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OMAHA • MAY 2017



• Celebrating Mother’s Day • Youth & Family Resources • Building Your Dream Home Client Spotlights • CarePatrol of Nebraska • Concordia University, Nebraska


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Grow More Good The nonprofit organizations that make Omaha a great place to live deserve their day of recognition. Omaha Gives! is a one-day online fundraising event to show off the area’s spirit of giving, raise awareness about local nonprofits, and celebrate the collective effort it takes to make this city great. 402-934-0999 402-595-1326 402-933-4466 402-734-4110 402-346-9377 402-221-3606 402-552-7400 402-560-1578 402-558-7088 402-572-3003 402-697-0205 402-510-4083 402-422-1111 402-934-7921 402-590-2100 877-486-9414 402-512-1817

Go to and make a gift on May 24th. MAY 2017 Strictly Business



Great Brands That Compete On Value: Support Their Community

Last month I covered the importance of establishing a strong brand identity in the marketplace by spreading the word about your business, focusing specifically on topics within the category of Business News. It probably came as no great surprise to any of our readers that a business’s news has the potential to reach a multitude of other business professionals as well as consumers in the area. What we’ve found about our readership is that many from all different walks of life have come to rely on our publication for the latest on what’s happening here in our local business community. What they all share in common is that geography; they are all stakeholders affected by what goes on in their community. Which leads me to the following points: 1. There’s more to sharing your news than you might think; and 2. There are many types of news that are beneficial to share. (After all, it’s no coincidence that you’ll find four distinct news sections prominently showcased in every issue of Strictly Business.) As for the first, PR is center stage among the best strategies one could employ to place the emphasis squarely on the value of his/ her business’s offerings as opposed to leading with and focusing on the promotion of price alone. Concerning the second, great brands have a positive impact on their community in more ways than fulfilling a need and boosting its economy. While Lewis Carroll is famously quoted as saying “One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others,” today it’s not much of a secret anymore, and that’s an amazing thing to witness. We are lucky to live, work, and do business in a community that is strong in its values, particularly when it comes to giving back. While what an organization does to improve itself for the benefit of its current and potential customers is indeed noteworthy, what it does to improve the world around us and to support its neighbors in the community speaks volumes. With the Omaha Gives! event taking place this month (May 24th folks – mark your calendars, set an alarm!), it’s the perfect time to highlight the benefit of involvement in the community, and sharing that news with others. Partnering with local non-profits allows businesses to play an important role in the betterment of the community as a whole, which enhances a brand significantly. Here in the Omaha Metro, there are so many ways to get

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

involved and “Partnering with local non-profits allows you could support any businesses to play an important role in the n u m b e r o f betterment of the community as a whole, causes to help which enhances a brand significantly.” enhance the quality of life for us all. We truly can – and do - think globally and act locally here. The beneficial byproducts of promoting philanthropic efforts can be seen in the following areas that are critical to the success of a business: customer/brand loyalty; recruiting, morale, engagement and retention of top employees; attracting new customers; creating and cultivating business partnerships/relationships. Overall, generating recognition supports your efforts to achieve and maintain top-of-mind awareness and influence purchasing decisions (we generally do business with those we know and like, especially those whose support for causes aligns with what’s most important to us). And I think we can all agree, with so much negativity in the media these days, it is heartwarming to read about positive things that our fellow businesspeople are doing right here in our corner of the world. Bruce Burtch, dubbed the Father of Cause Marketing and author of Win Win for the Greater Good, hits the nail on the head in the webinar How to Orchestrate Successful Cross-Sector Partnerships: “There is nothing in business today that provides as much economic and social benefit, on as many levels, to as many stakeholders, as a strategic partnership between any combination of the nonprofit, for-profit, education and government sectors when focused on the greater good. Nothing else comes even close.” No matter the type or size of business, there’s a way you and your team can make an impact. You could host a fundraiser or charity event (or team up to organize one), volunteer as a group or individually, support as a sponsor, participate in any number of events/activities held in support of our local non-profits, make a donation or establish a grant program, offer to do pro bono work – and the list goes on from there. Then, let people know how you’re giving back and encourage them to get involved and do the same! 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

30 Non-Profit 39 Health


16 River City Six 29 Client Spotlight: CarePatrol of Nebraska 38 Client Spotlight: Concordia University, Nebraska

ASK THE EXPERT 22 Sandler Training


40 Celebrating Mother’s Day 43 Youth & Family Resources 44 Building Your Dream Home 4 Strictly Business MAY 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



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• Celebrating Mother’s Day • Youth & Family Resources • Building Your Dream Home CLIENT SPOTLIGHTS • CarePatrol of Nebraska • Concordia University, Nebraska





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Renewable energy resources are powering more of our homes and businesses than ever before, with technological advancements that have continued to expand on the possibilities. Solar power is one that’s become increasingly efficient and affordable for residential, commercial, and agricultural use. The sun is one of the most plentiful, reliable clean energy resources available. In just one hour, the Earth receives more energy from the sun than humans use in an entire year. Solar energy is the power provided by the sun and it is an incredible way to help the environment while saving you thousands of dollars. Solar power is harnessed through photovoltaic (PV) cells technology – panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity. With the installation of a solar panel system, one can then maximize the use of this clean, renewable method to generate power. J-Tech Solar is a family owned and operated company specializing in renewable energy. Jason Olberding, owner and CEO of J-Tech Construction, a business he established in 2004 that specializes in roofing, windows, siding, and gutters, saw the potential and began installing solar panels across Nebraska in 2010. With a passion for educating those in the community about the benefits of solar energy and the steady increase in demand for those projects, he decided to form a sister company dedicated to the installation of solar panel systems. In 2016, J-Tech Solar came into existence; with a team in place that was already trained, certified, and experienced, the newly-formed company was positioned to hit the ground running. J-Tech Construction and J-Tech Solar are headquartered in Lincoln, but with jobs coming in from all across the state, expansion became necessary quickly thereafter. In the same year, a second office was opened in Grand Island to support the company’s growth in the Tri-City area. This spring, the company completed its biggest project to date - the largest privately owned photovoltaic solar panel system in Nebraska. The 940-panel system is located in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket, installed atop a total of 8 rooftops and generating nearly 300KW of power. As of 2015, Nebraska was ranked 47th among the 50 U.S. states for use of renewable energy. Its growth here is beneficial for those in our community in a number of ways. Unlike conventional power, solar energy produces zero harmful emissions that hurt the environment. In America alone, fossil fuels are used to generate an overwhelming 68% of the electricity we consume. As a result, the emissions generated from the combustion of these fossil fuels are incredibly harmful to our planet. Eliminating the need for these fossil fuels while

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saving homeowners and businesses money is exactly why J-Tech Solar is in business. Today, the typical solar system will pay for itself in a 10-year period, and it’s not uncommon to save between $15,000 and $20,000 in energy costs during a 15-year period. Proud of already being able to drive change and make a positive impact here in Nebraska, Jason credits his success to the people he employs – and because of that, J-Tech’s philosophy is completely employee based. What that means is simply that J-Tech prefers to hire crew members on as employees rather than using subcontractors. This makes it easy to set a standard for their craftsmanship. “Knowing your guys and what they are capable of makes it easy to maintain a high standard for quality work,” Jason says. Jason and his team are thankful for the customers that have brought them the success they’ve had thus far and it will definitely be exciting to see what J-Tech will do next!


Strictly Business Magazine P (402) 466-3330 • F (402) 466-3476 MAY 2017 Strictly Business



Eakes Office Solutions Adds Ricoh to Digital Product Line Eakes Office Solutions has added Ricoh to its line of digital product solutions. Ricoh is a g l o b a l t e c h n o l o gy c o m p a ny t h a t h a s been transforming the way people work for more than 80 years. Under its corporate tagline — imagine. change. — Ricoh continues to empower companies and individuals with services and technologies that inspire innovation, enhance sustainability and boost business growth. “Ricoh provides Eakes with an expanded product offering for our customers. Along with Ricoh’s award-winning copiers, we now have a more in-depth lineup of production, wide format and single function printers,” said Doug Gallaway, Managed Print Product Manager for Eakes. “Aligning ourselves with Ricoh not only fits in with our current strategic plan, but also fulfills our company mission of providing products and services to help our customers work more effectively,” said Mark Miller, President of Eakes Office Solutions. “We are truly excited about the addition of Ricoh.” Once a single-line dealer, Eakes now offers print management solutions from Ricoh, Sharp, HP and Muratec. Eakes Office Solutions ( has been an industry leader in the commercial office products and services business for over 70 years and is one of the largest independent dealers in the United States. The company specializes in office supplies, copiers, printers, office furniture and design.

Five Nines Named a 2017 Tech Elite Solution Provider by CRN® Five Nines is pleased to announce that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has n a m e d F i ve Nines to its 2017 Tech Elite 250 list. The annual list honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology vendors, scaled to their company size. “Five Nines has always been committed to our people and to providing advanced training so that we can support our clients with the best IT solutions,” said Nick Bock, CEO of Five Nines. “We are honored to be recognized for our desire to be the best at what we do and will continue to invest in the development of our staff.” Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. With offices in Lincoln, Omaha & Kearney, Five Nines advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska based businesses, offering Managed IT Services. Through its unique service model, Five Nines’ clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. Learn more at: Coverage of the Tech Elite 250 will be featured in the April issue of CRN, and online at 6 Strictly Business MAY 2017

Nu-Trend Homes Celebrates 50th Anniversary Nu-Trend Homes is pleased to announce their 50th Anniversary of doing business in Omaha! Founded in 1967 by Fred Hansen, Nu-Trend recently reached the milestone of 50 years of serving the Midwest. Providing the finest in manufactured modular homes, offices, cabins, and school classrooms, sons Don, Dan, and Doug now own and operate the business located at 6303 L Street in Omaha. Today, the Hansen brothers work hard to provide the finest in Manufactured Homes to their customers. As well as being the region’s largest provider of manufactured modular homes, the brothers own and manage two manufactured housing communities: Villa Estates at 6363 Grover Street and Bluffs Acres at I-80 and 24th St in Council Bluffs by JCPenney. Recently, NuTrend also teamed up with the Clayton Homes, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, to provide their potential homeowners the finest, most affordable housing available. For more information, please visit or contact Don Hansen at (402) 733-8900 or by email at DonHansen@

Pinnacle Bank Championship Announces Regional Qualifying Sites Golfers with Nebraska ties will have the opportunity to earn a spot in the 2017 Tour Pinnacle Bank Championship and compete for a share of the $600,000 purse. Regional qualifier rounds will be held at Riverside Golf Club in Grand Island on May 31st and at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln on June 22nd. The top 20 players and ties at each regional event will advance to compete in the final qualifier at ArborLinks in Nebraska City on July 6th. The winner of that 18-hole final qualifier will earn an exemption into the 2017 Tour Pinnacle Bank Championship. Any Professional or amateur with a 4.0 handicap index or less with Nebraska ties will be eligible to compete. Current legal residents of Nebraska, Nebraska Section PGA members and apprentices, students and graduates of Nebraska colleges or universities and individuals born in Nebraska and graduated from a Nebraska high school will be eligible. Each regional qualifier is limited to the first 144 entrants who meet all eligibility and handicap requirements. Entry deadline is May 24th for the Riverside Golf Club qualifier and June 14th for the Wilderness Ridge Golf Club qualifier. Players may enter and compete in either or both regional qualifiers. The entry fee will be $250 for one regional qualifier or $400 for both regional qualifiers. Complete details are available by visiting the tournament website at or The Pinnacle Bank Championship, presented by Heartland Chevy Dealers, is a stop on the PGA’s Tour and will be held July 17th – 23rd at the Club at Indian Creek. The Tour’s prior events in Omaha produced champions such as PGA TOUR winners Bo Van Pelt, Johnson Wagner, Heath Slocum and Jason Gore. The tournament’s charity partner, TeamMates, will receive proceeds from the event to help fund education and mentoring programs for Nebraska youth.


Chamber Announces Greater Omaha Business Excellence Award Winners

KinderCare Celebrates Grand Opening of New Learning Center in Omaha

The Greater Omaha Chamber is excited to announce the slate of Greater Omaha Business Excellence Award winners. The awards celebrate companies and individuals who dedicate themselves to excellence and help make Greater Omaha a more vibrant place to do business, work and live.

KinderCare Education celebrated the grand opening of its new center in Omaha, NE on April 29. The event brought together local families, KinderCare executives and city officials for the introduction of the new center at 520 North 152nd Avenue Circle, and included fun activities, giveaways and refreshments.

2017 winners: ACCESSbank; All Makes; Bank of the West; Banyan Medical Systems; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska; Cargill Blair; CHI Health; College of Saint Mary; CQuence Health Group; Firstar Fiber, Inc.; Food Bank for the Heartland; Home Instead Senior Care; McGrath North; MCL Construction; Midwest Laboratories Inc.; OBI Creative; Outlook Nebraska; Physicians Mutual Insurance Company; Project Harmony; QLI; University of Nebraska at Omaha; University of Nebraska Medical Center; Visiting Nurse Association; White Castle Roofing. Small Business of the Year: North End Teleservices, LLC. Special distinction will be given during the celebration to those winners that demonstrate specific characteristics of excellence in business, including innovation, leadership and philanthropy. Milestone recognition will also be given to businesses celebrating an anniversary of 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 or 150 years in business. The public is invited to the awards celebration on Tuesday, May 9, 4 - 6 p.m., at Embassy Suites Omaha – La Vista. Sponsors: Markel and United Republic Bank. For more information, visit ExcellenceAwards.

BBB Offers Free Workshops for Integrity Award Applicants To stamp the seal of integrity on your business, apply for the 2017 BBB Integrity Awards! Application deadline is June 30, 2017; all materials and instructions can be found online at (click on the “Integrity Awards” image). The Better Business Bureau has also announced that there will be free workshops held for Integrity Award applicants in both Omaha and Lincoln. OMAHA Dates: 1. Friday, May 12th - Time: 8 am - 9:30 am 2. Friday, May 26th - Time: 3 pm - 4:30 pm 3. Friday, June 9th - Time: 8 am - 9:30 am Where: BBB Office (11811 P St Omaha, It’s time to be recognized NE 68137) for your commitment to TRUST • HONESTY • ETHICS Contact: Jeff Niebaum at (402) 898-8550 or to reserve your spot at a workshop. LINCOLN Dates: 1. Wednesday, May 3rd 2. Wednesday, June 7th Time: 2 pm - 4 pm Where: BBB Office (300 N 44th St, Suite 100 Lincoln, NE) Contact: Teresa Stitcher Fritz at (402) 436-2345 x8600 or tstitcherfritz@ to reserve your spot at a workshop.

For the big reveal moment, children in attendance flipped a largerthan-life-sized light switch, illuminating the stage and marking the official opening of the new learning center. KinderCare’s Regional Vice President, Cheslee Escobedo, and Councilmember Aimee Melton gave opening remarks regarding the impact of the learning center in Omaha. Then everyone had the opportunity to play on the new equipment, take pictures in the rocket ship photo booth, color in a large mural, create chalk art, read in the Book Nook, receive (temporary) tattoos, and there was also a friendly appearance from Clifford the Big Red Dog. The new center is the fourth location in the Omaha area as KinderCare continues to grow, attracting local families with their unique approach to childcare. It will serve as another step forward to improving the lives of children and families in Omaha, and across the nation. Dedicated to creating a world of learning, joy and adventure, KinderCare’s purposeful, accredited curriculum helps kids develop language and literacy skills, social and emotional development, cognitive development, creative expression, and other important tools to help create brighter futures. To learn more, visit

UNICO Group Acquires Union Agency, Inc. UNICO Group, a 2016 “Top Pe r fo r m i n g A g e n c y ” national award recipient headquartered in Lincoln, NE, is pleased to announce that they have acquired Union Agency, Inc. an insurance and risk management company affiliated with Union Bank & Trust (UBT; www. Scott Nelson, President of UNICO Group commented, “We are excited about the enhanced partnership with UBT. Our organizations share similar cultures and have complimentary values of taking care of our people, clients and community.” UNICO Group is a client-focused insurance agency founded in 1988, and has experienced exceptional growth over the past ten years. UNICO has 140 employees and clients in all 50 states. In 2016, UNICO moved their headquarters to downtown Lincoln at 1128 Lincoln Mall. “UNICO is a high quality, local company emphasizing great service,” said Angie Muhleisen, President and CEO of Union Bank. “Through UNICO, Union Agency clients now have expanded insurance and risk solutions options available to them.” UNICO Group is a full-scale insurance agency with services ranging from commercial insurance, workers’ comp, and employee benefits, to personal insurance, financial planning, human resource solutions and wellness. UNICO was nationally awarded the “Top Performing Agency” in its class for 2016. UNICO is dedicated to getting you the best insurance products and services available today to protect you, your family, and your business. For more information about business and personal insurance and financial needs, call (402) 434-7200 or visit the website at MAY 2017 Strictly Business 7


Executive Office Suites in Lincoln Ideal for Expansion

DS Neill Enterprises Adds “Solutions Too” Division, Introduces New Product

Perfect for Omaha area businesses and organizations interested in expanding their presence and/or operations into the neighboring Lincoln market, Holroyd Investment Proper ties (HIP) has space available in its HIP OffiCenters Executive Office Suite. Located at 5000 Central Park Drive, Suite 204, it’s situated right in the heart of the city and many amenities are included with monthly rent of office space. The HIP OffiCenters Executive Office Suites features a receptionist who greets visitors and answers the phone MondayFriday between the hours of 8am and 5pm, attractive reception area, all utilities paid, phone system, free parking, mail pick-up, janitorial services, complimentary coffee, use of conference room (reservations required), break room facilities, and inclusion in the Building Directory Listing. Additional services available to tenants as contract options include: copy/fax, internet, office furnishings, mailing supplies and postage, and secretarial materials and services, and related office services and materials, including word processing and typing on your behalf. As an alternative to physical office space in the Executive Office Suite, virtual office space is also available. With a strong emphasis on customer service, HIP takes pride in providing a full-service environment that offers the tools needed to help businesses grow and be successful. To find out more about any of these options, please contact Kylee Dart at (402) 466-3932 / or go online: Call or stop in for a tour today!

DS Neill Enterprises is excited to announce the recent launch of Solutions Too in February of 2017. With the new division, a new product line was also introduced: SIMIX Multi Surface Cleaner & Coatings. SIMIX is based on 140-year-old technology. Historically in Germany, coated cast iron water pipes were used underground to prevent corrosion, with these pipes lasting over 100 years. SIMIX uses this technique, creating an extremely hard silica coating on floors that resists virtually anything mankind can throw at it. It is 100% sustainable, never needs to be stripped and will never yellow, chip, peel, or crack. It is a permanent coating application for VCT tile, terrazzo, polished concrete, stone, epoxy, rubber, and urethanecoated wood that is less expensive than traditional acrylic finishes. For more information on SIMIX and this line of products, please visit

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DS Neill was established in October of 2014 and provides cleaning services ranging from carpet and upholstery to floors and fine furniture. Local service provider Top Spot Cleaning has continued the reputation of performing all cleaning services using soap-free Procyon and has added the new offerings to its line-up. Solutions Too will serve as the wholesale and retail outlet of the Procyon products, with the addition of the SIMIX line of products. SIMIX has a 12.8ph cleaner, 11.0ph hospital quality coating, and a multipurpose protector. For further details, please contact Doug Neill at (402) 570-4307 /

Concordia University Business Students Compete in National Marketing Event Four students from Concordia University, Nebraska took part in the sixth annual Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) national marketing competition April 7, 2017, in St. Louis, Missouri. They students worked together throughout the Pictured (L-R): Jeremy Rodriguez, David semester to create and Geidel, Emma Jacoby, Curtis Byal, present a comprehensive and faculty advisor Tim Heidorn. marketing plan to the judging panel. They presented a marketing plan called “Giving your History a Future.” It used data from the Lutheran Annual and lists of Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod conferences to craft a communication plan that included a contest where congregations could win a professionally-produced video about the history of their church and its building. They also created a fully-integrated conference display that LCEF salespeople can use to promote products at conferences, aided by contests and bibelots for conferencegoers. Nine other schools from the Concordia University system participated in the event and were awarded cash prizes ranging from $5,000 for first place to $750 for participation. Concordia students who participated in the competition include: David Geidel, sophomore, Hesston, KS; Curtis Byal, junior, Louisville, KY; Jeremy Rodriguez, senior, Kansas City, MO; Emma Jacoby, junior, Lincoln, NE. Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Nebraska, that currently serves more than 2,600 students. Concordia offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit


Eakes Office Solutions Acquires Janitor Depot of South Sioux City Eakes Office Solutions (www.eakes. com) is excited to announce the acquisition of Janitor Depot in South S i o u x C i t y. Janitor Depot has been locally owned and operated for the past 15 years, offering janitorial equipment, supplies, paper products and food service items in Sioux City and the surrounding areas. The entire Janitor Depot team will continue service, sales and support from their current location in South Sioux City. “We are thankful to our customers that helped us grow over the years. We are excited to join Eakes Office Solutions, and to be able to expand our products and services to our loyal customers,” said Brad Figge, President of Janitor Depot. “Brad Figge and the team at Janitor Depot have a wealth of knowledge in the janitorial industry. We are excited to utilize that knowledge to achieve the next level of satisfaction for all of our customers with janitorial needs,” said Mark Miller, President of Eakes. As part of Eakes Office Solutions’ continued growth, the acquisition of Janitor Depot will broaden Eakes’ services in northeastern Nebraska and Iowa. The South Sioux City office is Eakes’ 13th location serving the Midwest.

First National of Nebraska Again Named One of ‘America’s Best Banks’ by Forbes First National of Nebraska, the largest privately owned 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 ra n ke d t h e c o u n t r y ’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.

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WDCCC Recognizes 2017 Honorees at Annual Awards Banquet On Tuesday, March 14th the 2017 Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet was held at The Club at Indian Creek. The annual event had a great turnout to honor businesses and citizens in Western Douglas County. The award winners are selected on exceptional leadership both Ambassador of the Year inside and outside of their business, inspiration and resourcefulness in business development and participation in the community. The citizen and lifetime achievement award are given to a person in the chamber area that contributes to the quality of life and development of Business of the Year the community. The award winners honored included: Ambassador of the Year: Meg Tentinger, a Residential Lender with Great Southern Bank. Business of the Year: Sam & Louie’s located just off 204th Street 2 Business Person of the Year blocks south of Maple. Business Person of the Year: Dan DeSive, COO of eSpark Media. Citizen of the Year: Jim Tomanek, Executive Director of COPE. Chamber Member of the Year: Michelle Bourque, Director of Sales Citizen of the Year at Residence Inn Omaha West. (Category not pictured) Lifetime Ac hievement Award R e c i p i e n t : S t e v e B a k e r, Superintendent of Elkhorn Public Schools. The Western Douglas County C h a m b e r o f C o m m e r c e Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient congratulates all award winners and also extends thanks to all event sponsors and those in attendance. The Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce (WDCCC) serves western Douglas County including the communities of Bennington, Elkhorn, Waterloo, Valley and West Omaha, all of which have rapidly growing businesses and residential communities. For more information, please visit MAY 2017 Strictly Business 9


SBA Launches 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge

Premier Distributing Announces Rebrand, Becomes Premier Tile Corporation

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Nebraska District office is pleased to announce the 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge local competition in Lincoln, Nebraska on June 2nd, 2017. This is a nationwide competition to drive attention and resources to innovative products and services that make our lives easier and longer. National finalists will vie for $70,000 in prize money provided to SBA for the InnovateHER competition through a gift from the Sara Blakely Foundation. The Nebraska local competition is hosted by the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project’s Women’s Business Center. Entrepreneurs with products or services that have an impact on the lives of women and families, potential for commercialization, and fill a market place need are encouraged to fill out an application by May 19th. Applications must include a business plan demonstrating how the product/service fulfills the three criteria. Five contestants will be chosen from the applications to compete in a pitch competition in Lincoln on June 2nd. One winner will be entered into the pool of national finalists from which up to 10 will be chosen to compete nationally in a live pitch competition in September (date/location TBD). Last year’s local winner was Amy Johnson of LifeLoop, LLC. LifeLoop sells a unique software application offering a simple platform for senior living communities that connects residents, families and coworkers. In October 2016, Life Loop won a $100,000 investment from AOL co-founder, Steve Chase, through the “Rise of the Rest” pitch competition, a national competition that went on a US tour looking for the brightest startups in emerging startup ecosystems. Entrepreneurs interested in competing locally can contact Elizabeth Yearwood (SBA) at (402) 221-7200 or Monica Braun (REAP WBC) at (402) 643-2673 for an application and further information. Competition rules can be found at

Premier Distributing of the Midwest, Inc. has announced their rebranding as Premier Tile Corporation. The firm continues to operate as one of the Midwest’s preferred distributors of tile, stone and setting accessories, with the new name providing clarity for their distribution services. “Our new name better exemplifies the products we provide and positions us for growth. We also believe it will enhance our relationship with our distribution partners,” said Dick Miller, President/CEO. Formed in Omaha, NE, in 1997, Premier Tile Corporation is a distributing partner for retail flooring dealers throughout the Midwest. The company currently operates three distribution locations in Kansas City, Omaha and St. Louis. Each location offers tile and stone showrooms staffed by experienced designers. To learn more about Premier Tile Corporation, visit



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Radio Talking Book Service Named Small Business of the Month Radio Talking Book Service was recently honored with the Small Business of the Month Award by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. On March 17, 2017 the award was presented to Ralph Morocco, Chairman of RTBS Board of Directors, Bekah Jerde and Jane Nielsen, RTBS staff. Radio Talking Book Service was surprised and humbled to receive this award. The recognition received will help to build awareness of RTBS and get more radios into the hands of the blind and visually impaired. Radio Talking Book Service, Nebraska’s Audio Companion, was founded in 1974 and provides human-voiced print information for individuals with visual or physical disabilities that prevent them from reading printed material. RTBN’s 24/7 programming includes newspapers, magazines and books read by volunteers. Please visit if someone you know would enjoy hearing the printed word brought to life on RTBN.

Lawhorne Design Becomes Incorporated for 10th Anniversary Lawhorne Design was started to offer affordable website design to local business owners back in May of 2007. Now, 10 years later, they’ve become Lawhorne Design LLC, offering a variety of marketing products & services. “It’s been a long time coming,” says Tony Lawhorne, owner/operator. “We’ve continued to grow every year & it was finally time to pull the trigger.”

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In the beginning, starting with simple website design to now offering products & services such as banners, signs, flags, vehicle graphics, clothing, commercial printing & promotional products as well as online services such as SEO, Tony has continued to expand their product selection in order to provide a one-stop shop of marketing. “If you can put a logo on it, we can provide it.” From a few local Lincoln businesses to now servicing clients all over the country, including Alaska, California & New York, they continue to grow their client base as well. For information on how they can help you stretch your marketing budget, give Tony a call at (402) 570-8433 or visit them online at & LIKE their Facebook page at www.


FireGuard Launches New Website FireGuard i s exc i t e d to announce the rollout of its newly redesigned website! Recently updated by REBEL, FireGuard’s website at has a fresh new look along with enhanced function. Now with user-friendly features and the addition of more useful online tools and resources, the revamped website allows customers access to simple navigation through a full explanation of products and services available. FireGuard, Inc., headquartered in Omaha and serving clients statewide, is focused on the ultimate goal of keeping clients safe and protected at all times. With the motto “One Call Does It All,” commercial clients in the area have access to a comprehensive line-up of products and services in the areas of fire protection and life safety. As a resource for any related products, services and inspections, key offerings include fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and fire sprinkler systems, and so much more. For more information about FireGuard, please contact Rob Sorensen at (402) 592-1999, toll-free at (888) 843-1991, or via email at rob. Make sure to check out the company’s new website at!

MITA World Trade Conference Comes to Nebraska The Midwest International Trade Association (MITA) is excited to announce the hosting of the 49th annual World Trade Conference on Wednesday, May 17, at the Embassy Suites Convention Center, LaVista, NE. This year’s conference will again bring a dynamic and informative list of speakers and all who are involved in international trade are encouraged to attend and participate. The World Trade Conference is a great way to network and will provide attendees insight to help solve issues and obtain information that can be implemented into their own strategic business plans. Presenters/Topics: Governor Ricketts - Announce the 2017 Nebraska Exporter and Importer of the Year; Derek Gianino, Director, International Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Trade Update: A View from Washington; Nathan Kauffman, Assistant Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - U.S. and Regional Economic Outlook; Zengjun Wei, Vice Governor of Shaanxi Provincial Government of China - Connectivity, Communication, and Cooperation Spearheads Development of Economy and Trade between Shaanxi and USA; Tony Clayton, President, Clayton Agri-Marketing, Inc. - Challenges of Developing an Export Market; Bill Reay, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, OBNI, Universidad de la Habana, Cuba - Cuba’s Next Revolution; Suzanna Cormie, Senior Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis - Canadian-U.S. Business Partnership Update; Jennifer Zhang, President, JZW International - Nebraska Import Success Story; Courtney Dentlinger, Nebraska Department of Economic Development - Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Efforts to Support International Trade in Nebraska. For the Conference agenda, details and information on how to register, go to, call (402) 596-1210, or email mita@

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Kool & the Gang Headlines 27th Annual Bank of the West Celebrates America Concert Get ready for a fantastic “celebration” to kick off the area’s Fourth of July festivities. Kool & the Gang will headline the 27th annual Bank of the West Celebrates America concert on Friday, June 30 in Omaha’s beautiful Memorial Park. To open the show, Bank of the West will shine a spotlight on Nebraska musicians: Lincoln’s Emmett Bower Band and Omaha’s The Confidentials. The annual free concert and fireworks show begins at 6 p.m. with the National Anthem by Tech Sgt. Becky Packard from the USAF Heartland of America Band. The fabulous fireworks finale is set for 10 p.m. More than 60,000 people are expected to attend Bank of the West Celebrates America. Mangia Italiana, Uncle Earnie’s BBQ, Lauren Beth’s Popcorn and Dippin’ Dots will have food and beverages available for purchase. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, the concert’s new community partner. Metropolitan Utilities District will provide free water. Limited handicapped parking will be available on Memorial Park’s Circle Drive. Bank of the West Celebrates America is hosted in cooperation with the City of Omaha.

Access Systems Named a 2017 Tech Elite Solution Provider Access Systems is proud to announce that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named the company to its 2017 Tech Elite 250 list. This annual list honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology vendors, scaled to their company size. To compile the annual list, The Channel Company’s research group and CRN editors work together to identify the most customer-beneficial technical certifications in the North American IT channel. Solution providers that have obtained these elite designations—which enable them to deliver premium products, services and customer support— are then selected from a pool of online applicants. Access Systems prides itself on providing ongoing training and certifications for employees across the company. Whether that training is for sales representatives learning about new technology that will help customers increase efficiency in their office, or technicians gaining certifications to service new machines or remotely solve IT problems, Access Systems strongly believes in supporting the continued learning of its employees. Coverage of the Tech Elite 250 is featured online at techelite250. With services that range from IT solutions to copiers and printers, phone systems and document imaging, Access Systems is one of the few elite office technology providers in the Midwest. Find out more at MAY 2017 Strictly Business 11


Local Professionals Honored at 21st Annual Excellence in Construction Award Ceremony

Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement Now Offering Simplicity Hair Extensions

The Cornhusker Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) held their 21st Annual “Excellence in Construction Award” ceremony on March 23, 2017 at The Wick Alumni Center in Lincoln, NE. The awards competition is designed to publicly recognize the quality and distinction of merit shop construction projects built by Nebraska Contractors during 2016. Entries were evaluated by independent judges on craftsmanship, execution/coordination, budget and scheduling, owner satisfaction, difficult or unusual challenges, and safety. The 10 Eagle Award winners are now eligible to enter ABC’s National Excellence in Construction Awards Program. The 2016 Project of the Year award was presented to Lund-Ross Constructors for their project, KETV at Burlington Station - Omaha, NE, which was entered in the Restoration/Renovation-Less than $25 Million category. The 2016 Eagle Safety Award was presented to Garney Companies,Inc. for their project, Grand Island Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvements - Grand Island, NE, which was entered in the Public Works/Environmental category. The 2016 Chairman’s Project of the Year Award was presented to Cheever Construction Company for their project, Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab - Lincoln, NE, which was entered into the Institutional - $5 to $10 Million category. The following ABC Member Companies received an Excellence In Construction EAGLE Award at the ceremony: Lund-Ross Constructors (KETV at Burlington Station, Omaha, NE, Restoration/Renovation – Less than $25 Million); General Excavating (Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE, Other Specialty Construction - Less than $10 Million); Lueder Construction Company (St. John’s Lutheran Church - Bennington, Omaha, NE, Institutional - Less than $5 Million); Wolfe Electric Co., Inc. (The Corvina Apartments, Omaha, NE, Electrical - Less than $2 Million); NGC Group, Inc. (Redevelopment of 52nd and O Street, Lincoln, NE, Commercial - $5 to $10 Million); Midlands Mechanical, Inc. (Kearney High School, Kearney, NE, Mechanical - More $10 Million); Garney Companies, Inc. (Grand Island WWTP Improvements, Grand Island, NE - Public Works/Environmental); Willmar Electric Service (8N Lofts, Lincoln, NE, Electrical - $2 to $10 Million); Cheever Construction Co. (Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab, Lincoln, NE, Institutional - $5 to $10 Million); Lund-Ross Constructors (Girls, Inc., Omaha, NE, Community / Public Service). The following ABC Member Company received Excellence In Construction PYRAMID award at the ceremony: Cheever Construction Co. (St. Teresa Catholic Church Interior Renovation, Lincoln, NE, Restoration/Renovation - Less than $25 Million) The same date marked the installation of Associated Builders and Contractors – Cornhusker Chapter Board of Directors: Chairman Steve Bowen, The Durham School, UNL, Lincoln; Past Chair - Andy Bailey - Lueder Construction Co., Omaha; Rodney Brase, Brase Electrical Contracting Corp., Omaha; Lori Buchanan, Signature Electric LLC, Omaha; David Chapin, Willmar Electric Service, Lincoln; Mary Fischer, Holmes Murphy, Omaha; Ron Getzchman, Getzschman Heating LLC, Fremont; Roger Larsen, REW Materials, La Vista; Toni Watts McDonald, Watts Electric Co., Waverly; Bruce Petersen, Electronic Contracting Co., Lincoln; Ron Rogers, Overland Constructors, Omaha; Scott Scheef, HBE Becker Meyer Love LLP, Lincoln. ABC represents over 125 merit shop contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, manufacturers and associate members throughout the state. Visit for more information. 12 Strictly Business MAY 2017

Brooke Ahlman, owner of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement, is excited to announce the addition a new offering to the salon’s service menu that’s now available to clients: Simplicity Hair Extensions. This system is uniquely designed to present more options for addressing targeted problem areas than can be achieved with typical extensions. Delivering instant volume and fullness, Simplicity Hair Extensions are ultra-thin, can be put on top of the head unlike most extension types currently on the market, and are so comfortable you will forget you are wearing them. With a fast application process that allows for this service to be completed in under an hour, it can be done in as little time as you’d have available over your lunch break or on-the-go in between business appointments! Ideal for mature clients with fine or thinning hair, Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement offers Simplicity Hair Extensions in a wide variety of shades. Located at 7405 Pioneers Blvd. #3 in Lincoln, Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement offers non-surgical hair loss replacement services along with regular haircuts, perms, colors and extensions. The hair systems offered allow you to have hair again without any noticeable signs commonly associated with extensions or over-the-counter products, no matter how you style your hair. For more information, visit www. or call (402) 649-0212.

Sarpy County Chamber’s Grand Giveway a Big Success Thanks to Community Support T h e S a r py C o u n t y Chamber of Commerce held their annual “Grand Giveaway” event on Wednesday, March 29th at the Livestock Exchange Building. The sold-out event featured both a live and silent auction, dinner and drinks, and a “Great Outdoors” theme that had the Chamber staff become the Sarpy Chamber Rangers and even had several attendees sporting flannel and hiking boots. The fundraiser benefited the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce, and with a 50% increase in auction item bids, the Sarpy Chamber counts the event as a huge success. “Not only did people come through with donating these great auction items, they came through with generous bidding,” says SCCC Event Director, Annisa Visty-Withrow, “We’re incredibly thankful to our donors, sponsors, and volunteers. Their support and dedication to the Chamber always amazes us.” The SCCC has over 160 events a year designed to provide business and professional orientated education, advocacy, and leadership in the community. Funds raised at the Grand Giveaway go towards keeping those events free or low-cost. “Seeing this generous response really demonstrates the value our members see in the Sarpy Chamber and our staff,” explains Karen Gibler, SCCC President. “Support like this shows how our community is so amazing and keeps our chamber strong. It’s why our team is so committed.” For more information on the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce’s events and groups please visit


Eat Fit Go Opens in Council Bluffs, Hosts Ribbon Cutting Eat Fit Go recently hosted a ribbon cutting event in conjunction with the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce on Tu e s d ay, A p r i l 11th. The store officially opened its doors on February 28th and a grand opening celebration was held surrounding the opening of the first location in Council Bluffs, IA. Part of a growing nationwide franchise, Eat Fit Go offers high-quality food that makes eating healthy on the go fun, easy, enjoyable and convenient. The event had a very wonderful turnout, and those in attendance had the opportunity to try out samples and take advantage of great discount offers. Eat Fit Go offers completely fresh meals that are pre-cooked, packaged, portioned, and labeled with all of your macronutrients and nutritional information to make eating healthy with an on the go lifestyle not only possible, but enjoyable. For more information, please visit or contact Courtney Pontow, General Manager or Jake and Michelle Cook, Owners at (712) 256-3663 or via email at

Cornhusker State Games National Anthem Finalists Announced Cornhusker State Games (CSG) officials have announced four finalists in the 2017 CSG National Anthem Contest. Finalists include Nathan Bonsall, 17, Kearney; Ava Gropp, 10, Lincoln; Kristen Hoffart, 40, Norfolk and Evan Wohlers, 17, Omaha. The audition videos for the finalists are now posted on YouTube at 2017 CSG National Anthem Contest. The video with the most likes will earn the honor of performing the Star Spangled Banner at the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 21. The finalists were chosen from among nine vocalists who submitted audition videos. A selection team ranked the auditions, and the top four were chosen for the public-voting phase. Besides the opportunity to perform at the Ceremonies, the winner receives a gift package from the Cornhusker State Games and Amigos/Kings Classic, which sponsors the contest. Besides the National Anthem and flag presentation, Opening Ceremonies include the traditional parade of athletes, skydivers, mascots, a torch-lighting ceremony, fireworks and a star-studded exhibition of 150 years of sports in Nebraska. Ceremonies take place at Lincoln’s Seacrest Field at 8 p.m. on July 21 and are preceded by SportFest, including the free athlete meal and entertainment, from 4:30 – 7 p.m. The 33rd annual Cornhusker State Games, which take place July 21-30, are expected to draw 12,000 participants to competition venues in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities. More than 68 sports are offered for athletes of all ages and abilities. Participant registration is open through July 5th. All details are available at

LHRMA Announces May Meeting The Lincoln H u m a n Resource Management Association (LHRMA) will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 9th at the SCC Continuing Education Center, 301 S. 68th Street Place, Lincoln, NE 68510. LHRMA is presenting Three Exciting Diversity & Inclusion Programs. The luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m. with presentation on Creating An Inclusive Workplace: What’s Gender Identity Got To Do With It?. Two workshops follow the luncheon from 1:15 – 3:15 p.m. Part 1 - LGBT Protections and the Workplace. Part 2- Helping Employees Transition Smoothly in the Workplace. All members of the community are invited to attend this event. Register online at with a deadline of May 5th. LHRMA’s mission is to be the go-to resource on people management for the community by connecting professionals to solve everyday problems, providing quality education, collaborating with community leaders, and leading change for our industry. The organization is comprised of 400 HR professionals from the greater Lincoln area and welcomes new members. For more information, please visit

Gigi’s Cupcakes Changes Hands The sale of Gigi’s Cupcakes, facilitated by The Firm Business Brokerage, is official as of March 31st. Located at 16811 Burke Street, Suite 115, seller SuZanne Rogers and buyers Tammy and Scott W. Green toasted the transfer of ownership with cupcakes and champagne. The only Nebraska location of the national franchise, Omaha’s sweet little secret at Village Pointe will remain locally owned and operated and a community delight. Opened by SuZanne and Grant Rogers five years ago, Gigi’s has grown to be something of a tasty success, all due to SuZanne’s deep commitment to “developing strong relationships with both employees and customers.” Putting community first merited the location Best of Omaha three years running, and new owners Tammy & Scott W. Green are looking forward to continuing that tradition. After all, “the family atmosphere, energy and the franchise’s belief in the product” is what drew the Greens to Gigi’s, saysTammy. Parents of four children, the Greens were looking for something that their entire family could be involved in, and something that ran smoothly to fit Tammy’s schedule as a flight attendant. Both parties felt it was a good match, and SuZanne is happy to place her store in the Greens’ hands while she returns to working with therapy dogs and writing children’s books. “We’ve created something special and I think the Greens will do good things with Gigi’s,” says Rogers. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 13


Firespring Merges IT Business With Bluestem Fiber, New Division Created

Heartland International Announces Training Events for Commercial Roofing Contractors

Firespring has merged its managed IT ser vices business with Bluestem Fiber, a Lincoln-based startup that provides high-speed fiber internet service. The resulting business will be called Bluestem IT, a division of Bluestem Fiber. The transaction also makes Firespring one of the primary shareholders in Bluestem Fiber along with founders Greg Dynek and Aaron Whyrick. Bluestem Fiber provides gigabit broadband Internet connectivity via fiber and wireless to residential and business customers in eastern Nebraska communities. The company has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 2015. Wilkinson and Dynek have known each other for many years after having met through the Nebraska Angels investors group. Bluestem Fiber’s interest in pursuing the benefit corporation model to build a purpose-driven connectivity company sparked the idea of a combination. Wilkinson will work with Bluestem on company culture initiatives and will assist the company in pursuing benefit corporation status. Firespring was the first such company in Nebraska. Among other things, Nebraska benefit corporations must demonstrate that the purpose of the corporation creates general public benefit and must prepare and publish an annual benefit report detailing its social impact. Bluestem IT will provide managed IT services for existing clients of Bluestem and Firespring as well as new clients throughout the Midwest. All employees of both companies will be retained and more positions will be added in the near future. Jeff Murphy, former vice president of Firespring Cloud IT, will lead Bluestem IT.

Heartland International, Inc., a nationwide distributor of Conklin Commercial Roofing Systems, has released the 2017 dates for upcoming training programs to qualify to install and warrant their roofing systems. The Conklin Company is a Minnesota based research, developing, manufacturing and distribution company who pioneered the manufacturing, installation and warranty programs for their fluid applied and single-ply Energy Star systems in 1987. They are celebrating their 40-year anniversary in 2017. With over one billion square feet of roofs installed they have less than ½ of 1% in warranty claims, due in large part to their extensive classroom, hands-on and field training programs. Dennis Nun, President of Heartland says, “We offer programs monthly, and as often as four times monthly in our Kansas City training center to meet the growing demand for qualified contractors. These programs consistently sell out, so it’s important for interested contractors to reserve a spot at least a month or two in advance to ensure they can secure a seat for either our 1-day Metal Roof System Training or the 3-day Advanced Roof Systems Training.” Heartland International, Inc. is based in Lincoln, NE and is responsible to screen and train contractors to install the Conklin Roofing Systems. For more information or to apply for one of the current openings, e-mail or call (402) 430-7727.

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Nebraska’s Largest Renaissance Festival Brings Medieval Fun to Bellevue Berry Farm The Renaissance Festival of Nebraska, at the Bellevue Berry Farm, will once again host two uniquely themed weekends filled with medieval merry-making, 6 stages of professional entertainment and regal equestrian jousting, May 6–7 and May 13–14. In keeping with the theme of the first weekend, Roses and Romance, the first 100 ladies to enter the festival grounds on May 6 and 7 will receive a miniature fairy bouquet. Affection, passion, and the romantic intrigues of the royal court will lace together these two days filled with love and thoughts of fancy. On May 13 and 14, join Queen Elizabeth and her court in a celebration of the Scots and the Irish during our Shamrocks and Shenanigans weekend. Shout your huzzahs and blow your bagpipe during the daily Kilt and Calf Contest. Complete any day at the Renaissance Festival with giant turkey legs, funnel cakes, homemade root beer and a large array of other festival foods. There’s also a selection of mead and Nebraska wines. Once you have your fill, shop the wonderful variety of leather, metal, glass, and wood craftsmen, along with jewelry makers, potters, blacksmiths, period clothiers, and fantasy artists. A full day of fun is only $13 for adults and $8 for children. Tickets can be purchased online at and www., or each day of the festival at the entrance gate of the Bellevue Berry Farm, located at 11001 South 48th Street in Papillion.

FirstLight Home Care of Omaha Recognized Among Best in the Nation FirstLight Home Care of Omaha, a leading provider of non-medical home care, has been recognized as one of the country’s top home care providers by the 2017 Best of Home Care Awards. The awards are presented annually by Home Care Pulse, a thirdparty research and quality assurance home care satisfaction measurement firm. Based solely on feedback from clients, the Best in Home Care Awards honor home care providers that exemplify excellence in home care. FirstLight Home Care of Omaha earned a Provider of Choice Award, which recognizes home care companies with performance that qualifies them as a Home Care Pulse Certified – Trusted Partner for at least six consecutive months, and that rank in the top 50th percentile in two or more client satisfaction categories. Non-medical home care provides the assistance and support people may need to maintain independence where they live. Traditionally, home care providers focus exclusively on older adults who are aging in place. But FirstLight also delivers services to adults with disabilities; those recovering from illness, injury or surgery; those adjusting to major life transitions; or anyone aged 18 or older who may need assistance. FirstLight Home Care of Omaha is owned by local entrepreneur Jaye Firmature McCoy and provides services to people in Greater Omaha and surrounding communities. The home care leader delivers Personal Care Services, which provide assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, mobility, meal preparation and more. It offers Companion Care Services, like light housekeeping and laundry, errands and transportation and even visits from caregivers to keep clients company. FirstLight also offers specialty services, such as its Dementia Care, Travel Companion Program and Respite Care, to meet the unique needs of its clients. For more information about the Home Care Pulse Best in Home Care Awards, visit For more information about FirstLight Home Care of Omaha, visit

Buffalo Wings & Rings Under New Ownership Buffalo Wings & Rings is now under new ownership! Todd Fetter recently purchased the Buffalo Wings & Rings franchise in April of 2017. Located at 12240 L Street Suite #109 in Omaha, guests can expect the same superior service and delicious food that they have grown accustomed to at this Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant. Established in 1984 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Buffalo Wings & Rings is the ultimate sports restaurant franchise providing a club-level experience that’s accessible and affordable for all with better food, VIP views and the Buffalove® Service Promise. The growing franchise takes game-time to the next level with bright, inviting dining rooms, elevated fan experiences, and a chef-inspired menu filled with diverse flavors. Options include gyros, fresh salads, hand-crafted burgers and fresh, never frozen wings – there’s something that is sure to satisfy every sports fan. For more information, visit or contact owner Todd Fetter at or (419) 2364204.

New Staybridge Suites in West Omaha Honored With Prestigious IHG Brand Award Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has awarded the Staybridge Suites – Omaha West with the 2016 Winning Metrics Award. The award is earned by accomplishing a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for their Heartbeat, Problem Handling, Loyalty Recognition, Loyalty Enrollments, and Guest Review scores. The IHG Winning Metrics takes into account all aspects of a hotel’s operation from revenue to cleanliness and is a target for all IHG hotels. There are over five thousand IHG hotels eligible for this award and only 220 hotels, or 4 percent, were honored in 2016. This is the only Staybridge Suites branded IHG hotel to win the award in the entire Midwest region. “We are so happy to be recognized among IHG’s top performing properties – especially because we haven’t even been open for a year,” said Tasha Kelly, General Manager of the hotel. “As a team, our goal has been to excel in every area from the day we opened. This award acknowledges that our dedication to excellent customer service and guest relations is paying off.” The Staybridge Suites in West Omaha, Neb. opened in September 2016. The four-story, 99-room all-suite property is located at 2720 Oak Drive in west Omaha, near the intersection of West Center Road and South 168th Street. It is owned by West Center Lodging, LLC and is managed by Hegg Hospitality Management, LLC.

Nebraska Craft Beer Added to 4th Annual Sip Nebraska Wine Festival Additional entertainment is set for Sip Nebraska at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park May 5-6, 2017. Guests are invited to take part in tastings of Nebraska wines, hard ciders and, NEW this year, Nebraska craft beer! Partake in tastings while enjoying local bands, shopping at over 20+ artisan and food vendors, dabbling in wine glass painting, kicking up your heels for salsa and line dancing lessons, taking in an education wine session or yoga class … all activities included in the ticket price! Featured musicians, food vendors, artists and more are posted on the Sip Nebraska Facebook page ( and on the official event website: Tickets can be purchased on the website and are $25, $40 or $60; the $40 and $60 tickets include commemorative items, wine, hard cider and craft beer tastings. A limited number of cabins, lodge rooms and camp sights are also being held at the park for guests of the festival. For lodging, call (402) 882-2448. Volunteer, vendor and sponsor opportunities are still available. Call (402) 882-2448 or email at Blur Parties, Inc. for more information. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 15

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Proof: New Whiskey and Craft Cocktail Bar Coming to Omaha Proof, a new upscale lounge specializing in a wide whiskey selection, craft cocktails and a personal approach, is coming to Midtown Crossing. “Our guests can expect consistent, high-quality service and cocktails while enjoying their visit in a laid back, engaging and quaint prohibition-themed bar,” says Joel Lavelle who is partnering with Kyron O’Brien on the concept. It will occupy the former Grane space at 120 S. 31st Ave. “We love the view of Turner Park, the layout of Midtown Crossing and the different types of people that frequent the area,” Lavelle says. Backed by a passionate, knowledgeable and friendly team, Proof promises fresh cocktail ingredients, including herbs grown on the patio; house made syrups and the “most personable experience in Omaha.” “We plan on scaling back the whiskey dispensing concept, allowing us to engage our guests more one-on-one,” Lavelle says. “We also plan on tailoring our pricing to be more consumer friendly and offering our guests very competitive retail ordering options.” In addition to whiskey and craft cocktails, Proof will have local craft beers on tap. Lavelle and O’Brien hope to open their new establishment by mid-May. “We are beyond excited to have our grand opening and look forward to becoming a part of the Omaha community,” Lavelle says.

Just Good Meat Gears Up for May Celebrations, Announces Holiday Specials With graduation ceremonies and parties, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day all happening this month, there’s much to celebrate. For all of these special occasions coming up, Just Good Meat has plenty of amazing fare for your festivities!

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For larger parties and events, featured specials will include a prepared meal pack with 10lbs of BBQ pulled pork, 5lbs of BBQ smokehouse beans, and 5lbs of country style potato salad, which feeds up to 25 people, and a grill pack option that includes 30 grass-fed beef patties and 20 beef dogs. Throughout the month of May, there will also be a special on whole boneless prime rib at $6.99/lb – these average 15-18lbs, with the option of ribeye steaks cut and wrapped for free based on the customer’s specifications. For more intimate gatherings, pick up a pack with two 5 oz. filets, two twice-baked potatoes and two 7-8 oz. lobster tails, on special this month for $42.99. With a wide variety of deli meats and cheeses to choose from, Just Good Meat can assemble an incredible custom party tray too. Whether grilling out or catering for these spring holiday affairs, or putting together a party spread on the fly, you’re sure to find exactly what you need at Just Good Meat. All are also invited to join in the fun for Just Good Meat’s annual Memorial Day extravaganza! On Saturday and Sunday, May 27-28, there will be raffles all day long and the team will be serving up plenty of free samples! (Just Good Meat will be closed on Monday, May 29th in observance of the holiday) Just Good Meat is located on 84th Street between L and F Streets. For more information or to place an order, call the store at (402) 339-7474 or visit

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Strictly Business MAY 2017


Josh Hannum

A UNITED AUTOMATIC DOORS & GLASS Headquartered in Omaha, NE, A United Automatic Doors & Glass, Inc. is a familyowned company that specializes in the installation and repair of doors and glass for commercial properties. The company also has a special division dedicated to providing access and security solutions for businesses. Josh Hannum is Vice President of A United Automatic Doors & Glass. Tell us a little about your business. - Our core business is automatic doors and glass sales and service; we provide storefront solutions for our clients. We are a Stanley Access Technologies distributor and also offer a number of value-added services. Last year we formed a standalone division that allows us to provide security solutions as well, Secure Card Readers and More or S.C.R.A.M. How did you get started in the business? - My dad, Jim, was a glazier. While working in the trade he became trained as an automatic door technician. Dad would take me with him on jobs when I was young and I became AAADM certified at 14. I jumped into the business head first at a very young age. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I would say growing our business and doubling our workforce. It’s been a challenge at times to keep our team focused on the big picture and overall goals of the company, meaning the customer comes first. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I think it’s still ahead of me, but to date, it’s been striking a balance between my role in the company and the other areas of my life. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Deena and I have a child on the way; we are due anytime now! My mom and dad started the family business, and now there are six family members working beside me. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I do CrossFit, and also enjoy trap shooting, golf and cycling. My wife and I enjoy golfing and traveling together. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I am an open book, so although it’s no big surprise to those who know me, I’m a big Star Wars fan and I have to move at light speed. What are you the most proud of? - That’s easy! I get to work with my father every day of the week. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Don’t be afraid of the unknown and the risks. Just go for it. Which talent would you most like to have? - With so much on my plate, I would like to be more organized. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I am passionate about the work of the Open Door Mission. I feel they help our community in the right way. We host a fun golf event to raise funds in support of their mission to help stop the cycle of poverty and homelessness. This year it will be held on Monday, August 28th at the Oak Hills Country Club. You can find out more details online at www. What is your favorite movie? - Guardians of the Galaxy. What is your favorite TV show? - Shark Tank. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Union Pizzeria and Sports Bar on 156th. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Ben Franklin. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; A United website:; S.C.R.A.M. website:


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Control Depot, Inc. is a Honeywell Authorized Systems Distributor (ASD) serving Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. Jason Kreikemeier is the Inside Sales Manager at Control Depot. Tell us a little about your business. - As the premier controls distributor in the area, Control Depot provides innovative, cost effective control solutions and web-based facility integration designs across a spectrum of building types in the residential and commercial markets. We sell and support a wide selection of residential and commercial controls and components to contractors and building owners. This includes everything from a simple thermostat to a complete web-based building automation system. Control Depot is a member of Honeywell’s elite Diamond Distributor Club of advanced building automation distributors. With a wide selection of dependable Honeywell products, backed by exceptional warranties and our experienced staff, Control Depot has what you need. How did you get started in the business? - The starting point of my career was as an electrician in the temperature control industry in 2002. I joined Control Depot in 2009 because I wanted to learn more aspects of our industry. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Trying to stay on top of all of our many vertical markets. Control Depot provides solutions for HVAC controls, security and access controls, lighting controls, and gas detection systems, all of which are rapidly changing areas of technology. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - The satisfaction of helping my customers succeed at their jobs, and building lasting relationships with them. Tell us a little about your family. - I have been married to my beautiful wife Abby for 7 years and we have a 5-year-old daughter, Lily. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Spend time with my family. Aside from that, fishing and watching sports are my hobbies, and I also enjoy playing golf. What are you the most proud of? - My daughter; she is the most loving and caring child! What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Communication is key. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Generous. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - I would love to fly to be able to get places quicker. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I’m pretty good at woodworking and building things. I have a lot of projects going on around the house that keep me busy when I’m not at work. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Professional athlete. I would love to get paid to play basketball. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - Shaq Uncut: My Story by Shaquille O’Neal. What is your favorite movie? - A Few Good Men. What is your favorite TV show? - Sports; anything on ESPN or sportsrelated really. What is your favorite local restaurant? - The Drover. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Michael Jordan. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 934-0078; Email:; Website:

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DEREK Derek Dillon

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA Located at 12750 Westport Pkwy in La Vista, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and the Liquid Sunshine Taproom combine to offer an entertainment experience that’s second-to-none. Derek Dillon is the Creative Manager at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Omaha. How did you get started in the business? - I had been a major fan of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for a couple of years when I decided to go to this horror movie mystery marathon at the Alamo KC to give it a shot. It absolutely blew me away. I knew they were building one in Omaha so I decided to tweet at them to see if they were looking for any help. Turns out that Tyler Calabrese (who hired me) was running the Twitter account and reached out to me inquiring about my interest in an available position. About a month later I was traveling down to ATX for 6 weeks of training. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Attempting to manage and stay on top of so many different projects and initiatives. I wear so many hats; programming all of our films, managing all marketing and advertising, staying on top of public relations, overseeing and managing every special event in the building, and making sure Alamo is part of the Omaha community. It takes a lot of work but it is a truly rewarding experience. Witnessing people get joy and happiness from what we put on at the theater is truly the most gratifying thing.

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What has been your most important achievement professionally? - When I learned that I could use our theater as a platform to give back, I knew that we could do some really great work in the Omaha Metro and prove we are a community theater first and foremost. By partnering with local charities and community partners we’ve been able to give back so much with toy drives, non-perishable food drives, fundraising and just basic awareness for causes we believe in. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - For the longest time my ultimate dream job was to show movies to people. My first love had always been storytelling and to share that passion through the cinema had been a goal. When Tyler gave me that opportunity I knew my life would never be the same. I’ve learned so much about the film industry and how my favorite stories come to life, that I don’t know if I could ever go back to the real world.

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What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - If I’m able to be outdoors on my day off or to read a good book, I know I’ve had a productive day. Relaxation and mindfulness are the names of the game. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - My dad and I share the same birthday and I once was the Adams County Fair Mutton Busting Champion. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Architect. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I have just joined the United Way of the Midlands Young Professionals Committee and I greatly enjoy the fact that they have a strong passion for education. My mom is a teacher so education is part of my DNA. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; Website: drafthouse. com/omaha.


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Todd Thompson

DINGMAN’S MECHANICAL REPAIR A new standalone division of Dingman’s Collision Center, Dingman’s Mechanical Repair is a full-service automotive repair facility serving the Omaha metro. The team of experts at Dingman’s are committed to honest, appropriate, timely repairs, and treat every vehicle as if it were our own. Todd Thompson is the General Manager of Dingman’s Mechanical Repair. How did you get started in the business? - Although my career began out of necessity, I’ve always had an interest in cars. I took a part-time job detailing cars for a premium line and I was hooked. I was offered a full-time position in their parts department and to this day am grateful for that opportunity. Since then I managed an independent garage, was a service advisor at a local dealership, and managed a boat repair facility. I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many great people in the Omaha community over the years and look forward to connecting with them again in my new role at Dingman’s. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - As many can relate, for me it’s been finding a good balance between my personal and professional life. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - My most meaningful achievement professionally to date is the validation by the Dingman family to launch a mechanical division, and looking forward, I feel it will also be the most important. This experience has truly been an honor. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Jennifer and I have been married for 24 years. Together we are raising Conner, Colby, Wyatt and Samuel, our four boys. There are also two dogs that round out the chaos. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - While there is really no such thing as a complete day off for me, I do enjoy working in my own garage when I have the time. There is always something to do in the garage, even if that something is nothing. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - My father would always say, ‘Slow…down, let’s think about this.’ When I was young it was very frustrating, but now that I’m older I finally see the value. I should have listened more. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - None, really. I simply cannot imagine working in any other field. The customers, culture and cars seem to be a perfect fit for me. The job is not very glamorous, but exceeding customers’ expectations is addictive and there is just something rewarding about repairing a car. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - I usually don’t read anything longer than a magazine article. The last good book I read was a shop service manual. Spoiler alert…the technician did it. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - There are so many interesting people, but Jesse James would be my choice. He is a television personality, fabricator, welder, blacksmith and gunsmith who has made no excuses or concessions. He is absolutely not perfect or angelic by any means, but his ‘get it done’ attitude, work ethic and support of skilled trades make him an appealing choice for me. Maybe dinner would be too much. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 991-2848; Email:; Website:

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Locally owned and operated, Home Nursing With Heart is a Medicare-certified, statelicensed home health agency that provides skilled nursing and therapy services to Omaha, Council Bluffs and the surroundings areas. Betsy Hofman is the Director of Therapy Services at Home Nursing With Heart. Tell us a little about your business. - Our skilled professionals provide treatment in the home setting and specialize in caring for a variety of cardiac, respiratory, neurological and orthopedic conditions. We provide temporary care for post-surgical recovery at home as well as ongoing care for chronic or recurring conditions and diseases. What sets us apart is our personalization of care; we strive to not only provide quality healthcare but to also establish caring relationships with all of those we serve. How did you get started in the business? - I have a master’s degree in occupational therapy and have worked in healthcare for nearly 15 years. Prior to coming to HNWH, I gained valuable experience working in acute/trauma hospital, small community based hospital, as well as multiple rehabilitation settings. I have been with HNWH for almost four years. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I would have to say dealing with all of the ‘red tape’ that goes along with providing healthcare. In a perfect world, we could provide whatever services patients need to increase their health/wellness/independence with daily tasks. Realistically, healthcare providers have to follow a lot of regulations that can limit our freedom to do this. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - When I came to Home Nursing With Heart, I was very burnt out working in healthcare. I soon realized home health was my calling. It is the best setting in which to really get to know your patients and provide individualized treatment. I especially enjoy working with the geriatric population and am grateful that my position allows me to continue to provide clinical services as well as my therapy management duties. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a client-centered, caring, ethical company. Which talent would you most like to have? - Any kind of creative/ artistic talent, like being a great musician, writer, or singer. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I would love to get paid to review movies and books. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Locally I support Open Door Mission, Food Bank for the Heartland, and Project Harmony. I also volunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. While not local, Remote Area Medical is another organization I hold near and dear to my heart. I recently volunteered at a clinic in Tennessee in which over $250,000 worth of free medical, dental, and vision services were provided to the needy in a weekend. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. What is your favorite movie? - It’s too hard to pick just one! Out of Africa, Million Dollar Baby, Braveheart, and Dances with Wolves. What is your favorite TV show? - My guilty pleasure is Dancing with the Stars. It is kind of sad how much joy it brings me. What is your favorite local restaurant? - It’s a toss-up between Pitch and Lo Sole Mio. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; Website:


Nicole Bourquin

CORNHUSKER BEVERAGE & BRIDAL Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is a complete wedding and party center, serving the Omaha Metro community in its current location for almost 50 years. Nicole Bourquin is the Bridal Department Manager at Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal. Tell us a little about your business. - Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal has been family owned and operated for five generations. It started out as a liquor store, and over the years, has evolved into much more than that. While we do have the best selection in town for beer, liquor and wine, we also specialize in beverage catering for events, particularly weddings, and have a department dedicated to wedding invitations too. How did you get started in the business? - I came to work for the family business for in high school. My dad taught me and my siblings at a young age that if we wanted more money, the business needed to make more money. It inspired me to be creative and find ways to make the business more money, because that’s exactly what I wanted! I started by selling wedding invitations when I was 16. I would come in to work every day after school, and it was a really good experience at such a young age. I went on to college and studied music, but after graduation, I never pursued an occupation in that field as I never wanted to leave Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal because I loved my work so much! What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I’m especially proud of the way the stationary department has grown during my time with the company. We began by providing order fulfillment; essentially, we were the middle man. I have always had a love for invitations and making things pretty. We decided to begin consulting with brides and creating our own designs based on their ideas and wants. Then in addition to invitations, we expanded to table numbers, programs, ceremony cards, etc. The growth of the department and what we’re now able to offer our clients has been my measure of success. Tell us a little about your family. - I’m number 4 of 8 children and at the moment, I’m the only one who works here. As for the other 7, most of them have worked their way through the business and have moved on to occupations that inspire them. I have been married for 16 years to my husband who is a charge nurse at Nebraska Medicine in the Operating Room. We have four children; two girls (11 and 9) and two boys (6 and 3). What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Spending time with family! I usually have Fridays off. During the summer my kids and I create ‘Super Fun Fridays’ with activities lined up from morning to night. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I’m a tuba player! If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Flight of the Bumblebee (Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow). What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - We are strong supporters of our local Catholic schools, organizations and establishments. Our family has roots at St. Bernadette and Omaha Gross. We love to give back! What is your favorite local restaurant? - Maria’s Mexican Restaurant. I don’t get there nearly enough but their tacos are amazing! If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Ronald Regan. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 331-5404; Website:

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by Karl Schaphorst, President

Stop With The Dog & Pony Shows Already!

The table in the conference room at the prospect’s office was the biggest one Tim had ever seen. A highly-polished finish reflected evenly the muted lighting. Tim was prepared to present his solution to the ten people gathered there. Knowing it was going to be either his solution or the competitor’s, Tim had a presentation that would answer every last question. During the past week, Tim had done little else than prepare for this moment. “Well,” started the committee head, “I think we should get going. Tim, could you make your presentation?” “Certainly,” responded Tim. For the next hour and a half, Tim provided a dazzling array of charts, slides, and even a demonstration of how his product was the most cost effective. At the end, he had left fifteen minutes to handle any possible questions. “Now, I would like to give the committee the chance to ask any questions that might not have been covered,” he offered. The committee head nodded and said, “Tim, I think everyone here is completely impressed. I, for one, have never seen such a thorough explanation of what your product does. It truly is impressive.” “Thank you,” responded Tim, thinking to himself that this sale was in the bag. “But I have one question, Tim,” said the committee head looking around the table. “Do you always give such insightful presentations?” And before Tim could respond, the committee head went on, “Just kidding. Of course you do. Unless someone else has a question, I think we should move on to the next one.” Tim left the conference room knowing this sale was done. As he walked by the competitor, he felt a twinge of sorrow knowing the fellow had no chance.

402-403-4334 A week later, Tim found out that the competitor had made the sale. He called the committee head and asked what had happened. What Tim learned was disheartening. Everyone felt Tim’s product knowledge was unmatched, but the committee felt that the competitor really answered their questions. Most sales presentations, whether they be involved and extensive in a conference room or short and informal while leaning over a washing machine, are educational. The mistaken assumption is that if you can educate the prospect about your product/service, he will buy it. This is not the case. Unless the prospect is hiring you to educate him, you are wasting your time, and his, using an educational presentation. Before you make a presentation, you should know the prospect’s pains. Knowing what those pains are allows you to develop a solution that will take them away. This is precisely how you make the presentation. The first step in the presentation is to go over the pains to make sure they are still there and still hurt. The second step is to present the solution for pain number one. Then ask, did this solution solve the pain? If it did, move on to pain two. Continue in this manner until you have presented your solutions for each pain. Now you ask the prospect what she would like to do next. Wait until you get an answer. That really is all there is to a presentation. Tim was told that the committee felt his competitor really answered their questions. What the competitor did was tell them their pain and how his solution would make the pain go away. Tim just educated. Tim didn’t make the sale. So, stop with all those dog & pony shows! Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to mediumsized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at You can also follow his blog at

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Sarah Willson Honored as a Top Partner by Thrivent Financial

Auction Professional Jonathan Larsen Earns Top Industry Designation

Sarah Willson, a partner with Thrivent Financial, has been awarded top honors after finishing in the top 10 out of 132 nationally for performance amongst her peers in 2016. Willson excelled in several performance goals such as attracting new members and identifying talented individuals to join the organization and supporting them in their efforts to help Christians be wise with money and live generously. “Sarah has provided excellent service to our members in Nebraska,” said Ken Kolosso, managing partner for Thrivent Financial’s Nebraska region. “Her efforts reflect the organization’s mission to help more members be wise with money and live generously.” Willson is proud to support Omaha with opportunities to live generously, including partnering with churches and non-profits through Thrivent programs such as Action Teams and the Thrivent Choice. Sarah is an active volunteer for Lutheran Family Services, her daughters’ Girl Scout troop, and attends Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church. Thrivent Financial is looking for talented individuals to join the organization. Those interested in a career with Thrivent Financial can visit Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. As a membership organization, it offers its more than 2.3 million member-owners a broad range of products, services and guidance from financial representatives nationwide. For more than a century it has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit You can also find Thrivent Financial on Facebook and Twitter.

Jonathan Larsen of Larsen & Larsen Auction Company recently completed his training at the prestigious Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI). CAI is the industry’s premier training program developed by the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) for auction professionals. Larsen joins an exclusive group as there were approximately 860 current CAI designation holders in the world as of February 2017. The three-year CAI designation program provides auction professionals the opportunity to earn the industry’s most respected professional designation. CAI is an intensive, executive development program offering professional auctioneers with instruction and coursework in business management, ethics, finance, communication, strategic planning and marketing. The NAA conducts CAI every March at Indiana University in Bloomington. Jonathan R. Larsen is a professional benefit auctioneer specialist who works with organizations all over the country, partnering with them to increase their awareness and revenue so that they can continue to have a positive impact on those who need it. To learn more about Larsen & Larsen Auction Company, please call (605) 376-7102, e-mail, or visit

Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. They are also licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit If requested, a Thrivent Financial representative may contact you and financial solutions, including insurance, may be solicited.

AGC Announces Officers, Board of Directors The AGC Nebraska Chapter is pleased to announce its 2017 officers and board of directors. Officers: President, Steve Samuelson, Constructors, Inc. (Lincoln); President-elect, Jim Van Kirk, Van Kirk Brothers Contracting (Sutton); Vice President, Jason Muhle, KEA Constructors (Milford); Treasurer, Courtney Jacobsen, M.E. Collins Contracting Co., Inc. (Wahoo). Board members: Julie Budnick, Werner Construction Co. (Hastings); Tyler Chicione, Garcia-Chicoine Enterprises (Milford); Tom Crockett, Hawkins Construction Company (Omaha); Scott Gerrard, SEMA Construction (Centennial, CO); Justin Grusing, Dustrol, Inc. (Lincoln); Ron Hall, Knife River Midwest (Sioux City, IA); Curt Hartter, Universal Surety Company (Lincoln); Dave Neill, Paulsen, Inc. (Cozad); Steve Peck, Simon Contractors (North Platte); Kyle Timmer, OMG Midwest (Omaha); Sean Vontz, Vontz Paving (Hastings); Shane Wegner, Midlands Contracting, Inc. (Kearney); and Doug Williams, A.M. Cohron & Son, Inc. (Columbus). The AGC (Associated General Contractors) Nebraska Chapter is the only full-service statewide construction trade association that serves and represents heavy highway contractors.

Rose White of Nebraska AAA Receives Top Highway Safety Honor From U.S. DOT The Auto Club Group’s top public affairs official in Nebraska was honored last month with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Lifesaver’s Public Service Safety Award. Rose White, Nebraska’s AAA Public Affairs Director, was among the recipients of this top highway safety honor. She was recognized for more than four decades of highway safety leadership, advocacy and education in the State of Nebraska. The national award, presented this year to 13 individuals and one organization, recognizes their vigorous dedication to achieve the safety of all passengers on American roadways. The awards were presented in Charlotte, NC at the 35th Lifesavers Conference, the largest annual gathering of highway safety professionals in the U.S. “It is not an exaggeration to say that many people are alive today because of Rose’s dedicated advocacy to make Nebraska roads safer over the past four decades,” said Kevin Bakewell, AAA – The Auto Club Group’s Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs. “Through her passionate advocacy and dedication, Rose epitomizes AAA’s more than 115 year commitment to improving traffic safety.” The award was presented by NHTSA’s Acting Deputy Administrator Jack Danielson in front of more than 2,500 attendees at the 2017 NHTSA Awards Luncheon which is a highlight of the annual Lifesavers Conference. The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Nebraska. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 25


First National Bank Names David Cota to Lead Wholesale Banking First National Bank, a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, has named David E. Cota its executive vice president of Wholesale Banking, announced Clark D. Lauritzen, president and chairman. Wholesale Banking encompasses First National’s Corporate Banking, Commercial Lending and Wealth and Investments divisions. In his new role, Cota also has responsibility for First National’s markets in Colorado, Illinois and Kansas and serves as a board member and director of First National Bank of Omaha. He joined First National Bank in 1999 and previously served as executive vice president of its Wealth and Investments division, which included the bank’s Wealth Management, Investment Services and Tributary Capital Management businesses. Cota graduated from Texas Christian University and is actively involved on the boards of a number of local non-profit organizations. 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.

CarePatrol Welcomes Andrea Crampton CarePatrol of Nebraska is pleased to announce their team is expanding with the recent addition of Andrea Crampton as Community Relations Representative. The company recently acquired the Omaha territory and Andrea will be tasked with community outreach and building the business there. Andrea has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from University of Nebraska at Omaha, and has spent the past 25 years in the marketing/ account representative field helping many large companies grow. She is excited to help CarePatrol establish a presence in the Omaha market while helping seniors and their families work through a challenging time. As part of the largest no-cost senior placement agency in the nation, CarePatrol of Nebraska assists clients with the selection of Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care communities at no cost to the family or senior. The CarePatrol team helps find the safest and best community for each client, matching them by care needs, wants, location and finances. The company thoroughly reviews the state’s care and violation history of every community before recommending them, and a CarePatrol representative will then line up the tours and personally accompany the client to help make sure all the right questions are asked. To find out more about your local CarePatrol agency, please visit or contact Theron Ahlman directly at (402) 580-2116 or

Add us to your team to make th this hap happ happen. From L-R: Lori Fischer, Candace Chapman, Wendi Peterson-Scott, and Lisa Daniels (seated)


Strictly Business MAY 2017


2017 African-American Leadership Awards Honorees Announced The Urban League of Nebraska Guild is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 African-American Leadership Awards. Each year, the Guild recognizes eight deserving local African-Americans for their significant contributions in their community and professions in the following categories: Business, Community, Education, Faith, Government, Health, Young Professional and Youth. The 2017 Honorees are… Business Leader: Cort Bonner Bonner is an Insurance and Financial Services Agent at Bonner Insurance Agency Inc., a customer-focused State Farm Insurance agency in Omaha. Bonner has supported various activities throughout North Omaha, including the Black College Tour and initiatives to improve student computer literacy. Community Leader: Jami Anders-Kemp Anders-Kemp is director of Omaha 360, an initiative of the Empowerment Network focused on reducing gun and gang violence and bringing peace and prosperity to every neighborhood in the City of Omaha. The collaborative includes more than 200 organizations from across the city. Education Leader: Dr. Amber Williams Dr. Williams is Director of Admissions at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, which has experienced record-breaking enrollment in recent years. Dr. Williams is the mastermind behind the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, which is housed in Omaha North High School with an additional cohort coming to Omaha South High School in the near future. Faith Leader: Reverend Kenneth Allen Since 2008, Rev. Allen has served as Senior Pastor at Zion Baptist Church, a historic congregation in Omaha. Rev. Allen has also served as an adjunct instructor and guest lecturer at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, teaching courses on Theology and Religion in Afro-America. Government Leader: Judge Wadie Thomas Jr. The Honorable Wadie Thomas Jr. is a judge at the Douglas County Separate Juvenile Court in Nebraska. He joined the court in 1995 and is the first African-American male appointed to a judgeship in Nebraska. Health Leader: Wayne Houston Houston is Manager of Community Health Programs at the UNMC Center for Reducing Health Disparities. For 19 years, Houston has organized the Black Family Health and Wellness Association Health Fair, an event providing free health exams to more than 200 North Omaha residents annually. Young Professional Leader: Jason Fischer Fischer is Creative Director and Owner of Surreal Media Lab, a multimedia and marketing company, and a sought-after filmmaker in Omaha. His work has been shown at the Omaha Film Festival, and his documentary “Out of Frame: Unseen Poverty in the Heartland” – created in partnership with Omaha-based non-profit Together – won the bronze award at the 37th Annual Telly Awards. Youth Leader: Jaden Wrightsell Wrightsell is an academic scholar and star athlete at Omaha Northwest Magnet High School. She holds the school girls’ basketball records for career points and rebounds and girls’ volleyball record for career kills. She is active in her church and volunteers frequently with organizations including the Salvation Army, Community in Action, the OPS Citizen’s Advisory Board, and more. The 2017 AALA recipients will be honored at the 28th Annual AfricanAmerican Leadership Awards Gala the evening of Friday, June 2nd at the Hilton Omaha. Individual general admission tickets are $50 and reserved tables of ten are $1,000. Patron sponsorship levels are also available. To purchase tickets, tables or sponsorships, please visit www. or contact Michael Cich-Jones, Director of Development and Marketing at the Urban League of Nebraska, (402) 453-9730 ext. 117 or

Circo Enterprises Promotes Patrick Garrison Circo Enterprises ( has announced the promotion of Patrick Garrison to Executive Vice President. Prior to his new position, Garrison has held several positions with Circo Enterprises. Most recently Garrison was V.P. of Properties, Maintenance and Construction. Garrison holds a degree in Commercial Horticulture from Central Community College in Hastings, Nebraska. Prior to joining Circo Enterprises, Garrison held positions as Superintendent for Skyline Woods Golf Course and Maintenance and Director of Golf for Golf, LLC. Garrison is currently a Licensed Building Contractor with the City of Omaha. Garrison’s responsibilities in the new position include all day to day operations, as well as the executive management of Circo Enterprises, Pacific Realty, Circo Strategic Investments and all other Circo Enterprises affiliated companies.

American Concrete Institute Announces 2017 Officers, Board of Directors Nebraska’s Chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI; www. elected their 2017 Officers and Board of Directors at their annual meeting in February. 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 and Aggregates Association. 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.

Ken Kilzer Joins Olsson Associates Ken Kilzer has joined Olsson Associates as an industry expert for the firm’s facilities practice. Kilzer is a civil engineer with 26 years of experience in structural design of many building types including commercial, retail, educational, military and religious. His projects have ranged from small bank additions to large retail shopping malls and federal facilities. Kilzer will use his technical expertise in building structural design of buildings to mentor younger staff, complement the product quality program, and represent Olsson Associates in professional associations. Olsson Associates offers comprehensive design and consulting services for facilities, site/civil, transportation, water, environmental, field operations and survey. The firm was ranked No. 116 on Engineering News-Record’s top 500 design firms national list in 2016. Established in 1956, Olsson has 30 offices in the Midwest and Southwest U.S. The employee-owned firm has more than 1,000 employees. For more information about Olsson Associates, visit or contact the Omaha office at (402) 341-1116. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 27


OneWorld Community Health Centers’ Board of Directors Welcomes New Members

Five Nines Introduces Dana Olson as New Director of IT Services

OneWorld Community Health Centers is proud to announce that the following individuals have joined OneWorld’s Board of Directors: Anna Hernandez-Valencia, Cecilia Hiebner, Don Hutchen, Alan Jarecki, Blanca Mejia, Milton Trabal, and Maria Wollen, MSW. T h i s y e a r, Pa u l a Schulz will serve as OneWorld’s board chair. Dan McMahon is the vice chair, Correen Harrell is the treasurer and Nuria Archer is the secretary. The following individuals will continue to serve on the Board of Directors this year: Michael Chase; Robert (Bo) Dunlay, MD; Sen. Robert Hilkemann; Kristina Jordan; Sen. John McCollister; Jillian Sisson, MSN, RN; Suzi Sterba; Jaime Suarez-Delgado and Andrea Skolkin, CEO of OneWorld. OneWorld provides quality, affordable health care at 12 clinical locations in Omaha, and individuals with or without insurance are welcome. Established in 1970, OneWorld Community Health Centers, in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved. OneWorld is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and provides comprehensive primary health care, dental, mental health/substance abuse services and affordable medications. For more information, visit www.

Five Nines is pleased to announce the hiring of Dana Olson as Director of IT Services for the Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney offices. Olson brings over 15 years’ experience in information technology and project management roles. “We are thrilled to have Dana on the Five Nines team. Not only does she bring a wealth of technical knowledge, Dana has tremendous leadership experience and we are so excited to see her help grow our team,” said Joel Friesen, President of Five Nines. “She has a strong desire to improve our processes and technology, and will be instrumental in developing our strategic plans.” Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build longterm relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. Five Nines advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska based businesses, offering Managed IT Services. Through its unique service model, Five Nines’ clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. Learn more at:

Brad Buechler to Lead New Mutual of Omaha Senior Health Solutions Business Unit Mutual of Omaha CEO James Blackledge has announced the appointment of Brad Buechler to Executive Vice President of Senior Health Solutions – a new business unit that will align resources and functions around the senior market segment. Buechler joined Mutual in 1991 as an actuarial student and has held a variety of positions, including roles in Group insurance, corporate asset/liability management, Individual insurance and strategic planning. Before assuming his current role in March 2017, he served as Senior Vice President of Individual Retirement Solutions in the company’s Individual Financial Services business unit. Buechler is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He is also a member of the Offutt Air Force Base Advisory Council and the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association. Mutual of Omaha is a full-service, multi-line organization providing insurance, banking and financial products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know & Who Knows You!


Strictly Business MAY 2017

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.


Chad Richter Named Managing Principal of Jackson Lewis’ Omaha Office Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce Chad Richter has been named the Omaha Office Managing Principal. Richter succeeds Kelvin (Kelly) Berens, who led the office for the past eight years and has chosen to step down to focus full-time on his expanding labor and litigation practice as well as internal management responsibilities within the firm. Richter’s practice is focused on preventive counseling and training, traditional labor law and workplace litigation. He provides advice and counseling to management on a variety of employment law matters including human resource management, traditional labor relations, employment discrimination, wage and hour, privacy, disability leave management and reductions in force. He also assists management in workplace audits, preparing contracts and workplace policies, complex employment investigations and developing and presenting training curriculums on numerous employment and labor law topics. Richter received his B.B.A. from the University of Nebraska Omaha and his J.D. from the Creighton University School of Law. Jackson Lewis P.C.’s Omaha office is located at 10050 Regency Court and can be contacted directly at (402) 391-1991. Find out more online at

Omaha School Board Extends Contract of Retiring OPS Superintendent Mark Evans Chamber President David G. Brown and community education advocate Susie Buffett applaud the Omaha School Board for its decision to extend the contract of Superintendent Mark Evans. The Board approved the one-year extension at its meeting on April 17th. “This was the right decision for students and families in the Omaha Public School District, a logical way to let a complete and thorough search for the best, next superintendent play out. In the meantime, it ensures OPS has the steady leadership it needs to continue providing our kids with the learning experiences they deserve,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber. Brown’s sentiments were echoed by Omaha education advocate Susie Buffett. “This is good news for OPS students and their families, and for everyone who wants to see Omaha thrive,” said Buffett, who is Chair of the Sherwood Foundation. “Finding the right person for a big job is never easy, and the Board is to be commended for pausing here and hitting the ‘reset button.’ I especially applaud the leadership Lacey Merica and Marque Snow have shown. Now, Mr. Evans can continue to provide a steady hand as Board members relaunch the search. This kind of consistency also sends a strong signal to the next superintendent candidates that Omaha is filled with people who really care about the schools and are committed to working together to achieve success.” Evans has served as OPS superintendent since July 2013. He announced his retirement in October 2016. The Chamber will continue to give its input and collaborate with the OPS School Board as the national search for a new superintendent continues.

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Wealth Management LLC Adds Michael Carlson as Manager of Sales Wealth Management LLC of Norfolk is pleased to announce that Michael Carlson, CFP®, ChFC®, CPA has joined the company as Manager of Sales. Carlson joins Wealth Management LLC with over 25 years of experience in the financial and accounting industries. Carlson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and information systems from Drake University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He is a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®). In his new role, Carlson will remain in Omaha and will focus on new business acquisition, retention, support and growth activities--ultimately ensuring the highest quality client service experience. Wealth Management LLC ( provides administrative support for financial advisors across the country and believes in delivering a distinctive investment experience that focuses on putting clients first. Lutz Talent sourced and matched Carlson for Wealth Management LLC.

Nebraska Data Centers Hires Todd Cushing as President, Jerry Appel Transitions to COO Nebraska Data Centers, LLC (NDC), the region’s only carrier hotel, is pleased to announce Todd J. Cushing has joined the company as President. In this role Cushing will help lead the continued growth of NDC and provide oversight and strategic planning for the future. Jerry Appel, who previously served in that role, is now COO of the company. Cushing brings with him extensive experience and invaluable knowledge of the data center industry. Most recently Cushing served as Vice President and Director of the Data Center Solutions Group at CBRE MEGA as well as Mission Critical Program Leader for Olsson Associates. Earlier in his career, Cushing was responsible for domestic US and international data center operations for a local provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions. Nebraska Data Centers (NDC) provides quality data center solutions within one of the fastest growing carrier neutral hotels in the US. The Omaha, Nebraska facility is at the center point of the fiber networks and offers unique latency advantages and extensive connectivity options that improve network reliability and performance. Affordable space, power and cross connections has attracted over 40 carriers to the 1623 Farnam location. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 29

PERSONNEL NEWS The Strawhecker Group Promotes Josh Istas to AIM Director

Cordell & Cordell Law Firm Hires Associate Attorney Bree Robbins in Omaha Office

Omaha-based payments consultancy, The Strawhecker Group (TSG), is pleased to announce the promotion of Josh Istas to AIM Director.

Cordell & Cordell, the nation’s largest domestic litigation firm focusing on representing men in family law cases, recently hired Associate Attorney Bree Robbins in its Omaha office (13340 California Street, Suite 200, Omaha, NE 68154). Ms. Robbins earned her Juris Doctor from Nebraska College of Law and is licensed to practice in Nebraska. Before joining Cordell & Cordell, Ms. Robbins focused much of her practice on family law cases, juvenile court, and guardian ad litem appointments. She was responsible for the majority of the research and writing for her previous firm, and she has written many briefs for various district court matters. In her previous position, Ms. Robbins helped to obtain victories for seven clients at the appellate level before the Nebraska Court of Appeals and Nebraska Supreme Court. Ms. Robbins joins Cordell & Cordell as the sixth attorney in the Omaha office. Ms. Robbins takes her role as an attorney very seriously because she knows what is at stake for each client, the children involved, and the family. She enjoys researching and staying up to date on the latest case law from relevant jurisdictions as she believes knowing the law and the statues going into any case sets her apart and her clients up for success. Cordell & Cordell has more than 235 attorneys working in more than 90 offices across the United States. For more information about Cordell & Cordell, please visit or call (866) 323-7529.

Istas has made significant contributions to TSG since joining the firm in 2014 through his day-to-day management of TSG’s Acquiring Industry Metrics (AIM) platform and the accompanying Web Portal. AIM is a proprietary, industry-leading, data warehouse with intel on over 3.5 million credit card-accepting businesses. As AIM Director, Istas focuses on data procurement and validation, client relations, and database management for nearly 30 merchant portfolios. Previously, Istas worked at Nebraska Medicine as a Medication Safety Data Analyst. Istas earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular Biology with a minor in Business from the University of Kansas. The Strawhecker Group (TSG) is a management consulting company focused on the electronic payments industry. For more information, visit, call (402) 964-2617, or email info@

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Strictly Business MAY 2017


Finding Safe & Quality Care for Your Loved Ones

CarePatrol of Nebraska

is part of the na�on’s largest senior care referral/placement network. Serving those who are searching for safe, quality care op�ons, CarePatrol of Nebraska u�lizes a proven process that helps families find the right fit for their loved one. All services provided by CarePatrol are free of Interview with Theron Ahlman, owner of CarePatrol of Nebraska charge, with the goal of connec�ng clients with resources in our community that will help to enhance their quality of life. GIVE US A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF WHAT YOUR COMPANY DOES. At CarePatrol of Nebraska, we help families in Lincoln, Omaha, and surrounding areas find Assisted Living, Independent Living, In-Home Care, Memory Care, and more. We thoroughly review critical details such as the state’s care and violation history before we ever recommend a community, then personally tour select communities with the families much like a realtor would show a home for sale. An integral part of our company values is to go above and beyond with the services we provide; we’ll even pick up family from the airport to go on a tour! We’re able to provide our offerings as a free community service because we are compensated by thousands of providers in our network. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN LINCOLN/OMAHA? I have lived in the Lincoln area my entire life, and launched CarePatrol here in Nebraska in January of 2016. We began with the Lincoln territory and recently expanded with the acquisition of the Omaha territory. WHO ARE THE OWNERS/IMPORTANT EXECUTIVES? My wife Brooke and I own the CarePatrol of Nebraska franchise, but for the most part I serve as the main company representative as she also owns and operates Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement. WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMPANIES SIMILAR TO YOURS? I’d say the biggest difference is that CarePatrol is focused on safety. Since the organization was founded by a social worker, a lot of our programs and ideas come from that mindset. We always review the state’s care & violation history, we have a medication reminder program and a food service program for those who live at home, and we have a website that helps families make sure the senior’s house is safe for them. Most placement agencies are all about just that, the placement, but we understand that some people want to remain at home as long as possible. Our philosophy is to make sure seniors are safe no matter where they choose to live. We’ve also established partnerships with many different businesses to help seniors pay for care. A part of these services is an Accredited Claims agent that helps with VA Aid & Attendance.

WHAT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES THAT YOUR COMPANY HAS FACED? Educating those in our community about CarePatrol, and more specifically, that a service like ours is available and it’s 100% free to those we help. Many people are used to going around to many different communities on their own, only to learn that they aren’t a good fit for a variety of different reasons. Now there’s help with narrowing the search and screening potential matches, which saves quite a bit of time by ensuring that key criteria are met before moving forward with that process. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENT AS A BUSINESS? Every senior we help place is important and helping them through a tough time is very rewarding. Each person is unique, and when an individual confidently picks his/ her new home and is hopeful about what the future holds, that’s a satisfying achievement for me. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST TURNING POINT IN YOUR BUSINESS? Purchasing the Omaha territory has been the biggest to date. We more than doubled the size of our business, and the Omaha market is so very different from Lincoln and the surrounding towns that we cover. With those two factors, there has been a bit of a learning curve to get adjusted. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT DOING BUSINESS HERE IN NEBRASKA? Those in the communities we serve are very friendly, clients and others in the industry alike. I enjoy working with nice people who also care about seniors. I do believe here in Lincoln and Omaha there are many people who are helping seniors for the right reason, and that isn’t the case in other cities. WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS/GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH? Most recently, I served on the committee for the Alzheimer’s Association Blondes vs. Brunettes football game to raise awareness and funds for the cause. I also help with NeFigure8n, whose goal is to help promote figure 8 racing in Nebraska. WHAT DO YOU SEE HAPPENING WITH THE BUSINESS IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS? I see us growing and adding more employees to keep up with the increasing demand. Although CarePatrol is still relatively new to the area now, as more people have become familiar with what we have to offer and utilized our services, word has already spread about how we are able to help seniors and their families. I expect this momentum to continue, and there are also some exciting things we’ll be rolling out, so stay tuned as I’m not able to announce them yet!

Contact Theron Ahlman today to see how CarePatrol can help your family! 402-580-2116 • MAY 2017 Strictly Business



Nebraskans Show Their Love on The Longest Day

Sponsorship Opportunities Available for Angels Among Us Golf Tournament

The Longest Day is all about love. Love for all of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. On June 21st, the summer s o l s t i c e, N eb ra s k a n s are teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Association as par t of a global movement to show their love, and to raise funds and awareness for care and support while advancing research toward the first survivor of Alzheimer’s.

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

During the month of June, people across the state will celebrate The Longest Day by selecting an activity they love, or an activity loved by those affected. From swimming, to playing bridge all day, to horseback riding or golfing, you’re limited only by your imagination! You can live anywhere and participate; join with friends and family across the country — or even the world — and form a team that is active from multiple locations. To register for The Longest Day, visit There is a $20 “activation donation” to jumpstart your fundraising. You can start or join a team, host an event, or register as an individual. To advance research and provide care and support, each participant is asked to raise funds for the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Do what you love, because you love what you do, and for those who can no longer do what they love.

Community Health Charities of Nebraska Adds Three Charities Community Health Charities of Nebraska (CHC-NE) has announced that three new member charities are now part of the fundraising federation: Team Jack Foundation, Autism Action Partnership and Nebraska Community Blood Bank. “The CHC-NE Board of Directors is very pleased to extend membership to these three charities,” said Craig Sall, State Board Chair. “The work they are doing is helping Nebraskans affected by chronic disease across the state, and we are honored to represent them in our workplace giving campaigns. Donors now have even more ways to make an impact when they give a gift though Community Health Charities of Nebraska.” CHC-NE is a fundraising federation of 22 premier non-profit health charities raising charitable contributions primarily through annual corporate employee giving campaigns. Other member health charities include: The ALS Association MidAmerica Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter, American Diabetes Association of Nebraska, American Lung Association in Nebraska, Arthritis Foundation Nebraska, Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Nebraska/ Iowa Chapter, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Nebraska Chapter, JDRF International - Heartland Chapter Lincoln & Greater Nebraska, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Nebraska Chapter, March of Dimes, Nebraska & Western Iowa Market, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Nebraska, National MS Society - Mid America Chapter, Nebraska AIDS Project, Nebraska Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation, Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association, Nebraska Kidney Association, Susan G. Komen® Great Plains and United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska. 32 Strictly Business MAY 2017

The event is scheduled for Thursday, May 25th, to be held at Tiburon Golf Club. Registration opens at 10:30am, featuring a shotgun-style 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 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.

American Heart Association: Heart Walk an Opportunity to Get Healthy For Good™ The American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good™ movement is rallying millions across the country to live life healthier lives, inspire lasing change and unify people around the simple idea that making a small change today can create a difference for generations to come. Now is the time to fight for lasting change. It’s time to put our health first and create a movement that truly lasts. It’s time that we commit to being Healthy For Good™. How can you get started? By participating in the Healthy For Good™ Heart Walk! Heart Walks across the country educate participants of the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and what we can do to prevent it. Funds raised support local medical research and educational programs of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Survivors of heart disease, stroke and related surgeries are honored the morning of the walk. Open to participants of all ages, here are a couple upcoming chances to lace up those sneakers and walk for a good cause: Saturday, May 6: North Platte Heart Walk, locally presented by Union Pacific Railroad, taking place at Cody Park. Learn more at Saturday, May 13: Omaha-Council Bluffs Heart Walk, locally presented by Physicians Mutual and Metro Credit Union and media sponsor 3 News Now, taking place at Miller’s Landing. Find out more at


FES Launches New Website to Reflect Expanded Services FES has recently redesigned its website; The new website better reflects the expanded services that FES now offers to nonprofit organizations, which include marketing and branding, website design and hosting, IT security, and network services. FES is a nonprofit foundation that provides support to communities and nonprofit organizations so they can focus on fulfilling their missions. For over 30 years, FES has served the needs of those who serve their communities such as hospitals, schools and other community-based nonprofit organizations. FES has expanded its services and scope, and now helps these organizations with more services they need to help them to better operate and promote themselves. FES now hosts over 600 websites in 18 states. It has rebranded multiple communities, and is currently helping Ohio public schools with IT security. If you would like more information about FES and its services, you can contact Dan Kunzman at or (402) 479-6663.

Horses of Honor® Omaha Raises Over $133K, Statues Moved to Permanent Homes Horses of Honor® Omaha, a tribute to Omaha’s fallen police officers, has entered a new and final phase of meaningful community impact. The eight life-sized horses – each thoughtfully designed by an Omahaarea artist – have been purchased, along with a statue of K-9 Kobus, in most cases by original sponsors. The total proceeds – $133,284 – will benefit the Omaha Police Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization working to ensure Omaha officers have the training and equipment they need to prevent crime, save lives and make Omaha a safer city. The Omaha Police Foundation Board of Directors and Police Chief Todd Schmaderer are in the initial stages of determining how to utilize the funds. Horses of Honor® Omaha debuted on May 20, 2016, exactly one year after the devastating loss of Detective Kerrie Orozco. The horses and K-9 Kobus statue were stationed along the Trail of Heroes throughout Omaha’s Turner Park. In late March, they were moved to CenturyLink Center Omaha and displayed in conjunction with the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping & FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals Omaha 2017. The statues are now at or en route to their final destinations, designated by their new owners: Detective Kerrie Orozco | Designed by Fredy Rincon | New location: CHI Bergan Mercy | Benefactor: CHI Health (original sponsor) Officer Kirk Tynes | Designed by Iggy Sumnik | New location: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center | Benefactor: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center (original sponsor) Sergeant Jason “Tye” Pratt | Designed by Ying Zhu in collaboration with Jordyn Pratt | New location: TBA | Benefactor: Omaha Steaks (original sponsor) Officer James B. Wilson Jr. | Designed by Paul Hundtoft | New location: Werner Headquarters | Benefactor: Werner (original sponsor) Horse in tribute to all fallen Omaha police officers | Designed by Trudy Swanson | New location: University of Nebraska at Omaha campus | Benefactor: the University of Nebraska at Omaha K-9 Kobus | Designed by De la Torre Art Design | Location: Turner Park | Benefactor: anonymous | Sponsored by Lozier Officer Greg Hamill | Designed by Jave Yoshimoto | New location: Omaha Police Central Headquarters | Benefactor: University of Nebraska Omaha College of Communication, Fine Arts & Media (original sponsor) Officer Torrey Gully | Designed by Glenda Musilek | New location: Horsemen’s Park | Benefactor: Horsemen’s Park | Sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield - The Lund Company Officer Dawn Pollreis | Designed by Bob Donlan | New location: Omaha Police Southwest Precinct | Benefactor: Cox Communications (original sponsor)

2017 Project Harmony Kids First Award Winners Announced At its annual luncheon, Project Harmony ( presented three awards honoring child advocates whose work has improved the lives of children within our community. These diverse activists have spoken up for children – they have put kids first. The Kids First Award was established by Project Harmony to honor and recognize an individual or group who have made significant contributions to the well-being of abused and neglected children and/or children at risk for abuse or neglect. The following were honored: Sgt. Marlene Novotny Sgt. Marlene Novotny – When it comes to collaboration, no one understands the importance more. She collaborates to keep domestic violence victims and their children safe, she collaborates to hold offenders accountable, she collaborates on training other professionals to have a trauma informed response and she collaborates in looking at our system response and figuring out how to make it better for all involved, including children. Sgt. Novotny’s experience and knowledge of child abuse from her time with the Child Molly Keane Victim Sexual Assault Unit has increased the law enforcement response to children and collaboration on these cases with other agency partners. Considering her caseload and how hard she works, she never questions the need to work together and share information. Molly Keane – Several years ago the Douglas County Attorney’s Office started a child abuse unit in an effort to specialize in child sexual assaults and child abuse cases and collaborate with other agencies more effectively. Molly has taken on a leadership role in this unit Tom Incontro since its inception and the results have been tremendous. Her experience, dedication and organization provide the consistency needed in charging and trying these very difficult cases. She is never afraid to proceed on a tough case in an effort to protect children. Molly has also been active in proposing legislation for the betterment of protecting all kids. Tom Incontro - In his role as Guardian Ad Litem, Tom has been a steadfast advocate for the best interests of the children he serves. While assuring that the needs of children are met, he is willing and dependable in his collaboration with other providers to assure all parties have a complete understanding of the case. Skillfully patient, Tom has a great ability to build rapport with the children leading to the best outcomes. Tom is to be commended for his tireless efforts and dedication to helping kids in need. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 33


Omaha Home for Boys’ Dunk Tank Making a Splash

Santa Monica’s 6th Annual Spring Fundraiser a Huge Success

The Omaha Home for Boys’ Dunk Tank is back for the third straight year in conjunction with Omaha Gives!, giving individuals a fun way to support the at-risk youth and young adults served by the Home.

Santa Monica is pleased to announce that its 6th annual spring fundraiser, hosted on Saturday, April 8th at The DC Centre in Omaha, was a huge success in raising funds and friends! Each year the event brings supporters of Santa Monica together for lunch, a testimonial, and a great auction. It continues to grow each year thanks to the continued support of those in the Omaha Metro.

On May 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Stinson Park some of Omaha’s leaders in business, community, media and philanthropy will be getting wet and wild in the dunk tank in an effort to raise money for Omaha Home for Boys. Dunk tank participants include Miss Douglas County 2017 Kogan Murphy, Jon Doyle of First National Bank, Bob Dalrymple of Bank of the West, KMTV 3 News Now reporter Lindsey Theis, several leaders from Pacific Life and many others. The full line-up can be found at To join dunk tank participants in supporting Omaha Home for Boys, visit Stinson Park on May 24 for your chance to dunk your favorite local celebrity or visit Proceeds from the event sponsored by Nebraska Realty Shawn M. Ilg and CD 105.9 FM will support the youth, young adults and families served by Omaha Home for Boys.

Nebraska Community Blood Bank: Help Make a Life-Saving Impact A new partnership was recently announced between Nebraska Community Blood Bank and Community Health Charities of Nebraska (CHC- NE), which now provides those in the Lincoln and Omaha areas with even more ways to support the cause. “The life-saving mission of Nebraska Community Blood Bank goes hand in hand with the other member charities, supporting those facing chronic illness,” said Ellen DiSalvo, President of Nebraska Community Blood Bank. “We are excited to have the opportunity to further improve lives and engage Nebraskans in sustaining our healthy community. Every day, we are inspired by the stories of how blood and platelet donations from our donors help sustain and save the lives of patients in need. We are excited to see our dedicated donors, proud to wear Nebraska Community Blood Bank t-shirts around the community advocating for blood donation. We are proud of our team members who ensure our organization is able to deliver live-saving blood to meet the needs of our hospital partners. And we are grateful for those who contribute through corporate giving campaigns with CHC-NE.” Community Health Charities has giving opportunities through partnership campaigns with United Way or through individual contributions. When you give to CHC-NE, its 22 member health charities receive a percentage of the dollars. If you are interested in continuing to make an impact on our communities’ quality of life on a regular basis, please contact Erica Busta, Community Outreach Representative, at or (402) 486-9412. 34 Strictly Business MAY 2017

Founded in 1972, Santa Monica has since partnered with over 2,700 women on their journey to recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Santa Monica provides a Halfway House program with a step down level of care. Reuniting families, reintegrating productive women to the community, and providing exceptional service has been the vision of Santa Monica and continues to be for the future. To find out more, call Heather Kirk at (402) 558-7088 or email or visit Santa Monica’s website at

Heartland Family Service Student League Graduates 54 The families o f t h e Heartland F a m i l y Service’ 2016-17 S t u d e n t L e a g u e c e l eb r a t e d g ra d u a t i o n on Sunday, April 2 at Happy Hollow Club. Heartland Family Service Friends Guild created the Student League to help families who actively support the social service community and who want to pass on that legacy to their children. Student League participants gain practical leadership experience and develop a personal commitment to volunteering through the mission and programs of Heartland Family Service (HFS). This year’s 54 students attended educational and service events from September through April for a total of 721 volunteer hours. Events included a session with the HFS grant team, where they wrote and presented a grant to a selection committee. They also participated in a poverty simulation and learned how to live on minimum-wage income and navigate government assistance programs. Students attended small group events which included holiday parties at the Generations Center, Family Works or Youth Links, as well as sorting items at the Sarpy Donation Center and domestic violence interactive activities that taught how HFS programs help survivors along the path toward healing. 2016-17 Student League Committee Members: Kristie Stienike, Chairman; Kjirsten Finnegan, Cindy Hanley, Teresa Johns, Kym Skretta and Colleen Woodward.


Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc. Receives Lincoln Financial Foundation Grant

Victory Riding Academy Announces Plans for New Indoor Riding Arena

Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc. has received a $25, 000 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation to provide financial education and asset building services to very low, and low-to moderate income persons in the Metropolitan Omaha area. The organization’s mission is to improve quality of life and eliminate poverty by helping people achieve housing stability and financial security, with its Financial Education Program teaching the fundamentals of personal finance. Workshops provide participants with the right tools and support to take control of their financial future. Within this program, youth that are aging out of foster care can participate in a match savings program. The goal of the Financial Education Program is to empower individuals and family to become financially stable.

Victory Riding Academy (VRA) has been utilizing the healing power of horses to enrich the lives of active duty Military, Veterans, Police, Fire, First Re s p o n d e r s , their families and the community for the past 4 years, weather permitting. Each year, the number of people whose lives are affected by PTSD increases, and VRA’s services are needed more and more on a consistent basis.

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. Advocating for those in the Omaha community for almost 50 years, Family Housing Advisory Services (FHAS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a comprehensive housing counseling agency. Find out more at

The current facility is forced to close when it becomes too muddy, snowy or cold. Because of the increasing need for assistance, VRA has committed to building a new indoor riding arena. Not only will this allow for programs to be offered on a more consistent basis, but year-round. In order to fulfill this mission, help is needed to build the indoor arena. VRA is looking for companies to partner with on the project for supplying excavation, concrete, electrical, plumbing, materials and labor. Please consider making either an in kind or monetary donation to the VRA building fund. To make a 100% tax deductible donation or for further information about this project, please visit, email or call Tony at (402) 201-1869.

Nebraska Community Foundation Travels to Ogallala Nebraska Community Foundation staff and board members from across the state convened in Ogallala, Neb. for a twoday quarterly board meeting, April 11-12. Quarterly meetings provide staff and board members an opportunity to discuss recent successes in NCF affiliated communities throughout the state, devise new ways to serve its 224 affiliated funds which directly benefit 251 Nebraska communities in 80 counties, and witness first-hand the extraordinary work of its community based affiliated funds, in this case, Keith County Community Foundation Fund (KCCFF). Since KCCFF began its work with Nebraska Community Foundation, local volunteers have raised over $1.6 million in charitable assets. The vast majority are held in endowments which will forever provide a steady flow of revenue to meet the needs and opportunities of the residents of Keith County. In the last 12 years, KCCFF has supported 93 projects and worthy causes including the Ogallala Library, Goodall Recreation Center, Ogallala Regional Arts Council and various funds to support local schools and students. Nebraska Community Foundation’s visit to Ogallala was highlighted by a guided bus tour of Keith County, hosted by KCCFF, which featured a variety of attractions that have received significant support from the fund (pictured here).

Imagine the Possibilities. HOME EQUIT EQUITYY LOAN or LINE OF CREDIT




Annual Percentage Rate (APR). New money only. Other offers available. This offer applies to home equity loans and lines of credit for single-family owner occupied homes. Estimated payment on a 60 month fixed $10,000 loan at 4.49% APR would be $186.32 per month. For a fixed rate, interest only line of credit, if you made only the minimum payment and took no other advances, it would take 5 years to pay off a credit advance of $10,000, at and APR of 4.49%. During that period, you would make 59 monthly payments ranging from $34.44 to $38.13 and one final payment of $10,038.13. Payment examples do not include amounts for insurance and taxes. Title search, Credit Report, and County Lien Recording fees, charged at time of closing. No other fees are charged unless an external market value, appraisal or title insurance are required. Consult your tax advisor to see if you can deduct the loan interest. Subject to Pinnacle Bank credit underwriting. Offer expires June 30, 2017.

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MLCDC Rebrands, Debuts New Logo & Website The Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) is excited to announce the recent unveiling of its new logo and launch of its website,! MLCDC’s goal with its collective rebranding efforts was to develop a fresh, appealing and marketable brand that will suit the purpose of the organization as it is grows with the economic development in the Greater Omaha area, and to showcase that effectively an online platform. MLCDC received a grant from the New Latino Fund in 2016 which allowed for the development of effective communications tools, both internally and externally. MaverickPR, a student-led Public Relations Firm at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, helped with the rebrand of the organization’s identity. Yanira Garcia, who was the chair of the Marketing and PR of the Board of Directors, was responsible for the implementation of the 2016 Marketing plan. Renier Navas, owner of Front & Custom WordPress Development, contributed to the project as the website developer. Special thanks is also extended to the Omaha Community Foundation for their support. Though MLCDC’s mission, vision and name stayed the same, its logo, website, and social media presence were improved for the betterment of our organization’s presentation, reputation, and presence in the community. To find out more, contact Marta Sonia Londoño Mejía, Executive Director, at (402) 933-4466 or mlondono@

Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha to Host 2017 CHANCE Luncheon Children’s Sc holarship Fund of Omaha’s 2017 CHANCE Luncheon will be held on June 7, 2017 at the CenturyLink Center from 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. for registration and seating. Drawing countless attendees each year, the CHANCE Luncheon celebrates the work of Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha (CSF), featuring an inspirational keynote speaker and presentation of Rising Star awards. Honorary Luncheon Chairs are Mike and Nancy McCarthy, and this year’s keynote speaker will be Cardinal Blase J. Cupich. Rising Stars awards are given to current CSF students who demonstrate leadership qualities, overcome obstacles, or foster community within their schools. Proceeds from the luncheon will provide funding for much-needed scholarships. CSF provides tuition assistance scholarships so children from low-income families can access the private or parochial K-8 education of their choice. CSF is destination neutral and has no religious affiliation - children attend approximately 80 different schools across Omaha and northeast Nebraska. A crucial piece of the CSF program is the commitment it requires from families. Each CSF family must contribute $500 toward their children’s education and children must achieve a 90% attendance rate. Since 1999, more than 31,000 scholarships have been awarded. Sponsorship opportunities are still available - please visit www.csfomaha. org/upcoming-events/ or call the CSF office at (402) 819-4990 to learn more or reserve your seat.

Help Us Drive Change! Don’t miss this sponsorship opportunity to show your support for the Open Door Mission! A United Automatic Doors & Glass

4th Annual Fall Classic Golf Tournament to benefit the Open Door Mission

Save the Date!

Monday, August 28, 2017 OAK HILLS COUNTRY CLUB

Call Mike Hannum at 402-980-8625 for information & sponsorship opportunities! 36

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Cutest Canine Contest to Support Nonprofit Dog Rescue Groups

Omaha Breweries Team Up With Drink Local Think Global to Give Back

Dog lovers unite! United Insurance Agencies & Affordable Auto Insurance, an independent Property & Casualty Insurance Agency headquartered in Omaha, NE, is holding a “Cutest Canine Contest” to benefit local nonprofit dog rescue groups. Local independent insurance agent Connie Rivera is unabashedly crazy for dogs. When she’s not busy shopping for home, auto, and commercial insurance rates for her customers, she’s on the phone looking for homes for unwanted or abandoned dogs. Working with such local area nonprofits such as Wag N Train Terrier Rescue, Ms. Rivera recognizes the financial challenges such as the cost of vaccinations, grooming, and other services provided while searching for foster families. In partnership with American Strategic Insurance Company, Connie and her partners at United Insurance Agencies & Affordable Auto Insurance decided to give a little something back to the help the dogs they all love so much. The contest, which runs throughout the month of May, is open to all interested dog lovers in the Metro area. Contestants can submit photos of their canine friends to the agency Facebook page:, where voters will be able to like their favorite picture through June 15th. The two photographs that receive the most likes will get to decide which Nebraska or Iowa non-profits will win the grand prizes of $1000 and $500 to the first and second place photographs. Local Omaha area businesses including Long Dog Fat Cat, Nature Dog, Clovis & Company, Le Peep, and Skyybox Bar & Grill will also be donating prizes for the top five dogs.

Drink Local Think Global, a local non-profit organization, hosted its second annual Omaha beer tasting event as a fundraiser to provide clean water in developing countries on April 29th at The Omar Bakery Building. The purchase of one ticket is enough to provide six people clean water for an entire year, and 100% of ticket sales from the well-attended event will go directly towards the cause.

Omaha Gives! Returns May 24th A record 920 community nonprofits will par ticipate in the fifth annual Omaha Gives! celebration on May 24, 2017. The 24-hour event, hosted by the Omaha Community Foundation, is the metro area’s only day of giving. The entire community is invited to celebrate—and give big—at This year marks the fifth Omaha Gives!, which is presented by American National Bank. Since its inception in 2013, the giving day has raised more than $27 million for nonprofit organizations throughout Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties. The minimum donation starts at $10—an amount that encourages anyone in the community to participate in the giving day, and for donors to be able to spread their gifts across organizations. Last year, nearly 19,000 individuals gave 46,251 donations during the charitable holiday. In total, Omaha Gives! raised almost $9 million in 2016 for 789 area nonprofits serving the metropolitan community. As in past years, gifts will be amplified through participation and hourly prizes. In recognition of Omaha Gives!’ fifth anniversary, the number of hourly prizes has been doubled this year to allow more nonprofits to benefit. Nonprofits can also raise challenge funds to match donor giving—last year organizations successfully raised more than $550,000 in challenge funds. Individuals can also support favorite nonprofit organizations by creating their own Cheer Pages to maximize giving amongst their personal networks. Leading the way for Omaha Gives!, the Omaha Community Foundation proud to let good grow in Omaha by helping more than 1,400 donors facilitate their charitable giving. Since the Foundation’s inception in 1982, donors have granted almost $1.4 billion to area nonprofits, supporting more than 3,000 local charities. For the most up-to-date information on Omaha Gives!, visit, or follow the Omaha Community Foundation on Facebook or Twitter.

The event featured beer from every brewery that is currently open in Omaha: Benson Brewery, Brickway Brewery & Distillery, Farnam House Brewing Company, Infusion Brewing Company, Lucky Bucket Brewing Company, Nebraska Brewing Company, Scriptown Brewery, Thunderhead Brewing Company and Upstream Brewing Company. Along with the beer tasting, there were two live musical acts, opener Jocelyn and headliner Carson City Heat, and local food truck vendors were on-site. D-Wayne, nationally known beatboxer and voice artist, was the emcee for the evening. To find out more about Drink Local Think Global, contact Brittany Johnson, Co-Founder, at or (402) 676-7405.

Domesti-PUPS Pet Therapy Certification Course Begins in June Domesti-PUPS has announced its upcoming Pet Therapy Certification Course will be held in early June! Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animalassisted activities. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders. Animal-assisted activities, on the other hand, have a more general purpose, such as providing comfort and enjoyment for nursing home residents. Great therapy dogs: • Adore all people and want to be with people more than anything else; • Are able to handle loud noises, commotion, and various people, places and things; • Are mentally sound, not overly sensitive, nor reactive to other dogs; • Have a solid level of obedience. The prerequisite for the Domesti-PUPS Pet Therapy Certification Course is the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen designation. If your dog has passed this test, then you most likely will be ready to begin the pet therapy certification course. Domesti-PUPS Pet Therapy Certification Courses will be held in the following cities: Lincoln, Omaha, Auburn, and St. Joseph, Missouri. If you feel your dog would be a good candidate, email info@ today to sign up! For more information please visit MAY 2017 Strictly Business 37


DodgeCares Donates Over $67K to Local Nonprofits

11th Annual Doolin Classic Golf Tournament to Benefit Grief’s Journey

DodgeCares, Inc. presented $67,323.00 to 15 local nonprofit organizations located throughout eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. The check presentation took place Wednesday, March 29 at the NP Dodge 108Dodge Sales Office in Omaha. Joining the DodgeCares Board of Directors were NP Dodge residential sales associates and employees who contributed throughout 2016 to the worthy charity program.

The 11th Annual Doolin Classic is set for Saturday, June 10th! The charity golf tournament will be held at Eagle Hills Golf Course in Papillion. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m., with a shotgun start set for 1:30 p.m. There will be dinner, prizes and raffles following the round of golf. Proceeds from this year’s event will help Grief’s Journey provide free peer support programs for grieving kids and families from the Greater Omaha Metro area.

DodgeCares, Inc. contributions are for the following nonprofit charitable organizations: Council Bluffs Housing Trust Fund; Habitat for Humanity of Omaha; Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity; Habitat for Humanity of Sarpy County; Heart Ministry Center; Joseph’s Coat/ Washington County Food Pantry; Lydia House; MOHM’s Place/ New Visions Homeless Services; Open Door Mission; Rebuilding Together Omaha; Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter; Stephen Center; Together Inc.; Wounded Warriors Family Support; and Youth Emergency Services. A 501(c)(3) exempt charitable organization founded in 2002 by agents of the NP Dodge Company, DodgeCares, Inc. collects and distributes tax-deductible contributions from NP Dodge sales associates, employees and the general public. The company’s continuous support of the community stems from the belief in people and nonprofit agencies that work to make Omaha and its surrounding areas an even better place to live, work and raise a family. For more information about DodgeCares, Inc. and its work in the region, you may contact Mary Robson Rensch, President of DodgeCares Board of Directors, at (402) 690-6279.


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The tournament format is a 4-person scramble; cost to participate is $85 per player. If you do not have a full foursome, feel free to register as an individual or with a smaller group and a team will be assembled for you. There are also sponsorship opportunities available. For questions about the tournament or sponsorship opportunities, or if you would like to volunteer, contact: Scott and Kathie McGill at (402) 850-6905 or at SCTTMCGILL@YAHOO.COM or Scott and Patty Collins at (402) 733-5329 or SCOTTCOLLINS007@MSN.COM. Grief’s Journey (formerly Ted E. Bear Hollow, Inc.) exists so that no one has to walk their grief journey alone. As the region’s cornerstone for grief support, Grief’s Journey provides free peer support groups and camps as well as training, education, and consultation throughout Nebraska and Iowa. For more information about Grief’s Journey, please visit


Save The Date: Take “the BALD & the BRAVE Challenge” on June 10th The JE Foundation is kicking off the first of many fundraising events surrounding the “2017 -Spirit of Courage ~ Celebrity Weekend” gala in August. Mar k your calendar and plan to attend “the BALD & the BRAVE Challenge!” on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The past 5 years the Council Bluffs Police, Fire, Public Works and City Departments, along with the community, have come together to help raise money for cancer patients in need! 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit cancer patients in need and families in our community through the Jennie Edmundson Foundation - Spirit of Courage Charitable Patient Care Fund. All are welcome to participate in this Charitable Patient Care Fundraiser - A Family-Fun Day! Now through June 10, donations will be raised in a variety of capacities by these groups, including, but not limited to: raffle tickets, celebrity bartending, “Brave the Shave” and a Strength Challenge TUG of WAR, which is open to the public - this event is held on the 100 Block of Broadway - Council Bluffs. For further information contact the Jennie Edmundson Foundation at (712) 396-6040 or visit the website at

Tommy Tree Project Delivers Seedlings to Omaha Metro 3rd Graders for 25 Years The Metro Omaha Builders Association’s Professional Wo m e n’s C o u n c i l a ga i n partnered with the PapioMissouri Natural Resources District to complete the Tommy Tree Project. The program began in 1992 with the goal to educate and inform 3rd grade students about the many reasons why we should conserve trees. This year’s tree, the Common Elderberry, was provided through a Tree Grant program with the Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District. Nearly 2,000 seedlings, valued at $10,000, were distributed this year. In the 25 years of Tommy Tree program, more than 30,000 seedlings have been distributed to thousands of 3rd grade students. In addition to the bagged tree, a “Tommy Tree” bookmark was included which emphasizes the Three “R’s”: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Trees were distributed to each school district in April, just in time for Arbor Day/Earth Day. The Metro Omaha Builders Association was chartered in 1946 and is a not-for-profit organization that was established to promote and protect various aspects of the home building industry. MOBA members are builders/developers and their trade partners who are dedicated to preserving integrity and lifestyle through high professional standards and sound business practices in the industry. MOBA is well known for producing the Street of Dreams, the Omaha Home Show, Remodel Omaha Tour and the seasonal Parade of Homes. For more information, visit

Omaha’s InfiNet Partners With NAM The team of IT experts at InfiNet ( are thrilled to be announcing their partnership with the Non-Profit Association of the Midlands ( Since its inception, InfiNet has been passionate about working with local non-profit organizations to help them make use of technology to support organizational goals. InfiNet’s partnership with the Non-Profit Association of the Midlands is a conscious step in strengthening their ability to be a rock-solid technology partner for local non-profit organizations. The Non-Profit Association of the Midlands (NAM) works to connect local non-profit organizations with information, education, advocacy and collaborative resources. InfiNet has extensive experience in providing managed technology services and consultation to nonprofit organizations across Nebraska. The InfiNet team operates on a strong belief in active community involvement and betterment, and is committed to working sideby-side with budget-conscious nonprofit organizations as a consultative partner who can provide discounted technology services and solutions.

Omaha Police Foundation Honors Officers, Announces 2016 Officer of the Year The Omaha Police Foundation presented its 17th annual Officer of the Year Awards Luncheon on April 20th at the Scott Conference Center. Twenty-seven officers and two units were recognized for their outstanding work in the prior year. Awards presented during the event were Chief of Police Letter of Commendation, Police Ribbon of Unit Excellence, Police Ribbon of Excellence, Gang Unit - Community Outreach Police Lifesaving Medal, and, the Department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor. For the first time, a Community Impact Award was also presented. Medal of Valor recipient Officer Robbie Goering-Jensen was selected from among the honorees as the 2016 Officer of the Year. In December of 2015, Goering-Jensen and Officer Anthony Abboud reported a house fire while on a call and then responded to assist. Upon arrival, Goering-Jensen was advised that several people were still inside the home. Officer Robbie He entered the burning house three times until Goering-Jensen everyone was rescued. For his actions in saving three lives that day, Goering-Jensen was awarded the Lifesaving Medal and the Medal of Valor. For his heroic efforts at great personal risk to himself, he was also honored as the 2016 Officer of the Year. The Community Impact Award was presented to the Omaha Police Department Gang Unit for its efforts to clean our streets of hundreds of dangerous and violent criminals and to mentor and support local at-risk youth. Lieutenant Ken Kanger accepted the award on the Unit’s behalf. In their honor, a cash donation of $1,000 was provided to the Gang Unit’s youth outreach programs. Since 1999, the Omaha Police Foundation (OPF) has promoted and strengthened the Omaha Police Department by providing financial support and creating community partnerships to ensure it has highly qualified officers who have the training, equipment and technology needed to prevent crime, save lives and make Omaha a safer community. Supervised by a 16-member board of directors, OPF has raised over $4 million to fund a variety of initiatives not covered by funding from the City of Omaha. For more information on the Omaha Police Foundation, visit MAY 2017 Strictly Business 39


Achieves its Highest Rank in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Concordia University, Nebraska continues its climb up the “Best Regional Universities— Midwest” category of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. In the 2017 edition, Concordia Nebraska is ranked in the top 40 of 163 universities listed in its category, an increase of 14 spots in the last four years. Concordia Nebraska has been ranked in the top tier of the annual report for 14 consecutive years. For the first time, Concordia University, Nebraska appeared on the Great Schools, Great Prices list compiled by U.S. News & World Report. This list evaluates which schools offer the best value, comparing academic quality to the cost of attendance. Concordia ranked 14 in the Midwest region. In addition, Concordia once again earned a place on the list of A+ Schools for B Students. “Concordia strives to provide an excellent, Christ-centered education that families can afford,” said Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, President of Concordia University, Nebraska. “It is an honor to be recognized nationally for both the quality and overall value of our academic programs, students, faculty, staff and alumni that contribute to the Concordia experience here and in life beyond graduation. We celebrate the university’s highest ranking to date and appreciate all who have served diligently to make our top tier ranking a reality.” Criteria evaluated in the U.S. News rankings include academic reputation, retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni support. An institution classified as a regional university provides a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. Concordia Nebraska offers more than 75 undergraduate majors and


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programs, as well as master’s degrees in multiple areas, including education, public health, human services and business administration. Concordia’s incoming class has 385 undergraduate students registered as of Sept. 7, 2016, leading to a full-time undergraduate enrollment of 1,194 students on the Seward campus. In addition, the university’s College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education has reached 1,020 full-time and part-time adult learners registered for classes as of Aug. 30, 2016. Concordia Nebraska is the highest ranked higher education institution in the Concordia University System, which comprises nine colleges and universities affiliated with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is also the highest ranked school in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Finally, the university has the highest alumni giving rate, 21 percent, among the top 50 schools in its U.S. News category. The Great Schools, Great Prices list takes into account “a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2015-2016 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.” U.S. News ranked only schools in or near the top half of their categories, considering “the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.” Concordia University, Nebraska ranked number 14 for the Midwest region. The A+ Schools for B Students list identifies schools that “admit a meaningful proportion of applicants whose test scores and class standing put them in non-A territory,” according to U.S. News & World Report. The publication says the schools on the list give non-A students

a “shot at being accepted and thriving” and encourages students looking at these schools to display their individuality and seriousness of purpose as they apply. “Honors like the U.S. News & World Report ranking demonstrate that what many students and parents are looking for in a college can easily be found right here at Concordia,” said Aaron Roberts, director of admission at Concordia Nebraska. “Our commitment to providing financial aid to 100 percent of students combined with the quality academic programs and enriching, Christ-centered support that Concordia provides ensures our students get the best value possible from their college experience.” Complete rankings from U.S. News & World Report are available online at colleges. The print edition of the “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook is now available through retail outlets as well. Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Nebraska, that currently serves more than 2,600 students. Concordia offers more than 75 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.

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Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Earns Highest Designation The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Nebraska Medicine has again been recognized as a level 4 epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, providing the highest level of care to patients with seizures and epilepsy. Level 4 centers use a multi-disciplinary approach and offer intense neuro-diagnostic monitoring and treatment forms including medications and surgical options. It is currently the only hospital in the state to be a level 4 center for both adults and children. Patients have access to specialty medications, social work, nurse case management, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, registered dietician-provided diet options and community resources. In addition to offering the latest in surgical therapy, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Nebraska Medicine also has the largest neurostimulation program in the region. It’s the only epilepsy center in Nebraska and Iowa to offer Responsive Neurostimulation Therapy. The accreditation certifies the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Nebraska Medicine as a level 4 epilepsy center for both 2017 and 2018.

Workshop Helps Families Deal With Challenges of Caregiving An upcoming workshop will help family caregivers deal with a challenge that often faces those caring for loved ones. The Saturday, May 6, workshop will help participants discover ways to cope with “Ambiguous Loss” and deal with the feelings they experience when a loved one is physically present, but there’s a psychological absence. This can occur when a loved one has dementia or a traumatic brain injury. Ambiguous loss can also result when there’s a psychological presence but a physical absence, such as in adoption or when grown children move away. The 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. session will explore topics such as what family means, how to develop resiliency and how to become more comfortable dealing with the uncertainty associated with ambiguous loss. Nancy Flaherty, MS, president of Flaherty Senior Consulting and a certified dementia practitioner, is the presenter. The workshop takes place at the Servite Center of Compassion, 7400 Military Ave., Omaha. Registration fee is $20, and scholarships are available. To sign up for the workshop, contact Sister Margaret Stratman at (402) 951-3026 or email

Local Concussion Detection Startup Selected for National Demo Day Avert, an Omaha company developing a concussion-detection device, was one of just 40 university startup companies selected for a national demo day in April. Based on research by Nick Stergiou, Ph.D., director of UNO’s Department of Biomechanics, the device uses a person’s balance as a way to measure brain health. All healthy people make constant, subconscious adjustments to their balance as they stand in place. Dr. Stergiou’s innovative approach was to find a way to recognize the hidden patterns in those adjustments. After a person suffers a brain injury, such as a concussion, it changes the pattern of those subconscious adjustments. Even when a person exhibits no outward symptoms, Avert’s technology can still detect the injury without relying on subjective questionnaires or clinical judgements. Using the device would be similar to standing on a bathroom scale for about 30 seconds. Hosted by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, the University Startups Conference and Demo Day began the threeday event on April 18. The event brought together more than 300 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry professionals, angel investors, and corporate executives, among others.

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A startup accelerator, Academic Technology Ventures, is building a new biomedical startup company with an invention created at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The startup, HealthCheck, is based on a biomarker discovered at UNMC that could help doctors and cardiologists more accurately diagnose different types of coronary artery disease. HealthCheck’s blood test could give healthcare providers the insight to predict which patients are likely to develop the more dangerous, unstable form of coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the accumulation of plaques inside the arteries. Recent research has shown that virtually everyone, regardless of age, has some form of the disease. Some people have a stable, nonlife-threatening form of the disease. Others have the more dangerous, unstable version. Telling the difference between stable and unstable coronary artery disease has been a stubborn riddle of medicine until a trio of UNMC scientists developed the new blood test. The inventors are Geoff Thiele, Ph.D., a professor of internal medicine; Michael Duryee, a research coordinator in the College of Medicine; and Dan Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., a professor and practicing cardiologist at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine. Additional capital still needs to be raised to support further testing, which will be used to secure FDA clearance. HealthCheck will hopefully enter the market within the next two or three years.

Rheumatology Care Expands in Nebraska The Rheumatology Research Foundation ( recently announced that its largest fundraising campaign, Journey to Cure, has funded 14 opportunities for rheumatology health professionals in Nebraska. The funding helps to recruit and train more rheumatology professionals in the state, which currently has only 31 board-certified rheumatologists. Of the Foundation awards received in Nebraska over the last five years, three UNMC students and residents received Foundation funding for preceptorships, or one-on-one, real world learning experiences with an established mentor in the field. Another three students from Nebraska received scholarships to the American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting. The scholarship is intended to encourage future doctors to consider a rheumatology career in areas that are underserved by rheumatology professionals. Four UNMC fellows were trained with support from the Foundation’s fellowship training awards, and another four UNMC faculty members received Foundation funding for research into rheumatic diseases. Nebraska awardees were among more than 900 rheumatology professionals nationwide that received funding from the Rheumatology Research Foundation’s Journey to Cure campaign. The campaign set out to raise $60 million to support the Foundation’s mission. By the end of 2016, the Foundation surpassed its goal, raising a grand total of $61,430,466 with support from 3,869 donors. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 41

Although our mothers are as important to our own lives as, let’s say, the sun is to life on Earth, we may not get the chance to show it every day. And while it’s entirely more likely than not that we’ll all seize the opportunity to do so on more than one occasion throughout the course of an entire year, there is a special day that’s designated for this purpose This year, that day is Sunday, May 14th – Mother’s Day is almost here, and it’s a big deal, so best to plan accordingly! With the spring weather upon us, if it cooperates for the weekend, why not consider taking advantage? Here are a few “suggestions for the season” that are perfect for treating Mom, some of which are options where everyone can get their spring fever fix too. Grill Out Gathering together for a meal is a celebratory tradition for many of us, and grilling season is finally here! The backyard, the park, the lake - all set the scene for an enjoyable time spent with Mom. (Since all of the restaurants in town are jam-packed on Mother’s Day, grilling is quite the attractive alternative to fighting the crowds too.) The only other decision you’ll need to make is what’s on the menu, which should, of course, include all of her favorite things. Just Good Meat is your source for all things grilling, offering select cuts of steak, a variety of fish and specialty meats, chicken done just about any way you can think of, and plenty of homemade sides to compliment your entrée choices. “Our filets seem to be one of our most popular items with the ladies, so

we always offer great specials on them for Mother’s Day,” says Sean Fuller of Just Good Meat. “The spring weather during the month of May is perfect for grilling out, and between the two holidays of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, everyone is spending quality time with family and friends. All of that combined makes getting together for a barbecue the way to go! If you’re aiming to impress, our T-bones and ribeyes will fit the bill nicely and will be on sale too. Speaking of specials, we bring back our Sweetheart Package especially for Sean Fuller Mother’s Day, which includes two 5 oz. filets, Just Good Meat two twice-baked potatoes, and two 7-8 oz. lobster tails for just $42.99. Stop in and let us help you put together a delicious meal that the special mothers in your life are sure to love!” Go Out It pretty much goes without saying that there are wonderful options for treating Mom to be found all around the Omaha Metro. If going on a local adventure out and about is the way you plan to spend your time together, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. Oftentimes special occasions call for hitting the town, and this one is no exception. Especially if the weather is gorgeous as is mostly the case now we’re past the chilly and gloomy “April Showers,” which brings us to the sunny and warm “May Flowers” (for the most part at least…fingers crossed!). Whether she’s the type who would enjoy something low-key that provides the


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opportunity to relax and unwind, prefers the excitement of something more up-tempo, or is somewhere in between the two extremes, you’re the one who knows her best so it’s up to you to deliver on making the arrangements for something special! Reminiscing on fond memories and making new memories is the way to make a mother’s heart full, that’s for sure. Going to see a movie in the theater together is a family pastime for many. When it comes to nostalgia, movies you watched together growing up tend to have a lot of sentimental value too. On Mother’s Day, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be presenting a 90’s classic, and has an entire special event planned to go along with it! “As is a tradition with every Mother’s Day that passes at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, we will be holding a special Mrs. Doubtfire Family Brunch on Mother’s Day morning that’ll be a guaranteed hit,” says Derek Dillon of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Liquid Sunshine Taproom. “Outside of that, you could attend any movie she’s been excited to see. As a treat during the show, get some champagne for that special lady or go all out and do mimosas. It’s a given that all mothers should be cherished, but this is a day that she shouldn’t have to Derek Dillon Alamo Drafthouse Cinema worry about a thing. A unique thing you’ll find when you take her and the family out to the Alamo is that everything is covered. Entertainment, food, drinks and atmosphere - we are all-inclusive when it comes to a day out.” If traveling a little further to a scenic destination sounds more appealing, Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm fits the bill nicely. According to Connie Van Nostrand of Lied Lodge, who provides a few great ideas, “Mom will love the Mother’s Day Grand Brunch Buffet at Lied Lodge’s Timber Dining Room. The menu features garlic-studded whole sirloin, shrimp cocktail, breakfast favorites, specialty desserts, and much, much more. There’s also live piano music. You’ll want to make a reservation at (402) 873-8740. Connie Van Nostrand Spa treatments make wonderful gifts and the Lied Lodge Spa at Lied Lodge has a full menu of offerings including mud therapy body masks, deep tissue and Swedish massages, and bamboo fusion and heated lava shell treatments. Go to liedlodge. org to schedule an appointment or for more information. Or, take Mom on a nature hike filled with flowering trees and fresh air at Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure. It’s a short walk through the trees from Lied Lodge. All of the activities will keep the kids busy and provide hands-on fun for the whole family. Be sure to stop by the Apple House Market for shopping, wine tasting, or an apple cider slushie! You can also stroll the grounds of Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and visit the 52-room, historic Arbor Lodge Mansion. On Mother’s Day, the mansion will host a Century of Fashion, presented by Sue McClain and sponsored by Humanities Nebraska. Make a weekend of it with an overnight stay at Lied Lodge! Mom can relax by the indoor pool, experience the hot tub and sauna, and enjoy a meal or a glass of wine on the Sunset Terrace.” She also notes, “Moms love it when you show you care by simply thinking ahead. That could mean being prepared with a thoughtful gift, such as a spa treatment, or arranging for a fun experience, such as a beautiful walk along the trails. Think about what she enjoys the most and make her the priority.” Go ALL Out As far as gifts go, of course there are the things that she’s had her eye on or would love to receive for Mother’s Day. But, instead of stuff, what about giving her the gift of an experience? The gift of getting away from it all and living that vacation life is about as good as it gets. The timing couldn’t be more perfect either.

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Book today! 402.905.2050 | 12750 Westport Pkwy | La Vista, NE 68138 “Wherever it is she would love to go and whatever it is she would love to do, we can help you make her dream a reality!” says Kim Winberg of The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. “Working closely with our vendors, we have the ability to go above and beyond to plan the perfect trip for Mom. Having all of the travel arrangements made for her is such a great surprise. We can work together to take care of all the trip details so all Mom has to do is show up and enjoy her seamless vacation, with or without the kids. Just Kim Winberg pick a cruise, an all-inclusive resort, a spa in the The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company Southwest, or a trip to a place she’s wanted to see all her life – then send her on her way! Not sure where Mom would like to go or she’s not one for surprises? We also offer gift certificates, allowing her to choose the destination of her dreams! We’ll work with your budget to find the best deal or present you options to choose from in that price range. We also offer interest-free payments, group payment options, and the gift certificates work nicely if you’re contributing to a travel fund with siblings and want to present them to her as a gift on Mother’s Day. With over 100 years’ experience, our travel experts can create the perfect getaway for her to relax and unwind or a fabulous family vacation that she’ll never forget.” There you have it, a few different suggestions that you can still incorporate into the plans to shower all of your favorite ladies who also hold the title of “mother” with affection, gratitude, gifts, time together – all of the really good stuff worthy of their contributions to your life. For the mothers who have passed, we pay tribute – you are always in our hearts. For the mothers who are still with us, we celebrate and share the day together - every minute spent together and hug exchanged is a great blessing and privilege. For all of the mothers, everywhere - you are loved and appreciated, on Mother’s Day and every day. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 43

EXPERTS WANTED Strictly Business Magazine is seeking experts to feature in print, online, in person & on social media in 2017. We are looking for experts and professionals in healthcare, financial, trade, retail, construction, government and business. People with outstanding knowledge and expertise in their field to advise our readers. If you are an expert and desire to increase your visibility and credibility in the Omaha marketplace, we would like to talk to you and your organization.

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Together, We Can Do Anything! Programs & Services

Youth & Family Resources Specialized Program Spotlight: Children’s Respite Care Center Here in the Omaha Metro area, there’s so much that exists to support the diverse needs of youth in our community. For almost a decade now, we’ve been honored to be able to shine a light on many of these wonderful businesses and organizations, sharing unique opportunities with our readers. In order to take full advantage of everything that the community has to offer, especially the things that would make the most difference in the life of your child, it is all about connecting with the right resources. This month, we’re proud to highlight the Children’s Respite Care Center. Children’s Respite Care Center (CRCC) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that focuses on the holistic development of children with special needs. All offerings are designed to evoke maximum potential and foster the development of intellectual and social competence. It is the sole facility of its kind in the state of Nebraska. CRCC provides comprehensive services and family support for children with special medical, developmental, cognitive and impairment issues. Its expert multidisciplinary team of nurses, mental health therapists, occupational therapists (OT), physical therapists (PT), speech therapists (SP), and nurturing classroom teachers and staff combine their skills to provide an array of programs that enable each child to reach his or her maximum potential. “Children’s Respite Care Center (CRCC) offers specialized services for clients ages six weeks to 21 years old, year-round,” explains Amber Pullmann, Southwest Site Director at CRCC. “CRCC’s mission to provide a place where parents find hope and children thrive gives parents peace of mind that their child is being well cared for and challenged. We strive to offer programs that allow for children with special needs to have some of the same experiences typical children do, just with a little more support as needed. Amber Pullmann Programs at CRCC support not just the child, CRCC but the whole family. For example, our Care Coordination Services are provided free of charge to any family with a child/youth who has special health care needs in Nebraska. Care Coordination assists families in many ways, including where to find resources to meet their child’s health care needs, finding funding for those who struggle with the cost of services and can even help individuals transitioning to adult services. Youth and families who utilize our Day Program Services, whether through our Summer Camp, Before and After School Program, Behavioral Health Day Services, Early Childhood Special Education, or Sensory Adapted Classroom, receive services that are also supportive of their medical or behavioral needs. Our team of pediatric specialists supports children and youth by offering an inclusive environment where kids can be kids. We value collaboration with our comprehensive approach to promoting the children’s health and development. We accomplish this through working as a team with the family, the medical professionals, school-based services and other providers important to the child’s well-being.” Children’s Respite Care Center recently announced the opening of the newest program in its line-up of comprehensive care services, a Sensory Adapted Classroom. The Sensory Adapted Classroom has been designed to support children ages five to twelve who are often overstimulated in busy settings and need support to participate in groups. The Sensory Adapted Classroom uses the ALERT Self-regulation Program and

• Nursing Services • Day Program (including our Sensory Adapted Classroom and Summer Camp) • Behavioral Health Day Services • Weekend Respite Care • Rehab Therapy-Speech, Feeding & Swallowing, Occupational, and Physical • Mental Health Therapy (Individual, Family and Group) Our door is always open, contact us today! 2010 N 88th Street, Omaha, NE | (402)-496-1000 5321 S 138th Street, Omaha, NE | (402)-895-4000

specially-trained occupational therapists to design individualized sensory plans for each child. The program can be modified to meet various developmental and communicative needs for any child enrolled. Child-specific plans are used to guide the child’s engagement and interactions in the classroom. Learning sensory regulation strategies helps the child to better attend to tasks, learn, relax and play. “The children in the SAC program are taught how to know if their bodies are acting too fast, too slow or if they are ready for learning,” Linda Shadoin explains Linda Shadoin, Vice President of CRCC Day Services at CRCC. “When children can tell that their motor is running too fast, they can choose one of the many tools that work for them to calm their motor down. The fun, kid-friendly language and visual prompts help the children learn, too.” As for what’s coming up at CRCC, Pullman also mentions a few big things on the horizon. “We will kick off our annual Summer Sensations Program on May 30th with the theme of Soaring to New Heights. It will be jam-packed with activities about flight as campers will learn about weather, space, flying creatures and famous pilots. Summer Sensations camp enrolls school-aged children from six to 21. Our campers have fun making new friends while staying active with special on-site visitors and weekly field trips. Our Early Childhood Special Education programming for clients five and under will also continue throughout the summer. As was already covered, we are thrilled to be able to offer a new opportunity to support families in our community with the Sensory Adapted Classroom. It is now open for children needing this type of compassionate and specialized environment through before and after school care during the school year as well as full-time and part-time care during the summer months. Inquiries into all of our programs can be made via our website at or by contacting our Care Coordination office at (402) 895-4000.” In closing, she offers the following advice: “I encourage parents to find a program that supports their child/youth’s growth by providing a loving and nurturing setting where the experiences they will have foster a sense of trust and self-esteem. Activities and programs should help children learn about expressing themselves, interacting with others, building relationships, and learning about the world around them. These opportunities should allow children to explore what is around them and become more independent with each new discovery they make. Any program should encourage family involvement and provide an environment where parents and caregivers are always welcome. Most of all, find something that your child/youth will enjoy because the best way for him/her to learn and grow is by having fun.” We applaud the amazing work being done at CRCC and encourage those interested in learning more to check them out online contact them directly. There are two locations: Northwest CRCC – 2010 N. 88th Street in Omaha – (402) 496-1000; and Southwest CRCC & Therapy Center – 5321 S. 138th Street – (402) 895-4000. MAY 2017 Strictly Business 45

Building Your Dream Home

Building Your Dream Home When it comes to investing in the perfect place to call home, there are two options on the table: build or buy. For those who decide to embark on the first path and build new, there will be many decisions to be made ahead. At the end of the process, the reward is a finished product that’s a direct reflection of the people who it was created for and who played an active part in helping to create it themselves. With everything completely customized based on the preferences of the homeowner, this is ideal for those who would rather plan for the construction of their own dream home instead of taking their chances on finding it while navigating the tides of the current real estate market (where it’s not uncommon for homes to be listed and sold on the same day). {Builder Selection} If you’re going to proceed with building a home, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to enlist the services of a local home builder. While there are a limited number of other options one

Update Your Home to


might consider depending on the circumstances, this is the most popular for a good reason. There’s already a process in place for everything that needs to happen along the timeline from start to finish, and you’re guided through it step by step. There are production home builders and custom home builders in the area, and both are able to deliver quality homes. When deciding between the two options, it largely depends on how many choices you wish to make and how much design input you’d like to have during the construction process. You might be asking yourself, “What’s the difference?” In short, it’s as follows: Production builders are simultaneously building a community of homes based on a library of floor plans, each with a limited array of options to personalize the home. Custom builders typically create one-of-a-kind homes, offering a wide range of design choices and with each built on a single lot.

With production builders, you’ll commonly find that the home and land are offered together as a bundled package. There is a range of house plans to choose from, and buyers are able to select their preferences in several key categories. Of the selection of homes on the menu, there are options priced for first-time, move-up, and luxury buyers. Alternatively, with custom builders, it’s exactly like it sounds – everything about the home is built to the exact specifications of the buyer. Homes can be built on land you own or acquire, and you can supply a floorplan or commission one to be drawn up. You might choose to work with a separate architect or builder, or hire a company with design-build capabilities. There are advantages associated with both, it’s just a matter of deciding which is best for you.

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As far as the professional you choose to perform the job, general contractor or builder who is a teacher—who can educate on the sequence and steps necessary to make building a home happen— is definitely someone you want to work with on the project. It is wise to interview different builders and find one that you communicate well with, who is flexible and who is able to provide an accurate estimate of final cost. Most builders offer at minimum a one year warranty, and most have a clean-up crew that performs a final detail cleaning before the home is occupied as well as a crew that goes through the house and tests all lights, outlets, appliances, fireplaces, sprinklers, and so on to ensure proper operation. A good builder spells out his/her warranty, detailing exactly what is and is not covered. A booklet or workbook for the first-time homebuilder to use as a guide is also a very valuable resource. {Financing} When planning to build a home, you’ll not only be working closely

with a builder/general contractor/subcontractors/etc. but also with an experienced lender who will lead you through the financing process each step of the way. The process starts with getting pre-approved for long-term financing. Once that is in place, it’s a matter of having the discussion with the builder to determine who will be taking out the financing for the new construction and putting together a contract. If the builder takes out the construction loan, the banker will work to get the buyer approved for a purchase transaction once the house is completed. If the buyer/borrower takes out the construction loan, the banker will work with them during the construction process and get them prepared to have their long-term financing set up as soon as their house is built. Upon completion of the construction, the banker will ensure that long-term financing is in place and coordinate to pay off the construction loan. At the start of the process during pre-qualification, the lender will look at the buyer’s credit, down payment, monthly obligations, income, etc. This will allow the financial institution to determine not only if they can get the client approved for financing, but even more importantly, to make sure that the client is comfortable with their new house payment obligation. This is essential since this monthly payment will likely be around for the next 15 to 30 years. Mortgage rates continue to be relatively low, which benefits those building as well as buying. The most obvious advantage to building is that you are assured to get the floor plan and features you want. However, a compromise on location is common, as you may not be able to build in a neighborhood that is close to the area of town that you want to be in based on location near schools, work, shopping, friends and family, etc. As far as costs go, it can be more expensive to build than to buy, but not always. The initial costs for new construction may be higher, but you can expect minimal expenses when it comes to repairs, decorating, and general upkeep for an extended period of time. With an existing home, there will likely be the need for replacing the roof, windows, utilities, etc. With a newly built home, everything is built to current code, and therefore should be less expensive to heat and cool. Most people do not realize that Homeowners Insurance is typically less expensive on a newly built home as well.

If your budget allows, you can include every item on your wish list - i.e. three-car garage, drop zone, open floor plan, walk-in pantry - instead of settling for a home that may only have a few of those things. Many are also choosing to build their new homes with outdoor living space, extending interior design to the home’s exterior features. Along with sizeable decks and patios, the addition of outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, and spaces designed for mounting a TV and integrating technology are now prevalent. As far as the key exterior features of a new home, not accounting for aspects of the property itself such as the installation of landscaping or outdoor entertaining areas, you’ll be deciding on the siding, roofing, windows and doors. “Windows really accent the aesthetic of a new home while making it as energy efficient and secure as possible,” advises Jason Olberding of J-Tech Construction and J-Tech Solar. “Seamless siding has also become very popular here in Nebraska due to its durability and energy efficiency. We own our own siding machine, an investment that allows us to manufacture the siding on the job site. Our approach is to custom fit the home so there are no wasted materials and Jason Olberding the client gets a first class product, and J-Tech Construction that’s not something you’ll commonly find and J-Tech Solar with other siding companies here in the market. Also important to note regarding siding, although some products claim to be maintenance free, that is not always the case. I’d recommend going with a seamless metal alloy siding as opposed to vinyl or pre-painted cement board. This will prove to be a better investment down the road, and one that you will be thankful you made up-front.

Although construction loan rates will vary from one lender to another, usually the difference is minimal. Always keep in mind that the typical construction loan process is approximately six months long and during this period the customer only pays interest on the balance that has been drawn upon. Do not get overburdened with the construction loan itself--the bigger financial impact will come with the long-term financing. As such, look for a lender that has your best interests at hand for the long term. {Realtor} Although you’ll be in the capable hands of the professionals we’ve already mentioned, the purchase of a home that will be built especially for you often seems more complicated and intimidating than the purchase of an existing home listed on the market. Thus, it’s important to work with a real estate agent that’s experienced with the specifics of building a new home. Most builders will have an agent, or a team of agents, that represent them as the seller’s agent. However, it’s prudent for a buyer to enlist the services of an agent independent of the builder to represent them in the transaction. While the seller’s agent will be a great resource to utilize during the process, as they are the most knowledgeable about their client, a buyer’s agent is the one who will ultimately be responsible for looking after your best interests, because you are their client. {Design Features} When you build a house, you have the opportunity to select your favorite (fill in the blank) – you name it, there’s probably a host of options to pick from during the process of assembling the key components that will come together to form your dream home.

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MAY 2017 Strictly Business


Speaking of investments, a home is one of, if not the most, expensive things you’ll purchase in an entire lifetime. Make sure to do your research before entering any contracts, choose companies that are as dedicated to seeing your dreams come to life as you are, and stay involved during the process!” Basically, when you build a new home, your home is personalized to your tastes and likes in every possible way, inside and out. It’s an opportunity most homeowners would love to have – so by all means, take advantage! Now that we’ve talked a little bit about the outside, let’s move on to the interior design. Tile, for instance, is something that’s found in just about every home, but that will vary in each based on design preferences. It can be incorporated throughout an entire home or just in certain areas, and can be selected based on options available from your builder or can be completely customized. “As a part of our core offerings at Modern Concepts Tile, we perform custom tilework during new home construction,” says Danny Reynolds of Modern Concepts Tile. “By trade, we are artists and craftsmen, so we are involved with both the design and installation of our custom projects. On the design end, we specialize in the selection of materials, sizes, finishes, and colors of tile to achieve unique or traditional patterns. Just as important, we are skilled and experienced when it Danny Reynolds comes to the appropriate techniques used Modern Concepts Tile for installation. Our work is commonly found in prominent, high-traffic or well-used areas of the home; kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces in living areas, entryways and mud rooms, and flooring throughout. As such, the end result needs to be attractive but also functional and durable to stand the test of time and use. While we have the ability to do all sorts of projects involving tile in a residential setting, we love those that challenge us to get creative and allow us to add in personalized touches for the homeowner. There is so much you can do with tile! If you’re looking for inspiration or suggestions, we’re happy to help, and we’ve certainly got a lot to offer.” Mike Prendergast of Modern Concepts Tile further advises, “As far as trends go, in tilework, it’s all about ‘bigger and better’ – the tile is getting bigger and the choices are getting better. For flooring this is especially true - 12x24” tile is about as low as it goes anymore. You can even get thin porcelain tile as large as 8x10’. There are so many finishes to choose from, with wood plank tile still very much on-trend. It’s amazing how much it really does look like wood flooring; it still fools a lot of Mike Prendergast people even though it’s been around for a while now! Offering the beauty of wood Modern Concepts Tile with the durability of tile, it lasts much longer and doesn’t require as much regular upkeep. Neutrals – with or without a pop of color – are still dominating color palettes, with clean whites and greyscale being the most popular choices. Vertical designs are gaining popularity over horizontal, and different shapes of tile are being incorporated into mosaics, so the design is not limited by the use of squares. Overall, homes that are being built have more ‘WOW’ factor than ever before when it comes to incorporating custom tilework into any number of different features. If you want to incorporate custom tilework into the plans when building a new home, I’d advise you to get that subcontractor involved early on in the process. At that point, there’s still


Strictly Business MAY 2017

the flexibility to make additions or changes to the design as needed, and it will also help with coordination of project timing and workflow later on down the line. We can provide plenty of recommendations for homeowners who want to add that ‘special something.’ Use of tile to elevate the design of a home provides more enjoyment of it for years to come, and we’d love the opportunity to show you what we can do!” Also weighing in on what’s been popular for new home construction and residential projects as far as tile products go, Jason Tidblom of Ceramic Tileworks Center further advises, “Porcelain coverings for flooring really add aesthetic appeal to a home, but aside from that, demand is there because of its durability. When deciding on the finishes in your new home, keep in mind that investing quality and longevity of the materials used in high-traffic or well-used areas is important. Porcelain is Jason Tidblom widely considered to be the most durable Ceramic Tileworks Center flooring covering of the bunch, with many different styles available to achieve whatever look you’re going for with your interior design. Homeowners like porcelain tile because it is easy for them to maintain and both the quality and longevity is incredible. There are plenty of other good ones too; our extensive selection at Ceramic Tileworks Center features over 250,000 square feet of product in stock between tile and countertops. We make it easy for our customers to come in and check out all of the different options.” He adds, “Although there are some good rules of thumb to follow, don’t be afraid to incorporate different ideas into your new home that aren’t necessarily considered common. Going with your gut will pay off in the end when you are living in a home that you’ve created based on your own tastes and preferences.” {Technology} The technology that’s available today for residential use is pretty amazing too, and there’s no shortage of options for integrating it into the plans for your new home. When building a new home, with the capability to run wiring wherever necessary, it’s the ideal scenario for integrating technology. With the multitude of options for technology in the home, it is essential to bring in an electronics professional early on in the planning stage. Electronics and entertainment technology are no longer considered a part of the finishing touches like home décor and furniture. In order to look and function at its best, it must be planned early in the home’s conceptualization. Having an electronics professional on board early will allow for collaboration with the other subcontractors during this design phase of the project, ensuring everything necessary is in place for the technology and its desired functions to be supported. That same professional who has been involved with the design will then be there to manage its implementation. We can help with planning wiring infrastructure, suggesting ways to aesthetically integrate technology, wireless network design, home automation, audio/ video distribution, private theater design, motorized shading solutions – there’s so much potential with new home construction. Smart homes are much more common, with technology becoming more accessible to all and as more residential applications are developed. “Homeowners are definitely taking advantage of new, cuttingedge ‘smart home’ technology that improves the environment and living comfort, reduces energy consumption, and provides increased safety and security,” says Pat Killeen of Engineered Controls. “From the most state-of-the-art Wi-Fi enabled thermostats and zoning systems, to whole-house air cleaning systems, whole-house humidification and dehumidification systems,

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Thank You Omaha For Voting Us Best 6 Years In A Row! Celebrating 21 years serving Omaha! Patios | Walkways | Pool Decks Driveways | Steps | Fire Pits Zigbee and Z-Wave wired and wireless home security and video systems; it’s all quite impressive. It’s no secret that heating and cooling account for the bulk of a home’s energy usage, and simply incorporating a programmable thermostat can make a big difference. Smart thermostats such as Honeywell’s Prestige Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat and the Ecobee3 allow the monitoring of temperatures at home from mobile devices and PCs. The thermostats monitor humidity and temperature and alter cooling cycles, resulting in energyand money-saving opportunities.

Pat Killeen Engineered Controls

Honeywell’s Total Connect Service provides a personalized web portal with mobile apps that allow the homeowner to stay connected to their home’s heating and cooling system as well as its security system from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer. With Total Connect, the homeowner can monitor and control their home at any time and from anywhere. My advice to those interested in adding integrating technology into a new home is to make sure and do your research. There is plenty of information on the internet today that will make the average homeowner much more knowledgeable about what is available in the residential construction market than anyone realizes. It’s a great place to start, and then you are better able to articulate what you’re envisioning to the professionals so that everyone is on the same page. As previously mentioned, far too often we too are contacted by homeowners once they’ve already moved into their new house, only to find out that they did not get that they wanted. The moral of the story is to get involved, ask questions, know what you want, and know what you are getting BEFORE the MAY 2017 Strictly Business


in the attic space and convert the passive system to an active one. This also comes at a price that’s far less costly than installing a complete mitigation system. The standards for uniformity on RRNC are still being ironed out, but the basic concepts are widely understood and agreed upon. Once built, it is wise to have your home tested for Radon gas every two years. As soil conditions change, it changes the pathways that Radon can enter your home. {Insurance}

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decisions are made by everyone but you, the customer.” {Safety} There are a number of features that can be incorporated in the design of a new home for the safety of the future occupants who will live there. Today, it often goes hand-in-hand with the technology that’s incorporated into the home, although important enough to mention in its own right. Security systems and lighting, access points and privacy features, fire protection and detection of harmful gasses, and a designated area to take shelter in the event of severe weather are all worthy of consideration. The rule of thumb is to spare no expense when it comes to the safety of your family. Luckily, because costs are a concern for anyone building a home regardless of the price point, there are options available to fit within any budget. Selections of these features should be done early to account for integration. If any sacrifices need to be made, you’ll be able to do so knowing that the essentials are in place for your peace of mind. “A smoke detector is a staple in any home, and with advances in technology, it is now most often incorporated as part of a system as opposed to a standalone device,” advises Bob Sorensen of FireGuard. “If your house will have any appliances that use natural gas, an attached garage, or a fireplace, carbon monoxide detection should be a critical function of that system as well. Although almost everything that has to do with safety is supported by such amazing technology, another staple, the Bob Sorensen fire extinguisher, is one thing that hasn’t FireGuard changed much with the times. It’s advised to keep one in the kitchen, and in homes with fireplaces, to keep a second one near that location in the home.” As far as new trends in home building, Radon-Resistant New Construction (RRNC) is now being promoted by the Nebraska Radon Program (a division of State of Nebraska Health and Human Services). With high levels of Radon gas nearly everywhere in southeast Nebraska, it only makes sense when building to install RRNC into your home to minimize the health risk from this cancer-causing gas. Installing RRNC during the building process is easy and inexpensive; it’s less costly than to retrofit a house later on down the line. RRNC methods include installing a vapor barrier under the floor and tying the tile drain system into a vent stack that exits the roof of the house. This creates a natural chimney effect to vent the soil gasses (including Radon gas) that may accumulate under your floor. In the event that Radon levels still happen to measure high, it is easy to install an electric fan on the vent stack


Strictly Business MAY 2017

Prior to move-in day, once the home is complete of course, but in actuality, even before breaking ground on the empty lot where your new home will soon take shape, you’ll need to have homeowners insurance in place. Why? Liability coverage. In terms of risk, the biggest one involved with building a home is liability in the case of an accident on the construction site. A home insurance policy with the liability coverage option included will be in addition to the builder’s risk insurance policy, filling in any gaps that exist. It will also provide coverage in case of fire or storm damage, both of which are not exactly unlikely here in Nebraska. While most home builders offer a warranty covering the home for an extended period of time, you’ll also want to check in with your insurance agent to review your current homeowner’s policy and update as needed. {Moving} Moving to a new home, while exciting, is a big undertaking, and the process can be nerve-racking at times. In the case of building a new home, the timeline can potentially be subject to change, affecting the plans you have in place for the moving process. Working with an experienced professional moving company that’s flexible and can help you navigate any issues that arise is incredibly helpful. A common problem with new construction is an unplanned gap between when the homeowner has to be out of their current home and when the new home is complete and move-in ready. This results in one of two scenarios. Option number one, they have nowhere to go and must add in a trip to a storage facility while temporarily staying with family or friends. Option number two, they are forced to move their date, maybe even a number of times. That close to the scheduled appointment, there’s no guarantee that the new date needed will be available, so they may have to wait even longer before they are settled. Building a home is very time consuming, tends to be stressful, and becomes more so on both accounts the closer it is to being finished. The more packing you can get done early will make the end process much more manageable. If you are packing yourself, the goal is to pack anything that isn’t furniture in a box. The more stackable items are, the more efficient your mover can be. The more efficient the process, the less it will cost you. Moving can be a very involved process. Like any project, moving is usually way more work than is first anticipated. With a reputable and experienced full-service moving company like Two Men And A Truck, you’re able to do as much or as little as you like, and then leave the rest up to the professionals. When working with any moving company, always get an in-home estimate that can be explained and makes sense. An in-home estimate allows a professional to guide you on how to prepare, how soon to get started, and how to meet deadlines. Start early! While this is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you’d want or need to know before you commit to building your dream home, it’s a great start. If you are or will soon be in the market for a new home, it’s advantageous to explore the options for both building and buying. If the perfect home isn’t out there, or it is but it’s not for sale, you can still make your dream a reality and build it from the ground up!

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Strictly Business MAY 2017

Profile for Strictly Business Magazine

Strictly Business Omaha May 2017  

J-Tech Solar is a family owned and operated company specializing in renewable energy. Jason Olberding, owner and CEO of J-Tech Construction...

Strictly Business Omaha May 2017  

J-Tech Solar is a family owned and operated company specializing in renewable energy. Jason Olberding, owner and CEO of J-Tech Construction...