the reception. They even have a department dedicated to customized wedding invitations! Your budget, and how much you allocate to the bar, will largely determine the options that could be considered. If the venue has bar service incorporated into their offerings, you may not have much to worry about. Alternatively, if you’ve decided to be responsible for putting one together, there’s definitely more to it than meets the eye. No matter how much you plan to spend, it’s important to purchase based on an educated estimate of what you’ll go through to avoid money tied up in excess alcohol that wasn’t consumed. This is valuable information that a vendor who has experience with wedding clients will be able to offer by asking you targeted questions, and some even have software to assist with the right quantity for how many guests you’ll be expecting. For those who are considering setting up their own cash bar, Jim Sobczyk, owner of Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal offers the following advice:

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“A lot of people see the cash bar option as a cheap alternative to hosting everything. Sometimes, it does actually work out that way, but we’ve also seen where offering a cash bar to your guests ends up costing you more money. When meeting with clients, I have the opportunity to provide insight as to how each scenario would play out so that the couple is able to make an informed decision on what’s right for them.

Let’s say, for example, you want to host beer and wine and just have your guests pay for mixed drinks. This is not always a money-saver. Many of your guests will switch to the ‘free stuff’ when they are forced to buy their first choice. Or, you want to host the first hour, then go to a cash bar for everything. While this usually turns out to be a money-saver, it means EVERYONE pays for their drinks after the first hour, even the wedding party, your parents, and you. How about the option to give out limited drink tickets to your guests, and anything they want over and above that, they’ll need to pay for themselves? This can also be a money-saver; just don’t bring more tickets than you’re willing to pay for, even as a precautionary measure. If everyone ends up using tickets all night long, this will cost you more than hosting the event. Even with a cash bar, there are some costs you’ll incur. The price for a one-day liquor permit is $100. You’ll also be responsible for the cost of the bartenders, bar rental, and you’ll also have to guarantee the bar will take in a predetermined amount of money. Also, keep in mind that cash bars take time to arrange, and as such, must be planned several months in advance. By appointment, I’d be glad to

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7405 Pioneers Blvd (Inside Design Edge!) 68506 • quote your event with and without a cash bar for comparison.” You might even opt for serving frozen drinks, which is always a fan favorite. However, the noise of a blender constantly running is not, and it can be really messy and take a long time to prepare drinks this way too. Not to worry, you can still make it work, and easily at that, with the help of the Margarita Man! “We’ll provide everything you need, leaving nothing for you to worry about except enjoying delicious drinks with your guests,” says Dan Cheloha, owner of Margarita Man’s Nebraska franchise. “Delivery of everything to the location as planned is arranged, including the number of machines, chosen flavor(s) of mix, and cups/straws based on the guests you expect to be in attendance. There’s even the option of a side-by-side double machine so that you can have an option with alcohol and one without. Dan Cheloha Flavors can be customized however you like, Margarita Man and we’re happy to make recommendations for recipes depending on the liquor of choice. We even provide table décor that matches a special theme, or just a classic white silk that’s very fitting for weddings. Then, we’ll be onsite to set up the machine and mix your first batch, leaving you with enough mix and easy instructions should you need to make more. Guests can easily serve themselves or you can appoint someone to do the honors, and that’s all there is to it. Afterward, we’ll come back to pick up the machine and will also handle the cleaning of it. With so much to worry about already, let us handle your beverages for a bachelorette/bachelor party, bridal shower, or reception. This way you’re free to focus on other areas of importance, as well as having more time to simply enjoy yourself during such a special time.” Depending on logistics, reservations, and other factors at play, you may also require transportation for your wedding-related events as a part of entertaining your guests. This might be a party bus for your bachelor/bachelorette party escapades, or extending a ride to your out-of-town guests as a part of being a great host. Not to mention another one of the most common needs when it comes to weddings, transportation of the bridal party from the church to the reception (and oftentimes, a few bars in between). This is also a time that stops can be arranged for photo ops. Consider this another thing to get on the books sooner rather than later, because it’s in high demand and there’s generally a limited number of vehicles in a company’s fleet that can accommodate larger groups such as bridal parties. Achieving The Perfect Look In terms of planning, it goes like this, but not necessarily in any particular order: Wedding dress, check. Accessories, check. Bridal party attire, check. Hair and make-up, check. Pre-spa session, check. Formalwear for the groom and bridal party, check. Aftercare of items mentioned, check. While this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, it FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business


to be well-groomed. Also, for women and men alike, there may be the desire for techniques that make hair appear fuller or that cover problem spots, such as replacement methods, treatments, or extensions.

Your Wedding Every Moment. Every Detail. The Club at | 402.289.0900, Ext. 25 does cover the main points. First thing’s first though, and I think most know exactly where it goes from here. You’ve seen them sprinkled across your social media feed, the photos of brides-to-be who are holding a sign that says “I Said Yes To The Dress!” Although weddings have evolved quite a bit in recent times, finding THE dress still remains one of the most special moments of the entire process. It’s not only one of the memories cherished long after the wedding has passed, but it’s when you see the first vision of yourself as a bride. As the “star of the show,” the dress is a big part of the big day, so the quest is to find the perfect one that fits your personality, takes everyone’s breath away, and of course, photographs exquisitely too. While it’s entirely possible to find “the one” right away as though it was just there waiting for you all along, for others it’s just like finding “the one” they are going to marry, build a life with, and grow old together—it’s a process. Either way, keep in mind that you’ll have the best results working with an experienced professional and also, that you get what you pay for. While having a nice selection to choose from is important, and there are plenty of places you can go to merely shop the racks, it’s often the expertise that’s most valuable in the long run. You’ll need to adhere to your timeline as far as customizing, ordering, tailoring, fittings, finding the right accessories, and more—everything will need to come together smoothly for the final overall look to be achieved. When it comes to looking your best, everything should come together to accentuate your natural beauty. This includes your attire and accessories, but also your personal features. Take your hair for example. There are endless possibilities with color, styling, accessories, etc. Achieving the look you want will require the talents of a professional stylist no matter what that may be, and you’ll want to get on the books as soon as possible. While men tend to require a more simple approach, it’s important 46 Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

“Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement offers many different services that can help brides and grooms alike to look and feel their very best,” says Brooke Ahlman, owner of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement. “We offer updos, extensions, and haircuts that can add length, volume or both. Onsite styling is available upon request, which is a convenience that can make planning the day’s itinerary much easier. The party can get ready together while enjoying the moment, and the photographer is able to capture every treasured moment during the process.

Brooke Ahlman Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement

My best advice is to find someone you trust, who is open to your ideas and skilled at their craft, and book ahead of time. We all know how valuable time is, and you want to make sure you have your spot reserved. It is very easy to forget about lining up the stylist with all of the other planning at hand, but this is an individual who will play a crucial role in your wedding preparation. You can’t just assume that your normal stylist will be available, or will be able to arrange for any additional help in the event that they’ll need assistance to accommodate a larger wedding party, which is a common occurrence. Also, bridal trends are constantly changing, which includes hairstyles. Depending on your relationship with your stylist, even if they know you well, and especially if they don’t, keep in mind we’re not mind readers. It’s wise to have photos that you can show to communicate your ideas so that you can be on the same page, and make sure to include a trial run as a part of your agenda leading up to the big day. At Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement, we stay informed on what’s new in the industry and pride ourselves on being able to take an idea and bring it to life, creating anything that your heart desires. For those who would like to create something unique, I’m happy to brainstorm or take a concept and perfect it. Alternatively, it’s common for brides to pick something out of a magazine that they love, or to find great ideas online, especially with Pinterest being so popular for wedding inspiration. No matter the request, rest assured we’ll do our very best to make it happen!” On to the final point on the list, while it might not necessarily strike you as something to add to your planning agenda at first, making arrangements for the care of the dress after the big day is important too. It’s generally a major investment and should be treated as such, not to mention that it’s a family heirloom that could potentially be passed on to be worn by a next-generation bride (this tradition does still happen, although it’s not incredibly common). After the wedding, you’ll want to get your wedding dress delivered to your professional cleaner of choice as soon as possible in order for it to be in optimal condition to undergo the cleaning and preservation process.

If you’re planning a wedding, or part of someone’s nuptials in the near future, we wish you the best of luck! While there can be a great amount of pressure involved with putting together a picture-perfect affair, and one to remember, you won’t need to rely on luck if you’re working with experienced professionals. In Lincoln, we are privileged to have some of the best, but keep in mind that they are also in high demand. Make sure to stick to your timeline and get everything booked as soon as possible so that it’s as magical a day as you’ve always imagined it would be. As with any of the most special moments in life, it’s one to be enjoyed, and that goes for all of the days leading up to the big day too. Enjoy the process, and enlist the experts!

One of the lessons we learn very early on in life is that with ownership of property comes care and maintenance of said property. For businesses, when it comes to maintenance of space used for commercial and industrial purposes, it may fall under the responsibilities charged to the business owner, building owner, property management company, or divided between these entities accordingly. While there’s a trend towards businesses with online storefronts and more that are home-based or don’t have the need for a physical location, we still live in a thriving city with a landscape full of businesses with storefronts, warehouses, offices, mixeduse centers, and the like. While you see construction and new developments all the time just about anywhere you’re at in the Omaha Metro, what’s usually not in plain sight is the regular upkeep that’s required afterward to keep these places as nice as they appear and of course, the doors open for business. In fact, building maintenance is an area where if performed properly, you wouldn’t notice a thing and vice versa. Once an issue becomes apparent due to maintenance falling by the wayside, it can be costly to resolve. As with any important topic that affects a business’s bottom line, we’ve consulted our local experts who perform building maintenance. Spoiler alert: Plenty of great tips ahead! Safe & Sound Buildings: Structural Upkeep A building’s “bones,” along with all other key components of the structure as a whole, are critical to assess, and repair or replace accordingly, periodically as specified by the professional you entrust with these matters. With regular use and exposure to the elements, it should be expected that maintenance at certain intervals will be required to maintain the integrity of the building. “By establishing a regular maintenance schedule a building owner is going to avoid a major overhaul for their building,” advises James Bouckaer t of McGill Restoration. “With Nebraska’s severe freeze/thaw climate, it is imperative for a building owner to keep up on maintenance and keep water out of the structural areas of the building or parking structure. A common mistake made by building owners is failing to budget for repairs right from the beginning when the building is James Bouckaert purchased or otherwise changes hands. McGill Restoration

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Then when repairs are needed down the line there may not be enough funds available at that point, so a ‘Band-Aid’ solution or shortcut for the repairs is requested. This way of thinking and approach to the situation is going to cause them to spend more money than opting to have it done it right in the first place. Prior to purchasing a building, I highly recommend having an engineer evaluate it to determine what will need to be repaired now and what can wait. This will help you put together a timeline and work the required maintenance items into your budget accordingly. It can also give you leverage during the negotiation process. Along the same lines, a trend we are seeing nowadays, especially on taller building in highly-populated areas, is using drones to perform surveys of the building and getting an up-close look at areas hundreds of feet in the air. This is a very inexpensive way to evaluate a building with real video footage in areas not visible on the ground and otherwise very expensive to access. The other methods to access these areas would be either motorized swingstage equipment or using a boom lift, which both are expensive and require heavy equipment. As far as upgrades to consider for any existing buildings in your portfolio, I personally think that installing water repellant or a protective coating to all exposed concrete especially in parking structures is key. One thing we know is concrete will crack and deteriorate; it is just a matter of when. This is going to eliminate a lot of future concrete repairs and also keep the structural parts of the garage out of the weather. With parking structures that are always occupied, it makes it difficult to perform repairs when needed and keep a garage in operation at the same time. By doing some maintenance up front the building owner is not going to lose out on income as they would if a parking structure needs to be closed down for repairs.


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McGill Restoration is a very diverse company with a wide range of capabilities. We help facilitate surveys for building managers of commercial buildings and parking structures to determine what work is needed to maintain a building. With our experience and reputation, we are often called to these types of sites to determine why things are deteriorating the way they are and how those problems can be resolved. If you have concerns with your property, we’d be happy to discuss them with you – feel free to contact our Omaha office directly.” Sanitary Buildings: Waste Removal Systems The overwhelming majority of buildings have restrooms, whether public or private. These are systems that require maintenance to continue functioning properly with regular use. The same holds true for other waste removal systems, such as grease traps at restaurants or safe disposal of hazardous chemicals that are required for a number of different types of businesses. There could be a lot of reasons why you’d have an independently-operating septic system on your property. If you do happen to fall into any of the aforementioned categories, you’ll want to be familiar with the system and also stick to a regular maintenance performed by the professionals. Within the same theme of maintaining a clean and sanitary environment in your building, essential cleaning tasks can easily fall to the wayside if not entrusted to a professional. With everything else going on for a person who is charged with running a business, it’s best left on autopilot, meaning scheduled with a company that comes in on a regular basis, set schedule and all, and completes all required tasks. Everything will get done, and you won’t have to worry about the logistics. Along with keeping your place of business presentable year-round, utilizing the services of a professional cleaning company will also help to extend the life of certain features in your building that are exposed to regular

traffic and use, defraying costs for future replacement. Secure Buildings: Functional Points of Entrance Again, anything that gets used regularly will need to be properly maintained in order to perform as it should. Windows and doors are another great example of this. “Among the most important things to take into consideration are age and function of your doors and locks, along with types of glass, depending on if they are safety glass or insulated. This will determine how your budget is established,” advises Jim Hannum of A United Automatic Doors & Glass, which, repairs doors, locks, and glass. “I’d also advise looking back on how your doors and locks performed over the last year or two. Jim Hannum When a door breaks down unexpectedly A United Automatic or after hours in an emergency it is more Doors & Glass costly to repair or replace. Servicing doors for prevention will help to minimize, or eliminate, business interruptions and keep customers coming in, along with avoiding emergency fees. Likewise, when it’s time to install new doors or glass, I oftentimes notice that business owners will try to save money by purchasing a lower quality product. In the short-term, it is more probable the building owner will experience issues with door function that frequently need to be fixed. This will collectively over time cost more long-term than investing in a solid, quality product at a moderately higher price point early on. Always try to replace your doors and locks with the highest quality possible for peace of mind. Interestingly enough, in our industry, the highest quality does not always mean the most expensive. As far as setting a schedule for provider visits, early inspections and maintenance are recommended. The best time of year to inspect would be late summer before the upswing of the fall business cycle. For those looking to stay ahead of repairs, I’d highly recommend changing out the existing glass to Thermal and Insulated Metal and High-Efficiency Glass to conserve energy and lower your costs. Insulated glass in the doors with new weather stripping to seal will drive down energy and utility expenses. This will also help you to avoid costs for early replacement by extending the life of your equipment and assets. The beauty and image of your business will be enhanced too. Stanley Access Technologies provides us with regular updates about new and innovative and energy efficient products, so if you’d like to learn more, go to to see the new technology that’s out there, or feel to call me directly anytime.” In closing, he also recommends working with someone local for the maintenance your building. “One trap that many businesses fall into is entering into a national contract with their headquarters. Or similarly, they come to find out that their building owner/ property manager has outside maintenance agreements. Please be watchful of these kinds of agreements. By contracting out building services to a third party, they try to reduce costs by going through a middleman. These companies will try to make their money by exacting fees and unnecessary trips, thus making the third party vendor much more expensive in the long run. Go local! You are really much better off finding a reliable local provider who you trust.” A United Automatic Doors & Glass also has a security division, Secure Card Readers And More (S.C.R.A.M.), which provides hardware, software, and cameras along with repair services on those items and systems. Josh Hannum of S.C.R.A.M., a division of A United Automatic Doors & Glass, weighs on the importance of staying up to date and maintaining the security of your business location.

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“Ask yourself: Is your business protected with updated locks and cameras from all threats, including internal? Taking this into consideration and staying vigilant in your management of fundamental security components is key. Security is a 24-hour-a-day activity and monitoring the system should be ongoing. Check all your cameras and systems at least weekly. You can ask your security provider or vendor to schedule regular periodic maintenance Josh Hannum appointments, commonly referred to as P.M.s. Hardware inspections should be S.C.R.A.M. conducted at least every six months, or more, and sometimes can be evaluated remotely. If you’re at a point where you’re looking into upgrading, following suit with the trend toward synergies and integration between access/ entry and building security/surveillance is advised. We get daily updates on new technology and innovations, and we share them on our website,, for anyone who is interested in learning more.” Josh also reminds of a few things to keep on your radar this time of year. “Cold weather can cause issues with concrete seizing that can affect moving parts. Snow melt salt can cause doors to fail as well. A business should make sure debris is cleared from the doors. Also, do not use solvents or even WD40. Windy days can cause a door to be sheared off its hinges. As for advice from S.C.R.A.M., thieves are constantly looking for ways to steal and have longer to work under the cover of night in the winter months. 1. Keep your lights on brighter at night; 2. Make sure alarms are on; 3. Don’t put garbage out that reveals high-value items in the building overnight.” When it comes to allocating funds for maintenance of these areas, both agree: “As for budgeting, the business owner or building maintenance manager should evaluate the prior year, expecting for costs to increase about 5 percent, and then set aside funds for costs not covered by insurance in an emergency.” Smart Buildings: Integrated Technology and Automation Systems As technology progresses, so do its applications that fall within the realm of building maintenance. This is a really great thing for business owners and building managers for a variety of reasons, particularly with respect to all of the benefits that one enjoys with an investment made in this area. When allocating funds to the installation and upkeep of a building control system, as with any other upgrades to your building, it’s important that a return on investment can be quantified and justified. You’ll also want to work with a firm that can help you find ways to save money through rebates, tax incentives, and lower energy costs. Energy management and efficiency will be key to FEBRUARY 2017 Strictly Business


operations, and your maintenance program will keep everything going as planned. Technology is both helping us to maintain our buildings and also something that itself needs to be maintained. With many choosing to incorporate smart features into their buildings that control a number of systems, this is an area that also falls under the umbrella of general building maintenance that is beneficial to have scheduled at specific intervals. “Far too frequently, the building owner or manager doesn’t fully consider the value of what routine building maintenance will do for them,” says Pat Killeen of Engineered Controls. “The reality is that when a building’s systems are properly maintained they will run at top efficiency and for the longest possible amount of time, minimizing your operating costs and unnecessary capital expenditures. Properly controlled and maintained building systems equal Pat Killeen maximum employee satisfaction, maximum productivity, and cost savings. In fact, a Engineered Controls well-maintained system can be cost neutral when considering both the energy savings and extended life of the equipment. In addition, a good maintenance program will help to ensure buildings will experience smooth, uninterrupted operation for as long as possible. When it comes to building maintenance, service providers with a depth of support and solid system skills are critical to satisfying customers no matter the need. Our service maintenance team is comprised of long-term seasoned individuals who understand the value and importance in maintaining building systems at peak operating performance. To ensure this happens, we provide our service providers with the best possible tools, equipment, and training. Our service providers enjoy full factory support and I am pleased to say they are all factory certified on the products we service. What constitutes the ‘right’ level of service for security equipment and automation systems, on the other hand, differs from facility to facility. At Engineered Controls, our goal is to help the building owner or manager succeed by offering custom-tailored maintenance agreements to fit their staff’s skill sets and business needs. Whether that’s a business that simply needs to identify a reliable resource for fast and accurate repairs, or one that wants to continually optimize the performance of the building, Engineered Controls provides a tiered approach to service that meets individual equipment needs, failure tolerance, and budget. Our Planned Service Agreements (PSAs) are designed to assist in the daily operation of facilities. The PSA has two elements: 1) Preventative Care; and 2) System-Wide Energy Analysis. Our Preventative Care program focuses on the building hardware. It is a standardized preventative maintenance program on a building controls system to maximize the system’s reliability and to minimize the operational costs. In other words, we provide comprehensive system-wide checkups and testing to ensure that the control system is always operating at peak operating performance. In the second element of our maintenance program, SystemWide Energy Analysis, our staff of trained experts will assist a building owner in identifying areas where they can reduce costs as well as simple potential energy savings payback opportunities and providing training as needed. When our customers express interest in a more aggressive approach to energy reduction, we then move them into our Energy and Environmental Optimization Program, handled by trained EEO professionals, where we then look at equipment life cycles and more extensive energy programs. 50

Strictly Business FEBRUARY 2017

All told, when a building’s mechanical and electrical systems are working together in harmony, the environment will be pleasant, productive and safe for all.” Worry-Free Buildings: Outsourced Maintenance Building maintenance is indeed something that, no matter how it’s tasked, requires a team approach for optimal results. Today, with the prevalence of the landlord-tenant relationship, it’s become much more common for this to be the exclusive responsibility of the property owner or property management company. So while it impacts all business owners with a physical location, it generally falls squarely on the shoulders of a smaller population within that group. As commercial properties have evolved to better accommodate the needs of the modern business owner, fewer are actually charged with the maintenance of the space they occupy and within which they conduct business. As such, it may make sense for you to own your location, but the conveniences associated with renting space may prove more attractive--particularly, in this case, not having to worry about building maintenance at all, or spend money on it regularly. “With HIP Realty and HIP, OffiCenters, w i t h i n o u r o f f e r i n g s we h a ve t h e opportunity to see both sides of building maintenance,” explains Michael Holroyd of Holroyd Investment Proper ties. “Our main focus at HIP, OffiCenters is to provide a professional office space for our clients that allows them to focus on their businesses. Because of that, we take responsibility for all maintenance required. Our clients don’t have the worry Michael Holroyd or expense of maintaining their office. Holroyd Investment As for HIP Realty, we have six skilled Properties maintenance employees available to handle our maintenance needs. Besides giving timely service to issues as they arise, we also focus on completing preventative maintenance to avoid problems in the future. Our residents and owners can count on HIP Realty to provide 24-hour maintenance service all year long. Moreover, we are constantly striving to be more efficient in our maintenance practices. Using LED lighting, following a recycling program, and completing frequent inspections are all ways we try to make maintenance easier. We have all experienced unexpected expenses. No matter how hard you try to prepare for them, there is never a good time for major maintenance issues to arise. This is a worry we’ve taken out of the picture for our clients. When planning, a business owner needs to consider how much overhead they want to take on themselves. Regular maintenance is part of that operating expense that must be budgeted. Each business must decide if that is the best route for them, or if an office suite where all of that is built into the lease is a better fit.”

Building maintenance is key to protecting your investment in the structure itself. Its impact also extends past that to the environment, of the business atmosphere and its ecological footprint. Similarly, it’s also one of the best ways to ensure that the location where business in conducted is supporting these ongoing matters as opposed to jeopardizing them. After all, in order to be successful, your doors need to remain open with everything functioning as it should.

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Strictly Business Omaha February 2017  

Our cover this month features Rebecca Wester, M.D. / C.M.D., Clinical Director of Douglas County Rehab, a branch of the Douglas County Healt...

Strictly Business Omaha February 2017  

Our cover this month features Rebecca Wester, M.D. / C.M.D., Clinical Director of Douglas County Rehab, a branch of the Douglas County Healt...