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Omaha’s Most Trusted Auto Repair Facility • Spring Landscaping • Unplanned Life Changes • Celebrating Graduation • Starting a Business


In This Issue

Pictured from L to R: Travis Dingman, Estimator/Shop Manager; Darcie Dingman, Marketing/HR; Andy Dingman, General Manager; Diana Dingman, Owner; Boyd Dingman, Owner.

EYAD KAKISH Omaha Health Clinic

ANDY STORZ Appreciation Financial


Achievement Unlimited, Inc.

Five Nines


Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement


Concordia University, Nebraska


Strictly Business Magazine PO BOX 57397, Lincoln, NE 68505



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Strictly Business APRIL 2017

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



PAIGE ZUTAVERN Omaha/Lincoln - President 402-730-0096 |

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

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

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


4 Business 23 Personnel

27 Non-Profit 32 Health


16 River City Six

ASK THE EXPERT 22 Sandler Training


33 34 41 44 4

Spring Landscaping Unplanned Life Changes Celebrating Graduation Starting a Business Strictly Business APRIL 2017





PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor Amanda Wilson - Art Director Tingleska Hallum - Graphic Designer Holly Ryan - SALES TEAM: President/Sales Paige Zutavern - Executive Assistant Jenna Hubl - Publisher/Founder/Accounting Shayne Zutavern - STRICTLY BUSINESS is not responsible for unsolicited material. All rights to submission, including letters, will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to our unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially or creatively, unless otherwise negotiated with the author. Nothing may be printed in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. The publication of any advertisement in STRICTLY BUSINESS is not an endorsement of the advertiser or of the products or services advertised. Printed in the U.S.A. Copyright ©2016 by PZAK, Inc. Third Class Postage Paid at Lincoln, NE 68505


Omaha’s Most Trusted Auto Repair Facility

Dingman’s Collision Center has been serving the Omaha community for over 20 years, but dates even further back to 1960 when Francis Dingman made the decision to open his own small shop. The company’s roots are firmly planted in the commitment to holding integrity in high regard and providing the highest caliber of service. Francis’ son, Boyd Dingman, continued in his footsteps, achieving success through hard work and dedication to being the very best. Together with his wife Diana, they expanded their small family owned and operated shop into a thriving business with four locations, with three in the heart of Omaha and the newest in Papillion. As the years passed, the third generation of Dingmans - Andy, Darcie, and Travis – joined the business in their father’s footsteps, further cementing its legacy. They all currently serve in key leadership roles; General Manager, Marketing & HR Director, and Estimator/Shop Manager respectively. The strength of their team is in the merging of their individual strengths and talents, along with their collective dedication to ensuring the company stays true to the principles that have earned the business a loyal client base. Dingman’s Collision Center continues to grow and develop to this day, just as they’ve done from the very beginning. In 2017, that will include the completion of the new building addition at the 120th & Maple location. The 16,000-square-foot facility allows the team to better serve customers, as it has the highest volume of the four, which have all seen a steady increase in business. Outfitted with all new equipment, highlights include two paint booths with the latest in refinish application technology, fully-isolated aluminum repair area to prevent cross contamination of foreign matter, full rise lifts, 3D measuring for structural realignment, every welder required for manufacturer-specific purposes, four-wheel 3D alignment, and vehicle scan diagnostics and troubleshooting capabilities covering all makes and models. “Investing in today’s technology and training has allowed us to achieve vehicle manufacturer certification, ensuring us access to the vehicle specific repair procedures that are necessary to carry out a safe, proper repair,” states Andy Dingman. “The goal with everything we do, including our recent progress, is relatively simple: We intend to be Omaha’s most trusted repair facility, offering our community honest, appropriate, and timely repairs with unparalleled service.” Equally exciting, Dingman’s Collision Center has also established a standalone mechanical division, Dingman’s Mechanical Repair, the last piece of the puzzle to completely round out its offerings. With this addition, Dingman’s is now a true one-stop shop for automotive repair services. Of the new division, Andy notes, “We have been hearing from our customers for years that they wished we would offer mechanical repair services. Well we listened, and we will draw on our experience from collision repair to bring the same best in class service to our new mechanical repair division. We look forward to servicing our past and future customers at the new mechanical location and are ecstatic for the opportunity to show them the Dingman difference.” Dingman’s Mechanical Repair Both new developments will be completely operational this month, exactly one year since the official groundbreaking was held to mark the beginning of construction. Coming full circle, Dingman’s Collision FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.DINGMANS.COM Center will host a ribbon cutting with the Greater Omaha Chamber of OR CALL ANY OF OUR FOUR OMAHA LOCATIONS! Commerce this spring, with more details to be announced. All are invited Midtown Omaha | 50th & Saddle Creek | 402.558.3500 to join in celebrating this milestone with the Dingman family and the rest of the Dingman’s team. Northwest Omaha | 120th & Maple | 402.502-5511 At Dingman’s Collision Center, the focus is, and has always been, on the Southwest Omaha | 144th & Industrial Rd. | 402.502.8757 customer. Continually moving forward in new ways to meet their needs Downtown Papillion | 84th & Lincoln | 402.933.9400 is just business as usual!

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Notre Dame Housing Teams Up With Methodist Heath System to Host Free Senior Health and Resource Expo Notre Dame Housing and Methodist Health System are pleased to announce the first Senior Resource and Health Expo, scheduled for Friday, April 21, 2017. It will take place from 8:00am-12:00pm at Seven Oaks Center for Seniors, located at 3439 State Street, Omaha, NE 68112. This is a FREE event that will provide information on health services and vital community resources for older adults. The event will feature: blood/sugar screenings, interactive exhibits, tobacco free education and A1C, weight and height, a foot care clinic, blood pressure checks, immunization review, nutritional meal demonstrations and more. Since 1997, Notre Dame Housing (NDH) has provided affordable housing and supportive services to older adults 55+. NDH is committed to the principle that older adults possess limitless potential to develop as individuals, to support their families and communities. Striving to harness this energy and to enable older adults to shape their own destinies is reflected in all work done by NDH in the community. For more information about Notre Dame Housing, visit www.ndhinc. org or contact Barbara Thomas at (402) 451-4477 / bthomas@

Appreciation Financial Establishes Scholarships, Supports Local Schools Appreciation Financial is proud to announce several recent initiatives in support of local education programs in Nebraska, including the funding of two new scholarships and a donation to help meet the needs of Omaha Public Schools students. To support the students of the Native Indigenous Centered Education program, Appreciation Financial has created a $500 scholarship for a NICE program student. With students in several schools across the district, Appreciation felt it was important to help NICE have a scholarship that was specifically for a student involved with the program. The scholarship will be awarded at the NICE Honors Ceremony on April 13. In recognition of the amazing work done at the Blackburn Alternative Program by Jodi Pesek and her staff, Appreciation Financial has created a $500 scholarship for a Blackburn student. This scholarship will help a student that has shown great effort and achievement while at Blackburn to continue their education. Finally, Andrew Storz, a local agent representing Appreciation Financial, presented Principal Dana Barker of Sherman Elementary with $500 in gift cards to help provide students with needed items. The gift cards were given during a Teacher Appreciation Lunch held at the school. Appreciation Financial is a retirement consulting brokerage that works almost exclusively with public school employees offering education and safe retirement and insurance products. “Serving the people that serve us every day is both an honor and privilege that we are grateful for,” Storz noted. To find out more, call (402) 419-3426, email astorz@, or visit 6 Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Elisa Ilana Jewelry Celebrates 20th Anniversary Elisa Ilana Jewelry is excited to celebrate its 20th year in the jewelry business. Over the last two decades, the Omaha-based jewelry retailer/manufacturer has built a loyal worldwide following in fine fashion and affordable luxury jewelry. Great care is taken in curating a wide variety of up-and-coming designers and unusual art to wear. Elisa Ilana has an extensive collection of both original designs and highly sought after designers. In addition to a retail storefront, Elisa Ilana has reached an ever-growing national audience through its e-commerce sites. As a JCK Jewelers’ Choice Award winner, President/CEO Laurie Langdon’s original designs often break new ground to bring options to customers looking for something that is truly one-of-a-kind. This year, Laurie’s son, Adam Langdon, furthers this mission by joining the organization as Senior VP of Marketing and Communications, bringing his own extensive background in jewelry design and merchandising along with him. There are many plans in place for the 20th year celebration, including personal shopping events, seasonal trend exclusives, one-on-one styling sessions and fashion outreach programs. Going forward, there will be a continued focus on fashion tailored for all occasions and tastes. The premier place for fine fashion jewelry, Elisa Ilana offers a variety of styles, at a wide spectrum of prices, for every occasion. Elisa Ilana Jewelry is located at 13132 Davenport Street in Omaha and can be contacted directly at (402) 926-3479. Find out more online at

Nebraska’s Largest Renaissance Festival Returns to Bellevue Berry Farm in May The Renaissance Festival of Nebraska, at the Bellevue Berry Farm, will once again host two themed weekends filled with hard-hitting jousts and medieval merry-making, May 6 – 7 and May 13 – 14, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., retaining the crown of Nebraska’s largest Renaissance faire! The New Riders of the Golden Age, internationally acclaimed joust professionals from Sarasota, FL, will offer a different equestrian jousting program each festival weekend, three times daily. Both weekends spotlight the amazing fire skills of Fandazzi Fire Circus from the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, as well as Topsy-Turvey, the all-female acrobatic troupe from St. Petersburg, FL. All five festival stages will be filled with on-going performances of exotic dancers, comic juggling, old world magic, and sing-along pub musicians. To round out your daily adventure, enjoy historical re-enactment groups full of informational fun, games of skill, hands-on activities, free craftmaking for the wee-folk provided by Nobbies of Omaha, and festival foods fit for a king!. With more than 60 merchants, over 200 costumed characters, and dozens of performers, this really is Nebraska’s largest Renaissance festival! A full day of fun, entertainment, and activities is only $13 for adults and $8 for children. Tickets can be purchased online and additional information found at and www., or purchased each day of the festival at the entrance gate of the Bellevue Berry Farm, located at 11001 South 48th Street in Papillion.


McGill Restoration’s New Training Center Up and Running

CarePatrol Ranked #1 Senior Placement Franchise in the Nation

The professionals at McGill Restoration learn something new every day! Even though McGill Restoration has been in business for over three decades, their focus on continually educating and training employees remains strong. As of February 2017, the company’s new training facility in Omaha, NE is completely operational.

C a r e Pa t ro l Franchise S y s t e m s has been recognized for the 7th consecutive year as the #1 Senior Placement Franchise in the nation by two prominent national ranking firms. Franchise Business Review, a national franchise market research firm, surveys thousands of franchise investment opportunities each year. The companies ranked on FBR’s annual Top Franchises are among the best of the best based on this annual review of award-winning franchises. Entrepreneur magazine has also recognized CarePatrol in its annual Franchise500 ranking. CarePatrol ranked in the top 5% of around 5,000 franchise systems in the nation, and 100 companies above their nearest franchise competitor. Achieving this level of franchisee satisfaction speaks volumes of the brand’s quality and strength overall. CarePatrol is the nation’s largest no-cost senior placement agency. The goal is to find the community that’s the safest and best fit for the client, which is matched by care needs, wants, location, and finances. The company thoroughly reviews the care and violation history of the communities recommended, and will then line up the tours and personally accompany the family to each one. This is all provided completely free of charge to seniors and their loved ones by a certified senior advisor. To find out more about your local CarePatrol agency, please visit or contact Theron Ahlman directly at (402) 580-2116 or

Safety and doing things correctly the first time is the company’s mantra, key objectives that could not be achieved without this critical piece. The leadership team at McGill Restoration values the knowledge that their team of skilled craftsmen bring to each job, but embrace the fact that there is always something more to learn. Employees are encouraged to learn from one another and implement ‘best practices’ on each and every job performed. With the opening of a designated training center specifically geared towards meeting the needs of its workforce, McGill Restoration has demonstrated further commitment to the development of the next generation of skilled craftsmen in our area. At McGill Restoration, learning is a fundamental aspect of the company culture. Aptly called The McGill Way, these are the rules they live by: “We make stuff happen. – We do the right thing. – We take chances. – We own it.” Find out more at

UNICO Group Nationally Recognized as “Top Performing Agency” UNICO Group is honored to announce its national recognition as “Top Performing Agency” by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”). The Lincoln-based insurance agency has received the “Best Practices Agency” award for the past seven years and this year excelled to the elite status of “Top Performing Agency” in 2016 for its respective revenue size of $10 to $25 million. Since 1993, Big “I” and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process. “This award is vetted through a highly competitive process among other leading agencies in our industry,” says Scott Nelson, President of UNICO Group. “We are humbled by the top recognition and are proud of our employees who excel at adding value to our customers and make UNICO’s growth and success possible.” More than 1,200 agencies around the country were nominated in six revenue categories, ranging from less than $1.25 million in annual revenue to more than $25 million. Of the 400 agencies selected, only 254 received an award and included in the 2016 Best Practices Study. “As a Top Performing Agency, we are dedicated to providing superior customer service and will continue to enhance our processes to ensure UNICO consistently sets the benchmark as an industry leading performer,” says Brian Clanton, Director of Operations at UNICO. UNICO Group is a full-service insurance agency with services ranging from commercial insurance, workers’ comp, and employee benefits, to personal insurance, financial planning, human resource solutions and wellness solutions. For more information about business and personal insurance and financial needs, call (402) 434-7200 or visit the website at

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


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


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

First National of Nebraska Named One of ‘America’s Best Banks’ by Forbes for 6th Year in a Row First National of Nebraska, t h e l a r ge s t privately o w n e d banking company in the United States, has been named to Forbes’ “America’s Best Banks” list for 2017, marking its sixth straight year on the list. First National moved up seven spots this year to 16th on the magazine’s list, which ranked the country’s 100 largest banks. First National of Nebraska is the parent company of First National Bank, which has five locations in Lincoln. Forbes ranked the banks according to 10 metrics related to growth, profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality. First National has more than $19 billion in total assets. “We are proud to have been recognized by Forbes for six years in a row as one of the Best Banks in America,” said Rich Herink, Lincoln market president. “It’s a testament to our company’s efforts to provide an exceptional customer experience and the hard work of our employees to deliver on that experience.” First National Bank ( is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

BUSINESS NEWS Brooke Ahlman of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement Attends Industry Training Event Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement is excited to announce that owner Brooke Ahlman recently took part in a hair replacement clinic in Fort Lauderdale, FL that brought in top industry professionals from across the U.S. and abroad. The two-and-a-half day event covered many new techniques and showcased new products that will help Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement take even better care of their clients and serve the next generation as their hair loss needs increase. Stylists and owners from all across the world were in attendance and it was truly an amazing collaborative learning experience. Brooke returned with a wealth of information and is excited to share all that she learned, experienced, and has to offer with current and potential clients. Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement performs non-surgical hair replacement along with haircuts and styling, perms, coloring, extensions, and special occasion updos. Located inside Design Edge at 75th & Pioneers in Lincoln, Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement provides free consultations, with a no hassle, no pressure approach when it comes to talking about the right hair system for you. It doesn’t matter if hair loss is a new development or if you haven’t had hair for 10 years, Brooke will work with you to deliver the style you want, restoring your confidence and ensuring you look AND feel your very best. For more information, visit, call (402) 649-0212 or email

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

Omaha Beer Fest Tickets On Sale Now The 2017 Omaha Beer Fest on Friday and Saturday, June 9-10 will settle into its new permanent home this summer at Horsemen’s Park. It will be the first infield event ever held at the racetrack. Tickets for this event are now available online - please visit www. and click on the green BUY TICKETS button in the upper right hand corner to select and purchase your tickets. “We are excited to announce that the ticket prices will remain the same as last year, $35 in advance for General Admission and $55 in advance for VIP,” says Mike Newlin, Vice President Racing Operations and General Manager at Horsemen’s Park. “The infield of our racetrack is an ideal location for large outdoor events such as Omaha Beer Fest. At this year’s event, we will enhance the move in process, supply close parking, and provide added marketing opportunities for the craft breweries.” Omaha Beer Fest is the largest beer festival in Nebraska and will offer fans a chance to sample hundreds of unique American craft beers, ciders and hard sodas. Attendees will love the central location, the ease of parking and the excitement of the fun festival experience.

MLCDC’s New LatinoDir Highlights Bilingual Businesses The Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) is pleased to introduce LatinoDir, a pioneering project coming from the heart of the organization. An online business directory spanning the Omaha Metro, LatinoDir’s main objective is to promote a range of companies which serve both Spanish- and Englishspeaking clients. It’s the only one of its kind in the area, making it a unique and exciting service for those in our community. LatinoDir’s mission is to expand the available services to the Latino community and help with their integration into the American commercial networks. The directory allows the Latino community to find companies where services are offered in their native language, but where they can also feel comfortable communicating in their secondary language. The vision is to position LatinoDir as the best bilingual search tool in the Midlands. In the future, MLCDC hopes to expand this project past Hispanic companies to include other ethnic groups which offer services in English and Spanish, merging different cultures in the market. Moving forward, LatinoDir will be dedicated to the administration and commercialization of business information, which would be both reliable and readily available to all businesses. In this way, MLCDC will contribute to the consolidation of businesses in the Midlands by supporting their growth and/or expansion. For more information, please visit, call (402) 933-4466 or email APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 9


Goldfinch Solutions Selected as Innovation Business of the Year Goldfinch Solutions, a University of Nebraska faculty startup, has been named the 2016 Innovation Business of the Year by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC). The award was presented formally during a luncheon March 17 at the Capitol in Lincoln attended by 21 senators from the Unicameral, including Senator Kate Bolz representing District 29. NBDC awards the Innovation Business of the Year to a “Nebraska business that advances technological innovation, partners with a Nebraska university to meet federal research and development needs, or increases commercialization of federal research.” Goldfinch Solutions is pioneering a multispectral imaging technology which identifies tender beef at the packing state of production. The technology is capable of predicting whether a piece of meat will be tender, intermediate or tough with very high accuracy. The company first worked with NBDC to apply for an SBIR Phase I grant from the USDA. Since 2008, they have received a total of $850,000 in funding. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Southeast Community College, Wayne State College, Mid-Plains Community College and Chadron State College to provide consulting and business support services from offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Grand Island, North Platte, McCook, Wayne, Scottsbluff and Chadron. Learn more about NBDC and the 2016 Business Award winners at

Seven Extraordinary Business Leaders to Join Omaha Business Hall of Fame


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The Greater O m a h a Chamber is set to induct another exemplary class into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for civic and business leaders – past and present – who have built legacies of innovation, success and community impact. The 2017 Omaha Business Hall of Fame inductees are: Todd A. Becker, President and CEO, Green Plains Inc.; Leo Bozell (1886-1946), Co-Founder and Partner, Bozell & Jacobs, Inc.; Morris Jacobs (1895-1987), Co-Founder and Partner, Bozell & Jacobs, Inc.; Edson L. Bridges II, President and CEO, Bridges Investment Counsel, Inc.; Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO, Gallup; Jane Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Gallup; PJ Morgan, Owner and CEO, PJ Morgan Real Estate. The seven will be inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame during a gala celebration on Wednesday, April 19, at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Hosted by the Greater Omaha Chamber, the evening will begin with a 6 p.m. hors d’oeuvres dinner followed by the induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The cost to attend is $250 per person. Reservations can be made online at OmahaChamber. org/HOF. The Omaha Business Hall of Fame was initiated in 1993 in celebration of the Chamber’s centennial anniversary. Proceeds from the Omaha Business Hall of Fame Gala will continue to support the permanent Omaha Business Hall of Fame exhibit at The Durham Museum and the annual Young Professionals Summit, a project of the Greater Omaha Chamber Young Professionals. The 2017 Omaha Business Hall of Fame Gala sponsors are Fraser Stryker, KPMG LLP and U.S. Bank.


Oliver Ridge Company Launches Quality Grooming Products for Men Oliver Ridge Company is an Omaha, Nebraska-based company that manufactures quality, all natural grooming products for men. Every product is handcrafted in Omaha and field tested through their collective of members to ensure a quality standard is achieved; “If it’s not good enough for the men of Oliver Ridge Company, then it’s not good enough for you.” In this day and age there are just no excuses for not looking your best and it starts with the foundation - your skin and hair. Oliver Ridge Company has developed a collection of all natural beard, skin, and shave products to help your skin and hair looks it best. What began as a limited release of beard oil has quickly expanded into beard balms and mustache wax. Oliver Ridge Company did not want to stop at the beard, as a significant section of the market prefers a clean shave. Thus, a shave oil was created and met with great reception. Looking ahead, Oliver Ridge Company plans to introduce facial cleansers, moisturizers, and hair care. Visit Oliver Ridge Company at and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

MITA Presents In-Focus Country Series: Japan As one of Nebraska’s two largest trading partners in Asia, our relationship with Japan is high on our list of international interests! Japan is Nebraska’s third largest export market and our state’s largest direct foreign investor. We have completed ten state-led trade missions to Japan over the past 25 years; and opened the Nebraska Center Japan in 2006 to develop and support mutual trade between our two regions. While there are many questions regarding the direction of world trade without US engagement in the TPP, Nebraska’s efforts to pursue international trade continues. Governor Ricketts will lead a Nebraska trade delegation to Japan in September 2017 in conjunction with the Midwest U.S. – Japan Association Conference to be held in Tokyo. This is your opportunity to learn more about existing trade promotion activities, resources available for assistance and the future of trade with Japan. Speakers: Ambassador Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to U.S. (invited), Ichiro Sone, JETRO-Chicago and Courtney Dentlinger, NEDED. Also, Nebraska business panel consisting of Terry Tanaka, Henningsen Foods, Lance Kotschwar, The Gavilon Group and Jeremy Baker, Oxbow Animal Health. This event is April 20th, 8-11:30 a.m., Tiburon Clubhouse, 10302 South 168th Street, Omaha, NE. Information on how to register can be found at, office at (402) 596-1210, email

Notice of Retraction: In the Joining Organizations feature published in our March 2017 issue, an error appeared in the details provided about the Greater Omaha Chamber. The correct version can be viewed online at www., with the accurate introduction as follows: “We do more than live in this community, we imagine what it could be and push it to be greater, harnessing vision, expertise and the power of ‘we’ to raise our quality of life.”

Woodcraft Acquires Midwest Woodworkers Wo o d c r a f t S u p p l y, LLC, has purchased Midwest Woodworkers, a 38-year-old Omaha, Nebraska-based company that sells woodworking equipment and supplies. The company’s Omaha store will transition into a Woodcraft retail store, the first one in the state of Nebraska. Owner Gerry Phelan will remain as general manager, along with the current staff. Once the transition to a Woodcraft store is complete, customers will be able to purchase an expanded assortment of products and have access to the Woodcraft Customer Service and Technical Departments for assistance. Phelan commented, “This merger will bring to our customers the strengths and additional products that Woodcraft offers, while retaining all that Midwest Woodworkers has been known for – an amazing selection of hardwoods, solid woodworking expertise of our staff, and the classes we offer – it will all be there. This conversion to Woodcraft will keep the operation as the leader in woodworking tools, supplies, wood and advice in the Omaha market.” Woodcraft sells more than 20,000 products at retail stores in over 70 major metropolitan areas across the U.S., through two million catalogs distributed annually in all 50 states and 117 countries, and online at Woodcraft also offers educational opportunities through classes and demos at the stores, how-to videos and articles online, and project, technique and product features in Woodcraft Magazine, which publishes six issues annually.

NE150 Challenge: 3,000 Nebraskans Logging Miles and Earning Badges More than 3,000 Nebraskans are currently logging miles—53,000 total miles so far—and earning badges in the NE150 Challenge, a free web-based activity-tracking program themed around Nebraska’s sesquicentennial celebration. Registration remains open at The year-long Challenge offers motivation for completing and tracking physical activity minutes, walking/running/biking miles, race participation and trail usage. Challenge participants are encouraged to share achievements and tips on social media with #NEMiles to connect with others looking for inspiration. The NE150 Challenge also offers a corporate membership program with 26 companies currently competing for awards in several divisions based on employee numbers. Awards include quarterly and monthly recognition for corporate members, which upon enrollment, receive a promotional kit with shirts, medals, posters and a window cling. Registration for corporate members is also still open. Top mileage-achieving member companies thus far include: Southeast Community College (5,878), Lincoln Electric System (4,355), Assurity (3,821), UNK Employees (3,358), CIP (3,129) and Nebraska NRDs (2,663). NE150 Challenge sponsors and partners include: LiveWellNebraska. com, Novartis, UNMC, the Nebraska Medical Association, the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, CHI Health St. Elizabeth, Farmers Mutual of Nebraska, the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, Nebraska Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine and BlueCross and BlueShield of Nebraska. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 11


Auction Solutions, Inc. Announces Brix Liquidation Event

International Motivational Speaker Devon Harris to Host Conference in Nebraska

Auction Solutions, Inc. would like to announce the upcoming, notto-be-missed liquidation of Brixco, Inc. at Village Pointe. This huge 3-day auction will be the largest auction of alcohol ever held in the State of Nebraska. It will include a huge inventory of all types and quality of wine, beer and liquor, with the listing detailing over 17,000 bottles on hand, plus all of the equipment, furniture and fixtures of a modern high-end wine bistro, retail liquor store, banquet hall and restaurant. The first two days will be exclusively wine and spirits, with the third day featuring the equipment, fixtures, and beer. Items will be sold in lots, with the auction price reflecting the cost of one item, which is then multiplied by the amount in the lot to calculate the final price. Those purchasing alcohol for personal consumption must be Nebraska residents and present a current, valid state-issued photo ID to register. Purchases must be picked up in person and the same identification shown at that point as well. If you are buying alcohol for resale, you must meet the same qualifications as well as presenting a copy of your liquor license for registration, and all three items at pick-up. If you are buying any non-alcohol items at the auction there are no age or residency restrictions; normal auction rules will apply. The auction begins online and live on location on Friday, April 7th at 9:00 am at 7803 Military Ave in Omaha. All actions are open to the public. For more information about Auction Solutions or this event, please contact Shayne Fili at (402) 571-0393 or visit

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


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Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce Launches Workforce Recruitment Campaign

Costco/Lincoln Premium Poultry Project Moves Forward

On Marc h 1st, the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce launched its workforce recruitment campaign to attract new talent and area alumni to return to our community to fill highly needed job placements. The campaign will highlight our vibrant community as a great place to live, work, and play. Social media ads and the newly created website feature our community’s ever-growing workforce needs, low-cost of living, exceptional healthcare, excellent education, the natural beauty of the Loess Hills, and more. This campaign highlights the progress being accomplished in our community and uncovers a variety career opportunities available in our area,” said Lori Shields, Senior Director of Marketing, Communications & Workforce. “It connects potential workers to area employment opportunities, from technology to healthcare to manufacturing to small business and more.” Uncover and explore the opportunities for yourself on the Chamber’s website at Since 1916, the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce has led the way for the businesses, organizations, government and citizens of Council Bluffs to plan and execute a transformation. As the Chamber begins its 101st year of business, it will continue to enhance the economic growth and prosperity of its members and the Council Bluffs area.

The Greater Fremont Development Council has officially announced the completion of the land purchase for the Costco and Lincoln Premium Poultry project. “We are extremely pleased to announce that Costco has completed its land purchase transaction and that it continues to make great headway with state and local authorities on the permitting process,” said Cecilia Harry of the Greater Fremont Development Council, a partner of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership. “We’re thrilled with Costco’s progress and anticipate receiving news of its final approval in the very near future,” said Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman. “This is one more step in their due diligence to bring this project to reality.” Known to the local community as Hills Farm, the 414 acres of land is located in the south industrial area of Fremont. Costco and Lincoln Premium Poultry are developing a state-of-the-art poultry processing complex in Fremont, Nebraska, including a processing plant, hatchery, and feed mill. Costco will invest around $280 million in the project, which will create an annual economic impact of around $1.2 billion.

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

Omaha by Design Honors Urban Project Leaders at 16th Annual Awards Luncheon Omaha by Design recently hosted its 2016 Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 23. The event was held at the Weitz Community Engagement Center at UNO. The Laurels Award and the Environment and Open Space Award were presented at the luncheon, moderated by ObD’s President, Mike McMeekin. The 2016 recipients of the Neighborhood Revitalization Leaf Award, the Community Appearance Leaf Award, and the Access and Mobility Leaf Award were also recognized. The following individuals and businesses were honored at the event as 2016 award recipients: The Laurels Award: Mike Moylan, Shamrock Development, Urban Core Redevelopment; Environment and Open Space Award: Pat Slaven, City of Omaha Parks Department, Contributions to Omaha’s Public Spaces; Neighborhood Revitalization Leaf Award: Norita Matt, City of Omaha Planning Department, A Career of Service; Community Appearance Leaf Award: KETV and Hearst, Burlington Station – Pioneering the Activation of 10th Street; Access and Mobility Leaf Award: Verdis Group and WELLCOM, Active Commuting Toolkit.

Endless Journey Hospice Now Accepting Clients As of January 4, 2017, Endless Journey is accepting hospice clients in Omaha and the surrounding areas. Endless Journey was founded by President Melanie Costlow, RN. Costlow worked in hospice for 10 years prior to founding Endless Journey. Her mission is to provide unparalleled care and to raise the standards of hospice care as a whole by setting a new example. “The Endless Journey hospice experience will encompass the holistic philosophy in that the client and their family will be nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually as they prepare for end of life and beyond,” stated Costlow. Endless Journey’s mark of excellence is their interdisciplinary, holistic approach to care. In addition to standard palliative care for the client, Endless Journey offers holistic options such as healing touch, massage therapy, music therapy, dietary services, reiki, acupuncture/acupressure, aromatherapy, and much more to both clients and their loved ones. To learn more about Endless Journey, call (402) 800-8145 or visit www. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 13


Nebraska Cremation Becomes The Nebraska Cremation Society, Launches Updated Website

Corey Rourke Named Wedding Photographer of the Year

As part of a recent rebranding i n i t i a t i v e, Nebraska Cremation is now officially The Nebraska Cremation Society.

For the second year in a row, Corey Rourke has been awarded the title of Wedding Photographer of the Year by Professional Photographers of Nebraska (PPN).

Along with the organization’s name change, a new-and-improved website has been introduced. With the goal of simplicity and enhanced functionality as the overarching themes of the new design, it has a fresh, new look and is easier to navigate, with the addition of many new user-friendly features. A new service menu has also been created, which can be used to find any information you need about The Nebraska Cremation Society and the products/services offered. With the added convenience of planning and paying for cremation services via the website from the comfort of your own home, and the Online Collaboration Center that allows loved ones to all be a part of the discussion together online, The Nebraska Cremation Society has presented a new way to approach handling these matters while still being available by phone or in person whenever and wherever needed. It’s now easier for clients to add a review and share their experiences too, as well as making it quick and easy to submit questions. Visit to view the new look and all of the updates! Also, make sure to watch for the launch of The Nebraska Cremation Society’s new blog, where experts will share their thoughts and advice about trending topics in the cremation industry.


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


Huddle House Poised for Growth Into Nebraska

New Partnership Brings Workforce Readiness Opportunities to South Omaha Community

Huddle up, Omaha. Huddle House has announced that it’s spreading its “Any Meal, Any Time” mantra into Nebraska, revealing plans to enter the market. Known for its round-the-clock breakfast, Southern hospitality and big portions at fair prices, Huddle House has plans in place to open an additional 100 restaurants over the next few years, including two Omaha locations.

Heartland Workforce Solutions (HWS) has expanded their reach in the South Omaha community by making their services available at the Latino Center of the Midlands (LCM). Individuals and families served by the LCM now have access to a vast array of workshops and tutorials to search for jobs, write a resume, and prepare for job interviews, as well as opportunities to attend career exploration and networking tours and job fairs. An open house was held March 9 to introduce the community to HWS’ new South Omaha location.

Huddle House also recently unveiled a number of initiatives at its restaurants, including optimizing the kitchen design for greater operational efficiency in the kitchen’s expediting and service areas. Plus, Huddle House is also rolling out technology improvements to franchise partners, such as the brand’s first fully automated backoffice tool that will handle inventory and labor management, a new business intelligence tool and a profit and loss reporting platform. As Huddle House expands, the brand is awarding franchise opportunities with growth incentives up to $85,000 to qualified individuals who share the company’s vision, who will follow the proven business model and who are driven to succeed. Tailored to owners and operators who are looking to give back to their community or diversifying entrepreneurs searching to branch out into the restaurant industry, the franchise model provides structure and scalability without requiring previous restaurant experience.

As a collective impact organization, the mission of Heartland Workforce Solutions is to promote and develop a workforce system that is responsive to the needs of business and career seekers resulting in economic prosperity. Heartland Workforce Solutions locates their services nearest to people living in areas of higher unemployment and poverty. Its principal office is located at 5752 Ames Street in Omaha. Some programming has eligibility criteria, but most services offered by HWS are available to all people seeking careers. Find out more about Heartland Workforce Solutions at www., and Latino Center of the Midlands at www.

For more information on the Huddle House franchise opportunity, visit or call (800) 640-7125.

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

National Anthem Contest, Sign-Up for Torch Run Now Open for Cornhusker State Games The Nebraska Sports Council has announced the 2017 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) Torch Run route/schedule and is encouraging Nebraska runners of all ages to sign up for a mile. Officials have also opened the search for a national anthem performer for the Games’ Opening Ceremonies. The Torch Run, which is sponsored by the Nebraska National Guard, will kick off on June 19 in a swing through Sarpy and Douglas counties via the Omaha Trails network before heading to the Panhandle to begin the west-to-east legs on June 21. Applicants for the Torch Run will be assigned one-mile segments, using highway mile markers in most cases. Runners will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no fee for the Torch Run although donations are encouraged. Participants will each receive a T-shirt. The schedule, route map and entry information are available at Those wishing to audition to perform the national anthem may now upload one audition video to and email the video link to by April 9 at midnight. A judging panel will determine up to five finalists by April 14. Online voting on social media will determine the winner. This year’s contest is open to individual performers only; vocalists or instrumentalists are welcome. Last year, when the competition was open only to groups, Major Minor 3, a vocal trio from McCook won the competition. There is no cost to enter the anthem contest, which is sponsored by Amigos/Kings Classic. The Torch Run and Opening Ceremonies are precursors to the 33rd annual Cornhusker State Games, which features competition in more than 60 sports in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities. Most sports take place July 21-30, and officials expect more than 12,000 participants. For entry information and entry forms log onto CornhuskerStateGames. com, call (402) 471-2544 or email APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 15

BUSINESS NEWS International Propeller Service Selected as Export Business of the Year

Lawing Financial Announces Rebrand and Accelerated Growth Plans for 2017

International Propeller Service has been named the 2016 Export Business of the Year by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC). The awards were presented formally during a luncheon March 17 at the Capitol in Lincoln attended by 21 senators from the Unicameral, including Senator Matt Hansen representing District 26. NBDC awards the Export Business of the Year annually to a Nebraska business that is successful in selling and delivering products or services internationally. From Argentina to Egypt and Denmark to South Africa, International Propeller Service has shipped to customers around the world. Bob Finke, managing partner, says the company has sold parts and overhauled airplane propellers for clients in 43 countries since April 2012. This service is complicated and time consuming. The shop must be certified by the FAA and every part used must be traceable to an approved vendor. “An overhaul is a job that takes 40 hours, minimum,” he says. “There are only 30 shops in the country that do this kind of work.” In 2016, the Nebraska Business Development Center provided business analysis, training and consulting to 2,187 businesses throughout Nebraska resulting in more than $398.9 million in cumulative economic impact for the state. NBDC is a cooperative program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Learn more about NBDC and the 2016 Business Award winners at

Lawing Financial looks to the future with a comprehensive corporate rebrand, which was recently unveiled companywide. The new look completes a historic 12-month period of organizational evolution that began with the hiring of Andrew Stafford as Chief Operating Officer in January, 2016, followed by the addition of a series of high-level leadership positions. The new additions at the director level include Nicole Hendrix from Northwestern Mutual as Director of Talent Acquisition; Cami Walker transitioned over from Empower as Director of Qualified Plans; Carrie Ohm from Waddell and Reed was added as Recruiting Manager; Chris Osmond from BMO joined as Director of Wealth Advisory Services; and most recently Tae Kim, formerly the Vice President of Marketing for Mariner Holdings / Montage Investments, joined as Director of Marketing. In addition, Lawing added to its impressive footprint by opening new offices in Omaha, Nebraska, Boerne, Texas (a suburb of San Antonio), Columbia, Missouri, and an office relocation to Springfield, Missouri. Lawing Financial has expanded its advisor base over the past several months along with new offices, giving the company the ability to create more investment opportunities and meet its clients’ needs more fully. Eric Krause was named lead portfolio manager of the firm’s Investment Advisory Committee earlier this year and Michael Smoots was hired as the firm’s third ERISA attorney serving qualified retirement plan clients. Lawing Financial is a dynamic, growth-oriented company, named one of Forbes Magazine’s fastest growing Midwest firms to watch. The Lawing team manages over $4 billion in assets under advisement and serves clients in more than 40 states. For more information, visit www.

Greater Omaha-Council Bluffs Repeats as #1 in Top Metros, Nebraska Wins Governor’s Cup The Greater O m a h a Chamber is cheering a repeat win with regional implications. For the second year in a row – and the third time since 2014 – Site Selection magazine ( has ranked Omaha-Council Bluffs the No. 1 Tier-2 metro area (population between 200,000 – 1 million) for new and expanded corporate projects. A 60+-year-old national publication, Site Selection magazine is a recognized leader in reporting on corporate real estate strategy and area economic development. David G. Brown, Chamber president and CEO, said the key to award-winning economic development is regional collaboration. The Chamber helms the Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership, an eight-county economic development program dedicated to creating jobs and encouraging capital investment throughout southeast Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Prominent economic development projects announced in OmahaCouncil Bluffs in 2016 – contributing to more than $612,000,000 in new capital investment – included: HDR, Inc. – Construction of a 10-story corporate headquarters in Aksarben Village; Tyson Fresh Meats, a Tyson Foods subsidiary – A $27-million production facility expansion in Council Bluffs; Thrasher, Inc. – Construction of a new $35-million headquarters in Papillion; Structural Component Systems, Inc. – The addition of 30 jobs and an investment of $3-million in a long-term lease and new equipment.


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To add to the accolades, Site Selection also named the state of Nebraska the winner of its prestigious Governor’s Cup, an award given for the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita.

BUSINESS NEWS Christian Brothers Automotive Omaha Under New Ownership

Paws To Angels Receives “Keeping It Personal” Award

Christian Brothers Automotive is excited to announce that the Omaha location is officially under new ownership. It was purchased by Stephen Ciesielski in November 2016 from Jason and Michelle Hurt, who opened the business in December 2013. Ciesielski found it to be the perfect opportunity, as it allows him to pursue his passion for automobiles, to be his own boss, and to take the reins of an established business, allowing him to serve existing and new customers in the Omaha community.

Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center & Services from Omaha, NE has won an honorable mention in the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s 2016 Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awards, recognizing the best in personalization in the cemetery, funeral service and cremation profession. Created by the ICCFA Personalization Committee, the KIP program honors recipients in five categories. Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center & Services received an honorable mention in the Most Personalized Pet Service or Memorial category. The ICCFA’s 2016 KIP Awards contest attracted nearly 55 entries from the United States, Canada and Ireland. Communications and marketing professionals from outside the cemetery and funeral service profession performed the judging. All KIP Awards recipients will be recognized at the ICCFA 2017 Annual Convention & Exposition, April 5-8 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and in ICCFA Magazine. To learn more, please visit or connect with ICCFA on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center & Services, please contact Cherie Fry, CPLP, at (402) 507-0585, via email at, or visit

Christian Brothers Automotive offers a complete range of automotive services – from oil changes to engine replacements. The Omaha location is part of the Christian Brothers Automotive network of 160 locations in over 20 states. Christian Brothers Automotive Omaha upholds its mission to provide customers with ethical and excellent automotive repair services, backed by a 2 year / 24,000-mile warranty. Customers can expect to be fully informed about any necessary repairs; every service is explained personally, in detail at the shop, and the professionals are happy to show guests the components on the vehicles that need to be serviced. Customers are welcome to enjoy the free Wi-Fi and coffe in the comfortable lobby while their vehicles are serviced, or to make use of the free shuttle service for transportation both ways. For more information about Christian Brothers Automotive Omaha, call (402) 289-4631 or visit

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

Big Omaha Unveils 2017 Speaker Lineup Something “big” is happening in the prairie. On May 17, the nation’s most passionate members of the entrepreneurial and innovation communities will converge for Big Omaha, a one-of-a-kind, two-day conference. Now in its eighth year, Big Omaha has connected more than 4,000 current and aspiring founders, investors, creatives, and tech talent; and it keeps getting bigger. This annual event is a hub for the innovation community and boasts a broad range of unique speakers and opportunities to share what’s happening on “Silicon Prairie” to the rest of the world. For investors, it’s a chance to get in on the ground floor. For startups, it’s an opportunity to be inspired, get connected, and collaborate. The thought-provoking and inspirational speakers are chosen from across the world to come to Big Omaha and share their insights. Some of this year’s lineup includes: Mitch Lowe, Co-Founder of Netflix, former President of Redbox, CEO of MoviePass; Daniel Burka , Design Partner at GV, formerly Google Ventures; Brandon Levey, Co-Founder and CEO at Stitch Labs; Diana Goodwin, Founder and CEO of AquaMobile; Vanessa Torrivilla, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Goldbely; Alex Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of Kano Computing; Shirley Chung, Chef Owner at Steamers Co and runner up on this year’s Top Chef; Nish Nadaraja, Brand and Community Consultant for Marine Layer (formerly at Yelp); Christina A. Brodbeck, Partner at Rivet Ventures (formerly at YouTube); and Matthew Zeiler, Founder of Clarifai. Tickets are available now for $499. After May 3rd, tickets will cost $599. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets. Big Omaha is part of the AIM Ventures initiative within the AIM Institute, a not-for-profit providing inspiration and support services for innovators and entrepreneurs. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 17


Eyad Kakish



Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Omaha Health Clinic is a fully-equipped family practice, whose team of physicians and nurse practitioners also provide care for the elderly on-site at several assisted living facilities in Omaha and surrounding communities. Dr. Eyad Kakish is the Medical Director of the Omaha Health Clinic. Tell us a little about your business. - At the Omaha Health Clinic, primary and preventative care are of the utmost importance. Since we function as an independent clinic, we’re able to dedicate enough time to allow patients to explain their concerns and ideal goals. We then perform a thorough exam, followed by our professional recommendations and any necessary treatments. Our nursing home and assisted living care team uses this same approach in understanding concerns and goals of the seniors we care for, in order to create an individualized plan of care that works for them. How did you get started in the business? - My mission has been to treat the whole body, with an approach that takes into account wellness, health maintenance, and the correction of hormonal and nutritional imbalances. I felt that starting a clinic that put patients first and focused on these goals would optimize my ability as their doctor to make a real difference in their lives. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Starting a clinic on my own was very challenging, but has also been very rewarding. We’ve encountered growing pains along the way but have pushed through and now the clinic operates very efficiently. I have a dedicated staff that shares my passion to put our patients first and provide the best care. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Establishing a clinic that focuses on optimizing the health of our patients through a healthy lifestyle as a means to prevent disease and aid in the achievement of their goals. Tell us a little about your family. - I’m married and have 3 kids. My wife and I share a passion for teaching patients the importance of healthy living, and she is currently studying to become a health coach. Our 11-year-old son enjoys taekwondo and robotics at his school. Our 9-year-old daughter enjoys playing volleyball, while our youngest daughter, who is 4, enjoys gymnastics. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Spending time as a boy at my father’s primary care clinic, and seeing how passionate he was and how he developed relationships with his patients. It was an amazing experience and inspired me to follow in his footsteps. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Go fishing with my kids or anything with family. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - Aquatics; I grew up in Jordan and was on the national swim team. Which talent would you most like to have? - I’d like to learn to play the guitar. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Endless Journey Hospice. Their holistic approach to hospice care nourishes the patient and family’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as they help prepare them for the next step in the end-of-life process. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - I was in Greece last summer and picked up a book detailing all of the Greek Gods. It was very interesting! What is your favorite local restaurant? - Brother Sebastian’s Steak House & Winery. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 758-5280; Email:; Website:


Andy Storz

APPRECIATION FINANCIAL Appreciation Financial is proud to meet the needs of the public servants in our community, with offerings that center around pension education, safe retirement strategies, and living benefit life insurance. Andy Storz is a local agent with Appreciation Financial. Tell us a little about your business. - We are a retirement services and insurance brokerage that focuses on developing customized strategies that keep people’s life savings and futures protected from loss in the market and safe in the event of unforeseen circumstances. We do this by offering products that can capture part of the gains from the markets while offering guaranteed protection against any losses. How did you get started in the business? - I wanted to do something that allowed me to utilize my previous business experience, in a position where I’d be able to help people. We are in the business everyday of educating, assisting, and keeping people’s hard-earned money safe from loss. I think that’s quite the noble pursuit. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Getting the message out about what we do and how we differentiate ourselves with our people, products, and process. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Being able to provide for my family so that my wife can stay at home with our children. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife, Darlyn, and I have five kids: Mike and Izzy (3 yrs.), Addy and Evy (18 mos.), and Vinny (3 mos.). What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Having children. It completely changed my perspective on what my priorities needed to be and also provided the additional motivation to go out and do my best every day. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Part of why I took this job was actually to have days off, which has truly been a blessing. A great one includes time outside spent with the kids. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - Having two sets of twins has topped the list! What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I have a great passion for process improvement, especially Six Sigma. I don’t really get to utilize that on a large scale the same as I did in previous positions. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - To work in the NICU in some capacity. Based on my experience with all five of the kids, these professionals are some of the most amazing people in the world. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Giving back to the schools is a big part of our company culture, and we’ve done a lot of work with Omaha Public Schools to date. Since so many of our clients are public school employees, and Appreciation Financial exists to help support others who are helping people every day, it’s been a wonderful partnership. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Roja is our current go-to spot. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Marcus Lemonis. On his show that airs on CNBC, The Partner, he invests in failing businesses and turns them around. I love watching the way he thinks and his passion for saving jobs and small businesses. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 419-3426; Email:; Website:

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business



Brooke Ahlman

BROOKELYN’S HAIR & REPLACEMENT Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement offers non-surgical hair loss replacement services along with regular haircuts, perms, coloring, extensions, updo’s and special occasion styling. Whether you are in need of a hair system or just a fresh trim or new style, Brookelyn’s will help you find the perfect fit for your personal style as well as your lifestyle. Professional stylist Brooke Ahlman is the owner of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement. Tell us a little about your business. - I’m a hair stylist who specializes in hair replacement for a wide range of clients: those who have no hair, very thin hair, alopecia, hair loss due to cancer treatments, any other medical conditions, etc. I have been operating my own business for 3 years now but have been involved in the hair replacement industry for 10 years! How did you get started in the business? - I was presented with a good opportunity to start working in the industry, fell in love with it, and ended up being very good at it. It’s such a rewarding job helping people regain their confidence. I’m lucky to have found what gives me the feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day early on in my career. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I would definitely say taking the leap and going out on my own. While being responsible for my own success has presented various challenges along the way, it’s been well worth it. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - The same holds true, starting my business and being out there on my own. It’s been a life saver being able to book my own appointments and come and go on when I please. I really enjoy the flexibility of it. I also enjoy being able to work directly with my clients throughout the entire process, handling the initial consultation and the subsequent procedures and styling. Tell us a little about your family. - My husband, Theron, is also a business owner with CarePatrol of Nebraska. We’ve been married for 10 years and have 2 wonderful kids. My daughter Brystal is 6 and my son Gage is 3. They are our pride and joy. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Getting into the hair business in the first place. It has changed my life for the better and has opened up many doors for me along the way. In an industry that’s constantly changing, it keeps things interesting and no two days are ever the same. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I really like sleep… so when I get the chance, I take it! In the summertime, the kids and I stay busy with visits to the the zoo, museums, gardening, and being outdoors in general. We are very active and I absolutely love it. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I was born and raised on a cattle and hog farm near Pierce, NE. What are you the most proud of? - My family. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Always treat others as you would like to be treated. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Honest. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - Cooking/baking. What is your favorite movie? - Dirty Dancing. What is your favorite TV show? - Nashville. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Definitely Roja! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 649-0212; Website:


Strictly Business APRIL 2017


George Hefley

ACHIEVEMENT UNLIMITED, INC. Achievement Unlimited, Inc. is a locally owned and operated leadership development company working in partnership with all types of clients across the Omaha Metro and nationwide. George Hefley is the Vice President of Achievement Unlimited, Inc. Tell us a little about your business. - We work with organizations to help them increase profitability, and we work with people to help them achieve professional and personal success. We offer a lineup of educational training courses and materials designed to help business owners, managers, and salespeople long after the training process ends. How did you get started in the business? - Achievement Unlimited Inc. was founded in 1994 by Rose Mary Hefley. It was originally established to meet the needs of SMBs who wanted to improve their leadership/ management skills and supporting processes. Although we’ve adapted to meet the needs of our growing client base over the years and expanded our offerings accordingly, this has remained our primary focus. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Promotion and capitalization of new concepts and integrated systems. Creating and attracting capital for new ventures is always a daunting task. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Assisting entrepreneurs in creating and growing business opportunities, particularly in the manufacturing, distribution, and service industries. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife, Rose Mary, and I have two daughters and five grandchildren who all reside in the Washington, D.C. area. We also have a foreign exchange daughter who came to Nebraska in 1992 from the Czech Republic and is now a U.S. citizen living here in Omaha. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Surviving cancer. It’s been eight years now. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Auto restoration and road trips. What are you the most proud of? - Aside from being a part of building a successful business alongside my wife, it’s been the work I’ve done for and with other cancer survivors. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Be careful what you wish for. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - FUN! If you had a theme song, what would it be? - I’m a Believer by Neil Diamond If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To cure cancer. Which talent would you most like to have? - To be able to carry a tune. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - A Time to Heal. It’s a cancer support group that provides support, education, and empowerment to cancer survivors and their caregivers. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. What is your favorite movie? - Doctor Zhivago. What is your favorite TV show? - The Gong Show; also an oldie but a goodie! What is your favorite local restaurant? – Firebirds. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Carl Jung. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 880-5046; Email:; Website: APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


CURT Curt Topf

FIVE NINES Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. Five Nines has offices in Omaha, Lincoln, and Kearney, Nebraska. Curt Topf is a Senior Account Executive at Five Nines. Tell us a little about your business. - As a leading provider of Managed IT Services, Five Nines serves Nebraska-based businesses, presenting IT solutions that will best fit their specific needs. Through our unique service model, clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. How did you get started in the business? - I started with Five Nines in 2010 as its 23rd employee. At that time, Five Nines was an emerging company on a fast track for growth. What originally drew me to the organization was that employees are very much valued and held in high regard, and that has remained constant to date. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife and I have been married for ten years. We live in Omaha, NE and we have a son who is in 3rd grade. We enjoy traveling, being outdoors, and spending time together as a family. What are you the most proud of? - My wife and son. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Early in my career I was in retail management. One of my bosses told me that if you want to earn the respect of your team, never ask someone to do something that you would not do yourself. It’s stuck with me ever since. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd If you could have a super power, what would it be? - The ability to read minds. I am sure I would be a lot better at my job if I could do that. Which talent would you most like to have? - I wish I had more talent when it comes to carpentry. Fixing things around the house would be a lot easier. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I would like to be a rock star. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Food Bank for the Heartland. Soon after I started at Five Nines, Scruff 4 Schools was created to provide a way for Five Nines to give back to the communities in Nebraska that we serve. Today it has grown into an annual November event, putting a positive spin on No-Shave November to raise food for children in the public schools systems in Nebraska. It has been amazing to see firsthand the impact that Five Nines has made across Nebraska and I feel blessed to have had a small part in it. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - Sales Transformation by Graham Hawkins What is your favorite movie? - Tombstone. It’s a classic; I could watch it every day and still not get tired of it. What is your favorite TV show? - Cheers; I love the earlier season with Coach. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Jams. Such a great atmosphere, and great food too.


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 817-3128; Email:; Website:


Jonathon Moberly


Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward that offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs at its main campus, graduate college in Lincoln, and online. Jonathon Moberly is Dean of the College of Graduate Studies & Adult Education at Concordia University, Nebraska. Tell us a little about your business. - Concordia’s College of Graduate Studies & Adult Education offers 12 programs spanning across general areas of Education, Business, Health and Athletics. We pride ourselves in being flexible for working adults by offering our programs in online, face-to-face, and hybrid formats with the ability to complete programs in tracks of two years, 18 months, and one year. Our MBA Program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and has been designed to produce ethical leaders who will make an immediate impact on the organizations who are blessed to have them. Students have the opportunity to be taught by business industry leaders from the Omaha Metro and Lincoln areas and can choose from nine different concentration areas, including the opportunity to participate in our Organization Development Clinic. How did you get started in the business? - After being given the opportunity to teach a Sports Law course at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, I fell in love with teaching immediately. This led me to focus on pursuing other higher education teaching opportunities and start on my path to coaching as well. In January of 2014, I received a call from Concordia University, Nebraska inviting me to interview for the position of MBA Program Director and Assistant Professor in Business. Once I had an opportunity to visit the campus and interview, I fell in love with the university and gladly accepted the offer for the position. After nine months, another door opened for me to move into my position as Dean of the College of Graduate Studies & Adult Education. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Prior to getting into higher education when I was an agent for professional athletes, so many of my competitors were using highly unethical means to secure clients. That was ultimately why I made the difficult decision to leave the industry and follow what I was truly passionate about, teaching and coaching. Now, it’s keeping our programs both current and impactful as the graduate education market is incredibly competitive. This is, however, a challenge that we enjoy as it forces us to constantly be thinking and innovative. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Facilitating the creation and implementation of a Strategic Plan for the College of Graduate Studies & Adult Education. Tell us a little about your family. - My lovely wife Jennifer and I have been married for over nine years now. She is Assistant Professor in Biology at Concordia and loves plants and reptiles, thus calling her to lead study tours every year to Costa Rica and Belize. We have two amazing daughters, Adeline and Eloisa, who both love gymnastics and animals. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Today by Smashing Pumpkins. I try to treat every day like it’s the greatest day. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Boys Town provides tremendous services that positively impact the lives of so many young men and women in our community. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Tom Osborne. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 643-7430; Email:; Website:

APRIL 2017 Strictly Business




by Karl Schaphorst, President •

Do You Like Being Closed? I Didn’t Think So.

Nick was climbing the wall because he could not figure out how to close the prospect. The prospect had spent the last hour with Nick and appeared to want to buy. But he didn’t know what to do. If only he could remember what the experienced salespeople had told him to do. “I really like this model,” she said, “it will fit in perfectly with my decor.” “I guess that’s important to you,” responded Nick, feeling like an idiot when the words came out. “Oh, it’s very important. My husband and I want our home to be a showplace of good taste.” “So your husband would like this, too?” asked Nick. “Definitely. It’s just what he would pick out.” “I guess you haven’t bought it yet because you’ve looked elsewhere?” responded Nick. “We’ve looked everywhere but this is the one we want.” And then she added, “Do you have it in stock?” “That’s a good question,” said Nick, knowing that the one she wanted was not in the store and would take a week to get. “If I can’t get it within two weeks, I suppose you won’t wait.” To which she replied, “Not at all. Having just what we want is worth waiting for.” He responded, “If I could get it within two weeks, what would you like me to do?” Nick waited, not knowing what else to do. To his surprise, she confidently stated, “Here’s my American Express card. Get it.” Nick never tried any of the closes that the experienced salespeople had suggested—only because he couldn’t remember them. Yet he closed the sale by letting the customer close the sale. In this situation, many salespeople would have tried “the trial close” at the beginning. Perhaps the woman would have closed at that point, but if she had not, it would have opened the door for her to come up with objections. In the above situation, the woman was never given the chance to voice one. Memorizing trial closes is easy. Using them is even easier. And any salesperson that uses trial closes knows to expect objections from the prospect. Fully expecting that objections will arise, the salesperson is poised to swoop down and deal with them. And then try another trial close. Around and around the prospect and salesperson go in this cycle of trial close, raised objection, answered objection, and back to trial close. Even if the order is closed, both the prospect and salesperson are worn out. And prospects know that this is exactly how a salesperson will behave. The prospect also has expectations. The prospect knows and expects to be hit with a trial close, knows that she is expected to come up with an objection and then be hit with another trial close. Around and around. It truly is a wonder that anyone goes out to buy anything from a salesperson The relationship between the salesperson and the prospect does not have to be adversarial. Instead, get the prospect to tell you why he/ she is talking to you, and then reflect back the prospect’s statements as questions. How do you start this happening? Simple. Ask the following question: “Why did you think of coming in today?” Wait for a response. Take the response and reflect it back. “I came in because I know you sell this brand.” “That’s interesting, why that brand?” “Because my sister has one and it never breaks.” “Never breaks...why is that important to you?” And the prospect will give you a third reason why she wants to buy. Do this for another ten questions and then ask the prospect: “What would you like me to do?” Prospects don’t like being closed, but they do want to buy; otherwise they would not be talking to you.


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

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

PERSONNEL NEWS Immanuel Welcomes September Stone

BB Roofing Welcomes Alissa Henry

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

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

Kevin Hensel Joins Leadership Resources Leadership Resources is pleased to announce that Kevin Hensel has joined their executive team as Director of Leadership Development. In his role, Hensel will enhance Leadership Resources commitment to providing a world class development experience by leading the development team, conducting executive coaching, facilitating forums, and providing innovative leadership content. With an extensive background in leadership, Hensel brings a strong skillset to the team. He is a John Maxwell certified coach and an Adjunct Professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Hensel was previously with Nebraska Children and Families Foundation where he served as the Senior Vice President of External Relations. He was responsible for board development, marketing, and internal executive coaching. Prior to that he served as the Learning Development Manager for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Also in his background is seven years as a Senior Training Specialist at Boystown. This is where he fell in love with the profession of developing people. Leadership Resources helps leaders achieve what they desire in life. From venture-backed startups to Fortune 500 companies, Leadership Resources works with executives and high level leaders to establish their strategic direction, align and develop internal talent, and measure the return on their development investment. In 2015, Leadership Resources launched a custom cloud-based software to link leadership competencies to organizational goals – making it the only company of its kind to track and analyze how deliberate leadership development impacts business results. To learn more, visit

Cline Williams Announces New Partners Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P. is pleased to announce that Adam W. Barney and Gregory S. Frayser have become partners. Adam Barney graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (B.S., with high distinction) in 2007 and the University of Nebraska College of Law, J.D., with highest distinction, in 2010. Barney is a native of Kearney. He focuses his practice on commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts, as well Adam W. Barney as in arbitration forums. Barney represents clients involved in franchising and securitiesrelated matters as well as real and intellectual property disputes, including representation of both governmental entities and landowners in eminent domain proceedings. His practice has included significant experience advising clients on trade secret and non-competition matters. He is licensed to practice in both Nebraska and Iowa. Gregory Frayser is a graduate of Franciscan University, receiving a B.A. degree in 2007. He received his J.D., with high distinction, in Gregory S. Frayser 2010 from the University of Nebraska College of Law, earning admittance to the Order of the Coif, a recognition awarded to the top ten percent of the graduating class. Frayser, a native of Lincoln, is active in the community, serving on the board of directors of Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach and the March of Dimes. His practice is a mix of both transactional and litigation matters related to secured transactions. In litigation, Greg represents creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, fraudulent transfers, breach of contract and foreclosures. He also represents both creditors and borrowers in various commercial financing arrangements, including tax increment financing and new market tax credits. Established in 1857, Cline Williams ( celebrates its 160th anniversary this year. The firm has offices across Nebraska in Omaha, Lincoln, Aurora and Scottsbluff and Fort Collins, Colorado. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 25


American Concrete Institute Announces 2017 Officers, Board of Directors

Brad von Gillern Transitions to CEO of Leuder Construction, Greg Key Promoted to President

Nebraska’s Chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI; www. elected their 2017 Officers and Board of Directors at their annual meeting on February 3, 2017. The American Concrete Institute is a nonprofit technical and educational society that is one of the world’s leading authorities on concrete technology. 2017 Officers and Board of Directors of the Nebraska Chapter of ACI: Officers: Kristi Nohavec, President, Leo A. Daly; Josh Kankovsky, President Elect, Thiele Geotech, Inc.; Kyle Poff, Vice President, Kearney Concrete Company; Tom Trumble, Secretary, Olsson Associates; Michael Willman, Treasurer, WR Grace; Michael Gerdes, Past President, Thiele Geotech, Inc.; Jereme Montgomery, Executive Secretary, Nebraska Concrete & Aggregates Assoc. Board Members: James Hamlette, NEBCO/Ready Mixed Concrete Co.; Bryan Kratky, Lamp Rynearson; Jiong Hu, University of Nebraska - Lincoln; David Thibault, Stephens & Smith Construction; Tyler Jensen, Ash Grove; Kelly Naslund, Paulsen Concrete.

A respected and growing company, Lueder Construction Company is responding to that growth by increasing its organizational strength.

Three From Midlands Financial Qualify for Million Dollar Round Table Three members of the Midlands Financial team have qualified for inclusion in the Million Dollar Round Table. Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 42,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 470 companies in 71 countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict LeaAnn M. Moore ethical conduct, and outstanding client service. Top of the Table and Court of the Table are MDRT’s top membership levels comprised of the world’s most successful life insurance and financial service professionals. Achieving membership in MDRT is a career milestone. LeaAnn M. Moore* has qualified for MDRT’s Top of the Table for her sixth consecutive year and has been a part of Court of the Table since her first year of membership seven years ago. Stephen D. Andersen* is a 45-year Qualifying and Life member of MDRT with 11 Top of the Table and 8 Court of the Table qualifications. Stephen D. Andersen Tony J. Ojeda* has eight years on Court of the Table while being a Qualifying and Life member of MDRT for 16 years. Founded in 1969, Midlands Financial offers financial services, including individual investment and retirement services, succession planning and retirement plans. In 2014 Midlands Financial merged with UNICO Group. This merger formed a regional leader for insurance and financial growth. With clients ranging from Fortune 500 giants to local retail shops, UNICO’s risk advisors have extensive Tony J. Ojeda experience in custom strategies that generate long-term value. For more information about retirement services provided through Midlands Financial, call (402) 434-8050 or visit the website at *Securities and investment advisory services are offered solely through Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC). Member FINRA/SIPC. AIC, UNICO Group and Midlands Financial are not affiliated. Additional products and services may be available through Midlands Financial that are not offered through AIC.


Strictly Business APRIL 2017

R. Brad von Gillern will move into the role of chief executive officer. As CEO von Gillern will continue to take the lead for strategic business decisions, partnerships and company growth. von Gillern began his Lueder career in 1991 and was named President in 2000. He began his career as a project manager and has successfully grown the company since taking the primary ownership position in 2005. A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management Engineering from the College of Engineering.

R. Brad von Gillern

He believes in giving back to the community and sits on the boards of the local Boy Scouts of America Council and the Salvation Army as well as the Elder-Board at Lifegate Greg Key Church in Omaha. He has also been involved in numerous other community organizations, including Rotary and The Young Presidents’ Organization, and served a six year term as an appointed commissioner to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. Greg Key was promoted to President of Lueder Construction at the company’s annual meeting. He will have responsibility for leading all aspects of the business and will work closely with von Gillern and the leadership team to plan and execute strategic growth initiatives. Key graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Kansas State University. He has been in the construction industry for 30 years, 23 of those in the Omaha and Lincoln communities. Key has held positions in project management, preconstruction, business development and business leadership. He has been active in numerous community organizations and boards and is currently a member of Omaha West Rotary and is on the boards of the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement. He is a graduate of both Leadership Omaha and Leadership Lincoln. Lueder Construction Company provides proven and professional general contracting and construction management services to Omaha and surrounding areas. In addition to those core offerings, Lueder meets the needs of a wide variety of customers through its Facilities Solutions Group, which provides assistance with building maintenance and repair needs, and the Lueder Service Center, which performs vehicle and equipment repairs and maintenance. Find out more at

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


HRAM Names Kelly Buchanan Volunteer of the Year The Human Resource Association of the Midlands (HRAM) named Kelly Buchanan the 2016 Volunteer of the Year at their program on March 14. The award is given annually to a member who has made an outstanding contribution to HRAM during the year. Buchanan, a human resources director for Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, serves on the board of HRAM and on their Excel with a Mentor and College Relations committees. The Excel with a Mentor Program, which assists active duty military service members with the transition into the civilian workforce by pairing them with mentors, was awarded the Society for Human Resource Management’s Pinnacle Award in 2014. Buchanan had originally been asked to help with some back-end administrative tasks for the Excel with a Mentor program. However, as she became more involved, the committee could see more ways in which her talents and skills would be useful. Mandy Wehner, Kuper’s past co-chair, said that Buchanan was also skilled at keeping the committee organized and finding creative ways for them to stay on top of things. And when there was a change in leadership, Buchanan volunteer to co-chair the College Relations Committee, as well. HRAM is the premiere organization for human resource professionals in the Omaha metropolitan area and is the local affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). With over 1,000 members, HRAM is a super-mega chapter, one of the largest nationally. Find out more at

Physicians Mutual Announces Promotion of Corey Aldy During the recent annual meeting at Physicians Mutual, President and CEO Rob Reed announced the following new officer. Corey C. Aldy was promoted to assistant vice president – underwriting services division. She is responsible for all underwriting functions including risk analysis, application data entry and policy issuance for Medicare supplement, dental, life, annuities and preneed products. Corey has been in the insurance industry for 27 years and joined the company in 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and holds the professional designation of Long Term Care Professional (LTCP). Aldy volunteers for Children’s Hospital where she spends time with patients playing games and delivering movies, holding infants and providing respite breaks for parents. Physicians Mutual Insurance Company and Physicians Life Insurance Company are members of the Physicians Mutual family. Physicians Mutual Insurance Company offers reliable Medicare Supplement, dental and supplemental health insurance. Physicians Life Insurance Company provides important life insurance coverage and annuities. The companies have more than $3.8 billion in assets and consistently maintain some of the highest financial strength ratings in the nation from independent insurance analysts, including A.M. Best Company and Weiss Ratings. Founded in 1902, Physicians Mutual is headquartered in Omaha, Neb. To learn more about the company, please visit

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

Heartland Family Service Adds to Leadership Team Heartland Family Service ( is excited to announce that Amy Carolus has been named Chief Financial Officer. She brings with her nearly 20 years of experience leadership, planning and program management, 12 of which have been in healthcare and human service settings. In her new role, Carolus is responsible for the financial matters and human resource functions of Heartland Family Service. She received her Amy Carolus Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an Executive MBA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Carolus is joined on the leadership team by recently promoted Diversity Office Keellia Guevara and Vice President of Human Resources Shamala Nadason. Guevara came to Heartland Family Service in 2013 as a Problem Gambling Prevention Specialist. She was excited to take on the diversity officer position as it allows her to bring her personal passion for inclusion and Keellia Guevara human rights into her daily work. In addition to overseeing the agency’s Culture of Inclusion initiative, she also helps coordinate five employee resource groups. Keellia graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Liberal Arts and has worked in social services since 2001. Nadason began at Heartland Family Service as a Human Resources Specialist in 2005 before becoming Director of Human Resources in 2009. With her most recent promotion, she will continue to oversee services from recruitment, Shamala Nadason talent management, risk management, learning and development, compliance and employee engagement. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with degrees in Human Resources and Finance, and earned her PHR and SHRM-CP certification in HR. The leadership team is led by President and CEO John Jeanetta. Other members of the team are Chief Development Officer Donna Dostal, Chief Program Officer Mary O’Neill, Chief Strategy Officer Greg Ryan, Vice President Joanie Poore and Clinical Director Kerry Wiles. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 27

PERSONNEL NEWS Dave Nieto Joins Nabity Business Advisors Nabity Business Advisors ( is proud to announce the addition of Dave Nieto as a Business Consultant, whose focus will be on helping family run and owned businesses tackle many of the tough issues facing their estate and transition planning. “Dave is a welcome addition to our firm. His background and experience will be a huge asset for our clients,” says David Nabity, President. Before joining Nabity Business Advisors, Dave Nieto was the President of Axess Advisors, a firm that specialized in helping businesses and individuals secure employee benefit packages. Nabity said, “Dave has a reputation for being a very thorough advisor who works through every aspect and detail to provide the best solutions for his clients.” Dave is an Omaha native who graduated from Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in 1976. After graduation, Dave joined the US Marine Corps. When he returned home to Omaha, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems.

Bill Klein Named CEO of American National Bank American National Bank is pleased to announce that William (Bill) Klein, current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Western Bank, a division of American National Bank in Minnesota, has been promoted to the role of CEO of American National Bank. He will also serve as Vice Chairman of the Board. Klein has over 30 years of finance experience in both regional and national banking organizations. His prior executive roles include President & CEO, Stonebridge Bank ($220 million), which was acquired by American National Bank in October 2016; President of M&I Bank in MN ($2 billion); and President of National City Bank, Minneapolis ($1 billion publicly held holding company). Klein is a graduate of Concordia College and Wharton Schools Executive Programs. American National Bank is the second largest locally-owned bank based on deposits in the Omaha/Council Bluffs market area. With $3.3 billion in assets and over 550 employees, it operates 30 full-service offices in Nebraska and Iowa, and seven locations in St. Paul, Minnesota, operating under Western Bank, a Division of American National Bank. American National Bank also has loan production offices in Kansas and Texas. For more information, visit

In addition to his business efforts, Dave has been very dedicated to helping his community by helping building homes for Abide Network, assisting on church building projects and volunteering for special projects such as teaching the Dave Ramsey curriculum.

Control Management Inc Welcomes Sharon Martin as VP of Business Development Control Management Inc (www.cmiomaha. com) recently welcomed Sharon Martin to the team. Martin joined CMI as the Vice President of Business Development. Martin brings over 20 years’ experience working with business and building owners to her position at CMI. “We are excited to expand the energy and the team in our Omaha office and are thrilled to have Sharon join our team,” said Frederick Lerouge, CEO of CMI. “CMI has been solving clients’ problems with custom building solutions for over 30 years from our Omaha, Lincoln and Columbus offices. With the addition of Sharon, we will be able to further partner with our clients to enhance our comprehensive problem solving approach.” Control Management Inc (CMI) is a local, full service building automation and control system company. CMI provides building owners easy to use building management systems that integrate with as many building systems as necessary (HVAC, lighting, access, security and more). Partnering to improve building efficiency while providing local, reliable, expert service, at CMI you’ll work with “People you know, a company you trust.” If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Frederick Lerouge at (402) 571-9454 or email at frederick@ 28 Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Hillcrest Embraces Growth in Palliative Care, Names Dr. Natalie Manley New Medical Director With growth in the Palliative Care Program, Hillcrest Health Services (www.hillcresthealth. com) has named Dr. Natalie Manley, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Palliative Care Services. She will also serve as Associate Medical Director for Hillcrest Hospice Care. Dr. Manley is an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and holds a certification in geriatric medicine and medical direction in post-acute and long-term care. She received her MD and MPH from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Manley completed residency training and geriatric fellowship at the University of Utah in, Salt Lake City. She completed an advanced geriatric fellowship at the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Aside from palliative and hospice care, Dr. Manley’s academic interests also include nursing home care, caregiver strain and support, veterans as caregivers and education in community and nursing home care for medical students and residents. Staying active in research and education, she is a co-investigator on a grant for a dementia care program intended to improve the quality of life for people with dementia as well as their caregivers. Dr. Manley has published computer-based educational materials and participated in educational video publications. She is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Directors Association and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Manley is joining Brandy Anderson, MSN, APRN, who on the palliative care team. Anderson, a nurse practitioner, has been with Hillcrest’s Palliative Care Services since February 2016. Hillcrest is the largest provider of palliative care services in Omaha, with more than 100 patients on service today.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Midlands Community Foundation to Host 36th Annual Golf Tournament

Omaha Women Take the Football Field to Tackle Alzheimer’s

Midlands Community Foundation will host its 36th annual golf tournament at Platteview Country Club on Monday, May 15, with a shotgun start at 12, noon. The event will conclude with a steak dinner and awards ceremony following golf.

Who is your biggest RivALZ? For a g r o u p o f yo u n g professional women, it’s Alzheimer’s disease. And they’re asking you to join the fight! These women will take part in the third annual RivALZ Blondes vs. Brunettes women’s flag football game in Omaha to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association. RivALZ Blondes vs. Brunettes is based on the age-old rivalry of hair color. The game is scheduled for Friday, April 28th at Ralston High School. Join the fun early for tailgating from 5:30-7 p.m., including food and games. The four-quarter football game will follow from 7-9 p.m. Come cheer on your favorite team or player, and help end this devastating disease that is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the gate. Each player is tasked with raising $500 in order to play on game day. All of the proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association to provide free care and support, and advance Alzheimer’s research. If you are interested in playing, there is still time to sign up! Please contact Development Specialist, Megan Myers at To make a donation today, visit

Proceeds for the tournament will benefit Autism Action Partnership, OneWorld Community Health Centers, Project Lifesaver, Spirit Horse Ranch, and Youth Emergency Services. Sponsorship opportunities are available. The $125 participant registration fee includes golf, sack lunch, two chances to win a $250 Scheels gift card in a putting contest, two mulligans, two complimentary beverages and ice cream, and steak dinner. To register or for more information, contact Midlands Community Foundation at (402) 991-8027 or visit The mission of the Midlands Community Foundation is to benefit the diverse needs of the Sarpy and Cass county communities by providing financial support, involvement and service. For more information, contact Diane Knicky, Director of Operations and Public Relations, at (402) 991-8027.

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

​​ Nebraska Community Foundation Seeks Affiliated Fund Development Coordinator T h e Nebraska Comm unity Foundation is currently seeking an affiliated f u n d development coordinator to serve communities located in southwest Nebraska. The position will support NCF’s volunteer community leaders who are using philanthropy to make a long-term positive impact in their communities. This is an opportunity for someone with both passions for the future of rural Nebraska communities and the skills to help community leaders achieve ambitious goals. The Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) is a statewide organization using charitable giving to build prosperous communities. NCF works with volunteer leaders serving more than 250 communities by providing training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management for its affiliated funds throughout the state. You may be a good fit for this position if you have prior experience in community development or fundraising, bring a strengths/assetbased approach to your work, and thrive in a complex and highlycollaborative environment. This is a remote position with preference for a candidate based in Southwestern Nebraska. It requires some night and weekend work and regular travel within Nebraska. Applicants should send a cover letter, resume and three professional references to For more details on the position, visit APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 29

NON-PROFIT NEWS African Culture Connection Receives Lincoln Financial Foundation Grant

Angels Among Us Golf Tournament Fundraiser Set for May 25

African Culture Connection (ACC) has received an $8,000 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation in support of the 2017 ACC In-School Residency Program. African Culture Connection will teach African culture & history through authentic dance, music and drumming, and arts/crafts in ten Omaha Public Schools during the day. Working with cooperating teachers, ACC will connect their African arts lessons to the curriculum in relevant content areas and facilitate hands-on learning experiences for students.

Bland Cares Foundation will again sponsor a charity golf outing to benefit Angels Among Us.

Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group (, believes in empowering people to live greater lives, which advances culture and empowers greater positive change. This grant is part of Lincoln Financial’s annual $10 million investment in its local communities’ youth education, economic and workforce development, human well-being, and arts programs. African Culture Connection ( is an organization of professional artists using authentic African dance, music, visual art, and story to encourage students to learn more about the positive contributions African cultures have made to society. The organization’s mission is to educate audiences about culture in order to encourage an appreciation for the richness diversity brings to all.

Sip, Savor and Shop to Support Children’s Carolyn Scott Rainbow House The fifth annual Wine Women & Shoes fundraising event will take place on Friday, April 7 at the Omaha Design Center. Guests will enjoy sensational wines, designer shopping, a glamorous fashion show – all to support children and families. WOWT’s Malorie Maddox will be the evening’s master of ceremonies. Honorary chairs are Dawn Dinsdale, Sheena Dinsdale, Alison Johnson and Paige Ritter. Event chairs are Angela Cutler and Christina Groteluschen. Proceeds will benefit the Carolyn Scott Rainbow House. The Rainbow House has served Children’s patients and families since 1983, offering a convenient and welcoming “home away from home” for those who live 60 miles or more from Omaha. A beautiful new Rainbow House opened in 2015. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

National Speakers Keynote 3rd Annual Art of Living with Cancer Conference Cancer survivors, their caregivers and healthcare professionals are invited to attend the third annual Art of Living with Cancer Conference sponsored by Omaha-based A Time to Heal Foundation. The conference will be held Saturday, April 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the UNO campus at the Community Engagement Center. Keynote speakers include Richard Deming, MD, Medical Director of Mercy Cancer Center in Des Moines and founder of Above + Beyond Cancer, breast cancer researcher Kathy Miller, MD, a Komen Scholar whose career has combined both laboratory and clinical research, and Brenda Elsagher, author, comedian and cancer survivor. The conference also includes 12 breakout sessions for attendees to choose from: Be-You-tiful, Complimentary Therapies for Cancer Treatment, Cooking Whole Foods at Home, Healing Touch, Living Life with Metastatic Cancer, Using Hypnosis in Healing from Cancer, Caring for the Caregiver, Healing through Mindfulness How Survivors Use Yoga to Heal, Palliative Does NOT mean Hospice, The Art of Creativity II, What’s New in Cancer Treatment. Registration remains open with seats still available. Cost is subsidized by generous corporate sponsors ($35 includes lunch and refreshment breaks and $50 for medical professionals obtaining continuing education credit). To register, go to or call (402) 401-6083. 30 Strictly Business APRIL 2017

The event is sc heduled for Thursday, May 25th, to be held at Tiburon Golf Club. Registration opens at 10:30am, featuring a shotgunstyle tournament format starting at 11:30. Lunch will be provided along with appetizers afterwards, with wonderful prizes awarded the winning teams and the chance to win raffle prizes for all in attendance. To register, please visit aaugolf. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more details, contact Shari Holl at (402) 934-0999 or shari@myangelsamongus. org. Angels Among Us is a Nebraska non-profit that financially supports families battling a pediatric cancer diagnosis. In the organization’s 10-year history, assistance has been provided to over 300 families, totaling over $1.25 million in support to date. For more information about Angela Among Us, please visit www.

Radio Talking Book Service: More Ways to Give Finding time to volunteer can be a challenge but there are many other ways to support Radio Talking Book Service. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support RTBS and is the same as shopping on but a portion of your purchase goes to RTBS. Visit smile. to learn more. Support RTBS in the Omaha area with Proseeds. Select RTBS when you register and when you visit a participating business, the company automatically donates 5% of your purchase. Visit to join for free. Baker’s Community Rewards is easy - shop at Baker’s, swipe your Plus Shopper’s Card and RTBS will receive five cents for every dollar you spend (fuel points are not affected). Register at enrollCommunityRewardsNow and enter RTBS’ NPO number 40169. Radio Talking Book Service maintains 70+ magazines and newspaper subscriptions to provide listeners with 24/7 programming. Please consider sponsoring one of these subscriptions. Contact Bekah at rjerde@rtbs. org for more information. Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS), founded in 1974, brings the printed word to life for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or have physical disabilities that prevent them from reading. To volunteer, donate, or obtain a special receiver for broadcasts, visit the website at or call (402) 572-3003.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Grief’s Journey to Host Remembrance Walk on Memorial Day Weekend

People With Vision Loss, Loved Ones Invited to Resource Fair

Grief’s Journey (formerly Ted E. Bear Hollow) invites you to join the 19th Annual Remembrance Walk on Saturday, May 27. The walk will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at beautiful Miller’s Landing on the riverfront. Participants will walk across the fabulous Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge, and return to Miller’s Landing to enjoy food and entertainment provided by The Pancake Man. Registrants will also receive a photo button of the special person or pet they are walking in memory of and will additionally enjoy various craft activities. Something will be available for the whole family, including a raffle for a 32” smart TV!

Outlook Nebraska, a nonprofit organization that empowers anyone in the community facing vision loss, is hosting the Visually Impaired Community Resource Fair on Saturday, April 29 in the Von Maur Court at the Westroads Mall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Outlook Nebraska encourages people experiencing vision loss or who know someone who is experiencing vision loss to attend.

Grief’s Journey is a local nonprofit which provides FREE grief support to children, teens and adults after the death of a loved one, and also offers support to families coping with a serious illness or injury. Since 2001, the organization has offered it’s free services to thousands of grieving community members. More information on the Remembrance Walk can be found at www., or you can contact Grief’s Journey at (402) 5022773 or email Karen at

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

Attendees will find: • People who understand what it is like to have vision loss. • Tools that will help you at home and on the job such as computer screen readers, magnifying devices, and apps to help you read restaurant menus. • People who help with job training, placement and transportation. • Resources for parents. “This event will benefit both individuals with vision loss and and their loved ones,” said Lisa Kelly, director of enrichment programs at Outlook Nebraska. “We’re helping connect family members and friends of those faced with vision loss to those who provide essential resources. We want to help facilitate that process.” To learn more about the 2017 Visually Impaired Community Resource Fair, visit

Nebraska’s 8th Annual Lymphoma Walk Set for April 22 Nebraska’s 8th annual Lymphoma Walk will be held Saturday, April 22 at Mahoney State Park. The fundraising event, which is hosted by the Lymphoma Research Foundation, will begin at 10 a.m. with registration at 9 a.m. at the park pavilion. The Lymphoma Walk is a 5K fun-filled, non-competitive event that offers individuals and teams an opportunity to walk to support those whose lives have been touched by lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. About 450 new cases of lymphoma are diagnosed in Nebraska each year. Proceeds from the walk will benefit Nebraskans through research grants and patient services. To date, $550,000 has been raised through walk participants and sponsors. Honorary chair of the walk is Missy Givens of Fremont, Hodgkin lymphoma survivor. Mahoney State Park is located just off I-80 at exit 426, between Omaha and Lincoln. Vehicles need to purchase a $6 park permit at the park gate. Strollers and friendly, leashed pets are welcome. A free picnic will be held for all attendees following the walk. Major sponsors include: WOWT, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine, Metro Credit Union, Burlington Capital and Nelson Painting & Decorating. Those interested in participating can start a team, join a team, sign up as an individual or make a donation by going to www. For more information, contact Martin Bast at (402) 559-6203 or APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 31

NON-PROFIT NEWS “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” in Support of Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters

The Hope Center for Kids to Host 15th Annual Golf Classic

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

The Hope Center for Kids will host its annual Hope Golf Classic at Champions Run Golf Course Monday, June 12. The 15th annual event supports the life-impacting programs at The Hope in North Omaha and Fremont, whose mission is to inspire hope in the lives of youth and children through education, employability, collaboration and faith. “This event truly impacts lives at The Hope Center for Kids,” Brenda Block, executive director, says. “Because of the generosity of others, we’re able to motivate our youth to stay in school, provide opportunities for college visits and make tutoring and tools available to our kids, allowing them to pursue a brighter future.” Youth from The Hope will help welcome golfers, while sharing their program experiences with guests. Last year, more than 30 business and church sponsors, and golfers, raised nearly $70,000 for The Hope youth and children. The driving range opens at 10:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at noon. A short program and dinner follows at 5 p.m. Sponsorship levels range from $700 to $5,000. The fee for an individual golfer is $175. Golfers and sponsors can register at

Conagra’s Shine the Light on Hunger Campaign Raises 1.4M Meals Conagra Brands, Inc. recently announced that with the help of the community, this year’s Shine the Light on Hunger campaign surpassed its goal of raising 1.4 million meals through the 10th annual event. Additionally, Conagra Brands Foundation matched all funds raised at the Ice Rink, dollar for dollar, and donated $100,000 to Food Bank for the Heartland. Omaha’s nonprofit organization, Food Bank for the Heartland, will distribute approximately 16 million meals to families in Nebraska and Southwest Iowa this year. The Food Bank works with 530 agencies to benefit those in need. Today, more than 87,000 children in the 93 counties served by Food Bank for the Heartland struggle, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2016. Douglas County has the most children at risk for hunger (26,930) followed by Sarpy County (8,090) in Nebraska, and Woodbury County (5,090) in Iowa.

Nebraska Safety Council Announces Upcoming Motorcycle Training Courses The Nebraska Safety Council has released its schedule for summer and fall Motorcycle Training Courses. Basic Rider Course (BRC): This course trains on all the basic rules for motorcycling, safe and legal riding strategies, impairment, distractions, and the fundamentals of motorcycle operation. Passing this course eliminates the need to take the driving test at the DMV. After the completion of this course, riders receive the “M” endorsement on their driver’s license. Registration includes a coupon for a 10% discount on motorcycle accessories from participating local motorcycle shops. NEW! Basic Rider Refresher Course (BRC2): For riders who already have basic skills. An excellent refresher course for practicing and renewing riding skills. Participants use their own motorcycle. Both courses use Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum and all instructors are certified. Registration, a list of necessary safety gear, and the summer and fall dates can be found online at Registration and payment are required in advance. The Nebraska Safety Council is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership and resources to promote a safe and healthy environment in our workplaces, on our roads and in our homes and communities. 32 Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Project Harmony Reports Increasing Rates of Child Sexual Abuse Locally Despite Declining Nationally T h e N a t i o n a l C h i l d r e n’s Advocacy Center (NCAC) recently released a revised position paper on the declining rates of child sexual abuse. Indeed, the reduction of child abuse throughout our country should be applauded. However, right here in our community Project Harmony is seeing an increase in the number of children served. What this doesn’t mean is that Omaha has more abuse than any other part of the country. What this does mean is that our community is becoming more aware and making that call on behalf of a child. “While our numbers are increasing, we are just seeing a higher percent of the estimated 10% of children who will be abused before their 18th birthday,” said Project Harmony Executive Director Gene Klein. “The city of Omaha has roughly 56,000 children under 18. If we saw 10% we should be seeing 5,600 kids a year. Based on this logic we are seeing 5% - about half of those that we should be seeing.” Absolutely we, as a community, are making progress – there are solutions that are working. Breaking the cycle of child abuse requires effort and vigilance from us all. Project Harmony encourages the community to attend the Speaking of Children Luncheon on Wednesday, April 5, their signature event which engages everyone in our community to learn about and join in our efforts to protect and support the most vulnerable among us. Find out more at www.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Omaha Home for Boys Announces Ice-T as Keynote Speaker at Fall Event

Victory Riding Academy Offers Horse 101 Sessions

Omaha Home for Boys is excited to announce that Ice-T will be the featured keynote speaker at its annual Imagine Our Youth Fundraising Celebration taking place at the Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista Hotel and Conference Center on September 29.

Horse 101 was created to teach children and families the nature and fundamentals when interacting with horses. Instructors stress the importance of earning the horses trust and respect and to help build self-confidence.

Orphaned at a young age, Ice-T was forced to learn the art of survival and became involved in Los Angeles gangs before spending four years in the army. He overcame many obstacles to become a groundbreaking rapper, talented actor, author, reality star and cultural icon whose career has spanned music, television and film. Today, Ice-T is a staple in American living rooms starring in NBC’s hit television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Odafin Tutuola. The Imagine Our Youth Fundraising Celebration will feature a VIP reception with the opportunity to meet and interact with Ice-T as well as live and silent auctions, social hour, dinner and a program. Proceeds from the event will support the youth, young adults and families served by Omaha Home for Boys. For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities, individual tickets or tables, please visit or call (402) 457-7014.

Jennie Edmundson Foundation Salutes Volunteers in April In honor of National Healthcare Volunteer Week April 2329, during the entire month of April the Jennie Edmundson Foundation gives thanks to volunteers for all that they do. Support of volunteers at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital helps to supplement hospital services. Volunteers give selflessly of their time and provide valuable services throughout the hospital. They create a culture where compassion and excellence come together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those served…every person… every time! They are a valued resource to so many individuals and areas in the hospital. If you have considered volunteering, there are opportunities for volunteerism abound throughout Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. Whatever your background or experience, you can make a valuable contribution by becoming a volunteer. The Adult Volunteer Program offers a variety of positions throughout the hospital to fit your interests and schedule. Placement depends on your skills, interests and current opportunities. A Teen Program is also offered for volunteers age 14-18. The program helps teens learn new skills and gain the responsibility and accountability that they will need to be successful. For more information, contact Jill Killion, Adult Volunteer Coordinator or Jillian McIntosh-Carnes, Teen Volunteer Coordinator at (712) 3966040 or / Call to schedule your interview today! Find out more about the Jennie Edmundson Foundation at www.

Starting in May, ages 6 and up can sign up for Horse 101 sessions to learn safety around and during the handling of horses. Victory Riding Academy looks forward to the release of Horse 102-105 in the upcoming months for additional educational opportunities. You can purchase a Horse 101 session or gift certificates for $50. Sessions are available by appointment only. Please email class@ or call (402) 512-1817 and choose option 2. Victory Riding Academy, Inc. (VRA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community based organization located in South Omaha and is funded 100 percent by donations and grants. VRA provides horseback riding opportunities and horsemanship activities to enrich the lives of active duty Military, Veterans, Police, Fire First Responders, their families and the community. VRA also provides therapeutic riding for children, adults and Veterans with special needs.

Registration Open for 20th Annual Ronald McDonald House Charities Golf Tournament Make room in your sc hedule for the 20th Annual Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha Golf Tournament! It will be held on May 15 at The Players Club at Deer Creek, with roughly 200 golfers coming out to have some fun and support RMHC in Omaha. Players can register their teams of four at Sign up for a chance to compete with Nebraska greats! The tournament will also require many volunteers to assist with the afternoon’s activities. For more information on volunteering, contact Emily Mozer at or call (402) 346-9377. 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 an area hospital. RMHC offers warm beds, hot showers, homecooked meals, laundry facilities, playrooms, and a playground – all the essentials of home. Additionally, there’s a built-in support system where families are able to connect with each other. When families stay with RMHC in Omaha, they have a community of supporters rallying 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. To learn more about RMHC in Omaha, visit APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 33


New Clinic to Bring Primary and Immediate Care to Southwest Omaha Nebraska Medicine ( is expanding its primary care services to a growing part of metro Omaha with the opening of a new clinic. Nebraska Medicine – Chalco will open in the fall of 2017 in a building soon-to-be constructed on the southwest corner of 168th and Giles in southwest Omaha.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Opens New Urgent Care Center in Dundee Location

Construction will soon be underway on the 12,000-square-foot building, which will feature 15 exam rooms, five consult rooms, one procedure room, and radiology services. It will also be Nebraska Medicine’s fourth Immediate Care Clinic, providing weekend, holiday and afterhours care. Immediate Care services will be available after the primary care regular office hours have been established. Other Immediate Care Clinics are located at Nebraska Medicine – Eagle Run in northwest Omaha, Nebraska Medicine – Clarkson Family Medicine in Midtown Omaha and Nebraska Medicine – Family Medicine at Bellevue in the southeast portion of the metro.

On March 13, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center opened its third Urgent Care location within the Children’s Physicians, Dundee office at 4825 Dodge Street. The Dundee Urgent Care location is open Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from noon to 10 p.m. It joins Children’s other Urgent Care locations: Val Verde in La Vista (9801 Giles Road, Suite 1) and West Village Pointe (175th & Burke Street). Children’s Urgent Care Centers offer convenience and peace of mind for after-hours pediatric illnesses and injuries, including ear infections, sore throats, minor burns, minor asthma and small lacerations. The Dundee location also offers on-site digital X-ray and lab services. No appointments are necessary. The phone number at the Dundee location is (402) 955-7650.

All Nebraska Medicine primary care clinics use what’s called a Patient Centered Medical Home model of care to ensure our patients’ health care needs are met. A medical provider, social worker, clinical staff member, registered dietitian and pharmacist are all part of the PCMH team.

American Heart Association Kicks Off Healthy For Good Campaign

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

On April 5, countless numbers of Nebraskans will take a step towards being Healthy For Good and walk to commemorate the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day. The Healthy For Good movement is designed to inspire all Americans to live healthier lives and create lasting change. It focuses on the simple idea that making small changes today can create a difference for generations to come. The month-long campaign is broken down into weekly themes. Week one focuses on walking and the basic tools you need to get started. Walking is one of the safest, least expensive, and most sustainable forms of exercise. Weeks two and three focus on recreational sports and outdoor activities the whole family can do together, and week four focuses on mindful movement and reducing stress by doing activities such as yoga, Pilates and tai chi. The American Heart Association recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity or a combination of both each week. Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Be part of the movement this month and commit to move more as an individual, family, community, school, or company! Register for your free toolkit of resources at v. Join the national movement at HealthyForGood and contribute to the conversation on social media using #HealthyForGood. 34 Strictly Business APRIL 2017

Another new Nebraska Medicine clinic, Nebraska Medicine – Brentwood Village, is scheduled to open July 1. It will open across the street from the current Brentwood location at the intersection of 84th and Giles.

Madonna Partners to Create Comprehensive Electronic Documentation Solution

Spring Landscaping The temperatures are climbing, the grass is returning to green, the trees are budding, the flowers are blooming – yes, spring has officially arrived. With all of these new seasonal developments, everyone is out and about getting their landscaping projects underway, along with handling all of the general property maintenance tasks that must be done each year at this time. Here’s a quick brush up on the basics, and for those who are considering establishing or transforming outdoor living and entertaining areas, we’ve got that covered too! The Basics: Spring Cleaning Checklist • Clear your lawn of all leaves and debris by raking heavy and matted grass areas. A light spring rake is best for this chore. It may cause a few sore muscles but it will be well worth it in the long run, and your lawn will love it. • Once you’ve cleaned the lawn, it’s time for the first mowing of the season. Set your lawn mower to approximately 2”, which is generally the second lowest setting on the wheels. It’s always best to bag the first couple mowings of the season to pick up any leftover debris. • Next, do the same in your landscaped areas, clearing all leaves and winter debris. Be careful of any perennials and bulbs that are hiding below the leaves; this being a somewhat early spring, many plants are already making their appearance. • Aeration of your lawn is also highly recommended in the spring, which allows fertilizers and moisture to reach the lawn’s root system. • Apply a spring fertilizer with a pre-emergent herbicide to best control crabgrass. • Water your lawn, as this has been an unusually dry winter and there’s little moisture in the soil to feed your lawn and plants. It will also help the fertilizer get to where it needs to go to be most effective. Your lawn and plants are coming out of a very dry winter and the forecast is for above normal temperatures and below normal moisture. That means as your lawn and plants are waking up from their winter dormancy, they need moisture to begin growing, turning green, activating fertilizer, and other natural nutrients and foods. If applicable, make sure to perform regular spring maintenance on your sprinkler system before firing it up full force. • Do all of your planting and spruce up your outdoor living and entertaining areas. • Now, enjoy! After all your hard work, don’t forget to take some time for yourself and your family to reap the rewards of the great outdoors. Project Focus: Installing New Features The latest and greatest in property development as far as landscaping goes is outdoor living and entertaining spaces. Residential landscapes are now typically designed around the family’s use of the outdoor space, whether it be the installation of a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, fire pit or fireplace, and recreational or sports areas. Commercial properties have also followed suit to an extent, as business owners are recognizing the value of providing a relaxation space for their employees and an inviting space to conduct meetings and business on nice days. “Spring is the perfect time to install a new patio, driveway, or walkway,” explains Barbara Moore of Moore’s Concrete. “These are all popular requests this time of year. As the weather gets warmer, people like to be outdoors more, so creating an extension of their living space by adding a new patio, for example, makes great sense timing-wise. There are a lot of options for colored and stamped concrete that will enhance the design; from outdoor kitchens and bar areas to firepits, these all turn out beautifully. Since the weather is still somewhat unpredictable going into April, we

keep a close eye of the forecast and weather conditions. That being said, we can start with the planning of your project ahead of time and then we’ll be ready to execute as soon as the weather cooperates.” Moore also offers a few pointers for hiring out this type of project: Do your homework. Always get at least 3 bids for every project you are considering. Ask about insurance, licensing, permits and who will actually DO the work – is it their employees or will they subcontract the job out? Do not put money down up front if at all possible. If it’s unavoidable and the company is reputable, then it should be no more than a small percentage as a deposit, and always get the agreement in writing. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and those you trust for contractor references (but still follow 1 & 2 above!). We’re happy to provide references, and hope that you’ll consider us for your next project, whether it’s a driveway, patio, walkway, steps or pool deck! While some projects are definitely best left to the professionals, there are plenty of others you can tackle on your own if that’s your thing. For any special tools or equipment required for your DIY projects that you don’t have handy in your garage or shed, keep Honeyman Rent-All in mind as a resource. They truly have everything you could possibly need to complete your project without having to invest an arm and a leg to buy something that won’t get regular use, particularly with respect to large equipment. In addition to their extensive inventory, Honeyman Rent-All even has trained staff on-hand six days a week to assist customers in selecting the right tool to complete their jobs successfully. Just like you see on all of the home improvement shows, transforming your property is all a matter of putting the right team in place to execute your vision. Even with a well-established landscape and areas of interest already in place, any property owner will find that there’s work to do once spring rolls around. There’s always room for improvement, and each new year provides a fresh, new start with plenty of possibilities to explore. With the help of the professionals, your property will be the envy of the neighborhood, but most importantly, the place you’re proud to call your own where you can simply enjoy life outdoors. APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 35

Unplanned Life Changes

“Stuff happens.” This is the G-rated version of a term we’re all familiar with; such is life, indeed. Although there are many things that are impossible to predict with certainty, there are ways to be prepared for just about anything that may unexpectedly arise along the way. Across the spectrum of unplanned life circumstances – health issues, accidents, divorce, death, etc. – there are professionals who are ready and willing to help you with getting everything in place, too. Preparing For What Lies Ahead “Expect the worst, hope for the best.” Just as the saying goes, it’s smart to be proactive in addressing the expected and unexpected alike – the good, the bad, and the ugly. More often than not, accomplishing that is simpler than it seems. Unfortunately, there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t run the risk of experiencing a health issue, whether injury or illness, that presents with little-to-no warning. For the normal run-of-the-mill cold or flu bug, most know the steps they would take to address the issue – contact the primary physician’s office, go in for a visit, and follow doctor’s orders. That’s the plan in place, even while the thing that’s being planned for remains completely hypothetical. Since there are a substantial number of possibilities out there that could strike at any time, it can seem overwhelming to devise a plan to address all of the potential ‘what-ifs.’ Yet, just as in the example provided, most of the preparation simply lies in being educated so that when it’s time to react, you know exactly what’s next. As it applies to seniors, this approach is quite fitting. “At Immanuel, we serve seniors, and very often we are helping someone whose spouse or parent has recently experienced an unexpected illness or something that’s caused a rapid decline in health,” says Connie Chisholm of Immanuel. “As a result, many find themselves in a position where they need to find a community that can provide additional care and services immediately. This can be one of the hardest unplanned life changes one can have. We are here to be a resource and help navigate senior living, care, and services.

Connie Chisholm Immanuel

When faced with an immediate move to a senior living community, individuals are often met with a whole host of emotions and stressors. They may have to downsize a larger home to move into a smaller, more manageable location. The thought of having to part with cherished items that hold significant memories is daunting. Enlisting the help of a moving company specialized in the needs of seniors can be very helpful. Such organizations are expert in sorting, packing, and moving precious belongings. Another added stressor can be family dynamics if some members are more supportive than others.


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While difficult to imagine, we all have to face unexpected life events

at some point. But, when you are a senior or an adult child of an aging parent, the impact tends to be more severe in nature. We often hear from our residents and families that they wish they would have made the move sooner. My recommendation is to begin envisioning what your lifestyle looks like in your senior years, prior to retirement and well before an immediate health crisis. Being proactive allows the time to look for a community that suits the individual versus fitting the person into the community.” An unplanned life change is just that, something that unexpectedly happens to you or your family. This change can be a difficult one (or it can be something that is good!). Good, bad, or neutral, often the challenge lies in deciding what the next step should be, or how one should handle the change that just happened. In truth, knowing what the right thing to do as a result of change can be difficult for anyone, not just the elderly. These folks, however, are more prone to the onset of health issues that impact their overall wellness, living arrangements, and independence being the unplanned life changes that occur. “So, what happens next?” This is a question that will come up frequently at different times during a person’s life when faced with something that was unexpected to a certain degree. “In emergency situations, I often find that seniors and their families truly have no idea which way to turn, what to ask, or where to start,” says Theron Ahlman of CarePatrol of Nebraska. “Many are also facing major issues as a result of the incident, such as selling a house, getting insurance policies handled, and putting legal documents in place. We have a list of vetted companies that we recommend to help the families navigate those issues, and have found that this makes the situation much easier. Theron Ahlman Since we’ve done most of the legwork, it CarePatrol of Nebraska allows people to move forward quickly and confidently. At CarePatrol we help a lot of seniors and families who have experienced a fall or some type of medical issue and then aren’t able to go back home. This can be a very challenging time, and even more so if they weren’t prepared to transition to a community and have no idea where to start. Typically people can recall a few names of local communities, perhaps they’ve driven by on their way to work or have heard them in conversation, or are given an exhaustive list based on the area they live. Neither really helps much with isolating the communities that would best fit their wants and needs from the bunch. Our process helps to ensure all items of importance are taken into consideration. We meet with the senior and their family to learn their wants, needs, finances and personality. We then find the best matches based on that care discovery, followed by reviewing the state’s care and violation history to make sure it’s a safe community, and one that’s able to meet their needs. Next, we schedule the tours, personally escorting whoever would like to attend. This allows us to help them ask the right questions and look past the fancy chandeliers and grand pianos to truly understand the care they will receive. Furthermore, we stay in contact with the senior and the family after moving in to make sure they are happy and that everything is being done for them as promised. For those being discharged shortly or in emergency situations, there’s a need to act quickly. We also know which communities work in a timely fashion to get a senior moved in and can make it happen that day, whereas some communities can take a week or more to get everything handled, which wouldn’t work in these particular instances. While the reason for the move may have come as a surprise, we want to take any other unexpected issues out of the equation. For instance, once you get your loved one all settled in, what happens if they are in a wheelchair and need help getting back and forth from their room, but the staff at that facility isn’t authorized to do APRIL 2017 Strictly Business


so? Or similarly, what if transitioning to a higher level of care as it’s needed isn’t a possibility within the community you’ve chosen? In either case, another move will be necessary, and you’re right back where you started in the first place.

move to assisted living with very little time to make arrangements is required, we offer short-term respite care. Respite residents receive our highest level of care and benefit from all the amenities offered to our permanent residents.

I always suggest to seniors that it’s never too early for us to go out and tour communities. It costs nothing for us to go check them out together. Of course, a change in health condition may alter the decision to go with the community that they previously liked, but it may also help them choose to make the move sooner and in doing so, avoid a fall or injury. Many people wait too long while living in an unsafe situation, or at the point where they aren’t taking medication’s as directed or getting the proper nutrition. To look at a community and get the process going before something happens or to be prepared, call CarePatrol anytime at (402) 785-2262 to speak with a Certified Senior Advisor who will walk with you hand in hand through the challenging process at absolutely no cost to you or your loved one.”

Remington Heights offers independent and assisted living, and amenities that allow individuals to be as independent as possible while receiving the care they need. We invite seniors and their families to tour our community and participate in our events. By exploring options early on, individuals have a better idea of where to turn when faced with an unexpected need.

As previously mentioned, a move may be required as a result of an unexpected life event. Particularly in the case of seniors, moving to a new residence is a part of aging that’s almost a given, but the circumstances leading up to that which will determine the timing of said move tend to be a bit more unpredictable in nature. “People who don’t anticipate the need for a senior living community may find themselves with little time and few options when faced with an unexpected move,” notes Erin Endress of Remington Heights Senior Living Community. “When suddenly faced with an illness, chronic condition, or Erin Endress injury, ongoing assistance or care may be Remington Heights Senior needed as a result. When an unplanned Living Community


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Often, the family will make the decision on their loved one’s behalf, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, take the initiative to do your research early, and explore the options together. Seniors who visit communities and ask lots of questions may feel more comfortable making a decision to move to a community when the need arises. Participate in activities, talk to current residents, and eat meals at the communities to find a good fit.” For seniors, a move from their house to independent or assisted living will require downsizing, which can be difficult. For others, there may be specific challenges associated with the move depending on the reason. Working with experienced professionals during a move, you’ll also benefit from guidance as to logistics and their ability to mobilize quickly to accommodate the constraints you’re under. “Both planned and unplanned life changes are a regular occurrence for us,” advises Brian Beadle of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK ®. “Job offers, divorces, deaths - these are all extremely stressful lifechanging situations that we navigate with our clients on a daily basis. Often on moving day, or the situations surrounding moving

Brian Beadle Two Men And A Truck

day, customers are facing the most emotionally impactful events of their lives. These are not to be taken lightly, good or bad. Our job is about so much more than just moving furniture. We move people forward, and these individuals are parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, cousins, friends. Our movers are trained to take a step back and assess the situation even before the job begins, so that they’ll be fully prepared when the time comes. Most people hold a fairly intense emotional connection to their belongings. A child’s favorite doll, an antique grandfather clock, or that perfectly broken in recliner; combine this with the stress of moving and you have a very tumultuous situation. In these instances, it is the details that matter. Those we serve need to know that we will protect their belongings as if they were our own, and that requires building trust so they know they have nothing to worry about. While there is very little a person can do to prepare for an unplanned move, we are always available to assist, even last-minute. You can expect to receive the same incredible service whether booking a month out or an hour out. We are a full-service company, offering complete packing and unpacking services as well as long-distance moving and storage. Within the moving spectrum, rest assured there is nothing we cannot do.” Speaking of those who may find themselves embarking down a new career path for whatever reason, Karla Keegan with Manpower provides a few helpful tips. “There are three ways to prepare for a job search that I’d recommend, and they are as follows: 1. Get organized. Job hunting can be stressful. Stay in control by getting all of your materials and information in order in advance. This includes your updated resume, Karla Keegan documentation (such as transcripts, letters of Manpower recommendation and dates of employment) and interview attire. Create your daily schedule of job search items and keep track of everything in an activity log. 2. Know who you are and what you want. The better you know yourself and what you want, the more effective your job search will be. First, implement a “skills inventory” – determine what transferrable skills you have that could be applied to a new role. Next, ask yourself the following questions: Do I want to work full- or part-time? What type of work excites and motivates me? Which shift do I want to work? How far am I willing to travel for work? What kind of work environment do I prefer? How much do I want to earn? 3. Make a career plan. Map out the career path you want to follow, then assess what you need to do to prepare for that career. Explore different kinds of jobs to see what occupations fit your interests and skills. You will also see what types of jobs are in demand in your area. For more career resources, visit the Manpower Career Resource Center on our website,” Having The Tough Conversations When establishing a solid plan for what’s to come in life, and in preparing for the difficulties that one might face, it is imperative is to have a conversation with your loved ones to get on the same page. “The list of topics to cover for unplanned life changes is considerable,” says Jim Laughlin of Home Nursing With Heart. “Nonetheless, when factors present themselves that compromise a person’s independence, there are life-changing decisions that will need to be made. Can

that individual safely remain in his/her home? Are they going to need help? If so, from whom? Caregivers, family? Should the move to an assisted living facility be considered? My suggestion is to always be having conversations about ‘What if?’ ahead of time. Another main objective to accomplish in these conversations is ensuring a living will is completed. The word ‘unplanned’ says it all. Furthermore, an often overlooked area Jim Laughlin is outlining what community resources are Home Nursing With Heart available. The variety with respect to all of the different types of assistive services that are available in our community comes as quite the surprise to most. The more you’re able to cover in these conversations, the better prepared you’ll be when the time comes to cross that bridge. Just remember, if you’re in a position where you have to make these decisions, there’s a lot of help available in our community. Reach out and involve others in the conversation too.” “Open dialogue about the different types of services available, as well as the facilities in the area and what they provide, is a very important but often difficult step to take,” agrees Lisa Arp of SilverRidge Assisted Living & Memory Support in Gretna. “We know it is hard to bring up to our loved ones, but it is necessary. On my radio show ‘Aging Matters with Lisa’ I discuss all of these options for seniors to try to keep them informed on what is out there for them. It airs Thursdays from 4-5 p.m. on 660 AM Lisa Arp KCRO. Facilities are not like they used to SilverRidge Assisted be; independence is still achievable and Living & Memory Support APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 39

you can still do many of the things that you are used to. Especially regarding family members, if you think your loved is close to making such a move, for their safety it is really important to create open dialogue, visit multiple facilities and compile information about various options, so you are well informed on what is out there when the time comes when action is required.” Dealing With Loss Loss is a part of life that we’ll all experience at some point. The one that comes to mind first is the passing of a loved one, but there are a number of others that also have a profound impact, such as loss of limb or senses, loss of memory or loss of independence as one ages, loss of hair from chemo, and so on. In any of these instances, though moving forward has its distinct difficulties, you can be sure that support for anything you’ll encounter is out there. “Adjusting to the losses associated with catastrophic injuries/illnesses can be extremely difficult for patients/families,” expresses Tracy Broussard, LCSW, ACMSW of Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. “We advocate for patients/families in times of crisis and vulnerability to ensure as much independence is restored or maintained as possible. Our interdisciplinary team supports our patients/families throughout this grieving process by validating concerns, utilizing the strengths of the patients/ Tracy Broussard families, anticipating needs and offering creative solutions to any barriers that exist. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals They use collective clinical expertise to guide our patients/families to attain what may have originally been thought to be impossible, and are also very knowledgeable about resources and supportive services that are available. At Madonna, we all work together to promote hope via medical and rehabilitative interventions that help our patients/ families recognize that they can improve and experience high-quality lives despite these unplanned life changes. Any of us could experience a medical crisis that would leave us too ill to make our own healthcare decisions. As such, it’s of the utmost importance to let our loved ones and medical providers know what care we would want if we were faced with a medical crisis while we are able to clearly state our wishes. Having these conversations is a great start. However, our requests may not be followed if we have not shared them in writing in the form of Advance Directives. Many healthcare organizations offer Advance Directive resources free of charge. Legal Aid of Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services State Unit on Aging, the Nebraska Area Agencies on Aging, and local attorneys are all great resources for Advance Directives.” With decline in health comes a loss of independence, which can be a challenge to cope with in and of itself. “It is difficult for almost anyone to feel like they are giving up their independence,” says Melissa Smith of Care Consultants for the Aging. “Accepting help is not easy, especially when people find themselves in emergency situations. Actually, many seniors find it helpful to have a caregiver assist them in their homes with little tasks before an unplanned life change occurs. This way if an emergency situation does come up, they are already accustomed to having a caregiver they know in the home, and it can make that change a little less stressful.

Melissa Smith Care Consultants for the Aging

That being said, people usually turn to Care Consultants when an event occurs in their life that changes their ability to live unassisted. This can be a gradual change in which they begin to need assistance with


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meals, light housekeeping, and personal cares in order to stay in their homes. It can also be a more sudden change, such as a fall or a hospital stay, and all of sudden they find themselves needing more care. Care Consultants refers caregivers who are CNA’s and can assist clients from companionship to personal cares to hospice assistance. We have caregivers available from 1 up to 24 hours a day and on an ongoing, consistent basis or for short-term assistance in an emergency. Regardless of the circumstances, it is always beneficial to decide what kind of care you may want and to communicate your wishes to your loved ones before a crisis occurs. Get your legal matters in order and determine who will be helping you make medical and financial decisions. It is also important to research home care and facilities to decide how you would like to spend your time if you come to a point where you need assistance with your daily routine. Care Consultants produces the ElderCare Resource Handbook, a complete listing of services for seniors in the Omaha/Council Bluffs and Lincoln areas. Divided into five tabbed sections including “Government, Financial & Legal”, “Medical Support”, “Home Health Care & Support Services”, “Living Options” and “Senior Services,” the Handbook is a go-to resource for seniors and professionals in the community. The ElderCare Resource Handbook can be purchased for $8 or $12 with shipping. Call (402) 398-1848 in Omaha or (402) 488-3771 in Lincoln to get your copy or go online at www. to view the Handbook for free.” Indeed, the loss of something that has previously defined one’s identity can be a crushing blow, but with the power of a positive outlook and a little help from those with whom you choose to surround yourself, one that you can bounce back from in time. “For those who have lost their hair, it can be difficult to look in the mirror and see a reflection of a person they don’t recognize,” says Brooke Ahlman, stylist and owner of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement. “It’s a constant reminder of something difficult they are facing. The best solution is to restore that image of themselves prior to whatever has happened in their lives, and we can help do just that. At Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement we can help anyone who has experienced an unplanned life change that has affected the growth or wellbeing of their hair. We offer non-surgical hair replacement and have worked with many clients who needed to get their confidence back and restore some semblance of normalcy in their lives. It is amazing how hair loss can affect a person even as a part of the normal aging process, let alone if it’s lost during the chemotherapy process or it’s necessary for the head to be shaved for surgery. Our systems are made with real hair, so nobody will know you are being challenged in life. They let you enjoy life just like you did when you had a full head of hair. You can shower, go on roller coasters, and live life as you want without feeling depressed or like everyone is looking at you. Brooke Ahlman Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement

Starting the process is as simple as coming in for a free consultation, which provides the opportunity to discuss what you are experiencing and how everything will work moving forward. After going over the options, if a hair system is the best for you, the next step is finding the closest match to your current hair. Custom systems take a little longer to get in than an off-the-shelf system, but this way we can get as close to the look you desire as possible. At Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement, we will be honest with you, don’t ever pressure you, and if we don’t offer the right or best solution for you and your needs, we will help guide you in the right direction as we understand that not everyone is the right fit for what we offer. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me directly at (402) 649-0212.”

Altogether, though everyone will experience different types of losses, and cope in different ways, one bridge we will all cross at some point is death. This also applies to what we discussed previously regarding having the tough conversations. “When it comes to death, although it’s a part of life for us all, many unfortunately still find the conversation to be taboo,” explains Dr. Rebecca Wester of Douglas County Health Center. “We see death everywhere; it’s all around us - in video games, movies, the evening news. Yet, society is far more comfortable with the possibility of a fantasy zombie apocalypse than facing the reality of death and making end-of-life plans accordingly. So many do so little to prepare, and some still refuse to discuss it altogether.

Dr. Rebecca Wester

Douglas County Here’s a short list of what I’ve found based Health Center on my experience with patients when it comes to death. Most individuals wish to die at home. Most individuals want to be pain-free, and that applies to all types of suffering - physical, existential, spiritual, emotional. Most individuals do not want to be a burden. Most individuals choose quality of life when faced with a terminal condition, although hospice is the most underutilized Medicare insurance benefit.

Now, for my honest advice. Choose who you what to make decisions when you can’t, and put it in writing. Nebraska forms are available for free at Tell your family your preferences and what’s important to you. You are in control of ranking your priorities, but it does help to have guidance from the professionals. Insurance covers an appointment to have these types of conversations like any other office visit, and it can even be part of the annual check-up too.” “Death is inevitable, but is a topic that is often difficult to talk about before it happens,” agrees Greg Nabity of The Nebraska Cremation Society. “It is important to let your close family members know what your wishes are regarding how you wish your death to be handled. As previously mentioned, this can include advance directives for your healthcare during a final illness, and also location of documents, whether you wish to be cremated or buried, and what type of remembrance Greg Nabity services you want to be held. We are The Nebraska uniquely qualified to assist you with making Cremation Society your wishes known. Or, we are able to guide you through the experience of an unexpected death, providing wise counsel, comfort, and guidance that will help you to best handle the situation. When navigating any of life’s unplanned changes, always seek the help of professionals who are experienced and equipped to provide information, guidance, and services that will make things APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 41

when he turns 18. He can use it then, for college perhaps, or if he chose to continue it, those additional payments would also gain interest for the life of the policy. He’s covered in the event of an emergency and earning future income on that investment all the while. The most heartbreaking appointments are those when something has already happened and the options are more limited. It doesn’t take much to have some sort of safety net in place. A lot of people don’t realize that even if they have group policies at work that cover death and disability, that those may not necessarily help with everything they might come across, or help as much as they might think. And, sadly, the benefits may not be there after they leave their job. Getting out ahead of what may happen is important, and the younger you are, the easier it is to get protection at the lowest rate possible. My advice is to take the time to review what you already have established to ensure you’re maximizing your resources, and to find out what’s out there, and if anything is projected to change that would affect your future.” Another area where the earlier, the better resonates is with early detection of serious health conditions, namely cancer.

much easier.” The Earlier, The Better Just as with anything that requires planning, although seemingly contrary to their very nature, the unexpected things that may happen in life can, and should, also be taken into account well in advance. Take life insurance and retirement plans for starters.

Andy Storz Appreciation Financial

“At Appreciation Financial, our focus lies in the areas of pension education, safe retirement strategies, and living benefit life insurance,” says Andy Storz, a local agent with Appreciation Financial. “All that we offer serves to ensure the financial security of our clients and their families, which can be compromised as a result of life’s major unplanned life events – death, disability, chronic illness, critical disease, or any reason someone might need to step away from their career earlier than expected.

Through a product called Indexed Universal Life, in addition to a traditional death benefit, there are living benefits that cover any of these occurrences. It also offers a cash benefit that can be used for emergencies or retirement. The future is uncertain for us all. There are ways to safeguard your future that you may not have considered, so it’s important to be informed in order to take advantage of what’s out there. Also, there’s no minimum age a person needs to be to have coverage, and to benefit from it. For example, my 3-month-old son has a policy. It gives my wife and I peace of mind and support in the event something terrible should happen, yes, but it’s also an investment in his future that provides a respectable return. If we don’t have to use any of the benefits, the entire cost of the policy and then some is available 42 Strictly Business APRIL 2017

“For the majority of cancer types, including prostate cancer, if it’s caught early enough it can be managed,” says Daniel Cinotto of FirstScan. “Prostate cancer is the number two killer of men in our country, and a staggering 59% of men who have been diagnosed with it showed no warning signs that would have alerted them to a problem. For the rest, the symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways like a cough or back pain that you wouldn’t necessarily attribute to cancer. Since it’s so asymptomatic in Daniel Cinotto nature, early detection is critical, and FirstScan that’s something you can and should do for yourself at a certain age, even if you feel great. Cancer is a scary thing to wrestle with for anyone, and for men, that’s compounded by hopping on the Internet to do a little research and finding out the specifics of what the traditional method for detection entails, involving complications that can be traumatic. It’s a deterrent, that’s for sure. We’ve developed an MRI procedure that’s not only non-invasive and affordable, but also can tell you with approximately 97% certainty whether it’s present or not. Bottom line: Get the answers you need to go on living a full and happy life. Education is a big part of what we do here at FirstScan, so we encourage anyone who wants to know more to contact us – we’ll do all that we can to make sure you’ve got the information you need to make the best decision for yourself.” Building Your Support System In the best and the worst of times, no matter what you go through in life, having a strong support system in place is vital. In combination with an established plan that takes into account the unknowns, you’ll be in good shape no matter what may come your way. Along with family and friends at the core of your support system, there are likely many others who will be on your team. As evidenced by the diversity of sources consulted on this topic, there are a host of local professionals across a wide variety of industries that will be there to offer support in some capacity, and be honored to do so. For those who experience loss, grief support groups or counseling can be very helpful. For family members who also act as caregivers, this might include taking advantage of respite care. For those seeking to maintain independence while they manage a health issue, in-home care would be an option to consider. Life is full of unknowns, but our community is full of professionals who can help take the guesswork out of how you move forward in the face of uncertainty. In fact, get connected to the ones you might need in the future right now. It doesn’t hurt at thing to be prepared; on the contrary, it could make all the difference in how you react and the outcome of your situation.

Celebrating Graduation Graduation, a major life milestone and crowning achievement, is a momentous occasion that signals the end of one’s journey in pursuit of a degree that will greatly impact the direction of that individual’s life moving forward. Along with the well-deserved festivities, it’s also a time for preparation to begin a new chapter, whether moving on to pursue a higher level of education or entering the workforce and embarking on your chosen career path. Party Prep The time has come to celebrate the accomplishments of high school and college graduates, with all of the ceremonies and parties to attend likely to dominate the weekend schedules for many of us very soon. For those on the hosting end, if you haven’t already begun preparations, you’d better get to it! Keeping in mind that many of the vendors for graduation parties cross over into weddings, with that season beginning full-force at the same time, it can present quite the challenge to get on the books with those you prefer. For those seeking inspiration, look no further – here are a few suggestions that can still be nailed down for the grad’s big day. The Place: While hosting a party at someone’s home remains popular, there are also many who will opt to host their guests at another venue depending on the logistics and how they prefer to celebrate with everyone. With no shortage of fantastic ideas for this type of event, Ashley Brooks of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema offers just a few suggestions: “Why not reach out to other parents and see about doing a joint party together? Graduations are expensive, but the party doesn’t have to be. Sharing the space with another graduate will make their party even more special for the kids. I would also suggest going with a buffetAshley Brooks Alamo Drafthouse Cinema style meal, whether it be appetizers, pizza,

or even a build-your-own taco bar. Since graduation events are all happening within the same couple weeks, multiple parties will be going on at the same time. Having a buffet will allow your guests to be able to visit multiple parties throughout the day, because there’s no set time for a meal and they can eat as much or as little as they like.

Based on the most common question I get asked – ‘How do we make our party different than the other graduation parties?’ personalization ranks high on the list of importance. To achieve this objective, it’s all about getting your graduate involved. Make sure you sit down with and ask them what they want in a party. Have them make a mixtape or set up a playlist of their favorite songs to play for the event. Include them in the design of their cake. Ask your grad and their friends make the decorations. Their ideas are as unique, and probably more so; why not incorporate those to personalize the party?” Specifically regarding graduation parties at Alamo Drafthouse, she notes, “One thing makes our venue so unique is our versatility; we not only rent our movie theaters as event space, but we have a beautiful restaurant with a private patio available. It is a spacious room located next to the bar area that can seat up to 86 people. Depending on the forecast, during the day we can open the garage door to the patio to create an indoor/outdoor setting for the event, adding an additional 140 seats. There are two fire pits on the patio that can be turned on once the sun starts to set. The Liquid Sunshine Taproom is labeled as a sports bar, but it doesn’t have that sports bar feel. It’s the perfect location for your graduate’s party.” The Food: An entertaining staple, no doubt. You can put together a great spread yourself, or alternatively, let the professionals handle it for you so that you too can join in on the celebration without having to worry about a thing! “We always have bundles and party packs available at the shop to grab and go, which you can also order by phone or in our online store to stop by and pick up at your designated date and time,” explains Sean Fuller of Just Good Meat. “These

Sean Fuller Just Good Meat

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you make it happen either way. With our variety, expertise, and flexibility you’re guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for…and with so many possible choices, maybe even something that you hadn’t even considered as an option! Planning a party is a big undertaking and our goal is to take a major part of that off of your plate by offering an easy way to provide your guests a delicious meal or hearty snack that will fit all of your specific requirements.” The Drinks: Just as important as the fare. Maybe a few kegs of beer, an assortment of spirits and mixers, a few bottles of wine, a signature drink in honor of the senior, juice bar, non-alcoholic refreshments, or all of the above. To simplify this part of the prep, you’ll want to be able to grab everything at the same place if at all possible, and ensure that you have enough to go around. Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is great for picking up your celebration needs in this area because they have hundreds of items to choose from, with a large variety on-hand. Rather than trying to find the best sales, you’ll always be offered great prices no matter when you stop by – a guarantee that’s well worth noting. From wellknown brands to ones that aren’t commonly available at the usual retail stores, it’s a rock-solid one-stop-shop for just about anything you could think of as far as adult beverages are concerned. You’ll even find a nice selection of party staples such as paper plates, tableware, and table coverings; how about that for convenience! Oftentimes the most challenging part of buying your refreshments isn’t so much picking out a variety of drinks, but more so deciding how much you’ll need. Since the team at Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal has plenty of experience in this area, you can count on them to help you accurately estimate the quantity you’ll need to accommodate the number of guests you’ll be expecting.

can be customized too. We’re also able to put together a meal or spread based upon your budget, how many people you’ll be entertaining, and what food items you’d like to be served. Just a few of our popular items include smoked chicken breasts with a variety of marinades to choose from, BBQ meats, sloppy joes, and smoked prime rib that is delicious on its own but also perfect for French dip and Philly sandwiches. We also have great items for those who prefer hors d’oeuvres, including meat and cheese platters, meatballs, skewers, or scaling down our entrees to miniature sliders or bite-sized portions. And for those who are grilling, we’ve got just about anything you can think of for meat, and plenty of homemade sides to pair with any of those. We always kick off spring with a sale right in time for graduation parties, with great prices on ribeyes, T-bones, Porterhouses, bacon-wrapped filets, top sirloin, chicken breasts, grass-fed hamburger patties, an assortment of fresh fish, and over 15 different types of homemade sausages, including cheese, bacon cheese, jalapeno cheese, Hawaiian pineapple, and more. Our food truck can also be booked, which is a big hit at parties. At Just Good Meat, our approach to serving our clientele focuses on attention to detail with an emphasis on great customer service. We essentially take the time, hassle, and stress out of party planning for our customers. As far as feeding your guest goes, no matter if you’re hosting 10-20 people or 100-200+, we have plenty of options for all preferences and dietary restrictions. Our team will execute everything that pertains to feeding your guests so that you can enjoy the moment and the good company instead of worrying about these details before, during or after the party. However, for those that don’t envision shying away from the grill but just the opposite, want to be in charge of the whole operation, there are literally hundreds of great options.” Fuller also mentions, “The best part about Just Good Meat is that whether you’re planning ahead for our catering services or need to stop and pick up items at the store last minute, we can help


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“Knowing what to serve and the quantities needed is most often the dilemma that party planners are facing,” says Jim Sobczyk of Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal. “Our experienced staff will not only help you decide the number of servings but also the proportion of beer, wine, liquor, punch and soft drinks. We realize that helping our clients stay within their budget while satisfying their guests’ needs is of the utmost importance. Instead of taking your chances and buying the wrong amount, we’ll save you a lot of time and hassle.”

Jim Sobczyk Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal

Aside from gearing up for the party, Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is also a great place to find a graduation gift for the wine, beer or liquor connoisseur—or just the person who likes to enjoy a few good drinks here and there. There are even DIY kits available for those who like to brew their own beer, with easy-to-understand instructions that are great for beginners too. The Set-Up: Tables and chairs, canopies, place settings, décor… chances are you may not have all of this in your own personal party stash. For anything you might need for the graduation party to come together, Honeyman Rent-All has a dedicated party rental division that’s got you covered. You can check out all of the items available online at, and we assure you, it’s an extensive selection. Although we didn’t dedicate a section to entertainment, it’s a party must too, and Honeyman Rent-All even has that well in hand. There’s everything you’d need for karaoke, inflatables for the little ones, and indoor/outdoor games galore (many of which would go along great with a themed party). Getaway Prep After working so hard, for so long, towards this very moment where graduates can finally say “I did it,” you might opt to take a little personal time to savor the victory. (The same holds true for parents, wink wink.) This might simply be for some much-needed R&R right here at home, but since graduation significantly frees

up the schedule, why not take the opportunity to travel? After all, you never know when the opportunity will present itself down the line when you’re pursuing your career ambitions or have a family to consider. “After such an accomplishment, a postgraduation trip can supply a little R & R after those finals, give you a chance to see the world and prepare for your next life adventure!” says Dana Smithberg of The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. “Some popular destinations include Europe, the Caribbean, Las Vegas, New York City - or hop on a cruise and explore several destinations! All-inclusive options in the Caribbean are a great option for this age group; top all-inclusive locations also Dana Smithberg include the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, The Vacation Store & and Mexico. Let The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company The Cruise Company find the perfect allinclusive resort to help you unwind and recharge. Alternatively, many grads are ready for some adventure! Whether it be touring through Europe or ziplining through the jungles of South America. For either relaxation or adventure, Mexico is a popular destination due to its close proximity and affordability. Top destinations in Mexico include Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Mazatlán and the Riviera Maya. Since many haven’t started making the big bucks quite yet, grads in both categories are also looking for a great deal. The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company works closely with our vendors to find the ideal trip to fit your budget. Our services are always complimentary and priced guaranteed. Or, we have gift certificates, so consider giving the graduate a gift of lifetime memories.”

She adds, “With this age group, some typical questions include what destinations are safe, include activities and often if they need a passport. We’ve got the answers!” Next Step Prep While all of the celebrating is much-needed and well-deserved, now what? For high school graduates going on to college, for college graduates who plan to continue their education for an advanced degree, or for any graduate entering the workforce, being prepared is key. Knowing what you want is one thing, and you might not even be at that point yet even though you now have a degree. However, knowing how to get it is an area where you’ll probably benefit from some guidance moving forward. There are many resources here in the Omaha Metro that can open your eyes to the possibilities. Find a mentor, attend a job or career fair, set an appointment to shadow a businessperson or meet with an educator or counselor, attend networking events, get involved in the community, and get connected so that you’re the first to know about the latest and greatest opportunity. Aside from that, you’re moving from one phase of life to the next, and that transition looks different for everyone. Be mindful of staying on track even though there may be less structure from here on out, and be as prepared as possible for what’s to come. Take control of your destiny, start talking to the professionals early and do so often, and take note of the things you can do to set yourself up for success, because they are out there in abundance! Congratulations Class of 2017 graduates! We honor you for your great accomplishments, and wish you much success and prosperity in the years to come. It’s almost time to party, which we’re sure you’re all aware, so don’t waste any time getting down to business and planning the event of the season!

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Starting a Business Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying “The value of an idea lies in using it.” Those who are bold enough to start their own businesses are doing exactly that, and for every idea out there that’s been capitalized upon, there are many more that have yet to be acted upon but have the potential to be wildly successful. For many entrepreneurs, taking a leap to start a business has resulted from a strong belief that the have an exceptional, marketable, and theoretically profitable idea that needs to be shared with the world, or alternatively, it’s been a longtime calling. For other savvy businesspeople, it comes about from an opportunity presenting itself that’s too hard to pass up, or finally finding the right fit. No matter how you’ve arrived at the point where you’re considering starting a business, it’s important to understand, at the very least, the basic steps necessary to make it happen. The 10 Steps to Starting a Business, provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration, outline this very nicely. We’ll explore each, and consult with the local experts, many of whom have started their own successful enterprises, to provide insight on what we consider to be the fundamentals. (Source: Step 1: Write a Business Plan (This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.) Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training (Take advantage of free training and counseling services.) “Greater Omaha SCORE provides consulting, mentoring, and education to those thinking about or in the process of starting a business,” advises Pauline Stark of Greater Omaha SCORE. “We’ll help you evaluate your business idea, put your business plan together, connect with resources, or gain the education you need to make your business go and grow. We will also be there along the way so you have skilled experienced people helping you through the tough spots. Here are a few of the common inquiries as to what we offer at SCORE: Pauline Stark Do I have a good idea for a business? We provide Greater Omaha SCORE tools to help clients evaluate their idea. If it is a brand new business idea, be sure to validate the idea with a Lean Canvas process. This will help you identify the 9 important questions to answer even before you complete a business plan. If you are entering a business market that already exists, make sure you have a solid business plan and understand the finances it will take to start up and operate for 6 months or a year as you build a revenue stream. Can you write a business plan for me? SCORE provides different ways to support the development of a business plan. It is advised to write your business plan before you need the funding; don’t ask an investor to loan money without it. Can you loan me money? SCORE helps those who are preparing to gain financing with a complete business plan, however, we do not make loans. We work with the SBA if they have questions on what type of lender or loan program they should have. As far as financing, be realistic about the amount of money that will be needed and the length of time it takes to get the company up and running. Also, your personal credit score needs to be in good shape, as it will be considered when getting a business loan. Your new business has no history so investors need a way to evaluate your money management history. Our National SCORE Foundation has completed studies that show that businesses that are counseled by SCORE mentors are more likely to still be in business and successful within two years than businesses that did not work with SCORE. Stop by and you can browse our upcoming workshops and resources for business owners or connect with a


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mentor, and you’re always welcome to contact us directly.” Step 3: Choose a Business Location (Seek advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.) This might be a storefront, office, warehouse or manufacturing facility; many a great business has begun in a basement or garage too. It may require the construction of a new building, but for those starting out with limited resources, renting space is generally the most popular option. Today, there are more options than ever before, particularly for SMBs with office suites, coworking spaces, incubators, virtual office capabilities, and more. “When you decide to start a business, it seems that way more money is leaving your bank account than going in,” says Michael Holroyd of Holroyd Investment Properties. “There is an endless list of startup costs that just can’t be avoided. Some of these costs require long-term commitments that a new business owner just isn’t ready for quite yet. Taking advantage of office space with HIP OffiCenters is a very low-risk way of getting your business started. There are a wide range of lease terms to meet your commitment level. We Michael Holroyd offer a variety of office sizes and styles, and can Holroyd Investment even furnish it for you. Our clients are provided Properties with a full-time receptionist, conference room, and modern office equipment. HIP OffiCenters is a great way to convey a professional image to your clients, from your very first day in business on, without the financial struggle of staffing an office. Particularly for those in the Omaha area, this offers a great opportunity to establish a presence in Lincoln, and we have virtual office space available too. HIP OffiCenters is in the business of helping new businesses grow. We make the first step easy so that new companies can focus on reaching their goals.” As was previously touched upon, for those who don’t pursue an option like the one we just presented, furnishing the place where you’ll be conducting business is an aspect of establishing a location for your new endeavor that you’ll likely need to fit into your budget. Since things can be tight in the first stages, finding quality items at bargain prices is the way to go. One of the best ways to do this is at auction! “Auction Solutions Inc. liquidates most types of business equipment and restaurant fixtures/ furnishings, with the goal of turning assets into cash for sellers in a short amount of time,” explains Shayne Fili of Auction Solutions Inc. “This presents a fantastic opportunity for buyers who are starting their own businesses. Many times we have live auctions at the location of the business. This is the optimal scenario because you can see the item in place, and most times plugged in and operational. But not always. It is then the buyer’s responsibility to remove the Shayne Fili items they have purchased. The more you know Auction Solutions Inc. about the items you need for your business, and the different processes involved with acquiring them, the better equipped you are as a buyer of new and used items. When planning on opening a business, the prospective business owner should discuss with his/her lender the possibility of attending an auction to purchase some of the necessary items for the business. If you search auction sites, the item you seek may be 20-30 cents on the dollar. It may show signs of use, but it is affordable. Also, check the used marketplace. If you are borrowing several thousand dollars, you may be able to maximize those funds by purchasing used furniture and equipment. The end result is that you now have remaining funds to perhaps upgrade the one item you may have to buy new, or for that software or IT support package that was previously out of your price range. Everyone loves to walk into a new office, business, or restaurant and see everything new. I do as well. Converse with your lender, the used furniture and equipment retailers, and design what you need initially around good used merchandise. As your business grows and prospers, you’ll then be in a better position to replace with newer or more stylish items. There are auctions online and live every day of the week featuring new and hardly-

used items, from the common items to the highest-end items imaginable. Attending an auction is the fastest way to learn to buy smart.” Step 4: Finance Your Business (Find government backed loans, venture capital, and research grants to help you get started.) Along with financing the business to get it up and running in the first place, as was briefly discussed previously, there are other items involving your monetary resources that will need to be handled to support those efforts. Which is fitting, as we were just discussing the financing of items you’ll need for your business in the beginning. This also includes, but is of course not limited to, payroll and taxes, HR, benefits, accounting and management of finances, etc. For all new business owners across the board, establishing strategic partnerships in areas that are outside of their expertise is well advised, particularly when these things are complex and affect the bottom line. Any errors with finances for a new business could prove to be too much of a blow to bear. PAYCHEX is an excellent resource for businesses of all sizes, with a wide variety of offerings within the following categories: Payroll Services, HR Solutions, Retirement Services, and Insurance. They specialize in helping new business owners by simplifying the process of setting up the essentials and offer flexibility, coming alongside whenever and however they are needed. PAYCHEX clients have access to expert, one-to-one service and support that is focused and customized, making it perfect for those just starting out in the business world. Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business (Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.) “An LLC or S corporation is structured so that your personal assets are protected, which can be major for small business owners,” says Jethro Jethro Hopkins Hopkins of No Coast Business Advisors. No Coast Business “Using these two types of corporate entities for Advisors APRIL 2017 Strictly Business 47

a new business venture is advised because of the risk involved with so many unknowns at play. There’s no guarantee of success, so instead of going into it with everything to lose, this is a way to mitigate that risk. Starting any business, there’s going to be a level of uncertainty about what the future holds, but more so when there are no projections to go off of based on past performance or outcomes. In light of that, don’t put the entirety of your personal life at risk at the same time more than need be to get your business operational. If you’re setting up a sole proprietorship, you’ll be responsible all of the groundwork, as there won’t be any established systems in place or access to support and resources like you’d have if you were purchasing a franchise, and to a lesser-but-still-significant extent with an established business. There’s also no valuable lessons learned from trial and error… yet. Those can be costly. For those with a truly unique offering, it might be worth it. But for the most part, it’s very selectively recommended these days, especially with the prominence of the franchise system where the opportunities are abundant to purchase a business with systems in place that have already proven to be successful. With partnerships, proceed with caution as well. From the very beginning, you’ll want to put your partnership agreement paperwork together assuming the worst, which can be a tricky way to start off a business relationship. Partnerships are just like marriages, there’s a high rate of failure involved, added to an already high rate of failure for just going into business period. Everything should be outlined in details and the agreement should be legally binding. Just consider this: If your business partner died, would you be comfortable going into business with their spouse, kids, parents, etc.? Or for added perspective, using the correlation to marriage again, if your spouse died, would you then just partner up with his or her sibling, or parents, and keep on keepin’ on? Probably not, which is where a buyout option built into a contract is important, and on a larger scale, why you need to have this part in place before all else. If you’re considering starting your own business, again with the failure rate being as high as it is, structure will be a determining factor, as will simply understanding the commitment and the work it will require, along with the financial burden.


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Taking over of an existing business that’s well-established and reasonably priced is really a great way to go into business for yourself, and if you’re interested in the opportunities that are available locally, feel free to contact me to learn more.” Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As” or DBA) (Register your business name with your state government. Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.) Step 7: Register for State and Local Taxes (Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.) Step 8: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits (Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.) Step 9: Understand Employer Responsibilities (Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.) Step 10: Find Local Assistance (For all of the previous steps, and for anything you encounter moving forward.) That final step will come as no surprise to Strictly Business readers, because it’s exactly what we emphasize every month as we highlight resources in the area. For those who are looking to start a business of their own, within the outlined steps, here are more of our recommendations for finding local assistance! Mentorship: Find a Trusted Advisor & Form a Support Network For those without any prior experience with running a business, or who have never been in a leadership position, it’s important to seek guidance from a professional who has in order to ensure you’re moving in the right direction. Alternatively, even for seasoned businesspeople starting a new venture, it helps to have an outside perspective, especially in the early stages. “We work with startups to minimize mistakes that are most often made by new and even experienced business owners,” explains Rose Mary Hefley of Achievement Unlimited, Inc. “Sometimes it is keeping them from getting involved with a partnership that could prove to be costly to

them. We also work with them to set smart goals that will help maximize their resources. In the very beginning, we work with clients to quantify and qualify the prerequisites of organizational success, which are: • A quality product or service. In the words of Warren Buffett, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.’ • Proper timing of the introduction of the product or idea into the marketplace. Market acceptance and potential are critical. Rose Mary Hefley • Determination of capitalization required for Achievement Unlimited, Inc. successful launch of new product or service and how to procure required capital. • Identification, acquisition, and training of high-performance personnel to successfully manage the resources of the business and to mitigate risk. • Identification and development of high-performance leadership, which is the key to success. The leadership will make or break the business. Without effective leadership skills, the business is doomed to needlessly struggle. All told, achieving success is dependent on the quality of preparation and teamwork in execution of the business/product start-up.” Ultimately, Hefley offers the following advice for those embarking on the journey of business ownership: “Leadership is the foundation for the success of a business. Successful athletes, singers, actors all use a coach to stay at the top of their game. So do successful and profitable business owners. It is usually what you don’t know about what you don’t know that adds cost and pain to a business. We can work with you to avoid those unknown costs. As such, consider investing in a successful business coach. Our team works with organizations that want to develop great leadership for today and assure a continuum of leadership for tomorrow.” Technology: Find Trusted Providers & Build a Team To compete in today’s marketplace, this is something you’ll need to do right from the jump. To be more accurate, it’s more a leap of faith for most who don’t know what they heck they’re doing. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved or a part of the discussion, just that you’d be best served by joining forces with experienced professionals in the tech space. Infrastructure & IT Support In the early stages, you’ll need to establish a strong foundation that supports the initial functions of conducting business. “Five Nines has had a lot of experience with companies just getting started,” says Nick Bock of Five Nines. “We started our own successful business, and we have a number of clients who have done the same. Whether it’s starting a new legal practice, physician practice, or professional services business, it’s quite common for us to work with a new company. The great thing about that is we are almost always engaged in the Nick Bock planning stage, where we can really help them Five Nines most effectively. First and foremost, we can help new business owners realize the technology they can leverage to have an instant competitive advantage over those that may be stuck in some old technology ways. We can help them do everything from outfitting new office space to what software are they going to leverage and how. Cloud versus on-premise data storage? VOIP or traditional phone system? Those and many other decisions are ones that our team is used to answering for a new business. Most importantly, we help them align the right technologies to make them be successful long term. There are constant changes in technology, and many of them have made it easier than ever to start a business. Ultimately anyone with a laptop can compete at a much higher level than they ever could before. Key changes in our industry that make it easier than ever are as follows: 1. Cloud technology that covers anything from email to hosted CRM (think Salesforce) to line of business applications - everything is a quick signup

away; and 2. Mobility has made everything accessible from anywhere. Employees can work effectively from home, the coffee shop, and Hawaii. New businesses that focus on having high mobility make it easier than ever to be fully productive, regardless of whether you are at the office or not.” Digital Marketing Digital marketing isn’t just the wave of the future happening in select niche marketplaces; it’s everywhere, and it’s here to stay. Establishing a strong online presence is an important part of marketing a new business, and it’s not a matter of if a strategy should be implemented, but when and how. Again, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got the experts hard at work for you, because it’s not something that the average person would be able to accomplish without the help of a professional. “Conducting market analysis is the first step to determining whether digital marketing is a good fit, and that process begins with analysis of the search volume within your geographic target region,” advises Tyler Horsley of Nuclear Networking. “Let’s just say that’s Lincoln, NE. We’ll find out how many people are searching for specific terms that are applicable to your business locally, and then we move on to competitive analysis. This covers how many people are already providing similar offerings, and of those, how many are currently engaging Tyler Horsley in effective digital marketing campaigns. We Nuclear Networking can even use our intelligence tools to tell our clients everything that their competition is doing in the digital space, and what they are paying to have it done. At that point, we can definitively say whether digital marketing is a good fit or not, and if it is, we’ll put together a custom strategy. Our goal with this is to outperform the others and win you the coveted top spot on search engines and any other areas you’d need to dominate online to be successful. You might find this hard to believe, but everything we’ve done up to this point is free for our clients. We need to do the research to understand the

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key factors that would determine success, and that’s a benefit we extend as a part of the consultative process when we’re establishing a working relationship. We find that many of our clients are curious about digital marketing but don’t feel confident enough to pursue it without fear of the results justifying the investment. When dealing with intangibles, there’s a level of uncertainty that’s to be expected. The questions we are most often asked right out of the gate are as follows: “How much will it cost?” “What will be my return on investment?” “Will it work?” “What are my competitors doing?” As you can see, we’ve taken these into consideration with our process, which satisfies all three. Through the free inbound analysis and marketing audit, we’re able to present viable options backed by what we’ve uncovered during the research process. Education is a priority for us, so we’re always finding out as much as we can from what’s out there, and from our clients personally. Our goal with this is to deliver hard facts, putting our findings in front of the client so that they learn how it works and feel confident in their decisions moving forward. We also have a vertical called Angel Insurance, and that network allows us to tap into unlimited amounts of funds and resources, which is especially advantageous for SMBs. For new businesses, it’s important not to wait to get the ball rolling. Everything we present to you is free, so there’s no risk and very little time involved to learn, and to fully understand the possibilities.” Payment Processing As far as how you’ll accept payment for your goods or services rendered, this also falls within the realm of technology, as it’s utilized for transactions by the vast majority of merchants. “Businesses can no longer get by without accepting some form of plastic,” says Jim Jim Barnes Barnes of American Payment Systems. American Payment “When opening a business, it is important to Systems


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be prepared to accommodate your customers’ preferred payment types in order to make a good impression and build a positive repertoire to gain loyal business. To new business owners, searching for the right credit card company can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be, though. That being said, in an industry that is full of scammers, it is important to find a company that you trust for your processing. Although we are joined by many others in our industry across the nation who value transparency and doing business the right way, it’s still all-too-easy to find yourself in contracts with hidden fees and high rates. In today’s day and age the plastic card industry is growing rapidly, and because of that, it is imperative for business owners to educate themselves. American Payment Systems offers free consulting, including analysis of any other quotes you’ve received or existing statements. Once merchants understand what they are paying for and where their money is going, they are in a better position to make an informed decision moving forward. After a merchant has selected a processor, the next step is to decide what type of equipment is best for the business structure. There are hundreds of different types of equipment in the market – we’re always seeking out new partnerships with equipment providers in order to offer our merchants a wide variety of options from which to choose what best suits their company. There are sophisticated Point of Sales (POS) systems with inventory and employee scheduling features built in, on down the line to something as simple as accepting payments on your smartphone. The possibilities are vast, and APS is here to make accepting payments as simple and easy as possible for the merchant, at a price that won’t break the bank!” If you’re starting a business, we applaud you and welcome you to the club! It will be an intense journey of ups and downs, and will require a lot of work, tenacity, and sacrifice. There will be many lessons learned, and some the hard way. However, if it’s your passion and you find this to be your calling, there are few things in life that are as amazing an accomplishment as being the owner of a successful business that you started. Connecting with the people who want you to succeed and will help you do just that will make all the difference.

Make your world a better place. Earn an online business graduate degree with value(s). Now that you’ve found your calling, Concordia University can help you make a bigger impact - around your schedule and with the support of a like-minded community. Learn more about how you can change the world with our online Master of Business Administration program, today.

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Leadership Excellence Executive Certificate Program

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

Program Faculty

Dr. Tammy Beck

Dr. Fred Luthans

Dr. Jake Messersmith Dr. Sam Nelson

Associate Dean and Associate Professor

Professor Emeritus

Executive Director of Graduate Programs


Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship

Upcoming Programs and Events

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

Summer Power Lunch Series

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


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

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Profile for Strictly Business Magazine

Strictly Business Omaha April 2017  

Our cover this month features the Dingman family of Dingman's Collision Center in front of their newest expansion on 120th and Maple. Dingma...

Strictly Business Omaha April 2017  

Our cover this month features the Dingman family of Dingman's Collision Center in front of their newest expansion on 120th and Maple. Dingma...