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West Gate Bank: • Holiday Planning • Resell Remodeling Client Spotlights • Christmas Decor by Festive Expressions • Bridge to Better Living • Cox Business





In This Issue

Now Serving The Omaha Market


Fleetmark Solutions LLC


Gerst Painting



Berry Law Firm


Reading Truck Business Equipment


Strictly Business Magazine PO BOX 57397, Lincoln, NE 68505


There will be times you miss the most important meeting of the day. That might not be a big deal to other companies, but it is to us. Cox Business knows the sacrifices you make for your business. That’s why we work right alongside you with personal service from experts in your hometown, offering 24/7 support. You can find us hard at work any time, day or night, because we care about your business as much as you do. FAST, RELIABLE INTERNET

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E-Response Today, our lives are busier than ever. Save time, money and stress by signing up for SIDES E-Response. By signing up to receive email requests for separation information, you no longer have to worry about the hassle of mail stacking up on your desk and responding to paper requests. Submitting your response can be as simple as the click of a button. Plus, employers can now move from UIConnect to SIDES E-Response with a single login, making the process even easier.

State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES)

SIDES E-RESPONSE MAKES IT EASY TO: • Send separation information • Respond on time • Provide supporting documents • Amend responses • Prevent improper payments • Keep Your U.I. tax rate low

Learn more about the process by visiting or sign up for SIDES E-Response at


OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business



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

Big Things for Strictly Business Magazine! Happy fall, everyone! I’d like to take this opportunity to share some very exciting announcements for Strictly Business Magazine. These recent months have definitely been a special time for us. We’ve had a few transitions within our staff, welcomed a couple new faces to our team, and celebrated employee anniversaries and company milestones. We have also had a busy event calendar. July marked the publication’s 25th year in Lincoln and to commemorate this, we held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at our office with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. Then, on August 28, Strictly Business hosted LIBA’s monthly Coffee & Contacts. Between the two functions, we enjoyed showing off our colorful, collaborative workspace to over 100 people in attendance. In addition to the effort it took to put on these events, the Strictly Business team was also in the midst of preparing for a much larger production. I’m proud to say that on September 21, we executed another successful Garden Party Fundraiser benefitting DomestiPUPS. This was the 6th year Strictly Business Magazine partnered with a charitable organization to host a fundraising event. At Strictly Business, we don’t do these “extra things” because we have all this free time on our hands. On the contrary, putting together two magazines every month is demanding work, but we make the time because we know how important it is to be active members of the community, build lasting relationships, and support local businesses and organizations. I believe it’s this level of commitment that earned Strictly Business Magazine the 2018 Small Business of the Year Award from the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

On August 29, the Chamber presented us with this award at their 23rd Annual Lincoln Celebrate Business Awards Luncheon. This recognition further solidifies our commitment to both the Lincoln and Omaha business communities and, like adding fuel to an already blazing fire, it reinforces our passion for providing businesses and consumers with the most relevant and reliable local news. There are so many people I believe it’s this level of to thank for helping to get commitment that earned Strictly Business Magazine Strictly Business Magazine the to where it is today, making 2018 Small Business of the this kind of accomplishment Year Award from the Lincoln possible for us at all. My Chamber of Commerce. gratitude begins with my family and friends, and God for blessing me with such an incredible support system. He has truly provided. A special thank you to my current staff and past employees; and, of course, our amazing advertisers and you, our loyal readers. Together, we have grown this magazine into a prominent news source and marketing tool with a strong monthly direct mail distribution of over 25,000 businesses and high-traffic locations in Lincoln and Omaha. In addition, our websites collectively generate over 1 million Google search impressions and 30,000 page views per month. We are always posting all of our relevant content on all of our social media channels as well. Strictly Business Magazine is truly #PrintProudDigitalSmart, and we feel this is one of our keys to success in winning the title of Small Business of the Year. Once again, thank you to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce for this distinguished award, and congratulations to the other award winners! Let Strictly Business Magazine help you lock in your status as THE EXPERT in your industry, utilizing print, the internet and social media. Find out how by contacting Paige at (402) 466-3330.


4 Business 23 Personnel

27 Non-Profit 34 Health


16 36 40 42

River City Six Christmas Decor by Festive Expressions Bridge to Better Living Cox Business

ASK THE EXPERT 22 Sandler Training


37 Holiday Planning 43 Resell Remodeling 4 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018




PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor Hannah Hundley - Art Director Holly Ryan - SALES TEAM: President/Sales Paige Zutavern - Sales Associate Austin Roper - Executive Assistant Sarah Young - 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 ©2018 by PZAK, Inc. Third Class Postage Paid at Lincoln, NE 68505



West Gate Bank: Our Interest Is You In July of 2018, West Gate Bank, a family-owned community bank based in Lincoln, NE, opened three branches in the Omaha market. The expansion into Omaha marked the first time in the bank’s 50-year history that a branch was opened outside of Lincoln. The growth into this new market has been a goal for a long time.

Owned by the Sjulin family since 1980, West Gate Bank has kept the idea of service to the community at the forefront of its mission.

West Gate Bank is celebrating its 50 year anniversary in 2018, and we are excited to bring our brand of Nebraska community banking to Omaha. - Carl Sjulin, president of West Gate Bank

Sjulin also explains, “As the Omaha and Lincoln economies grow closer, it’s a natural extension of West Gate Bank’s franchise to expand into Omaha. For the past several years, we have been actively lending in Omaha, and with the addition of these branches, we will be able to expand our commercial and mortgage teams and add business cash management services.” Located throughout Omaha and Bellevue, West Gate Bank acquired their new locations from Great Southern Bank earlier this year and officially opened as West Gate Bank on July 23. The locations are: 180th and Pacific St. in West Omaha; 97th and Q St. in Ralston; and 10th and Cornhusker Rd. in Bellevue.

West Omaha - 180th and Pacific St. (402) 758-8701

Focusing on delivering the personal service that West Gate Bank prides itself on, each location offers a full-service menu for personal and business accounts. At West Gate Bank, “Our Interest Is You” is more than a slogan. We are committed to remaining family-owned and focused on serving the people of Nebraska. Our vision of servant leadership is based on a few, simple core values including providing you with the best banking products and good, old fashioned Nebraska customer service. Business Banking services, commercial lending and mortgage lending are also available. To ensure that the West Gate Bank culture was instilled in these new branches and staff, a number of employees from Lincoln transferred to the new Omaha locations. Kristi Thornton, senior vice president, Omaha retail market manager, oversees the bank’s retail services; Jon Dittenber, senior vice president, Omaha chief lending officer, oversees the commercial lending efforts; and Shawn Schreiner, business banking officer, is working to provide business cash management services in the Omaha market. In addition to the Lincoln staff that moved, a number of new hires have joined the team. Brandi Ballan, business banking officer, came over in the acquisition to continue her role working with business customers. Tyler Peterson and Steve Kucirek are the mortgage loan officers in the market. On Friday, November 16, West Gate Bank branches in Omaha will hold a customer appreciation event at all three locations. Each branch will host free food through the day and have prize drawings, including a grand prize to give away a gold Apple iPad (5th generation) Wi-Fi 128GB. New customers can open a checking account that day and receive special incentives, including a free personalized debit card ($10 value) and a free Brentwood® compact grill. Details about the customer appreciation event can be found online at

Ralston - 97th and Q St. (402) 731-1002

Bellevue - 10th and Cornhusker Rd. (402) 291-2000

For more information about West Gate Bank, please visit WestGate.Bank.

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Strictly Business Magazine (402) 466-3330 OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Five Nines to Host 3rd Annual Nebraska Tech Summit October 30

Millard Business Association Announces Date for Board Elections, After Hours Event

Five Nines is eager to announce that the 3rd annual Nebraska Tech Summit will be held on October 30 at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The Nebraska Tech Summit is a day set aside for meaningful time away from the office, with opportunities to learn something new, interact with technology, and develop new business ideas. The Tech Summit will also be more tailored to attendees by providing a variety of interactive and hands-on activities throughout the day. This year, the Nebraska Tech Summit will have a variety of topics that incorporate technology, while addressing all aspects of business from executive level IT decisions, marketing efforts, employee engagement, accounting, office management, and much more. Every topic will be categorized into one of four topic tracks: Technology, Demand Generation, Administering the Business, and Delivering on the Promise. Five Nines is also excited to be collaborating with Gallup as they present a Keynote on optimizing the engagement of employees in the tech landscape, and the FBI as they investigate cybercrime in Nebraska through an interactive lunch session. Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. With offices in Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney, Five Nines advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska based businesses, offering Managed IT Services. Through its unique service model, Five Nines’ clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. Learn more at /

Thursday, October 18 is the date slated for the Millard Business Association’s (MBA) 2019 Board elections and Business After Hours. The elections and networking event will both be held at Millard Manor, 12835 Deauville Dr., in the Promise Room (parking is on south end of building) and will run from 5 to 7 p.m. The MBA board positions that will be voted on are president elect, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Following the elections is MBA’s After Hours socials are held regularly at different locations around the community, giving local business representatives the opportunity to build relationships with fellow professionals. The MBA was founded in 2003 by a group of business owners that recognized the possibilities for networking and community development that existed in the Millard area for companies and their employees. The organization strives to continually improve and connect the business community and members to each other while sharing knowledge and expertise that will benefit the entire community. While MBA members can join referral groups and participate in social events, they are also encouraged to give back to the community. The group’s membership has grown to more than 400 businesses that represent virtually every industry in the area and businesses, both small and large. To be a part of the MBA Board in 2019, contact Joanne Carlberg at (402) 829-3264 or For more information about MBA events or the organization as a whole, visit

SERVING THE OMAHA/LINCOLN METROPLEX From left to right: Mike Barrett, VP Mortgage Lender/Sales Manager; David Shiffermiller, EVP/Lending; Allen Chaffee, Market President, Greater Omaha; John Dittman, Chairman of the Board; Barry Lockard, President/CEO Loan Production Office, 13340 California, Omaha | 402-779-1420 |


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018


BUSINESS NEWS McGill Restoration Selected as One of Inc. 5000 Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies

Business Ethics Alliance Annual Trustee Meeting Open to Public

For the third year in a row, McGill Restoration has been selected as one of Inc. 5000 Magazine’s national fastestgrowing private companies with a three-year growth of 89%. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Founded in 1985, McGill Restoration reported revenue of $17.3 million in 2017 with 88 employees. Ranking at #3972 this year, McGill falls at #15 for top Omaha-Council Bluffs companies and #21 in Nebraska. Not only have the companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2018 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 538.2%, and a median rate of 171.8%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $206.1 billion in 2017, accounting for 664,095 jobs over the past three years. McGill Restoration, a Nebraska-based contractor specializing in concrete and masonry repair, as well as high performance specialty coatings, offers restoration services for preserving infrastructure such as buildings, parking garages, stadiums, and roads. Learn more about the company at

The Business Ethics Alliance® of Omaha will hold their Annual Trustee Meeting on Tuesday, October 16, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Creighton University. The meeting is open to the public for the first time this year as the organization welcomes General John Sattler (Ret.), distinguished chair of leadership at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, and Rear Admiral Linnea Sommer-Weddington, director of C4 Systems & Information Technology at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum.

MadSky Managed Repair Program Announces Xcel Roofing as October Partner of the Month Xcel Roofing, a Lightning Preferred Contractor of MadSky MRP, has been named MadSky’s October Partner of the Month. Utilizing the MadSky platform, Xcel has made MadSky a part of its daily business by adhering to, and exceeding, the expectations and standards of the roofing industry. Named a Lightening Preferred Contractor by Madsky in autumn of 2017, Xcel Roofing continues to utilize MadSky partners and vendors to add to their business and maintain standards of the highest degree. As the roofing industry continues to solidify its relationships with insurance companies and strives to meet their standards, Xcel has made this effortless by partnering with Managed Repair Programs. Xcel has maintained success by adhering to MadSky’s goals for sales, closing 75% of all leads sent from MadSky. Xcel Roofing also has a system for production that exceeds industry standards, completing jobs on time and offering a 3-year Workmanship Warranty on all work completed. “We have had such good luck with MadSky over the past 3 years,” said Mandy Tyler, MRP manager of Xcel Roofing. “Our sales team loves the leads generated, the communication, and the platform on which it runs. Improving relations on a local level is one of our forefront goals, and MadSky helps us with this every day.” By offering services within numerous home improvement trades, Xcel is also a leader in assessing the entire home for MadSky Managed Repair Program. Their customers work with a live, local project manager, getting the most out of their claim and seeing options for the entire home. Their passion for customer service has earned Xcel Roofing a reputation that any homeowner can trust and MadSky stands behind. Learn more about Xcel Roofing at, or email info@ #PrintProudDigitalSmart

These impressive guests will discuss the role of ethical leadership in inspiring employees to drive organizational mission with W. Grant Gregory, chair of Gregory & Hoenemeyer, Inc. Also on the agenda is a review of the Alliance impact in the community and a look ahead to 2019. This event is a great opportunity for young professionals to connect with the Alliance trustees and to hear from top leaders in the military. Guests can register online at annual-meeting. In partnership with the Omaha business community, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and Creighton University Heider College of Business, the Business Ethics Alliance is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to city-level business ethics education. Learn more on their website at

Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum Announces October Events The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum is holding a Planes, Trains & Autos event on October 27 and 28. The event, designed to educate museum guests on various modes of transportation during the Cold War, will feature muscle cars, hotrods, aircrafts, and interactive model train displays throughout the museum. Automobiles will be nestled around several Cold War aircraft heroes such as the B-36 Peacemaker, the largest production bomber ever built; the B-47 Stratojet, the first swept-wing jet-propelled bomber produced in large numbers; the B-52 Stratofortress, a high-altitude strategic bomber with intercontinental ranges; and the B-58 Hustler, the first supersonic bomber to set world speed records. To add to the event excitement, October 27 is also the Museum’s Trickor-Treat with Super Heroes Day. Super heroes from Midwest Heroes, a group that create their own costumes and volunteer for charities across the Midwest, will be at the museum to entertain guests during the Museum’s trick-or treat event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Museum educators will help young guests create their own super hero cape. Guests are encouraged to come in costume, bring a bag, and trickor-treat around various stations at the museum! Planes, Trains & Autos and Trick-or-Treat with Super Heroes Day are included in the cost of general admission; $12 for adults, $11 for seniors or military, $6 for children ages 4-12, and children 3 and under are free (all rates subject to tax). For more information, visit or contact Deb Hermann at (402) 944-3100 Ext. 220 / OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business 7

BUSINESS NEWS Living In The Yellow to Present at Ladies Be Brave, Grow Strong Conference

Control Depot Announces Partnership With Contemporary Controls

Lincoln Berean Church (6400 S 70th St.) is hosting a Ladies Be Brave, Grow Strong Conference the nights of Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13. Keynote speakers will be Leslie Vernick and Sherri Keffer. Christian artist Nichole Nordeman will be in concert Saturday morning.

In June, Control Depot partnered with Contemporary Controls to offer their complete line of building automation peripheral products and solutions. Contemporary Controls designs and manufactures the system building blocks for networking, integrating, and controlling automation processes where performance and reliability are important. Control Depot chose to partner with Contemporary Controls as they are an industry leader in producing simple and reliable networking and control products at an attractive price point.

Patty Nun with Living in the Yellow will hold a workshop at the conference entitled: Living in the Yellow – Situational Awareness Training. Patty’s workshop will educate her audience on (1) Cooper’s Color Codes for Self-Defense Awareness; (2) Why your mindset, posture, and attitude are your first line of self-defense; and (3) How Living in the Yellow can protect you from the majority of dangers you might encounter. For more information or to register for the conference, go to www. For more information about how to register for Living in the Yellow’s Situational Awareness Lunch and Learn presentations or Basic Pistol and Concealed Handgun Permit Classes, go to www.LivingInTheYellow. org/classes or call Patty Nun at (402) 432-6470.

Control Depot is a building automation and controls distributor serving Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, & South Dakota. As a controls distributor, they sell and support a wide selection of residential and commercial controls and components to contractors and building owners. This includes everything from a simple thermostat to a complete webbased building automation system. Control Depot’s goal is to build strong and lasting relationships with their customers by providing value and experience that is unparalleled in the industry. Control Depot strives to excel in all aspects of their business, offering quality services in a timely manner at affordable rates. Contact Control Depot for more information at (402) 934-0078 /, or visit their website at www.

Greater Omaha Chamber Announces Economic Outlook Luncheon The Greater Omaha Chamber expects nearly 800 area leaders, many of whom are actively weighing in on the collaborative strategies and collective foresight driving the region’s competitive position for the next 25 years, to attend its upcoming Economic Outlook Luncheon on November 13 at Embassy Suites Omaha, La Vista. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Single tickets are $70 (members) / $85 (non-members); a table of ten is $700 (members) / $850 (non-members). Event sponsors include ACCESSbank, Baird Holm LLP, D.A. Davidson & Co., Deloitte LLP, and Lamp Rynearson, with KETV as the media sponsor. Results of the area’s Economic Outlook Survey, a yearly measure of projected economic and commercial activity, as well as hiring intentions and capital investment, will be presented at the event. “The annual Economic Outlook Survey provides a framework for driving business development, talent acquisition, and collaborative growth in areas that propel our collective future and favorably shape the region,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber. Rich Karlgaard, entrepreneur-turned-Forbes magazine publisher and futurist, will keynote the event. Considered one of the most influential figures in technology and economics, Karlgaard will provide insight on adapting in an era of technological and political disruption, while thriving in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Reservations for the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Economic Outlook Luncheon can be made through November 6 at OmahaChamber. org/EOL. 8 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

Veterans in Business Forum Announces Upcoming Meetings The Veterans in Business Forum (VIBF) meets the first Friday of every month (0800-0900). Their next meetings are 5 October and 2 November 2018 at University of Nebraska-Omaha College of Business Administration, Mammel Hall – Room 215, 6708 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68182-0048. The guest topic for October includes a focus on legislative endeavors focusing on veterans, businesses, and small business owners. Congressman Don Bacon has been confirmed to speak at 0800. Since this is an election year, candidate Kara Eastman has also been to speak at 0900. She has not been confirmed. Contact VIBF for updates. The guest speaker for November is Lou Wagner from ESGR, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The mission of the Veterans in Business Forum (VIBF) is to provide business support, education, and advocacy to help veterans succeed in business and increase community awareness of veteran-owned business activities. Veterans, active duty, reservists and civilians are welcome to join and support each other and veteran-related goals. For the latest information, to be a guest speaker and/or to be added to the mailing list, visit VeteransinBusinessForumOmahaNetworking or contact Michel Thornhill at (402) 932-7243 / #PrintProudDigitalSmart

BUSINESS NEWS SIDES E-Response Helps Employers Respond to Unemployment Insurance Requests Employers can now receive and respond to separation information requests electronically after an employee files an unemployment claim. State Information Data Exc hange System (SIDES) E-Response offers employers a nationally standardized method to electronically exchange unemployment insurance information with the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) at no cost. Using SIDES E-Response allows employers to receive unemployment insurance requests electronically within 24 hours of a claim being filed. When responses are submitted, confirmation of receipt is immediate. In addition to eliminating postage costs, SIDES can help reduce improper payments and employer charging, unemployment insurance tax rates and the number of appeals filed. Responding to requests is now even easier with the new single sign on feature. Employers can log into NDOL’s employer portal, UIConnect, using their usual credentials, and get a direct link to respond to any requests without entering a separate SIDES E-Response login. Visit to learn more about the program and how to register, or contact the Nebraska Department of Labor by email at or by phone at (402) 471-9910.

Bin There Dump That Brings New Dumpster Rental Service to Omaha In conjunction with the Greater Omaha Chamber, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on September 17 to officially welcome Bin There Dump That dumpster rentals to Omaha. The Chamber was thrilled to celebrate with the company’s new local franchisees, Peter and Sue Maier, as they embark on this exciting adventure. The ribbon-cutting took place in front of one of Bin There Dump That’s bright lime-green dumpster bins. These bins make a statement: Bin There Dump That provides clean and professional service, and they are proud of it! When choosing Bin There Dump That dumpster rentals, their dumpster consultants will take the time to know the details of your project to ensure the highest level of customer service. They offer a flexible delivery and pick up schedule that works best for you. All of their trucks and dumpsters are well maintained, easy to operate, and residential friendly with the ability to fit in narrow driveways and tight locations. Another consideration that sets Bin There Dump That apart from other dumpster companies is their use of protective boards under the bin so it doesn’t scrape of the driveway, and they even sweep up after every job. Peter and Sue moved to Omaha in 2011 and fell in love with the city’s entrepreneurial spirit, which blended with their backgrounds in sales, marketing, and public relations. They are determined to offer the most efficient, friendly, and high-quality disposal services in the area through Bin There Dump That. For more information about Bin There Dump That dumpster rentals in Omaha, visit You can also call/text Peter and Sue at (402) 884-4014 / (402) 306-2696, or reach them via email at #PrintProudDigitalSmart

¡ Auto and Personal Loans ¡ Mortgages and Home Equity Loans ¡ Visa Credit Cards IRAs ¡ Savings, Centris Federal Credit UnionCertificates Sponsors and Cruisin’ Business/Commercial Loans For The Cure Car¡Show Centris Federal Credit Union (www. sponsored the 8th Annual Cruisin’ For The Cure Car Show on September 9 in conjunction with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Federally insured by NCUA

During the day, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., eligible men334-2328 received a• free (402) 334-7000 • (800) centrisfcu.or PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test to determine if they have prostate cancer. Methodist Hospital provided medical personnel on site to perform the tests. According to Dawn Gonzales, vice president of community involvement at Centris Federal Credit Union, at least five men have let event organizers know that the test performed at the show saved their lives. The show annually does an average of 120 free PSA tests, with seven to 10 men being identified with elevated PSA scores. There was no entry fee, however a donation to help raise awareness of prostate cancer was encouraged. All proceeds from the show went towards benefitting Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. Since becoming involved five years ago, Centris has donated $10,000 to pay for the PSA tests that are done during the car show. Centris Federal Credit Union employee volunteers were on site throughout the day to assist with registration and traffic flow for the car show. Centris, one of Nebraska’s largest community chartered credit unions, was proud to support this meaningful event once again as one of the official sponsors. Learn more about Cruisin’ For The Cure Car Show at

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OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Omaha’s Creative Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Omaha Council-Bluffs Ranked No. 3 Best Place for Teachers

The 2018-19 school year marks the 25th anniversary of Omaha’s Creative Center, college of art and design.

SmartAsset recently announced new data ranking Omaha CouncilBluffs the No. 3 best place in America for teachers to work and live. Last year, the region ranked No. 4.

The Creative Center offers two degrees in graphic design: a two-year Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS), and a three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). The college’s philosophy and objective has stayed the same since its beginning: Providing practical education and handson training that benefits both the student and employer. Students work on assignments from conception to final art completing a wide range of projects similar to those they will receive in the business world. Graphic design has gone through major changes since 1993, especially in computers and technology. Laptops loaded with the latest software create stunning images and graphics. The smartphone was introduced and became the technological juggernaut which has forever changed the way everyone works, plays, communicates, entertains, commutes, and conducts business. The college has planned an informal kick-off party for the students, staff, and faculty later this month, with lots of flashback trivia fun, which may or may not include questions about velociraptors, VHS tapes, and Blockbuster. For more information about the Creative Center, visit their website at


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

“We are an education destination, and our educators are preparing students well to continue their learning right here in the region,” said Dee Baird, senior vice president, economic development, Greater Omaha Chamber. According to SmartAsset, the average income for teachers in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area increased by 15% over the past three years. At the same time, the number of jobs also increased by 1%. Teaching here means access to high-quality schools with hard-working students. According to the study, the area ranked eighth highest for average test scores in math and English. Celebrating 125 years, the mission of the Greater Omaha Chamber is to champion a thriving business community and prosperous region through visionary leadership and collaboration. Greater Omaha is a No. 1 ranked up-and-coming-tech hotspot, the No. 1 Best City for College Grads to Start their Careers in 2018 and Time magazine’s 2017 No. 3 Most Up-and-Coming City in America. Learn more at


BUSINESS NEWS Restaurant Depot to Open First Nebraska Location in La Vista Restaurant Depot (RD), the nation’s premier cash-and-carry food wholesaler, will be opening its brand new, 55,000-square-foot La Vista facility in mid-October. Restaurant Depot’s cash-and-carry business model allows the company to provide its products at a much lower price point than traditional food delivery services. The company has been in operation for 42 years and has facilities in 34 states. The La Vista branch, located at 6920 S 118th St., will be the 131st location (the first in Nebraska) for the rapidly expanding organization and is expected to bring 35-45 new jobs to the community. With an expected opening of October 10, this widely anticipated location will offer a broad selection of products from fresh produce to kitchen equipment for independent restaurants, caterers, and non-profits. Branch manager Byron Thompson says, “Construction is on track and we are more than ready for this opening in October. We can’t wait to get started helping all these great area businesses get control of their food—and supply—costs. Too many small businesses have to battle with hefty minimum order requirements and delivery fees. At RD, you can get as much or as little as you want and you’re going to get the savings you see right there on the shelf.” Early plans for the grand opening events are under way as well and will include local guest appearances and special deals when the doors open. Area business owners won’t want to miss the incredible savings available at the long-awaited opening ceremony. Learn more about Restaurant Depot at

Heartland Hope Mission Brings In $40K Worth of Food at Stuff a Truck Food Drive Heartland Hope Mission raised $40,000 in food during its annual Stuff a Truck food drive in partnership with area Hy-Vee food stores on August 13-19. A semi-truck load of the food collection was then delivered on September 6 to the Heartland Hope Mission headquarters, located at 2021 U St. “We are thankful to Hy-Vee and the community for helping raise nearly $40,000 in food. Nearly 50,000 people will receive a week’s supply of food this year as we work together to end hunger and ensure food security. This food drive is so important as we prepare for the holiday season,” says Chelsea Salifou, CEO of Heartland Hope Mission. During this annual food drive, Hy-Vee customers purchased a $5 or $10 bag of food at Omaha area stores to help families in need. If anyone would still like to provide food assistance during the holidays, they can donate by going to At Heartland Hope Mission’s South Omaha and Millard food pantries, working poor families choose a week’s supply of nutritious groceries, including milk, frozen meat, and fresh produce to prepare wellbalanced meals at home. Clients also receive clothing, hygiene items, diapers, and access to a Client Service Specialist who assists with SNAP (food stamp) applications and navigational services. Last year, over 45,000 people received food at Heartland Hope Mission. All services are distributed locally. #PrintProudDigitalSmart

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Yield Champions Announces Pro AG® I Training Program in Kearney Dennis Nun, president of Yield Champions, has announced that the first of their nationwide schedule of PRO-AG I programs for 2018 will be offered in Kearney, NE on December 3-4. 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. 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, new products SYNTOSEFA Ag Sugar and INTENSIFY™ Plant Growth Regulators 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

Omaha Running Club Celebrates Fourth Year of Heartland Marathon Omaha Running Club’s signature running event, the Heartland Marathon, was held on Sunday, September 23. The event included a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, and marathon relay. All races began at 7 a.m. at the Riverfront Landing in downtown Omaha at 345 Riverfront Dr. An event expo featuring a vendor fair, spaghetti dinner, and keynote address took place the day before the marathon at the Hilton Omaha. Event proceeds went towards supporting the Omaha Running Club’s work throughout the year, including hosting free fun runs, maintaining the city’s most comprehensive running calendar, partnering with the Keep Omaha Beautiful trail cleanup program, and providing finish line and race timing services for other event organizers. Omaha Running Club president and Heartland race director, Tom Whitaker, said, “We are very fortunate to have such an active club and supportive community. Runner’s World Magazine recently ranked Omaha ninth on its list of the 50 best running cities in the United States. Events like the Heartland Marathon are what make Omaha so unique.” The Heartland Marathon is locally managed by the Omaha Running Club, which helps support the Omaha running community. The Club has more than 500 members and has supported the Omaha running and walking community since the 70s. The Omaha Running Club is a member of the Road Runners Club of America. Learn more at OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business 11

BUSINESS NEWS NAMI Omaha Announces Upcoming Public Educational Meeting NAMI Omaha is excited to share that their next free Mental Health NAMI Affiliate meeting, open to the public, will be held on Thursday, November 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. Amy Richardson, president & CEO of the Women’s Center For Advancement (, will come speak about the services/ support/classes they offer to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. These meetings take place the first Thursday of each month at First United Methodist Church, located at 7020 Cass St. in Omaha. Parking is available on the east and north side of the church. Enter through doors 4 or 6 and proceed to room 112.


the West Gate Bank® Difference Family-owned since we were established in 1968, West Gate Bank® is a true community bank devoted to serving our customers. Our community focus is not only evident in all that we do, but in how we do it. As a full-service bank, West Gate Bank is large enough to serve all of your banking needs, yet small enough to provide the outstanding personal service that only a community bank can deliver. We are proud to now serve the Omaha market at our three new branches: 1020 South 179th Ct 9775 Q Street 1004 Cornhusker Road, Bellevue | 402.434.3456




Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

NAMI Omaha is a non-profit corporation in the state of Nebraska composed of consumers, family members, professionals, and friends who have come together to share and take comfort in the commonality of their experiences and to educate members of their communities about serious mental illness. NAMI Omaha’s mission is to work to improve the service for and the lives of those affected by mental illness and their families. For information on NAMI, go to or call (402) 3458101 / (877) 463-6264. For helpful articles on mental illness, follow on Facebook at

NUFCU Named Best Credit Union In Nebraska by Forbes The University of Nebraska Federal Credit Union (NUFCU) was named a Best Credit Union in Nebraska by Forbes in their firstever ranking of “best-in-state banks and credit unions.” The list was developed in partnership with market research firm Statista. Statista surveyed more than 25,000 customers in the U.S. about their current and former banking relationships, ranking institutions based on overall recommendations and satisfaction as well as trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services, and financial advice. “Our mission is to save our members’ time and money,” said Keith Kauffeld, president/CEO of University of Nebraska Federal Credit Union. “We are honored Forbes recognized us as one of the top credit unions in Nebraska and in the country, and I credit our wonderful and dedicated staff for always putting the member first.” The only financial institutions excluded from the rankings were those having branches in at least 15 U.S. states. Forbes final “Best of” ranking included only 2.4% of all financial institutions—a total of 145 credit unions and 124 banks nationwide. “Best of” scores ranged from 40.0 to 95.4, and NUFCU earned a score of 86.52, above all the banks in Nebraska and above the national averages of 80.0 for best credit unions and 75.2 for best banks. Today, the University of Nebraska Federal Credit Union has over 10,500 members and over $100 million in assets. They offer mobile banking, mobile deposit, Internet banking, checking and savings accounts, credit cards, consumer loans, mortgage loans, business loans, online bill pay and many other services. Learn more at #PrintProudDigitalSmart

BUSINESS NEWS HBE LLP and Fuhrman, Smolsky & Furey P.C. Announce Merger

Educator Registration Now Open for Careerockit 2019

HBE LLP, a leading Nebraska accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce a merger with the Omaha firm of Fuhrman, Smolsky & Furey (FS&F), P.C., effective October 16. The merger will broaden HBE’s statewide presence and strengthen the firm’s accounting and financial management services in the Omaha market.

The largest effort of its kind in the nation, Careerockit, a weeklong, no-cost business/educator learning initiative that last year served more than 22,000 Nebraska and Iowa students, opened educator sign-ups on September 10.

Founded in 1987, FS&F partners, Anne Fuhrman, John Smolsky, and Kevin Furey, have served individuals and businesses from their Omaha office for over 30 years. The firm offers a wide variety of professional services including accounting, audit, tax planning and preparation, and specialized consulting. “Our relationship with the partners at FS&F goes back several years,” said Scott Becker, HBE’s managing partner. “We have always had great respect for their integrity, reputation for quality, and practical approach to serving clients.” As we got to know HBE over the years,” commented Kevin Furey, FS&F partner, “it was clear that our ideas for client service and developing our professionals were equally aligned. This merger will allow both firms to improve on our strengths, be a great employer and community partner, and a CPA firm that is ready for the future. We are looking forward to introducing Omaha to HBE.” Following the completion of the merger, Anne, John, and Kevin will become part of HBE’s partner group. They and their team will continue to serve clients from their existing office, located at 9802 Nicholas St. in Omaha. For more information, please visit

A program of the Greater Omaha Chamber designed to create career interest, grow the area’s talent pipeline, and connect organizations with future employees, Careerockit facilitates cooperative educational activities fueled by nearly 200 participating businesses, 20+ school districts and nearly 100 schools in six counties. “There are more than 130,000 PK-12 students in our region, and Careerockit jumpstarts students’ career interest and acumen,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber. “Our six counties are the perfect place for our students to live, work, and prosper—and it’s never too early to start thinking about careers right here at home that contribute to the community’s future success.” Careerockit programming kicks off February 11-17, 2019, and works by pairing businesses and employers with elementary through post-secondary students seeking engagement, information and experiences in a host of fields, all of which can increase understanding of the synergies between education and employment and influence decisions for students’ chosen careers. To register, educators may visit

BLUEBARN Theatre Presents Circle Mirror Transformation A 2009 Obie Winner for Best New Play, Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker, will be shown at BLUEBARN Theatre from September 27 through October 21, every Thursday-Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. It also will show on Sunday, October 7 and 21 at 2 p.m. and October 14 at 6 p.m.

1st place 13 straight years!

The play is based around the story of students in a community-center acting class who find their lives transformed, their souls reflected, and the patterns of their lives revealed in this extraordinary celebration of ordinary life. As they discover each other through storytelling and deceptively simple games, hearts are won and lost, destinies shaped, and tiny triumphs and tragedies take on epic proportions. After the October 4 show, there will be an opportunity to engage with the cast. The October 7 post-show will feature three area organizations and artists who use theatre to actively transform lives. A panel discussion with Tyrone Beasley, director of outbound programming at the Rose Theatre, Nick Zadina, training specialist at Project Harmony, and Carolyn Anderson, director of WhyArts?.

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The BLUEBARN Theatre has been bringing professionally-produced plays to area audiences since 1989. Since its inception, BLUEBARN has produced over 100 plays and has established itself as Omaha’s professional contemporary theatre company.

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General Admission tickets are $35 and available by calling BLUEBARN’s box office (402) 345-1576. Tickets can also be purchased via their website at #PrintProudDigitalSmart

“We’d Rather Be The Best Than Apologize for Anything Less.” OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Gross Catholic Celebrates 50 Years of Leadership and Faith 50 years ago, the Archdiocese of Omaha, with the help of generous donors Daniel and Louise Gross, built Gross Catholic High School to meet the critical need for Catholic education in Sarpy County and south Omaha. Archbishop Gerald T. Bergan invited priests and brothers from the Society of Mary and the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to assist in creating the Gross Catholic community. Brother Leo Willett, S.M., the first principal, opened the school on September 3, 1968, with a freshman class of 175 students. The Class of 1972 graduated on May 28, 1972, and became the first of more than 8,300 alumni. To commemorate this historic event, Gross Catholic hosted a special Homecoming celebration September 14-17. Weekend festivities included a pre-game tailgate for the entire family before the Homecoming football game; a free Alumni gathering with live bands, a bonfire, and food and drinks at the Bellevue Berry; a breakfast with the Pancake Man and school tours; and the Cougar Classic Golf Outing at Eagle Hills Golf Course. As one of Nebraska’s premier private schools, Gross Catholic High School is a faith and family-based community committed to developing Christian leaders through academic excellence in the Marianist tradition. To discover the Gross Catholic difference, contact (402) 734-2000 or visit their website at


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

Vitality Bowls Opens Cafe In Omaha The wait is over, Omaha! Vitality Bowls, which specializes in açaí bowls—a thick blend of the Amazon’s antioxidant-rich açaí berry, topped with a variety of superfoods—recently announced the opening of its café in Omaha on September 6. The new franchise, located in Aksarben Village at 1922 S. 67th St., is the first for Katie and Tony DeSantis, who plan to open one additional café in Omaha. This restaurant will be the first Vitality Bowls café in Nebraska joining the 57 locations based nationwide. Originating in Northern California, Vitality Bowls has solidified itself as America’s superfood café by combining a dynamic café vibe with a unique collection of menu items containing high nutritional values and extraordinary tastes. Vitality Bowls offers an antioxidant-rich menu, with breakfast, lunch and dinner items made to order for each customer. All açaí bowls and smoothies do not contain ingredient fillers such as ice, frozen yogurt, added sugar or artificial preservatives, giving the purest taste possible. The menu at Vitality Bowls features the widest variety of unique superfoods, including graviola, acerola, mangosteen, camu camu, spirulina, aronia, moringa, maca, bee pollen and more. The eatery will also include a selection of locally sourced drink options, including: Hardy Coffee, Artemis Tea, and FishEye Kombucha. Follow Vitality Bowls Aksarben Village on Facebook at www. to learn more.


BUSINESS NEWS CFA Society of Nebraska Announces 201819 Officers and Directors

Nebraska Logistics Council Awards Scholarships

The CFA Society of Nebraska is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been elected to serve on the organization’s board for the 2018-19 term: • President – Curtis R. Caldwell, CFA, Mutual of Omaha Companies • Vice President – Damian L. Howard, CFA, Security National Bank • Secretary – David H. Craft, CFA, Wells Fargo Private Bank • Treasurer – Michael R. Gatliff, CFA, Ameritas Investment Partners • Past President – John E. Philo, CFA, Lozier Corporation • Director – Randy D. Jorgensen, CFA, Creighton University • Director – Nicholas J. Nevole, CFA, Tributary Capital Management • Director – Clinton T. Rushing, CFA, D.A. Davidson & Co. • Director – J.J. Schenkelberg, CFA, Schenkelberg Investments, LLC. The CFA Society of Nebraska is an association of local investment professionals consisting of portfolio managers, security analysts, investment advisors, and other financial professionals. This association promotes ethical and professional standards within the investment industry, encourages professional development through the CFA Program and continuing education, facilitates the exchange of information and opinions among people within the local investment community and beyond, and works to further the public’s understanding of the CFA designation and investment industry. As a member of CFA Institute, The CFA Society of Nebraska connects members to a global network of investment professionals. For further information on the CFA Society of Nebraska, visit www. or contact Curtis R. Caldwell, CFA at (402) 351-2329.

The Nebraska Logistics Council awarded three $500 scholarships at their annual fundraiser on August 24. Recipients included: Jarrett Klein, a senior at Millard West High School and is enrolled in the Business Logistics Management Academy. He is completing a summer internship with Werner Enterprises and his volunteer work includes the Food Bank for Millard Horizon High School, Bow Hunters of Nebraska, and Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy. He is the son of Michelle and Keith Klein. Lauren Kohl, a 2018 graduate of Millard North High School and attended the Millard Business and Logistics Career Academy. She has received her certified logistics technician and certified logistics associate from the Manufacturing Standard Skills Council Organization. She is employed with Sketchers and Legacy Homes and has volunteered with Heartland Hope. She is the daughter of Christine and Brian Kohl. Cameron Isenberger, a 2018 graduate of Millard South High School and attended the Millard Business and Logistics Management Career Academy. He has received his certified logistics technician and certified logistics associate from the Manufacturing Standard Skills Council Organization. Cameron currently works for Complete Call Solutions and has volunteered at Special Olympics District Track Meet and Special Friends’ Prom. He is the son of Steph and Jeff Isenberger. 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. Learn more at

Center Sphere Announces October Events Center Sphere is the Omaha’s largest and fastest growing professional networking organization. In addition to Chapter meetings, Center Sphere also provides its members unique opportunities for networking and professional development through a variety of events and trainings each month. October events include: October 9, 4 - 6 p.m. — Taco Tuesday Happy Hour hosted by Chapter 402-O 37 at NP Dodge, 601 N 108th Cir. Street tacos and margaritas provided. October 10, 4 - 7 p.m. — 2nd Wednesday Happy Hour hosted by Chapters 402-O 08, 11, and 16 at Bull and Bear Lounge, 11341 Davenport St. October 11, 7:30 - 9 a.m. — Network-Wide Coffee & Connections, hosted by McKinnis Roofing, 14920 Grover St. October 11, 4 - 7 p.m. — Networking Open House, hosted by Kara Shawn Photography, 5701 S. 108 St. Drinks and appetizers provided. October 16, 8 - 9:30 a.m. — Coffee, Networking & Training, featuring Duane Salonen at Oak Hills Country Club, 12325 Golfing Green Dr. Coffee and Rolls provided, free-will donation for this month’s featured non-profit, Cross Electronic Recycling. October 23, 4 - 6 p.m. — Network-Wide Social Hour (location TBD). October 30, 11 a.m. - noon — Meet The Network Informal Q&A. Open to anyone who would like to learn more about the Center Sphere Network. Conversation with CMO and Omaha Area Director, Christopher Slater. No pitch, No presentation, NO pressure. October 30, noon - 1:30 p.m. — Maximize Your Membership Training. Members learn how to navigate Center Sphere’s Digital Dashboard. For more information, contact Christopher Slater at (402) 881-2811 /, or check out #PrintProudDigitalSmart

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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018


On Thursday, October 18, credit unions in our community and worldwide will come together to celebrate International Credit Union Day® and the role that financial cooperatives play in improving the communities they serve and the lives of their members the world over. This year’s theme, “Find Your Platinum Lining,” combines the traditional gift of platinum for 70th anniversaries, a play on the sayings “every cloud has a silver lining” and a celebration of the platinum lining differences and impact credit union and other financial cooperatives have made and continue to make for their members. All credit unions share a common goal to offer access to affordable financial services to their members and provide even the most financially disadvantaged the tools and the opportunities to be financially self-sufficient. Making life choices and dreams a reality is the credit union difference that makes a real impact in our world. Credit unions are unique because they are not-for-profit, democratically controlled, member-owned cooperatives. Credit unions pool their members’ assets to provide low-cost loans and other financial services in the best interest of the members, not to earn shareholder profits. The credit union movement’s cooperative spirit is embraced by members served in more than 89,000 credit unions in 117 countries worldwide. Stellar member service and democratic control are just some of the many benefits of being a credit union or cooperative member. That’s as true of credit unions here in Omaha as it is in other cooperatively-owned financial institutions from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Credit unions and other financial cooperatives are founded on community service, a principle that has set them apart for more than 150 years. The credit union movement is steeped in a rich history of collaboration across divides. For nearly two centuries, financial cooperatives have encouraged people of every race, gender and belief to come together and give their all towards the betterment of their communities. It’s about people helping people. That’s why credit unions always offer a platinum lining. International Credit Union (ICU) Day® has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948. This year, we hope everyone will join us in celebrating the credit union difference, their proud cooperative heritage, and the wonderful opportunities credit unions and other financial cooperatives offer members of the Omaha community every day.



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FLEETMARK SOLUTIONS LLC Meet Shawn Avis, store manager at Fleetmark Solutions LLC. Tell us a little about your business. Fleetmark Solutions is a fast-paced facility that specializes in commercial fleet maintenance and repair. Gas, diesel, large or small–with our resources we can do it all! We are geared towards quality service and fast turnaround time to keep your commercial vehicles on the road so your business can operate at its optimum level. Fleetmark technicians are knowledgeable, experienced, and adaptive to provide you with the solutions you need. Our company has been built on a strong foundation of honesty, with the highest level of integrity at the forefront of every job performed. How did you get started in the business? - I worked for Mark Griger, the owner of Fleetmark Solutions, in the past. When he decided to start his own repair facility, I had no choice but to follow him. We are like a family at Fleetmark Solutions. I came in with over 20 years of repair experience as a technician with a wide variety of applications, from OTR trucks to small engines. I’m passionate about doing quality work and helping businesses meet their needs. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Every day at Fleetmark, there is a new challenge; that’s what I love most about it. Problems come in and it’s our job to solve them. I enjoy waking up to go to work in the mornings, which not everyone can say. I feel extremely grateful. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Earning the shop manager position at Fleetmark Solutions last year was a great achievement for me. To move up and take on more responsibility in a company I believe in so much is the most important thing. Whether you’re coming in for a routine inspection or a repair service, our team does amazing work to ensure you’re satisfied. Tell me a little about your family. - My beautiful wife Alicia and I have two boys, Braidyn and Braxtyn. They are what I’m most proud of. Family is everything.

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What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - When Mark asked me to come to Fleetmark Solutions, everything changed. It became a whole new chapter in my life. I’ve grown a lot as a leader. Things are going very well and I look forward to a long future here, doing what I love. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Going on a nice long Harley ride. I also enjoy taking in a round of golf or a day spent fishing on the lake. Anything to unwind. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I’m from Iowa, but I’m secretly a Husker fan. Go Big Red! What are you the most proud of? - My family at home and my family at work. We are building something special at Fleetmark Solutions. It’s rewarding when I get to hear someone say they appreciate what we do and how we’ve been able to help their business. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Lead, follow, or get out of the way. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Determined. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Feel free to give me a call at the shop, (402) 715-4487, or swing by and say hello—we’re located at 207 N. Jackson St. in Papillion. You can also check out our website at #PrintProudDigitalSmart


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GERST PAINTING Meet Scott Smith, residential estimator with Gerst Painting and Contracting, Inc. Tell us a little about your business. - Gerst Painting and Contracting is a multi award-winning painting company that specializes in interior and exterior painting/wall covering services for residential and commercial properties in the Omaha metro area. Founded in 1977, Gerst offers premium craftsmanship from some of the most highly-trained professionals in the industry. When you choose Gerst, you’re choosing a locally owned and operated business that cares about the community we serve. How did you get started in the business? - Over 30 years ago, when I started my family, I was offered a position as a painter and learned to master the techniques. About 20 years ago, I came to Gerst Painting. Initially recruited as a professional painter, I worked my way up to foreman and then this past June, I accepted my new role as residential estimator. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I have helped Gerst “paint its way” to achieve the Best of Omaha award for the past 14 years and B2B for the past five. Those are accomplishments I am very honored to say I was a part of. Tell me a little about your family. - I currently live in my hometown of Waterloo, NE. I have a tight-knit family, which is made up of my wife Angie and our son Michael Lee. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? The day my son was born. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I enjoy spending my days off with my wife and enjoying the outdoors, going camping, fishing, and hunting. And of course, rooting for the Huskers on game days! What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I am a country boy at heart; I love nature. What are you the most proud of? - My family. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Don’t gamble with what you can’t afford to lose. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Trustworthy. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To be able to fly. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - Farming skills. Which talent would you most like to have? - A better golf swing would be nice. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - A professional hunting guide. I think it would be cool to lead hunting excursions and be involved with scouting efforts. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Nebraska Special Olympics. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - The Stand, a novel by Stephen King. What is your favorite movie? - The Outlaw Josey Wales. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Farmer Brown’s Steak House in Waterloo. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Please contact Gerst Painting at (402) 289-1010, or visit our website at #PrintProudDigitalSmart



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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

Meet Kathleen Pallesen, an attorney at Berry Law Firm. Tell us a little about your business. - The Berry Law Firm was founded in 1965 by Attorney John Stevens Berry, Sr. We continue to uphold a heritage of aggressive, effective, and reliable legal advocacy to individuals who have been arrested or charged with crimes in Omaha, Lincoln, and the entire state of Nebraska. Due to our team’s diligent work, thousands of clients have trusted us with their cases and, more importantly, their futures. I practice in the areas of adult and juvenile guardianships and conservatorships, small business, civil litigation, and elder law, including Medicaid crisis planning, social security, probate, and wills and trusts. How did you get started in the business? - I started at a young age (maybe five or six years old) by having breakfast on Saturday mornings at Northrup Jones before heading to my dad’s office with him and my younger sisters, Joanne and Peggy. We would eat with Judge Buckley, Judge Montag, Judge Wolf, and any lawyers who happened to be around. We did that until about the age of 10. I knew from a young age I wanted to go to law school. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Convincing my dad to come out of retirement and start a law practice at the age of 79. Also, convincing my mother to watch me present an oral argument in front of the Court of Appeals. She was a nervous wreck! (I won by the way.) In all seriousness, I think my most important achievement professionally, after being an attorney for 27 years, is that fact that I am still proud of being part of the legal profession and enjoying my work. Tell us a little about your family. - I am the fifth of seven kids in my family. I’m the only attorney, but I learned a great deal about negotiating, mediation, keeping secrets, and advocating from my siblings! I have been married to Mike Pallesen, an attorney himself, for 27 years and we have four kids: Katie (22), Michael (17), and twins, Libby and Maggie (16). All four kids are very skilled negotiators. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Working for the Douglas County Public Defender’s Office during high school and college. I was able to watch the inner workings of the Douglas County Courthouse. Whenever I had a break, I would watch hearings and trials in county and district court. I was able to interact with the public during very difficult or very happy times of their lives. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - My grandfather, Martin Holbrook, was an attorney for Union Pacific Railroad and his sister, Mary Olive Holbrook, was one of the first women who attended Creighton University Law School. My dad attended Creighton Law School, but I ended the tradition and went to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Funny. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - In memory of Aretha Franklin, the 1965 hit song “Respect.” What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Aksarben Foundation, CASA, and Kicks for A Cure. The Aksarben Foundation and CASA both have amazing missions, but Kicks for a Cure raises money locally for cancer research. My mother died of cancer in 2013 and I love soccer, so it’s a special organization to me. What is your favorite movie? - The Sound of Music. I traveled to Austria this summer and went on the Sound of Music Tour! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Email:; Website: #PrintProudDigitalSmart


Allisyn Meadows 360 CLEAN, LLC

Meet Allisyn Meadows, Omaha manager for 360 Clean, LLC. Tell us a little about your business. - 360 Clean is a full-service cleaning company, providing professional cleaning services to both residential and commercial clients. Originating in Lincoln, we recently expanded to Omaha with the goal to provide the best cleaning experience for our clients in the Metro area. How did you get started in the business? - I started cleaning with my mom, Teresa Hodgen, when I was young. She is the one who started 360 Clean. I’ve been actively involved with the business since it was established and I’ve always maintained a love for making people feel good by beautifying their space. Before taking over the daily operations as manager of 360 Clean’s new Omaha branch, I was doing independent cleaning jobs. When the opportunity to grow the family business came about, I wanted to be a part of it. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I have always been successful in any position I have held and, because of this, I tend to move up within a company quickly. A lot of times, because of my age, many people didn’t take me seriously. It wasn’t until they saw my work product, ethic, and loyalty that they would come around. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Having the ability to believe in myself and my skills, as well as being able to recognize and encourage the skills of my employees to build the best possible team. I’m committed to provide the highest level of service in whatever situation that I’m in. Tell me a little about your family. - I’m a mother of three wonderful kids and I’ve been married to my best friend for four years now. We are all very close to our extended family as well. I don’t know what I would do without their love and support. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Spend time doing fun activities with my husband and kids. I also enjoy gardening, cooking, and crafting projects like sewing, crocheting, and painting. What are you the most proud of? - My past—the ups and downs. Never has it broken me; it’s always made me stronger. I’m now able to step back, look at the situation and at myself in the mirror, and learn from the experience. It has allowed my husband and I to build the wonderful life we have now. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - There are two. First, if everything is an emergency, nothing is an emergency. So, choose wisely. Second, the world will not crumble if something doesn’t go right or someone is not happy. Step back, evaluate, and then take it one step at a time. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Kind. Which talent would you most like to have? - To play the guitar. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Interior designer, landscape designer, or an independent seller of my fiber arts. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - No specific organization but supporting our military veterans is very important to me. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - I enjoy “tween” books like Twilight, Hunger Games, Beautiful Creatures, etc. I am currently reading the All Souls trilogy. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Call/text: (402) 206-5946; Email:; Website: #PrintProudDigitalSmart

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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

Meet Brett Frevert, managing director of CFO Systems, LLC. Tell us a little about your business. - At CFO Systems, our mission is to help our clients grow. We provide financial and HR leadership to CFOs, controllers, and HR directors. We do this on a timeshare, or ‘fractional’ basis, to serve the middle market entity that needs strong leadership at times when it is most crucial, rather than full-time. How did you get started in the business? - Most of the team “trained” for it during their early careers, with a wide range of roles, employers, and industries. In 2004, we saw a growing wave of middle market entities searching for a CFO, yet what they really needed was a CFO for one-two days or weeks, and a senior accountant for five days or weeks. We created our model to provide that. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Leaving our largest client (40% of revenue) in 2012 to reinvent CFO Systems. That move, however, launched us on a four-year run on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Helping our clients grow! Client growth comes in many ways—financial, intellectual, or efficiency. Examples include helping a client grow revenue from $20 to $110 million, and another client from $17 to $75 million. I was also a part of assisting a client to avoid shutting down a division they had invested $2.8 million into and then guiding that same client to sell the division for $4 million within three years. Tell us a little about your family. - I have four amazing kids, ranging from 17 to 29 years in age. My youngest just started her senior year; I’m cruising toward my “empty nester” status. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Wow. There are several. Definitely becoming a dad in 1989 and leaving my final ‘job’ in 2004 to launch CFO Systems, with four young kids, and six weeks until Christmas. Also, I would add my China trip in 2012, where I learned the value of extensive thinking time, which completely flipped the CFO Systems model to what it is today. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Something active—DIY projects, Husker sports, thinking time on my Harley, travel, etc. What are you the most proud of? - Kids and clients. That’s been my phrase for years. My family is my legacy; they are sixth-generation Nebraskans, and my 92-year old father still wakes every day in the house he was born in, half a mile west of the original 1868 homestead. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - From author Stephen R. Covey: “The first thing is to know what the first thing is.” Priorities drive (or lead) our lives. The wisdom is quoted in numerous ways throughout history, whether ancient philosophers, biblical authors, or modern-day self-help gurus. We all have the ability to choose where to invest our time, talent and treasure. It’s up to me to choose wisely. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” I’m a patriot, through and through. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with? - Project Harmony, Youth Frontiers, and Ronald McDonald House. What is your favorite movie? - Rocky and Remember the Titans. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Tip O’Neill. I’d love to know what is was like to work with Reagan, and how was it they got so much done. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; Website: #PrintProudDigitalSmart

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READING TRUCK EQUIPMENT Meet Mike Lewis, operations manager at Reading Truck Equipment’s Council Bluffs/ Omaha facility. Tell us a little about your business. - We customize, upfit, and maintain work trucks for companies that rely on their trucks everyday. When you need to get the job done right, safely, and efficiently, count on Reading. We install truck accessories, such as lift gates, ladder racks, tool boxes, snow plows, and salt spreaders. We also provides parts and service for all the products we sell. How did you get started in the business? - When Reading acquired our location in Council Bluffs, I was brought in to help implement the Reading culture. My background is in change management, and I have worked primarily in manufacturing construction products. My experience implementing lean principles made me a good fit for the direction Reading wanted to go. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Keeping an open mind and learning to look for opportunities for improvement. I worked for a company 30 years ago that was facing a tough financial situation. We were forced to look at how we were operating and determined that we needed to change everything about the business. We put all the employees through a training program for lean manufacturing and implemented the principles and turned the company around. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Helping numerous team members reach their potential has been the most rewarding aspect of my career. I love helping people through the developmental process. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Making the decision to return to school to continue my education. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in organizational management, and then followed that up with an MBA, specializing in organizational leadership. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - My wife and I have an old house we are continually working on. I really love working with my hands. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I was a German Linguist in the Air Force. What are you the most proud of? - I love bringing people together to achieve a common goal. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - A long time ago, an employer told me it took all kinds of people to run the world. He advised that I could be much more effective if I learned to get along with others. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Dedicated. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - I wish I had the power to manipulate time. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Coaching. I love college football and I admire coaches who can motivate diverse groups of people to achieve a common goal. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Restoration Exchange Omaha ( is an organization devoted to the restoration and preservation of historic places. My wife and I are proud owners of a house built in 1904. They have been a tremendous resource for many of our projects. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (712) 323-7116; Email:; Website: #PrintProudDigitalSmart

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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

SANDLER TRAINING by Karl Schaphorst, President


The Referral Factory “What in the world are you doing?” Asked Tim, seeing the thank-you note cards spread out across Bob’s desk. “Giving thanks,” responded Bob, looking up, “that all of these fine folks have contributed to my monetary success.” “You’ve only made two sales this past week. How come so many thank you’s?” With a huge grin, Bob replied, “Ah, so, you want the secret to my madness. Gather around,” he insisted, pointing to a chart on the desk that was buried by the notes. “The essential kernel of craziness, the font of riches, the bringer of sales when times are lean.” “Right, all that is are boxes, arrows and names.” “An infidel,” retorted Bob, “who does not see what plainly is before him.” Tim was getting a bit annoyed. “Can the sarcasm; what is this?” Pointing to the boxes. “Forsooth, a pox on your doubts. This is Carla who referred me to Bill, Ann, and Harrold. Bill bought and referred me to Mike and Sally. Ann referred me to another Mike, a Tom, a Harry. Sally referred me to Steve, Mark, and Marsha. And so on, and so on. Anyone in a red box bought. Yesterday, a Mike, unrelated to any of the Mikes here, bought as a result of a referral from Andrea up here. I’m now writing thank-you notes to Andrea all the way back to Carla. Without Carla, back two years ago, I’d never have gotten to Andrea.” “Carla doesn’t even know Andrea; why bother?” “Because, you insensitive bore, she might. For all we know, Carla’s kid may be in the same playgroup as Andrea’s.” “So?” “Look, all these people on this referral line get a thank you. First, it reminds them I still exist. At some point in their lives, they may need to buy the same product again. Why not buy it from me? Second, they really did help me make a sale, and I want them to know I appreciate it. It’s only good manners. Third, who made two sales in one week which is double what you do in two months?” “Looks like a lot of work,” responded Tim. The result here is that Bob makes money. When do most salespeople ask for a referral? Well, if they even remember to ask for a referral, it usually is right after the prospect has bought. And what is the usual new-customer response? After a moment or two of a vacant stare, nothing. How tragic! Right after the sale, or if you and the prospect determine that a sale won’t happen, sit down at the nearest desk, take out a piece of paper, and draw a line down the middle of the sheet. Point to the left side and say to the person, “Whom do you admire most of all in the world?” You’ll hear one, two, maybe three names. Write them down on the left side. Now point to the right side of the paper and ask, “Of all the people you personally know, whom do you admire the most?” Once again you’ll probably get three, four names at most. Write them down on the right side. You just got three or four referrals. Now get permission to contact them. “Would you object if I contacted (read the first name of each person on the list), and introduced myself, tell them that you admire them and see what interest there is?” If there is an objection at this point, it will be only that mentioning “admiration” should be changed to “I suggested contacting them.” As strange as this method sounds, try it and be stunned at just how well it generates referrals. You are building the referral factory. Keep building, and always thank everyone for every sale. Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to mediumsized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at You can also follow his blog at


PERSONNEL NEWS Strictly Business Magazine Promotes Hannah Hundley to Editor

CFO Systems Adds Mark Schultz, Michael Thies, and Krista Potter

Strictly Business is excited to announce a recent transition within the company. In August, the Strictly Business team said a sad goodbye to their editor of five years and began the hunt for a qualified, driven individual to fill the position. The search ended with the decision to hire from within, resulting in the promotion of Hannah Hundley from executive assistant to the magazine’s new editor.

CFO Systems, a professional services firm offering part-time, interim, and timeshare financial and human resources leadership, has added Mark Schultz, Michael Thies, and Krista Potter as directors to its team of professionals.

Hannah joined the Strictly Business Magazine team in February. She gained valuable experience writing press releases, travel series pieces, restaurant exposé, and even took on a few feature stories during her time in the executive assistant role. Her capability to carry out these tasks, along with her knowledge of the magazine as a whole, made it an easy transition. Additional responsibilities Hannah will assume as editor include managing all of the editorial content for the Lincoln and Omaha publications, which consists of press releases, monthly columns, Client Spotlights, Star/River City Six features, and featured stories. As a Lincoln native with a passion for building relationships and working closely with members of the local business community, Hannah is excited for this opportunity to learn and grow in this new position. Hannah can be reached at the Strictly Business Magazine office at (402) 466-3330, or via email at

Attorney Jeana Goosmann Selected Among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators Jeana Goosmann, CEO and managing partner of the Goosmann Law Firm, has been selected as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for 2018. To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated a matter with at least $2 million in alleged damages at stake or with the fate of a business worth at least $2 million at stake. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the U.S. will receive this honor. Goosmann is a Lifetime Member of America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, a Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel®, and has been named on the 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015 Super Lawyer® list. Goosmann is the CEO’s Attorney and personally acts as general counsel to company presidents, CEOs, and corporate executives. After becoming an entrepreneur and starting Goosmann Law Firm in 2009, she’s grown the firm successfully at a rapid pace earning her firm as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Law Firms by the Law Firm 500. Goosmann’s legal advice is sought after by the most successful CEOs. Her clients include large national corporations as well as local closely-held companies and family-owned businesses of all sizes. Goosmann has represented clients on Forbes billionaire list, Senators in trial, and companies involved in anti-trust class action, toxic tort, business fraud, piercing the corporate veil, adversary proceedings, mass product recall, breach of contract, explosion litigation and business torts. Goosmann also helps out-of-state lawyers with transactions and litigation in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. To learn more, visit or call (855) 843-4531. #PrintProudDigitalSmart

Sc hultz is a CPA who has ser ved in senior finance and accounting strategic leadership roles and possesses significant experience on “both sides of the table” as a CFO and mortgage banker. His areas of expertise include financial modeling, debt and equity sourcing and closing, accounting, data analytics, M&A, investments, IT, tax, audit, benefits, and insurance. Thies possesses a solid background in accounting, inventory management, human resources administration, and operations. He spent the past 10 years with a construction supply company where he not only handled accounting and operations, but also helped grow the company’s overall financial standing, which ultimately assisted in selling the company to the third largest distributor in the industry. Potter possesses more than 25 years of financial and accounting experience working for nonprofits, state agencies, an agricultural DNA technology company, and for a private accounting firm. Her background includes establishing and documenting internal controls, analysis of financial statements, budget preparations, AP/AR, payroll, contract and grant compliance, software implementation, and performing and preparing for audits.

Mark Schultz

Michael Thies

Krista Potter

CFO Systems is a nationwide company founded in 2005 to provide practical, experienced financial and human resources leadership to middle-market companies. The firm was named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies for four consecutive years. Its offices are located across the country in Omaha, Seattle, Colorado, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Kansas City, and the Northeast. For more information, visit or call (402) 884-0066.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know & Who Knows You! At Strictly Business Magazine we strive to recognize local businessmen and women for their significant awards, promotions, achievements, and/or efforts in partnership with other organizations and the Omaha community. If you know of someone who meets these criteria and wish to include their news in our publication, please call (402) 466-3330 or submit your news via our website at www. OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business 25

PERSONNEL NEWS Strictly Business Magazine Welcomes Executive Assistant Sarah Young

West Gate Bank Welcomes Barbara Bauer, Teresa Nelly, and Shelly Wachter

Strictly Business Magazine welcomed Sarah Young to their team in September as the new executive assistant. Originally from Fremont, NE, Sarah has called Lincoln her home for almost five years. She recently graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University, majoring in communication studies and minoring in marketing and art. Sarah is very thankful for her education and appreciates Wesleyan for pushing involvement in the community as a part of the curriculum.

The West Gate Bank® board of directors has elected Barbara Bauer to the title of vice president, branch manager of the Pacific Springs location; Teresa Nelly to the title of assistant vice president, branch manager of the Ralston location; and Shelly Wachter to the title of vice president, branch manager of the Bellevue location. A native of Council Bluffs, IA Bauer brings over 30 years of banking experience to her new role at West Gate Bank. As Barbara Bauer Vice President, Branch Manager, Bauer will be responsible for coordinating and supervising the activities of the branch, developing and maintaining business relationships with customers, providing personal service to meet their financial needs and coaching her staff to achieve customer service and sales goals. Bauer is a past board member of The Women’s Fund of Omaha and Nonprofit Association of the Midlands and involved with banksponsored community activities. Barbara Teresa Nelly Bauer is located at West Gate Bank ® Pacific Springs branch at 1020 South 179th Court and can be reached at (402) 758-8706 / Nelly joined West Gate Bank in July of 2018. A native of Bellevue, Nebraska, Nelly brings more than 20 years of banking experience to her new role with West Gate Bank. As Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager, Nelly will be responsible for developing and maintaining business relationships with customers and providing personal service Shelly Wachter to meet their financial needs. In addition, she will lead and coach her staff to achieve customer service and sales goals. Nelly is involved with numerous community and banksponsored volunteer activities. Teresa Nelly is located at West Gate Bank® Ralston at 9775 Q Street, and can be reached at (402) 731-2179 or Wachter joined West Gate Bank in July of 2018 as part of the acquisition from Great Southern Bank. She had been with Great Southern Bank as an Assistant Regional Manager for eight years before assuming her new role with West Gate Bank. With more than 30 years of banking experience, Wachter will be responsible for coordinating and supervising the activities of the branch, developing and maintaining business relationships with customers, providing personal service to meet their financial needs and coaching her staff to achieve customer service and sales goals. Wachter is a board member of the Bellevue Police Officers Retirement Committee, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and participates in other bank-sponsored community activities. Shelly Wachter is located at West Gate Bank® Bellevue at 1004 Cornhusker Road, and can be reached at (402) 291-0889 or West Gate Bank® is a family-owned community bank celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. As a full-service banking institution, they are large enough to serve all your personal or commercial banking needs, yet small enough to provide the outstanding personal service that only a community bank can deliver. Visit for more information. #PrintProudDigitalSmart

Over her years in Lincoln, Sarah has been thrilled to work alongside organizations such as, among others, the Lincoln Arts Council, Hear Nebraska, and Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Society as a communication/marketing intern or volunteer. As executive assistant, Sarah will work on both the sales and production sides of the publication, with a variety of responsibilities including client correspondence, account management, event planning, and networking. She is eager to take on the demands of this position and excited to put her education and experience to work at the magazine. Sarah can be reached at the Strictly Business Magazine office at (402) 466-3330 or via email at

United Way of the Midlands Women’s Tocqueville Initiative to Honor Diane Landen The United Way of the Midlands Women’s Tocqueville Initiative proudly presented the 2018 Suzanne Scott “Giving from the Heart” Award to Diane (Diny) Nolan Landen on Thursday, September 6 during their biannual luncheon. The Women’s Tocqueville Initiative is comprised of women who donate $10,000 or more to the United Way of the Midlands campaign. The Suzanne Scott “Giving from the Heart” Award was created to honor Suzanne Scott. Every two years, the award is presented to a woman in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area who demonstrates thoughtful and philanthropic qualities. Previous award winners include Marian Andersen, 2014 and Cindy Bay, 2016. Landen grew up in El Dorado, AR. After graduating from Southern Methodist University (SMU) with a bachelor’s degree in political science and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, Landen moved to Omaha with her husband Jim. She founded KKCD radio station and served as the co-owner of a publishing company and local magazine in Omaha. She is currently active in board and management roles in companies involved in radio broadcasting and natural resources. Landen is distinguished by her involvement in many charitable organizations and philanthropic causes, including United Way of the Midlands, Project Harmony, Joslyn Art Museum, SMU’s Dedman College Executive Committee, Girls Inc., American Red Cross, and the Vision Committee for the Lauritzen Gardens Antique Show. Within United Way of the Midlands, Landen has chaired the Board of Directors, the Planning and Allocation Committee, and the first Tocqueville Women’s Initiative Advisory Committee. Visit for more information. Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018


PERSONNEL NEWS Associated Builders and Contractors Welcomes April Bulling-June

Douglas County Health Center Promotes Molly Motsinger

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is proud to announce April Bulling-June as director of grant administration and education coordinator. April began her career with ABC’s Cornhusker Chapter in July of this year. She brings vast experience to her position in the areas of management, administration, and education.

Douglas County Health Center is excited to announce that Molly Motsinger, who has worked at Douglas County Health Center for four years as a treating therapist and the manager of the Therapy Program, was recently named manager of the Short Term Rehabilitation program located at the 4102 Woolworth Ave. location in Omaha. Molly Motsinger has been passionate about helping others since she was just a teenager. When she was 15 years old, the Gretna, NE native started her healthcare career as a dietary assistant. She has also worked as a certified nursing assistant and medication aide. Motsinger has a physical therapy degree from Clarkson College and a bachelor’s degree in gerontology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She’s currently working toward a master’s degree in gerontology from UNO. “While I have several goals for our program, my priority is patient satisfaction,” Motsinger commented. “I also plan to focus on staff recruitment and marketing so the community is aware that we have an incredible, five-star short-term rehab program in the midtown area.” Motsinger said some of the amenities of the Health Center’s Short Term Rehab program include private, luxurious rooms, an on-site pharmacy, and a dedicated staff committed to each patient’s recovery. To learn more about Douglas County Health Center, visit dchc.

Her 13 years of experience in the correctional field provide ABC with a solid foundation for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Vocational and Life Skills Grant Program. As associate warden at The Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, she was tasked with managing the education and training programs. She brings these administrative expertise to the ABC Lincoln office and will be a great asset to the apprenticeship training programs. April looks forward to serving the needs of ABC members and the construction industry. April can be reached at Associated Builders and Contractors represents over 125 merit shop contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, manufacturers, and associate members throughout the state. Visit for more information.

OneWorld Midwife Honored as a Health Center Hero for National Health Center Week Courtney Allen Cowardin, CNM, associate medical director of Women’s Health at OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc. in Omaha, has been honored as a “Health Center Hero” for National Health Center Week 2018 (NHCW). Cowardin was selected among the finalists from hundreds of nominations sent to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) from health centers across the country and received the most votes online from peers and other Community Health Center supporters. Since arriving at OneWorld 14 years ago, Cowardin has made providing excellent, holistic care a top priority, going beyond traditional health care to meet the needs of her patients. Last year, after realizing that many patients who receive care at OneWorld’s Women’s Health Center were hungry and often going without food, she connected with Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, a local nonprofit that delivers excess perishable food to nonprofits that feed the hungry. Thanks to Courtney’s efforts, patients who struggle with food insecurity now leave with bags of fresh produce, dairy products, meat, bread, and other healthy groceries. Cowardin’s service to her community also extends to providing warm coats and clothes for young patients. Last October, Cowardin was the force behind OneWorld’s drive to give hundreds of children’s coats, mittens, hats, scarves, and more to patients in need. Established in 1970, OneWorld, in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved. For more information, visit www. #PrintProudDigitalSmart

The bend in the road is the end of the road only if you fail to make the turn!

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Contact us today! 402.203.9004 | OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business


PERSONNEL NEWS Jerry Slusky to be Inducted Into Central High School Hall of Fame

Strictly Business Magazine Welcomes Austin Roper as Sales Associate in Omaha

Omaha attorney and real estate developer Jerry Slusky is one of 10 alumni selected by the Central High School (CHS) Alumni Association ( to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. The 20th Annual CHS Hall of Fame will be held on Thursday, October 4 at Central High School. The CHS Alumni Association held the inaugural Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1999. Since that time, a ceremony has been held annually and a total of 188 people have been inducted. A 1963 Central graduate with honors, Slusky graduated from UNO in 1966, and law degree cum laude from Creighton University in 1971. Slusky started the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Summit. Now after 29 annual meetings, the CRE Summit gathers 1,000 top business and real estate leaders in the region for a one day meeting in the spring. Today, after 40 years of success, Slusky remains on the upward trek of his career peak, still building his land development company and running his law firm. Slusky is consistently seeking new clients for his growing real estate practice. Jerry Slusky is a partner in Smith Slusky Law, L.L.P. Prior to that time, he had been a partner with the Omaha office of Kutak Rock. He serves local and regional clients in real estate, corporate, and related business matters. Slusky can be contacted at (402) 5058100 / To learn more about Smith Slusky Law, L.L.P., visit

Austin Roper joined the Strictly Business Magazine team in mid-July as a sales associate for the Omaha market. Austin will be managing client accounts in the Omaha Metro area, as well as being involved in community outreach efforts and representing the company at professional and promotional events. Outside of Strictly Business, Austin is the owner of PIGMiNT Print which offers unique design and printing services to businesses across the U.S. After spending over a decade in the print media industry, split between ownership and sales roles, Austin knows what truly drives conversions, and it’s not mastering the marketing ‘flavor of the week’. It’s how well you connect with the people you are trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them. Austin is a 10-time advertising award winner from the Nebraska Press Association. He has also served as the president for both the Beaver City and Hickman Nebraska Chambers of Commerce, along with leadership roles on numerous boards and networking organizations. Austin is a father to five children. Austin was born and raised in Lincoln where his family has deep ties in its history and community development. He has a drive for continuing the betterment of our communities from a civic and economic stance. Strictly Business Magazine’s new sales associate Austin Roper can be reached on his cell at (402) 440-4279 or via email at Austin@


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018


NON-PROFIT NEWS HETRA Seeks Vendors for 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Boutique

Heartland Hope Mission Presents Feed a Family Dinner

Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA) is excited to present the 2nd Annual HETRA Holiday Gift Boutique happening Friday, November 16 from 4 - 9 p.m. located at the HETRA Arena at 10130 S 222nd St., Gretna, NE.

You’re invited to join Heartland Hope Mission along with honorary chairs John and Viv Ewing on Thursday, October 11 for their Feed a Family Dinner located at 2021 U St. This annual fundraising event, emceed by Jennifer Zeppelin, will feature a BBQ dinner, live auction, and raffle all starting at 6 p.m.

Makers, artists, and crafters are invited to become vendors at this magical event. For one incredible evening, 50 artisans and craftsmen will come together in the cozy comfort of HETRA’s grassroots barn and stables to showcase and sell their wares. Holiday shoppers will enjoy music, savor concessions, and experience the unique vibe that can only be created in this very special venue. This year, in addition to holiday shopping, attendees are offered photos with Santa and his carriage, a special “Mix & Mingle” hour from 8 - 9 p.m., raffle drawings throughout the evening, and a wide array of hearty concessions. Bring your creativity and come be part of the 2nd Annual HETRA Holiday Boutique. Vendors can register at or by going to the event page on Facebook. For more information, please contact Angie Drew at (402) 359-8830.

LFS of Nebraska Comments on New Refugee Admissions Ceiling Lutheran Family Services (LFS) of Nebraska is deeply disappointed by the administration’s decision to set the annual admissions ceiling at 30,000—the lowest in the history of U.S. refugee resettlement. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reports that over 68.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide right now. 25.4 million are registered as refugees; over half of that number ar under the age of 18. It is tragic that at such a time of historic need, the administration would turn its back on so many. Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska stands with other local and national organizations across the U.S. in calling for at least 75,000 refugees to be welcomed to the U.S. in the coming fiscal year. Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska President and CEO Stacy Martin shares, “To those who have so compassionately provided support to our new neighbors, and those who hold dear the American ideals of freedom and welcome, we thank you. We ask you to lift your voices too, and share the stories of hope and success that you have witnessed among the newcomers you have helped settle in our communities.” Established in 1892, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS) is a faith-based, not-for-profit, multi-service human care agency. The LFS mission is to provide human care services that build and strengthen individual, family and community life. As a multi-service organization, LFS demonstrates its mission through three broad service areas. To learn more, visit #PrintProudDigitalSmart

For 15 years, Heartland Hope Mission has helped local, working poor families by providing them with: a week’s supply of food, clothing, hygiene items, SNAP application assistance, community referrals, job resources, and financial classes. Two pantry locations are available for clients, one in South Omaha and one in Millard. Purchase your table or individual ticket for the event at Your donation will help provide food, clothing, and resources to low-income families in the Omaha area. For more information, contact Renae Bush at (402) 733-1904 Ext. 11 /

Methodist Jennie Edmundson Announces “PINK OUT” Events October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Methodist Jennie Edmundson (MJE) Hospital, located at 933 E Pierce St. in Council Bluffs, is proactive in the awareness and fight against breast cancer. The “Bosom Buddies,” survivors and advocates for the prevention and cure of breast cancer, are again raising awareness and funds to support the work of Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital’s Breast Leadership Team through educational opportunities, capital improvements, community awareness, and free breast screenings. Funds from their upcoming events will go to Methodist Jennie Edmundson to purchase a Breast Specimen Imaging System, a system to expedite results during surgical excision biopsy procedures. Their goal is $90,000. Checkout the events below; plan to attend and have fun while supporting a very good cause! • Tour de Pink Bicycle Ride, Wabash Trail—Thursday, October 4 • FREE Breast Health Screening , MJE—Wednesday, October 10 • Pink Out Glenwood, IA—Thursday, October 11 • Mayoral Proclamation, Horseshoe Casino - Whiskey Road House—Friday, October 12 • Your Fight is Our Fight, Home Style Laundry—Saturday, October 13 • Harley Davidson Poker Run—Saturday, October 13 • Row-A-Thon—Saturday, October 13 • Pink Out Malvern, IA—Friday, October 19 • Pinkercise—Saturday, October 20 For details to register, participate, or attend the events listed above, visit Methodist Jennie Edmundson’s website at www., or call (712) 396-6040 OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business 29

NON-PROFIT NEWS Outlook Nebraska to Host Vision Beyond Sight Fundraiser

Nebraska Recycling Council Announces 2018 Award Winners

Join Outlook Nebraska on November 2 for a night of inspiration at their Vision Beyond Sight event. The fundraiser will go from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Embassy Suites La Vista Conference Center. Attendees will enjoy a gourmet meal and Dessert in the Dark. They will also meet successfully employed visually impaired associates and hear their stories. The motivational keynote speaker will be Coach Vera Jones, a single mother to a blind son. Vera will share her captivating story of discovering a greater purpose in the challenges of life.

At Nebraska Recycling Council’s 2018 Annual Awards Luncheon & Workshops on Tuesday, October 2, seven awards were presented to the following Nebraska businesses and communities that have excelled at resource recovery and recycling:

Vera Jones is a Big Ten Network analyst and college basketball coach. While Vera still enjoys a career broadcasting sports, she passionately pursues her purpose by empowering individuals and teams to “Play Through the Foul” of adversity and win in this game of life! Her empathic leadership approach has been aided by working on the school improvement committee of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. She is on a mission of fidelity to uplift people to overcome adversity with the power of faith, unity, perseverance, and purpose. Vision Beyond Sight is an opportunity to learn how our technology training, employment, recreation, cultural, and education programs impact clients of all ages living right here in Omaha. All proceeds from the event support Outlook Nebraska’s enrichment programs. Registration and sponsorship opportunities are available at outlookne. org/vbs.

• Member of the Year, awarded to Nebraska Innovation Campus. • Service Provider of the Year, awarded to American Recycling. • Green Team of the Year, awarded to Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. • Zero Waste Award, awarded to BD Pharmaceutical Systems Columbus, NE. • Waste Diversion Project of the Year, awarded to the City of Lincoln. • End Market of the Year, awarded to Hofeling Enterprises, Inc. • Volunteer of the Year, awarded to Kevin Creevan with VerMaas Construction. Nebraska Recycling Council is a statewide, member-based, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Their mission is to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska. Their goal is to re-energize recycling in Nebraska through innovation, education, training, and the power of collaboration. Visit www.nrcne. org for more information.

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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018


NON-PROFIT NEWS Project Pink’d to Provide Thanksgiving Meals to Breast Cancer Survivors

Dreamweaver Foundation Launches New Volunteer Program, Dream Team

Project Pink’d and Nebraska Medicine have partnered to make the burden a little easier for breast cancer survivors going through treatment or needing a little extra TLC this holiday season. On Sunday, November 11 from 1-3 p.m., at Nebraska Medicine Bellevue, Project Pink’d will host their “Care to Share Thanksgiving” luncheon. Up to 175 breast cancer survivors will enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving luncheon in the company of new friends, connect with other survivors, and hear inspirational stories from survivors who are now thriving. At the conclusion of the event, each guest will take home a complimentary Thanksgiving meal to enjoy with their family. “Project Pink’d made a difference for me. It was so helpful to hear from the women who have walked this path. My next round of chemo is Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I wasn’t cooking turkey for my kids, now I can. Thank you!” Exclaimed Sharon, 2017 Care to Share Thanksgiving Participant. Through generous contributions, Project Pink’d is proud to offer this program free to pre-registered breast cancer survivors. Space is limited and registration is required at

Volunteering has positive e f f e c t s n o t o n l y fo r t h e organization served, but also for the individuals volunteering. With this in mind, community members from diverse backgrounds gathered in September for one common purpose: to learn how they can give back to a generation that has given so much to the community. As a result, Dreamweaver Foundation created a volunteer program called Dream Team. The Dream Team will be made up of volunteers who will serve as a friendly welcome at restaurants or a baseball game; they will ensure a successful send off at the airport to a dream destination or capture professional photographs to create memories that will leave a legacy for a lifetime. Dreamweaver volunteers enrich the lives of seniors in the community by simply giving their time. Additional opportunities to volunteer may include being a greeter, personal shopper, fundraiser, or “Dream Maker.” Dreamweaver Foundation’s mission is only made possible with the help and dedication of volunteers, and there are always opportunities available. If you are interested in joining Dreamweaver’s Dream Team, please email Ashley Weirich at Ashley.Weirich@dreamweaver. org. Learn more about Dreamweaver Foundation on their website at

MCF Donates $28K of Golf Tournament Proceeds to Local Non-Profits On May 21, Midlands Community Foundation (MCF) held its annual 2018 Golf Tournament at Platteview Golf Club. This event generated a total of $28,000. Net proceeds were donated to several local non-profit organizations that provide services to children in crisis in Sarpy and Cass counties, including: • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands ($3,000) • Project Harmony ($3,000) • Fontenelle Forest ($2,500) • HELP Adult Services ($2,500) • Papillion Volunteer Fire Department ($2,500) • Share A Fare, Inc. ($2,500) The remainder of the net proceeds were donated to three additional non-profits: • $6,000 to Make-A-Wish Nebraska to help pay for Haye’s wish to travel from Gretna to Clearwater, Florida, so he can be in the water and sand. • $3,000 to HETRA to sponsor Dude, one of the organization’s therapy horses. • $3,000 to Cass County CASA to help fund the organization’s Kids Club program. MCF manages more than 115 charitable funds that serve an array of needs in the communities in the areas of health, art, culture, community, economic development, education, and human services. These charitable funds donated just shy of $1 million into the community this past year. For more information, contact Midlands Community Foundation at (402) 991-8027 or visit www. #PrintProudDigitalSmart

Omaha Home for Boys to Host Private Showing of “Aging Out” Omaha Home for Boys, along with presenting sponsor WellCare Health Plans, is hosting a private showing of the moving docudrama Aging Out on October 18, at 6 p.m. at Aksarben Cinema. The public is invited to attend and learn about the struggles that young adults face when they “age out” of the foster care system and what Omaha metro agencies are doing to help these young adults. The evening will begin with a social hour followed by the Aging Out showing at 6:30 p.m. After the film, a group of panelists will discuss the issue of aging out as it relates to youth in the Omaha metro. Panelists include representatives from Omaha Home for Boys, Bridge to Independence, Central Plains Center for Services, and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Aging Out chronicles the daunting obstacles that three young people in foster care encounter as they “age out” of the system and are suddenly on their own. Lacking family support, they are suddenly forced to fend for themselves with no job skills, meager financial resources, and little preparation to survive. The film follows these young people as they try to use the resiliency they developed “in the system” to retake control of their lives. Donations to Youth Mart, a donation center that collects and redistributes household essentials to youth as they transition from foster care to independent living, are encouraged for admission. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact Jan Fry at or (402) 457-7034 to reserve your seat. OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business 31

NON-PROFIT NEWS Child Saving Institute Guild to Host PurseOnalities Event October 18

Big Brothers Big Sisters Earns GameChangers Community Spotlight Award

The Child Saving Institute (CSI) Guild will host its annual fundraising lunc heon, PurseOnalities, on Thursday, October 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Hilton Downtown, 1001 Cass St. The funds raised help at-risk children and families served by CSI’s 14 services and programs. Individual tickets start at $75. With a theme of “New York, New York,” those attending will find a bit of the glitz and glamour of the Big Apple in the silent auction purse packages and a wonderful variety of shopping from some of the Big O’s best boutiques. The luncheon will feature speaker and awardwinning author Laura Schroff, whose book “An Invisible Thread” shared her remarkable story of a little boy who changed her life. Event Chairs are Emily Dugger, Micayla Lee, Stacey Patterson, and Carissa Schrager. Honorary Chair is Susan Haddix. Haddix has long been an advocate for and supporter of children. She served as a “Cradle Care” provider, welcoming hundreds of infants into her home as a foster parent over the years. Child Saving Institute is dedicated to the prevention, intervention, and healing of child abuse, neglect, and abandonment. For additional information on CSI, or to make a reservation for the event, visit or contact Megan Webb at (402) 504-3634 /

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Midlands is thrilled to announce that their agency is one of three winners of the 2018 GameChangers Community Spotlight award. The award will be presented to Big Brothers Big Sisters on January 18, 2019 at the Omaha Mavericks hockey game. GameChangers is a great leadership program that allows Big Brothers Big Sisters staff members to develop into emerging leaders. Professional development is essential for BBBS staff because it allows them to grow personally and intellectually so they can continue to be strong supporters for the Bigs and Littles in their program. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands is igniting the potential of Omaha’s youth by providing children with a mentor. Bigs in the program are already changing the game for their Littles by being their mentor. Big Brothers Big Sisters is honored to receive this award. It’s an encouragement to them to become even bigger game changers for the program. Thank you to Revela and Omaha Athletics for providing this opportunity to non-profits in Omaha! To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, go to or call (402) 330-2449.

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Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018


NON-PROFIT NEWS MLCDC to Host Expo Conference and Job Fair October 17-18

Grief’s Journey to Host 12th Annual Comfort Food Classic

The 2018 Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation’s (MLCDC) Expo Conference and Job Fair has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 17 - Thursday, October 18. The event will kick off in Livestock Exchange Ballroom on Wednesday from 6 - 9 p.m. and then resume on Thursday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Fork on the left, knife on the right! Stand up, sit down. Fight, fight, fight! Experience the tailgate scene turned into fine cuisine at Grief’s Journey’s annual signature fundraiser, the Comfort Food Classic. The event is to be held on Sunday, October 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Omaha at 72nd and Grover.

This conference has become the business platform for Latinos and non-Latinos to share and exchange information to foster economic development for Omaha and the surrounding communities. The business exposition and job fair on Thursday is open to the public. The keynote speaker will be Carmen Herrera, executive director of El Pajaro Community Development Corporation in Watsonville, CA. Carmen will share with attendees how El Pajaro CDC has supported for 40 years underserved and immigrant communities from rural and urban areas to create wealth, jobs, and assets through entrepreneurship.

Local restaurants and breweries will battle it out to take home the coveted title trophy in the 12th Annual Comfort Food Classic. Food competitors include: B’s Bones and Sauce, Farnam House Brewing, Hy-Vee (180th & Pacific), and the Omaha Tap House. Craft beer participants include: Infusion, Pint 9, and Zipline. Since 2001, Grief’s Journey (formerly Ted E. Bear Hollow) has been a welcoming, safe place where grieving children, teens, and adults find hope.

Founded on July 14, 2006, MLCDC provides low income communities with opportunities to generate economic growth by providing financing products, development services, and community development, which advance their ability to develop a sustainable future in the Midlands. Approximately 92% of the 2,137 clients served by MLCDC were low income in 2017.

As the region’s cornerstone for grief support, Grief’s Journey provides free peer support programs as well as training, education, and consultation throughout Nebraska and Iowa. Grief’s Journey relies on charitable contributions, special event income, and volunteerism to support its free programs. Individual tickets and team tables are available at For more information about the Comfort Food Classic, contact Kelly Morris at (402) 502-2773 or

If you want to be an exhibitor or participate in MLCDC’s 2018 Expo Conference, please find detailed information at www.midlandslatinocdc. org, or call (402) 933-4466.

Nebraska Community Foundation Continues to Place High Value on Early Childhood High-quality early childhood programs are increasingly seen as essential for community growth and development. It is a message Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) president and CEO Jeff Yost has been sharing throughout the NCF network of more than 200 affiliated fund communities. On Monday, September 17, Yost and eight NCF early childhood development advocates served as panelists and facilitators for 250 civic, business, and education leaders from over 70 communities across the state. The purpose of this day-long session, which took place in Kearney, was to learn more about how to provide quality childcare and early learning opportunities for young children and to share success stories from efforts already underway. The event, “Thriving Children, Families, and Communities: The Role of Early Childhood Programs,” was sponsored by the Nebraska Community Foundation, the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, and five other organizations. “Quality early care and education is critical to the vitality and future of communities and our state,” said Jeff Yost, who offered closing remarks at the event. “Early childhood programs are no longer something we want to do, they are something we have to do. Our children and families need it, our schools benefit from it, and our current and prospective businesses are demanding it.” For more information about the Nebraska Community Foundation, visit their website #PrintProudDigitalSmart

Assistance League of Omaha Announces Christmas Caravan Tour of Homes Assistance League of Omaha presents its 44th annual Christmas Caravan Tour of Homes: “A Candy Cane Christmas.” This event includes a tour of four family homes decorated for the holidays by local designers. It will be held Thursday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The four show homes are located in two northwest Omaha neighborhoods: the Deer Creek and Waterford subdivisions. In addition, Champions Run Country Club will host the Assistance League Thrift Shop Boutique and a bake sale.   Designers this year include Country Gardens, Blair; Studio DIY, Valley; Papillion Flower Patch, Papillion; and The Humble Hive Mercantile, Louisville. Each designer will also have seasonal merchandise available for sale at each home.   The Christmas Caravan also includes a preview Gala the day before on November 7. The Gala includes the Thrift Shop Boutique and a preview of the show homes, as well as an exciting new online auction and an oral auction at dinner. This project is in partnership with JC Penney Westroads and serves as Assistance League›s major fundraiser of the year. Tour tickets are $16 in advance / $20 day of, and can be purchased from any Assistance League member, the designers, at HyVee stores, by calling the Assistance League Office (402) 342-4288 / (402) 312-2580, or going online to  All proceeds, after expenses, support Assistance League of Omaha’s seven philanthropic programs. OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business 33

NON-PROFIT NEWS JDRF Announces 2018 TypeOneNation Summit Date

Nonprofit Summit of the Midlands to Address Needs in Nebraska and Iowa

Join JDRF for their annual TypeOneNation Summit on Sunday, November 11 from 1 to 5 p.m at the Scott Conference Center (6450 Pine St.). This free event is geared toward children, teens, and adults living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) as well as their families. The event offers a JDRF and T1D research update, educational breakout sessions, fun supervised activities for children, and the opportunity to connect with others affected by T1D. Doug Lowenstein from the JDRF International Board of Directors will be the events keynote speaker. Breakout session topics include: T1D health insurance guide; the environmental, dietary, physiological and psychological elements that impact physical activity in people with T1D; emotional barriers and coping skills; school and T1D; and more. JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Their strength lies in the exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D. JDRF’s vision is a world without type 1 diabetes, so they make it their mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. While the event is offered at no cost to attendees, registration is required. Visit for full event details. Contact Anna Raur at (402) 397-2873 / with questions.

The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM) and D.A. Davidson will host the 2018 Nonprofit Summit of the Midlands on Thursday, November 1 at the Embassy Suites La Vista Conference Center. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Future is…” An annual event expected to attract more than 300 national and regional thought leaders, staff and volunteers from the nonprofit world, the Nonprofit Summit of the Midlands will feature breakout sessions, a Catalyst Award and workshops on a variety of topics that would benefit nonprofit learners of any experience level, including fundraising, lobbying, community building, team development and strategic planning. The keynote speaker for this year’s event will be Akaya Windwood, president of the Rockwood Leadership Group in Oakland, CA. She is a nationally recognized leader for helping organizations elevate the effectiveness of leadership in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors. Windwood, who has a life-long commitment to working for a fair and equitable society, leads trainings nationally and internationally and has more than 30 years of experience in cultivating social change leaders. NAM is currently accepting nominations for its Catalyst Award, which will recognize a leader or organization that has made an impact in the nonprofit sector or community. The recipient will be announced at the conference luncheon. The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM) is a state association representing more than 570 nonprofit organizations in Nebraska and southwest Iowa. To register for the summit, visit nonprofitam. org/Summit2018.

Heartland Family Service Student League Class Kicks Off New Year The Heartland Family Service (HFS) Student League class kicked off their new year with an ice cream social on Sunday, September 9 at the Field Club of Omaha. Student League, a program of the HFS Friends Guild, was created to honor families who have been active in helping the social service community and want to pass on that legacy to their children. Student League members are introduced to the social service community through the mission and programs of HFS. The students gain handson experience and develop a personal commitment to volunteering by participating in this educational volunteer experience. Each of this year’s 43 students will attend a variety of group events from September through April for a total of about 20 volunteer hours per student. Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has responded to the needs of our area’s most vulnerable children and families. Each year, the agency’s 50 programs serve more than 52,000 individuals of all ages from more than 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. We provide critical human services to the individuals and families who ultimately shape the future of our community. Cheri Duryea McPherson is the 2018-19 Student League Chair. Other committee members are Melissa Steffes, Andrea Siegel, Jennifer Petersen, Nichol Rogers, Heather Siebken, and Lisa Gravelle. For more information about HFS as a whole, visit their website Direct further questions about Student League to community engagement manager Melinda Eames at (402) 552-7418 / 34 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

Save the Date for 12th Annual Ultra Chic Boutique Dress Sale Fundraiser Mark your calendars for the 12th Annual Ultra Chic Boutique dress sale, set to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at A View on State Street. All proceeds from the event will once again benefit the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter. Dress donations are now being accepted across the Omaha metro at all 22 Max I. Walker locations. Employees will clean, press, and store donated dresses at no charge. The dresses will then be sold at the fundraising event for just $30 each (cash only). Max I. Walker will also host The 5th Annual Dress Flip in 2019. The event organizers will choose several local fashion designers to take 3-4 donated dresses and apply their creativity to “flip” them into something completely new. The dresses will be showcased during a runway show at the Ultra Chic Boutique by models from Develop Model Management and reviewed by a prestigious panel of judges from Fashion Institute Midwest. The winning dress will be announced at the Ultra Chic Boutique event, and its designer will win $500. The February 2018 sale raised $20,000 for the Association. The funds raised will be used to further the Association’s mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter, contact Elizabeth Chentland, regional director of communications, at (402) 739-8637 / Visit for complete event details, or follow the event on social media (, @ ultrachicboutique on Instagram). #PrintProudDigitalSmart

FOSTER CARE: CEDARS 402-436-5437

I Became A Foster Parent And You Can Too “I love my boys,” says Carmen Arguello. Carmen became a foster mom to her nephew’s two children when they were experiencing a crisis situation. “It was scary,” she says. “There was a knock at my door. The kids were hungry and [their dad] didn’t have anyone he could turn to.” Kids come into foster care for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, CEDARS goal is to either safely reunite children with their families or help find a permanent home for them. Until these goals can be achieved, foster families give kids stability and room to grow as individuals. With offices in Lincoln and Bellevue, Nebraska-based CEDARS has been serving children and families for over 70 years. The CEDARS Foster Care team works every day to ensure that over 200 foster children and youth flourish in loving families. Because foster parents are an integral part of the CEDARS professional team, they are equipped with exceptional training, have access to support 24/7, monthly support groups and quarterly gatherings for foster families. “I don’t think they have to be your blood to take in these children,” says Carmen. “There are so many kids who need a family to just love them and take them in their home. There are so many great resources out there to help families do it. I’m doing it. And it’s all through CEDARS.” CEDARS staff walk alongside children and families every step of the way. With encouragement, guidance and direction, the team has the honor of watching lives change. It is important to know that there is no typical CEDARS foster family. CEDARS foster families include parents with children at home, single adults, and empty nesters. To help, all you need is a stable home, an open heart and a willingness to reach out to a child in need. “Even though they’ve been through a whole lot, they are normal kids just like any other normal kid who has a mommy and daddy around. I am their mom. It’s the best thing that’s happened in my life.” If you have ever considered fostering and would like more information, please contact Adrianne Poppe at (402) 437-8959 or

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402-434-5437 CEDARSKIDS.ORG




OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business


HEALTH NEWS Aureus Group Named Nebraska Hospital Association Services Preferred Partner

American Heart Association Announces 2019 Omaha Heart Ball Date

Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) Services, Inc. is pleased to welcome Aureus Group as a preferred business partner. Aureus Group offers recruitment expertise to an expansive list of preferred business partners that assist Nebraska’s hospitals to find cost-effective, appropriate solutions to their operational challenges.

The American Heart Association is pleased to announce the date of the 2019 Omaha Heart Ball. The annual black-tie event will be Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the CHI Health Center Omaha.

Aureus Group offers recruitment expertise in the practice areas of healthcare leadership, finance and accounting, information technology and systems, and executive search. Should you require assistance recruiting candidates for direct hire, interim, retained search, contract/supplemental, or Match Hire® positions, Aureus Group brings experience, a proven track record, and a respected reputation to their partnerships. Aureus Group is headquartered in Omaha and serves the Midwest region. For more information, contact Mike DeLanie at (402) 891-6900 Ext. 1028 / mdelanie@, or visit Nebraska Hospital Association Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nebraska Hospital Association. Designed to reduce health care expenses, NHA Services is a collaboration among the NHA, NHA member hospitals and other Nebraska health care organizations and providers. To find out more about NHA Services, contact Jon Borton, vice president, at (402) 7428147 /

The event celebrates the energy, passion and commitment of donors, healthcare providers, community leaders, sponsors, volunteers and survivors to raise funds for lifesaving research and education. Funds raised during the event support the fight against cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States each year. “The Heart Ball would not be possible without our volunteer leadership and sponsors that raise important funds to support our lifesaving mission,” said Omaha Heart Ball senior director, Kelsey Ridder. The 2019 Omaha Heart Ball is chaired by Kelly and Steve Kontz. To learn more about supporting the 2019 Omaha Heart Ball, the public is encouraged to visit or contact Kelsey Ridder at

Nebraska Community Blood Bank Opens Distribution Center in Omaha American Lung Association Prepares for LUNG FORCE Expo American Lung Association in Nebraska recently announced that several leading lung health experts will speak on October 23 at the LUNG FORCE Expo which will take place at the Scott Conference Center in Omaha. The goal of the event is to bring together healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to learn about the latest trends, resources and research on lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/Alpha-1, asthma, and other lung diseases. “There are more than 200,000 in Nebraska who suffer from lung disease, including thousands who battle lung cancer. That’s why this event is more important than ever to communicate new treatments, help people live better with lung disease and share the newest research,” said Erin Smith, health promotions specialist for the Lung Association. “We are honored to offer presentations by some of the most important voices in lung health in Nebraska.” The LUNG FORCE Expo will include presentations on screening and advancements in early lung cancer management, interventional pulmonology, COPD, tobacco cessation, pediatric asthma and more. There will also be a poster presentation by students from across the state.

This month, the Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) opened its first Omaha-based location at 12100 Pacific St. The center will serve as a distribution site providing blood products and services to Omaha hospitals. “We have expanded our blood drive partnerships in the community over the last several years due to our national reputation as a leading blood provider,” said Jeffrey Allen, COO of Innovative Blood Resources, the parent company to NCBB. “We are excited to open our Omaha distribution center to support the blood needs of hospitals throughout Greater Omaha, and are grateful for the many generous Nebraskans in the community that partner with us in serving patient needs through blood donation and blood drive sponsorship.” Founded in 1968, NCBB has been ser ving the Nebraska communities for 50 years, and has hosted blood drives in Omaha since 2009. In the last two years, the number of blood drives in the community has increased 150% and continues to grow. NCBB also provides blood products for the Nebraska Medicine Sickle Cell Program and serves nearly a dozen hospital partners throughout Nebraska.

Healthcare professionals, as well as patients living with lung disease or lung cancer, and caregivers are invited to attend the event. Registration is now open.

“We are excited to be able to serve more patients in Nebraska and western Iowa, contributing to the health and well-being of the Midwest,” said Chris Pape, assistant manager of Hospital Services for NCBB. “Our goal is always to provide a safe, reliable blood supply for patients in need.”

To learn more and to register, visit or call (402) 502-4950. 36 Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

To learn more about how you can be part of its life-saving mission, please visit #PrintProudDigitalSmart

HEALTH NEWS UNMC Enrollment Sets Record for 18th Straight Year

Save the Date for the 12th Annual Omaha Health Expo 2019

Student enrollment at the University of Nebraska Medical Center set another record high for the 18th straight year with 3,970 students enrolled for the 2018-19 school year, an increase of 62 students or 1.6 percent over last year’s record of 3,908. “We are very pleased to see our student body size increase for a record 18th year,” said Dele Davies, M.D., UNMC senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean for graduate studies. “This increase reflects our strong commitment to continue addressing the demand for highly skilled health care providers in rural and urban Nebraska as well as our ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality training environment, faculty, and staff for our students in order to help meet this need.” “While there was an increase across-the-board in most of our programs, we saw significant growth in our doctor of nursing practice, allied health and graduate studies programs in particular,” UNMC chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., said. “UNMC’s strong enrollment numbers bode well for the state’s long-term health care workforce needs. Many of our graduates stay in Nebraska, or return after their residencies, and provide critical health care access and services.” For enrollment highlights and additional information, contact the University of Nebraska Medical Center (42nd and Emile, Omaha) at (402) 559-4000, or go online to

The Omaha Health Expo is the largest health and wellness event in the Midwest and one of the largest in the nation. Next year’s event is set for April 6 and 7, 2019 at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena, 2425 S 67th St., and spans from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday.

Community Health Charities Announces State Board of Directors Members, Campaign Total Several area business and community leaders were named to the Community Health Charities of Nebraska (CHCNE; State Board of Directors at the organization’s Annual Meeting on August 22. The following individuals were elected onto the State Board of Directors: Todd DeFreece, CHI Health, March of Dimes, Nebraska and Western Iowa market representative; Harry DiLise, Nebraska AIDS project representative; Gary George, Hospice House - The Josie Harper Residence, Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association representative; Dawn Gonzales, Centris Federal Credit Union, Susan G. Komen® Great Plains representative; Jamie Gutierrez, Midwest Maintenance, member at-large; Kerry Heinrich, Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, Nebraska Kidney Association representative; Brian Kruse, Douglas County Election Commission, member at-large; Tim Langdon, United Healthcare, member at-large; Lindsey Patt, Prairie Health Ventures, member at-large; Dr. Stan Radio, UNMC, JDRF International - Heartland Chapter representative; and Sharon Royers, Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska representative. JoAnn Abt, Carson Institutional Alliance, was elected to the Executive Committee. Other Executive Committee members include: Teresa Layton, Chair, Great Western Bank Wealth Management, member at-large; Mike Wade, chair elect, Physicians Mutual Insurance Co., member at-large; Craig Sall, immediate past chair, First National Wealth Management, member at-large; Ralph Dovali, treasurer, Hancock & Dana, PC, member at-large; Erica Hinrichs, secretary, ACI Worldwide, member at-large; Sharon Brodkey, iLuicom, member at-large; Michael Demman, SimplyWell LLC, member at-large; David Gilinsky, Bergman Incentives, member at-large; Larry Guenther, JP Morgan Chase, Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter representative; Stanley Kathol, Omaha Airport Authority, member at-large; Thomas Macy, Nebraska Medicine, member at-large; Amber Preston, Baird Holm LLP, member at-large; and Loren Steenson, member at-large. The organization also announced its 2017-18 statewide campaign total, raising $1,791,076 for all Nebraskans affected by chronic disease, disabilities, and end-of-life issues. #PrintProudDigitalSmart

Find out new ways to attain soundness of mind and body and how to live longer, better, and happier. Learn the benefits of being healthy and pain-free, and how to reduce your pain levels. Discover what’s new in alternative medicine, nutrition, organic foods, being green, and so much more. The event houses more than 300 exhibitors surrounding all things health and wellness. More than 50 educational workshops, demonstrations, and presentations that encompass topics such as plant-based diets, anti-aging, benefits of essential oils, etc. Attendance averages between 8,000-10,000 people. Included in the 2019 Health Expo are the Senior Living Expo, Omaha Hair & Beauty Show, and the Bicycle Expo. Register for free online at OmahaHealth/. Admission at the door is $5. Look forward to more announcements with further event details, such as sponsorship and vendor opportunities. For more information about the 12th Annual Omaha Health Expo, visit or contact Bob Mancuso at (402) 346-8003 /

Endless Journey Hospice Celebrates One Year Anniversary Endless Journey Hospice recently celebrated their one-year anniversary providing hospice services to Omaha, Lincoln and surrounding communities. Sharing this experience with clients and their families is an honor held in high regard. Founders Melanie Costlow, RN and Amy Douglas, MS believed in the potential to improve end of life care. After working together as hospice providers, they had experienced a lack of compassion in the corporate setting. Melanie and Amy have spent years sitting at bedside with clients realizing that each experience is unique and requires a holistic approach to support the end of life process. They developed an approach to nourish the client and family physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Endless Journey created a provider network to include music therapy, massage therapy, pet therapy, guided meditation, aromatherapy, chiropractic/acupuncture, hypnotherapy, healing touch, and reiki. In addition, they contacted Maria CunninghamWilkins, chef/dietitian, who joined the initiative to provide dietary alterations and education, as well as prepare homemade meals for clients and families. Endless Journey Hospice is a locally-owned Omaha-based Medicare Certified hospice that serves clients in Omaha, Lincoln, and surrounding communities. For more information, contact Amy Douglas at (402) 800-8145 /, or visit their website at OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business 37


Let Your Holiday Spirit Shine! Decorating for the holidays can be a hassle—spend your time enjoying your holidays and call the professionals at Christmas Decor by Festive Expressions to take care of the design, installation, take-down, and storage of your indoor and outdoor lighting. Festive Expressions | Illuminations & Decor is a premier Christmas lighting, outdoor lighting, landscape lighting, and LED color changing lighting company. Hiring Festive Expressions to put up your Christmas lights allows you to…

Why decorate your business for the Holidays?

• Spend less time in the winter elements

• Trigger the holiday shopping mood

• Avoid the risks involved with decorating a roofline • Re-install the same design or change it every year

• Get noticed by highlighting your storefront • Enhance company morale

• Enhance the curb appeal of your property while increasing security

The decorating season is short, and our schedules tend to fill up by midNovember. Contact us as early as possible.

Crafting the perfect festive display with lights, garlands, and wreaths takes time, hard work, and expertise. With our help, your office can stand out and truly be its holiday best. As the recognized professionals in the area, we will evaluate and map your property, listen to your desires, and create a holiday lighting and decorating plan that accentuates the unique features of your business.

The lights at Festive Expressions by Christmas Decor aren’t the ones you’ll find at your local retailer. Our decor is manufactured to our specifications— longer-life bulbs and extra fullness on all of our greenery. We also feature UL-rated, outdoor extension cords, a variety of property-friendly installation accessories and commercial-grade specialty décor. You won’t find better quality anywhere!

We will transform your business into a winter wonderland! Christmas Decor by Festive Expressions | Illuminations & Decor has been providing lighting solutions to local businesses since 2004. With captivating displays and exceptional service that’s second to none, our goal is to give our clients’ properties something BY truly special for the holiday season.

402.421.2204 | 604 Calvert St. | Lincoln, NE | | 38

Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018



Holiday Planning

/TheOmahaBakery 608 S. 72nd St. • Omaha, NE

This year, we are kicking off our three-part Holiday Series with tips on how to plan holiday-related office parties and corporate outings. It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year! In the blink of an eye, the leaves will all be down and the Christmas lights will be up. Don’t let that stress you out, though. Let’s take a step back and start thinking about how we can get a head start on our holiday planning so that we can enjoy the all the excitement in the months ahead. In our September issue, we talked about how entertaining clients is good for business because it allows relationships to grow. In the same vein, it’s important to do special things with and for the people you see at work every day. The holiday season is a perfect time to apply this wisdom; there are more activities going on in the community around this time, so it’s easier to find something fun to do. You’ll be pleased to learn that all your classic fall activities are alive and well at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch, located just off of South 48th St. between Cornhusker and Highway 370. With everything there is to do, your company could have its very own festival! The farm has event barns of different sizes, each with their own unique personality. The venue rental comes with a catered meal, and since Bellevue Berry produces much of what it uses for their catering, your group can enjoy the freshest ingredients. There are also over 25 campfire sites for rent, which each come with firewood, seating, and s’mores sticks. Who doesn’t love a good ol’ bonfire party? You don’t have to make a reservation or throw a big bash to enjoy the charms of Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch, though. Talk to your coworkers, pick a weekend that works best for everyone, and spend a day at this one-of-a-kind pumpkin patch. Your team can take a hayride through 20 acres of woods along the old papio creek bed or do some berry and vegetable picking—and don’t forget about the Great Pumpkin Roundup! With 20 acres of pumpkins and other fall crops, you’re sure to find something to take home and carve up, or use for decoration. There is truly something for all age groups at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch, which allows people to bring their families along with them! The kids will enjoy the play area, which has slides, zip #PrintProudDigitalSmart

OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business


lines, climbing nets, and swings. There is also a bounce pillow, a kids train ride, and corn maze. In addition, Bellevue Berry has many great food stands featuring their famous BBQ and sweet treats. The Pirates Pub is open on the weekends serving adult beverages, turkey legs, and more. With Halloween creeping up on us, you might start to hear talk around town about the Ranch of Terror. If you haven’t heard of it yet, well, it’s only Omaha’s best haunted attraction… and it takes place inside the eerie hollows of Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch. The Ranch of Terror includes a twisted walk through haunted houses and caves, a zombie jail, and a frightening hayrack ride through the woods. Open on weeknights through October 28, this hour and a half of spine-tingling horror will make event the toughest guy in the office shriek with fear.

Celebrate With A Cajun Flare! Acadian Grille, Omaha’s newest Cajun restaurant, is now offering catering options, which include: business lunches and other celebrations! Also, a party room will now be available every Sunday. Call ahead and book your next event today!

Acadian food, then and now, presents a blend of French and soul food widely beloved not only in Louisiana, but around the world. Enjoy Acadian Grille Today! 725 N. 114th St. | (402) 933-0980 | |


Another potential destination for your corporate holiday party, one that’s a little less country and a little more classy, is The Club at Indian Creek. Offering scenic vistas and fairways, this unparalleled venue is setting a new standard in service, elegance, and amenities. The Club at Indian Creek combines the best of the great outdoors with the best of the great indoors. Having indoor accommodations will be ideal around Christmas time when Nebraska becomes a winter wonderland. From grand affairs of 400 guests to intimate gatherings for 20, The Club at Indian Creek might be just what you’re looking for as you plan for your holiday celebration. If a “grand affair” doesn’t resonate with the vibe at your business and you’re looking for something a little more casual, just take a quick trip to Louisiana for a bite to eat! We’ll let Dan O’Brien with Acadian Grille explain. “Back in June, my cousin Matthew and I brought the colorful flavors of the south to Omaha with the opening of our new restaurant, Acadian Grille. Matthew has over 30 years of experience as a chef, Dan O’Brien spending part of that time in Louisiana Acadian Grille studying the art of Cajun cooking. He is truly the mastermind behind our menu, which features a wide variety of authentic, made-from-scratch Cajun cuisine. Since we’ve opened, many people have already made our restaurant their go-to place for drinks and appetizers after work. Our beer and wine menu is just as intentional as our food menu. We even serve the Abita beers, a staple brew in Louisiana! The Abita Brewing Company was founded in 1986 in the piney woods outside of New Orleans. Not every business can afford renting out an entire venue for their holiday party, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do something special. It can be something as simple as going out to eat for lunch or dinner with your team. This would give you the opportunity to spend quality time outside of the office. Go around the table and say what you’re thankful for in observation of Thanksgiving, or exchange gifts in the spirit of Christmas. Everyone reading this is welcome at Acadian Grille this holiday season. We can also do some catering if you prefer to celebrate at your office.” Dan brings up a good point. It can be hard to plan something outside of normal business hours; people have families of their own and other commitments. With that in mind, you might find that it makes more sense to take a little time out of the work day to put on a festive little party at your office.

Holiday Lights & Event Decor for your BUSINESS!

BY ONLY 7 WEEKS UNTIL THANKSGIVING! GET YOUR DISPLAYS PLANNED NOW! • Early Commitments • Energy Saving LED Lights • Custom Time Settings • Pro-active Service • Elegant Outdoor Displays Our Hassle-Free Leasing Program includes lights, installation, takedown AND storage! 402.421.2204 | 604 Calvert St. | Lincoln, NE |


Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018

After recently hosting a few events at the Strictly Business office, we’ve learned a thing or two about catering for a group of people. If your budget allows for it, Omaha has a lot of great local caterers who can take care of your team’s appetite. This is a good option if you’re coordinating a party for a larger company and you don’t have the means to cook all the food yourself. Potlucks are always an option, too, but if you’re not trying to deal with organizing a hundred crock pots, bowls, dishes, and Tupperware containers that all belong to different people, let’s explore the catering route a little further. Try to order food items everyone will enjoy, and always consider allergies and dietary restrictions. Also, keep in mind the time of day you’re planning on holding your office celebration. Will your party be in lieu of the lunch hour, or will it be after? Regardless of if you’re looking to provide a hearty meal or just an assortment of yummy desserts, Michelle Kaiser with The Omaha Bakery has just what you need. “Oh, I just love the holidays! What a special time to come together #PrintProudDigitalSmart

Michelle Kaiser The Omaha Bakery

with the people in your life and celebrate. With all buzz going on this time of year, I think it’s easy to focus all our attention on the obligations we have with our families and friends, and then we forget all about celebrating with our work families. This is a shame because, for most of us, we spend more time with the people we work with than most of the other people in our lives. I hope every business in Omaha, no matter how big or small, does something special together this holiday season—and if that special something calls for food (as it should), then swing by The Omaha Bakery.

I’m excited to announce that our popular Pumpkin Harvest Soup is back! Every delicious bite of it will make you fall more in love. If you haven’t been bitten by the fall bug yet and you’re still in denial that summer is over, this soup will do the trick. Our bakery also has the best homemade pies town, and I say that because at The Omaha Bakery, we know that it’s not homemade if the filling is from a can. My Grandma Hilda taught me that homemade meant fresh, natural foods, and a lot of work. I assure you, our pies will send your Thanksgiving feast over the top; and it’s never too early to place an order! As you can imagine, pies these good are in high demand this time of year.” Another party-planning consideration is the decorations, along with practical items such as extra tables and chairs, table clothes, or place settings. We encourage you to get creative when selecting festive decor for your event. There are some easy DIY things you can do to save some money, but sometimes it makes since to purchase holiday decorations that you can reuse year after year. There are other items that should just be rented for one-use purposes, specifically things that there simply wouldn’t be enough room to store at your office. When it comes to the essentials, Honeyman Rent-All has a large inventory of items for rent that will take care of every element of your party. These items include bar service, centerpieces, chafers, chairs/tables/dance floors, china and porcelain, event lighting, games, and more. With their large selection of linens, you can find tables clothes that match the colors of the holiday you’re celebrating around. They even have a karaoke machine! Just picture it: You and your colleagues jamming out to all the Christmas classics in a room decked with (Holly)iday cheer.

David Hastreiter Christmas Décor by Festive Expressions

Quality Tools & Amazing Hardwoods Get into Woodworking with a class! Call today for information.

402-330-5444 14605 Wright Street Omaha NE •


This Holiday Season The Club at Indian Creek combines natural beauty and stylish settings to provide the best in casual elegance.

The Club at 402.289.0900, Ext. 25 •

call if you haven’t already made plans for your holiday lighting.” Before we wrap up, as a little teaser for the next feature in our holiday series, we have a few tips on the topic of gift giving to share with you before you dive into making your holiday shopping list. Specifically for employers, we encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to getting gifts for your staff. There is nothing wrong with bonus checks or a new coffee pot for the office, but what if you could give your employees the gift of a new life skill?

Don’t just go all out with decorations for the interior of your office; you’ve also got make sure your exterior doesn’t scream “bah humbug!” That would be unfortunate. Luckily, David Hastreiter with Christmas Décor by Festive Expressions can help you avoid such an oversight.

If you know someone who is creative and enjoys trying new things, consider gifting them a woodworking class this year! Woodcraft, a 38-year old Omaha-based company that sells woodworking equipment and supplies, offers fun, hands-on sessions where you don’t just talk about woodworking, you get to actually make something. Or, you could take a class yourself and then make a gift.

“With the holidays upon us, it’s time to put lights put up at your office and our team of professionals at Festive Expressions will do it all for you—display design, installation, maintenance, take-down, clean-up/storage—everything.

Woodworking is therapeutic, and there is truly nothing more satisfying than making something with your own hands. Carving, pen making, marquetry, scroll sawing—there are lots of possibilities. Woodworking isn’t just for guys, either. We are seeing more and more women take our woodworking class, offered at our shop seven days a week. So, give the gift of woodworking this holiday season! Sometimes, the best presents can’t be wrapped.

We will evaluate your outdoor space and create holiday lighting and decorating plans that fit well with the unique features of your building. There are many reasons to decorate your commercial property for the holidays. Trigger the holiday shopping mood, get noticed by highlighting your storefront, and it’s an opportunity to enhance company morale, just to name a few. The decorating season is short, and our schedules tend to fill up by mid-November, so now is the time to give Festive Expressions a #PrintProudDigitalSmart

There you have it, folks! You heard the experts; it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll be celebrating the holidays accordingly with your business this year. We’ll pick up where we left off next month in part two of this Holiday Series. Until then, have a Happy Halloween! OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business




Your Trusted Guide to Senior Living Communities Give us a brief synopsis of what your company does. - Bridge to Better Living provides a free service to clients and their families when they are considering moving to an Independent, Assisted, Memory Assisted, or Long-Term Care community. Our support begins with our first contact with the client, family, or support system and continues throughout the entire transition. We provide unbiased, proven, and transparent guidance to enable our clients to choose a community meeting their needs physically, socially, medically, and financially. We strive to ensure our clients have “quality of life” and for the best “fit” possible finding a solid solution. Interview with How long have you been in Omaha? - Bridge to Better Mary Ann Stallings, Living has been in Omaha for six years. Owner/Founder Who are the owners/important executives? Mary Ann Stallings founded Bridge to Better Living in 2010 and is the sole owner. The staff of Transition Consultants are all experts with senior living and services. Robbie Nathan and Jolee Urbanovsky have a combined background of almost sixty years, Margaret Burnham is a registered nurse with a gerontology background and our most recent addition, Kristine Dykeman-Schoening has over thirty years in Senior Health and administration.

What do you see happening with the business in the next five years? - Every day there are 10,000 people turning 65. Demographically, a large percentage will be transitioning into a type of senior living retirement community. With this increase in population needing assistance and planning for their future, Transition Consultants will become a natural component to assist seniors in their search for communities. What is one of the biggest challenges that your company has faced? - It is difficult to place clients with low financial assets or limited funds. We do discuss resources with them and offer information about communities where they may be able to live. Another challenge is when there is a crisis and a loved one needs to move within hours. Many times, they do not have the choices they would like because of the timing issue. It is extremely important to have a “Plan B” for your senior years. A daily frustration is the simple fact there are not enough hours in the day! What has been your most important achievement as a business? - Every client is important to Bridge to Better Living. When I see the weight of the world fall from a client’s shoulders and a smile appears on their face, I know a successful search and placement has been achieved. What was the biggest turning point in your business? - The retirement communities’ acceptance of Bridge to Better Living as a mutual effort and an extended team member to work collaboratively to assist seniors. Bridge to Better Living began in my loft in 2010. I now have physical offices in both Omaha and Lincoln, plus a fleet of four Bridge to Better Living cars to assist in transportation of Seniors when necessary.

Featured L to R: Jolee Urbanovsky, Margaret Burnham, Mary Ann Stallings, Robbie Nathan, Kristine Dykeman-Schoening

What do you like about doing business in Omaha? - Omaha has so much diversity and ever-growing opportunities. There is an openness of resources and it is easy to build relationships with a variety of organizations. What kind of community organizations/groups are you involved with? - Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce, Millard Business Association, Midlands Eldercare Network, Center Sphere, the Alzheimer’s Association, and Better Business Bureau. Do you have a business philosophy or mission statement? - Our mission is and always will be: Placement with Passion. What changes have you seen in the industry and your company in the past few years? - More amenities and services are available with many of these geared for Baby Boomers. Men are living longer and there are more couples needing placement. Many communities are including a continuum of care including Independent, Assisted, and Memory Assisted Living.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about your business that most people don’t know? - Bridge to Better Living is locally owned and was operated only by me for the first three years. It is the first service of its kind in Lincoln and Omaha, and the only one offering one-on-one service from the beginning of the search to the move-in stage. What is one goal for your business that you have yet to accomplish? - I would love to see a Bridge to Better Living in every state.

What do you think makes you different from other companies similar to yours? - Bridge to Better Living, as a locally owned business, recognizes, and understands the culture of the clients it serves. Our step-by-step approach in assisting clients, doing side by side tours and hands on comparisons of communities, is unmatched. We consider ourselves personal assistants and advocates for our clients. We continue relationships with them and families even after a move. Placement with Passion is our mission and practiced daily.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? - We are here to help people of all ages begin to make the decisions for later years. Realize life changes in the “blink of an eye.” Regardless of your age, be proactive with legal and financial issues and know where you would like to live, including different types of retirement communities. Don’t wait for a crisis! Act sooner, make the transition, get settled, and enjoy amenities, services, and quality of life each senior deserves.

The help of Bridge to Better Living

truly made all the difference...

Get in touch! | (402) 802-3301 42

Strictly Business OCTOBER 2018


Lock In Your Expert Status

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Let us help you lock in your EXPERT STATUS! Call 402-466-3330 today! Lock In Your Expert Status In Print, Online, In Person & On Social Media | 402.466.3330 #PrintProudDigitalSmart

OCTOBER 2018 Strictly Business



6 Ways Slow Internet Speeds Are Hurting Your Business Even if you think your business’s internet connection is satisfactory, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade your internet speed. In fact, getting a faster connection just might be the key to bringing your business to a whole new level. There are many ways slow internet speed can hurt your business, but it may be hurting your business more than you think.

1 2


Customers Go Down the Street for Faster WiFi - Upgrading your speed is an investment in your customer experience. We’ve talked about it many times before, but if your business ever welcomes clients or customers through its door, you need to offer fast, free wifi. It’s more than just a perk—it’s the gold standard. Your Apps Work Slower Than They Need To - Whether your business depends on Office 365 or the G Suite, more and more of the work we do every day is moving to the cloud. From simple office collaboration tools to complicated project management platforms like Asana or Basecamp, we depend on a variety of cloud-based tools to help us work more efficiently and effectively. The more complicated the tool, the more it relies on a fast, reliable connection to get things done quickly. You’re Hurting Your Customer Service - When you’re trying to help a customer resolve an issue as quickly as possible, internet speed can make all the difference in the world. Although a lot of customers (and companies) still rely on the telephone to do the heavy lifting, cutting-edge businesses are looking for new ways to leverage connectivity to find ways to provide better customer service than ever before. Things like screen sharing, streaming video from a customer’s phone to “make a house call” and other digital forms of service are only possible if your business has a reliable connection.


More People Working Means Slower Speeds for Everyone - Your connection might be 30 Mbps, but your bandwidth is split up among all of the people who are using it at once. That means if you have six people sharing a connection they each only get 5 Mbps, or if you have more employees it’s even more limited. Throw in a public wifi connection and suddenly your premium internet connection doesn’t seem so fast anymore.


Video Conferences Lag - As more and more businesses connect with clients all over the world, the need for video conferences to take the place of phone meetings grows more and more apparent. While it’s not quite a substitute for face-to-face time, video conferencing gives you a much more personal connection than just hearing a voice on the other end of the line. Obviously, if you have meetings where several of your team members need to be present, you need to be thinking about how you’re going to provide them with the connectivity that they need.


You Process Payments Slowly - If you’ve ever found yourself desperately trying to lock eyes with a waiter in a restaurant so you can finally ask them to bring you the check, you know that customers don’t want to wait to pay for something they’ve decided to purchase. Better internet can help. Increasing your upload speed can reduce IP terminal processing time to as little as 3 seconds, compared to up to 25 seconds for traditional dial-up processing. Over the course of a month, those seconds add up, which can translate into valuable time saved by you, your team, and, most importantly, your customers.

What You Can Do Right Now No matter what industry you’re in, your internet connection is a key part of making sure that you can acquire more customers, collaborate with your team, and get more done. If you’ve hovered around the same amount of bandwidth for a while, you might not be aware of just how much value you can get from upgrading your connection. From better video conferencing to wifi that can stand up to the competition, you need to make sure that slow internet speeds aren’t hurting your business in any of these ways. • Customers will compare connection with your competitors’. • Collaborative and customer service apps are slower than they need to be. • A connection is split among everyone using it, so your actual connection speed for each user may be slower than you think. • As video conferencing becomes the norm, you need to make sure your business can pull it off without a hitch.

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RESELL REMODELING There are numerous reasons why a homeowner would decide to sell their home, but regardless of why they’re selling, every homeowner would like to turn a profit when they do. This may not be possible for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into all the possible ways to get the most money for your home when it’s your turn to sell. So, what do you need to know before and during your home selling venture? And, if remodeling work is required in the process (which it usually is) where do you start? Well, we’ve asked a few local experts to share their advice on the matter. Since the temperatures are dropping and the busy holiday season has snuck up on us once again, you should know that these winter months are typically the slowest time of year for home sales. With fewer buyers looking, it may take longer to sell your home and you may not get as much money as you were hoping for. Don’t let that discourage you, though. If for whatever reason you need to sell your home immediately, you can take some comfort in knowing that while there may not be as many buyers this time of year, there also won’t be as many sellers to compete with. Not to mention that the Omaha market trends have indicated a continual increase in home sales over the past year, which means market conditions are good for sellers. However, if you are able to wait and sell your home in the spring, you can use these winter months to take on all the remodeling projects that need to be done to get your house in optimal condition for selling. For the most part, buyers are looking for a house that is move-in ready. They don’t want to have to take on an exhaustive list of home improvement projects after they get everything unpacked and situated in their new home, which is already a stressful undertaking. If your mind is jumping ahead to basic interior design upgrades like painting or staging your home for the open house, reel it back in. First, you need to address any significant underlying issues that will be uncovered during the inspection process. Having your home inspected before listing it is recommended in order to avoid any costly surprises once the home is under contract. In the long run, it makes a lot more sense to face the scary unknowns and just get the inspection out of the way. Don’t simply hope for the best. If anything hazardous is found on the property after the contract is signed, it could cost you in legal fees on top of the cost to fix the problem(s), and it will either force you to accept a lower price or result in you losing the sale altogether. In Omaha, the average cost of a home inspection is about $328. The sense of security you’ll have after learning the exact condition of your home before putting it on the market will make every penny worth it. Most real estate contracts have an inspection clause to protect the buyer anyways. So, get ahead of the game and get on the phone with a local home inspection service. An inspector’s report covers the entire scope of a home, including the insulation/ventilation systems; plumbing (pipes, drains, water heating equipment, and sump pumps); electrical (service panels, breakers, and fuses); wood features to check for rot or termite damage, fireplaces including chimneys and vents; structural components including the foundation of the home; the interior and exterior roofing system; radon and other toxic chemical testing; interior features including walls, ceilings, attic, floors, windows, doors, stairs, and railings; and exterior features including siding, decks, walkways, and driveways. Due to the extensive


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nature of a home inspection, the visit will take about three hours, but there are ways you can prepare beforehand to make the process go quicker and smoother. For example, you can make sure the inspector has enough working space around your furnace, air conditioner, and water heater by removing any clutter that might be in the way. In addition, the home inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher, and test the HVAC units, so make sure all your utilities are on. Simply cleaning your house and having all the necessary documents on the renovation history of the home readily available will also speed up the inspection process. Something we’d like to note is that an inspection is not just beneficial when you’re looking to sell your home, it’s a service you should have done regularly for your own safety and to ensure you’re being energy efficient. Having an inspection done once a year is recommended. If any plumbing defects are identified during the inspection, this is definitely something you want to take care of immediately. There are some major health risks associated with bad plumbing systems. If pipes are leaking, this will result in mold and mildew in those areas. A faulty plumbing system can also affect the quality of running water in your home. If you’re noticing a foul smell or any kind of discoloration from your faucets, call a plumber. “If you’re planning to sell your home, you’re likely cleaning up, painting, washing the windows, installing new carpet, and staging it to look beautiful... But did you know one thing that often gets forgotten about is the plumbing?” Brad Birge with Big Birge Plumbing informs. “We’ve found it to be true that many home buyers are looking for beautiful kitchens and fancy (ok at least fully-functioning) bathrooms. Buying a home is one of the biggest investments people will make. You can expect potential buyers to be looking around in some really Brad Birge odd places and they want to see it look fresh and clean. That being said, we’ve compiled Big Birge Plumbing

a list of simple, easy, lower cost tips that can help you sell your home! 1. Bathrooms and kitchens—Many sellers make sure the bathrooms and kitchen are clean; the floors are mopped and mirrors are streak-free. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to the little details in places like the crud on the faucets, bottom of the toilets, and inside of the dishwasher. Also, make sure the toilet bowl is sparkling white and if there is any discolored caulk around a fiberglass tub or shower that can be easily removed and replaced with fresh caulk. Other tips to note in terms of bathrooms and kitchens: a. Buy fresh towels to display. b. Buy organizers for the drawers to improve the functionality of the space. c. Give your clutter a new home in a storage unit, or donate what you don’t need to your favorite charity! Remember, people want to picture themselves in your home, so it needs to feel and look fresh. 2. Sniff test—A stinky bathroom or kitchen is totally unappealing to new buyers. Is your bathroom smelling like mildew? Does your kitchen smell like old food? Make sure you’ve gotten rid of any gross smells in advance. Vinegar usually works wonders when it comes to getting rid of smells. Clean out your garbage disposal, dish washer, and clean out the pop-ups in your sinks so the water runs smoothly down the drain and can take away the smells. After tackling any order problems at their source, you can place a potpourri bag in a decorative bowl or light some scented candles. This will not only enhance the smells in your home, it will add a beautiful touch. 3. Under pressure—Have you checked the water pressure in your home? If you have low water pressure or a shower head or faucet that’s not running smooth you may want to try cleaning out the faucet aerators and checking your pipes for leaks or consider replacing the shower head if needed. You might be able live with low water pressure, but it’s not going to impress potential new buyers. While the plumbing of your home may not be the most glamorous part,

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it can often make or break the deal. And here’s a secret for you… You don’t have to hire a plumber who leaves a mess and treats you rudely! We’re not your average ‘Joe the Plumber’ at Big Birge Plumbing. If you need plumbing help, give us a call and we’ll be there with a wrench and a smile.” After gaining peace of mind from the inspection, and addressing any major concerns that may have arose during the comprehensive check-up, you can now assess what your budget is for other remodeling projects based on the value you intend to sell your home for. By this point, you’ll want to have a trusted real estate agent in your corner to give you a realistic figure for what your home is worth. It can be tempting to think you can sell your home yourself in order to avoid paying an agent commission to do it for you. Our advice is to resist this urge. Aside from their superior marketing reach and ability to take care of the daunting amount of paperwork involved in selling a home, a real estate agent has the knowledge of the valuations in the area and can provide you with an accurate idea of what your home will sell for. Any agent will tell you not to be one of those people who spends a ton of money remodeling their house, expecting to see that same amount reflected in the closing price. That is just not how it works. There is no reason to spend $3,000 on new hardwood floors if the resale value is less than that. Only invest in projects that will recoup your expenses and create actual equity. So, set a realistic asking price, evaluate your spending budget, and allot available funds to improvements that will make an actual difference when it comes time to list your home. “In my experience with home sales in both the local and national markets, I’ve found a key phrase that stands out more than most in regard to Resell Remodeling: Observe the basics,” states Joshua Vogel, mortgage loan originators with American National Bank. “Overpricing your home is a kiss of death, even when it remains a seller’s market. Before starting a resale remodel project, first consider the sales price of other comparable homes in your immediate area. You surely wouldn’t compare a fixer-upper to a newly remodeled Joshua Vogel American National Bank home. Once you have an idea of what your sales price will be, you will then be able to budget accordingly. Particularly popular among first-time home buyers is the bathroom remodel. A majority of upgrades to a bathroom can be completed by simply refinishing surfaces, rather than replacing them. For instance, countertops, tile, and even the shower basin can be refurbished with a spray-on texture that provides quick coverage, and a like-new finish. Local companies can perform this service for you at a very minimal cost. Also, remember to replace old shower doors, or remove them, to add the illusion of space. Perhaps one of the more noticeable and profitable upgrades is the kitchen remodel; however, it is important to remember that the average return on that investment is only 98.5%. If cosmetic updates are needed, keep them minor. Brighten up the kitchen by sanding and painting existing cabinets. Add stylish detail without the cost by changing curtains and window molding. Kitchen countertops and backsplash may also benefit from adding decorative spray-on finishes and texture, similar to the bathroom countertops. Formica is out, faux marble is in. The trick to getting the most resale value for your home is to keep the updates simple and cost-effective, without going overboard. Observe the basics. Update and upgrade within reason, keeping interior colors light and neutral. Potential buyers expect to see a clean canvass for their own inspirations.” Most realtors will tell you that the kitchen and the bathroom are what sell houses, and they’d be right. We hear it again and again. So, if you are going to spend money on remodeling, these are the areas to prioritize. Don’t go after it blindly, though, and definitely don’t try to take on a project that you don’t have the means or skills to do correctly. Dad can do a lot of things, but he can’t do everything. Find a local contractor with the knowledge and experience to get the job done right the first time. “From the drawing board to the final product, our quality materials, workmanship, and custom designs will make your home improvement project enjoyable and the end result will exceed all your expectations!” #PrintProudDigitalSmart

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Exclaims Mike Prendergast with Modern Concept Tile. “With 15 years of experience in the tile contracting field, we’ve helped a lot of homeowners revamp their kitchen spaces and bathrooms to get their house in top-notch shape for selling. Our goal is always to ensure our clients are happy with the end result, but it’s important to remember that home renovations made for the purposes of resale do not necessarily have to look good by your standards, they are meant to match the preferences of most potential Mike Prendergast buyers. Keeping things simple with neutral color Modern Concept Tile schemes is a safe route to take. Your average buyer today wants to be able to picture themselves living in their new home, which can be hard to do if they can’t get past a seller’s personal taste. Keeping functionality and maintenance in mind when remodeling is also good to do. People aren’t just looking for a space that is visually appealing, they want durability and easy upkeep. This is why ceramic tile is so popular in a variety of areas in a house, and it’s one of the only flooring options that truly works in any room. Most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, it also serves its purpose well in foyers, mudrooms, living rooms, and other high-traffic walkways within the home. Ceramic flooring can last essentially forever if it’s taken care of properly. It doesn’t crack easily, but if it ever does, replacing one or a few tiles is more preferable than tearing up the whole floor. Plus, it is easy to clean!” Mike goes on to say, “Countertops are a highly visible aspect of the of the house’s central hub—the kitchen. So, if your house currently has old, dull laminate countertops, this would be a good time to consider updating them. Kitchen trends in recent years have reflected a shift toward lowmaintenance, seamless counters made up of materials like granite or other natural stones, but ceramic tile still has its place in the kitchen. At Modern Concept Tile, we specialize in appealing and detailed backsplashes that



can complement any kind of surface. Tile is also an excellent choice for secondary prep surfaces, such as islands, eat-at counters, and wet bars. I’ve seen a kitchen be completely transformed by applying a subtle touch of tile design. When you’re trying to make your space look more high-end or modern, tile is a pretty inexpensive solution. With all the options available in tile products today, the combinations of tiles and designs are endless. There really isn’t anything we haven’t done or won’t try. With the manufacturing techniques available today, we can mix-and-match different materials such as natural stone, glass mosaics, and faux finishes with the different combinations of patterns and shapes. Tile can even be custom printed to give the appearance of hardwood, aged or stained in a variety of ways. In terms of bathroom renovations, I’ve seen homeowners completely rip out their bathtubs in order to create bigger shower space. This trend is definitely growing and I think it makes a lot of sense based on what the majority of buyers are looking for these days. It’s still important to have at least one bathtub in the house, though, or else you’ll lose the interest of buyers with small children. Otherwise, most people would prefer to have a nice roomy shower that allows for more than one shower head and plenty of elbow room. We did an installation recently in which we took out an entire soffit, wall, and cabinet to create a nice walk-in, no-door shower in the master bathroom. It turned out amazing. You can check out photos from this project, along with other renovations and designs in our portfolio, on our Facebook page.” After the big stuff has been taken care, then you can focus on the cosmetics. Sometimes all it takes to make a space look and feel attractive to buyers is a fresh coat of paint. We’ve heard some horror stories when it comes to DIY painting projects. You may think that doing the job yourself will save you money, but you run the risk of ruining carpet or trim in the process, or it might just end up looking uneven. We encourage readers to hire a professional to save time and avoid any costly accidents. Gerst Painting offers a comprehensive list of painting, wallpapering, and carpentry services for your home. Improving homes in the Omaha area since 1977, Gerst has earned a reputation as one of the country’s premier repaint specialists.







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“We deliver proven craftsmanship, unmatched efficiency, attention to detail, excellent customer service, and an unwavering commitment to quality. We can offer homeowners color consulting to make sure they are optimizing their investment as a homeowner, while getting the look that will resonate well with potential buyers,” comments Mike Gerst with Gerst Painting Inc. “As I mentioned back when we talked about residential remodeling, cool grays and beige tones are good classic choices, both offering Mike Gerst the perfect backdrop for any accent color Gerst Painting Inc. combinations. Shades of white are also timeless. The lightness will open up the room to make it feel like it bigger space. If you do decide to do the painting yourself, keep in mind that there is truly no cost-cutting measure in buying cheap paint; buy the best quality paint you can afford for a smoother application process and long lasting results. If you’re painting unfinished walls, be sure to apply an initial coat of primer. Use a latex-based primer if you plan to use a latex paint and an oil-based primer with oil-based paints. I’d say oil-based paint is more durable, but it takes longer to dry, and cleanup requires turpentine or paint thinner (mineral spirits). It is good for trim work because trim takes more abuse over time than walls do. Latex is another good option for general painting projects such as walls and ceilings as it is easier to work with and dries more quickly, but it isn’t quite as dependable as oil-based paint. Try using zero VOC finishes, if possible. They don’t contain any toxic ingredients so they won’t produce air pollution or harmful orders. At Gerst, our services include latex/waterborne finishes, zero VOC finishes, refinishing of existing cabinets and wood trim, painting of existing cabinets and trim, wallpaper removal, and drywall repairs, along with other wall coloring services such as vinyl, glass cloth, wall murals, and so much more.” An alternative to your basic paint job is the rising fad of faux finishing, which is a term used to describe a decorative paint finish that replicates the appearance of another material such as marble, stone, or wood. Thomas Faux Finishing offers metallic plasters, textured designs, beaded effects, and other high-end decorative paint finishes. They are all custom and seamless, delivering a contemporary or transitional look that has the ability to completely transform any room. “This is a seller’s market!” Announces Thomas Rajkovich with Thomas Faux Finishing. “In addition to remodels and new construction, we are working with several homeowners who are investing in wall finishes that will bring them maximum value before they sell their home. Just one accent wall with a faux finish design can affect the feel of an entire room. Choose from textured, metallic patterns or pick something with a rustic, earthy feel. You’ll be amazing by the results, and so will everyone else who visits your home.” Thomas Rajkovich Thomas Faux Finishing Another consideration towards making your residence more desirable to potential buyers is energy efficiency and advanced home technology. “We are on the verge of a ‘smart-home’ boom,” claims Pat Killeen with Engineered Controls. “Installing technology that allows you to control everyday home functions such as lights, appliances, thermostat, and windows with just the click of a button on your smartphone could be what gives you the competitive edge other sellers. People are beginning to expect this type of convenience in their homes. Not only does it provide a sense of security, but it also reduces energy costs. That Pat Killeen is why Engineered Controls represents a wide Engineered Controls range of Honeywell residential smart-home products, the most trusted and recognized name in home comfort and security. From the most state-of-the-art Wi-Fi enabled thermostats, zoning systems, and whole-house air cleaning systems, to wireless home security


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and video systems; everything is geared toward making homes more safe and energy-efficient. Honeywell’s Total Connect Service provides a personalized web portal with mobile apps that allow the homeowner to stay connected to their home’s heating and cooling system and security system from anywhere on their smartphone, tablet, or laptop.” A bad roof could also be draining your pockets. A poorly insulated roof can let in too much heat in the summer, resulting in huge air conditioning bills, and on the flip side, it can let off too much warmth in during the winter, leading to unwanted heating costs. Considering almost half of the money you spend on utilities goes toward the heating and cooling of your home, this is an issue that can’t be easily overlooked. “A new roof could save you money on your homeowners’ insurance and/or taxes,” notes Matt Preister with Xcel Roofing. “If you haven’t updated your roof in the last 10 years, this is something I would highly suggest doing. The underlayment, the protective layer underneath the shingles that acts as a secondary moisture barrier, can get old or damaged over time. It may be time to upgrade yours. In addition, the wind ratings of shingles on the market have increased dramatically over the last decade. Whereas old singles couldn’t withstand winds Matt Preister over 70 mph, shingles and roofing systems Xcel Roofing today, like what Xcel Roofing installs, are rated for up to 130 mph winds. In addition, as a part of our roof replacement process, we make it a point to go into the attic to confirm that the ventilation system is doing what it should to protect you from unnecessary energy expenses. ” Xcel proudly uses Owens Corning, the leader in insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites. Xcel has recently earned a PLATINUM Preferred Contractor status. This limited Platinum status allows for the strongest coverage of 50-year warranties but also workmanship warranty for life (as long as you own your home)!

Windows and siding are both culprits as well when it comes to energy wasting concerns. “Throughout the years, we’ve noticed that our clients need more than just simple repairs to their homes, they need options to better insulate themselves and their families from the storms of life, and maintain more of their hard earned cash in the energy savings that come with a modern window. In addition, siding does more than make your home look good, if good materials are used and they’re installed correctly, it can protect your home Jorge Andazola from moisture and helps the insulation work Red Lion Roofing better,” commented Jorge Andazola with Red Lion Roofing. “Call Red Lion Roofing today and speak to one of our window or siding specialists who can help you diagnose just where you are in need of a window replacement, or what options are available in terms of siding. We’ll help you build a quote and a solution that matches your budget, and more importantly: your needs.” Joshua Vogel also pointed out that, with respect to current market trends, it’s just as important for the exterior of your home to look visually appealing as it is for the interior. Patch any dead areas of grass with sod from your local nursery. Add a splash of color for maximum impact with eye-catching flowers from your local garden center. If your doorways or windows are overwhelmed by greenery, get out the shears. Foundation plants with varying heights and colors can be used to replace overgrown shrubs for dramatic effect. Curb appeal can go a long way with sellers. Doing these things may not get you those large lump sums of cash you were imagining when you decided to sell your house, but they will surely earn you more money than what you’d probably get at signing if you didn’t do them. Contact your local experts today to get started!

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