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• Winter Driving • Eco-Efficiency • Senior Living • Holiday Wrap-Up Client Spotlight • FASTSIGNS® of Omaha - 114th Street


In This Issue



Talon Steel Buildings


Engineered Controls


BRUCE KENKEL BRIAN BEADLE DIANE MCVICKER LaRue Coffee & Two Men And The Vacation Store & Business 1 Roasterie DECEMBER 2016 A Truck®Strictly Omaha The Cruise Company

ENHANCING ENHANCING THE THECUSTOMER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCEWITH WITH ADVANCED ADVANCEDVOICE VOICE TECHNOLOGY. TECHNOLOGY. DiVentures provides extraordinary swim, scuba and DiVentures provides extraordinary swim, scuba and travel experiences for their customers. travel experiences for their customers. That requires thethe ability to to respond to to thousands of of That requires ability respond thousands calls every week, which is why they use IP IP Centrex calls every week, which is why they use Centrex from Cox Business. IP IP Centrex gives DiVentures a a from Cox Business. Centrex gives DiVentures managed, scalable voice solution that does not managed, scalable voice solution that does not require specialized IT IT staff. require specialized staff. Learn more about what Cox Business can Learn more about what Cox Business can dodo forfor your business. your business.

“With IPIP Centrex, wewe have a managed, scalable “With Centrex, have a managed, scalable solution toto meet allall ofof our customer needs. ”” solution meet our customer needs. – Leo Allison, Retail Manager – Leo Allison, Retail Manager DiVentures Scuba and Swim Centers DiVentures Scuba and Swim Centers

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Personalized Personalized Personalized Solutions

Solutions Solutions Visit our website at Visit our website at Visit our website at

Tailoring the right plan for your business Tailoring the right plan for your business Tailoring thewhen right plantofor your business UNICO is considered a leader it comes understanding the risk management

UNICO is considered a leader the risk management needs of business owners. It when doesn’tit comes matter to theunderstanding size of your company, UNICO can UNICO is considered a leader when it comes to understanding the risk management needs business solutions owners. Ittodoesn’t matter thefuture size of company, UNICO can provideofinnovative help ensure your willyour be protected. needs of business owners. It doesn’t matter the size of your company, UNICO can provide innovative solutions to help ensure your future will be protected. provide innovative solutions to help ensure your future will be protected. We have connections with the best insurance carriers in the industry to provide all of We connections with the bestincluding: insurance carriers in the industry to provide all of yourhave commercial insurance needs We have connections with the best insurance carriers in the industry to provide all of your commercial insurance needs including: your⊲commercial ⊲ HR & OSHA Solutions Property &insurance Casualty needs including: ⊲ HR & OSHAHome, Solutions Casualty Individual Auto, Life and Health ⊲ Property Worker’s &Compensation ⊲ HR & OSHA Solutions ⊲ Property & Casualty ⊲ Individual Home, Auto, Life and Health ⊲ Worker’s Financial and Retirement Planning EmployeeCompensation Benefits ⊲ Individual Home, Auto, Life and Health ⊲ Worker’s Compensation ⊲ Financial and Retirement Planning ⊲ Employee Benefits ⊲ Financial and Retirement Planning ⊲ Employee Benefits Where Connections Make a Difference. Where Connections Make a Difference. 402.434.7200 Where Connections Make a Difference. 402.434.7200 402.434.7200

DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


FOCUSING ON YOUR BRAND Looking Ahead to 2017 As 2016 comes to a close, this month is a particularly valuable interval of time for business owners. Many of us will reflect on the year that’s passed while also setting goals and projections for the one to come. In this process of mapping the trajectory of a business is where insight lends itself to successful planning, which entails a set of actionable goals charted across the pages of the 2017 calendar. As defined, there’s actually a good argument for a step all its own prior to planning: evidence-based brainstorming. So, what were your successes last year? Your shortcomings? How will you use those along with the knowledge you’ve acquired and the lessons you’ve learned to better your business in the next year? In what areas can you improve or make the most impactful changes? By carefully examining these questions, you’ll arrive at answers that will be very telling, effectively guiding the entire process that lies ahead. First off, if you haven’t set aside time strictly for business planning purposes, do it now. While oftentimes it can seem like we’re organically propelled in the right direction as an already well-oiled machine by design, it’s always beneficial to take a step back and examine each fundamental working part of the whole. As William Gibson so accurately poses, “We see in order to move; we move in order to see.” Short-term, it’s easy to move towards each new day and the next goal, meeting, task, deal, sale—you get the idea—in a continuous loop, but right now presents the best “big picture” opportunity. You don’t need to compromise that momentum by any means, but rather, shoot for whatever will allow you to take a few steps back and focus, bringing clarity to the path ahead in the upcoming 365 days of progress. Next, and you might have seen this coming from a mile away given my area of expertise, if branding and promotion aren’t a part of the discussion, but growth and development in the coming year are, there’s a critical disconnect that should be addressed immediately. Given the impressive array of marketing tools available to today’s business owner, analysis prior to action is imperative. Formulating a distinct strategy that captures your target audience, enhances your

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

strengths, addresses your challenges, reinforces your identity in the marketplace, functions as an extension of your goals, and drives the desired results are all of the power players to be considered during your Q&A discovery process. For those who are in the infancy stage of their marketing efforts, resolving to do as much as possible with what are likely limited resources will be critical to your growth in the coming year. Plan accordingly now so that you can put everything into motion succinctly, and since trial and error will be your guide, find the smartest investments per your budget, but also of your time and effort. And, any time the opportunity for free exposure presents itself or there are value-added perks offered in conjunction with paid promotion, take advantage! If you’ve got a good thing going already, instead of considering your marketing plan a done deal as it stands, set your sights on what you can do to take it to the next level. I highly recommend scaffolding at the very least – add something new, yet complimentary to your primary efforts, into the media mix and see how it goes this year. Ultimately, consider the following statistics: 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, and 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. (Demand Gen Report, 2016) (Source: marketing-statistics) Also reflected in the research conducted by the marketing experts at HubSpot, when asked the question “What are your company’s top marketing priorities over the next 12 months?” the most respondents (74%) answered: Converting contacts to leads/ customers. This was directly followed by: Growing traffic to website (57%) and Increasing revenue derived from existing customers (46%). I find these to be the top goals for the vast majority of my clients too. Here, turn the answers into questions and ask how each piece of your marketing efforts are working towards these three objectives. Whether you’re targeting the business-to-business (B2B) or businessto-consumer (B2C) audience with your marketing efforts (or both!), your goal for your content marketing efforts in the coming year should be much like the impetus for action in The Field of Dreams: “Build it and they will come.” To learn more about how Strictly Business can help you, contact me directly at (402) 466-3330 or visit (You can also click on our Staff Letter tab online to view past articles)


4 Business 22 Personnel

26 Non-Profit 32 Health


14 River City Six 34 Client Spotlight: FASTSIGNS® of Omaha - 114th Street

ASK THE EXPERT 20 Sandler Training

FEATURE STORIES 35 37 40 43 4

Winter Driving Eco-Efficiency Senior Living Holiday Wrap-Up

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PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor Amanda Wilson - Art Director Tingleska Hallum - Graphic Designer Holly Ryan - SALES TEAM: President/Sales Paige Zutavern - Executive Assistant Jenna Hubl - Accounting Shayne Zutavern - PHOTOGRAPHY: Cover Steve Kowalski, A Better Exposure Inc. - (402) 453-6000; STRICTLY BUSINESS is not responsible for unsolicited material. All rights to submission, including letters, will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to our unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially or creatively, unless otherwise negotiated with the author. Nothing may be printed in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. The publication of any advertisement in STRICTLY BUSINESS is not an endorsement of the advertiser or of the products or services advertised. Printed in the U.S.A. Copyright ©2016 by PZAK, Inc. Third Class Postage Paid at Lincoln, NE 68505


You Can’t Beat Our Meat!

Year-round at Just Good Meat you’ll always find the highest quality meat, with the best selection in town complemented by a wide variety of homemade sides. However, while you may not consider it to be much of a seasonal business, there are indeed three distinct milestones throughout the year - the onset of spring weather (grilling season), the beginning of football (tailgating season), and last but not least, the one that’s upon us now, the holiday season! Since holiday fare will be center stage at all of the upcoming festivities, it’s no surprise that Just Good Meat plays a key role in regards to preparation. Catering can still be booked throughout December and even into January for holiday parties and gatherings, with a menu tailored to fit your preferences and budget. Full-service or drop-off options are available, special requests are always welcome and consultations are complimentary. Or, you can arrange for all of the items you’ll need to be ready for in-store pick-up or delivered right to your doorstep. Orders can be placed conveniently over the phone or via the online store at Never thought about giving the gift of meat before? Welcome to a whole new world full of ideas! All of Just Good Meat’s Gourmet Gift Boxes are designed to delight and impress and are available in many different combinations (New York Strips, Ribeyes, T-Bones, Porterhouses, Sirloins, Filet Mignons, seafood pairings, and more). At varying price points, starting out at just $27, there is undoubtedly something for everyone. With nationwide shipping, anyone on your gift list is fair game. Special discounts are also offered for corporate gift boxes, call for details! In addition to most popular holiday staples—farm-fresh turkeys, steak and seafood, prime rib, geese and capon, oldfashioned dry-cure ham, plus all of the fixin’s and even traditional desserts—you’ll find a full line of deli meats and cheeses, fresh

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sandwiches and prepared dishes ranging from chili and sloppy joes to smoked and BBQ meats, exotic meats (bison, elk, lamb, veal, and even alligator or frog legs!), an impressive selection of flavored sausages, and even farm-fresh eggs and all-natural Amish butter, both perfect for holiday baking. When asked what he finds to be the best part of the holidays at Just Good Meat, owner Sean Fuller quickly replied, “Everything. Serving our community and being a part of our customers’ holiday celebrations is a great feeling. The welcoming atmosphere and superior customer service we hang our hat on is a true testament to our roots as the neighborhood butcher shop—everyone who walks through our door is treated like friends and family. We love helping put together holiday meals and party spreads, our catering offerings have really taken off in the past couple of years, and we have a fantastic selection of gift boxes and items ready and waiting to make holiday shopping hassle-free.” Since 1959, Just Good Meat has taken great pride in providing the finest quality beef, chicken, pork, and seafood in the area. Over the years, the local butcher’s shop has expanded into a modern-day full-service meat market/deli/caterer extraordinaire. From staples to delicacies, prepared dishes to fresh items that are ready to cook any way you like, party fare to deluxe gift boxes—you can find it all at Just Good Meat, guaranteed. Since almost all of Just Good Meat’s products are organically sourced, from farm to table, you’ll avoid hormones, overuse of antibiotics, improper diet, and other practices that affect the quality and nutritional value of the food that will be consumed by you and your loved ones this holiday season. Not only is the selection amazing as is the quality of anything you’ll find at Just Good Meat, but the prices are far more reasonable that one might think for all of those expectations to be met. Many are familiar with the locally owned and operated company’s tongue-in-cheek motto, “You Can’t Beat Our Meat,” but it’s the truth, simple and straightforward, just as business is conducted to this day. Just Good Meat is located at 4501 S. 84th Street (between L and F Streets) in Omaha, NE. Call the store at (402) 339-7474 or visit to place your holiday order today!


Strictly Business Magazine P (402) 466-3330 • F (402) 466-3476 DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business



Lutz Establishes Office in Lincoln

Complete Comfort Launches New Product

Lutz, an accounting and business solutions firm, recently announced their expansion to Lincoln. A ribboncutting ceremony with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce was held on October 11th to formally welcome Lutz into the Lincoln business community and celebrate the official opening of the new office at 601 P Street, Suite 103 in the Haymarket.

Complete Comfort is pleased to announce the recent introduction of a new product called Air Scrubber Plus.

Since opening their doors in Omaha in 1980, Lutz has steadily grown to become the largest locally owned firm in Nebraska. “We are excited about Lutz’s expansion into the Lincoln market and the potential it brings to our current and future clients as well as our talented employees,” said Mark Duren, Managing Shareholder. “With our expanding Lincoln and Central Nebraska client base along with the opportunity for additional growth, opening a second location was a natural next step for our firm.” Lutz started as an accounting firm, but has grown into a business solutions firm. Lutz provides accounting services such as tax, assurance, business consulting, and outsourced accounting. Additionally, Lutz has developed multiple divisions to help current and future clients thrive in all aspects of their businesses. These additional service lines include Lutz Financial, Lutz Tech, Lutz Talent and Lutz M&A. More information can be found online at To connect with the Lincoln office directly, please contact Scott Carrico at (402) 4968800 or

Midwest Laboratories Inc. Celebrates Grand Opening of Newest Microbiology Lab Midwest Laboratories has announced the addition of a new, stateof-the-art microbiology laboratory. With the newest custom-built laboratory, Midwest Laboratories will be able to meet its clients’ regulatory and operational testing needs, including those required by the recent passage of F.S.M.A. Food Safety regulations. The new facility positions Midwest Laboratories as a leader in food safety analysis. “The new 28,000-square-foot facility is illustrative of our commitment to growth and method development,” says President Brent Pohlman. The new laboratory offers our lab associates new workspace to expand their analytical efforts in a more effective and efficient manner.” A premier open house event was held on November 10th at the company’s main office building, which is located at 13611 B Street in Omaha. Guests had the opportunity to see the new facility up close and to gain an understanding of the work taking place at Midwest Laboratories, a leader in Human and Pet Food Testing Technology. Midwest Laboratories has been in the analytical testing business since 1975 and continues to build on a solid foundation of strong values and passion for meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Brent Pohlman at (402) 334-7770 or bpohlman@midwestlabs. com. More information about Midwest Laboratories Inc. can also be found online at 6 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Air Scrubber Plus has been developed alongside NASA to create an atmosphere protected from odors, dust, germs, viruses and more. By attaching easily to your HVAC system, Air Scrubber Plus cleans, deodorizes, purifies and protects your home from such contaminants. It’s a safe and efficient (uses less electricity than a light bulb) way to purify your home’s air and surfaces. Now able to bring the cleaning power of nature indoors thanks to patented Active Pure TechnologyTM, Complete Comfort began offering Air Scrubber Plus this fall. Complete Comfort is your solution for honest and dependable heating and air conditioning repair, service and installation in the Omaha area. Serving both residential and commercial customers, their team is prepared to meet all of your heating and cooling needs.  When it comes to your living and working environments, having dependable air conditioning and heating systems that provide value as well as comfort is the ultimate goal. Thanks to Complete Comfort, you can expect both all year round. For more information about Complete Comfort, please call (402) 827-1827, email, or visit the website at

UNICO Group a 2016 Governor’s Wellness Award Recipient UNICO G ro u p has been included in the Governor’s Wellness Award at the Sower level. UNICO is now a part of a prestigious group of more than 250 businesses statewide that have received the Governor’s Award designation since 2007. This year, a total of 44 Nebraska employers representing 28 communities are being honored for developing and implementing successful worksite wellness programs. The Sower Award recognizes that the organization “plants the seed of wellness” by building a comprehensive program to empower the people. By meeting the standards of this award, UNICO Group demonstrates leadership and vision to implement comprehensive worksite health promotion initiatives that positively affect the health, productivity, and bottom line of the organization. Most importantly, UNICO Group has provided the opportunity for employees and families to live a healthy life and improve the quality of life for Nebraskans. The Governor’s Wellness Award was created nine years ago to recognize Nebraska employers who dedicate leadership, resources, and time to wellness efforts in the workplace. The Governor’s Wellness Award is a rigorous one. Each applicant must provide information in the areas of organizational support, data collection, intervention strategies, communication planning, policies supporting healthy behaviors, and outcomes and benefits. UNICO Group is an insurance and financial provider that offers a consultative and relational approach to the insurance process. In 2014, UNICO merged with Midlands Financial Group. This merger formed a regional leader for insurance and financial growth. With clients ranging from Fortune 500 giants to local retail shops, UNICO’s risk advisors have extensive experience in custom strategies that generate long-term value. For more information about business and personal insurance and financial needs, call (402) 434-7200 or visit the website at


Turner Technology Celebrates 25th Anniversary T h i s y e a r, T u r n e r Technology celebrated 25 years as one of Omaha’s longest-serving full-service IT providers. The company hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce on November 17th in honor of the 25th anniversary and two other notable accomplishments in 2016. Turner Technology was named a winner of the 2016 Better Business Bureau Integrity Award and recently completed a full-scale office remodel. The project included a complete restructuring of the 1st and 2nd floors of the office space that Turner Technology has occupied since opening its doors 25 years ago. A reception held for clients, employees, and family followed the public event. Turner Technology offers solutions that fit the needs, challenges and goals of Omaha area businesses. Their technology integration capabilities include design, implementation and support for local and wide area network solutions as well as custom software development. The team at Turner Technology prides itself in putting people ahead of technology, talking about processes before processors. The ultimate goal is to integrate technology that’s designed and programmed to meet the client’s goals, overcome their challenges and maximize their opportunities. More information on Turner Technology can be found online at www. You may also contact Gary Bren at (402) 333-1390 or

Elk Ridge Village Honored Among Top Senior Living Communities Nationwide Elk Ridge Village Retirement Community in Elkhorn, NE was named “Caring Star of 2017” for Service Excellence in Independent Living / Assisted Living / Alzheimer’s Care! Elk Ridge Village was the only retirement to be recognized as a 2017 Caring Star Community in Nebraska.  This is the second consecutive year to earn the Caring Star Award – which is based on positive consumer feedback via In ratings and reviews from the residents and resident family members, Elk Ridge Village earned a 5-star consumer rating (the highest possible score) within the last year, while also having a high volume of positive reviews and meeting other qualifying criteria for this national honor.    Americans are increasingly seeking insights provided by online reviews to help guide important senior care decisions for aging or ailing loved ones. Now entering its sixth year, the Caring Stars annual list helps consumers reliably narrow senior living options for their loved ones to the most-acclaimed communities– particularly as they gather for the holidays and discover increased or urgent senior care needs. To learn more about the Caring Stars program and view the complete winner list, please visit: Elk Ridge Village is a leader in Independent Living, Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s Care. With a variety of lifestyles represented and different levels of care, you will find a solution that is specifically tailored to your needs.  Conveniently located a mile north of 192nd & Dodge (19303 Seward Plaza), in a private lakefront neighborhood, Elk Ridge Village is convenient to medical offices and shopping. For more information or questions please contact Kristina Krumme, Retirement Living Consultant, at (402) 312-1198 or kristina.krumme@

OPD to Host Workshop in Partnership With Grant Writing USA The Omaha Police Department and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Omaha January 9-10, 2017. This training is for grant seekers across all disciplines.  More than 10,000 agencies across North America have turned to Grant Writing USA for grant writing and grant management training. During this class and you’ll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals. Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.   Tuition is $455 and includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to an Alumni Forum that’s packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals.  Multienrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment. Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary. Complete event details including learning objectives, class location, graduate testimonials and online registration are available at

The Club at Indian Creek to Host Open House The Club at Indian Creek, the Omaha Metro’s premier full-service event venue, invites the public to attend an upcoming open house, which will showcase the space, amenities, vendors and offerings for weddings and special events. The open house will be held on January 5, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to meet The Club at Indian Creek’s professional event coordinators, tour their elegant banquet facilities, and exchange ideas with many of their preferred vendors. Save the date and discover how the experienced team at The Club at Indian Creek can turn your vision into a reality, bringing all your dreams to life for your next special event! For those seeking an elegant and private atmosphere, The Club at Indian Creek provides a one-of-a-kind venue for your special event. Located at 3825 N. 202nd St. in Elkhorn,  NE, The Club at Indian Creek features a charming setting amidst natural splendor along with a full spectrum of services that can be tailored to your specific requests.  To find out more about The Club at Indian Creek, including upcoming events such as this one, please call (402) 289-0900 Ext. 25, email, or visit the website at www. DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 7

BUSINESS NEWS Silver Hammer and Northwest CARSTAR Receive 2016 “Silver Award of Distinction”

HIP, OffiCenters Virtual Office Space Connects Omaha Area Businesses

Two Omaha CARSTAR locations were recognized with a “Silver Award of Distinction” at the annual Better Business Bureau (BBB) Integrity Awards Event held on Wednesday, November 2 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in La Vista, NE.

Attention Omaha area businesses! HIP, OffiCenters offers virtual offices for companies looking to establish a presence in Lincoln, NE. There are multiple packages to choose from as well as the option of physical office space for companies looking to expand. HIP, OffiCenters is a locally owned and operated company focused on meeting the needs of your business and would like the chance to help your company grow. Call today for more information or to set up an office tour! Holroyd Investment Properties (HIP Realty) is a full-service company offering management, leasing and sales of apartment and commercial properties. HIP, OffiCenters is a division of HIP Realty that offers the tools needed to help a business grow and be successful, beginning with an ideal office environment. At HIP, OffiCenters, excellent customer service for both the tenants and their clients is paramount. There are many amenities included with HIP, OffiCenters space, from receptionist/phone answering to administrative staff, conference and break room facilities, complimentary coffee, free parking, all utilities paid, janitorial services and more. Renting an office from HIP, OffiCenters will ensure you have a productive, inviting and professional space to conduct business. For more information on HIP, OffiCenters, please visit or contact Lacey Torske at (402) 466-3932 or

This award recognizes organizations in the Omaha Metro that have demonstrated ethical practices with key stakeholders including customers, employees and community at large, rather than a company’s growth, profitability or popularity. Margo Riekes, Communications Director of Nebraska BBB, said these two Omaha body shops were selected because their application demonstrated that integrity is important for success and profitability and that business ethics were integrated into their corporate culture. The two CARSTAR locations in Omaha are owned by partners Greg Petersen, Bob Keith and Tim Jensen. Silver Hammer CARSTAR was founded in 1979 and is located at 4827 N. 90th St. Northwest CARSTAR was opened in 1996 and is located at 3304 N. 120th St. Both CARSTAR locations are part of the CARSTAR franchise network, which is the largest group of branded auto body shops in North America. The judges’ decision was based on the score of  CARSTAR’s application compared with the others in the judging category of 25-99 employees. These locations also received this award in 2014.

Share the Christmas Spirit


Open Door Mission

Help reach out to thousands of men, women, and children in need this Christmas by providing urgently needed items. Let them know that someone cares.

Urgent Needs:

Men’s Wallets Small Purses Bath Kits Make Up Kits/Bags Hair Dryers Shaving Kits/Bag Fleece Blankets Men’s & Women’s Watches Visit for locations and hours of our four conveniently located Outreach & Donation Centers to drop off your Christmas items. You can also register your drive online or contact or (402) 829-1535.


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Monolith Materials Breaks Ground at Nebraska Manufacturing Headquarters Monolith Materials (www.monolithmaterials. com), a next-generation manufacturer of natural gas-based carbon black, officially broke ground on its U.S. manufacturing headquarters on Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Hallam, Nebraska. The facility will bring 600 jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital investment in the state of Nebraska, and a clean energy source to the area. Monolith founders, Bill Brady, Rob Hanson, and Pete Johnson, were joined by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Pat Pope, CEO of the Nebraska Public Power District, to give remarks before a ceremonial groundbreaking event. Local dignitaries, additional representatives from both Monolith and NPPD, and other partners in the project were also present. Headquartered with their R&D facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, Monolith is bringing manufacturing back to America with innovative carbon black technology that uses natural gas as feedstock instead of oil, as does the conventional process, reducing emissions significantly. Carbon black is a safe, common material found in thousands of products Americans use every day - including tires, rubber and plastics, printing inks, and batteries. A co-product of its innovative manufacturing technology is hydrogen, a fuel that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions when burned. Monolith has partnered with  Nebraska’s largest electric utility, NPPD, whereby they will replace an existing coal-fired boiler with a hydrogen-fired boiler at their Sheldon Station plant in Hallam, Neb. The new boiler will generate 125 mw of electricity – enough to supply power to 150,000 homes. The boiler conversion is also expected to result in a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gasses and other types of emissions.

BUSINESS NEWS Former Hinky Dinky Grocery Store to Undergo Historic Renovation East Benson is preparing for major redevelopment. The Pear Tree Performing Arts building will be undergoing a renovation of one of the original Hinky Dinky grocery stores. While Hinky Dinky grocery stores are long gone, the building located at 4801 NW Radial Highway in east Benson is the third in the original Hinky Dinky store chain built in 1926. It is currently being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places for its significance. The $3.4 million dollar renovation is set to take place in the spring of 2017. It will include site improvements and landscaping, a state of the art community stage and sound system, updating of all major systems and repaving of the parking lot. This project will allow Pear Tree to enhance its dance and creative drama programs within the community while helping to spur development from downtown to east Benson along the well-trafficked N.W. Radial Highway. Pear Tree Performing Arts is a 501(c)3 and will be accepting taxdeductible donations for this project. Visit for more information about the organization.

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BBB Integrity Awards Shine a Light on Omaha Businesses for Ethical Practices The vision of Better Business Bureau (BBB) is “an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other.” In this spirit, BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is pleased to conduct an annual awards program to gain public recognition for organizations committed to ethical business practices. Each year, applicants are selected to receive BBB Integrity Awards through regional competitions. “BBB’s Integrity Awards are designed to promote not only the importance of ethical business practices, but also the willingness and efforts made by outstanding organizations that demonstrate a solid commitment to marketplace trust,” stated BBB President Jim Hegarty. The 2016 Award Winners were honored on Wednesday, November 2nd for their unique contributions to business excellence in Omaha at BBB’s 21st Annual Integrity Awards Luncheon held at the Embassy Suites Omaha – La Vista Conference Center. The Winners were selected by independent panels of judges representing both the business and academic communities in metro Omaha and southwest Iowa. The charities with 24 Employees or less that received awards are RESPECT and Midlands Mentoring Partnership. The charity in the category of 25+ Employees awarded was the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). The for-profit businesses that were presented with BBB Integrity Awards are: Bel Air Fashions (1-4 Employees), Husker Hammer Siding, Windows and Roofing (5-10 Employees), Turner Technology (11-24 Employees), Arbor Bank (25-99 Employees), McKinnis, Inc. (100-249 Employees) and NP Dodge Company (500+ Employees). Each organization received a crystal flame – a symbol that that they are lighting the way for an ethical marketplace in our community. Hegarty said, “BBB is pleased to honor these organizations. In today’s challenging economic climate and complex world, honesty and integrity are more important than ever. Integrity Award Winners represent what is best about businesses in this area. These organizations have solid business practices, based on a commitment to serve their customers with the highest standard of ethics. They have built successful companies because of the trust that has been established, and these Awards recognize their leadership in their communities.”

Creation of Model Farm in China to Benefit Nebraska Ag Tech Gov. Pete Ricketts recently announced that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) had signed an agreement with Chinese officials to create a working demonstration farm, known as the Nebraska (Yangling) Agricultural Sci-tech Park.   Under the agreement, the farm will be capitalized and managed by Chinese partners, and will showcase the equipment of Nebraska-based farm equipment manufacturers.  The project is a partnership among the State of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Yangling Agriculture Hi-tech Demonstration Zone located in China’s Shaanxi Province. The 80-hectare demonstration farm will assist Nebraska agricultural manufacturers in entering and expanding Chinese markets by demonstrating Nebraska products and technology in a way that will also help improve Chinese agricultural methods.  Training and education will be provided through a unique collaboration involving a private sector and public sector partnership among DED, University of Nebraska, Nebraska agricultural manufacturers, Chinese producers, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling Agricultural Hi-tech Industries Demonstration Zone, and the Chinese government. The farm will be managed by a subsidiary of Roffar Holdings. Nebraska manufacturers will provide equipment and technical expertise while the University will provide technical and agronomic advice and assist with farm planning.  This will give Nebraska companies a platform to advertise and demonstrate to potential customers and partners.   DED, partner manufacturers and UNL are now working in coordination with the farm management company, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University and the Yangling Demonstration Zone to finalize an operational plan for the farm and develop a management strategy for the next five years. DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 9


The Buck Snort Restaurant & Sports Bar Opens, Hosts Ribbon Cutting to Celebrate The Buck Snort Restaurant & Sports Bar is excited to announce they are now open for business. In celebration, an official ribbon cutting was held with the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce on September 2nd. The fast-casual restaurant and sports bar is located at 25 Scott Street in Council Bluffs., IA The Buck Snort Restaurant & Sports Bar is a family-friendly casual restaurant that uses only the highest quality and freshest ingredients. Offering a full menu with great variety, choices include specialty burgers, BBQ, sandwiches, pizza and a host of appetizers and sides. The popular Swamp Donkey Burger with brisket, BBQ sauce and onion rings on top and the Buck Burger with pulled pork, BBQ sauce and 2 mozzarella sticks on top are crowd favorites! The Buck Snort ensures each customer is treated as family and receives impeccable service, so when you dine at their restaurant, it’s not just a meal but time well spent while enjoying the company, atmosphere, and plenty of absolutely delicious food. Stop in today, visit bucksnortcouncilbluffs. com or find them on Facebook! You may also contact owner Dwayne Pleas at (712) 328-2825 or

Creighton to Host Leadership Summit Global Partners in Hope (GPiH) is presenting a Leadership Summit on December 6. Creighton University Heider College of Business is hosting and sponsoring the event. Keynote Speakers: Scott Moore, Retired Navy Rear Admiral with over 30 years in Naval Special Warfare as Commander of the Nation’s premier Counterterrorist Force; David Cooper, Retired Navy SEAL of 25 years, 19 of those years at the prestigious Naval Special Warfare Development Group; Dr. Jack Stark, Team Psychologist for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football program during three national championships. Breakout Speakers: Dr. Trent Wachner, Associate Professor of Marketing, Creighton University; Dr. Vince Lindenmeyer, Retired Army Colonel and Battle Watch Commander for US Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base. The Leadership Summit’s registration will start at 7 a.m. in the ballroom. The conference lasts until 1 p.m. and includes breakfast and lunch. Individual attendee tickets are $149. To register for the event, visit or email RSVP@ Sponsorships are also still available and range from $1,000 - $5,000. Proceeds from the event will go toward GPiH’s work in Togo, West Africa. The mission of Global Partners in Hope (globalpartnersinhope. com) is to bring hope to communities around the world through partnerships between people who can help and people who need hope. The organization’s programs include clean water wells, medical centers, solar energy systems and leadership training.

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Douglas County Begins Work on Implementing $45M Public Safety Bond The Douglas County Commissioners’ Administrative Services Committee held a public briefing on the $45 million Public Safety Bond on November 22nd at the Omaha/Douglas Civic Center. The briefing was held immediately following the regular County Board meeting. Administrative Services Committee Chair, Commissioner James Cavanaugh, commented, “This briefing provided important information about the $45 million Public Safety Bond that voters overwhelmingly approved on November 8th. The bond will provide funding for innovative consolidation of Douglas County Public Service operations, and savings of over $2.3 million.” The Administrative Services Committee addressed the time frame to successfully implement the Public Safety Bond. As part of a complete renovation of Douglas County’s West Campus facility (156th and Maple), the Bond will pay for a new 911 Communications Center and communications equipment for first responders. The West Campus will also house the relocated Emergency Management and Environmental Services administrative offices along with a new, consolidated Douglas County Treasurer’s office. These innovative plans for relocation and consolidation taking effect will result in millions of dollars in savings to Douglas County taxpayers. “At this public briefing, we outlined our strategic plan to accomplish this massive upgrade of the important public services that Douglas County provides,” Cavanaugh said. “The completion of the Douglas County West Campus project, and the other Public Safety improvements that this bond will achieve, signals an exciting new era in Douglas County.”

Karen’s Fireside Showcases Newly Remodeled Venue Karen’s Fireside Event Venue and Catering is excited to announce they have recently completed renovations and are under new ownership. Sheryl Wilson and Julie Maben started their new business venture in July of 2016. Located at 1214 N. Monroe Street in Papillion, they have completely renovated the space from top to bottom using a light gray/silver palette. To commemorate the new and exciting changes that have taken place this year, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce on November 15th. For an elegant, stress-free wedding reception and party facility at a competitive price, Karen’s Fireside is a banquet hall and full-service venue that leads the way. With the ability to transform the newly redesigned space for each unique event and a menu full of exceptional Midwestern fare for in-house catering services, Karen’s Fireside specializes in receptions, banquets, business luncheons and any other type of special event for 100 or more guests. The experienced staff will act as your personal party consultant, helping with menu selection and planning as well as the follow-through on every detail to ensure your party is a smashing success from start to finish. You take the credit and they do the work! For more information on Karen’s Fireside Event Venue and Catering, please visit or find them on Facebook! You may also contact Sheryl Wilson directly with inquiries at (402) 592-4413 or sheryl.

Vision Exhibits Takes Home Top Honors A consistent winner of awards for their innovative designs and lead-generating trade show exhibit solutions, Vision Exhibits has added three more awards to their extensive list of professional achievements. Vision has been awarded two prestigious gold MarCom awards for their work on behalf of Xcellience, a company that offers scientific solutions to pharmaceutical and biotech companies world-wide and Bartlett & West, an engineering and technology firm. They also garnered an honorable mention for a two-level display that featured a Legos® themed environment for Union College. The Xcellience display featured an open environment, repurposed graphics including LED edge lights around the graphics, a sixseat conference room and work stations for maximum interaction. Bartlett & West, a Topeka-based firm that exhibits at more than 40 tradeshows annually, needed interchangeable messaging and imaging as well as a scalable design that could be modified for different shows. The MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. To check out the all the award-winning work from Vision Exhibits, go to

New Sonesta ES Suites Omaha Welcomes Guests Following Multi-Million Renovation Sonesta ES Suites Omaha has been completely reimagined and reinvigorated to provide guests more than just a place to stay. Following the recent completion of a multi-million dollar renovation, the new residencestyle suites welcome guests with the amenities of a small apartment and the perfect mix of comfort and flexibility. Located at the heart of the city, Sonesta ES Suites Omaha provides travelers unrestricted access to cultural sites, beautiful landscapes and historic venues. 80 newly designed studio and two-bedroom oversized suites feature spacious bedrooms, separate living and bath areas, providing room and versatility for those traveling on business for short or extended periods of time, as well as for families on vacation. The fully equipped kitchens, a complimentary daily breakfast, as well as on-site laundry save guests time and help manage budgets, while complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and self-service printers help guests stay connected to work and home. Easy access to the area’s businesses including First Data, IBM and HDR, makes Sonesta ES Suites Omaha an ideal place to stay for business travelers. For those who want to work within the hotel, the spacious rooms within the ES Suites Omaha have ample conveniences to stay focused and productive and the on-site 24-hour business center provides access, copying, and printing capabilities. For more information about Sonesta ES Suites Omaha or to book a reservation, please call (402) 553-8898 or visit www.sonesta. com/omaha. DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 11

BUSINESS NEWS Nebraska Retail Federation, GROW Nebraska Present: Shop 4 Nebraska

AIM Honors Local Leaders, Innovators and Educators in Technology

Nebraska’s storefronts are the backbone of our economy, and GROW Nebraska and The Nebraska Retail Federation are working together to build a stronger future for them.

AIM, an innovative, not-for-profit organization that builds thriving communities through technology, recognized local leaders, innovators and educators for their contributions to the tech community at its Tech Celebration, held November 10 at the Holland Performing Arts Center. The event title sponsor was Cox Business, with additional sponsorship from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, Lazarus Software and Valmont Industries, Inc. Nearly 400 people were in attendance as AIM presented the awards. The 2016 honorees are: Tech Student: Grace Erixon, Omaha North High Magnet School Grace Erixon is a tech-savvy junior at Omaha North High Magnet School and an IT intern at Gallup. She’s a participant and leader in Girls Who Code, Code Crush and Omaha Coding Women. She’s also the student assistant for Engineering and Robotics camps at North.  Erixon  is an inspiration to other young women interested in technology. Tech Educator: Kristeen Shabram, Westside Middle School Kristeen Shabram is a teacher at Westside Middle School, and is a key player in developing the future generation of tech talent. She teaches Business & Technology and Digital Media & Literacy. Shabram also is the teacher sponsor for three clubs focused on technology. She is an outstanding technology educator, a dynamic colleague and a caring mentor to her students. Tech Innovator: Doug Durham, Nebraska Global and Don’t Panic Labs Doug Durham is Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Nebraska Global and Don’t Panic Labs.  Durham  assisted in developing a groundbreaking Software Engineering Program at UNL. He created internships for over 100 students at Nebraska Global and has mentored developing technologists. Durham believes in applying holistic development--encompassing software design, architecture and process-for multiple startups, large corporations and the tech community. Tech Leader: Derek Kruse, Douglas Omaha Technology Commission Derek Kruse is Chief Information Officer at Douglas Omaha Technology Commission (DOTComm).  Kruse  is an outstanding leader who strives to provide effective, efficient, high-quality service to internal and external clients. He has implemented sweeping changes to DOTComm operations, incorporated new technologies and made DOTComm a trusted partner. Kruse pioneered DOTComm’s move to cloud computing and implemented public-private partnerships. Community Builder: Metropolitan Community College-Workforce Innovation Division Metropolitan Community College’s Workforce Innovation Division (WID) has contributed in multiple facets to the growth and development of the tech community. In 2017, WID will open its new Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology. WID also created industry partnerships to build business growth and advancement through training and introduced the Innovation Sandbox to strategically connect innovators with resources to fast-track entrepreneurial development and business growth. Emerging Business: ScoreVision ScoreVision, a company founded in 2015 and headquartered in Omaha, is being recognized for its outstanding application of technology. The company provides schools and sports facilities with all-digital scoreboards that deliver professional, jumbotron-like experiences similar to those at the college or professional sports level. In addition, ScoreVision empowers students with tech career engagement opportunities by allowing them to plan, create and produce content for the multimedia displays. Enterprise Business: Outlook Nebraska, Inc. Outlook Nebraska, Inc. was founded in 2000 as a nonprofit organization committed to positively impacting everyone who is blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of the blind and visually impaired in Nebraska, Outlook Nebraska was the first organization in the country to purchase eSight and Nu Eyes wearable technology, enabling employees with low vision to enhance their sight.

The purpose of the Shop 4 Nebraska campaign is to drive in-store shopping statewide, increase awareness of local retailers, and reward those who support our economy. The overall goal is to build a strong brick-and-mortar business presence by increasing shoppers. With the holiday season in full swing, we need to stand together to support these businesses and encourage others to shop in-store and in-state. Join in and #Shop4Nebraska! For more information about Shop 4 Nebraska, or how to get involved, please visit or call (402) 742-3121.

UNICO Group Recognized as Best Practices Agency for 7th Consecutive Year U N I C O Group has again been selected to be part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group. More than 1,800 independent agencies throughout the U.S. were nominated to take part in the annual study, but only 254 agencies qualified for the honor. To be chosen, the agency had to be among the top-performing agencies in one of six revenue categories. The selected “Best Practices” agencies retain their status during the threeyear cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. UNICO Group is an insurance and financial provider that offers a consultative and relational approach to the insurance process. For more information about business and personal insurance and financial needs, call (402) 434-7200 or visit This release reflects a correction from the previous version printed in the October 2016 issue.

Merger Creates Bromm Nielsen & Mines Three Nebraska government relations firms have announced their plans to merge their business through a new partnership. Bromm and Associates, Coleen Nielsen and Mines Government Relations are merging to expand their lobbying, government relations, issue and association management services in Nebraska. Bromm Nielsen & Mines are veteran lobbyists, former legislators and experts in law and business. The partners include Curt Bromm, former Speaker of the Legislature; Michael Mines, former State Senator; Coleen Nielsen, a former Public Affairs Manager for State Farm Insurance; and Jason Bromm, a marketing and strategic planning business owner. Collectively, the partners have over 50 years of experience in working in or with the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. Clients include business, agriculture, health, insurance and education interests. Bromm Nielsen & Mines are located in the Hruska Law Center, across from the State Capitol at 635 South 14th Street in Lincoln, Neb., and may be reached at (402) 3271603 and 12 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

BUSINESS NEWS Just Good Meat Hosts 27th Annual Charity Golf Outing Just Good Meat proudly sponsored and hosted its 27th annual golf outing to benefit the Siena/Francis House on October 21st. The day-long event included time spent on the driving range and practice green followed by 18 holes of golf in a 4-person Best Ball Scramble tournament format, concluding with a steak dinner catered by Just Good Meat and an awards ceremony with team prizes, pin prizes and a raffle drawing. This year’s event raised over $4,000 for the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter, the region’s largest facility providing food, shelter, clothing and hope to homeless men, women and children. Their mission extends beyond merely answering physical needs to the acceptance and affirmation of the human person, the creation of an atmosphere of hospitality, and the provision of purpose and meaning in the lives of people who struggle for survival. Just Good Meat has supported the work of the Siena/Francis House for over 30 years. Special thanks are extended to the following sponsors: McMullen Ford, Holstein Harley Davidson, Equitable Bank, Advantage Food Equipment, Harvest Food Distributors, and to all others who helped make this event a huge success! For further event details or to find out more about Just Good Meat, call (402) 339-7474 or visit the website at

Downtown Omaha Dazzles During Holiday Lights Festival The Holiday Lights Festival, produced by Mayor Jean Stothert and the Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation and presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, KMTV 3 and STAR 104.5, showcases downtown Omaha and celebrates the spirit of the holidays by providing a full season of fun, festive, family-friendly activities. Festivalgoers will find an abundance of holiday spirit in downtown Omaha this winter. The five-week Holiday Lights Festival is packed with exciting activities to offer a little something for everyone each weekend. Favorites include the annual Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony, the Making Spirits Bright Holiday Concert, Sounds of the Season, all held in November, as well as the Conagra Brands Ice Rink (open Dec. 9 – Jan. 2), Wells Fargo Family Festival (Dec. 4) and the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular. The community theme will once again be a campaign to “Shine the Light on Hunger,” encouraging the entire community to help fight hunger by dropping off non-perishable food and household items at the iceskating rink and collection barrels placed at other locations throughout the community, including area Baker’s stores. Community members can also donate online via the “Shine the Light on Hunger” page on the event website. Last year, ConAgra Foods, the predecessor to Conagra Brands, and the community collected more than 144,000 pounds of food and raised over $447,000 during the campaign. This was the equivalent of more than 1.4 million meals donated to Food Bank for the Heartland, meeting the community-wide campaign goal. The company’s Foundation matched proceeds collected at the ice rink dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. This year’s campaign goal is 1.4 million meals. For more information, including a list of this year’s sponsors, visit www.

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Capstone Consulting, Inc. Named to 2016 Inc. 5000 List Inc. magazine has ranked Capstone Consulting, Inc. No. 1717 on its 35th annual Inc. 5000. This is the first time the company applied and has been named on the list, which is one of the most prestigious rankings of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment- its independent small businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000. “Making the Inc. 5000 for the first time we applied is an achievement that we consider quite an honor,” said Jim Richards, President of Capstone Consulting. “Our company has been in business for 17 years and we are blessed to continue to grow by delivering top quality IT services and solutions. In the high-demand world of IT, our dedicated employees pave the way by delivering for our clients. We enjoy serving our clients as they continue to make the world be a better place. Capstone has been blessed with strong relationships in both the commercial and public arenas. This award is a testament to our employees’ work ethic, delivery and commitment.” For more information about Capstone Consulting, Inc., please call (402) 881-8454 or visit

NP Dodge Receives 2016 BBB Integrity Award in Omaha Metro Area NP Dodge Company received the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Integrity Award at an award ceremony at the Embassy Suites Omaha–La Vista Conference Center on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. These Awards focus on demonstrated ethical business practices with key stakeholders including customers, employees and community at large, rather than a company’s growth, profitability or popularity. The Integrity Award Winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges consisting of metro Omaha business leaders and members of the academic community. NP Dodge Company is the first real estate firm in the area to ever receive this prestigious award. Founded in 1855, NP Dodge is America’s oldest, family-owned, full service real estate company. “It’s no secret that ethics and integrity are core values of our company,” said Nate Dodge, president of NP Dodge Company. “From the first Nathan who started the company over 161 years ago to today, these are our guiding principles. We are honored alongside an elite group of organizations in the metro that realize dealing fairly and honestly with customers and partners are critical to all business relationships. This award is a direct reflection of the work our employees and sales associates are doing every day.” NP Dodge has over 1000 employees and sales associates in seven divisions. The divisions are NP Dodge Residential, NP Dodge Insurance, TitleCore National, NAI NP Dodge Commercial, NP Dodge Land Development, NP Dodge Property Management and NEI Global Relocation. To find out more about NP Dodge Company, go to DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 13


“Vacant or Unimproved Lot Application” Deadline Approaching

Offutt Collision Repair Hosts 50th Anniversary Celebration

Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds Diane Battiato is reminding owners of two or more vacant or unimproved lots, which are being held for sale or resale, that if they want to take advantage of LB 191, Nebraska Revised Statutes, Sections 77-132 and 77-1314, they must file a form 191 annually. Battiato said that according to the statutes, if the lots are vacant or unimproved and being held for sale or resale, the owner can have the lots treated as one parcel for property assessment and property-tax purposes. Interested owners should file the form 191, “Vacant or Unimproved Lot,” with her office by December 31 of each year.  If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday as it does this year, the filing deadline is the next business day. To learn more about the Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds office, and the important services it provides, visit www. or

Offutt Collision Repair (offuttcollisionrepair. com) recently celebrated being a part of the Bellevue comm unity for 50 years. On September 15th, the public was invited to join in the celebration and help honor who helped build the company. A ribbon-cutting with the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce was one the highlights of the festivities.

Omaha Becomes a CreativeMornings City Omaha has officially been accepted into the CreativeMornings community and will join 157 other creative cities across the globe. CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community and will serve as a new outlet for our city to be recognized on a global scale, adding to Omaha’s strong arts and culture scene and growing reputation. Kim Sellmeyer, creative director for the Greater Omaha Chamber and Steve Gordon, brand architect and founder of RDQLUS Creative serve as co-hosts for the Omaha chapter. Sellmeyer’s desire for Omaha to become a CreativeMornings community came from the We Don’t Coast brand building process and the need for our community to have a place where creatives could come together to collaborate. The monthly breakfast lecture series is designed to highlight our creative community, which employs more workers in arts and culture than Salt Lake City, Louisville, Kansas City, Austin, Raleigh, Des Moines, Colorado Springs, and Nashville. (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 – 2013). The first series kicked off with the global theme, fantasy, Nov. 11 at 8 a.m. at the Hot Shops Art Center. Nebraska native and world travelling photographer Dean Jacobs headlined the event. Find out more about Omaha CreativeMornings and register for the next event at

Save the Date: Triumph of Agriculture Expo Returns to Omaha in 2017 One of the Midwest’s premier indoor farm events, the Triumph of Agriculture Expo will be held March 8-9, 2017 at the CenturyLink Center-Omaha, 10th and Capitol Avenue, just off I-480. The 51st Annual Farm and Ranch Machinery Show will once again be filled with the latest agricultural innovations, equipment and supplies with more than 900 exhibits for farmers, ranchers, and their wives to visit all on one level of over 200,000 square feet in the state-of-the-art CenturyLink Center-Omaha. Regarded as one of the largest indoor diversified short-line farm machinery shows, the Expo has something for every kind of farm operation. The Triumph of Agriculture Expo offers visitors a hands-on experience with continuous demonstrations so those attending will be able to compare and evaluate quickly and conveniently, all under one roof, in one location and on one level with over 4,500 on-site parking spots available. The Triumph of Agriculture Expo is produced by Mid-America Expositions, Inc. and is sponsored by the Mid-America Farm & Ranch Machinery Council. Free admission tickets can be obtained in advance from exhibitors, County Extension agents, farm machinery and equipment dealers or at the CenturyLink Center-Omaha door. 14 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Just as many cars created in 1966 have morphed and changed with modern times, so has Offutt Collision Repair. In 1966, George Rybar Sr. opened up Offutt Auto Body. He created an auto body shop that provided well for his family of 7, and quickly became well known throughout the community.  In 1987, his son George Rybar Jr. purchased the family business with the dream of creating a state of the art body shop and opened a new collision center on 15th and Cornhusker. The Rybar name is recognized throughout the community not only for the quality repairs done at Offutt, but for their community support. George Junior is ready to start a new chapter and has begun the process of selling his business to Chad Kunkel.  Chad has worked for Offutt Collision Repair for over 23 years and is proud to take the reins as the new owner. From its roots, Offutt Collision Repair has supported the community, which in turn has trusted Offutt Collision Repair with their vehicles for over 50 years, and Chad plans to continue that legacy.

Lawing Financial Opens Office in Omaha, Plans for 2017 Growth Following the Department of Labor’s final ruling on fiduciaries and conflict of interest, Lawing Financial is strengthening its team and positioning itself for future growth. The Overland Park, KS-based company opened a new office in Omaha this year, led by Director of ERISA Services for Qualified Plan Advisors Matthew Eickman, and is expecting the office to grow. The new fiduciary rule states that anyone providing retirement investment advice must abide by a “fiduciary” standard and put their clients’ best interest before their own profits. When the Department of Labor last issued a ruling, in 1974 in the form of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 401(k) plans did not exist and IRA’s had just been authorized. While many investment professionals act in the best interest of their clients, others create incentives to drive customers to particular investment products. The Department of Labor estimates the new rule will save middle class families billions of dollars every year. Eickman joined Lawing Financial nearly four years ago after 11 years of private legal practice focusing exclusively on employee benefits. He provides fiduciary training, Investment Policy Statement oversight and design, and vendor oversight. He also frequently speaks on regulatory developments, fiduciary responsibilities, and retirement readiness. Lawing Financial has more than 90 financial advisors who serve clients in more than 40 states. The Omaha office is the company’s newest location. Find out more about Lawing Financial at Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Lawing Financial Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Lawing Financial, doing business as Qualified Plan Advisors (QPA) / Lawing Financial and Cambridge are not affiliated.


Holmes Murphy Celebrates New Office With Chamber Ribbon Cutting H o l m e s M u r p hy & Associates was recently joined by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce to celebrate its new office located in the Zurich Building with an official ribbon cutting. The momentous occasion m ar ke d s i gn i f i can t growth the company has experienced since acquiring a fraternal service brokerage. “We were honored to host the Chamber and welcome community members to our new location,” said Cameron Burt, Vice President, Property Casualty at Holmes Murphy & Associates. “We thank all those in attendance who took the time to gather for our exciting milestone. By joining colleagues under one roof, we look forward to further collaborating and continuing to offer the best service to our valued clients.” The office accommodates 44 employees that, in addition to fraternal services, specialize in employee benefits and property casualty. Holmes Murphy is dedicated to promoting health, protecting wealth, and delivering peace of mind for all clients in the Omaha area and across the state of Nebraska. Holmes Murphy & Associates is an independent brokerage serving business and industry leaders across the nation in the areas of property casualty insurance, employee benefits, captive insurance, risk management and loss control. For more information on Holmes Murphy, visit or follow on social media - Twitter (@ holmesmurphyins) - Facebook - LinkedIn.

Douglas County Veterans Treatment Court Opens, Joins Nationwide Support Efforts District 20 State Senator John McCollister, the Honorable W. Mark Ashford, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Nebraska’s ProblemSolving Court Statewide Coordinator Scott Carlson were joined by volunteer veteran mentors and other special guests on Friday, November 4 at the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center for the inaugural ceremony to open Douglas County’s new Veterans Treatment Court. Veteran Treatment Courts (VTC) operate in most states in the Midwest, and there are more than 220 VTCs nationwide. Most VTCs are run by county or other local court systems. They are used to divert offenders into treatment programs instead of sending them to prison. Less than 1 percent of Americans serve in the Armed Forces, but 25 to 30 percent of American prisons are populated by veterans. Currently, about 11,000 veterans are being served by VTCs, saving taxpayers $248 million and achieving a 98 percent success rate. Nebraska already has a system of problem solving courts, which includes a Young Adult Court and several types of Drug Treatment Courts. Senator McCollister introduced LB 915 in the 2016 legislative session to add a Veterans Treatment Court Pilot program to the current roster of problem solving courts. LB 915 was folded into LB 919, Senator Matt Williams’ priority bill, which was passed by the legislature without opposition. Nebraska’s new Veterans Treatment Court is a wise investment and will restore the lives of people who made great sacrifices for our country. “When we consider what our veterans have done for us, it becomes imperative that we not just ignore the challenges they may experience from their military service,” said Senator McCollister. “If we restore these veterans to full health, we will all benefit from the effort.”

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Darren Kinney

TALON STEEL BUILDINGS As a general contractor specializing in allsteel pre-engineered buildings, Talon Steel Buildings offers a wide array of quality features and optional accessories to improve functionality and enhance your building’s appearance, while standing behind the quality and integrity of every building they sell. Darren Kinney is the owner of Talon Steel Buildings. Tell us a little about your business. - There was a need in the Ag industry so we started off with structures designed for farmers and diversified our offerings from there. We celebrated our five-year anniversary in February of 2016 and our core business is mostly commercial buildings today. How did you get started in the business? - My background is in construction. I’ve been doing it my whole life; it’s all I’ve ever known. My business partners and I built Talon Steel from scratch and have been learning and growing ever since. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - With Talon Steel, I would say it’s been getting used to paperwork and not working in the field. I enjoy the physical work. Going from the field to the office was difficult transition for me. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - My business. When we first started all we had a steel desk, laptop and flip phone. We’ve come such a long way! Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Bonita and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We have 3 amazing children. Peyton (22) pitches for the UNO baseball team. Bailey (26) is an art teacher and professional photographer. Ande (20) is a salesperson in Lincoln. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - I accepted Jesus Christ when I was 27 years. All through life there have been ups and downs but I am blessed to be here. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I enjoy hunting during the fall. My wife and I like to go watch baseball games and hang around Omaha. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I used to play golf at a 5 handicap. What are you the most proud of? - I love my family. All of my kids have turned into such great people and I enjoy being around them. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Be humble, be hungry, and be the hardest worker in the room. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Korkow Ranch Ministry in South Dakota. We service wounded warriors and PTSD survivors. Statistically, twenty-two soldiers take their lives every day stemming from PTSD. The ranch is a safe haven where they can get away from it all to relax and enjoy themselves, with a shooting range, go-kart track, hiking trails, and pheasant hunting. It’s so rewarding to see them smile. It’s something that I’m so passionate about. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - I love to read! I just got done with a biography on George Washington. I really like to read about leaders. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Jerico’s Restaurant. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Ulysses S. Grant. He was an utter failure at everything but war, so it would be a fascinating conversation given our current state of affairs. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Office: (402) 937-5937; Website:

JEFF Jeff Killeen

ENGINEERED CONTROLS Engineered Controls Inc. is a locally owned and operated business specializing in building automation, access and security control solutions. Headquartered in Omaha, Engineered Controls also has full-service branch offices in Lincoln and Des Moines, IA, providing sales, consulting, construction and 24/7 services support. Jeff Killeen is the Business Development Manager for Engineered Controls Inc. Tell us a little about your business. - As a leading building control technology contractor, Engineered Controls’ goal is to provide customers with products and services to create efficient, safe and comfortable building environments. Engineered Controls offers complete turnkey building control solutions including system design, new construction and owner-direct retrofit sales, installation, repair service, and preventative maintenance work for smart buildings. We employ over 90 people throughout Nebraska and our employees collectively represent over 825 years of industry experience. When combined with our hands-on experience, this ensures that our clients receive the most cost-effective and professional service possible. How did you get started in the business? - I just recently joined Engineered Controls within the past 6 months. Having my father in the business for 40+ years, I was always around it growing up so when an opportunity presented itself earlier this year, it felt like the right time to make a change to an industry I’ve been around all my life. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Developing a good understanding of local/regional economy and all of the different vertical markets that Engineered Controls is involved in. ECI can provide solutions for building automation systems including HVAC controls, security & access controls, lighting controls, gas detection systems, and parking management systems. Tell us a little about your family. - I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Jessica, for the past 9 years. We have two very busy children, Brynn (7) and Gavin (5), and a dog, Nala. Jessica works as a kindergarten teacher in the Elkhorn school district and both kids are active in swimming and gymnastics. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - I feel like I’ve had several, from playing college football, to getting married, to the births of my children. Probably the most recent major turning point was the decision to switch career paths and come to work for Engineered Controls. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Swimming or boating with my wife, kids, and friends. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I am also a registered pharmacist. What are you the most proud of? - My kids. They make us laugh a lot and are growing up to be good friends and people. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Communication is the key. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Trustworthy. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Professional athlete. I’d love to get paid to play sports for a living. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - I recently read all of the Game of Thrones books and enjoyed them a lot. What is your favorite movie? - I’m a big Indiana Jones fan! What is your favorite local restaurant? - Oscar’s Pizza & Sports Grille. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Frank Sinatra. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Office: (402) 339-1300; Email:; Website:

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DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


May your days be

BRUCE Bruce Kenkel

LARUE COFFEE & ROASTERIE LaRue Distributing, Inc. is a family-owned business founded in 1972 by Verlyn L’Heureux. LaRue offers fresh roasted coffee under its own private label and for multiple other businesses such as restaurants, convenience stores, and institutional coffee services. LaRue had expanded throughout six states and increased its product line to over 230 products including non-carbonated beverages, cappuccino products, snacks, and paper supplies. Today, LaRue services over 10,000 customers in seven states via route sales representatives. Route personnel provide product delivery and equipment maintenance on a routine, scheduled basis to meet each customer’s individual needs. LaRue also ships nationwide from its We hope this joyful season brings you and your 30,000-square-foot warehouse facility. Bruce Kenkel is the VP of Sales family lots of laughter, love and good cheer. and Marketing at LaRue. Tell us a little about your business. - LaRue continues to offer a full line Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, from all of coffee, tea, cappuccino, juice, and frozen drinks along with paper of us at Pinnacle Bank! and break room products for businesses. LaRue has 19 warehouses and 29 delivery routes across the Midwest. How did you get started in the business? - LaRue was one of my clients when I owned Phones Plus, a wireless provider. After working at Cox Communications and Brightstar, I was a business consultant and worked with LaRue on a couple of projects which enticed me to want to become a permanent part of the LaRue team. I joined the company in May 2016. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - While introducing new technology and updating product lines, ensuring business sales goals and quality standards are achieved can be a real challenge. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I have worked with many wonderful people over the years. It is rewarding 16_POG61_STRICTLYBUSINESS_HOLIDAY_AD.indd 1 11/14/16 2:40 PM to help and mentor friends and colleagues to achieve both their personal and professional goals. Tell us a little about your family. - I’m married to Jennifer Mulholland and we have three children. Alex is a senior at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. Rachel is a sophomore at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and Mason is a junior at Elkhorn South High School. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Relax on our deck, work out, bike or grill out with friends and family. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - One of my most happy places is in a tractor or other equipment at my parents’ farm. What are you the most proud of? - My family. I’m part of a huge group of fantastic people who love to have fun. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Make someone smile, be generous with your gifts, and always be kind. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Caring. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - That’s hard to narrow down. I love all music, especially the 80’s rock and county. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - The power to heal. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - The American Cancer Society; I lost my first wife to cancer and my father and fatherin-law are currently undergoing treatment. What is your favorite movie? - I enjoy watching action or comedy genres. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Oscar’s Pizza & Sports Grille, they serve fantastic wings! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Contact me at (800) 658-4498 Ext. 123 or at bruce.kenkel@ Feel free to access our website at 18 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016 Bank


Dan Mickells

UNICO GROUP UNICO Group, Inc. is a full-service insurance and financial services agency. With four locations and more than 100 team members across seven states, UNICO Group is an industry leader in the Midwest. Dan Mickells is Risk Advisor in the Business Division at UNICO Group. Tell us a little about your business. - The services we provide range from commercial insurance, workers’ comp, and employee benefits to personal insurance, financial planning, human resource solutions and wellness solutions. I work in both our Lincoln and Omaha market areas with all types of businesses, assisting with insurance solutions and managing business risk exposures. How did you get started in the business? - I previously worked for a national carrier where I was involved in all areas of insurance including agency, operations and claims management. I was approached by UNICO Group and immediately knew it was a perfect fit as I could leverage all my strengths to complement their team. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Professionally, I pride myself on being a lifelong learner and have achieved several insurance designations, most notably the CPCU designation. I feel that learning is critical. It helps me refresh my point of view, have a new take on the old way of doing things, and approach each day positively. I hope that I’ve instilled this curiosity for lifelong learning in my kids. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Tiffany manages the executive and high potential development programs for a large insurance company. We’ve been married for 20 years and have been blessed with three children. Sydney is a freshman at UNL, Peyton is a sophomore at Lincoln East, and our son Cole is a 5th grader at Maxey. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - My dad was an insurance agent for State Farm Insurance and at a young age I was able to see the profound impact of his work up close and personal. This profession allows us to help people in some of the most difficult situations and at the same time build deep relationships in the community. He is my mentor and role model and I’m proud to be in the same field as him. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I’m an avid golfer, so I love a good game of golf. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - When I was 12 years old, I was selected as a batboy for the College World Series. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I have been actively involved in TeamMates for over five years. I really enjoy the opportunity to be paired in a mentoring relationship with a student. I have found that they are eager for someone to regularly coach them and provide a different perspective. I am also actively involved in the Nebraska Human Resource Institute (NHRI). This organization matches college-aged student leaders with students in elementary, middle and high school based on their capacity to demonstrate servant leadership qualities. This organization, too, focuses on the future – our kids – and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time. What is your favorite local restaurant? - My favorites in Omaha are Maria’s Mexican Restaurant in Ralston (they have the best tacos around) and La Casa Pizzeria. In Lincoln, we love to have a night out at Vincenzo’s Italian Ristorante. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 429-2048; Email:; Website:

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9816 North 52nd Street | Omaha, Nebraska


9816 North 52nd Street | Omaha, Nebraska 9816 North 52nd Street | Omaha, Nebraska

DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


BRIAN Brian Beadle

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® OMAHA Two Men And A Truck ® Omaha is a full-service moving company, specializing in local and long distance relocation as well as offering supplies, assistance with packing, and in-home or in-office rearrangement for a variety of purposes, such as moving furniture to have the carpets cleaned or heavy items like a piano or refrigerator. Brian Beadle is the Marketing Director for Two Men And A Truck ® Omaha. Tell us a little about your business. - At Two Men And A Truck ® Omaha, we’ve differentiated ourselves from the competition by taking a unique approach in our industry as a customer service company first and a moving company second. We also attribute a majority of our success to our high level of community involvement and charitable giving. Since opening in 1995 this location has grown to a 22-truck business, and one of the largest in our 300+ franchise system. How did you get started in the business? - I actually began my career at our international home office in Lansing, MI as a franchise marketing specialist. In this position, I was a marketing consultant for 40+ different franchises across the country. After working extensively with these locations for just over a year, I received a job offer from the Omaha franchise. And now I’m here! What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Everyone runs their businesses differently, and more specifically in my case, each location had a different level of engagement with their marketing. This ranged from a complete hatred of spending money on marketing to an over-exorbitant, flushing Benjamins down the toilet style of spending. Both of these styles can be equally challenging to consult with. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Becoming part of the Two Men And A Truck® family has been the most fulfilling and opportunity-laden experience I have ever had in any work environment.

NOW YOU CAN Our team of clinical experts, world-class research and state-of-the-art equipment, gives us the ability to respond to the need in Omaha. Madonna changes the conversation to NOW YOU CAN.

Tell us a little about your family. - On September 17, 2016 I married the love of my life and one month later we moved across the country together! Talk about some big life changes. I get my enjoyment of hard work from my father who is a landscape architect, and my entrepreneurial side comes from my mother who owned her own optical technician business. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? This came about when I realized that I would not progress in my career by only focusing on my own goals. Rather, when I started focusing on the goals of others around me and the common goal of our business, doors started to open. Nice guys do finish last, but productive nice guys finish first. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - So many hobbies! I’ll start by saying that it’s definitely doing something outside. Fishing, duck hunting, and camping are all favorites. I’m also a complete real estate nerd so I can often be found scouring real estate listings. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Since I’m new to the community I have yet to develop any favorites, but ask me again in a couple months and I’m sure I’ll have a few. What is your favorite local restaurant? - I can answer that one: Wilson & Washburn. Best burger I’ve ever had. | 800.676.5448


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Our Facebook page is a great start, Two Men And A Truck ® Omaha, NE. After that, give me a call at our office and I’d love to chat, (402) 597-6683.


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Diane McVicker

THE VACATION STORE & THE CRUISE COMPANY The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company is Omaha’s premier travel provider, celebrating over 30 years in business. Diane McVicker is a Leisure Travel Specialist with The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. Tell us a little about your business. - The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company is such a great job! We are a full-service agency selling cruises, airline tickets, hotel and car rental and custom vacations worldwide. What fun it is to get to know people and their likes and help make people’s dream vacation a reality! How did you get started in the business? - It’s almost a little embarrassing! I worked evenings in my early jobs. During the day on Christmas season, I was home watching The Love Boat while making Christmas decorations. I thought to myself, “I want to do something like that” and so I did! What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Understanding the needs of the vacationer. They are never the same, as everyone’s vision of their ideal getaway is unique. There is a great deal of listening and getting to know your clients to make sure their wants and needs are met. What has been your most important achievement professionally? There have been so many! Knowing how many wonderful clients have been with me for the last 35 years and continue to come back, speaks volumes. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Jump in the car for a road trip! I love to be spontaneous and I’ll go just about anywhere. You know what they say…what happens on the road, stays on the road! What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - On top of my job at The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company, I have another full-time job of caring for my parents who both have Alzheimer’s. This is extremely time-consuming but also very rewarding at the same time. What are you the most proud of? - My greatest accomplishment by far is raising a beautiful, loving daughter who makes me proud every single day. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Listen! I have a lot of energy and tend to get carried away in conversation. Therefore, when this was brought to my attention, I was surprised but very appreciative. Sometimes you just need to stop and listen. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? – Passionate (both in my work and in my personal life). If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Real estate. My father was wildly successful and I believe I could have been as well. It’s all about the personality. You never know; it’s never too late to reinvent yourself and try something new. What is your favorite TV show? - Right now, it would have to be The Walking Dead. I never miss it! What is your favorite local restaurant? - Spezia. It’s always SO good. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Robert Redford. Not only is he a great actor but he seems to be a decent human being. He’s also pretty easy on the eyes! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - You can reach me directly at (402) 339-6800 / (402) 339-6803 / (800) 289-5505 / Email: Or stop in to see me at 14137 Q Street. Omaha, NE 68137. Make sure to check out our website at too!

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Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

402-403-4334 SANDLER TRAINING by Karl Schaphorst, President •

Existing Clients: Could There Be Gold in Them Hills?

For the past two years, every Thursday afternoon unless it was a holiday, Sally has religiously made phone calls to existing clients seeking additional business or if not that, then a referral to someone else. Her success in doing this is well known in the company. Other salespeople shake their heads, and some attribute her success to luck; others think she mysteriously brainwashes her customers. “Hello,” says Sally into the phone, “Marsha, is that you? Terrific. And yourself? I appreciate that, but this is actually a business call. For sure. With your help, I’m trying to do one of two things today. Either we decide to talk about more business or, if that isn’t going to happen, I need to know who you could put me in contact with . . . does this make sense to you? It does make sense? Good. Your turn to talk.” I don’t understand, thought Sally to herself halfway through her normal Thursday afternoon phone call routine, why the other salespeople think I’m just lucky. So far I’ve made fifteen calls, got three appointments and four referrals. “Sally,” called Greg, walking into the office, “You calling your customers up again and putting the hex on them?” “What day of the week is this, Greg?” “Yeah, yeah, I know, Thursday. And what does Sally do on Thursday? She sits down and dials for dollars. You’re just lucky.” “It’s not luck. You’ve all listened to me on the phone. All I do is ask for business or a referral, and I do it every week. Luck has got nothing to do with it.” “Well, you just have a knack that no one seems to be able to copy.” “What do I do that doesn’t make sense to you?” she asked, becoming annoyed. “Why can you do it and we can’t?” “Because you won’t use the words I use, and the reason everyone gives is that they don’t sound right. They didn’t sound right to me, either, when I first started using them. But after a month or two, they do sound right . . . and they work. You all know that.” Greg sat on the desk next to hers and said, “I appreciate what you are saying Sally, but you’ve got your style, I’ve got mine, and I do alright. Why change?” Sally has definite goals as a salesperson. In addition to goals, she has also adopted behaviors that help her reach her goals. One goal is to call existing customers every week on the same day and time. Sally consciously made the decision to always call on Thursday afternoon to ensure that this time would not be used for something else. In addition to her “religious” prospecting of existing customers, she has another goal that is a bit more subtle but equally as important. What she says to her customers during the follow-up call is almost identical, call after call. By keeping the wording almost identical, she can determine the effectiveness of her wording. If she varied the wording from call to call, there would be no way to determine the effectiveness and what to rephrase. Greg doesn’t want to use her wording because it’s “not his style.” Does Greg have a goal to increase his sales? If he does, as most salespeople do, then perhaps his current style does need to be changed to determine if the change would result in more sales. To do better, you have to change how you work instead of just doing the same thing you currently do for longer periods of time expecting that better results will just come. 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

DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


PERSONNEL NEWS Heartland Women’s Network Announces New Board Members

Jordan Nun Promoted to VP of Sales and Marketing for Yield Champions

Heartland Women’s Network (HWN) has announced their 2016-2017 Board of Directors. The following individuals promote the mission of HWN – to provide the structure women in the Heartland need in order to grow professionally and personally.

Dennis Nun, President of Yield Champions, has announced the appointment of Jordan Nun of Lincoln, NE as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Jordan and his wife, Sarah, have been associated fulltime with the Conklin Company, Inc. and Yield Champions since 2011 where he has developed a group of crop production clients across Nebraska and northeast Kansas.   He has also been recognized as a Sales Director and President’s Club Member by the Conklin Company. Jordan was also selected as a member of the Nebraska LEAD Program for class 35 in 2015 which will be traveling in January 2017 to Thailand, Laos and China on their LEAD Agricultural Study-Travel Seminar.

Director: Amy Nieman; Events & Program Chair: Tonya Mathison; Membership Chair: Mindy Kidney; Finance Chair: Jessica Blake; Creative & Web Chair: Raina Garcia; Social Media, Marketing & Secretary Chair: Julie Strzyz; Sales & Sponsorship Chair: Katie Adler. Heartland Women’s Network is comprised of women from all walks of life - including business professionals, business owners, primary caregivers and college students. Please visit HeartlandWomensNetwork. com to learn more about how HWN can help you. To become a member contact Mindy Kidney at Membership@HeartlandWomensNetwork. com today and let HWN serve as your advocate to help you with career development, difficult transitions and success strategies.

Interiors Joan and Associates Designers Receive ASID Project Awards Professional interior designers Jenny Colson, Colby Washburn, Beth Settles, and Jerome Bergmeier, all of Interiors Joan and Associates, were recently recognized at the I mpactFULL Awards Banquet for the Nebraska / Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Jenny Colson received the Gold Award for h e r wo r k o n a private residence in the category of Residential, over 4,000 square feet.

Dennis says, “I’ve been associated with the Conklin Company, Inc. since 1974, so my son Jordan really grew up with our business and has literally traveled the country as our business has expanded to all 50 states. We were excited to have him join our business in 2011 as an Independent Distributor and he has developed an impressive client base of his own while serving our entire organization as a trainer, videographer, webmaster and speaker at numerous local, state and national events.” For more information, please visit or contact Jordan via email or text, | (402) 540-1545.

Jenny Colson

Colby Washburn

Dr. James Wisecarver Named 2016-17 President-Elect of National Organization James Wisecar ver, M.D., Ph.D. was recently chosen as 2016-2017 presidentelect of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). He will ser ve as president-elect until fall 2018 when he will become president.

Beth Settles

Jerome Bergmeier

Colby Washburn received the Gold Award for her work on a private residence in the category of Residential, over 4,000 square feet. Beth Settles, assisted by Jerome Bergmeier, received the Gold Award for their work on a private residence in the category of Residential, over 4,000 square feet. Photos of the award winning projects can be viewed on the firm’s website, Interiors Joan and Associates is an interior design firm that has been offering timeless home and office design solutions for over 50 years. Their ASID design team is experienced in interpreting individual tastes and identifying specific needs in order to provide clients with personalized, functional designs and furnishings. Along with showrooms that offer unique, decorative items for sale, Interiors Joan and Associates also specializes in custom-ordered furniture, window treatments, artwork and accessory items that will set your space apart from all others. 24 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Founded in 1922, ASCP (www.ascp. org) is a medical  professional society with more than 100,000 member board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals, and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. Currently, Dr. Wisecarver serves as vice chair for clinical affairs in the UNMC Department of Pathology and Microbiology. He also is medical director of Nebraska Medicine’s clinical laboratories and Human DNA Identification Laboratory. Dr. Wisecarver’s involvement in ASCP has included serving on the Council on Continuing Education, and later on the board of governors of the ASCP Board of Registry (now Board of Certification). He helped organize a new examination committee to develop the molecular biology examination and associated credential that is now being offered through the ASCP Board of Certification. He also has organized and presented molecular diagnostics workshops offered both through ASCP and the United States and Canada Association of Pathology.

PERSONNEL NEWS Donna Naimoli of Centris FCU Named Ted E. Bear Hollow Volunteer of the Year

Ohlmann and Wagoner to Lead Inpatient Therapy for Madonna’s Omaha Campus

Congratulations to Donna Naimoli of Centris Federal Credit Union, who has been named Ted E. Bear Hollow’s Volunteer of the Year! She was recognized at the organization’s Grief Awareness Conference on November 18th. Naimoli serves as Executive Assistant to President/CEO Steve Swanstrom, both of whom attended the event and are pictured after the presentation.

Michele Ohlmann, physical therapist (PT) and Cheryl Wagoner, speech language pathologist (MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CBIS) have been named the inpatient therapy directors for Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals—Omaha Campus. Ohlmann will oversee the acute rehabilitation taking place for both adults and children and Wagoner will direct the inpatient rehabilitation for the Rehabilitation Specialty Hospital.

Founded over 80 years ago, Centris Federal Credit Union is one of Nebraska’s largest community-chartered credit unions with the mission of being a trusted life-long financial partner. Centris serves Douglas, Sarpy, Lincoln and Pottawattamie counties and has 12 offices located in Omaha, Grand Island and North Platte, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. For more information about Centris Federal Credit Union, visit

Omaha Association of Health Underwriters Installs New Board The Omaha Association of Health Underwriters (OAHU), an organization of health insurance agents, brokers and professionals, installed its 2016-17 board earlier this year. Leah Vetter was installed as the new OAHU president. Leah is the Area Assistant Vice President at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and is also involved in the Suburban Rotary, Omaha Venture Group, and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Leah has been in the insurance industry in the Omaha area for the last ten years. She has been an active member of OAHU for the last 5 years and has held such positions as Membership, Secretary/Treasurer and Public Service. The 2016-2017 Board: Leah Vetter – President – Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.; Sam Nigro – Past President – Compass Benefits; Andrea Batten – President Elect – Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.; Cara Kirsch - Secretary/Treasurer - SilverStone Group; Paul Scholz - HUPAC Chair - OCI Insurance and Financial Services; Wendi Peterson - Professional Development Chair - Benefit Professionals, Inc.; Ashely Adam – Media Relations Chair – UnitedHealthcare; Brad Smith - Legislative Chair – INSPRO Insurance; Mike Pietro – Membership Chair – Aflac; Mike Just - Awards Chair – BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska. The National Association of Health Underwriters represents more than 100,000 professional health insurance agents and brokers who provide insurance for millions of Americans. NAHU is headquartered in Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Michele Ohlmann Ohlmann is currently the inpatient therapy director for the Lincoln Campus. She oversees the inpatient physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapies and therapy support services. Since joining Madonna’s therapy team in 1993, she’s been a member of several acute rehabilitation programs, including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, orthopedic and pediatrics. She has served in a variety of leadership positions, including inpatient PT supervisor, clinical coordinator of clinical education, stroke Cheryl Wagoner program leader and is currently a stroke team mentor. Ohlmann attended the University of NebraskaKearney and holds a Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Wagoner is responsible for the management of the inpatient physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapies and therapy support service of both campuses’ Rehabilitation Specialty Hospital. She has 16 years of expertise as an SLP at the Lincoln Campus. Her varied leadership positions for the organization include being a mentor and a Passy-Muir® clinical consultant. Wagoner received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a Master of Science degree in speech language pathology from UNL. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals ( offers world-class medical rehabilitation and research. Specializing in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, pulmonary conditions, stroke and neurological diseases for adults and children; Madonna takes the most medically complex cases. Madonna offers hope and healing and returns patients to their community settings at a higher rate than industry benchmarks. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital-Lincoln Campus is located at 5401 South Street; (402) 413-3000. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital-Omaha Campus is located at 17500 Burke Street; (402) 401-3100.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know & Who Knows You! At Strictly Business M a ga z i n e, we strive to recognize local businessmen and women for their significant awards, promotions, achievements, and/or efforts in partnership with other organizations and the Omaha Metro community. If you know of someone who meets these criteria and wish to include their news in our publication, please call (402) 466-3330 or submit your news via our website at DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 25

PERSONNEL NEWS Stan and Vicky Smith Recognized as Sales Directors by Conklin Company, Inc.

Kirkham Michael Promotes Chad Marsh to Nebraska Operations Manager

Dennis Nun, President of Yield Champions, has announced the appointment and recognition of Stan and Vicky Smith of Lincoln, NE as Sales Directors. They began their association with the Conklin Company, Inc. as Independent Wholesale Distributors in 2001 after moving to Lincoln from Imperial, NE.  They were appointed Sales Managers in February of 2011, District Managers in October of 2011, and qualified for President’s Club in 2015. Since then they have developed an ever-growing business serving farming operations in southwest Nebraska, eastern Nebraska and eastern Iowa.

Kirkham Michael & Associates, Inc. recently announced that  Chad Marsh  has been promoted to the position of Operations Manager for the Nebraska offices. Marsh will oversee operations in Omaha, Lincoln, and York, NE.

Dennis adds, “Stan and Vicky are an amazing couple and have become great friends. It has been a pleasure to work with them for the past 15 years and see them develop a network of field managers and clients across Nebraska and Iowa. In addition to providing sales and service to his own network of customers, Stan serves at the manager for our Conklin Business Center here in Lincoln that serves as a local warehouse and training center for Yield Champions.  We couldn’t serve the Lincoln area without this guy.  We are proud of their accomplishments.” For more information, please visit or contact directly via email at or text to (402) 430-7727.

Chad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role within the firm. He has been an integral part of the Kirkham Michael team throughout the last 16 years leading survey, design, and construction engineering projects. Chad is also instrumental in developing working relationships with local, state, and federal clients. “Chad has demonstrated leadership and business management proficiency throughout his tenure with Kirkham Michael. He is a key part of our success and we are thrilled to promote him to this important position,” said Michael Olson, President of Kirkham Michael & Associates, Inc. Kirkham Michael & Associates, Inc. is a full-service civil engineering firm with 70 years of history serving public and private clients throughout Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas and surrounding states. For more information, visit

Steve Hilton Named General Manager of New Omaha Marriott Downtown in Capitol District Marcus® Hotels & Resorts recently announced that Steve Hilton has been named general manager of the 333-room Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District  hotel, scheduled to open in summer 2017. Marcus Hotels & Resorts is a minority investor and will manage the 12-story high-rise hotel. Hilton will oversee pre-opening and opening activities for Omaha’s newest full-service hotel that will serve as an anchor for the Capitol District (www.capitoldistrictomaha. com), an upscale urban destination dining and entertainment community located in the center of downtown Omaha. It will offer 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space with an additional 16,000 square feet of pre-function space, outdoor event space, hospitality suites, roof-top swimming pool with bar/ entertainment area, full-service restaurant and bar, Starbucks® café in the lobby, attached parking garage and personalized concierge service. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Hilton spent 13 years in general manager roles, serving most recently as general manager of Embassy Suites Convention Center and Courtyard by Marriott Omaha La Vista, both in Omaha, Neb. Prior to that role, he served as general manager of Embassy Suites in Lincoln, Neb. and Embassy Suites Charleston Convention Center in Charleston, S.C. Also active in the community, Hilton has served as chairman for Downtown Lincoln Association and Lincoln Visitors Bureau Travel Council, and served on the board of directors for Sarpy County CVB and Chamber of Commerce. To book an event or reserve meeting space at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capital District hotel for 2017 and beyond, visit www.  or contact  LaurieNielsen-Singer@ 


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

PERSONNEL NEWS Cross Pointe Innovations Welcomes New Wireless Mobility Specialist TJ Dobson

Kicks for a Cure Announces Hire of Stacie Sarasio as Executive Director

Cross Pointe Innovations is pleased to welcome TJ Dobson to their team as the newest Wireless Mobility Specialist for their CPI Wireless Solutions division. Mr. Dobson will be responsible for new business development in the Metro Omaha and Lincoln, NE territories. Prior to joining Cross Pointe Innovations, he held positions in the wireless industry as a channel distribution manager and outside sales. In operations since 2009, CPI Wireless Solutions, an exclusive business partner to Sprint, is a separate division of Cross Pointe Innovations. Cross Pointe Innovations is a Communication Consulting Firm that specializes in helping businesses maximize their wireless spending within their business. By putting customer’s needs first and following through with the delivery, Cross Pointe Innovations continues to help businesses save money with this expense, surpassing over $6 Million in realized savings.  Cross Pointe Innovations manages over 160 business clients across the United States. For more information, please call (402) 934-1452, email, or visit their website at www.

Kicks for a Cure is proud to announce the hire of Stacie Sarasio as Executive Director. Sarasio has 18 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and development. She began her career with the Kansas Children’s Service League in 1998 and moved to Omaha in 2005, accepting a position with the American Cancer Society. In 2009 she founded Non-Profit Services, and since that time has worked with various nonprofit organizations and professional trade associations. Kicks for a Cure also announced the retirement of Ann Bird, Amie Schellpeper, and Betsy Schuring from the Board of Directors. Elected to the Board were Kate Betsworth, Rod Kestel, and Teri Mercer. In addition to the above, the Board of Directors includes: Debra Denbeck; David Karnes; Randall Koski; Brian Leiferman, Vice President; Steve Lindsay, Advisor; Kevin Quinn, Treasurer; Natalie Simmonds, Secretary; Kristin Lewis, Friends Group President. In eleven years, Kicks for a Cure has funded over $2.4 million in local cancer research. The 12th annual Kicks for a Cure is being held April 21-22, 2017. For more information visit or contact Stacie Sarasio at or (402) 210-9446.

Woody and Dana Bradford Newest Face on Barroom Floor Tw o b u s i n e s s a n d community leaders – Woody Bradford and Dana Bradford – were honored as the newest Face on the Barroom Floor on Nov. 16 at the Omaha Press Club. The prominent father-son duo has each made his mark on the community. D.C. “Woody” Bradford III has been practicing law in Nebraska since 1967. Currently a partner with Houghton Bradford Whitted PC, LLO, he is a past president of the Nebraska State Bar Association (1997-1998) and the Omaha Bar Association (1992-1993).  Active in the community, Bradford currently serves on the boards of the Omaha Press Club, the Omaha Police Foundation and the Omaha Crime Stoppers. A longtime baseball and basketball coach when his four sons were growing up, Bradford is a member of the Benson High School Hall of Fame and is a Fellow in the Nebraska Bar Foundation and the American Bar Association. His numerous awards include the Robert M. Spire Pro Bono Award and the Nebraska Bar Association Visionary Award. Dana Bradford is the oldest of Woody and Patricia Bradford’s four sons. He serves as chairman and CEO of Waitt Brands, a consumer brands company that includes such brands as Bobby Jones, Sunice, Vornado, Viking and Battle. From 2005 to 2012, Dana was president and managing partner of McCarthy Capital. He currently sits on the board of Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH), one of the larger homebuilders in the U.S., and Southwest Value Partners, a San Diego-based real estate investment company. Dana has been active in the Omaha community through such organizations as Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA), Aksarben Future Trust (and Aksarben Village), Knights of Aksarben Foundation, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Omaha Community Foundation, Robert Daugherty Foundation, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Ronald McDonald House, Nebraska Innovation Campus – University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and 75 North, an organization dedicated to revitalizing North Omaha. Dana is a member of the Westside High School Hall of Fame.

Greater Omaha Chamber Announces Slate of 2017 Board They’re ready invest their time and expertise to support the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and its hard-working members. The 2017 Board Nominating Committee announces the following slate for the 2017 Greater Omaha Chamber Board of Directors: Executive Committee: Chairman - Leslie Andersen, president of Bank of Bennington; Immediate-Past Chairman - George Little, CEO and Chairman of HDR, Inc.; Secretary - Terry Kroeger, president and CEO of BH Media Group, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. and Publisher of the Omaha World-Herald; Treasurer - Steve Grandfield, executive vice president and CMO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska. At-Large Members - Sheri Andrews, president and CEO of Lozier Corporation; Dana Bradford, Executive Chairman of Waitt Brands; Chris Kircher, vice president of corporate affairs of ConAgra and president of ConAgra Foods Foundation; Clark Lauritzen, executive vice president of First National Bank; Rodrigo López, chairman of AmeriSphere Properties; Scott Moore, senior vice president of corporate relations of Union Pacific and Thomas Warren, president and CEO of Urban League of Nebraska. Chair of Chairman’s Council - Steve Seline, president and CEO of Walnut Private Equity Partners; Chair of Economic Development Council - James Blackledge, CEO of Mutual of Omaha; Chair of Membership Council Ariel Roblin, President & General Manager of KETV-Hearst Television, Inc.; Chair of Public Policy Council - Jim Greisch, managing partner of RSM; Chair of Minority Economic Development Council - Sherman Willis, State Farm Insurance. Other Council Chairs include: Agriculture Council - Carrie Duffy, Black Dirt Land Sales & Management; Community Brand & Image - Craig Meier, Medical Solutions; Greater Omaha Young Professionals - Noah McClain, Mutual of Omaha; Small Business Assistance Council - Brian Gubbels, DataShield Corporation; Sports Council - Jack Diesing, Aon Risk Services; Talent Council - Nicole Theopilus, West Corporation; Transportation Council - Mike Piernicky, Olsson Associates; Manufacturing Council - Brian Turner, Distefano Technology & Manufacturing Co. David G. Brown will serve as president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. The current Chamber Board voted to approve the slate, as presented by the nominating committee, on Friday, Nov. 18. To view the full listing, visit DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 27

NON-PROFIT NEWS Child Saving Institute Announces Award Winners at Annual Meeting

Sarpy County Museum to Host Annual Christmas Open House

Child Saving Institute (CSI; www. announced the following award winners during its 2016 Annual Meeting November 9 at Happy Hollow Country Club. This year’s awards were inspired by art created by four-year-old Eileen, winner of the Special Artist Award, who is in CSI’s Early Childhood Education Program. Donnette Borcherding, CSI Board Chair, Julie Cornell and CSI CEO William T. Gibble Award: & President Peg Harriott. Photo Hanscom Park United Methodist courtesy of Child Saving Institute. Church - Jan Heikes and LouAnne Gruidel, volunteers from the church’s “Women in Mission” group, come at least once a month for about 4 hours to refold and organize the clothing closet at the Triage Center, which supports children who have just been removed from their homes due to alleged abuse or neglect. Volunteer Award: Sally Mason - For the past four years, Mason Donnette Borcherding, CSI Board Chair, has coordinated the Crisis Kits on Special Artist Eileen Gladford and her behalf of the Christian Church parents, Curt and Jeanne, and CSI in Nebraska Disciples Women CEO & President Peg Harriott. Photo courtesy of Child Saving Institute.  for the youth in CSI’s Emergency Shelter. Since taking leadership of the project in August of 2012, Mason and the Nebraska Disciple Women have complied and donated 150 kits for CSI kids. The Ambassador Awards: Pamela Card and Travis Justice - Eight of CSI’s child care spots in the Early Childhood Education Center are filled directly through Early Head Start. Card, Child Development Coordinator for the Early Head Start Program through the Salvation Army, builds relationships with these families and works to ensure they are provided with quality care and resources. Justice has been a member of the CSI Board since 2012, also volunteering his expertise in the media and developed videos about the organization. Corporate award: MCL Construction - MCL Construction built the CSI headquarters building and has continued to support CSI over the years by providing invaluable advice, direction and assistance with the agency’s facilities and properties. Donna Tubach Davis Children’s Advocate Award: Julie Cornell - Cornell has been dedicated to raising awareness about the need for Forever Families for older children in foster care. For several years, Cornell has worked with Child Saving Institute and other adoption agencies to spotlight children who are available for adoption and in need of a permanent family. A.W. Clark Award: Dave Newell - Newell, CEO of Nebraska Families Collaborative (NFC), led his organization towards meeting all six federal measures for child welfare. Sarah Clark Award: Dennis and Melanie Taylor - Given to foster parent(s) who have opened their home and heart to children in crisis, children in need of safety, dependability and quality parenting, the Taylors have been foster parents with CSI since January 2015. Guardian Angel Award: Diana Shaw and Fred Strohl - Shaw and Strohl were selected aa exemplary CSI staff members who have shown outstanding and long-term commitment to CSI’s children and families. Shaw has been with CSI for 7 years and supports young children with challenging behaviors in early childhood classrooms. Strohl has been with CSI for 7 years and serves all of the agency departments regarding maintenance requests. 28 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Join the Sarpy County Museum on Sunday, December 4th from 2 – 4 p.m. during their annual Christmas Open House. Over 25 nativity sets from around the world and a dozen Christmas trees will be on display. This year’s celebration will highlight over a dozen trees decorated by nonprofit organizations, communities, and clubs throughout the county. This event is part of Bellevue’s Olde Town Christmas. During the open house, there will be a raffle of door prizes and the highly-anticipated drawing for the winner of the 2016 Raffle Quilt. This year’s quilt was made and donated by Carece Harstad and long arm quilted by Vicki Corcoran. The stunning king size quilt is done in pink and brown, green and creams. Tickets will be available up until the drawing for all raffle prizes. The museum invites the public in to see some beautiful Christmas trees, eat some holiday treats, and enjoy walking through the museum while local folk artist Michael Murphy provides entertainment. This is a terrific way to kick off the holiday season. For further details, contact Melissa Nelson at (402) 292-1880 or

BLUEBARN Theatre to Host The Ultimate Christmas Show The BLUEBARN Theatre ( is proud to continue Season 28 with the irreverent, zany comedy, The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). It boasts the talents of three of Omaha’s funniest comedic actors and BLUEBARN veterans: Bill Grennan, Jonathan Purcell, and Noah Diaz. BLUEBARN Associate Artistic Director Randall T. Stevens directs with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Carol Wisner, costume design by Melissa Penkava Koza, sound design by Craig Marsh, and properties design by Amy Reiner. Shows run through December 18, 2016 as follows: ThursdaySaturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 4th, 11th, & 18th at 6 p.m.; and additional performances Wednesday, December 7th and 14th at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 4th & 18th and Saturday, December 17th at 2 p.m. SOLD OUT: Sunday, December 11th at 6 p.m. and Saturday, December 17th at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets are $30 for adults; and $25 for students, seniors 65+, TAG members, and groups of 10 or more. This production is generously sponsored by Omaha Steaks.

New Scene Brings Spanish Flair to Ballet Nebraska’s Performances of The Nutcracker A chance encounter in Omaha’s Old Market inspired a new Spanish dance that will premiere next week in Ballet Nebraska’s upcoming production of The Nutcracker. Erika Overturff, Ballet Nebraska’s founder and artistic director, said that originally she had not been planning to create a new Spanish scene for The Nutcracker this year. But then she randomly came across a large, ornate Spanish-style fan lying on the sidewalk. Taking it as a sign, she reconsidered and it became her concept for the new scene! Beyond the new Spanish dance, The Nutcracker  will continue the traditional scenes and colorful characters that audiences appreciate: young Clara, whose dreams take her on a fantastic journey; her mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer; the menacing Rat Queen; the delicate Sugar Plum Fairy; and more. This combination of a charming story, lively action, and brilliant music and dancing makes The Nutcracker a ballet with something for everyone. Performances at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater will be  Saturday, December 3 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 4 at 2 p.m. Ticket information is available at

NON-PROFIT NEWS Alzheimer’s Association Calls for Volunteers The Alzheimer’s Association is looking for volunteers interested in joining its team with a single united goal - to help end Alzheimer’s disease and find Nebraska’s first survivor. Your support will help to ensure the organization is doing the most for men and women throughout the state facing this disease. The Nebraska Chapter has a number of different leadership volunteer roles available within the following fundraising events: Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Blondes vs. Brunettes, and The Longest Day. Volunteers are also needed to help with care and support: Community Presenters, Support Group Facilitators, and Public Policy Advocates. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to providing a meaningful experience for volunteers through empowerment, engagement and elevation. To sign up or to learn more, please visit and complete a volunteer application. Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today’s more than 5 million Americans to as many as 16 million by 2050. In Nebraska, the 33,000 people living with the disease are cared for by more than 81,000 unpaid caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association’s vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease. Visit® or call (800) 272-3900 for more information.

2016 Metro Area Youth Foundation Fundraiser Gala a Huge Success The 2016 Metro Area Youth Foundation (MAYF) fundraising gala was h e l d a t t h e Ra m a d a Inn Plaza. The event, the Summer Bash for Childhood Cancer, had o ve r 4 0 0 p e o p l e i n attendance.   They were entertained with music, auctions and a program featuring Honorary C h a r i s, D r. L e e a n d Marie Simmons Child Ambassador Alex Lopez and his mother Becky.  The event culminated MAYF’s fundraising effort which generated over $160,000. The 2017 fundraising event will be held on August 12th at the Embassy Suites La Vista Conference Center.   The event will again feature a night of entertainment, socializing and auctions including the dessert auction which generated $14,000 in the 2016 event.  The 2017 Honorary Chairs and Child Ambassador will be announced in December.  Ticket price will remain the same, $100 to attend. Metro Area Youth Foundation primary focus is to provide financial assistance to families with a child fighting cancer.  MAYF is a 501 (c) 3 foundation comprised of Optimist Clubs and their members in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa. The 2016 fundraising event was MAYF’s 10th annual gala. For more information please visit or contact Sue Penner at (402) 510-4083 or by email at suepenner2014@

Third Annual Holiday Lights Spectacular Brightens Holidays, Impacts Local Nonprofits Midtown Crossing is illuminating and amplifying the holiday season once again. The Holiday Lights Spectacular, a true sight and sound experience, returned to Turner Park in late November for a third year in a row. Featuring an enthusiastic blend of holiday music and light projected onto Midtown Crossing’s condominium buildings, this season’s evening shows will run Thursday through Sunday until January 1, 2017. The show lasts approx. 20-minutes each night and is being orchestrated by Holiday Lights Spectacular veteran FadeUp Design Group. New in 2016 – Midtown Crossing and the Holiday Lights Spectacular are proud to be partnering with three impactful nonprofits to raise money and awareness. Children representing each organization will “flip the switch” to start the shows during that nonprofits’ featured week – and donations will be collected at Midtown Crossing retailers. Dec 1-4: Child Saving Institute; Dec 8-11: Girls, Inc.; Dec 15-18: TeamMates. As it has in year’s past, the Holiday Lights Spectacular will complement Midtown Crossing’s other holiday happenings, including: Winter Warm-up on Saturday, December 3  from  2-5 p.m.; Girls’ Day Out on Saturday, December 10; and Ugly Sweater Crawl all day on Saturday, December 17. The Holiday Lights Spectacular is free to the public, three hours of garage parking included.

‘Spotlight on Design’ Fashion Show Raises Over $3,600 for Local Families Interiors Joan and Associates’ third annual “Spotlight on Design for Families” fashion show on Thursday, Nov. 3 attracted over 200 guests and raised $3,668.50 in monetary and in-kind donations for Heartland Family Service (www.HeartlandFamilyService. org). The ticket into the event was a donation from the Heartland Family Service wish list, which included socks for children and teens, towels and wash cloths, winter hats and gloves, feminine hygiene products and monetary gifts. Guests who brought a donation also had a chance to enter a drawing for door prizes. At the event, guests enjoyed Heartland Family Service President appetizers from Patricia Catering and CEO John Jeanetta models an and cocktails from The Tavern outfit from Lindley Clothing and vase as men and women modeled from Interiors Joan and Associates. clothing and accessories from a number of area boutiques, while showcasing the furnishings of Interiors Joan and Associates designers. Kontempo salon provided hair and makeup services for the models, and Mary Nelson from KMTV’s The Morning Blend was the master of ceremonies. “We are so truly grateful to Interiors Joan and Associates for putting together another wonderful event,” says Heartland Family Service Chief Development Officer Donna Dostal. “Their generosity, as well as the support of all of the vendors and attendees will truly make a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve right here in the metro area.” DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 29


Rejuvenating Women Awarded $50,000 Grant From Yahoo! Employee Foundation

Angels Among Us Hosts Special Ornament Fundraiser in December

A local non-profit dedicated to restoring the lives of human trafficking survivors received their largest donation to date in the form of a grant awarded by the Yahoo! Employee Foundation. “Trafficking is not just the fastest growing crime in the metro, it is also one of the most hidden. People are not aware of the volume of trafficking that is occurring within Omaha and the surrounding areas. At every income level, every familial status, regardless, it can happen to anyone,” Julie Shrader of Rejuvenating Women says. Rejuvenating Women, an organization that works to provide resources and services to survivors of human trafficking received a $50,000 grant provided by the Yahoo! Employee Foundation, an employee funded and directed foundation. This grant will allow the organization to continue serving women, providing funding for counseling, support services, and the newly acquired Restored Wings Home, a facility designed for up to two years of treatment and recovery services for former victims. For more information on Rejuvenating Women and how you get involved or help out, visit

Angels Among Us is excited to share that throughout the entire month of December, the organization will be selling adorable collectible angel ornaments for $20 in support of families battling pediatric cancer. The or naments, whic h were c r e a t e d by n a t i o n a l l y recognized glass artist Peggy Karr, were designed by one of the Angel kids, Yanno, a 5 year-old local boy battling leukemia. The ornament is Yanno’s depiction of his angel, which is green and represents the Hulk.  Proceeds from the sale of the ornaments benefit the Angels Among Us Guild and their efforts to bring special gifts of encouragement to our local families.  You can purchase the ornaments on the Angels Among Us website at under the “Ways to Help” section. Angels Among Us is a non-profit organization whose mission is to financially assist families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis.  In its ten years in operation, over 300 families have been helped with over $1.3 million in financial support. To l e a r n m o r e a b o u t A n ge l s A m o n g U s, p l e a s e v i s i t or contact Susan Nelson, Executive Director at (402) 934-0999 or

Latino Nonprofit Earns $800,000 Grant for South Omaha Businesses Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) has received an $800,000 grant to be used to grow South Omaha businesses and create nearly 50 new jobs. The Office of Community Services of the Health and Human Services awarded the grant, intended for organizations that serve low-income individuals and families by means of growing businesses within their communities, as part of the Community Economic Development – Healthy Food Financing Initiative (CED-HFFI). MLCDC plans to use the grant funds in the following ways: • $560,000 to develop Las Americans Kitchen Express into a fully equipped, commercially licensed kitchen for use by start-up or expanding food production businesses, including Melina’s Salsa, Chips and More and Chef Mario’s Inc., creating 10 new jobs • $70,000 equity investment in Melina’s Food LLC to develop a tortilla factory, creating 12 new jobs • $70,000 equity investment in Little Miss Fashion, a clothing manufacturer, to expand its production, creating 14 new jobs • Twins Daycare will receive technical assistance to develop a second site, creating 10 jobs • $100,000 to be used to administer the MLCDC programs and provide technical assistance to support the creation of jobs by participating businesses Las Americas Global Market (South Omaha Mixed Real Estate Project), located at 5025 S.33 St., will serve as the site for business development and job creation that will support the economic and social integration, and ultimately the financial independence, of low -income and minority families. Partners working with MLCDC include: Community Investment Opportunities (CIO); Nebraska Departments of Labor Economic Security and Health and Human Services; Small Business Administration; AIM Institute; Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership; Wells Fargo Bank; Valley Economic Development Center; Nebraska for Solar, Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund; Professional Associates Ltd. (Architect); Solar Heat & Electric, Omaha Power Public District, NALCAB and Conexion Americas. For more information, contact Marta Sonia Londoño Mejia at mlondono@ or (402) 850-0968. 30 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Midlands Community Foundation Brings Back Matching Charitable Program Midlands Community Foundation is excited to bring bac k its MCF Matching Charitable Program  beginning  December 1, 2016, and ending  January 6, 2017. For years, Midlands Community Foundation (“MCF”) has provided donors a simple, powerful and highly personal approach to giving.  As 2016 comes to a close, MCF looks forward to again helping donors accomplish their charitable objectives. Under the Matching Charitable Program, MCF will provide matching funds for  NEW  contributions made to existing and newly created Designated Funds, Field of Interest Funds, Affiliated General Funds and Donor Advised Funds.  Matching donations will be made on a dollarfor-dollar basis up to a limit of $5,000 per individual donor, and subject to a maximum of $100,000 of matching dollars being available in the aggregate for all Funds.  If more than $100,000 is contributed on an aggregate basis to all Funds, the matching dollars will be pro-rated among such donors based on the total contributions made. Last year, 532 donors raised more than $318,000 to support the missions of 46 charitable funds established at MCF.   The mission of Midlands Community Foundation is to benefit the diverse needs of the Sarpy and Cass county communities by providing financial support, involvement and service.  Since its inception, the Foundation has donated millions of dollars to many worthy organizations. For more information, contact Tonee Gay, Executive Director at (402) 991-8027.


Project Harmony Earns Re-Accreditation From National Children’s Alliance

Santa Monica Relocates Halfway House, Celebrates Expansion of Services

Project Harmony has been awarded re-accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the country, National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation denotes excellence in service provision, and accredited CACs must undergo a re-accreditation process every five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. Project Harmony is a child advocacy center providing services to Douglas and Sarpy Counties as well as 16 counties in Southwest Iowa. Within the last month, Project Harmony started delivering a coordinated response to children suspected of abuse/neglect or witness to a violent event using The Bridge in Fremont, Neb., as an alternate location – providing forensic interviewing, advocacy and medical support. After completing a full year of operation in 1996, Project Harmony served roughly 156 children. Now, 20 years later, Project Harmony has helped over 28,000 children tell their story and provide them with the support and resources they need to live a happier and healthier life. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, Project Harmony is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse. For more information about Project Harmony, visit

Santa Monica has officially moved its Halfway House program to a new location at 401 S. 39th Street. An Appreciation Reception was held on November 7th for those who were instrumental in supporting the expansion. The Alumni Association attended a Welcome Reception on November 10. This expansion allows Santa Monica to use the existing location as its step-down level of care. Santa Monica is now able to provide a continuum of care, which includes the ability to accommodate women with children. Women will participate in the Halfway House program, then transition to the ¾ way house. This will better prepare them for independent living. Founded in 1972 Santa Monica has partnered with over 2,700 women on their journey to recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Reuniting families, reintegrating productive women into the community and providing exceptional service has always been the vision of Santa Monica and continues to be for the future. For more information about the services provided by Santa Monica, please contact Heather Kirk at (402) 558-7088 or email heather@ Additional details about the organization can also be found online at

Ted E. Bear Hollow Announces Upcoming Tinsel & Tears Free Holiday Day Camps

On a hot day in July, high school seniors Alex and Mason saw an ad for free Rita’s Italian Ice at a Nebraska Community Blood Bank blood drive just blocks from their homes. They hadn’t had a chance to visit the recently-opened restaurant but they had an open afternoon and a craving for a cool treat. They made the short bike ride to the blood drive and not only claimed their frozen prize, but also became first-time blood donors. The duo left not only with a satisfied sweet tooth, but with a feeling of pride because they had taken the opportunity to help save lives by donating blood. Omaha Metro businesses - are you looking for ways to broaden your community presence? By partnering with Nebraska Community Blood Bank, organizations are able to support a great cause and help get more blood products directly to the people who need it most.   Each week Nebraska Community Blood Bank needs approximately 1,000 blood donors to meet the needs of local hospital partners. Their donated blood is used for trauma patients, struggling newborns, people undergoing surgery or battling cancer. Corporate sponsorship increases awareness of your own company but also increases awareness for organizations you care about. Your sponsorship can include blood drives, giveaways of products, advertising, financial contributions, featured content in company media, event support or volunteerism. If you are interested in learning how you can support the mission of Nebraska Community Blood Bank (, please contact Jessica Sodeke, Communications Coordinator, at (402) 486-9413 or DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 31

Te d E . B e a r Hollow proudly presents 2016 Tinsel & Tears - Free Holiday Day Camps for Grieving Families. Tinsel & Tears day camps are fun afternoons filled with activities designed to help the whole family remember loved ones who have died and to create new holiday memories and traditions.  Arts and crafts and refreshments included. There is no cost for children ages 3-18 and their adult parent(s) or caregiver(s). The schedule of upcoming events is as follows: December 3, 1-5 p.m. (Ted E. Bear Hollow facility) December 4, 1-5 p.m. (Ted E. Bear Hollow facility) December 7, 1-5 p.m. (South Omaha Public Library) December 11, 1-5 p.m. (Nelson Mandela Elementary School) December 17, 1-5 p.m. (Plattsmouth Middle School) Since 2001, Ted E. Bear Hollow has existed to support grieving children and families through day camps, peer support groups, and overnight retreats.   The organization serves all ages and provides professional training and education to schools, mental health practitioners, healthcare workers, PR professionals and the like.  All direct support services are provided free of charge. For more information, please visit or contact Rebecca Turner at (402) 502-2773 or rturner@

Nebraska Community Blood Bank: Partnerships Help Raise Awareness

NON-PROFIT NEWS Casey’s General Store Raises $1.5 Million to Help Send Kids to MDA Summer Camp

Papillion Community Foundation Sponsors Winter Wonderland Event

Casey’s General Store locations and customers in its 14-state area rallied together to raise a record $1,527,208 million during the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Summer Camp pinup program to help kids fighting muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases experience a week of fun and friendship at MDA Summer Camp — all at no cost to their families.

The Papillion Community Foundation is a proud sponsor of the 2016 Winter Wonderland Event, which was recently held on November 26th. This year’s event featured visits with super heroes, princesses, carriage rides and Ollie the Trolley rides, taking riders on a visit to see the lights in Papillion’s City Park. Free hot chocolate, popcorn and s’mores were provided by the Papillion Professional Firefighters Local #3767. The annual Chili Feed was held the same day at the downtown Papillion Fire Station.

From Aug. 1 to Sept. 5, Casey’s General Store and its associates sold pinups for $1 and $5 contributions to MDA, with the goal of helping send more than 1,900 local kids to MDA Summer Camp through their local office locations. This year’s pinups also included a “buy two, get one free” coupon for 7UP products. Casey’s General Store has raised more than $8 million since 2006 in support of MDA’s shared mission to find treatments and cures for people whose abilities to move have been compromised by neuromuscular disease - including everyday abilities like walking, running, hugging, talking and even breathing. In addition to summer camp pinup sales, Casey’s contributions from year-round local events help support MDA families, including the Casey’s General Store Muscle Team Dinner & Auction held on Nov. 2, 2016. Casey’s employees regularly participate in MDA Lock-Up events and also are involved in providing activities and volunteering at MDA Summer Camps across the Midwest.

Over $175,000 Raised to Support LFS Children Services Programs O ve r 4 5 0 p e o p l e attended Fandango ® and Wicker & Wine® on November 4 to support the Children Ser vices  programs provided by Lutheran Family Ser vices of Nebraska. The sportsthemed event, which took place at the Hilton Omaha, raised more than $175,000 through ticket sales, sponsorships, auction item sales and donations. The event featured Mrs. Nebraska USA Universal Amanda Reinert as master of ceremonies and guest speaker. During the event, Reinert shared her own personal story as a two-time survivor of child sexual abuse and highlighted how LFS programs were making a profound difference in the lives of children who have been traumatized. The highlight of the evening occurred when William Jones, age 16, a member of the Saint John Lutheran Church youth group in Council Bluffs, auctioned off a hug to two individuals for $500 each, raising $1,000. The honorary chair couples were Lawrence “Chip” James II and Erin James of Omaha, John and Tracy Jerkovich of Council Bluffs, and Dan and Martha Peterson of Neola, IA. Quinn Texmo served as event chair. LFS Children Services serves families across Nebraska and in Iowa through the Pottawattamie County Center for Healthy Families®. Funds raised support children receiving treatment for child sexual abuse, early intervention/prevention parenting programs, foster care and adoption programs. This event is made possible through generous support from LFS sponsors including the Fandango® and Wicker & Wine® “All Stars” sponsor  Lockwood Development. Pictures and event videos can be viewed online at 32 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

The lighting ceremony, a tradition that kicks off the holiday season in Papillion, occurred promptly at 6 p.m. on the stage. Other events included visits with Santa held inside the historic Portal School, photos with live reindeer, and craft activities for all ages inside Sump Memorial Library. Fun characters including Frosty, Elsa and Anna also visited with children in various locations downtown. Performances of a variety of live musical entertainment included a community carol sing-a-long. Founded in 1995, the Papillion Community Foundation works to fulfill its mission of identifying, developing and supporting community programs that enhance the quality of life in the Papillion community. In addition to Winter Wonderland the Papillion Community Foundation also hosts the long-running Papillion Days event. For more information about these events, the Papillion Community Foundation’s history, the programs PCF supports or how you can get involved please visit www.papillionfoundation. org or call (402) 331-3917.

“Dreams at Work”: Hundreds Travel to McCook for Community-Building Event More than 400 volunteer community leaders and guests attended Nebraska Community Foundation’s expo and banquet following all-day peer learning training sessions on Thursday, November 10 in McCook. This year’s theme, “Dreams at Work,” reflects the active role philanthropy is playing in helping communities achieve their vision for the future. As each year passes, the audience for the evening’s expo and banquet appears to be getting younger, as more and more young adults are stepping into leadership roles in their communities. NCF President and CEO Jeff Yost reminded the audience that with today’s technology, “People can choose to live just about anywhere. Our job is to help them choose ‘here.’” Training topics focused on ways philanthropic investments can help attract returners, stayers and newcomers. Volunteers with affiliated funds of Nebraska Community Foundation have stressed that the best way to learn about what works when it comes to raising and investing charitable dollars is to learn from one’s peers. Participants were energized by one another as they explored the new realities happening in rural Nebraska. More than half of Nebraska’s counties are experiencing net increases in adults in their 30s and 40s. Nebraska Community Foundation, headquartered in Lincoln, serves more than 250 communities across the state. Visit

NON-PROFIT NEWS Gretna Community Foundation Awards Grants Totaling $7,700 Gretna Community Foundation (GCF) has awarded grants totaling $7,700 to six non-profit organizations serving the City of Gretna and/ or the Gretna School District, including: • B o y S c o u t s o f Ben Justman (Sarpy County Historical Society), Trevor America - $500 Jodi Teal (Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding • Heartland Equine Ernst, Academy), Erin Koesters (Little Giants Foundation), and Therapeutic Riding Rod Buethe (Gretna Volunteer Fire Department). Not Academy (HETRA) Pictured: Gretna Soccer Club. $3,000 • Sarpy County Historical Society - $2,000 • Gretna Soccer Club - $600 • Gretna Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department - $1,000 • Little Giants Foundation - $600 The grants were awarded at a reception hosted by the GCF on November 17 at 9 a.m. at Gretna Insurance Agency. “We are happy to provide financial assistance to these non-profit organizations in support of their invaluable programs and services which will help enhance the lives of those in the Gretna Community,” said Susan Koesters, Board President. The Gretna Community Foundation is an affiliated fund of Midlands Community Foundation. Its mission is to help fund community improvement projects and help those in need in the Gretna community. For more information, please call (402) 991-8027.

Outlook Nebraska Brings Audio Description Service to Local Stages Outlook Nebraska, a charitable organization dedicated to positively impacting everyone who is blind or visually impaired, is partnering with multiple live-performance theaters in Omaha to offer audio description services at select shows for blind and visually impaired theatergoers. The audio description program allows individuals who are visually impaired to more fully enjoy the thrills of a live theater performance through a verbal description of the stage production during gaps in dialogue. Over 200 theaters nationwide offer audio description as a service to these theater patrons. Outlook Nebraska recognizes that many of its constituents are missing out on the enriching theater experiences available in the Omaha community. Outlook Nebraska is now working to reverse this trend with a new systemic audio description program, which kicked off this fall. Thanks to grant funding from The Enrichment Foundation and the Gary and Mary West Foundation, Outlook Nebraska was able to research audio description services, recruit and train seven audio describers, purchase audio description equipment and collaborate with local theater organizations, including Omaha Performing Arts, to offer the service free of charge to visually impaired theatergoers at select performances. Audio description is scheduled for select performances throughout the 2016-17 season at The Rose Theater, Orpheum Theater, Omaha Community Playhouse, Blue Barn Theater, Film Streams and Circle Theater. For more information on the audio description services now available in Omaha, and a list of all audio described performances, visit

Merrymakers Celebrates 30th Anniversary 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Merrymakers Association. The Merrymakers Association’s major annual fundraiser was held Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the La Vista Embassy Suites. It was the 26th anniversary of this event, which traditionally includes a roast of a prominent Omaha figure. Instead, the 2016 event was a “toast” to the Creighton Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Greg McDermott. Greg McDermott is the 16th head coach in Creighton men’s basketball history and has proven to be a top-notch recruiter and a sound tactician. He has coached 32 players who have earned some sort of conference award in his 15 years as a Division I Coach. The event started with a social hour at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner program and live auction conducted by auctioneer Scott Moore. Emcee was Mary Maxwell. Toasting Greg McDermott was Pat Garvin, Steve Powell and Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen. Corporate chair for the event was Daniel O’Neill and Toast Committee Chair was Sandy Parker. On the Toast Committee: Cathy Bonnesen, Amy Deardorff, Tom Kerr, Sandy Lemke, Cynthia Peacock and Ellen Wright. Over 310 attended the event, mostly comprising corporate tables. Sponsorships came in at $135,000 and a total of over $200,000 was raised. Major sponsors for the event include Stephanie and Jack Koraleski, Parker Family Foundation, Simmonds Family Foundation and The Vetter Foundation. For more information please visit or contact Patti Craig, Executive Director at (402) 697-0205.

Bridges to Hope Offers Several Options for Giving This Holiday Season During the holiday season, a time for giving, many people look for a cause that is dear to their heart to support. Prison ministry is a very challenging, yet important cause that is deserving of your consideration. At Bridges to Hope, they do not just give hope, they give respect, dignity, love and forgiveness to men and women who have been incarcerated. This is all done by giving them a second chance as they transition back into the community by allowing them to shop, free of charge, for clothing, furniture and household items necessary to start a new home. This year, to make it easier for you, Bridges to Hope has several options for giving: Now through December 12th you can shop Pampered Chef online and at least 20% of total sales will be given to Bridges to Hope. Visit On Wednesday, December 7th from 4-9 p.m. you can take a break from shopping and dine at Don & Millie’s in Lincoln, NE. Tell them you are dining for Bridges to Hope and they will donate 20% of the total sales to Bridges to Hope. All year long, shop on AmazonSmile ( and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your total sale to Bridges to Hope! Please visit for further details. You can also help spread the word by liking their Facebook page, following them on Twitter and simply passing the word along. Thanks to those in the community for your continued support! DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 33

HEALTH NEWS NET Honored for Concussion Website NET and the Nebraska Concussion Coalition took top honors for the website “Concussion Recognition and Management” in the regional CINDY (Cinema in Industry) competition. The website modules were created for Nebraska licensed health care professionals as a comprehensive overview and guide for best practices in concussion recognition and management to help ensure that every child sustaining a concussion in Nebraska is managed according to current best practices. Visit concussionmanage to learn more. The website was produced by NET for the Nebraska Concussion Coalition. The coalition, which is comprised of representatives from key government agencies, healthcare providers, club sport programs, educators and non-profit agencies, is taking the lead in implementing action-oriented steps to improve concussion awareness and change the culture of concussion management at play, school and home. NET professionals who worked on the project include Chet Kincaid, Jenni Johnson, Alex Epperson, Patrick Bate, David Barry, Steve Exon, John Beck, Jim Lenertz, Werner Althaus and Laura Williams. The first-place award was given in recognition of the new website’s impact in the medical and professional audience category for region seven (North Central U.S.) CINDY competitions.  NET operates the statewide public service network which includes NET Television, NET Radio, NET Learning Services and NET Technology Services. For more information about NET, Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations, visit

Oral Surgery Associates Opens New Office Location in Papillion Oral Surgery Associates is excited to announce they’ve recently opened a new office location i n Pa p i l l i o n located at 1502 S. Washington St. #200. Open to new patients in October of 2016, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce on November 10th in celebration. The board certified oral surgeons at Oral Surgery Associates provide a specialized scope of oral surgery that goes beyond the general dentist’s expertise.   Procedures performed include wisdom teeth removal, dental implants, extractions, jaw surgery and more. These professionals work closely with the patient’s general dentist to make sure that the patient is receiving the very best surgical care.   Oral Surgery Associates has been providing care in Omaha and Council Bluffs since 1969.    Their practice currently has nine board certified surgeons with 4 offices in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Fremont and now Papillion.  It’s the largest and most comprehensive group in the Midwest for a reason – Oral Surgery Associates provides the very best, safest care in addition to being one of the very few practices around that has Registered Nurses working alongside highly-trained assistants. For more information on Oral Surgery Associates, please visit www. or contact Amanda Visty at (402) 390-0770 Ext. 256 or by email at 34 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Pediatric Experts to Provide Medical Services at Madonna’s Omaha Campus A newly-signed physician coverage agreement aims to improve patient care and strengthen the longstanding relationship between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. Children’s— home to the vast majority of Nebraska’s pediatric specialists—will now provide specialty physician medical services for Madonna’s pediatric unit in Omaha. In the past decade, Children’s has consistently referred its patients in need of rehabilitation to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals’ Alexis Verzal Children’s Unit in Lincoln, and is projected to be one of the key referrers to the pediatric unit in Omaha as well. Once at Madonna, patients often still need access to the medical expertise offered by Children’s team of pediatric hospitalists and specialists. The new physician agreement aims to improve the quality and coordination of care, as well as the overall experience for children and families. The physician services agreement aligns with the mission and vision of both institutions and Children’s plans for growth. Children’s and Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals will continue to explore additional strategic initiatives and opportunities which could benefit pediatric patients and families. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals - Omaha Campus is located at 17500 Burke Street. For more information, please call (402) 413-3000 or visit

Promise Me Program Provides Free Mammograms for Women in Need OneWorld Community Health Centers and Medical Imaging Consultants provided free mammograms to underserved women in the Omaha area during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month thanks to a grant from Susan G. Komen® Nebraska. A mobile mammography clinic was on location at the OneWorld facility at 4920 South 30th Street on October 5th and October 25th. Approximately 20 patients were scheduled to receive the free mammograms. Komen Nebraska granted OneWorld funding to pay for the cost of each mammogram through the Promise Me program. OneWorld is well-known for welcoming individuals and families with or without insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, year-round. Last year, OneWorld cared for over 35,000 patients, 89% living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. OneWorld operates multiple locations thought out the Omaha metro area, including facilities in south Omaha, west Omaha, northwest Omaha, Bellevue and Plattsmouth, as well as several school-based health centers, and the OneWorld Teen and Young Adult Health Center. Established in 1970, OneWorld Community Health Centers, in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, high-quality, affordable health care with special attention to the underserved. OneWorld is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and provides comprehensive primary health care, dental and mental health/substance abuse care, as well as pharmacy services. The Center ranked in the top 1% of 1,200 health centers for quality of care in 2015, and is accredited by the Joint Commission, certified by NCQA as a Patient Centered Medical Home and the Human Rights Campaign. For more information, visit our website at

HEALTH NEWS Definitive Vision Announces Plans for Expansion Definitive Vision, Midtown Crossing’s full-service eye care center, is marking five successful years in the neighborhood with plans to almost double in size – a dramatic expansion with an eye on enhanced patient service. The expanded Definitive Vision, which will accommodate the practice’s growing staff, more desks for dispensing and adjusting glasses, additional frame lines and new exam equipment, will be located one door to the east of the current office. Dr. Shannon Elwood, optometrist and owner, stated that she expects to make the move in February. In the meantime, it will be business as usual at 3157 Farnam St. Definitive Vision utilizes the latest in eye exam techniques, technology and equipment, and offers the most contemporary trends and fashions in prescription eyewear. It joins a list of successful businesses – including Callahan Financial Planning, Garbo’s, and Hutch –  that  have expanded their footprint in Midtown Crossing and Omaha’s resurgent urban core. Other “local stars” have opened dual concepts within the neighborhood: The Grey Plume and Provisions by The Grey Plume, Brix – a Wine and Spirits Experience and Grane, and Corky Canvas and Corky Boards. Definitive Vision opened in 2011. It accepts most insurance plans, including VSP, Eyemed, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medicare. For more information, please call (402) 502-7323 or visit

FirstScan™ Introduces First and Only Clinic Dedicated to MRI Prostate Cancer Screening In June of this year, ScanMed® CEO Dr. Randall Jones (PhD, MBA) introduced the public to his newly released medical device, the Prostate/Pelvic Coil, a revolutionary MRI antenna (coil) that accurately, non-invasively, and comfortably facilitates prostate cancer screening. He promised Omaha’s Morning Blend TV hosts that this technology would soon be available to the local market—and now, it is. New Omaha-based company FirstScan™ ( offers affordable, non-invasive MRI prostate cancer screening. This is important because early detection does save lives from this typically slow growing cancer. One in seven men will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, so there is no reason to wait for a quality screening if you are over 40 years old. Using state-of-the-art MRI equipment, techniques, and trained radiologists, the predictive value of detecting a cancer are now above 90%, and it’s proven to eliminate the need for approximately 50% of biopsies. The screening service is simple, comfortable, non-invasive (no needles, no probes in the rectum), fast, and most importantly accurate and affordable – $595 to the client, including the radiologist report to their doctor within 3 business days – costing less than the typical out-of-pocket co-pay for insurance paid MRI. Dr. Jones, Chief Technology Officer, and an executive team of physicians and radiology service specialists spearhead the new company, employing the very latest MRI techniques combined with top-tier MRI systems and ScanMed’s new Prostate MRI antennas. Dr. Brian Loggie, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Creighton University serves as Medical Director, with several board certified radiologists interpreting and reporting the MRI. The clinic opened November 16th at a convenient location just off I80 (for those traveling) at 9840 S. 140th Street, Suite 5 in Omaha, NE with office hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  To make an appointment, please call (402) 934-1999.

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WELLCOM Honors 31 Area Companies for Excellence in Wellness, Health Improvement WELLCOM recently honored 31 of the midlands’ healthiest companies at its annual awards luncheon on Oct. 11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in La Vista. T h e E xc e l l e n c e i n Worksite Wellness Awa r d s L u n c h e o n honors organizations Rebekah Gregory (left), a survivor of for positioning the Boston Marathon bombing was the wellness programs as keynote speaker. She is joined by Rebecca a strategic business Vinton, president and CEO of WELLCOM. opportunity and making a difference in their employees’ lives. The luncheon featured a keynote address from Rebekah Gregory, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor. Nebraska Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert assisted with the awards presentations. 2016 award recipients included: Spirit of Wellness Award: Live Well Omaha. Governor’s Wellness Award - Large Grower: Cass County, Immanuel, Nebraska Medicine, Physicians Mutual, SilverStone Group, University of Nebraska-Omaha. Small Grower: Dodge County Head Start, SimplyWell. Large Sower: First National Bank, Fusion Medical Staffing, Omaha Marian High School, Werner Enterprises. Small Sower: Educational Service Unit 2. Trek Up the Tower Awards - Corporate Team Award: 1st place: Berk Up–Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies/ National Indemnity Company; 2nd place: Mutual of Omaha; 3rd place: First National Bank. Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces - Healthy Workplace Certification: Union Pacific Railroad (first company in the world to receive this certification). American Heart Association ‘Fit Friendly’ Award - Fit Friendly Platinum: Gallup, Nebraska Methodist College, Physicians Mutual. Fit Friendly Gold: Aetna Inc.; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; CQuence Health Group; The Gavilon Group, LLC; HDR, Inc.; Iowa Western Community College; Omaha Steaks; Streck, Inc.; Nebraska Medicine; Prime Therapeutics; Woodmen Life; Zurich. AHA Workplace Health Solution Recognition - Creighton University, Omaha Steaks. For more information about WELLCOM or how your organization can apply for a worksite wellness award, please contact Rebecca Vinton, president & CEO, at (402) 934-5795 or rvinton@ DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business 35


Custom Solutions For

YOUR Business! Bob Danielson, Owner

FASTSIGNS® of Omaha – 114th Street is an independently owned and operated sign, graphics and visual communications company that provides comprehensive visual marketing solutions to customers of all sizes, and across all industries. Interview with Bob Danielson, owner of the local FASTSIGNS® franchise at 114th and Dodge. Give us a brief synopsis of what your company does. At FASTSIGNS®, we use innovation and technology to make the sign-buying process simple. For the majority of our clients, signage is just one of the many facets of the job, and among the duties being performed on a deadline. With that in mind, we streamline the communication and production processes to meet your needs quickly – whether you need one sign or a thousand signs. We have a trained staff that provides our clients with sign ideas, and they know how to use all of the resources at their disposal to produce, deliver and install the signs too – whenever and where you need them. How long have you been in Omaha? The FASTSIGNS® of Omaha – 114th Street franchise was established in 1990 and I purchased it from the previous owner in 1991. I have lived in Omaha my whole life, growing up in the Benson area. Who are the owners/important executives? I am the owner with my previous wife Susanne Danielson. My son Andy Danielson works with me in sales and Mark Cullinane is the store manager. What do you think makes you different from other companies similar to yours? We take great pride in our consultative approach and ability to meet any of our clients’ signage needs. We obviously sell signs, but our most important offering is customer service. The final product is a direct result of the solutions we arrive at together throughout the process. What do you like about doing business in Omaha? Omaha is home. I have been many places but I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

remotely. Instead of purchasing a new sign the digital content can just be changed. This technology works great for menus, directories and advertising. As for our company, beginning in January of 2016, our point of sale system allowed us to become virtually paperless. Communication with our customers needing estimates, proofs, invoices and statements can all be done via email. Internally our work progresses from sales to graphics to production and installation if needed—all without paper. What was the biggest turning point in your business? I think it was in 2007 when we purchased our first UV Flatbed printer. This process allows for direct full-color printing on a wide variety of surfaces such as banners, plastics, glass, wood, metal, and even golf balls. What is one thing about your business that most people don’t realize? Everyone needs a sign, even if you are going out of business. What do you see happening with the business in the next five years? I believe that DDS is going to explode. Worldwide sales in 2017 are projected to be $17.1 billion. The technology has only been around for approximately 10 years, with the U.S. market accounting for over one third of sales. What has been your most important achievement as a business? Among over 615 FASTSIGNS locations worldwide, we have consistently been ranked in the top 5%. Over the last 25+ years we have had our ups and downs but I owe a lot of our success to my employees: Andrew Hofmann, Andy Danielson, Chalis Bristol, Jean Buick, Jillian Danielson, Mark Cullinane, Melanie Rueb, Rich Davenport, Ryan Malm, Shawn Cullinane and Thomas Adam.

Do you have a business philosophy or mission statement? Our goal is to work with you, the client, to provide the right communications solutions to meet your business challenges and help your company realize its full potential. We want to make you look great, and we have both the sign/ marketing knowledge and product expertise to help you succeed. What changes have you seen in the industry and your company in the past few years? The most impactful change in the industry has been the introduction of Dynamic Digital Signage or DDS. The biggest advantage it has over static signs is that content changes are dynamic, which means the digital signs can be updated

FASTSIGNS® of Omaha – 114th Street is located at 751 N. 114th Street and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Call or visit our website for more info! (402) 493-7960 | Online: 36

Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Winter driving, particularly given the fluctuating and often treacherous nature of the weather conditions we experience here in Nebraska, is not to be taken lightly. In fact, there are a number of safety measures to be taken in order to ensure that you and your family can safely travel from Point A to Point B whenever it’s necessary to do so. While much of this might seem to be common sense for many of you who are reading this, it’s well worth revisiting this time of year just to make sure that all necessary precautions have been taken. Consider this a prime example where we can all get behind the Boy Scouts motto: Be Prepared! First order of business – if your vehicle is due to for regular maintenance services, get them done now. Breaking down is never convenient, but it’s worse in the winter than any other time of year. Since bad hoses, belts, water pumps and spark plug wires can leave you stranded, it’s better to take care of them before cold weather really hits. It’s a far better option than spending the same amount of money after you’ve been sitting in your car waiting for roadside assistance. Taking your vehicle in for something as simple as an oil change also presents the valuable opportunity for inspection of other critical systems by your automotive professional. “As we all know, winter can be rough on our vehicles,” says Mark Griger, owner of Fleetmark Solutions, LLC. “The easiest thing one can do to ensure a safe and problem free winter is to have your vehicle inspected. A pre-winter inspection can identify problems that will hinder your winter driving, from brakes, tires, and suspension to anti-freeze, fluids, filters, and your battery. Any of these things can turn an already bad day into worse or even dangerous day. We at Fleetmark Solutions Mark Griger will perform a thorough inspection on Fleetmark Solutions your fleet vehicle and compile a report for your review with any suggestions or recommendations. With this information a plan can be put together to ensure your vehicles stay on the road this winter. No appointments necessary. We look forward to serving you, and Happy Holidays to all of you and your families! As his business specializes in the maintenance and repair of commercial vehicles and fleets, Griger also offers some insight on an issue that affects diesel-powered engines. “Diesel fuel can be a pest during the sub-freezing temperatures we experience in our area. Most of you reading this who drive or own these

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types of vehicles have probably dealt with this issue once before. At Fleetmark  Solutions we use BG products that are specially designed to prevent fuel gelling or waxing. We can also treat fuel storage tanks for optimal protection. These products not only prevent those bad days in the winter, but with the cleaning aspects of the compounds, it will also keep your fuel system cleaner as well as those pesky fuel injectors that we all know can become quite expensive. Call us for more information. These programs are customized to fit your unique needs.” Here are a few additional recommendations to consider: •

Read your owner’s manual (or go online!). Everything you need to know about scheduling your vehicle’s maintenance is detailed here, and being aware of the manufacturer’s guidelines provides a great amount of general knowledge for you as well as a baseline for general maintenance.

Cold weather tends to bring out the worst in your car’s electric system. Connections that are gradually making their way loose or getting corroded, or batteries that aren’t the best quality or are going bad, are the most likely factors checked when the issue is presented as “my car won’t start.” Get these little things checked out regularly so they don’t create bigger problems.

Believe it or not, you should make sure your air conditioner is properly functioning year-round. In the winter, your air conditioning system directly affects your defroster and your entire climate control system. Many times people drive with fogged up windows without realizing they are only one button away from being able to see! Make sure your blowers are set to recirculate and this will take care of the problem.

Consider investing in a remote car starter. In the colder months, it is very important for the performance of the vehicle as well as your safety and comfort to warm your car up before you begin driving. Also, it is technically illegal to leave your car started and unattended. With a car starter, you benefit from security features as well as the obvious added convenience. If someone were to get in your vehicle while it was running, which is improbable as it remains locked until you are ready to get in, as soon as they hit the brake to take it out of park the system kills the engine. For those who already have remote starters, it is also important to remember to keep your blower fans on a higher setting when you shut your car off so when you turn on your car with the starter in the morning your system will already be working!

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and at an accelerated rate during the winter when inclement weather conditions are far more likely to be present. As such, you’ll want to be adequately prepared in the event that you’re involved in one. There are precautionary safety measures you can take, such as ensuring your tires have the proper amount of tread and avoiding being out on 38

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the roads if possible when the weather is bad, but there are other things to keep in mind once the damage is done. “As the owner of a vehicle, it’s important to be aware that you have the right to have it repaired by your professional of choice,” emphasizes Boyd Dingman, owner of Dingman’s Collision Center. “So many times insurance companies and their adjusters will try to direct you to a place that may not necessarily have your Boyd Dingman best interests in mind. However, if you know Dingman’s Collision Center ahead of time where you would have your car repaired in the event of an accident, it makes it that much easier to be firm with your decision when discussing the specifics as opposed to getting swayed into taking your car to a place you are unfamiliar with. It also makes it easy to contact your collision center to set up the initial estimate and repair so that you are back on the road as soon as possible. Vehicles are much more complex now then even how they were made five years ago, and there are many new techniques, materials, equipment, and so on for repairing them. For this exact reason, at Dingman’s Collision Center we feel that it’s critical to stay up-to-date on industry specifics and training. Moreover, with so many details that go into the repair of a vehicle, and many of them not necessarily visible to the untrained eye, you really have to trust that the work is being done properly and there’s unfortunately no way to know unless it’s done poorly and problems arise after the fact. When choosing your collision repair professional, it’s a must to make sure that they are well-equipped to do the work on the specific make and model of your vehicle. You can find this out simply by asking if the shop has undergone any recent industry training or has experience working with similar vehicles, or you could also do your research by checking out their website and social media posts along with any consumer reviews that are available. In our business, word of mouth speaks volumes. Ask around to see who others you trust have used for collision repair in the past and then see whose name comes up more than once. If you have a mechanic who exclusively works on your vehicle, that would be a great person to ask for a referral as well. But above all, do your research and don’t just take an isolated recommendation at face value or the first recommendation that comes your way. Average truly doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to vehicle repair; you’ll want to work with a business that is focused on being the absolute best at what they do. Knowing who you are working with will make all the difference. As long as you’ve done your homework before you are involved in an accident, you’ll be prepared to act accordingly. Make sure that all of the drivers in your family know the basics regarding what they should do in the event of an accident so that everyone is on the same page. My advice is to talk about it together, establish a family plan, and type up a sheet of important details and contact information to keep in the glove box of each vehicle. This could potentially include your insurance agent, collision repair center, towing company, AAA membership information, emergency contact information, and even any existing medical conditions for responders. After an accident it’s very common to be a little bit rattled so the more information you have available for those who are first on the scene, the better. We have a form on our website at that you can download, fill out, and keep in your vehicle in case of an accident.”

While the weather has been unseasonably mild this year, you can bet we’re in for some classic Nebraska winter storms before all is said and done. Be prepared, stay safe, and we encourage you to utilize the expertise of our local professionals!

Eco-Efficiency Linking environmental and economic performance, eco-efficiency is a key part of the successful management of a modern business/organization. A key sustainability concept, eco-efficiency takes into consideration all of the integral parts of your business—the actual day-to-day functions— and how those components can be further optimized for the preservation of the environment while also positively impacting the business’s bottom line. Furthermore, when we use the term “environment,” it actually has a two-fold meaning: on a small scale, the environment that you do business in itself, and on the largest scale, our global environment. “Today more than ever, building owners want their facilities to be environmentally responsible and healthy places to live and work,” emphasizes Pat Killeen of Engineered Controls. “They also want to optimize the energy usage, without compromising comfort. Together a tall order to accomplish, but at Engineered Controls that technology

is available today. Furthermore, we benefit greatly from our partnership with Honeywell, a major energy products company that is spending sizable research and development funds on new products that will improve our lives and reduce energy. Engineered Controls can play a very big part in assisting new and existing building owners with controlling their buildings’ energy costs. Considering the fact that a building’s lighting and HVAC loads account for nearly 80% of Pat Killeen a building’s energy usage, there are plenty of Engineered Controls energy strategies that a Building Automation System can provide, maximizing the energy strategy options available to building owners.  Essentially, Engineered Controls can assist in total

DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


building control and help provide a healthier and more energy-efficient environment for occupants. To help our customers in identifying efficiency areas in their buildings, Engineered Controls, in conjunction with Honeywell Inc., developed an Energy & Environmental Optimization or EEO program. It is designed to leverage a broad portfolio of energy efficiency products and solutions, as well as offer a high level of energy expertise to commercial buildings in the hands of our skilled, knowledgeable and certified EEO professionals. Our EEO team can help building owners and managers obtain real-world data to help them make fact-based decisions about how to optimize their buildings for occupants’ comfort while saving energy at the same time. Engineered Controls also offers our customers Planned Service Agreements (or simply PSA’s) to assist them in the daily operation of their facilities. The PSA that has two elements: 1. Preventative Care & Routine Maintenance; and 2. System-Wide Energy Analysis.

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The first element focuses on the building hardware and is a standardized preventative maintenance program on a building environmental controls system to maximize the system’s reliability and to minimize the operational costs. In other words, our PSA program offers comprehensive system-wide checkups and testing to ensure that the control system is always operating at peak performance levels.  Building systems that are properly maintained and controlled will enable you to focus on the core of your business while ensuring that everything is running efficiently.  This also promotes longevity of equipment, protection of employees and equipment due to proper security measures, and energy efficiency which will result in minimizing operating costs and future unplanned capital expenditures. For the second element, our staff of trained experts will assist a building owner in identifying areas where they can reduce cost, identify simple potential energy savings payback opportunities, and provide training.  When our customers are interested a more aggressive approach to energy reduction, then we move them into our EEO program that was previously mentioned. Moving away from the building equipment perspective and focusing more on the building occupants, indoor air quality (IAQ) is of great importance. This can be a major concern to building managers, employees and tenants because it can impact the health, comfort, well-being, and productivity of the building occupants.  Having suitable indoor air quality in commercial buildings is an important component to the overall health of its occupants. Quality indoor air contributes to a favorable and productive environment for building occupants, giving them a sense of comfort, health, and well-being.  Significant increases in worker productivity have also been demonstrated when the air quality was adequate. Today in commercial buildings, automation systems exist that will monitor and control a buildings environment to look for possible contaminates.  The building automation system can also monitor human exposure to pollutants (e.g. carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds and more) that can have adverse effects on your workers’ health.  For example, high levels of carbon dioxide can cause drowsiness and create an inefficient work environment for building occupants, whereas other toxic gases like carbon monoxide are hazardous and potentially fatal for workers if not treated quickly.  To combat all of the indoor air problems that are present, Engineered Controls offers a Demand Control Ventilation software program that will automatically adjust HVAC systems to introduce higher levels of outdoor air only when occupancy levels of building contaminants are at a high level.  Equally important is that these features only induce more outdoor air when required, thus allowing building owners to maintain optimum levels of IAQ and at the same time obtain substantial energy cost savings while increasing the comfort and productivity of occupants.” “As radon and harmful vapors have gained more attention, especially in our area of the country, there has been an increased focus and regulation related to indoor air quality in commercial buildings,” adds Aaron Ruskamp of Thrasher.  “Nebraska and Iowa continue to rank in the top 5 for highest levels of radon. Because of this, air quality ventilation and mitigation has become more of a focus in the design and refitting of commercial buildings.  Whether you are dealing with new construction or a 50-year-old building, Thrasher has Aaron Ruskamp ways to address these issues proactively or Thrasher reactively.  We provide a variety of mitigation systems that address many aspects of indoor air quality, including radon, carbon monoxide, and other harmful vapors ranging from chemical pollutants to basic allergens in the environment.   These all have varying degrees of influence on employees’ health and productivity within the workplace. Thrasher provides custom solutions to fit the varying needs we encounter.  We do this by providing individualized inspections and assessment of the work environment in order to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.  Working collaboratively with our commercial clients, we identify their primary goals while helping them understand what solutions are available to achieve the best working environment possible when it comes to indoor air quality. 

Many of our clients have the goal of reducing radon or other harmful vapors to the lowest level possible, and this is something Thrasher believes is possible. One way to do this is to use an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) in conjunction with a traditional radon or vapor mitigation system.   Aside from the benefits of air quality, these systems have markedly improved when it comes to overall performance of the actual unit.  This is illustrated by a decline in air conditioning and heating energy costs, improved safety/health benefits, and greater ROI compared to other systems on the market. Our focus is on providing practical, cost effective, and sustainable ways to improve and maintain indoor air quality.  The mitigation system uses the amount of energy that a light bulb consumes in a year, and the ERV efficiently exchanges indoor air with fresh outside air while also having a positive effect on overall energy usage.  As with anything, systems can be designed and/or installed poorly.  The overall design should be well thought out, and the installation should be coordinated in conjunction with other contractors who may also be working in the building.  It is important to choose a reputable company who is considered an expert in the industry in order to maximize use of the system while also ensuring the job is done right the first time.   While the focus of indoor air quality has historically been residentiallydriven, with increased awareness, it only makes sense that we also consider the workplace as well.  The ripple effect of fixing one building at a time can have a significant impact on a personal and global level.  We believe in the idea that we should strive to reduce radon/harmful vapors to the lowest levels possible, not just what is recommended by the EPA or World Health Organization.  This is critical in redefining the way we view the commercial workplace from an air quality standpoint.” As previously mentioned, a good design is critical to the efficacy of the solution you are implementing—and in which you are making an investment. The professionals at Echo Systems are also well-known for customizing solutions for commercial buildings and bringing innovative concepts to life. This includes a multitude of different offerings from building control and automation to shading, lighting, and other aspects

that add enhanced function but also have the potential to transform the overall look and feel of the space. “We offer a host of solutions geared towards helping businesses optimize their environmental efficiency,” explains Doug Dushan of Echo Systems. “Shading, lighting, automation and energy management solutions are among our most popular offerings.   Our shading solutions help to promote productive environments, while also reducing the energy Doug Dushan consumption businesses would otherwise leave untouched.   Our lighting solutions, similar to Echo Systems our shading solutions, also impact the energy consumption. By focusing on task lighting, spaces can be lit appropriately and in conjunction with shading solutions, will help to maximize ambient light, reduce utilities required, and provide an overall more pleasant environment, both to internal personnel and to the environment.  Our automation and energy management solutions address the automation and sustainability of maximizing the energy efficiency of the space, while also providing live usage tracking and a historical overview of operations.  To find out more, please reach out to our dedicated staff here at Echo Systems at (402) 334-4900 or stop in and tour our Customer Experience Center at 4315 S. 120th Street Omaha, NE 68137.” Now that you have a taste of what’s out there currently, take a step back to look at the whole picture of your operations (and ecological footprint). You’ll find that there are many useful applications, and in all aspects of business, where eco-efficiency principles, tools, and processes can be applied. Whether it’s a small improvement or a large-scale solution, the outcomes are well worth at least looking into what you can do to improve your eco-efficiency. If you’re not sure where exactly to start, give one of our local professionals a call and go from there!

DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


The winter months are tough for a lot of us, but can be especially difficult for those among the senior population. This time of year, the Strictly Business team makes it a point to consult with our local professionals in order to offer guidance for seniors and their loved ones and report on all of the area resources that are available. From what do to when you’re gathering together for the holidays and notice signs that a family member’s health has declined or taking that opportunity to discuss plans for the future, to exploring options for respite care and companionship; from things to do in our community geared specifically towards fellowship and staying active/involved to the powerful impact that volunteering can make on the lives of others over the course of the next few months – our local experts have made sure to cover all of the important bases. This month in particular, most of us are blessed to be amongst family offer three meals a day, 365 days a year. Our residents and guests and friends. We share meals, play games, honor traditions, catch up and are served restaurant-style, and are presented a wide variety of menu simply enjoy the company. We travel if necessary, going to great lengths options. Seniors from the community may join us for delicious meals, to make it “home” for the holidays. With so much going on throughout planned and prepared by our certified chef, for a small fee. the year, it’s indeed a challenge for such a feat to happen any other Remington Heights also offers many events and fitness classes, free of time. As such, it’s important to take full advantage, and that extends charge, to seniors in the community. In addition to weekly strength training to certain things to keep in mind with respect to our senior loved ones. and aerobic classes, we are certified providers of the Rock Steady Boxing “As you gather with family over the holiday program, designed to strengthen and empower men and women who season it can be a good time to evaluate have Parkinson’s disease. We invite seniors in our community to join us for how your loved ones are living,” recommends a wide variety of programs featuring musical entertainers, educational Michaela Williams of Care Consultants for programs, and dinner parties too. the Aging. “Nutrition, hygiene and safety Please call (402) 493-5807 for more information about any of the topics issues are areas that should always be looked I’ve covered or to request our monthly invitation postcard.” at. Are your loved ones able to make meals on Also offering tips on avoiding the winter blues their own? Can they dress and bath themselves? and staying healthy throughout the next few Are you concerned about their balance or a months, Julie Laughlin of Home Nursing With fall risk? If you have concerns then it is wise Heart adds, “Enjoy some type of exercise to look at what options are available. Care or activity regularly. Whether you go for Consultants produces an ElderCare Resource Michaela Williams walks to exercise your body or do crossword Handbook that provides a complete listing of Care Consultants puzzles to exercise your mind, activities in senior services in the Lincoln and Omaha Metro for the Aging general are beneficial for keeping you feeling areas respectively. These are available in print vibrant. Also, keep an open mind about the and can also be viewed online at aging process. As we grow older our bodies Today, a move to a senior living community will be among the options, go through changes. Coping well with these but not the only one to be considered. Finding a caregiver to check in changes will make life better. Lastly, always on your loved one is a great way to ensure a senior’s needs are being Julie Laughlin try something new. When we try a new hobby, met and also helps avoid isolation. Caregivers can help keep seniors Home Nursing With Heart make new friends, or even volunteer, trying active and engaged in the activities they enjoy. Care Consultants can something new provides benefits like increased find caregivers to help with medical and non-medical needs and they energy, mental clarity, and overall feelings of vitality. can work from one to twenty-four hours a day.” Circling back to options for in-home care, respite for family caregivers Erin Endress of Remington Heights also during the holidays is critical to ensuring the health and happiness of addresses the importance of keen observation all during a time that’s already packed full of things to do. While you and taking extra safety precautions during the may just need help with non-medical services, it’s nice to have someone winter months. “Holidays are an opportunity around who can provide medical care and support as well. to spend time with loved ones, and to observe Seniors want to stay at home at all costs and an often overlooked service potential safety or wellbeing issues before is in-home care, which is oftentimes covered by Medicare. In addition they become a problem. Falls are often a to the host of services provided, these are professionals who can also concern in the winter. When visiting a senior help to regularly evaluate the home environment. As such, they are able loved one’s home, look for and address to make suggestions that will allow the client to continue to stay in their potential safety hazards, including loose rugs home as long as possible, or alternatively, will alert all parties as to or slick floors, missing hand rails, or excess when a higher level of care and support should be considered. When furnishings or decorations that may crowd Erin Endress challenges are identified we work with the patient, their family, and walkways. Remington Heights is offering a free Remington Heights many times a medical social worker, to help make the best choices for Balance and Fall Prevention Clinic on Tuesday, the patient and ensure they stay safe and happy.” January 10, 2017 and all are welcome to join. In agreement, Connie Chisholm of Immanuel notes, “Many times our As previously noted, nutrition is another concern. Does your loved one senior loved ones are resistant to accepting offers of help with every eat regular meals? Does he/she need assistance with shopping or day activities like house cleaning and maintenance or food preparation. food preparation? Meals on Wheels and senior community centers are However, with the hustle and bustle of the holidays it is a great time to well-known resources providing nutritious meals for seniors. If grocery offer assistance with meal and party planning, home winterization and shopping or food preparation is difficult, a senior living community may gift shopping to help take the stress off the senior while providing the be a good option. Many independent and assisted living communities much-needed help. provide nutritious, hot meals for residents. At Remington Heights, we 42

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In addition, it is not uncommon for seniors, in particular, to become a little sad around the holidays and throughout the winter months. They may be missing loved ones or longing for the outside activities they enjoy in the warmer season. It is critical for emotional, mental and physical wellbeing to continue normal activities as much as possible. All of the Immanuel communities have a pretty full activity, event and wellness calendar each month. During the holiday season this calendar is expanded to include more special entertainment and intergenerational activities and holiday gatherings.” The feelings associated with loss are unfortunately magnified during the holidays, a time when we tend to relive fond memories of the past. While this certainly doesn’t follow any age requirements, seniors do constitute the majority of this particular group for the simple fact that the longer we live, the higher the chance that a loved one has passed before us. Although it may seem appealing to skip the holidays all together after the death of a loved one, there are coping strategies available that will allow you to lean into your grief and promote healing while being able to incorporate your loved one into these special days if you choose. Here are a few suggestions: • The first year is usually the hardest. Because one doesn’t know what to expect, approaching the holidays for the first time can be overwhelming. • Plan ahead and discuss with family members as needed. • Allow yourself, and others, to grieve in their own way. • Take charge of your social life. Instead of avoiding social gatherings, consider attending ones where you’d feel comfortable and supported. • Scale back. Grief can be exhausting-mentally, physically, and emotionally so don’t over-commit if at all possible. • Honor your loved one’s memory. Go around the table and share a story, light a candle in remembrance, look at photo albums together, or make a donation in his/her name, etc. • Consider attending a support group. • Be gentle with yourself. Accept that feelings of anguish are difficult to avoid during the holiday season. Do not expect too much of yourself, and recognize that you are doing the best you can. • Draw comfort from doing for others. In addition to feelings associated with loss, seniors may not be able to get together with family and friends as they had in year’s passed, which can be equally difficult. “The holidays are a particularly difficult time of the year not only because of the winter blues, but also because time with family has always been an important part of everyone’s holiday,” says Lisa Arp of SilverRidge Assisted Living & Memory Support Community. “What we do here at SilverRidge in Gretna is provide a party room for family members and residents to reserve and host their holiday parties. Depending on the health of the resident, it is often hard to have them leave the facility. When the party comes to them, it is easier to Lisa Arp celebrate with all loved ones involved and still SilverRidge have the senior in a comfortable environment with no risk of accident or injury. During the holidays at SilverRidge we have a tradition that was started by our mother, Karen Sedlacek. We are family owned and operated -- my brother Dan is our Executive Director, my brother John is head of maintenance, my sister Lori is head of activities and I’m in charge of our marketing. Our mother Karen was a geriatric nurse before she retired. She understood how residents felt during the holidays and thought we needed to make our facility a little more festive during the holidays. She started by putting a tree in every common area in the facility and it has grown from there. Mom passed away six months ago and we are keeping her tradition alive. This year we will have close to 20 trees in the facility. All mantles decorated like home, complete with animatronic carolers, angels and nativity scenes. Tradition is important to us and we know it is important to our residents too. We love sharing our traditions with them as well as having them help us create new ones together.


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DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


Again, to reinforce a common theme, if you are visiting your loved one during the holidays and you notice a decline in their health, get them to the doctor as soon as you can. By a decline I mean that the house is not cleaned, there’s rotten food in refrigerator or sink, dishes aren’t done, you notice an odor or they have not showered, and so on. Basically you are looking out for anything that would appear to be out of the ordinary for them. This is especially important if you are visiting from out of town and do not see them often.   Early detection for any issue is key as your loved one may simple need a little bit of assistance, a home health aide, relocation to assisted living, or it could be something more serious. It may be hard to get them to go, but in the long run, it will lead to a better quality of life and longevity in life.” Holiday Volunteering Spotlight: There’s truly no better feeling than giving back, during the holidays or any other time of the year. There are many fantastic causes to support with your time and talents, and those that benefit seniors in our community who are in need are on that list. “The winter months can seem long and volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and remain active when it is cold outside. Many organizations rely on volunteers and are always looking for people that are interested. Realizing what tasks you enjoy doing and finding a volunteering opportunity that matches those should help in making volunteering a habit. The ElderCare Resource Handbook offers a listing of local volunteer opportunities and can be viewed at www.” – Michaela Williams, Care Consultants for the Aging “Volunteers are crucial in contributing to quality of life for seniors, especially in the winter months post-holiday season. After the activity of the holidays is over, seniors may be at risk for loneliness or depression. They may need additional assistance with activities like shopping or chores when winter weather rolls in. Volunteers bring friendship to lonely seniors, and regular visits give seniors something to look forward to. Community 360° is a nonprofit organization that screens and trains volunteers for residents of long-term care communities. They are a great resource for anyone who is interested in volunteering with seniors. Also,

Remington Heights is currently seeking a volunteer for an hour or two every weekend to assist with a group activity. For more information about volunteering for Community 360° or Remington Heights, please call me at (402) 493-5807.” – Erin Endress, Remington Heights “The presence and efforts of volunteers in our community truly make a difference for the seniors who call SilverRidge home. At SilverRidge we have several volunteers come to help residents with crafts and play games. Along with this interaction, it presents an opportunity for seniors to engage in meaningful conversation or simply the comfort of having someone who cares lend a listening ear. Our volunteers are also members of our Gretna community, and many are members of the Gretna Senior Center. The Senior Center comes to SilverRidge every first Friday of the month for Bingo, cards and lunch. These folks have become close to several residents, visiting on a regular basis and helping with activities at SilverRidge. We love all of our volunteers whether they are here for mass, church services, a helping hand, to be a friend or even to serve refreshments during entertainment. Volunteers play a huge role in the daily lives of our residents, especially those who do not have family. Anyone can be a volunteer. It’s just up to you as to how much time you want to spend volunteering. Reach out to your church, senior community, or non-profit organization serving seniors in your area to discover volunteer opportunities or to find a volunteer for a loved one. Of course, all are welcome to volunteer at SilverRidge, just give us a call!” – Lisa Arp, SilverRidge Assisted Living & Memory Support The holidays are a time of celebration for all to enjoy, but for the seniors in our community, it’s often a case of taking the good with the bad. As is evident based on the wide variety of information provided by our local professionals, there’s a lot to think about and be aware of during an already busy time of year when it’s easy to get caught up in our own stuff of life. We encourage everyone to take a step back and be thoughtful of those who may easily get overlooked during all of the hustle and bustle while also looking to the future and planning accordingly for what’s to come. But above all, your thoughtfulness, generosity, assistance--even just your presence--means the world to our elders.

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The mother-daughter bond is a close one; you two can talk about anything. Don’t let discussing retirement living put an end to that. We’ll provide information and advice to make the conversation a little bit easier. See where the conversation goes. You might just find a place uniquely your own. Give us a call at 402-829-2900 or visit

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Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Holiday Wrap-Up

Well, this is it - we’re officially in the midst of the holiday season! Another plentiful Thanksgiving feast is in the books and next up: holiday decorating, shopping, parties, exchanging gifts, and most importantly, continuing to spend time with all of the wonderful people in our lives. Likely more of what we’ve already been doing in the past few weeks is in store, and it will continue on through January too. Brace yourselves, because right about now there’s no end to the merriment in sight!

The “Need-It-Nows”: Last-Minute Gift Shopping While a lot of us have planned accordingly, already beating the rush to find most of our gifts, even the most savvy holiday shoppers still likely have a few people yet to check off this year’s list. We can all relate to the struggle of finding the perfect holiday gift, and you don’t have to settle for any less than that just yet. Or how about those of us out there who just plan to wing it? If you can relate more to that approach at this point, no problem there either. For the hobbyist in your life among other “types” who enjoy woodworking, it’s best to go right to the source for your holiday gift shopping – Midwest Woodworkers! “If you have a woodworker on your list, we’re your one-stop gift shop with thousands of items in stock,” says Gerry Phelan, owner of Midwest Woodworkers. “We realize that it can be hard to buy a gift for a woodworker but we’ll be happy to help. As woodworkers ourselves we can offer gift suggestions and answer your questions. Tell us a little about what your favorite woodworker makes and we’ll go to work for you. We’ve had gift buyers who purchase Gerry Phelan equipment for their favorite woodworker, Midwest Woodworkers but more often we look for special items to enhance their workshops. If all else fails, you can always give a gift certificate. We offer gift certificates in any amount that never expire and have no service charges. You can be sure it will make your woodworker very happy. One new item that just came out is the Kreg Mobile Project Center. It would make a great gift for any woodworker, homeowner or craftsperson. It’s a portable work table that folds flat for transport and storage. With its built-in clamping ability and 350lb capacity it can handle any DIY job. It a versatile workspace…to go! Another new product we’re carrying this year is, believe it or not, coloring books. Sure, you can color in them but we have found that they also make great pattern books for carving, wood burning and intarsia, which is an elaborate form of marquetry using inlays in wood. If you have someone on your gift list who needs a creative outlet and enjoys working with their hands, they can become a woodworker! You can give them a woodworking class. There are many disciplines people can pursue; from carving to cabinet making and everything in between. And woodworking isn’t just a guy thing; we are seeing more and more women getting involved. We make sure everyone learns and

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Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

has a great experience in our classes. If you are thinking of giving a certificate for a class, consider taking the class with them. You can both enjoy learning and doing, while sharing some quality time together. When you are giving presents to people you care about, you’ll want to find a gift that will delight them. That will delight you in turn. The key is discovering what they really want. While gift-giving is nice, remember that your time and attention is the best gift of all. If you are able to make something special with your own hands, that gift has a much stronger personal connection.” In addition to gift suggestions, he also offers some advice for the final holiday stretch, “Don’t worry about perfection – you don’t have to reach perfect to have a wonderful holiday. The holiday season should be fun and enjoyable, not a stressful problem for you. It does help to start early – that Christmas Eve shopping always works out better in the movies. Remember that even though the best plans sometimes don’t work out, it’s not about presents or plans, it’s about people. Focus on the positive and enjoy the moment.” It’s actually quite common to pick up a last-minute gift en route to a party or for the next day’s gift exchange at the office; we’ve all been there. For these types of scenarios, stop by Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal and grab a nice bottle of wine or the intended recipient’s favorite spirit. It’s also the place to find what you need for your holiday party drinks; there’s an amazing selection! Whether your choice is a complete bar set-up or a simple punch bowl you can count on the staff to provide a variety of great ideas. As knowing what to serve and the exact quantities needed can be quite the dilemma, the experienced staff at Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal will not only help you decide the best fit for beverage offerings but also the proportion of beer, wine, liquor, punch and soft drinks while also staying within your budget. In addition to carrying all of the classic party favorites, you’ll have convenient access to party goods such as tableware and professional bartenders are also available for hire. As a guest it’s always a nice gesture to bring a beverage of choice to share with everyone or as a gift for the host, and with plenty of specials for the holidays, you’re sure to find something that will be a big hit! The Omaha Metro has become quite the wonderland for foodies, and since just about everyone enjoys being treated to a nice meal at their favorite restaurant, you really can’t go wrong with a gift card for an experience. You can also get creative for your holiday parties with the help of our local restaurants. Or, if you have a busy night of errands, shopping and gift wrapping in store, simply order a homemade meal from your favorite restaurant for your whole family for pick-up when you get off work! “The holidays tend to be very hectic and rather expensive times,” says Brent Ganey, CEO/Director of West Garden LLC, the managing company of the Old Fashioned Garden Café in Rockbrook Village. “During the rush for gifting we often forget about the little things, like how thoughtful it would be to give the gift of a holiday dinner to friends or relatives who may not have a house full of guests this year. Everyone wants to have a home-cooked holiday meal. Some like turkey, others ham, which is why we created holiday dinners to go that are precooked and ready to go; just heat and serve. Meals serving up to six people for only $34.99 make it affordable to drop off these meals the day before the holiday and let them know that you are thinking about them, even if you can’t spend the holiday with them. As for corporate gifts, businesses love little treats from their suppliers and customers. We make it easy and affordable for you to show your appreciation with our 40-piece Holiday Goodie Trays with lemon, turtle fudge, and zebra brownies for only $19.99. Preorder or stop in, grab one or twenty--we are ready to help you stand out in the crowd. Don’t let your corporate function sneak up on you either! Reserve your date and let us do the cooking, as we deliver it right to your conference room. At only $6.99 per person we are sure to have what you need and help you stay within your budget.” Remaining on the topic of holiday parties and gatherings, Ganey also points out, “Sushi for Christmas? I don’t think so! Don’t try and reinvent

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the wheel. Classic holiday meals such as turkey, meatloaf, or glazed ham are sure to please and reinforce the festivity of the party. Santa hats and our delicious cinnamon rolls go hand-in-hand as well. Tight budget at the office? Think breakfast and cut costs by 50% by having a 10 a.m. event with cheesy strattas, fresh fruits, cinnamon and pecan rolls, just like Christmas morning!” Whether it’s coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, a catered meal, cocktails, even a cooking class – a gift card is pretty great and just about everywhere you go is prepared with plenty on-hand for the holiday rush. You can definitely count on those in the hospitality and retail businesses to be well prepared. Furthermore, with a variety of different gift card promotions going on throughout the holidays, right now is the time for smart shoppers to take advantage of additional savings. Who doesn’t love the most familiar “one for you, and one for me” deals? Gift cards to local restaurants and bars aren’t just convenient gifts; you can also purchase them strategically to save on your holiday parties and gatherings! Aside from gift cards, curated and custom gift boxes or baskets are another easy gift item that are generally well-received by anyone on your gift list. “Our gift boxes are insanely popular every year,” says Sean Fuller, owner of Just Good Meat. “These are perfect for a family member, boss, co-worker, even the person that has everything. We’ll have them ready for you to stop by the store and pick up at a designated time, or we can make arrangements to deliver right to the doorstep of the recipient. We also put together large orders for corporate gift boxes that our customers present to their clients or employees, and offer a nice discount Sean Fuller when purchased in quantity. There are many Just Good Meat

DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


different combinations to choose from, which can be viewed on our website,, under the Steak Gift Boxes tab. If you don’t see one you like or have something specific in mind, give us a call to discuss the options for putting together a custom gift box. As we are all familiar, things get hectic during the holidays and time is precious, so it’s our pleasure to make your experience quick and simple. We look forward to serving our friends and neighbors in the Omaha Metro community this holiday season!” Pampering is a fantastic way to treat those special people in your life during the holidays too! Salon and spa services make great gifts, and since personal preference varies here, a gift card definitely makes sense. While you’re at it, don’t forget to take the time to “Treat Yo Self.” (Any Parks and Recreation fans out there know that the actual day has passed, but still, you get the point.) “The perfect last-minute gift, and one that may not have been on your radar thus far, is a gift card to Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm!” says Theresa Brown, Director of Sales at Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm. “It can be used on spa treatments, overnight accommodations, gift shop items from one our three retail locations, meals in the Timber Dining Room, and more. We refer to it as the gift that keeps on giving as it helps support the Arbor Day Foundation’s tree planting mission. Theresa Brown Lied Lodge & Conference The holiday season is a time of joy, so don’t Center at Arbor Day Farm let the stress of the holiday season become too overwhelming. A great stress reliever is a massage or body treatment from The Spa at Lied Lodge. It’s a great way to reduce stress and to rejuvenate your mind and body before the holidays. Our goal is to take the stress out your holiday planning in any way we


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

can. It is time to spend with friends and family enjoying one another’s company and not about worrying over every little detail. Lied Lodge’s full service planning department can easily help with the arrangements for last minute parties, even the smallest of details. We can assist with the overnight accommodations, in-room gifts, dining reservations and catering options, hospitality rooms, and entertainment. There are advantages to hosting a party after the major holidays, mainly to avoid scheduling conflicts and the distractions leading up to the holidays. Also, all holiday décor is up throughout Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm through the month of January for those planning holiday gatherings after the holiday season. Lied Lodge is offering complimentary banquet space for holiday parties, contact our sales team for details and restrictions.” She also notes, “Lied Lodge and Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm offers a wide array of holiday festivities throughout the holiday season, so it’s also great place to visit with your families. Bring the children to enjoy Brunch with Santa, hop aboard our enclosed trolley for the Holiday Trolley Tour Lights complete with a reading of the Polar Express, or simply step back in time at Christmas at the Mansion and explore the vintage décor. We encourage our guests to take advantage of our fireplaces, Tree Adventure attraction, indoor pool, and fully-updated guest rooms.”

The “After-Parties”: Holiday Celebrations in 2017 Speaking of last-minute parties, you can count on a few of them being added to the calendar this month. Also, a trend that has caught on with many is “saving the best for last” and hosting a holiday party after the holiday season, and everything going on during that time, has passed. We consulted with our favorite local experts as to why they’ve found this to be a beneficial approach, along with advice for those who are shooting to put together their festivities yet this month. Either way, it’s important to cover the basics first and then go from there. Oftentimes, most if not all of these can be found in one fullservice event venue.

“Food, beverage and entertainment are the key elements of any successful holiday party,” emphasizes Sue Bennett of The Club at Indian Creek. “We pride ourselves on working with our clients to help implement all of these elements within their budgetary restrictions. Many companies are encouraging employees to include significant others so that they can meet and get to know their co-workers. Entertainment companies that provide Sue Bennett magicians, hypnotists, casino games, visits The Club at Indian Creek from Santa for the children, etc. are a popular way to engage your guests during the party. We recommend you do not overwhelm your guests with lots of high priced amenities. Keep your holiday party plans simple and fun! Music should be a complement to the party and still allow conversation. If you’re aiming to host a company event yet this month, I recommend considering weeknights so as not to compete with employees’ family holiday plans. In January, after the stress of the holidays is over, weekends become ideal again. Selecting a venue where many of your amenities are included in your rental is advantageous as it makes extra decorating unnecessary and helps to reduce costs. At The Club at Indian Creek we offer affordably priced rental prices which include tables, chairs, linens, use of our audio-visual system, china, glassware, dance floor and set-up of the space to meet your specifications. Our Event Coordinators remain on site throughout each event to ensure that everything goes smoothly and according to your plans.” The Alamo Drafthouse is another fantastic venue for holiday parties, with a line-up of packages that include fun, interactive themed elements along with a full menu and bar, with service right to your seats! “Let us help you create a holiday party to remember!” says Ashley Brooks, Private Event Coordinator at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “Our clients love our tastefully decorated theaters, both kid- and adultfriendly beverage options, our variety of party themes and the ease of booking with us. During the most wonderful time of the year, we offer several holiday-themed options along with our regular offerings that are available year-round, including our Ultimate Holiday Party. Pick a classic holiday movie Ashley Brooks Alamo Drafthouse Cinema or TV special, and we provide themed props, custom plated dinner and cocktails, and a holly, jolly host to keep the holiday cheer merry and bright.  Being a movie theater, we here at the Alamo Drafthouse understand how busy the holidays can get. Families want to enjoy the season together, so it’s difficult to juggle everything so that you can fit in the office party. Doing a party after we all ring in the New Year will free up the holidays for family time and just might be the thing to get your office through that notorious January slump. If you need an office party on the fly, keep it simple: Pop in the classic Hallmark holiday specials or some heartwarming music have a delicious make-your-own hot chocolate bar, set out some beautiful cookies, go light on decorations, and enjoy each other’s company.” Back to holiday gift inspiration, she also suggests grabbing a gift card. “Need a last minute gift idea? Give the gift of movies! This year, we are offering a bonus with our gift cards. For every $50 gift card you purchase, you will receive a free $10 food and beverage voucher. Gift cards can be used at either the Cinema or our Liquid Sunshine Taproom.” Indeed, holiday treats are among the musts for any party or gathering—it’s tradition! However, we now have so much more to choose from as our local gems such as The Omaha Bakery have no shortage of creativity and talent to share with those in our community. “We put together a wide variety of holiday trays each year that always fly off of the shelves,” says Michelle Kaiser, owner of The Omaha Bakery. “These can also be custom-ordered. Choose your

favorites from our selection of specialty desserts and let us know when you need it ready, that’s all there is to it! We do our best to accommodate any last-minute requests, but always recommend giving us at least 48 hours to ensure you’ll get exactly what you want. With the ease of picking up a premade tray, it’s a great option for the business office party where everyone brings an item. They are also perfect as a drop-by gift for your clients and those you wish to thank for their business or Michelle Kaiser services. At several different price points, you can choose the best fit for your needs. The Omaha Bakery Small gifts can sometimes be hard to find, but at The Omaha Bakery, we have plenty on-hand. Our hand-decorated cookies are very elaborate and sure to impress, our mini pies are so cute, and we have decadent mousse-filled brownie bonbons that take three days to make but are absolutely to-die-for. These are $6 apiece and are currently available in the following flavors: salted caramel, candy cane, peanut butter, English toffee, and Oreo cookies & cream. We also plan to add more holiday flavors into the mix closer to the holidays, and gluten-free options are always available. All of these items are ready to present, in pretty boxes and packaging to ensure that you make a great impression on those who are lucky enough to be on the receiving end!”

The “Final Frenzy”: Effectively Managing Holiday Stress Finally, during the holidays, experiencing stress for a variety of reasons seems to be par for the course. There is just so much to pack into a month that even thinking about it is enough to make you feel a little crazy…and induce panic. Serving as a good reminder for all of us to slow down and enjoy, according to an article sourced on Health. com, here are some great tips on easy ways to make sure you feel your best and enjoy the holiday season.

It’s more than a holiday party. to remember. It’s a


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DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business


Sunlight Works Wonders For Your Overall Mood – Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, which not only makes your feel good but also helps to relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition that affects millions of Americans every year. To ease SAD symptoms, spend time outdoors or near a window on sunny days. You can also ask your doctor about phototherapy, which is a treatment using a box that emits full-spectrum light, or visit a tanning salon in moderation. Get Your Daily Dose of Citrus – Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of wellbeing and alleviate stress by increasing levels of norepinephrine, another hormone that affects mood. For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket. Or, just infuse your water with citrus fruits or pack an orange in your lunch! Walk Your Worries Away – Walking can definitely relieve stress, and allows you a minute away from the noise and grind to center your thoughts and find a little peace. Additionally, the rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain while decreasing anxiety and improving your sleep. Try your best to incorporate a brisk 30-minute walk every day. Get Enough Sleep – While visions of sugarplums may not be dancing in your head, your brain activity is likely to be amped up enough so that sleeping well becomes incredibly difficult. This in turn affects just about every aspect of your life and mood during the day you spend awake. Try your best to get enough sleep, no matter how impossible this may seem. Just Say “NO” – Oftentimes during the holidays we set ourselves up with insane schedules full of anything and everything that we have been offered the opportunity to participate in. Consider what is most important to you during the holidays, and try to say no to a few things that are not at the top of your priorities. After all, there are only 24 days in December before Christmas, and a limited number of hours in those days. It makes sense to do what matters the most and politely decline the rest.


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Stick With Your Daily Routine – Again with the prioritizing. It is jarring to have a whole month where we disregard ourselves completely. Make sure to still get in your workouts, monthly engagements and activities, etc. Don’t try to squeeze more into your schedule than you can handle, but also don’t stray too far from your regular schedule. Exercise is an especially important one, as it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you are stressed out but it will actually help you feel much better and can boost your mood for up to 12 hours! Take Advantage of Those Who Make You Smile – The holidays include being around many people, so take advantage of this by staying close to those who crack you up. Laughing really is the best medicine. It reduces stress hormones, which in turn helps your immune system function better among other things such as lifting your mood. Throw Perfection Right Out The Window – Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to end if your house is a little cluttered, if you don’t personally cook a meal or ten, or if you use a gift bag instead of a wrapped package resembling a work of art. In the spirit of the holiday season, it is the special people in our lives who matter the most, so try to focus your energy on enjoying all of the wonderful people in your life. This will also require that you get out of the house, and that is great. The Omaha Metro has plenty of wonderful places to dine out that are festive for the holidays and can take one or more things literally “off of your plate.” On a side note, hot foods trigger the release of endorphins, natural chemicals largely responsible for our feelings of euphoria and wellbeing. If these types of foods are not incorporated in your holiday traditions, try spicing things up a little bit! Set Aside Time to Go “Tech-Free” – Of course this is easier said than done, but it does have distinct benefits. Constant cell phone and email alerts truly keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. Take some time to turn off your gadgets during dinner with the family, a holiday get-together, or while running a few errands to pick up gifts. Also, children are little sponges and it will go a long way to set an example as to what is most important. Give the Gift of Massage (To Yourself and Your Loved Ones!) – Massages feel great are an undeniable way to relax for a little bit of time in between all of the hustle and bustle. Turn Up The Tunes – Listen to your favorite music whenever you get the chance. Whether attending a concert during the holidays, enjoying Christmas music, or blasting the latest jams while you work out or in the car on the way to a meeting, it’s cathartic. Hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow, which not only calms you down but is good for your heart also. Plan a Vacation…or Staycation! – Taking at least four or five days off work dramatically lowers your stress level, and even planning for taking this time off in the future provides the same effect and gives you something to look forward to. If you have kids and opt for a staycation during the holidays, there are plenty of great destinations in Lincoln and Omaha that provide the perfect getaway. You can also make plans to send the kiddos off on their own vacation to Grandma and Grandpa’s, and take some time to yourself or get your holiday to-do list handled. Think Happy Thoughts – Last but not least, make an effort to think positive. If the election didn’t already, the holidays may drive you to your breaking point, but try your best not to focus on the bad. Negative thinking can trigger your body’s stress response just as much as a real threat would. Again, remember that the holidays are a time to celebrate with your family and friends…even if they stress you out too! An optimistic outlook will help you cope with all of the challenges that come your way, and will positively affect everyone and everything that goes on around you. In the true spirit of the season, may the holidays bring out the best in all of us this year. We encourage everyone to come together and make an effort to support our local businesses and the economy here in the Omaha Metro, to volunteer and donate to worthy causes in our community, and simply to focus more on being blessed than being stressed. Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays to you and yours from all of us here at Strictly Business!

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DECEMBER 2016 Strictly Business



Strictly Business DECEMBER 2016

Strictly Business Omaha December 2016  

"...Serving our community and being a part of our customers’ holiday celebrations is a great feeling. The welcoming atmosphere and superior...

Strictly Business Omaha December 2016  

"...Serving our community and being a part of our customers’ holiday celebrations is a great feeling. The welcoming atmosphere and superior...