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YOUR BUSINESS DESERVES MORE If you’ve been pushed past your limits with the service you get—or don’t get— from your communications company, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your expectations. At Cox Business, you get scalable, reliable services backed by 24/7 business-class support from a trusted provider. That means less headache, less hassle and more time to focus on what matters most, your business. S W I TC H TO COX B U S I N E S S .



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SWITCH TODAY. CALL (402) 934-3891 OR VISIT *Offer ends 12/31/17. Available to new commercial data and voice subscribers (excluding government agencies and schools) in Cox service areas. $84.00/month includes VoiceManagerSM Essential with unlimited nationwide long distance and Cox Business InternetSM 25 (max. 25/5 Mbps). Monthly service fee increases to $99.00 for months 7–36. Price based on a 3-year service term. Early termination fees may apply. Standard rates apply thereafter. Up to 9 additional Cox Business VoiceManagerSM Essential with unlimited nationwide long distance line(s) may be added for $14.00 per line per month. Rate for additional phone lines, up to 9, will be $19 for months 7–36. Price excludes equipment, installation, construction, inside wiring, taxes, surcharges and other fees, unless indicated. Offer is nontransferable to a new service address. Uninterrupted or error-free Internet service, or the speed of your service, is not guaranteed. Actual speeds vary. Rates and bandwidth options vary and are subject to change. DOCSIS® 3.0 modem may be required, unless indicated. See for complete Cox Internet Disclosures. Unlimited plan is limited to direct-dialed domestic calling and is not available for use with non-switched-circuit calling, auto-dialers, call center applications and certain switching applications. Phone modem provided by Cox, requires electricity, and has battery backup. Access to E911 may not be available during extended power outage or if modem is moved or inoperable. Telephone services are provided by an affiliated Cox entity. Services are not available in all areas. Discounts are not valid in combination with or in addition to other promotions and cannot be applied to any other Cox account. Other restrictions apply. †Cox Business Visa® Prepaid Card available with qualifying new services ordered and activated between 9/1/17 and 1/1/18 with minimum 3-year contract. Customer must mention promotion code “reward promo” when placing their order to receive card. Account must remain active, be in good standing, and retain all services for a minimum of 30 days after install. Online redemption required following instructions to be mailed to customer after service activation. Online information to be submitted no later than 1/31/18. Void where prohibited. Limit one Prepaid Card per customer, total not to exceed $200. Allow 6–8 weeks after redemption for delivery. Cards issued by MetaBank®, member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Cardholders are subject to terms and conditions of the card as set forth by the issuing bank. 2 Business OCTOBER 2017 Card doesStrictly not have cash access and can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted within the U.S. only. Cards valid through expiration date shown on front of card. Valid in U.S., U.S. territories and Puerto Rico. Offer subject to modification or withdrawal at any time without notification. © 2017 Cox Communications Inc. All rights reserved.




OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business



Great Brands That Compete On Value: Leverage Their Expertise

I’ve covered a lot of territory about branding to date, and also about what I’ve found to be the most effective content marketing strategies. The focus has mainly been on setting yourself apart by educating your audience about aspects related to quality of offerings as opposed to getting stuck in the trap of using price alone to create a competitive advantage. Yet there’s still so much I have left to share. Does that last part sound familiar? For those of us who are experts in our craft, there are two things we’re passionate about doing. 1. Continued professional growth - we want to be the best, so we’re always working at getting better by learning and developing. 2. Spreading the word to others – we fully understand the value of what we have to offer, and want others to know about it too so they can benefit from it. While that’s all well and good for defining your own personal brand and strengthening your credibility as a professional, it can easily tie into how you promote your business at the same time. Enter Strictly Business! In all of the special features you’ll find in our publication, knowledge is being shared that’s of value to our readers. Whether it’s news, events, and notable happenings here in our community or a number of topics relevant to businesspeople and consumers in our marketplace, what we cover in the publication keeps our readers informed about what’s going on here in our city, learning new things and discovering new opportunities. We even have a feature that’s entitled “Ask The Expert,” which provides our clients the platform to do just that as a columnist depending on the campaign goals. For those who are considering this option, here are a few questions that will help generate the topic(s) which you’ll expand upon: • What is the problem you solve for people? • What is the most commonly asked question by those who use your product(s)/service(s) or are interested in doing so? • Is there a specific piece of advice you usually give your clients that you’ve found to be most useful? • Is there something going on now, or on the horizon, that people need to know about or for which it will be imperative that they stay informed? • Is there something complex that you are able to simplify when communicating it to your clients? • If you were to offer someone a “How To” guide, what would you cover?

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

• Is there a certain skill you possess or attribute that you’d like to emphasize, but in such a way that it’s conveyed to a broad audience? For any of these, if there are multiple answers, consider dividing and conquering to address each concisely. Also, when brainstorming about topics and then composing an impactful article, consider the following: According to an article posted on penned by Josh Ritchie entitled Five Simple Ways to Educate Your Customers Through Content, ”Content marketing is not about talking about yourself; it’s about creating content that delivers true value to your audience — the content they need and want. No matter who your audience is, I can guarantee that what they need and want is information that helps them learn, grow and improve in some way. When your brand provides that information, you’re providing an education — and that is a truly valuable service. ‘Education’ through content marketing can take many forms: practical (how-tos and tutorials), theoretical (deep dives into specific subjects) or brand-specific (product information and features). The important part is that it delivers useful information in the right context, at the right time. Unfortunately, over the last decade of running my content marketing agency, I’ve seen too many marketers focus on what they want to say instead of what their audience wants to learn. Huge mistake; if you want to succeed in content marketing, focusing on education is crucial.” Basically, we all gravitate towards people who know their stuff, especially when it’s the stuff we don’t have a clue about. By sharing knowledge that’s of value to others related to your business/organization and profession/industry, you’re effectively positioning yourself as a prominent expert and establishing familiarity. In doing so, you’re attracting them to you, increasing their comfort level to initiate contact and giving them a compelling reason to select you instead of your competitors. Ritchie goes on to conclude the article by stating, “Remember: Value comes first. Expanding your reach, exploring new ideas, and fostering a learning community through content can only help your brand, as long as you’re focused on providing value. Remember the wise words of Zig Ziglar: ‘You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.’” To learn more about how Strictly Business can help you, contact me directly at (402) 466-3330 or visit (You can also click on our Staff Letter tab online to view past articles)


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39 Workplace Inclusivity 41 Holiday Planning 47 Resell Remodeling 4 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017





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


Let Our Family HELP YOURS!

When I established Good Life Retirement Solutions , I wanted to keep our goals simple: Help provide financial security for families and give back to our community. Looking back at the last year, I feel we have done both of those things very well. It has been a privilege to meet so many great people and learn about their successes, challenges, and what is important to them.

companies, so we can provide options that are best suited to each individual situation. At Good Life Retirement Solutions, we don’t market any products that are variable. This means premiums cannot be lost due to market volatility. Our focus is on safety and security for those with whom we work.

As a locally owned and operated company, we pride ourselves on giving back to the community. Our goal is to give 30% of revenue back to the organizations and groups helping people every day. This work, at least for me, has challenged the traditional definition of success. Success for many is tied to a financial goal, and achieving it brings the lifestyle and security that they seek. Others that I have gotten to know define success in other ways that aren’t always front of mind.

We have a no-pressure process which doesn’t involve a sales presentation. When we initially meet with someone, we like to gather information so we can provide several options that will meet their specific goals. Sometimes this means telling someone that their situation is great as it is and we wouldn’t recommend changing a thing. Those meetings can be some of the most fulfilling; it’s great to see people go from concerned to feeling at ease with their situation.

Nate Gay at Trinity Fitness is someone who comes to mind for me. He runs a non-profit, ministry-driven fitness center in Lincoln, NE. Good Life Retirement Solutions started sponsoring Trinity Fitness because we believe in and support the great work that he and his organization is doing. Success for him is measured by the lives he can impact in a positive way. It’s our mission to help p e o p l e l i ke N a t e and organizations Let Our Family HELP YOURS! like Trinity Fitness in fulfilling their goals. This is the way we want to help make a positive impact.

I would encourage anyone who is near or in retirement to sit down with us to talk about their situation. There is never a charge to work with us and there is no account too small. We are also happy to help with the needs of individuals and families of all ages. Planning ahead will always be a better option than waiting until the last minute. Our team of professionals at Good Life Retirement Solutions would love to do whatever we can to help provide some peace of mind.




• Workplace Inclusivity • Holiday Planning • Resell Remodeling





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Care Consultants for the Aging



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Greater Omaha SCORE



Anyone that would like to speak with a company representative can call our office at (402) 260-7861 or contact me directly at or (402) 419-3426.

-Andy Storz, owner of Good Life Retirement Solutions, featured on the cover.

Good Life Retirement Solutions can help individuals, families, and businesses with several retirement and insurance needs. We currently work with nearly 50 different

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BUSINESS NEWS Engineered Controls Golf Outing Benefits Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Thursday, August 10th was a record day for Engineered Controls in several ways. It was the 14th annual golf outing at Tiburon Golf Course and a record number of golfers played, and ECI raised a notable amount for its charitable fundraising. A perfect three for three! In all, 178 played golf and 225 people attended the dinner banquet. In addition, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation representatives raised $1,250 at the event with Engineered Controls matching their sum for a grand total contribution of $2,500 to JDRF. The golf event included an 18-hole scramble format with four-person teams. In attendance were four guests from Honeywell Inc. including Chad Knuth, Regional Sales Leader for Honeywell Analytics; Jeff Holt, Regional Sales Leaders for Honeywell Security; Elaine Leppla, Commercial Sales Rep for Honeywell Contracting; and Mike Grates, Regional Sales Rep for Honeywell Distribution. Engineered Controls provides customers with products and services to create efficient, safe and comfortable building environments. For additional information, please contact Pat Killeen at (402) 339-1300 / or visit

Holiday Parties Go Beyond the Ordinary at New Omaha Marriott Downtown The new Omaha Marriott Downtown, whic h opened in August 2017, is about to enter its first holiday season in Omaha’s new Capital District. Lights will be hung with care for guests and visitors alike, and the hotel will sparkle with holiday charm. When it comes to holiday parties, downtown Omaha’s newest fullservice hotel and its team have already started to prepare. Each “Next Gen” meeting and event space, which includes a flexible set up, the ability to adapt to a variety of formats and group sizes with pivoting walls, moveable partitions, soft seating and modular furniture, naturally creates a luxurious atmosphere. Additional outdoor event spaces, including a planned ice rink in the Capital District, and the hotel’s 10,275-square-foot ballroom, one of the largest in Omaha, also allow for diverse and customizable holiday party options. “We are already thinking about the holiday to come. Our meetings team prides itself on the unique ideas and visions we have that push the creative boundaries of the hotel’s event space. Every time we start working with a new event, our main goal is to ensure that guests have an unforgettable experience,” said Megan Gilligan, director of sales and marketing at the new Omaha Marriott Downtown. “When the holidays arrive, we’re going to take Omaha’s holiday parties beyond the ordinary.” More information about the Omaha Marriott Downtown is available at

MyStaff Inc Opens, Hosts Ribbon Cutting MyStaff Inc is open for business! The newly-established agency began serving clients on June 6th, and after taking a few months to settle into its office space located at 11235 Davenport St. #105, it was time to celebrate. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on September 13th with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. There were over 100 guests in attendance, and MyStaff Inc would like to thank the community for their support. MyStaff Inc is a locally owned and operated staffing firm specializing in corporate office opportunities in the Omaha Metro area. The professionals at MyStaff Inc help connect local companies with experienced job seekers for positions in accounting, administrative/ clerical, customer service, and human resources. Brad Jones, Lindsey Jones and Virginia Kiviranta are the owners/ partners. Omaha is home for them and after working for years for several well-known local employment agencies, the three decided to join forces and start their own agency. In total, the MyStaff Inc team has over 40 years of combined experience recruiting for local companies. It’s a fun group who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but are fiercely competitive and take their clients very seriously. For more information, please visit or contact Brad Jones at (402) 614-1441 /

Brookestone Meadows Celebrating 10 Years Brookestone M e a d o w s Rehabilitation & C a r e C e n t e r, located in Elkhorn and serving those in the greater Omaha area, is proud to be celebrating its 10th anniversary! From its inception, Brookestone Meadows was specifically designed to meet the needs of seniors requiring short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, offering long-term care as needed. Brookestone Meadows has been honored to serve over 10,000 people over the past decade. A member of the Vetter Senior Living network that includes 30 centers in the Midwest, Brookestone Meadows has created a culture of rehabilitation and overall improvement of health, with a team that’s dedicated to encouraging and motivating patients to excel in therapy and regain daily life skills. The facility offers stateof-the-art technology and therapy equipment, including aquatic therapy and the Alter G anti-gravity treadmill, and continues to enhance its offerings to promote successful outcomes. All operating decisions are made locally to ensure that every center remains responsive to the needs of its residents and communities. Make sure to stop by for a tour and enjoy complimentary ice cream in celebration of Brookestone Meadows 10th anniversary! To find out more about Brookestone Meadows Rehabilitation & Care Center, please call (402) 289-2696 or visit www. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 7

BUSINESS NEWS Assistance League® of Omaha Presents 43nd Annual Christmas Caravan Tour of Homes

Yield Champions Promotes Pro AG I Training Program in Kearney

Get in the holiday spirit, help children in need, and see four spectacular homes decked out in holiday finery! Christmas Caravan 2017 will take place Thursday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. An Old-Fashioned Christmas 2017 offers a tour of four private Omaha homes decorated for the holidays by local florists and designers as well as a variety of related events to be held at Champions Run. The 2017 ALO Christmas Caravan includes a variety of home décor, styles, sizes, and neighborhoods. This year’s lovely homes have been beautifully enhanced by Andrea’s Designs of Elkhorn, Papillion Flower Patch, Dundee Flea, and The Tweed Couch of Omaha. A stop at Champions Run, 13800 Eagle Run Drive, will offer a lovely buffet luncheon ($13 per ticket at the door), bake sale, and more shopping provided by Assistance League’s Thrift Shop Boutique. This popular event benefits Assistance League of Omaha’s philanthropic programs including Operation School Bell® which annually clothes over 3,500 Omaha area children in need. Tickets are available for purchase in advance for $16 from vendors, Assistance League Thrift Shop, HyVee Stores, and any Assistance League member. Tickets may also be purchased on the tour date for $20 at any of the homes. Contact the Assistance League office at (402) 342-4288 or

Dennis Nun, President of Yield Champions, has announced the first of their nationwide schedule of PRO-AG I programs will be offered in Kearney, Nebraska on November 29-30, 2017. This program is designed for crop producers, agronomists, seed, chemical and fertilizer dealers and landlords looking for ways to be profitable even at current commodity price levels.

Greater Omaha SCORE Announces New Assessment Tool for Entrepreneurs Greater Omaha SCORE is excited to announce a new one-on-one workshop that will be offered starting in October! Many people wonder if they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The Entrepreneur Index Assessment tool helps people discover their personal talents for starting and growing a business. It includes an assessment of the 12 CORE behavioral traits that are highly correlated to successful and satisfied entrepreneurs. These are Optimism, Emotional Resilience, Self-Determination, Social Networking, Self-Promotion, Competitiveness, Goal Setting, Work Drive, Tolerance for Financial Insecurity, Adaptability, Autonomy, and Persistence. It will address your strengths, weaknesses, predicted success, and predicted satisfaction. Individuals may take the assessment and then a SCORE mentor will meet with them, free of charge, to review the assessment and discussion of their potential business idea. Who would benefit from taking the Assessment? Those who are exploring the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur, existing entrepreneurs, and corporate intrapreneurs are all ideal candidates. For more information, call (402) 221-3606. Greater Omaha SCORE is an all-volunteer, not for profit resource partner of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides no cost mentoring and workshop training to entrepreneurs starting a business and ongoing small businesses to grow and prosper. Entrepreneurs interested in SCORE’s services or individuals interested in being a SCORE volunteer may contact SCORE at (402) 221-3606,, or 8 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

Nun says, “We show growers how to lower production costs on a per acre and per bushel basis and that remains the key to profitability for farmers.” At this event a new product INTENSIFY™ will be discussed for use in the coming crop year. Yield Champions exclusively markets the Conklin Company’s AgroVantage™ products for crop production used by more state and national NCGA corn yield champions than any other. For more information or to register for this event, contact Dennis Nun at (402) 430-7727 or go to

UNeTech Signs On First Four Start-Ups UNeTech, a new institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha designed to identify promising start-up companies and help them become successful, has selected its first four start-up companies. The companies, which will be housed in the UNeTech building at 3929 Harney St., are: FutureAssure – Built around the research of Jason Johanning, M.D., a UNMC vascular surgeon, the company uses new devices and software to assess patient frailty. Research has shown frailty is an effective way to assess likely outcomes of surgery. FutureAssure combines the best available methods to assess frailty with a new medical instrument. The company’s approach captures and assesses the information automatically which saves time and money. Avert – Developed by Preston Badeer, a community entrepreneur, the company has developed a program that can determine if someone has sustained a concussion or has recovered from a concussion by analyzing the individual’s balance. The company originated in the Biomechanics Research Building at UNO. Avert is looking for strategic partners to deploy its proprietary software. Esculon – Developed by community entrepreneur Evan Luxon, the company is designing a chest tube that doesn’t clog. Chest tubes are used to help drain air, blood or fluid from the space surrounding the lungs following surgery. After placement by the surgeon, the biggest complication of chest tubes is blockage. Esculon is making a selfirrigating chest tube that is less likely to clog. Virtual Cardiovascular Solutions – A product of collaboration between Ed O’Leary, M.D., UNMC cardiologist and Hani Haider, Ph.D., an orthopedic researcher. They provide cutting edge educational tools to improve a wide range of medical knowledge and skills such as AngioTeacher, the first interactive medical educational software application designed to help students learn to interpret coronary angiograms through a three-dimensional computed tomographic angiographic model of the heart. Between $7 and $10 million will be raised to help promising technology and start-up companies during their first few years, also known as the “Valley of Death,” when half of new businesses fail. Over time, the building could accommodate as many as 10-12 start-up companies.

BUSINESS NEWS CarePatrol Introduces Hurricane Relocation Service for Seniors

2017 Nebraska Broadband Today! Conference Set for Oct. 26

In the wake of the recent string of hurricanes affecting coastal areas of the United States, it was determined that a better solution was needed for evacuating seniors and ensuring their safety. CarePatrol launched a new website – - right after hurricane Harvey hit Texas and a need was seen to help get seniors to a safer place and out of the way of a natural disaster. It was then put to the test right before Florida was hit with Irma. Via this website, CarePatrol was able to connect seniors and their families with providers in safe areas in Florida and surrounding states that had space available, which greatly helped with relocation to temporary housing.

The 2017 Nebraska Broadband Today! conference will be held on Thursday, October 26 at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel. 

Over 3,000 families who have been helped by CarePatrol representatives were contacted to ensure they knew of the new website in case they needed help again in this emergency situation. It will be used for all natural emergencies going forward to help keep seniors safe and help them take evasive action quickly when a situation like this presents itself again. The website is free to use and can be accessed by anyone in need, with all services provided by CarePatrol. Safety is a priority that extends to all aspects of CarePatrol and its offerings for seniors and their families. For more information about CarePatrol of Nebraska, visit or contact Theron Ahlman directly at (402) 580-2116 /

PSCU’s Midwestern Service Center Celebrates Grand Opening In partnership with Jack Henry and First Data, PSCU has expanded by opening its Midwestern Ser vice Center in Omaha, NE. A ribbon-cutting and open house event was held The PSCU Midwestern Service Center in on August 22nd Omaha offers over 8,000 square feet and to celebrate this will house up to 70 employees. new venture. Attendees included representatives of PSCU Member-Owner credit unions, Greater Omaha Chamber SVP Randy Thelen, PSCU team members, and members of the local community. PSCU is proud to bring more than 50 job opportunities to Omaha, and has announced plans for continued growth over the next three years. PSCU is the nation’s leading Credit Union Service Organization. It is owned and governed by more than 850 credit unions across the United States. Since 1977, PSCU has expanded its core services to keep pace with the rapidly changing traditional and digital demands and expectations of consumers to help credit unions compete, grow and prosper. PSCU’s strategic investments in transaction processing, fraud prevention, digital payments, loyalty rewards, data analytics programs and 24/7/365 call center support give all owners the competitive edge needed to outperform the competition in their markets. For more information, please visit or contact Debi Sorenson, PSCU Omaha Site Leader, at (402) 639-0162 / dsorenson@

Session topics include understanding telecommunications terms and policies, student equity of access, how communities and telecommunications providers can work together, makerspaces, the recruitment of the Facebook data center to Sarpy County, and more. Visit for more information.

4 Campuses. 100+ Programs Online. • Business Administration, BS • Business Administration, MBA • Critical & Creative Thinking, MA • General Administration, BMS • Nonprofit Administration, BMS • Public Administration, MPA • And more

Angela Collins Critical and Creative Thinking, MA University of Nebraska at Omaha

OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS PIP Receives Franchise Top 25 Award PIP in Omaha, Nebraska recently received a Top 25 Sales Volume award recognizing the business as one of the top twenty-five in the entire PIP franchise network. The award is based on 2016 annual sales revenue and was announced at the annual PIP Convention, July 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, California. PIP in Omaha is owned by Debbie Bremer and Jeffrey Bremer. “I commend Debbie and Jeffrey for leading the network with the foresight and character that make the PIP brand synonymous with quality, integrity, and leadership,” said Richard Lowe, president and COO of Franchise Services, Inc., parent company of PIP. “This achievement proves that dedication to growth and excellent customer service will generate great results.” 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 independently owned and operated franchise locations and affiliates offer robust digital and offset printing, signage, integrated marketing campaigns, direct mail and fulfillment services, promotional products, graphic design, and websites including online storefronts. For more information, contact Debbie Bremer at (402) 334-5093 / or visit the website at

Scooter’s Coffee Honored on Prestigious Inc. 5000 List Scooter’s Coffee is thrilled to announce its inclusion on the 36th annual Inc. 5000. The list is the most prestigious compilation of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The Inc. 5000 represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and midsized businesses. Scooter’s Coffee, the Midwest-based drive-thru coffee franchise that is on track for another record-breaking year of growth, specializes in hand-tamped espresso drinks, homemade pastries and features the signature drink, the Caramelicious. “We enthusiastically and humbly accept this recognition from a foremost leading business industry publication,” says Rob Streett, President and Chief Operating Officer of Scooter’s Coffee. “A 65% growth rate these past three years is a testament of the hard work and dedication of our employees. We are committed to building on our growth through the excellent service and products our loyal customers across the country have grown to depend.” The 2017 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2013 to 2016. To view Scooter’s Coffee in the full ranking, visit: For more information about Scooter’s Coffee, visit: scooterscoffee. com,, or

Bellevue University Opens Doors to New Student Housing Bellevue University, one of the nation’s leaders in preparing students for lifelong success with careerrelevant knowledge and skills, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new student housing units on Sept. 15 at 1303 Betz Road in Bellevue. University leadership, members of the Board of Directors, and local business leaders, including Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders, were in attendance. According to University President Mary Hawkins, the new student housing units fill a long-standing need for student housing near the main campus to house an increasing student population of athletes, international students, and recent high school graduates. Hawkins said that about half of the student residents are first- or secondyear students and nearly 75 percent are new to Bellevue University. The new student housing complex consists of 18 apartment-style units that can house a total of 72 students. Each unit has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living area and is complete with basic furnishings to include beds, dressers, wardrobes, and a washer and dryer. The living area and efficiency kitchen also have basic furniture. Student resident advisors live in the housing units to provide on-site support and guidance. The new units are already at full capacity. Since 2015, Bellevue University has maintained leased student housing in a nearby apartment complex and made those units available to students. Alaina Smith, Director of Student Life and Support Services, reported that the combined university owned and leased housing space stands at just over 330 and the new housing units have a room and board cost of $2,842 per term, one of the lowest in Omaha. 10 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

MLCDC Strengthening CDFI Program MLCDC was recently awarded a $18,750 sub grant through N A L C A B ’ s We l l s Fargo Strengthening CDFIs program! This investment will allow MLCDC to strengthen its loan por tfolio t o s e r ve L a t i n o owned businesses in the Midlands, give technical assistance to support loan-ready clients in accessing capital, provide support to entrepreneurs in rural areas, and apply for new grants and work for sustainability of the microlending program. NALCAB/ Wells Fargo Bank funds will be leveraged with FA Funds, the HHS-OCS Community Economic Development Grant, and City of Omaha CDBG, U.S. Small Business Administration, USDA, Peter Kiewit Foundation grant and other sources available from foundations and banks Two major factors driving the demand for increasing development services and loan products are: 1) The need for additional certified child care providers in rural areas of the target market; and 2) The opening of Las Americas Global Market and Kitchen Express that will provide space for 40 businesses in the first phase of this project. The average loan size is expected to grow as more child care operators expand from home-based family daycare centers to childcare centers. Average loan size is also expected to grow up $100,000 as businesses open in Las Americas Global Market and Kitchen Express to increase production to expand their market area, food production. For more information, visit or call (402) 933-4466.

BUSINESS NEWS La Vista Gets Sweeter With Grand Opening of Cold Stone Creamery, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory A new Cold Stone Creamery® and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory® store is now open in LaVista, offering the community a one stop shop to satisfy their sweet tooth. Options available include delicious ice cream, shakes, smoothies, cakes, pies, numerous varieties of chocolate, and caramel apples. A Grand Opening Extravaganza was held on Sept. 30, featuring fun for the whole family with cheerleaders, a magician, a balloon artist, face painting, a radio remote and lots of great prizes and free treats throughout the day. This is the fourth location in Omaha for owner Shawn Williams, who has lived in the Omaha area his entire life. It is definitely a locallyowned business. He says he loves the city for being vibrant and exploding with opportunities for small business owners like himself. Williams and his wife Cindy are excited to celebrate with their community. All are welcome to stop by the new location at 12746 Westport Pkwy in La Vista! For more information about Cold Stone Creamery, visit www. For more information about Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, visit Or, contact local franchisee Shawn Williams directly at (402) 616-3934.

Outlook Nebraska Unveils Expanded Facility Outlook Nebraska (outlooknebraska. org) recently c e l eb r a t e d t h e expansion of its facility with a ribbon-cutting c e r e m o n y. T h e expansion extends the reach of Outlook Nebraska’s services and programs by enabling it to Pictured (L-R): Outlook Nebraska Associate employ more Alan Halverson, Associate Johnny Botsford, people impacted by Former Board Member and Fund Development vision loss, tripling its Director John Wick and Associate Ben Micek. capacity to provide advanced technology training and dedicating nine times more space for enrichment programs and community engagement. The new space was unveiled to a crowd of business and community leaders, including State Senator and Outlook Board Member Merv Riepe, Mayor David Black of Papillion, Mayor Don Groesser of Ralston, Mayor Jim Realph of Blair, and Jim Kesteloot, Chairperson, U.S. AbilityOne Commission. Generous supporters of the organization, including Dorothy Pflug of the Ethel S. Abbott Foundation and representatives from the Omaha Community Foundation, were also present. The expansion added over 5,200 square feet to Outlook’s community and training spaces. This allows Outlook Nebraska to accommodate large groups for educational programs that increase awareness of the capabilities of the blind and the availability of adaptive technology among community and business leaders. The public is invited to see Outlook’s new space on Friday, October 13 between noon and 6 p.m. during an open house. Those experiencing vision loss will be able to learn more about programs offered. Visually impaired individuals looking for employment will be able to meet Outlook Nebraska associates and learn about its adaptive workplace and inclusive culture.

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Remington Heights Invites Community to Trick or Treat for Halloween All are invited to join Remington Heights for some Halloween Trick or Treating fun with the residents on Tuesday, October 31 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. It’s free to the public and a festive way to spend the afternoon with seniors here in our community. Located at 12606 West Dodge Road, Remington Heights features the finest in independent and assisted living with outstanding service, quality care, and elegant homelike surroundings. We offer a full range of services including personalized care, nutritious meals, and engaging activities to promote each individual’s maximum physical and emotional well-being. For more information, please visit or contact Jan or Phil at (402) 493-5807 /

Allen Capital Group Announces Expansion Into Omaha Market Nebraska wealth management firm Allen Capital Group opened its newest office and first Omaha location at 10050 Regency Circle, Ste. 500 last month. This expansion into the Omaha market represents another step forward in the firm’s rapid, strategic growth and its commitment to a client-centered approach. At the core of the new office will be Steve Wilbur and Tad Singer, deeply experienced local wealth advisors with years of working in the industry joining Allen Capital Group as Managing Directors to lead operations in Omaha. Supported by their in-depth wealth-planning knowledge and a wellestablished business, Wilbur and Singer have hit the ground running – implementing valuable technology updates designed to enhance the client experience, including the Orion performance-reporting platform. In addition, they will be delivering the personalized, trustworthy service for which Allen Capital is known. Allen Capital Group’s Omaha office, which will offer the same services as the firm’s three other Nebraska locations, opened with five employees. One of Allen’s short-term goals includes growing the Omaha team to 15 to 20 wealth advisors and staff. The Omaha office can be contacted directly at (402) 932-6300. To find out more about Allen Capital Group, visit www.allencapgroup. com. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 11

BUSINESS NEWS SAC Federal Credit Union Named Air Force Credit Union of the Year

Concordia Experiences Largest Undergraduate Enrollment in 44 Years

Eac h year the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force recognizes one financial institution from across the nation that has provided exceptional service to the Air Force community during the preceding calendar year. This award is determined by recommendations submitted by installation commanders as well as nomination support information provided by the credit union.

Concordia University, Nebraska, announces Concordia’s incoming class has 391 undergraduate students registered as of Sept. 11, 2017, leading to a full-time undergraduate enrollment of 1,209 students on the Seward campus, the third highest enrollment in 44 years.

Recently at their national conference in San Diego, the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) awarded SAC Federal Credit Union this prestigious honor. SAC’s senior management and Board of Directors were there to accept the award on behalf of the Credit Union, their Board of Directors, 230 employees and over 100,000 members. When asked about receiving the award, CEO and President Gail DeBoer shared, “We’re committed to programs that enhance the lives of the military, their families and retirees. To be recognized for our work and dedication in this area, we are especially proud and honored.” She went on to thank the credit union’s employees for the role they played in the award. SAC Federal Credit Union ( is Nebraska’s largest locally owned credit union and has been serving the Greater Omaha area for over 70 years. In addition to a full line of personal and business banking products, SAC offers better banking for life, helping members with home buying, investment education, retirement planning and more. SAC has 22 convenient locations to serve its members, and membership is free and open to all residents in SAC’s eight county service area.

In addition, the university’s College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education serves 874 full-time and part-time adult learners registered for classes as of Aug. 28, 2017. The graduate college offers online and on-ground classes at its campus in the Fallbrook area of north Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as in Omaha, Nebraska. The university also continues to serve hundreds of students taking dual-credit classes each academic year, pushing the total headcount of students served this fall beyond 2,700. In the last year Concordia has been recognized by third-party organizations for its top-tier academics, vibrant Christian community and a price for higher education that is within reach,” said Brian Friedrich, president of Concordia University. “We’re thankful that families are recognizing the value in that formula, giving us an opportunity to fulfill our mission this year with more students.” For more information about Concordia University, Nebraska, visit

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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

BUSINESS NEWS NorthMarq Capital Acquires Daisley Ruff Financial Corporation in Omaha NorthMarq Capital has acquired the operations of Daisely Ruff Financial Corporation, a founding member of the Q10 network of commercial mortgage banking firms based in Omaha, Nebraska. The acquisition makes the combined office the largest commercial mortgage banking firm in Omaha, based upon the number of producers, servicing portfolio and annual production volume. Daisley Ruff’s co-founder Stephen Ruff will join NorthMarq as senior vice president/managing director, bringing his deep relationships with lenders and borrowers from across the Midwest. In addition, Bob Chalupa, a 30-year mortgage banking veteran, will join the company as senior vice president, continuing his track record with borrowers in Omaha and the region. The 25-year old firm, founded by Ruff and E.T. “Ding” Daisley, brings 25 life company correspondents and a servicing portfolio of $660 million to NorthMarq Capital, continuing to build NorthMarq’s significant presence across the US, which includes three dozen production offices. NorthMarq Capital provides debt, equity and commercial loan servicing through its 37 offices across the U.S. The company has built long-term relationships with life companies, CMBS platforms, and local, regional and national banks and has a long track record of multi-family loan origination through Freddie Mac Program Plus™, the Fannie Mae DUS program, and through FHA, resulting in nearly $13 billion in annual production volume and a loan portfolio of more than $51 billion. For more information please visit

Care Consultants’ Newest Lincoln ElderCare Resource Handbook Now Available Imagine having the answers to all your senior care questions right at the tip of your fingers. It’s possible… thanks to the folks at Care Consultants for the Aging. On September 6th, the 10th Edition of the Lincoln ElderCare Resource Handbook for 2017-2019 became available to the public in both the book format and online. The Handbook serves as a valuable resource for information and services offered to seniors and their families in the Lincoln area. Divided into five tabbed sections, the Handbook lists options in “Government, Financial & Legal,” “Medical Support,” “Home Health Care & Support Services,” “Living Options,” and “Senior Services.” It also includes an index of services and companies for easier use. You can obtain the book three ways: • Stop by the office to pick one up at 1530 S. 70th Street, Suite 202, Lincoln, NE 68506 - $8 • Send a check or money order or use a credit card over the phone to have one mailed to you - $12 (includes shipping) • Log on to and click on the “Resource Handbook” tab – view for free or pay through PayPal - $12 (includes shipping) The ElderCare Resource Handbook is updated every 2 years and available for the Lincoln and Omaha areas. The 12th edition Omaha ElderCare Resource Handbook is also available. Seniors have options! Care Consultants can help point the way.

CFO Systems Earns Place on Inc. 5000 List for 4th Year in a Row CFO Systems, LLC is pleased to announce that it has once again earned a place on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America. Companies that made the list, on average, have grown sixfold since 2013. This is the fourth year in a row that CFO Systems has placed on the list, an extraordinary accomplishment as only one in ten of the thousands of companies that apply every year have made the list four times. “I am honored that our team of talented, timeshare financial leaders has been repeatedly recognized for all their hard work. We are passionate about supporting and guiding our clients to successful outcomes and will continue to focus on sharing our financial expertise and seasoned knowledge with the middlemarket sector nationwide,” says leader of CFO Systems, Brett Frevert. CFO Systems, LLC provides financial and HR leadership to middle-market entities across the United States. It serves clients as interim and timeshare CFOs and Controllers, providing practical, experienced financial leadership on clients’ schedules. For more information, please call (402) 884-0066 or visit

FSNS Announces Opening of Omaha Food Testing Laboratory Food Safety Net Services (FSNS;, a leader in the microbial, chemical testing and auditing of food and nutraceutical products for the food safety industry, announced the opening of its newest laboratory in Omaha, Nebraska. FSNS’s Omaha location will offer microbial testing, chemical testing, and education and training services. The new location is an expansion of FSNS services for its customers in the north central region of the United States. “We are excited to open our newest lab in the middle of the United States,” says John Bellinger, FSNS CEO. “Grizelda Trevino serves as our Omaha lab manager. She is an excellent leader and has built a talented, customer service focused team to support our customers.” FSNS will retain 45 jobs in the Omaha market with plans to add more in the coming years. Headquartered in San Antonio, TX, FSNS is a national network of ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratories open 24/7, 365 days a year. FSNS provides expert technical resources that assist companies with implementing food safety and quality programs that deliver critical information needed to continually improve process controls. Additional services include GFSI, SQF and PAACO, approved auditing and certification capabilities. For more information on the FSNS Omaha laboratory, located at 5030 F Street, contact the lab at (402) 970-0280 or OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 13


Nebraska Among Awardees of STEP Funding to Expand Export Opportunities to SMBs The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $18 million in funding has been awarded to 44 State international trade agencies through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), to support export growth among U.S. small businesses. In Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development was awarded $263,720. STEP is designed to increase both the number of small businesses that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting. The 2017 STEP awards will allow states to assist small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export related activities that are in line with the objectives of the program. These objectives include participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more. This is Nebraska’s Department of Economic Development’s (NE DED) sixth grant award through this program. Over the past five years, they have had over 75 small businesses participate in STEP, generating almost $50,000,000 in actual sales as a result of their participation in STEP supported activities with an additional $7,230,000 projected sales anticipated from this year’s activities alone. This year’s funding will be used to defray costs incurred by eligible small business entities in Nebraska to attend domestic and international trade shows, conduct international sales trips, register for US Department of Commerce match-marketing programs, hire translation services for hard copy information and websites targeting international sales, and to conduct third party product testing to verify their products meet international market entry standards. In addition, NDED will contract to provide market research reports for individual ESBCs.

24th Annual Ocko Beerfest Set for Oct. 19 Join the Lincoln Sertoma Clubs and the Nebraska State Stroke Association for the 24th annual Okto Beerfest on Thursday, October 19th at the Lancaster Event Center. The event will take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m., with a VIP reception held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. There will be craft beer tasting, food sampling, live and silent auctions, entertainment, and so much more! Okto-Beerfest is an annual benefit for the Nebraska State Stroke Association. Over the years, Okto Beerfest Nebraska has raised more than $275,000 for education on stroke support services and the prevention of stroke. Tickets are available online at, and at the Lancaster Event Center, The Still Fine Wines & Spirits, Ken’s Kegs, Moran’s Liquor Works, and Four Star Card & Gift Gallery. Cost if purchased in advance is $40 or $55 for the additional VIP Hour, and $5 extra for tickets purchased at the door. Designated driver tickets are $10. For vendor questions, auction donations or more information contact Darlene Berks, Event Coordinator and Co-Chairperson at (402) 7703657 / or Linda Stephen, Executive Director of NSSA at (402) 484-8131. More than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. The mission of the Nebraska State Stroke Association is to serve Nebraskans through stroke prevention, education, advocacy, and support services. Make a difference in stroke awareness and show your support while enjoying a fun evening at Okto Beerfest! Prost!



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Strictly Business-Omaha Celebrates 10 Years Strictly Business proudly announces a major and very special milestone – the 10th anniversary of the Omaha publication! It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to promote so many wonderful businesses and organizations here in the Omaha Metro, and to have such a dedicated readership within the community that’s grown tremendously over the years and continues to thrive. Along with celebrating a decade of monthly Omaha magazines, we’re coming up on our 25th anniversary of our original publication in Lincoln in 2018! It’s an exciting time here at Strictly Business and we’d like to thank all of you who have supported the publications and made them the successes they are today. It’s been such a privilege to work with the best clients who are just as passionate about their businesses and organizations, and to reach readers in offices and places of business all across the Omaha Metro. The future is bright and we look forward to what it has in store for us all! For more information on partnering with Strictly Business Magazine, please contact us at (402) 466-3330 or visit our website at www.

Hilton Omaha Continues to Earn Highest AAA Rating in Nebraska For 14 consecutive years, Hilton Omaha has earned the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award, the highest accommodations rating in Nebraska. The hotel and staff have proudly earned this distinction every ye a r s i n c e i t s grand opening in April 2004.

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Partners Announced in New Nebraska-Based Drug and Alcohol Testing Program The Nebraska Trucking Association and Essential Screens have announced a new drug and alcohol testing program called ‘NDOT.’ This is an exclusive screening service to assist companies stay in compliance with the Department of Transportation regulations. Services provided include comprehensive background screening and drug testing including, but not limited to: Customized national background searches; Employment, educational and license verification; MVR/CDLIS; Drug screens, supported by a nationwide network with 24-hour access and on-site testing availability; and DOT compliant pre-screening. The Nebraska Trucking Association is the provider of effective information, services and advocacy to Nebraska trucking companies and affiliated businesses. Essential Screens is a full-service background screening and drug testing company that specializes in obtaining quality data from county, state and national level agencies, laboratories, past employers and education facilities throughout the United States. For more information on NDOT, visit or call (888) 949-9188

Prairie Represents Kriz-Davis Co. in Sale to Border States Electric Surrounded by hotel management and staff, Gordon Humbert, General Manager of Hilton Omaha, proudly accepts the 2017 AAA Four Diamond Award from AAA representative, Rose White.

Hilton Omaha is conveniently located at 1001 Cass Street near major downtown attractions, and is connected with a skywalk to the CenturyLink Center. The hotel features 600 spacious guestrooms, a full-service health club and spa, coffee bar and gift shop, Liberty Tavern restaurant and lounge, indoor parking, as well as complimentary shuttle service. In addition, it features 39,000-square-feet of meeting space ideal for conventions, banquets and weddings. For more than 80 years, AAA has used a team of professional inspectors to conduct anonymous, in-person property evaluations, scrutinizing such areas as cleanliness, comfort, ambiance, safety features, security, and available services and amenities. Following the inspection and evaluation, each property is given a rating of one to five diamonds. Accommodations at the Four Diamond level are stylish, with upscale physical attributes and feature an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail. In 2017, only 1,615 properties earned the AAA Four Diamond designation. These establishments account for just 5.9% of the nearly 28,000 AAA Approved hotels across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc. (, a leading middle market investment bank, is pleased to announce that it has represented Kriz-Davis Co. ( and its shareholders in the sale of the company to Border States Industries, Inc. (www. The transaction was publicly announced on July 26 and closed on August 28, 2017. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska and founded in 1945, Kriz-Davis is a leading distributor of electrical products with 18 locations covering six states in the Midwest. As a full line electrical distributor, the company has continuously served the electrical utilities, industrial/automation, electrical contractor, and data communications markets while delivering value and innovation to the growing needs of its customers. Kriz-Davis is perennially ranked as a Top 50 Largest Electrical Distributor in the U.S. by Electrical Wholesaling Magazine. Timothy Berry, Kriz-Davis’ President and CEO, commented, “Prairie’s highly dedicated team provided invaluable guidance in what was a challenging and complex transaction. Their understanding of our industry in addition to the complexities of ESOP ownership, led to an outstanding result for Kriz-Davis and its employee shareholders.” Prairie Capital Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Kriz-Davis, working closely with its shareholders and management team throughout the sale process and guiding them to a successful transaction outcome. Kriz-Davis will now operate as a division of Border States Electric. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 15

BUSINESS NEWS SunCo and Estate Gardeners Join Forces SunCo, a local, family-owned outdoor services company, has merged with Estate Gardeners Inc. Effective September 1, 2017, the two companies are now operating under the SunCo name. Estate Gardeners has been operating one of the Omaha area’s finest design & build landscape companies for the past 25 years, focusing on giving homeowners the outdoor living space of their dreams. Now, by joining SunCo, Estate Gardeners customers will have access to the same exceptional garden maintenance and design & build services they have come to expect along with a host of additional services that SunCo provides, including lawn care, sprinkler services, and holiday lighting. In order to make the transition as easy as possible for existing Estate Gardeners customers, Michael Becker will stay on with SunCo as a designer, draftsman, and consultant. Additionally, all current Estate Gardeners pricing and warranties will be honored by SunCo. SunCo has been inspiring outdoor envy in the Omaha metro area for more than 25 years. “We are pleased to have Estate Gardeners Inc joining the SunCo family,” said owner Chris Andersen. “Their exceptional work speaks for itself and having known Michael Becker personally for several years, I couldn’t be more excited about this merger.” For Estate Gardeners customers who would like to learn more about SunCo, please visit For further questions, please email K.C. Andersen at


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

Staffing Agency in Omaha Participates in Express Game Day Sweepstakes Express Employment Professionals, a staffing agency located on 99th & Fort Streets in Omaha, is excited to participate in this year’s Express Game Day Sweepstakes. The Express Game Day Sweepstakes is the ultimate opportunity for a client or prospect and Express franchisee to win a trip to Super Bowl LII at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Attending a Super Bowl is a dream for the people of Omaha’s workforce. This year, Express is making that dream a reality. Through its Express Game Day Sweepstakes, Express Employment Professionals is providing one lucky client or prospect and the Franchisee (or representative) of the winning client with an allexpense paid trip for two to next year’s Super Bowl. The prize includes much more than just two tickets to a football game, though. Recipients can expect to enjoy a three night stay at a prominent hotel, roundtrip airfare, admission to a pregame party, Super Bowl LII souvenirs, and much more. Entries for the sweepstakes will be accepted until November 19 and the winner will be announced in Express Digest on December 4. To register for the Express Game Day Sweepstakes, please visit The North/Downtown Express office is located at 5310 North 99th Street, Omaha, NE 68134. Local business and applicants are encouraged to stop by, visit or call (402) 933-9911 to receive a registration code.

BUSINESS NEWS LightEdge Solutions Acquires Cabela’s Omaha Data Center

National Food Entrepreneur Program Seminar Announced

LightEdge Solutions, an enterprise-grade cloud, colocation and managed services provider, has announced it is buying Cabela’s existing, state-of-the-art Omaha data center and retrofitting it to support LightEdge cloud and colocation services. The 16,925-squarefoot facility was originally constructed in 2010, and sits on 4.18 acres of land. It will be retrofitted to complement LightEdge’s other data center facilities across the Midwest. As part of the transaction, Cabela’s has signed a tenant lease with LightEdge and will continue to operate from the data center.

The University of Nebraska Food Processing Center is offering a one-day seminar for all individuals interested in exploring the idea of starting a food manufacturing business.

Omaha is an ideal location for the LightEdge data center thanks to the proximity to its other facilities, as well as the Omaha airport, making transportation more convenient for business leaders to tour and move into the space. Other benefits of selecting Omaha include the available energy sources, minimal environmental and weather concerns, and tax benefits for tenants. The Omaha data center is scheduled to open in Q4 2017, and will be immediately available for tours. LightEdge also recently opened a second facility in Altoona, Iowa, to add to its growing data center campus outside the greater Des Moines area. LightEdge’s fourth facility resides in the underground limestone mines of SubTropolis Technology Center in Kansas City, Missouri. LightEdge Solutions ( is an experienced and proven leader in, data center, Enterprise IT cloud solutions, and network integration, providing businesses with reliable access to Fortune 100-level infrastructure that quickly adapts and scales to meet changing business requirements.

BBB: Insecurity in a Digital World The Better Business Bureau Foundation is pleased to present a free program for businesses about the Internet of Things (IoT), the “Dark Web” and Data Breaches. Small and medium businesses face cyberrisks on a daily basis, but their business models were designed to focus on their core competency - not cyber. However, innovative technologies are taking all of us into the cyber realm, and it seems like a day doesn’t go by when there isn’t a new headline screaming about the latest data breach or application vulnerability. Cyber awareness doesn’t have to be overwhelming; it just takes a little bit of education and planning. This program will explain how cutting edge technologies can be understood and strengthened. The keynote speaker is Diana Kelley, a cybersecurity thought leader, practitioner, executive advisor, speaker, author and co-founder of SecurityCurve. Before coming to Microsoft, where she is currently employed, Diana was the Global Executive Security Advisor at IBM Security and built and managed the IBM Security Research Community Newsroom. She has leveraged her 25+ years of cyber risk and security experience to provide advice and guidance to some of the world’s largest companies. She appears frequently in media as a cybersecurity expert, including: NY Times, WSJ, Time, WGBH, WNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News. This event will take place on Tuesday, October 31st from 8-10 a.m. at UNO College of Business – Mammel Hall, located at 6708 Pine Street. Continental breakfast is included (8-8:30 a.m.). Please RSVP by October 25th to

Please encourage interested individuals in your community to attend the “Recipe to Reality” seminar, which will be offered on October 28, 2017. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Registration deadline is October 15, 2017. Contact Jill Gifford at (402) 472-2819 or for an information packet.

Carson Group Announces Corporate Rebranding Carson Group (, a conglomerate of companies serving advisors and investors, has announced the official rebrand of its organization, the renewed vision backed by its internal stakeholders, and the unique opportunity the new brand seeks to capitalize on in financial services. As an all-encompassing growth partner for advisors across the country, the firm decided to align its expansive thought leadership and simplify its offering to better support advisors as the profession undergoes significant change of its own. The rebranding efforts include the dual transformation in naming conventions to Carson Group Coaching (www.carsongroupcoaching. com), formerly known as Peak Advisor Alliance, and to Carson Group Partners (, formerly known as Carson Institutional Alliance. Both firms bring a long-standing history and well-regarded reputation to the newly unified mission of Carson Group. The new branding and reorganization of Carson Group’s companies is the most recent move in the firm’s journey to further professionalize its operations, centralize the skillsets and experience of the team, and enhance the wide range of solutions it’s able to provide to advisors. The recent momentum has been widely recognized both inside and outside the industry. Earlier this year, Carson Group was recognized as a Finalist for the Wealth Management Industry Awards in two categories: Industry Disruptor and Succession/Ownership Transition Services. At 119 stakeholders, the firm was also recently named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies, underlining the efforts and investment made to transform the brand into a household name. Carson Group Partners, formerly Carson Institutional Alliance, has more than doubled its total assets under advisement* to $8.56 billion over the past three years and more than tripled the number of Partner advisor firms in its community, with offices in 51 locations across the country. The growth extends well beyond Carson Group’s walls to the advisors themselves, with Partner offices organically growing at an average of 21.71% over the past two years, far exceeding the average advisor growth rate. Carson Group Coaching, formerly Peak Advisor Alliance, has experienced an uptick in advisor membership as well, growing their community to an all-time high of 1208 firms, consisting of more than 5,000 advisors across the U.S. and Canada. Carson Wealth and Carson Group Partners are DBA as CWM, LLC. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Network s LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through CWM, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC is under separate ownership from any other named entity. * Please note that the amount of CWM, LLC’s Assets Under Advisement is considerably larger than the amount of the firms regulatory Assets Under Management. Assets Under Advisement include regulatory Assets Under Management reported in CWM, LLC’s Form ADV I, in addition to assets with respect to which CWM, LLC may provide consulting and/or financial planning services, but does not have any management, execution or trading authority. CWM, LLC’s regulatory Assets Under Management can be found in Item 5.F of CWM, LLC’s Form ADV I, available at

OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS First Central Bank to Acquire United Republic Bank Central Bancshares, Inc., parent company of First Central Bank and First Central Bank McCook, has announced that it will acquire Republic Corporation, the parent company for United Republic Bank in Omaha. This transaction will combine assets to better capitalize on the banks’ individual strengths. United Republic Bank ( is locally owned and managed and in 2006 was the first independent community bank chartered in the Omaha area in 16 years. The bank is deeply rooted in the Omaha community and many of the employees are actively involved in a variety of charitable, civic and professional organizations. This strategic partnership will unite two organizations with similar missions of providing outstanding customer service and exceeding the expectations of customers, staff, and shareholders. The acquisition will also allow the combined bank to offer an enhanced diversification of loan portfolios. Both companies will retain their identities and employees. The combined group of banks will have assets of approximately $330 million and $34.4 million in equity and operate a network of six (Omaha, McCook, Arapahoe, Cambridge, Edison, Curtis) locations staffed by the same friendly faces customers have banked with for years. No staff reductions will occur as a result of the acquisition. Mike Pate will continue to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of United Republic Bank and its holding company, while Don Moore will continue to serve as President & CEO of First Central Bank and First Central Bank McCook. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2017, although delays may occur. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including the approval by shareholders of Republic Corporation, parent company of United Republic Bank, and customary regulatory approvals.

Voice & Data Systems Educates SMBs on Importance of 4G Backup Voice & Data Systems, a leader in unified communications, has announced that the company will be launching an awareness campaign to educate small to mid-sized business (SMB) owners about the importance of having a 4G backup plan in their organizations. With the vast majority of business owners virtualizing their infrastructure and investing heavily in cloud-based technologies to support an increasingly mobile workforce, businesses need more reliable connection to the internet than ever before. Voice & Data Systems has found that using a 4G cellular network, as a backup to a traditional wireless network, can serve the bottom-line goal of keeping their employees going, no matter what hiccups arise in internet connectivity. The goal of 4G backup is simple, it’s to provide a secondary network interface for remote routers to access when the primary link is unavailable. With inevitable internet outages facing almost every organization, and the staggering costs associated, it’s unwise for a business to risk its entire well-being on a single point of failure. Paired with a highperforming wireless network, 4G backup simply makes sense for SMBs who take their productivity seriously. Voice & Data Systems provides state-of-the-art unified communications technology to businesses in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro and surrounding communities. The company creates customized, turnkey solutions specific to their customer’s business for telephone systems, data networks, video surveillance and converged networking applications. For more information, please call (402) 571-9049 or visit 18 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

Prepare for Winter With Free Car Care Check To help motorists prepare for the winter driving season, AAA is offering free 18-point vehicle car care checks on Saturday, October 21, from 8 a.m. to noon, at their state headquarters at 910 North 96 Street in Omaha. Participants are encouraged to enter from Burt Street. Car components checked on standard passenger vehicles include batteries (cables, clamps, terminals and charging/starting system), belts, hoses, tires (pressure, tread), horn, mirrors, fluid levels (under the hood fluids only), wipers, lights and turn signals. Checks will not be available for RVs, electric vehicles, some sports cars, and hybrid vehicles. If inclement weather develops, the free car care check may be cancelled. For more information, visit, call 1 (800) AAA-NEBR, or visit your local AAA office.

Nebraska Hispanic Chamber Presents 2nd Annual NHLDI Conference The Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proud to invite the Nebraska community to the 2nd Annual Nebraska Hispanic Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion Conference. It will be held on November 10th at Bellevue University from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a networking reception afterwards. This outstanding event is an annual gathering of Nebraska and Iowa communities, leaders and industries at large, who will come together to develop and/or strengthen their leadership skills, learn from other experiences and work for a diverse workforce and inclusive environment. After a successful event in 2016 with more than 150 participants from different cities statewide, the conference this year promises to be even better than the first. NHLDI 2017 offers you, your company and staff members an opportunity to participate in insightful sessions on current and emerging leadership, diversity and inclusion topics. It also provides invaluable networking opportunities from across the state of Nebraska and neighbor states. This conference is an extraordinary opportunity to recruit and hire skilled professionals, multicultural and bilingual, experienced and new graduates to reach and expand targets, promote and market their products and services. There are several opportunities for your company to join the event and support these efforts. Please visit for more information.

Neutral Path Communications Extends Network Reach From Omaha to Kansas City Neutral Path Communications, the Midwest’s premier carrier neutral fiber transport facilities provider, has announced it is now offering lit services to Kansas City, MO. The new link runs from Neutral Path’s main line at 1623 Farnam in Omaha to the highly-coveted Netrality Properties data center at 1102 Grand in Kansas City. Netrality’s 1102 Grand data center is well positioned in the geographical center of the US and offers connectivity to 42+ network operators. It’s also home to the Kansas City Internet Exchange (KCIX), which is at 29 members and growing. With the addition of the Omaha to Kansas City link, Neutral Path climbs to over 40 points of presence along their backbone network which spans over 2,000 route miles and runs between the key cities of Minneapolis, Omaha, Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago. Neutral Path delivers carrier neutral transport solutions, including highcapacity dark fiber, low latency wavelengths, Ethernet, colocation, cross connect and related services to global broadband providers, content delivery networks, enterprise network operators, and the like. Neutral Path was born out of broadband service provider demand for a simple and route mile efficient means to fill the never-ending need for fiber connectivity to key points in the Midwest and beyond. For more information, please visit



by Karl Schaphorst, President

Go For The Top! About six months ago, Tim had done some research on firms in his sales territory and decided that The Hubble Group was a prime prospect. In the course of the research, he had obtained a publicly available corporate report which contained the names of all the company officers from the CEO down to the line managers. He decided that the best place to start would be with Jim Hurley, a division manager whose division was a perfect candidate for Tim’s products. Knowing that this sale would take time because of all the managerial levels, Tim was not disheartened when it took four weeks to finally get into Jim’s office. And much to his surprise, Jim was very encouraging and recommended that Tim call on his manager, which Tim did. Again, two weeks later, Jim’s manager was very positive and set up an appointment for Tim with the division’s vice president. After two broken appointments and four weeks, Tim got into the vice president’s office. More positive feedback. The divisional vice president arranged for Tim to meet with the head man, the CEO. Finally, thought Tim, I get to meet with the person who makes the decisions. The day arrived, and Tim was sitting in the president’s outer office leafing through the company’s newsletter. And there, on page three, was a story of how the president had just signed a three-year contract the week before with Tim’s major competitor. Chances are that Tim is not going to make a sale. Chances are high that Tim will be convinced to start his selling cycle earlier, instead of at the top, with the next company. That’s his mistake, but don’t tell him. Ask ten salespeople in a business-to-business sales situation who they would like to first speak with, and nine of them will tell you the president of the company. When it actually comes time to call on the business, nine out of ten salespeople would rather die first than call on the president. They will call on anyone else first with hundreds of excuses to avoid calling on the president. “He’s too busy…. He doesn’t have a need to get involved with the product I’m selling…. He’s hired people to deal with salespeople…. Even if I tried, I could never get to see him.” Pick up the phone and call him. That’s it. Consider this for a moment. Let’s assume you are actually put through to the head person. If you ask, “I know that you probably don’t get personally involved in purchasing X, could you tell me who that would be?” you will get a name. When you call that name ten minutes later and say, “I was just talking with the president of your company, and he referred me to you. If you could get out your calendar…” What do you think will happen?

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And if you call the head person and don’t get anywhere…just what have you lost by attempting? Absolutely nothing. There is no way to lose by starting at the top. If your boss tells you to pay attention to what this salesperson is selling, you probably will. If someone two levels down tells you to pay attention to what this salesperson is selling, you’ll probably get around to it eventually. If you are the salesperson in question, which situation is better for you? Therefore, go for the top! Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to mediumsized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at You can also follow his blog at

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How did you get started in the business? - I graduated from Doane College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design and a minor in Communications. After graduation I worked at a small print shop for about a year and then decided it was time to take the next step in my career. As fate would have it, a graphic designer position with Strictly Business presented itself and I have been here ever since. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I’m very excited to announce that as of this month I have accepted the role of Art Director at Strictly Business, as our previous Art Director, Tingleska, has transitioned out to fulfill her dreams of traveling and freelance. I could not be more thrilled about all of the new challenges ahead and I look forward to growing with the company.


What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I am very proud to have my design work published in the magazine and seen by thousands of individuals in the Omaha and Lincoln communities every month. I have grown and developed some amazing relationships with the businesspeople I work with and I love having a hand in their success.

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What is your favorite TV show? - Friends has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve seen every episode more times than I can count. What is your favorite local restaurant? - The Cheesecake Factory. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? My new email will be or you can reach me in the office at (402) 466-3330.


Bob Kanne

ENGINEERED CONTROLS Engineered Controls is a building technology company whose goal is to make buildings more efficient, comfortable, secure, and convenient for its occupants. Bob Kanne is a Sales Engineer at Engineered Controls. Tell us a little about your role with the company. - Day to day, I am working with contractors, engineers, and owners to provide solutions to help automate various building systems, including HVAC, security, lighting and shades, and gas detection systems. How did you get started in the business? - I studied architecture in college, and became very interested in the effect our buildings and cities have on the environment. After graduation, I was looking for a job in architecture when a friend suggested I come in to his work to see what they did. Engineered Controls offered me the opportunity to see sustainable building practices from a different perspective. I took advantage, and have been learning how automation and big data is making our buildings more efficient ever since. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - The best part of the job is knowing you helped a local business or community organization complete their vision for a new building. We are finishing up work on Metro Community College’s new $90 million expansion at the Fort Omaha Campus, which is the largest project I’ve worked on to date. I know the buildings will be an asset to Omaha for years to come, and I am proud to have been a part of it. Tell us a little about your family. - I live in a home full of girls, and couldn’t be happier about it. My beautiful wife Jenn is a commercial loan officer, and together we’re raising a 3-year-old, Nora, and 3-month-old, Celia. They keep our life messy, but always entertaining. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - One day in Kindergarten, I was playing the trendy game Mancala all alone when a girl asked to join. I don’t remember this day at all, but I will never live it down because that girl is now my wife. When someone offers you their company, take it! What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Last Sunday, I hooked up the kiddie trailer to my bicycle and rode with my daughter and a friend to the farmer’s market in Aksarben Village. My wife and second daughter met us for some time on the playground and a croissant from Le Quartier. That is my idea of fun; the trick is making the time to do it. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - One passion I inherited from my dad is woodworking. After college, I sold some of my furniture online, with customers from as far away as California and New York. More recently, I’ve spent a lot of time renovating our 1920’s craftsman style house in Morton Meadows. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? Restoration Exchange does wonderful work for our city. I have met some great people and true craftsman through the organization. What is your favorite local restaurant? - There are so many excellent ones, but if I ever want amazing tacos I head to Taqueria Tijuana on 24th & Q Street. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Elon Musk. He has a way of making our biggest challenges seem feasible. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; Website:

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PROJECT HARMONY Project Harmony is a non-profit organization that exists to protect and support children, collaborate with professionals and engage the community to end child abuse and neglect. Deb Anderson, PhD, MSW is Senior Director of Early Intervention & Training at Project Harmony. Tell us a little about your organization. - Project Harmony is a child advocacy center, co-located with law enforcement, child protective services, and mental health agencies. Abused or neglected children come here to receive forensic interviews, medical evaluations, advocacy and mental health treatment in one facility. We also train law enforcement officers, child protective service workers, educators, and other professionals to improve their knowledge and skills in this work. Our experts lead multi-disciplinary teams that review cases of abuse and neglect to better identify and meet family needs too. Then there’s our preventative program called Connections dedicated to helping families access mental health services before abuse or neglect happens. Together, these various programs help us toward our goal of ending child abuse and neglect. How did you get started in the business? - After getting a master’s degree in social work, my family and I moved to Omaha and the first job I got was in Child Protective Services. I never intended to work there, but found that I loved the work. That work led me to training and consulting with a national child welfare organization that I continue today. After getting my doctorate, I taught at the university level for many years, which led to an opportunity to join Project Harmony to start the Training Institute. I came here in 2007 and haven’t looked back. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I’ve had two large challenges at Project Harmony, starting the Training Institute and 8 years later, starting the Connections program. A personal and professional challenge happened during my doctoral program when my computer crashed and I lost all of my research for my dissertation. I truly went through all the stages of grief. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Coming to Project Harmony was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made. My greatest achievement is that I’ve learned how to hire really smart, caring people who know how to take these programs and do more than I could have imagined! Tell us a little about your family. - I have two grown children. My daughter is married and she and her husband have three of the smartest, most delightful boys in my world. My son is single and lives close enough to come watch football each week. I’m engaged to a wonderful, supportive, funny man who has two children as well. His daughter is married and she and her husband have the sweetest, happiest 2-year-old boy. His son also is married and he and his wife have two great step-children. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - A long walk outside, cooking, reading, and then hanging out with friends. What is your favorite local restaurant? - I have so many! I really like Beacon Hills in Aksarben and Marks in Dundee. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Aside from my work with Project Harmony, I support the Tri-Faith Initiative, and also other non-profits that are focused on children. And I support the Nebraska Humane Society. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Visionary. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Email:; Website: www.projectharmony. com.


Kyle Johnson

CARE CONSULTANTS FOR THE AGING Established in 1991, Care Consultants for the Aging is well known for its Home Care Registry and ElderCare Resource Handbook. These resources are available in both Omaha and Lincoln, NE. Kyle Johnson is the owner of Care Consultants for the Aging. Tell us a little about your business. - Through our Home Care Registry, we seek and refer CNA-level caregivers to our elderly clients. Our ElderCare Resource Handbook provides a complete listing of companies that provide services to seniors within each metro area. I’m also the owner of Oasis Senior Advisors franchise in Omaha. Through that noun company we offer a FREE service that makes the search for any level of senior living a breeze. We work with over 45 retirement communities in Omaha and refer clients to specific communities based on their financial, medical and geographical preferences. How did you get started in the business? - About 2 ½ years ago I learned about Oasis Senior Advisors and fell in love with the thought of helping seniors and their families. Then when the opportunity presented itself to acquire Care Consultants for the Aging recently, I felt the two were the perfect combination and went for it. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - My background is not in the health care industry. I have learned a lot over the last 2 years and much of that was self-taught while working through unique situations with the families we’ve served. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I volunteer for the Greater Omaha Chamber President’s Club and was honored to be named to Chairman’s Circle for my efforts in 2016. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife, Sara, and I have been17_POG48_STRICTLY_BUSINESS_OCT_FAMILY_AD.indd 1 married for 10 years and have 4 beautiful children: Kendall (9), Brett (7), Carter (4) and Ryan (21 months). We currently live in Gretna and have resided there for 4 years. Sara works as a pharmacist for Baker’s. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Making the decision to start my own business. It was a scary decision, but something that I’d wanted to do for many years. Now I can’t imagine my life any other way. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I really enjoy sports, and primarily baseball. I currently coach my 7-year-old son’s baseball team in Gretna and love being able to teach the game. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - Many people are probably not aware that I played baseball in college. I went to Baylor University immediately out of high school, decided to transfer back to Iowa Western Community College, and then finished my collegiate playing days as a Mizzou Tiger. What are you the most proud of? - The relationships I’ve built with many important people. I cherish getting to know each person I come in contact with and always look to leverage those relationships to help the others around me become better. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know! What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - The Alzheimer’s Association is a great organization and needs more funding for research. What is your favorite local restaurant? - It’s hard to pass up Julio’s nachos! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? The Care Consultants Omaha office is located at 7701 Pacific Street, Suite 100 and I would welcome anyone who comes in the door. You can also check out the websites for both companies: AnswersForMom. com and OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business Bank

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SCORE has provided free, SBA-funded coaching and mentoring to America’s entrepreneurs since 1965. Blake Martin with FranNet of The Heartland is a volunteer with the Greater Omaha Chapter of SCORE. How did you get involved with the organization? - As I was planning to start my own business, I walked in the door of the local office one day to learn more about SCORE. The SCORE chapter chair quickly learned that I had been coaching franchise business owners for 20 years, and in a sense I never walked back out that door. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Transitioning into owning my own business (FranNet of The Heartland) two years ago. It wasn’t just about the money we were investing, it was confirming that I had the confidence to make it work. In the end, I realized it was riskier to return to working in corporate America than it was to take control of my own future by owning my own business. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Getting my business to break-even, and thereby knowing that I never have to miss another one of my kids’ sporting events or submit another PTO form. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Shannon has deep roots in Nebraska. I’m pretty sure I’m related by marriage to 33% of the state’s population. She is the best thing that ever happened to me, partly because she’s helped me raise two incredible boys, Jordan (14) and Cayden (4). I’m a life-long Midwesterner, originally from Grand Rapids, MI where most of my family still lives. Grand Rapids feels a lot like Omaha or Lincoln, but surrounded by more trees and water. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Accepting a job offer that brought me to Nebraska in 2004. As a result, I worked for some of the best business mentors I could have asked for, met my wife, was indoctrinated into Huskermania, found an incredible place to raise my kids, and eventually grew into a business owner and SCORE volunteer. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Watch my boys play sports, with my wife by my side. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I was the last person to board the last plane out of JFK airport in NYC on September 10, 2001. And I almost didn’t board because something just didn’t feel right that day. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. I think it was Theodore Roosevelt who said this first, but I heard it first from an elderly client when I was in my early twenties, and it has always stuck with me. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I’m a small business owner so I use them all, every day, before lunch. And then I use a handful more that I didn’t know I had, between lunch and midnight. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - SCORE, of course, along with Veterans in Business Forum, Offutt’s Excel With a Mentor program, Omaha Career Networking, and Entrepreneurs’ Education Collaborative. I want others to experience the freedom and exhilaration of owning their own business. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Ahmad’s in the Old Market. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - SCORE office: (402) 221-3606; Direct: (402) 415-3651; Email:; Website:


Jeff Loeffler

JMISKO SURGICAL DESIGN MD With locations in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney, NE, JMISKO Surgical Design MD offers a wide variety of services including Stem Cell Therapy, Robotic Hair Transplant Procedures, Weight Loss Services, Hormone Replacement Services and Aesthetic Services. Jeff Loeffler is the co-owner of JMISKO Surgical Design MD. Tell us a little about your business. - We take a progressive approach in all of our services to provide our patients the life-changing results they deserve. How did you get started in the business? - I got started in the industry by working for a local company out of Omaha that offered med spa services to a large demographic of patients. Through 6 years of handson experience working my way up I learned the ins and outs of business management, marketing, and how to manage the patient experience. I also learned how differently I would run my own business and that’s truly what drove me to do so. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Finding the right business that I knew I would be passionate about and enjoy managing for the rest of my career. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Owning this practice with my business partner Dr. Justin Misko. We have an incredible group of team players, and together, we’ve created a culture that is unparalleled in this industry. With the help and support of our team we have been able to introduce new and innovative medical treatments to the Nebraska market that otherwise would not be available. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Samantha is a 4th grade elementary school teacher and we have 3 children: Ally (5), Reid (3), and Carter (2 mos.). What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Resigning from my old job. Staring at a dead end position I knew I had to make the tough decision to take fate into my own hands. With the risk of financial destruction and the stress of a family at home, I took a leap that was worth every sleepless night. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Anything outdoors, whether it’s volleyball, camping, fishing, golfing, or just being outside. What are you the most proud of? - My family. I have been married 9 years and now raising our kids together I have never been happier. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Do what you love every day. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Caring. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I like to build and fix things with my hands. I find great satisfaction in having created something tangible at the completion of a project. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Regenerative Wellness Fund. They provide cutting-edge health and wellness care and ongoing research efforts with Stem Cell Therapy to military veterans and former professional athletes to improve their quality of life. This is a great way for me to stay involved in advancing our medical services as well give back to a very worthy group of people. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Donald Trump because love him or hate him I guarantee it would be entertaining, not to mention a conversation starter. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 484-5144; Email:; Website: www.

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“We’d Rather Be The Best Than Apologize for Anything Less.” OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business


PERSONNEL NEWS CKF Names Megan Bechtold Vice President of Residential Sales

Linda Stephen Joins Nebraska State Stroke Association as Executive Director

CKF, a leading kitchen and bath design firm, is pleased to announce the appointment of Megan Bechtold to vice president of residential sales. This role will oversee residential sales in CKF’s Nebraska and Iowa sales territories.

The Nebraska State Stroke Association (NSSA) is proud to introduce Linda Stephen as the new Executive Director! Assuming her new role at NSSA in August, Stephen brings more than 15 years of public relations and community outreach for national and local nonprofits, international agencies, and book publishers on topics that include aging in place and remodeling homes for accessibility. She looks forward to leading the organization in continuing its work in promoting public awareness of stroke prevention and support statewide.

Prior to this role, Bechtold served as the executive assistant to Sam Marchese, C.E.O. and president of CKF. Bechtold has been with the company for over 15 years working in builder, consumer, and professional sales. In her new role, Bechtold will be involved in almost every aspect of corporate sales and marketing. She brings an energy level, passion, and qualified support experience to our residential business to continue to grow. She will have direct responsibility over six sales departments. CKF is the leader in cabinetry, countertops, and home organization in the kitchen and bath industry throughout the Omaha, NE, Lincoln, NE, and Des Moines, IA areas. CKF is the exclusive distributor of Cambria® Quartz in Nebraska and Iowa. For more information, visit

Community Health Charities Announces New State Board of Directors Members Several area business and community leaders were named to the Community H e a l t h Charities of Nebraska (CHC-NE) State Board of Directors at the organization’s annual meeting on Aug. 24. The following individuals were elected onto the State Board: Karen Carson, Fat Brain Toys, Team Jack Foundation Representative; Katie Love, ACI Worldwide; Steve McWhorter, Autism Action Partnership Representative; Amy Nieman, Lutz, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Nebraska Chapter Representative; Rebecca Runge, Methodist Hospital, Nebraska Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation Representative; Russell Sebek, Lincoln Board Chair, Wells Fargo; and M. John Steier, Great Western Bank, United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska Representative. Additionally, Teresa Layton, Great Western Bank, began her term as Board Chair. Other Executive Committee Members include: Craig Sall, First National Wealth Management, Immediate Past State Board Chair; Ralph Dovali, Hancock & Dana, PC, State Board Treasurer; Erica Hinrichs, ACI Worldwide, State Board Secretary; Sharon Brodkey, iLuicom; Michael Demman, SimplyWell LLC; David Gilinsky, Bergman Incentives; Larry Guenther, JPMorgan Chase, Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter Representative; Stanley Kathol, Omaha Airport Authority; Thomas Macy, Nebraska Medicine; Deenie Meyerson; Amber Preston, Baird Holm LLP; Loren Steenson; and Mike Wade, Physicians Mutual Insurance Company. Community Health Charities of Nebraska is a fundraising federation of 22 premier non-profit health charities raising charitable contributions primarily through annual corporate employee giving campaigns. For more information about CHC-NE and the work of its member charities, go to and or call (402) 614-8500. 26 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

More than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. The mission of the Nebraska State Stroke Association is to serve Nebraskans through stroke prevention, education, advocacy, and support services. For more than 30 years, NSSA has been providing education and outreach on the signs of stroke - and serving as a resource to enhance the quality of life of those affected by stroke. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Nebraska and the leading cause of disability in the US. To donate to NSSA or find a speaker, or to find out more information about the organization, please visit www. or contact Linda Stephen at (402) 484-8131 /

Gene D. Knapp Receives SCORE’s 2017 Outstanding District Director Award At the SCORE National Leadership Conference in Baltimore, Ken Yancey, S C O R E C E O, p r e s e n t e d t h e 2 0 1 7 Outstanding District Director Award to Gene D. Knapp. Knapp, the Nebraska SCORE District Director for 10 years, supports the SCORE chapters in Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, Norfolk, and central Nebraska with volunteers in Beatrice, G r a n d I s l a n d , H a s t i n g s, K e a r n ey, Lexington, and Scottsbluff. This award recognized the Nebraska District which is one of 70 districts nationwide. Knapp stated, “I am pleased to accept this award and want to recognize all the Nebraska volunteers’ work that has resulted in the growth of total services SCORE provides.” Knapp also noted, “The Greater Omaha and Lincoln SCORE chapters were recognized for their more than 20% year over year growth in total services. The Greater Omaha, Lincoln, and Columbus chapters were recognized as Platinum chapters. As the District Director for these chapters I am pleased to recognize their contributions and support of entrepreneurs in Nebraska.” Over 500 SCORE leaders from all states attended the conference. Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator, keynote speaker, delivered a presentation on the importance of entrepreneurship to the US economy and SCORE’s role in their successes. SCORE - a national, all volunteer, not for profit resource partner of the SBA - provides no cost mentoring and workshop training to entrepreneurs starting a business and small businesses to grow and prosper. Interested in SCORE’s services or in being a SCORE volunteer? Contact SCORE at (402) 221-3606,, or

PERSONNEL NEWS Koley Jessen’s Estate Planning Practice Continues to Expand With Hire of Mitch Hiatt

Nebraska Kidney Association Elects New Officers and Board Members

Koley Jessen has continued to grow its Estate and Business Succession Planning team with the addition of Mitch Hiatt. With a focus on representing high-net-worth individuals and families, Hiatt provides tailored tax, estate planning, and trust and estate administration counsel. He has extensive experience in designing and implementing sophisticated wealth transfer planning strategies and also routinely advises clients on business succession planning matters.

The Nebraska Kidney Association ( has announced the election of new officers for the coming 2017-2018 year. Jeff Ahl of Lincoln has been reelected president. He is an architect with Arcuretecture, Inc. of Lincoln. Kerry Heinrich has been reelected vice president. Michelle Gilliland of Bennington has been elected Treasurer. She is a Principal, Clinical Innovation Initiatives for Fresenius. Newly elected to the Nebraska Kidney Association board of directors is Carrie Britten, Donation Services Specialist for Nebraska Organ Recovery, Jen Gibbs, Athletic Trainer for New West Sport Medicine & Ortho Surgery, Rob Kuhl, Owner, Montclair Insurance Group and Mike’l Severe Reporter/Radio Host BH Media.

“We are pleased to have Mitch join our team,” says Kurt Tjaden, Chair of Koley Jessen’s Estate and Business Succession Planning Practice. “We have one of the largest teams in the region dedicated exclusively to estate and succession planning. Hiatt will add to our depth and help us continue to help our clients meet their planning objectives.”

New Members Elected to Board of Regents at Concordia University, Nebraska

Hiatt received his B.A. in Economics (cum laude) from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law (cum laude). Koley Jessen ( is a growing law firm serving the needs of business owners, executives and professionals. The Estate and Business Succession Planning team helps clients articulate objectives and design comprehensive solutions tailored to transition their estates and businesses to successive generations in a thoughtful and tax-efficient manner.

Children’s Respite Care Center Welcomes Catherine Demes Maydew Catherine Demes Maydew joined the Children’s Respite Care Center (CRCC) in June, assuming the newly-created position of Vice President of Development and Engagement. Catherine Demes Maydew, CPA, MBA has been working with nonprofit organizations for over 20 years. She has held multiple positions within nonprofit organizations, including leadership team, Executive Director, and board president. Collectively, she has served large for-profit companies as well as both large and small nonprofit and government organizations, all clients of her private consulting practice. An alumna of Creighton University graduate school, Catherine has been invited many times to speak on the importance of nonprofit board governance. Over the years, Catherine has had the fortunate opportunity to work for both sides of the grant process, from the foundation giving side to the organizational request side. As a volunteer she has assisted in the planning of successful fundraising events as well as directing and working on capital campaigns. “I am most excited to share the wonderful services CRCC provides,” says Demes Maydew. “We have a strong group of executives with the focus of providing comprehensive services and resources to families. We want to engage and collaborate with our community to better serve children with medical complexities and special needs.” CRCC provides comprehensive care through Day Services, Educational Support, Skilled Nursing, Behavioral Health, Overnight Weekend and Saturday Respite, Rehabilitation Therapy, and Summer Camp. For more information, please visit

At their quarterly meeting on July 25, 2017, Concordia University, Nebraska’s Board of Regents appointed Stuart Bartruff, Gail Hawkins and Erik Vieselmeyer as new members of the Board of Regents to serve three year terms which began on Sept. 1, 2017. Reappointed to the Board of Regents to serve three additional terms were Richard Huebner of Centennial, Colorado and Timothy Schwan of Appleton, Wisconsin. In addition, three Nebraskans were elected as executive officers. Stuart Bartruff These were Paul Schudel of Lincoln, chair; Jill Johnson of Seward, vice-chair; and Ryan Burger also of Seward, secretary. Stuart Bartruff serves as senior vice president and area business banking manager for Wells Fargo Bank. He has been employed by Wells Fargo since 1979. Bartruff is a member of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church in Omaha. He serves on several boards and committees including Divine Shepherd Board of Directors, Christ Lutheran Church (Lincoln) Board of Directors, Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Kearney) Board of Directors, Make-A-Wish Gail Hawkins Foundation, Nebraska Council on Economic Education, and Nebraska Bankers Association committees. Gail Hawkins serves as senior vice president and chief financial officer for Tetrad Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska. She has been with Tetrad since 1995. Prior to her work at Tetrad, Hawkins served as director of audit for Cornerstone Banking Group and as audit manager for Coopers and Lybrand. She is a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, currently participating on the Foundation’s Erik Vieselmeyer board of directors. Erik Vieselmeyer works for DuPont Pioneer Seed Agency and serves as farm manager for his family farm. Vieselmeyer is a nationally certified crop advisor and has been an advisor for Future Farmers of America at Holyoke High School. Additionally, he is a member of the Platinum Club for top national sales achievement for DuPont Pioneer. He is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Holyoke and served as Lutheran Layman League (LLL) and Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM)-Rocky Mountain Northeast District president, LLL and LHM-Nebraska District Zone 12 president and LLL and LHM-Nebraska State District vice president. Find out more about Concordia University, Nebraska online at OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 27


Mark Jensen Named President and CEO of FCSAmerica and Frontier Farm Credit

Patrick Fairbanks Named Immanuel Fontenelle’s Executive Director

Farm Credit Ser vices of America (FCSAmerica) and Frontier Farm Credit have named Mark Jensen as incoming president and chief executive officer of the customer-owned financial cooperatives. Jensen, the Associations’ chief risk officer, will assume his new role on November 1, 2017. He succeeds Doug Stark, who is retiring.

Immanuel Communities is pleased to welcome Patrick Fairbanks as executive director at Immanuel Fontenelle. In his position, Fairbanks will oversee day-to-day operations of staff and residents, ensuring Immanuel Fontenelle offers the best in exceptional care, quality and customer satisfaction to community seniors. Fairbanks comes to Immanuel with 30 years in senior health administration throughout Nebraska and Wyoming. He is a graduate of the American Healthcare Association Future Leaders Program and currently serves on the Leadership for Life board of directors. “We’re pleased to welcome Patrick to the Immanuel leadership team,” said Eric Gurley, Immanuel president and CEO. “Patrick has shown great leadership and dedication to seniors throughout his career and we’re thrilled for him to join the Immanuel team.” Immanuel Fontenelle is part of the Immanuel Village campus in Omaha, Neb. The community provides unique neighborhoods designed to serve residents with diverse needs—long-term care, short-term rehabilitation and memory support. Since 1887 Immanuel has been providing Christ-Centered Service to Seniors, Each Other and the Communities in which the organization serves. As a not-for-profit, serving arm of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Immanuel’s house of brands includes: Immanuel Communities, Immanuel Pathways, Immanuel Community Foundation and The Immanuel Vision Foundation. For more information, visit

Jensen joined FCSAmerica in 1992 and has held senior vice president positions with the Association for the past 16 years. He was named senior vice president – chief risk officer in 2013. Jensen was instrumental in modernizing FCSAmerica’s credit process and implementing an enterprise risk management framework, and today provides executive leadership of the Associations’ risk management, credit and appraisal teams. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in agricultural economics. FCSAmerica and Frontier Farm Credit are customer-owned financial cooperatives proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. FCSAmerica provides credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Frontier Farm Credit serves eastern Kansas. Learn more at and www.frontierfarmcredit. com.

Lori Fischer of Benefit Professionals, Inc. Appointed Secretary on La Vista Community Foundation Board Benefit Professionals, Inc., a Bearence Management Group Company, is proud to announce that Lori Fischer, Vice President, was elected to serve as secretary on the La Vista Community Foundation Board of Directors. Fischer was recently recognized among the “Best of Benefit Professionals, Inc.” for her involvement in the community and on the Board. Benefit Professionals, Inc. is headquartered in La Vista and is a proud supporter of the community which the company is located, as well as the surrounding communities in which is does business. This aligns with the mission of the La Vista Community Foundation, which is to improve the quality of life where people live, work and play in La Vista. As such, the entire team at Benefit Professionals, Inc. strongly supports the organization. Established in 1989, Benefit Professionals, Inc., a Bearence Management Group Company, is a group benefits brokerage firm. The professionals at Benefit Professionals, Inc. work with clients in Nebraska and Iowa, finding solutions to meet the individual needs of each when it comes to employee benefits. Benefit Professionals, Inc. continues to grow and celebrate successes, as it constantly explores new avenues in an effort to combat rising healthcare costs for both small companies and large corporations. For more information, please call (402) 592-7777 or visit www. 28 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

Mike Homa to Lead R&R Realty’s Nebraska Division Mike Homa, formerly President of Mutual of Omaha Bank, will head up the new Nebraska Division of R&R Realty Group located in the Nebraska Professional Center at 13616 California Street in Omaha. The Des Moines-based group is rapidly expanding its interests in the metro area and sees the addition of Homa as a reflection of its commitment to becoming an even more engaged partner in the Omaha business community. For the past four years, R&R has managed their first Omaha project, Fountain West Office Park at 192nd and West Dodge, from Des Moines. This summer’s groundbreaking of the new 80-acre R&R Commerce Park in Sarpy County further extends R&R’s growth into the Nebraska market. Located along Highway 50, Highway 370 and the I-80 corridor, the development has 1,000,000 square feet of warehouse space planned in four 250,000 square foot buildings. Mike cites his decades of experience in Omaha finance in conjunction with his previous bank-to-customer relationship with R&R for a smooth transition to his new position. His civic activities include President of the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation Board, as well as service on the boards of Mutual of Omaha Bank Nebraska Board of Advisors, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Hope Center for Kids, Omaha Equestrian Foundation and the Dean’s Advisory Board for UNL’s College of Business. Find out more about R&R online at


Strictly Business Promotes Holly Ryan to Art Director

Elmira Stove Works Appoints Mark Lamar as Sales Representative for Midwest Territory

Holly Ryan, who was hired on in 2016 as graphic designer for the Strictly Business Omaha and Lincoln publications, has recently been promoted to the position of Art Director. In her time with the company, Holly has worn many hats, from ad design and creative to print, video, web posting, photography and social media campaigns to being a key role in the company’s organization process. She has taken on the additional responsibilities of layout for both publications and management of the advertisement component of all client accounts. Holly has hit the ground running and is excited about the new responsibilities this role brings. She will be working closely with Krisitin White, our newest graphic designer, on the entire creative side of the magazine. Holly can be reached at our office, (402) 466-3330 or via email at Please join us in congratulating her on her new position at Strictly Business!

Elmira Stove Works, a leading manufacturer of antique and retro style appliances, has selected Mark LaMar as the company’s new sales representative for Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. In this role, LaMar he will manage all the orders in the territory and provide leadership to the sales team.

Pinnacle Bank Welcomes Three Pinnacle Bank recently named Kristina Boehmer, Daniel Gill and Efrain Rosas mortgage loan officers. Boehmer will be working at the Papillion Main branch on Golden Gate Drive, while Gill and Rosas work in the mortgage department at the 168th and Harrison branch. All are responsible for assisting customers in finding the right mortgage loan program for their needs, including Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, NIFA and FHLB Grant Program, while providing exceptional customer service. Kristina Boehmer Boehmer has nearly four years of banking experience working as a mortgage processor. She is currently continuing her education at Iowa Western Community College. In the community, she is involved in the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity. Gill began with Pinnacle Bank in April. Before joining the bank, Gill worked in the insurance field for over 10 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in business Daniel Gill administration and business management with minors in communication and political science. Rosas began with Pinnacle Bank in August and has over 14 years of banking experience in various roles including as a loan officer and personal banker. Prior to working in banking, Rosas served in the United States Air Force and Nebraska Air National Guard. He is a graduate of Central Community CollegeColumbus. In the community, Rosas has been involved in several organizations including the Columbus YMCA, NeighborWorks, the Efrain Rosas Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. Family-owned since 1938, Nebraska-based Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc., is a $9.9 billion financial holding company operating 149 community banks in eight states including 64 locations in Nebraska. For more information, visit

With more than 25 years of experience in the luxury appliance market, LaMar has served in various leadership roles at both the distributor and factory level. Prior to joining Elmira Stove Works, LaMar completed a seven-month overseas assignment where he assisted in the design and execution of a global initiative. This initiative helped suppliers provide additional value to their clients and contributed to the suppliers’ commercial success. For many years, LaMar was employed by Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Inc. where he held numerous titles including National Training Manager, National Sales Manager and General Manager. Prior to Fisher & Paykel, he worked in a market development role at the luxury appliance distributor, Roth Distributing. Elmira Stove Works has been manufacturing vintage-styled ranges since 1975, and offers full lines of “circa-1850” and retro 1950s appliances, including ranges, refrigerators, microwaves, wall ovens, range hoods, splash backs and wood-burning cook stoves. For more information on the team and products at Elmira Stove Works, visit www.

Dr. Steven Hinrichs Appointed to Federal Committee Steven Hinrichs, M.D., the Stokes-Shackelford Professor of Pathology and Chair at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has been appointed by the former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Sylvia M. Burwell, to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC). CLIAC is a federal advisory committee administered by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It provides scientific and technical advice and guidance to HHS and its agencies on issues related to clinical laboratories that are regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988. The CLIAC committee includes diverse membership across laboratory specialties with a variety of professional roles including laboratory management, testing specialists, physicians and nurses. The scope of committee activities includes the full range of laboratory practice settings such as academic medical centers, community hospitals, clinical laboratories, and public health laboratories. Dr. Hinrichs was the founding director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) at UNMC and the University-wide Nebraska Center for Biosecurity. He is past chair of the Committee on Management and Information Systems for the Association of Public Health Laboratories and is a strong advocate for the development of communication systems and electronic infrastructure throughout the United States. During his tenure as the NPHL director, it became one of the first public health laboratories to develop internet-based test ordering and reporting capabilities. Dr. Hinrichs was a national co-leader of the Public Health Informatics Project focused on the harmonization of electronic laboratory messaging practices. In addition to informatics, Dr. Hinrichs has a research interest in virology and emerging infectious diseases. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 29


McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. Recognizes Lawyers

Dr. James Wisecarver Elected President of American Society for Clinical Pathology

McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to 2018 The Best Lawyers in America list: Gary M. Gotsdiner - Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Corporate Law; Keith A. Green - Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Corporate Law; Mary L. Hewitt - Trusts and Estates, Employment Law – Management; Robert L. Lepp Commercial Litigation, Elder Law; Richard D. Myers - Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Nancy A. Roberts - Environmental Law; R. Thomas Workman Corporate Law.

Based out of Omaha, McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. ( has been serving commercial enterprises and individual clients in a broad range of civil practice areas in the Midwest since 1975.

James Wisecarver, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has been elected president of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Dr. Wisecarver, who will serve a one-year term, assumed the presidency at the ASCP annual meeting held Sept. 6-8 in Chicago. Dr. Wisecarver serves as the vice chair for clinical affairs for the UNMC Department of Pathology/Microbiology and director of the Human DNA Identification Laboratory at UNMC. He also serves as medical director of the clinical laboratories at UNMC’s clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine. Dr. Wisecarver received his medical degree from UNMC in 1986 and a doctorate in physiology from Creighton University in 1978. He completed a residency in combined anatomic and clinical pathology at UNMC and then joined the department of pathology and microbiology in 1990. His involvement in ASCP has included serving on the Council on Continuing Education, and later on the board of governors of the ASCP Board of Registry (now Board of Certification). While serving on the board, he helped organize a new examination committee to develop the molecular biology examination and the associated credential that is now being offered through the ASCP Board of Certification. He also organized and presented molecular diagnostics workshops offered through ASCP and the United States and Canadian Association of Pathology.

Greater Fremont Development Council Appoints Garry Clark New Executive Director

Craig Willeke Named to New York Life’s Executive Council

The Greater Fremont Development Council (GFDC) has appointed Garry Clark as its next Executive Director. He is now responsible for the promotion of economic development activities in Greater Fremont effective September 18.

Craig Willeke has been named a member of the 2017 Executive Council of New York Life Insurance Company. Members of the Executive Council are among the most successful of New York Life’s elite sales force of 12,000 licensed agents.

Prior to this appointment, Clark served as Nebraska Opportunity Fund Manager for the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority. His body of economic development work spans from West Point, NE (Executive Director of Cuming County Economic Development) to Washington, D.C. (Executive Director of North Capitol Main Street, Inc.) to Bowie, Maryland (Economic Development Specialist).

Willeke has been a New York Life agent since 2003, and is associated with New York Life’s Nebraska General Office in Omaha. He has a B.S. in Psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan University and an M.O.T. in Occupational Therapy from Rockhurst University. Willeke has also received his LUTCF designation from the American College and CLTC designation from the corporation for long-term care certification. He can be reached directly at (402) 483-6656.

In addition, Gary M. Gotsdiner was recently recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” for Corporate Law in the Omaha area. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and metropolitan area is honored as “Lawyer of the Year,” designating the high level of respect they have earned among other leading lawyers for their abilities, professionalism and integrity. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

Clark will be responsible for coordinating GFDC’s program of work as he focuses on expanding current business and industry in Greater Fremont. “With a string of recent economic successes under our belts, we’ve built up some great momentum. Now, under Garry’s leadership, we know the Greater Fremont area will continue the march forward as one of Nebraska’s leading economic centers,” said Bill Vobejda, president of the GFDC Board. Clark will work closely with the GFDC Board and the broader Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership to strengthen the competitiveness of GFDC within the local, state and global economy. A three-time All-American and member of the Dana College Athletic Hall of Fame, Clark holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Dana and a Master of Science in Urban Studies (Public Administration) from University of Nebraska Omaha. 30 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institutional asset management. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s website at for more information. *Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/12/17. For methodology, please see fortune500/. **Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 7/27/17. ***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Cornhusker State Games Athletes of the Year Recognized for Excellence

Nebraska Recycling Council Hosts Annual Awards Luncheon: Collaboration is the Key

Joseph Mather, a 6 year-old world champion BMX rider from Omaha, has been named the 2017 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) Youth Male Athlete of the Year. Mather is joined by chess player/swimmer Jacey Tran, 12, of Lincoln; taekwondo athlete Carl Steffens, 35, of Lincoln; badminton player Kaiguo Chang, 56, of Gretna; and powerlifter Grace Bogner, 24, of Lincoln and as Athlete of the Year honorees in five categories for the 33rd annual Games held in July. The five were Joseph Mather chosen from among 10,119 total participants and will be honored at the Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) awards banquet on Oct. 26. Mather, who began BMX racing as a three year-old, won the 6-and-under world title representing Team USA at the World BMX Championships in Rock Hill, South Carolina in mid-July. He returned to Omaha from the World competition just in time to take the gold medal at the CSG BMX event on July 28. Tran, at age 12, won her CSG chess gold medal against adult players in the Reserve Jacey Tran division. Chess players are divided, not by age or gender, but by rating, which causes better players to face tougher opponents the more they win, and Tran has won a lot, including the last five girls state championships. She also picked up two gold medals, a silver and a bronze in the 2017 CSG swim meet the week before. Steffens has earned 21 CSG taekwondo medals, including 10 gold medals, over eight years of competing in the Games. He is also a highly-respected volunteer official for the Carl Steffens Games. Chang’s selection was also influenced partly by his volunteer work promoting and facilitating badminton for the Top Fight Badminton Club and the Cornhusker State Games. His CSG playing record touts seven medals earned the past three years, including gold medals this year in senior men’s singles and adult mixed doubles. Bogner earned three CSG gold medals in powerlifting and broke AAU state records for deadlift and overall. Her nomination touted Kaiguo Chang her attitude, work ethic and charitable work, including two mission trips to Haiti and one to the Philippines in recent years. Nebraska’s Athletes of the Year have been nominated for National Congress of State Games Athlete of the Year honors, which will be awarded at the Teams Conference Awards Banquet on Oct. 31 in Orlando, Florida. NSC Officials reported that 85 counties were represented in 2017, with Lancaster—4,446, Douglas—1,648, Sarpy—692, Buffalo—201 Grace Bogner and Saunders—192, making up the top five counties. The youngest participant was Council Bluffs armwrestler Ethan Hall, 2; the oldest was track and field athlete Dorothy Ekblad, 90, of Lincoln. Top five sports in participation were basketball—819, soccer—812, softball—719, volleyball—622 and track and field—612.

Nebraska Recycling Council is hosting the 2017 Annual Awards Luncheon & Workshops on Thursday, October 19th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at The County Club of Lincoln. Awards will be presented to Nebraska businesses and communities that have excelled at resource recovery and recycling. Concurrent workshops, “Teaming Up to Change Your Community’s Solid Waste Management System” and “Building Business Partnerships to Maximize Savings in Solid Waste Management and Recycling” begin at 8:30 a.m. along with a vendor show. The keynote address will be delivered during the awards luncheon by Ellen Martin, Vice President for Impact and Strategic Initiatives at Closed Loop Partners. For more information and to register, visit: Nebraska Recycling Council is a statewide, member-based, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska. Our goal is to re-energize recycling in Nebraska through innovation, education, training, and the power of collaboration. Visit www.nrcne. org for more information.

Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation Raises Over $25K for Childhood Cancer Research Over 350 people showed their support for c hildhood cancer research on Sunday, September 10th at the Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation’s 2nd annual Glow Gold Rally. The event, held at Village Pointe Toyota in Omaha, raised over $25,000. It was a family-fun day filled with carnival-style games, a bounce house, face painting and a virtual reality experience. Wine donated by Pitch Pizzeria and craft brew from Folsom House Brewery was served to those in attendance. Alexa Lewis addressed the crowd with her story of her son who lost his battle to cancer at 17 months. The West Dodge Station elementary choir sang the song “Clouds” which was written by childhood cancer survivor, Zach Sobeich. The song was accompanied by a balloon release for all kids that battle or lost their fight against cancer. The event ended with a one-mile honor walk which featured signs along the route that honored children who have had childhood cancer. KMTV’s Morning Blend host Kelly Nyberg led the walk, as well as emceed the event. Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to raise money for all types of childhood cancer research. Research for childhood cancer is severely underfunded receiving only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget and nearly nothing from big pharmaceutical companies. In 2017, Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation pledged $400,000 to the Comer Children’s Pediatric Cancer Data Commons project which helps standardize and share research information among doctors around the world. For more information, contact Jeremy Stanislav, Executive Director, at (402) 560-1578 / OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 31

NON-PROFIT NEWS Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha Hosts New Family Reception

Carole’s House of Hope Receives Special Donation

Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha held its annual N ew Fa m i l y Reception at Metropolitan Community College – Culinary Arts Institute – Fort Omaha Campus on September 14, 2017. A resource fair was held for families, along with a picnic dinner and a short program. Thank you to BlueCross BlueShield Nebraska for helping to support the event! The evening focused on the important role parents play in the education of their children, and it was an inspiring evening for all in attendance. Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha (CSF), CSF believes that all families, regardless of income, should be able to choose the best educational setting for their children. CSF provides tuition assistance scholarships so children from low-income families can access the private K-8 education of their choice. CSF is destination neutral and has no religious affiliation—children attend approximately 80 different schools across Omaha and northeast Nebraska. For the 2017-18 school year CSF award over 1,800 scholarships valued at over $2.7 million to students in Omaha and northeast Nebraska. CSF Omaha relies solely upon donations to provide scholarships. If you or your company would like to make a donation or sponsor a student, please contact the office at (402) 819-4990 or visit the website at

In September, Girl Scout Troop 40302 and Fireplace Stone & Patio of Nebraska joined forces to provide C a ro l e ’s H o u s e of Hope with an outdoor firepit.

Merrymakers to Host Annual Toast

Three couples received recognition for their caring service to others at Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska’s (LFS; “Faith in Action” event on September 23.

The Merrymakers Association will hold their Annual Toast event on November 9th, from 6-9 p.m. at the Omaha Design Center. The Toast will feature tributes, pokes and fun aimed at honoree Hal Daub, former US Congressman, former Omaha Mayor and current University of Nebraska Regent. The Toast is the primary fundraiser for the Merrymakers Association. As Merrymakers marks its 31st year of providing professional music and entertainment to Nebraska and Iowa senior facilities, they are also celebrating the partnerships they enjoy with 140 senior care facilities. Sandy Lemke, Merrymakers Executive Director, stated, “The Toast is a highlight of the fall social season and an opportunity to support culture for senior citizens. The evening is filled with friendship, laughter, great entertainment and some light-hearted jokes!” The key highlight of the event is the “Adopt-a-Home Auction” where attendees offer up $2,500 or more to sponsor senior care facilities for an entire year of Merrymakers’ performances. Last year, the event raised over $200,000. Mary Maxwell, Omaha’s First Lady of Comedy, will be the event emcee. U.S. Congressman Don Bacon, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and former Governor Dave Heineman will be toasting Hal Daub during the program. Boys Town Executive Director Stephen Boes will offer the invocation. Merrymakers Association’s Annual Toast is open to the public; tickets and sponsorship information is available at or by calling (402) 697-0205. Individual tickets are $200. A young professional ticket, for those under the age of 40, is $75. 32 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

Carole’s House of Hope would like to extend a special thank you to both for their contributions, which included designing, raising funds, and building the beautiful firepit for the residents of CHH. The ladies and at Carole’s House of Hope will greatly enjoy spending beautiful evenings outside by the fire for many years to come. Carole’s House of Hope’s mission is designed to provide hope and healing for women, mothers and their children through innovative programming and services that promotes self-sufficiency and independence. For more information, please visit www. or contact Happy Opitz at (402) 991-4673 Ext. 103 /

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Celebrates 125 Years The event’s keynote speaker was Steve Pemberton, Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional Vice President of Walgreens and author of A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past and How He Found a Place Called Home which recounts his painful childhood in foster care. His story will soon be the focus of a major motion picture. This year’s annual event celebrated “125 Years of Expressing God’s Love for All People.” Two special awards were presented for the first time. The Trinity Award and the Immanuel Award recognize the two Lutheran orphanages in Fremont and Omaha, which began 125 years of LFS human care for children and families. Coyner and Donna Smith received the 2017 Douglas E. Parrott Faith in Action Award for a lifetime of commitment to “welcoming the stranger” with their generous gifts of time, talent and financial resources. The Smiths stepped forward with sizeable financial support to sustain the LFS refugee resettlement program, the largest in Nebraska, and keep trained staff on board to serve. Greg and Nancy Thrasher were recognized with the Trinity Award for extraordinary generosity and faith-filled servant leadership to serve “the least of these” in LFS programs, including support for RSafe® which serves families impacted by child sexual abuse, the Centers for Healthy Families, and by hiring and supporting refugees. Terry and Linda McClain accepted the Immanuel Award for providing visionary leadership galvanizing community support for the Rupert Dunklau Center for Healthy Families® in Fremont, an early intervention and prevention parenting program for pregnant mothers and families with preschool children. Together they have provided communitybased philanthropic leadership, as well as their own volunteerism, including mentorship of young parents enrolled in the program.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Buddy Benches Arrive at Elkhorn Elementary Schools

Local Friendraiser to Support, Raise Awareness for Survivors Rising

The Elkhorn Optimist Club is pleased to announce the success of the Buddy Bench Project, which resulted in numerous benches being donated to elementary schools in Elkhorn on behalf of the organization. Allowing children to become Champions of Kindness, the Buddy Bench is a playground tool that provides an everyday opportunity to practice empathy, be kind, and lets children show that they care for one another. A dedication ceremony was held to recognize the donations and educate the public about their purpose and the corresponding curriculum at Firespring Elementary School on Sept. 8. The Elkhorn community, including individual citizens and corporate sponsors such as Methodist Health Systems, all came together to ensure this project became a reality. Together, an investment was made in the kids of our community to help them build a stronger character. Special thanks are extended to everyone who donated time and money to this project. The Elkhorn Optimist Club is an Elkhorn-based volunteer group that focuses on elevating the youth of Elkhorn. This goal is accomplished through various projects including honoring a Student of the Month at various elementary schools, providing free community events such as a Punt Pass Kick Event, and donation projects that foster a sense of community among the Youth of Elkhorn. Find out more online at or contact Jason Gustafsun at (402) 672-9395 /

The Women’s Fund Circles is set to host a “Friendraiser” on October 5th from 5-9 p.m. at Vino Mas, located at 14450 Eagle Run Drive in Omaha. The event will provide an opportunity to introduce and connect Survivors Rising to the community. Wine tasting, food and networking will take place from 5-7 p.m., with a brief presentation offered by Survivors Rising beginning at 6 p.m. with an overview of the organization followed by a survivor sharing her story of violence and resilience. Following that, music will be provided by Kevin Killion until 9 p.m. Members of the Survivors Rising Speakers Bureau will also be available throughout the evening to talk about their personal experience and educate attendees about sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking.

Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha Announces $10.3M Campaign to Expand R o n a l d McDonald House Charities in Omaha (RMHC) has announced their capital campaign of $10.3 million to expand their current House. The Hope and Healing Expansion project will add approximately 20,000 square feet of space, including 20 more guest rooms, bringing the total number of guest rooms to 40, allowing twice as many families to have a home away from home while their children undergo medical treatment. Due to an increased need for care in Omaha’s top-rated hospitals, RMHC has been operating at nearly full capacity since April 2015, with a waiting list of 8-10 families each night. In 2016, they were forced to turn families away 798 times, and another 714 times in the first six months of 2017. In addition to the 20 new guest rooms, the expanded House will include a larger kitchen, glass-encased toy room, comfortable checkin room, volunteer room, community classroom, quiet/lactation and contemplation rooms, office space to be leased by Angels Among Us, and an in-House treatment area operated by Nebraska Medicine – a first-of-its-kind undertaking. RMHC in Omaha is proud to be working with Holland Basham Architects, Ronco Construction, and CBRE on this project, which is scheduled to be completed by early 2019. Those who would like to donate to the Hope and Healing Expansion can contact RMHC in Omaha Development Director Kari Hannan at or (402) 3469377, or visit

Cost to attend is $20, cash only, with a portion donated to Survivors Rising as well as 10% of all additional purchases during the event. Survivors Rising is dedicated to advocacy, education, and support for survivors of sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking. The organization’s mission is to ensure that the survivor voice is represented in legislation and in the community and that offenders are held accountable. For more information, please visit or contact Kim via email at

Summit Dental Presents Proceeds From Annual Fundraiser to Open Door Mission Summit Dental presented the proceeds of its annual Community Lemonade Stand Day to Open Door Mission President/CEO Candace Gregory on Friday afternoon, September 8. The money was raised through an effort promoted by Summit through social media. Twentyseven neighborhood lemonade stands were engaged in providing refreshing lemonade to customers in and around Omaha during the hottest part of the summer for donations to Open Door Mission. Supplies and decorations were supplied by local Summit Dentist offices, ten of which also hosted lemonade stands during the drive which took place the week of July 30. “We are thrilled to be the beneficiary of the 2017 Summit Dental Community Lemonade Stand Day,” says Gregory. “So many families took advantage of the opportunity to encourage their children to do something special to help people in need. The whole effort is just a reflection of the generosity and community spirit of our friends at Summit Dental. We are so thankful!” Open Door Mission ( is a Gospel Rescue Mission that provides 816 men, women, and children with safe shelter beds, serves more than 2,300 hot nutritious meals, and provides preventive measures to more than 400 people living in poverty. Open Door Mission offers life-changing programs for those recovering from lifealtering addictions and abuse to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 33

NON-PROFIT NEWS United Way of the Midlands Awards $514K Grant to Family Housing Advisory Services

Mark Your Calendar for Pink Out Council Bluffs

Family Housing Advisory Services (FHAS) is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a $514,000 grant from the United Way of the Midlands. Thanks to the generosity of the United Way donors, FHAS is able to offer lifechanging programs and services and successfully fulfill its mission to improve quality of life and eliminate poverty by helping people achieve housing stability and financial security. With the assistance of United Way of the Midlands, 1,000 near-homeless families will find or retain affordable housing; 500 will receive rent and/or utility assistance; and 200 of these families will begin to save on a regular basis. Over 110 families will become homeowners, over 300 will continuing working toward achieving the homeownership goal, and 15 individuals will avoid foreclosure. Ten adults will have their savings matched to purchase sustainable assets of homeownership, post-secondary education, or microbusiness enterprise. Over 220 youths transitioning out of foster care will receive financial education and matching savings dollars to purchase items needed as they work towards adulthood, and will become financially prepared for independent living. Over 5,200 residents will receive free income tax assistance to claim earned income tax credits that lift many above the poverty line. Over 1,500 households will resolve their fair housing issues and remove barriers to accessibility. Please visit or visit the office at 2401 Lake Street to find out more about programs and services available.

Please join in raising awareness and funds supporting the Methodist Jennie Edm undson Breast Health Center during “Breast Health Awareness Month” in October.

Omaha Home for Boys Forms Partnership With Chariots4Hope, Awards Car Omaha Home for Boys and Chariots4Hope recently for med a new partnership that will help pair at-risk yo u n g a d u l t s w i t h reliable, affordable transportation. Omaha-based nonprofit Chariots4Hope collects and restores donated vehicles and awards them to low-income families and individuals. Omaha Home for Boys will act as a referring organization, connecting young men and women from its Branching Out Independent Living Program with Chariots4Hope. “With our similar missions to help individuals move from a state of crisis and vulnerability to one of safety and self-sufficiency, this partnership was the perfect fit for both Omaha Home for Boys and Chariots4Hope,” said Jeff Moran, Omaha Home for Boys’ President & CEO. “The partnership will be a key component in helping to break down the barriers to transportation that many of our clients face.” The partnership has already proven to be a success. The first Omaha Home for Boys’ client, Maurionte, received a Chariots4Hope car on September 8 during a surprise ceremony. Maurionte’s car will allow him to safely get to school and his part-time job, opening doors that he once thought were impossible to unlock. For more information, visit or Chariots4Hope. org. 34 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

On October 13 at 6:00 p.m., Mayor Matt Walsh proclaims “Pink Out” Council Bluffs on the historical 100 Block. Breast cancer fighters and survivors will be honored and given a symbolic flower. The window decorating winners will be announced. Through many efforts, the Jennie Edmundson Foundation continues to educate and raise awareness about the importance of how “early detection saves lives” in our community. A number of great activities are planned throughout the month including: Businesses Window Painting, starting October 1; FREE Breast Health Screenings/Health Fair - October 5; Tour de Pink-Taco Ride - October 5; Mayoral Proclamation - October 13; Wash Away Breast Cancer - October 14; Save the Twins Poker Run - October 14; Pinkercise Classes - October 21; Save 2nd Base Pub Crawl - October 21; and more. ALSO, all are welcome to join on October 19 to “Pink Out” Glenwood and October 20 to “Pink Out” Malvern, IA. The mission of the Jennie Edmundson Foundation is – “To improve the quality of life by caring for the body and the mind.” T-shirts are also available. Visit the website for detailed information:

YES Expands Mentoring Program to All Omaha Youth Youth Emergency Services (YES; www. is proud to announce the expansion of its current mentoring program to all youth, ages 6-17, in the Omaha area. “Mentoring benefits youth of all ages and backgrounds - not just homeless youth. The impact of mentoring can last a lifetime, and we are always looking for mentors to help support these youth,” says Maren Rasmussen, Mentoring Specialist with Youth Emergency Services. Mentors offer guidance, support, and encouragement to youth. Mentors can do a wide variety of activities with their mentee from helping with homework, going out to eat, or chatting on the phone. Additionally, YES provides monthly activities and outings for the mentor, mentee, and the mentee’s family. Adults interested in becoming a mentor must be 21 years or older and are asked to complete an application and background check before being matched with a local youth. Once matched, the mentor and mentee will be paired for a minimum of 12 months. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer mentor or know of a youth who would benefit from this program, please contact Maren Rasmussen: / (402) 345-5187. Youth Emergency Services (YES) has been providing critically-needed programs and resources to homeless and nearly homeless youth in Omaha for more than 40 years. YES also operates a Street Outreach Program, an Emergency Shelter, a Transitional Living Program, and a Maternity Home to benefit homeless youth in our community.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Grief’s Journey to Host 4th Annual Grief Awareness Conference

Cass & Sarpy Tobacco Free Coalitions Merge to Form T.E.A.M.

Join Grief ’s Journey on Friday, November 17th for a day of enhancing awareness, education, and support for all forms of grief. A variety of workshops led by national, regional, and local speakers will fill the day’s agenda to help area professionals build their toolboxes for grief support. The opening keynote topic - “From “Staying Inside” to the “Other Side”: The Suffocated Grief of African American Youth” – will be presented by Dr. Tashel Bordere. The luncheon keynote topic is “Spiritual Identity and Religious Diversity: Ethical Implications for Our Work,” presented by Beth Katz. This conference meets the criteria of an approved continuing education program for mental health practice and social work in the state of Nebraska for up to 6.0 hours. Registration is $100 general registration or $75 for students and current Grief’s Journey facilitators. After Oct. 17, prices increase to $125/$85. Cost to attend morning keynote or lunch keynote only is $30. Since 2001, Grief’s Journey has served as the region’s cornerstone for grief support, providing free peer support programs as well as training, education, and consultation throughout Nebraska and Iowa. For more information, please visit or contact (402) 502-2773 /

For the last 15 years, Tobacco Free Sarpy and Tobacco Free Cass County have been educating, advocating, and fighting big tobacco to address the multiple negative impacts of tobacco in our community. In August, the two coalitions officially joined forces and created Tobacco Education & Advocacy of the Midlands (T.E.A.M). The coalition is led by Autumn Burns, MS, T.E.A.M Sarpy Coordinator and Becky Smart, T.E.A.M Cass Coordinator under fiscal agent CHI Midlands Health. A Steering Committee representing multiple community sectors advocating for tobacco-free environments includes T.E.A.M Chair, Sarpy/ Cass Health Department Assistant Health Director Jenny Steventon; T.E.A.M Chair-Elect, City of Plattsmouth Recreation Director Michael Lennen; Sarpy County CASA Program Director Paula Creps; Plattsmouth Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cindy Cruse; Pavilion at Twin Creek Property Manager Cindy Dropinski; American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Mike Francis; Novatis Respiratory Clinical Specialist Dee Humm; Bellevue Housing Authority Executive Director Carolyn Pospisil; and Sarpy Community YMCA Executive Director Katlin Wilson. T.E.A.M meets every fourth Thursday of the month from 11:30-12:30 p.m. at CHI Health Midlands in the Smith Suite. All are welcome to join and a light lunch is served. Call (402) 593-3022 or email Autumn.Burns@ for more information. Funding is provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

Nebraska Community Foundation to Host Annual Celebration Nebraska Community Foundation will hold its Annual Celebration on Nov. 2 in La Vista at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center. All who are passionate about the future of Greater Nebraska are invited to attend. Themed “Together a Greater Nebraska,” the celebration includes training for NCF’s 220 affiliated funds and an expo highlighting the work of over 1,500 volunteers in the NCF network. The celebration culminates with a banquet, open to the public, that will highlight the achievements of ambitious Nebraskans who are building stronger more prosperous communities across the state through Nebraska Community Foundation and their communities’ respective affiliated funds. Training, expo and banquet reservations are now being accepted at The deadline to register is Oct. 20. Centered on the theme “Together a Greater Nebraska,” this year’s affiliated fund training will focus on community and economic development issues that are important to rural communities like local food in schools, early childhood development, workforce and leadership development, and youth engagement. Nebraska Community Foundation’s unique peer mentor network model puts local affiliated fund volunteers at the center of learning and training, rather than outside experts. Nebraska Community Foundation is a statewide 501(c)(3) organization using charitable giving to build prosperous communities. In the last five years, more than 37,000 contributions have been made to NCF affiliated funds, and more than $127 million has been reinvested to benefit Nebraska communities. For more information, visit www.

Heartland Family Service Student League Program Kicks Off The Heartland Family Service 2017-2018 Student League c l a s s k i c ke d off the year with an Ice Cream Social o n S u n d a y, September 10 at Happy Hollow Club. Student League, a program of the Heartland Family Service Friends Guild, was created to honor families who have been active in helping the social service community and who want to pass on that legacy to their children. Student League members are introduced to the social service community through the mission and the programs of Heartland Family Service. The students gain practical leadership experience and develop a personal commitment to volunteering by participating in this hands-on volunteer experience. Each of this year’s 49 students will attend five large group events and at least five small group events from September through April for a total of about 20 volunteer hours per student. Large group events include a session with grant writers, during which the students will choose a program to write a grant for and then present to the Board of Directors, and also a poverty simulation, for which students will simulate living on minimum-wage income and learn what it’s like to navigate government assistance programs. Small group options include holiday parties at the Generations Center and sorting items at the Sarpy Donation Center. Amee Kavich Zetzman is the chairman for the 2017-18 Student League. Other committee members are Andreea Shnayder, Kjirsten Finnegan, Kym Skretta, and Melissa Steffes. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 35

NON-PROFIT NEWS OneWorld to Recognize Volunteers, Partners at 2017 Milagro Dinner

Nebraska Logistics Council Awards Four Scholarships to Local Students

OneWorld’s 2017 Milagro Dinner will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Hilton Omaha (1001 Cass St.). Join for a silent auction at 5:30 p.m., then enjoy dinner and a program at 7 p.m. The Milagro Dinner recognizes the good works of OneWorld’s volunteers and partners. Come for an evening of style and ease and leave inspired by the miracles that happen when a community works together. Four individuals and organizations who rise above to support OneWorld and its patients will be honored: CHI Health; Dr. Laxmi Narayana R. Buddharaju from Oncology Associates, P.C.; Midwest Gastrointestinal Associates; Ruth Henrichs from Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska. The Honorary Chairs for the 2017 Milagro Dinner are Mayor Jean Stothert and Dr. Joseph Stothert. The featured speaker for the evening is Maria Teresa Kumar, the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Voto Latino, a leading national civic engagement organization targeting acculturated American Latino Youth. Ms. Kumar is also an Emmy-nominated contributor with MSNBC, and she hosts MSNBC’s new show, “Changing America.” Her work has since spread across the nation and inspired this year’s theme: “OneWorld Rising.” For more information, please contact Kelsey Brozek at (402) 502-8940 or at Visit to learn more about the Milagro Dinner and to purchase tickets for the event.

The Nebraska Logistics Council awarded four $500 scholarships at their annual fundraiser held on September 1. Recipients were: Michael Dickmeyer, Rubi Lopez, and Dawson Wills, students at the Millard Business Logistics Academy; and Dominic Donnay, a student at the Millard Business Logistics Management Academy. Pat Lodes of DB Schenker and President of the Nebraska Logistics Council presented the checks.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska Seeks to Make a Difference With Gift to CEDARS Recently, members of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBS of NE) awarded CEDARS a $15,000 grant.

The Nebraska Logistics Council’s mission is to give members new ideas and opportunities to grow in the logistics field. Members can network and exchange ideas, striving to help logistics professionals excel in their positions. Find out more online at www.nebraskalogisticscouncil. org.

Free Fair to Help Students Explore College Options Students and parents are invited to dive into the college search process at the Omaha National College Fair, held on Saturday, October 21 from 1-4:00 p.m. at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. The event, sponsored by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and hosted by the Great Plains Association for College Admission Counseling (GPACAC), is free and open to the public. Attendees will receive tips on how to navigate the college-selection process, and learn more about admission requirements, financial aid, course offerings and campus life. They will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with admission representatives from public and private colleges and universities, including some international institutions. Both two- and four-year schools will be featured. Complete information about the fair, including free student registration, directions, a list of colleges exhibiting at the event, and tips to help students prepare for the fair, can be found online at www. You may also email or call (800) 822-6285; follow @OMAcollegefair on Twitter and join the “Omaha National College Fair” event on Facebook.

Marjorie Maas, with BCBS of NE said that the goals CEDARS articulated for each child that comes into care: that the child is safe, and that the child moves towards stability, made the childcaring agency truly deserving of this gift

African Culture Connection Receives Grant From Omaha Community Foundation

The grant will help CEDARS achieve these goals by helping to provide behavioral health support to children and their families, many of whom have faced the realities of abuse, neglect and homelessness.

This collaboratively developed program will integrate 5 days of African arts education into the 6th grade African history and the 7th grade African culture social studies curricula in the 2017-2018 school year. The unique program will be piloted at three OPS middle schools: Beveridge Magnet, Alice Buffett Magnet, and Lewis and Clark. This novel integration promises better learning and retention of both multicultural arts skills and social studies content learning as well as improved student motivation for and engagement in all learning.

“Often, mental health therapy is an overlooked component to building strong families,” said CEDARS President, Jim Blue. “By layering it into our approach, we can better serve the needs of the most vulnerable children in our community. Nebraska State Senator Kate Bolz also attended the event. Throughout her tenure as representative for District 29, Bolz has seen much change in the landscape of the child welfare sector. One constant, she said, has been CEDARS. She chalked that up to the resiliency of the 70-year-old organization, its leadership and its caring and dedicated staff. For more information about CEDARS visit or call (402) 434-5437. 36 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

African Culture Connection (ACC) has received a grant of $5,000 from the Omaha Community Foundation (, through the Jetton Charitable Fund, for the ACC/OPS Multicultural Arts/Middle School Social Studies Curriculum Integration Pilot Program.

African Culture Connection is an organization of professional artists using authentic African dance, music, visual art, and story to encourage students to learn more about the positive contributions African cultures have made to society. Founded by Charles Ahovissi, a professional dancer, drummer, performer, choreographer, stage costume designer, and tailor from Benin, West Africa, their mission is to educate audiences about culture in order to encourage an appreciation for the richness diversity brings to all. For more information, visit www.

HEALTH NEWS Nebraska Community Blood Bank Provides Lifesaving Blood to Cancer Patients

UNMC College of Nursing Celebrates 100th Anniversary

When breast cancer fighter Jennifer Klein showed up for another round of chemotherapy, she was instead instructed to go to the hospital immediately for a blood transfusion. “I felt run down and slow and I could hear my heart beating in my ears all the time, even when trying to sleep. I thought it was just part of the treatment,” the now breast cancer survivor said. “I never imagined that I would need a blood transfusion. I always associated receiving blood with a tragic accident or an injury.” Klein was diagnosed in February 2015 with bilateral tumors that were growing rapidly. Over the course of her two-year cancer battle, she needed two red blood cell transfusions and one platelet transfusion. “The thing about chemo is that it doesn’t only impact the cancer cells, it impacts everything—red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets; everything just gets depleted,” she said. “I got to the point not once, but twice where I had to spend 6 or 7 hours at the hospital receiving a blood transfusion. They needed my body to recover enough to continue the necessary treatment to kill the cancer.” You can make a life-saving difference by becoming a regular blood donor or by hosting a blood drive at your organization. Learn more at NCBB.ORG.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, the state’s oldest and largest publicly-supported nursing college, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Nebraska Companies Achieve Recognition for Workplace Health The 2017 results of the American Heart Association Wo r k p l a c e H e a l t h Achievement Index have been announced. Nine Nebraska companies were recognized. The AHA created the Index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 30 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health. The following companies were recognized: Creighton University, Silver Award; HDR, Silver Award; Omaha Performing Arts, Early Adopter Award; Omaha Steaks, Silver Award; Signature Performance, Early Adopter Award; Streck, Silver Award; University of Nebraska – Omaha, Bronze Award; WoodmenLife, Bronze Award; Zoetis, Bronze Award. The Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs. A unique feature of the Index is that it calculates an average heart health score for employees of participating companies that securely submit aggregate health data. More than 800 companies completed the Index assessment this year and, of those companies, 67% received either Gold, Silver, or Bronze recognition. Companies receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement so that they can advance their annual performance and recognition. The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index assessment is grounded in data-driven science, and a quality improvement framework. According to the Nielsen 2016 Employee Health Survey, robust and comprehensive strategies for well-being are associated with positive impacts on employees’ health.

Since its first class began with 13 women on Oct. 16, 1917, more than 15,000 students have graduated. There are 1,073 students currently enrolled at its five campuses in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk. During the year-long centennial celebration, the college will incorporate recognition of the centennial during various events. On Friday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m., the college will hold a 100th anniversary Centennial Gala at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Omaha. The cost of $50 will include a reception, dinner, and keynote speaker Deborah Trautman, Ph.D., president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Alumni awards will be presented as well as induction of the college’s first Hall of Fame honorees. Pre-registration for the gala closes on Oct. 13. Private funds will cover the costs of celebrations. Major sponsors of the centennial are Nebraska Medicine, Olsson Associates, Fusion Medical Services and the UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Engagement Council. Register for the Centennial Gala at For more information, contact Kat Hamilton at (402) 559-1063. A Centennial History Book has been produced, which will be available for purchase during the Centennial Gala. It can also be purchased ahead of time then shipped mid-October through the UNMC Bookstore at

MedExpress Opening Three New Neighborhood Medical Centers in Omaha MedExpress Urgent Care, a neighborhood health care provider, is opening three new urgent care centers in Omaha this month. The new centers, each conveniently connected to Walgreens, will be located at 225 N. Saddle Creek Road, 6005 N. 72nd St., and 5062 S. 155th St. MedExpress currently has four centers in Nebraska including Fremont, Grand Island, La Vista, and Lincoln. The new MedExpress neighborhood medical centers, like the other locations throughout the state, will offer patients walk-in treatment for urgent care, employer health services, and basic wellness and prevention. MedExpress provides care for people of all ages, offering a broad scope of services including X-rays, IVs, labs, minor surgery, stitches, and treatment for broken bones, sprains, and strains. Each neighborhood medical center will have a separate entrance and multiple exam rooms, a procedure room, and an X-ray suite. In addition to offering treatment for everyday illnesses and injuries, MedExpress provides health services for local employers, including workers’ compensation injuries, injury care, pre- and ongoing employment screenings, physicals, and regulatory exams. Basic wellness and prevention services include physicals, immunizations, and other services to help patients maintain good health. The new centers will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with no appointment necessary. MedExpress accepts all major health insurance plans and offers affordable pricing for people without insurance. The centers will be staffed by a full medical team. As a community health care partner, MedExpress believes strongly in the importance of working collaboratively with fellow community health care providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. For a full list of available health care services, visit medexpress. com. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business 37


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

Workplace Inclusivity Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. Reflecting the important role that different perspectives play in workforce success, this year’s theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” We couldn’t agree more, and have spotlighted two organizations of the many here in the Omaha Metro that assist both employers and employees, sharing actionable thoughts and ideas on how we can make our workplaces more inclusive. According to Rachel Carver with Outlook Nebraska: “Education plays an important part in hiring people with disabilities. Businesses need to know that people with visual impairments and other disabilities are successfully employed across the country. Those with disabilities need to be able to articulate the tools needed to successfully perform a task. The challenge in this case is that someone dealing with vision loss or something else might not know what is out there to help them. If someone comes into your office for an interview using a cane or a wheelchair, it is important to keep an open mind about their abilities. People with disabilities, or different abilities, are just as capable as their peers. They just need to be given a chance to achieve independence and upward mobility. In today’s world, there is cutting-edge technology available that makes most jobs accessible. Whether you are an employer or someone experiencing vision loss, come see this technology in an accessible workplace during Outlook Nebraska’s open house on October 13 between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Those experiencing vision loss will be able to learn more about our free training opportunities on computers, smartphones and other electronic devices. Visually impaired individuals looking for employment will be able to meet Outlook Nebraska associates and learn about our adaptive workplace and inclusive culture at the Open House. If you are unable to attend our open house and know someone experiencing vision loss, you can set up a free appointment with one of our trainers. Every week new apps, devices, and software are being developed to assist those with visual impairments to function more independently, and we are here to help our blind neighbors harness these tools. Individuals can arrange a free training appointment Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. by calling our training team at (402) 614-3331. At Outlook Nebraska, our goal is for inclusion of people with disabilities to go from being the exception to becoming the norm. We can all work together to create an accessible and inclusive community for everyone.” Connie Daly with the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI) highlights just one of the many programs offered that’s having a big impact on workplace inclusivity, the Work and Gain Experience in the Summer (WAGES) program. “NCBVI provides rehabilitation services to blind and visually impaired people so that they can build meaningful careers. Most every task that you do visually, you can do non-visually. Blind people work as teachers, carpenters, project managers and a host of other jobs with the skills that they have gained from NCBVI. WAGES is a six-week program held in Lincoln every summer and it provides work experiences, blindness skill enhancement and life experiences for blind and visually impaired students ages 16 to 21. The program has been in existence for over 20 years. Blind teens come to Lincoln and stay in the dorms on UNL campus. Our agency works with businesses to develop great job experiences for them. We have worked with Canine Design, UNL, Capitol Humane Society, CHI Health St. Elizabeth and Antonio’s Taste of Lincoln, just to name a few. Our clients have worked a variety of jobs such as clerical, maintenance, tour guide, pet grooming, and landscaping. Our agency provides any accommodation that is needed as well as a staff person to help train the student. Throughout the year we look for businesses to partner with across the state to provide these valuable experiences for our clients. Businesses have shared how much it benefitted their company to have a blind or visually impaired intern. Many companies have talked about how it increased morale to have an intern work with their employees. They also found that the techniques that blind people use are sometimes more effective than the techniques

Dealing with vision loss? Don’t let it stop you from doing what you love! We have tools and resources to help. Come to the Outlook Nebraska Open House Friday, Oct 13 | Noon-6pm

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We’re here to help! Call Carlos today! (402) 471-8104 | that they currently employed. They started employing those techniques even after the intern finished the program. Many of our clients end up being hired on permanently.” Here are some of the things that employers have said about working with NCBVI: “Having WAGES participants at the Capitol is a great opportunity for both the students and the Capitol. The students help us out during the busy summer tourist season and the students gain confidence in their public interactions by making presentations in front of large diverse groups of people. Visitors often compliment the students on their presentations and are surprised to learn the students are visually impaired. It’s a wonderful program and we are very pleased to support the work of the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.” - Roxanne Smith, State Capitol “I can’t say enough about the ease of working with the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Their program provides the opportunity to help visually impaired individuals have the resources and training needed along with equipment and visual aids to build confidence to perform necessary job duties that may not have otherwise been possible.” - Renee Lucero, Cabela’s Inc. “Because of the Commission we have an individual who has worked at the south Grand Island Walmart Supercenter for quite a few months now. This individual has done a great job for us working on our 2nd shift in-stock crew. He helps unload the trucks and also helps stock in our paper goods department. He lends a hand to his fellow associates by putting their cardboard into the baler when needed. We are happy to have this individual as our Walmart associate.” - Brad Koza, Walmart It’s up to each and every one of us here in our local business community to do what we can to make our workplaces inclusive to all. To learn more, contact your local organizations that have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and suggestions to share. OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business


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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

Holiday Planning Now that fall has arrived, hello holidays! Right about now, it’s wise to begin planning for the months ahead. As you’re all too familiar, they’re sure to fly right by and it can get hectic trying to accomplish everything later on down the line. Not to mention, with everyone else trying to do the same, one can easily run into problems with being able to book the desired venue and vendors for holiday parties or finding that perfect gift. It can be especially important to get things handled well ahead of time if what you’re hoping for is among the most popular or sought after in either category. So make your list now and maybe even check it once - then later on down the line when you’re checking it twice it will be SO nice! {Fun Festivities!} While it never hurts to plan ahead for just about anything you can think of that’s holiday-related, when it comes to getting everything in place for an upcoming holiday party, the sooner the better. So, attention all party planners – novices, professionals, the “just this one time because I’ve been asked to help out” or “it sounds like fun” takers, and otherwise - have you started thinking about this year’s big holiday party yet? Chances are good that answer is a solid no for most, but not all. In actuality, there are a lot of local venues, particularly ones that are popular for this sort of thing, that already have events on the books from now until January/February. We all know that person who excels at planning, or the one who has been dreaming up ideas for the next amazing holiday affair since the day after last year’s. They’re out there, and so are the chronic procrastinators, and everyone in between. No matter why type you are, it’s advantageous to get on it ASAP to avoid being stuck in a position with limited options. While that’s not always a bad thing, it’s also not ideal – better to get what you want than settle for taking what you can get, right? To kick off this year’s party planning, we’ve also consulted with a few local professionals who have plenty of tips and inspiration to offer. There’s nothing like getting into the holiday spirit like watching holiday movies. While oftentimes this is done with family and friends, why not try it out for your next holiday party on a larger scale? At Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, not only can you watch one of your favorites on the big screen, but they offer

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OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business


Derek Dillon Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

a very special experience that’s perfect for large groups.

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“Our patented movie parties are always popular around the holidays,” says Derek Dillon with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Liquid Sunshine Taproom. “They’re consistently such a big hit with guests, and we can accommodate groups of all sizes. Choose from classics such as Elf, Christmas Vacation and Die Hard, and there are even fun options for interactive features that correspond with some of the movies.

Speaking of enjoying holiday spirits with one another, the Liquid Sunshine Taproom is a great place for guests to meet up beforehand or gather afterward to keep the party going. It’s nice because you don’t have to coordinate a meetup, and it’s a fun place to hang out.

Other possibilities include Holiday Pops Sing-Along, Grinch Bingo, Holiday Trivia, and TV Classics. We provide everything - costumed hosts, onscreen pre-show, and décor in the theater – so you can just relax and enjoy your event. Or, mix and match to create your Ultimate Holiday Party! Aside from the entertainment, what’s a holiday party without great food and drinks? There are several different options we have to offer. To give your guests the complete Alamo Drafthouse experience, we can provide full food service from our menu. With this option, food can be purchased at the expense of either the host or guests. There are also buffet packages for those with 25+ guests. The buffet is set up in the theater and made available throughout your event. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and appetizer buffets are available. You can even opt for plated custom service and do everything your way. With the assistance of our chefs, we’ll help you create the perfect dining experience for your event. Or, just go with the movie theatre staples, popcorn and fountain drinks, which is always a solid choice. Bar services are also available, since we have a full bar featuring our signature cocktails, wine and beer, including a

In the spirit of the holidays, it’s also nice to offer a gift of some sort to your guests. Our gift cards are nice on their own or a perfect addition to gift bags, and also make a great raffle item. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we’d love to celebrate it with you. Contact us today so we can help you start planning for this year’s holiday party!” Of course, there are also the exciting new movie releases around the holidays. Dillon caught us up to speed on what’s coming out this year, excitedly declaring, “The Last Jedi! Then there’s Alexander Payne’s new film Downsizing, Justice League, the remake of Jumanji, and A Bad Moms Christmas that we expect to be among the most popular.” And there are even more gift possibilities too! “Especially for Star Wars fans, we’ll have merchandise available for sale at the box office or part of an advance ticket purchase that’s the perfect gift for any movie fan.” For those who are seeking an experience that immerses everyone in the magic of the holidays, during the holiday season Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm decks its halls and treats its guests to an amazing experience. This is another ideal place to host a holiday party of any size, because it truly doesn’t get much more festive than a visit here. “Throughout the holiday season, Lied Lodge & Conference

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Center at Arbor Day Farm offers many one-of-a-kind experiences that you could incorporate into your holiday party,” says Brenda McIntosh with Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm. “The Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights is a favorite year after year. Climb aboard Arbor Day Farm’s enclosed trolley for a one-hour tour of historic Nebraska City. Or there’s Christmas at the Mansion, an opportunity to tour the 52-room Morton Mansion at Arbor Lodge State Historical Brenda McIntosh Park while enjoying holiday-themed Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm displays, refreshments, holiday music, and vintage décor. Either choice offers something unique your guests will remember. If it’s not too cold, an evening bonfire during a beautiful snowfall complete with s’mores and Arbor Day Farm’s famous hot apple cider sets the perfect ambiance. From guest rooms and conference spaces to the grand lobby, it’s so beautiful here during the holidays. Our venue is a perfect location to show your appreciation with a unique and inspiring holiday party. With everything we have to offer at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, we can help you plan all of the details within your budget and based on your group size and preferences. From the setting to the catering and entertainment, we’ll help you put together the most amazing event with plenty of holiday flair.” Along with suggestions for the party, she also offers the following planning advice: “Choosing a date early is especially advantageous, as it gives your guests the opportunity to ‘save the date’ during a busy festive season. Since we also offer the added convenience of lodging on-site, guests can enjoy themselves and simply ‘take the elevator home’ at the end of the evening. Making these arrangements early to correspond with the date of your event is important because our guest rooms book up quickly.” Another fun local venue to consider, and one that offers plenty of action with something for everyone to enjoy, is Papio Fun Park. “Papio Fun Park provides a unique setting with activities for all ages,” says Margaret White with Papio Fun Park. “Adults can settle into a long conversation with friends and co-workers or get involved in playing laser tag or one of the many games on free play. The younger guests will be well entertained while the parents can select how active they wish to be. Providing a setting that keeps everybody upbeat can be a major boost to enjoying Margaret White the holiday event. An air hoc key Papio Fun Park tournament or relaxing game of pool are fun, easy ways to get your guests involved. It keeps things exciting and keeps people moving around engaging with one another. In selecting your event site, you want to provide a setting that promotes inclusion of all of the employees and family members invited. The spouse who knows no one is more likely to get involved when there are activities, and it’s also great for staff who work in different areas and don’t know each other. During the holidays our venue is festively decorated because we absolutely love hosting parties and events. In fact, we offer exclusive events each day throughout the mid-November to mid-January holiday party season, which is an added bonus of booking yours here. There’s even more special holiday fun to enjoy no matter which date you select! For those planning this year’s holiday party, the first priority is your budget and location. The number of guests and possible

Holiday Cheer

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• Enjoy some holiday classics, such as: Die Hard, Elf & Christmas Vacation with our Movie Party options and make this year’s holiday party like no other! • Then, head to the Liquid Sunshine Taproom to gather and enjoy in-house catering, a full bar and dedicated wait staff!

Book today! 402.905.2050 | 12750 Westport Pkwy | La Vista, NE 68138 menu will, of course, have an impact on the first two items of concern, but you can’t get very far in planning until you have these settled. There’s always a desire to have something early in December but everyone wants to schedule their events then and you can run into a lot of conflicts, be it other holiday parties or children’s school programs. Then you can move on to planning for all of the special touches. We’ve seen it all, even Santa arriving with gifts for all the kids, so if you’re looking for ideas we’re happy to help you brainstorm. For the fare, outside catering food and beverage selections can provide an upscale slant to your event, or make it as casual as you desire with a potluck menu. Whether you are planning an event for just employees, inviting spouses or including the entire family, keep in mind what activities your location provides. Having fun food and drinks is a must, yes, but give consideration to what your guests will do to ‘party’ too. There’s nothing worse than going to a boring event where everyone just ‘talks shop.’” When thinking about the very best things about the holidays that we look forward to each year, the fare is definitely one that comes to mind first. Whether it’s a party, family gathering, contribution to the spread at the office, thoughtful gift, or just taking an opportunity to treat yourself to your favorite festive dish or goodie, there’s a lot of eating delightful holiday delicacies going on. In terms of planning ahead, which is what’s going on at this point in time, for holiday parties that will require a talented catering professional to help plan and execute your culinary vision, book yours as soon as possible. Just as with the venues, the best are the most sought after, and they only have so much availability. You’ll need to be able to provide key details such as date and time, venue, budget, number of guests, and any dietary restrictions, and then from there, you’ll be presented with all of OCTOBER 2017 Strictly Business


the possibilities for making it a special and enjoyable affair. There are businesses that only do catering, and then there are the ones that do that and so much more. Either way, you’ll be in good hands, it just depends on how you plan to go about things. It is always nice to have plenty of options, though. “When it comes to holiday party fare, we have just about any delicacy you’d associate with a holiday meal,” says Sean Fuller with Just Good Meat. “Aside from our impressive selection, our customers can choose whether they want to use our catering services, order everything for the meal and pick it up ready to serve, pick up items to prepare themselves for the party – there’s a lot of flexibility when working with us. Sean Fuller Just Good Meat

Meat is obviously our specialty so we have options galore. There’s pulled pork, smoked or marinated chicken breasts in many different flavors, sliced pork loin, Phillies, or meat and cheese trays with a wide variety of gourmet sausages and cheeses to choose from all the way up to fine dining fare such as farm-fresh turkeys, geese, capons, duck breasts, quail, oldfashioned dry cure ham, prime rib, and of course, any cut of steak imaginable. We always run a holiday special on prime rib throughout the season, which is a nice alternative for those who are looking for a somewhat non-traditional holiday dinner. As there are plenty of parties to attend and holiday meals to enjoy, it also can be a refreshing change of pace. However, if you’re sticking to the classic turkey dinner, we offer the finest all-natural, locallysourced turkeys and we can also smoke them for enhanced flavor.

There are so many more items available that I haven’t listed, and since we have so much variety when it comes to main dishes, sides, and hors d’oeuvres, it’s advantageous to line up a consultation via phone or in person. This way we can go over everything together and set up a meal or spread that best fits your event. Again, all of our offerings are available to pick up in-store or for catering on location, so you are free to choose what works best for your specific needs and fits within your budget.” He also notes, “Along with holiday parties, it’s also a good idea to plan ahead for your holiday gifts. Our steak gift boxes are always very popular among our corporate clients. These can be customized with an assortment of different cuts, and can even be purchased in bulk for a special discounted price. They make a great gift for either your employees or your clients, whether you choose to hand them out at the office, deliver them around town, or give them to guests at your holiday party. Furthermore, meat can be purchased in bulk which is perfect for companies who want to send all of their employees home for the holidays with turkeys or hams. Whether you’re looking for an amazing gift or the perfect holiday meal, we offer plenty of special holiday fare that’s perfect for the season and sure to be enjoyed by all. Furthermore, considering that the holiday season is also football season, if you’re planning an upcoming tailgate or watch party we have plenty of good stuff for that too!” Complementing the fare, and also enjoyed on its own, having the drinks flowing for the enjoyment of your guests is also commonplace at a festive holiday party. Deciding what to serve is the fun part, but deciding the quantity you’ll need as well as other aspects of your bar offerings can be a bit tricky. “ Yo u r d e c i s i o n s a b o u t b e ve ra ge catering are key to the overall success of your party,” says Jim Sobczyk with Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal. “Without a doubt, this is our specialty. With over 40 years of experience, our staff will help you figure out the brands, quantities and the overall supplies needed for any of your events. The first step is to make an appointment to discuss the details with us. Appointments Jim Sobczyk on average last about an hour. The goal is to figure out how much you need to Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal buy and in turn, how much it will cost you. The answers are determined by the personality of your party. Each party has its own personality and we know just the right questions to ask in order to get the information we need. We start with the total number of guests and break them down into age groups. From this information alone, a close estimate can be drawn, but there are many more facets that we look at to create a custom fit for you. Furthermore, there are a great number of ways to use our services. It can be as simple as paying us and letting us take care of everything from the equipment to the bartenders, or alternatively, you can choose to do a large portion on your own and simply buy the merchandise from us. When we say everything, we mean beer, liquor, wine, ice, cups, mixes, napkins, stir stix, and anything else that you could think of for your party. Since beverage catering is a specialty of our business, we work hand in hand with almost all of the local halls and caterers. Other than the services already mentioned, there are three things we do for every party. First, we make it look and feel elegant. Second, we will help you work within your budget, and our buyback policy on unopened items keeps it economical. Third, we make it easy! It is all of these combined that make your party exciting instead of stressful, which is the way it should be.


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

We feel that there are no two parties that are completely the same. We are here to help you make planning your event an enjoyable and carefree time. Let us do the implementation – you have the fun. Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is proud to have over 40 years of success stories, and we’d be honored to help you make your holiday party the best one yet!”

Include Play Time in Your Holiday Event!

{Gifts Galore!} Sure, it’s still fairly early on in terms of gift shopping. However, for those who get it out of the way now before the madness hits, more time can be spent enjoying all of the other things. It’s especially nice to alleviate the pressure of trying to find lastminute gifts for those who you know you shouldn’t have waited on because you have no idea what to get them. Then there are the customized and specialty gifts that have a lead time for ordering, which might be longer than expected. To be on the safe side it’s good to have a cushion, because stuff happens. Of course, there are always the gift items that are all the rage each year too. The last thing you want to be doing is fighting the crowds to get the last one on the shelves, which is pretty much a nightmare scenario, or have to call and check online dozens of times a day for a restock because you missed out the first time around. There are a number of scenarios when it’s just better to be safe than sorry. Granted, this may happen to you anyway, and may be inevitable depending on what the items on your gift list look like or if you’re waiting for the best deals, or even if you’re just the type of person who takes chances, but why not do what you can to avoid it? It’s always satisfying to give that perfect gift, whether you’re finding it or creating it. This can sometimes be a process or take a little time and effort. For example, if there’s a woodworker or crafty person on your list, or if you’re someone who will apply that skill to making your own gifts, here are the things you’ll want to start thinking about now.

Gerry Phelan Woodcraft

“If you have a special holiday project you want to make for someone, you need to give yourself enough time to do it right,” suggests Gerry Phelan with Woodcraft. “Woodworking takes time to do it right. If you are a woodworker, now is the time to get started on those holiday gifts. Some people enjoy last minute gift shopping, but last-minute woodworking can be very frustrating. As the deadline looms, mistakes creep in that can ruin your plans. And once your gift is complete you still need more time to give it a great finish.

We typically start stocking up in the fall on hardwoods, tools, books and plans to support woodworkers with their holiday gift projects. The one thing we aren’t able to offer is more time. With our conversion to Woodcraft this year, we have been bringing in lots of new items that we never offered before. And you can bet that between now and the holidays we will have lots of amazing gift items on sale. If you have a woodworker on your list, we are your one-stop woodworking gift shop with thousands of items in stock. If you’re completely unsure what your woodworker needs, a gift certificate can’t miss! We offer gift cards in any amount that never expire and have no service charges. We see new woodworkers from all walks of life. Recently there have been a lot more women getting involved, which is great to see. It’s wonderful to have people getting into woodworking and finding a creative outlet. So perhaps you might want to consider a gift that is hard to wrap but always appreciated. How about

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a gift certificate for one of our woodworking classes? You could even join them and share some quality time together working with your hands. Anyone who takes pleasure in creating projects with their hands will enjoy woodworking. Can’t find the perfect gift for your woodworker and they haven’t given you a list? If the gift card doesn’t appeal to you, call or email and we’ll do everything we can to help. We are woodworkers and we can offer gift suggestions and answer your questions. Just let us know what your favorite woodworker’s interests are and we’ll go to work for you.” {Show Support!} Finally, for parties and gifts alike, during the upcoming holiday season please keep our local businesses in mind. There are so many wonderful things they can do for you, and in turn, you’ll be helping make the holidays so much better for your neighbors and our community as a whole. Presently, many are already beginning to plan for their parties and gifts, and we encourage you to be one of them too! It’s so nice when you have everything accomplished and you can devote more of your time and attention to delighting in all that’s wonderful about the holiday season. While there’s always a little bit of stress that goes along with getting everything accomplished in such a small window of time when schedules are packed all around, it can be greatly minimized if you plan as far in advance as you can. Before you know it, the holidays will be here, a time when there’s so much to do but also so much to enjoy!

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RE SELL REMODELING In the current residential real estate market, it’s a great time to be a seller. The market is hot and hasn’t shown any sign of cooling down. With inventory being at an all-time low, sellers are getting their asking prices and sometimes more, not to mention the fact that homes are selling very quickly. Rarely are homes ready to list without some sort of work being done to get them to that point. From a thorough cleaning and staging to remodeling projects, it all depends on the current state of the home and what needs to be done to meet the seller’s objectives, as well as what they’re able to dedicate to those efforts. When it comes to remodeling projects, there are endless possibilities, and reasons why one would consider a specific home improvement. There are a few scenarios that come to mind for homeowners from a selling standpoint. It may be something that you’ll get more personal enjoyment out of in a home you plan to live in for a lengthy amount of time, but that still adds value for when it comes time to sell. Alternatively, it could be to flip an investment property or to make targeted improvements in order to list the home, with the goal of selling quickly, being able to sell it at all, or getting more money for it. So, what are the remodeling projects that are most advantageous for those on the selling end of the transaction? Performing any repairs that are needed takes priority. Whether it’s an aesthetic item like broken tile or a functional item like a dripping faucet, the tiny things detract from the many good qualities of the home. Then, things like a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, new window treatments, and new hardware and/or light fixtures can make a world of difference while being relatively inexpensive. Additionally, new finishes are always attractive to potential buyers. That being said, it’s important to choose materials wisely. While the budget is likely to be more restricted for improvements you are doing to a house just to turn around and sell it, quality still matters, as does workmanship. When procuring your own materials, the trick in this particular instance is to know where to go to get the best deals without sacrificing quality. For example, Ceramic Tileworks Center is widely considered to be a specialty store but without the specialty prices, so you can find great deals on high-quality materials that are both durable and beautiful. “With over 250,000 feet of inventory to choose from on-site, there’s quite the impressive selection of materials at every price point,” says Jason Tidblom with Ceramic Tileworks Center. “A lot of times resell remodeling projects need to be completed in a short window of time, so the fact that you don’t have to order what you need is also a plus in this particular situation. We take a consultative approach to working with clients, so our experienced staff will be able to offer a host of targeted Jason Tidblom options to choose from depending on your Ceramic Tileworks Center. specifications, whether it’s tile or countertops. You can also pick up any other supplies you’ll need such as underlayments, mortars, grouts and caulks—with all of the materials in-hand when you walk out of the door, it will save you valuable time that you can put towards getting the project done.”

Consulting with an industry professional to see what the best options are at your price point is much better than making the decision based on price alone. You’d be surprised how far you can stretch your money. They can also tell you what provides a greater return on investment so you can feel confident that if you’re spending the money, you’ll be sure to get the results you desire. When it comes to any type of home remodeling, there are the jobs you absolutely want to outsource to a professional and the jobs you can take on yourself if you’re capable. Emphasis on IF you’re capable. Sometimes bringing that Pinterest idea to life just requires a little paint and some new hardware, and that’s completely doable for the average person. Other times – actually, oftentimes - it’s so much more complex than one might think. Here’s the deal about do-it-yourself projects: Yes, they can be empowering. Yes, they can save you money. Yes, you can get them done on your own time frame without relying on others and potentially having to wait longer than you’d like. Provided you know what you’re doing, that is. However, just one simple mistake and you could find yourself injured and/or damage caused, both of which could

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potentially be costly, even more so than what you would have paid to use the services of a professional. Here are a few examples of projects that are best left to the pros: Projects that involve the plumbing or electrical. These are skilled trades, and there’s a reason for that. No matter how simple and straightforward it may seem, these are complex systems and should be respected as such. Even small leads can cause serious water damage and faulty electrical wiring/connections is a fire hazard. Don’t risk flooding or electrical shock either, OK? Just call a plumber or hire an electrician to make sure the job is done right the first time. Repairs involving heights. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, every year 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries and approximately 300 of these incidents prove to be fatal. They further estimated that ladder-related injuries effectively cost the public in excess of $11 billion annually. Whether you’re looking at a roof repair or trimming a tree, consider calling a professional before attempting to complete the job yourself. Repairs that must comply with building codes, permits, etc. A licensed contractor is a professional who understands what’s needed to meet all of the necessary requirements. Of the utmost importance, any structural changes should absolutely be performed by a professional. Accidentally removing a load-bearing wall, for example, could cause an entire room to collapse. However, with regards to any major project, similar to what was previously discussed with the plumbing and electrical, shoddy craftsmanship can severely affect your home’s value and also potentially put your family in danger. Time-sensitive projects - Weigh your work and family commitments before embarking on a remodeling endeavor. Even if you’re confident in your abilities, the added pressure of a tight deadline can lead to unnecessary and often dangerous mistakes. All things considered, why take the risk? Safety first! Remember, just because a DIY project looks simple doesn’t necessarily mean it is, or that it’s safe. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and call a professional. So far most of what we’ve covered has been specific to interior projects, but never underestimate the importance of curb appeal. The exterior aspects of your property like the windows, doors, siding, roofing, and landscaping are all part of making a good first impression, and the newer, the better. These are all points of focus for buyers, because age and condition will affect desirability and the negotiation process. While it’s not the most common for sellers to take on, sometimes to sell a home, the big-ticket items will need to be considered. It’s not just a matter of attracting buyers with the appearance of the home, but also minimizing the expense that they’ll have on top of the mortgage they’re assuming. Oftentimes buyers are happy to pay a higher price for a home if that means there’s not much that will need to be done to it for a number of years. Inside the home, it’s no surprise that updated kitchens and bathrooms 48 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

make a big difference to buyers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the return is not always dollar for dollar. Let’s say there are two comparable houses next door to each other are both are on the market. One has a new kitchen that cost $40,000 and it is on the market for $40,000 more than the next door neighbor with the original kitchen. Which house will a buyer select with everything else being equal except the price? Will a buyer pay $40,000 more for the one with the new kitchen? There’s not a clear answer to that question for every scenario but the most likely answer is not quite. But a buyer will see value in that improvement and will pay something more than the one without the updated kitchen, so there is a return but it’s not always at a 100% retail rate. Especially for those who are considering a kitchen update or bathroom redo or another repair, refresh or refurbish project, as already emphasized, keep in mind that it’s best to hire a professional. Buyers and agents can spot a badly-done DIY job a mile away. There’s just a way things are supposed to look. Details matter. If it looks funny, people don’t like it and it causes hesitation. Spending time and money improving or maintaining your home and doing it wrong can cost you more in the long run. What improvements do for a seller is shorten the time on the market and usually result in attracting a high quality, ready, willing and able buyer. Who doesn’t want that? There is a return; it is hard to quantify but the market receives updated homes more favorably. Consulting with a Realtor® to see what improvements will have the most value and make the most impact in your situation is well-advised. Buyers are looking to buy homes that are updated with modern features. Even if you may not be selling your home in the near future, it’s still important with any major renovations to consider their potential value should you choose to put your home on the market. There are plenty of improvements that will not only hold their value, but will be extremely desirable to buyers in the future and will ensure that your home sells fast and at a price that provides a return on your investment in the long run. Technology integration in the home is another major selling point in the current market, and expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future. “Automated home systems remain in high demand among homebuyers in the current market, especially the systems that include comprehensive, or ‘Total Home Connect,’ features that include remote access,” advises Pat Killeen with Engineered Controls. “These systems not only serve to protect our families, possessions, and buildings, but they will also increase the value of homes and the salability of that value. The cutting-edge residential technology Pat Killeen that’s available improves the living environment and its comfort, reduces Engineered Controls energy use, and provides increased security. Today’s smartphones and wireless devices will keep homeowners connected everywhere. Honeywell’s Total Connect Service provides a personalized web portal with mobile apps that allow homeowners to remotely monitor and control their home at any time and from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or personal computer. With its state-of-the-art security, lighting and HVAC controllers, this is a surprisingly affordable way to control your security system, video cameras and heating and air conditioning needs all in one system that’s simple to use. Homeowners can receive alerts via emails, view live video and control and access their security system, control lighting and thermostat settings, lock/unlock doors remotely and more. Plus the simplicity and comfort that Honeywell’s wireless Prestige IAQ HVAC system provides offers a full-suite of wireless-enabled accessories such as universal diagnostics, water sensor alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, ventilation filtration alarms, and those are just a few that come to mind. The system also provides customizable reminders for replacing the humidifier pad or UV lamp. Also, don’t overlook the importance of improving your home’s

environmental control system, because this is also an area of importance to today’s homebuyers. It will improve the air you are breathing, increase your HVAC equipment’s energy efficiency and longevity, increase your home’s comfort, and offer peace-of-mind by ensuring your home’s safety with respect to the health of the occupants. Now more than ever we are able to offer connected home technology of the future – a home where heating, security, and entertainment are fully automated and all of the latest gadgets enable creature comforts with the press of a button or a spoken command. When it comes time to sell, these things will be a major draw and an excellent investment that you’ve also been able to enjoy.” Safety will factor into the decision to purchase a home for most if not all buyers, including the location/neighborhood but also aspects of the home itself. Therefore, as was just mentioned, having systems in the home that are tasked with the protection of its occupants is never a bad thing. In fact, it is yet another great selling point to add to the list. FireGuard USA is a local company that designs, sells, installs, inspects, and services all types of fire protection and life safety equipment and systems, so if you find that you run across any related needs, you can count on the professionals to advise you of the safest and most cost-effective solutions. It too qualifies as an investment you can make that will benefit you while you live there while also increasing the home’s value when you decide to move and it comes time to sell. It will serve to protect you and your family while you live there, and then you can pass on the benefits to the next owners. As Bob Sorensen with FireGuard USA often takes the opportunity to emphasize, “It’s never too soon to plan for these things, but unfortunately it can be too late.” Bob Sorensen Overall, if any hazards are present, they’ll FireGuard USA need to be addressed. At some point it will come time for a home inspection and these will come to light, so the recurring theme is it’s best to be proactive. For sellers, having an inspection done is a great tool to utilize for several reasons. Within the scope of resell remodeling projects, it will direct you right to anything major that would need to be addressed in order to be able to successfully sell the home. This is information that is helpful to know before you’re at the point when you’re trying to negotiate the deal. Having the information provided by a home inspection prior to when a buyer decides to move forward and initiates one can be very revealing. It will alert you to what you’ll need to address before you list, and also help with identifying the hierarchy of what’s most important. More than 85 percent of all home buyers who applied for a mortgage also applied for a home inspection, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. While sellers know that a buyer is going to require a home inspection, they often wait for the buyer to take the initiative. Then sellers wait nervously for the results. Because most real estate contracts have an inspection clause, the results of a home inspection could cost the seller thousands of dollars to fix the problem, force them to accept a lower price, or cause them to lose the sale. Some sellers have started requesting a pre-inspection from a licensed home inspector. This approach has several upsides: A competitive edge: In a hot real estate market, sharing the preinspection with a buyer could give the seller’s property an edge and speed up the closing. Fix before listing: A thorough home inspection helps sellers identify potential issues upfront. By fixing the problems before listing the home for sale, the seller removes items a buyer could potentially use as leverage to negotiate a lower price.

Peace of mind: A pre-inspection puts both the seller and a prospective buyer at ease about the potential issues. We’ve already covered the benefit of being able to fix issues beforehand, but even if the seller does not fix the defects found in a pre-inspection, they’ll know what to expect when a buyer pays for their own inspection. Also, having a pre-listing inspection helps with the sale in that it removes fear. That is the number one obstacle in selling a house--fear that there will be things wrong with it. When you present a pre-listing inspection report, and can demonstrate that you have repaired some or all of the items found during the inspection, it removes fear from the buyer about the house. All told a pre-inspection can save a seller a significant amount of time, money, and worry. Nearing closer to the date you want to list the home, you’ll also want to plan to invest time in packing up things you don’t need and doing a thorough cleaning top to bottom, inside and out. Clean the home as if the sale depended on it, because many times it does. One would be amazed by the amount of transactions that never come together simply because the home is not clean enough. In most cases a Realtor would be able to suggest requesting a cleaning allowance to put the deal together, but others may not have the experience to get past that hurdle. If your budget allows, professional cleaning of the house and windows is ideal. An open, decluttered, fresh and clean space with each room staged to its intended purpose will give a buyer a vision of how they would live in that space. This effort is extremely valuable and doesn’t necessarily have to cost much to get that result, but it does take time and it’s usually time well spent. If you have yet to move into your new home and your budget allows, consider securing a storage unit and moving out about half your

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furnishings. Less is more. Your rooms will look larger with less furniture. When cleaning, staging, and sprucing up the home, there are a few areas that are commonly overlooked. Similar to curb appeal being important because the first impression is so important, the entrance also affects potential buyers in the same way. Buyers are milling around the front door while the agent is opening the lockbox so the front porch will get looked over really well. At this point they are already starting to make assumptions about what they’re going to see. Help them be excited. Remove cobwebs and any other undesirable grime from around the front door and put something fun there instead like a pretty planter and a fresh welcome mat. Wipe down light switch plates, doorknobs, doors, door jambs. Consider a pop of color on the front door and new door knob set that’s easy to use. You get one chance to make a good first impression. Use it to your advantage. A seller has about 20 seconds to help their buyer make a strong emotional attachment to a home. Then while inside the house, there’s going to be plenty of turning lights on and off, opening and shutting doors, and so on. People don’t want to touch something that looks dirty. Keep the positivity going. You’re looking for as many “YES’s” from the buyer as possible. If you can identify any objections ahead of time by consulting with your Realtor, do what you can to remove those in order to streamline your time on the market. Looking ahead, April is statistically the best month for sellers, because buyers have historically paid around 1.2% more than the market value. Timing the sale of your home to correspond with when conditions are ideal is a wise approach, and then you can plan all of the projects that need to be completed for it to be market-ready accordingly. If you’re able to hang tight until next spring before listing, you’ll have a good window of time to work with, especially if it’s going to be a major undertaking. That being said, there are improvements you can do in a short amount of time that will make a difference too. It


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2017

all depends because each home and the factors that will influence the sale of it are unique. All told, work with what you have. In some scenarios, a complete remodel of an area may be in order but most of the time, that’s not the case. Refurbish, refresh and repair what you have and try to make it the best it can be within time and budget constraints. If you have a weathered deck that’s sturdy and sound, rent a power washer to prep it then give it a fresh coat of stain. When you have hardwood floors under your worn carpet, pull it up and have the floors refinished. If you have maroon wallpaper in your dining room, as awful a job as it is, remove it and paint. If you have water stains on the ceiling from before the roof was replaced, get that fixed. Go grab a new set of bedding for the master suite and fluff it up to give off the feeling that this is the oasis of the house. Pick up a few staging towels for the bathrooms that you don’t actually ever use. I know, it sounds crazy, but a fresh bathroom makes buyers happy. Give your buyer every reason to say “Yes” to your house! With such low inventory property values have gone up, and with that comes very high expectations from buyers. If they’re paying top dollar for a home, it would follow that the most move-in ready, updated home will bring the highest price. As a seller, you now have a product for sale and the burden, so to speak, is on you to produce a product that meets demand. When a seller does what they can to give their customer what they want, in turn, a seller should reap a reward for their efforts. We’ve covered a lot of territory, and as you can see the options for remodeling with the intent of selling a home are abundant. With so much at stake and so many different variables, it’s advised to consult with the professionals to get a handle on things before you do much of anything. Ultimately the decision remains with the seller on what improvements they’ll want to do before listing, but it’s important to fully understand the options and the potential outcomes in order to make the best decisions possible.



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Strictly Business Omaha October 2017  
Strictly Business Omaha October 2017