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Happy Holidays • Winter Driving • Senior Living • Holiday Wrap-Up Client Spotlights • Five Nines • Sandler Training


In This Issue

From Our Team To Yours!







Douglas County Health Center

MyStaff Inc.

Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Strictly Business 1 MLCDCDECEMBER 2017 Nebraska Recycling Business Strictly Council


Strictly Business Magazine PO BOX 57397, Lincoln, NE 68505



Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business



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

Great Brands That Compete On Value: Get Front & Center There is such incredible power in the cover of a magazine. It is positioned to be seen by and attract the attention of many, and as practically all marketing minds would agree, it’s the most valuable piece of real estate in print. The elements of the magazine cover that serve as the focal point – the imagery, the headlines, teasers about what you can find within the pages – are what work together to draw people in and make them take interest, compelling them to want to read more to know more. It’s a call to action that has decades’ worth of metrics to support its effectiveness. With the cover, even if you don’t reel a potential reader in, it’s been seen and made an impression that the person would likely be able to recall at a later date. Occupying that tiny bit of space in a person’s mind could potentially be advantageous in ways that can’t necessarily be measured with accuracy. You never know when the opportunity will arise that this one time they saw you on the cover, and perhaps had the time or interest to read more, will come up again. When it does, though, it’s likely going to be that person providing what they deem to be useful information or a recommendation based on a question or need, or contributing to a line of conversation where it makes sense to be included. Just like that you’ve entered into the minds of others. This organic process is happening all around you, all the time. However, Strictly Business isn’t just any print publication; it’s one that focuses all of its content on local businesses, and more specifically, the vast majority of it on its advertisers. So this being the case, our covers are exclusively offered with the campaign tier that gets delivers the most visibility and value, on an extended basis that allows for topof-mind recognition and sustained momentum. As you’ll often hear me say, it’s been designed for optimal impact. Every month we take great pride in hearing so much buzz about the businesspeople that grace our covers; the familiar faces that we see serving people right here in our community, many of whom we know from doing business together or through varying degrees of separation. With the nature of Lincoln being a blend of a small town and a big city, it’s a unique marketplace in that aspect. We know it makes an impression on the audience here, so we give our clients the prime

opportunity to capitalize on it. The connection our clients make with our readers through the magazine is an extension of their presence. It’s out there working for them to get the word out to even more people about what makes them special, and why you should choose to give them your business. Now as a result of the digital revolution, the cover of a magazine has a much greater reach too. With access worldwide, this translates into considerably more exposure for those who have a presence on them, and with more opportunities for conversion comes greater potential for return on investment. According to David Carey, President of Hearst Magazines, one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, “We carry higher CPMs for our brands that are first in print and then go to digital versus those that are only digital. The print product makes it more premium in digital.” This statement lends to the fact that it’s well worth paying for that type and extent of exposure, and that many recognize the significance of it. As for Strictly Business, the print magazine remains a mainstay at desks, side tables, and waiting room racks as it’s delivered directly to over 15,000 business locations citywide, and has been for over a decade in Omaha (and coming up on 25 years in 2018 in Lincoln). But in addition, we also have a strong online presence and readership, with our website being heaving trafficked each month, and as you might suspect, the cover story is front and center on the landing page. In the past twelve months, our website has charted over 238,340 page views, and just since August, over 973,340 Google search impressions, all generated from the editorial featuring our clients. All monthly content is prominently posted online to be read on-demand wherever and whenever you please, shared on our social media, and can be shared by our clients however they see fit. It is archived, so you can look at all past articles too once you’ve read the cover story. All told, the value of being front and center in front of your target audience by way of a Strictly Business cover and all that comes along with that investment is tremendous. If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity, let’s talk! 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 27 Personnel

30 Non-Profit 36 Health


18 River City Six 38 Five Nines 48 Sandler Training

ASK THE EXPERT 25 Sandler Training


39 Winter Driving 41 Senior Living 44 Holiday Wrap-Up 4 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017





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


YOU CAN’T BEAT OUR MEAT! “Meat”ing – and exceeding – your expectations for high-quality holiday fare, this time of year Just Good Meat is the place to find anything you could want or need for your upcoming festivities. In the spirit of the season, with an abundance of celebrations, no gathering is complete without it! As you might suspect from the name Just Good Meat, that’s exactly what you’ll find to be their specialty. Just Good Meat has a rich history in Omaha dating back to 1959 when it was founded as the neighborhood butcher shop. However, over the years, Just Good Meat has expanded their offerings in many different areas, from the food items they carry to the services provided. “Quality and customer service have always been a priority, and are what has kept us going strong for almost 60 years now as we’ve diversified,” says owner Sean Fuller. “You’ll find that almost all of our items, when applicable, are all-natural, antibiotic-free, grass-fed, preservative-free, farm-to-table, and we know exactly where they come from, who makes them, and the processes involved. That’s because it’s so important to us to develop relationships with local farmers, ranchers, and producers to deliver only the best to our customers, just as it was back in the day. We only want to sell the good stuff, and we can tell our customers exactly where any of our extensive inventory of thousands of items were sourced, and for our homemade items, the ingredients used in the preparation and nutritional values. We’ve been able to maintain that intimate experience of doing business with the town butcher, who knows your name and remembers what you usually order, and who is happy to provide recommendations and offer personal assistance with whatever you need. Our attention to quality and customer service, day in and day out, is what truly sets us apart.” Just from looking at the impressive selection in the store you can tell the quality and freshness is there, but the taste is undeniably where you can tell the difference. There’s always a friendly face to greet you and help you find what you need in the store, but for the convenience of customers, you can always call in an order or place it online too. You can opt to pick up your order in the store ready to cook or already prepared for you and ready to serve, to have a catered meal set up for you and even served, to have your order

delivered – there’s nothing they won’t do to ensure you have the best experience possible! Whether it’s a holiday meal shared with loved ones, office lunch, dinner party, catered gathering, holiday party meal or spread, Just Good Meat has you covered. This goes for those who enjoy preparing the holiday feast for everyone and for those who prefer to avoid spending that much time and effort in the kitchen and with the clean-up afterward alike. If you prefer the traditional turkey or ham, even duck, capon, or prime rib, no problem. If you want to do something a little different and have steaks or stuffed chicken breasts, sure thing. If you’re in need of homemade sides to accompany your entrée, you got it. If you want a spread prepared and ready to serve or a meal delivered to you and served up to your guests, consider it done. Even for the host who simply wants to put together an amazing charcuterie tray, for that alone, you’ll find over 50 different types of cheeses and an assortment of summer sausages in all sorts of flavors. There are so many options to choose from it would be easy to go on and on, but the best option is to check it out for yourself in the store, by phone, or online. That’s not all – there are even gift options galore! There’s a great selection of curated gift boxes, from the best cuts of steak to thick-cut or boneless pork chops, which are perfect for personal or corporate gift giving. Also popular for the latter, presenting employees with turkeys and hams for their family holiday meals is a gift that’s very much appreciated too. Although there are great specials offered throughout the year, the holiday specials are definitely ones to take advantage of this month! “We take great pride in offering the finest quality and variety of meats in Omaha at an exceptional value,” Fuller concludes. “It’s a familiar place with all of the modern conveniences and fast, fun, and friendly service. You can always expect that to be the case.” | 402.339.7474 | 4422 S. 84th St., Omaha, NE

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Careerockit to Connect More Than 17K Students With Businesses

SAC Federal Credit Union Opens 23rd Branch in Historic Old Market

Careerockit is back, representing six counties, more than 90 schools and 17,000 registered student experiences - in an initiative designed to create career interest, grow the area’s talent pipeline and connect organizations with future employees. Careerockit aims to connect our business and educational community to meet current and future talent needs. Businesses and employers participating in the program are paired with elementary through post-secondary students seeking engagement, information and experiences in a host of fields – all of which can increase understanding of the synergies between education and employment and influence decisions for students’ chosen careers. Together – we can provide students and young adults with opportunities to move along the learning pipeline, gain applicable knowledge and build excitement for growing career options, right here. Careerockit launches February 12-18, 2018. Businesses can register online at Registration closes December 15th.

SAC Federal Credit Union has opened its 23rd branch in Omaha’s Old Market. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce was held on November 9. The building where the new branch is located is on the National Register of Historic Places and is on the Poppleton block of the Old Market.   Referred to as a “branch of the future,” the new branch is a different style for the credit union in that it is a “cashless branch,” with 3 employees and featuring an ATM as well as ITMs, or Interactive Teller Machines, which dispense cash in place of standard cash drawers. It is still a full-service branch and employees are able to assist members with all the services of a standard branch, from checking and credit cards to lending needs. SAC worked with their architect (HDR), designer (AOI) and city historical representatives to incorporate the historical significance of the space into the new design and preserve as much of the original history as possible. The new SAC Federal Credit Union branch is located at 310 S. 10th St., south of the Omaha Visitors Center. SAC Federal Credit Union ( is Nebraska’s largest locally owned credit union and has been serving the Greater Omaha area for over 71 years.  In addition to a full line of personal and business banking products, SAC offers better banking for life, helping members with home buying, investment education, retirement planning and more. 

CI Select Partners With Knoll to Launch New Omaha Showroom CI Select, a 30-year leader in wo r k p l a c e design and fur nishings for the corporate, education, health care, government, hospitality and nonprofit sectors, has expanded into the growing Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska markets. A grand opening for the new CI Select showroom based in Omaha was held on November 9, and the occasion was marked by a ribbon-cutting with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. CI Select has the ability to supply everything for the modern workplace and is a dealer partner for Knoll, a nationally recognized leader in contemporary workplace environments. The unparalleled professionals at CI Select will define, design and deliver the welcoming, progressive environment that brings your vision to life. CI Select offers versatile furniture and flooring, inspiring architectural products and artwork, and engaging audiovisual and conferencing technology. The national firm is based in St. Louis, Missouri, and its mission is to provide innovative, adaptable solutions that support an ever-changing business environment. Jamie Shook, CI Select director of client solutions and Omaha director, has relocated from St. Louis to Omaha in order to manage the new operation. Joining her are Lisa Kaderly, director of business development, who has worked with designers in Omaha for the last 20 years, and Audrey Dobbe, sales account executive / Knoll representative. The process of designing the new Omaha showroom, which started early this year, has been thoughtful and deliberate, resulting in an outstanding experience that CI Select is eager to share with its new neighbors. The CI Select Omaha showroom is located at 4614 Dodge Street and can be contacted directly at (402) 9253200. To learn more about CI Select, please visit 6 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

Ring in the Holidays at Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District Spend the holiday season marveling at Lego® sculptures or skating the night away at the new NRG Energy Ice Rink in The Capitol District with unique holiday packages from the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District. Winter Skate & Stay Package Perfect for a family staycation or vacation, the Winter Skate & Stay Package offers pure fun at downtown Omaha’s newest ice rink. During the stay, guests will receive overnight room accommodations, unlimited ice skating in The Capitol District, Starbucks beverages and up to two penguin plush toys. Pricing starts at $179. Package applies to stays occurring December 1, 2017 to February 14, 2018. Art of the Brick Hotel Package Dubbed a “Must See Exhibition” by CNN, the Art of the Brick gallery is coming to Omaha this winter. As part of the exhibit, the Omaha Marriott Downtown is hosting a sculpture made entirely of LEGO® bricks. The full gallery will be located adjacent to the hotel in The Capitol District Apartments on 12th Street and Capitol Avenue. To allow guests to enjoy this gallery, the hotel will be offering classic guest room accommodations bundled with admission for up to two adults and two children. Pricing begins at $199. Package applies to stays occurring December 1, 2017 to February 14, 2018. Contact the Omaha Marriott Downtown at (402) 807-8000 for reservations.


Engineered Controls Selected as BMS Contractor for New HDR Headquarters Engineered Controls is proud to have been selected to provide the building management system (BMS) for the new HDR global headquarters building located in Aksarben Village in Omaha, NE. The architectural and engineering firm’s new 10-story, 245,000-squarefoot headquarters will house 1,150 employees. There is also room to construct a second building to accommodate expected future growth. HDR is serving as the architect of record. Noddle Companies is the developer for the project and Kiewit Building Group is providing the construction services. Construction began in early 2017 and the project is expected to be completed in early 2019. Engineered Controls provides customers with products and services to create efficient, safe and comfortable building environments. For additional information, please contact Pat Killeen at (402) 339-1300 / or visit www.engineeredcontrols. com.

New Computer Science Online Certificates Offered by University of Nebraska At a time when computer and information technology occupations are rapidly growing, three online undergraduate certificates in the area of computer science have been added to the University of Nebraska Online’s website – Information Technology Administration - Focuses on managing the complex, technical infrastructure of today’s organizations. Data Management - Focuses on managing data-related issues for organizations. Systems Development - Focuses on optimizing design, the implementation and the use of information systems. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, projects 546,100 new jobs in this area from 2016-2026. The demand stems from the emphasis on cloud computing, collection and storage of big data and information security. The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers all three programs in an online format. These programs are additions to several online programs NU offers in the area of computer science including Information Technology, BMS and Management Information Systems, BMS. U.S. News and World Report named the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Bachelor’s of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS) the topranked online bachelors program in Nebraska. Collectively, more than 125 online programs are offered from NU’s four campuses: University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska—Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. These online programs can be found at

The Club at Indian Creek to Host 6th Annual Wedding Open House The Club at Indian Creek is excited to announce its upcoming Wedding Open House event, to be held on Saturday, January 6th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is an excellent opportunity to discover how The Club at Indian Creek can turn your vision and dreams into reality! Meet the professional event coordinators, tour the elegant banquet facility and exchange ideas with many of The Club at Indian Creek’s preferred vendors. Guests will enjoy complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Sue or Marisa at (402) 289-0900 Ext. 25 / events@ Whether you are hosting the wedding of your dreams or planning an elegant celebration, you will find The Club at Indian Creek to be a distinctive and imaginative choice. The property features four exquisite gathering spaces, each boasting unique characteristics and features that will perfectly suit the needs of your event. Guests will admire the impressive architecture that displays a tasteful combination of comfort and sophistication. Rooms can be used independently or in conjunction with each other to accommodate any size function. From grand affairs of 400 guests to intimate gatherings of 20, you will find the perfect setting at The Club at Indian Creek. For more information about The Club at Indian Creek, visit www. DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 7


Mutual of Omaha Builds on Legacy of Listening With New Campaign

Ceramic Tileworks Center Announces Wedi Shower System Workshop

Recognizing the need for people to be heard in today’s fast-paced world, Mutual of Omaha has launched a campaign built on the importance of listening to its customers both as a sign of mutual respect and to understand and protect what matters most to customers as they progress through life.

Ceramic Tileworks Center will be hosting a Wedi shower system workshop. It will be held on Thursday, December 14th at 4 p.m.

The “Begin by Listening” campaign is part of Mutual of Omaha’s larger evolution to strategically align the 108-year-old insurance and financial services firm around customers. By putting the customer first, Mutual of Omaha better understands customer needs and is able to create innovative solutions to meet those needs.

The Wedi shower system is a proven system and has been in the global market for over 15 years, but has only recently entered the U.S. market. This is a shower system that completely eliminates the need for sand mix and the time it takes for that to cure. The Wedi shower system can be installed in just a couple of hours by a trained installer, enabling the tile installer to set tile the same day. It is 100% waterproof and customizable, made specifically for tile and stone finishes, with simplicity in installation and reliability in application. If you are interested in being a trained and certified Wedi shower system installer, this is a great opportunity to do so here in the Omaha area.

Mutual of Omaha’s first new campaign in more than eight years, “Begin by Listening” is running in key markets across the country. The campaign includes an integrated, multi-channel ad campaign including TV, print, digital, social and radio that will continue into 2018. Access to Mutual of Omaha’s experts and solutions is a priority for the company, and it has created a highly-trained “Listening Team” featuring senior-level representatives who can help customers receive the personalized solutions they need. The company also reimagined its website to better meet the needs of customers and prospects by enabling them to intuitively access information and act on it in the manner they choose.

A Wedi representative will be on-site conducting the workshop to answer all questions you may have. Complementary food and beverages will also be provided. Ceramic Tileworks Center is located at 11005 W. Maple Rd.

Already, the company recently introduced new dental and vision insurance options after surveying current and potential customers about the types of plans they would find valuable. Mutual of Omaha will continue to engineer new products and solutions to address customers’ needs into 2018 and beyond.

Since 1992, Ceramic Tileworks Center has been Omaha’s premier source for tile, granite and quartz countertops, and setting materials, with over 250,000 sq. ft. full of inventory on-hand. To find out more, visit or call (402) 493-1567.

To learn more about Mutual of Omaha, go to

First National Bank Opens Branch in Elkhorn An audience of nearly 50 people, including members of the Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, customers and First National Bank employees, were on hand October 31 to celebrate the opening of the bank’s newest branch location near 204th and West Maple Road, in Elkhorn, Nebraska. The full service branch is First National’s 28th in the metro area and 102nd retail location overall.

Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for First National Bank’s new Elkhorn branch were, left to right: Jerry O’Flanagan, executive vice president, Consumer Banking Group; Mike Earleywine, senior vice president, Branch Banking and Mortgage; Eric Blick, vice president, Branch Banking; Chrissy Ersom, Elkhorn branch manager; Chris Kisicki, vice president, Branch Banking; Clark Lauritzen, chairman and president, First National Bank; and Trevor Hudson, executive director, During the ceremony, Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce.

Clark Lauritzen, chairman and president, presented the Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce with a limited edition, commemorative photo depicting a classic car driving on the historic Lincoln Highway near Elkhorn. The photo, taken by professional photographer Jeff Struthers, is part of a series of Elkhorn-area photos that adorn the new branch.


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

The new location offers full-service banking, from savings and checking accounts to certificates of deposit and IRA accounts; mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit; auto loans and personal loans; credit cards, investments and planning, wealth management and 529 College Savings Plans. Business banking, commercial lending and agricultural banking services are also available, as well as online and mobile banking options.


Holiday Lights Festival Shines Bright for 18th Year Omaha’s Millennium Lights celebration was originally meant to be a singular, spectacular celebration as the calendar turned to the milestone year 2000. But in the 17 years since, the Holiday Lights Festival endured and became an annual holiday season tradition that has expanded to encompass a series of festive events beloved by the community. Holiday Lights Festival is produced by Mayor Jean Stothert and the Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation and presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska with media support from KMTV 3 News Now and STAR 104.5. The Festival features a community-wide campaign to “Shine the Light on Hunger.” The campaign, supported by Conagra Brands Foundation, encourages community members to drop off non-perishable food and household items at collection barrels placed at Festival events and other Omaha area locations, including Baker’s supermarkets and Wells Fargo branches. Donations can also be made online through the Holiday Lights Festival website. This year’s campaign goal is to raise the equivalent of 1.4 million meals for the greater Omaha community. Last year, more than 78,000 pounds of food and over $463,000 were collected during the campaign to support the efforts of Food Bank for the Heartland. The Conagra Brands Foundation will once again provide a generous $100,000 match of funds raised during the campaign, which includes a portion of proceeds from admission fees at the NRG Energy Ice Rink in the new Capitol District. It will be open through February 14, 2018 from 6 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays, 1 p.m. to midnight Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. Special holiday hours for Christmas Eve are 1 to 5 p.m., closed Christmas Day and 1 to 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Hours are extended from December 22 – January 8 and January 15, 2018. An $8 admission fee (plus tax) includes skate rental, although patrons may bring their own skates. Sounds of the Season will again showcase local choral groups ranging from school-based youth choirs to seasoned professionals. Performances take place in the Gene Leahy Mall at 11th and Farnam Streets and in the Old Market at 11th and Howard Streets. A schedule of performances is available online. For the 12th year, Wells Fargo is sponsoring the Family Festival, an afternoon of free family fun taking place on Sunday, December 3. Six downtown arts and cultural institutions offer free admission and hands-on activities for the entire family from simple crafts and cookie decorating to stagecoach rides and a visit with Santa. Visitors of all ages can also enjoy refreshments and family-friendly entertainment and collect souvenirs at most of the sites. Free trolley service provided by Ollie the Trolley connects all participating locations from noon to 5 p.m. The last signature event of the 2017 Holiday Lights Festival, the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular Presented by T-Mobile, is expected to draw more than 30,000 people, so spectators are encouraged to arrive early to the official viewing site at the Gene Leahy Mall located at 14th and Farnam Streets. The show features a professionally choreographed display of fireworks designed by J&M Displays to hit songs from Girls Who Rock over the decades. STAR 104.5 will broadcast the live musical accompaniment onsite, and viewers elsewhere can tune in as they watch the show that will be visible for miles. Event sponsors include Conagra Brands, Lincoln Financial Group, T-Mobile and Wells Fargo. Shining Star sponsors include Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, The Sherwood Foundation, Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation and Union Pacific. Radiant Glow sponsors include Anonymous, Big Red Keno, Broadmoor, C&A Industries, CH2M, Dixon Family Foundation, Gavilon LLC, HDR, The Lozier Foundation, Mammel Family Foundation, Moglia Family Foundation, Pinnacle Bank, Valmont Industries, Inc. and Webster. Bright Light sponsors include Ag Processing Inc., Baird Holm LLP, Bank of the West, Baxter Auto Group, CHI Health, Circo Enterprises, Colliers International, Gallup, Inc., Greater Omaha Chamber, Husch Blackwell LLP, Kutak Rock LLP, Mutual of Omaha, Noddle Companies, Tenaska, Waste Management and WoodmenLife. For more information, visit

The Cryptic Room Opens in Council Bluffs The Cryptic Room is open for business, offering residents of the Council Bluffs/ Omaha area a new entertainment option. A ribboncutting ceremony was held with the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce on November 20. Escape rooms burst on the American scene just a few years ago, and have quickly spread from coast to coast. It’s an interactive game where a group of players are “locked” in a room that is built to resemble a fictional place and must work together to solve puzzles in order to escape before time runs out. While there are hundreds of escape rooms operating throughout the country, Council Bluffs has been slow to join the trend. The Cryptic Room has three escape room games, with a fourth one on the way. In “Great Aunt Myrtle Ethrington (G.A.M.E),” players must solve their late aunt Myrtle’s cryptic puzzles to find a treasure she left behind. “Into the Assassin’s Lair” is a suspense-filled hour as players are racing against a bomb timer to discover the Assassin’s next target and save themselves. As players in “C.O.R.E. Intruders,” participants must work with a hacker to break into an evil doctor’s office, retrieve a piece of technology, and escape – all while going undetected by security. Slated to open next month, the new game will simulate a remote island cave. The Cryptic Room is located at 523 S. Main Street in Council Bluffs. Players can learn more and reserve their game via the The Cryptic Room’s Facebook page ( or website (

DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Mayflower Recognizes Achievements of Select Van & Storage Co.

Lied Lodge & Conference Center Presents Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights

Select Van & Storage Co. in Omaha, NE, an agent of the nation’s most recognized name in moving, Mayflower, was honored recently by the van line for exceptional professional performance. The recognition was conferred during Mayflower’s annual awards program. Select Van & Storage Co. received the following honors for achievements: *Million Dollar Club Award at the $5 million level – recognizing top Mayflower revenue producers; *Hauling Achievement Award – recognizing exceptional service support of the Mayflower system through participation in the van line’s fleet operations including both household goods and logistics.

Back by popular demand — it’s the Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights in Nebraska City!

Select Van & Storage Co. is located at 8006 J Street in Omaha. To learn more or schedule your upcoming move, call (402) 935-3700 or visit Mayflower is America’s most recognized and trusted moving company. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, Mayflower maintains a network of nearly 300 affiliated agencies. For more information about Mayflower Transit and its services, visit

BBB High School Student Video Contest Offers Cash Prizes Better Business Bureau (BBB) annually sponsors a video contest open to all students in grades 9-12 who reside in metro Omaha and southwest Iowa (Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties). Cash prizes will be awarded to students and their schools for entries receiving first and second place. Winners, if they are home-schooled, will designate a community nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to receive the matching funds. Students may enter individually or form teams of two to four participants. Five hundred dollars will be given to the creator(s) of the winning video, and $500 will be given to their school. In addition, $250 will be awarded to the second place video, and $250 will be given to their school. Winners will be determined by how well the entry adheres to BBB’s brand, expresses the theme “Start With Trust,” the quality of the video’s production and how many times it’s been viewed on BBB’s YouTube channel. This competition provides an opportunity for high school students to creatively learn the values of BBB - trust, honesty, reliability and objectiveness – and challenges them to discover how these values can be applied in their everyday lives. Contestants will also gain valuable marketing experience because they are challenged to get the most views on YouTube by promoting their video on social media. Aside from the benefit to the students, this is a wonderful opportunity for their schools. The video submission deadline is Friday, February 2, 2018, and the winners will be notified on or before March 1, 2018. Complete details about the contest and required forms can be accessed by clicking on the Student Video Contest icon on the homepage of BBB’s website at For more information, please contact BBB Senior Communications Specialist Jeff Niebaum at (402) 898-8550, (800) 649-6814 #8550 or at 10 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

Every Friday and Saturday in December, guests will have the opportunity to climb aboard the Arbor Day Farm trolley for a one-hour tour of Historic Nebraska City and the best show of Christmas lights. During the ride, enjoy a reading of a classic Christmas book and take in all of the holiday magic. The trolley departs the Lied Lodge & Conference Center lobby at 6:00 p.m. sharp and returns approximately one hour later. Price is $15.00 + tax for adults; $10 + tax for children age 3-12. Those under 3 ride for free. This popular activity fills up quickly, so reserve your seats on the holiday trolley by calling (402) 873-8733. Want to make it a memorable holiday getaway? Ask for the Holiday Trolley Tour Package, which includes the trolley ride / tour of lights for up to four people plus an overnight stay at the all-new Lied Lodge. Visit the website at or call (800) 5465433 to make your reservation.

Concordia University Welcomes Grace University Students Concordia U n i v e r s i t y, Nebraska is offering students at Grace University in Omaha, NE a credit transfer guarantee and generous scholarship packages to continue their educational journey. Students who transfer to Concordia from Grace can expect most of their credits to transfer, including general education and religion courses. In addition, Concordia is extending a generous scholarship package to Grace undergraduate students that will align prices comparable to what they are paying at Grace--and in some cases lower. With the housing guarantee, students can choose to room with a friend from Grace University or be matched up with a new friend from Concordia. Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Nebraska, that currently serves more than 2,700 students. Concordia offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. “We know it’s a very difficult time for the entire Grace University campus,” said Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, president of Concordia University. “At Concordia, our mission is more closely aligned with Grace than most institutions. We know transferring students would feel right at home here and want to give them the best opportunities possible.” Acceptance decisions are made within one business day of application and submission of transcripts. More information is available at cune. edu/grace.

BUSINESS NEWS CreativeMornings Hosts One-Year Celebration CreativeMornings Omaha, part of an international collaborative of designated “creative cities,” hosted a community-wide, oneyear anniversary/birthday event featuring speaker Antonio V. Moore, Sr., live music by Clark & Company, birthday confections and champagne on November 10 at the Omaha Design Center. With just 179 “creative cities” internationally, Omaha’s allvolunteer CreativeMornings chapter wrapped its inaugural year featuring 12 presenters on a host of topics relevant to community, connectivity and creativity - all honoring the theme, “Everyone is creative; everyone is welcome.” Moore, a youth services’ champion who survived a near-fatal motor-vehicle accident, rounded out the group’s monthly lecture series with a serious topic for a lively event: “Death to Begin Life,” an account of creating sustainable change through community service. CreativeMornings thanks local partner the Greater Omaha Chamber for funding a program that it believes will help connect and grow our talented local creatives. Visit www.CreativeMornings. com/OMA for more information.

Mutual 1st Federal Connects New Social Technology to Local Cause This December, Mutual 1st Federal Credit Union ( is taking their commitment to community to another level by asking, “What’s a Selfless Selfie?” Those who seek the answer to this curious question can be part of a unique experience during an interactive, social media event hosted by Mutual 1st Federal from 12-4 p.m. Saturday, December 9 at Westroads Mall.

Confluence Expands to Omaha, Introduces Nebraska Office Leadership A leading landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm is laying roots in Omaha. Confluence has hired industry veteran Dolores Silkworth, PLA, ASLA to lead the company’s new Nebraska office. Confluence has been working in Nebraska for 15 years, and as demand steadily grew for their services it became clear that a permanent presence was needed. Silkworth was the ideal fit, and brings 30 years of experience providing landscape architecture, urban design and master planning services to clients throughout the Midwest. Recent Confluence projects in the Cornhusker state include the Lincoln Children’s Zoo expansion, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s East Campus Residence Hall and the school’s 17th Street Dining Center. With a full-time leader in the market, the firm has plans to hire six to eight additional professional design and planning team members over the next five years. Confluence is in the process of evaluating several alternative locations in the downtown Omaha area for its new office. Confluence has grown to become one of the largest landscape architecture and planning firms in the country. Nebraska is now the fifth state where the firm has a full-time presence. Other offices can be found in Des Moines, IA; Kansas City, MO; Sioux Falls, SD; Cedar Rapids, IA; Minneapolis, MN. Confluence is a professional consulting firm comprised of landscape architects, urban designers and planners. The company has a strong network of offices located throughout the Midwest. More information is available at

Here, people can take and share a selfie with the hashtag: #thefeelingismutual. Each hashtagged selfie posted to Instagram and Twitter will activate an on-site instant photo station, allowing those who shared to add their photo to a physical board and a hand-written message of kindness. This is the first time in the Omaha market for this new social technology, created by Luster. Each selfie posted on the ‘community collage’ will represent a $1 donation to Child Saving Institute from Mutual 1st Federal. This continues the community-driven efforts of the local credit union. “We as a community can be powerful, connecting what is perceived as a selfish activity with engaging technology, allowing people from all walks of life to join together and be part of something that creates good for all,” said Nikki Rue, Marketing Manager at Mutual 1st Federal. “Credit unions are founded on the principle of people helping people. Each quarter during the year, our credit union partners with a local non-profit, and we’re excited to extend our support of Child Saving Institute through this activity.” Peg Harriott, President and Chief Executive Officer of Child Saving Institute agrees. “We are grateful to Mutual 1st for supporting Child Saving Institute through this creative and fun endeavor,” Harriott said. “They are great partners who truly care about kids. The funds they raise will support the kids and families we serve in the prevention, intervention and healing of trauma, abuse and neglect.”

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BUSINESS NEWS Union Bank & Trust Managed 529 College Savings Plans Among Best in Industry

BD Breaks Ground on $60M Expansion of Nebraska Manufacturing Facility

Union Bank & Trust ( has announced that four of its managed 529 college savings plans have received top rankings from Morningstar.

On October 25, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the beginning of BD’s newest facility in Columbus, NE.

Union Bank & Trust serves as program manager to Illinois’ directsold Bright Start 529 College Savings Plan, which was named one of the best plans in the industry, receiving a Gold rating. Only three other plans nationally earned this highest rating. According to Morningstar, the plan received high rankings for its total package, including passively managed age-based tracks and strong underlying funds. The plan was also highly regarded for its low-cost structure. Illinois’ Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Plan, managed by Union Bank & Trust, received a Silver rating for the third year in a row. Bright Directions was one of only two advisorguided plans to receive this rating, the highest bestowed on advisorsold plans. Union Bank & Trust also serves as program manager to Alabama’s CollegeCounts 529 Fund, which was upgraded to Silver, joining only seven other direct-sold plans with a Silver rating. According to Morningstar, Union Bank & Trust’s involvement increases Morningstar’s confidence that the plan will remain an exceptional choice for the long haul. Alabama’s CollegeCounts Advisor-Guided 529 Plan, also managed by Union Bank & Trust, received the second highest rating for an advisor-sold plan. Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research, announced new Analyst Ratings and reports for 62 of the nation’s largest 529 college savings plans. The plans are evaluated based on five key pillars––Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price. For more information visit


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BD has been proud to be a part of the Columbus, Nebraska community for nearly 70 years. In that time, the company has built two major manufacturing plants in Columbus and two additional plants in Holdrege and Broken Bow, with nearly 2,900 employees across the state. BD is now committed to expanding and upgrading its manufacturing facility in Columbus-East, with an investment of $60 million. That is only part of its commitment to modernizing its Nebraska manufacturing operations in the future. The 69,000-square-foot expansion will transform the Columbus-East facility into the flagship plastic injection molding manufacturing facility for BD, and it will become one of the largest and most sophisticated plastic molding plants in the world. The project is expected to be completed by 2021. In addition to BD leaders and representatives of the company’s Columbus, Nebraska community, Governor Pete Ricketts, Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley, Council Member John Lohr were also present and addressed those in attendance.

BUSINESS NEWS Control Depot Holds TCP Training Class Control Depot recently concluded a Niagara 4 Tec hnical Cer tification Program (TCP) class, held November 6-10 for 12 programmers from around the upper Midwest. The TCP class teaches students to design, engineer, and program control projects using the Niagara 4 framework. The Niagara 4 platform is the world leader in smart-building technology and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Control Depot is a Honeywell Authorized Systems Distributor (ASD) serving Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. As an ASD, Control Depot sells and supports a wide selection of residential and commercial controls and components. This includes everything from a simple thermostat to a complete web-based building automation system.   Control Depot conducts all operations with the goal of building strong and lasting relationships with its client base of contractors and building owners by providing value and experience that is unparalleled in the industry. Working with Control Depot you can expect quality services delivered in a timely manner at affordable rates. To find out more about training opportunities or the company’s offerings, visit, call (402) 934-0078, or email sales@ Contact Control Depot today for more information on how they can help you!

National Corn Yield Champion Jerry Cox and Cory Oberlander to Speak in Hastings Dennis Nun, of Yield Champions, has announced the schedule of twelve soil fertility seminars across the Midwest. “We’re excited to be able to bring cutting-edge fertility training to our clients as well as opening up these programs to seed and fertilizer dealers, farm managers, landlords and ag extension specialists. The featured speaker for these programs will be a leading, innovative soil fertility agronomist, Cory Oberlander. But, for two very special programs we will also have an opportunity to hear from 24-Time National Corn Yield Champion, Jerry Cox of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.” Oberlander manages the fertility programs for over 150,000 acres in 7 states and shared with several hundred producers in 2016. “With low commodity prices, crop producers are looking for responsible and intelligent ways to reduce their production costs, while at the same time increasing their yields. We’ve have many of our growers achieving 300 bushel per acre, field-average, corn yields and 100+ bushel-per-acre soybean yields in 2017. Some growers are still trying to figure out what it takes to achieve these yield levels. That’s the purpose of these 1-day intensives.” Jerry Cox will be with Cory Oberlander in Hastings, Nebraska on Friday, December 8th sharing how he has increased his farm average as well as his competition yields over 100 Bushels per acre over the past 12 years. For more information, please visit, or contact Yield Champions at or (402) 430-7727 (text or call).

Be Our Guest: Hillcrest Firethorn Opens in Lincoln Hillcrest Firethor n, a post-acute rehab center, has opened its doors and is serving guests in Lancaster C o u n t y. A grand opening event, whic h included a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by officials of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, was held on November 9th. Hillcrest Firethorn is part of Nebraska’s largest post-acute care provider, Hillcrest Health Services, with nearly 30 years of experience enhancing the lives of aging adults. Hillcrest Firethorn’s nursing and therapy teams are focused on helping guests recover from a surgery, injury or illness and return to their previous level of independence as soon as possible. “At Hillcrest Firethorn, we have our own team of therapists, not a contracted third-party therapy company, who provide physical, occupational and speech therapy,” said Joe Kezar, Administrator of Hillcrest Firethorn. “Our large therapy gym features HUR strength training equipment, which is specially designed for aging adults by utilizing air resistance for greater safety.” Hillcrest Firethorn is exclusively dedicated to short-term post-acute care, and most guests receive services for 7 to 20 days before returning home, based on diagnosis and physician orders. “We’re partnering with hospitals to ensure smooth transitions that result in better recovery and less re-hospitalizations,” said Dr. Tony Hatcher, Chief Medical Officer of Hillcrest Health Services. “We even offer 13 specialty guest rooms with piped-in oxygen, so we are able to accommodate higher acuity guests.” Dr. Hatcher, who recently joined Hillcrest Health Services as its first Chief Medical Officer, is serving as the Medical Director for Hillcrest Firethorn. He has more than 20 years of experience with CHI Health. In addition to nursing, therapy and social work services, guests benefit from Hillcrest’s unique approach to culinary services. Led by an executive chef, Hillcrest Firethorn is the only rehab center in the area that offers made-to-order dining with a robust menu. Selections vary from steaks and seafood, to sandwiches, burgers, salads and pizza. Guests may dine in the Stonebridge Restaurant or have their meal delivered to their private suite. Hillcrest Firethorn is located at 8601 Firethorn Lane in Lincoln. For more information or to learn about pre-planning your stay following an elective surgery, visit DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 13

BUSINESS NEWS Five Businesses Pitching to Win Up to $27K at REV Competition

Thrasher Expands to Kansas Territory to Fill Shoes of Retired Kansas Dealer

TS Bank presents REV, a riveting small business pitch event, on December 1st at ‘The Venue’ within Harrah’s, Council Bluffs. REV consists of five businesses owners and entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to compete for the chance to win up to $27,000 (multiple winners may be awarded various amounts). TS Bank contributes the majority of the capital at $25,000 each year. Revela of Omaha, a three-time sponsor, has added an additional $2,000 to this year’s prize money.

Thrasher, Inc., best known in Nebraska and Iowa for fixing leaky basements and failing foundations, will expand to cover Kansas this fall.

Early in TS Bank’s history, two powerful realizations were made: community banking is key to community success, and an essential part of a community’s success is the strength of its small businesses. As a result, TS Bank started REV in 2015 and to date, has reinvested a total of $50,000 to support small businesses. After 16 businesses pitched at a preliminary event in October, five businesses were selected to move forward and compete at REV. Those businesses are: Appsky Labs of Omaha, Nebraska; Flyover Design Co. of Des Moines, Iowa; Found of Omaha, Nebraska; Fyiio of Omaha, Nebraska, and HomeDitty of Des Moines, Iowa. This year’s judge panel includes: Andrea Frederickson, CEO of Revela, Allie Esch of Dundee Venture Capital, Daniel Koenig, CEO of Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, and Nathan Preheim, co-founder of The Startup Collaborative. Read more about the competing businesses at


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Greg Thrasher, founder of Thrasher, Inc. and Danny Morrow of Kansas Basement and Foundation Repair have been long-time friends and industry colleagues with shared Midwestern roots. For several years they’ve operated adjacent territories as members of the nation’s largest network of independent basement waterproofing and foundation repair contractors. In recent years, the topic of retirement planning came up. Danny had several tenured staff members and knew that he wanted to leave his business in good hands for both his staff and existing customers. As he weighed his options, he knew that Thrasher’s business values aligned with his own and that his staff and customers would be taken care of. After months of planning and outlining details for the purchase, the deal was closed on August 1. Thrasher will now serve Kansas (excluding the Kansas City metro area) in addition to its current service area in Nebraska, Western Iowa and Northwest Missouri. They hired on all 30 former Kansas Basement and Foundation Repair employees and are in the process of hiring for five additional positions in Kansas. For more information about Thrasher, visit or contact Jess Lightner at

BUSINESS NEWS Capital Express Inc. Expanding in 30th Year Capital Express Inc., headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, has recently expanded its services in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and North Dakota. Founded in 1987 by CEO Monte O’Hara and his wife Debra, Capital Express, celebrating 30 years in business, now provides customized final mile logistics services in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Dakota with 28 brick and mortar locations. Capital Express has over 800 contract drivers and 200 plus employees with state of the art scanning and tracking capabilities. The services they provide are key to the supply chain of many Fortune 500 companies distributing their products in the central U.S. For more information about Capital Express Inc., visit www.

Leadership Bellevue Graduating Class Honored at “Partners in Excellence” Event Leadership Bellevue recently graduated the class of 2017 a t a “ Pa r t n e r s in Excellence” c o m m u n i t y leadership event at Platteview Golf Club. The evening keynote speaker was Mayor Rita Sanders, City of Bellevue.  Congressman Jeff Fortenberry was in attendance, along with other community leaders and shared words of encouragement to the award winners and class. Leadership Bellevue is designed to sharpen leadership skills by helping participants sense what Bellevue needs.  The program exposes future leaders to the past, present and future of the community by combining presentations by current leaders, tours, panel discussions and dialogue between participants and community decision-makers.  The goal is to bring participants face to face with the challenges Bellevue is meeting and to inspire them to accept responsibility for providing necessary leadership. The class emcees for the evening were Naviere Walkewicz, USSTRATCOM and Eric Mahowald, Offutt 55th Wing. The yearly celebration presents two community awards:  “Partner in Excellence” and “Distinguished Alumni”.  The Partner in Excellence award in recognition of the partnerships created that impact the betterment of the Bellevue - Offutt community was presented to Marathon Ventures.  Accepting the award for Marathon Ventures was John Larsen. The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Roger Cox, Community Relations Coordinator with the Bellevue Police Department. This award recognizes a dynamic, progressive community leader who has impacted the community, and shows leadership through integrity, strength, vision and is an alumnus of Leadership Bellevue. Leadership Bellevue 2017 graduates included: Chadd Addison, City of Bellevue; Ashley Brandenburger, Great Western Bank; Ashley Carey, Bellevue Housing Authority; Gayle Christensen, Lift Up Sarpy County, Paula Creps, Sarpy County CASA; Zac Fredrickson, Holland Basham Architects; Dr. Brooke Harre, Hoogeveen Chiropractic Wellness Center; Christopher Hemmelman, First City Church; Bryan Holen, Plat1num One Investment and Insurance Group; Marcus Hymes, 557th Weather Wing;  Larry Lampman, Bellevue Police Department; Abigail C K Lill, Marathon Ventures; Eric Mahowald, Offutt AFB 55th Wing; Robert Moore, Bellevue Public Schools; Madeline Moyer, Security National Bank; Becky Parks, Nebraska Medicine Bellevue; Naviere Walkewicz, USSTRATCOM; Rich Warnke, Lockheed Martin; and David Witkop, Thanksgiving! Lutheran Church.

United Recognizes Special Achievements of I-GO Van & Storage Co. I-GO Van & Storage Co. of Omaha, NE, an agent of United Van Lines, has been honored by America’s Number One Mover for exceptional professional achievement. The announcement of the recognition was conferred as part of the van line’s annual awards program. I-GO Van & Storage Co. received the following United recognition: President’s Club Award at the $5 million level – honoring agents who have generated at least $1 million in sales for the United system during the past year. United Van Lines is America’s #1 Mover®. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, United Van Lines maintains a network of nearly 400 affiliated agencies. For more information about United Van Lines visit

Introducing LEAP Training and Coaching Team of Omaha After 30+ years of combined leadership and organizational coaching, the LEAP Training and Coaching Team of Omaha was created as part of Judith E. Glaser’s ‘Dream Team’ to deliver Conversational Intelligence®, C-IQ, worldwide. This revolutionary model is sweeping the globe and Fortune 500 companies are taking full advantage. C-IQ is the most up and coming, transformational means of obtaining a strong, prosperous business. Based on the latest neuroscience and research, the C-IQ methodology provides deep understanding of how every conversation has an impact and how individuals and businesses can fully prosper from every interaction. It is fundamentally important in all relationships to connect and build trust. Understanding the conversational patterns and learning to architect, deconstruct and shape those conversations generates better relationships and more prosperous results. The certified coaches at LEAP Training and Coaching Omaha provide the tools necessary to understand what happens in the brain moment-tomoment during conversations. Using this wisdom can transform individuals, teams and organizations by opening new pathways for mutual success. The C-IQ methodology transforms interaction dynamics to connect, navigate and grow with others in healthy ways. Certified Conversational intelligence coaches are intimately more aware of how to build trust, uncover challenges and identify breakdowns that create distrust. C-IQ builds a code language that brings new life to any organization. LEAP Team coaches masterfully support clients and teams to create lasting and profound shifts in communication and establish exponentially faster means of creating positive cultures. Learn more about what your LEAP Training and Coaching Team can do to bring quality conversations to your business. Contact Lisa Woodford for more information at or visit the website at DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 15

BUSINESS NEWS Seven Citadels Consulting Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Koley Jessen Recognized by Chambers High Net Worth Guide

Seven Citadels Consulting, LLC, an Omaha based independent security risk consultancy, is pleased to announce their five-year anniversary. Seven Citadels Consulting has demonstrated tremendous growth since 2012 and has significantly increased their footprint in Omaha and across the country. A trusted security advisor to companies and organizations in multiple sectors, Seven Citadels Consulting has successfully mitigated security risks for clients in the food, manufacturing, healthcare, professional services, and education sectors.

Chambers 2017 High Net Worth Guide has recognized Koley Jessen as a leading firm in Private Wealth Law in their recent rankings. In addition to be ranked as a firm, individual attorneys Kurt Tjaden and Brandon Hamm were recognized by the publication as leading attorneys in this area of law. Only 3 law firms and 5 individual attorneys in Nebraska were singled out as ranked by Chambers.

Jim Dale, principal and owner of Seven Citadels Consulting, is one of only 64 certified threat managers (CTM) in the country and is board certified in security management. Dale is a member of the International Association of Professional Security Consultants, ASIS International, the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, and was a career officer and special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He was also the chief security officer for three Fortune 500 companies. Seven Citadels Consulting is also proud to give back to the community in time, talent, and treasures. Dale is president of the At Ease USA board of directors, a trustee with the Greater Omaha Business Ethics Alliance, and volunteers in the Meals-on-Wheels program through ENOA. Dale and his wife Jeanne also financially contribute to charities and non-profits through the Omaha Community Foundation. For more information about Seven Citadels Consulting, visit or call (402) 659-9494.


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This recognition by Chambers is determined by interviews with those active in the market, mainly clients, competitors, other professional advisors with whom the firms work, as well as an assessment of recent work done. The Private Wealth Law service area includes work in charitable planning; wealth transfer; business succession planning; estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning (in the US); life and health insurance planning; the creation and administration of trusts and estates; asset transfer; the taking-public of closely-held businesses; and structuring outward and inward investment. Contentious matters are also included, such as trusts disputes, probate contests and contested wills. Koley Jessen is a 72-attorney law firm serving the needs of business owners, executives and professionals. The firm’s Estate and Business Succession Planning team helps clients articulate objectives and design comprehensive solutions tailored to transition their estates and businesses to successive generations in a thoughtful and tax-efficient manner. For more information about Koley Jessen, visit

BUSINESS NEWS Opera Omaha, Greater Omaha Young Professionals Team Up for ONE Night Only

Lt. Gov. Mike Foley Visits China to Grow Nebraska-China Trade Relationship

Calling all young professionals! If you thought opera was boring, think again. For ONE Night Only, you’ll get an inside look to see for yourself why it’s #notyourgrandmasopera.

L t . G o ve r n o r M i ke Foley recently traveled to China for a trade mission to strengthen the trade and agricultural ties between Nebraska and China.

At this special event, James Darrah, Artistic Director of Opera Omaha’s new ONE Festival, will share the innovative projects being created by dynamic, young directors, designers and musicians for the April 2018 ONE Festival. He will also share opportunities for community engagement and involvement in support of the spring endeavor. The event will be held on December 6th from 5:30-7 p.m. at KANEKO, located at 1111 Jones St. in Omaha. Wine, beer and appetizers will be served at 5:30 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 6:00 p.m. Metered street parking is available, and the parking garage at 10th and Jackson ($2/day the day of the event) is right across the street from KANEKO. Must be 21 or older to attend. The ONE Night Only event is FREE for young professionals, but an RSVP is required at one-night-only. All attendees will be entered into a drawing for special prizes, including Opera Omaha tickets and a free ticket to the YP Summit in March!

Two Local Securities America Advisory Firms Merge On November 1st, Lammers and Peters Wealth Plan and Case Slattery Wealth Partners merged forces to become Trusted Wealth Partners and are now serving clients in their new facility at 16934 Frances Street, Suite 201, in the Lakeside area of West Omaha. Matt Peters, a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, said the merger allows the two firms’ four financial advisors to offer clients more comprehensive wealth management. Peters primarily focuses on investment, retirement and college planning. His partner, James Lammers, a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, Chartered Financial Consultant® and Chartered Life Underwriter®, brings years of experience in investing for retirement and life and long-term care insurance planning. Mark Slattery and Shannon Case are Certified Fund Specialists® with extensive experience in comprehensive wealth management and creating a strong infrastructure to track the various areas of their clients’ finances. “The four of us have 110 combined years of industry experience and 65 years with our broker-dealer, Securities America.” Peters said. “We’ve known and respected one another for years, and we share an appreciation for Securities America’s Midwestern values. We have all been associated with Securities America for many years, so this merger will be a seamless transition with no impact to the management or administration of our clients’ accounts.” The advisors’ varied ages and their initiative to identify and recruit younger talent in the financial industry will help the company support clients who are at or nearing retirement in addition to the next generation of savers and investors, Peters said. Both firms’ support teams stayed on board at Trusted Wealth Partners, producing greater efficiency by allowing individuals to specialize in areas of their greatest strengths. The new business will invite clients and associates to visit their spacious new office during an open house in December. Securities America is one of the nation’s largest independent brokerdealers with more than 2,200 independent advisors responsible for $72 billion in client assets.

On Saturday, November 4, the trade delegation attended the opening ceremony of the Nebraska Demonstration Farm followed by a dinner banquet with Shaanxi Province Governor Hu Heping. On Sunday, the delegation attended the Yangling Hi-Tech Agricultural Expo with the Lt. Governor participating in multiple meetings and discussions focusing on trade and agriculture, and ended the night with a dinner with local business partners.

Lt. Governor Foley and UNL Dean of Extension Chuck Hibberd, Neb. Dept. of Economic Development representative Cobus Block, staff from IANR, and Nebraska Center China Representatives attending the Yangling Hi-Tech Agricultural Expo.

Lt. Governor Foley and the trade delegation meeting with representatives of the Jiangsu Department of Commerce.

On Monday, the Lt. Gover nor met with representatives with the Shaanxi Department of Commerce and S h a a n x i Pe o p l e ’ s Friendship Association. On Wednesday, Lt. Governor Foley met Lt. Governor Foley and Representatives with representatives from IANR, Dempster Mfg., Lindsay Mfg., with the Hebei Provincial Reinke Mfg., and Valmont Industries Department of Human participating in a U.S. – China agriculture Resources and Social partnership round table discussion. Security. This department is mainly responsible for government personnel management, overseas investment, foreign exports, labor security, retirement, etc. During this meeting, Lt. Governor Foley and Hebei Province Department of Human Resources and Social Security Director Wang signed a memorandum Lt. Governor Foley and Director Wang of Hebei Province Department of Human Resources, of understanding to build a better relationship along with Hebei Province officials and Neb. between Hebei Province Dept. of Economic Development representative Cobus Block, signing a memorandum of and Nebraska. understanding to build a better relationship

between Hebei Province and Nebraska. Lt. Governor Foley also met with importers of Nebraska beef at Morton’s Steakhouse in Shanghai to thank them for their support of Nebraska beef exports to China. The group wrapped up the trade mission on Friday, November 10, with a meeting with the Jiangsu Department of Commerce, followed by a tour of the Nanjing Industrial Park. DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 17


Morehouse Truck Line Introduces New Pay Package to Attract Experienced Drivers

The Omaha Bakery Announces Upcoming Holiday Classes

W. N. Morehouse Truck Line Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska, is proud to announce an improvement to its pay package for drivers. All drivers’ pay per mile has been increased to the applicable new rate in proportion with their service time at Morehouse. Effective December 1, Morehouse has increased its starting pay for company drivers to 42¢ per mile and top out at 49¢ per mile for drivers with 10+ years with the company. Experienced, top performing drivers could earn over $60,000 in their first year with this new pay package.

The Omaha Bakery is excited to announce this holiday season’s line-up of fun classes being offered! • Adult Gingerbread House Factory – Wednesday, December 6th, 7-10 p.m. • K i d s G i n g e r b r e a d House Factory – Sunday, December 10th, 3-4:30 p.m. • The Abominable Gingerbread Man Cookie Class For All Ages – Sunday, December 17th, 3-4:30 p.m.

W. N. Morehouse Truck Line, Inc. is a fourth generation, family owned business located in Omaha, Nebraska celebrating 85 years of service in 2017. It is a transportation company hauling primarily refrigerated products throughout the Midwest. Started by William Newel Morehouse in 1932 as a one-man operation, Morehouse has grown to over 100 trucks and 170 trailers. Management at Morehouse works with drivers, mechanics, and office employees to provide a clean, friendly, and comfortable work place. The new pay scale, coupled with the company’s purchase of 25 new Kenworth trucks, cutting-edge technology, and friendly staff make it an ideal candidate for the driver looking for a home. Drivers aged 23 and older with 2 years of verifiable experience and a clean MVR who are interested in a career with Morehouse can visit or call (800) 228-9378 Ext. 2233 for more information on a driving career.

Badura & Wintz Law Honored in Best Law Firms Rankings Badura & Wintz Law is honored to receive Tier 1 Omaha region Best Law Firm ratings from clients and peers for its accomplishments and dedication in Trusts & Estates Law and Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law by U.S. News - Best Lawyers® for the Eighth Edition of “Best Law Firms.” The preeminent Tier 1 designation places Badura & Wintz Law in an elite group recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a Tier 1 ranking demonstrates a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. Although Badura & Wintz Law is the smallest Omaha region firm receiving a Tier 1 ranking, the honor reflects the high level of respect the firm has earned among other leading law firms and with clients in the community for its members’ focus, abilities, professionalism, and integrity. Margaret Badura notes the importance of being proficient in both Trusts & Estates Law and Employee Benefits Law because for many people their retirement accounts represent a large portion, if not the largest portion, of their assets. Careful and coordinated planning for retirement accounts can help assure continued protection from a decedent’s creditors, minimize unwelcome acceleration of income taxes by beneficiaries, and even provide creditor protection for heirs who have special needs or who should not receive large distributions outright. Margaret Badura and Daniel Wintz are also pleased to be included in the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Elder Law, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Litigation – ERISA. Daniel Wintz was selected by Best Lawyers as Omaha’s 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” for Trusts and Estates. Badura & Wintz Law  maintains a legal practice dedicated to Estate Planning, Living Trusts, Wills, Financial and Medical Durable Powers of Attorney, Estate Administration, Probate, Elder Law, and Fiduciary Representation. For more information, visit www. 18 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

There will be more sprinkles, candy, and toppings than you could ever imagine complete your masterpiece! For more information, or to sign up for classes, please visit The Omaha Bakery’s Facebook page. Tickets are available to purchase online through Eventbrite to reserve your spot. Located at 608 S. 72nd Street, The Omaha Bakery is a charming, fullservice bakery, café, and tasting experience for any occasion. Whether it’s cookies you need for an office meeting, specialty cakes for an event, or a wedding cake to stun a crowd, The Omaha Bakery will exceed your expectations and make any event memorable. Additionally, The Omaha Bakery is the perfect place for foodies and gourmands to satisfy their cravings, always offering something new for guests to enjoy. With the ability to create flavorful and fancy desserts of all kinds; if you can dream it, The Omaha Bakery can make it a reality! For more details or to place an order, call (402) 991-9200 or visit

Hub International Acquires Wells Fargo Insurance Crop Business Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced that it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the assets of Wells Fargo Insurance, Inc.’s crop insurance broker business (Wells Fargo Crop). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. With offices in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Indiana, Wells Fargo Crop Insurance Agency offers insurance solutions to protect agriculture-related operations. Representing the top crop insurance providers, Wells Fargo Crop provides insurance brokerage services for more than 130 types of crops, plus standard federal multi-peril and crop hail policies. It also helps farmers protect their operations with programs such as revenue protection and statespecific offerings. Rene LeVeaux, President of Hub International Mountain States Limited (Hub Mountain), said, “Hub Mountain is aggressively investing in its crop and agriculture business. This acquisition will position Hub Mountain as one of the largest crop brokers in the Midwest and Northwest. As such, we will continue to provide additional resources to ensure our crop and agriculture clients receive the best products and service to protect their operations.” Following the acquisition, the Wells Fargo Crop team members will join Hub Mountain, continuing to service and support clients. Jeff Kemink, National Crop Insurance Manager of Wells Fargo Crop, and Jean Hinsverk, Assistant VP and Operations Manager, will join Hub Mountain in leadership roles. Kemink will report to LeVeaux and Hinsverk directly to Kemink with a close partnership with Wayne Dauwen, COO of Hub Mountain. Hub International Limited is committed to growing organically and through acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen industry and product expertise. For more information on the Hub M&A experience, visit


Exemplary Businesses, Nonprofits Honored at Sarpy Chamber Annual Awards Celebration

Long Dog Fat Cat Natural Pet Food Opens Third Location

Sarpy County’s business and nonprofit leaders ga t h e r e d o n November 14th at Embassy Suites La Vista for the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Celebration. The Sarpy Chamber capped off a year of recordbreaking Pictured L-R: Back Row - Tim Conrad, Maury Salz, ac hievements Jim Masters, Mark Vanderheiden, Karen Gibler. at this event Front Row – Travis Castle, Shelby Rust, Senator Sue with the highest Crawford, Joanne Carlberg, Gina Vanderheiden. attendance to date. Awards were given in six categories and to special honorees for Chamber Excellence and Golden Ambassadors. Gina V Physical Therapy was named New or Emerging Business of the Year. Since opening, they’ve swiftly exceeded their own growth expectations and are looking for new spaces to expand. Habitat for Humanity of Sarpy earned the award for Nonprofit of the Year through their work to break the cycle of poverty by providing low income families with a decent, affordable place to raise a family. American Family Insurance—Castle & Associates took the title of Business of the Year 1-24 Employees. A testament to their emphasis on teamwork, Travis Castle brought his entire team on stage to accept the award. CLAAS Omaha was recognized as Business of the Year 25-plus Employees. Dedication to community is an important part of their business culture with company funded days supporting the Habitat for Humanity, a community garden, can drives for the local food bank, and food donations to local shelters. The chamber honored Joanne Carlberg, with Bridget to Better Living, as Business Leader of the Year. Service to her community is important in Joanne’s career and personal life. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce as well as Secretary for the Millard Noon Lions Club. In her professional life, Joanne has dedicated nearly three decades of helping Seniors in our community through skilled nursing and post-acute health care. Senator Sue Crawford as this year’s Elected Official of the Year for her leadership the passage of LB 253, a bill that creates the path forward for the county by allowing the formation of Sarpy County and Sarpy Cities Wastewater Agency. Jose Dimas, Ken Eakins, Bill Fletcher, and Mike Struebing were honored as Golden Ambassadors. The Ambassador Group focuses on Sarpy Chamber advocacy and a select few members are named Golden Ambassadors for their stand-out work. Additionally, five Chamber Excellence honorees were recognized: Austin Gardner, Jim Masters, Chris Roorda, Lisa White, and Margaret White. Jim Masters was further recognized with the Chamber Excellence Award for his work in supporting the Sarpy Chamber staff and ensuring the success of the Leadership Sarpy program. Karen Gibler, Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce President, closed out the night by detailing the records the chamber broke this past year. The Chamber now has its largest staff ever, with new positions in marketing and member engagement, along with the highest number of members ever. Event attendance is soaring with events like the Annual Golf Tournament selling out for a third year in a row and the Grand Giveaway selling out for a second year in a row.

For pet lovers by pet lovers. Midtown Crossing has welcomed its newest retail partner, Long Dog Fat Cat Natural Pet Food. Long Dog Fat Cat specializes in all-natural pet foods, homemade dog treats and custom cakes, unique pet supplies and stress-free grooming. Owners Indre Seibutyte and Kazu Gotoh opened their first store in Omaha in 2009. Pet owners/lovers Seibutyte and Gotoh came to the United States and Omaha as exchange students. (Seibutyte is from Lithuania; Gotoh is from Japan.) They wanted to bring a concept to the city that featured top-grade, natural pet foods to and fresh, handmade locally-sourced, custom-made fresh doggie cakes and cookies concept to Omaha. In addition to supporting individual pet owners, their stores support local rescue organizations, including Nebraska Dachshund Rescue, Heartland German Shepherd Rescue, Muddy Paws Second Chance Rescue and Hands Hearts and Paws. The new location, their third, is in Midtown Crossing at 3201 Farnam St. Long Dog’s arrival fills a pet supply void in midtown left by the closing of Three Dog Bakery. It helps underscore the pet-friendly nature of the Midtown Crossing neighborhood, where pets are welcome in all of the apartments and condominiums as well as in Turner Park. Restaurants, including CRAVE, Cantina Laredo and Black Oak Grill, have pet-friendly patios, and the neighborhood is known for hosting its share of fun, pet-focused events.

Interstate Printing Company Celebrates 100 Years, Three Generations of Leadership This year marked the 100th anniversary of Interstate Printing Company,  a family-owned national printer long dedicated to the needs of its clients and innovation within the printing industry. Val J. Peter, a German immigrant and newspaper publisher, founded Interstate Printing in Omaha in 1917, igniting a legacy of printing excellence that has continued for three generations. It’s a legacy marked by a tradition of care and craftsmanship in all aspects and phases of the printing process, from the customer relationship, to the technology used, to the artistry of the finished project. Today, the company is celebrating this distinct milestone by continuing to improve on the already superior service it provides its customers. This includes near-constant updates to its equipment and technology in order to offer customers the most innovative, efficient printing options. “We are always reinvesting in our company and looking for new ways to further upgrade the quality of the product we deliver to our customers,” said William Peter, President of Interstate Printing Company.  “In light of our  100th anniversary,  that reinvestment is especially important. While our rich history set our story in motion, our successful future will further define our legacy.” Peter, who represents the third generation of  Interstate Printing leadership, attributes the company’s ongoing success not only to its focus on innovation, but to its loyal customers as well. “Throughout a century of growth, success and evolving technology, our customers have provided a constant source of inspiration. We’re grateful for their partnership, and we look forward to serving them in the years to come,” he said. Headquartered in a 68,000-square-foot modern building near downtown Omaha, Interstate Printing Company offers customers a comprehensive lineup of solutions – including sheet-fed and digital printing, heat-set web printing, direct mail printing and fulfillment, binding and more – paired with competitive pricing and reliable efficiency. To learn more, visit DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 19


Norma Drake

DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH CENTER Douglas County Health Center has proudly served the Omaha area for over 100 years and continues to be a leader in health care in the community. Norma Drake is the Director of Dietary Services at Douglas County Health Center, and also serves on the executive committee. Tell us a little about your business. - Our team of health care professionals provides excellent Short Term Post-Acute Rehabilitation and Long Term Care, including Memory Support. We are recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as a Five Star Rated facility, and proud to be the only facility in Nebraska to hold that rating consistently since the inception of the rating program in 2008. How did you get started in the business? - I married my high school sweetheart when I was 18 and he had enlisted in the military. He was sent overseas to Italy, and I went over on the Queen Mary to be with him. When we relocated back to the states, my husband enrolled at the University of Iowa. I was hired on as the secretary to the dean of the college and later became her personal administrative assistant. When my husband graduated, we moved to Omaha. We had a daughter and when she was three, I decided it was time to go back to school. I love chemistry and took all the chemistry courses I could take at the time. That led me to a degree in Dietetics and also Education. The Douglas County Health Center hired me right out of college in August of 1977 as a Therapeutic Dietician. It was actually a hospital then! Fast forward 40 years and I am now the director of the department that I am so fond of. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - I would say developing our meal service to where it is today. My greatest challenge was setting up the menus for our patients. When I came on our patients simply received a tray with their food on it, which was a very basic system, but didn’t always serve the needs of everyone well. We put a completely new delivery system in place using food carts, which allows us to cater to each patient, and we continue to make updates to improve it. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Designing and implementing food cart service. Now residents are able to make the decision on what they would like to eat! Tell us a little about your family. - Jim and I were married for 53 years, and I’ve been widowed now for 7 years. We have 2 children, Lisa and Jeffrey, and 3 grandchildren. The 2 oldest granddaughters are married and have added wonderful husbands to our family. My grandson recently graduated from high school and just started college. We also have 4 fantastic great grandchildren! What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I enjoy anything that involves my family! We are also fortunate to do so much traveling together. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - When my husband and I were returning home from Europe on a military vessel we went through a tornado at sea and didn’t think we would make it through the night. The ship was on its side taking 40 degree turns. It was one of the scariest moments of my life and I’m blessed to be here today! If you had a theme song, what would it be? - You are my Sunshine. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Cascio’s Steakhouse. My husband and I very much enjoyed dining there and it’s still around today!


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Email:; Website: dchc.


Brad Jones

MYSTAFF INC. MyStaff Inc. is a locally owned and operated staffing firm specializing in corporate office positions throughout the Omaha Metro area. Brad Jones is the co-owner of MyStaff Inc. Tell us a little about your business. - MyStaff Inc. was founded this year in June. We are a small, fun team comprised of seasoned recruiting experts. Our MyStaff team has over 50 years of combined experience recruiting for local positions. We help connect Omaha companies with job seekers in temporary and permanent roles. Our primary focus is business administration; we are able to help staff positions related to administrative/clerical, accounting, customer service and human resource fields. How did you get started in the business? - It was purely accidental. When I graduated from UNL, I accepted a position in the transportation industry and had an opportunity to learn about truck driver recruiting. I spent about three years recruiting drivers on a high-volume basis before deciding to explore agency recruiting. I grew up in Omaha so having the opportunity to help recruit for many local businesses was pretty appealing to me. I have been in staffing now for over a decade. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Starting MyStaff has certainly been my biggest challenge but in an incredibly positive way. I have contributed to the development of a small business and it has been awesome. The past six months have pushed everyone on the MyStaff team out of our comfort zones. We have learned a tremendous amount about operating a business, applying our strengths, trusting our instincts and establishing our own unique company culture. The immediate response we have received from the local community has instilled confidence and given us the ability to hire our first internal employee. The roles we have accepted will continue to challenge us for many years ahead and we can’t wait to see the future of this business. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife, Lindsey, is one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. She is also one of my business partners; she too took the plunge and left her job to start MyStaff. We have worked together for six years and been married three – we’re one of those unique 24/7 couples who rarely get tired of one another. We are raising two English bulldogs and a houseplant. We are foodies and love to travel. I have a brother who is successful in staffing and I have great in-laws who are local. My parents and sister live in central Arkansas. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Recently it has been putting aside the fear of failing and recognizing I knew enough to take a big risk and start this business regardless of the many possible consequences. It took a while to find the self-assurance to take a leap in order to improve our lives. Six months later, I don’t have a single regret. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Influential. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Our team has volunteered for programs at Open Door Mission and Rebuilding Together. Personally, I’m on the Young Leadership Committee for MakeA-Wish Nebraska. Each year we plan the Wine, Whiskey and Wishes fundraiser to help grant wishes for local families. This year’s event is May 10th! I’m also on the board for the Human Resource Association of the Midlands (HRAM). What is your favorite local restaurant? - It is impossible to pick just one but Flat Iron Café is probably the winner. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 614-1441; Email:; Website: www.

DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business



Jeffrey Miller



Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

Situated on 260 acres in Nebraska City, Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm is a full-service meeting facility with 140 fully-renovated guest rooms and suites, 14,000 square feet of adjustable meeting and banquet space, and a host of luxury amenities for guests to enjoy along with the natural beauty of the property. Jeffrey Miller is the Executive Chef at the Timber Dining Room, located at Lied Lodge & Conference Center. Tell us a little about your business. - Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City is home to the award-winning Timber Dining Room. As Executive Chef, I run all of the dining and catering services that come out of our kitchen. One of our priorities is to provide guests with an all-around experience of what we are as part of the Arbor Day Foundation. How did you get started in the business? - I began cooking when I was about 3 years old alongside my mom. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - The ability to meet our guests’ wants and my needs as a chef. A chef’s creativity doesn’t always translate into what is most appealing to guests. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - Being afforded this opportunity and ensuring the Timber Room is a successful source of revenue while keeping our guests satisfied. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife Emily is the Pastry Chef at Lied Lodge and we have two children, Sophia (6) and Mason (7 mos.) What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Getting married. Emily really straightened me out and got me on the path I wanted to follow. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Watch Carolina Panthers football. I will be honest that I try and take my days off around their schedule during the NFL season. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - Before I started cooking professionally, I was a drum instructor for Dalton High School in Dalton, GA. What are you the most proud of? - There are a lot of things I’m proud of professionally, but I wouldn’t be here without my family, so I would have to say them. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - In this industry, work ethic is everything. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Bored by Deftones. Not for any reason other than I really like that song. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Teleportation. My 7-minute drive to work can be brutal some days. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Probably music in some way. I think it can get you through a lot. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - The Arbor Day Foundation. Working here I’ve seen firsthand its impact on a small and large scale. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - The Soul of a Chef by Michael Rhulman. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Bill Murray. I’ve met him and cooked for him in Charleston, SC, and he’s a real standup guy. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (800) 546-5433; Website:


Ranferi Carbajal-Solis MLCDC

The Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) provides Latinos with opportunities to generate economic growth in the Midlands. Ranferi Carbajal-Solis is the Chairman and President of the Board of Directors for MLCDC. Tell us a little about the organization. - We provide financial support to small business owners who would normally not qualify for loans at other financial institutions due to different factors such as lack of credit history or lower loan amounts. In addition to financial support, we provide technical assistance to get these business owners equipped with the knowledge and skills to run a successful business. This includes helping them with business plans, marketing plans, and support with other legal or regulatory needs. Tell us a little about your background. - I currently serve as the District Manager for the Omaha Metro South Area and the Bellevue Community at Wells Fargo. I was promoted to this role in 2014 and relocated to Omaha. I began working for Wells Fargo in 2004 as a Teller in Austin, Texas after earning my bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to that, I worked in the hospitality industry for seven years at Marriott and Four Seasons hotels in Austin. I earned my MBA from the University of Phoenix at Austin in 2009, and in 2012, I also founded my own business, Cinco Sentidos LLC, a Tex-Mex restaurant based out of Round Rock, Texas. I still serve as President. After numerous promotions at Wells Fargo, I was offered the opportunity to come to Nebraska. How did you get involved in MLCDC? - In 2005, I co-founded the Wells Fargo Latin Connection Team Member Network Group (formerly known as Austin Amigos). I served and advised this TMN Group until 2009. Community involvement is very important to me, and I carried that into my work when I came to Omaha. My current district team collectively volunteers more than 500 hours each year. MLCDC is located where I live, work, and play, so I got involved and began volunteering with the organization. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Being new to the area, getting to know people in the community who are in a position to support and make a difference with similar causes has taken me a little longer than expected. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Read books, typically in literature, business, philosophy or religion. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I love music and like to deejay. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Follow your intuition. Accept responsibility for your actions. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Passionate. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To heal. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. What is your favorite movie? - La Vita è Bella / Life is Beautiful. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - It’s a tie between Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? -They are welcome to contact me via email at ranferi.b.carbajal-solis@ To get in touch with the Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation, please contact Marta Sonia Londoño Mejia, Executive Director, at (402) 933-4466, via email at mlondono@, or visit the website at

DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business


JULIE Julie Diegel


The Nebraska Recycling Council is a statewide, member-based organization that facilitates partnerships within and between communities to create a systems approach to resource recovery. Julie Diegel is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Recycling Council. Tell us a little about your business. - The Nebraska Recycling Council is a ‘new’ nonprofit organization with a long and storied history. The Nebraska State Recycling Association and WasteCap Nebraska merged in March 2017 to become a stronger, more comprehensive and inclusive organization supporting resource recovery systems in Nebraska. We provide consultation and training, recycling equipment grants, and educational opportunities for communities, service providers and businesses. Our mission is to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska. How did you get started in the business? - The protection and restoration of the earth’s natural systems has been a lifelong value of mine. In 2009, I was attending a sustainability workshop and ran into the former executive director of WasteCap Nebraska. She was looking for an employee to manage a recycling program, and I was looking for meaningful work, so joined the team. After working at WasteCap for several years, I worked for Senator Ken Haar during his last year with the Nebraska Legislature, then was hired on with the Nebraska State Recycling Association in 2016. We immediately began merger discussions with WasteCap, and a mere 6 months later, it was completed. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Change is always difficult, and I am a change agent. My approach is to imagine the ideal future and start working toward it, rather than fix what’s wrong in the present. The biggest challenge is to communicate one’s vision in a way that paints a clear picture for others. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - One of my best achievements was to change University Place Art Center in Lincoln to Lux Center for the Arts. I can’t take most of the credit, because the development of ideas that ultimately changed the face of the organization came from many (mostly staff) people, and evolved through arguments, sweat, frustration, and a leap of faith. It resulted in turning the Lux into an important visual arts center in Lincoln and beyond. Tell us a little about your family. - I have been married to Richard for 36 years. We have two grown children, Chloe and Noah, and three granddaughters. We live in a straw bale house on our daughter’s farm near Lincoln. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Certainly the birth of my children, but also the untimely death of my father. Both touched the deepest core of my being. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - On an average day off that’s not a vacation, I like to walk around the farm and interact with nature or play outside with the grandkids. I really love hiking in the mountains, but don’t get there often enough. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I had a landscaping business called Frog’s Leap. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To put CO2 levels back to pre-industrial levels so the earth’s climatic system could stabilize while we create a low-carbon economy. Which talent would you most like to have? - To play a guitar or banjo. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - Architecture. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Email:; Website:


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017


Meet Kristin White, Graphic Designer at Strictly Business Magazine! How did you get started in the business? - I previously worked as a product photographer and image editor for about six years and although I enjoyed it, I was ready for a change and wanting to get back into the creative field. A graphic design opportunity opened up at Strictly Business that I couldn’t pass up, so I moved from Kearney to Lincoln in September to pursue the position. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Getting ‘designers block.’ I’ve had to learn how to flip that switch whenever I feel stuck with a design and need some inspiration. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - It’s always a great feeling when clients love what I design for them. If they are happy, I am happy! Tell us a little about your family. - I was born and raised in Lexington, NE and am the youngest of two. My parents live near Lexington and my sister and brother-in-law live in Seward, NE so it’s great to get to see them more often. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - When I stopped wishing and started doing - that was the best decision I have ever made. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - You can most likely find me with family, at the lake in the summer, shopping, or road tripping. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I’ve played tennis for 21 years and have been doing CrossFit for 3 ½ years. I also was once related to Chuck Norris by marriage. What are you the most proud of? - Staying grounded and true to myself in a world where society and social media can have so much influence, constantly trying to make you something else. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Humble. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Teleportation; I’d go somewhere new every day if I could! What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - I’ve been told I should open an Etsy shop to sell my paintings. I love to paint! Which talent would you most like to have? - Being more tech savvy would definitely come in handy sometimes. If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? - I love nature, color, and design so I think landscaping would be a lot of fun! What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I’m not currently involved as I am new to the area, but it would be hard for me to pick just one since there are so many great and important causes out there. What is your favorite movie? - Divergent. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Adele, she’s hilarious! If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Via email at or you can reach me in the office at (402) 466-3330.

DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business



Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017


by Karl Schaphorst, President

No Professional Visiting!

Jim was on a roll. In the past five months, he had come from the bottom of the sales chart to the top. Everyone at the office was impressed. He was determined to stay number one. With this in mind, he decided that every client was going to receive additional attention at no charge. Stop in and visit them, see what “no-charge” help was needed and provide it. Let his clients know that he was available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And for the next three months, Jim’s clients thought of him as the best salesperson they had ever known. One client in particular was flabbergasted when Jim drove two hundred miles to get and then deliver a needed spare part on Saturday afternoon. Another client even called Jim’s manager to tell her just how impressed she was with Jim’s sudden appearance late one Friday when he sat down and helped them get an order out the door. “He pitched right in,” she said. But then a strange thing happened that no one, not even Jim could figure out. He started slipping down from number one in sales to number two, then to number three and then a sudden freefall to second from the bottom. Something’s wrong, thought Jim. Every client loves me, but I don’t have any more orders. Don’t they appreciate what I do for them? Jim unknowingly became a professional visitor to his clients. Jim’s clients love him because they get extra services for free. If, and when, they have a need for more of Jim’s product, they might buy from him. But a curious thing happens when people get something for free; they are less likely to buy in the future. After all, why should they? They get so much for free now without asking.

402-403-4334 There is nothing wrong with going beyond the call of duty for a customer. But here’s a question — you take a New York City cab to your destination, get out and tell the driver to wait for an hour while you run inside to a meeting — do you think, assuming he even waits, that he’s going to wait for free or is the meter always running? Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that this same taxi cab driver doesn’t charge you for waiting and neither of you discussed it. Every other taxi cab driver you know charges for waiting, and this one doesn’t. Suppose you get in his cab again two days later. Aha, you think, the fellow who doesn’t charge for waiting. So you attend a three-hour meeting, get down to the cab and find out the meter has been running for three hours. How do you feel? Like you have been robbed? Like you’ve been cheated? Do you have any right to these feelings? Customers, if given free services, will be trained to expect more and more free services. Their expectations of what is free will escalate in direct proportion to the amount of free service provided. And like your experience with the cab driver, if you stop providing these free services the customer will feel robbed and cheated. Does the customer have any right to feel robbed and cheated? Probably not, but that still does not make the customer feel better. So what does the customer do then? Goes somewhere else. The best approach to free service is to never give it. Ever. If you give it away for free, then don’t expect to ever get paid for it — ever. You can’t feed your family being a professional visitor. 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 2017 Strictly Business



Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

PERSONNEL NEWS Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation Announces Leadership Transition

Frank X. Leonard Joins Strictly Business as VP of Business Development

The Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation is excited to announce recent changes in the leadership of the organization. Butch Lecuona, who served as the executive director of the CB Community Education Foundation for 8 years, retired in June. Taking his place to lead the Foundation moving forward is Christopher LaFerla, who officially assumed his new role this fall. Chris is a Council Bluffs native who is passionate about improving the community through education. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1996, Chris earned his Associate’s degree from Iowa Western, a Bachelor’s degree in education from Simpson College, and Master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University. Prior to joining the Community Education Foundation, Chris worked at Iowa Western Community College in a variety of roles since 2003, serving most recently as Dean of Admissions and Records. During his time at Iowa Western, Chris worked on initiatives to increase access to higher education, improve student success, and build partnerships with local school districts. Chris serves on the Southwest Iowa Educational Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the Council Bluffs Community School District Board of Education. The Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation’s mission is to provide support to students and families in ways that contribute to their ability to learn. This is accomplished through community programs and initiatives in partnership with the schools and other local businesses and organizations. Find out more online at

Strictly Business is excited to introduce Frank X. Leonard, who has joined the team as Vice President of Business Development. He will be focusing his efforts on the Omaha Metro market, leading the charge to meet the needs of businesses and organizations of all sizes that are looking to grow by generating more leads and profits. As an asset to clients who are working towards meeting their goals in 2018 and beyond, Frank will be leveraging his expertise to assist in the areas of business consulting, strategic growth, marketing plans, managing client campaigns, and achieving top-of-mind recognition in the marketplace.

Concordia University Health Professor Jennifer Janousek Wins Statewide Award Jennifer Janousek, associate professor of health and human performance at Concordia University, Nebraska, was recognized by the Nebraska Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) with the 2017 Health Education Teacher of the Year award for her ongoing commitment and dedication to health education. Each year SHAPE recognizes professionals and educators who exemplify leadership and encouragement in their curriculum. Janousek has taught at Concordia since 2001. Besides heading and directing Concordia’s Master of Public Health program, she also teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes as well as leading an annual mission trip with her global health courses. Janousek is a member of the Public Health Association of Nebraska, the American Public Health Association, and the Society of Public Health Education. She received a bachelors in exercise science and psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a master’s in health education from University of Nebraska, Omaha, and a doctorate in public health from Walden University. The Society for Health and Physical Education of Nebraska is one of the 50 state affiliations of SHAPE America, which has the nation’s largest membership of health and physical educators and sets the National Standards for kindergarten through high school physical education and health. They also encourage students to implement healthy and physically active lifestyles and advocate the development of resources for school health departments and their physical educators. Awards were presented in conjunction with the annual SHAPE fall conference on November 6.

Frank X. Leonard brings over thirty years of experience in sales, training, marketing, and business development to his new role at Strictly Business. Most notably, he created a superior sales force for the largest financial services company in the country. After six years he reached the level of Regional Vice President, running offices in Virginia and Maryland and excelling as a top presenter/ recruiter/trainer. His extensive experience also includes business acquisitions with a focus on increased revenue. Additionally, Frank played a key role in representing the interests of clients of his father’s lobbying firm, The Leonard Group. Although he enjoyed the challenges of “working the Hill,” Frank was still truly drawn to entrepreneurship – particularly as it relates to new products to market, new technologies, and connecting people. To that end, he founded Leonard Group Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in merchant services and facilitating prime business connections around entrepreneurship and business development. He then formed a strategic relationship with LBlakes Parners, LLC, a New York-based Private Equity, Media and Entertainment firm, where he worked on select projects and joint ventures for a number of high-profile clients. He also has international expertise with new market penetration into the U.S. Frank and his wife Kelly, who is a native Nebraskan, have been married for 30 years and have four beautiful children. They recently relocated back to their home state to be closer to extended family. Frank is excited to begin the next chapter of his career here working with Omaha-area business owners and professionals. If you are interested in the opportunities available with Strictly Business, contact Frank X. Leonard at (571) 437-6201 or via email at

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know & Who Knows You! At Strictly Business Magazine, we strive to recogni ze local businessmen and women for their significant awards, promotions, achievements, and/or efforts in partnership with other organizations and the Omaha Metro community. f 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 2017 Strictly Business 29

PERSONNEL NEWS Dr. Mike McGinnis Named CEO of Goodwill

Renze Display Hires Two

After conducting an extensive search, the Goodwill Board of Trustees has announced Dr. Mike McGinnis as the new chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa.

Renze Display, a 122-year-old provider of exhibits, branded environments, event graphics and point-of-purchase solutions, has hired two new project managers, Chad Stangl and Gayle Adams.

Pauli Bishop, a ten year veteran with Goodwill stepped in as the interim CEO, serving in that position for the past year. McGinnis, who has extensive executive level experience in nonprofit and military organizations, officially took the reins in October.

Stangl, a graduate of Missouri Southern State University, will use his design and project management skills to assist the sales department with special projects. Prior to joining Renze, Stangl had been an Exhibit Designer at Omaha Children’s Museum and a Project Manager at Heartland Scenic Studio.

He comes to Goodwill from the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska, where he served as executive director since January of 2014. He is the former executive director of Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha, and previous to that was a professor at Old Dominion University and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Dr. McGinnis has a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.  His undergraduate degree is from United States Military Academy at West Point. The announcement culminates a four month search process conducted by the independent firm of Wheless Partners and a search committee comprised of community members Doug Wilwerding, Jay Dunlap, and Shonna Dorsey as well as board members Bob Bertsch, and Scott Semrad. It was led by Erin Limas, chair of the board’s search committee.

Chad Stangl

Adams, a 23-year veteran in the printing and graphics industry, will be in charge of quality control, scheduling, and production personnel. Prior to joining Renze, Adams had been Director of Production at Bailey Lauerman. Re n z e D i s p l ay o p e ra t e s o u t o f a 90,000-square-foot production, warehouse and showroom facility in Omaha, NE. Visit to see thousands of ideas!

Gayle Adams

For more information, visit

Omaha Healthcare Professionals Earn Top Patient Experience Designation Jan Gnida and Audrey Page recently earned the credential of Certified Patient Experience Professional (CPXP). Gnida is director of patient and government surveys and Page is a senior healthcare experience consultant at Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC). CPXP certification is an international designation intended for healthcare professionals or other individuals with a commitment and interest in patient experience improvement. Patient Experience Institute (PXI) awards the Jan Gnida certification. Applicants must have three years of experience working in a patient experience related role and successfully complete a standardized exam proving their knowledge of the systems, processes and behaviors that cultivate consistently positive experiences. Once certified, a CPXP must maintain the certifications every three years and remain active in the field. Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC) brings excellence to healthcare through Audrey Page custom market research. Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Omaha, NE, it remains the largest privately held market research firm dedicated solely to the healthcare industry. In addition to being a certified vendor for government-mandated CAHPS surveys, PRC provides custom research services that measure community perceptions, brand positions, patient experience, physician alignment and employee engagement. PRC also conducts community health needs assessments in accordance with IRS guidelines. Find out more about PRC online at www.prccustomresearch. com or by calling (402) 592-5656. 30 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

First Responders Foundation Announces Leadership Transition The First Responders Foundation is formally announcing the retirement of co-founder and President and Executive Director Ray Somberg. Somberg and longtime friend Jerry Hoberman founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2008 in an effort to enhance public safety and build community appreciation and respect for our first responders. Under Somberg’s leadership, the First Responders Foundation has donated more than 1.5 million dollars for much needed equipment and support for Omaha’s police and fire departments.

Ray Somberg

The foundation is pleased to announce that Major General (Ret) Al Batschelet has agreed to accept the position vacated by Somberg and will take over executive responsibilities immediately. MG(R) Batschelet had a 33year career in the US Army and retired as a Major General. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in history and political science from Iowa State University and Al Batschelet three military master degrees. Batschelet has been a motivational leader, a creative thinker and consensus builder in organizations ranging in size from several hundred to over 100,000. Most recently, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base. There Al was directly responsible for the supervision of more than 4,000 military and civilian staff personnel in 10 operating units. The First Responders Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners directly with Omaha’s police and fire departments and unions to provide meaningful resources and vital equipment and create programs and events that make a positive impact on the community. Find out more at

PERSONNEL NEWS Ann Glinski Joins Pinnacle Bank

New Talent at Aqua Systems With Addition of Andy Palmquist

Pinnacle Bank recently named Ann Glinski Vice President of Cash Management. Glinski works from the 180th and Dodge branch. In her new position, she is responsible for assisting business customers with all of their deposit needs and providing ongoing customer support. Glinski has been in the banking industry for 32 years with 10 of those years in cash management. She began her career as a teller and continued to gain experience in all operational areas. She is a graduate of Bellevue University. Family-owned since 1938, Nebraska-based Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc., is a $10 billion financial holding company operating 149 community banks in eight states including 64 locations in Nebraska. For more information, visit

NAM Hires New Program Manager, Membership and Information Specialist The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM) has added a new program manager and membership and information specialist. Rosey Higgs has been named program manager and will oversee and promote various training and outreach strategies for nonprofits. She also will oversee NAM’s guidelines and principles program that helps build the internal capacity of nonprofits in Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Higgs has extensive and varied experience in Omaha’s nonprofit community, including work in child welfare, domestic violence, homelessness, intellectual and developmental disability, HIV prevention, mentoring, program evaluation and strategic planning.

To handle increased growth and demand, Aqua Systems, a Lincoln-based water treatment company, recently expanded its staff. Joining the firm as Director of Business Development is Norfolk native Andy Palmquist, a 10-year veteran in the water conditioning field. “The need is there in both Omaha and Lincoln, so we’re very happy to have Andy on board,” said Jeff White, President of Aqua Systems. “He adds outstanding professionalism to our company as well as a true passion for our industry. Already I’m impressed by his smile and great rapport with our clients.” “I love interacting with people every day,” said Palmquist. “Not only do I like helping people with their water issues, I also learn on a daily basis. And it feels really good to make a positive impact on people’s lives by improving the quality of their water.” Serving the Lincoln and Omaha areas for over 20 years, Aqua Systems provides water treatment options for both home and business. With a no-commission sales philosophy, they offer softeners, drinking systems and solutions for problem water issues, without high-pressure sales tactics. That’s why many people feel Aqua Systems is the source for water treatment. For more information, log onto iLoveMyWater. com or call (402) 466-6800.

Jeff DeWispelare Named Omaha Home for Boys’ President & CEO Rosey Higgs

Higgs earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska Omaha, where she currently serves as adjunct instructor in the Grace Abbott School of Social Work. Thaddaeus Pera is NAM’s new membership Thaddaeus Pera and information specialist. Pera will provide NAM’s nonprofit members with day-to-day services and programming needs. Pera is working toward his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Pera’s experience includes customer service, research, reporting and data base management. Nonprofit Association of the Midlands ( strengthens the collective voice, leadership, and capacity of nonprofits to enrich the quality of community life throughout Nebraska and Western Iowa. With NAM’s growing base of nonprofits, the organization is committed to: enhancing public recognition of the importance and role of the nonprofit sector; providing access to high-quality assistance and information on effective nonprofit management and practices; advocating on issues that affect the capacity of all nonprofits to address their communities’ needs; and fostering communication and cooperation among nonprofits. NAM also is recognized as the State Association for Nebraska by the National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofits.

Omaha Home for Boys recently announced that Jeff DeWispelare has been named President & CEO of the longstanding provider of services for at-risk youth effective January 1, 2018. DeWispelare will be taking over the role of President & CEO as a result of the pending retirement of current President & CEO, Jeff Moran. Moran will act as President Emeritus at Omaha Home for Boys through May 2019. DeWispelare has been with Omaha Home for Boys since 2012 acting as Chief Operating Officer where he was responsible for the oversight of daily operations. He brings 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to the role of President & CEO having served previously as a Group Vice President with the YMCA of Greater Omaha. “I am truly honored to begin serving as President & CEO of an organization with such a rich history of helping youth and families on our community,” said DeWispelare. “I see a great future for Omaha Home for Boys as we continue to adapt to the changing landscape of youth residential care and innovate to bring new programs and services to vulnerable youth.” DeWispelare’s appointment as President & CEO comes after the Omaha Home for Boys’ Board of Directors approved a succession and transition plan to replace Moran in November of 2016. Omaha Home for Boys is a leading provider of services for at-risk youth and young adults through its residential care, transitional living and independent living programs. The Home aids more than 300 young men and women across Nebraska annually. For more information, visit DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 31

NON-PROFIT NEWS AIM Honors Local Leaders, Innovators and Educators in Technology

Survivors Rising Announces 2018 Speakers Bureau Opportunities

AIM, an innovative not-for-profit that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent ecosystem through career development and educational programs, recognized local leaders, innovators and educators for their contributions to the tech community at its Tech Celebration, held November 15 at the Omaha Design Center. AIM’s  25th anniversary was also recognized during the celebration. The event was sponsored by Cox Business, with additional sponsorship from Lazarus,, Midwest Cloud Computing and Valmont Industries. Over 400 people were in attendance as AIM presented the awards. The 2017 honorees are: K-12 Tech Student: Emma Carlson, Omaha Westside High School; College Tech Student: Evan Welsh, UNO; K-12 Tech Educator: Charlie Cuddy, Omaha Bryan High School; College Tech Educator: Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, UNO; Tech Champion: Timothy Ingledue, Farm Credit Services of America; Tech Leader: Dennis J. Kirlin, Farm Credit Services of America; Emerging Business: Quantified Ag; Enterprise Business: Spreetail; Community Builder: Heartland Workforce Solutions.

Survivors Rising has begun s c h e d u l i n g S p e a ke r s Bureau presentations and training sessions for 2018, and has also extended the opportunity to join the collective. Survivors Rising’s Speakers Bureau is a collective of individuals impacted by sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, dating/domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking who have chosen to share their experience of violence and hope to educate the public, create social change, promote awareness of the prevalence and harm of violence and trauma, train service providers, impact policy and legislation and assist in preventing violence in our communities. Presentations by survivors are available for training, conferences, awareness campaigns, panel discussions, brown bag lunches, vigils and other speaking engagements. Survivors Rising also provides training and workshops regarding sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, dating/domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. Workshops include survivor experience, data and research, indicators and information on identifying victims/survivors or offenders, available resources for victims/survivors, and suggestions on how to help victims/survivors. If you are interested in scheduling a training or presentation, or if you are interested in becoming a member of the Speakers Bureau to share your own story please contact Kim at You can find out more about Survivors Rising online at

Volunteers, Athletes Honored at Nebraska Sports Council Awards Banquet Five top athletes and a dozen volunteers r e c e i v e d a wa r d s Thursday, October 26 at the Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) Awards Banquet at the Grand Manse in Lincoln. Cornhusker State Games (CSG) Athletes of the Year included BMX racer Joseph Mather, 6, of Omaha; chess player/swimmer Jacey Tran, 12, of Lincoln; taekwondo athlete Carl Steffens, 35, of Lincoln; powerlifter Grace Bogner, 24, of Lincoln and badminton player Kaiguo Chang, 56, of Gretna. Husband-wife volunteer duo Dan and Jan Ericson received the Joe Neal Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award. The retired couple helped out on 10 different Nebraska Sports Council projects or events including: CSG packet stuffing, CSG packet pickup, the Gravel Grinder, Adventure Race, Opening Ceremonies, 5K Race, Triathlon, Bass Fishing Tournament, Mud Run and the Pumpkin Run.Trish Souliere, Director of CSG Fencing which grew in participation for the 9th straight year in 2017, received the Russ White Memorial Sport Director of the Year Award, which is voted upon by the CSG Sport Directors. CSG Disc Golf Director Anita Jackson earned the John Axe Board Service Award in recognition of 10 years of service on the NSC Board of Directors. Sport Directors receiving anniversary-year service awards included: 5-Year -Cliff and Amber Hall - Armwrestling; Todd Johnson - Basketball; Colleen Arnold and Aimee Guzman-Jones - Ice Hockey; Thom Sisson - WalkOmaha; John Lefler - Road Bike Race and Glen Williams Rifle Shooting. 10-Year -- Dave Tunink - Youth Trapshooting; Steve Morrison - Track & Field and Jim Tubbs - Archery. 15-Year -- Keith Stewart - Pocket Billiards. The following event dates were announced for 2018: Cornhusker State Games - July 20-29, Mud Run – August 25, Pumpkin Run – October 6 and NE150 Challenge – year-long beginning January 1. Events in development with 2018 dates to be announced include a four-person golf scramble and a multi-sport corporate games competition. The Nebraska Sports Council is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with platinum partners including Farmers Mutual of Nebraska, Nebraska Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine and LinPepCo. Sponsors for the Awards Banquet include Venue, Lone Tree Brewing Company and the Nebraska Pork Producers Association. Learn more at 32 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

FITGirl, Inc. Announces Winter Wellness Lock-In at Creighton University Creighton University Athletics has teamed up with FITGirl, Inc. for winter wellness fun! A Winter Wellness Lock-In at Creighton University will be offered December 30-31, open to girls ages 8-14 years old. Girls will enjoy sports activities throughout the evening with Creighton female athletes in the Rasmussen Center and empowerment workshops with local mentors and FITGirl ambassadors in D.J. Sokol Arena at the Ryan Athletic Center. The girls will then get to sleep overnight and enjoy a movie on the jumbo screens located in the arena. This is a FITGirl, Inc. fundraising event and a portion of the fee is tax deductible. A t-shirt, Athleta bag and two meals will also be provided to all participants. FITGirl, Inc. is empowering young girls to positively change the way they feel about themselves by introducing them to a variety of wellness activities and positive role models who will help girls develop healthy habits that will set cadence for life. The mission of FITGirl, Inc. is to empower young girls as they develop and mature by demonstrating positive lifestyle choices; physical, mental, relational, and nutritional. This is done through camp style programs, engaging in educational and physical fitness activities with coaches and mentors who instill confidence and courage. For more information about this event or to get registered, visit www. or contact Cheri Dickmeyer at (402) 522-6330 / email

NON-PROFIT NEWS Sarpy County Museum to Host Annual Christmas Open House

Midlands Community Foundation to Honor Bindy & Bob Frederick With Reflection Award

Join the Sarpy County Museum on Sunday, December 3rd from 2 – 4 p.m. for the 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.

Midlands Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Bindy and Bob Frederick will receive the Reflection Award at the organization’s 2018 Reflection Ball on January 20 wat the Embassy Suites in La Vista. Eac h year Midlands Community Foundation honors an individual or individuals who have contributed significantly to Sarpy and Cass counties and the mission of the Foundation with its Reflection Award.

During the open house, there will be a raffle of door prizes and the highly-anticipated drawing for the winner of the 2017 Raffle Quilt. This King Size quilt, donated by Charlene Gustin, was hand stitched and appliquéd by an Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 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 the Gross Catholic Honor Choir performs festive a cappella selections and carols. This is a terrific way to kick off the holiday season! The Sarpy County Museum, incorporated in 1953, is committed to protecting, preserving and promoting Sarpy County’s rich history. It does this by hosting a variety of free programs, archiving local records and assisting with genealogy research. The museum is generously funded by Sarpy County and continues to rely on donations from members, volunteers and community supporters. The museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. For more information, contact the Sarpy County Museum at (402) 292-1880 or museum@

MLCDC Selected to Participate Nonprofit Capacity Building Program The Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) has been selected to participate in the next Omaha Community Foundation Nonprofit Capacity Building program. Ranferi Carbajal-Solis, District Manager for Wells Fargo and Board President of MLCDC and Marta Sonia Londono Mejia, Executive Director of MLCDC will represent the organization in the program’s 8th cohort. Each year, ten nonprofits in the greater Omaha area are chosen to participate in the program. The 24-month curriculum was designed to strengthen organizational and leadership capacity needs. Program components include: • Assessment of each MLCDC’s capacity using the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands‘ Guidelines and Principles; • Monthly peer learning sessions to discuss best practices and challenges; • Executive coaching for executive directors; • Quarterly sessions focused on board of directors; and • $5,000 grant for nonprofits meeting the requirements of participation. MLCDC is excited for this opportunity and plans to leverage it for the benefit of the people it serves. The mission of MLCDC is to provide Latinos with opportunities to generate economic growth in the Midlands. In 2017, celebrated its 12th anniversary, launched a new website, started a financial capability program working in partnership with the Mexican Consulate of Omaha (Financial Assistance Window - Ventanilla de Asistencia Financiera, VAF), and became a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). For more information about MLCDC and the work this local non-profit organization is doing in the Omaha Metro area, please call (402) 9334466 or visit

Bob and Bindy started their community service in Gretna with the Gretna Jaycees and Jayceetts. Upon moving to Papillion, Bob joined the Chamber of Commerce, Papillion Lions Club, coached little league baseball and basketball and Bindy joined the Junior Women’s Club and elementary and junior high PTO Clubs. Since then, Bob has served as President of the Papillion LaVista Monarch Athletic Booster Club, Past President of the Papillion Area Lions Club, Board Member of the Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation, Board Member of the Nebraska Stroke Foundation, Past President and member of the Trinity Lutheran Endowment Committee, Board Member of Midlands Community Foundation and Project Harmony Service League. He is currently a board member of the Papillion Area Lions Club, the Papillion Library Foundation, Project Harmony, Pinnacle Bank Region One, Trinity Lutheran Church Council (Treasurer) and Co-Chairman of Hops for Harmony. Bindy has served as president of the Papillion Junior Women’s Club and is a current member. She also is a member of the Horizon Women’s Club and current treasurer, past president and member of the Papillion La Vista Schools Foundation from 1987-2013. Bindy currently serves on the Midlands Community Foundation Reflection Ball Committee. Prior to retirement, Bob and Bindy worked for two great employers, Pinnacle Bank and Bergan Mercy Hospital (aka Alegent Health and CHI) that strongly believed in and encouraged community involvement.

Strictly Business is Calling All Non-Profits Strictly Business will be featuring a host of local non-profit organizations in our January 2018 issue and we want to help raise awareness for your organization too! As a part of the mission of Strictly Business Magazine, we feel that keeping our readers educated about local non-profit organizations and their unique and important contributions to our community is paramount. This bi-annual feature is an excellent opportunity for non-profits to gain exposure among our readers, as well as for our readers to familiarize themselves with the needs of these organizations and the valuable work that is going on in our community. If you are a non-profit organization serving the Omaha Metro community and are interested in being featured in Strictly Business, please call (402) 4663330 or email You may view our past Supporting Non-Profits stories at DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 33


JE Foundation 2018 Caring Campaign: “Getting to the Heart of the Matter!”

T.P. the Prez to Benefit Omaha Home for Boys’ Youth Mart

E v e r y December the Jennie Edmundson Foundation reaches out to the community to make a year-end gift to the Caring Campaign. 100% of gifts received benefit the Jennie patients who may be underinsured or not insured, including programs provided.

T.P. the Prez, taking place December 4-8, is a donation drive aimed at stocking the shelves at Youth Mart. The goal of this annual event is to fill the office of Omaha Home for Boys’ President and CEO, Jeff Moran, with critically needed items for young men and women who are transitioning to independent living. Items being collected for Youth Mart during T. P. the Prez include feminine hygiene products, deodorant, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent and cleaning products. Diapers and wipes are also greatly needed as well as socks and underwear for men, women and children. Youth Mart is a donation center that collects household essentials, hygiene items, clothing and furniture and redistributes these much needed items to at-risk youth, many of whom are Omaha Home for Boys’ clients. The young men and women who pass through Youth Mart’s doors are allowed to shop free of charge for critically needed items as they work towards establishing themselves in their own apartments. The shelves at Youth Mart would be bare and the 300 young adults who utilize Youth Mart every year would be turned away without the generous donations received from the community. Individuals and businesses can join the giving during T.P. the Prez by dropping off needed items December 4-8 at Omaha Home for Boys, 4343 N. 52nd Street. Cash gifts for Youth Mart are also greatly appreciated at

This year the ‘Greatest Need’ is focused on the Cardiovascular Services provided at Methodist Jennie Edmundson. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting many families we serve. Funds raised through this campaign will help provided individuals with financial support in the aftermath of a stroke or cardiac event to receive lifesaving treatment, including cardiac rehab. Other areas to show your support include the Medi Bus program providing free transportation to the hospital for treatment when transportation may not be available, the Cancer Center, Caring for Our Communities, and the Breast Health Center. More information can be found on each of these areas in need by visiting the website at Through the funds raised, allows the Foundation to support excellent patient care, projects and programs offered at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. For questions, please contact the JE Foundation at (712) 396-7733. The mission of the Jennie Edmundson Foundation is – “To improve the quality of life by caring for the body and the mind.”


Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017


Inaugural Heartland Family Service Event Raises Over $10K

NAMI Omaha Presents Family to Family Workshop

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Heartland Family Service hosted its “Strengthen Our Survivors” fundraising event on October 28. During the brand new event, which was created to raise both awareness and funds to further the organization’s community initiatives and outreach, attendees enjoyed brunch and an artisan vendor fair. All proceeds will support Heartland Family Service’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services program. In total, “Strengthen Our Survivors” raised $10,950! Special thanks are extended to Lynn Muller, who served as event chair, and all of the attendees who made it such a great success. Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has responded to the needs of our area’s most vulnerable children and families. Each year, the agency’s 50 programs serve more than 52,000 individuals of all ages from more than 15 locations in eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Heartland Family Service provides critical human services to the individuals and families who ultimately shape the future of our community through the following program areas: Child and Family, Counseling and Prevention, and Housing and Financial Stability. To find out more about Heartland Family Ser vice, visit or contact Charli Hathcox at (402) 5527447 /

NAMI Omaha is pleased to announce an upcoming Family to F a m i l y workshop. This is a free 12-week course for family members, partners, and friends of individuals with mental illnesses.

Nebraska Community Blood Bank: Three Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season Looking for a way to give back that will impact the lives of others in your community? Nebraska Community Blood Bank offers the following suggestions: Become a Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) Blood Donor The holiday season is a busy time, but the need for blood doesn’t take a holiday. Help save a life in our community this holiday season by committing an hour of your time to donate blood. Schedule an appointment at Tell Others About the Need for Blood This holiday season you can spread the good news! If you are a dedicated donor and want to make a bigger impact or if you are unable to donate blood, tell friends and family about the importance of blood donation while sharing a story. Find stories of lives saved at NCBB.ORG/lifesaving_story. Volunteer With NCBB Santa isn’t the only one who needs cookies this time of year – so do NCBB donors at the end of their donation journey. Blood donors know their gifts are helping save lives, and NCBB works hard to provide them with the best possible donation experience. By serving cookies and juice to donors in the canteen, helping at special events, or even folding t-shirts, volunteers play a vital role in thanking donors for their selfless giving. Learn more about becoming a volunteer at NCBB.ORG/volunteer.

The course is structured to help caregivers understand and support individuals with mental illness while maintaining their own well-being. Information includes different mental illnesses, medications, coping resources, problem solving, empathy and family communication. The course will be held on Thursdays from January 11th through March 29th, from 5.30-8.30 p.m. at Community Alliance, located at 41st and Leavenworth. Registration deadline is set for January 3rd, 2018. For more information or to register, contact Linda Jensen at (402) 517-5772 or NAMI Omaha is a local affiliate of The National Alliance on Mental Illness. They provide free support to family and friends who have a loved one living with mental illness through education, literature, workshops, conferences, support groups and more. They also offer support groups to the individuals who have a mental illness. For information, go to or call (402) 3458101. For helpful articles on mental illness, follow on Facebook at

CEDARS Earns Charity Navigator’s Highest Rating Strong financial health as well as commitment to accountability and transparency have earned CEDARS a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. “CEDARS exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds CEDARS to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support CEDARS.” CEDARS has been a vital part of the community for 70 years. What started as a grassroots effort to provide safe refuge to children and youth who had no other safe place to spend the night has grown into a dynamic and dedicated team of over 200 professionals serving 2,750 kids and families each year. “The people of this community have long trusted the work of CEDARS,” says Jim Blue, CEDARS President. “This new 4-star rating validates the trust they have placed in us to carry out this important work of caring for the most vulnerable children in our community.” For more information about how CEDARS helps children, visit or call (402) 434-5437. DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 35

NON-PROFIT NEWS Wine Tasting Fundraiser at Vino Mas to Benefit Grief’s Journey

Julie Cornell, Bill Randby Honored as Latest “Face on the Barroom Floor”

Please join Grief’s Journey on December 7th from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. for a night of good wine, good music and good friends! Sample seven wines for only $20 and $15 of each ticket will go towards supporting Grief’s Journey’s free programs offered here in our community. Additionally, 10% of sales from the event will be donated to Grief ’s Journey. Tickets are available to purchase the night of the event at Vino Mas, located at 14450 Eagle Run Drive, Suite 220. Live music will be provided by Colin Roberts.

Two of Omaha’s most prominent TV personalities – Julie Cornell and Bill Randby of KETV Newswatch 7 – were honored as the new Face on the Barroom Floor at the Omaha Press Club on November 17. The husband-wife team has been a key part of  Omaha’s media fabric for the past 25 years. Cornell is anchor of the 6 and10 p.m.  newscasts, while Randby is chief meteorologist on the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. Rob McCartney, longtime anchor at KETV and the 128th Face on the Barroom Floor in March 2011, emceed the roast. He was joined by three KETV colleagues – Rose Ann Shannon, news director, Vonn Jones, assistant news director, and Melissa Fry, anchor – as well as Paul Tranisi, former creative services director at KETV and KMBC in Kansas City. Rounding out the roasting slate were the three children of Cornell and Randby – Will, 16, a student at Creighton Prep, and Maddie and JoJo, 14-year-old twins at Marian High School. The trio delivered – very appropriately – a video roast of their parents. The Face caricature was drawn by Omaha artist Jim Horan, who has drawn all but two of the 155 Faces on the Barroom Floor.

Make it a date, after hours networking, ladies night out, do some holiday shopping, expand your wine knowledge...all to support the mission of Grief’s Journey! Since 2001, Grief’s Journey (formerly Ted E. Bear Hollow) has been a welcoming, safe place where grieving children, teens and adults find hope. As the region’s cornerstone for grief support, Grief’s Journey provides free peer support programs as well as training, education and consultation throughout Nebraska and Iowa. Grief’s Journey relies on charitable contributions, special event income and volunteerism to support its free programs. For more information, visit

Introducing Modern Streetcar Advocates The Omaha streetcar conversation is back. It’s now being spearheaded by Modern Streetcar Advocates, a collaboration of community visionaries, public transportation champions and everyday people who love Omaha. Modern Streetcar Advocates believe as our city transforms, we have the opportunity to leverage what lies ahead. A streetcar in Omaha deserves to be considered through accurate, information-based conversations. Modern Streetcar Advocates see a streetcar as a key catalyst for real growth in Omaha. They believe now is the time to connect others to the vision of a streetcar as the next step toward making Omaha a more vibrant, accessible, prosperous, cosmopolitan and successful city. If Omaha is home to a streetcar, it would join the list of American 20 cities that already have a streetcar in service. More than 20 other cities are considering, planning, or building a streetcar. The benefits of a streetcar are immediately apparent in Kansas City where the RideKC Streetcar had an average of 7,449 daily users in July, with 2 million riders in its first year of operation, which contributed to $2 billion in downtown revitalization along the streetcar line. Modern Streetcar Advocates are excited about similar growth potential here in Omaha. Through streetcar use and the upcoming Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT), Modern Streetcar Advocates expect more people will discover the benefits and advantages of public transit and may begin to consider less reliance on their cars. Modern Streetcar Advocates has launched a new website,, as a home for reliable information about the benefits a streetcar would bring to the city, including a significant boost to economic development and quality of life here. You can also find Modern Streetcar Advocates on Facebook, and on Twitter at @StreetcarOmaha. 36 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

Businesses Statewide Help Brighten Holidays for CEDARS Kids Some kids wish for a safe place to sleep. That heartbreaking truth is the reality that CEDARS works every day to change. Over 300 children will be staying safe in CEDARS care over the holidays. For many, it is because they have no other safe place to spend the night. Many come with just the clothing on their backs. And for many, this is the first time they have spent the holidays away from their homes. “The holidays are a time of excitement and magic. We want to keep that joy for the kids during this difficult time in their young lives,” said Jim Blue, President of CEDARS. Throughout the month, local businesses are asking employees, customers and clients for help in collecting toys, clothes and other gifts for the children at CEDARS. These donations send such a strong, positive message to the children. Oftentimes, their lives are filled with chaos and disappointment, but these gifts show them that someone really cares for them. “It’s a powerful message,” Blue said. Anyone interested in helping to #GiveJoy to the children at CEDARS is encouraged to contact Tracy Christensen at (402) 437-8820 or For more information about how CEDARS cares for children and their families, call (402) 434-KIDS (5437) or visit

NON-PROFIT NEWS Open Door Mission Encourages Holiday Giving

Volunteer Projects Now Available Through United Way’s “Holiday Helpers”

Committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty, Open Door Mission provides critical support to those here in the Omaha Metro community. The demand for Open Door Mission services for homeless and near-homeless individuals and families has grown significantly this year, up 77.4% from what was provided in 2016. Open Door Mission is seeking financial support to underwrite the additional expenses incurred through expanding its offerings to accommodate the need through online and mailed donations through the month of December. This will also help to ensure these services are available in the coming year for all who need them. Gifts of any size will help make an impact and are very much appreciated. Over 90% of every donation to Open Door Mission goes directly to guest services. Open Door Mission meets the basic needs of individuals and families while inspiring HOPE for lasting change. Each day, Open Door Mission’s campus offers 816 safe shelter beds to homeless men, women, and children and serves more than 2,300 hot, nutritious meals to feed the hungry. Homeless preventative measures are offered every day to more than 400 people living in poverty, empowering individuals and families to remain in their own homes. For more information, visit www.

During this season of giving thanks, many individuals and groups like to share their time to help others. United Way of the Midlands is ready to connect them to a project that will help individuals in need and the organizations that provide them support. Volunteer projects range from sorting donated items to decorating for holiday parties at a variety of great local nonprofit and civic organizations across the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area. Other projects may include: *Serving meals; *Organizing toys and other seasonal items; *Serving as a host or a caroler at holiday-related events; or *Hanging holiday decorations at nonprofit sites. Participating volunteers are encouraged to share information on their projects through social media, using the hashtag #HolidayHelpers to let people know they, too, can get involved in assisting the great local programs that serve people who live in poverty. Available projects can be viewed and reserved at www. For more information, contact Dani Ohlman at or call (402) 522-7949. Nonprofit agencies are invited to submit projects online that take place through December 31.

Nebraska Community Foundation Celebration Draws Record Statewide Attendance Two hundred and sixty volunteers representing 41 communities, plus more than 20 comm unity development organizations, and an additional 400 business leaders and individuals passionate about the future of Nebraska gathered in La Vista on November 2 to celebrate the community-building successes of the Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) network. NCF’s 2017 Annual Celebration – which included training for its affiliated fund leaders, a community expo, and celebratory banquet – drew record attendance representing communities as far as Scottsbluff, as close as Papillion, and dozens of communities in between. Centered on the theme “Together a Greater Nebraska,” speakers and training sessions focused on the importance of building strong communities across the state. Hundreds of community volunteers gathered for a full day of training facilitated by peers in the NCF network, subject matter experts from a variety of Nebraska organizations, and NCF staff members. Topics included community and economic development issues that are important to rural communities like local food in schools, early childhood development, workforce and leadership development, and youth engagement. The Annual Celebration culminated with an expo highlighting the work and successes of communities across the NCF network and a banquet featuring remarks by community volunteers including high school senior Chloe Higgins of Nebraska City, as well as individuals hailing from Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk, Ogallala, Byron, Albion, and former Congressman Doug Bereuter of Cedar Bluffs. For more information, visit

The Empowerment Network to Host 7th Annual Christmas in the Village Join The Empowerment Networ k for the 7th annual Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake, a community celebration and holiday tradition, on Saturday, December 2nd! The event, presented by the Empowerment Network in partnership with the Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC), American National bank, and KETV Channel 7 Omaha, will take place at 24th & Lake, between Burdette and Ohio Streets, from noon to 5 p.m. It’s an opportunity to purchase your gifts while supporting local businesses, featuring the Holiday Boutique, Styles of Evolution, Fair Deal Village, and other retailers. There will be free toys and treats, face painting and balloon artists, interactive arts & crafts, and the popular Mrs. Claus Cookie Shop! Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to enjoy delicious food provided by food vendors and mobile food trucks, Fair Deal Café and SOCO Kanteen, as well as hot cocoa and hot cider. Entertainment will include live outdoor holiday music, gospel & jazz, local artists, church choirs, dance groups, children can visit with Santa and receive a small toy, see a live Native Scene and cartoon characters, enjoy free carriage rides, free family photos and book giveaway. Visitors can even register to win a free 32” inch flat screen TV, X Box One, Christmas Food Baskets and, $100 gift certificates. Christmas in the Village is an annual favorite you won’t want to miss! Special thanks to the following sponsors: Revive! Omaha, Family Housing Advisory Services, The Omaha Star, Veridian Credit Union, Love’s Jazz & Arts Center, Omaha Small Business Network, Urban League of Nebraska, Nebraska Arts Council, The Sherwood Foundation, and the Holiday Lights Festival. This event is also in collaboration with: North Omaha Arts Alliance, 100 Black Men, Omaha NAACP, American Harvest Company, CHI Health, Frontier Bag Company, The Cooler, Black Police Officers Association, Great Plains BHM, Long School Neighborhood Assoc., Neighborhood Action & Fact, Styles of Evolution, Omaha Police Department, Union for Contemporary Arts, North Omaha Neighborhood Assoc., LeFlore’s New Look Fashion, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, plus over 80 other local organizations. DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 37

HEALTH NEWS Researcher Studying Nanofiber Sutures to Prevent Surgical Site Infections

MedExpress Celebrates Opening of New Neighborhood Medical Centers in Omaha

Jingwei Xie, Ph.D, a biomedical engineer at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has been awarded a four-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the nanofiber-based local delivery of immunomodulating compounds for prevention of surgical site infections (SSIs). The nanofiber sutures contain vitamin D, which is thought to be able to induce production of an infection-fighting peptide at the surgical site. SSIs are the most common and costly of all hospital-acquired infections, accounting for 20 percent of all hospital-acquired infections. They occur in an estimated 2 percent to 5 percent of patients undergoing inpatient surgery. The estimated annual incidence of SSIs in the U.S. ranges from 160,000 to 300,000, and the estimated annual cost ranges from $3.5 billion to $10 billion. On average, a SSI increases the hospital length of stay by 9.7 days. The nanofiber sutures can deliver a variety of bioactive compounds to minimize infection risk, optimize healing and minimize scarring, while circumventing some of the problems seen with anti-infective sutures containing triclosan. The grant is through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, one of the institutes of the NIH. Dr. Xie, who is an assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Surgery – Transplant and the Holland Regenerative Medicine Program, is the principal investigator on the grant. He is collaborating with Adrian F. Gombart, Ph.D., associate professor, biochemistry and biophysics, in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU).

MedExpress recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house celebration at one of its newest Omaha centers, conveniently connected to Walgreens at 225 N. Saddle Creek Rd., Suite 101, on October 3. The event was open to the public and took place the day before the center opened to serve patients. MedExpress also opened two other Omaha neighborhood medical centers nearby at 6005 N. 72nd St. on October 4 and 5062 S. 155th St. on October 11. MedExpress provides high-quality, convenient, affordable health care for illnesses and injuries, as well as basic wellness and employer health services. MedExpress is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with no appointment necessary. Services include: Treatment for cold/strep/flu, sprains, broken bones, burns, dehydration and cuts needing stitches; Wellness care such as vaccinations, flu shots and physicals; and Employer health services such as workers’ compensation, injury care and preemployment screenings and physicals. MedExpress, part of Optum, exists to ensure families and employers have access to patient-centric care when they need it. Each of the nearly 5,000 health care and customer service professionals focus on transforming health care delivery – one patient at a time. For career opportunities or to learn more, visit or connect with MedExpress on Facebook and Twitter @MedExpress and @MedExpressJobs.

Restore Chiropractic Center Open Elkhorn Location, Hosts Grand Opening Restore Chiropractic Center recently opened a second location in Elkhorn! To celebrate the grand opening, an official ribboncutting ceremony was conducted by officials f ro m t h e We s t e r n Douglas County Chamber on October 12th in conjunction with a grand opening event that was open to the public. The Elkhorn practice is located at 1315 N 2015th Street, Suite #2. The new Elkhorn location joins Restore Chiropractic Center’s original Ralston location. Restore Chiropractic Center is focused on four core areas, working to Restore Hope, Restore Connection, Restore Function, and finally, Restore Health. Many of the patients at Restore Chiropractic Center have been dealing with longstanding, chronic issues that are impacting their quality of life. This includes headaches and migraines, digestive issues, anxiety, immune system issues, allergies/sinus issues, chronic fatigue and pain, ADHD/focus issues, developmental issues, or trouble sleeping. The professionals at Restore Chiropractic Center consult with clients on an individual case-by-case basis, exploring the potential underlying issues, conducting an in-depth examination to evaluate the functioning of the nervous system and areas that may be causing the issues, and developing a plan to address them systematically. The final goal of restoring health comes from a process of restoring the connection between the nervous system and the rest of the body. When it is functioning properly, people see drastic improvements in many areas of their health, especially with respect to the chronic issues that were the main cause of concern and suffering. For more information, please visit elkhorn or contact Dr. Stephen Stinn at (402) 504-4676 / drstephen@ 38 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

CHI Physicians Group Earns GOLD Recognition From 2017 Target: BP Recognition Program The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) would like to congratulate CHI Physicians Group, UniNet, for their ongoing commitment to lowering blood pressure and improving control rates within their patient population. CHI Physicians Group has earned GOLD recognition as part of the 2017 Target: BP Recognition Program! Target BP is a call to action motivating medical practices, practitioners and health services organizations to prioritize blood pressure control. Recognition is earned by healthcare providers who attain high levels of blood pressure control in their patient populations, particularly those who achieve 70, 80 percent or higher control. Why should a clinic or physician’s network join Target BP? Target BP offers: • The algorithm and systems approach described in AHA’s treatment algorithm are proven to increase control rates within a clinical setting • Patient and provider resources that include podcasts, videos, fact sheets, supporting materials, patient education materials, and patient tracking tools • Sites will receive recognition from the AHA • Assistance with required performance metrics • An Opportunity to Improve Health and Care of their Patients! More information can be found at or by contacting Michelle Nielson at

HEALTH NEWS Nebraska Community Blood Bank Welcomes New Bloodmobile

Methodist Hospital Makes Becker’s Hospital Review’s Top 100 Heart Hospitals

On October 24th, Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) officially welcomed a brand new bloodmobile to its fleet. This new bloodmobile e x p a n d s NCBB’s fleet of bloodmobiles to four, which will help the blood center grow its efforts to collect life-saving blood for our hospital partners. NCBB bloodmobiles travel thousands of miles each year to host more than 500 blood drives in partnership with area businesses, schools, and community organizations. The new bloodmobile features pictures of blood recipients from our community, including Kim Short, who needed blood transfusions while she awaited a bone marrow transplant. Kim’s father Bill Short cut the ceremonial ribbon. The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce hosted the celebration at NCBB’S 84th Street donor center, and NCBB staff offered tours of the new vehicle and its facility. The need for blood is constant. NCBB needs at least 1,000 blood donors every week to ensure we can provide local hospitals with the blood patients need to survive. All types are needed – especially type O negative (O-). To schedule an appointment or learn more, please visit NCBB.ORG or call (877) 486-9414.

Methodist Hospital was recently honored by Becker’s Hospital Review, being named one of their “100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs.” Methodist joined Nebraska Medicine as the only Nebraska hospitals on the list. In 2016, Methodist Hospital earned the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Performance Achievement Award, which recognizes hospitals with high survival rates for critical heart attack patients. In 2017, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association designated the hospital a Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care. Methodist Hospital first made the Becker’s Hospital Review “100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs” list back in 2013 and returned to the top 100 in 2016. “This is yet another validation of the tremendous work our cardiac staff performs on a daily basis for our patients,” said Steve Goeser, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Methodist Health System. “Our team provides quick and accurate patient assessments followed by appropriate care initiatives, resulting in outstanding outcomes for our patients.”

Synexus Chooses Rockbrook Village for New Omaha Location Synexus recently opened its newest site in Rockbrook Village. It is the 6th location in the greater Omaha area for the clinical trial research company. A ribbon cutting with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce was held in conjunction with Synexus’ grand opening on November 10th. Synexus, a globally operated company, brings access to new therapies and treatment innovations with studies that range from treating migraines, osteoarthritis, hypertension, to high cholesterol, diabetes, vaccinations, and more. “While the end goal is to contribute to the advancement of science, we manage to differentiate ourselves from competitors by placing an emphasis on the patient experience and providing an individualized healthcare experience during participation in our clinical trials,” says Amy Isaacson, Regional Director. Synexus facilities are able to achieve this by employing a full-time research staff that is dedicated to ensuring a safe and quality experience for each trial participant. “We welcome all community members who are interested in learning more about and participating in clinical research studies to stop by and meet our staff, ask questions, and hear about our currently available clinical trials,” adds Dr. Jennifer Kay, a board certified family medicine physician, who will lead the research team at their Rockbrook Village location. For more information about Synexus, please visit www.synexus. com or contact Amy Isaacson at (402) 205-7998 / Amy.Isaacson@

Breakthrough Research Suggests Potential Treatment for Autism, Intellectual Disability A breakthrough in finding the mechanism and a possible therapeutic fix for autism and intellectual disability has been made by a University of Nebraska Medical Center researcher and his team at the MunroeMeyer Institute (MMI). Woo-Yang Kim, Ph.D., associate professor, developmental neuroscience, led a team of researchers from UNMC and Creighton University into a deeper exploration of a genetic mutation that reduces the function of certain neurons in the brain. Dr. Kim’s findings were published in the Nov. 6-10 weekly online issue of Nature Neuroscience. “This is an exciting development because we have identified the pathological mechanism for a certain type of autism and intellectual disability,” Dr. Kim said. Recent studies have shown that the disorder occurs when a first-time mutation causes only one copy of the human AT-rich interactive domain 1B (ARID1B) gene to remain functional, but it was unknown how it led to abnormal cognitive and social behaviors. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impairs the ability of individuals to communicate and interact with others. About 75 percent of individuals with ASD also have intellectual disability, which is characterized by significant limitations in cognitive functions and adaptive behaviors. There are no drugs or genetic treatments to prevent ASD or intellectual disability; the only treatment options focus on behavioral management and educational and physical therapies. The team created and analyzed a genetically modified mouse and found that a mutated Arid1b gene impairs GABA neurons, the ‘downer’ neurotransmitter, leading to an imbalance of communication in the brain. GABA blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain. Low levels of GABA may be linked to anxiety or mood disorders, epilepsy and chronic pain. It counters glutamate (the upper neurotransmitter), as the two mediate brain activation in a Ying and Yang manner. People take GABA supplements for anxiety. “We showed that cognitive and social deficits induced by an Arid1b mutation in mice are reversed by pharmacological treatment with a GABA receptor modulating drug. And, now we have a designer mouse that can be used for future studies,” Dr. Kim said. The next steps for Dr. Kim and his team are to even further refine the specific mechanism for autism and intellectual disability and to identify which of the many GABA neurons are specifically involved. Dr. Kim’s research was supported by a $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and a $400,000 Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business 39


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Winter Driving

Brace yourselves, winter is coming. (Sorry Game of Thrones fans, the actual season we have to experience here in Nebraska. You’ll still have to wait what seems like an eternity for the final season of the show.) While we fared quite well last year with mild temperatures for the most part and only a few incidences of poor driving conditions related to inclement weather, that is not anticipated to be the case this time around as we approach yet another formidable Nebraska winter. Be that as it may, we’re not strangers to it and fully appreciate the fact that it’s always wise to be prepared. To that end, the local professionals in the automotive industry are more than ready, willing, and able to help. We consulted with Boyd Dingman with Dingman’s Collision Center, who offered some important things to keep in mind as we approach the inevitable. “It would be nice to be able to call in every time we had a little bit of snow but that just isn’t realistic. We have to get out there and brave the snow and ice in the winter months. A few things to check before you begin your winter driving: Wiper Blades – Are they working properly? Boyd Dingman Dingman’s Collision Center If you question this at all, think about if your wipers will clear the dirty slush that continually flies onto your windshield, without leaving a smeary mess. If not, they need to be replaced. Keep in mind that it is recommended to replace wiper blades annually. Always having enough windshield wiper fluid is important particularly one that is made to withstand freezing temperatures. Battery – If your battery is more than three years old, it is a good idea to have a certified battery shop or mechanic shop test the battery. You do not want to be stranded due to battery issues that could have been avoided. Tires – Check your tire pressure and tread. Your tire pressure may have dropped along with the temperatures. For every ten degrees, the temperature drops tires average a loss of one pound per square inch. Monitor your tires frequently throughout the winter and make sure to maintain proper tire pressure. Your tires should also have adequate tread, so having them checked out by a professional is a good idea. Another good option is investing in snow tires. Always have a spare tire and jack with you as well. Belts & Hoses – Check them out or have a professional check them to make sure there are no leaks or bulges and no fraying. The cold weather will only exacerbate these issues making the hoses and belts more brittle. Radiator – Make sure that your radiator is filled with the proper water/ anti-freeze mixture that is recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Gas Tank – Always keep a quarter to a half gallon of gas in the tank at all times to prevent moisture buildup in the tank. Many vehicles have technology that is supposed to help with the slipping and sliding but it is no guarantee, and in some cases, it provides a false sense of security. The important thing is to take things slow and to watch for black ice and other areas that have historically been trouble. Furthermore, be prepared and have a winter weather kit in your vehicle just in case. When putting one together, some items to include are a blanket, boots and gloves, an extra set of warm clothes, food and water, ice scraper, small shovel, flashlight, windshield washer fluid, flares, jumper cables, first aid kit and an abrasive material to help if you get stuck such as sand or kitty litter. When venturing out, take it slow and be prepared for road conditions to change rapidly.” Unfortunately, even for the safest of drivers who have taken all of the

appropriate precautions, accidents still happen. In terms of insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional to evaluate your current policy and update it if needed. The most commonly overlooked coverage is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage for the insured in case he/she is to get hurt and the at-fault party either does not carry insurance at all or has inadequate coverage for the injury that you have incurred. Many people think of price when buying insurance. It is drilled into our heads every 15 minutes on television and radio. Save money on your car insurance. This leads to many people buying coverage at the state minimums, which is 25,000 per person and 50,000 per accident liability coverage. What many don’t know is that with this amount of coverage, they also only get 25,000/50,000 uninsured motorist as well as underinsured motorist. Long story short, if you were to have these coverages and were to get hit and injured by an uninsured motorist, the maximum benefit you would receive is 25,000 dollars. This many times will not pay for the trip to the emergency room alone. Yes, going with higher limits will be a bit more expensive, but it is your best interest to have the highest liability limits and uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage that you can afford. Talking with an experienced agent can help you avoid these shortfalls and will present you all of the options so that you can make an informed decision for yourself and your family, rather than just getting the cheapest insurance you can find online. Taking the necessary precautions is essential to your safety on the roads when winter weather strikes. Be sure to take this advice into consideration and be safe out there everyone!

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Senior Living Particularly during the winter months and the holiday season, it’s a time of year when it’s important to keep our senior loved ones and even beyond that, our senior neighbors here in our community, in mind. There are many things we can do help brighten a day, meet a need, prepare for what’s to come, and so on. Caution: Winter Weather Ahead. Freezing rain, extreme cold, and snowstorms; winter weather can be dangerous. While everyone should be aware of the hazards associated with inclement weather, the threat can be especially dire if you’re a senior citizen who may be less mobile in and outside your home, which makes you considerably more at-risk during weather emergencies. Seniors can be at greater risk for several reasons. One is existing health problems worsening in extreme temperatures. Or, it may be more difficult for them to evacuate or prepare their homes when severe weather threatens. Winter storms care range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, ice, sleet, and freezing rain. Seniors are the most likely to require assistance, can sometimes need monitoring, in the colder months. Here are a few tips that will help to ensure you’re ready for winter storms and extreme cold: Prepare Before Storms & Extreme Cold • Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit: • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. • Sand to improve traction. • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment. • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm. • Make a family communications plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know what to do in case of an emergency. • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supply kit in your vehicle. • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Winterize Your Home • Extend the life of your fuel supply; insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out. • Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm. • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear. • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts). DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business


• Hire a contractor to check the structural integrity of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work. Caution: Stay Mindful of Seasonal Issues. The most serious, yet most treatable, senior health issue this time of year is loneliness. While Americans tend to associate the holidays with togetherness, sharing, joyful occasions and feelings of warmth and happiness, the season can also worsen feelings of loneliness, disappointment, and isolation for some people - especially older adults. Loneliness is not only bad for seniors’ mental health; it can affect their physical wellbeing as well. Current research illustrates the link between loneliness and the advancement of dementia, deterioration of physical health and shortened lifespans. Conversely, multiple studies show feeling connected and happy is good for your health and can lead to a longer lifespan. What’s more, happiness really can be contagious. In fact, one study by researchers at the University of California and Harvard University found surrounding yourself with happy people can make you more likely to become happy yourself. Emotional ties are even more important for seniors. “As seniors look toward the holidays, they often think of their family traditions changing,” states Joanne Carlberg with Bridge to Better Living. “The realization of families being busy with their own children and perhaps less or no opportunity for everyone to celebrate together, especially when members are far away, can be tough. As such, depression is common during these times. It is important to be active and enjoy holiday celebrations while staying in contact with friends and family. Being socially active combats loneliness and Joanne Carlberg living close to peers is comforting. Seniors who Bridge to Better Living have delayed moving into a senior retirement community suddenly realize the winter weather is just around the corner and worry about transportation, the ability to have healthy meals, and


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home maintenance. Bridge to Better Living, at no cost, lightens their stress and anxiety by assisting them to find the best community for their needs where they are well cared for, warm and safe. We are able to refer local resources to help downsize and organize for moves. There is a saying ‘The best gift of all is the presence of family and friends wrapped in love.’ Take time to drop a note, phone call or visit those who are unable for any reason to join in the celebrations. Remember to plan ahead and be certain those you love are enjoying their holidays. Also, it’s advised to plan ahead to find a senior community offering fellowship during the holidays and every day. Living with peers and knowing you are safe and stress-free is a gift in itself. Peace of mind occurs when living with friends who have the same interests and situations as you or your loved one do. As was previously mentioned, Lincoln will be welcoming several new communities in 2018. Bridge to Better Living will be working with all of them and will know what amenities and services they offer. Use a consultant such as those at Bridge to Better Living to find the best community that will allow you to maintain your quality of life.” Feeling love and compassion is important for seniors to feel every day of the year, but especially during the holiday season. Memories made during the holiday season last forever, and are important for seniors to continue to experience.   The holidays seem to be overbooked with parties and activities, so it’s important to plan in advance to make that special time happen with your senior loved ones.   “I think the most serious issues that impact the seniors we see in Long Term Care are those of grief and loss,” notes Molly Skidmore with Brookestone Meadows. “Very frequently the holidays are a reminder of the family and friends that have gone before us and are unable to join us as we gather together.  Additionally, seniors are reminded that due to their loss of independence and limited abilities, they often times are not able to be the provider of the holiday festivities as they once were.  Many of our residents were impeccable hosts, fabulous cooks, purchased the most thoughtful gifts or were meticulous decorators or gift wrappers. The holidays are a challenge to find ways to contribute in a meaningful way that is perhaps very different from the past. Be sure to make time during the holidays for your loved ones that are living in facilities or senior living communities.  Time with family is irreplaceable, particularly during this time of year.  Include any senior you can in your festivities.  Draw on your loved ones’ abilities and talents instead of their inabilities, helping them to be an integral part of the holiday instead of an observer.  Take your loved one to family gatherings if possible--use resources like medical transport companies to have them join in on the fun!  If it isn’t possible to bring your loved ones to your holiday gatherings, bring the gathering to them.” In agreement with the profound impact volunteers have on the lives of seniors, Skidmore emphasizes, “Volunteers play a vital role in contributing to the quality of life of seniors living in facilities all year long!  They enhance the care provided in these settings by offering additional opportunities for one-on-one interaction.  Good conversation, smiles and laughter are the best medicine regardless of age. We always have volunteer opportunities at Brookestone Meadows.  To get involved, please contact our Life Enrichment department by calling (402) 289-2696. Come with an open mind and open heart! Our seniors will share their lifetime of stories, jokes, wisdom and perspective.” Indeed, volunteers truly do contribute to the quality of life of seniors during the holiday season. Many seniors do not have family nearby to visit them during the holiday season. Volunteers help provide comfort during the holidays by visiting with seniors, assisting with seasonal events, and even donating items to be gifted. Anything that has to do with offering your time and companionship is always greatly appreciated. Consider adopting a grandparent or elderly neighbor during the winter season; it will bring you just as much enjoyment as it will give the recipient, which is the gift of your time and attention!  Learn about their past--you may find out some amazing stories about them in the way of their former employment, military service, family members, etc.  Help them record their memories as a gift for their family who may live far away, scoop a sidewalk, or bring them a favorite book. Something as simple as taking a Sunday evening drive around town to see the holiday lights is a fun, stress-free activity that could bring a great deal of happiness

and holiday cheer to a senior. In addition, there is a variety of holiday musical performances and religious offerings to keep seniors active and involved throughout the holidays, so you could plan a trip to one of those.  As previously detailed, the cold and dangers of winter can isolate seniors, making simple tasks more difficult. Furthermore, getting out and about in the winter months can be treacherous for anyone, let alone for those who have physical limitations or safety concerns.   Therefore, before deciding to make that trip to the store or medical appointment, seniors need to be sure the route will be free of obstacles like snow banks or icy sidewalks.  Volunteering to clean the drive or sidewalk for a senior is a kind gesture and may allow them to make even simple trips to the mailbox worry free.  Another kind gesture would be offering to assist them with their travel needs, or just stopping by to pass the time.   Volunteers can play an integral part in a senior’s life,” emphasizes Kyle Johnson with Care Consultants for the Aging. “Stopping by to see them on a regular basis or bringing a gift during the holidays will create a sense of worthiness for that senior. Having a friendly, smiling face come to your home wanting to spend time with you will bring a smile to anyone’s face! Seniors who  stay home alone and don’t get involved in the holidays tend to get depressed  because they are lonely. There Kyle Johnson are also many seniors who live in retirement Care Consultants communities and don’t have  family who for the Aging regularly comes to see them. During the holidays everyone wants to be with their family. We strongly encourage seniors to get out and  become active in the winter months to avoid this sense of loneliness. If you can’t get out on your own, be open to letting someone come in and be with during these months to ensure your safety and have a friend to spend the holidays with!” He also notes, “Everyone who is aging in place at home wants to stay there as long as possible. We want everyone to stay home as long as possible, so give us a call and we will help make sure this is an option for you. Moving is difficult, especially at an older age, so taking the proper steps before a move may have to happen is very important as well. We will assess your current living situation and give you the best advice based on your wishes! We’re just a phone call away, so please take advantage of our services.” In agreement, Julie Laughlin with Home Nursing With Heart adds, “So many times we see patients who desperately want to stay in their homes they’ve lived in for 50+ years, at all costs. To that end, an often-overlooked service is in-home care.  For seniors who wish to stay in their homes, a quality companion care company to assist  with  daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, meal preparation, etc. can be a huge help. Some companies will provide non-medical cares while others are licensed to provide both medical and nonJulie Laughlin medical cares. Home Nursing With Heart For example, at Home Nursing With Heart, we provide professional staff who go into the homes of our patients to treat various ailments, post-surgical conditions, and provide physical and occupational therapy. Medicare generally covers these visits financially for the patient. We can also evaluate the home environment and make suggestions for modifications so that patients are able to continue to stay in their homes as long as possible. Since most injuries and falls happen in the bathroom, bathroom modifications/safety equipment may need to be considered as a priority. This can be as simple as grab bars, removing rugs, obtaining a toilet seat riser, etc. At Home Nursing With Heart, we have an occupational therapist conduct a safety evaluation in the home and make specific suggestions to improve safety. This is a service paid for by Medicare. Also, the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA) has a handyman service that may be beneficial.

When challenges are identified we work with the patient, their family, and many times a medical social worker to help make the best choices for the patient and ensure they stay safe and happy.” She continues, “While often aging in place is a possibility with assistance, unfortunately there comes a time when mental or physical challenges are present and it’s not possible. When it’s time depends on the individual so it varies quite a bit. No matter what the case may be, preparing for the latter outcome financially is very important. In addition, the emotional preparation must be addressed also. Over the years family memories have been created, attachments and bonds are forged, and having to let go of this is an emotional challenge. Regarding the financial obligations involved, have a budget and list the most important services needed. What are the physical, social, and possibly locale needs involved? If staying in an independent living environment when transitioning to a community, does the facility offer progressive cares, medication assistance, hygiene cares, transportation to medical appointments, etc.? Finding this information out ahead of time is important because it may help to avoid having to move again. Also, understanding the specifics with respect to financial obligations, additional charges, and payment details is critical. There are agencies that exist to help determine which community and/or services would be the best fit. A representative will meet with the senior and his or her family to review and assess various needs, finances, and recommend the facilities that best suit the specific situation. Oftentimes the services provided by these agencies are free to utilize.” With the onset of winter this month and the fact that we’re already in the midst of the holiday season, keep these things in mind and don’t hesitate to reach out to our local resources if you have questions, need assistance, or would like to offer your time and talents as a volunteer. There is no shortage of things we can do to ensure our loved ones, neighbors, and those in our community are all able to enjoy the happiness the holidays bring safely an in the company of others. DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business


Holiday Wrap -Up December is quite the month, full of merriment and making memories. During which time, there’s a lot to get done and not an abundance of time in which to accomplish it. Although it can be a tall order to prepare for all of the holiday festivities to come, in the true spirit of the season it’s a time for celebration and to count our many blessings. In order to focus the majority of your attention on the latter of those things and minimize stress in handling the former, look no further than our fantastic local businesses for help with all of your holiday needs! Once we reach the month of December, we’re officially in the homestretch and it’s really time to get down to business. As most can relate, it always seems like there’s plenty of time until all of a sudden there’s not. Unless you thrive in the midst of chaos, leaving things until the very last minute is not the position in which you want to find yourself if at all possible. “It does help to start early – that Christmas Eve shopping always works out better in the movies,” notes Gerry Phelan with Woodcraft. “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.  We’ve had gift buyers who purchase equipment for their favorite woodworkers, but more often we look for special items Gerry Phelan to enhance their workshops.  We always Woodcraft have new tools and special woodworking items for the holidays.  Now that we are a Woodcraft store, we have an avalanche of new items!  If you have a woodworker on your list, we’re your one-stop gift shop with thousands of items in stock.  We realize that it can be hard to buy for a woodworker but we’ll be happy to help.  We are woodworkers ourselves and 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.  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. Or, 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 turning, 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 has a great experience in our classes. There are never more than 4 or 5 people in a class so it is a very ‘hands-on’ experience. 


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While gift-giving is nice, remember that your time and attention is the best gift of all. 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. Alternatively, if you are able to make something special with your own hands, that gift has a much stronger personal connection.  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. The holiday season should be fun and enjoyable, not a stressful problem for you.  Don’t worry about perfection – you don’t have to reach perfect to have a wonderful holiday. As Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers would say ‘RELAX.’”  If you’re weighing your options between selecting a gift, whether it’s an item or an experience, or giving a gift card and letting the recipient be the one to choose, you’re in good company. Gift cards do get a bit of a bad rap (not to be confused with a bad wrap, which you won’t have to worry about with these babies!) for being sort of a cop-out, but honestly, they make pretty great gifts. You can give them alone in a card, with an assortment of items in a gift basket, or match them with other gifts for the perfect combination. You can get a bunch from one of your favorite places and spread them around as you please for others to experience what you already know to be amazing, or you could carefully select the gift cards based on what you know each recipient would like. The varying dollar amounts allow you to treat each of your coworkers or clients to something yummy from a local coffee shop or bakery without going broke, or go big and treat your neighbors, parents, the newlywed couple in your family, the couple with kids, etc. to a date night at a nice restaurant or to see a show at a local theatre. For the pet lover, the sports lover, the book lover, the nature enthusiast, the hobbyist, the fitness guru…this could go on, but you get the picture, a gift card will let them get what they love, which is something you can definitely feel good about. It also gives you the choice between giving the gift of an item with a gift card from a local retailer or giving the gift of an experience with a gift card from a local entertainment venue – or both if the item will be used during the experience. And with so many awesome deals on gift cards during the holidays, you can stretch your funds and give more, or get what you need and keep the rest to treat yourself. So many options! 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 with 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 Sean Fuller discount when purchased in quantity. There Just Good Meat are many 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!”

With all of the thoughtful gifts coming in from clients and those you do business with, it’s easy to feel the love when you’re surrounded by a multitude of amazing gift baskets and pretty arrangements of treats. But it’s also easy to feel the guilt when you can’t pull yourself away from them and you just keep snacking If you’re giving such a gift, why not consider healthy snacks this year? It will certainly set you apart, and if you do it right, in a good way. “The gift of food is enjoyed by all of your employees and not just the boss, so it’s a nice gesture that extends your gratitude to everyone,” says Charlotte Ralston with R U Nuts and Ahroma Specialty Coffee. “When you bring in a gift that’s able to be shared by everyone on staff, it’s often something that they remember and will associate with you long past the holidays. Since there are so many more of us who are health conscious these days, and for good reason, it’s refreshing to have Charlotte Ralston healthy snacks in the mix. By giving that R U Nuts & Ahroma type of gift, you can really stand out and Specialty Coffee make a good impression. At R U Nuts we do have a nice assortment of chocolates and candies, but we also have an equally abundant selection of nuts and dried fruits. Then there’s coffee, which is widely considered to be a workplace staple. The gift of coffee is one that will be enjoyed and appreciated, that’s for sure. Every day is a holiday when you’re drinking Ahroma Specialty Coffee! Having high-quality gourmet coffee already at the office will save the trip to pick it up on the way, which means less time and money spent on that, leaving you more for your own personal holiday agenda. Aside from client gift-giving, it’s great for the employees to give to the boss and vice versa. We have an assortment of gift baskets filled with our most popular items that are always a big hit. This includes Coffee Lovers, Holiday Cheer, Nebraska ‘Buy Local’, People Pleaser, The Good Times, and V.I.P. For corporate gift giving, we can customize the product as well as the packaging to fit your budget and your taste.” She also notes, “All of our products also make great personal gifts for friends and family – and excellent stocking stuffers! Furthermore, I’d advise anyone who is hosting guests in their home for the holidays to make sure they are stocked up on snacks and morning coffee. It’s the little things to ensure everyone is comfortable, satisfied, and able to fully enjoy their visit. There’s nothing like starting the day off around the table with your loved ones catching up over a fresh cup of coffee. Instead of everyone having to venture out to grab a cup of coffee, you can bring the coffeehouse to your house with Ahroma’s locally-roasted DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business


It’ll also help you look for areas where you could use a little help. Anxious about making Christmas dinner? Why not bring the family to our Christmas buffet? Need a last-minute gift? Lied Lodge gift cards are available online. Schedules are busy during the holidays with family gatherings and school activities in high gear. It can make it difficult to find a party date that works for everyone. Delaying your party until after the holidays can help alleviate these challenges. We have multiple holiday events in January and even February for this very reason. That being said, putting together a party at the last minute is easy at Lied Lodge because we have everything you need—delicious food, customizable space, and accommodations. We are here to help you. We even assign you a personal event planner to help finalize all details and to create your overall experience.”

coffee. It’s such a nice thing to do as a host to have great-tasting coffee on-hand. Plus the smell of freshly-brewed coffee wafting through the house is one that makes everyone feel at home, warm and cozy, as you make holiday memories holidays together. As far as snacks, munc hing throughout the day is fairly commonplace during holiday gatherings. It can seem like forever for it to be time to sit down and eat, and as the host, it’s nice to put a little spread out for grazing in the meantime. Light snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and trail mix are great because they’ll tide you over but not completely ruin your appetite. There’s surely an abundance of treats and a calorie-fest when it comes to holiday dinners, so it’s often a welcome surprise to at least have a few healthier options available too. We even offer a specialty ‘Get Together’ gift basket packed with all of the essentials included. There’s mixed nuts, trail mix, a sweet treat, and both Ahroma premium coffee pot-size packs and single-serving packs of Big Train Chai tea.” Rachel Schizas with Lied Lodge & Confer ence Center also offers the following ideas for gift giving:

Rachel Schizas Lied Lodge & Conference Center

“Experiential gifts are always popular. Imagine giving someone an overnight stay at Lied Lodge & Conference Center. You can include dinner, a wine tasting, and even a spa treatment. And you can do it all with a gift certificate, making it a perfect last-minute gift. We also have four different gift shops across Arbor Day Farm, so finding a unique gift (many of them local products) is a snap.”

She also highlights this month’s line-up of festivities at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, “We have several events and activities during the holiday season including Christmas at the Mansion, the Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights, and Brunch with Santa. For businesses and small groups, we are hosting a holiday party on December 16 called Mingle & Jingle. This event is a great option for groups wanting to hold a big party without having to worry about all the details. We’ve taken care of everything—live music, prime rib buffet, entertainment, cash bar, holiday décor, etc.—and created a holiday party your employees, family, or friends will remember. It’s not too late to book your group, so give us a call if you’re interested. To ring in the new year, our New Year’s Eve celebration will feature Big Show Dueling Pianos and our special New Year’s Eve Grand Buffet in the Timber Dining Room.” Finally, she offers advice on handling last-minute details and managing the stress that often accompanies it. “For me, disorganization and too much to do results in a high level of stress. Making a to-do list is a simple way to get organized. 48 Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

“The holidays tend to be very hectic,” agrees Brent Ganey with the Old Fashioned Garden Café in Rockbrook Village. “During the rush, 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 that are precooked and ready to go; just heat and serve. Meals serving up to six people that are affordable are perfect for dropping off the day before the holiday to let that special person or people 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 assortment of Holiday Goodie Trays. 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 less than $10 per person, we are sure to have what you need and help you stay within your budget.” Finally, he offers a bit of advice for holiday party fare. “Sushi for Christmas? I don’t think so! Don’t try and reinvent 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!” As far as trends for corporate holiday parties and gatherings, it’s become common for events that are focused on client entertaining during the holidays to take precedence during the holidays, with events to thank your employees for their hard work the past year following in January and February. Both types could be wellpositioned yet this month or at the beginning of 2018 and even beyond, it just depends on the specifics of the individual business or organization. There is a good case for waiting until after the holiday hustle and bustle has subsided, though. After the holidays everything has settled down a bit and you have a lot more time to dedicate to your party arrangements and entertaining your attendees. There are a lot more open dates to choose from too when it comes to booking your venue and vendors of choice. Likewise, your clients and/or employees will be able to enjoy themselves more without having to worry about everything else that’s going on in their lives. Employees may appreciate a bonus before the holidays, but when it comes to an event, many would agree that it’s appreciated afterward. If this year was just too crazy to focus on hosting a party in the near future, start planning a spring or summer event and you’ll definitely stand out then! Many are taking the opportunity to do events throughout the year to show appreciation, so don’t feel stressed if you’re limited on possibilities now that it’s December,

just get creative and expand the possibilities a bit. For example, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema hosting an interactive movie-themed party is fun year-round, so setting it up during or after the holidays certainly won’t affect the outcome – your guests having a great time! With the holiday party season in full swing, the Small Business Legal Center at the National Federation of Independent Business has advised keeping celebrations safe by watching out for two problem areas – drunk driving and harassment. Just as much as all of the fun things associated with holiday parties, it’s important to take these things into consideration when planning. Drunk Driving An increasing number of states require employers to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries by intoxicated employees leaving holiday parties. To minimize the risk of liability an employer should do the following: • Use professional bartenders, and instruct them not to serve anyone who appears intoxicated.  • Distribute drink tickets to limit the number of free drinks.  • Serve lots of free food to soak up the alcohol. • Ask trusted managers and supervisors to be on the lookout for people who have had too much to drink and are unable to drive or need assistance getting home.  • Pay for transportation to take impaired employees and guests home or offer designated drivers. Harassment Socializing, alcohol, and mistletoe combine to create an environment that can lead to sexual harassment or fighting. Just because it’s a holiday party doesn’t mean you can’t be liable for what happens as an employer. Employee lawsuits can result from voluntary events held outside the office and outside normal work hours. • Remind employees about company anti-harassment policies before the party.  • If your business does not have an anti-harassment policy, get one! Check out the  free sample policy  developed by  NFIB. Have an attorney review it. • Don’t hang mistletoe. • Ask trusted managers and supervisors to intervene and stop any fighting or inappropriate conduct witnesses or reported. • Finally, make sure that all employees understand that a holiday party is a work-related activity and that rules for appropriate work behavior still apply. Regarding safe transportation, there are several options offered locally that one could utilize. Among those, one that’s popular every year as it’s especially fitting for a special occasion is a limousine! Then of course there’s Uber and Lyft, or you can often find promotions where a free cab ride is offered, or even a free tow to get you and your car to your destination courtesy of AAA. With so much activity, the holidays can be a very stressful and potentially dangerous time for our pets too. Debbie Newhouse, LVT, CVPM with Urgent Pet Care offers a few tips to make the holidays stress-free for owners and pets alike:  Debbie Newhouse Urgent Pet Care

“During the holidays we have more food

sitting on tables and countertops. This is a wonderful buffet for our pets. Chocolate and meat products are usually the biggest items that get pets into trouble. Chocolate can cause hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and if consumed in big enough quantities, even death. Meat products can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to pancreatitis, a condition that’s essentially inflammation of the pancreas. This can turn into several days in the hospital on IV fluids, antibiotics, anti-vomiting and anti-diarrheal medications for recovery.  Most of us love to decorate our homes but don’t think about our pets when doing so. For cats, things like tinsel, small bulbs and garland are irresistible chewing items. When ingested can cause gastric upset or remain in their digestive system as foreign bodies that may need surgical intervention. Christmas trees make great climbing posts, which usually causes the tree to come crashing to the ground.  Dogs are not immune to these items either, especially puppies. Anything in reach is a new chew toy. Those additional extension cords and light cords plugged in are an irresistible chew toy that can cause electrical burns to the mouth and respiratory issues.  Holiday plants such as poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, and lilies are dangerous to our pets. These plants, if eaten completely or even chewed on a little, can cause everything from drooling, gastric upset, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure and possible death.  Holidays bring hectic schedules and changes in our everyday routines. These changes also add stress to our pets’ lives. Trying to keep to a regular schedule with feeding and outdoor time helps our pets to feel safe. Remember to take a few minutes to hug and play with your pet as it will help to relieve both your stress and your pet’s stress.  If planning a holiday party, make arrangements for your pet to be in a separate room or kennel.  This helps prevent your guests from feeding the dog(s) or cat(s) foods they should not have and also prevents them from getting into alcohol that may be left in glasses on the floor.  The stress of having so many different people in the house can cause even the mildest-mannered pet to lose his or her temper and bite.  Should any of these happen or you come across something else you’re unsure about with your pet, Urgent Pet Care is open nights, weekends and holidays to help in case emergency.” During the holidays, it’s especially important to be mindful to spread the cheer by supporting local businesses whenever possible. By keeping our money here in our community, it can do the most good for us all. There are so many wonderful places in the Omaha Metro to explore and enjoy! DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business



Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

DECEMBER 2017 Strictly Business



Strictly Business DECEMBER 2017

Strictly Business Omaha December 2017  
Strictly Business Omaha December 2017