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OMAHA • MAY 2018






New Construction & Big Plans • Building Your Dream Home • Celebrating Mother’s Day • Severe Weather Client Spotlight • JMISKO surgical design | md • Cherish You Boutique


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

Great Brands That Compete On Value: Keep It Authentic There has been quite a bit of buzz about social media lately, and not the good kind. As a hot topic of discussion, I figured it would pop up in the Freeport Press blog that I’ve been keeping up with, and as predicted, it did. The Genie is Out of the Social Media Bottle Author: David Pilcher It wasn’t long ago that people were wondering if social media was okay. It seems like brands had just started coming to terms with misleading video metrics on FB when the whole YouTube scandal hit. Then Twitter fell headlong into the fake bot rabbit hole. Funny how those problems pale in comparison with the consumer and political backlash in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The question has quickly turned from “is social media okay?” to “can social media survive?” As Kevin Roose writes in the New York Times, there’s something seriously broken in social media now, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that things need to change… …The polls show that the big three – Facebook, Google and Twitter – are all dropping in popularity in the U.S., Roose notes… Does that mean the entire social platform experience was a mistake? Not necessarily; a lot of good does come out of improved ability to connect at a grassroots level. The big issue, Roose believes, is that Facebook can’t stand behind their promises to protect your data and your privacy. “Facebook can’t stop monetizing our personal data for the same reason that Starbucks can’t stop selling coffee – it’s the heart of the enterprise,” Roose continues. …In other words, the ability for this kind of breach to occur again and again and again is hard baked into the platform, in the very DNA that the business model runs on. The data breach wasn’t a hack; in fact it was done quite simply by using Facebook’s own tools. According to media scholar Jonathan Albright as quoted by The Atlantic’s Ethan Zuckerman, “The ability to obtain unusually rich info about users’ friends is due to the design and functionality of Facebook’s Graph API. Importantly, the vast majority of problems that have arisen as a result of this integration were meant to be ‘features, not bugs.’” Sure, the way that data was sold and then used to influence political discourse through highly emotional neuromarketing techniques may be ethically questionable…but it wasn’t criminal and it certainly shouldn’t have come as a big surprise. “Like Facebook, Google develops profiles of its users, with information from people’s private searches and tools like Gmail and office applications, to help advertisers target messages to them,” Zuckerman continues. “As you read this article on The Atlantic, roughly three dozen ad trackers are watching you, adding your interest in this story to profiles they maintain on your online behavior.”

It comes back to the “original sin” of the Internet, where we trade our data and our labor in exchange for free content. We all work for Facebook and reap precious little of the rewards. “Users of the internet have been forced into a bargain they had no hand in negotiating: You get the services you want, and platforms get the data they need,” Zuckerman explains. Now Facebook says they want to do more to protect our data. Roose gives us some possible scenarios that might save social media – more power to the people, a more collective social management federation, and auto-expiring data profiles – but I don’t see the shareholders being terribly keen on anything that disrupts the duopoly. Can social media be saved? Or has it reached the tipping point where its users have lost faith and decided the cost isn’t worth the risk? If they can figure out how to return to a time that is, as Roose muses, “fresh and fascinating, and not quite so scary,” maybe it can survive. In its present state, however, it doesn’t look likely. It’s safe to say that people are now on high alert about suspect marketing tactics presented to them on social media or even seemingly related to their use of it or interaction on it. That negative association has major implications for brand perception. I think all of us who leverage social media platforms to deliver our marketing messaging need to take note and proceed with caution. Furthermore, with the decline in users predicted to be substantial, there’s going to be a major shift in audience and reach. If you’re honest with your grassroots efforts, remaining true to your brand identity, then the positives of social media will still likely outweigh the negatives. By using it to connect in a genuine way to create dialogue in the online community where people exist that are in your actual community and target market, just as a personal user would, I believe there’s still value there. But in short, keep it personal and authentic or don’t bother. And certainly don’t place all of your marketing dollar eggs in one social media basket. It almost goes without saying that having your business/organization be directly associated with knowingly engaging in the shady practices that are under heavy scrutiny is the last thing you want to do. In today’s shifting marketing landscape, those who have been wise to strike a good balance between the trendy and the tried and true are more apt to maintain the trust they’ve built with their consumer base and to be recognized for the value they deliver. With Strictly Business, you can capitalize on the strength and credibility of traditional print marketing with the added bonus of being featured online and on social media without the use of any sketchy tactics.

Let Strictly Business Magazine help you lock in your status as THE EXPERT in your industry, utilizing print, the internet and social media. Find out how by contacting Paige at (402) 466-3330.


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New Construction & Big Plans

for Goosmann Law Firm in Omaha

Worth It. As CEO & Managing Partner of the Goosmann Law Firm,

this has become Jeana Goosmann’s mantra as well as the firm’s mission which has shown throughout their rapid growth, new developments, and expanded culture. Thinking BIG In 2009, Jeana Goosmann had a vision and defied the risks of starting her own firm with one lawyer and an assistant. Five years later, the team had grown to seven attorneys and eight non-attorney staff. Today nearly 50 and counting have bought into the mission. This past year the firm was named one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Law Firms in the United States by the Law Firm 500. Goosmann’s BIG way of thinking has gone from an idea to reality. The Expansion to Omaha Jeana Goosmann grew up in Omaha, attending high school at Burke and law school at Creighton University. She always had the dream of opening an office in Omaha and getting back to her roots. In July of 2017, her dream became a reality and the firm expanded to Omaha to better serve their clients. They opened their location in the innovative and newly built Advent Building located in West Omaha. This is Goosmann Law’s third office location in addition to their offices located up and down the I-29 corridor in Sioux City, Iowa and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. You can find the Goosmann team everywhere, traveling between all 3 office locations and meeting wherever it is most convenient for the client. Attorney Jeana Goosmann is a CEO’s Attorney and personally acts as general counsel to company presidents, CEOs, and corporate executives. As the Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of the Goosmann Law Firm, she knows what it takes to start a business and grow it from the ground up. Clients who work with Jeana experience a business legal partner at their side with a full service law firm able to tackle many different legal matters. Attorney Joel Carney joined Goosmann this past year as Managing Partner of the Omaha office. Joel has over 18 years of experience as a litigation attorney practicing in Nebraska and Iowa.

Joel attended law school at Creighton University, where he first met Jeana. Carney’s background in areas of law includes creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, and litigation. Joel works closely with clients to achieve their litigation goals and helps them navigate and create strategies for every aspect of the dispute process. Since Joel joined the team, the firm has been actively recruiting and growing in Omaha and has big plans underway in 2018. Goosmann has nearly 50 team members firm-wide with plans to continue expanding within the next 18 months. New Office Space The most recent expansion is taking place in their Omaha office. It comes as no surprise that the team quickly outgrew their current space in the Advent Building and started construction across the hall, tripling their current space and leaving room for additional growth for their Omaha team. The new space will feature a modern lobby and seating area paired with a state-of-the-art coffee bar, spacious conference rooms, tall ceilings, wide hallways, large windows, innovative office and co-working spaces in addition to a large breakroom that can host firm events, meetings, seminars, and group lunches. This has not been the first time the firm has outgrown their office spaces. The new Omaha space is the firm’s latest construction project out of three happening within a year. The Goosmann “Why” Goosmann’s mission, Worth It, is their reason “why” defined. Their team gets life, business, and the law. Their attorneys mean business and help you conquer your goals. Their rock star staff become their clients’ biggest fan club. They love their jobs, embrace diversity, teamwork, and innovation. Their team wants to help put your goals and vision in motion. That’s why they practice law and continue to grow their team, culture, and offices. Call the Goosmann Omaha team today at (402) 280-7648, and visit their website at to learn more about their team, practice areas, and firm news!

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BUSINESS NEWS The Good Life Group Celebrates Opening of 4th Office

Home Nursing With Heart Repeats Highest Medicare Rating in Omaha Metro

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Good Life Group recently celebrated the opening of its newest office at 760 West Gold Coast Road, Suite 109 in Papillion. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with the Sarpy Chamber of Commerce on March 15 to mark the occasion.

Home Nursing With Heart, a locally owned and operated in-home rehabilitation therapy and skilled nursing care provider, is proud to announce the company has maintained its 4.5-star rating with Medicare again in 2018.

This is now the fourth office location in the Omaha Metro, and the third opened in just the past calendar year alone. Each new office has been established to accommodate the addition of even more talented agents serving the Papillion and Bellevue areas, with growth expected to continue within these communities and beyond. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Good Life Group is committed to bringing you extraordinary agents with access to today’s most advanced technology and a powerful alliance with a national affiliate, who are always looking for ways to better serve their clients. It’s a lifestyle brand with boutique-style offices, so you’ll feel at home when finding your new home. Here you’ll work with kind, competent and authentic Realtors who always represent their clients with honesty and integrity, and who are focused on building relationships that last well beyond the sale. For more information about the newest location of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Good Life Group, contact Jackie Altstadt at (402) 932-5989 / or visit

State Farm Agent Grant Mussman & Team Celebrate 5 Years Grant Mussman and his team of six are excited to have reached a milestone at their locally owned and operated State Farm insurance agency, having finished up their fifth full year in business. During this time, they’ve provided a wide range of services to individuals, families and small businesses here in the Omaha Metro. From auto, home, and small business to life insurance and annuities resources, Grant and his team have you covered. Located at 606 S. 72nd Street in Omaha, the agency is dedicated to being involved in the community where they do business. Grant and his team play an intentionally active role in State Farm’s local outreach. Altogether, this includes 14 years of charitable work with the Omaha Venture Group as well as providing educational opportunities and resources for young professionals and new parents. At State Farm, their mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. They are especially focused on being well-versed in the complexities of insurance in order to make simple for their clients. Licensed in Nebraska and Iowa, Grant is proud to be a second generation State Farm agent. He is an alumnus of both the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with an MBA and Creighton University for his undergraduate. There’s a lot to consider when you’re getting started with a new insurance plan for your home or business. When you’re ready, Grant Mussman and his team are there to help. Contact him today by call or text at (402) 932-0100 or via email at 6 Strictly Business MAY 2018

Remaining the highest-rated agency of its kind in the Omaha metropolitan area, the Home Nursing With Heart team has also earned a 5-star rating based on patient reviews. Medicare’s Home Health Compare website uses a quality of patient care star rating to show consumers how the performance of a home health agency compares to other agencies. It summarizes each agency’s performance on average across nine of the quality measures reported on Home Health Compare. These measures were selected to give a general overview of agency performance things that apply to the most people, such as following recommended care practices and improved patient outcomes. With the overwhelming amount of information to consider when choosing a home health provider, the star ratings provide a consumer-friendly way to help patients and their families quickly and easily determine the quality of performance. To find out more about Home Nursing With Heart, visit the company’s website at or call (402) 614-4622.

CarePatrol of Nebraska Part of Nationwide Franchise Acquisition ComForCare Health Care Holdings LLC (www.comforcare. com), the premier inhome care provider, a n d C a r e Pa t ro l (, the nation’s largest senior placement franchise, have entered an agreement for ComForCare to acquire CarePatrol. Recently backed by The Riverside Company, a private equity firm that handpicked new CEO Steve Greenbaum, ComForCare has more than 200 franchise locations in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. ComForCare’s acquisition of CarePatrol is a first step in realizing the company’s vision to rapidly expand its footprint in the older adult care space through strategic partnerships, organic growth and investments. “In addition to expanding our service offering and portfolio, our acquisition of CarePatrol illustrates our objective of finding new avenues to carry out our mission to help people live their best life possible,” said Greenbaum. CarePatrol has more than 150 offices in 40 states, with local senior care advisors who work with families free of charge to find quality, top-rated assisted living, independent living, memory care, nursing homes and inhome care. The senior advisors meet with families in person to assess a client’s care level needs, financial needs and general preferred locations before recommending the best and safest care options. “Our acquisition by ComForCare creates a partnership that is rooted in our shared mission to be a trusted resource for families and older adults as they age,” said CarePatrol founder and CEO Chuck Bongiovanni. “Together, we will reach new heights in customer service and quality care.” CarePatrol of Nebraska will continue to operate as usual under the local ownership of Theron Ahlman, who can be contacted at (402) 580-2116 /

BUSINESS NEWS Xcel Roofing Expands to Tri-Cities

First Watch Celebrates Grand Opening

As a part of its ongoing expansion throughout the Midwest, Xcel Roofing recently established a new office in Grand Island that is now serving customers in the Central Nebraska area. Owners Matt Preister and Jim Harding along with Senior Project Manager Shawn O’Keefe are heading up sales and outreach at this office, bringing years of experience and a focus on hard work, a positive attitude, and world-class customer service to the team in his new position. Xcel Roofing is proud to continue its companywide partnership with Habitat for Humanity, supporting projects in this new territory spanning Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings, and surrounding communities.

First Watch Restaurants, the popular breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, opened the doors to its newest restaurant on Marc h 10. Located at 2015 Pratt Ave., in a space that formerly operated as The Egg & I, it will employ about 25 people. The restaurant in Bellevue is the fourth First Watch restaurant opened by Cutchall Management Company, an Omaha-based franchise group that also owns two The Egg & I restaurants in the area. First Watch joined the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce in the official ribbon cutting with local officials and business leaders.

For nearly 30 years, Xcel Roofing has provided customers with quality products and services for their residential and commercial properties, including replacement and repair of roofing, siding, windows, and gutters. Xcel Roofing is now serving customers and improving communities in six states, including Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota & Minnesota.

“Since we first opened here in 2014, Omaha has been so receptive of First Watch’s unique menu items and our focus on freshness,” said Greg Cutchall, owner of Cutchall Management Company. “We absolutely look forward to continuing to serve our community here for years to come.”

The Central Nebraska office can be contacted directly at (308) 8324472 / or via the website at loveourroof. com, where you can also learn more about Xcel Roofing.

American National Bank Presenting Sponsor for 6th Annual Omaha Gives! 24-Hour Event American National Bank is proud to once again serve as Presenting Sponsor for the 6th annual Omaha Gives! charitable c hallenge. Over 1,000 community nonprofits will participate in this year’s celebration on May 23, the largest participation to date. The 24-hour event, hosted by the Omaha Community Foundation, is the metro area’s only official day of giving. The entire community is invited to celebrate, and give back, at Since its inception in 2013, American National Bank has been committed to supporting Omaha Gives! The giving day has raised more than $35 million from 200,000 donations for nonprofit organizations throughout Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties. A total 52,886 donations, a new record, were given during the 2017 campaign. This event reinforces the fact that giving together makes a difference. “People prefer to work for and do business with companies that support nonprofit organizations. American National Bank has built a legacy of commitment to charitable giving and employee volunteerism. It is important that we all work together to help transform our communities and improve the quality of lives where it makes the greatest impact,” said Wende Kotouc, executive cochairman. The minimum donation starts at $10—an amount that encourages anyone to participate in the giving day, and for donors to be able to spread their gifts across organizations. American National Bank challenges all of its employees to participate by matching employee donations to their favorite charities and offering Jeans Days (for a donation) with the dollars raised going to a local nonprofit.

The new restaurant features First Watch’s latest interior design, which combines farm-fresh elements with a high-energy, urban vibe. First Watch serves its entire menu seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The restaurant also offers customers complimentary newspapers and free Wi-Fi Internet access. For more information about First Watch, visit

Gerst Painting Announces New Series of Colorful Lunch and Learn Presentations Mike Gerst, owner and founder of G e r s t Pa i n t i n g Inc., a 40 year residential and commercial painting company, has announced the launch of a series of free Lunch and Learns for corporations and business designed to increase employee productivity, moral and create a memorable image for customers, prospects and visitors. “The research is staggering on how colors influence our moods, personalities and attitudes during the day,” Gerst explains. These lunch and learns will reveal exactly how people respond to different colors – which one increases energy, likeability, value, prestige, and a host of many others. When selecting a color for a project, care needs to be taken in consideration so that the wrong one is not chosen. Casey Hansen, partner and general manager, adds, “Just give us a call or drop me an email ( and we will set a time that works for your management team and organization. All attendees will walk away with knowledge they never had before that can be used to increase sales and profits as well as employee morale.” Gerst Painting Inc. is one of the most recognized names in the industry among Omaha homeowners and businesses. Thousands of homeowners and a multitude of the area’s major corporations and small businesses have selected Gerst since 1977, and the company has been selected as Omaha’s best for 12 consecutive years. For more information, visit or call (402) 289-1010. MAY 2018 Strictly Business 7

BUSINESS NEWS Fleetmark Solutions Adds New Emissions System Restoration Service

Cross Electronic Recycling Announces Summer Electronics Disposal Drive

Fleetmark Solutions, your home for specialized fleet and commercial vehicle maintenance and repairs in Omaha, is now offering BG’s D i e s e l Pa r t i c u l a t e Filter (DPF) & Emissions System Restoration Service. Cleaning the exhaust system by using special equipment to trigger and control the regeneration process, it is ideal for DPF systems and also suitable for any diesel emission system. This service not only cleans the dirty filter but also solves the problem at the source by cleaning out the oil and fuel system (the source of contamination) starting at the intake.

Cross Electronic Recycling will be collecting unwanted electronics every Saturday beginning May 1 and going through August 30. Sites will be located throughout the city and surrounding areas.

Fleetmark Solutions is a repair facility dedicated to commercial vehicles and fleets, with a team of professionals who understand the importance of keeping your vehicles on the road where you need them. Don’t waste time at those other shops that throw you on the list and make you wait. At Fleetmark Solutions, you are always the first on the list, and you can count on receiving VIP service with quality work done quickly. For more information about the services provided by Fleetmark Solutions, contact owner Mark Griger at (402) 715-4487 / Mark@ or visit the company’s website at www.


Strictly Business MAY 2018

Cross Electronic Recycling will accept anything with a cord, battery or motor—as small as a cell phone to as large as a car, and everything in between! See a complete list of items online at This is a free service with the exception of environmental fees on certain items. All funds that result from the organization’s efforts will go toward Cross Training Center’s vocational training program and you’ll also be helping the environment-both great causes to support! The vocational training program is specifically designed for those in our community who have chronic barriers to employment due to incarceration, homelessness, gang involvement, substance abuse, challenging mental or emotional disorders or who live in chronic poverty for numerous reasons. Learn more at Cross Electronic Recycling is also seeking volunteers to help at each event–either individuals or groups. Tasks include moving things from cars to trucks, giving out receipts, and managing traffic.  Contact Brenda about volunteering at (402) 960-9789 or brenda@crosstc. com.

BUSINESS NEWS Cathy Hughes to Deliver Keynote at The Empowerment Network’s Annual Conference The Empowerment Network’s 11th Annual Rebuilding the Village Conference will feature keynote speaker Cathy Hughes, a native of North Omaha and founder and chairperson of Urban One, Inc. Urban One, at nearly $500 million in revenues, is the largest AfricanAmerican owned and operated broadcast company in the nation. The conference is set to take place on Friday, May 18 at the Hilton Omaha Downtown (1001 Cass St.). This day-long conference begins at 7 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. The keynote presentation will take place during the luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Additional speakers include Jaylen Bledsoe, 19-year-old internationally-known entrepreneur with a business valued at $10 million; Dr. Pamela Jolly, expert on legacy wealth; and more dynamic speakers that will inspire, challenge and ignite attendees to impact their communities and take game-changing solutions to scale. Companies are able to reserve a table for 10 attendees, either for the full conference or the luncheon only. Individuals, students, and exhibitors are welcome to register as well. The deadline to register for the conference is May 14. For more information or to view the complete agenda with breakout sessions, go to or contact Aisha Conner at (402) 502-5153 / The mission of The Empowerment Network is to transform the economic condition and quality of life of African-Americans, North Omaha residents, and citizens of the Greater Omaha area by implementing the Empowerment Covenant & 7 Step Empowerment Plan. 

Organizations in Metro Omaha, SW Iowa Encouraged to Apply for BBB Integrity Awards The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Annual Integrity Awards Luncheon on October 9 will feature Josh Linkner. He is the founder and CEO of four successful technology companies. One is ePrize that he sold to HelloWorld. It is the world’s largest interactive promotion agency that provides digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands. Linkner’s extraordinary business accomplishments led him to be honored twice as the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” and as a President Barack Obama “Champion of Change” Award recipient. He also plays a mean jazz guitar. Every talk is customized to drive the biggest possible impact, combining engaging stories, gorgeous visuals and practical techniques that push audiences to jumpstart their creative energy and solve challenges in fresh, innovative ways. His presentations to businesses consistently receive rave reviews! The awards, presented at this event, are not based on popularity, the size of the company or its profitability. They are achieved by organizations that have demonstrated to an independent panel of judges that they have gone “above and beyond” in serving their customers, employees, vendors, and community. The application process is open to all for-profit, not-for-profit organizations and charities in metro Omaha and southwest Iowa that have been operating under the same ownership for three years or more, have an “A” rating with BBB and are located in BBB’s service area. Start your application today. Go to and click on “BBB Integrity Awards Application Information” where you will find the application form and guide. For questions or help in completing the application, please contact BBB Communications Director Margo Riekes at (402) 898-8526 or

Loessfest Announces 2018 Lineup The City of Council Bluffs and Iowa West Foundation have announced the full lineup of events for the 6th annual Loessfest (pronounced lussfest). Loessfest showcases Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, located at the foot of the Iowa side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and was created to celebrate all that it has to offer. The festival has drawn more than 175,000 people to the riverfront in its first five years. This year, all Loessfest events will be happening over Memorial Day weekend, starting with the grand opening of the water features at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park on Friday, May 25. These water features will be located near River’s Edge Pavilion, throughout the grove and next to the Plaza, which will include an interactive 10-foot tall water wall, a flooding wading basin, water bubblers, spray jets and an illuminated fog feature, the first of its kind in the metro area. Loessfest will host FREE events every day May 25 through May 28. Events include: Disney Night featuring Choo Choo Soul, Movie in the Park: The Incredibles, The Run Loess Half Marathon and 5K, organized by the Council Bluffs YMCA, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Bike the Bluffs, the  Omaha Symphony  with Conductor Thomas Wilkins, Memorial Day Fireworks Celebration, Movie in the Park:  Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Floodplain: A Clear View of Life in the Big Muddy – on exhibit in River’s Edge Pavilion. For more information about events, parking, maps and directions to Loessfest 2018, visit the website at

Small Businesses Honored for Contributions to Nebraska Economy Six Nebraska businesses were selected by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) to receive the 2017 Annual Business of the Year awards. The awards were officially presented during a luncheon March 23 at the Nebraska capitol in Lincoln attended by senators from the winners’ unicameral districts. Sen. Paul Schumacher from District 22 presented Lewis Schelkopf, plant manager, Truss Craft, NBDC’s Champion of Small Business award, an honor given out annually since 1983 to small business owners who have triumphed in the field of business and are empowering entrepreneurs who stand up for other small business owners. Jeff Taake, vice president manufacturing and commercial sales, Mead Lumber, was also named on the award. Mead Lumber and its component manufacturing facility Truss Craft have committed to encouraging waste reduction and energy savings, not only in their own facilities but in other area businesses. The company supports organizations including Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross and United Way by supplying materials, money, and manpower for their programs. The following businesses also accepted awards at the luncheon: Innovation Business of the Year: Sanguine Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Omaha; Government Contractor of the Year: Cash-Wa Distributing Co., Kearney; Sustainability Business of the Year: West Point Design, West Point; Manufacturing Business of the Year: Exmark Manufacturing, Beatrice; Export Business of the Year: American Premium Foods, Omaha. NBDC is a cooperative program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. NBDC partners with the University of NebraskaLincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to provide consulting and business support services from offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Grand Island, North Platte, McCook, Wayne, Scottsbluff, Norfolk, and Chadron. Stories on award winners can be read online at: nebraska-business-development-center/about/business-awards. MAY 2018 Strictly Business 9

BUSINESS NEWS Millard Business Association Announces 2017 Award Recipients Winners were announced at the Millard Business Association’s annual awards ceremony, “Past. Present. Future.,” held on April 19 at Champions Run. Six outstanding high school students from Millard Public and Skutt Catholic school districts received scholarships, volunteers from Project WEE Care were recognized, leaders and businesses received awards in a variety of categories, the Landmark Award was presented, and an inductee was added to the MBA’s Hall of Fame. Scholarships: Maggie Hogan and Mackenzie Zielie (Millard North High School), Ryan Lawrence (Millard South High School), Sarah Betts and Amy Tran (Millard West High School), and Sydney Reeves (Skutt Catholic High School). Project WEE Care: Ron and Nancy Christiansen, Eric DePue, and Andy Unterseher. Citizen of the Year: Jill Schoenherr, Southwest YMCA. Small Business of the Year: Dream Vacations. Large Business of the Year: Hillcrest Health Services. Entrepreneur of the Year: Joann Floyd, Mary Kay Cosmetics. Professional of the Year: Mike Glaser, Marcotte. Landmark Award: Paul’s Millard Sinclair. Hall of Fame Inductee: Glenn Albert “Yogi” Hanke. Congratulations to all of the winners! To find out more about the Millard Business Association or apply for membership, visit or contact Kim Jipp at (402) 707-2827 /

Airbnb Hosts to Earn Record $250K During Berkshire Hathaway Investors Conference The Omaha Airbnb host community will earn a combined $250,000 while welcoming at least 1,300 guests on the weekend of May 4 as the city hosts the annual Berkshire Hathaway investors conference and the commencement ceremony for the University of Nebraska Omaha. The weekend is expected to bring the largest influx of Airbnb guests to Omaha in the history of Airbnb’s platform, far exceeding the weekend of the 2017 investors conference and UNO commencement. Omaha hotels typically reach full occupancy during the Berkshire/UNO weekend. By expanding lodging capacity and keeping as many visitors as possible within the corporate limits of Omaha, local hosts are helping the city take full economic advantage of these major events. Airbnb’s home sharing platform first gained prominence in Omaha when Warren Buffett endorsed the platform and encouraged travelers to use it after learning of Omaha hotels price gouging during 2014 Berkshire investors conference. This economic impact report comes on the heels of the Nebraska Legislature overwhelmingly passing a bill in April (LB873) that sets state standards for short-term rentals throughout Nebraska. Authored by Sen. Adam Morfeld, the legislation protects home sharing rights, prohibits municipalities from any outright bans of short-term rentals, and authorizes the Nebraska Department of Revenue to enter into a tax agreement with Airbnb that would allow the platform to collect and remit occupancy taxes on behalf of its hosts. Recent data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing -- rather than competing with -- the Omaha hotel industry. Reports from the Hotel News Now demonstrate that hotel occupancy rates in the greater Omaha area have risen. in parallel to Airbnb’s growth. This indicates that Airbnb is opening up the state to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof. 10 Strictly Business MAY 2018

5168 Brewing Taproom Now Open Lovers of local brews have a new destination of choice in midtown Omaha. 5168 Brewing Taproom is now open in Midtown Crossing at 3201 Farnam Street. It is the only spot in Omaha serving up a full selection of beers produced at 5168 Brewing in Lincoln. Offerings include 5168 Brewing’s 88 Lager, New Beginnings IPA, and the Kangaroo Dropkick Double IPA, which is made with hops from Australia and New Zealand. All can be paired with hamburgers, sandwiches (including the must-try Heartbreak Hotel) and other “beer-friendly foods” from the taproom’s full-service kitchen. 5168 Brewing and the 5168 Brewing Taproom are owned and operated by 88 Restaurant Group. The number 5168 represents “my smooth road to good fortune” in Chinese. The establishment’s Farnam Street location in Midtown Crossing puts it in the heart of a midtown community highly-regarded for its contributions to the local craft beer revolution.

Sarpy Chamber’s Grand Giveaway Fundraiser a Success A record number of attendees joined the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce for their annual “Grand Giveaway” on Thursday, March 29. This year marked the event’s move to the Beardmore Event Center in Bellevue to accommodate a 25% growth in attendance. Guests arrived at a 1950s-styled Sock Hop setting for the live and silent auctions, dinner, and drinks. The fundraiser benefitted the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce, which holds 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. Annisa Visty, vice president of events & special programs, counts it as a tremendous success, saying “Last year was a record-breaking year for this event and this year we saw a 25% increase in funds raised, so we’re thrilled to see that trajectory continue.” In addition to an increase in attendance and proceeds, this year’s Grand Giveaway also had the most event sponsors it’s ever had with 58 in total. “We couldn’t have a successful event like this without our donors, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees,” said SCCC President Karen Gibler. “Not only are they supporting the work we already do, they’re building up the foundation for us to grow and achieve new goals.” For more information on the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce’s events and groups, please visit

BUSINESS NEWS Helicopter Day Lands in Ashland on May 26 Helicopter Day will take place this year on May 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum – 28210 West Park Hwy, Ashland, NE (exit 426 off I-80 between Omaha and Lincoln). Helicopter Day is an indoor and outdoor event held in celebration of aviation careers and the history of helicopters. Spectators will be able to watch in wonder as helicopters from the Nebraska National Guard, law enforcement, commercial and privately-owned helicopters fly over the horizon and land right in front them. The helicopters begin their descent at 10 a.m.  After all helicopters land, spectators can visit with helicopter pilots, including medical and law officials, about their careers and get a firsthand view of each aircraft.  Helicopter rides will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and cost $60 per person.       Activities taking place inside the museum will include a drone workshop on flight and safety, free helicopter balloon sculptures, a make-andtake project, and hands-on activities. For more information, visit www. or contact Aly at (402) 944-3100 Ext. 253 / events@

Brookestone Meadows Resident Honored by Nebraska Nursing Facility Association Brookestone Meadows resident and published author, Carolyn Howell, was presented with the Nebraska Nursing Facility Association (NNFA) Resident of the Year Award on April 25 at the 2018 Spring Awards Luncheon in Kearney. This award program is organized by the Nebraska Healthcare Association and provides opportunities throughout the year to honor facility employees, residents, and volunteers. She was selected for this recognition from a group of incredible nominees statewide. Carolyn has been an active resident of Brookestone Meadows for 10 years. During that time, she has participated in many activities and made significant contributions, including serving as resident council president for 6 years, spearheading the construction and ongoing maintenance of the raised garden beds, and developing and initiating the Older Worker in the Lord’s Service (O.W.L.S.) program which helps residents stay connected to the community. Carolyn also organized a project that had residents create thank you gifts for local law enforcement, which earned Brookstone Meadows a Rising Star Award. She continues to inspire those around her to help others daily. Carolyn has also published a book titled Redhead at the Front Desk, and she is currently working on a children’s book that she plans to name Oh Sister…Come See the Choo-Choo Train. Brookestone Meadows nominated Carolyn for this award as she exemplifies their mission of promoting relationships of trust, confidence, and loyalty through the quality of their services, the integrity of their people, and their involvement in the community. Congratulations, Carolyn, on this well-deserved honor! Learn more about Brookesone Meadows at brookestonemeadows. com or contact (402) 289-2696 /

CFO Systems Named to Inc. 5000, Adds Four Offices 2017 was another successful year for CFO Systems. In addition to being named to the Inc. 5000 list for the fourth consecutive year, the company has expanded significantly with the addition of four new offices. Part-time, interim, and timeshare CFO and HR leadership services continue to grow in demand across the country as many companies realize cost-effective solutions to solving financial and human capital leadership needs. In response, CFO Systems continues to expand its reach nationwide, adding nine new directors and four new locations in Cedar Rapids, the Northeast, Kansas City, and Seattle. Brett Frevert, managing director of CFO Systems, noted, “We are proud to be included in the Inc. 5000 list for a fourth year and expand our reach across the United States. We are now a company with a coast-to-coast presence. Our directors have a multitude of talents and expertise, and as a company, we are all committed to our vision of helping our clients grow.” Founded in 2004, CFO Systems is a team of entrepreneurs driving client success by providing access to expertise and forward-thinking, decisive leadership to entities across the United States. For more information, visit

OBI Creative Acquires MediaWorks OBI Creative, a research-based, innovation-driven, full-service advertising agency, has announced a major investment in the region by purchasing MediaWorks, an Omaha-based media planning and buying agency. The acquisition of MediaWorks, co-founded in 1983 by owner Teri Vierregger and longtime media director Ruth Humpal, expands OBI’s expertise in media planning and buying, while continuing to offer clients market and customer research, brand strategy, public relations, digital and social media services in addition to award-winning creative. Clients of MediaWorks include regional healthcare, retail, special events and higher education. They will continue to serve their portfolio of clients going forward as well as those of OBI. In addition to Vierregger, who will be director of media services for OBI, Account Director Mary Wajda and Resource and Reporting Manager Valerie Sutko also join the OBI team. Wajda has an extensive media career that spans nearly 35 years having worked in radio traffic, sales and management, broadcast production as well as various advertising agencies before joining MediaWorks. Sutko has extensive experience in accounts receivables and payables and assists in the monthly media invoice reconciliation to ensure stewardship of the contracts and certainty that the media vendors honor what was promised to clients. The acquisition, the second one this year, was finalized on March 1. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. MAY 2018 Strictly Business 11

BUSINESS NEWS Soaring Wings Presents Spring Wine, Beer, Blues, and Balloon Festival

Holmes Murphy Expands Main Street Program

Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing is excited to host the 14th annual Spring Wine, Beer, Blues, and Balloon Festival, taking place this year on June 2. The event will be held rain or shine, with live music all night kicking off at 4 p.m. featuring International Blues Competition award winners and finalists. There will be performances from the Rex Granite Band with Sarah Benck, Connie Hawkins and the Blueswreckers, the Keeshea Pratt Band, and the Harlis Sweetwater Band, concluding with a jam session! Balloons will launch throughout the event, weather permitting. Enjoy the entertainment as well as Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing’s selection of award-winning wines and signature craft beers. Admission is $25 for adults over 21, which includes your first drink and a souvenir glass. There is an entry fee of $15 for guests ages 12-20 and it’s free for children 11 and under. Tickets may be purchased in advance through or at the gate on the day of the event. For more information about the Spring Wine, Beer, Blues, and Balloon Festival, please call (402) 253-2479. Advance purchase is recommended as they sold out last year and turned hundreds away. Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewery is located in Springfield, NE. Find out more about Soaring Wings online at www.soaringwingswine. com or on their Facebook page.

Holmes Murphy recently expanded Main Street, a captive insurance subsidiary built to give small businesses the same buying power as big corporations, to include businesses with 10-50 employees. Since its inception in 2014, Main Street has helped 14 Nebraska businesses develop their own insurance solutions and looks to continue this trend with this new expansion. Main Street was created to help small- and medium-sized businesses find a manageable solution to their health insurance. Initially available to businesses with more than 50 employees, Main Street alleviates the risk and cost of a self-insured plan. “In Nebraska, I hear from businesses daily that have been dumped into community rates, limiting their options to control spending,” commented Beau Reid, senior vice president of employee benefits at Holmes Murphy in Omaha. “I’m excited for the expansion of Main Street to include businesses with 10-50 employees. This allows even more small businesses greater control over their health insurance costs.” Main Street is a smarter way to take control of health insurance expenditures. Since Main Street launched, businesses are able to aggregate together to form a healthy risk pool and rates are lower than anywhere else in the market, creating increased buying power for businesses. This expansion demonstrates Holmes Murphy’s innovative approach in helping small businesses navigate the complex healthcare market. For more information, visit


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BUSINESS NEWS Hospitality Industry Leaders Honored at 28th Annual Taste of Nebraska The Necropolis Group and Pepsi received the Nebraska Restaurant Association hospitality awards at the association’s annual banquet, Taste of Nebraska. This year’s event was held Monday, April 16 at the Embassy Suites, La Vista Conference Center. Winners of the award are selected for the contributions Pictured (L-R): Lt. Governor Mike Foley, they make to both the Denis Hall, Fayrene Hamouz, Jim Trebbien hospitality industry and the communities in which they do business. Brent Lindner accepted the 2017 Restaurateur of the Year Award for The Necropolis Hospitality Group. The Necropolis Hospitality Group has five restaurants, Wave Pizza Company, J Alfred Prufrock’s, Sin City Grill, The World Famous Glass Bar in Grand Island Pictured (L-R): Lt. Governor Mike Foley, and Wave Pizza/Staple Brewing in Hastings. Allied Jay Jarvis, Brent Lindner, Jim Partington Member of the Year was presented to Pepsi and accepted by Chuck Parker. Additionally, Denis Hall, Fernando’s Café & Cantina was presented with the Lifetime Ac hievement Award for his many years in the hospitality industry. Michelle Daize, The Eatery, was acknowledged as Volunteer of the Year for her Pictured (L-R): Lt. Governor Mike Foley, significant time commitment Jay Jarvis, Chuck Parker, Jim Partington and dedication to the Board of the Hospitality Education Foundation. Hillis & Co. added the finishing touches to the evening with an “Island in Paradise” theme and “Dance of a Parrot Head, a Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band” ended the evening rocking the stage with well-known classics by Jimmy Buffet. Money raised at Taste of Nebraska supports the mission of the Nebraska Restaurant Association to represent, educate and promote the hospitality industry across the state.   Additionally, money is used to support Nebraska ProStart – a two-year high school curriculum to get students interested in the hospitality industry. The Nebraska Restaurant Association acts as the principal advocate for Nebraska’s hospitality industry and promotes the qualities of strength, unity, and excellence in and of its membership.   The association is dedicated to serving Nebraska’s restaurant and retail beverage industries by providing comprehensive industry education, proactive representation, aggressive industry promotion and the highest quality member benefits. (Find them on Facebook: NebraskaRestaurantAssociation.) The Nebraska Restaurant Association would like to thank special guest, Lt. Governor Mike Foley, and the many sponsors and guests that made the 28th annual Taste of Nebraska another success.

2018 State Games Torch Run Route and Schedule Announced The Cornhusker State Games Torch Run begins June 1 in Hemingford and will make appearances at 11 community events before lighting the caldron at the Games’ Opening Ceremonies on July 20 at Seacrest Field in Lincoln. The Torch Run is the promotional precursor to the 34th annual Cornhusker State Games, which features competition in more than 60 sports July 20-29 in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities.  Officials expect more than 11,000 participants of all ages and abilities.   Runner applications for the Torch Run are now being accepted online at  Runners will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis for one-mile segments, using highway mile markers in most cases.  There is no fee for the Torch Run, thanks to the sponsorship of the Nebraska National Guard and Nebraska Chiropractic Physicians Association, and each runner receives a commemorative shirt. Officials said each day of running will include 20-60 miles on local highways followed by the Torch being carried into or through a community festival or event. This will include a leg from Papillion to Omaha coinciding with Tribute to Independence on June 30. Find more information on the Torch Run, Cornhusker State Games and the Nebraska Sports Council at 

Veterans in Business Forum Announces Upcoming Meetings The Veterans in Business Forum (VIBF) meets the first Friday of every month (0800-0900). Their next meetings are 4 May and 1 June at College of Business Administration, Mammel Hall – Room 215, 6708 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68182-0048. Guest speakers for May include Bobby J. Collier of the Private Public Partnership (P3) and Dr. Tammy Le of Midtown Chiropractic. The guest speaker for June will be Dale Marples of CFO Systems. The mission of the Veterans in Business Forum (VIBF) is to provide business support, education and advocacy to help veterans succeed in business and increase community awareness of veteran-owned business activities. Veterans, active duty, reservists and civilians are welcome to join and support each other and veteran-related goals. For the latest information, to be a guest speaker, and/or to be added to the mailing list, visit VeteransinBusinessForumOmahaNetworking or contact Michel Thornhill at (402) 932-7243 / MAY 2018 Strictly Business 13

BUSINESS NEWS Business Ethics Alliance Announces 2017 Greater Omaha Organizational Ethics Survey

Legendary Omaha Restaurant Location is Now a Literal Location for Legends

The Business Ethics Alliance has released its 2017 Greater Omaha Organizational Ethics Survey. Produced with support from the Better Business Bureau and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the survey assesses the ways that Omaha organizations manage ethics. The results function as a benchmark of organizational ethics in Greater Omaha and as a guiding template for other business communities.

Those who had been missing Omaha’s legendary Venice Inn and its brother owners were in for a treat on April 25. Chuck and Jerry Caniglia served as guest bartenders to celebrate the grand opening of Legends Patio Grill and Bar at Aksarban, which also featured a special performance from Omaha’s favorite blues musician Hector Anchondo.

The number of organizations reporting that they have formal ethics and/or compliance programs is at an all-time high. The Alliance sees these results as cause for celebration. “We believe there is a strong relationship between the work of the Business Ethics Alliance and the positive ethics climate in Omaha,” says Dr. Beverly Kracher, CEO and executive director of the Business Ethics Alliance. The Alliance partners with the Better Business Bureau, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Creighton University’s Heider College of Business and the entire business community to foster and support business ethics. They accomplish this by hosting a variety of engaging events throughout the year, tackling today’s pressing ethical issues. The organization also offers a suite of educational workshops, consultation services and ethics products to help Omaha businesses and nonprofits develop ethical cultures. More information and the survey results can be found on their website at


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Legends is a locally-owned sports-themed grill and bar now open on the location that was once Venice Inn, Chuck and Jerry’s family restaurant they sold in 2014. In honor of their guest appearance, Legends matched the tips collected and will be donating them to Heart Ministry Center, the charity the Caniglia brothers selected. Legends is also donating 10 percent of sales from that night to the charity. Legends at Aksarben, located at 69th and Pacific, is owned by brothers Jamie and Nick Saldi who grew up in Omaha. They also attended the University of Nebraska Omaha, just down the street and were drawn to the area because of its proximity to the university and Baxter Arena. The brothers redeveloped the corner into a commercial complex called Aksarben Pointe. Legends at Aksarben is their third location. The first Legends Patio Grill and Bar is located in Cherry Hills Plaza off of I-680 and the Irvington exit. LPG Management, LLC owns and operates Legends Patio Grill and Bar locations in Omaha and Lincoln. The restaurants feature outdoor seating, party rooms, a unique atmosphere, great crowd and friendly staff for the best place in Omaha/Lincoln to enjoy all the big games, a family get together or host your next event. For more information about Legends’ locations, visit

BUSINESS NEWS Professional Rodeo Cowboy Action Returns to Omaha This Fall

Scooter’s Coffee Ranked a Top Franchise in Entrepreneur’s Latest Franchise 500

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) action will return to Omaha on September 28-29, 2018 at CenturyLink Center Omaha. Omaha River City Rodeo, presented by First National Bank, will host the final pro-rodeo competition of the season for the best rodeo cowboys in the sport. After nine months of travel and competition across the nation, the rodeo athletes will compete in Omaha for a spot in the super bowl of Rodeo, the National Finals in Las Vegas.

Scooter’s Coffee, the Midwest-based coffee franchise that has experienced tremendous nationwide growth over the past year, is receiving recognition as one of the country’s premiere franchises in Entrepreneur magazine’s recently released Franchise 500. Scooter’s Coffee landed at #414 on the coveted list that ranks companies for outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. A dedication to “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks…Amazingly Fast!”™ helped propel Scooter’s Coffee into the highly sought-after honor. Entrepreneur received more than 1,000 applications. Over its 39 years in existence, the Franchise 500 has become both a dominant, competitive measure for franchisors and a primary research tool for potential franchisees. Scooter’s Coffee’s position on the ranking is a testament to its strength as a franchise opportunity. The key factors that go into Entrepreneur’s evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and ability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order. To view Scooter’s Coffee in the full ranking, visit franchise500. Results can also be seen in the January/February issue of Entrepreneur, available on newsstands now. Scooter’s Coffee is at the dawn of a strategic growth phase in the Midwest and nationwide. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion a year recession-resistant industry, and Scooter’s Coffee is striving to become the #1 drive-thru coffee franchise in the nation. Visit to learn more about the benefits of owning a franchise of a well-established company.

Both nights of rodeo action will feature all seven rodeo events including steer wrestling, team roping and bull riding. Event tickets as low as $20 will go on sale May 11 via outlets. Omaha River City Rodeo is presented by a local non-profit organization, Omaha Rodeo Inc., founded by members of the former Ak-Sar-Ben Rodeo Committee. “The return of professional rodeo action to Omaha is the result of community leaders coming together to support this unique sporting event,” said volunteer Sherman Berg. “Omaha was a destination for rodeo fans for decades and we are working with the PRCA to bring back the same level of rodeo action.” The 2018 event will also include a Rough N’ Ready Rodeo and the Douglas County High School Champions Challenge. For more information, visit  for season ticket opportunities or Omaha River City Rodeo on Facebook and Omaha River City Rodeo on Twitter.

Living In The Yellow Adds Concealed Handgun Permit Class, Announces Upcoming Schedule Patty Nun, an NRA Trained Pistol Instructor, and owner of Living In The Yellow, has announced their first Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) Class will be offered in Lincoln, NE on Saturday, June 23. This program is approved and required for those women who would like to apply to the Nebraska State Patrol to be able to carry a concealed handgun.   Living In The Yellow has been providing Women’s Basic Pistol Training Classes since 2014 and that class is required for those who would like to attend this CHP training.   “We feel strongly that a basic training class better prepares a woman to know and understand how to safely operate a firearm, and provides them with the confidence needed to be able to select a gun they will be personally comfortable with owning and operating,” says Nun. Living In The Yellow’s next Basic Pistol Course for Women is being offered Saturday, September 22, 2018. This full day class is for women who have little or no previous experience handling a pistol.  Registration is limited to twelve participants and would qualify the attendees to attend a CHP Class in the future. “More than ever, women are concerned for their safety.  We all know there is no substitute for being prepared and aware of our surroundings to insure the safety of ourselves and our family members.   That is the common theme of the training we do at Living in the Yellow,” says Nun.   To find out more information or to register for a class, go to   or call Patty Nun at (402) 432-6470.

Control Depot Hosts Certification Classes Control Depot, a Honeywell Authorized Systems Distributor (ASD) serving Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota, hosted two classes in March at their training center. On March 19-29, they facilitated a N i a ga r a 4 Te c h n i c a l Certification Program (TCP) training class, and then on March 27-29, they offered a Honeywell BACnet Spyder Controller Certification class. Each class was attended by approximately 10 students. The Niagara 4 certification class teaches students to design, engineer, and program control projects using the Niagara 4 Framework. The Niagara 4 platform is the world leader in smart-building technology and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The Honeywell BACnet Spyder Certification class teaches students how to fully utilize the Honeywell Spyder controller to manage and optimize building automation systems utilizing industry standard BACnet communications. Control Depot sells and supports an extensive selection of residential and commercial controls and components to contractors and building owners, from a simple thermostat to a complete web-based building automation system. At Control Depot, their goal is to build strong and lasting relationships with their customers by providing value and experience that is unparalleled in the industry. The professionals at Control Depot strive to excel in all aspects of their business, offering quality services in a timely manner at affordable rates. For more information, visit or contact (402) 9340078 / MAY 2018 Strictly Business 15

BUSINESS NEWS Renaissance Festival of Nebraska Celebrates a Decade at Bellevue Berry Farm

Traveling OUR BODY: The Universe Within Exhibit Comes to Omaha

2018 will be remembered as Ren-Ten, 10 years of Renaissance festivals at the Bellevue Berry Farm! The first weekend, May 5-6, with its “Mythical Jubilee” theme, historical and fantastical creatures will lead our merry-making. These will be excellent days to spy a unicorn, witness the butterfly release or try to catch a fairy! The second weekend, May 12-13, “A Royal Celebration,” will be a grand observance of our decade of faires. The Renaissance Festival of Nebraska welcomes Tricks of the Light. This trio brings heat with dance and rhythmic moves choreographed to live fire! Returning for their second year in a row are Topsy-Turvey, the allfemale acrobatic troupe combining strength, grace, and flexibility with elements of dance, and gymnastics. Festival stages will be filled with performances of exotic dancers, comic improv, tall-tale storytelling, and old-world magic. Subdue your hunger with turkey legs, funnel cakes, homemade root beer or any of the other fun festival foods that will be offered. The New Riders of the Golden Age bring new equestrian jousting programs each festival weekend. These hard-hitting jousters and their magnificent warhorses are a sight to behold. Round out your days’ worth of fun by visiting a historical re-enactment group, taking a chance at the many games of skill, and getting creative with free make-and-take crafts. Celebrate with more than 60 merchants, over 200 costumed characters, and dozens of performers the first two weekends in May at the Bellevue Berry Farm. Tickets and more information can be found at www.RenFestNebraska. com.

An eye-opening and educational exhibition comprised of actual human bodies and organs will make its Midwest debut in Omaha. OUR BODY: The Universe Within will be on display at The Capitol District, 225 N. 12th Street, May 5 to July 31, with the option of extending the exhibition based on demand.


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OUR BODY: The Universe Within exposes the inner workings of human anatomy by presenting actual human specimens, anatomical displays, reproductions of historic anatomical artwork and much more. By presenting an artful, compelling and dignified environment, guests will connect with the human artifacts on a personal level that will help them to better understand their own bodies. The exhibit includes approximately 15 whole body specimens and 49 display cases containing more than 110 organs and specimens. The self-guided tour includes four touch specimens: liver, brain, kidney and heart. Appropriate for all ages, three supplemental guides are available online for families, sixth through eighth graders and high school students. OUR BODY: The Universe Within is produced by The Universe Within Touring Company, LLC. Adult tickets to OUR BODY: The Universe Within start at $15. Discounted tickets are available for seniors (ages 65 and up), $12; Military personnel and family, $12; students, $12; and children ages 5 to 14, $10. Children age four and under are free. An adult must accompany all children under the age of 12. In addition, OUR BODY offers special pricing for groups and schools. For more information, please visit

BUSINESS NEWS Entertainment Set for Sip Nebraska Wine, Craft Beer & Spirits Festival

Greater Omaha Chamber Announces 2018 Business Excellence Award Winners

Entertainment is set for Sip Nebraska, taking place May 11-12 at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park May 11-12. Guests are invited to taste 100+ Nebraska wines, craft beers and, new this year, distilled spirits! The two days include local bands, shopping at 30+ artisan and food vendors, wine glass painting, salsa and line dancing lessons, educational sessions and yoga…and all activities are included in the ticket price!

The Greater Omaha Chamber has announced the slate of Business Excellence Award winners. The awards celebrate companies – innovators, givers and leaders – who dedicate themselves to excellence and help make Greater Omaha a more vibrant place to do business, work and live.

The schedule of musicians, educational sessions, yoga classes and dance lessons are posted on the Sip Nebraska website at www. Tickets range from $25 - $70; the tasting and limited edition tickets include commemorative items and wine, hard cider, craft beer and distilled spirits tastings. A limited number of lodge rooms are still available Friday night at the park for guests of the festival. Tickets and more information are available at www. For lodging, call (402) 882-2448. Additional rooms can be found at Hampton Inn & Suites in La Vista (free shuttle to and from the festival) and Holiday Inn Gretna. Volunteer and sponsor opportunities are still available. Call (402) 882-2448 or email at Blur Parties, Inc. for more information.

2018 winners: ACCESSBank; Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture; Children’s Hospital & Medical Center; Creighton University; Ervin & Smith; First National Bank; Gallup; Home Instead Senior Care; LeaseTeam, Inc.; Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska; No More Empty Pots; Noddle Companies; Omaha Storm Chasers; Open Door Mission; Project Harmony Child Protection Center; QLI; White Castle Roofing; WoodmenLife. Small Business of the Year: Elder Law of Omaha, P.C., L.L.O. 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 Thursday, May 17, 4 - 6 p.m., at Embassy Suites Omaha – La Vista. Sponsors: United Republic Bank, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, BOLD Office Solutions and Office Furniture Installers, Southwest Airlines, and B² Interactive. For more information and registration, visit www.omahachamber. org/excellenceawards.

Biotech Connector at Nebraska Innovation Campus Open for Business The Biotech Connector, the state’s first wet-lab business incubator, is now open for business at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln. Companies already are using the newly completed 7,700-squarefoot facility, according to Dan Duncan, NIC’s executive director. The Biotech Connector is a collaboration between NIC and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Bio Nebraska, Invest Nebraska and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The facility provides incubation and acceleration services to bioscience startups and high-growth biotech and research-based businesses. Housed on the fourth floor of the Food Innovation Center, the incubator offers wet-lab space to develop biotech commercial proof-of-concept prototypes in Nebraska. Wet labs are specialized laboratories that offer water, direct ventilation and specialized piped utilities. They are often used to test chemicals, drugs and biological matter. “The Biotech Connector empowers entrepreneurial scientists, mentors startup biotech firms and develops partnerships to launch biotech companies,” said Eric Zeece, manager of the Biotech Connector and innovation manager for Invest Nebraska. The Biotech Connector leases wet-lab space to companies or organizations with the goals of expanding the state’s biotechnology industry and creating high-paying jobs. The space offers bench space for lease, equipment, commercialization support, life-science mentors, assistance for qualified firms preparing non-dilutive grant applications and offers assistance for companies preparing for venture financing. Nebraska Innovation Campus is designed to create partnerships between the university and private sector businesses. Find our more online at `.

Cities of Papillion and Gretna Implement Recycling Program The Sarpy County Chamber Leadership Sarpy class for 2017-18 has completed their legacy project with recycling in mind. The Leadership Team has worked with the Cities of Gretna and Papillion to implement a recycling program in parks and sports facilities. The team also worked with Second Nature to ensure the long- term success of the program. As a result of this effort, both cities will have recycling bins available for citizens to use rather than using the regular waste receptacles that were in place. Papillion will have over 25 recycling bins and Gretna will have 25 at this time. The bins are now in place and ready for use at each facility. The goal of this project is to divert the trash collected at these locations from the public landfills to a recyclable material processing facility. Currently a majority of the trash (up to 60%) is recyclable. In the past, the material has been thrown away due to no other available options. Leadership Sarpy is a program for leaders to become engaged in Sarpy County through interactive sessions that give exposure to the key challenges and opportunities of the county. Diverse topics give insight to economic development, quality of life, local and state government and community awareness. Each session encourages and inspires participants to reflect upon and develop their leadership potential in Sarpy County. Along the journey, participants establish long-lasting relationships with one another and become committed to enhancing the future of Sarpy County. The Leadership Sarpy Team includes 6 community leaders (Pat Hillyer, Angie Lauritsen, Travis Gibbons, Steve Wallace, Cathy Alm, and James Dean). The team met over the last six months to better themselves and improve Sarpy County. MAY 2018 Strictly Business 17


Tony Livingston



Strictly Business MAY 2018

Meet Tony Livingston, a national account manager at Headsetters™. Tell us a little about your business. Headsetters™ is a full-service distributor of wireless, Bluetooth and corded headsets to clients nationwide. We carry a wide variety of professional-grade audio communication devices from top brands such as Plantronics, Jabra, VXI, Sennheiser and Starkey. Additionally, we provide headset accessories, headset repairs, headset rentals and refurbished headsets. How did you get started in the business? - I applied for a position in shipping and receiving way back in 1997 and landed the job. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Not having enough time in the day to get all my calls and emails finished. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I take immense pride in helping companies sound their best on a daily basis. Tell us a little about your family. - I have 2 extremely active children. My daughter is involved in every sport invented it seems and my son helps me stay young from chasing him around the house. They’re 12 years apart, so that keeps things interesting. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? That’s an easy answer. The moment the doctor said it’s a girl. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - You will find me fishing somewhere with the exception of the winter months, because I’m not a big fan of ice fishing. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I can juggle more than 3 objects at a time. What are you the most proud of? - My children. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - “Celebrate the time you have on the planet.” From my mom, circa 1990ish. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Wow! If you had a theme song, what would it be? - The Friends theme song, I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Wait?! Not everybody has a superpower? I’ll go ahead and keep mine a secret then. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I can’t play video games at work. Which talent would you most like to have? - This is a question that I’ve never considered before. I think I would have to say I don’t focus on a talent I don’t possess. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I’m fortunate to be exactly where I’m supposed to be. What is your favorite movie? - Star Wars, all of them. Seriously, STAR WARS! What is your favorite TV show? - Dexter. What is your favorite local restaurant? - M’s Pub. Yummy. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - I would love to have dinner with my parents one last time. To me, they are the most famous superhero duo ever. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? They are more than welcome to stop by the shop at 7758 Cass Street in Omaha, or to contact me at (402) 951-9126 or tonyl@headsetters. com. You can also get in touch via our website at


Ralph Kellogg

CENTRIS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Meet Ralph Kellogg, vice president, Human Resources at Centris Federal Credit Union. How did you get started in the business? Purely by chance. A very good friend of mine worked at Commercial Federal Bank and she encouraged me to apply, which is where I got my start in the banking and financial services industry. I then went on to work for an Omaha-area nonprofit and a mediation firm. In 2009 I began working for Centris and in 2012 I was promoted to my current role. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I have a diverse career history. Some of the positions I have held have been a result of my choosing, while others from circumstance. Regardless of the situation, I have always tried to put my best foot forward and be a positive contributor and leader. At a few points in my career, I suffered from Imposter Syndrome. I felt like at any moment my coworkers or superiors would realize that I did not know what I was doing and that my career would go down in flames. What I have learned is that no one has all the answers, even the leader/ manager. One has to be willing to put ego aside and recognize that everyone can serve as a teacher and that it is not important to have all the answers, but it is important to listen and apply what is learned. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Being selected to lead HR at Centris without any formal experience. I will always be grateful to my manager, Ann Helm, for giving me a chance to prove myself and I’ve worked diligently to make sure her faith in me was not misplaced ever since. Tell us a little about your family. - I have been with my husband Steve for 25 years. We have a wonderful immediate and extended family and we are very active in dog rescue. We have two dogs right now, Sophie and Daisy. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - I almost died when I was 27 years old. That experience taught me not to take people or life for granted. I promised myself that if I regained my health, I would contribute as much as I could to others, and carve out a meaningful life. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Drink great coffee, read a good book, and sit out on the deck, ideally when it’s sunny and 70 degrees. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I am socially awkward. If there is a way to make something awkward I am your guy. I used to try and hide it, but that only made situations worse. So, I own it, but I also give people fair warning! What are you the most proud of? - The longevity of my relationship with my spouse and that I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school and then college. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Genuine. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I have been involved with Inclusive Communities for several years, and this year I will assume the role as chairperson of their volunteer board. The focus of the organization is diversity, social justice, and inclusion. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Mantra in Benson. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; Website:

MAY 2018 Strictly Business


CASSIE Cassie Rosenthal CEDARS

Meet Cassie Rosenthal, foster care recruiter and trainer with CEDARS, a foster care agency serving youth and families statewide. Tell us a little about your organization. - CEDARS was founded in Lincoln, NE in 1947 when the community came together around one loving couple with a passion for providing safe refuge to children who had no other safe place to spend the night. Today we’re a dynamic team of 200 professionals helping kids in crisis and building strong families. Recently we’ve brought our offerings and expertise in foster care to the Bellevue area. How did you begin your career at CEDARS? - After college, I worked at a child center for kids with behavioral struggles who were kicked out of other daycares or schools. While I loved that, I had a hard time knowing that that company was not able to provide support to these families after they left, so I applied to work at CEDARS. I love that our foster homes have one Family Resource Partner who works with the foster parents and the youth, that the homes are wrapped in supports, and that someone at CEDARS is just a phone call away 24/7. What has been your most important achievement professionally? When one of the foster kids I am supporting gets an A in school, joins a club, volunteers, has a good day, is reunified with their parent, or is adopted into their forever family are all major successes for me. I enjoy planting seeds of hope and opening opportunities for children to find safety and stability in a caring foster home. Tell us a little about your family. - I grew up in Omaha with one older sister and a couple dogs on an acreage. I now have one dog of my own and will be getting married in June! What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - When I graduated high school, I wanted to be an interior designer. During my freshman year of college, I first heard of the prevalence of human trafficking in Nebraska, and my heart broke for those children. I decided to change my major and dedicate my life to social work with the hope of making a difference in the life of one child. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - On my days off, I enjoy putting together a puzzle. I love the idea that you can have 1,000 pieces that look like a mess at first, but when you take time to put them together, they create a beautiful picture! What are you the most proud of? - The opportunity to have CEDARS Foster Care in Bellevue and to play a part in that expansion! I moved back to Omaha last year and I have loved being able to come back to my hometown to create new connections, open doors, and share with the community my passion for CEDARS and our growing need for foster homes in the area! If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Empathetic. What is your favorite TV show? - I love watching Survivor and have seen all 36 seasons! Growing up, we always watched as a family. I have even gotten my fiancé and his family into it and they have gone back and watched all the old seasons! What is your favorite local restaurant? - Thai Spice! I love learning about different cultures and experiencing new things! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 802-8646; Email:; Website:


Strictly Business MAY 2018


Meet Denise Petrovich, window treatment consultant at Echo Systems. Tell us a little about your business. - Echo Systems is the residential and commercial automation division of Echo Group, Inc, which has roots in the community dating back more than 60 years, and has quietly emerged as the Midwest’s fastest-growing provider of professional electronic systems for homes, schools, offices, hospitals, hotels and houses of worship. How did you get started in the business? - I had a part-time job at a small design studio. My work there included helping clients make decisions with custom drapery, bedspreads, and window coverings. I found I really enjoyed it. I went on to have several different jobs following that one but came to a point where I really wanted to do what I loved. So I returned to pursue my passion for interior design and feel grateful that I get to do what I love again. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Similarly, it was finding the work I was passionate about and then finding the right fit as far as position and company. I’ve always admired and sort of sought out and gravitated toward the people who truly loved their jobs as I loved the energy and positivity surrounding them and wanted the same for myself. To get to this place I really had to focus on what I enjoyed and felt I had a passion for, then get serious about it, take the risk and go for it. There has been a significant learning curve but perseverance and a real love for the work has helped. I enjoy the variety in each day. Tell us a little about your family. - I have 3 children who are all married. Two of them have children and I’ll soon have a new granddaughter, who is expected to make her debut in July! What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Any adventure including hiking or biking. I plan to take up kayaking this year. What are you the most proud of? - Seeing my children be happy in the lives they lead. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Adventurous. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To fly. It would be fun to see the world from another perspective and feel free. Also, no more getting stuck in traffic because I could just fly above it all! If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I would like to create and sell my own line of products, featuring household items such as bedding, pillows, rugs and more. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I fully support any organization that empowers people who need help so they can get themselves to a better place in life and sustain that forward progress long-term. I believe in giving a hand up and not a handout, and helping others see their own potential so they’re able to share their unique gifts with the world. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Lo Sole Mio Ristorante Italiano. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 334-4900; Website: MAY 2018 Strictly Business



Kari Lundeen

NEBRASKA COMMUNITY BLOOD BANK Meet Kari Lundeen, donor recruitment representative with Nebraska Community Blood Bank. Tell us a little about the organization and your role. - Nebraska Community Blood Bank provides lifesaving blood generously given by volunteer blood donors to local hospital partners in seven counties, including Omaha and Lincoln. NCBB is celebrating 50 years this year and we are thankful for our many donors and blood drive sponsors who’ve helped us reach this milestone. The need for blood is constant so it’s my role to discover new partnerships and foster current ones so we can continue to help save more and more lives. I work directly with people in the community and at corporations, schools, churches and military organizations to coordinate blood drives, with Omaha being a part of my territory. How did you get started in the business? - My father was an avid blood donor and worked in the non-profit sector most of his professional career. His stories and advice were a testament to how rewarding it was for him to be part of something that truly impacts people’s lives in a positive way. I wanted to have the same kind of stories and energy around something I spend most of my day doing so I joined the Nebraska Community Blood Bank team. Not only did I start a new career, I also started my journey as a blood donor. Most of my life my father walked around in blood donor shirts and sipped from NCBB mugs and I figured if he was doing it, so were a lot of other people and that they didn’t really need my blood. How wrong I was. We actually need to see about 1,000 donors each week to meet the needs of local patients and that number continues to grow as we serve more hospitals. Donating blood is important and if you’re able to, you should. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Finding my passion. I previously worked in sales at two Fortune 500 companies and I didn’t think I needed to feel passion for what I was selling. If it was a good product, I could effectively sell it but at the end of the day, that product didn’t really matter to me. It was a job. When I accepted this position over three years ago it changed all of that. I am lucky to have found a job I am truly passionate about. What has been your most important achievement professionally? At Nebraska Community Blood Bank we have five core values: Respect, Integrity, Synergy, Excellence and Service or RISES. When someone goes above and beyond we are encouraged to share that with the organization by nominating them for a RISES. Each year there is an overall RISES award which is nominated by our peers and voted on by leadership. I am honored to have been the 2017 RISES recipient. Tell us a little about your family. - I’m surrounded by boys, including our dog and cat. My husband Jon and I have three children, Colin (14), Reid (6) and Ellis (3). We are also blessed with many wonderful extended family members and friends. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Family time is a big one, but if given the chance, I could binge watch Bravo shows for hours on end. What are you the most proud of? - My awesome kids. We are not raising jerks. They are compassionate to others and we couldn’t be more proud. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Nebraska Community Blood Bank has a special place in my heart, of course, and I’m also very passionate about any non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping children. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Blue Sushi Sake Grill. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 486-9427; Email:; Website: www.


Strictly Business MAY 2018


Jen Magnuson

THE VACATION STORE & THE CRUISE COMPANY Meet Jen Magnuson, Leisure Travel Specialist with The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. Tell us a little about your business. - The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company has been serving the Omaha Metro and surrounding areas for over 30 years. We help our clients book their dream vacation, cruise, destination wedding, honeymoon and more! Our staff and travel agents have hundreds of years’ experience collectively, so we’re able to apply this vast knowledge and offer expert advice to help plan the perfect getaways for our clients to enjoy. How did you get started in the business? - My family loved to travel when I was younger, which instilled in me a passion for travelling and seeing the world. I love getting to know other people’s cultures and traditions. There is always new places to visit and something new to learn along the way. Tell us a little about your family. - I was born and raised in Omaha. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 6 years.  We have a 7-year-old dog, a Malshih (a mix between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu) named Lily. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I love to travel any chance I get!  But, if I only have one day off, I enjoy being outdoors so you will most likely find me walking around the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium or in the pool. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Fun! Life is too short to not make the most of it!  If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To fly! How amazing it would be to not have to pay for airfare to travel. Plus, I could avoid all of the crazy construction around town! Which talent would you most like to have? - I wish I was a talented chef.  Currently, I am really good at burning toast. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I’d love to be a travel blogger! I am constantly reading reviews and blogs on what’s new in travel.  To get to see the world and experience all these wonderful places I send people to, all while getting paid to do it for a living, would be incredible! What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - The Nebraska AIDS Project. It’s such an amazing organization that does such important work in our community! What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel.  In today’s world of technology it is nice to imagine living off the grid. What is your favorite movie? - Definitely Overboard, it’s hilarious!  I’m excited for the remake! What is your favorite TV show? - The Walking Dead. What is your favorite local restaurant? - La Casa Pizzeria! Amazing pizza! If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Amelia Earhart. She was such an incredible woman & pioneer! I would love to learn more about her amazing adventures. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone (800) 289-5505; Website: MAY 2018 Strictly Business



by Karl Schaphorst, President


Want More Sales? Act Dumb! Nick had just been hired and as yet, had not been sent out to the sales training seminars. If it were not for the fact that two of the salespeople called in sick, Nick would never have been on the floor. But there he was, with only the most basic information about the products he was supposed to sell. “Hi,” said the prospect coming up to Nick, “I’m interested in the grey one over there.” Nick was in a panic and before he could help himself, he blurted out, “Oh, that grey one over there, that’s good...I guess.” The prospect replied, “Yeah, it is good. Been looking for awhile.” Once again Nick found his mouth working independently of his brain. “I guess you must not really need it...since you’ve been looking for awhile.” Nick couldn’t believe he had just said that! What an idiot he thought to himself. “Well,” responded the prospect, “now that you mention it, I really do need it. Just wanted to make sure.” “Oh,” said Nick, “then you’re not really sure...” Nick was really struggling to come up with the magical words that would close this sale. The prospect just stared at Nick for a moment and turned to look at the grey one. Nick had no idea what to do or say next. So he found himself just standing there, speechless, like some sort of dummy. “Tell you what,” said the prospect, “I’ll take it.” “You’ll take it?” asked an astonished Nick. “Definitely, my mind’s made up.” After the customer left, Nick decided that as soon as he got the sales training, he’d really know what to do. He never again wanted to feel like such a dummy. With any luck and enough time, Nick will learn that professional salespeople do exactly what neophyte salespeople do, but learn to do it on purpose. And when the two ailing salespeople return and learn of Nick’s successful sale, it will be attributed to beginner’s luck. Nick succeeded in this case because he stumbled into a way to let the prospect close himself — Nick did not get in the way of the prospect and the order like most other salespeople would do. Being a professional dummy does not mean you immediately forget everything you know about the products and services that you sell. Product knowledge is useful for building confidence and to know what questions to ask. In many instances, forgetting this information could get you into quite a serious situation. However, product knowledge can sink you if you dump it at the wrong time. Once you have product knowledge, the vast majority of salespeople now believe that by telling anyone who will listen what this information is, a sale will be made. Consider this for a moment: people buy a product because it solves some pain they have. People do not buy because some salesperson educates them. People in pain want relief, not an education. Do not assume that you know what the prospect is looking for nor that the prospect has any interest in knowing what you know about a product/service. How do you go about doing this? Ask questions. Then take the answers and reflect them back to the prospect. The prospect makes the decision to buy based on his level of pain and budget. The sale is NEVER made based on the intelligence and knowledge of the salesperson. If the prospect feels that your solution to his pain is within the budget, he will be convinced that you are the best salesperson in the world. His perception has nothing to do with what you actually have or don’t have in your head. The most successful salesperson is an educated dummy. Therefore, if you want more sales, act dumb!


Strictly Business MAY 2018

Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to mediumsized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at You can also follow his blog at

PERSONNEL NEWS Centris Federal Credit Union Announces Five Executive Promotions

Catherine Lang Reelected to 2nd Term on MLCDC Board of Directors

Centris Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce the promotion of Tom Huston, executive vice president, chief financial officer; Ann Helm, executive vice president, Retail and Administration; Rick Pratt, executive vice president, Credit Tom Huston Ann Helm and Risk; Jeff Shapiro, executive vice president, Lending and Donna Naimoli , senior executive assistant. Tom Huston joined Centris in 2015 bringing technical accounting ex p e r t i s e, financial services Rick Pratt Jeff Shapiro background, and internal controls/risk management knowledge. During his tenure with Centris, he has been instrumental in leading significant improvements in Centris’ compliance and regulatory control environment. In 2001, Ann Helm joined Centris in the Human Resources department. She has grown with Centris into her role leading Retail, HR, and Facilities divisions. Under her leadership for Retail, Helm significantly grew Centris’ loan and deposit portfolios through aggressive Donna Naimoli expansion with new branches in Omaha, North Platte and Council Bluffs. Helm continues to proactively further Centris’ commitment to Omaha with a new branch near 195th & Harrison Street and plans for a new headquarters building. Rick Pratt joined Centris in 2012 and brought a credit and risk management discipline that has driven prudent and practical growth of the loan portfolio. Under his leadership Centris has seen significant growth in loans and reduction in delinquencies. Pratt leads the Technology Services department and under his leadership the team has had success in the selection of new banking systems and data center move. Jeff Shapiro joined Centris in 2009 as mortgage production manager. Through his leadership, Centris has had significant growth in mortgage loans, mortgage servicing and tripled the number of mortgage members served. As Centris has grown, Shapiro has added to his responsibilities Indirect Auto, Indirect Merchant, Commercial, and Construction departments. Donna Naimoli has been employed at Centris since 2002. During her tenure, Naimoli has supported several executives and Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee members. In 2017, Naimoli passed the Professional Administrator Certification of Excellence (PACE) Certification. In addition to her current responsibilities, Naimoli will leverage her expertise to support the EVPs mentioned. Founded over 80 years ago, Centris Federal Credit Union is one of Nebraska’s largest community chartered credit unions. Centris serves Douglas, Sarpy, Lincoln and Pottawattamie counties and has 12 offices located in Omaha, Grand Island and North Platte, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. For more information, visit

Catherine Lang was recently reelected to a second term on the Board of Directors for the Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC). She serves as Board secretary and the chair of the Nomination Committee. Lang is the state director for the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), a program funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration housed on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus. She leads the statewide outreach for NBDC and works to build new collaborative efforts across all four campuses of the University of Nebraska to support the University’s economic development mission for the state. Previously, Lang was employed by the State of Nebraska for almost 33 years, holding positions as the director of Nebraska Department of Economic Development, commissioner of labor, Nebraska property tax administrator, and deputy tax commissioner. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and her Juris Doctor from the University of NebraskaLincoln. As an involved state and community leader, Lang is a member of several local and state philanthropic and community organizations. MLCDC provides Latinos with opportunities to generate economic growth in the Midlands. For more information about the work that is being done in the Omaha Metro area, please call (402) 933-4466 or visit

Goosmann Law’s Josh White Joins Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Executive Committee Josh White, executive director of Goosmann Law Firm’s Omaha Office, has been named to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Executive Committee. As a member of the Executive Committee, White will join forces with the Goosmann Law team to sponsor and execute the annual fundraising walk hosted by the society. The ultimate goal of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is to create a world without blood cancers. In order to work towards this goal, the society hosts the Light the Night Walk to raise funds and awareness for the diseases. As a member of the Executive Committee, White will be tasked with working with LLS to develop a fundraising plan and coordinating staff and volunteers to achieve the goals of the Light the Night Walk. White says, “It means so much to me to be part of the LLS Executive Committee. My brother is a 6-year survivor of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Our family witnessed the struggle, pain, and ultimate triumph that he and his family went through in fighting the disease. Because of this first-hand experience, I am honored to be a part of a group that can help raise awareness and funding for the continued fight against blood related cancers.” The Goosmann Law Firm is a full-service law firm with locations in Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. To learn more about the Goosmann Law Firm, visit their website at or call (855) 843-4531. MAY 2018 Strictly Business 25

PERSONNEL NEWS Michael D. Matejka Elected President of Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc. Board

Vice President Julie Baumert Celebrates 20 Years With SC Riverside

Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc. (FHAS) is pleased to announce that Michael D. Matejka, of the Omaha office of the law firm Woods & Aiken LLP, has been elected president of the Board of Directors of FHAS after years of service on the Board. Mr. Matejka is one of Omaha’s most respected real estate lawyers, whose experience includes real estate development, leasing, like-kind exchanges, and tax planning for real estate transactions as well as substantial community service to the nonprofit community.

SC Riverside Inc., national recruiting specialists in the ARM and Revenue Cycle space, are pleased to announce the 20-year anniversary of Vice President Julie Baumert.

Since 1968, Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc. (FHAS) has been dedicated to improving quality of life by helping people achieve housing stability and financial security. Over its 47 years, FHAS has developed solutions in response to a broad range of housing issues that have surfaced in and/or plagued our community. Through a unique combination of comprehensive services, FHAS prevents homelessness, educates home owners, provides foreclosure prevention options, develops financiallywise consumers (including youth transitioning out of foster care), offers affordable mortgage lending options, eliminates housing discrimination, and reduces poverty through access to tax credits. For more information please visit

Bryan Ahlers Joins DLR Group as Director of Financial Operations DLR Group CFO Rebecca Schnack has announced that Bryan Ahlers has joined DLR Group as director of financial operations, a new role within the firm. Ahlers has more than 20 years of financial experience in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. Ahlers will oversee accounting functions for DLR Group’s 30 office locations around the world and provide guidance and leadership to accounting staff. He will enhance the financial support provided to projects and sector and regional leadership teams through a more focused approach to project accounting. Ahlers will collaborate with regional controllers and the firm’s corporate accounting team to deliver greater financial expertise at the operational level, including project billing and accounts receivable, and governmental compliance. Most recently, Ahlers served as controller for MSA Professional Services, Inc. where he oversaw accounting and financial reporting. He also previously served as senior vice president and company controller at HDR Architecture, and currently serves as an advisor and board member for Northstar Endeavors, a start-up wind energy tower manufacturer. Ahlers earned his EMBA from the University of Nebraska Omaha and a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. He is involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Construction Financial Management Association and the Omaha Business Ethics Alliance. DLR Group ( is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. 26 Strictly Business MAY 2018

Baumert has worked at SC Riverside since 1998. Before joining SC Riverside, Baumert was in sales at Dun & Bradstreet, as well as managing national call center outsourcing clients. She has attained the CSAM (Certified Senior Account Manager) certification, demonstrating a commitment to excellence and leadership, as well as numerous Pacesetter Awards. “Julie has been instrumental in our success since the beginning,” said Jim Finocchiaro, president and founder. “She was our first employee and has mentored countless staffing and recruiting professionals over the years. As a natural problem solver, she is frequently our go-to person for database and software expertise as well as process improvement. She is an essential part of SC Riverside, and we are fortunate that she is part of the team.” To learn more about SC Riverside Inc., visit

Jason Hansen Named Director of Commercial Banking at American National Bank American National Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Jason L. Hansen to director of Commercial Banking. In this role, he will be responsible for managing, guiding and leading the Commercial Banking teams in the Nebraska and Iowa markets. As a member of the senior management team, Jason will help develop and execute the strategic commercial banking activity and revenue growth strategies for the bank. “Jason brings more than 15 years of banking experience in both leadership and client development with a proven track record of success. He is an invaluable member of our team who consistently demonstrates the core values of the bank as a trusted partner to his clients and a passionate leader in the community,” said Bill Klein, CEO. Mr. Hansen has held progressive positions at the bank throughout all lines of banking operations including sales, management, audit and compliance. Also active in the community, he currently serves as chairman emeritus after recently serving as chairman of the board for the Urban League of Nebraska and has previously served as finance chair for the Goodrich Scholarship Program and as a mentor for Sacred Heart Elementary School. He is a recipient of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Service from the University of Nebraska – Omaha. American National Bank is the second largest locally owned bank based on deposits in the Omaha/Council Bluffs market area. With $3.6 billion in assets and greater than 525 employees, it operates 30 full-service offices in Nebraska and Iowa, and 7 locations in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, operating under Western Bank, a Division of American National Bank.  American National Bank also has loan production offices in Kansas and Texas. For more information, visit

PERSONNEL NEWS Five Nines Announces Promotion of Mark Niven to Primary Engineer

Felicia Weaver Receives PIP’s Sales “Rookie of Year” Award

Five Nines is excited to announce the promotion of Mark Niven to a primary engineer in the Lincoln office.

Felicia Weaver of PIP in Omaha, Nebraska was named “Rookie Salesperson of the Year” at the PIP Sales Forum, March 8-10 at the Marriott River Walk in San Antonio, Texas. The award recognizes a new PIP salesperson achieving the highest dollar sales among all salespeople completing their first year within the franchise network.

Niven has been with Five Nines for over 5 years. He was originally drawn to the field of IT because it was a way for him to help people. He is looking forward to getting to know more about his clients’ IT infrastructures with this new position. “Mark has been a great asset on our Managed Services team,” said Julian Staab, service manager at Five Nines. “He is always willing to go above and beyond to solve the technical problems he encounters and approaches every situation with a go-getter mindset.” 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

Erol Kinkaid Recognized by BNI Heartland as BNI Member of the Year – Omaha Area BNI Heartland, the Heartland’s leading referral organization, is pleased to announce Erol Kinkaid was recently named “Regional Member of the Year” at the Omaha Area BNI Regional Business Awards. This annual event, which highlights member and chapter achievements, included over 100 small business owners dedicated to growing their businesses and increasing the economic footprint in the Omaha area. Erol Kinkaid has been an active BNI member since 2015. Kinkaid is a member of the Multiply Your Profits Chapter in Omaha, NE and currently serves as the chapter’s vice president. In 2017 he led his chapter with 98% attendance, completed over 100 One-to-Ones, which resulted in more than 100 referrals passed, and was thanked for business generated of over $150,000 by his Chapter members. Kinkaid also invited 8 visitors to the chapter, sponsoring 2 as new members. Vince Vigneri, BNI Heartland’s executive director, said, “Kinkaid exemplified the Core Values of BNI®, with Givers Gain® being the foundation of his success.” This award is presented each year to one member for their commitment to BNI, dedicated to their fellow members and BNI’s core values, and productivity within the chapter, and ultimately the region! Founded in 1985, BNI is the recognized leader in business networking worldwide. Members meet each week to share qualified business referrals with their colleagues and to grow personally and professionally with like-minded business professionals. In 2017 alone, BNI member referrals generated over $13 billion USD of business for memberbusinesses. For more information about BNI, visit or reach out to Vince Vigneri, executive director, via email at

“As a new salesperson, Weaver embraced her sales responsibilities proactively and with a can-do attitude,” said Mark Johns, senior business development consultant for Franchise Services, Inc., parent company of PIP. “It’s an honor to present Felicia with this well-earned award.” PIP is a marketing, signs and print services provider that helps small- to medium-sized companies grow through effective business communications. A worldwide network of nearly 400 franchise locations and affiliates offers robust digital and offset printing, signage, integrated marketing campaigns, direct mail and fulfillment services, promotional products, graphic design, and websites including online storefronts. PIP is located at 11067 W. Maple Road in Omaha. For more information, visit or call (402) 334-5093.

Mike Friend Joins Goodwill in Omaha as Development Director Michael J. Friend has joined Goodwill in Omaha as the development director. Most recently, Friend has been in charge of business development for Nebraska Data Centers, LLC, a company providing data center space, power and connectivity to enterprise class customers. An Omaha native and alum of Millard South High School, Kearney State College and Creighton University, Friend worked as a journalist with the Nebraska City NewsPress and the Grand Island Independent, and was a writer with Smart Computing Magazine in Lincoln. He later transitioned into technical writing and business writing, spending over a decade with First National Bank of Omaha. He further transitioned into business development and fundraising and development with entities such as the State of Nebraska, Americans for Prosperity, and First National Technology Solutions. In 2002, Friend was elected to represent the 10th Legislative District in the Nebraska Legislature. He was re-elected in 2006 with over 76% of the vote. He sat on the General Affairs, Revenue, and Legislative Performance Audit Committees, and chaired the Urban Affairs Committee. He has also sat on local committees such as the Omaha Summer Arts Festival (2005-2006), The Greater Omaha YMCA’s Youth Advisory Council (2006-2007), and was President of the Burke High School Gridiron Club (2009–2011). For more information about Goodwill Industries, Inc. serving Eastern Nebraska & Southwest Iowa, visit or call (402) 341-4609. MAY 2018 Strictly Business 27

PERSONNEL NEWS Tracy Shutt Joins NAM to Lead New Financial Services Program

Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc. Elects Three New Board Members

The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM) has created a new Financial Services program to assist its nonprofit members throughout Nebraska and western Iowa with their accounting needs and other day-to-day financial operations. Tracy Shutt has joined NAM as financial services director to lead the program. Shutt’s previous experience includes working as the director of finance for Completely KIDS, Film Streams and the Colorado Nonprofit Association, a state association similar to NAM. The Financial Services program will provide reasonable fee-for-service assistance, including check processing, invoicing, monthly financial reports, payroll setup and much more. The purpose of the program is to help nonprofits outsource accounting functions to become more costefficient and allow more time for organizations to focus on their missions. Shutt, who has more than 20 years of nonprofit account services experience, is qualified in preparing monthly financial statements; developing and implementing account systems; policies and procedures; grant tracking and reporting; budgeting; and audit preparation. Shutt earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Hastings College. She has worked for nonprofit agencies, including a health system, a foster care service and an art-house cinema. Visit for more information on the Financial Services program.

Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc., shareholders elected three new members to the Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc., Board of Directors during their meeting on March 10. Joining the board are Norm Hedgecock, a retired Norm Hedgecock accountant from BKD; Craig Pohlman, president of TSA Manufacturing; and Christie Hinrichs, president of Tabitha, Inc.


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Craig Pohlman

“The diverse experience and insight our new members bring will add strength to our organization and help us better serve our community banks,” Pinnacle Bancorp Chairman of the Board Sid Dinsdale said. Pinnacle Bancorp is a Nebraska based, family-owned financial holding company Christie Hinrichs with over $10 billion in assets. It operates 151 community banks in seven states including 64 locations in Nebraska. For more information, visit

PERSONNEL NEWS Tim Hoffman Promoted to CFO at Midwest Medical Transport Company

Adam Dubuc Named New Operations Manager at BlueCloud

Tim Hoffman of Midwest Medical Transport Company was recently promoted from Finance Director to CFO.

Adam Dubuc is the new operations manager for BlueCloud. Adam has over 10 years’ experience in the facilities industry. He will be responsible for the day to day management of operations, project oversight, technical training and client account management.

Hoffman joined the company in 2015 with more than 20+ years of leadership experience in a variety of industries. He has served as a Chief Accounting Officer for a mid-sized NASDAQ company and as a CFO for a select set of diversified businesses. He focuses of prioritization, teamwork, and results in everything he does. His extensive experience in SEC reporting, mergers and acquisitions, systems and procedures analysis, capital financing, financial projections, modeling and core metrics, and KPI reporting make him an invaluable asset to the organization. For more information about Midwest Medical Transport Company, please call (402) 800-2946 or visit www.midwestmedicaltransport. net.

Adam has a BA from Creighton University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska - Omaha. BlueCloud is the Midwest’s premier provider of single-source, whole-workspace cleaning solutions. We provide the highest level of workspace clean by repairing, restoring, and maintaining architectural finishes, inside and outside of buildings such as carpet, furniture, stone, metal, wood, and concrete. For more information, visit or call (402) 933-7033.

UNMC Names Dr. Linda Love Director of Office of Faculty Development HRAM Recognizes Volunteers of the Year T h e H u m a n Re s o u r c e Association of the Midlands (HRAM; named two members as co-winners of the 2017 Volunteer of the Year award. Linda Mack and Terry Rogers- Womac k wer e recognized for their efforts a s t h e o r ga n i z a t i o n’s diversity committee cochairs over the past three Pictured (L-R): Linda Mack, Mike years at HRAM’s chapter Bojanski, and Terri Rogers-Womack. program on April 3. The award is given annually to a member or members who have made outstanding contributions to HRAM during the year. “This committee is the most engaged of all of our committees,” said Mike Bojanski, the 2018 board president. “Terry and Linda promoted engagement from the rest of the committee and redefined diversity beyond the typical – but important – gender identity, transgender, and glass ceiling issues.” During their tenure, Mack and Rogers-Womack developed a symposium-style series of events dedicated to addressing diversity issues such as those mentioned above plus issues such as sex trafficking and helping the incarcerated and recently released prison populations transition to the workforce. “The diversity symposia are consistently sold out,” said Virginia Kiviranta, the 2017 board president, “not only to human resource professionals but to members of the community and business owners, too. Their level of dedication, consistency and ingenuity was due to an out-of-the-box collaboration with a variety of partnerships that really elevated their programming. It was incredibly cutting edge.” Mack founded Mack Consulting in 2012 to provide an array of business solutions including human resource services. Rogers-Womack works in talent acquisition for First Data Corporation.

Linda Love, Ed.D., has been named director of the Office of Faculty Development at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The office enhances faculty skills in clinical and classroom teaching, research, leadership and scholarship for more than 1,800 UNMC faculty in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk. The office is guided by the Education Development Committee and Career Development and Engagement Committee to assure and advance the development of faculty and works with a network of stakeholders including the Office of Faculty Mentoring, the Interprofessional Academy of Educators, and Nebraska Medicine. Dr. Love, who grew up in Lincoln, joined UNMC in 2004, earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of South Dakota. She succeeds Howard Liu, M.D., who stepped down recently after being named interim chair of the UNMC Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Love has seen a rapid evolution in faculty development needs during her 14 years at UNMC. To address these needs, faculty development is planning programs and services that support the growth of both individual faculty members and the institution as a whole, she said. She will focus on growing leaders and coaching faculty to be successful in representing Nebraska locally and nationally.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know & Who Knows You! At Strictly Business Magazine we strive to recognize local businessmen and women for their significant awards, promotions, ac hievements, and/or effor ts in par tnership with other organizations and the Omaha 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 MAY 2018 Strictly Business 29

NON-PROFIT NEWS CRE Summit Raises Significant Funds for Angels Among Us

NAMI Omaha Announces Upcoming Public Educational Meeting

Angels Among Us is the beneficiary of a very successful fundraising initiative spearheaded by Jerry Slusky as part of the 2018 Commercial Real Estate Summit which was held on April 6. Jerry challenged area companies and individuals to help raise $50,000 to assist local families whose children have pediatric cancer.  Pre-event commitments totaled nearly $20,000 with additional donations made on the day of the event. “Our goal is to raise funds to help Angels Among Us remove families from their rather extensive waiting list.  We want to help Angels meet the current need right now and not have families waiting for assistance. This is a permanent partnership that will result in the creation of the CRE Summit Angels,” said Slusky.   In recognition, the CRE Summit Angels will be included in a sponsorship of the future new home for the agency in the planned expansion of the Ronald McDonald House in Omaha. Angels Among Us is a Nebraska nonprofit that financially assists families whose children have cancer.  Any pediatric cancer family living in or being treated in Nebraska is eligible to apply for assistance. More information can be found at or by contacting the Susan Nelson, executive director, at (402) 934-0999 /

NAMI Omaha is excited to share that their next free Mental Health NAMI Affiliate meeting, open to the public, will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 6 - 8 p.m. 

Movers for Moms Donation Drive Continues to Support Local Women in Need In honor of Mother’s Day, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK organizes a collection drive annually to benefit residents at Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA) as a part of their Movers for Moms® program. Working with abused and homeless mothers in need, WCA is the go-to place for those in the Omaha area who are experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.  Last year was the program’s most successful year-to-date, with more than 295,000 items collected for donation to hundreds of shelters across the country nationally. This year, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is hoping to collect more than 300,000 items for moms in need across the country. The local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchise will be collecting toiletries and small, household items including nice soaps, hair styling products, shampoos and conditioners, pillows, blankets, slippers, and other basic clothing items across the Omaha Metro. The moving company has teamed up with all 26 CIP apartment complexes throughout Omaha and Lincoln, which are serving as collection centers. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK will then pick up and deliver the items to WCA around Mother’s Day.  If you’re interested in donating items, drop them off at your nearest CIP apartment complex or email Go to to learn more about the Women’s Center for Advancement. 30 Strictly Business MAY 2018

The event will feature members of the Omaha Police Department “Crisis Intervention Team,” a unit trained to handle emergency calls involving mental health crises. No reservations are necessary and a complimentary light meal will be served. These meetings take place the first Thursday of each month at First United Methodist Church, located at 7020 Cass Street in Omaha. Parking is available on the east and north side of the church. Enter through doors 4 or 6 and proceed to room 112. NAMI Omaha is a local affiliate of The National Alliance on Mental Illness. They provide free support to family and friends who have a loved one living with mental illness through education, literature, workshops, conferences, support groups and more. They also offer support groups to the individuals who have a mental illness. For information, go to or call (402) 3458101. For helpful articles on mental illness, follow on Facebook at

Omaha Public Schools Benefits From Big Red Keno STEM-Enrichment Grant Big Red Keno recently announced the award of $57,000 to six youth-serving organizations that will impact 13 schools in eastern Nebraska through its 2018 Science & Math Program. The program supports the enrichment of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities. Omaha-area recipients are Omaha North High Magnet School, Lothrop Magnet School, and Beyond School Bells. Grant recipient Beyond School Bells, Nebraska’s statewide afterschool and summer learning network, received funds to bring a Think, Make, Create (TMC) Lab to the Omaha community. The TMC is a fully equipped, enclosed trailer that provides a full range of STEM supplies supporting pop-up tinkering, making, creative play and learning. The TMCs were given by Beyond School Bells to Civic Nebraska to support the students at three Omaha schools: Sherman Elementary School, Lewis and Clark Middle School, and Lothrop Magnet School. Lothrop Magnet School allocated funds towards the purchase of new STEM materials, including Magformers - STEAM, MobyMax software, Code-a-pillars, and more. Two-time grant recipient Omaha North High Magnet School used funds to purchase Alternative Energy Classroom kits is building a solar bench to be installed on the school’s green roof. While charging electronic devices through the new Solar Bench, students can explore solar, fuel cell, wind, and hydro-energy concepts with hands-on building. The application process for the Science & Math Program took place in the fall and was open to any community that operates a Big Red Keno location. Since Big Red Keno’s Science & Math Program began in 2016, more than $200,000 has been awarded to 17 different youth-serving organizations. View all grant recipients and event details at

NON-PROFIT NEWS Technology Options Increase Listenership at Radio Talking Book Service

Date Announced for NAWIC/CFMA Construction Scholarship Golf Outing

Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) continues to connect seniors, the blind and visually impaired, and learning disabled individuals with the printed word. The internet stream of their radio broadcast enables RTBS to offer improved radio options for their listeners. Radio Talking Book Network (RTBN) has a new radio receiver option, RRS1100, which utilize the free-over-the-air digital TV signal (i.e. the TV signal available without cable or a dish).  These radios provide much-improved reception compared to traditional FM radios and are being placed with eligible individuals in their homes as well as in care facilities. Another new receiver option is the Metrosonix wireless internet radio—for individuals and care facilities that have access to the internet. With these new options, RTBN listenership has increased by over 4,500 individuals to date! All radio options are provided at no cost to eligible individuals or care facilities. To increase accessibility for listeners, RTBS implemented a telephone option, AudioNow, that allows individuals to call and listen to broadcasts from their home or mobile phones.  RTBS began podcasts of their daily live newspaper reading in November 2017 and will add weekly department store and grocery ads to the podcast offerings this spring. To volunteer or for more information, please visit or call (402) 572-3003.

The National Association of Women In Construction ( N AW I C ) a n d t h e Constr uction Financial Management Association (CFMA) are partnering again this year for their annual golf outing on August 21, 2018. It will be held at Indian Creek Golf Course, followed by a dinner recognizing last year’s scholarship recipients. Proceeds from the event will go towards the scholarships awarded by both organizations as well as construction industry programs. The goal is to extend their sold out streak into its fourth year! Registrations and sponsorship opportunities are available online at

Sportacus From LazyTown and American Heart Association Join Forces for Heart Walk

A total of $58,754 was presented to 15 local, nonprofit organizations located throughout eastern Nebraska and western Iowa from DodgeCares, Inc. The check presentation was held at the NP Dodge Sarpy Sales Office in Papillion. Special speakers included Colonel John Flosom, founder of Wounded Warriors, and Mary Talen, director of development with Youth Emergency Services (YES). Joining the DodgeCares Board of Directors were NP Dodge leadership, residential sales associates and employees who contributed throughout 2017 to the charitable program.

LazyTown is set to motivate and inspire the American Heart Association’s youngest Hear t Walk participants and their families with the help of Sportacus, the star of the LazyTown television series. Sportacus will appear on Saturday, May 12 at the Omaha-Council Bluffs Heart Walk presented by Physicians Mutual, First National Bank and media sponsor KMTV 3 News Now. The American Heart Association is working with LazyTown to inspire children and their families to get active and learn about heart health. The Heart Walk will take place at Miller’s Landing on Saturday, May 12 from 7-11 a.m. At 8 a.m., Sportacus will kick-off the Kids Heart Challenge, presented by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. The half-mile obstacle course for kids 5-12-years-old is back for its third year at the Omaha Heart Walk. Following the Kids Heart Challenge, Sportacus will also be on hand to get kids and their parents jumping, moving and warmed up for the official Heart Walk, starting with a brief Opening Ceremony at 9 a.m. The $10 registration for the Kids Heart Challenge, which includes a bandana and medal, can be completed now at OmahaHeartWalk. com. Heart Walk teams can also register at The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s mission – building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke – in action. Held annually, the walk celebrates those who have made lifestyle changes to improve their heart-health and encourages others to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles, while raising the funding needed for life-saving research and education. American Heart Association research shows just 30 minutes of walking each day can significantly reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 killers in the United States.

NAWIC is an international organization of women working in and around the construction industry. Its core purpose is to enhance the success of women in the industry through education, networking, and leadership opportunities.  The Midwest Region has over 530 members. Learn more by contacting Karli Meisinger at (402) 403-8851 /

DodgeCares Donates Over $58K to Local Charities

“Thank you to our amazing agents and employees for their contributions. We’re so proud of this program and the help that it provides to our community! The NP Dodge team of agents don’t have to give - but they do with great pride and generosity. And of the many amazing nonprofit organizations in our region that make sure the food and housing needs of our community and its people are met...we applaud each and every one of them for continuing to make this a better place to live,” said Mary Robson Rensch, president of the DodgeCares Board. DodgeCares, Inc. contributions are for the following nonprofit charitable organizations: Open Door Mission; Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter; MOHM’s Place/New Visions Homeless Services; Lydia House; Stephen Center; Habitat for Humanity of Omaha; Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity; Habitat for Humanity of Sarpy County; Together Inc.; Wounded Warriors Family Support; YES-Youth Emergency Services; Rebuilding Together Omaha; Heart Ministry Center; Council Bluffs Housing Trust Fund; Joseph’s Coat/Washington County Food Pantry. 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. You may contact Mary Robson Rensch, president of DodgeCares Board of Directors, at (402) 690-6279 for more information about DodgeCares, Inc. and its work in the region. MAY 2018 Strictly Business 31

NON-PROFIT NEWS Video Campaign to Raise Awareness, Highlight Work of Project Harmony

SAVE Program Announces 3rd Annual Graduation Event

Project Harmony will be sharing videos throughout the day on May 23 coinciding with this year’s Omaha Gives! day of giving campaign. The videos will feature kids challenging Project Harmony staff, executives, and agency par tners to silly challenges in order to help them reach, if not exceed, their fundraising goal of $40,000! Videos will be shared on the Project Harmony Facebook page – be sure to tune in throughout the day.

On Tuesday, May 15, SAVE Program will host its 3rd Annual Graduation Event. Join SAVE for an evening of celebration of the 6th and 8th grade students who are graduating from the Academic Mentoring Program (AMP). SAVE is proud to recognize the students who are successfully moving on to the next chapter in their lives, and grateful to have been a part of the journey. They invite anyone who is interested to attend and help them honor all these students have achieved.

A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. Right here in our community Project Harmony is seeing an increase in the number of children served. This doesn’t mean that Omaha has more abuse than any other part of the country.  This does mean that our community is becoming more aware and making that call on behalf of a child. The cycle of abuse does not have to continue.  There is hope.  Communities are coming together, pooling their resources and making a difference. Your contribution during Omaha Gives! allows you to become part of the solution – ensuring hope, health, and resilience for children and families in need. To help end child abuse, consider donating to Project Harmony this year at  Learn more about Project Harmony or by calling (402) 595-1326.

Grief’s Journey Presents “Characters Who Care” Family Movie Night Grief’s Journey will host its second “Characters Who Care” event on Omaha Gives! day, Wednesday, May 23. The non-profit is hosting a movie screening at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to give back to the Omaha community. The event is open to the public and free to attend. Preregistration is required. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the film begins at 6:30 p.m. The family film being viewed will have the death of a loved one and the associated grief as a central part of the storyline, which connects it directly with the mission of Grief’s Journey. Death and grief are prevalent in films and television shows and this event will give families the opportunity to have open dialogue with each other about these topics. Characters Who Care: Family Movie Night is offered in conjunction with Omaha Gives!, the one-day online fundraising event organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to raise support for non-profits in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties. It is a community-wide 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. Although the movie screening is entirely free to attend, freewill donations to Grief’s Journey at the event can be processed through Omaha Gives! Since 2001, Grief’s Journey has been a welcoming, safe place where grieving children, teens and adults find hope. As the region’s cornerstone for grief support, Grief’s Journey provides free peer support programs as well as training, education and consultation throughout Nebraska and Iowa. Grief’s Journey relies on charitable contributions, special event income and volunteerism to support its free programs. For more information, visit 32 Strictly Business MAY 2018

The ceremony will be held at the Embassy Suites La Vista (12520 Westport Pkwy) with the cocktail reception starting at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner and presentation, featuring keynote speaker Ken Bird and guest speaker Anthony Tolliver, following at 6:30 p.m. and concluding at 8:30 p.m. All proceeds from this event will go toward the continuation of the SAVE Program and their support of underserved youth in the community. To reserve an official sponsor table, SAVE graciously requests a charitable donation of $1,500, which is 100% tax deductible. Corporate sponsors are permitted to bring 10 individuals to enjoy the event at their reserved table. They will also be recognized during the event as well as on the organization’s website and relevant social media platforms. Those who wish to attend can register online at Please direct any inquiries to Kevin Melcher at (402) 339-1291 / kevin@

Comedian Jeff Dye to Headline Child Saving Institute’s Cabaret 2018 Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) Board of Directors will present its biggest fundraiser of the year — Cabaret 2018 — on Saturday, June 2 at 6 p.m. at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District, 222 N. 10th St. This year’s event features one of today’s hottest comedians and star of the NBC docuseries show “Better Late Than Never,” which just completed its second season – Jeff Dye. Dye is a nationally touring comedian, actor, host, prankster and Bigfoot enthusiast. He has appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, finished third on “Last Comic Standing,” and had his own “Comedy Central Presents” special. His latest album, “Live from Madison,” has been a top 10 album on the Billboard Comedy Charts and is playing exclusively on Sirius XM. CSI is dedicated to the prevention, intervention and healing of child abuse, neglect, and abandonment, meeting the changing needs of metro area children for more than 125 years. Cabaret guests support this work by purchasing tables or tickets for a fun evening that includes cocktails, dinner, and laughter. Chairs for the event are Tasso and Emily Sideris; co-chairs are Addie and Robert Hollingsworth. Honorary chair is Donna Tubach-Davis, retired president and chief executive officer of CSI. Funds raised from the evening supports CSI’s quality programs, including parenting workshops, emergency shelter for youth, therapy, older child adoption, foster care, and developmental early childhood education. Tickets are $175 per person. To sponsor a table, purchase tickets, or for more information, please visit or call (402) 504-3661.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Jersey Mike’s Subs Raises $6M+ for Charities During Nationwide “Month of Giving”

Big Brothers Big Sisters Strives to Match Over 100 Kids With Mentors This Summer

Jersey Mike’s Subs, known for its authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs, joined with its generous customers this March during the 8th Annual “Month of Giving” to raise a record amount of over $6 million to help charities nationwide. The campaign culminated on March 28, Day of Giving,  when 1,360 Jersey Mike’s restaurants donated 100 percent of sales, not just profits, to more than 170 different charities across the nation. In the Omaha area alone, $16,055 was raised for three local charities: Bellevue Public Schools Foundation ($3,920), Children’s Hospital & Medical Center ($9,715), and Sarpy Community YMCA ($2,420). Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $28 million for worthy local charities and have distributed more than 2 million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes. For more information about Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving, please visit: www.

There are currently over 100 kids who are waiting to be matched with a mentor, and waiting is not fun, no matter how old you are. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands (BBBSM) is on a mission to make 2018 the “Summer of Friendship” across the Omaha Metro community by matching children with caring adult mentors. This initiative will kick off on Wednesday, May 23 in conjunction with Omaha Gives! Littles in the BBBSM program enjoy one-on-one time with their volunteer mentor. Together they do activities like playing basketball or going to the zoo. When matched with a mentor, youth in the program are proven to have better social and academic outcomes. Support from the community does more than providing a mentor; it is helping give a child someone to look up to and cheer them on. These kids are counting on your support during Omaha’s 24-hour day of giving to help the organization recruit, screen and train over 100 mentors to match with those who are on their waitlist. You may give a monetary donation on this day or a donation of your time and talents as a mentor, or both! Worried you will forget? You can schedule your donation online today. Find out more about how you can help make this a “Summer of Friendship” at

Santa Monica’s Annual Fundraiser a Success On April 14, Santa Monica held its 7th annual fundraiser luncheon, and the organization is proud to report the event was a great success. It was an inspirational time, highlighting the growth of the agency over the last two years and the new expansion set to happen this year. This is a unique, fun and engaging luncheon that Santa Monica hosts every year as an opportunity for their supporters to come enjoy an afternoon together. Thank you to all who attended and generously support the work of Santa Monica as the organization continues to provide critical resources to women and their families across the Omaha Metro. Founded in 1972, Santa Monica has partnered with over 2,700 women on their journey to recovery from addiction and alcoholism. 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. Santa Monica provides a Halfway House program with a step down level of care to a ¾ way house and this year they will add an additional layer to their continuum of care! For more information, visit www.santamonicahouse. org or contact Heather Kirk at (402) 558-7088 / heather@

Midlands Community Foundation to Host 37th Annual Golf Tournament Midlands Community Foundation will host its 37th annual golf tournament at Platteview Country Club on Monday, May 21, with a shotgun start at 12, noon. The event will conclude with a steak dinner and awards ceremony following golf. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, Fontenelle Forest, HELP Adult Services, Papillion Volunteer Fire Department, Project Harmony, and Share A Fare, Inc. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. The $135 participant registration fee includes golf, sack lunch, two chances to win a $250 Scheels gift card in a putting contest, two mulligans, two complimentary beverages, ice cream, and steak dinner. To register or for more information, contact Midlands Community Foundation at (402) 991-8027 or visit

CAN Seeking Sponsors, Donations for “Closer to the Cure” Fundraiser The Cancer Alliance of Nebraska (CAN) has announced that Closer to the Cure 2018, the organization’s signature fundraiser event now in its 6th year, will be held on Friday, September 14. It will take place at the Omaha Country Club, with the festivities starting at 6 p.m. Attendees can expect an evening of cocktails, dinner, raffles, and both live and silent auctions to help in the fight against cancer. The Cancer Alliance of Nebraska is currently looking for donors, sponsors, and auction items. They also encourage supporters to donate to CAN during the Omaha Gives! initiative on May 23. All proceeds go to support cancer patients in Nebraska who are enrolled in clinical trials. CAN is a 501c3 organization that focuses on improving the availability of treatment options for cancer patients across Nebraska.   CAN works with the National Cancer Institute and pharmaceutical companies to bring clinical trials directly to patients in their own communities across the state.  CAN also works with a number of hospitals and clinics in Nebraska to support care for cancer patients by providing clinical trials as well as assisting with the management of the trials in the local community setting which ensures patients have access to cutting-edge trials without leaving the comfort of their communities.   For more information, visit or contact Mary Beth Wilwerding at (402) 991-8070 / mwilwerding@ MAY 2018 Strictly Business 33

NON-PROFIT NEWS Omaha Home for Boys Dunk Tank Making a Splash for Omaha Gives!

Date Announced for 4th Annual “Wheels of Courage” Car Show

The Omaha Home for Boys Dunk Tank is back for the fourth 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.

Car enthusiasts of all ages, clear your calendar on Saturday, June 23 to attend the Wheels of Courage Car Show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Quaker Steak & Lube in Council Bluffs.  

On May 23 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Stinson Park, some of Omaha’s leaders in business, community and media will be getting wet and wild in the dunk tank in an effort to raise money and awareness for Omaha Home for Boys.

The Wheels of Courage Car Show is an important annual event to support the Jennie Edmundson Foundation’s Spirit of Courage Charitable Patient Care Fund. “It’s a fun event that brings together hundreds of car enthusiasts, sponsors, and community members to help raise money for local cancer patients,” shares co-chair Pat Miller.

Dunk tank participants include: 3 News Now’s Adam Krueger and Audra Moore; UFC Fighter Anthony “Lionheart” Smith; Shana Skillstad and Brianne Ramirez from Fitucate Nutrition & Training; Great Western Bank’s Bart Protzman; and several fearless leaders from Pacific Life. To join dunk tank participants in supporting Omaha Home for Boys, visit Stinson Park on May 23 for your chance to dunk your favorite local celebrity or visit Proceeds from the event sponsored by KMTV 3 News Now, Channel 94.1 and Eyman Plumbing Heating & Air will support the youth, young adults and families served by Omaha Home for Boys. To learn more about Omaha Home for Boys, visit

Explore City Sprouts Garden With Little Sprouts This Summer The garden is a great place for learning, especially for curious little ones! City Sprouts’ Little Sprouts Summer Garden Program for kids between the ages of 3 and 7 years old exposes them to the magic of nature, growing and eating organic food, and healthy lifestyles. The program runs 10 - 11:30 a.m. each Saturday morning from June 2 - August 4, and is offered free of charge! Parents and guardians are encouraged to join their children in exploring the garden. For kids under 5, it is required that a parent or guardian is in attendance. While learning is maximized if all programs are attended, you’re welcome to participate as often as you are able. To learn more about the program, join in the fun at the City Sprouts Spring Fling from 10 a.m. - noon on Saturday, May 26 or email the Education Coordinator at Interested families should plan to attend at 10 a.m. on June 2, the first day of the program! Little Sprouts participants have the opportunity to learn from different experts about gardening, pollinators, cooking, composting, farm animals, seed saving, and more throughout the course of the program. More information about Little Sprouts is available at www.omahasprouts. org/little-sprouts. City Sprouts, a 501c3 nonprofit, is Omaha’s longest-running community garden. Originally founded in 1995, City Sprouts provides fresh and affordable food, a community gathering space, education on gardening and sustainability, and employment opportunities in order to empower the community to sustainably grow, eat, provide and promote healthy, local foods. Learn more at 34 Strictly Business MAY 2018

There are 11 car categories that are open to the public. First, second and third place trophies will be presented. “New this year we will have a professional judging company,” says Denny Devine, committee member.  Each year the number of car entries grows, as do the dollars raised. “We will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets every Thursday night starting May through September during the ‘Car Cruise-in’ at Quaker Steak & Lube,” shares Carol Elder, Planning Committee. Proceeds benefit the Spirit of Courage Charitable Patient Fund, helping to ease the financial burdens of cancer patients in the areas of medications, treatments, and deductibles, as well as everyday living expenses.  The funds provide much-needed help to hundreds of Methodist Jennie Edmundson patients each year. For information, call (712) 396-6040 or visit online at www.  

Tickets Now Available for “Baseball, Brews and Babies, Too!” Fundraiser Tickets for OneWorld’s new spring event - “Baseball, Brews and Babies, Too!” are now available at www.! Baseball, Brews and Babies, Too! (formerly known as OneWorld’s Countdown to Cinco de Mayo) is a laidback evening of pre-College World Series fun complete with music, ballpark food and beverages. The event will be held on Friday, June 8 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the rooftop beer garden at Blatt Beer & Table downtown (610 N. 12th St.). Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite baseball team apparel. All proceeds from the event will support OneWorld’s Baby Boutique, which helps low-income, underserved families prepare for newborns by providing them with essential items. Every time expecting families attend prenatal and newborn appointments or classes, they earn “baby bucks” to spend on outfits, blankets, diapers and more in the Baby Boutique. Please purchase event tickets by Friday, June 1. Tickets are $25 per person for young professionals (40 and under) and $50 for all other guests. The ticket price includes appetizers and one drink ticket. To receive an additional complimentary drink ticket, guests can bring a new baby item for the Baby Boutique. For more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Fundraising and Events Specialist Kelsey Brozek at kbrozek@ or at (402) 502-8940.

NON-PROFIT NEWS ​ pen Door Mission to Host 5th Annual O Mission Possible 5K/10K Run

Date Set for Heartland Family Service “Strike a Chord” Fundraiser

Open Door Mission’s 5th Annual Mission Possible 5K/10K Run event, sponsored by Runza, will take place on Sunday, June 10 at Shadow Lake Town Center outside of Dick’s Spor ting Goods. Please consider joining to support the cause – bring your friends and family, walk or run this stroller-friendly course together and you’ll be helping Open Door Mission continue its community outreach in the Omaha Metro.

Calling all superheroes! Grab your cape and take to the skies on Friday, June 15 for “Strike A Chord” 14! The signature event will feature cocktails, dinner, live entertainment, silent and live auctions, raffle, superherothemed games, and a costume contest. This year’s Heartland Family Service Salute to Leadership award recipient is Nancy Schulze and the Salute to Achievement award recipient is Nicole Rocha, who will both be recognized at the event. Attire is casual, and guests who would like to participate in this year’s costume contest are invited to wear their best superhero disguise!

Last year this event raised funds for more than 10,000 meals for those that are hungry and homeless in the Omaha community. Open Door Mission is looking to beat that number this year in order to help even more people in need. Go to and click on “Events” for registration options. Open Door Mission has been active in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty since 1954. Each day, the Mission offers 816 safe shelter beds, over 2,100 meals, and provides homelessness prevention measures to more than 1,000 people, empowering them to remain in their homes. Learn more on their website or by contacting Candace Gregory at (402) 829-1502 / cgregory@

FITGirl, Inc. Seeking Sponsors for Campers Over 40 girls in the Omaha Metro Area are currently in need of financial assistance to be able to attend the FITGirl, Inc. Campowerment 2018 Experience this summer. This empowerment and fitness camp will be held July 22-25 and July 29-Aug 1 at Platte River State Park for girls ages 8-14. The camp fee is $299 per child. FITGirl, Inc is expecting over 200 girls to attend their 4th annual summer camp. For the second year at Platte River State Park, campers will spend three nights enjoying a variety of activities that help build confidence, instill healthy habits and promote diversity and kindness. Girls will participate in kayaking, horseback riding, meditation, yoga, archery, biking, hiking, nature walks, nutrition classes and hear from local female role models about bullying, social media, community involvement, substance abuse, peer pressure, body image and more. There are many studies that conclude physical activity leads to higher self-esteem, especially among younger adolescent girls and girls who are overweight. However, as early as ten years of age, girls begin to become more sedentary, and their activity levels dropping by as much as 83% as they transition through adolescence. To help sponsor a young girl, please visit FITGirl, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are taxdeductible. For more information, contact Cheri Dickmeyer at (402) 830-8108 /

Proceeds will benefit all Heartland Family Service programs in southwest Iowa, which include support services for the homeless, a K-12 therapeutic school, and mental health counseling, among many others. Since 1875, Heartland Family Service ( has responded to the needs of our area’s most vulnerable children and families. Each year, the agency’s 50 programs serve more than 52,000 individuals of all ages. Individual tickets are $80 per person, or you can be a table sponsor for $800, which will reserve a table for you and nine guests. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, or to buy tickets, contact Development Manager Sarah Dighans at (402) 552-7475 or

Omaha Creative Institue Launches Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts-Nebraska Program As part of Omaha Creative Institute’s (OCI) ongoing commitment to strengthening Omaha’s arts community, t h ey a r e p l e a s e d t o announce the launch of OCI’s Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts-Nebraska (VLA-NE), effective April 16. VLAs are formal networks of lawyers with backgrounds in issues that affect artists directly that exist in major metropolitan areas across the country including New York City, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Denver, just to name a few. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes, but are commonly bound by an ethos of supporting working artists and creatives with access to pro-bono legal services. A free service to anyone living in the state of Nebraska with an arts-related legal issue, OCI’s VLA-NE is the bridge between the creative community and lawyers dedicated to providing pro-bono legal assistance. Committed to equipping working artists with the tools they need to build more sustainable careers, OCI’s VLA-NE pairs qualifying applicants with a volunteer lawyer to aid in the resolution of their legal issue. OCI’s VLA-NE is also a platform for access to legal resources, publications, and public programs that address arts-related legal issues. The Omaha Creative Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide artists with the training and opportunities they need to build an economically sustainable career in the arts. They do this by providing professional development, offering grants to individual artists, and connecting artists and patrons. For more information, visit or contact Andrew Saladino at (402) 982-4397 / MAY 2018 Strictly Business 35

NON-PROFIT NEWS Date Announced for 12th Annual Summer Bash for Childhood Cancer

Nebraska Community Foundation’s On The Move

Save the date! The 12th Annual Summer Bash for Childhood Cancer will take place on Saturday, August 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suite La Vista Convention Center, located at 12520 Westport Parkway in La Vista. This event is sponsored by the Metro Area Youth Foundation, Inc., an allvolunteer organization comprised of Omaha Metro Area Optimist Clubs. The event will feature a program, dinner, live and silent auctions, raffles and dessert auction. The theme of this year’s event is a night in Paris, France.  Parisian casual evening wear is preferred. Be sure to make your reservation by August 16 for an inspirational evening at the Eiffel Tower!

Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF), a non-profit community development organization headquar tered in Lincoln, has moved to a new office! The move took place the week of April 23 and the new office is located at 8100 South 15th Street, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68512.

Each year, Summer Bash allows the Metro Area Youth Foundation to heighten the public awareness of the financial hardships experienced by families with a child battling cancer. Proceeds benefit families who have children with cancer by providing financial assistance directly to the families in need as well as local hospitals and camps. For more details or to make a reservation, go to www.summerbashforccc. org or email Additional information can be found on the Summer Bash for Childhood Cancer’s Facebook page.

Blood Donor’s Legacy of Generosity Lives On Harry Rotthaus recognized the importance of blood donation and helped save lives with his donations at Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB). He donated more than 15 gallons, stopping only when diagnosed with cancer in 2012. Harry passed away March 20, 2017. His children, Mike and Laura Fowles and Doug and Penny Rotthaus, honored Harry’s commitment to blood donation by designating a portion of his memorial contributions to NCBB. “The things that were most important to dad were his faith, family, work, and community,” Laura said. “Dad was grateful to be blessed with good health, and he enjoyed knowing that he was helping others with his ongoing blood donations over many years.” Harry was a Lincoln realtor for 56 years and, according to son Doug, CEO of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, it was a friend and fellow realtor who encouraged Harry to become a blood donor. “My father and mother grew up on farms during the drought years of the Great Depression,” Laura said. “Throughout their lives, Mom and Dad taught my brother and me to appreciate everything and to always be grateful for our many blessings. He would be pleased to see contributions being made in his honor to support something he was so devoted to.” You can continue your loved one’s passion for helping save lives through blood donation by making a financial gift or by hosting a blood drive in their memory. Please contact (402)486-9412 or 36 Strictly Business MAY 2018

NCF asks that all mailings continue to use its postal address only: P.O. Box 83107, Lincoln, NE 68501-3107. Phone ((402) 323-7330) and Fax ((402) 323-7349) numbers will remain the same. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to the Foundation at (402) 323-7330 or, or stop by and say hello next time you are in the neighborhood! Nebraska Community Foundation is a statewide organization using charitable giving to mobilize communities across the state. NCF unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska. NCF works with volunteer leaders serving more 250 communities by providing training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management for its affiliated funds located throughout the state. In the last five years, more than 39,000 contributions have been made to NCF affiliated funds, and more than $128 million has been reinvested to benefit Nebraska communities. For more information visit

Nebraska Recycling Council Announces Next Free Webinar The Nebraska Recycling Council (NRC) will host a free webinar on Tuesday, May 8 from noon t o 1 : 0 0 p. m . Jennifer Tabanico, president of Action Research, will cover the basic principles of community-based social marketing as a behaviorbased approach for developing effective recycling programs. The presentation will include information on why they focus on behavior, a discussion about information-intensive campaigns and why they are ineffective at fostering changes in behavior, an overview of the steps involved in community-based social marketing, and a series of case studies to illustrate the process and demonstrate its efficacy.  Get registered online at register/8321694826784111617. Tabanico’s firm specializes in changing behavior for the public good by applying marketing and social science research to outreach programs that promote clean, healthy, and sustainable communities. She has a Master of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University and more than a decade of experience developing and implementing community-based social marketing programs for public and private agencies. Nebraska Recycling Council is a statewide, member-based, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. NRC’s mission is to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska, with the goal of re-energizing resource recovery in Nebraska through innovation, education, training, and the power of collaboration. Visit for more information.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Sammy’s Superheroes Announces Inaugural Golf Invitational

Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Offers Inspiration, Resources for Gardeners

T h e f i r s t - e ve r S a m my ’s Superheroes Invitational is set for May 21, with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Golfers will unite to swing out childhood cancer at Woodland Hills Golf Course in Eagle, Nebraska. This fun corporate event includes food, drinks, golf contests, and a grand prize for the winning team. Cost is $400 per team and spots are still open. Businesses are also still welcome to sponsor this event. All proceeds will support childhood cancer research. To register a team or become a sponsor, go to www.sammyssuperheroes. org.

The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum plants Nebraska for healthy people, vibrant communities and a resilient environment. Their monthly columns, website resources, lists of recommended plants and events that include sales of primarily native plants, garden tours and workshops help Midwest gardeners improve their home and community landscapes. They encourage plants and landscapes that are beautiful and beneficial for us all as well as for pollinators, other wildlife, and the larger environment. In early June, the Arboretum coordinates, offers and promotes statewide Wildflower Week events. Nebraska Wildflower Week, June 1-11, is an annual celebration of wildflowers and native plants in the wild and in planted landscapes. Events include a range of family-friendly tours, talks, hands-on activities, workshops, etc. More information about Wildflower events will be posted online at To learn more about the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, contact their staff at (402) 472-2971 /

Vision Maker Media Documentaries Highlight Native Language Two documentaries on PBS this spring highlight the importance of history and language for Native Americans in Alaska and Minnesota. Keep Talking features four Alaska Native women fight to save Kodiak Alutiiq, an endangered language now spoken by less than 40 remaining fluent elders. Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian follows Kate Beane, a young Dakota woman, who examines the extraordinary life of Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa). Kate traces Eastman’s path—from traditional Dakota boyhood, through education at Dartmouth College, and in later roles as physician, author, lecturer and Native American advocate. To learn more about Native Stories for Public Broadcasting, visit the Vision Maker Media website at

BBC Online Features BLUEBARN Theatre BLUEBARN Theatre was featured in a recent edition of BBC Culture in the new Designed section! Dominic Lutyens’ story, entitled “A Brave New World of Theatre Design: How Theatres Went From Bland to Bold,” looks at trends in new theatre construction around the world. Highlighted in the article are newly constructed theatres in New York, Great Britain, and China, as well as Omaha’s BLUEBARN Theatre. The BLUEBARN, designed by the Min|Day architecture firm, opened in 2015 as the first stand-alone theatre structure to appear in Omaha in a generation. Jeff Day of Min|Day comments in the article that “designers are motivated by a desire for warmth and a welcoming atmosphere.” Read the article here: The BLUEBARN Theatre has been bringing professionally-produced plays to area audiences since 1989. Since its inception, BLUEBARN has produced over 100 plays and has established itself as Omaha’s professional contemporary theatre company. Striving to bring artistically significant scripts and professional production values to Omaha and the surrounding region, BLUEBARN is known for high-quality entertainment and the fearless pursuit of stories that challenge both theatre artists and patrons. For more information, visit

Outlook Nebraska Wins Safety Award From National Safety Council, Nebraska The National Safety Council, Nebraska will recognize Outlook Nebraska as a 2018 nonprofit recipient of Nebraska’s Safest Companies Award. Outlook Nebraska maintains a workforce in which more than 60% of its associates are blind or visually impaired and has not had a lost-time incident in more than five years. Last year, the nonprofit also received the Service to Community Safety Award from the National Safety Council, Nebraska. The National Safety Council, Nebraska Safest Companies Award celebrates and recognizes commendable safety programs throughout the state. Winners are chosen based on their recordable injury cases, types of injuries, lost work days, DART (days away restricted or transferred) ratings and must have a written injury/illness program. Outlook Nebraska has achieved 1,621 consecutive days without a lost-time incident. “We put the safety and well-being of our people first,” said Eric Stueckrath, chief executive officer of Outlook Nebraska. “It’s an honor to be selected by the National Safety Council, Nebraska for this award. We will continue to drive a culture where there is a strong commitment and passion for safety.” Outlook Nebraska, which has the mission to positively impact everyone who is blind and visually impaired, collaborates with the City of Omaha and other partners to ensure the safety of the visually impaired throughout the community. Audible traffic signals are in place throughout Omaha that assist people affected by vision loss in crossing busy intersections. “In our environment with visually impaired associates, this award is truly a team achievement because our associates not only account for their own safety but also look out for one another as teammates,” said Ross Menard, safety manager of the nonprofit. To learn more about Outlook Nebraska, visit MAY 2018 Strictly Business 37


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HEALTH NEWS American Hearing & Audiology Acquires Local Connect Hearing Centers

Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands Now Offering Free Educational Programs

Leading Midwest hearing aid and care provider, American Hearing & Audiology, recently announced its acquisition of Connect Hearing’s hearing care centers in the Omaha, Lincoln and Kansas City metropolitan area markets, effective April 1. The newly-acquired Connect Hearing centers, originally part of Hometown Hearing & Audiology, are now operating as American Hearing & Audiology.

The Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands (DECM) is now offering its accredited diabetes educational programs at no cost to participants. These programs are for anyone wanting to lower the HbA1c and improve their diabetes management. Class participants have lowered their HbA1c by 2% on average.

Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, American Hearing & Audiology now offers care from three Omaha area locations, West Omaha, Midtown/Central Omaha and Papillion, and two Lincoln area locations, with a total of 24 centers across its three Midwest markets. As an independent practice, American Hearing & Audiology has been serving patients in the Midwest for nearly 20 years, offering a team of licensed hearing professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience, and a reputation for expertise, skill and compassionate care. The newly-combined team of 35 will be led by Dr. Jaime Parks, Au.D., CCC-A, president. “We’re very excited to expand our presence in the Omaha and Lincoln areas, and provide our new patients with the exceptional care for which American Hearing & Audiology is known,” said Parks. “Our team is committed to providing those who suffer from hearing loss the quality care that allows them to achieve a fuller life through better hearing.”

Classes are held at the DECM facility, located at 2910 S 84th St. in Omaha. To register or receive more information call DECM at (402) 399-0777. Each participant can bring one support person. Due to limited space, there is a small deposit required to reserve your spot.  A gift card for diabetes management materials in the amount of the full deposit will be presented upon completion of the course.  These classes are a pilot program and may not last, so register soon! Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands (DECM) was created in 1984 by a group of healthcare professionals in partnership with several Omaha hospitals. Today their staff consists of nurses, dietitians, and consulting endocrinologists who work together to help educate and empower people living with diabetes. Learn more at

Visit to learn more about American Hearing & Audiology.

OneWorld Awarded Grant Funds for Breast Health Programs

NSSA Hosts Events in Conjunction With Stroke Awareness Month

OneWorld (www.OneWorldOmaha. org) has received a $75,000 comm unity grant from Susan G. Ko m e n ® G r e a t P l a i n s t o provide breast health education and screenings for low-income, underinsured or uninsured women.

Governor Pete Rickets has proclaimed May 2018 as Stroke Awareness Month in Nebraska, and the Nebraska State Stroke Association (NSSA) has announced special events taking place throughout the month. On May 7, NSSA has organized a stroke camp fundraiser in Lincoln. Support the 2018 Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp by eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill, 6005 O St., between 5 - 9 p.m. on this day. Let the cashier know you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Lincoln Stroke Partnership. In addition, May 17 will be the Strike Out Stroke event with the Lincoln Saltdogs on opening night at Haymarket Park. Game starts at 7:05 p.m. and tickets are $12. To reserve tickets, go to saltdogs. com/strikeoutstroke. The first 2,000 attendees will receive a magnetic chip clip with the FAST acronym to remind people of stroke symptoms. A portion of proceeds also support Stroke Camp 2018.  Lastly, on May 22, NSSA will have a Stroke Awareness table at the Bickford Health Fair at Bickford Senior Living (4451 Old Cheney Rd). Visit their booth to learn more about how you can support stroke survivors. If you can’t attend any of these events, consider donating to NSSA on May 31 for Give to Lincoln Day. For more information, visit or contact Linda Stephen at (402) 484-8131 /

Komen ® Great Plains recently announced the availability of ten community programs in Nebraska and South Dakota that will provide medically underserved men and women with various services designed to detect breast cancer early and help ensure quality care for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Programs will run through March of 2019. A list of programs is available at: At OneWorld, the grant from Komen Great Plains will support the Screening and Treatment Program, an initiative to provide breast cancer screenings, referrals for mammograms and coordination of breast cancer treatment for low-income, uninsured, Hispanic women who would not otherwise be able to afford care. OneWorld’s objectives are to 1) increase the number of women screened for breast cancer through annual exams at the clinic, 2) to coordinate mammograms and other referral appointments for patients by utilizing OneWorld’s existing partnerships with local hospitals, and 3) to coordinate treatment for patients with a breast cancer diagnosis through our partnership with the Hope Medical Outreach Coalition. “With these funds, we anticipate that we will provide 1,400 clinical breast exams and 200 mammogram referrals to women who might not otherwise receive the care they need,” Andrea Skolkin, Chief Executive Officer of OneWorld, said. “By increasing the number of women who receive these services, we will increase the likelihood at which breast cancer is detected at an early stage, increasing the rate of survival.” MAY 2018 Strictly Business 39


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Building Your Dream Home When it comes time to consider a new home, the first of many decisions ahead is whether to build or to buy. If it’s not immediately clear which one is the best option for you, looking into both isn’t a bad idea at all. There are generally pros and cons either way you go, as with any fork in the road that you’ll encounter in life. Specifically with respect to building a home, at the top of the list of pros is the ability to design your home to be exactly what you want it to be, with control over every single aspect from floor plan to finishes. Higher energy efficiency and lower repair costs are attractive benefits as well, and the list goes on from there. Financing Options If you’ve made the decision to build, the next step is getting your financing in place as it will determine your budget. If you’re thinking “construction loan” sounds scary, rest assured it’s really not at all; it’s actually quite similar to obtaining financing in order to buy an existing home on the market. The initial steps are the same with respect to both, in the following order: 1. Meet with your lender to get pre-approved for the amount you can afford. 2. Develop your wish list and preferences, including location(s) and features. 3. Tour new developments and visit with builders and/or the real estate agents representing them in your price range and preferred location(s). From there, your next steps with respect to financing will be dependent upon whether you have opted for a production model or a custom home. The term production home refers to when builders construct multiple houses within a specific development, while custom home means building on your own lot with your own unique design. With the latter, there will be more financing options to consider as well as more steps involved, including arranging for a construction loan. If you’re buying within a development, you may opt to work with your preferred lender or the builder oftentimes can help arrange financing for you. This process will go much like buying an existing home, with the exception being you’ll apply for your loan when you sign the contract with the builder, but the loan terms won’t be locked in until the home build is complete. For a custom home, construction loans aren’t as widely available, so you’ll likely have to shop around. There are generally one or two steps involved. First, you could obtain a loan that’s interest-only during the building process, then converts into a mortgage once construction is complete. Alternatively, you could take out an interest-only loan for construction, then refinance into a regular mortgage upon completion. Since construction loans are considered to be higher risk, you’ll need a very good credit and a larger sum of money for a down payment. If you do already own the land, you can use it as equity for your construction loan. Then there’s the possibility of your lender offering a bridge loan if you have equity in your current home. The risk with that lies in the contingency of selling your current home. You may also consider selling your current home and renting temporarily while waiting for the new one to get built. Moving twice isn’t ideal of course, but it does allow the equity in your current home to be used toward your new home. “One of the first things buyers need to distinguish is if the builder will carry their financing or if they need to look into construction financing,” advises Heidi Weeks with Centris Federal Credit Union. “The two

are quite different and understanding that is important to the process. If the builder will carry the financing during the building of the home, then the buyer only needs to focus on the purchase loan they will get when the home is completed.  If the builder does not carry the financing, then the buyer will need to secure construction financing to help pay for the building of the home during the process.  This option will also come with a final loan that ultimately pays off the construction loan, turning it into a traditional mortgage. I Heidi Weeks recommend working with a mortgage specialist Centris Federal who understands both options so they can help Credit Union educate you and secure the right financing for your needs and desires.” She continues, “A newly-built home is exciting because no one has lived in it prior to you, which makes everything feel fresh, new and updated.  It can also be customized to your family’s design and functional interests.

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A prospective buyer will want to consider several factors of building new versus buying resale such as: • Cost/Budget – Can you afford potential increases in costs throughout the new build process? For instance, what if there are upgrades you just can’t live without and you end up going a little over budget? Similarly, have you considered all of the costs associated to complete the home, particularly the things that will typically come with a resale home such as landscape and window coverings? • Location – Is there land available in the location you want to build? • Time – Do you have the time to wait for a new home to be completed? Building takes time and patience; the process can sometimes be delayed due to uncontrollable conditions, such as weather. Understanding your financing needs and options is the best place to start. Also, be sure to work with qualified and experienced professionals, from the real estate agent and builder/contractor to the mortgage loan officer. At Centris Federal Credit Union, we offer financing for the newly-built home – both traditional mortgage as well as home construction loans.  We also offer our borrowers a long-term rate lock option for up to 360 days that helps to protect the interest rate during the home buying/building process.  This can offer great peace of mind, especially when in a volatile rate market.  We have 7 qualified and experienced mortgage loan officers throughout the Omaha Metro area and a construction lender to help serve you best. We are here to help make the dreams of home ownership a reality.” Also offering professional advice on obtaining a loan for new home construction, Monica Alm with American National Bank adds, “The first order of business would be to obtain prequalification for a construction loan along with pre-qualification for the long-term mortgage loan, which is needed, once the home is completed. When our clients know what they can afford, they are more empowered to begin looking for a home that will fall within their budget. It is so much better to find out what you can afford to build ahead of time, rather Monica Alm than falling in love with a home that is out of reach for you financially. Knowing upfront what American National Bank your future house payments will be gives the client confidence comfort and reassurance that the price of their new home purchase meets their financial ability to repay the housing debt. We also give our clients tips on keeping their credit and debt stable as their home is under construction. Going over budget on a home build can be one of the hardest obstacles for our clients.  It is imperative that the client knows going in what they want in their build, prior to signing a contract.  Talking with the builder and letting them know everything you want in your new home upfront is pivotal in making sure changes are not needed while the home is under construction.  I would say the typical home build goes over budget an average of 5-10%, which can cause a financial burden, if not paid as the cost of changes are incurred.  By working with a local builder and lender, the process runs much more smoothly. The construction of your new home will take months to complete, during which time we will be working closely with you and your builder to make sure everything is going smoothly.” She continues, “Mortgage rates have been creeping up slightly in the last 12 months, so if you were ever thinking of building, now is a great time. When evaluating building versus buying, there are many pros to building a new home. Building a new home can get you into the ‘home of your dreams’ because you are in control of what goes into it. You get to make all of the decisions. You get to choose from a large variety of new products and technology that are now available in the marketplace. Who wouldn’t want to build a new home with all the great ‘smart home’ features that are now available?  Building your own home is just that, it’s YOUR home, built the way you want it in an area you have chosen. With the housing market low on existing inventory, it’s yet another reason why now might be a great time to look into building your dream home. If you own a home currently, you would have time to get your home on the market to be sold as you are waiting for your new home to be built and have a pretty solid guarantee that it will sell within that time frame. Having some flexibility to get your current home ready for sale does ease the stress a bit. On the other hand, be prepared for possible weather delays;


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Mother Nature always seems to interfere when we are anxiously waiting for something special. And you’ll likely have to exercise patience for other reasons, too. If you need to get into a home quickly, the purchase of an existing home might be a better option.   Alm concludes, “As I previously mentioned, staying in touch with your builder and lender is crucial in making sure everyone is on the same page.  As with any big project, there will be hiccups along the way. Choosing a local, reputable builder and mortgage professional will help in keeping the lines of communication open.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way; we are experts at what we do and are here for our clients. If you have your dream home in mind, go for it.  The process isn’t as scary as you may think.” Features & Upgrades Going back to planning for the features of a home, having that freedom sure is exhilarating. With an endless amount of options for just about anything you can think of that you’d find in a home, having a general idea of what you want going into the process is a good idea. Take advantage of the opportunity to visit your local showrooms and tour different home models, as actually seeing these things in real life helps quite a bit. Take the integration of technology in your home, for example. To get the end result that you want, you’ll need to have a plan for the electrical infrastructure and components as well as for the design features in the space and the actual tech items. “At Echo Systems, we install lighting control systems, motorized shading solutions, audio and video systems, robust wireless networks, televisions (both standard and aesthetically integrated), landscape audio and private theater design,” says Doug Dushan with Echo Systems. “Our team gets involved as early as possible to plan and lay down the wiring infrastructure that will allow for the addition of technology in the future, which establishes the foundation for everything else. There is a common misconception that wireless devices are Doug Dushan going to replace the need for wires in the near Echo Systems future. While wireless technology is definitely going to continue to be more prominent, wires are still integral to the bulk of technology available today. Also, we see some areas of unreliability in counting on wireless devices alone, especially with home security. As far as what’s out there to evaluate when planning to build one’s dream home, there are a wide range of luxury items that are available depending on the specific interest of the client. This includes aestheticallyintegrated technology such as art TVs, mirror TVs, motorized lifts, invisible speakers, flush electrical outlets, to name a few.  Echo Systems Experience Center features these and many more examples for public viewing. One of the most exciting products we are going to be offering to the region in the coming year is full-color, temperature-tunable lighting fixtures.  We are currently under construction on an exciting addition to our Experience Center in order to showcase these.  The lights we will have available can adjust from 1400 kelvin to 10,000 kelvin. They can be configured to adjust with the color temperature of the sun to match our body’s natural circadian rhythms, which is incredible. From an aesthetic standpoint, we can adjust color temperature to better highlight artwork, granite or even wood grains.” He also notes, “One of the most common questions we receive from clients is whether there will be unexpected costs once a system design is approved or ongoing maintenance fees.  At Echo Systems, we do as complete an initial design as possible, which in turn reduces the likelihood of change orders and surprises. In the planning phase, be cautious if you’re shown a very basic or limited design with a low entrance price point, as there will very likely be change orders added on the back end in order to deliver the further customized final product you ultimately want. This often results in budget fatigue and frustration. With home technology, as well as all of the other decisions you’ll be making, be sure to educate yourself.   Technology is expensive.   The good news is that it can be implemented over a period of time with proper planning. Visit an experience center or showroom to speak with a professional.  Make sure their design philosophy matches with your

own expectations. Finally, be sure to have fun designing your new dream home.” The area under the umbrella of technology that’s accessible for use in the home setting today is full of modern marvels, that’s for sure. In addition to what was already covered, there are also the sophisticated systems that help your home to operate at peak efficiency, among other key benefits. Being in an ideal position to capitalize on all of the benefits that come along with energy efficiency in all aspects is definitely a perk of a brand new home. With smart home technology, you can do that and so much more. “When looking into your options for your new home, remember that many building technology contractors also serve residential clients. Companies such as Engineered Controls represent a whole host of smart home products that will improve your home’s comfort and help you operate your home more efficiently,” advises Pat Killeen with 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, Zigbee and Pat Killeen Z-Wave wired and wireless home security and Engineered Controls video systems; everything is geared toward making homes more energy-efficient, safe and secure. Engineered Controls represents Honeywell residential products, the most trusted and recognized name in home comfort and security. No other manufacturer offers more for homeowners in the way of increasing comfort, saving energy, and protecting your home than Honeywell. One of the most important benefits of a ‘smart home’ is that homeowners can now take advantage of new, cutting-edge residential technology that gives them full control over their living environment. Today’s smartphones and wireless devices keep homeowners connected everywhere. Honeywell’s Total Connect Service provides a personalized

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web portal with mobile apps that allow the homeowner to stay connected to their home’s heating and cooling system and security system from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer. With Total Connect, the homeowner can monitor and control critical aspects of their home at any time and from anywhere. The popularity of smart thermostats such as Honeywell’s Prestige Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat and the Ecobee3 has also been steadily on the rise. These thermostats allow the monitoring of temperatures from mobile devices and PCs. By monitoring the humidity, temperature and altering heating and cooling cycles, it results in energy and monetary savings that can end up being substantial. These thermostats are further advancing in terms of technology, even within a year’s time the progress is incredible. As far as what might be a smart investment for you, smart home technology that will help save on utility bills is a great starting point.  It’s no secret that heating and cooling account for the bulk of a home’s energy usage. Depending on the size of a home, utility bills can average over $1,000 annually and a programmable thermostat is one simple way to save as much as $180 a year.   If you’re interested in integrating technology into your new home, my advice is to make sure and do your research. Most of us like to start that process by conducting an online search, and there is plenty of information on the Internet today that will make the average person much more knowledgeable about what is available in the residential construction market. That being said, keeping in mind that not everything you see on the internet is accurate or credible information, it should simply serve to guide your conversation with a professional so that you can ask the right questions are better able to articulate exactly what you want. Far too often we encounter homeowners who have moved into their new house only to find out that they did not get what they wanted. The moral of the story is to get involved, educate yourself, ask questions, know what you want, and be clear on what you are getting BEFORE the decisions are made by everyone but you, the customer.” Altogether, when considering everything that goes into designing your home, particularly for those who are starting with a blank slate, there’s


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a lot of ground to cover. There’s everything that goes into the floor plan, for starters. Additionally, there are many things to take into consideration aside from layout and how many bedrooms and bathrooms, with the infrastructure and key systems being important too – electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. to support the functions and various other features you desire. Then there’s the selection of windows and doors, color palette and finishes for cabinetry, flooring, walls, trimming, fixtures, tiling, and finally the appliances, furniture and décor. Moving outside, you’ll be making decisions on the roofing, gutters, siding, porch, garage door system, deck and/or patio area(s), fencing, outdoor lighting, sprinkler system, and then tree placement and installation of other landscaping features. While that’s not an exhaustive list, it does sum things up in a quick overview. The fact that you make all of the decisions about every single aspect of the home is a major benefit of building versus buying when all is said and done. It’s important to work with experienced professionals who will guide you through the process and help you make the best possible decisions based on your wants, needs, and budget so that you end up getting exactly what you want. Even something as seemingly small as outlet placement can make a big difference when actually put to use. As evidenced by all of the home inspiration found on Pinterest and in magazines and blogs, there are SO many really cool things you can do with your space. Creativity and personalization are what will ultimately make the new house your home. This is particularly true with the color palette and finishes, which sets the tone for everything else design-wise. Based on your aesthetic, the professionals will be able to present you options that would be a good fit at different price points and advise you as to important factors such as durability and functionality. Take tiling, for instance. Whether it’s flooring, backsplashes, decorative accents, shower and bath areas, countertops, or all of the above, tile will likely be a big part of your interior design. Many experts agree that it’s wise to invest in the kitchen and master bathroom because they are the areas that get the most use and provide the most enjoyment, and they also add value and appeal to the home when it comes time to sell.

“Our specialty is custom tile work that will add luxury and character to your home,” says Mike Prendergast with Modern Concepts Tile. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to do a lot of unique projects, so there’s not much we haven’t tried. Our portfolio is something we take great pride in and really speaks for itself; you can take a look at some of our more recent projects on our Facebook page for reference. We always welcome projects that challenge us and allow us to be creative. With the wealth of options available in tile products today, Mike Prendergast there truly are endless combinations of tiles Modern Concepts Tile and designs. Because of this, you can really make areas of your home become works of art as opposed to just being functional living spaces. Although tile doesn’t necessarily sound all that glamorous, from natural stone to glass mosaics and faux finishes, and with the different combinations of styles and patterns, it’s incredible how much it can really elevate your space. For example, wood plank tiling is still very popular and for good reason – you get the beauty of wood flooring that’s on-trend but without all of the maintenance that goes along with protecting your investment. It’s also popular to mix different sizes, shapes textures, and orientation of tile; the complexity adds beauty and interest.” Danny Reynolds with Modern Concepts Tile further advises, “By working with Modern Concepts Tile, you can expect the work to be done above industry standards. We want it to last a lifetime, so we’ll advise you on material selection and we also take great care with installation as far as techniques, leveling, the grout that we use, and so on. It’s important not to sacrifice quality if at all possible when making selections for your new home, as it may cost more up front, but you’ll end up saving money as well as time, effort Danny Reynolds and stress in the long run when you find that Modern Concepts Tile you have to replace something much sooner than you had originally anticipated. With the variety of products on the spectrum at different price points, the quality is commensurate, so you’ll be saving money now but at what cost later on down the line? On the flip side, there are any products that have been designed to stand up to high traffic and regular use for such a long time it’s honestly impressive. Don’t just focus on price, but rather, ask questions about the benefits versus the drawbacks when evaluating a few different options and then make your final decision.” If building your very own dream home is a fixed part of your future plans or, at the very least, has crossed your mind recently, either way it doesn’t hurt to dip your toe in the water now and see what’s out there. Across the spectrum of custom homes, there are definitely nice options at very affordable price points as well as the luxury homes at higher price points. The best place to start is touring homes showcasing the work of our local builders. On that note, stay tuned because we’ve got a feature story in the works that will focus exclusively on local builders and developments here in the Omaha Metro! Then, once you’ve committed, the same holds true for everything else that will be incorporated into your home – you’ll have a much better idea of what you want and what would best fit your needs if you have the opportunity to see it for yourself. There are many impressive showrooms across the Omaha Metro you can visit for product demonstrations and where you can meet with professionals to learn more and get a feel for what it would be like working with them. It’s a process that requires you to be actively involved to a certain extent, but that level of personal investment will reward you with all of the benefits that come along with living in a brand new home that was custom-built to your exact specifications.

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Mother’sDay Sunday, May 13th—Mother’s Day—the one day of the year dedicated to celebrating the moms in our lives. Only one day? That can’t be right. While the United States traditionally recognizes the second Sunday of May for this purpose, women across the country will tell you that every day is Mother’s Day when you are, in fact, a mother. Moms are wired to put the needs and wants of their children ahead of their own, which isn’t a huge sacrifice for most moms considering their needs and wants tend to align with their children’s anyway. Flowers and phone calls make for thoughtful gestures, but the real reward of being a mother is woven into the daily routines and constant considerations that come with raising a family—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to do something special for our moms every now and then to remind them how much we appreciate all they do. Mothers deserve the moon and the stars, but since those things may be a little too far out of reach for most of us, it poses the question... what gift do we get for the woman who gave us the gift of life? That’s a tricky one, but Michelle Kaiser with The Omaha Bakery has a few ideas. As Michelle reflected on loved ones in her life who she’s lost in recent years, she stressed that there is truly no greater gift than quality time. She added, “You never Michelle Kaiser know what tomorrow will bring, so spend The Omaha Bakery as much time as you can with the people you love as often as you can. My fondest memories from my childhood are of family picnics at the park.” With that in mind, Michelle suggested celebrating Mother’s Day by picking up a delicious, 8-inch cake from The Omaha Bakery and taking it to the park to enjoy with your family. Make sure to call three business days in advance to place your order! The Omaha Bakery has a wide variety of cakes and treats to choose from, but nothing beats their Food Network featured cheesecake. The Lemon Bar Cheesecake is an especially perfect selection for this time of year. If graham cracker crust with creamy lemon cheesecake batter infused with lemon curds topped with lemon white chocolate mousse and lemon bar pieces sounds good to you... call over to The Omaha Bakery right now to place your order! This option isn’t even on the menu. Michelle whipped up this delicacy for her family ‘s Easter gathering and now she’s sharing the lemon love. The Omaha Bakery will also be running a special on Mother’s Day. Buy one slice of cake for yourself and get one slice for your mom absolutely free! The Omaha Bakery is located at 608 S. 72nd Street and open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. Don’t forget to check out the brunch menu while you’re there too—The Omaha Bakery bakes fresh quiches every day, served with a breakfast roll and fresh fruit. Give your mom a full belly and a full heart this Mother’s Day with a little help from The Omaha Bakery.

Another great way to spend some quality time with your mom this Mother’s Day is by taking her to Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing. Soaring Wings is located in Springfield, NE on a high hill overlooking the Platte River Valley. With a selection of internationally award-winning wines and beer, Soaring Wings is the perfect place to kick back, relax and enjoy—which is something any mom can appreciate. Picnics are officially the theme of this Mother’s Day, as Jim Shaw with Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing encourages families to pack some food and come enjoy an afternoon of live music and delicious beverages at their venue (weather permitting of course, fingers crossed!). “Soaring Wings currently features 22 wines ranging from dry to sweet. Traditionally, 50% of the grapes come from our very own vineyard, while the remaining 50% Jim Shaw come from Eastern Nebraska. In our tasting Soaring Wings room, you may purchase a flight of 5 of Vineyard & Brewing our wines or beers for $6 and receive a souvenir wine glass! In addition, beginning in August of 2011, Soaring Wings joined the ranks of local area craft brewers. We’ve featured a variety of brews throughout the years, and have even experimented a bit, introducing patrons to greats such as the Grape Schism! Although the beer menu changes with season and supply, the quality of each fresh brew introduced is undeniable. There’s always something on tap to satisfy any beer drinker’s taste! Our craft beers are only available for purchase onsite, so don’t miss out! Treat yourself to a logo glass, a pint, pitcher, or one of our fancy refillable growlers. Along with wine and beer, we also offer non-alcoholic beverages and an assortment of a la carte food items, so it’s guaranteed to be a good time for the whole family. Guests are welcome to pack a picnic and, if they’re lucky, they’ll get to take in one of Nebraska’s famous sunsets like they’ve never seen before.” Jim also took the opportunity to highlight the venue’s live music offerings every Friday night April-October and Sunday afternoon all year long, as well as at the acclaimed Wine, Beer, Blues and Balloon Festival on June 2nd.  There will be a special performance on Mother’s Day, as Soaring Wings will feature Tracy Skretta from 2 – 5 p.m., who will be covering music from the good ol’ days. Guests can expect to hear a range of tunes from Skretta—anything from “in your face” rock to soothing acoustic rock to sensual blues and jazzy tunes. Whether you’re treating your mom to a delicious bite or a flavorful sip this Mother’s Day, remember that the most special gift you can give your mom is your time. She may deserve the moon and the stars, but you’re her whole world. MAY 2018 Strictly Business


SEVERE WEATHER We’re certainly no strangers to severe weather here in the Midwest. This time of year, from hail storms and torrential downpours to high winds and tornadoes, it can get pretty dicey. As evidenced by this spring, experiencing weather extremes in a short time period is also a more frequent occurrence today, which makes it pretty hard to predict what will come next. With the severe weather that we’ve seen in recent years across the United States and globally, it comes as no big shock that weather-related disasters are considered one of the largest risk concerns for homeowners and commercial property owners. We’ll probably have our fair share of bad storms this year, and in the wake of those, there could easily be damage to your home or elsewhere on your property, to your vehicle, or to a commercial property you own or lease. For homeowners, now is a good time to review your homeowners insurance to be sure you have adequate coverage. Your agent will be able to help you identify any areas of concern that are relevant to you. For example, it’s a common misconception that flood insurance is included in any homeowners insurance policy when that isn’t always the case. It may need to be purchased separately. There may be a waiting period before coverage starts, so if a storm is approaching, it may be too late to purchase that type of supplemental insurance coverage. Since we do experience flash flooding here from time to time, it’s wise to talk to your agent about it. The same holds true for auto insurance; it’s important to be aware of the coverage your policy provides. “For vehicles, it’s really very simple - you either have full coverage insurance or you don’t,” says Grant Mussman with State Farm Insurance. “Let’s say your car is completely demolished, which was the case for a lot of vehicles in the wake of the Blair hailstorm in 2014. If you have a full coverage policy, you won’t


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Grant Mussman State Farm

shoulder the burden of paying the cost of the repair work, just the deductible. If you don’t, how will you cover the cost to get your car at least drivable again if not completely restored back to its previous condition? Can you cover it out-of-pocket or do you have an emergency savings? That pretty much rounds out your options. For homeowners insurance, similarly, does your policy pay for replacement of your roof or is the claim value based on depreciation? Almost always the correct selection is coverage of the full replacement of the roof minus your deductible. On the topic of roof replacement, if you need to have that done, ask about the option of impact-resistant shingles. Similar to various incentives for energy-efficient home upgrades, many insurance companies including mine offer discounts for homeowners who opt for those during a roof replacement or installation of a new roof. Request an estimate that includes impact-resistant shingles and one without and get in touch with your agent to discuss your options. For any type of insurance you’re considering, my recommendation is to pick an agent to work with who will answer your questions when they come up. By working with someone who is responsive and also local, the process of resolving a situation that needs immediate attention goes much more smoothly. You’ll have someone here locally to hold accountable and who has a stake in maintaining his or her reputation here in the community based on the level of service provided.” Hail is indeed a major culprit of varying degrees of damage caused to personal property, totaling more than $1 billion each year. For damage to your vehicle, the cost of repair or the value if totaled will typically be covered by your auto insurance policy, but not always. If you carry comprehensive coverage, you’re highly likely to be financially safeguarded while if you have the basic auto liability coverage, that won’t be the case. If you’re the unfortunate victim of hail damage to your vehicle and a trip to the body shop to get it repaired is in your future, it’s important to remember that you can select whichever one you feel most comfortable with to get the job done. “If your repairs involve an insurance claim or someone else is paying for the repair; select a repairer of your choosing!” emphasizes Boyd Dingman with Dingman’s Collision Center. “Do not allow the insurer to choose one for you. Nebraska state laws agree: It’s your vehicle and your choice of repairer. Choosing a reputable repair facility that will work for you and your best interests will most always lead to a positive Boyd Dingman experience. Start shopping for a repair Dingman’s Collision Center facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed or in a panic. Ask friends, family, and associates for their recommendations. Even in this modern high-tech era, old-fashioned word-of-mouth reputation is still extremely valuable. Always try to visit the shop before making the decision on who will repair your vehicle. Look for a neat, well-organized facility with modern equipment. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend specific repair procedures and equipment for the repair of their vehicles. Ensure that the facility you choose is trained in these procedures and has the proper equipment. Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area: civic and community service awards, memberships in local and national industry organizations, Better Business Bureau signage,

customer service awards, etc. Ask if the staff is technically trained and competent, expect to see certificates including vehicle manufacturer training, paint manufacturer training, training from I-CAR (the Inter-Industry ASE Conference on Auto Collision Repair, and certifications—a national standard of technician competence issued by the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).  We take great pride in our reputation as Omaha’s most trusted repair facility, offering our community honest, appropriate and timely repairs with unparalleled service.” As for a storm that’s caused damage to your home, it’s equally important to select a contractor to perform the repairs who you can trust and has a good reputation locally. In the wake of a bad storm that’s caused serious damage to properties in your area, if you find yourself as one of those property owners who will be needed the services of a contractor, again, beware of “storm chasers.” These are people who present themselves as experienced contractors representing a company you’ve likely never heard of from out of the market who blanket the area with the sole intention of profiting as much as possible off of the situation using any means possible without any regard for the best interests of the property owners. Be careful, because sometimes they may actually pick a name that seems familiar in the community, too. Scams that have been documented included tactics like using what appears to be a local name – here that might be something that includes “Big Red” or “Heartland’s Finest.” This causes confusion because there are many established companies with upstanding reputations that have very similar names, so they blend in. Likewise, they may alter an established business name slightly, like “Striking Business,” counting on people not taking a closer look to realize it’s not “Strictly Business.” MAY 2018 Strictly Business 49

It’s also important for businesses to beware of storm chasers who try to strike temporary partnership deals. You may have someone stop by and offer to do significant advertising of the company in exchange for a share of the business it brings in. It may seem like a great deal to pay nothing to get your name out there on the radio and on billboards, but when all is said and done, it can end up destroying the reputation of the company if the work is done poorly. At the end of the day, they will also be the ones who remain in the market where the customers are and are left on the hook for any follow-up work that’s required resulting from the use of cheap materials and shoddy repairs. Storm chasers will come right to your door to solicit your business, using high-pressure sales tactics to get you to sign agreements or to let them perform an inspection. Most commonly occurring, if allowed to replace your roof, you’re in real trouble for a host of nightmarish reasons including cheap materials, poor workmanship, no warranty, or being completely scammed for money up front with no work performed at all. Be sure to do your research and select an established company; one that’s local is ideal. Also, check out their rating with the Better Business Bureau, online reviews, references, etc. Call your insurance company first to have an estimator come out and validate any suspected damage. Then, once your insurance company has validated damage and given you a quote, you can reach out to a reputable contractor and schedule an appointment with them to get an estimate, which is generally free. That company should be able to explain all of the details thoroughly in person, will be there for you every step of the way during the process, and will still be there if you need them in the future.


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“When your home has been hit by a hail storm, you might have to call your insurance company to file a claim,” says Matt Preister with Xcel Roofing. “Instead of dreading the process of getting the necessary repair work done, let us help you out. As exterior experts, our team has over 30 years of experience dealing with insurance claims and we can provide repair or replacement of your roof, gutters, siding, and windows. We’ll take the time to ensure you learn as Matt Preister much about the process as you want and Xcel Roofing guide you through each step. Our goal is to get you the maximum amount you’re due under the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. When selecting a contractor, it’s important to work with someone who is an experienced professional, who you can rely on, and who not only performs quality work but also provides excellent customer service. At Xcel Roofing, we feel being well-rounded is important. We’re passionate about improving our communities, our customers are our priority and we want to exceed their expectations.” Hopefully we won’t have much to worry about in the way of damage caused by severe weather this year. However, that’s probably wishful thinking, so just to be on the safe side, be prepared accordingly. By utilizing the knowledge, experience, and services of our local professionals, you’ll be in good hands.

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Strictly Business Omaha May 2018  
Strictly Business Omaha May 2018